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Denny
11-26-2007, 04:35 AM
I believe that I'm on to something here. Please comment.

The Last Puzzle Piece

A Solution to the Ancient and Present
Confusion of
God’s Sovereignty and the Free Will of Men


Our justification is an eternal legal covenant, not between God and us but between God and the perfect humanity in His Son, Jesus, which we may also receive by faith alone, when we, by God's Spirit and grace, are placed in the body of our Lord. God then has our regenerated and repentant return to His authority and power because of our trust in God's righteous will and by the mind of Christ, in whose body we are, to determine (ordain) our future. This future ultimately leads us by Christ alone, and in His body, through the narrow gate, that admits only the single perfect Man in union with His Bride as One, into God’s eternal kingdom.

At this time of our regeneration and justification our God not only intimately knows our future but our past also as He has already ordained or determined, by the power of His Spirit alone, our regenerated repentance and submission to the timeless grace of His authority. It follows that all of our free will choices are worked by God [Eph. 2:2] to our good both past and future, without the ordination of a 'changed nature'. This is our predestination, as He is righteously responsible and accountable for that very good in His own body.


' For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;' [Romans 9:11]

This is the good of our rebirth into His kingdom that is impossible for men to achieve due to the limited nature of their freedom of will. It is here that we must know and note as regenerate Christians that there is no conflict between God’s sovereignty and our limited free will. This is because God is doing for us, what we cannot do for ourselves, exactly what we believe and pray that He will do. We are now in agreement that we are on the right path to bear fruit, by the gifts of the Spirit, rather than the hatred, sin and evil that is the result of our self-justification and therefore self-deification.

This responsibility and accountability of Jesus is exactly what Adam did not exercise when he learned of the deception and disobedience of his own wife and flesh, Eve.

The sin and evil that remains by the sinful choices of His children, or thorn in our flesh, is now used in some way or another for our instruction and discipline in this world, rather than condemnation. Our God never ordains sin as this would deny His innocence but may and indeed does determine our sin’s destruction, at least in part in this world, and determines the eventual gift of sin’s mastery by His children in the world to come. Is it not logical that the Christian who knows and believes in this wondrous and near unspeakable grace of His determination would never wish to be tempted to disobedience nor suffer our Father's righteous yet loving discipline?

The unpardonable sin of unbelief remains completely determined and ordained by God in our corrupted world of sin and infused LAW, as there is no grace in nature. This is because of His righteous judgment at the fall of Adam, not a sinful nature of ourselves but of a corrupted world of deceitful ignorance, the overwhelming temptation by 'the prince of the air' (Satan) for us to sin with its resulting guilt, and the fear of men towards God’s just judgment of death. This is the 'imputed sin' in which all of the sons of Adam freely wallow, by God’s just judgment unto our present corrupted world.

The solution to the ancient puzzle of God’s sovereignty and the limited free will of men is right before our very eyes in Scripture. The answer is not found by arguments concerning whether men have 'free will' or not, or in the liberal’s argument that the love of God for men overpowers His justice. The answer is found in the fact that the freedom, nature, and sovereign omnipotence of God Himself is totally limited in His choices in all matters, to His forever and divinely infallible innocence and goodness, by His Righteousness Alone.
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Therefore, the sovereignty of God and the limited free will of men are never in conflict and never have been, except and only in God’s righteous judgment of the free will sins of both Adam and his children. Thus, the sovereignty of God is not limited by its infinite extent, but by His own righteousness. Conversely, the free will in men is not limited in our created goodness of nature, but in its finite extent.

So, where is the conflict and confusion when our God loves His gift of the created free will goodness of life in men, and we desperately need and love His righteous covering, that shelters us from the infinite extent of His sovereign power.
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The Roman Catholics and Orthodox have confused and missed this truth of the absence of conflict because of their insistence on their self-justification that is commanded by belief in infused rather than imputed righteousness. The Reformed have missed because of their insistence on the inherent contradiction of Compatibilism with the unbiblical doctrine of Eternal Decrees, where God, against His very nature of goodness is forced to ordain and infuse the evil of sin into our own persons. The Arminians or semi-Pelagians have missed because of the works righteousness inherent in their belief in the free will choice of men beyond their limitations, rather than God’s free election. The Pelagians have missed this easy truth because of their belief that it is possible for men to justify themselves by obedience to God’s commands alone.

The Tree of Life was cut down and transported to Jerusalem. Is it any wonder now that Jesus was a carpenter? We will forever remain indebted and loyal to the God/Man and our King, Jesus of Nazareth, for His unfathomable love for His Bride, and His righteous work of justification unto our eternal life.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

joel
11-26-2007, 08:46 AM
".....our regenerated repentance and submission to the timeless grace of His authority..."

What is "regenerated repentance"?

and,"......submission to the timeless grace of His authority"....

Can you restate these expressions? I do not know what they mean?

Joel

Denny
11-26-2007, 09:09 AM
".....our regenerated repentance and submission to the timeless grace of His authority..."

What is "regenerated repentance"?

and,"......submission to the timeless grace of His authority"....

Can you restate these expressions? I do not know what they mean?

Joel

Thanks for your comment and question.

Our regenerated repentence is the act of God by His Spirit alone, and outside of time, in the election of His children. God is not only the justifier of His children, but their sanctifier.


Salvation belongs to the Lord; Thy blessings be upon thy people. [Psalm 3:8]

In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for thou alone, O Lord, dost make me dwell in safety. [Psalm 4:8] {both verses NASB}

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

joel
11-26-2007, 09:51 AM
Denny,

If the first portion of the article is drawing a conclusion that because of the predetermined will of God in electing beforehand certain ones, and designating certain ones beforehand as to the "adoption", then "free-will" has nothing to do with that portion of God's process, then I fully agree.

Is that what is being said?, and, if so, do you agree with that?

Joel

Denny
11-26-2007, 11:55 AM
Denny,

If the first portion of the article is drawing a conclusion that because of the predetermined will of God in electing beforehand certain ones, and designating certain ones beforehand as to the "adoption", then "free-will" has nothing to do with that portion of God's process, then I fully agree.

Is that what is being said?, and, if so, do you agree with that?

Joel

Yes. this is what I am saying, and exactly.


then "free-will" has nothing to do with that portion of God's process


It has nothing to do with our own free will but everything to do with His sovereign free will and grace.
Thus, a return to the grace of His authority

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

joel
11-26-2007, 03:22 PM
This is the good of our rebirth into His kingdom that is impossible for men to achieve due to the limited nature of their freedom of will.

Please, Denny, comment on this.

Joel

Denny
11-26-2007, 05:56 PM
Originally Posted by Denny
This is the good of our rebirth into His kingdom that is impossible for men to achieve due to the limited nature of their freedom of will.



Please, Denny, comment on this.

Joel

I think Nicodemus expressed this well in his coversation with Jesus;


Nicodemus said to Him, 'How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?' [John 3:4]

It is impossible for us to give ourselves birth into this world, let alone into God's kingdom. This is due to our limited free will which extends only to the things we are able to do with our own minds and hands. This is not impossible for our God Who's omnipotent sorereignty is infinite.


But Jesus looked at them and said to them, 'With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.' [Matt. 19:26]

This verse in context was a reply by Jesus about who can be saved.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
11-26-2007, 09:56 PM
I think Nicodemus expressed this well in his coversation with Jesus;

It is impossible for us to give ourselves birth into this world, let alone into God's kingdom. This is due to our limited free will which extends only to the things we are able to do with our own minds and hands. This is not impossible for our God Who's omnipotent sorereignty is infinite.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
Denny,

I haven't had time to properly read your first post, but wanted to drop in this comment:

I think that is an extremely important thing to remember in our discussion of free will. We did not "choose" to be born physically, so it really doesn't make any sense to think we can "choose" to be born spiritually. Our freedoms are very limited but also very real, in my estimation. Freedom is essential to the Imago Dei (Image of God).

Talk more soon,

Richard

Trumpet
11-27-2007, 04:15 PM
Hi guys,


I think that is an extremely important thing to remember in our discussion of free will. We did not "choose" to be born physically, so it really doesn't make any sense to think we can "choose" to be born spiritually.

I don't see how you can say because we don't choose to be born physically, this relates directly to choosing spiritual birth. Physical birth can't be chosen because we have no conciousness yet, but not so with spiritual birth.( Notice I didn't say RE-BIRTH) We can't "birth" ourselves, but we can surely ask God, after recognizing a need, to ask Him to accomplish this act.

Quote:by Denny
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, 'With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.' [Matt. 19:26]

This was said by Jesus in answer to the disciples question about how a rich man could enter the kingdom of heaven, not a direct question about how new birth happens.

In Matt 19:16-19 this man came and asked Jesus what good thing he could do to attain eternal life. Jesus told him (not about what he could do to enter, because it's not a work,) vs.17 " but if thou wilt enter into life". That desire,to me,looks like an act of individual will, not that this IS the total process, but that it BEGINS the process.

Richard Amiel McGough
11-27-2007, 05:33 PM
Hi guys,

I don't see how you can say because we don't choose to be born physically, this relates directly to choosing spiritual birth. Physical birth can't be chosen because we have no conciousness yet, but not so with spiritual birth.( Notice I didn't say RE-BIRTH) We can't "birth" ourselves, but we can surely ask God, after recognizing a need, to ask Him to accomplish this act.
Hi Don,

I knew I was speaking a little quickly at that point. I didn't mean to make it so "cut and dry." I really don't have a firm opinion on that yet. On the one hand, there are Scriptures that back up the idea that we can not "choose" to believe (and hence be spiritually born) because it is entirely the act of God. For example:

John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Not born by the "will of man." But now as I look freshly at this passage, I see sufficient ambiguity to make me wonder - it says "as many as received him" (that is subject to our will) he GAVE the power (lit. authority) "to become the sons of God" - and then they are born of God, not blood, flesh, or man.

So I need to think on this more. But the birth metaphor does carry the sense of something that is entirely outside our sphere of choice. But I disagree with the Calvinists who assert that our will is so corrupted that we can not even choose to receive the gift of salvation from God. I have read their arugments on that point and found them unconvincing. Scripture does present sinners as capable of repentence. But it also speaks of God "granting" repentence. :confused2: It sure is not a simple matter!



Quote:by Denny
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, 'With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.' [Matt. 19:26]

This was said by Jesus in answer to the disciples question about how a rich man could enter the kingdom of heaven, not a direct question about how new birth happens.

In Matt 19:16-19 this man came and asked Jesus what good thing he could do to attain eternal life. Jesus told him (not about what he could do to enter, because it's not a work,) vs.17 " but if thou wilt enter into life". That desire,to me,looks like an act of individual will, not that this IS the total process, but that it BEGINS the process.
I can see that, but it is hard to discuss because it touches upon the deep question of our heart which is like a mysterious fountain of our will and desire - why do we want what we want? How does it related to God? The Calvinist would say that our "nature" defines our desire, and since we are fallen we can not "want" God and so no fallen creature would ever repent or seek God. That doesn't ring true to my ear, but I don't have a ready answer either. Again, its because this issue touches the myerstrious origin within us of will and desire. I reject the idea that we act only in accordence with our "nature" because that would mean that we are not really agents like our Father. He created us in His image as genuine moral agents in this universe. And so we, like Him, are a mystery to our rational minds. But our hearts do seem to recognize the truth and importance of our relative freedom. It seems essential to the entire plan of God.

Richard

Denny
11-27-2007, 07:04 PM
Trumpet said:
I don't see how you can say because we don't choose to be born physically, this relates directly to choosing spiritual birth. Physical birth can't be chosen because we have no conciousness yet, but not so with spiritual birth.( Notice I didn't say RE-BIRTH) We can't "birth" ourselves, but we can surely ask God, after recognizing a need, to ask Him to accomplish this act.

I agree in part, but how is this need recognized, unless God by His Spirit shows us this very need which is revealed to us in His Scripture in union with His Spirit? IMO, Spiritual birth or being born again is accomplish in exactly the same manner as physical birth, that is, without our permission or asking.


Quote:by Denny
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, 'With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.' [Matt. 19:26]


Trumpet said:
This was said by Jesus in answer to the disciples question about how a rich man could enter the kingdom of heaven, not a direct question about how new birth happens.

