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Free Will challenge

Discussion in 'Debate with a Calvinist' started by Paul., Feb 27, 2021.

  1. Don Maurer

    Don Maurer Newbie

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    I would not agree at all. To assume that would be to make a giant leap without any in depth understanding. That would be very surface. While I agree that people have ability to do what is righteous, they do not have the desire within their nature to do what is right in the eyes of God. This speaks of original sin and sin nature, or as the Reformed call it...total depravity. Liberals and Arminians usually use passages which speak of the image of God in man. While the image of God is marred, there is an element of the image that remains. Thus Romans 2 can say... "for when Gentiles ... show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness therewith, and their thoughts one with another accusing or else excusing them;" So there is a sense in which unbelievers have the capacity for doing some of the things that is good in the law. Unbelievers and unregenerate also retain the capacity of "conscience." The problem is that they use conscience to either accuse or excuse. They do not use conscience to repent. John 6:44 is clear that "No one can come to me."

    The 1st question to be asked in any discussion of free will is --> what happened in the fall of Adam, or the fall of man. What is the nature of man after original sin? I have asked this question of you in every post I made (see post 7 and 17 above). This is the starting place. This is the place to begin any discussion of free will. Did man enter a state of rebellion? Did man enter a state of being dead in sins and trespasses? Did the nature of man become one of wrath?
     
  2. Hammster

    Hammster Can you describe the ruckus? Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    it does


    “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”
    ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:14‬ ‭NASB1995‬‬

    And look at these versions

    “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
    ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:14‬ ‭KJV‬‬


    “But the person without the Spirit does not receive what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually.”
    ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:14‬ ‭CSB‬‬


    “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
    ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬


    “The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
    ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:14‬ ‭NET‬‬

    I could go on, but every translation, whether the word “cannot” is used, expresses the same thing.
     
  3. Hammster

    Hammster Can you describe the ruckus? Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    While my explanation covered the passage in context, to the point of explaining it’s a summary of the previous three chapters, you just give a synergistic understanding. If you’d like, I’ll go into greater detail about being in Adam or being in Christ; being a slave or being free, etc. It may help with the seeing Paul’s point.
     
  4. Don Maurer

    Don Maurer Newbie

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    Hammster... well put. If I can express my agreement with Hammster, this is the starting place for any discussion. Without discussing concepts like being in Adam (Romans 5), or one of the several slavery passages we do not get to the bottom of the issue--- the nature of man.
     
  5. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    "we were by nature (phusikos = inborn, naturally), objects of wrath." (Ephesians 2:3)

    Adam had a moral power which we don't have, and which he forfeited.
    He didn't need God to enable him to make the right moral choices; i.e., obedience.
    He had the moral power to do so, to live a sinless life, nothing limited his ability to do so.
    He was not by nature inclined to sin. He was totally free of that inclination.

    Unregenerate man (not born again) doesn't have that. We are innately inclined (disposed) to sin, slaves to sin ("Everyone who sins is a slave to sin." John 8:34), no one can live a sinless life, no one has the moral power to do so. Our free will is now limited, we cannot make all moral choices, e.g., the moral choice to be sinless.
    In order for man to overcome this inclination toward sin, and in his heart to love and obey God, God must enable him to do so. . .in the new birth.

    ". . .no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him." John 6:65)

    "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away." (John 6:37)

    "And this is the will of him who sent me, I shall lose none of all that he has given me." (John 6:45)

    You do the math. . .why doesn't everyone come?. . .because they are not enabled. . .but those who are enabled do come. . .and none of those are lost.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
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  6. tdidymas

    tdidymas Newbie

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    2 Cor. 4:4 "And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."
    "veiled" and "blinded" means they can't see it. Mere presentation of the gospel does not give people ability to repent in the way that God wants. If people can't see the light, they will not go to it. In that sense, their will is not free, but is rather a slave to sin. Just because people can do the right things sometimes, or even most of the time, doesn't mean they have repented in the way that God wants.

