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Verses of single soteriological meaning; barrier to "Predestination"

Discussion in 'Salvation (Soteriology)' started by Ben johnson, Dec 1, 2006.

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  1. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    The debate between "OSAS" and "OSNAS" has waged for many years. Why, if there is only one Bible? Simply, because of man's interpretation. Are there no verses that assert only one meaning? I think there are....

    But Thomas said to them, "Unless I see the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."

    Jesus appeared and said to Thomas: "Reach here your finger, and see My hands; put your hand into My side, and do not be unbelieving but believe."

    Thomas answered, saying: "My Lord and My God!"

    Jesus said, "Because you have seen, you believe? Blessed are they do did NOT see, and yet believe." John20:25-29

    The hardest facet of OSAS to convince of personal responsibility in salvation, is Reformed Theology. This view asserts "election is predestined, totally-depraved-man is fully at enmity against God, unless/until God monergistically regenerates a man whom He has chosen, changing his heart so that he WILL believe."

    The fact that Jesus praised "unseen faith" over "seen faith", is something that cannot be resolved in terms of Reformed Theology; saving faith, whether it is seen or unseen, would be God's decision; as such, both would be "predestined", one saving faith (seen) cannot be praised more than the other saving faith (unseen).

    Thomas believed BECAUSE he saw. This fully embodies "unlimited atonement, efficient for those who believe". (1Tim4:10) It does not reflect "predesetined-salvation".
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  2. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    "Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to him through whom they come! If your hand or foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than having two hands or feet and be cast into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than having two eyes and to be cast into firey Hell." Matt18:7-9

    What is a "stumbling block"? Scripturally, it is anything that impedes faith. In Romans9, their stumbling stone was their preoccupation with "works", rather than "faith". "They pursued a law of righteousness, but did not arrive at that law; why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but by works. The stumbled over the stumbling stone."

    Matt18 warns us that eternity is serious; it matters more than our own members --- our own hands, feet, eyes. And such a warning ("cut off your own limbs if they prevent you from entering Heaven") does not fit with "predestined-salvation". Predestined people do not find themselves at risk, ever.

    Footnote: That passage from Romans9 (verses 30-32), is identical to Heb3:18-20; the Israelites failed to enter their Promised Land because of unbelief and disobedience. In Heb4:11, we are equally warned to "not fall, don't fail to enter God's rest by imitating THEIR unbelief and disobedience"...
  3. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    In Matt7:24, Jesus said: "Therefore (against those who thought they were saved, but Jesus never knew them, verse 34), everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man who build his house on the rock. The rains and floods came and the winds blew, and burst against that house; but it did not fall, for it was built on the rock. And everyone who hears My words and does NOT act upon them, is like a foolish man who builds his house on the sand. The rains and floods came, and the winds blew, and the house fell, and great was its fall."

    This presents our acting on Jesus' message as determinate in our preservation or destruction; make no mistake, it was the FOUNDATION that preserved the house; He is our strength, we do not persevere through muscle and sinew and Human might. Jesus is our foundation, if we believe, and build on Him, we will live. If we build on anything else, we will fall.

    ...but we do the acting, by building on Him, through our faith.

    To those who read John10:29 (which says "the work of God is that you believe"), and think that "God WORKS our belief ITSELF", it would do well to read from verse 27; seems it is God's work, but we work the work of God in believing.
    "Work not for food which perishes, but for food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give to you...."
    The Jews said, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?"
    Jesus said, "This is the work of God, believe in Him whom He has sent."

    So belief is not something He GRANTS/GIFTS, but it is His work that we DO. Identical to "act on His words and build our houses on the Rock"...

    Do, act, build. Words of action, not reception. Belief is active, not passive.
  4. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    Under the theology of "predestination", it is God who decides whether a man will be saved (so God actively regenerates him and therefore the man's belief is consequential to God's monergistic, unasked, regeneration. Without God's bequeathed heart-change, it is forever impossible for man to truly believe; WITH such heart change, it is irresistible to believe. Man's will therefore freely flows from either God's consideration, or from inheritted sinful depravity that God has ignored.

