The Crux of Calvinism

July 25, 2016

Dr. Bob Hadley | Pastor
Westside Baptist Church, Daytona Beach, FL

*This article is taken from Dr. Hadley’s website, sbcissues.com, and is used by permission.

At the heart of Calvinism is an answer to a very simple question. Is a person saved BECAUSE he repents and by faith believes in the finished work of Christ on the cross or is a person saved so that he can THEN by faith repent and believe in the finished work of Christ on the cross?

Calvinism stands solidly on the latter. Calvinism contends that an individual who is lost has no capacity or ability to respond to the gospel message unless and until he is given new life at God’s sole initiative and the result of that initiative of grace on God’s part. At that point, the new born individual’s only response is one of repentance and believing faith. In this scenario, repentance and believing faith are in reality the new born’s first acts of sanctification.

The question must be asked, is repentance necessary for salvation? It is crystal clear that the Scripture establishes the fact that repentance brings forgiveness, which brings about conversion.

Notice what Peter said in Acts 11 when he recounted the event of the Holy Spirit falling on a group of gentiles: “17 If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?” Peter did not say, “God gave them the same spirit that He gave us so that we COULD believe.” There is a major difference in these two concepts.

Consider the following passages of Scripture with respect to the importance of repentance to salvation, not salvation for repentance.

Acts 2:38–Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

We do NOT receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (which is essential to regeneration) before we repent; we repent and THEN receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 3:19-21– Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,  and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”

Notice repentance comes before times of refreshing comes from the presence of the Lord. This alone would seem to negate the “regeneration prior to repentance position.

Romans 1:16–“the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believes.”

It does not say the gospel is the power of God unto salvation so that ALL may believe. Salvation is the result of believing faith not the other way around.

Mark 1:14-15 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Acts 16:29-31– Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

John 3:14-18– And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

I John 1:9–If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  Confession comes BEFORE forgiveness which procedes new birth.

Rom 10:13–“everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Paul did not write, everyone who is saved will call upon the Lord.

Mark 16:16–Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Notice once again, believing precedes being saved.

Romans 10:9–if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

If one confesses, believes and repents he WILL be saved. We do not do these things BECAUSE we are saved.

Romans 10:10–“For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth, one confesses and is saved.”

Acts 2:21–And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

2 Cor 7:10–“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”

Repentance leads TO salvation, not the other way around.

John 1:12–“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

Believing in Christ gives us the right to BECOME children of God. We do not become children of God and THEN believe.

Galatians 2:16–“16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”

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Brian

Amen.

Clay Gilbreath

crystal clear brother Bob… unless one is driven by a system that forces him to explain away the simple meaning of each verse you cited.

Bill Mac

Show of hands: Do any of the Calvinists who comment here believe anyone is saved before they repent and believe? If so, they are wrong, but I seriously doubt any of them do. I could be wrong.

Jim P

Bill,

Even your question show a lack of understanding of the nature of the problem. Labeling people detours that problem These are theological issues that will not be resolved with your approach and frankly those who approach your way may really not care they are resolve.

Fighting is a lot easy than working together.

    Bill Mac

    Jim: Calvinists (which I am not) are often accused of telling the other side that they just don’t understand. I’m glad to see it isn’t limited to them. I will confess that I don’t really understand your comment. Can you elaborate?

Jim Poulos

Bill,
I won’t elaborate on anything because frankly all your comments show you could careless.

You’d rather fight. It’s a lot easier then the hard work to understand correctly.

    Jim Poulos

    Bill,
    I’ll tone down my comment a little. I’m not sure you care. But I’ll go back to the point about labeling.
    That is going to be a hurdle that will only stop discussions.

      Bill Mac

      Jim, I’m serious. I don’t understand your point about labeling. Are you talking about labeling people as Cals and non-Cals? If so then you are on the wrong forum because this site is all about that. If we’re talking about what Calvinists believe, I don’t know how we do that without acknowledging those labels. I used to be a Calvinist. I didn’t believe people were saved before they believed (I still don’t). I never heard a Cal say they believed that. I don’t think the crux of Calvinism, as the author terms it, is whether Calvinists believe salvation comes before belief, but rather goes to the question of why someone believes, and is therefore saved.

        Clay Gilbreath

        Bill,
        maybe it’s the term “salvation” before belief that is your issue. I have found many Calvinists who teach that “regeneration” preceeds faith. The old “a dead man can’t get up and walk across the room” thought. Many believe you must be regenerated in order to have faith.

          Bill Mac

          Clay: Yes, that’s true. I make a distinction between regeneration and salvation. As far as I know most Calvinists do. It seems the author does not, or at least it’s not clear that he does. Regeneration prior to or subsequent to faith is the real crux of Calvinism it seems to me. Perhaps that’s what the author means also, but that’s not what he wrote, so I don’t want to put words in his mouth.

            Bob Hadley

            Bill Mac,

            Regeneration as posited by calvinism MEANS that a person receives new life from God so that he can THEN repent and by faith believe in the finished work of Christ on the cross. New life is IMPOSSIBLE apart from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit because it is the Spirit that gives life. This is the essence of the OP. I am clearly arguing that regeneration as presented in calvinism IS the same thing as conversion because the indwelling of the Holy Spirit gives that person right standing with God which is what conversion means.

            Given this scenario, I maintain that for the consistent calvinist, repentance and believing faith are NOT requirements for conversion but rather responses to new life or first acts of sanctification.

            The scripture passages I quoted show the Biblical position to be clear; one repents and is THEN saved and the Holy Spirit gives new life WHEN one repents and not the other way around. I really like to use conversion as opposed to salvation because salvation is the total process.

        Jim Poulos

        Bill,

        I will get back and try to answer more completely but part of it is theology is much too encompassing and cohesive to limit any discussion to a single focus like the labeling of Cal versus non-Cal does.

        Doing that may simply be a convenience to avoid the hard word to understand better. I’ll try to get back with some specifies later.

        Also my experience has shown that those who lean for a reformed or Calvinistic kind of think don’t tend to labeling themselves as such as much as it is used here. And that practice forces divisions more that unifying. Instead of the label that should over-ride any label, i.e., Christian.

Andy Williams

Loraine Boettner says: “A man is not saved because he believes in Christ; he believes in Christ because he is saved.” (Loraine Boettner, Predestination, p. 101; cited by Laurence M. Vance, The Other Side of Calvinism, p. 521.)

R. C. Sproul also says: “We do not believe in order to be born again; we are born again that we may believe.”

Arthur W. Pink says: “A man is not regenerated because he has first believed in Christ, but he believes in Christ because he has been regenerated.” (Arthur W. Pink, The Holy Spirit, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1978, p. 55; cited by Ibid., p. 521.)

The Westminster Confession of Faith states: “This effectual call is of God’s free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man; who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it.”

As you can see, there are at least SOME calvinists who DO say one is saved BEFORE belief. But not all do. Boetner, Sproul, and Pink are not saying exactly the same thing. And The Westminster Confession (widely accepted by calvinists) would differ in saying that regeneration ENABLES a person to accept the grace that is offered…It does not say that the enabeling saves a person. I suspect most baptists would fall into this later category. To further confuse the issue. many Calvinists will describe only a LOGICAL order, not a TEMPORAL one. Stating that both happen simultaneously…ie, there is no such thing as a regenerated (or saved) person who does not also believe in Christ.

    Andrew Barker

    Andy Williams: I cannot see why you quote people in this way. Arthur Pink is generally recognised as a hyper -Calvinist so unless you wish to identify with him (which I’m kind of assuming you don’t) why quote him in the first place? Boetner and RC Sproul likewise hold/held to positions of 5 point Calvinism …. so what? Do you affirm what they hold to? Unless you do, there is no logic behind your quoting them as examples.

    As to confusion, there is no doubt that people hold differing views but that is not the issue. The issue is firmly whether or not the position is supported by scripture. Bob Hadley has succinctly laid out what I believe to be a Biblical approach to salvation. If you disagree you must show from scripture where he has gone wrong. Simply quoting the so called great and good will not wash.

    And as for the WCF? I think here you have your confusion. Perhaps it should be known hereafter as the Westminster Confusion of Faith. I definitely think so!

      Andy

      I quote them only to show that there are differing beliefs among calvinists on this issue. In order to debate an issue, it is helpful to understand who/what position one is debating against, and in this case I think it’s helpful to understand that Dr. hadley’s article argues more strongly against one vein of calvinism, and more weakly against another vein: The vein that agrees that salvation is a result of faith, and not the cause of it, but does not think there is such a thing as a regenerated/saved person who has yet to believe.

      It has nothing to do with whether I agree with them or not…in fact I believe the Westminster statement disagrees with Boetner, for example…so I couldn’t agree with both of them, even if I wanted to.

        Lydia

        Andy, The “veins” of the Calvinistic views you shared are all deterministic.

          Andy

          Yes they are! But they do not all believe that one is saved “so that he can believe.”

          Bob believes that even those who do not say this do in fact believe it, or at least should if they are consistent, but that is a much weaker argument, because he first has to convince the calvinist that believes something that he in fact does not believe, and then show that the thing Bob says he believes is wrong.

          It is similar to the calvinists who try to say that all non-calvinists much believe in universalism, and then tries to say rejecting calvinism is a mistake because obviously universalism is wrong.

          Niether argument is very effective. Better to actually listen to what the other side SAYS THEY BELIEVE, and show how THAT is wrong.

          Bob has mis-state the “Crux” of calvinism. It is not that God saves people, then has them beleive… The core of all versions of calvinism is unconditional election. If one believes in it, one is in some way in the calvinistic camp…if not, then they aren’t. It would make no sense for a calvinist to write an article against arminians or trads and state that the “CRUX” of their beleif system is that “man can save himself.” (Sorry rhutchin, it’s not true!). They would immediately dismiss the premise.

            Andrew Barker

            Andy: Your comment that …. “But they do not all believe that one is saved so that he can believe.” doesn’t hold water. If you hold to teaching as per Boettner, Sproul (or Pink) then you are in effect saying that people are saved so they can believe. Of course it isn’t put in such a clumsy way, but to use another phrase, it would be a distinction without a difference. As soon as you go down the route of regeneration before faith you cannot but come to believe that people are ‘saved’ so they can believe. That is after all, the whole point of their concept of ‘regeneration’. It isn’t a Biblical viewpoint of course but that’s what they call regeneration.

            I expect Bob has lost count of the number of times he’s been told that “he doesn’t understand” or he’s “mis-stated the “Crux”? of calvinism”! It’s all a bit odd really. Including your comment that the core of calvinism is unconditional election! Surely, UE is simply regeneration before faith based on God’s prior choice of who can respond in the faith which God will give them?? In other words, only those whom God chooses can respond and therefore be saved. They can’t believe beforehand until God ‘regenerates’ them at which point they can be saved and then believe what they have been told. Frankly, I don’t think it’s Bob who’s missed the point here. If anybody’s got some explaining to do, it’s you …. I think!

              Lydia

              “it would be a distinction without a difference.”

              That is exactly what it is.

        Andrew Barker

        Andy: I don’t think we need informing that Calvinists think many different things, depending on which one you happen to be talking to. Also your claim that most Baptists would accept what the Westminster Confusion says on this matter is just that, a claim. You’re going to have to try a bit harder to establish that as a fact. In addition, you might well be able to get people to ‘sign up’ to say a some version of so called ‘prevenient’ grace. But that would only be because you had not fully explained the ramifications of this. If you then explain that the grace is only offered to those whom God sees fit to choose, I think the average pew filling Baptist would run a mile. Of course I don’t have the stats to back that up either, it’s just my hunch, but I’m sure there are those on this site who can quote you more confidently regarding the actual Calvinist:Non-Calvinist Baptist ratio. My inclination is that it would be around 30:70 Calvinist:Non-Calvinist?

        As far as I can make out, scripture does not distinguish between any form of grace. God’s grace has many facets, but it’s all God’s grace. I deprecate the use of all these ‘grace terms’ ie irresistible, prevenient, common, saving etc. etc. none of them have any specific scriptural authority.

          Bob Hadley

          Andy,

          I do not care to delineate the differences of people who claim to be calvinist. I talk about the logical implications of the system itself. Now to the issue of does one believe to BE saved or does God give the lost person “new life” so that he CAN THEN believe is a fair abbreviated contrast between calvinism and the non-calvinist. I argue THIS is teh crux of calvinism because of the work of the Holy Spirit where conversion is concerned.

          As I see it, new life can only come with the indwelling of the HS. Calvinism does not really address this issue. I understand why. If one argues for regeneration prior to repentance or believing faith that is problematic because that means the HS is taking up residence in an unrepentant heart. Well… regeneration and repentance take place simultaneously. It does not matter. Regeneration for the calvinist IS the catalyst for repentance. Repentance is a result of regeneration. If as I suggest regeneration is impossible part from the indwelling of the HS then we have a serious problem.

          In addition to that, the Bible says the gospel IS the power of God unto salvation. Calvinism as a salvific system does not posit the process that way. In teh calvinist scheme, regeneration enables one to accept or positively respond to the gospel. Apart from regeneration, the gopel has NO POWER to save. I find that equally problematic. Calvinists will answer… the gospel is the means God usese to regenerate the lost person. No.. that cannot be the case. If one is dead he cannot respond to the gospel so God makes him alive so he can THEN respond to the gospel so for the consistent calvinist repentance and faith are a direct response to regeneration and are as I state, first acts of sanctification and not conversion.

          It is what it is! I do not understand why this is so difficult to grasp and understand.

            Andy

            Bob,

            Thanks for the clarifications. I think I see what you are saying. I guess I still think there is a difference between arguing between what Calvinists actually teach, and what are the problematic implications of what they teach. Your comment here makes that clear. I don’t know that your original article did as much.

            I understand your point, and agree that it is a problem for calvinists. I still don’t think it is THE most fundamental “crux” of calvinism, but we will have to differ there.

            -Andy

            rhutchin

            Pastor Hadley writes, “As I see it, new life can only come with the indwelling of the HS….If as I suggest regeneration is impossible part from the indwelling of the HS then we have a serious problem.”

            The Calvinist distinguishes between the work of the HS and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The sealing of the HS is explained in Ephesians 1, “Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance…” and Galatians 4, “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.'” The person is sealed after confessing Christ as Lord and this is the basis for eternal security. The HS is at work prior to a person believing in convicting of sin. Regeneration deals with actions of the HS prior to a person believing with the indwelling coming after a person believes.

              Bob Hadley

              OK… lets take baby steps. I do not care what the calvinist distinguishes… we are talking about the tenets of calvinism; please understand there is a BIG difference in those two statements.

              Ok… step number 1. Regeneration either brings new life to an otherwise dead unregenerate body or it doesn’t. Since calvinists contend man is totally depraved and unable to respond to God in his unregenerate state, he has to be given NEW LIFE to THEN respond to God in any way. That is either true or it is not. We need to deal with THIS statement before we can go to the next one.

              IF God has to give NEW life and a NEW heart to the unregenerate so he can THEN respond then that NEW life can ONLY come with the indwelling of the HS. John 6:63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you–they are full of the Spirit and life.” New life is not possible apart from the indwelling of the HS.

              Question: do you believe God gives the unregenerate new life apart from the indwelling of the HS? If so can you please explain how that takes place…

              I believe God draws through revelation which is the proclamation of HIs Word or the gospel which is the power of God unto salvation and the HS convicts men of their sin and their need for Christ’ finished work at Calvary. Men MUST respond.

              According to calvinism, God gives the unregenerate new life and because he has been given this new life his natural response is to repent because his eyes are now open where before they were closed and his ears are now open where before they were closed and his heart is responsive where before it was dead. That new life is simply NOT possible apart from the indwelling of the HS.

              PLEASE respond to WHAT I said as opposed to the generic “that is not right.” Explain how or why it is not right.

                rhutchin

                Pastor Hadley writes, “Ok… step number 1. Regeneration either brings new life to an otherwise dead unregenerate body or it doesn’t. Since calvinists contend man is totally depraved and unable to respond to God in his unregenerate state, he has to be given NEW LIFE to THEN respond to God in any way. That is either true or it is not. We need to deal with THIS statement before we can go to the next one. ”

                Regeneration deals with the problem created by Total Depravity. Total Depravity says that people never take the first step to God and salvation. Lost people have no desire for spiritual things, do not seek God and cannot come to Christ. God must take the first step – It is God who begins the work of salvation in a lost person. Jesus said, “I have come to seek and to save…” The lost do not seek Christ; Christ seeks them. However, we might define “regeneration,” we know that it is needed to offset depravity. Thus, the Calvinist says a person must be regenerated before anything else can happen.

                Then, “IF God has to give NEW life and a NEW heart to the unregenerate so he can THEN respond then that NEW life can ONLY come with the indwelling of the HS. John 6:63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you–they are full of the Spirit and life.” New life is not possible apart from the indwelling of the HS. ”

                The spirit gives life. Whether that requires the indwelling of the HS is not indicated in 6:63.

                Then, “Question: do you believe God gives the unregenerate new life apart from the indwelling of the HS? If so can you please explain how that takes place… ”

                I see the indwelling of the HS occurring when the person believes the gospel – “you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit…” (Ephesians 1) The “regeneration” of a person is a work of the HS but does not require that the HS indwell the person. In John 3, Jesus likesn the HS to the wind. We cannot see the HS but we see evidences of the HS – a dove, flaming tongues, a mighty wind, a still small voice. The evidence of the indwelling of the HS is the new life a person begins to live following the confession of Christ as lord.

                Then, “I believe God draws through revelation which is the proclamation of HIs Word or the gospel which is the power of God unto salvation and the HS convicts men of their sin and their need for Christ’ finished work at Calvary. Men MUST respond. ”

                As do Calvinists. The issue is how people must respond. If all must, and do, respond by confessing Christ as lord, that would settle the issue. However, some confess Christ and some do not. This tells us that there is some other factor at work. People must respond by either accepting or rejecting the gospel that has been preached and we see that people can go either way. The preaching of the gospel is necessary to salvation but not sufficient to produce salvation apart from something else being done.

                Finally, “According to calvinism, God gives the unregenerate new life and because he has been given this new life his natural response is to repent because his eyes are now open where before they were closed and his ears are now open where before they were closed and his heart is responsive where before it was dead. That new life is simply NOT possible apart from the indwelling of the HS. ”

                I don’t see it. Regeneration involves a change in the person from the previous depraved state. Before regeneration, the depraved person dismisses the gospel as foolishness. After regeneration, the person is attracted to the gospel and his desire is for the Christ of the gospel. Thereby follows the conveyance of faith by that gospel, the conviction of sin by the HS, repentance from the depraved life to confess Christ as lord. I do not see a person being a suitable place for the HS to dwell until after the confession of Christ as lord.

                  Bob Hadley

                  rhutchin

                  Talking to you is like talking to a recorded message.

                  You acknowledge the indwelling AFTER repentance and believing. So do I. It is the indwelling that brings new life. Otherwise there is NO NEED for the indwelling. If a person is given NEW LIFE so that he can repent… that IS NEW LIFE. It is the Spirit that gives this new life.