I disagree here, this [Matt. 19:26] was a reply by Jesus to the question, "Then who can be saved (born again)?".

I believe we are saved not by our free will choice which is impossible for men but by the free election of our God alone.

Thus;


The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit. [John 3:8]

How are we able to say by the Spirit, "Jesus is Lord" if we believe we are able to choose Him with our own limited free will? This is works religion that makes ourselves "Lord" and Jesus indebted to us for our Salvation because of the "goodness" of our own choice. It is we who are the sinners in helpless need, and it is He that comes to us first.


But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.[Romans 5:8]

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Trumpet
11-27-2007, 07:37 PM
Hi Richard,

I too can't say that I am able to stand firmly on the statement that we can totally choose of our own will. I wish I COULD find a solid place to stand. I notice that even in the verse I used, Matt 19:16-19, that even Jesus seemed to avoid a direct answer to the rich man. He seemed to skirt the issue. Maybe it's not so cut and dried as we wish it would be, and maybe from a perspective that humans can't envision, (i.e. God's superior knowledge and point of view), it's neither view we are talking about and we can't even begin to understand this. But it's a good learning experience.

Don

Trumpet
11-27-2007, 07:52 PM
Hi Denny,

I don't have time to pull out a lot of scripture, and I can't answer most of your post right now anyway, but I can tell you that when I came to Jesus, I was told of Him by some shipmates of mine. I never knew that Jesus was a Person to have a relationship with, I thought of Him as part of a religious system. After a few days of hearing of Him, one night I was compelled, (obviously by the Holy Spirit), to make a choice. I wrestled with this for some 3 hours, but in the end I believe that it was the simple logic in my mind that convinced me. I reasoned, that, since everything I was told bore witness to me as true, this was something that I needed in my life. I finally came to the point of decision, and I believe that I could have walked away from God, had I wished to, but I decided to ask Him for forgiveness, and I asked Him into my life. Feb. 2, 1972. And it stuck. I believe that the Holy Spirit was working on convincing me to ask for God, but I also didn't feel put in a corner. I felt that the choice was mine. I believe that we have a sin nature, but I don't believe that it controls every aspect of our lives. I do believe that this base nature can progress to a lower state in succeeding generations from a lack of the Body of Christ being the light to a dark world, and I think that is what is happening in our world. I wonder sometimes how long it will take if this continues, until our world resembles the world that had to be destroyed in Noah's time, because the thoughts of man were evil continually.

I don't believe that our telling God that He can save us is works, any more that me telling the doctor that he can operate on me if I need it. He does the work, he gets the glory for the work. I just give him permission. If I tell him no, I risk death,; the same with God.

Don

Richard Amiel McGough
11-27-2007, 08:01 PM
Hi Richard,

I too can't say that I am able to stand firmly on the statement that we can totally choose of our own will. I wish I COULD find a solid place to stand. I notice that even in the verse I used, Matt 19:16-19, that even Jesus seemed to avoid a direct answer to the rich man. He seemed to skirt the issue. Maybe it's not so cut and dried as we wish it would be, and maybe from a perspective that humans can't envision, (i.e. God's superior knowledge and point of view), it's neither view we are talking about and we can't even begin to understand this. But it's a good learning experience.

Don

Yeah ... I believe God rules with absolute sovereignty, but He does not "ordain" every single thing that comes to pass. He seems to delight in freedom, which is really a nice idea when you think abou it:
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.



Leviticus 25:10-11 And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. 11 A jubile shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed.
It's not so hard to understand from a "fuzzy" point of view. It's a lot like relations between the powerful and the weak in a human society. God can do whatsoever He wills, and it is the His glory of His grace that He willed to create free creatures, let us go our own ways, fall into sin, and then redeem us freely through the grace that is in Christ. It seems to me to be a wonderful picture of reality, though its still pretty "fuzzy" ....

Richard

Denny
11-28-2007, 04:47 AM
Hi Denny,

I don't have time to pull out a lot of scripture, and I can't answer most of your post right now anyway, but I can tell you that when I came to Jesus, I was told of Him by some shipmates of mine. I never knew that Jesus was a Person to have a relationship with, I thought of Him as part of a religious system. After a few days of hearing of Him, one night I was compelled, (obviously by the Holy Spirit), to make a choice. I wrestled with this for some 3 hours, but in the end I believe that it was the simple logic in my mind that convinced me. I reasoned, that, since everything I was told bore witness to me as true, this was something that I needed in my life. I finally came to the point of decision, and I believe that I could have walked away from God, had I wished to, but I decided to ask Him for forgiveness, and I asked Him into my life. Feb. 2, 1972. And it stuck. I believe that the Holy Spirit was working on convincing me to ask for God, but I also didn't feel put in a corner. I felt that the choice was mine. I believe that we have a sin nature, but I don't believe that it controls every aspect of our lives. I do believe that this base nature can progress to a lower state in succeeding generations from a lack of the Body of Christ being the light to a dark world, and I think that is what is happening in our world. I wonder sometimes how long it will take if this continues, until our world resembles the world that had to be destroyed in Noah's time, because the thoughts of man were evil continually.

I don't believe that our telling God that He can save us is works, any more that me telling the doctor that he can operate on me if I need it. He does the work, he gets the glory for the work. I just give him permission. If I tell him no, I risk death,; the same with God.

Don
Don,

Please don't get me wrong here. It's just that I believe this argument to be such an important part of the Gospel. It is Scriptural for us to believe that our belief (our own works) that is given to us as a gift by the Spirit, is never the cause of our salvation.


For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast. [Eph. 2:8,9]

Our salvation is totally "of the Lord" and our response is a part of our sanctification and not meritorious in regard and towards our justification and free election by God alone. I believe that the Scripture clearly teaches us that it is the work of Jesus alone, in whose body we are, that is meritorious.

I had a "salvation experience" very similar to yours and about the same time. I was reading the Scripture (Hebrews 11:1-3), and all of a sudden it simply "dawned" on me that those verses were true. From that moment on, my life changed, and I now know that it had changed forever.



Don said:
I don't believe that our telling God that He can save us is works, any more that me telling the doctor that he can operate on me if I need it. He does the work, he gets the glory for the work. I just give him permission. If I tell him no, I risk death,; the same with God.

The difference is, and thank God, that He does not need our permission, as He is sovereign, and we do not pay Him for His services as we do our Doctors. And finally, no one tells God, "NO" in matters of the pleasures of His will.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

joel
11-28-2007, 05:45 AM
It is profitable, as we continue in our walk in the faith, to realize that our justification is not "of us" in any way whatsoever. This was Abraham's discovery, and he was happy and content for it, glorifying God. He had no cause to boast in himself.

He was caused to realize that he didn't deserve, by his own merits, his new standing with God as he was irreverent, just as the rest. The right to receive God's promises (in this case, the land) was reckoned to him on the basis of faith in God, which must also be a gift, and not resident within himself as if being something which he had of his own.

This standard of faith, true to all who believe, is described in Romans 4.

Justification by faith, in our case, is not based on anything which we can do, or have done. We, like Abraham, are irreverent, and are in need of a covering over of our sins. It is all of God. It is Jesus' faith, His obedience, His sacrifice. When God gifts us with faith in the blood of Christ, we have a new standing with God, reckoned to us on the basis of faith. We stand in the realm of God's grace, just as Abraham stood in the land of promise granted to Him by God.

What I hear Denny asserting in this thread is that our justification has its basis on the predetermination of God. Paul makes this statement in Romans 8 where he says that God has predetermined those who will be conformed to image of His Son.

That being the case, there can be no merit whatsoever on the part of God as to each individual so designated. His choice occurred before sin and death entered into the system, and before any acts of those so designated were performed.

Those whom He so predesignated (the eklektos), He also called, and those whom He called, He justified, and those whom He justifies, He glorifies also.

In this respect, man's so-called free will has no place whatsoever in this process.

Walking through the land, however, is a different matter. It is in our walk that we are entreated by Paul to walk worthily of our calling (Ephesians 4:1).

Joel

Denny
11-28-2007, 07:21 AM
It is profitable, as we continue in our walk in the faith, to realize that our justification is not "of us" in any way whatsoever. This was Abraham's discovery, and he was happy and content for it, glorifying God. He had no cause to boast in himself.

He was caused to realize that he didn't deserve, by his own merits, his new standing with God as he was irreverent, just as the rest. The right to receive God's promises (in this case, the land) was reckoned to him on the basis of faith in God, which must also be a gift, and not resident within himself as if being something which he had of his own.

This standard of faith, true to all who believe, is described in Romans 4.

Justification by faith, in our case, is not based on anything which we can do, or have done. We, like Abraham, are irreverent, and are in need of a covering over of our sins. It is all of God. It is Jesus' faith, His obedience, His sacrifice. When God gifts us with faith in the blood of Christ, we have a new standing with God, reckoned to us on the basis of faith. We stand in the realm of God's grace, just as Abraham stood in the land of promise granted to Him by God.

What I hear Denny asserting in this thread is that our justification has its basis on the predetermination of God. Paul makes this statement in Romans 8 where he says that God has predetermined those who will be conformed to image of His Son.

That being the case, there can be no merit whatsoever on the part of God as to each individual so designated. His choice occurred before sin and death entered into the system, and before any acts of those so designated were performed.

Those whom He so predesignated (the eklektos), He also called, and those whom He called, He justified, and those whom He justifies, He glorifies also.

In this respect, man's so-called free will has no place whatsoever in this process.

Walking through the land, however, is a different matter. It is in our walk that we are entreated by Paul to walk worthily of our calling (Ephesians 4:1).

Joel

Joel,

Thank you for your beautiful post and I agree with everything you have said.


Walking through the land, however, is a different matter. It is in our walk that we are entreated by Paul to walk worthily of our calling (Ephesians 4:1).

This is absolutely true and I will re-hash my words once more in agreement.

Please, don't anyone believe that it is our personal, faithful and sanctified response (free will) to the Gospel that saves us or causes us to be "born again". This is because it is our very faith that teaches us that our salvation is absolutely and completely due to the righteous work of another, Christ Jesus our Lord.

So, - I will unflichingly continue to say that to believe our salvation is due to our own "choice" is works religion, and works religion in its most deceptive form.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
11-28-2007, 02:04 PM
Please, don't anyone believe that it is our personal, faithful and sanctified response (free will) to the Gospel that saves us or causes us to be "born again". This is because it is our very faith that teaches us that our salvation is absolutely and completely due to the righteous work of another, Christ Jesus our Lord.

So, - I will unflichingly continue to say that to believe our salvation is due to our own "choice" is works religion, and works religion in its most deceptive form.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
Hi Denny,

I've heard this opinion before, but I don't understand it. I agree completely that Christ did all the work of salvation. But my act of believing can not be classified as a work because the Bible clearly contrasts faith versus works.

So I don't understand how Calvinists can assert that faith is a work.

That seems logically incoherent to me. Could you explain?

Thanks!

Richard

Denny
11-28-2007, 03:46 PM
Hi Denny,

I've heard this opinion before, but I don't understand it. I agree completely that Christ did all the work of salvation. But my act of believing can not be classified as a work because the Bible clearly contrasts faith versus works.

So I don't understand how Calvinists can assert that faith is a work.

That seems logically incoherent to me. Could you explain?

Thanks!

Richard

Richard,

I well understand your confusion here but let's look at this one more time in another way.

Faith is a work; our work that is not meritorious towards our salvation which we already have in His election. It has a cause and the cause being our gratitude and love for our Creator for His unspeakable love in His free justification. This work of ours is acceptable to our gracious God, not because of any perfection in it or us, but because it is motivated by the gift of love given to us by His Spirit alone.


Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
But someone will say, 'You have faith, and I have works.' Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. [James 2:17,18]

To not have works of faith only proves that we do not believe in God's wondrous and free justification. How may one who truly believes not at least jump for joy?

Furthermore, to believe that we are saved in any way due to our own work of faith, is to open thousands of doors of self-righteousness, that take us to places that we do not want to enter.

Does this help?

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Trumpet
11-29-2007, 12:03 AM
Hi guys,:yo:

I sure have a hard time understanding the viewpoint of you guys. (Joel and Denny). I don't see how you are so all encompassing with the works thing. I tend to agree with Richard, that faith isn't works.