    "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisses, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of Heaven from men; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. ...Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel about ...to make one (a) proselyte (convert to their deception); and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of Hell as yourselves." Matt23:13-15

    What shuts off Heaven from men? God's decision to leave men in their depravity? Or men who can deceive other men? Jesus' expression "ARE ENTERING", classes them as "entering salvation" --- it can only mean "believing". Per Reformed Theology, they must be "elect".

    ...yet, they are STOPPED. How can this be? To respond, "it doesn't say stopped FOREVER", that is no answer; if "stopped" didn't mean "stopped", then Jesus would not have said "stopped". "Hinder" or "stop" or "cause-stumble" is a frequent theme of Scripture; and it carries eternal consequence. There is no time specified --- therefore, "stopped" means "stopped". Under RT, men cannot shut off Heaven from other men; Heaven is already shut off (by born-depravity), only God's intervention OPENS the way so that they ARE ENTERING.

    If God plans for men to enter in the future, then Jesus would not have said "stopped/shut off". They would not really BE "stopped/shut-off". If men CAN "stop/shut-off" others, by deceit and worldly philosophies (Col2:8, 2Pet3:17), then men can be deceived away from Jesus and eternal life. That men can come to believe in the future, after "having been stopped", does not overturn what Jesus said; indeed it makes the case for "responsibility" stronger. The idea of "cut-off by unbelief", and "if they return to belief" is clear; please keep reading...

    If men can be deceived away from eternal life, then saving-faith is our own choice; fully harmonizing with Rom11:21-23, which warns us to "do not be conceited, but FEAR; for if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare us. They were cut off for unbelief, we stand by faith. Behold the severity and kindness of God; to those who fell, severity; but to us, kindness --- if we CONTINUE in His kindness else we too can be CUT OFF. And they, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in again..."

    So "saving-belief", is fully charged to the individual, not sovereignly determined by God. Belief can begin or end at any time; it is up to us to be diligent about our calling and election, ...SO THAT the gates of Heaven BE provided to us." 2Pet1:7-10
  5. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    So now you have a short list of passages which cannot accommodate "predestined-salvation". There are more passages, more will undoubtedly be posted as the thread progresses. But this should be enough to give pause to those who have embraced Reformed Theology --- not an "unchristian platform", but simply one that misunderstands the essence of Jesus' sacrifice.

    He died on the Cross that ALL who believe be saved; the Cross effects salvation, not "merely fulfills what God already chose".

    God is sovereign, we are resonsible.
    We are saved by His grace, through our faith.
    Faith is something for which we are charged to be diligent.
    Every day we are charged to seek His face, to resist evil and draw close to Him.

    ...and it is promised that He will then draw close to us...

    This is the essence of salvation, regardless of your theological bent. Reformed Theologians agree with me, that salvation is an indwelt fellowship of love, between God and man.

    If Jesus doesn't indwell your heart, why not? You cannot know joy, peace, or eternity without Him. He is happiness; He is fulfillment. He's our Dad --- He knows our needs, both phsyical and spiritual. There is nothing but darkness "outside of Him" --- for He is the light of the Universe. There is no peace or love without Him; He is love, and only in Him can we love. Participate in theological debates if you wish; but never forget that we are in service to Him. Never issue words that will wound, rather than heal and bring people closer to Him. By loving Him, we love others; by loving others, TRULY loving them and seeking their best, we love Him!

    "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that it is the Lord Christ whom you serve!" Col1:23-24

  6. Iosias

    Iosias Senior Contributor

    Christian Seeker

    Nope...faith is a gift from God (eph 2:8).
  7. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    Hi, "AV". Do you have any other verses than Eph2:8, that say "faith is God's gift"?

    The word "that", cannot refer to "faith" in Eph2:8; it is a prepositional phrase, and not the subject of the sentence. The subject is the entire opening phrase, "by grace through faith have you been saved". NASV footnotes it, "that salvation". So then there are five modifiers to the one subject, and none of the modifiers can be elevated to any kind of subject:

    1. (that salvation) by grace
    2. (that salvation) through faith
    3. (that salvation) not by works
    4. (that salvation) is the gift of God
    5. (that salvation) not of yourself lest anyone boast

    In no way does the passage suggest TWO dispensations of grace, "Jesus' sacrifice", and "the faith to receive His gift". If faith is from us, it changes nothing of the gift, does not merit anything, it simply receives the work Jesus did.