                  If this new life is not the result of the indwelling, then tell me what the purpose of the indwellling is. Maybe this will accomplish something.

                  Bob Hadley

                  PS… you wrote

                  I don’t see it. Regeneration involves a change in the person from the previous depraved state. Before regeneration, the depraved person dismisses the gospel as foolishness.

                  Regeneration IS NEW LIFE. This NEW LIFE is granted prior to repentance and beliving faith.

                  Jim Poulos

                  Rhutchin,

                  How do you respond to the Jews who heard Peter’s message at Pentecost?

                  They did not have the Spirit (which is Regeneration) yet they understood completely what Peter proclaimed to them. They repented and only after water Baptism did they receive the Spirit (which is regeneration).

                  How according to your paradigm?

                  That sequence is ignored by you and those arguing against you.

                  Jim Poulos

                  The idea of ‘regeneration’ comes from the John 3 discussion between Jesus and Nicodemus, ‘born again’ (really ‘born from above’) phrase. ‘Born from above’ by the water and the Spirit, used by both Jesus and John the Baptist.

                  The disciples were ‘born from above’ (regenerated) at Pentecost with the coming of the Spirit. They submitted to John’s Baptism and did not need to be baptized in water to receive the Spirit like the Jews who heard Peter’s message needed to. This is not ‘baptismal regeneration.’ Cornelius, a gentile received the Spirit without water baptism.

                  It do about Covenants with Jews that gentiles were not a part of.

                  Like the Disciples and the Jews who heard Peter, they understood completely without being ‘born from above,’ i.e., without being regenerated.

                  These ideas go beyond the debate here that has real answers to this debate.

                    Jim Poulos

                    It has to do about Covenants with Jews the gentiles were not a part of.

              Jim Poulos

              Pastor Hadley,

              I’m going to lend you some support for your arguments but I also want Rhutchin to not take it that I’m ganging up on him.

              The book of acts has about 4 very revealing occurrences about the indwelling of the Spirit which equals regeneration. Yes this is true. The first is Acts 2:38, Act 8:17, Acts 10:11 and there are others as these and even more revealing.

              You need to look these up. Another ever more interesting is Acts 18. Some who needed laying on of Hands by Paul and also Baptism in Water to receive the Spirit. (Another good Baptist Understanding)

              The fact is they would not receive the Spirit until they believed and in particular Acts 2:38, those Jews who did believe would not receive the Spirit until they were baptized in Water (a good Baptist teaching here.)

              Yeap, hard to ignore those occurrences of historical recorded sequences of the topic discussed.

              Peace

                Bob Hadley

                rhutchin

                Please respond to the comments I made as opposed to getting into the passages Jim has pointed to.

                Jim, I understand the implications of these passages but they do not address the point of the issue relating the indwelling to regeneration. No one will disagree with the necessity of the indwelling; the question is does regeneration as posited by calvinism demand an indwelling of the HS. Most try to say no… that comes after repentance.

                I am pointing out it does come after repentance but since it is the Spirit that gives life, it cannot happen twice. There is no NEW LIFE apart from the indwelling of the HS is my point at this point in the discussion.

                  Jim Poulos

                  Pastor Hadley,

                  That’s fine. If I may ask though: Are you separating indwelling with regeneration?

                  Jim Poulos

                  I see you are not separating them. I still think those passages are relevant to this discussion. The Jews who heard Peter understood completely their wrong. They had no Spirit until water baptized into Christ. What is worth.

                    Bob Hadley

                    OK… you are saying they understood BEFORE the indwelling and THEN they received the HS. That would in effect be problematic for MY position but not so much for the calvinist and here is why; they do not acknowledge the association of the indwelling with regeneration; which I maintain is problematic.

                    The verses you cite actually in an odd way their position. The believers were elect and regenerated to respond but had not received the HS.

                    Plus those particular passages do present somewhat of a special problem for most soteriological positions especially those who do not hold to baptismal regeneration.

                  Jim Poulos

                  Pastor Hadley,

                  A couple of things. Isn’t Regeneration associated with ‘born from again(above)’ mentioned in John 3? And the ‘born again’ must happen with the Spirit as stated in that chapter. True?

                  And Yes, good, you see the problem in your last sentence. But that has a very valid answer to it which you and many might just reject out of hand but it is the answer.

                  The Baptism of water before receiving the Spirit was only in relation to the Jews only (this is supported all the time in reference to Jews coming to Christ in other passage in Acts). It was not to the case with the Gentiles, like Cornelius.

                  My point I’m making to support your point is that these Jews understood completely with no Spirit (indwelling) hence no regeneration. Only until they identified with Christ in water baptism would they receive the Spirit, hence regeneration. The Jews rejected John the Baptist’s baptism unlike the 12 disciples and the 300 with them who did not need water baptism into Christ because they submitted to John’s Baptism.

                  Try to see this in relation to the Jews. It is more significant then most realize.

                  When the Gospel is proclaimed correctly the Power of the Spirit is released to convict whether Jew or Gentile. That is not indwelling or regeneration.

                  I encourage you and anybody to read those passages. I think the light bulb turn on to what I’m saying.

                    Jim Poulos

                    An added note: These places in Acts, at least three of them, where Jews (particularly people connected to Israel) did not receive the Spirit until they were baptized in water are the ‘written record.’ That is no conjecture. It is clear to read.

                    How that written record is interpreted needs conjecture on the ‘why’ but the facts are there.

Ken

Thanks Bob Hadley:

Up front let me say that I realize I will probably be presenting some views with which you will not agree (and all of which the Calvinist contributors will disagree). But, they represent my heartfelt assessment of the irreconcilable mess in which the SBC is mired.

I find it difficult (actually impossible) to understand how anyone who reads the verses you listed could conclude that the Calvinist Tulip is even a remote understanding of God’s intentions concerning sin and salvation. And, several years ago I did some cursory research and came up over 50 verses (including all that you noted) which say in some form the same things as the verses you listed.

Consequently, I cannot envision a time when I would be willing to unify with, harmonize with, or even tolerate the false doxology inherent in the Calvinist TULIP. I think it appropriate to cling to the admonition of Paul in Ephesians 5:11, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but, rather, reprove them.” I have no hesitation in stating that the theology established by the Calvinist TULIP is a creation of Satan; a work of darkness, as Paul puts it, in his attempt to destroy the Christian faith.

I find it more satisfying to accept as my guidance the inspired words of my Almighty, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent God who provided a way for forgiveness of my and every other human being’s sin and my and every other human being’s salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, which words refute in their entirety such heretic doxology as is inherent in the Calvinist TULIP.

God’s true words offer absolute and unassailable assurance that anyone and everyone who believes that Jesus, the Son of God, became flesh, lived a sinless life, was crucified, died, was buried, was resurrected, and returned to Heaven to forever be everyone’s intercessor with The Father, and everyone who confesses his or her sins, and asks that same Jesus into his or her heart, will inherit eternal salvation without question or doubt.

Please accept my thanks for your courage in standing tall and firm in defense of the true Word of God and for not succumbing to the political correctness being promoted by the SBC’s so-called leadership(what a misnomer) which has only led to a phony declaration of unity and harmony, but in my opinion, has instead resulted in the SBC, to quote an old proverb, “ going to hell in a hand basket.”

    rhutchin

    Ken writes, “God’s true words offer absolute and unassailable assurance that anyone and everyone who believes that Jesus, the Son of God, became flesh, lived a sinless life, was crucified, died, was buried, was resurrected, and returned to Heaven to forever be everyone’s intercessor with The Father, and everyone who confesses his or her sins, and asks that same Jesus into his or her heart, will inherit eternal salvation without question or doubt.”

    At the same time, we know that some will inherit salvation and some will not. In addition, we know that God knew those who would inherit salvation (the elect) and those who would not (the reprobate) when He created the world. The disagreement is over the extent to which God must be involved in bringing the elect to salvation.

      Ken

      rhutchin:

      You wrote: “At the same time, we know that some will inherit salvation and some will not. In addition, we know that God knew those who would inherit salvation (the elect) and those who would not (the reprobate) when He created the world. The disagreement is over the extent to which God must be involved in bringing the elect to salvation.”

      You are correct, of course, that the major disagreement between Trads and Calvs is over the extent of God’s involvement in man’s salvation.

      When I read the first few words of your response I thought “WOW! rhutchin has finally seen the light.” Unfortunately as I continued reading on you burst my bubble by introducing the words “the elect.” Now I don’t have a problem with those words; after all, I consider myself among that group. But, somehow I don’t think you have the same idea of what those words mean as do I (and, I suspect most all Traditionalists). I know that I became a member of “the elect” the moment I accepted Jesus as my Savior and not by a decision made by God for me at some prehistoric time.

      But, you know, I reread those verses noted by Bob and a multitude of others relating to the forgiveness of sin and salvation and was unable to find the word “elect” in a single one. I did find such words as everyone, every man, all, all men, any man, those of a broken heart, those of a contrite heart, his people, that which was lost, whosoever believeth, he that cometh to me, and us. I’ve come to the conclusion that either Calvinists have some special ability to see invisible words in the Bible not seen by the rest of us, or, have a special version, translation, or transliteration of the Bible unknown to all others, or, perhaps, possess a Calvinist Hebrew and Greek dictionary, or, take it upon themselves to distort God’s Word in accordance with the philosophy of men. I suspect it’s probably the latter.

      I would like to recommend to all Bible readers and studiers a principle I follow in my Bible study. When I come across a verse that appears on the surface to contradict a multitude of other verses, because I know God is not the author of confusion, I deeply study that verse and pray about it to determine if it is not actually in sync with the multitude of verses it appears to contradict. And, just as is the case with the couple verses which use the terms “elect,” “chosen,” “ordained,” etc., I have never failed to conclude that it is.

        rhutchin

        Ken writes, “I know that I became a member of “the elect” the moment I accepted Jesus as my Savior and not by a decision made by God for me at some prehistoric time.”

        Yes, from your perspective. At the same time, God knew you before He created the world and God was intimately involved in your decision.

        Then, “I’ve come to the conclusion that either Calvinists have some special ability to see invisible words in the Bible…”

        Calvinism is built on a clear understanding of God. Everything in the Bible is then read with that understanding of God. When Baptists say to people that “God has a plan for your life,” they are telling the truth. It is God’s plan, His eternal plan, that is unfolding before our eyes and we are part of that plan. It is with regard to God’s eternal plan that we see words like “elect,” “chosen,” “ordained,” etc. used.

rhutchin

Pastor Hadley begins, “At the heart of Calvinism is an answer to a very simple question. Is a person saved BECAUSE he repents and by faith believes in the finished work of Christ on the cross or is a person saved so that he can THEN by faith repent and believe in the finished work of Christ on the cross?”

The real question at the heart of Calvinism is, “Can a man save himself?” Can a man repent and believe without God giving him the ability to repent and believe? The Scriptures are clear that (1) No one seeks God (Romans 3) and No one can come to Christ (John 6). Absent a work of God on a person, can person can be saved? Arminians say a work of God is necessary and call it prevenient grace while Calvinists call it saving grace. The Pelagians say that it is not necessary for God to enable a person to repent and believe; one need only preach the gospel to people and some will respond to that gospel by repenting and believing. That which perplexes people is why only some people positively respond to the gospel while some do not. The simple answer is that God has enabled some to respond and has passed over the rest. Has anyone come up with a better explanation?

    Bob Hadley

    rhutchin

    It is certainly convenient to ignore the OP and make a comment that has no relevance to the original article. I understand WHY you would do that because it is easier than dealing with the passages mentioned.

    The real question is as I stated and not as you suggest. God does not decide who does and who does not repent and believe. There is another position that differs from any sort of prevenient grace, which by the way is all effectual grace is! The Bible says that God has chosen revelation and reconciliation to draw men to Him. That eliminates pelagianism and arminianism and calvinism. God’s choice is based on man’s choice where His initiatives are concerned.

    Just in case I did not make myself clear enough, the point that you are ignoring is that new life is impossible apart from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. New life is NOT possible part from the HS. So a person is saved when the HS takes up residence in his heart and not before. A person receives new life WHEN the HS takes up residence in the dead person’s heart and not before. So if that is the case, I am saying repentance as YOU contend are really first acts of sanctification and not repentance and faith for conversion… since new life or conversion has already taken place and that is the primary problem with calvinism. See the passages I listed. Repentance and faith ALWAYS precede the indwelling of the HS.

      rhutchin

      Pastor Hadley writes, “It is certainly convenient to ignore the OP…”

      That is because the OP was confused. The Calvinist says that salvation encompasses several actions.

      You wrote, “Calvinism contends that an individual who is lost has no capacity or ability to respond to the gospel message…” That was a good start. Because of this, the Calvinist says that the lost person must be regenerated. Titus 3, “God saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;…” This identifies two things that are necessary to salvation – (1) washing of regeneration, and (2) renewing of the Holy Ghost – but (from other Scriptures like those you posted) not sufficient to salvation. These actions by God prepare the lost person for salvation. The Calvinist contends that all those who receive the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost will be saved – “God which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Philippians 1).

      Then, we have, “Without faith, it is impossible yo please God,” (Hebrews 11) and “Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” (Romans 8) The Calvinist says that faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2). God conveys faith to the lost through the preaching of the gospel – “Faith comes by hearing.” (Romans 10)

      After these actions, all those verses you cite come into play. It is that person who has been washed through regeneration, renewed by the Holy Spirit, and given the gift of faith who are now the good soil of Jesus’ parable, Luke 8 , where we read, “the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” Thus, Paul says, “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1) and “The gospel…is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes;…For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from [a believing] faith to [a living] faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

      The Calvinist views salvation as encompassing several steps, the first taken by God to prepare the lost to receive His word and the last by those so prepared by God, who receive that word – “God chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created,” (James 1) and “you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.” (Ephesians 1)

      The foundation of salvation, “God chose us in him before the creation of the world.” (Ephesians 1)

      In you OP, you attempt to build a strawman argument against Calvinist and you fail. That which you argue has nothing to do with Calvinism.

        Bob Hadley

        rhutchin

        You bring a preconceived bias to the Scripture and read it accordingly. Look at your own comment: “(1) washing of regeneration, and (2) renewing of the Holy Ghost – but (from other Scriptures like those you posted) not sufficient to salvation.
        Instead of reading the verse you quote as 1 and 2… I see them as not separate but complimentary. We are saved by the “washing of regeneration and the renewing or indwelling of the Holy Ghost.” While it is true they can be two different events they can also be one singular event described by two aspects.

        You wrote, These actions by God prepare the lost person for salvation. The Calvinist contends that all those who receive the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost will be saved – “God which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” The point of contention is “God preparing the person for salvation.” That is a philosophical conclusion and not a Scripturally sustainable statement. It is not. I know WHAT calvinists contend. The difference is my position is that “all those who receive the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” not will be saved but ARE saved.

        Look at your next statement, You wrote, The Calvinist says that faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2). God conveys faith to the lost through the preaching of the gospel – “Faith comes by hearing.” (Romans 10)

        I disagree with the logic in this statement. According to calvinism, God does not convey faith to the lost through the preaching of the gospel. That IS what the Bible says but that is problematic for the consistent calvinist and here is why: until one is regenerated the gospel has NO POWER over the unregenerate. NONE. Faith does come by hearing but not for the calvinist. Faith comes through regeneration that THEN allows the gospel message to have its efficacy. This is really a very simple concept but calvinists refuse to acknowledge the inconsistency of that statement.

        Again, it is NICE to say… “After these actions, all those verses you cite come into play.” However you refuse to show HOW those verses come into play AFTER the washing of regeneration and renewed by the HG.

        READ what the Word SAYS…

        Romans 1:16–“the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believes.” It does not say the gospel is the power of God unto salvation so that ALL may believe. Salvation is the result of believing faith not the other way around.

        Mark 1:14-15– Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Nowhere does this verse even hint at the calvinist contention that only those God chooses to believe will do so. That is almost impossible reading of this passage!

        Acts 16:29-31– Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Again… if Paul were a calvinist his answer would have been… if God has chosen you you will choose him. No he said “believe and you will be saved.”

        I John 1:9–If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Confession comes BEFORE forgiveness which procedes new birth which is the “washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost.

        Mark 16:16–Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

        Notice once again, believing precedes being saved.

        Romans 10:9–if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

        If one confesses, believes and repents he WILL be saved. We do not do these things BECAUSE we are saved.

        Romans 10:10–“For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth, one confesses and is saved.”

        Acts 2:21–And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

        2 Cor 7:10–“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”

        Repentance leads TO salvation, not the other way around.

        It is crystal clear to even the simplest minded person. Repentance LEADS to conversion and salvation not the other way around.

        Why not comment on THIS instead of making counter remarks avoiding WHAT I and the Scripture are ctually SAYING?

          Dennis Lee Dabney

          Dr Hadley,

          This statement said it all and it is a clincher. Thank you!

          I know WHAT calvinists contend. The difference is my position is that “all those who receive the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” not will be saved but ARE saved.

          Preach!

          rhutchin

          Pastor Hadley writes, ” While it is true they can be two different events (Titus 3:5) they can also be one singular event described by two aspects. ”

          OK. Two different actions are identified without which salvation is not possible.

          Then, “That is a philosophical conclusion and not a Scripturally sustainable statement. It is not. I know WHAT calvinists contend. The difference is my position is that “all those who receive the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” not will be saved but ARE saved.”
          3:5 reads, “God saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” Your contention is that a person must first believe before God can save the person by the washing and renewal. That would seem to make believing a meritorious work for which a person is then rewarded by God. At the least, it would mean that belief, by itself, does not save a person – it only qualifies a person to be saved by God who completes the deal through washing and renewal. We know those who are being saved – God knew them before He created the world. Our dispute concerns the exact order of events that must occur to bring about their salvation.

          Then, “According to calvinism, God does not convey faith to the lost through the preaching of the gospel. That IS what the Bible says but that is problematic for the consistent calvinist and here is why: until one is regenerated the gospel has NO POWER over the unregenerate. NONE. Faith does come by hearing but not for the calvinist. Faith comes through regeneration that THEN allows the gospel message to have its efficacy. This is really a very simple concept but calvinists refuse to acknowledge the inconsistency of that statement. ”

          This confused me. You seem to be explaining the Calvinist position after first denying it. The simple concept you explain – “until one is regenerated the gospel has NO POWER over the unregenerate” – is what Calvinism says. Where you have “…Faith comes through regeneration…,” the Calvinist says, “…Faith follows after regeneration…” however, the meaning is the same. So, what is the inconsistency here?

          Then “READ what the Word SAYS…
          Romans 1:16–“the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believes.” It does not say the gospel is the power of God unto salvation so that ALL may believe. Salvation is the result of believing faith not the other way around.”

          OK. I don’t see the issue. The gospel is power to those who believe and not to those who do not believe. The Calvinist delved deeper and sought to determine those factors that led one to believe while another did not. They concluded that the gospel conveys faith to some and not others (certainly not all). If God does not determine who receives faith, what does?