Denny, your definition of faith being works is coming from the view that it just is. Because that's what you believe. It's almost like circular reasoning.

You said,

The difference is, and thank God, that He does not need our permission, as He is sovereign, and we do not pay Him for His services as we do our Doctors. And finally, no one tells God, "NO" in matters of the pleasures of His will.


When I gave the example of telling the doctor to go ahead, and you seemed to mean that it would be a work because I paid him, well, for 2 years I was sick, and the State of Arizona picked up my insurance because I couldn't work at all. I didn't pay a dime. But I was always given the choice by my doctor on whether or not to accept different treatments.

I beg to differ on whether or not anyone can tell God "NO" or not. It says in 2 Thess 2:10b "because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." and 2 Pet 3:9b (The Lord) " not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

The bible is strewn with those that went astray and refused God's way. How about Saul?, the one million Jews that died from AD 66 to 70? How about the possible 6 billion or more that died in the flood, and God saying that He was sorry that He had created man?

Alot of this issue seems to revolve around the meaning of those 4 verses that speak of predistination. But the true meaning of that word may not be as precise as we think. I see God as a Being that knows all, sees all, (past, present, and future at the same time, and has all power), yet He refuses to over-ride the will of an individual. If He did always over-ride, then we would NOT have freedom. I see the thought of a person thinking that God "chose" Him, and then caused it to come to pass as a very large amount of self boasting, not of glory to God. How would that person not believe that he was "better" that others, because "God chose ME!"

And it's funny to me, why, if God has been predestinating and placing salvation on people, why He does it in a geographical manner. God seems to be staying away from people like the Japanese, and many Asian groups among others.:confused:

Don

Denny
11-29-2007, 03:47 AM
Hi guys,:yo:

I sure have a hard time understanding the viewpoint of you guys. (Joel and Denny). I don't see how you are so all encompassing with the works thing. I tend to agree with Richard, that faith isn't works.

Denny, your definition of faith being works is coming from the view that it just is. Because that's what you believe. It's almost like circular reasoning.

You said,


When I gave the example of telling the doctor to go ahead, and you seemed to mean that it would be a work because I paid him, well, for 2 years I was sick, and the State of Arizona picked up my insurance because I couldn't work at all. I didn't pay a dime. But I was always given the choice by my doctor on whether or not to accept different treatments.

I beg to differ on whether or not anyone can tell God "NO" or not. It says in 2 Thess 2:10b "because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." and 2 Pet 3:9b (The Lord) " not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

The bible is strewn with those that went astray and refused God's way. How about Saul?, the one million Jews that died from AD 66 to 70? How about the possible 6 billion or more that died in the flood, and God saying that He was sorry that He had created man?

Alot of this issue seems to revolve around the meaning of those 4 verses that speak of predistination. But the true meaning of that word may not be as precise as we think. I see God as a Being that knows all, sees all, (past, present, and future at the same time, and has all power), yet He refuses to over-ride the will of an individual. If He did always over-ride, then we would NOT have freedom. I see the thought of a person thinking that God "chose" Him, and then caused it to come to pass as a very large amount of self boasting, not of glory to God. How would that person not believe that he was "better" that others, because "God chose ME!"

And it's funny to me, why, if God has been predestinating and placing salvation on people, why He does it in a geographical manner. God seems to be staying away from people like the Japanese, and many Asian groups among others.:confused:

Don


Don said:
I beg to differ on whether or not anyone can tell God "NO" or not. It says in 2 Thess 2:10b "because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." and 2 Pet 3:9b (The Lord) " not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

My mistake Don, but I do believe that you know, and I thought it obvious, that what I said about "no one says NO to God" would include the words "without penalty". You have left off 2 Peter 3:9a, as in context Peter was speaking to believers. No verse stands alone without context. Peter is saying "not willing that any (of you) should perish, but that all (of you) should come to repentence.


When I gave the example of telling the doctor to go ahead, and you seemed to mean that it would be a work because I paid him, well, for 2 years I was sick, and the State of Arizona picked up my insurance because I couldn't work at all. I didn't pay a dime. But I was always given the choice by my doctor on whether or not to accept different treatments.

I always believed that the purpose of insurance was to pay the doctor. You didn't pay a dime because someone else was forced to pay it for you. If you elected to not have any treatment at all, then why even go and seek the services and advice of your doctor in the first place which also includes payment? The last time I went to the doctor, just an office visit was eighty dollars.

Don, your argument in total is Arminian. We can, as they have, make arguments over this issue for nearly forever.

So, lets get to the source of the argument once more.



Don said:
If He did always over-ride, then we would NOT have freedom. I see the thought of a person thinking that God "chose" Him, and then caused it to come to pass as a very large amount of self boasting, not of glory to God. How would that person not believe that he was "better" that others, because "God chose ME!"

The Christian is forbidden by God's word to think of himself "better" than others because the word clearly tells us that our election is not due to anything in ourselves. Therefore it is the one who believes that he chooses God of his own free will that is forced by his own philosophy to believe himself better than others. He is forced to believe that he was "smarter and more righteous" than the ones who do not choose Him. This is also the same argument that the Pharisees used only they posited their righteousness in their geneology as physical children of Abraham.

Please try to understand that to believe you can choose God with your own free will is an upside down Gospel! It makes you the "Lord" and God indebted to you for your "sovereign" choice. I'm sure you would agree with me that the opposite of this upside down Gospel is what is true!

I believe that the most insulting thing possible to say to anyone is; "You only love me for my money". This is exactly the insult to God of those who believe that their own free will choice is the cause of God's grace towards them.

Please Don, contemplate this Scripture verse carefully:


And He said, 'Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.' [John 6:65]

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

joel
11-29-2007, 08:35 AM
Brothers, can we view the election of God in this manner;

As to our role in God's plan, He chooses us.
We have nothing to do with it. He is the potter. We are the clay.
The faith that he we have is a gift.
It begins as a small planted seed.

As to how we conduct ourselves, and execute our role, we make choices daily.
Faith becomes a "walk". Our faith grows as we "work out our salvation".


Joel

rota
11-29-2007, 09:47 AM
:) Hi Joel!

Nicely put!

Let me add my two cents here. I can imagine that there are thousand "Joels" out there just as there are thousands "rotas" or "rams" around, people with the same personality traits, thus we constitute the same "raw material". Now there are many "pools" of people with certain traits/qualities/abilities. The Lord issues an invitation to the whole pool. This means that all in this pool are qualified and He is prepared to deal with anyone out of this pool.

Now there will be one who responds to the call first. That is the one that get's the job/revelation/whatever. That doesn't mean that the others weren't qualified as well, but they just didn't bother to listen to the call fast enough.

Luke 14 "A certain man was spreading a grand evening meal, and he invited many. 17 And he sent his slave out at the hour of the evening meal to say to the invited ones, ‘Come, because things are now ready.’ 18 But they all in common started to beg off. The first said to him, ‘I bought a field and need to go out and see it; I ask you, Have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I bought five yoke of cattle and am going to examine them; I ask you, Have me excused.’ 20 Still another said, ‘I just married a wife and for this reason I cannot come.’ 21 So the slave came up and reported these things to his master."

All the best,

Michael

Richard Amiel McGough
11-29-2007, 09:57 AM
Hi Richard,

I too can't say that I am able to stand firmly on the statement that we can totally choose of our own will. I wish I COULD find a solid place to stand. I notice that even in the verse I used, Matt 19:16-19, that even Jesus seemed to avoid a direct answer to the rich man. He seemed to skirt the issue. Maybe it's not so cut and dried as we wish it would be, and maybe from a perspective that humans can't envision, (i.e. God's superior knowledge and point of view), it's neither view we are talking about and we can't even begin to understand this. But it's a good learning experience.

Don
Maybe those red words are very wise!

But I do believe it is really important that we search this out to the limit of the Biblical revelation, because some of our brothers and sisters have come down very strong on one or the other side of this issue and the Body of Christ is now divided over it. So we should do our best to articulate the truth in hopes of fulfilling God's command that we may be "of one accord, of one mind" for indeed, we have the "mind of Christ":

Philippians 2:1-11 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
11-29-2007, 10:48 AM
Richard,

I well understand your confusion here but let's look at this one more time in another way.

Faith is a work; our work that is not meritorious towards our salvation which we already have in His election. It has a cause and the cause being our gratitude and love for our Creator for His unspeakable love in His free justification. This work of ours is acceptable to our gracious God, not because of any perfection in it or us, but because it is motivated by the gift of love given to us by His Spirit alone.


Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
But someone will say, 'You have faith, and I have works.' Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. [James 2:17,18]

To not have works of faith only proves that we do not believe in God's wondrous and free justification. How may one who truly believes not at least jump for joy?

Furthermore, to believe that we are saved in any way due to our own work of faith, is to open thousands of doors of self-righteousness, that take us to places that we do not want to enter.

Does this help?

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
Hey Denny,

Yes, that is helpful. But it does not seem to answer my fundamental question of the difference between faith and works and how those two diametrically opposed concepts relate to the Gospel.

The Gospel is "believe on (have faith in, trust in) the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." There is not a hint of "works" in that statement.


And when Paul wanted to explain the relation between faith and works, he said:
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Look at his emphatic phrasing. First he said "not by works, but by faith" and then he reversed it and say "by faith ... and not by works."

It seems pretty clear that faith is something "entirely other" than works in this context.

And it also seems that faith is the "agent" that "activates" the salvation wrought by Christ by His Work on the Cross. Now I know that this sounds heretical from a Calvinistic perspective, but it seems to be what a plain reading of text is plainly saying. Of course, we have to compare this passage with the rest of the Bible to see if our understanding is consistent. And that's what drives the Calivinsists to conclusion that the text does not mean what it seems to be mean since that contradicts the conclusions of their philosophical theories about the meaning and implications of God's Sovereignty and Election.

I think we will find some clarity if we try to answer "Why faith?" or "What's faith go to do with it?" You see, the Calvisist system has turned "faith" into something like a mysterious substance that is transmitted by God to a soul that effects "salvation." It has lost all of its original meaning - it no longer means that I trust, or that I believe. None of that matters in Calvinism because if I do the trusting or believing, they call it a "work." Thus they have sucked out all the true meaning of the word, and "faith" becomes a blank metaphysicial label with no real content in their theology. Thhe living connection between my soul and my Creator, which the Bible calls faith, is severed by their severe doctrine.

Calvinism seems to have obliterated the real meaning of the one saving word of the Gospel, faith!

Please don't take this as my "last word" on this difficult issue! I'm just doing my best to articulate one aspect of the question. I am very aware of the difficulties in talking about this, becasue the Bible really does teach predestination! And any attempt to philosophically understand God's foreknowledge is fraught with ten thousand pitfalls.

God bless our minds as we struggle to conform them to His Word and Reality,

Richard

Denny
11-29-2007, 03:52 PM
The Gospel is "believe on (have faith in, trust in) the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." There is not a hint of "works" in that statement.

Richard, I still think we can come to some conclusions here. I agree that there is no hint of meritorious work in that statement. However I will ask again; How would it be possible to truly believe in God's gift to us in His Son and not respond at least in some way in our own person? If our mother is alive we at least call her on the phone once in a while or send her flowers on her birthday, do we not? Now it must be said we know that sending her flowers is not the cause of our birth but proof that we believe that she is our mother. In this way, sending flowers is a "work" of love and "faith" on our part.


And when Paul wanted to explain the relation between faith and works, he said:
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Look at his emphatic phrasing. First he said "not by works, but by faith" and then he reversed it and say "by faith ... and not by works."

It seems pretty clear that faith is something "entirely other" than works in this context.

I love the translation you used. Did you notice in Gal, 2:16 the little word "of", as in, "but by the faith OF Jesus Christ"? Not our faith IN Jesus but by the faith OF Jesus. NOT ours but HIS

The "Calvinists" have divided the work of Christ into two parts, His active and passive obedience. The passive obedience being His death on the cross for our sins and the active obedience being His perfect work of faith for us for His entire life. This means that it is not our faith that saves us but His perfect faith which is imputed (credited) to us as righteousness.

This also means that Christ has purchased a perfect sanctifying faith for us by His active obedience (work) on our behalf.