    People are addicted by nature, not by practice, it's not the same. The concept of sinful nature is extracted from the scripture - "There is no one who does not sin." So if everyone commits sin, then sin is in their nature. We can observe this in children by the fact that before they even know right from wrong, they do wrong. They must be taught to do right, because doing right (always) is not in their nature. They do wrong by nature, so they don't have to be taught it.

    Furthermore, addiction means that a person does wrong, even if they know to do right, because they believe that the wrong done will benefit them in some way (usually taking pleasure in it). So, technically sin is an addiction, because it's the same process and reasoning.

    It's inferred from scripture and experience. 2 Pet. 1:9 "For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins." A person has repented when the virtues of Christ are increasing in his life. But if he backslides or commits sin he knows not to do, has he not "forgotten" who he is spiritually? Isn't it because he wants pleasure, or has been deceived by someone, that he disregards the will of God? And it most certainly is a disregard for God's will, if God has commanded not to do it. And for those who are perishing, their plight is much worse, since they can't even hear God, much less know His will.

    1 Cor. 12:14 "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised." "Cannot" is a term of inability. If God has not made someone spiritual (enough to understand and believe the gospel), they will not repent. The presentation of the gospel is not enough to give someone the ability to repent in the way that God wants. God must take supernatural action to get a person into a spiritual position (Eph. 2:1-5).

    No, Adam had a free will at that time, because Paul wrote that Adam was not deceived. Therefore, it was not peer pressure that made him eat the fruit. He was not pressured to it.

    Webster's def. of peer pressure: "a feeling that one must do the same things as other people of one's age and social group in order to be liked or respected by them."

    When scripture uses the phrase "free will," it is always in the context of peer pressure or laws.

    You're jumping to a wrong conclusion. Since they were free from the principle of sin operating in their members (Rom. 7), that's what made their will free. It doesn't mean they weren't under divine influence. Rom. 8:14 "Those who are led by the Spirit of God are God's children." This means that Christians are constantly under divine influence. Phil. 2:13 "God is in you to will and do His good pleasure." This means that God's influence in a Christian is so strong as to prevent Christians from going down a wicked path. 2 Pet. 2:9 "the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation" and such verses tell us that God has His hand on certain people.

    But it appears to me that you are putting unregenerate people in the same category as regenerate people, as if both have exactly the same "free will" and that's not true scripturally.

    Ok, I now I see where you're coming from. This is where our paths diverge. Eph. 2:5 says "even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)." This is Paul's definition of grace. With your reasoning, Paul's statement is figurative. I believe Paul's statement is literal. The statement says that God acts supernaturally in the spiritual realm on a person. There is a time in a person's life that God causes a person to be born of the Spirit, and this is God's choice, God's action, and God's timing. The only thing this has to do with the free will of man is that it changes the course of it. The action of God changes a person's heart, changes their attitude, and ultimately their actions, because it changes the course of his will. This is why Paul expresses the believer as being a "new creation."

    Yet, the apostle Paul wrote that the unregenerate "cannot" understand spiritual things, which the gospel is (1 Cor. 2:14). It's the nature of what Paul is writing in these passages.

    Straw man. Apples/oranges. Bad analogy. Something learned or not learned is not the same thing as something practiced by nature. A person born without legs will never walk unless God performs a miracle. Unregenerate people have no spiritual understanding, therefore they will never walk in the way of Christ until God performs a miracle in them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
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  7. JM

    JM Particular Baptist Supporter

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    I didn't make that argument, I simply stated what philosophy calls "hard determinism" isn't what the Bible describes. It's too weak. Absolute predestination is more accurate.

    I do not believe in open theism (there's your label).

    I do not subscribe to the "Bible of the Month Club," sorry. The issue of words and how they are translated is a real issue in today's "woke" society but as Daniel Wallace pointed out a few years ago most "Bible scholars" are not Christian.