          Then, “Mark 1:14-15– Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Nowhere does this verse even hint at the calvinist contention that only those God chooses to believe will do so. That is almost impossible reading of this passage! ”

          Yet, we know that some believe and repent while others do not. Coincidentally, those who do believe are those known to God before He created the world of whom Paul says in Ephesians 1, ” “God chose us in him before the creation of the world.”

          Then, “Acts 16:29-31– Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Again… if Paul were a calvinist his answer would have been… if God has chosen you you will choose him. No he said “believe and you will be saved.”

          No, the consistent Calvinist says this same thing to everyone. The result, God’s elect believe and the reprobate do not.

          Then, “I John 1:9–If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Confession comes BEFORE forgiveness which proceeds new birth which is the “washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

          I think what you are saying is that the purification from unrighteousness in 1:9 is the washing and renewal of Titus 3:5. If so, then the confession of sin is a condition for salvation that, if met, earns one salvation. The Calvinist sees the audience for 1 John to be those who are already saved and sees this verse describing sanctification – So John then writes, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.” John’s goal is to encourage obedience among believers.

          Then, Mark 16:16– ‘Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Notice once again, believing precedes being saved. and Romans 10:9– “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” and Romans 10:10–“For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth, one confesses and is saved.” and the rest.

          To the Calvinist, salvation involves several steps and repentance, believing and confessing Christ as Lord are among them. No argument here. The issue here is the order of the events.

          Finally, “It is crystal clear to even the simplest minded person. Repentance LEADS to conversion and salvation not the other way around.”

          Certainly several events precede salvation. These include actions taken by God and actions taken by people. If we believe that the unsaved are as described in the Scriptures (the point of T in TULIP), it becomes equally clear that God’s actions enable lost people to repent, believe, and confess. and must precede man’s actions.

            Bob Hadley

            rhutchin,

            Then, “According to calvinism, God does not convey faith to the lost through the preaching of the gospel. That IS what the Bible says but that is problematic for the consistent calvinist and here is why: until one is regenerated the gospel has NO POWER over the unregenerate. NONE. Faith does come by hearing but not for the calvinist. Faith comes through regeneration that THEN allows the gospel message to have its efficacy. This is really a very simple concept but calvinists refuse to acknowledge the inconsistency of that statement. ”

            This confused me. You seem to be explaining the Calvinist position after first denying it. The simple concept you explain – “until one is regenerated the gospel has NO POWER over the unregenerate” – is what Calvinism says. Where you have “…Faith comes through regeneration…,” the Calvinist says, “…Faith follows after regeneration…” however, the meaning is the same. So, what is the inconsistency here?

            Let me rephrase this for you.

            Then, “According to calvinism, God does not convey faith to the lost through the preaching of the gospel. God conveys faith through the process of regeneration. The Bible says the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, not regeneration. That is problematic for the consistent calvinist and here is why: for the calvinist, until one is regenerated the gospel has NO POWER over the unregenerate. NONE. Faith does come by hearing but not for the calvinist. For the calvinist faith comes through regeneration that THEN regeneration allows the gospel message to have its efficacy. This is really a very simple concept but calvinists refuse to acknowledge the inconsistency of that statement. ”

            There is a horrible inconsistency in the salvific process where believing and faith are concerned between the calvinist platform and the Scripture.

            In the following comment you also err terribly. You said, ” If so, then the confession of sin is a condition for salvation that, if met, earns one salvation.” Well you are right; that is a BIG problem because that is WHAT the Bible consistently says. You need to take that complaint up with God.

            Finally… you said in conclusion, “it becomes equally clear that God’s actions enable lost people to repent, believe, and confess. and must precede man’s actions.” If one sees revelation and reconciliation as God’s initiatives that lead men to repent and believe then I can agree. That is not what the calvinist position posits so for me the conclusion you state is everything BUT obvious.

              rhutchin

              Simply not true. The Calvinist says that faith is conveyed through the preaching of the gospel. Regeneration does not convey faith to the lost; it prepares the lost to receive faith through the preaching of the gospel – regeneration prepares the soil so that it is good and able to receive the seed – the word. The Scriptures are clear that “faith comes by hearing.” Let’s start any discussion with that as common among all those who exegete the Scriptures.

              Then, “If one sees revelation and reconciliation as God’s initiatives that lead men to repent and believe then I can agree. That is not what the calvinist position posits so for me the conclusion you state is everything BUT obvious.”

              The Calvinist also has revelation and reconciliation precede repent and belief. The lost person is reconciled to God first and thereby he can repent and believe.

              There are other actions that have to occur also. For example, God must draw the person to Christ (John 6) because none will seek God (Romans 3) or come to Christ of their own initiative. It is the Holy Spirit that convicts the world of sin and presumably does this in concert with the preaching of the gospel. Take away the Holy Spirit and none are convicted of their sin. There is more going on as the Scriptures attest, all of which culminate in a person repenting and believing. It is God who initiates the process and man’s actions are at the end of the process.

                Don Johnson

                rhutchin,

                Seems odd you would mention Titus 3:5. As you know Titus 3:5 is one of several texts which clearly teaches faith precedes regeneration.

                  Dennis Lee Dabney

                  Rhutchin,

                  So according to this viewpoint, when was the Philippian jailor regenerated?
                  After suicidal thoughts had subsided and before Paul gave out the Word of God again. What about his household? How did the apostle know they had been washed?

                  Acts 16:25-34

                  25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

                  26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

                  27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.

                  28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

                  29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

                  30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

                  31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

                  32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

                  33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

                  34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

                    rhutchin

                    DLB asks, “So according to this viewpoint, when was the Philippian jailor regenerated?”

                    Regeneration necessarily precedes the jailor believing. So, regeneration comes before he believed.

                    Then, “After suicidal thoughts had subsided and before Paul gave out the Word of God again.”

                    What is confusing is why the jailor asks this particular question. Is he accepting Paul’s control over him in this situation and begging that Paul not kill him? Regardless, Paul deals with the salvation of his soul trusting God to regenerate the jailor so that he might respond to the gospel.

                    Then, “What about his household?”

                    Same situation. Paul trusts God to regenerate them so that they might believe.

                    Finally, “How did the apostle know they had been washed?”

                    Probably, by their personal confession of Christ after hearing the gospel.

                  rhutchin

                  3:5 was discussed earlier. We read in Titus:

                  “…when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

                  Where do you see “faith” implied in the above from which you conclude, “faith precedes regeneration.’

                    Dennis Lee Dabney

                    There is a sect under the Christian banner who teach water baptism salvation.

                    They attempt to defend this madness from a few select verses of Scripture.

                    No matter the verses out of context, no matter the heart felt passion and no matter the pride regarding denominational “brand”, it is still false doctrine when compared to the whole body of Truth.

                    Preach!

                  Jim Poulos

                  Dennis, people use labels on others flippantly because they are the ones not able to ‘rightly divide what word of truth.’

                    Dennis Lee Dabney

                    Jim,

                    There are also those who give themselves labels who do not rightly divide the word of Truth.

                    Preach!

                    Jim Poulos

                    Dennis,

                    What you are so quick to judge others of is exactly what you yourself are guilty of.

                Bob Hadley

                rhutchin

                Here is the problem as I see it. You are not willing to PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT I AM SAYING.

                The following statement is 100% correct. I am assuming you wrote it or at least meant it. I could have written it.

                “There are other actions that have to occur also. For example, God must draw the person to Christ (John 6) because none will seek God (Romans 3) or come to Christ of their own initiative. It is the Holy Spirit that convicts the world of sin and presumably does this in concert with the preaching of the gospel. Take away the Holy Spirit and none are convicted of their sin. There is more going on as the Scriptures attest, all of which culminate in a person repenting and believing. It is God who initiates the process and man’s actions are at the end of the process.”

                Here is the probem with WHAT calvinism teaches and WHAT you just wrote. “God must draw the person to Christ (John 6) because none will seek God (Romans 3) or come to Christ of their own initiative.” This is what I believe revelation and reconciliation do BUT it is NOT what calvinism (not calvinists) contend. Calvinism clearly says, God brings the unregenerate to NEW LIFE… not draws them… He replaces the heart of stone with a new heart and THEN he can respond to revelation and reconciliation and repent and believe. Regeneration is NOT drawing.

                Consider your next statement: It is the Holy Spirit that convicts the world of sin and presumably does this in concert with the preaching of the gospel. Well the preaching of the gospel falls on deaf ears and dead hearts until an individual is regenerated. So the gospel cannot be the means God uses to regenerate the lost… it does not matter WHAT calvinists SAY… as you indicate here”

                Your retort is simply nothing more than a statement with no basis. Simply not true. The Calvinist says that faith is conveyed through the preaching of the gospel. Regeneration does not convey faith to the lost; it prepares the lost to receive faith through the preaching of the gospel – regeneration prepares the soil so that it is good and able to receive the seed – the word.

                it is what calvinism teaches. Own it. If you cant own it, then please stop and think about that statement for a minute until it sinks in.

                I am NOT trying to be sarcastic or mean spirited but it is frustrating to make a simple statement that deserves some thought as opposed to simply dismissing what I am saying with “that is not what calvinists believe.”

                  rhutchin

                  Pastor Hadley writes, “Calvinism clearly says, God brings the unregenerate to NEW LIFE… not draws them… He replaces the heart of stone with a new heart and THEN he can respond to revelation and reconciliation and repent and believe. Regeneration is NOT drawing…So the gospel cannot be the means God uses to regenerate the lost…”

                  Under Calvinism, the preaching of the gospel is the “means” whereby God draws people to Christ. Who is attracted to the gospel – not depraved sinners; it is those whom God has “made alive” or regenerated who are then drawn by the gospel to Christ. So, Calvinism agrees with you: Regeneration is NOT drawing. If the preaching of the gospel were the means to regenerate people, then all would be regenerated on hearing the gospel and all who heard the gospel would come to salvation.

                  Then, “Your retort is simply nothing more than a statement with no basis. ‘Simply not true. The Calvinist says that faith is conveyed through the preaching of the gospel. Regeneration does not convey faith to the lost; it prepares the lost to receive faith through the preaching of the gospel – regeneration prepares the soil so that it is good and able to receive the seed – the word.’

                  it is what calvinism teaches (My retort quoted above or something else?). Own it. If you cant own it, then please stop and think about that statement for a minute until it sinks in. ”

                  I still don’t understand the problem you have with that statement.

                  Dennis Lee Dabney

                  Jim,

                  I hear your sentiments from others especially our youth. “Don’t Judge Me”,
                  they say. While the guys walk around like hoodlums and the girls like cheap flesh for Free.

                  As long as I agree with their immoral lifestyle without comment, accept their foul language without response, and remain silent concerning their hellish music and filthy lyrics in their so-called music, just to get along, I am good with them!

                  Listen, don’t expect me to hallucinate and describe an red apple as an orange.

                  See Ye to that.

                  Preach!

                    Jim Poulos

                    Dennis,

                    You don’t hear anyone. The only person you hear is yourself.

                Dennis Lee Dabney

                Rhutchin,

                In the Old Testament symbolism, “washings” came after calling and obedience to the spoken or written word of God.

                Hebrews 6:1-2
                1The elementary teachings of Christ begin with Repentance from dead works, then faith toward God and so forth.

                Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

                2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

                The Holy Spirit convicts the world 24/7 365 of sin, righteousness and judgment “without” first giving the lost sinners life.

                Ask king Aggrippa if you think I am making it up.

                The only favorable response of the sinner to the gospel, by the help of the Spirit, is to turn first from sin in order to turn to God by faith which comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

                The unrepentant sinner is brought to the place where he desperately “desires”, by the Holy Spirit, to be saved from sin rather than continue to live there in.

                Repentance holds the key to forgiveness. It is the hard surface at the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ concerning his sin while faith righteousness.

                Both mind and heart must be perfect alignment regarding repentance from sin and faith toward God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

                Luke 24:46-48
                46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

                47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

                48 And ye are witnesses of these things.

                Preach!

                  Dennis Lee Dabney

                  The majority of this comment was in moderation.

                  The unrepentant sinner at the preaching of the gospel, upon conviction of the Holy Spirit, is brought to the place where he or she desperately “desires”, by the Holy Spirit, to be saved from sin rather than continue to live there in.

                  God saves the sinner while he is yet in the dead in trespasses and sins. While he is yet lost in darkness and defeat. He saves the sinner by delivering him by the glorious gospel of our
                  Lord Jesus Christ, The
                  Light of the World.

                  The undeserving lost sinner receives the Light of the Word preached. Obedience to the Light of the gospel brings the Life of the Word.

                  Don’t under estimate the power of the Word of God Hebrews 4:12

                  Should the lost sinner
                  disobey the command to repent and refuses to believe the gospel it’s not due to the lack of conviction by the Holy Spirit nor lack of the word of faith which we preach.

                  For it is written, the Word is nigh thee, even in thy
                  mouth and in thy heart: that is the word of God.

                  Preach!

                    rhutchin

                    A good Calvinist explanation.

                    Of course, the key statement is, “Should the lost sinner disobey the command to repent and refuses to believe the gospel it’s not due to the lack of conviction by the Holy Spirit nor lack of the word of faith which we preach.”

                    To what is this due? Answering that question has consumed people over the years and only the Calvinists seem to have been able to explain it. That answer – Depravity. It is the depravity of people that explains why certain people refuse to repent and believe. For some who were depraved – dead in sin – God reached down and made them alive and thereby, prepared the good soil to receive the seed and the conviction of sin.

                  rhutchin

                  “The unrepentant sinner is brought to the place where he desperately “desires”, by the Holy Spirit, to be saved from sin rather than continue to live there in.”

                  Good Calvinist statement – It is God who begins the good work in the sinner who “is brought [by the HS] to the place where he desperately “desires” to be saved from sin rather than continue to live there in.” Isn’t that our personal salvation experience and testimony?

                    Bob Hadley

                    rhutchin

                    I am quoting you twice on YOUR responses made today above… 7-29 first you wrote, “Under Calvinism, the preaching of the gospel is the “means” whereby God draws people to Christ. Who is attracted to the gospel – not depraved sinners; it is those whom God has “made alive” or regenerated who are then drawn by the gospel to Christ.”

                    Then you wrote just above this comment, “For some who were depraved – dead in sin – God reached down and made them alive and thereby, prepared the good soil to receive the seed and the conviction of sin.”

                    Here is the point I am making. “Made alive” is accomplished with the indwelling of the HS… for the Scriptures are clear it is the HS who gives life.

                    I am not sure WHY this is difficult to understand. Either the HS brings the unregenerate to new or He does not. That is a simple question. We BOTH believe that to be true. The question is, WHEn does the HS take up residence in a person’s heart… before repentance (in regeneration) so that a person CAN THEN repent and believe because he has been made alive (see your own comments) or after he repents. If you claim the former, then you have the HS taking up residence in an unrepentant heart and that is where the problem comes in.

                    This position is NOT that hard to comprehend.

                    rhutchin

                    Pastor Hadley writes, “Here is the point I am making. “Made alive” is accomplished with the indwelling of the HS… for the Scriptures are clear it is the HS who gives life. ”

                    You seem to agree with the Calvinists that the indwelling of the HS occurs after a person believes. Your disagreement is when the Calvinists say that a change must occur in the depraved person prior to him being able to believe. I think your position is that the preaching of the gospel is of such power that people who hear the gospel are then able fully to believe that gospel. The complaint that the Calvinists have with that position is that some people do not believe the gospel. The Calvinists concludes that some other factor is necessary to explain why some people hear the gospel and believe and some do not. They claim that the missing factor is regeneration – those who believe can do so because they have been regenerated; those who do not are just as depraved as they always were.

        Ed Chapman

        You semi-quoted Ephesians 1:4

        You had said:
        “God chose us in him before the creation of the world.”

        The actual quote is:
        “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

        You were not chosen before the foundation of the world. The Key Words here is: “THAT WE”. The words AFTER the words “THAT WE” is what was chosen before the foundation of the world. The CONDUCT of Christians is what was chosen, not you. Similarly, you were not predestined to be saved. “TO BE” is the key words in the following, in that the words to the right of “TO BE” is what was predestined.

        Romans 8:29
        For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

        Similarly, you were not chosen to salvation. Key words here are, “THROUGH”. The words to the right of “THROUGH” is what was chosen. The means by which one is saved is what was chosen from the beginning.

        2 Thessalonians 2:13
        But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

          rhutchin

          Paul begins, “God chose us…” By “us” Paul means the Ephesian believers and himself.

          When were the Ephesians believers chosen by God? Before the foundation of the world.

          Toward what purpose were they chosen? To be holy and without blame before him.

          Paul says that specific people were chose – God’s elect – to be holy – or God’s elect.

            Ed Chapman

            I stand by what I said. Whether or not of HOW Paul starts the verse, the subject matter is what is to the right of the words, “THAT WE”, NOT “God chose us”. God chose that we be holy and blameless. He didn’t chose YOU. He chose you to be holy and blameless. There is much more to the sentence than just “God chose us…”. And the words to the right of “That We” is what the whole subject is about. It has nothing to do with, “God chose us”.

            Ed Chapman

              rhutchin

              The action you describe took place before God created the world. The “us” to whom Paul refers includes himself and the Ephesian believers to whom he writes.” God actually chose specific people to be holy and blameless. That is what the verse says and does so clearly. I don’t understand the problem you are having with this verse.

                Ed Chapman

                No, again, what was chosen from the foundation of the world was the conduct of believers…not individual believers. Paul included the word US as a matter of inclusion of believers that he was talking to, for there were no unbelievers in the bunch.

                I’m not buying your theology. I can read. Oh, and I do understand. I got really great grades in English Grammar growing up in school.

                Ed Chapman

                Ed Chapman

                The problem that I am having is with your “choice” of sentence structuring, putting a period in the middle of the sentence, when you never even touched the “subject” of the sentence, assuming that “God Chose Us” is the subject. God chose us is not the subject of the sentence.

                The same exact scenario with your predestination doctrines, too, I have a problem with, due to the nature of that period in the middle of the sentence that your theology seems to put in where it don’t belong.

                  rhutchin

                  I still don’t understand the argument you are trying to make. How about parsing the entire verse at one time showing how you see all the parts fitting together – or citing an article (on the internet for ease of accessibility) where this has been done.

                    Ed Chapman

                    What? How can you not understand? You cannot parse the sentence, which is my whole point.

                    But you want it parsed?

                    YOU are stating the God Chose Us, and you put the period after the word “chose”. So, your conclusion is that God chooses those whom he will save.

                    But that isn’t the complete sentence.

                    Due to your desire to parsing, that is an incorrect explanation of the sentence.

                    The subject of the sentence is not “God Chose Us”. The Subject of the sentence is the words to the right of “THAT WE”, which is that YOU are to be holy and blameless.

                    I don’t understand how and why you don’t understand.

                    So now you want me to not only parse, but you also want me to cite an article online? You mean that you don’t know how to understand English sentence structuring from your attendance in mandatory English classes in elementary, junior high, and high school?

                    I even took a class in English Composition. I don’t need an article on the internet. You do.