I don't mean to be trite or irreverent but our faith is merely "the sending of flowers in gratitude". This is why I believe the reason for the words of Jesus, "My burden is light", as He has done it all for us both justification and our sanctification by HIS faith alone. In some Christians, unfortunately, this work of faith is small, but in many others it may be extremely considerable.


And that's what drives the Calivinsists to conclusion that the text does not mean what it seems to be mean since that contradicts the conclusions of their philosophical theories about the meaning and implications of God's Sovereignty and Election.

I think we will find some clarity if we try to answer "Why faith?" or "What's faith go to do with it?" You see, the Calvinist system has turned "faith" into something like a mysterious substance that is transmitted by God to a soul that effects "salvation." It has lost all of its original meaning - it no longer means that I trust, or that I believe. None of that matters in Calvinism because if I do the trusting or believing, they call it a "work." Thus they have sucked out all the true meaning of the word, and "faith" becomes a blank metaphysicial label with no real content in their theology. The living connection between my soul and my Creator, which the Bible calls faith is severed by their severe doctrine.

I'm sorry Richard but I've been Reformed for near 30 years and I just don't see and never have seen all of this "severity" that you do in your ad hominem tirades against them. Even though I now agree with you about the doctrine of Decrees, what I've seen mostly in my Calvinist brothers (with a few exceptions), all of these years, is grace, grace, grace.

Please accept this as a brotherly criticism but it seems to me that you are becoming more and more guilty of what the logicians call the fallacy of historical ad hominems. This is when someone finds fault in any part of a body or system, in your case Reformed thought, he goes all the way and rejects it all. In other words, he throws the baby out with the bathwater.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
11-29-2007, 04:30 PM
Hello Denny,

Let me begin by thanking your for your "brotherly criticism." It is very valuable, and I am thankful that you are here to minster to me in this capacity. We are all weak in our earthly walk, so your assistence is greatly appreciated.


Richard, I still think we can come to some conclusions here. I agree that there is no hint of meritorious work in that statement.

My point was that there was no hint of work at all, because the Biblical defition of "work" is the opposite of "faith." We are saved by faith, not by works.


However I will ask again; How would it be possible to truly believe in God's gift to us in His Son and not respond at least in some way in our own person?

Why would we want to assert that we do not "respond at least in some way in our own person?" Faith is the required response. So of course we respond! If we don't resond, we would not be saved.


If our mother is alive we at least call her on the phone once in a while or send her flowers on her birthday, do we not? Now it must be said we know that sending her flowers is not the cause of our birth but proof that we believe that she is our mother. In this way, sending flowers is a "work" of love and "faith" on our part.

I don't see how that connects in any way at all with the bibilcal meaning of faith. Send mom flowers is not "trusting in mom" - it is not "having a relation based on faith with mom."


I love the translation you used. Did you notice in Gal, 2:16 the little word "of", as in, "but by the faith OF Jesus Christ"? Not our faith IN Jesus but by the faith OF Jesus. NOT ours but HIS

Yes, I was familiar with that issue, but it does not directly impact the point. There are lots of other passages that contrast works and faith that don't have that gentive case with its disputed meaning.


The "Calvinists" have divided the work of Christ into two parts, His active and passive obedience. The passive obedience being His death on the cross for our sins and the active obedience being His perfect work of faith for us for His entire life. This means that it is not our faith that saves us but His perfect faith which is imputed (credited) to us as righteousness.

This also means that Christ has purchased a perfect sanctifying faith for us by His active obedience (work) on our behalf.

I don't mean to be trite or irreverent but our faith is merely "the sending of flowers in gratitude". This is why I believe the reason for the words of Jesus, "My burden is light", as He has done it all for us both justification and our sanctification by HIS faith alone. In some Christians, unfortunately, this work of faith is small, but in many others it may be extremely considerable.

I'm not sure if that's how Calvinist teach this doctrine. A guick google search returns only about 272 pages that use the phrase "imputed faith." This compares with over 64,000 pages that contain the phrase "imputed righteousness." If you want to explain to me the docrine of Imputed Faith, that's fine, I would be happy to discuss it. But I certainly can not accept it without explaination.



And that's what drives the Calivinsists to conclusion that the text does not mean what it seems to be mean since that contradicts the conclusions of their philosophical theories about the meaning and implications of God's Sovereignty and Election.

I think we will find some clarity if we try to answer "Why faith?" or "What's faith go to do with it?" You see, the Calvinist system has turned "faith" into something like a mysterious substance that is transmitted by God to a soul that effects "salvation." It has lost all of its original meaning - it no longer means that I trust, or that I believe. None of that matters in Calvinism because if I do the trusting or believing, they call it a "work." Thus they have sucked out all the true meaning of the word, and "faith" becomes a blank metaphysicial label with no real content in their theology. The living connection between my soul and my Creator, which the Bible calls faith is severed by their severe doctrine.
I'm sorry Richard but I've been Reformed for near 30 years and I just don't see and never have seen all of this "severity" that you do in your ad hominem tirades against them. Even though I now agree with you about the doctrine of Decrees, what I've seen mostly in my Calvinist brothers (with a few exceptions), all of these years, is grace, grace, grace.

I'm sorry it came across as "ad hominem." I really don't want to ruin our conversation with something foolish like that, so please believe me when I tell you it was an accident. I was only trying to state things clearly. And I really don't even know what it is that you see as "ad hominem" since I thought I was talking about ideas and there validity. Did I say something against any person who holds the doctrines I am testing? When I said that "they have sucked out the true meaning of the word" I meant exactly what I said. I didn't say they did it on purpose, and I didn't say they did it for bad motives. I was perfectly clear that it was a consequence of their effot to fit everything together with their understanding of Sovereignty and Election. Where's my crime in that?

Its fine if you disagree with my conclusions, but why do you have to act like I'm trying to offend people? I give reasons for what I believe. I'm not making "Calvinists" out to be the bad guys.


Please accept this as a brotherly criticism but it seems to me that you are becoming more and more guilty of what the logicians call the fallacy of historical ad hominems. This is when someone finds fault in any part of a body or system, in your case Reformed thought, he goes all the way and rejects it all. In other words, he throws the baby out with the bathwater.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
I accept your criticism, my brother! And I thank you for it. Indeed, I even learned something. I didn't know that the "baby with the bathwater" error had a cool name like "historical ad hominem."

But more to the point. I apparently have failed miserably to communicate my heart, thoughts, and beliefs to you. I do not reject "everything about the Reformation!" Indeed, I hold to the Five Solas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_solas)! Sola Scritpura, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Christa, and Sola Deo Gloria!

I just have some problems with some logical propositions that are not directly based on Scripture and that do not make sense to me yet. So I am trying to understand, and its your mission, if you choose to accept it, to help me do just that! I assure it, its not "Mission Impossible!"

Oh, one last thing .... do you understand what I meant when I said that faith was emptied of its meaing if it is not really the faith of the person who is exercising it?

Richard

Denny
11-29-2007, 06:57 PM
Richard said:
I'm not sure if that's how Calvinist teach this doctrine. A guick google search returns only about 272 pages that use the phrase "imputed faith." This compares with over 64,000 pages that contain the phrase "imputed righteousness." If you want to explain to me the docrine of Imputed Faith, that's fine, I would be happy to discuss it. But I certainly can not accept it without explaination

Richard, there is no "doctrine of imputed faith". You have found 64,000 pages about imputed righteousness because the perfect faith of Jesus is included in His righteousness as well as all the rest of His obedience. Our God imputes righteousness to us through the mediation of His Son. He looks at us as if we had a perfect faith. I simply can't see why this is hard to understand.


Why would we want to assert that we do not "respond at least in some way in our own person?" Faith is the required response. So of course we respond! If we don't resond, we would not be saved.

Therefore, our faith is a non-meritorious work!

I see that we are now at an impasse and I don't think it would be fruitful to continue beating our dead horse.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
11-29-2007, 07:39 PM
Richard, there is no "doctrine of imputed faith". You have found 64,000 pages about imputed righteousness because the perfect faith of Jesus is included in His righteousness as well as all the rest of His obedience. Our God imputes righteousness to us through the mediation of His Son. He looks at us as if we had a perfect faith. I simply can't see why this is hard to understand.
Come Denny, you have no reason to be getting exasperated with me. We have never even discussed the issue of faith being imputed along with righteousness.

The thing I don't understand is why you think your interpretation is "obvious." Everyone agrees that our faith is imputed as righteousness! Everyone! Arminian and Calvinist alike. That is the foundation of the Gospel preached in Gen 15:6 when Abram "believed in the Lord and it was reckoned as righteousness." But the idea of our "imperfect faith" being "reckoned as perfect faith" is not a common teaching by any means. Indeed, I've been studying the Bible for over two decades and I have never encounted that particular phrase. So you really should not be actingly like I'm some sort of heathen just because I'm asking some questions. Ok my friend? My brother?




Why would we want to assert that we do not "respond at least in some way in our own person?" Faith is the required response. So of course we respond! If we don't resond, we would not be saved.
Therefore, our faith is a non-meritorious work!

I see that we are now at an impasse and I don't think it would be fruitful to continue beating our dead horse.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
I don't think we are at an impasse. I think its perfectly clear that the Holy Bible distinguishes between faith and works. This is why I can not accept your definition that faith is a work. It seems to me to be a direct contradiction of what is plainly stated in Scripture.

The problem I have with your last comment is that you simply declare "Therefore, our faith is a non-meritorious work!" without connecting the "therefore" to any previous argument. If you want to prove that faith is a work, then you need to explain why the Bible distinguishes so clearly between faith and works. Can you understand why that might seem significant to me?

Perhaps it would be a good idea to find one or two classic explanations accepted by all Calvinsists, and I will test them in light of Scripture.

Richard

Denny
11-30-2007, 05:32 AM
Richard said:
I don't think we are at an impasse. I think its perfectly clear that the Holy Bible distinguishes between faith and works. This is why I can not accept your definition that faith is a work. It seems to me to be a direct contradiction of what is plainly stated in Scripture.


The problem I have with your last comment is that you simply declare "Therefore, our faith is a non-meritorious work!" without connecting the "therefore" to any previous argument. If you want to prove that faith is a work, then you need to explain why the Bible distinguishes so clearly between faith and works. Can you understand why that might seem significant to me?

Maybe the problem of communication we are having is in the definition of the word "work". I believe the Scripture distinguishes between two different types of work. (1) The evil work that men do to attempt to justify and deify themselves, or works righteousness and (2) the loving work of faith that believers do, to the limited extent of our free will and in response to His grace, knowing that they are already justified by Jesus alone. Even Adam had work to do in the Garden of naming the animals before the fall. It was a good job. In other words our work of faith (2), although it remains imperfect in this world is covered by the umbrella of His righteousness.

IMO, when the Scripture contrasts faith and the works of the law, it is always speaking of the type of work in (1).

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Trumpet
12-01-2007, 04:19 AM
Hi Denny,


Maybe the problem of communication we are having is in the definition of the word "work". I believe the Scripture distinguishes between two different types of work. (1) The evil work that men do to attempt to justify and deify themselves, or works righteousness and (2) the loving work of faith that believers do, to the limited extent of our free will and in response to His grace, knowing that they are already justified by Jesus alone. Even Adam had work to do in the Garden of naming the animals before the fall. It was a good job. In other words our work of faith (2), although it remains imperfect in this world is covered by the umbrella of His righteousness.

Looks like this comes down to the meaning of that one little word in red. You take it to mean "that is', and I take it to mean "that comes from".

Don

Denny
12-01-2007, 08:30 AM
Hi Denny,

Looks like this comes down to the meaning of that one little word in red. You take it to mean "that is', and I take it to mean "that comes from".

Don

Don, I'm sorry but for you to take every single thing I have said and reduce it to the semantics of a single word, is absurd. If our work comes from faith as you rightfully say then why do you insist that God loves you because you "choose" Him rather than the fact that He chose you first, in His election?

The fact remains that for you to assert, as you have, that the Lord loves you because of your "free will" choice of Him, outside and regardless of its cause in the gift of His Spirit and grace to you, is works religion in its worst and most deceptive form.