    All that said, what do you think of the passages I've presented? Can you (as a subscriber to "Reformed Theology"), answer any of them? Telling us how they "fit into a sovereignly-predestined-salvation doctrine"?

  8. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    Verse 23; My bad --- fingers slipped.... :sorry:
    James 4:7-8...

  9. heymikey80

    heymikey80 Quidquid Latine dictum sit, altum viditur

    Reformed thought does not deny that the Spirit uses and indeed brings about new birth with display (in Thomas' case) or preaching (in today's case) the Gospel. In fact the Spirit's regeneration results in the acceptance in faith of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    But I worry you're overpressing your interpretation (and evident dislike) of monergism into a view that monergism does not embrace.
    Regeneration is the act of God and of God alone. But faith is not the act of God; it is not God who believes in Christ for salvation, it is the sinner. It is by God's grace that a person is able to believe but faith is an activity on the part of the person and of him alone. In faith we receive and rest upon Christ alone for salvation. "Redemption Accomplished and Applied", Part 2 Ch. 4 par. 2; John Murray, Prof. Systematic Theology, Westminster Seminary, Phila. PA (USA)
    As to the degrees to which Jesus blesses people, well, faith causes different degrees of adversity and challenges for believers in different situations. A believer can certainly be anxious about the reality of the Savior in Whom He trusts. He can question his own actions, his own teachers, his own internal belief. Where that person is wrong about his theology, that person can be racked with doubts -- and yet still believe. Do you think it would be worse for these people who don't know and yet to persevere in their faith? Or would it be better for them to undergo all this stress? Which would Christ Jesus bless the more from His judgement seat: the person for whom belief and following Him is easy, who has lived with the Savior personally, physically? Or the person for whom it is a heavy weight to bear?

    Was the girl in Columbine more blessed than Thomas or say, John? Does Jesus account for the adversity of this life, and return us blessings in the next?
  10. heymikey80

    heymikey80 Quidquid Latine dictum sit, altum viditur

    A stumbling stone is anything that trips up someone's walk.

    And of course believers can be tripped up.
    But of course none of the Apostles were without eyes, feet, hands. And all of the Apostles had clear reason to gouge and cut away. They did according to, say, the Sermon on the Mount, which you refer to later on in Ch. 7.

    But I think you knew that. It appears you may have fingers for typing, maybe even eyes for reading. And yes, you've done similar things. So ... what is Jesus doing that permits you to continue to live with your eyes and hands, and me as well?

    Jesus is apparently doing something which is fairly familiar in itinerant ministry. He's making a statement of extremes, to capture the attention and memories of his hearers. We do it all the time. Why never a day goes by when I don't see some extreme that isn't concretely true. :holy: In fact, hey, there's one.

    From a teacher's point of view there's a definite reason to speak to extreme cases. It keeps those cases in our dull minds longer.

    Predestined people have an great reason to learn of the dangers from which they've been saved, the depth of grace God has lavished on them, and the extremes they would have to go to -- if Christ had not gone through the extreme for every one of them. This also cushions the disciples' incomprehension of the Crucifixion. If they never had a good idea of how serious sin was, how could they find justice in the Crucifixion of the Savior?

    Lastly, and more to Jesus' point than the idea of your hand or eye actually causing sin (which is pretty ... odd if you ask me, do you believe that happens?), Jesus is calling our attention to how radical our repentance from sin should be. We should rid ourselves of those parts of us that cause sin -- and right now. If we understand what Christ Jesus' really saved us from, we should be the fastest, most extreme repenters on the face of the earth. We should set aside sins that would have killed us without Christ -- because Christ is forgiving us who are regenerated, who want to be rid of our sin by the Spirit of God.

    If out of our sinful hearts we want to be rid of our sin, what good is that?