    “As remarkable as it may sound, most biblical scholars are not Christians. I don’t know the exact numbers, but my guess is that between 60% and 80% of the members of SBL do not believe that Jesus’ death paid for our sins, or that he was bodily raised from the dead."

    I will add the translation and meaning of ancient words is not a democratic process so even if a majority of unbelieving bible scholars mistranslate a word it doesn't matter to me. What matters is the original meaning.

    Yours,

    jm
     
  8. wandering misfit

    wandering misfit Nowhere man Supporter

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    I agree with J, Hamm and others. I'll push it even further, one must have a good grasp of God's covenant with Adam, not only the fall, and a full grasp on orthodox Christology.
     
  9. Butterball1

    Butterball1 Well-Known Member

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    God created Adam in His image (Genesis 1:26) meaning man was made with certain charateristics that resemble God and that image was passed on (Genesis 5:3). Man is both material (physical) and immaterial (spirit). The resemblence of man with God is immaterial (what separates man from animals, Genesis 1:26) in that man has intellectual, thinking, rational, creative, loving, volitional abilities as God. God made man upright, (Ecclesiastes 7:29) with a moral conscience therefore man has laws that condemn wrong doing and credits good behaviour, understands/feels guilt (Genesis 4:9), can choose to do right or wrong (Genesis 4:7), man has, expresses love in marriage, friendship, fellowship and man has free will as seen with Adam and Eve choosing to do what they were told not to do. Doing so they marred that image but man has not lost that image for thousands of years after Eden man is still made in the image of God (James 3:9; 1 Corinthians 11:7). Therefore man today still retains the intellectual, thinking rational, creative, loving, volitional abilities.....still has moral conscience (Romans 2:14), still has free will (John 7:17; Revelation 3:20; Matthew 23:37).
     
  10. Paul.

    Paul. I think therefore I post Supporter

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    An alcoholic naturally desires to get drunk. This does not mean that they cannot recognize their need to stop being an alcoholic when they experience an intervention and accept help from a rehab center. In the same way, someone in bondage to sin, naturally desires to sin. This does not mean they cannot recognize this fact when presented by the truth of the gospel and put their trust in the Jesus who overcame sin and death through His life, death and resurrection.

    So far this does not show that people have lost the ability to refrain or not refrain from a given moral action.

    Good hermeneutics takes the context when interpreting which in this case starts with the whole sentence. "Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered. "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day." It presents coming to Jesus as conditional on something that God does first. It does not say people do not use their conscience to repent or that people have lost the ability to refrain or not refrain from a given moral action.

    Prior to the fall, Adam was created in the image of God. After the fall he was still in the image of God as were all his offspring after him. Prior to the fall humans were dichotomist (physical and non-physical) beings and after the fall all humans are still dichotomist beings. Since the Bible says this, then sin does not change what people are.

    After Adam and Eve sinned, they became subject to death and in bondage to sin. Bondage to something does not equal the loss of the ability to recognize the bondage and choose the release from bondage when it is offered by another.

    Children now have the handicap of growing up in a world tainted by sin and will inevitably sin themselves just like someone who drives for a few years will inevitably break a road rule even if they never intentionally do so.

    To sin is to rebel against God. Following the way of the world and being in sin is referred to as being dead in transgressions and sins. Someone who sins is by nature under the wrath of God.



    The state of people who are in sin is a terrible one indeed. Being in this condition does not automatically show a person was always in this condition or that the condition means they do not have the ability to refrain or not refrain from a given moral action.
     
  11. Paul.

    Paul. I think therefore I post Supporter

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    Sorry, my bad. I did not correctly state what I meant. The condition of understanding is based upon the choosing. In the first part of the verse there is a rejection of the things of God. This is a choice and it results in an inability to understand them. The "cannot understand" is the result of the choosing to reject. When it comes to a person's choice, cannot was not used. This inability to understand the things of God, results from the lack of acceptance that preceded it.
     