Is it any wonder that people have so much trouble with:


Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; [Phi. 2:12]

In its immediate context and indeed the context of the entire Scripture, this verse means and signifies a warning to any and all who would take the meritorious work of Jesus in vain. The work that Paul is speaking OF, is our non-meritorious work OF faith. Faith is work and our work is faith. I have already shown the Biblical separation between our work OF faith and the self-justifying work of unbelievers.

This has become an impasse and merry-go-round of dispute and I am refusing further participation with those that refuse to even read my posts.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Trumpet
12-01-2007, 09:32 AM
HI Denny,

Sorry that you don't understand what I said. I think you missed the whole thing. Your reply shows me that you don't see what I'm getting at. That's O.K. though. The answer to this free will stuff doesn't affect whether we DO or DO NOT have salvation. That's still firmly set in God's hands.

Don

Richard Amiel McGough
12-01-2007, 10:24 AM
Maybe the problem of communication we are having is in the definition of the word "work". I believe the Scripture distinguishes between two different types of work. (1) The evil work that men do to attempt to justify and deify themselves, or works righteousness and (2) the loving work of faith that believers do, to the limited extent of our free will and in response to His grace, knowing that they are already justified by Jesus alone. Even Adam had work to do in the Garden of naming the animals before the fall. It was a good job. In other words our work of faith (2), although it remains imperfect in this world is covered by the umbrella of His righteousness.

IMO, when the Scripture contrasts faith and the works of the law, it is always speaking of the type of work in (1).

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
Hey there Denny,

I can see what you are getting at, but I can not think of any examples where "the Scripture distinguishes between two different types of work." When I read Scripture, I see that it distinguishes between works and faith. I am not familiar with a single verse that distinguishes between "meritorious" and "non-meritorious" works. Indeed, the words "merit" or "meritorious" do not appear anywhere in the KJV or NIV, though I finally did find "merit" once in the NASB an variant translation of "righteousness." My point is that the whole philosophy of "meritorious" versus "non-meritorious" works seems foreign to the Bible.

Is this not the meaning of Rom 9:30-33?

Romans 9:30-33 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. 31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; 33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
The biblical contrast is always between faith and works, is it not? The works themselves are never "meritorious" are they? Wherefore? Because if they are done without faith, they are nothing but dead works of the law.

I pray you find this discussion fruitful in your study of God's Word. It certainly is bearing good fruit in the garden of my understanding. Remember the value of patience in this endeavor. We have only planted the seeds of ideas, we do not yet know how God will make them grow under the perfect light and pure water of His Holy Word.

Richard

Trumpet
12-01-2007, 10:38 AM
Hi Denny,

I've got to clarify, that I never asserted that God loves me because of my choice. Where did that come from?

You brought in Phil. 2:12. I don't see the connection. Here's what 2:12 means to me in my own words. This is not something that I'm trying to convince you of, or create a dogma on, it's my way of showing you what I believe.

In Chapter 2 Paul explains not to do anything through strife or for your own selves.(vainglory). You should consider others better than yourself. Be humble. Allow the mind of Christ be in you, which can only come from the Spirit within you after salvation, realizing that God has ordered everything in your life, and you should be obedient to perform what God has for you, and you shouldn't mumble and complain about things that God has allowed to happen to you, because you should know that God IS working all these things out for good,(not necessarily mine), like it says in Romans 8:28.

In vs 2:12, Paul goes on to say that you need to be like this (what was mentioned before), and obedient to this, and that this is essentially the working out of your salvation. And it needs to be done with fear and trembling, because God and His plan is something to be taken VERY seriously; it's not something to be taken lightly. Do these things in your life without complaint, so that in front of a crooked and perverse world you will be looked upon and held blameless and harmless, and in the end God will get the Glory, because you only did what you were told, not what you wanted to do for yourself.

I believe that in the case of our salvation and our whole life, God knows everything that has and will happen to us. He knew it before time was instituted. He knew that I would have His salvation, and He knew what I would do in my life, and set forth the plan to make it all work out for His Glory. But He also knew that I may not follow that plan, and that's why we need to realize this with fear and trembling, that we could shipwreck the whole process of our individual part in the whole plan. Yet at the same time, God positively knows the outcome. It's something that only the Almighty can do; know the outcome, prepare the way, and still allow the participation of those involved.

joel
12-01-2007, 11:13 AM
We are all in agreement that we cannot bring forth anything of merit to be seen by God as being in good standing with Him. That was Cain's error. His works were of no account, as ours are not either. In that respect, it is all Jesus' work that matters.

What I hear Denny saying (unless of course I have misunderstood) is that he is making a distinction to those "works" that follow our justification. These works are attributable to God as well.

The vanity of human effort in the first case (as pertains to our standing before God, being justified in the blood of Christ), is true in the second case as well (as we continue on in faith).

Faith, and obedience, are to be linked together. It is "my" faith? None of us can take credit for that.

Is it "my" obedience that must follow? This is a particularly interesting matter. To obey means first to listen and harken to what is said.

This initial part of my obedience is my part in the process. I am to listen to what is being said. If I do not listen, and receive the words, I am being disobedient before I actually "act".

If we continue the Philippian chapter, we see that it is God, in us, who is both "willing" and supplies the energy to accomplish the good works that He has created, so that I may "walk" in them.(Eph. 2:10)

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
12-01-2007, 12:21 PM
We are all in agreement that we cannot bring forth anything of merit to be seen by God as being in good standing with Him. That was Cain's error. His works were of no account, as ours are not either. In that respect, it is all Jesus' work that matters.

I don't understand your point about Cain's error. Both Cain and Abel did a "work" of offering. Cain's work was not accepted. Abel's work was accepted. Why? Becuase Abel did his work "in faith" as it is written:
Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
The distinction is always between justifying faith vs. dead works. It has nothing to do with the "merit" of the works per se.

The first explicit statement of the Gospel of righteousness through faith is in Gen 15:6 when Abram "believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." But Hebrews reveals that even Abel was justified by faith. That is an amazing thing. The Gospel goes back to the very root of creation.

But why do we argue about "whose faith" it is that justifies? Does not the word itself imply that it is the faith of the person believing? If not, has not our language lost all meaning? Why would the Bible talk about me believing something if its not really me who is doing the believing? It seems like we have philosophized the faith into a meaningless metaphsycial mishmash where the words don't mean what they normally mean. When I say "I trust in Christ" I'm stating that it is I who is trusting in Christ. But if I followed this conversation correctly, it looks like I am supposed to be saying that it is Christ who is doing all the believing, so I do not need to believe anything! And this seems to be a complete confusion of the most basic and elementary teaching of the Gospel. Is this the blessing little children receive? :confused2:

Let me state it simply. The Bible says ABRAHAM BELIEVED in God, and it was HIS FAITH that was counted as righteousness. Should we not believe the plain, ordinary, literal, obvious, and normal meaning of the words in that passage?

Richard

joel
12-01-2007, 12:49 PM
I don't understand your point about Cain's error. Both Cain and Abel did a "work" of offering. Cain's work was not accepted. Abel's work was accepted. Why? Becuase Abel did his work "in faith" as it is written:

The fruit of the ground was cursed. The ground was cursed.

Abel's offering was a "life". Abel's offering recognized that God is the source of life.

Cain's offering was his "work". Man was charged with workiing the soil to bring forth the harvest by the sweat of his brow.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
12-01-2007, 01:09 PM
The fruit of the ground was cursed. The ground was cursed.

Abel's offering was a "life". Abel's offering recognized that God is the source of life.

Cain's offering was his "work". Man was charged with workiing the soil to bring forth the harvest by the sweat of his brow.

Joel
I agree that there is additional symbolism in the offerings. But grain offerings were later a significant part of the law, so they are not bad in and of themselves. The Bible does not say that God accepted Abel's offering and rejected Cain's on the basis of the offering itself, but on the basis of the faith with which it was offered. There is no indication that God would have rejected Cain's offering if he had offered it in faith as did his brother.

Richard

joel
12-01-2007, 02:40 PM
Richard, are you saying that it didn't matter what was offered?

Wasn't Abel's sacrifice in view of what God was going to do in Christ? And, that is the reason it was recognized as done in faith? Isn't faith a recognition of God's work, in Christ? Isn't that really what our faith is?

Our "work", then, is to bring a sacrifice that is reflective of His sacrifice. Romans 12:1 says that we are to bring our bodies as alive from the dead which is our reasonable service of worship.

Isn't that what Denny is saying?

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
12-01-2007, 03:17 PM
Richard, are you saying that it didn't matter what was offered?

Yes, in as much that God's acceptance was based exclusively on faith, not the works of either the animal or vegetable offerings, since either is acceptable to God in and of themselves, as taught in the law.

But God used that incident to prophetically anticipate the Gospel by having the faithful offering associated with the sacrifice Christ, and the faithless offering associated with the works of our hands.


Wasn't Abel's sacrifice in view of what God was going to do in Christ? And, that is the reason it was recognized as done in faith?

Now that's an interesting question. Did Abel act in accordence with explicit knowledge of the future sacrifice of Christ? It's not impossible, but the Bible certainly doesn't tell us that.

But I don't see that as "the reason it was recognized as done in faith." As far as I can tell, the reason it was recongnized as done in faith is because it really was done in faith, meaning it was done with a right faithful believing relationship with God.



Isn't faith a recognition of God's work, in Christ? Isn't that really what our faith is?

Sure, faith involves a recognition of God's work in Christ. But that's not the definition of faith. Faith means trusting, believing, relying on. Obviously, faith in God involves the work of Christ because of what God has done in Christ, but the idea of faith itself is not defined by its content. Folks can have faith in the devil, in their money, in themselves. The word FAITH refers to a fundamental faculty of the soul that can be directed towards its proper object (God in Christ) or towards perversions such as self, money, etc..



Our "work", then, is to bring a sacrifice that is reflective of His sacrifice. Romans 12:1 says that we are to bring our bodies as alive from the dead which is our reasonable service of worship.

Isn't that what Denny is saying?

Joel
I agree that we should faithfully do the work commanded in Rev 12.

But I don't know how that relates to what Denny is saying. I thought he was saying something about our faith not really being our faith but Christ's faith, and I got confused.

Richard

Denny
12-01-2007, 04:49 PM
I agree that there is additional symbolism in the offerings. But grain offerings were later a significant part of the law, so they are not bad in and of themselves. The Bible does not say that God accepted Abel's offering and rejected Cain's on the basis of the offering itself, but on the basis of the faith with which it was offered. There is no indication that God would have rejected Cain's offering if he had offered it in faith as did his brother.

Richard

Richard, our salvation is trinitarian. Grace alone (the Father), by Christ's righteousness alone. (the Son), given as a gift of faith by the Spirit alone. Cain did not offer his grain in faith because he was making his offering in faith to a god that doesn't exist. Cain knew that he was offering his own self-justification. He was offering to a god that winks at sin and a god that Cain believed he could find favor, and yet a pagan god who can be impressed by the self-justifying works of sinners. You should not only agree that there is additional symbolism but that the "additional symbolism" is the Gospel itself.

I think it was Luther that said; "Our faith is but the empty cup in which we offer to God the righteous alone, of His own human Son". Amen to this and everything we do by our works of faith should reflect upon our "empty cup". This is what Abel did with his offering and Cain did not.

Finally, it seems clear to me that you have been insisting that we as Christians do not and cannot perform a myriad of works from our own minds by our sanctified faith and with our own limited free will, even though imperfect, to the glory and service of our justifying God. If it is true that this is what you believe, then, it is the very same crushing sovereignty in which you accuse and rage against the Calvinists. Your "fuzzy" (your own word in a previous post) theology confuses God's sovereignty and our own limited free will and it is, in my opinion extremely, dangerous.

Why do you insist that there is no such thing as works of faith?