    And so it goes.
  11. Iosias

    Iosias Senior Contributor

    Christian Seeker
    Another verse would be:

    Philippians 1:29 "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;"

    I am affraid you are wrong here:

    Let us break up the verse:
    i. For by grace are ye saved
    ii. through faith;
    iii. and that not of yourselves:
    iv. it is the gift of God:

    It is fairly clear here that the 'that' and the 'it' refer back to faith. However even if it did not the fact remains that salvation is a gift and apart of salvation is faith and so faith is de facto a gift.

    Here is Alfred Barnes:

    Eph 2:8 - For by grace are ye saved - By mere favor. It is not by your Own merit; it is not because you have any claim. This is a favorite doctrine with Paul, as it is with all who love the Lord Jesus in sincerity; compare the notes at Rom_1:7; Rom_3:24, note.

    Through faith - Grace bestowed through faith, or in connection with believing; see the notes at Rom_1:17; Rom_4:16, note.

    And that not of yourselves - That is, salvation does not proceed from yourselves. The word rendered "that" - τοῦτο touto - is in the neuter gender, and the word "faith" - πίστις pistis - is in the feminine. The word "that," therefore, does not refer particularly to faith, as being the gift of God, but to "the salvation by grace" of which he had been speaking. This is the interpretation of the passage which is the most obvious, and which is now generally conceded to be the true one; see Bloomfield. Many critics, however, as Doddridge, Beza, Piscator, and Chrysostom, maintain that the word "that" (τοῦτο touto) refers to "faith" (πίστις pistis); and Doddridge maintains that such a use is common in the New Testament. As a matter of grammar this opinion is certainly doubtful, if not untenable; but as a matter of theology it is a question of very little importance.

    Whether this passage proves it or not, it is certainly true that faith is the gift of God. It exists in the mind only when the Holy Spirit produces it there, and is, in common with every other Christian excellence, to be traced to his agency on the heart. This opinion, however, does not militate at all with the doctrine that man himself "believes." It is not God that "believes" for him, for that is impossible. It is his own mind that actually believes, or that exercises faith; see the notes at Rom_4:3. In the same manner "repentance" is to be traced to God. It is one of the fruits of the operation of the Holy Spirit on the soul. But the Holy Spirit does not "repent" for us. It is our "own mind" that repents; our own heart that feels; our own eyes that weep - and without this there can he no true repentance. No one can repent for another; and God neither can nor ought to repent; for us. He has done no wrong, and if repentance is ever exercised, therefore, it must be exercised by our own minds. So of faith. God cannot believe for us. "We" must believe, or "we" shall be damned. Still this does not conflict at all with the opinion, that if we exercise faith, the inclination to do it is to be traced to the agency of God on the heart. I would not contend, therefore, about the grammatical construction of this passage, with respect to the point of the theology contained in it; still it accords better with the obvious grammatical construction, and with the design of the passage to understand the word "that" as referring not to "faith" only, but to "salvation by grace." So Calvin understands it, and so it is understood by Storr, Locke, Clarke, Koppe, Grotius, and others.

    It is the gift of God - Salvation by grace is his gift. It is not of merit; it is wholly by favor.

    The Geneva Bible notes:

    Eph 2:8 - For by (h) grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
    (h) So then, grace, that is to say, the gift of God, and faith, stand with one another, to which two it is contrary to be saved by ourselves, or by our works. Therefore, what do those mean who would join together things of such contrary natures?

    Calvin would have agreed with you that "that" refers back to salvation yet his successor Theodore Beza would agree with me, however both were Calvinists or Reformed theologians.
  12. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    Hi, Mikey. The problem is that "pre-belief regeneration" isn't found in Scripture. In Thomas' case, Jesus very clearly said "you believe BECAUSE you see" --- this makes belief causal, not consequential.
    It's not "dislike", I find it "extra-scriptural".
    And sequence is critical to the difference between us; in Titus 3:5-6, regeneration is through the poured Spirit --- isn't it?
    How is the Spirit poured onto us --- through belief, or prior to belief? (Notice Titus3:6 says "poured through OUR Savior Jesus")
    Now this is contradictory; it states what I perceive from Scripture; but monergism asserts "faith is the GIFT of God". As AV just posted, he interprets Eph2:8 to be "THAT-FAITH is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God". See the contradiction?