                    Ed Chapman

                  Les

                  Maybe this link to the Greek of this verse will help. http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/eph1.pdf

                  Les

                  And a resource. https://www.tms.edu/m/tmsj11e.pdf

                    Andrew Barker

                    Les: This link is a long and lengthy way of getting nowhere in particular. Crucially, it doesn’t deal with the real issue which is what it means to be ‘in Him’. I would suggest there is no need to go into 99% of what he does to answer this question. When a person comes to realise what it means to be ‘in Him’ and when that occurs, the rest of the argument melts away, in fact there is no argument at all. It is only because people don’t answer that question honestly, that there remains a discussion (if you can call it that) on this point.

                    If you truly think that you were ‘in Him’ from before the foundation of the world, then respectfully I would suggest that you haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about. Not a clue! :-)

                  Les

                  Andrew, your predictably makes me :)

                    Andrew Barker

                    Which rather confirms what I was saying …. you have no real answer to the question. They do say “where ignorance is bliss ’tis folly to be wise”, so carry on, why change the habit of a life time?

Dennis Lee Dabney

Rhutchin,

Once again you have taken soteriological revelation from the Holy Scriptures which divinely unfolds naturally, without the mind of man, which is completely complimentary of the whole canon of Scripture. This natural progession of revelation fits perfectly, especially Genesis, where the Seed of plot of salvation among other doctrines have their origin.

Unfortunately reversing these in order to fit a man made theological system distort the truth.

Preach!

    rhutchin

    I agree. We just have to remember – God is sovereign.

      Dennis Lee Dabney

      True, yet the expositor has been given the responsibility to rightly divide the Word of God to expose both divine Truth and all error.

      Preach!

        rhutchin

        If you don’t forget that God is sovereign, truth will prevail.

      Andrew Barker

      rhutchin: Is it even worth pointing out that we ‘ALL’ believe and hold to the sovereignty of God!!??

        rhutchin

        Yeah, but then people pretend God is not sovereign to explain the Scriptures. Same thing with omniscience.

          Andrew Barker

          rhutchin: Yet you cannot name one regular contributor on this blog who would openly reject the concept of the sovereignty of God.

            rhutchin

            At issue is whether people who say that God is sovereign then consistently recognize God’s sovereignty in the development of other doctrines and beliefs. We find this at issue in the doctrine of salvation where we read that it is God “who began a good work in you [and] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus, ” and then “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do,” and then “it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ…to believe on him.” Some claim to accept the sovereignty of God and then refuse to accept God’s sovereignty in the salvation of men. People accept the “concept” of sovereignty but reject the reality of sovereignty.

              Jim Poulos

              At issues here is whether the attribute of Sovereignty engulfs all other attributes like Righteousness, Love, Holiness and…. Where Sovereignty is supreme at the expense of other attributes.

              Or whether Sovereignty works in balance with other attributes like Righteousness, Love, Holiness and …Where Sovereignty is contributes to make other attributes rise to show to reflect the true Glory of God….

                rhutchin

                I think it best to say that God is sovereign and God exercises His sovereignty consistent with all His attributes. Sovereignty is not an attribute of God but a right or power He exercises as a consequence of His attributes.

                Jim Poulos

                Not bad, not bad at all. Yes, I agree, He exercises His sovereignty consistent with His attributes and let’s add this also, consistent with His purposes.

                But all in all you worded it well. It is His right and is exercised like described above.
                But like a King over a country, He may have the sovereignty to fight his own people but that goes against everything who a king is suppose to be. He wants his people to work for the same purposes he does. The good of the nation.

                Relate that to God as King, which He is.

                As a King God or any well meaning King want willing allegiance.

                  rhutchin

                  Wasn’t that the situation with Israel. When Israel asked Samuel to appoint a king over them, wasn’t he upset because they were rejecting God as their king? God rules over all people but all people do not necessarily want God to rule over them.

                  Jim Poulos

                  I’m not sure I would embrace your viewpoint that ‘God rules over all people.’

                  This is very technical and you’re are over simplifying the problem.

                  Look at the Lord’s statement to Cain: “Sin lies at your door and its desire is for you but you must rule over it.”

                  The Lord is basically showing Cain the competition for his, Cain’s, allegiance. Either Sin rules over him or the only other capable competitor to be Cain’s ruler would be the Lord.

                  But the Lord needed a couple of thousands of years to show He was the only worthy Ruler in place of Sin.

                  This is basically the Bibles Story.

              Andrew Barker

              rhutchin: That’s about as coherent as you ever get, plus you’re using half quotes out of context. We (royal) do not accept your concept of sovereignty which amounts to little more than having to agree with your definition of sovereignty.

                rhutchin

                That is the point I made earlier. We both accept the concept of “sovereignty” but define it to mean different things.

                  Andrew Barker

                  You have made no such point. What you were trying to establish is that those who disagree with your concept of sovereignty have got it wrong. Actually, we (royal) think you have rather got it wrong and that your concept of sovereignty is not supported in scripture.

                    rhutchin

                    “…people pretend God is not sovereign to explain the Scriptures.” When a person leaves sovereignty out of discussions of other doctrines, they have effectively defined it away. I am not claiming that people who define sovereignty different from me are necessarily wrong (even though I think they are), I am only recognizing that there are different definitions of sovereignty out there.

Paul N

So it is possible to be regenerated (Regenerate: New Birth) and not saved, as far as Calvinism is concerned?
I am trying to understand some of what I have read in objection to this write up.

    Bob Hadley

    Paul

    Yours is a very good question. The calvinist position as I understand it is “yes” and “no” depending on who you talk to. In one sense, the answer is “yes”. Regeneration has to take place so that one CAN repent and by faith believe and THEN be forgiven and converted. The question I have actually asked in this line of discussion is, then does that mean someone COULD be regenerated today and repent and believe at some point down the road, ie a week, a year later? Some have said yes that is possible and others have said no… their position is when God regenerates a person their immediate response is one of repentance and faith and conversion in this scenario is virtually simultaneous; sort of like a baby breathing when he is born. He is born and the natural progression is taking a breath. This latter position sort of sums up the “no” meaning they are so connected it is impossible to distinguish the two.

    My post speaks to the issue of regeneration itself. Calvinism simply says it happens and THEN repentance and believing faith take place and then conversion. Some will try to say that this process is more of a logical progression than it is a linear series of events… but that is just side-stepping the issue because they understand the conflict of having to defend the position. If one HAS to be given new life and a new heart so that he CAN THEN repent and respond to God, THEN it is a linear event that necessarily MUST take place for repentance to happen. It is what it is BUT some will take issue with this position.

    Now to the point of MY original post. If regeneration MUST take place BEFORE someone can repent or respond to God, then I maintain that is only possible with the indwelling of the HS. Calvinists have so far refused to acknowledge that or explain how new life can take place apart from the indwelling of the HS… because that would present a very difficult position to defend from a Scriptural standpoint… because that places the HS taking up residence in an unrepentant heart. This I maintain is the Crux of calvinism because that is Scripturally problematic and since theirs is a philosophical position to begin with, their system becomes suspect in its founding supposition.

    Look at the responses I have received in this article… NO ONE addresses the issue I raise. Why? I maintain they CAN’T. There is no credible answer to the question I raise concerning regeneration or new life prior to repentance and faith. I would love to see a reasonable answer to this point but it has not happened yet and I have been blasting this horn for a number of months now.

    Thanks for your question. I am sure someone else will be able to give a much better answer than I have.

      rhutchin

      Pastor Hadley writes, “If regeneration MUST take place BEFORE someone can repent or respond to God, then I maintain that is only possible with the indwelling of the HS.”

      Can you explain how you came to this conclusion? Why does regeneration require the “indwelling” of the HS? When Paul explains, “you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air,…Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.” God’s work to “make a person alive” can be called regeneration. It is not here identified with the indwelling of the HS. Later, “we are God’s workmanship.” Despite no reference to the HS, we understand that the HS is intimately involved in these activities simply because God works through the HS.

      Paul N

      Thanks Pastor Hadly! I Fully agree with you. I don’t see how one be be regenerated apart from the Indwelling of a The Holy Spirit. I am just trying to understand these Calvinistic ideas of scripture, quite confusing to me.

    rhutchin

    It is necessary to be regenerated in order to confess Christ as Lord, because “No one can come to Christ.” We normally described a person as being “saved” at that point where the person confesses Christ as Lord – “you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth.” However, the person can be described as being saved before the world was created – “God chose us in him before the creation of the world.” So, the issue is, What do people mean when they use the term, “saved”?

      Bob Hadley

      I continue to be amazed at an obvious lack of comprehension. I am sorry.

      It is necessary to be regenerated in order to confess Christ as Lord, because “No one can come to Christ.”

      OK… a person is given NEW LIFE so he can THEN repent and believe. That IS your position. My problem is Scripturally new life can ONLY be accomplished by the indwelling of the HS. I do not know how to make that statement ANY clearer. Can you comment on THAT?

      I agree that a person is “saved” after he repents and by faith believes. I believe THAT is when the HS takes up residence in a person’s heart and he is given new life.

      Your last statement involves another very serious problem where the tenets of calvinism are concerned; if the elect is “saved” before the foundation of the world or even at the cross…. then there is no need for him to be “saved” at a later date. I will be dealing with that at a later date.

        rhutchin

        Pastor Hadley writes, “That IS your position. My problem is Scripturally new life can ONLY be accomplished by the indwelling of the HS.”

        I don’t see the Scriptures saying this. Can you lay out the Scriptural argument concisely – i.e., cite the Scriptures without commentary; let the Scriptures speak for themselves and let’s work with those Scriptures. I think we are just into an I say/you say discussion.

        rhutchin

        Pastor Hadley writes, “Your last statement involves another very serious problem where the tenets of calvinism are concerned; if the elect is “saved” before the foundation of the world or even at the cross…. then there is no need for him to be “saved” at a later date. I will be dealing with that at a later date.”

        In God’s foreknowledge of the future, all people are saved – their salvation is certain. From man’s perspective, a person is saved in the course of time when he believes.

      Ed Chapman

      No one can come to Christ? What? I assume you are discussing John 6:44, which states, “44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

      But did you happen to see who those people are? Verse 45

      45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

      That is how it is done. Hearing and learning of the Father comes first. Not some sort of magical act of “Poof, you now believe”.

      The WHOLE subject of this is about BREAD, aka MANNA, and Jesus explains that he is the bread of life. Bread is the whole topic surrounding verse 44, which you state that no one can come to Christ.

      You LEARN about the Father in The Law and The Prophets, and in doing so, you learn about the Son. The Father gives you the Son (aka the Bread of Life, manna).

      It’s so simple, but you come up with this magical act that the Father bestows on a person to get him to believe? Really? Verse 45 explains how you come to know the Son. Bottom Line…give us this day our daily bread. Bread=The Word of God, or, in other words, SCRIPTURE.

      Romans 10:14
      How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

      The preacher preaches. That’s how. No magic act. No sovereign act from the foundation of the world.

      Ed Chapman

      rhutchin,

      There ya go again, putting a period in another sentence mid stream, when you state, “No one can come to Christ.”.

      So, let’s go deeper in this. John 6:44 states:

      44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

      HOW is that done?

      Well, let’s look at the very next verse:

      45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

      Well, how about that. No magical act of “Poof, you are saved!” at the foundation of the world…no sovereign act of God.

      Teach, hear, learn. Then you make that decision on your own.

      HOW IS THE KEY QUESTIONS HERE. HOW?

      Romans 10:14-15
      14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

      15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

      HOW, you ask? Preach, hear, learn. No magical act of any sovereignty of God.

      Ed Chapman

        rhutchin

        So, what is the issue. You cite that which the Calvinist says. They will “ALL” [not each and every person but those whom God chooses) be taught of God with the result that they who have learned from God will then those who come to Christ who then raises them up on the last day – as we read in 1 Thessalonians 4. The Universalist says that “ALL” does refer to each and every person so every person will be saved. Of course, faith comes by hearing the gospel and it is those whom God teahces who find faith suddenly appearing where it had not existed before. I don’t see any issue with Calvinism in what you write.

          Ed Chapman

          What’s the issue? Are you kidding? WHO was Jesus talking to in verse 45? He was talking to Jews, not Gentiles, and was making a reference about the Jewish people, not YOU. Not ME.

          You state:
          “Of course, faith comes by hearing…

          What is that about with you? According to your beliefs, faith comes by doing a magic act of God sovereignty imputing faith, which is nonsense, not by hearing. You play a magic act yourself if you claim that it is both imputing and hearing..

          So which is it? Imputing, or hearing?

          There is no such thing as God imputing faith to save anyone.

          Ed Chapman

          I noticed that you want to find a way to change the subject at hand, tho. My whole point with you is that you (a Calvinist trait) put periods in the middle of a sentence, which changes the meaning to what YOU want it to be. Again, you had stated that “No one can come to Christ.”

          And my point with you, is that your statement is NOT true, because you purposefully left out the rest of the conversation, thereby changing the meaning to what you want it to mean.

          So, you wish to go on a tangent with me about the word “all”? Really?

            rhutchin

            The periods only serve to highlight a truth found in the Scripture. This is a true statement – No one can come to Christ. You cannot change that truth.

              Ed Chapman

              No, that is not a true statement. I showed you verse 45 as to HOW a person comes to Christ. It’s not a magical act that God must do. A preacher teaches, the student listens and learns. That is how people come to Christ.

              The ONLY way that one cannot come to Christ is because no one taught that person anything about Christ.

                rhutchin

                Your comment indicates that you are confused. v44 tells us that No one can come to Christ. V45 tells us that a person who is taught by God will come to Christ. Both verses are telling us the truth (regardless whether you believe them). We harmonize these truths in the following manner: No one can come to Christ, with one exception – Those who are taught by God. All those who are taught by God come to Christ.

                  Ed Chapman

                  First of all, verse 44 does NOT state that no one can come to Christ, PERIOD. Second of all, verse 45 does NOT state that a person who is taught BY God will come to Christ. You put a period where it does not belong in verse 44, and replace a word in verse 45 from OF to BY. Then you harmonize YOUR version of the re-worded verse.

                  Ed Chapman

      Paul N

      So when a person is regenerated they are not saved until they confess Christ as Lord? If so, what state are they are? Are they in limbo until confession?

        Jim Poulos

        Paul,

        I’m going to try to answer your question because of the precious picture of you two daughter and figure someone with such precious looking daughters won’t attack me.

        This is a little off but not much. Read Acts chapter 2. There is a fascinating sequence of events. Those who heard Peter message, all Jews, could not receive the Spirit until they were baptized in Water, i.e., confessing Christ.

        Much of the historical context is going on here that is being ignored in this debate.

        Receiving the Spirit would equate to being regenerated.

        Just read it an consider. I don’t see how that wouldn’t get anyone who seeks for truth to get them thinking.

          Paul N

          Good stuff, Jim. Thanks. No worries, no attacks regardless!

          You are dealing with the issue I have with the idea that one can be born again without the Indwelling of The Holy Spirit.

          I fully agree with what you are saying to rhutchin.

            Jim Poulos

            Hello Paul,

            The whole notion of ‘born again’ was raised by Jesus in his discussion with Nicodemus and is in direct reference to the Spirit. When you read Acts keep John the Baptist and his work in mind. At the beginning of his ministry the topic of the Spirit began. That topic was pointing to Jesus and Jesus completing His work. ‘Unless a seed falls to the ground it will not produce. But if it does…”

            Thanks

        rhutchin

        Regeneration is required for a person to be able to confess Christ as lord. The sequence of events in the salvation process would be:
        1. regeneration
        2. hearing the gospel as a consequence of being regenerated
        3. receiving faith as a consequence of hearing the gospel
        4. confessing Christ as lord as a consequence of faith.

        I suspect most Calvinists would agree that the sequence of events pretty much happens simultaneously or at least in the course of the gospel being heard.

          Jim Poulos

          When the 3,000 Jews heard Peter’s message on Pentecost, what did the hear when ‘they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

          They felt this and asked this having no Spirit in them. How does that fit your above sequence?

          Only after they were baptized did they receive the Spirit.

            rhutchin

            1. regeneration
            2. hearing the gospel as a consequence of being regenerated
            3. receiving faith as a consequence of hearing the gospel
            3a Asked, “What shall we do?”
            3b Response, In faith, “Repent and be baptized [and] receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
            4. confessing Christ as lord – repentance and baptism – as a consequence of faith.
            4a. received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

              Jim Poulos

              So rhutchin,

              From your framework ‘regeneration’ doesn’t involve the indwelling Spirit.

              I’ve always connected the concept of ‘regeneration’ with that of ‘born again’ or ‘born from above.’
              That concept/idea is specifically tied to the Spirit in John 3.

              If you understanding of ‘regeneration’ basically and theological idea not connected with scripture?

                Jim Poulos

                Should read, Is your understanding of ‘regeneration’ basically a theological idea not connected with scripture?

                Sorry

                  Dennis Lee Dabney

                  Jim,

                  You just hit the nail on the head.

                  Regeneration simply “sounds” like afore process to bring man back from a Spiritual corpse by resuscitated him before Repentance and faith.

                  The New birth, being born again, brings him out of darkness, giving him new life from above.

                  Titus 3 is looking at Repentance and faith in the rear view mirror.

                  By the way, no Scriptures are necessary for this doctrine.

                  Doctrine without Scriptures, how convenient.

                  Preach!

                    Jim Poulos

                    Dennis,

                    Now we need to use biblical figures of speech. Not ‘hit the nail on the head,’ But ‘not just beating the air.’

                    Anyway I’d like rhutchin to try to answer. To him, does the ‘idea’ of regeneration have its source in Scripture? I always associated it with ‘born again.’ It seems not.

                    We’re trying.

                    Peace.

                rhutchin

                Regeneration is identified as those dead in sin “being made alive” by God in Ephesians 2. The Scriptures seem to clearly state that the indwelling of the spirit occurs after a person believes – “you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance…” (Ephesians 1)

                  Jim Poulos

                  Rhutchin,

                  Look how you state it, “The Scriptures seem to clearly state…” ‘Seem’ and ‘clearly state’ are contradictory. For something to ‘seem’ is not the same as ‘clearly state.’

                  I’m coming to the conclusion that your understanding of the concept of ‘regeneration’ is something posited in your arguments to bring cohesiveness to the your entire framework. The concept is not found in scripture.

                  The idea of ‘born again’ or ‘born from above’ is. And the Jews at Pentecost understood completely, prior to the Spirit, which is prior to being ‘born again’ and submitted to water baptism followed by receiving the Spirit, which is the foundation of ‘born again.’

                  You can not argue ‘clearly’ ‘regeneration’ is an event that takes place prior to the indwelling of the Spirit. You must qualify your statements with the word ‘seems’ to be.

                  And you qualifying your statements like that shows you work to be an honest person. And there is not progress without that quality.

                  Peace.

                    rhutchin

                    By “seem to” I am allowing that there may be some who believe that the same verses that state clearly to a Calvinist that the Holy Spirit indwells a person only after he confesses Christ as Lord might be disputed with the claim that the Holy Spirit indwells a person prior to a confession of Christ as Lord.