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
12-01-2007, 05:39 PM
Richard, our salvation is trinitarian. Grace alone (the Father), by Christ's righteousness alone. (the Son), given as a gift of faith by the Spirit alone. Cain did not offer his grain in faith because he was making his offering in faith to a god that doesn't exist. Cain knew that he was offering his own self-justification. He was offering to a god that winks at sin and a god that Cain believed he could find favor, and yet a pagan god who can be impressed by the self-justifying works of sinners. You should not only agree that there is additional symbolism but that the "additional symbolism" is the Gospel itself.
I agree that the additional symbolism preaches an aspect of the Gospel, namely the atonement of the bloody sacrifice of Jesus Christ. But there was also another aspect of the Gospel being taught, namely, righteousness through faith. We find both of these aspects of the Gospel being taught independently and together in other Scriptures. For example, the justification of Abram in Gen 15:6 when he believed God makes no mention of sacrifice, and the great prophecy of Christ's sacrifice in Genesis 22 makes no mentino of faith. Yet as Christians we now understand the whole Gospel involves righteousness through faith in the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ.


I think it was Luther that said; "Our faith is but the empty cup in which we offer to God the righteous alone, of His own human Son". Amen to this and everything we do by our works of faith should reflect upon our "empty cup". This is what Abel did with his offering and Cain did not.

Finally, it seems clear to me that you have been insisting that we as Christians do not and cannot perform a myriad of works from our own minds by our sanctified faith and with our own limited free will, even though imperfect, to the glory and service of our justifying God.

This mystifies me. When have I ever said that our faith has no outworking manifestation in good works? On the contrary, I thought it was common knowledge amongst all Christians that good works are the fruit of our faith. Indeed, it is impossible for good works not to flow from genuine faith, for if we really believe and trust in God, our actions will show it.


If it is true that this is what you believe, then, it is the very same crushing sovereignty in which you accuse and rage against the Calvinists.

Come sit and talk with me Denny. I am not raging. Sure, my language may be a little strong sometimes, but then sometimes you read into it things that I never meant. So our only hope is to think the best of each other, and to patiently wait for the fruit of our faithful conversation to ripen. My mind is open to hear everything you say. But it will take time for us to understand each other.


Your "fuzzy" (your own word in a previous post) theology confuses God's sovereignty and our own limited free will and it is, in my opinion extremely, dangerous.
Yes, I used the word "fuzzy" for certain aspects of my understanding, and I think it is a very accurate term! Whether that fuzziness is due to a weakness in my theology, or its strength, is still to be determined. It is not a good thing to clearly declare something if God has left if fuzzy.


Why do you insist that there is no such thing as works of faith?

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
I'm really glad you brought that up! I do not say there is no such thing as a "work of faith." All I'm saying is that that phrase does not redefine faith to be a work. As noted above, good works issue from faith like good fruit from a healthy tree. But the works are still works, and the faith is still faith. It makes no sense to confuse the words by saying that faith is a work. That would make all the verses distinguishing faith and works meaningless.



Finally, let me ask, whose faith was counted for righteousness in Romans 4:5? Abraham's, or Christ's?
Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.Richard

Denny
12-02-2007, 05:11 AM
I'm really glad you brought that up! I do not say there is no such thing as a "work of faith." All I'm saying is that that phrase does redefine faith to be a work. As noted above, good works issue from faith like good fruit from a healthy tree. But the works are still works, and the faith is still faith. It makes no sense to confuse the words by saying that faith is a work. That would make all the verses distinguishing faith and works meaningless.

Finally, let me ask, whose faith was counted for righteousness in Romans 4:5? Abraham's, or Christ's?
Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Richard, our faith does not just mysteriously arrive and stand alone without content. Our faith is in the righteousness of Christ for our justification. Abraham received an imputed (counted or credited) righteousness not because of his faith but because of Who his faith was in. So, to rephrase your question would be to say, "Whose faith in Christ (God's Messiah) was counted for righteousness in Romans 4:5. Then, the answer is, Abraham. We are not saved by our faith alone but by Who our faith alone is in.

Wiccans have "faith" and so do cannibals, and they both believe that "good" issues from their faith.


It makes no sense to confuse the words by saying that faith is a work. That would make all the verses distinguishing faith and works meaningless.

It is you that has made the verses distinquishing faith and works meaningless by insisting that our faith stands alone without its content of belief in the righteousness of Christ for our justification. You have confused faith and works by not not distinguishing the work of God for us (Christ) with the works of God in us (The Spirit).

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
12-02-2007, 12:10 PM
Richard, our faith does not just mysteriously arrive and stand alone without content. Our faith is in the righteousness of Christ for our justification. Abraham received an imputed (counted or credited) righteousness not because of his faith but because of Who his faith was in. So, to rephrase your question would be to say, "Whose faith in Christ (God's Messiah) was counted for righteousness in Romans 4:5. Then, the answer is, Abraham. We are not saved by our faith alone but by Who our faith alone is in.

Wiccans have "faith" and so do cannibals, and they both believe that "good" issues from their faith.

Excellent. That's all I wanted to establish. Abraham was saved by his own personal faith in God (through Christ)! :thumb:



As for the explicit content of his faith - that is a bit of a mystery. On the one hand, we know that Abraham believed in the Gospel, because Jesus said that Abraham "rejoiced" to see His day (John 8:56) and Paul says it was preached to him:
Galatians 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed."But does this mean that the actual content of Abraham's faith could accurately and honestly be described as "faith in Christ (God's Messiah)?" Sure, in as much as Christ always has been "the LORD" then it is true that Abraham implicitly believed in Him when he "believed in the LORD." But what about explicitly? What would he have said if you had asked him? He had not yet received the revelation that "God would provide Himself a lamb" of Gen 22, and even then we still don't know how much of the explicit Gospel was imparted to him at that time. So immediately after Gen 15:6, what would Abraham have been able to tell you about "his faith" in God? I don't know the answer to that, and its probably not important for the current discussion anyway.



It makes no sense to confuse the words by saying that faith is a work. That would make all the verses distinguishing faith and works meaningless.
It is you that has made the verses distinquishing faith and works meaningless by insisting that our faith stands alone without its content of belief in the righteousness of Christ for our justification. You have confused faith and works by not not distinguishing the work of God for us (Christ) with the works of God in us (The Spirit).

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
I have never suggested, let alone insisted, that "our faith stands alone without its content of belief in the righteousness of Christ for our justification." But even if I had, it would not have rendered the distinction between faith and works meaningless.

You say that I have "confused faith and works by not not distinguishing the work of God for us (Christ) with the works of God in us (The Spirit)."


How is that a confusion of faith and works? Let's not forget the obvious literal ordinary everyday meaning of the word faith that every child of Gospel must understand. Faith means to trust in, to believe in, to rely upon. The Gospel tells us that we must have faith in, trust in, believe in and rely upon God through Christ for salvation. That is the Gospel and it makes perfect sense if we use the ordinary everyday meanings of those words. And we can read the entire Book of Romans using those standard meanings and it will make perfect sense. Indeed, Paul flat out delares that faith is not a work Romans 4:
Romans 4:3-5 3 For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. 5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, See that? Believes on = does not work!

So where is my error? What am I misunderstanding?

I am doing my best to understand your criticism Denny. You say that I am "not not distinguishing the work of God for us (Christ) with the works of God in us (The Spirit)." Do you mean that the work of God for us corresponds to our faith, and the work of God in us corresponds to our works? I am sorry, but I must be dense. I will need a little more explanation on this point.

Let's see if we can talk about this doctrine in first century language of the Bible. The Reformation philosophy is impenetrable to me. You can teach it to me later if need be, but if we cannot discuss the Gospel using biblical terminolgy and metaphors from Christ and the Apostles straight from the Bible, then I fear we may be missing its fundamental truth.

Your friend and fellow-labourer in God's Kingdom,

Richard

Denny
12-02-2007, 04:42 PM
I have never suggested, let alone insisted, that "our faith stands alone without its content of belief in the righteousness of Christ for our justification." But even if I had, it would not have rendered the distinction between faith and works meaningless.

It would indeed, because the very second you say "I am saved by MY faith alone" you make your own faith the cause of your justification, i.e. works righteousness. People then begin to believe in an upside down Gospel and say such arrogant and unbiblical things as, "God loves me because I chose Him" rather than the Scriptural opposite, "I love God only because He chose (elected) me without regard to any works in me. You have then fused or failed to distinguish between His finished perfect work for your sins and your faith.


Faith means to trust in, to believe in, to rely upon.

Trust, believe, rely upon WHAT or WHO?


'Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ [Matt. 7:21-23]

Richard, who are these many people that claim to confess Jesus but then tell Him He owes them for their "good" works? Is it possible that some of them are the ones that say, "Jesus, you are indebted to me because by the sovereign power of my own faith and free will I have chosen You?

Yep, the Arminians have reached clear into the heavens and impressed God with their own proud free will that cannot even change one hair, black nor white.


You say that I have "confused faith and works by not not distinguishing the work of God for us (Christ) with the works of God in us (The Spirit)."

Yes, that is exactly what I said, only now I'm tempted to say "hopelessly confused" and for the above reasons.

Methinks, enough is enough as we are going absolutely nowhere.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Trumpet
12-02-2007, 07:25 PM
Hi Denny,

Boy, you've got me confused too! I don't understand your terminology. It reminds me of when I would talk to Mormons. They used the same words, but with different meanings, and I would spend so much time trying to figure out what they meant, nothing ever got accomplished. Your explanations don't seem to be purely biblical, but it seems to come from a war that you are engaged in between Reformation theology and Armenialism, neither of which I have studied or want to understand. The Word of God is good enough explanation for me. Thanks for trying though.

Don

Denny
12-03-2007, 06:05 AM
Don said:
Boy, you've got me confused too! I don't understand your terminology. It reminds me of when I would talk to Mormons.

Please repond if I've got this wrong. Your ignorance of terminology that has been in the Church for hundreds of years makes me just like a Mormon?


Your explanations don't seem to be purely biblical, but it seems to come from a war that you are engaged in between Reformation theology and Armenialism, neither of which I have studied or want to understand.

I'm certainly glad and it makes me feel better that there is a resident psychiatric priest on board here.


Reformation theology and Armenialism, neither of which I have studied or want to understand

Please, it is not necessary for you to tell me that you know nothing of Reformed theology. Why not go down to a bookstore and see if you can find a copy of Foxes Book of Arminian Martyrs.

George Santayana was correct when he said that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. And all of this coming from a person who is a Jacobus Arminius toady, and doesn't even know that he is.

ta-ta

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Trumpet
12-03-2007, 09:13 AM
May God bless you. Don

Richard Amiel McGough
12-03-2007, 08:17 PM
Given my difficulty with the philosophical language of Calvinism, I thought I would give us all a break for a moment and post some things that others have written in hopes of getting closer to understanding. I begin with a very relevent Scripture:


John 6:28-29 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. And here is a snippet from a short essay (http://cqod.gospelcom.net/cqodb005.htm) I found that explains one saint's view of how faith is a work of God in the human heart (taken from his essay on Luther's Prreface to Romans):



Précis:
"Preface to the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans" summarizes Martin Luther's views on the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans, while affording more than a little insight into Luther's own ideas and feelings. It is a foundational document of the Reformation, in that it gives a clear account of salvation by grace through faith, the formula that is the cornerstone of Reformed theology. In a remarkably brief essay, Luther addresses, at a high but satisfying level, every major topic raised in Romans.

More:
Halfway through Martin Luther's opening comments in his "Preface to the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans," he makes the statement, "Faith is a work of God in us, which changes us and brings us to birth anew from God." Then he writes, "Faith is a living, unshakeable confidence in God's grace." These two statements, had I encountered them forty years ago, might have changed the direction of my life entirely. Even today, they need to be stamped on my forehead and whispered in my ears a hundred times a day.

I will not try to second-guess God, or underestimate the extent of my rebellion against Him during those developmental and intervening years, but I recall believing that there was a standard that I had to achieve before I could be saved, and that faith was something that I conjured up within myself. This sort of legalism closed my mind and heart for decades.

When, at last, faith came into my life, I was no longer looking for it, did not really want it, did not believe that it solved anything. Now, of course, I know that I was always looking for it without understanding what it was, and I am seeking more of it. It has solved the problems that I believed were beyond solution.


I will continue to research the traditional Reformed view of "faith as a work" in the hopes that this will relieve some of the pressure Brother Denny feels because of my failure to understand his points.

Everyone is encouraged to add their own brief insights and links to articles to help us all understand this issue. The emphasis is on brevity and clarity so we can find true understanding.