    Further, if we are monergistically regenerated, then there is another contradiction; faith would flow from the regenerated heart, in which regeneration we had no part; so RT asserts "free will in believing", but the "chosen/regenerated heart" cannot do anything BUT believe. So RT says "freely believes", I say "belief would be indirectly caused by God, and had nothing to do with the person himself".
    I agree with that; and it fits nicely with Heb11:6, were we come to God BY faith (first believing that He IS), and He receives those who SEEK Him.

    Throughout Scripture is the perspective that "God accepts those who COME to Him" (Acts10:34-35), rather than "God BRINGS them to Himself monergistically".
    Now you're talking about "non-salvational faith"; Rom12:3 and 1Cor12:9 speak of "non-salvational faith". But Jesus was speaking of "saving-faith".
    Sometimes we should "lay aside" the theological debate, and discuss foundational principles. How can there be a "wracked-with-doubt-BELIEF"? The most foundational essence of salvation, is "Christ in you"; this is a "one-or-other" principle; it is like when a woman is pregnant --- she is not "partly pregnant", or "a little pregnant"; she is either "fully pregnant or not at all". Christ is in someone, or He is not.

    The essence of salvation is clearly asserted in many places; Jn17:3 for instance --- eternal life is knowing God and knowing Jesus. One who is wracked with doubt, has not faith; and has not Christ inside.
    Jesus was speaking of two SAVING-faiths --- and the one which believed UNSEEN, is better than the one who believes having-seen. This principle cannot exist under a "God-decided-faith".
    Notice how James words verse 1:12: "Blessed is he who perseveres under trial; for when he has passed the test, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him." First, "pass-test", is identically "love-Him". Second, the crown of life (immortality), is fully conditional upon "passing", isn't it?

    "He who overcomes, I will clothe in white garments, and I will not BLOT his name from the book of life." Rev3:5

    Do you begin to see a pattern? Things condition on our overcoming (by His power, but through our faith), don't they?
  13. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    First you propose a "wracked-with-doubt" believer, now you're suggesting a "tripped-up" (stumbled) believer. In the Matt18 passage cited above, what does "stumbled" mean? It fully means "thrown into Hell", doesn't it?
    That's not the problem; the problem is Jesus asserting that things can cause us to be cast into Hell. His usage of "hand/foot/eye" conveys items of importance to us. His intent was that we examine our lives, and whatever would cause us to fall, eternally, regardless of importance should be cast away.

    Do you see it differently?
    Exactly. See my previous statement...
    "Learn of the dangers from which they've been saved"? Why, if they're no longer a danger?
    You lost me here. What is "justice", under "monergistic predestination"?
    He used "hand/eye" to convey "things of importance to us". Clearly saying, "What-EVER causes you to lose eternity, throw it AWAY!"
    Wait --- with respect, are you now suggesting a "less-repentant-salvation"? We are repentant, or not. Saved or not. In Christ or not. Just like "pregnant or not".
    Sorry, Jesus is presenting the idea of "YOU cast into Hell".
    Precisely, Mikey --- our hearts still HAVE "sinfulness".

    ...and how is that possible, if they are monergistically REGENERATED"

    Please consider the harmony with the idea that "regeneration is through belief; and sin can cause us to stumble from belief, hence we (then!) sin.

    What sin is there, that is not in rebellion against God? If we were focused on God, walking in Him, then we would not have sinned. Hence the constant choice to walk in Him OR walk in sin (Rom6). It is not the sin that condemns us, but the REPEATED sin (for sin only repeats without repentance).

    Against Reformed theology, movement from "saved", to "unbelieving/sinning/unrepentance" is clearly a Scriptural concept.
    I hope it does, Mikey; I've been discouraged for some time that the discusions weren't going anywhere.

  14. heymikey80

    heymikey80 Quidquid Latine dictum sit, altum viditur

    Um, then there's: "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God" 1 Jn 5:1

    But that's a very different assertion from what you were arguing. If you wish to shift the issue to "Reformed theology swaps faith and New Birth", well okay.