                    Jim Poulos

                    Again, the support of the idea of ‘regeneration’ prior to the ‘indwelling’ of the Spirit.

                    This is something inputted to give yourself understanding but something not to argue from scripture.

                  Jim Poulos

                  Rhutchin,

                  Look how you state it, “The Scriptures seem to clearly state…” ‘Seem’ and ‘clearly state’ are contradictory. For something to ‘seem’ is not the same as ‘clearly state.’

                  I’m coming to the conclusion that your understanding of the concept of ‘regeneration’ is something posited in your arguments to bring cohesiveness to the your entire framework. The concept is not found in scripture.

                  Jim Poulos

                  The idea of ‘born again’ or ‘born from above’ is. And the Jews at Pentecost understood completely, prior to the Spirit, which is prior to being ‘born again’ and submitted to water baptism followed by receiving the Spirit, which is the foundation of ‘born again.’

                  You can not argue ‘clearly’ ‘regeneration’ is an event that takes place prior to the indwelling of the Spirit. You must qualify your statements with the word ‘seems’ to be.

                  And you qualifying your statements like that shows you work to be an honest person. And there is not progress without that quality.

                  Peace.

                  Don Johnson

                  rhutchin,

                  We certainly agree the Holy Spirit is given to those who believe. I’m curious though, how one can be regenerated without the indwelling of the Spirit? Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Calvinism teach an “inward” call? If so, doesn’t that mean the Holy Spirit must enter a person in order to regenerate the individual?

                    rhutchin

                    The call of God is always an inward call no matter the theology. That call is to the heart of the person which heart must be changed from stone to flesh if a person is to respond to the call (inward) of God. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit requires that the person be a believer; the Holy Spirit does not indwell a non-believer because the idea of indwelling is to take up permanent residence. Under some non-Calvinist theologies, a person can resist the Holy Spirit which means that the person can resist the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Thus, all seem to recognize that the Holy Spirit only indwells one who has confessed Christ as Lord.

                    Don Johnson

                    rhuthcin,

                    Is it correct to assume according to Calvinism, that the Holy Spirit enters a person and regenerates the individual. Once the person is regenerate the Holy Spirit exits the person. Then once the person declares faith in Christ the Holy Spirit returns and continually there after indwells the believer. Is this correct?

                    rhutchin

                    Don Johnson writes, “Is it correct to assume according to Calvinism, that the Holy Spirit enters a person and regenerates the individual. etc.”

                    The first thing to do is define what “the indwelling of the Holy Spirit means.” If we define this to mean the point after the person believes and the Holy Spirit takes up permanent residence in the believer than any interaction between the Holy Spirit and an individual before they believe cannot be called “indwelling.”

                    Because of the depravity of the person, he cannot believe without being changed in some manner (regenerated) and this is a work of God (Holy Spirit) on the individual. Whether this requires that the Holy Spirit enter the person is not known (I don’t think) but could not be called the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

                    JIm Poulos

                    Rhutchin,

                    If it is ok to interject. You answered Don, ‘I don’t think,’ about the Spirit entering a person to believe.

                    So wouldn’t you say the concept of ‘regeneration’ prior to indwelling is basically and theological concept? It can’t be confirmed by any precise or specific scripture and is particular to a theological paradigm?

                    Isn’t that fair? This is not trying to corner you or anyone but to get handle on this.

                    Jim Poulos

                    Rhutchin,

                    And if you don’t know or can’t answer, just say so.
                    Honesty goes along way and also is from the Lord.

                  Jim Poulos

                  Rhutchin,

                  I don’t think there is an argument with what you say above.

                  It is the concept of ‘regeneration,’ as something differentiated from the ‘indwelling’ of God’s Spirit. Where there is scripture support for that understanding is the argument and where is support is missing.

                  Dennis Lee Dabney

                  Rhutchin,

                  Do you Have any more of those Gold Stars so I can aware Jim.

                  Preach!

                    Dennis Lee Dabney

                    Gold Stars to “award” Jim.

                    As you can see I’m excited!

                    Aware, award, whatever. Lol

                    Preach!

                  Ed Chapman

                  In order to be “made alive”, you must have the spirit “indwelling”. LIFE requires a spirit and a body. Without a spirit in a body, you are dead. Spiritual life means that God lives IN your own body, along with your own spirit. James 2:26. If God does not live in your body, you are still dead…you are still dead in your trespasses and sins.

                  You still want to peddle your Calvinist magic act? Tsk, tsk. Your theology is funny, and dangerous.

                    rhutchin

                    You seem to agree with RC Sproul in saying that regeneration and being born again are the same thing – a work of the Holy Spirit whereby the person is then enabled to respond positively to the gospel.

    Dennis Lee Dabney

    The issue here isn’t so much the doctrine of salvation nor the subject of regeneration. It comes down to reformed theology. The system requires life before repentance and faith to proppe up total depravity.

    Preach!

      Robert

      Dennis,

      To be fair and not misrepresent calvinist/Refomred thinking, your statement here is not quite accurate:

      “The issue here isn’t so much the doctrine of salvation nor the subject of regeneration. It comes down to reformed theology. The system requires life before repentance and faith to proppe up total depravity.”

      It is not that their concept that regeneration precedes repentance and faith props up their conception of total depravity.

      Rather, from their concept of total depravity, they are forced to invent their false doctrine of regeneration preceding faith. So actually their conception of total depravity props up their regeneration precedes faith doctrine.

      If you believe, as they do, that the sinner is completely incapable of understanding or responding to the gospel due to total depravity. You then have to explain how this completely dead and incapable person could become a believer. Well, drum roll please . . . ? this completely dead and incapable person must according to them BE REGENEATED FIRST, then they are able to believe because this regeneration then inevitably leads to faith and repentance.

      As Bob has shown so well throughout this thread, this is not the Biblical order at all.

      In the Bible it is faith and repentance first, then comes New Birth/regeneration/reception of the Spirit who then indwells the believer.

        Dennis Lee Dabney

        Robert,

        Point well made however I still hold to my earlier assessment.

        Total depravity is essential to this system. When some explain the spiritual condition of Adam, his wife Eve, the mother of all living and his progeny, a literal cadaver comes to mind.

        Yet the Lord God spoke with Adam, Eve, and both Cain and his brother Abel. They were permitted to dialogue with Him in their Fallen state as you well know.

        How spiritual dead were they? Would they need to be resuscitated first to hear Him and obey Him?

        What about Noah, Abraham and Moses ?By the way, after the Lord called and appointed Moses, He would have killed him had it not been for his wife.

        Nevertheless the Lord still found these sinners lost, some on the run from the consequences of their sins. He still found them, tracked them down, located all of them all, finding them all twice dead in trespasses and sins.

        What about Job, David and Solomon?

        What about Peter, James and John and the crew?

        What about Cornelius, Saul and all the others?

        What about me? When He called me out of darkness into His marvelous Light. I heard Him while I was in the height of my sin, couldn’t go any lower. I heard Him speak by the Holy Scriptures. I remember the day and I remember the hour. I remember His fear sweeping over my soul and how ripe I was for the White Hot wrath of Almighty God. Beloved, I later learned from His Holy Word, that my change didn’t come until I had a change of mind toward my sins and a change of heart toward God through Christ Jesus our Lord. I was guided by His Spirit to turn from my life of sin, turn from what I loved and trust the Lord Jesus Christ for myself.

        The Lord God made the rounds to these sinners, and all sinners including this one. Whether we wanted to be found or not. His voice they knew, and when they didn’t, they came to know it, and His presence was real.

        No, I believe “said” regeneration is necessary for the T to stand. Without regeneration before repentance and faith, total depravity is no more than total enability in which the Scriptures teach, that is due to the Fall none of the children of men can make the first move toward God and without Him there is No salvation.

        Preach!

          rhutchin

          DLD writes, “Total depravity is essential to [the Calvinist] system…No, I believe “said” regeneration is necessary for the T to stand.”

          Absolutely correct – DLD gets a gold star. The other side is that God is omniscient and foreknows all those who will be saved and foreknows because He has ordained that outcome. That is the foundation upon which Calvinism is built – Man’s depravity and God’s omniscience. The Open Theist denies God’s omniscience; the Pelagian denies man’s depravity. The Universalist says, So What?; God will save all anyway.

            Dennis Lee Dabney

            Rhutchin,

            Nice “duck”, awesome “sidestep”. Those of us who been on the inside of this man-made system, whether totally or almost to the point of indoctrination, know the selling tactics. They are Buyers beware!

            Here it is, the exerggerated Sovereignty of God and Total Depravity of man, the spiritual “Cadaver”, unable to hear the voice of the Lord even in the cool of the day.

            Reformation theology fails to take into consideration the Biblical Truth that God knew of all of Adam’s descendents before the Fall. They were not sinners, nor wicked or reprobate. We were all known by Him through out all of eternity past apart from Adam’s offense and even our own sin. He could justly say in the day He created us in Adam along with all of the works of His hands, “Very Good”!

            God was in Christ reconciling the whole world unto Himself. It will come to Him lost in Sin or found in Christ.

            Preach!

              rhutchin

              Calvinists side with Paul, “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” When Adam sinned, things changed for the worse.

                Dennis Lee Dabney

                Now you’re getting warm. The world was unreconciled by one man in Time.

                God was in The Last Adam in time reconciling the whole world back unto Himself.

                Lost man, dead in his trespasses and sins has only one appointment with death and that due Adam’s offense.

                Due to the above Biblical Truth all die once, is the only appointment by God with death, after that the judgment.

                The children of men die twice and serve eternity with the Devil, the Anti-Christ, the False Prophet, and the Fallen Angels, due to their failure to be reconciled back to God, by the Christ provided, God ordained reconciliation to peace with God.

                He says to the unreconciled world, BE YE RECONCILED in Time, while you still have time, before it is everlasting too late!

                In other words Repent and believe the gospel and be saved from the Second Death and have victory over the First Death.

                Repent or perish!

                Preach!

                  rhutchin

                  Preach it Mr. Calvinist. Another gold star for DLD.

      Dennis Lee Dabney

      Jim,

      Norm gave you passages earlier which expresses the gospel. Yet that wasn’t sufficient enough for you. More requirements from Jim.

      Now my usage of the hammer and the nail, not spiritual enough for You.

      Make up your mind. Not that it matters.

      This is elementary doctrine Rhutchin is attempting Calvinize.

      Preach!

        Jim Poulos

        Dennis,

        My sense of humor missed the mark. I didn’t mean to be a criticism. I did appreciated your comment.

        and Peace meant Peace.

          Dennis Lee Dabney

          Jim,

          Peace unto you Brother!

          Preach!

        Dennis Lee Dabney

        Rhutchin,

        I am well aware of the well known expositors who expose this dogma.

        The only problem here, the verses in this article still stand before regeneration occurs, which happens to be the work of the Spirit bringing about new life “in” the repentant sinner who trust the Lord Jesus Christ by faith.

        Preach!

          rhutchin

          DLD, “…the work of the Spirit bringing about new life “in” the repentant sinner who trust the Lord Jesus Christ by faith.”

          One good work deserves another, I guess.

            Dennis Lee Dabney

            Rhutchin,

            With this viewpoint we begin with a Reformed Sinner before Salvation.

            Preach!

              Dennis Lee Dabney

              What happens if the above should die before repentance and faith?

              The same thing that happens to all who fail to Repent.

              He will Perish.

              Preach!

                rhutchin

                We have this assurance, “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.” The “he,” of course, is God.

      Dennis Lee Dabney

      The problem with this teaching is this, the unbeliever is a state of unbelief. Even when he is under extreme conviction of by the Holy Spirit of sin of righteousness and of judgement, he is still in unbelief.

      Preach!

        rhutchin

        “… the unbeliever is a state of unbelief. Even when he is under extreme conviction of by the Holy Spirit of sin of righteousness and of judgement, he is still in unbelief.”

        DLD gets another gold star for explaining Calvinism.

    Lydia

    Paul, In Calvinism, there seems to be a sort of fake regeneration but they are really reprobate and don’t know it. Here is a start. Scary stuff.

    http://sbctoday.wpengine.com/john-calvin-in-his-own-words-article-ii-reprobation/

    http://sbctoday.wpengine.com/calvins-temporary-faith-for-the-reprobate/

      Andrew Barker

      Lydia: The more they preach this nonsense, the more damage they do to their own psychology. Cooking the goose will only provide sauce for the gander! No wonder that assurance is predominantly a problem among the reformed. You reap what you sow in this life too, it appears!!

        Lydia

        Andrew, there is some wacky stuff out there. I recently had someone tell me that I would receive “future salvation” if I stayed in my proper role. Evidently this is what Paul taught. Makes one wonder what happened to poor Lottie Moon!

      Paul N

      Lydia,

      Scary stuff, Indeed. I am baffled at this point. Calvinism reminds me of looking at oneself in those funhouse mirrors. The view of God is warped along with the gospel when viewed through Calvinism.

      Thanks for the info

    Andrew Barker

    Paul: As somebody who doesn’t like the concept of ‘regeneration’ as such, this demonstrates exactly the problem which adopting incorrect terminology causes. A person cannot be described as regenerate unless they have the holy spirit indwelling them. It therefore makes absolutely no sense at all to try and argue for regeneration before new birth. I’ve pointed out before that scripture doesn’t actually use the word regenerate in the same way it is used in theological parlance. There are only two occasions when the word is used in scripture. One is to do with the end of the age and the other is used in context where it could be translated as ‘new birth’.

    I fully accept that the term regeneration has been in use for so long now, that it’s not likely for it to be dropped, but the Christian’s life does not begin with regeneration but new birth. In my opinion, we should be talking about new birth, a new creation and NOT regeneration. Regeneration is really more akin to the process of sanctification which happens after a person has been saved! All these terms need careful definition if we are to avoid fruitless argument about something which may not even exist!

      rhutchin

      “A person cannot be described as regenerate unless they have the holy spirit indwelling them.”

      Can you give us the Scriptural argument that led you to this conclusion?

        Andrew Barker

        rhutchin: Seriously?

          rhutchin

          Yep. Seriously. A simple Yes or No will do in the absence of anything substantive. Perhaps a citation is available?

            Ed Chapman

            It’s so simple. LIFE requires both a body and a spirit. Without a spirit in a body, there is no life. James 2:26, and MANY many other places. Plant a spirit (seed) in a body (dirt) and Adam became a “LIVING” soul. Seed time and harvest exposes a lot of hints about LIFE. 1 Corinthians 15 exposes a lot about our bodies, whether it be bodies that die, or bodies that are immortal in the resurrection. The bible is chalked full of information about YOUR OWN spirit. You are a spirit dressed in a body. That body is your TENT, DOMICILE, Temple, etc. God lives in a Temple. God is a spirit (John 4). Your body is God’s Temple.

            I suppose the only part of the Bible you concentrate on is like, what, Romans 9?

            What I mentioned is Bible 101…What is life? Body and Spirit and Soul (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

            Ed Chapman

              rhutchin

              This part of the thread concerns the HOLY SPIRIT and when He begins to dwell in the believer. You seem to have gone off on a rabbit trail. Or, in confusion, do you say the human spirit, of which the verses you cite speak, is the same as the HOLT SPIRIT?

                Ed Chapman

                No kidding? What is the second word in “Holy Spirit”?

                John 4:24 God is a spirit

                Are you not a spirit dressed in a body? Were we not created in the image and likeness of God, to be eternal from the moment of creation? We are a spirit first and foremost. We live in a body. When we die, we are still a spirit existing without a body until the resurrection. Another word for spirit is “ghost”. You are a ghost living in a body. Same concept of Spirit in the words, “Holy Spirit”. The Holy Spirit is God, right? Spirits reside in bodies.

            Ed Chapman

            Life requires a spirit in a body. Without a spirit in a body, you are dead. You are a spirit in a body. God’s spirit must be in your body for you to be spiritually alive. Otherwise, you are still dead in your trespasses and sins.

            Ed Chapman

            Scour the whole bible on the topic of 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Spirit and Soul and Body. That is what life requires. Also see James 2:26. The Body is dead without the spirit. Also see 1 Cor 15 discussing the body that dies, vs. the body that does not die.

            Ed Chapman

            The bible is chalked full of information about YOUR OWN spirit. You are a spirit dressed in a body. That body is your TENT, DOMICILE, Temple, etc. God lives in a Temple. God is a spirit (John 4). Your body is God’s Temple.

          Lydia

          Andrew, come on. You are to prove that what is not there is not there!!

          You have been over the problem with the word regeneration quite a bit in the past. And I totally agree with you about definitions and terminology. Sometimes they are used as thought Stoppers.

      Paul N

      Thanks Andrew. I am dealing with being born again as Christ spoke in John 3.

      I am trying to get a concrete answer as to the position of a man that is born again prior to confession. According to Calvinism or rhutchin.

        Andrew Barker

        Akin to getting blood out of a stone …. don’t hold your breath. :-)

        Ed Chapman

        I find that the key word in “born again” is the word “again”. Now, Jesus made it plain that it has nothing to do with being born of the flesh. And since that be the case, neither is the prior, before “again”, either. Both are “of the spirit”.

        Born of God, and Born of God AGAIN.

        Now, I do not believe in “Original Sin”. I do not believe that we were born in the flesh already spiritually dead. I believe we die a spiritual death later on.

        When we understand what life is, aka Spirit and Soul and Body, then we can dissect what born again is, and what it isn’t.

        We were all born of God when we were also born of the flesh. But then we later on die a spiritual death. Then we resurrect from spiritual death to spiritual life, called “Born Again”.

        Romans 7, Paul states that before he knew the law, he was alive. Once he knew it, he died. Your spiritual death date is when you got a guilty conscience for the very first time. Before that, you were not dead in your trespasses and sins. You were alive.

        Ed Chapman

          rhutchin

          “Now, I do not believe in ‘Original Sin.’…Your spiritual death date is when you got a guilty conscience for the very first time. Before that, you were not dead in your trespasses and sins. You were alive.”

          From the moment of conception, a person is subject to death. The Scriptures are clear: “The wages of sin is death” and “in Adam all die” because “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” The original sin that you deny conveys the truth of these Scriptures. Can you deny these Scriptures or that people are subject to death from the point of conception? If not, then your theology is lacking. If a person is spiritually alive under your theology, how can they be subject to death?

            Ed Chapman

            There is a difference between natural death, and spiritual death.

            Adam never had eternal life to begin with, therefore, he didn’t lose it. He never obtained it. He was going to die a natural death to begin with. In order for Adam to have had eternal life, he would have had to have eaten from the Tree of Life first.

            The death spoken of in Genesis 3 is “Spiritual Death”, not natural death. The day that Adam and Eve got a guilty conscience, that is the day that they died a spiritual death. And, every one of us has a spiritual death date, meaning that we were once spiritually alive.

            Now, if Adam had eaten of the Tree of Life instead of the Tree of Death, we would not die a natural death either.

            When discussing the word “death”, one needs to determine natural vs. spiritual. There is a distinction. 1 Corinthians 15:35-54 explains all of this in the topic of the body of the resurrection. There is a natural, and there is a spiritual. Natural comes first.