Richard

Denny
12-04-2007, 06:07 AM
Brother Richard said:
I will continue to research the traditional Reformed view of "faith as a work" in the hopes that this will relieve some of the pressure Brother Denny feels because of my failure to understand his points.

Thank you so much for your remarks of reconciliation! I kid you not that it took every ounce of my strength to just come to this website once more. This is after my severe rebuke to one who implied that the Reformed were a cult on par with the Mormons and then decided to "analize" my motivations.


I will continue to research the traditional Reformed view

This really all I ask even though I know I often come across as "opinionated". Indeed I am.

Martin luther also said somewhere:

Cursed is the love and cursed be the unity, that takes the word of God to the stake.

Of course he meant these words for the RCC, but they still have application for us today and I believe even more so.

Here I would also like to add one of my favorite quotations from IMO, one of the greatest Reformed Baptist Pastors that ever lived:


"... and I will go as far as Martin Luther, in that strong assertion of his, where he says, 'If any man doth ascribe of salvation, even the very least, to the free will of man, he knoweth nothing of grace, and he hath not learnt Jesus Christ aright.' It may seem a harsh sentiment; but he who in his soul believes that man does of his own free will turn to God, cannot have been taught of God, for that is one of the first principles taught us when God begins with us, that we have neither will nor power, but that He gives both; that He is 'Alpha and Omega' in the salvation of men." (Charles H. Spurgeon from the sermon 'Free Will A Slave' (1855)

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

joel
12-04-2007, 06:37 AM
Denny and Richard;

Bravo!

Peace is a bond that when maintained keeps us together as we strive, spiritually, to grasp His meaning. You are to be both commended for this.

Joel

Trumpet
12-04-2007, 08:56 AM
Hi Denny,

I'm sorry if you misunderstood me. I never meant to say that Reformists were on a par with Mormons. Mormons are not real Christians. What I meant was that the definitions of the words you use in your terminology, coming from a Reformed perspective, is as foreign to me as the definitions of the words of Mormons are to me. Same words, different meanings. Although you have been immersed probably for many years in Reformed theology, and it's terms and definitions are commonplace to you, I've never been on that side of the street, and I may not take the meaning of your statements exactly the way you mean them.

Again, I apologize! Denny, you don't have a need to get upset on this forum. It's a very friendly place, and I've seen since I've been here, that everyone (almost), realizes that ideas can be thrown out and can be chewed upon without having accusing fingers being pointed. The world won't end, nor will anyone be tried and convicted here. The most we can hope for is that the truth be found.

God Bless, Don

Denny
12-04-2007, 10:33 AM
Don said:
I'm sorry if you misunderstood me. I never meant to say that Reformists were on a par with Mormons. Mormons are not real Christians. What I meant was that the definitions of the words you use in your terminology, coming from a Reformed perspective, is as foreign to me as the definitions of the words of Mormons are to me.

Apology accepted!!! What I will encourage you to do is to learn these words and terminology that the Church has been using since the Grace in the gift of Scripture Alone.


The most we can hope for is that the truth be found.

Amen, and praise the Lord.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Denny
12-06-2007, 07:32 AM
Don,

Do you really believe that salvation is by Grace alone (Sola Gratia)?

http://www.the-highway.com/grace_Pilgrim.html

The Last Lie

What’s wrong with us
Is indeed depressing
What’s right with Him
Is what needs confessing

Like the men on death row
Who look in the mirrors
At the life in their eyes
And the fear in their tears

What deception is thought
In the sure snare of men
In the judgment of God
Of death from our sins

Just watch those men wander
And hunt in their pens
For the gold of fools
Of true goodness within

The heresy is there
For all men to find
The corrupted evil
In self-justified minds

True freedom and light
Escapes all our thoughts
When we believe mercy
Is so selfishly bought

The fantastic lie
Within the swine’s swill
Is that sinners buy God
With their own free will

Then off to the gallows
Walk proud men tall
When the Faith of the Christ
Means nothing at all

Denny 12/6/07

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
12-06-2007, 12:04 PM
Don,

Do you really believe that salvation is by Grace alone (Sola Gratia)?

http://www.the-highway.com/grace_Pilgrim.html

The Last Lie

What’s wrong with us
Is indeed depressing
What’s right with Him
Is what needs confessing

Like the men on death row
Who look in the mirrors
At the life in their eyes
And the fear in their tears

What deception is thought
In the sure snare of men
In the judgment of God
Of death from our sins

Just watch those men wander
And hunt in their pens
For the gold of fools
Of true goodness within

The heresy is there
For all men to find
The corrupted evil
In self-justified minds

True freedom and light
Escapes all our thoughts
When we believe mercy
Is so selfishly bought

The fantastic lie
Within the swine’s swill
Is that sinners buy God
With their own free will

Then off to the gallows
Walk proud men tall
When the Faith of the Christ
Means nothing at all

Denny 12/6/07

Romans 3:22-24
Hey Denny,

Thanks for the poem. Its good to move the mind away a bit from pure intellectualism to something that might speak to the heart and our intuitions about Christ and God and the Bible.

I'm still working on understanding the relation between the faith OF Christ and our faith IN Christ. My "sticky point" is that in all my Christian life, and in all my Bible reading, I have understood that I am supposed to trust in Christ. I mean, when I get scared, I think of Christ and I trust that He will be faithul to His promises. So I have faith in Christ's faithfulness, but I just can't wrap my mind around removing myself from that picture. I then don't know what the words mean anymore. When Paul said "Belive in the Lord Jesus Christ" what does that mean? How does it relate to the "Faith OF Christ" as opposed to MY faith IN Christ?

If you find anything that helps, please post it here.

And I praise our God that you are still here to challenge us about the truth of God's Word. I'm really glad you are here bro.

Richard

Denny
12-06-2007, 01:44 PM
Richard said:
I'm still working on understanding the relation between the faith OF Christ and our faith IN Christ. My "sticky point" is that in all my Christian life, and in all my Bible reading, I have understood that I am supposed to trust in Christ. I mean, when I get scared, I think of Christ and I trust that He will be faithul to His promises. So I have faith in Christ's faithfulness, but I just can't wrap my mind around removing myself from that picture. I then don't know what the words mean anymore. When Paul said "Belive in the Lord Jesus Christ" what does that mean? How does it relate to the "Faith OF Christ" as opposed to MY faith IN Christ?

Richard, I'm going way out and come at this from a completely different angle. This is to affirm that the Faith OF [HIS by His work] Christ is God's justification to men who believe, and our Faith IN [ours by the gift of the Spirit] Christ, although imperfect, is our sanctification.

Our justification is what the God did for us in Christ alone, and our sanctification is what the Spirit does in us with the gift of faith alone. We are never saved by our own works but by Christ's. All of this is not to deny that we have and are capable of our own works of faith. From this we can see two kinds of work, (1) Christ's, for our Justification and
(2) ours, inspired by the Spirit, for our Sanctification. Both of these gifts are works of God, either by His Son or by His Spirit. And lets not forget that all of the above is by Grace Alone (the love and mercy of the Father) to His elected children.

Now here is the different way:


The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.(Exodus 23:19)

Our justification and sanctification is the milk and meat of Scripture. To this day the Orthodox Jews practice Kosher Law from this OT verse. They refuse to even use the same utensils when cooking milk or meat. If a utensil ever touched both milk and meat it had to be destroyed. I'm sure you know that there are other OT laws that forbid "mixing".

So, what do these OT laws teach us as regarding the Gospel? I believe that they clearly teach us the poisonous danger to our spiritual health by not clearly distinguishing between our justification (God's work for us), and our Sanctification (God's work in us).

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Richard Amiel McGough
12-06-2007, 04:01 PM
Richard, I'm going way out and come at this from a completely different angle. This is to affirm that the Faith OF [HIS by His work] Christ is God's justification to men who believe, and our Faith IN [ours by the gift of the Spirit] Christ, although imperfect, is our sanctification.

Our justification is what the God did for us in Christ alone, and our sanctification is what the Spirit does in us with the gift of faith alone. We are never saved by our own works but by Christ's. All of this is not to deny that we have and are capable of our own works of faith. From this we can see two kinds of work, (1) Christ's, for our Justification and
(2) ours, inspired by the Spirit, for our Sanctification. Both of these gifts are works of God, either by His Son or by His Spirit. And lets not forget that all of the above is by Grace Alone (the love and mercy of the Father) to His elected children.

Hey there bro!

That is a very interesting take. I stand with you 100% in asserting that the our justification is due ENTIRELY and COMPLETELY to the Work of Christ. I have no trouble "getting my mind around" that idea at all. It seems to me to be the fundamental teaching of the Bible.

The question seems to be more about how a person gets saved. The Reformed assert a monergistic salvation - God alone acts. Others assert a synergy between God and His creatures. And this is where my ability to articulate breaks down, and I hope you can help or maybe post a link to a helpful article. I don't understand why we can't see Christ as an million pound Umbrella. He keeps everyone under the umbrella dry. If He didn't hold up the umbrella, we'd all be soaked. No man has the strength to lift the Umbrella, so if Christ didn't do ALL THE WORK then no one could be kept dry. Christ now is calling out into the storm of this world - come to me all ye who are soaked by this never-ending rain! For all have walked in the rain and are soaking wet. But the gift of God is that all who come to Christ and stand under His Umbrella will find shelter in Him and get outa the rain.

Now I know of course that the Calvinist answer is that no one can come because we are dead like corpses and can not so much as blink a spiritual eye. But that does not correspond to anything I know of in the Bible. Yes, we are "dead in sin" but I do not know of any verse that says we are incapable of responding to God. Do you?

So anyway, that's where my thoughts are right now. If you have any suggestions to help, please be sure to write. And please don't think me a heretic for trying to process these questions. I really do believe that Christ did ALL THE WORK of salvation, but I don't know how to articulate the answers to these questions that I am bringing up.


Now here is the different way:


The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.(Exodus 23:19)

Our justification and sanctification is the milk and meat of Scripture. To this day the Orthodox Jews practice Kosher Law from this OT verse. They refuse to even use the same utensils when cooking milk or meat. If a utensil ever touched both milk and meat it had to be destroyed. I'm sure you know that there are other OT laws that forbid "mixing".

So, what do these OT laws teach us as regarding the Gospel? I believe that they clearly teach us the poisonous danger to our spiritual health by not clearly distinguishing between our justification (God's work for us), and our Sanctification (God's work in us).

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


That's very interesting ... you are interpreting the the laws against mixing as types teaching that we should not mix works with grace. I can see that. But it seems to me that if there is a typological interpretation, it would be along the lines of keeping ourselves separate from unbelievers, since that is how Paul speaks in 2 Cor:
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

As an aside, I believe that the Jewish practice of keeping milk and meat separate is absurd, and that it is one of the "commandments of men" that Christ would condemn. Recall what Abraham fed the three angels in Gen 18:
Genesis 18:8 And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat. Great chatting Denny! And I still thank the Lord for His peaceable spirit of reconciliation.

Richard

Denny
12-06-2007, 05:00 PM
Richard said:
That's very interesting ... you are interpreting the the laws against mixing as types teaching that we should not mix works with grace. I can see that. But it seems to me that if there is a typological interpretation, it would be along the lines of keeping ourselves separate from unbelievers, since that is how Paul speaks in 2 Cor:

Maybe, but what about this;


I fed you with milk and not with solid food (In other translations "meat"); for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; [1 Cor. 3:2]

Then Paul goes on to talk about the "meat" of sanctification of the Corinthians.


As an aside, I believe that the Jewish practice of keeping milk and meat separate is absurd, and that it is one of the "commandments of men" that Christ would condemn. Recall what Abraham fed the three angels in Gen 18:

Of course it is, as the Orthodox Jews do not get their kosher laws out of the Scripture but out of the Talmud. Never-the-less please try one more time to look at the symbolism of "goat" and mothers "milk" for babies when reflecting on 1 Cor. 3:2.

So let's look at the verse in Exodus one more time.


The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.(Exodus 23:19)

Why would the firstfuits of the land (God's Kingdom) be associated with with an ordinance to not boil a goat in its mothers milk? Does this not sound strange? It is not strange only if the association is about the first fruits of God's kingdom in the work of Christ for us (justification = milk) and the work of the Spirit in us (sanctification = meat).