    But I hope you accept the basic problem with your prior argument. Reformed theology isn't asserting what you denying! The aim is wide of the mark.

    To Reformed monergism, regeneration is monergistic; faith is not. You can't hit Reformed monergism by saying faith is not monergistic. Faith relies on information given to the regenerate. Reformed monergism never said faith was monergistic. And many Reformed theologians embrace monergism as well as repudiating monergistic faith.

    Alleging something that's denied by the opposition is ... well, it's a mistake, and it's false witness to the truth.
    Maybe this is a clerical error on your part? I think this has the Scriptural logic backwards, because "you believe BECAUSE you see" would actually make belief consequential of Thomas' sight of Jesus' wounds. The Greek here is "see" :cool:: that is, with Thomas' eyes. "And more blessed are those who believe, not seeing." I can't understand why you'd say this verse is talking about regeneration when it's talking about seeing. Are human eyes required for regeneration? There seems to be something wrong with this argument, and maybe it's just some minor syntactical error.

    How does faith find the Savior to rely on? First, there's regeneration -- the monergistic work of the Spirit. And Second (or maybe, First also?), there's the announcement of Who has arrived to put your faith in.

    Reformed monergism says Spiritual Birth is monergistic.And it says so because Jesus said so: 'Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."' Jn 3:3 But Reformed monergism doesn't demand that faith be monergistic, and in fact many of its best theologians repudiate that view.
  15. heymikey80

    heymikey80 Quidquid Latine dictum sit, altum viditur

    Well, not really.

    Were I to give the gift of an amusement park day to my son, would that mean I had to go on the rides with him? No. He experiences the rides, he does the stuff. He does the day at the amusement park. But I give it to him.

    What exists that we haven't received from God?

    I'm going to skip on, because I think the split is enough to shift away from the rest of your ample response. Although ...

    Um, I was speaking about saving faith. God isn't looking for "how much saving faith do you have?"
  16. heymikey80

    heymikey80 Quidquid Latine dictum sit, altum viditur

    It's effect is "thrown into Hell," isn't it Ben? So stumbling would be a cause, the effect would be a throw, separated by indefinite amounts of time. They are not the same thing.

    "His baseball sailed into the bathroom window." Not all baseballs sail into bathroom windows. Just his.

    And on that note, who is Jesus' audience, here? People who "are seeking to be justified by the Law."

    And I'll more than grant that sinning, when relying on the Law, results in someone being cast into Hell because of it.

    Yes, I see it differentlly.

    If that were true, what is this other Gospel Paul is teaching?
    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
    "For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."
    No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 8:35-39

  17. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    Yes I'm aware of that verse; but are "belief" and "suffering" given to us? What if suffering, is on account of sin? If we sin, we suffer for it. If others sin, then we suffer for some of their sins. I do not think God cruelly sits around imposing "suffering" upon us. Trials, yes; but He allows suffering that we learn to avoid whatever it was that caused us to suffer.

    Additionally, sinfunless is in the world; those who love sin, hate Christ --- and hate us because we are His. Thus, "it is granted for us to believe" --- fully reflects our choice. And "it is also granted for us to suffer", reflects the hardships our belief in Him will cost us.

    He does not cause the suffering, AV.
    You're breaking it up wrongly; if one "prepositional phrase" is isolated, then the other must be also.

    By grace
    Through faith
    Based on what? In Greek grammer, "that" (tauth) is neuter, while "faith" (pistis) is feminine (nor "grace" charis, feminine) --- had he meant "that faith", genders would have matched.

    Look at A.T.Robertson's comment:
    Wait! If it does NOT prove it, we're gonna believe it ANYWAY??? Why, AV? He AGREES with Robertson, but then says "SO WHAT"? What is the motivation to believe what is not expressed in Scripture?
    Is this "exegesis", or "eisegesis"?
    What's the difference between "God believes for us", and "God monergistically gifts us faith"?
    Ahhh; back to "men have completely free will, but unregenerated men WILL follow their depraved hearts (irresistible depravity!), and monergistically-regenerated men WILL follow their God-decreed-good-hearts (irresistible grace!)