            Not only that, but in Genesis 1, God created, in Genesis 2, God formed. Notice in Genesis 1, God created animals BEFORE man. In Genesis 2, God FORMED Adam before forming animals. Order of events are different between the 2 chapters indicating that God created “seed”, or should I say, “spirit” before forming the body. Life begins at conception because life requires a spirit in a body. Without that spirit, which is you, that body is dead. Therefore, for a fetus to be alive in the womb, there must be a spirit in that body. And, God is present in that body, too. You die a spiritual death. You are not born spiritually dead. You die a spiritual death at the moment that you get a guilty conscience, for then is when you know good from evil. Just like Adam and Eve.

            Deuteronomy 1:39King James Version (KJV)
            39 Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.

            Romans 7:9
            For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

            Ed Chapman

            Ed Chapman

            You had said:
            “If a person is spiritually alive under your theology, how can they be subject to death?”

            Let me reword that for you:
            “Since you are naturally alive, how can you be subject to natural death?”

            Everyone alive is subject to death.

            What is the difference between spiritual life/death vs. natural life/death?

            Spiritual life/death is when God communes with you or not. In other words, when you are spiritually alive, God lives in you. When you are spiritually dead, God has departed you.

            God is the spirit (John 4:24) that either lives in you, or departs from you.

            Do you see the difference between natural life/death vs. spiritual life/death?

            Ed Chapman

            A natural life/death is when you live in your body. You are the spirit that lives in your body. So, when you live in your body, and God also lives in your body, you are both naturally alive, and spiritually alive. If you live in your body, and God does not live in your body, you are spiritually dead, but naturally alive

            Ed Chapman.

              Dennis Lee Dabney

              Hello Ed,

              How is it Adam would die apart from the command given to him not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?

              Preach!

                Ed Chapman

                Again, there is a difference between spiritual death, and natural death.

                In order for Adam to have gotten eternal life, he would have had to have eaten of the Tree of Life. But he didn’t. Therefore, he was already destined to die a natural death anyway.

                The Key to spiritual death is “knowledge”, hence the name of the Tree of “Knowledge” of good and evil.

                We are told in Romans 3 that the Law is the “Knowledge” of sin. Without that knowledge, you cannot feel guilt. Once you “know” you did something wrong, then you feel guilt.

                And, in Romans 7:9, Paul shows that he was spiritually alive before he knew “Thou Shalt Not Covet”. At the point that he knew sin, he died a spiritual death, for he got a guilty conscience.

                There is a point in all of our lives where we have no knowledge of Good and Evil. And, as Deuteronomy 1:39 shows, those who have no knowledge of good and evil, they get to go to the promised land. Not only that, but those who have faith (Caleb and Joshua) get to go to the promised land, too.

                Faith and ignorance of good and evil gets to go to the Promised Land.

                1 Cor 15:35-53 explains a natural death vs. an immortal body, an eternal body, showing that what is natural comes first. What is spiritual does not come first.

                Take a piece of college ruled paper, and write down everything from 1 Cor 15:35-53 with two columns. One column of what comes first, and another column of what comes second. It is sown (planted) is the first part is a hint.

                Ed Chapman

                  Dennis Lee Dabney

                  Death is the “spelled” out judgment of God caused by sin in the garden of Eden. Both spiritual and natural.

                  There wasn’t anything natural about death before the Fall nor anything normal about it after the Fall.

                  Death is the birth child of sin.

                  Death did not enter this world naturally and could not for that matter.It had to enter spirituality due to one man’s disobedience.

                  The 1Corinthians 15 passage does not deal with death, natural or spiritual, before the Fall. It deals death in spite of the Fall.

                  We have no Scriptures which remotely suggest Adam would have died apart from the offense against the Lord God.

                  Without question man has experienced both spiritual and natural death. Yet we know all men haven’t died and the Old Testament record is clear

                  Death is the wages of Sin. Not the work of God in creating man in His image and after His likeness to die physically at some point in time apart from his willful disobedience to God.

                  Preach!

                    Ed Chapman

                    I totally disagree with you. I do not buy the famous “No where in scripture will you find…” scenario stuff. Because you can find it. If you look.

                    Again, if I may, in order for Adam to have eternal life, he would have had to have eaten from the Tree of Life. THEREFORE, he was already destined to die a natural death anyway. He never obtained eternal life, THEREFORE, he never had it to begin with. He did not start out with an immortal body.

                    You say that 1 Cor 15 does not discuss this? Yes, it does. The topic is about the resurrection, the immortal body. But it contrasts the immortal body with the mortal body first.

                    To wit:
                    35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

                    36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

                    37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:

                    38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

                    39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.

                    40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

                    41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

                    42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

                    43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

                    44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

                    45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

                    46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

                    47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.

                    48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

                    49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

                    50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

                    What came first was what? That which is “NATURAL”.

                    Natural dies, spiritual does not die.

                    Ed Chapman

                    Ed Chapman

                    Spiritual Death is the wages of sin, not natural death. Jesus was sinless, remember? He still died a natural death. Then he rose from the dead.

                    Ed Chapman

                    Dennis,

                    You had said:
                    “Yet we know all men haven’t died”

                    There is only 2 men who have not died. BUT, Hebrews 9:27 states that it is appointed unto man once to die, and then the judgment. Therefore, we believe that the 2 that have not died yet, will die at some point in the book of Revelation…the 2 witnesses.

                    Enoch and Elijah.

                    Now, in regards to the second death, the unrighteous will be resurrected with bodies that will die again.

                    Ed Chapman

                    Ed Chapman

                    Dennis,
                    You had said:
                    “Death is the wages of Sin. Not the work of God in creating man in His image and after His likeness to die physically at some point in time apart from his willful disobedience to God.”

                    I never implied that at all. What I said was that we, AS A SPIRIT (not anything to do with the body at all) was created in the image and likeness of God, to be eternal from the moment of “creation”. Our spirit was created. We are a spirit first and foremost. LIFE, however, requires a body. Without a body, you are dead. But existence is not dependent on a body. You did indeed exist before you were formed in your mothers womb. Your spirit is planted in a body at conception, as life (spirit in a body) begins at conception.

                    The wages of sin is spiritual death, otherwise known as separation from God, having absolutely nothing to do with physical, or should I say, “natural” death of the body.

                    Yes, we all die a natural death, all because Adam never ate of the tree of life, NOT BECAUSE he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

                    Remember this, that God put angels in front of the Tree of Life “AFTER” Adam ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and why was that?

                    It was so that Adam would NOT gain eternal life in a fallen state. This also shows that he still could have gotten eternal life if he would have eaten of that tree of Life.

                    That tree of life is the only way that Adam would have gotten eternal life, THEREFORE he did not lose what he did not have. He just never obtained it.

                    In Genesis, when God stated “in the day” that you eat of the tree of knowledge, you shall surely die, that was not discussing the physical death of the body. It was discussing separation from God, otherwise known as “spiritual death”. That was the day that God was separated from man.

                    Many people can’t seem to distinguish between physical death, and spiritual death, all because they think that Adam already had eternal life to begin with, and that he lost it, and that everyone is already born spiritually dead because of Adam, therefore, they believe in “original sin”.

                    Well, I don’t believe in any of the doctrines of original sin at all.

                    Ed Chapman

                    Ed Chapman

                  Dennis Lee Dabney

                  Ed,

                  I believe we have the same understanding of Adam receiving his eternal body however I’m not prepared to call it any sort of death.

                  I would say, he would be changed in a moment, upon eating from the Tree of life.

                  Also Mankind was created by God to live forever. The quality of that existence is “termed” eternal life or eternal damnation.

                  The Holy Scriptures are absolutely clear regarding the judgment of Adam’s sin on himself, spirit, soul and yes body as well as the effects on his kind and creation.

                  I do not compare Adam before the Fall to any other man after the Fall. He is to be compared to the Last Adam, the One who breathed into his nostrils the breathe of life.

                  They were given dominion over the works of His hand, including the kingdoms of this world which Satan offered to Christ Jesus our Lord.

                  He had God given authority and power unlike any other man until the Second Man.

                  The first Adam was put to sleep by the Lord God before the offense in order to bring his wife into the world.

                  I just don’t see in the Scriptures Adam’s body falling asleep apart from the above or his own rebellion against God.

                  I do hold that he could have done something for his wife to help her before he subscribed to her voice.

                  I believe the tree of life would have been instrumental in this along with him having to perhaps fall asleep as he was required by the Lord to bring her into the world in the first place.

                  Preach!

                    Ed Chapman

                    Dennis,

                    You had said:
                    “Also Mankind was created by God to live forever. The quality of that existence is “termed” eternal life or eternal damnation.”

                    Where did you get that idea? Again, he could not have lived “forever” unless he had eaten of the Tree of Life first.

                    Titus 1:2
                    In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

                    1 John 2:25
                    And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

                    Eternal life was “promised” before the world began, it did not start out that way. It was a promise that must first be obtained.

                    In order to obtain that promise, one must eat of that Tree of Life first.

                    Based on your interpretation of this topic, there was no purpose of the Tree of Life in the garden. Why would a Tree of Life be needed if he had already had eternal life to begin with? Hmmmmm?????

                    Ed Chapman

                    Dennis Lee Dabney

                    So we have man created in the image of God and created after His likeness not to live forever.

                    So Who did God have on His mind when He created man?

                    He had let US on His mind, especially the One who is The Express Image of person, the ETERNAL WORD OF GOD.

                    Made man a little lower than angels.

                    Will Judge angels in Christ Jesus our Lord.

                    A living soul has no end nor does a spirit cease to exist.

                    Preach!

            Ed Chapman

            After God departs you, in order to get that relationship back, a sacrifice must take place, blood must be shed. And that was only temporary until the next time you sinned.

            But now, Jesus is the last sacrifice ever needed. He was the Lamb of God sacrificed. No more sacrifices needed.

            Notice, if you will, that God sacrificed the first animal, covering Adam’s “shame”, “nakedness”, otherwise known as “sin”. It was animal skins that covered their bodies, but it was the blood that covered their sin.

            Not only did God sacrifice that first animal, but God also sacrificed the last animal, aka “The Lamb of God”, Jesus.

            That is how much God loves his creation, that he is willing to sacrifice himself for ME, a non-Calvinist.

            However, God showed in that very first sacrifice as to how to get that relationship back with him, to get him back. Those sacrifices were only temporary, and guess what? That was a work of man. If that work of man of sacrificing was not done, then they would not have had any relationship with God at all. The relationship between God and Adam continued after sacrifices were done to atone for sins. The relationship was not permanently severed.

            Ed Chapman

              rhutchin

              A good Calvinist explanation.

                Ed Chapman

                Of what? Can you be more specific?

                  rhutchin

                  More specific?? About what? You say what the Calvinists say.

                    Ed Chapman

                    What, that sacrifices to get back into a relationship with God is a work of man? As long as sacrifices were done, by man, God and man maintained a relationship. And that was man’s work, not God’s work. Man was not so depraved that they didn’t know what to do in order to not be separated from God.

                    Paul N

                    So anything you agree with is automatically in line with what calvinism teaches. Pretty funny.

                  rhutchin

                  Ed provided a comment that exhibited sound Calvinist thinking. He is to be commended for doing so. He apparently does not disagree with Calvinists on everything.

                  Dennis Lee Dabney

                  Ed,

                  Let me take it from the top. My initial question to you concerned the statement made that Adam was “destined” to Die a Nature death anyway. Nothing could be further from the Truth. We have absolutely no Scripture to even remotely suggest this statement before Genesis 3:6. It is just not there. None of the subsequent Scriptures speak to the so-called Natural Death of Adam before his offense which led to spiritual death. I am well aware of the differences between spiritual death vs physical death. They happened to be the same coin, you have one side (spiritual death) you automatic have the other side (physical death). By the way I also hold partially to who the two witnesses in Revelation might be but we will have to wait and see. What I do know is this, it is appointed unto “man” once to die but we already know all men will not Die.All who are alive and remain at His appearing will NOT DIE.

                  To us the term Natural Death before the Fall is a reach. Like I said before and it bares repeating, DEATH of any sort is the JUDGMENT THE LORD GOD FOR SIN. There is nothing natural, or normal about death. I’ve done enough eulogy’s to speak with authority on the matter.

                  Yes Ed, spiritual death occurred first due to Sin but there was nothing Adam could do to alter Death from finding him, and his body falling asleep upon the earth.

                  Your comment regarding scenario stuff can be substantiated by the word of God. Adam did not eat from the Tree of Life yet if He obeyed the Word of Life, like you and me he has everlasting Life. My point was this, all who did not eat from the tree of Life and will not eat from the tree of Life (which is everyone) and do not obey will of God, will live forever. Yes they are measured already and their resurrection bodies will fit and endure eternal damnation due to the truth that they considered themselves unworthy of eternal life.

                  Man was created to glorify God and be with Him forever. He will be our God and we will be His people.

                  I made the biblical distinction between eternal damnation vs Eternal Life. If lost men, dead in trespasses and sins simply disobey the word of God by failing to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ they will occupy eternity in the Lake of Fire, where the worm dieth not. No one needs to eat from the tree of life to live forevermore. Once again, eternal life is the God kind of Life both now and in the hereafter in CHRIST. Eternal damnation is the judgment of God upon all who follow Satan to his predicted end.

                  Finally, the tree of Life was placed in the garden and it’s significance can only be described in The ‘Rod”, The “Stem” of Jesse, The “Branch”, none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

                  Preach!

                    Dennis Lee Dabney

                    Ed,

                    You also said Christ die a natural death even though He was sinless. Where did you read that? He was “born” to Die the Death of All Deaths and there wasn’t anything natural about it. He sweated great drops of blood in the the garden. He was “pressed” out before our Father in the Mt called Olives.He died a “Sacrificial Death” for the sins of the whole world. He said, I received a commandment from My Father, I have Power to lay My Life down and I had Power to take it up again. The God-Man laid His life down.

                    If He had not given up the ghost when He did, He would still be on the cross at this present moment. Death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him.

                    Preach!

              Dennis Lee Dabney

              Ed,

              No one has eaten from the Tree of life yet all those who join Satan in the lake of fire will exist there Forever.

              Preach!

                Dennis Lee Dabney

                Ed

                Hebrews 6:1-2
                Its not call eternal judgment for nothing.

                Tree or Not Tree.

                Preach!

Robert

Bob has made his point repeatedly and clearly and well.

Yet rhutchin keeps ignoring it and keeps just repeating his calvinistic nonsense like a mantra:

“You seem to agree with the Calvinists that the indwelling of the HS occurs after a person believes. Your disagreement is when the Calvinists say that a change must occur in the depraved person prior to him being able to believe. I think your position is that the preaching of the gospel is of such power that people who hear the gospel are then able fully to believe that gospel. The complaint that the Calvinists have with that position is that some people do not believe the gospel. The Calvinists concludes that some other factor is necessary to explain why some people hear the gospel and believe and some do not. They claim that the missing factor is regeneration – those who believe can do so because they have been regenerated; those who do not are just as depraved as they always were.”

In my opinion due to his constantly repeating his point and ignoring Bob’s point, rhutchin needs to be removed.

He is wasting Bob’s time and the time of the rest of us.

It is one thing to interact with another person’s points and disagree agreeably, it is another to keep making your point and ignoring the point that Bob is making.

I am sure Bob has more important things to do then keep repeating his point over and over in different ways to someone who intentionally ignores it and just keeps spouting his nonsense over and over again.

We would all be helped if this refusal to deal with Bob’s point on the part of this one individual would be ended.

Thanks.

    rhutchin

    Pastor Hadley and I (with my Calvinist leanings) disagree on when Calvinism requires that the Holy Spirit indwell the believer – I maintain that Calvinism has the HS indwelling the believer after he believes – confesses Christ as Lord – while Pastor Hadley maintains that Calvinism requires that the HS indwell the believer before he believes. I see the Scriptures telling us that the HS indwells the believer after he believes and that Calvinism sides with the Scriptures. I don’t see that Pastor Hadley has a basis for claiming that Calvinism requires the indwelling of the HS before a person believes. Our interaction has clearly identified an issue of contention, so that interaction was profitable.

    Andrew Barker

    Robert: I share your frustration but in the end, I think people like rhutchin should be quietly ignored rather than removed. I don’t think Bob Hadley or any of the other contributors to this site will feel the need to answer each and every question or comment and as for those of us who enjoy pitching in … well we can all make up our own minds regarding time and effort. :-)

      Robert

      Andrew,

      “Robert: I share your frustration but in the end,”

      It is not so much frustration, it is that I don’t like to waste time. And I am sure this also applies to many others here as well. Interaction with others and even disagreement is fine. But this person just keeps making the same points over and over and over again, never really interacting with what others have said. For example in this thread he kept avoiding Bob’s point while continuing to present his point. Again, it is fine to disagree, but if you disagree even then it has got to be with the point the person is making.

      “I think people like rhutchin should be quietly ignored rather than removed.”

      Imagine if he **were removed**, you would not have these threads where someone goes back and forth with him in seemingly endless loops and nothing is gained, nothing is changed, just him making his same point again and again. It appears that he is desperate for attention so he does not care what anyone says as long as they are engaging him. It is clear from his posting that he has no personal ministry, so he has lots of time to post on the internet, and that is all that he does, post on the internet at various sites.

      “ I don’t think Bob Hadley or any of the other contributors to this site will feel the need to answer each and every question or comment and as for those of us who enjoy pitching in … well we can all make up our own minds regarding time and effort. :-)”

      Well having seen it happen over and over, I see unsuspecting folks (and regulars as well) get caught up into these perpetual loops with him. Around and around and around with no change in either person, just time wasting. I think the devil is actually quite pleased by these seemingly endless loops as they take people away from more important things. The time wasted with him could have been used evangelizing, praying, discipling, doing visitation, encouraging faithful people, etc. etc. Instead, faithful people go in these loops wasting time with someone who is set in his opinions and apparently not having any other responsibilities has lots of time to waste. In my experience and observation one of the adversaries’ most effective methods in our day and in our prosperous culture is distraction: getting people distracted from what they could and ought to be doing. It is very subtle and an easy trap to fall into.

Dennis Lee Dabney

Jim,

Dr. Hadley’s article in based on the Word of God. Not even my opinion, which I do value, as you said, nor my comments or criticisms really matter in the Face of the Most High God and His Holy Scriptures.
Nothing has been presented to refute the truth set forth above.

I made the choice a long time ago to agree with His written word. No matter the consequences and believe me Jim when I say there have been consequences not a few.

Your opinion of me does matter.

Preach!

Ed Chapman

Moderator, I have two comments (pretty much duplicate comments) awaiting moderation. Don’t know why, since a different comment did indeed get posted with no problems within a few minutes of the moderated one.

Thanks

Ed Chapman

Dennis Lee Dabney

Rhutchin,

The Lord Jesus Christ said without equivocation, “Repent or perish! God’s part, is His goodness which leadeth thee to repentance.
“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”

Not according to Rhutchin, it is regeneration before repentance, which the Scriptures do not support, which he says, leads to repentance and faith. We have a better word of prophecy in Holy Writ.