  12. Paul.

    Paul. I think therefore I post Supporter

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    I have to disagree with that statement.

    I believe you have misunderstood the context of the previous three chapters.

    Labeling rather than refuting is a sign of a weak argument. If you think that in the story of the Prodigal Son, the father synergistically restored the son, then I disagree with your definition of synergistic. If you make the son's choice and the father's choice as one choice then you are being synergistic.

    So far, none of the arguments have been directed at the point of contention over whether or not people have lost their ability to refrain or not refrain from a given moral action like Adam and Eve had prior to the fall. If you believe Romans say people have lost their ability to refrain or not refrain from a given moral action then start as far back in Romans as needed and start by setting the context.
     
  13. Paul.

    Paul. I think therefore I post Supporter

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    Thayer's Greek Lexicon seems to indicate it is Strongs NT 5449 and is not from birth as follows:

    c. a mode of feeling and acting which by long habit has become nature: ἦμεν φύσει τέκνα ὀργῆς, by (our depraved) nature we were exposed to the wrath of God, Ephesians 2:3 (this meaning is evident from the preceding context, and stands in contrast with the change of heart and life wrought through Christ by the blessing of divine grace; φύσει πρός τάς κολασεις ἐπιεικῶς ἔχουσιν οἱ Φαρισαῖοι, Josephus, Antiquities 13, 10, 6. (Others (see Meyer) would lay more stress here upon the constitution in which this 'habitual course of evil' has its origin, whether that constitution be regarded (with some) as already developed at birth, or (better) as undeveloped; cf. Aristotle, pol. 1, 2, p. 1252{b}, 32f οἷον ἕκαστον ἐστι τῆς γενέσεως τελεσθεισης, ταύτην φαμέν τήν φύσιν εἶναι ἑκάστου, ὥσπερ ἀνθρώπου, etc.; see the examples in Bonitz's index under the word. Cf. Winers Grammar, § 31, 6a.)).
    Where does the Bible say Adam lost his ability to refrain or not refrain from a given moral action?
    What makes you think Adam could make right moral choices?
    Since Adam did sin, committing a sin does not show a lack of "moral power."
    An inclination to sin does not equal the inability to not sin in every given situation or the inability to recognize you are in sin and trust in Jesus when the gospel is presented.
    Adam sinned therefore he was a slave to sin. This fact does not prove Adam never had the ability to refrain or not refrain from a given morally action therefore it does not prove people today do not have that ability either.
    Adam did not live a sinless life but his "moral power" was not limited therefore not living a sinless life is not evidence of not having the ability to refrain or not refrain from a given moral action.
    I cannot make the moral choice to feed all the starving children in the world but this does not mean I have lost the ability to feed a starving child.
    So far it has not been shown that inclination or slavery to sin equals the inability to choose to trust in Jesus who overcame sin for us.
    If God did not act first then no-one would be saved. God's grace gave use Jesus sacrifice and the gospel message to enable people to come to salvation. I have not heard any scholar who believes God does not enable. The point of contention is how God enables. Secondly, Jesus was not talking about you or me or any other Christian alive today. He was talking about His disciples that were with him.
    Reading yourself into the text is call narcigesis. We should be doing exegesis. What did it mean to the hearers? What is the context?

    Jesus is talking to those who are following Him. John 17:12 shows that when referring to those He was given by the Father, He is talking about His immediate disciples. Again in John 18:8-9 Jesus' immediate disciples are referred to as the ones given to Jesus.
    So far I cannot agree that you have proven people are not enabled to refrain or not refrain from a given moral action.
     