    Somehow RT asserts "that will, is FREE; it is FREELY constrained to evil if unelect, and FREELY constrained to righteousness if elect".

    Uhmm, hmmm.
    Can't be; that says "Abraham's BELIEF was reckoned as righteousness". Reflects Responsible Grace, but not Reformed Theology.
    I see; If God does not believe for us, does He repent FOR us? RT denies the reality of Acts17:30: "God commands that all men everywhere repent".

    ...denies it, by asserting "...but God GRANTS repentance to those few whom HE has chosen".

    Why is this credible to you? I take it at face value; repentance is charged to us.

    "The kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe." Mark1:15

    "God takes no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies; so repent and live." Ezk18:24
    It remains to be answered, "do WE repent, or is repentance machinated by God's choice and monergistic-regeneration? If the latter, then He repents US.
    If you recognize that "our own hearts can weep by conviction of sin", why do you deny Jesus' words in Matt13:15, "they close their OWN eyes and ears, lest they turn and be healed"?
    I can't understand why no Calvinist sees the absolute contradiction.

    Belief is not imposed on us by God; it's our choice.
    But belief is unavoidable FROM God's choice to regenerate us.
    Unless we repent we perish (Lk13:3)
    ...but repentance is something God grants us, unilaterally!
    God commands ALL MEN EVERYWHERE to repent...
    ...but God knows that most men will NOT, 'cause they CANNOT because He hasn't GRANTED it TO them!

    That reads as so much contradiction to me...
    Exactly true, AV; but what gift is there, that cannot be received, or rejected?
    Indeed not of merit --- but what about "favor"? Do you think God favors one man over another?

    Such favor, would by definition be "partiality". Look at Acts10:34-35: "I see that God shows no partiality, but he who fears God and does right is welcome. Just like in Heb11:6, God is the receiver of man's belief, not the instigator. THroughout Scripture God accepts whoever turns to Him. Exk36:26-27 is misunderstood by Calvinists; but the parallel passage, 11:18-21, clearly asserts "whoever turns to God and away from abominations God receives, but he who prefers abominations is in trouble". So too 2Cor4:3-4; it's presumed that "the veil prevents men from believing in Jesus" --- but verse 2:3:16 plainly asserts "when a man turns to God, the veil is lifted". Scriptural sequence always conflicts "predestined belief".
    Robertson says "grace is God's part, faith is ours". His gift, our receiving. Reflected in Jn1:12-13; "begottenness" is nothing of us, but all of God; but BECOMING begotten (adopted child) is by our "receiving believing Jesus".
    In this post, we've shown how faith must be charged to us. Sources agree "that" refers to "salvation". We've discussed contradictions inherent in "predestination".

  18. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    Such a statement usually gets a reference to Heb12:2, "He is the author and finisher of faith". So either "God believes FOR us", or this verse really reflects what the Greek seems to mean, that "He is the archegos-leader and teliotes-chief-example of faith". Clearly, the "running the race" is charged to us. See 1Cor9:24 --- "run so as to WIN"!

  19. heymikey80

    heymikey80 Quidquid Latine dictum sit, altum viditur

    :idea:There's more to life in Christ than soteriology, Ben. It sounds like you have no appreciation for the change of life that's required for salvation. "How can we who died to sin live any longer in it?"
    :doh: That seems pretty rhetorical, Ben. When it refers to God's actions justice is doing what's right, not what's wrong.
    :D You must be joking, Ben. I can be repentant about not holding the door open for someone who needs it -- and yet be unrepentant about rebelling against those in authority over me.

    You can be repentant and unrepentant at the same time. In fact, you are. I am. It's obvious.

