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Natural vs Spiritual

Discussion in 'Salvation (Soteriology)' started by WordSword, Sep 24, 2020.

  1. WordSword

    WordSword Well-Known Member

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    The natural man (e.g. natural man as opposed to spiritual man - 1Co 2:14, 15), yet in the carnal mind (unregenerate – not the same as carnal babes in Christ - 1Co 3:1, 3) has only natural faith and not spiritual faith, which is “fruit” (work) of the Spirit – Gal 5:22. The unsaved are “carnally minded,” and the saved are “spiritually minded” (Rom 8:6). All have natural faith but not all have spiritual faith (2Th 3:2 – the majority of mankind will ever be devoid of spiritual faith – Mat 7:13, 14).

    One can think they believe in God with the natural faith, which will manifest itself via loss of desire for profession and obedience in Christ. But only “the obedience of faith,” in “the Word of faith” is of the Lord Jesus (Rom 16:26; Rom 10:8)! It’s only the spiritual faith “through” which we are “saved” (Eph 2:8), for natural faith, not being the fruit of the Spirit discerns only from the senses, and not having godly sustenance the hypocritical show for spiritual things are inevitably abandoned (unenduring). Such “depart,” not from a possession of faith but from a profession of its doctrine, having never received the knowledge of saving faith into the heart.

    1Timithy 4:1 - Gill - “That is, from the doctrine of faith, notwithstanding it is indisputably the great mystery of godliness, as it is called in the latter part of the preceding chapter; for from the true grace of faith there can be no final and total apostasy, such as is here designed; for that can never be lost. It is of an incorruptible nature, and therefore more precious than gold that perishes; Christ is the author and finisher of it.”

    Faith in Christ, which comes only by the Spirit keeps us in the Father and the Son. We can “keep the faith” (2Ti 4:7), but this is not the sense of keeping in the faith. To keep the faith is in the sense of being responsible for living and teaching it according to the dictates of its truths. Keeping in the faith is not anymore possible than producing it yourself, for it is a “gift” (Eph 2:8).

    “Through” it God unites us to Himself. Being in the faith means everything believers do derives from faith. Thus faith brings us through this life as God sustains and enables it in us. We do not keep it from failing, but God through it keeps us from falling. Though believers, yet being indwelled by the “old man” (Rom 7:17, 20) are still inclined to sin, God maintains in us a stronger “desire” to “do” His will (Phl 2:13).

    Jude 1:24 - John Gill - “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling ...” “The people of God are liable to falling into temptation, into sin, into errors and mistakes, from an exercise of grace, or from a degree of steadfastness in Gospel truths, and even into a final and total apostasy, were it not for divine power; and they are not able to keep themselves. Adam, in his state of innocence, could not keep himself from falling, nor could the angels, many of whom fell, and the rest are preserved by the grace of God.

    “Wherefore, much less can imperfect sinful men keep themselves, they lack both skill and power to do it. Nor can any, short of Christ, keep them, and it is His work and office to preserve them. They were given to Him with this view, and He undertook to do it; and sensible sinners commit themselves to Him, as being appointed for that purpose; and this is a work Christ has been, and is, employed in, and Ge is every way qualified for it.

    “He is "able" to do it, for he is the mighty God, the Creator and upholder of all things; and as Mediator, He has all power in heaven and in earth, instances of persons kept by him prove it, and there is such evidence of it that believers may be, and are persuaded of it. He is as willing as He is able; it is His Father's will He should keep them, and in that He delights and as He has undertook to keep them, He is accountable for them; besides, He has an interest in them, and the greatest love and affection for them; to which may be added, that the glory of the Father, Son, and Spirit, in man's salvation, depends on the keeping of them.

    “What He keeps them from is, from falling by temptations. Not from being tempted by Satan, but from sinking under his temptations, and from being devoured by him; and from falling by sin, not from the being or commission of sin, but from the dominion of it, and from the falling into it, so as to perish by it; and from falling into damnable heresies; and from the true grace of God, and into final impenitence, unbelief, and total apostasy.”
     
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  2. TibiasDad

    TibiasDad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think, in Calvinism, such flowery descriptions are really perfume to cover the unpleasant odor of absolute predestination. All things are preordained meticulously before the foundation of the world, so ultimately, and simply, things end precisely the way God chooses them to end!


    From my perspective, which is unabashedly Wesleyan Arminian in its foundations, the synergism of God providing all the power and process for overcoming temptation (1 Cor 10:13) and giving man the volition to choose who he will listen to, the sinful nature or the Spirit, (Rom 8:12-13) is the perfect blend that allows God to be the absolute source of power and grace, and yet maintains man's independent volition and involvement in the plan of salvation and holds him responsible for all failure.

    If man chooses to follow the Spirit, it is not meritorious or credit to himself, because it is God's grace that allows him to choose, and God's power in man that overcomes sin and keeping "the faith once delivered to the saints." (Jude:3)

    Doug
     
  3. WordSword

    WordSword Well-Known Member

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    I agree with your comment concerning God choosing, and I believe the choices He made had to do much in relation to what He knew our choices would be. It's my understanding that God requires man to make choices, evidenced by His first command (Gen 2:16, 17), and continuing on through the entirety of Scripture with passages like Jos 24:15 and Deu 30:19.

    The intent of the article is to demonstrate the difference between natural faith that all are born with which relates to earthly things, and supernatural faith that most do not have that relates to God.

    Appreciate your replies! God bless and God be blessed!
     
  4. honey badger

    honey badger i am

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    But God demonstrates His love to us, that of us being still sinners, Christ died for us. Therefore much more, having been justified now by His blood, we will be saved by Him from wrath! For if, being enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved in His life!
     
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