Man’s part, turn! Repent, change your mind.

No one would expect a life guard to teach a drowning victim how to swim as he or she goes down for the last time. Rather his sole responsibility, which makes a demand on his training, expertise and passion, is to be in a position to rescue the perishing from the water.

God is our Saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord. He saves sinners in their sins, saving them from their sins giving them New life in Christ. He demonstrates His power over sin, providing salvation to all who obey the gospel.

Preach!

    rhutchin

    DLD’s key point, “[God] demonstrates His power over sin, providing salvation to all who obey the gospel.”

    OK. Let’s allow that God indeed provides salvation to all who obey the gospel. That is what the Pelagian advocates, so let’s allow that some people do obey the gospel without God’s help. It is those who reject the gospel – either because the gospel is a stumbling block to them or they consider the gospel to be foolishness – with whom the Calvinist is concerned. It is from among those that reject the gospel that the Calvinist maintains that God chooses those that He will save will passing over the rest. So, we have two types of people who are saved – those who believe the gospel outright and those who reject the gospel but are then drawn to Christ by God. Thus, those who end up in hell either did not believe the gospel outright or were among those passed over by God when He had mercy on some of those who rejected the gospel.

rhutchin

Ed Chapman writes, “The subject of the sentence is not “God Chose Us”. The Subject of the sentence is the words to the right of “THAT WE”, which is that YOU are to be holy and blameless.”

Ephesians 1:4 – God chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. NIV

This is a simple statement of fact.
The subject: God
A verb: chose
the object: us

By what means: in him

When did the action take place: before the creation of the world
What was God’s purpose: those chosen were “to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

For some reason, you cannot do a simple analysis of the verse.

KJV as you quote: “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:”

Transition: According as (to explain how God has blessed the “us” – Paul and the Ephesian believers

The subject: God
A verb: chose
the object: us

By what means: in him

When did the action take place: before the creation of the world

What was God’s purpose: that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Either way, the verse is a straightforward statement of God’s blessing. You cannot force it to say something it does not, which I think explains your dancing around the issue.

    Ed Chapman

    You are incorrect. The subject is the words to the right of “TO BE”, or, “THAT WE”, and you miss the FOCUS of that. You keep concentrating on “God chose us”, period, when that is NOT the end of the sentence. Note the words to the right of “TO BE” in the following (THAT IS WHAT WAS PREDESTINED).

    Romans 8:29
    For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

    You, personally, were not predestined for salvation. But, AS A CHRISTIAN ALREADY, Christians are predestined “TO BE” conformed to the image of his son.

    Are you getting this yet? You force scripture to state what it does not state, all because you want to put a period after certain phrases. THAT is what changes the meaning of the sentence, and you keep proving it time and time again, because Calvinists seem to have no clue as to the English language sentence structuring.

    Ed Chapman

      rhutchin

      Predestination is not the issue in Ephesians 1:4; God’s choosing is the focus. God chose His elect. It is also true that God predestinated His elect to be conformed to His son.

        Ed Chapman

        English language sentence structuring is the same regarding predestination as it is with “God Chose Us”. Your definition of “elect” is “Calvinist”, am I right? Those who do not believe in Calvinism, they are not “elect”, correct?

          Andy

          Not at all, Ed,

          I doubt you will find any calvinist who believes this. All I have heard believe one can be and elect, saved Christian, and yet they would say you are wrong about calvinism, but still and elect christian.

          hope that helps,
          -Andy

            Ed Chapman

            But there are many different versions of Calvinism these days, it’s hard to keep track of Calvinism beliefs anymore. John Calvin was not a nice man. He couldn’t practice the grace that he thinks that he preached. Did he think that he was doing God a favor by having, what he calls, heretics, burned at the stake? Killing people over a belief? The thought police? Nothing nice has come from this so-called belief system. Ya know, atheists don’t like when Christians shove their beliefs down their throats. Why do Calvinists insist on shoving their beliefs down the throats of Baptists who do not adhere to Calvin beliefs? I’m not getting that at all. Seems that Calvin is all about conquering by force.

              Andy

              We’ll, there ARE different kinds of Calvinist s, but ALL of them I have ever met still think non Calvinists are still Christians (and elect)….some of them are even nice sometimes.

                rhutchin

                Some of those whom God saves still cling to the flesh and want to take credit for choosing Christ.

                  Andrew Barker

                  Another totally unfounded statement. Point to one person here on this blog who wants to take credit for choosing Christ. You really “do not understand it” do you!

                    rhutchin

                    If everyone on the blog is reformed in their theology, that’s OK by me.

                  Paul N

                  That’s like saying a man dying of thirst can take credit for choosing to drink water that someone has offered them.

                    rhutchin

                    Actually, a person who clings to the flesh – that is clings to his sin nature – is one who is not aware of his thirst or that a drink (Christ) is there to quench his thirst. You reversed the meaning so that a person denies his sin nature and recognizes that he is dying of thirst (i.e., that he needs Christ).

                    Paul N

                    Rhutchin, Not sure what sin nature has to do with it. Faith comes by hearing God’s Word and The Holy Spirit convicts. Thus man when confronted with The Word and conviction of The Holy Spirit can see their sinful state and either receive or reject The Narrow Road which is Christ.

                    Regardless, one cannot boast when one is in dire straits and aid is offered. No disrespect, but it makes no sense at all to suggest it.

                    Believe what you must but it is disrespectful to tell someone that they are clinging to the flesh and all that.

                  rhutchin

                  “Faith comes by hearing God’s Word and The Holy Spirit convicts. Thus man when confronted with The Word and conviction of The Holy Spirit can see their sinful state and either receive or reject The Narrow Road which is Christ.”

                  That’s a basic Pelagian position and and opposite Calvinism.

                    Paul N

                    Could not care less what you call it. It’s what scripture teaches.

                  rhutchin

                  Of course, as the Pelagian/Calvinist debate demonstrates, you cannot prove your assertion and can only preach to the choir.

                    Jim Poulos

                    rhutchin,

                    Your flippancy boom-a-rangs right back at you.

                    You can’t prove anything yourself. All your argument are built on imprecise theological terms you eisegete with verses to support those terms.

                    What you accuse others of is what you practice.

                  rhutchin

                  Actually, I misspoke – too much tunnel vision at times. My apologies.

                  Your statement actually agrees with the Calvinist position. Of course, we know the outcome – each and every man when confronted with The Word and conviction of The Holy Spirit will receive salvation; this because “confrontation with the Word” presumes that faith has been conveyed to them by that Word. Had faith not been conveyed, then the person would reject salvation as faith is necessary to receiving salvation. You made a positive statement about salvation and I read it in a negative sense. I am sorry about doing that.

                    Paul N

                    No, it does not agree with your position at all. It agrees with what The Word says. Aperson though convicted and presented with the gospel will not be saved. I know people who know the truth and refuse to submit to it. Many people have told me that they are simply not ready to serve The Lord.

                  rhutchin

                  “You can’t prove anything yourself. All your argument are built on imprecise theological terms you eisegete with verses to support those terms.”

                  OK. I maintain that your claim is false.

                    Jim Poulos

                    OK. I maintain your claim that my claim if false is false.

                    In logical parlance this is called ‘circular reasoning’. Your entire theological framework of imprecise theological terms conform to that type of reasoning.

                  rhutchin

                  “Your entire theological framework of imprecise theological terms conform to that type of reasoning.”

                  Of course, this is a false claim. It is the precision of theological terms used by Cavlinism Calvinism that, given their basis in the Scriptures, make Calvinism so formidable and have caused people to either (1) reject omniscience (Open Theism), (2) total depravity (Pelagianism) or (3) God’s sovereignty (free will theism) in order to argue against Calvinism. There are no arguments against Calvinism that do not advocate at least one of those positions (at least, not that I have seen).

                    Jim Poulos

                    This is not false claim. Your arguments only have validity because of how you, not scripture defines the terms you use.

                    This is why there can never be direction with how you argue. Those terms already have meaning in your mind and you impose that meaning on passages and then claim that closes arguments. That is clearly circular reasoning.

                    A word means this, then idea of the word is in this verse, Conclusion: the word means what I said it means.

                    That is all it will ever be for you.

                    What you are completely ignoring is that Scriptures’ dominate method of communication is narrative, that is ‘story.’ Story is not about your ‘renaissance’ logic which you resort to and even you resorting to it you use incorrectly.

                    But even if you did use the logic correctly it can’t be enough. The theological terms you use are just that, terms you use. They are not found in scripture and if not clear meaning of them is not. You are left to your own conviction of their worth.

                    Another’s personal conviction about something is not enough for many people to embrace.

                    Robert

                    Rhutchin whose real name is “Roger” by the way (interesting we hear no complaints from Randall Coffield about him not posting by his real name) writes:

                    “Of course, this is a false claim. “It is the precision of theological terms used by Cavlinism Calvinism that, given their basis in the Scriptures, make Calvinism so formidable”

                    Completely false statement. The terms of Calvinism are not based in scripture. Three examples, irresistible grace nowhere to be found/scripture teaches the grace of God can be and sometimes is resisted. Limited atonement nowhere to be found in scripture (scripture never says Jesus died only for the elect says instead that Jesus died for the world). Unconditional election also not found in scripture, based upon interpreting some scriptures in line with the doctrine, mainly Romans 9 passages.

                    Calvinism is “formidable” only in the imagination of rhutchin.

                    Rhutchin further claims, and this is again a false claim:

                    “and have caused people to either (1) reject omniscience (Open Theism), (2) total depravity (Pelagianism) or (3) God’s sovereignty (free will theism) in order to argue against Calvinism. There are no arguments against Calvinism that do not advocate at least one of those positions (at least, not that I have seen).”

                    Traditionalists and other non-Calvinists believe in omniscience. It is only Calvinists and open theists who believe that free will cannot exist if God foreknows the future. Non-Calvinists do not reject omniscience, we reject Calvinist and open theism claims about omniscience, big difference.

                    Non-Calvinists do not all reject depravity, they reject the CALVINISTIC CONCEPTION of depravity, again, big difference.

                    Non-Calvinists do not reject the sovereignty of God, rather we reject the Calvinist view that God is only sovereign if He decrees all events (i.e. Calvinists define sovereignty so that it becomes the meticulous providence of Calvinism in which all events are predetermined by God.

                    What it boils down to is that non-Calvinists (including SBC Traditionalists) do not necessarily reject omniscience, depravity, or sovereignty, rather we reject Calvinistic views of these things, big difference.

                  rhutchin

                  Jim Poulos writes, “Your arguments only have validity because of how you, not scripture defines the terms you use.”

                  This is simply not true. The Scriptural support for Calvinist terms are, and have always been, laid out for all to inspect. The Arminians concede this and worked with those definitions. The Open Theists, Pelagians, and free willers also recognize these definitions and have taken positions that deny that God is omniscient or that man is total depravity or that God is sovereign. Calvinist definitions are not an issue and no one except you has ever suggested that there is a problem with them. You seem only to be expressing your personal opinion.

                    JIm Poulos

                    Rhutchin,

                    Look, most of the world had the opinion the sun revolved around the earth. All those opinions were wrong.

                    One or two believed the earth revolved around the sun. Their opinions were validated once the true data became know.

                    Majority of opinions don’t make something valid.

                  rhutchin

                  Paul N. writes, “I know people who know the truth and refuse to submit to it.”

                  Is that because they tell you they know the truth? What they know is what the Scriptures say. Even atheists know what the Scriptures say. What is missing? There is no conviction of sin by the HS and they lack faith. Absent these, no one really “knows” the truth.

                    Paul N

                    Nope, they don’t want to submit to the truth. They want to be able to do their own thing. You are hooked on your thinking and every thought and scripture must be bow to it. That’s your thing, but don’t think one can find truth when everything is framed to fit a systematic theology. The bible is not trying to defend a systematic position, men are.

                    Jim Poulos

                    Paul,

                    Well put. Theology must be dynamic. It must serve the pursuit of Truth.
                    When it becomes static men serve Theology, man’s creation, instead of the Living God.

                    Theology must serve Truth not the other way around. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life….no man comes to the Father but through Me”

                    And I’m not saying that just because of the precious picture of your daughters.

                    Paul N

                    Thanks, Jim. I fully agree with you. All I read is forcing scripture to fit theology. Surely that cannot be a road to truth if see everything through one lens.

                    Thanks for the compliment on the little ones.

                Ed Chapman

                If what you say is true, then we don’t need Calvinism infiltrating the SBC. Why don’t the Calvinists just start their own little cult elsewhere? This is like the Jehovah’s Witnesses infiltrating the Mormon Church. Get rid of Calvinism in the SBC!

                Robert

                Andy,

                “but ALL of them I have ever met still think non Calvinists are still Christians”

                You live in a very sheltered and insulated world. In your world, Calvinists and non-Calvinists always get along without any problems (that is not the real world).

                In your world, they think non-Calvinists are Christians (not the real world, I have had Calvinists tell me I was not saved even reprobate, so I know for a fact your statement is false OUT SIDE YOUR OWN LIMITED EXPERIENCE.

                Lydia

                “We’ll, there ARE different kinds of Calvinist s, but ALL of them I have ever met still think non Calvinists are still Christians (and elect)….some of them are even nice sometimes.”

                I have experience with well-mannered and civil Calvinists. Mostly from the social gospel or frozen chosen high church variety. Not the SBC.

                But you are missing an important distinction with the Neo Cal resurgence. And based on your comments here I think I understand why ALL the Calvinists you have met are “nice” to you. They have no reason not to be. You most likely don’t threaten them and you have a church staff position.

                You tend to have a unicorn and rainbows approach to any disagreement. I am not putting that down just pointing out the obvious. The last 10 years of the SBC has been one nasty disaster after another. One charlatan after another. Stealth and deception in a movement! A lot of people have been deceived, used and hurt in the name of Christ. Your words, that you mean for good, are just another knife in their back. Those who look away are guilty, too. And the SBC won’t heal or even look Christian until the charlatans who led this movement move on.

          rhutchin

          The English word, “choose,” is the translation of the Greek word from which we get the term, “elect.” That is neither Calvinist nor non-Calvinist. Both recognize that the Greek text speaks of God choosing/electing and they deal with it. Apparently, you cannot. Whether one is “elect” has nothing to do with one’s theology. Why would it? Everyone recognizes that God’s elect are those whom God has brought to salvation regardless their theological bent.

    Ed Chapman

    You are incorrect. The subject is the words to the right of “to be”, or, “that we”, and you miss the FOCUS of that. You keep concentrating on “God chose us”, period, when that is NOT the end of the sentence. Note the words to the right of “to be” in the following:

    Romans 8:29
    For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

    You, personally, were not predestined for salvation. But, AS A CHRISTIAN ALREADY, Christians are predestined “TO BE” conformed to the image of his son.

    Are you getting this yet? You force scripture to state what it does not state, all because you want to put a period after certain phrases. and that is what changes the meaning of the sentence, and you keep proving it time and time again, because Calvinists seem to have no clue as to the English language sentence structuring.

    Ed Chapman

      rhutchin

      I don’t see an issue. In Romans 8:29, all agree that “whom [God] did foreknow” were “to be conformed to the image of his Son.” This is what Paul says, in a different way, in Ephesians 1.

      The point of conflict seems to be how God came to identify ” whom he did foreknow.” One way is for God to chose them and thus, they would be identified as “whom he did foreknow.”

      How one comes to salvation is not explained in 8:29, so I don’t know why you bring it up. I think you are confused and that confusion manifests by the obvious confusion in your comments.

Lydia

You guys might find this interesting:

“The Calvinistic doctrines of election, reprobation, and the atonement are so repulsive to human reason that they can never obtain the assent of the mind, but through the medium of the passions; and the master passion of orthodoxy is fear.”
— John Quincy Adams —

“The Life of John Adams”, page 53. Published in 1874. Started by John Quincy and completed by Charles Francis Adams. Free on Google books.

Dennis Lee Dabney

John 3:18

He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Regeneration so-called before repentance and faith is the same as “water baptism” before repentance and faith. Which sometimes genuine salvation never occur due to the over emphasis of water baptism as opposed to Believers Baptism.

Preach!

rhutchin

Jim Poulos asks, “So wouldn’t you say the concept of ‘regeneration’ prior to indwelling is basically and theological concept? It can’t be confirmed by any precise or specific scripture and is particular to a theological paradigm?”

In Ephesians, we read, “you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance.” Then in 1 Corinthians 1, “it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” We can conclude from these verses that God guarantees the salvation of His elect by putting His spirit in the person and God’s spirit becomes a permanent resident. This is what is meant by the “indwelling” of the Holy Spirit. At whatever point the Holy Spirit indwells a person, we know that the person is saved at that point.

A separate issue is the need for regeneration. This is based on the depravity of the unsaved person. The unsaved person has no inherent ability to respond to God or His word. He has no interest in God; he has no faith with which to believe; he is hostile to God. The Pelagian says that the gospel is powerful, by itself, to overcome this depravity, convey faith to a person and bring a person to salvation. Opposing the Pelagian, the Calvinist says that the person must be changed (regenerated) before the gospel can bring the person to salvation. The issue here is to define the role of the Holy Spirit in the regeneration of a depraved person. Here, the Scriptures are silent and actually give God credit for regeneration saying things like: they will be taught by God; faith is a gift from God; it is God who begins a good work in the unsaved; it is God who rescues the unsaved. In concert with that which God does, a distinction is made for the Holy Spirit by whose action a person is born again and he is the one who convicts the unsaved of sin. I don’t see any reason to think the HS need “enter” a person to accomplish its work although people can take different sides on the issue but Scripture does not prove one over the other.

Unless you disagree with something above, I don’t understand the point you are pressing.

    Jim Poulos

    rhutchin,

    You are being honest and working with my question. You’re articulate and answering it clearly. I’ve been wanting to pin down your understanding about ‘regeneration’.

    You wrote, “Scripture does not prove one over the other.” Fine, basically the concept of ‘regeneration’ is that, a concept, that doesn’t have clear scripture to validate it other than how you see events taking place.

    I have always understood ‘regeneration’ to be equated with ‘born again’ or ‘born from above,’ from John 3. This is indwelling. You would not agree, True? Your understanding of ‘regeneration’ is something before ‘born again.’ That is what I’m pressing also to understand.

    That’s fine but it is hard to embrace without clear scripture.

    This is for you to consider: Romans 1:16 says, The Gospel is the Power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. That Message of the Gospel releases God’s power to penetrate the ‘depravity’ you refer to That is what I was pressing in Acts 2. Peter’s message ‘cut the heart’ those who heard and made them understand. Afterward they were baptized and then and only then did they receive the Spirit. This a mind altering understanding but that is the way it worked. It’s easy to read it.

    There are other issues at work that still need more depth to understand but the idea of ‘regeneration’ prior to belief and indwelling is a theological concept that is not something articulated in any particular passage. I do understand how that concept can be held. It does help make sense. But for many, myself included, that is not sufficient enough to embrace as valid.