    Who is Jesus' audience?
    God does the inworking of regeneration. "it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." Pp 2:13 God makes people alive: "God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ" Ep 2:4-5

    If you have a problem with an explicit declaration of Scripture, that is indeed a problem with Scripture, not with a theology.
    I already do. I already account for the fact that faith, because it is in us, is often weak. Hence we sin. But it doesn't reverse us to the point of falling from eternal life. At least according to Jesus (John 10) & Paul (Rom 8).
  20. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    And how does that contradict the idea that "they WERE born of God, when the first believed"? It doesn't, Mike.
    And perhaps you can explain that logic to me --- I've never understood.

    1. Regeneration is monergistic. Men don't ask, 'cause they're too depraved.
    2. FROM a "monergistic-regenerated-heart", freely flows faith.
    2b. A regenerated heart can ONLY produce saving faith
    2c. A non-regenerated heart can ONLY produce faithlessness
    3. But "saving faith" is from FREE WILL, it is not part of God's monergistic predestination.

    I say it is, Mike.
    I look forward to your answering my questions just above. :)

    If my assessment that "faith is just as monergistic as regeneration, even if INDIRECT" is valid, then I am not "false-respresenting anyone", Mike; I am assessing the position. As I explained in numbers 1-3 above.
    Precisely my point! It places belief as consequential to something of THOMAS, rather than something of JESUS. Thomas REFUSED to believe, and in that case the reason was "because I haven't seen".

    Look now at Jn5:39-47; the Jews refused to believe, even though they studied Scripture that spoke of Jesus. Why did they refuse? Jesus states the reason clearly. "HOW can you believe, WHEN you seek man's glory rather than God's?" Jesus furthers my point, by saying: "IF you believed Moses, THEN you would believe ME; HOW can you believe Me when you don't believe Moses?" Zero predestination there, Mike.
    It's talking about the source of saving-faith. If it's from God's predestination (even if indirectly caused by monergistic regeneration), then both beliefs (unseen, and seen) would be of equal value. They are not --- unseen belief is greater than seen-belief.
    Have I explained it well now?
    Show me where in Scripture that "regeneration" precedes "faith". In Titus 3:5-6, regeneration is by the POURED Spirit. Regeneration-to-us, by the poured-on-us-Spirit. Can you deny that "poured", is "gifted", is "fell-upon", is "received" (Acts10:43-47, 11:15-17), is AFTER belief? Can you deny that "received" is "sealed" is also "after belief" (Eph1:13)?
    "Born again", is by belief; unless one is born again, he cannot see/enter/inherit the kingdom. No condtradiction See Lk13:3, Matt18:3-4, Matt7:21-23. All four verses assert "unless _____, you won't go to Heaven". But "born again", is the key under which the others reside.
    If faith comes solely from monergistic regeneration, then faith is just as monergistic as regeneration.
    Yet "stumbling", means "eternal peril". Is that deniable?
    The point is that Hell is possible. Our difference remains on the issue of "movement". I wager you assert that "whoever is cast into Hell, was never saved in the FIRST place". But here is Jesus speaking of movement, from "saved" to "condemned".
    So --- what was happening to the Galatians? They were "known by God, obeying the truth, begun in the Spirit, running well"; but Paul says "by turning back to weak/worthless things, forsaking Grace in favor of Law, you are fallen from grace and severed from Christ."

    Fallen is fallen, severed is severed. Apo-katargeo, ekpipto charis. Verse 5:4 (with 5:7, 5:1, 3:1-3, and 4:9)
    Here is how I see it:
    God loves all mankind, in that He wants ALL to be saved. 1Tim2:1-4

    Nothing can separate us from His love; but we are charged to KEEP ourselves IN His love, building ourselves in holy faith, aren't we? Jd20-21

    In 2Tim2:11-13, if we died with Him we shall also live with Him. If we ENDURE, we shall also reign with Him. This presents the POSITIVE side, "salvation".

    But he continues, saying "if we DENY Him, He will deny US; if we are faithless, yet He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself." This presents the NEGATIVE side, non-salvation. Him denying us before God (Matt10:33-34), absolutely means we won't make it; and our being faithless cannot suggest "faithlessly-saved".

    Yet He remans faithful; He will never revoke His gifts and calling, but we can reject them. (Rm11:29) He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb13:2), but we can leave Him. He does not stop loving us, even if we perish; he sincerely cries for those who perish.
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