  14. Hammster

    Hammster Can you describe the ruckus? Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    Then now we need to back up. Prior to this, Paul says:


    For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.”
    Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
    1 Corinthians 1:18-31

    Paul is saying that to those not in Christ the cross is foolish. In 2:14, he’s just summarizing what he’s been saying from the start. The Corinthians were arguing about how they came to Christ, whether through Paul, Apollos, etc. Paul is saying that it was through none of them, but through Christ alone. They never would have even believed but through Christ since the natural man finds the cross to be foolish. So when he says “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus,” he means that it totally Christ’s doing.

    Paul even starts chapter 2 by showing that it certainly wasn’t his message that did it because he wasn’t really great at speaking. But it was the power of the gospel that changed the hearts.
     
  15. Paul.

    Paul. I think therefore I post Supporter

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    In this verse it says that the god of this world has blinded the minds not the people were in a blinded condition from birth. If the god of this world has to actively do in order for the blindness to exist then it is not an inability from birth.
    Yet that is how it happens so many times throughout Acts, people hear the preaching of the gospel and they repent.
    Being a slave to sin does not equal you cannot recognize your slavery and accept an offer of freedom when it is provided.
    If I use this reasoning with Adam it would be; So if Adam commits sin, then sin is in Adams nature. Adam was addicted to sin by nature. Since this reasoning produces the wrong conclusion, it needs to be discarded in the case of Adam and everyone else today.
    Like babies, Adam did not know right from wrong and had to taught by God. He then did wrong. Sounds like their nature is not different to what Adam's was prior to the fall.
    Being in sin or addiction now does not automatically equal having always been in sin or addiction from birth.
    Not accepting is the cause
    And cannot understand is the effect.

    This inability to understand the things of God, results from the lack of acceptance that preceded it. How many Christians understand the things of God when they accept the gospel as true. They don't know understand the basics like the triune nature of God or the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
    Claiming it does not make it so.
    These scriptures do not show a pre faith regeneration. Sinners are dead in their trespasses and sins. When they repent and trust in God, it is God that chooses to make them a new creature in Christ. If God had not said He would make repentant sinner's new creatures in Christ, He could have justly sent every repentant sinner to hell. It is His mercy that means He did not do this but instead chooses to accept people on the basis of repentance. It was God's choice alone to do this.
    I provided the term and the definition. Some words or phrases have multiple definitions. Contend with the one provided by either; rejecting the term as being correct for the definition, rejecting the use of the definition or by accepting both the term and the definition then arguing against it.
    Peer pressure is irrelevant to free will as defined in my opening post.
    Influence does not equal the one who is influenced has lost their ability to choose or not do what the influencer was influencing them towards. If it did, Christian's would not sin and God's influence on Adam would have caused him to not sin.
    You are now starting to see the point of contention. I contend that pre fall and post fall, human beings did not have a change of their ability to refrain or not refrain from a given more action which means I reject the Calvinistic regenerate and unregenerate categories of people as being unbiblical and not found anywhere in scripture.
    No, my reasoning does not make Paul's statement figurative. See previous comment in this post on Eph 2:1-5.
    We both agree that God causes a person to be born again. It is God's choice, God's action and in God's timing. When God does this and why He does it, is where we differ. See previous comment in this post on Eph 2:1-5.
    I believe you are mistaken in your interpretation as per previous comment in this post on 1 Cor 2:14.
    Claiming people cannot believe the gospel when presented with it does not make it so and I am not convinced that you have provided scriptures that agree with the claim.
     
  16. Paul.

    Paul. I think therefore I post Supporter

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    Please provide a definition for Absolute predestination.

    It is nice to see we have that in common too. If you think that the only options are determinism or open theism, you have not looked far enough to find the various robust viewpoints.

    So that does not answer the question. Do you believe God could have created a universe where Adam and Eve had a choice to refrain or not refrain from a given moral action?
    I used to think like that and believe the New Age Version conspiracy peddled by G A Riplinger until I looked at both sides and compared the best evidence each side was bringing to the table. I watched hours of debates and discussions before I changed my view.
     