We must remember one of the first priciples of hermeneutics is that the Old Testament must be interpreted by the New.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

joel
12-07-2007, 05:55 AM
I don't understand why we can't see Christ as an million pound Umbrella.

Why not? Isn't that what the propitiation is?

Just as the mercy seat is connected with the ark of the covenant, Jesus is the propitiatory shelter through faith in His blood (Romans 3:25).

Just as the high priest entered into the holy place with the blood of sprinkling for the sins of the people once a year, Jesus' blood was shed for the overshadowing of all of the sins for all people for all time.

He fulfilled all of the types of the first, and did all of the work. Our "work" is to see (believe), thank Him for it, and glorify Him for it.

Paul says in Romans 5:9
Much, rather, then, being now justified in His blood, we shall be saved from indignation through Him.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
12-07-2007, 11:55 AM
Why not? Isn't that what the propitiation is?

Just as the mercy seat is connected with the ark of the covenant, Jesus is the propitiatory shelter through faith in His blood (Romans 3:25).

Just as the high priest entered into the holy place with the blood of sprinkling for the sins of the people once a year, Jesus' blood was shed for the overshadowing of all of the sins for all people for all time.

He fulfilled all of the types of the first, and did all of the work. Our "work" is to see (believe), thank Him for it, and glorify Him for it.

Paul says in Romans 5:9
Much, rather, then, being now justified in His blood, we shall be saved from indignation through Him.

Joel
Hey Joel,

Yep, that all makes sense. But the reason I proposed this metaphor was to illustrate and explore the idea that we can choose to enter the shelter of the umbrella or walk out from under its cover. This is the place where the metaphor breaks down for Reformed theologians because they understand salvation as monergistic - God is the only actor. We are dead in sins in a most literal sense, meaning that we are utterly incapable of responding to God in any way at all (except perhaps with rebellion and sin, but that breaks the "dead" metaphor). He has to regenerate our hearts first, save our souls, bring us to new life, and only then we can "respond" after we have been saved by God's monergistic activity.

It is very difficult for me to wrap my mind around this vision of God and salvation, because I see a very different picture in some passages of the Bible where He calls sinners to repent and then be saved. But the order is different in the Reformed understanding. God first saves us and gives us faith, and then we can repent of our sins that have already been forgiven. This issue is called the Ordo Salutis (http://www.theopedia.com/Ordo_salutis) (the order of salvation).

Richard

Denny
12-07-2007, 02:03 PM
It is very difficult for me to wrap my mind around this vision of God and salvation, because I see a very different picture in some passages of the Bible where He calls sinners to repent and then be saved. But the order is different in the Reformed understanding. God first saves us and gives us faith, and then we can repent of our sins that have already been forgiven. This issue is called the Ordo Salutis (the order of salvation).

Yes, He does call sinners to repent and be converted, but there is a problem here. Luther affirms this problem in his book, The Bondage of the Will.
The problem is that all of God's commands are in the imperative. This includes all of His commands in the New Testament as well as the old. The command to repent and believe is also a command of LAW. The command itself does not give the power or will for us to do so. Thus, our need for the Grace in the sovereign power of the Spirit of God with true righteousness mediated and imputed to us by the work of Christ alone on our behalf.

When is the last time you or I have loved our God with all of our heart and soul and all of our neighbors as ourself?

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

joel
12-08-2007, 06:44 AM
we can choose to enter the shelter of the umbrella or walk out from under its cover

This may be the very crux of the matter;
If we look at God's work of "justification"......and first see that He chooses us, He places the umbrella over us.

The covering over us of the shelter from God's wrath is in the blood of Christ.

It cannot be taken away. We cannot "walk out from under its cover...."

The umbrella will remain over us wherever we go, and, regardless of whatever we do.

The argument that commonly arises from this position is......."then, why not sin? Who cares? God will forgive anyway."

This argument demonstrates an ignorance in the aspect of the gospel that is discussed in Romans 6.

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

There is a difference in being under sin and persisting in sin.

The former is a condition of all humanity prior to justification in His blood. Paul has proved thal all are under sin (Romans 3:9).

The latter is a condition of the justified believer who does not yet walk in the faith of Romans 6.

Joel

Denny
12-08-2007, 09:39 AM
joel said:
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

There is a difference in being under sin and persisting in sin.

The former is a condition of all humanity prior to justification in His blood. Paul has proved thal all are under sin (Romans 3:9).

The latter is a condition of the justified believer who does not yet walk in the faith of Romans 6

joel, you are my main man!

This is exactly what I have been trying to say.

How can we believe without faith? How do we receice faith without God's Spirit Alone? How do we receive God's Spirit without the work of Christ Alone? How do we receive the work of Christ Alone without Grace Alone?

What in the HELL does our own free will have to do with it?

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Denny
12-11-2007, 09:55 AM
joel, you are my main man!

This is exactly what I have been trying to say.

How can we believe without faith? How do we receice faith without God's Spirit Alone? How do we receive God's Spirit without the work of Christ Alone? How do we receive the work of Christ Alone without Grace Alone?

What in the HELL does our own free will have to do with it?

Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Why has everyone left this conversation?

My word "HELL" was not an expletive but a fact.

Is there anyone here except Joel and I that believe that the salvation of believers is in spite of our own free will? It is because of our own free will that we have made ourseves SINNERS and victims, and moaning, groaning agnostics (in Latin "ignoramus") to the precise order and cause of our Justification that is perfectly revealed to us in Scripture before a Holy God. We as unbelievers have been, and are continuing to offer our own "free will" on the Altar where our God only accepts the perfect and righteous free will offering of His own human Son.

Does anyone here know that this evil is perfectly expressed in the words "God loves me because I have with my own free will "decided for Christ"? Does anyone here know that these words are an insult to God and a demand for His indebtedness to us? Personally, I do not want to be anywhere near someone who attemps to justify himself with these very same words at the sure judgment seat of Jesus.

Finally Richard, it is time for me to move on and dust off my feet.

May God bless your "Bible Wheel" and ministry with His wisdom in, Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Solus Christos, Sola Gratia and Soli Deo Gloria.


Denny

Romans 3:22=24

joel
12-11-2007, 02:17 PM
Denny,

Even though Richard may not hold to some of your views (or to some of mine), I have found him to be the most fair minded of administrators.

Stay around. Your input is appreciated.

Joel

kathryn
12-11-2007, 02:54 PM
Hello everyone...First of all...yes, by all means, please stay around Denny. We need you.
I hope we can stay on this topic a bit longer. I'd like to bring up the two goats. The first was killed, and the second released into the wilderness (Lev 16) Both are types of Christ...but the first one represents His death work...the second is a living work which is, I believe, accomplished in us.
The first goat "atoned" for sin..."Kaphar" means "to cover' (Richard's umbrella illustration). But, it didn't remove sin....it removed the penalty of sin. It was a ritual cleansing that was a legal act pronouncing something to be so.
The second goat removes sin. It is pictured in the goat being led into a place not inhabited, carrying all of our sin, iniquity transgression...to a place apart from mankind...ie: the wilderness.
The 1st work of Christ covered our sin, giving us imputed righteousness. It didn't remove our sin. However...God calls what is not as though it were (Rom. 4:17). We were given a legal verdict by which we were cleansed...or in other words, our criminal record was cleansed.
The first goat made it possible for Christ to indwell us as His temple. But there is a second coming, I believe, where He comes forth from His Temple (our body) bearing also, all of our sin, transgression, and iniquity, to a place not inhabited. I believe this the event called "the manifestation of the Sons of God". It is where Christ is manifested in us, and at the same time, removes all sin and iniquity from us.

kathryn
12-11-2007, 03:58 PM
Just wanted to add the difference between transgressions and iniquity.
Isaiah 53:5, "He was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities." A wound is on the outside, a bruise is on the inside.
Iniquity is an inner condition which provides the motive for sin.

Richard Amiel McGough
12-11-2007, 07:06 PM
Why has everyone left this conversation?

My word "HELL" was not an expletive but a fact.

Is there anyone here except Joel and I that believe that the salvation of believers is in spite of our own free will? It is because of our own free will that we have made ourseves SINNERS and victims, and moaning, groaning agnostics (in Latin "ignoramus") to the precise order and cause of our Justification that is perfectly revealed to us in Scripture before a Holy God. We as unbelievers have been, and are continuing to offer our own "free will" on the Altar where our God only accepts the perfect and righteous free will offering of His own human Son.

Does anyone here know that this evil is perfectly expressed in the words "God loves me because I have with my own free will "decided for Christ"? Does anyone here know that these words are an insult to God and a demand for His indebtedness to us? Personally, I do not want to be anywhere near someone who attemps to justify himself with these very same words at the sure judgment seat of Jesus.

Finally Richard, it is time for me to move on and dust off my feet.

May God bless your "Bible Wheel" and ministry with His wisdom in, Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Solus Christos, Sola Gratia and Soli Deo Gloria.


Denny

Romans 3:22=24
Hey Denny!

I'm sorry if it seemed like "everyone left the conversation." I just got home after seven hours on my "mundane job" (remodelling houses) and haven't had much time today or yesterday to post much.

I really do enjoy discussing this issue. But since it seems that I have stepped on your toes to the point where you got really upset, I kinda backed off for a while. I really would like to dig deep into these issues with you if it is something you would be at peace to pursue.

For example, it seems to me that your assertion that "It is because of our own free will that we have made ourseves SINNERS" directly contradicts the idea that God ordained "whatsoever comes to pass." But I am hesitant to press this point because I dont' want you to get mad at me. But really, I'm just telling you that the Reformed answer is not at all obvious to me. I would hope that my ingorance or inability to understand this mystery would cause you to want to help me understand, rather than be a cause for you to be so frustrated that you have to leave.

But if you want or need to take a break from this forum, know that I am thankful for contribution here, and that you are always welcome.

God bless you brother Denny!

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
12-11-2007, 07:11 PM
Hello everyone...First of all...yes, by all means, please stay around Denny. We need you.
Amen! That's three of us who agree on the same issue. I think that might be a record for internet forums.


I hope we can stay on this topic a bit longer. I'd like to bring up the two goats. The first was killed, and the second released into the wilderness (Lev 16) Both are types of Christ...but the first one represents His death work...the second is a living work which is, I believe, accomplished in us.
The first goat "atoned" for sin..."Kaphar" means "to cover' (Richard's umbrella illustration). But, it didn't remove sin....it removed the penalty of sin. It was a ritual cleansing that was a legal act pronouncing something to be so.

The second goat removes sin. It is pictured in the goat being led into a place not inhabited, carrying all of our sin, iniquity transgression...to a place apart from mankind...ie: the wilderness.
The 1st work of Christ covered our sin, giving us imputed righteousness. It didn't remove our sin. However...God calls what is not as though it were (Rom. 4:17). We were given a legal verdict by which we were cleansed...or in other words, our criminal record was cleansed.
The first goat made it possible for Christ to indwell us as His temple. But there is a second coming, I believe, where He comes forth from His Temple (our body) bearing also, all of our sin, transgression, and iniquity, to a place not inhabited. I believe this the event called "the manifestation of the Sons of God". It is where Christ is manifested in us, and at the same time, removes all sin and iniquity from us.
[/quote]
I will be very interested to see how far we can press this illustration. I have not meditated much on the "two goats" and how they represent different aspects of the work of Christ.

Is this an original insight of yours, or did you read it somewhere?

Thanks Kathryn!

Richard

kathryn
12-11-2007, 07:57 PM
Hi Richard....I became facinated with the 2 goats and the 2 doves , with the second of each both representing a "living" work, back in 2001, when I was beginning to study out the two witnesses and the possible types and shadows concerning them. I had a sketchy understanding of what they meant, but Jone's teachings brought it into much more focus for me. So...I can't say it was an original conclusion, no:)

joel
12-12-2007, 04:53 AM
Hello everyone...First of all...yes, by all means, please stay around Denny. We need you.
I hope we can stay on this topic a bit longer. I'd like to bring up the two goats. The first was killed, and the second released into the wilderness (Lev 16) Both are types of Christ...but the first one represents His death work...the second is a living work which is, I believe, accomplished in us.

That is very good indeed, Kathryn.

Let's walk together in this for awhile.

Joel