  17. Hammster

    Hammster Can you describe the ruckus? Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    I’m not sure that I need to. It’s not about the outward actions that men are ultimately judged. Jesus was clear about this in the sermon on the mount. It’s what’s inward that we are judged. So a man may live what appears to be a moral life, but if it’s not for the glory of God, he’s in sin. So being in Adam, or being a slave to sin, doesn’t mean that every action is evil. It means that every action is apart from any notion of pleasing God, so that makes it sinful regardless of how altruistic it may appear.
     
  18. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    NT usage indicates otherwise.
    Galatians 2:15 - Jews by birth, origin.
    Romans 2:27 - Gentles (uncircumcised) by birth, origin.
    "He who sins is a slave to sin." (John 8:34)
    Could Adam choose to be sinless from then on? Can you?
    Your inability to show that he could not.
    Before the fall, Adam had the moral power to be sinless. Do you?
    So then fallen man has the moral power to be sinless. . .he has the moral power to be righteous to salvation under the law. Someone forgot to tell Paul, for he says "all who rely on the law are under a curse" (Galatians 3:10) because no one can be sinless according to it, no one can keep it to righteousness.
    Agreed.
    It's all moot anyway. . .we are born guilty of Adam's sin (Romans 5:12-14) and condemned (Romans 5:18), by nature (birth) objects of wrath (Ephesians 2:3).
    However, Romans 3:9-10, Galatians 3:10 are.
    Not analogous. . .you never had the power to feed all the children in the world, so you didn't lose anything.
    However, Adam did indeed lose for you the ability to be sinless.
    You betray your lack of reading the gospels.

    "No one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him." (John 6:65)
    "All that the Father gives to me will come to me." (John 6:37)
    "I shall lose none of all that he given me." (John 6:39)
    You also haven't read Romans 9:18-23.
    The one who fabricates words accuses others of fabrication.
    Do not all the born again follow him?
    "All" is not just his immediate disciples.
    It's proven by the words of Jesus (John 8:34), and your inability to be completely sinless.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
  19. JM

    JM Particular Baptist Supporter

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    AB'SOLUTE, adjective [Latin absolutus. See Absolve.]

    1. Literally, in a general sense, free, independent of any thing extraneous. Hence,

    2. Complete in itself; positive; as an absolute declaration.

    3. Unconditional, as an absolute promise.

    4. Existing independent of any other cause, as God is absolute

    5. Unlimited by extraneous power or control, as an absolute government or prince.

    6. Not relative, as absolute space.

    PREDESTINA'TION, noun The act of decreeing or foreordaining events; the decree of God by which he hath, from eternity, unchangeably appointed or determined whatever comes to pass. It is used particularly in theology to denote the preordination of men to everlasting happiness or misery.

    Predestination is a part of the unchangeable plan of the divine government; or in other words, the unchangeable purpose of an unchangeable God.

    Websters Dictionary 1828 - American Dictionary of the English Language

    :sleep:

    See definition of the words above.

    If you think that the only options KJVO or the eclectic text, you have not looked far enough to find the various robust viewpoints.

    ^_^
     
  20. tdidymas

    tdidymas Newbie

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    No, the blindness happened at the fall of man with Adam. According to Rom. 5-7, spiritual death is in everyone, proven by the fact that everyone sins. Therefore, the sinful nature is passed down from parents and ultimately Adam. This is why Paul said in Rom. 3 that no one understands or seeks God. Therefore every unregenerate person is blind of spiritual truth from birth.

    If a person repents and believes the gospel, then God has done a work in them, so that they are enabled to repent and believe. In Col. it says that God translated us from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of His dear Son. Therefore, everyone starts out in the kingdom of darkness. The metaphor "darkness" tells us they can't see the light of the gospel, which 2 Cor. 4:4 is about. So if someone repents and believes the gospel, then God has done a supernatural work in that person such that He has translated them into Christ's kingdom. To assume that mere words or preaching hype, even though quoting the Bible, is all that is needed to enlighten someone to repentance and faith is not Biblical, as I have shown.

    Not according to the apostle Paul in various places I have cited. He repeatedly says things like "cannot," "not even able," "blinded," etc. in which they think the gospel is foolish or offensive.

    If I use this reasoning with Adam it would be; So if Adam commits sin, then sin is in Adams nature. Adam was addicted to sin by nature. Since this reasoning produces the wrong conclusion, it needs to be discarded in the case of Adam and everyone else today.[/quote]
    Your logic appears faulty. Paul clearly states that Adam was not deceived. Therefore, he knew that sin was not a good thing, unlike everyone else who think that sin will benefit them in some way (especially to gratify their conceited pleasures). He states clearly in Rom. 5 that through Adam, sin (and thus spiritual death) entered the world through Adam. From this we infer that Adam was created with a good human nature, not a sinful one. So Adam had the ability to "not sin." But after his fall, since the sin nature was in the world, no one (including Adam) had/has the ability to "not sin." Addiction of the sinful nature came after the fall, not before, which is how your reasoning is bad here.

    More faulty reasoning. Adam was created as a mature man, not as a baby. He had the Holy Spirit guiding him, which was the reason he operated in the will of God. It was only after his fall that the Holy Spirit left him, and he was guided by his own reasoning and sinful heart.

    The sin nature is every person by birth, as I showed earlier. Sin is an addiction by nature, not by choice. Jesus proves that by saying "he who sins is a slave to sin." This is a statement describing addiction to sinful pleasures.

    No, "natural man" (who can't understand) is the cause, and "does not accept" is the effect, because "natural man" is the unregenerate who is a slave to sin and under the control of the evil one.

    1 Cor. 2:14 is about the gospel. "The things of the spirit," and "spiritual thoughts with spiritual words," is Paul's description of his teaching in regard to the gospel, as he had been discussing since ch. 1. He is talking about how God releases a person from the bondage of sin, and illuminates their spirit by making them a spiritual person. He defines being "saved by grace" in this way (Eph. 2:5): "even while we were dead in sin, God raised us to life in Christ." Therefore, God must make a person into a new (spiritual) creation before they can understand the gospel enough to believe and repent.

    I already showed that the apostle Paul made that claim in 1 Cor. 1-2.

    No, God does not accept people on the basis of repentance, if you mean repentant behavior. Paul is clear that faith alone is what justifies a person before God.

    I agree that if God was just toward every person that everyone would go to the lake of fire, since everyone sinned against the ultimate holy and righteous God. But God is rich in mercy, and chose to save some, and this is His provision in Christ. It doesn't matter if someone tries very hard and thinks they have repented. God does not accept people on that basis. God accepts people only on the basis of Christ, His own grace, and our faith in Christ.

    Since Eph. 2:5 is Paul's definition of grace, pre-faith regeneration is easily inferred from it. Also in John 3, Jesus said that without spiritual regeneration, one "cannot see the kingdom of God," which implies that a person must first be born again before they can see enough of the gospel to believe and repent.

    I don't know what you're talking about here, it looks very muddy.

    I don't operate on your defs, I operate on the defs in scripture. The Bible is clear on it, but you have to examine the contexts where the term is used.

    Your reasoning is bad, because Christians still have a sinful nature. Paul wrote "the body is dead because of sin," which means everyone, including Christians will still die, because their physical nature still contains the sin nature. Christians are a new creation spiritually, not physically. So we still have the flesh to deal with. God gives Christians the power to overcome, and it is an ongoing process and character building, and is the reason that repentance is an ongoing lifestyle.

    I already showed where scripture is clear about it, so you don't find it because you don't want to find it. Since our paths diverge here, we probably should part ways.

    Based on your responses, it appears to me you don't really want to examine the scripture carefully. IMO you seem to just want to argue about it, so I think we should part ways at this point.
     
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