    I want to say this. You been gracious in all your communication, really an example These are not simple concepts to wrestle with.
    Many here can learn how you’ve worked with others here.

    God Bless.

      rhutchin

      “I have always understood ‘regeneration’ to be equated with ‘born again’ or ‘born from above,’ from John 3. This is indwelling. You would not agree, True?”

      True, I would not agree. I don’t think anyone has settled the question of the relation between regeneration and being born again. I tend to think they are different with “being born again” being part of the process of regeneration.

      John 3 says that one must be “born again” in order to see the kingdom of God and to enter the kingdom of God. What does Christ mean by the phrases, “see the kingdom of God” and “enter the kingdom of God”? I take them to be a references to salvation. Thus, being born again precedes one believing unto salvation. Earlier, I cited verses to conclude that the HS indwells a person after they believe. You seem not to accept my conclusion. You seem to be saying that a person will first believe which then allows the HS to indwell the person to manifest a new birth in the person and this then results in the person being able to see and enter the kingdom of God at which point the person is “saved.” In other words a person must be saved (believe) in order to be saved (be born again).

      Romans 1:16 is interesting. Paul adds “for everyone who believes” at the end. That denotes those who believe from those who do not believe. So, the gospel is power to those who believe and not to those who do not believe. If you are correct that, the “Message of the Gospel releases God’s power to penetrate the ‘depravity’…” then all would be saved. All are not saved (or so it seems). Thus, the gospel, by itself, does not penetrate the depravity of people. Elsewhere, Paul writes that “The Lord opened [Lydia’s] heart to respond to Paul’s message.” This gives us the sequence: (1) God opens a person”s heart, so that (2) they can respond to the gospel. I would conclude that several actions occur that result in a person coming to salvation and I don’t see Romans1:16 saying that the gospel is sufficient, by itself, to bring a person to salvation.

      You concluded by saying that Scriptures do not settle the issue regarding the indwelling of the HS. I think they do and cited the Scriptures that I think do this. You disagree without explanation. You are good at questioning what I say; you are not good at articulating an alternate position (probably because it is much easier to ask questions than to answer questions).

      Jim Poulos

      Alright Mr. Rhthchin,

      I’ll try to gain a little skill at answer question, though I don’t remember you asked any.

      A couple of points on your notes: “Earlier, I cited verses to conclude that the HS indwells a person after they believe. You seem not to accept my conclusion.”

      I gave you Acts 2 which definitely shows they did not receive the Spirit until they were baptized. That’s not me that the record. So they must have believed prior to receiving the Spirit. A couple of other places also.

      The dividing point is and you acknowledge, that the concept of ‘regeneration’ is distinct from being ‘born again.’ The only conclusion I can draw from this point of your is that ‘regeneration’ is a proposition to help explain. There is no clear reference to ‘regeneration’ like there is to ‘born again.’

      con’t

      Jim Poulos

      Now this is technical and may challenge some of your understanding:

      In John 3 when Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus, Jesus chided Nicodemus as a teacher of the law for not being able to relate to the idea of being ‘born again’ of the water and the Spirit that Jesus was telling him. Nicodemus should have been able to understand.

      This is the historical context of the concept of being ‘born again.’ There is enough OT reference to this like in Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

      This is a major, and I mean major obstacle in the discussion on this site, The majority of arguments are without that historical background like the concept of ‘regeneration.’ Yes there are other as well and both sides of the railroad track here. The arguments are based on premises that are not challenged. Premises that are very basic even to the understanding of the Gospel.

      Con’t

      Jim Poulos

      I might be going overboard here and will be chastened for too much so I’ll let this be the end but it is the point the discussion particularly on the concept of ‘regeneration.’

      Yes, the Gospel is God’s Power and that power is the work of the Spirit. We know from OT that the Spirit’s work in the lives of people prior to indwelling. Fact is, ‘indwelling’ is only a part of the New Covenant there for only found NT and not the OT.

      But the Gospel is not sufficient in itself (here I’m treating on a little speculation myself). It is necessary, without it no one will believe but as far as being sufficient is where your understanding of ‘regeneration’ plays its role.

      But I don’t feel from personal experience or from understanding of Scripture that needs to be so.

      Jesus came at the ‘right time,’ according to scripture. Not before not after. The Gospel, if presented accurately to a 4 year old would go in one ear and out the other. It is not the right time. It was the right time for Lydia.

      My point: there is a mysterious element no one can put a finger on. You explain that point with the concept of ‘regeneration.’ I think many would rather simply acknowledge there is a mysterious element that needs to be respected between God and individuals without necessarily needing be pinned down with theological concepts.

      This just maybe the crux the article was trying to point to.

        rhutchin

        “My point: there is a mysterious element no one can put a finger on.”

        As you agree that the gospel is necessary but not sufficient to produce salvation, then something gets in the way. Calvinists say that depravity prevents the gospel effecting salvation. The way God resolves the depravity problem is through regeneration (Calvinists) and a mysterious element (according to you). Your complaint seems to be that you don’t want to follow the Calvinists and say that regeneration is needed but you cannot think of anything else it could be, so you retreat into mystery.

        Jim Poulosu

        Rhutchin,

        That is you saying ‘your complaint.’ I never said that. It is you and/or Calvinism that is putting an artificial label on God’s work that I won’t agree with that is your argument.

        That there is a ‘mystery’ in the work of God I am simply acknowledging with scriptures own acknowledgment:
        1Tim. 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:

        As it acknowledges there is a ‘mystery’ about evil:
        2Th. 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work;

        Positing ‘regeneration’ to explain that ‘mystery’ is imposing something from the outside, a man-made construct.

        An exemple of such imposing is in Science by Isaac Newton. He couldn’t explain many astronomical phenomena therefore he posited the concept of gravity.
        He couldn’t validate what it was or whether it existed but by him putting it in place it answered so many questions he previously could not answer.

        After centuries of hearing about gravity the world took it for granted it was a valid force. It never was. It was simple put in place to help answer puzzles that previously were too mysterious to answer. Now the world has of science has to consider other answers.

        So who is retreating? Retreating to a man made artificial construct such as ‘regeneration’ because of the frustration to have to live with a certain degree of mystery about God’s work or to live by faith acknowledging what Scripture itself acknowledges?

        Regeneration is not something God has revealed about how He works in Scripture. It is a man-made construct. This is not a complaint. It is simply an acknowledgement to be true to my own conscience.

        Jim Poulos

        Rhutchin,

        That is you saying ‘your complaint.’ I never said that. It is you and/or Calvinism that is putting an artificial label on God’s work that I won’t agree with that is your argument.

        That there is a ‘mystery’ in the work of God I am simply acknowledging with scriptures own acknowledgment:
        1Tim. 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:

        As it acknowledges there is a ‘mystery’ about evil:
        2Th. 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work;

        Positing ‘regeneration’ to explain that ‘mystery’ is imposing something from the outside, a man-made construct.

        An exemple of such imposing is in Science by Isaac Newton. He couldn’t explain many astronomical phenomena therefore he posited the concept of gravity.
        He couldn’t validate what it was or whether it existed but by him putting it in place it answered so many questions he previously could not answer.

        After centuries of hearing about gravity the world took it for granted it was a valid force. It never was. It was simple put in place to help answer puzzles that previously were too mysterious to answer. Now the world has of science has to consider other answers.

        So who is retreating? Retreating to a man made artificial construct such as ‘regeneration’ because of the frustration to have to live with a certain degree of mystery about God’s work or to live by faith acknowledging what Scripture itself acknowledges?

        Regeneration is not something God has revealed about how He works in Scripture. It is a man-made construct. This is not a complaint. It is simply an acknowledgement to be true to my own conscience.

          Jim Poulos

          I need to add, ‘regeneration’ as defined as distinct from ‘born again.’ That is still a valid argument. I’m not sure of that.

          rhutchin

          The issue is not that there are mysteries. The issue is your appeal to mystery to explain that additional action by God that, added to the gospel, brings a person to salvation. The Calvinist says that regeneration suffices to accomplish what you attribute to mystery. You don’t seem to buy into the regeneration argument, but have nothing else to offer (other than an appeal to mystery).

          JIm Poulos

          You are not communicating correctly what I said.

          There are mysteries. Period. What I’m saying is that you have embraced the concept of ‘regeneration’ to explain the mystery of someone coming to faith.

          That concept is man trying to grapple with a profound mystery. Fine. But the bottom-line is it is a man-made concept when you define it as distinct from ‘born again.’

          ‘Born Again’ is an activity of God that scripture validates. Your concept of ‘regeneration’ is a concept of Calvinism trying to understand God’s activity, just like Newton’s concept of gravity trying to understand the mysteries of the cosmos.

          Calvinist can say whatever they want to explain what they don’t understand. If it suffices them that’s fine. But what they say is just that, it is what they say. To say it is Scriptural when it can’t be validated is plain misleading. And to appeal, that it is scriptural, is just not being true to what is revealed.

            rhutchin

            Earlier, I had said, “Regeneration is identified as those dead in sin ‘being made alive’ by God in Ephesians 2. ” So, it seems that you don’t accept this – or don’t accept the Calvinist argument that “being made alive” is “regeneration.” You may take that position; just say so. I don’t understand how you conclude that “it can’t be validated” or why you think it misleading to identify Ephesians 2 with regeneration. I don’t understand the point you are pressing. Your introduction of “mystery” into the discussion is also confusing. The Scriptures often speak to the issue of salvation and how a person comes to salvation, so I don’t think there is as much mystery as you seem to think. Regardless, I don’t think this discussion is going anywhere constructive of late.

            Jim Poulos

            Sorry you feel that way. I don’t. To me there has been more understanding particularly of where you’re coming from.

            You make a definite distinction between ‘regeneration’ and ‘born again.’

            You enlist Eph.2. But why that passage can’t be simply discussing God’s work of the ‘new birth’ or ‘born again,’ I don’t understand. Why? I think you enlist it to justify your understanding of ‘regeneration’ instead of simply attributing it to the ‘new birth’ of the indwelling of the Spirit.

            Look I’m not arguing, but the idea of ‘mystery’ permeates scripture and everyday living. Jesus said, ‘You don’t know what tomorrow will bring.”
            What tomorrow brings is a mystery to every person alive, you, me, everyone..

            In John 3, “the wind blows where it will and you hear the sound but don’t know where it is coming from or where it is going so it is of everyone born of the Spirit.’ This is mystery language as much as rationalistic Modern thinking doesn’t like it.

            The Reformers along with Calvin all came out of the rationalistic mind set, like Isaac Newton. It has its place but won’t answer everything down to an atomic level that the enlightened mind is obsessed about.

            The concept of ‘regeneration’ how you understand it is enlisted to answer mysteries. I don’t know how you could explain it any other way. But truth is being ‘born again’ is a mystery. That mystery is enough for me to wrestle with without adding other mysteries not defined in scripture.

rhutchin

You seem to have issues with the term, “regeneration,” so from now on, let’s use the term, “made alive.” If you want to equate that with being “born again,” we can do that. Whatever we call it, we know that it is an action by God (the Holy Spirit) that enables a person to see the kingdom or God and to enter the kingdom of God; in other words it enables a person to be saved. The salvation process comes to completion as the person hears the gospel, the good news of the kingdom that he now can see, and receives faith, which faith then brings the person to belief whereupon the person is sealed by the Holy Spirit.

Your musings about the rationalistic mind set is confused and I don’t know what point it supports. Whatever a person’s mindset, that mindset must work with the Scriptures and those Scriptures are very clear in so many cases that it is impossible to make them say anything other than what they say – faith comes by hearing; except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God; no one seeks God; no one can come to Christ; by grace a person is saved.

You need to learn to argue from the Scriptures.

    Jim Poulos

    rhutchin,

    Come on, You have not been arguing from scripture. Your ‘regeneration’ ok now ‘made alive’ but now you are making it equate with ‘born again’

    Please, this is not what you’ve been arguing. Don’t you own up to this?

    Now your process is pretty close but is not what you’ve been arguing previously.

    hears the gospel, the good news of the kingdom that he now can see, and receives faith, which faith then brings the person to belief whereupon the person is sealed by the Holy Spirit.

    Again read Acts 2: They heard, they were stabbed (they understood), they asked what to do, (all the time no Spirit), the were baptized, they received the Spirit (they were then ‘born again.’) Get the process.

    Don’t be so pedantic. Scolded yourself a little.

      rhutchin

      I have been arguing for “regeneration” necessitated by the depravity of the person. The Scriptural argument is for depravity is established and recognized by all but Pelagians. I have used Ephesians 2 as support for regeneration as it is the prime Scripture used for this purpose. Even you have not argued against Ephesians 2 preferring instead to identify Ephesians 2 with the new birth. I am not averse to this as the new birth precedes and enables one to see the kingdom and enter the kingdom both terms being synonyms for salvation. The only thing that I would also include in regeneration is the gift of faith which comes in hearing the gospel. I could be hard core about regeneration involving more than the new birth but I see no reason for doing this as you identify regeneration with the new birth and given your comfort level with that, I will accept it to further the discussion – nothing changes in doing so. We both recognize that regeneration/new birth precedes one seeing the kingdom and that is the important point.

      Now what you do that is unique is identify the new birth with Acts 2. Your placement of the new birth in Acts 2 seems arbitrary – you don’t present an argument for your position preferring only to state that position. The order you have is:

      1. They heard,
      2. they were stabbed (they understood),
      3. they asked what to do, (all the time no Spirit),
      4. the were baptized,
      5. they received the Spirit (they were then ‘born again.’)

      There is a problem in your order. You have depraved men “hearing” the gospel and responding to that gospel. However, as you have the new birth coming later in the order, you also have the ability to “see the kingdom” and “enter the kingdom” coming later, thus a more complete order to your process is this:

      A. The depravity of the person is overcome
      1. They heard the gospel as a consequence of the depravity being overcome
      B. Faith is conveyed in the hearing of the gospel.
      2. they were stabbed (they understood),
      3. they asked what to do, (all the time no Spirit), Here you mean that the Holy Spirit has not indwelt them.
      C. They believed as a consequence of faith
      4. the were baptized, in obedience
      5. they received the Spirit (they were then ‘born again.’) Here they are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
      D They are now enabled to see the kingdom of God and enter the kingdom of heaven.

      Unless you mean to take a Pelagian view, you need to account for (A) overcoming the depravity of the person. Whatever overcomes the depravity of the person we can arbitrarily call “regeneration” and it would be an initial regeneration (as the Calvinist say) to be followed by a second regeneration (or new birth as you maintain). So, you need to deal with the depravity of the person but you apparently don’t want to call regeneration.

      A second issue in your process is that you have a person believing the gospel before he has been enabled to see the kingdom. This means that you define “seeing the kingdom” as something other than salvation. If not salvation, then what is it?
      I have been arguing for “regeneration” necessitated by the depravity of the person. The Scriptural argument for depravity is established and recognized by all but Pelagians. I have used Ephesians 2 as support for regeneration as it is the primary Scripture used for this purpose. Even you have not argued against Ephesians 2 preferring instead to identify Ephesians 2 with the new birth. I am not averse to this as the new birth precedes and enables one to see the kingdom and enter the kingdom both terms I claim are synonyms for salvation. Another thing that I would include in regeneration is the gift of faith which comes in hearing the gospel. I could be hardcore about regeneration involving more than the new birth but I see no reason for doing this as you identify regeneration with the new birth and given your comfort level with that, I will accept it to further the discussion – nothing changes in doing so. We both recognize that regeneration/new birth precedes one seeing the kingdom and that is the important point.

      Now what you do that is unique is identify the new birth with Acts 2. Your placement of the new birth in Acts 2 seems arbitrary – you don’t present an argument for your position preferring only to state that position. The order you have is:

      1. They heard,
      2. they were stabbed (they understood),
      3. they asked what to do, (all the time no Spirit),
      4. the were baptized,
      5. they received the Spirit (they were then ‘born again.’)

      There is a problem in your order. You have depraved men “hearing” the gospel and responding to that gospel. However, as you have the new birth coming later in the order, you also have the ability to “see the kingdom” and “enter the kingdom” coming later, thus a more complete order to your process is this:

      A. The depravity of the person is overcome
      1. They heard the gospel as a consequence of the depravity being overcome
      B. Faith is conveyed in the hearing of the gospel.
      2. they were stabbed (they understood),
      3. they asked what to do, (all the time no Spirit), Here you mean that the Holy Spirit has not indwelt them.
      C. They believed as a consequence of faith
      4. the were baptized, in obedience
      5. they received the Spirit (they were then ‘born again.’) Here they are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
      D They are now enabled to see the kingdom of God and enter the kingdom of heaven.

      Unless you mean to take a Pelagian view, you need to account for (A) overcoming the depravity of the person. Whatever overcomes the depravity of the person we can arbitrarily call “regeneration” and it would be an initial regeneration (as the Calvinist say) to be followed by a second regeneration (or new birth as you maintain). So, you need to deal with the depravity of the person but you apparently don’t want to call regeneration.

      A second issue in your process is that you have a person believing the gospel before he has been enabled to see the kingdom. This means that you define “seeing the kingdom” as something other than salvation. If not salvation, then what is it?

      I think your introduction of the “new birth” into Acts 2 is arbitrary and lacks Scriptural support. I don’t see anything in that passage that requires inclusion at the point where you place it. If “seeing the kingdom” refers to salvation, then you have placed the new birth too late in the passage.

      I think your introduction of the “new birth” into Acts 2 is arbitrary and lacks Scriptural support. Nothing in that passage requires your conclusion.

        rhutchin

        Well, I messed up pasting the comment in. Where is that edit function when you need it??

          Andrew Barker

          rhutchin: When you can start showing scriptural support for your concept of depravity, then maybe people will start to take note. There is more truth in Ezekiel’s dry bones than your pitiful attempt to rewrite the word of God. Depravity is knowing the truth and rejecting it all the same. As it says in Romans 1:18-22 men chose to reject the truth and their foolish heart was darkened.As Ezekiel would say, “pick the bones out of that one!

            rhutchin

            Andrew Barker: Seriously?

      Jim Poulos

      rhuthcin,

      You are wrestling with the issues and I hope you continue to do so.

      Your challenge is to try to suspend some of your reformed thinking a little. This is not easy for both reformed and non-reformed. Each have been so conditioned they can’t see clearly and read everything from that conditioning and much of that conditioning is cultural. You are trying and I respect that.

      The Acts 2 is not arbitrary and here comes the conditioning element you need to suspend. That Acts 2 people involved were all Jews. Jews! Remember what Jesus said to the Samaritan women? He said,”You don’t know who you worship we the Jews know who we worship for salvation is of the Jews.” Get that! Jews knew who the true God was. Their background was not so corrupted so depraved to smoother their understanding who they were in the history of things. Which I see is what you would understand under the term ‘depravity.’

      The is critical in understanding and appreciating the sequence taking place in Acts 2 of the Jews receiving the Spirit. The is too much to lay out all at once but try to wrestle with that idea a little.

      Eph. 2 and the concept of depravity. Consider this if you would: Saul’s (not Paul yet) and his encounter with the risen Lord. 1 Tim. 1:13 ‘although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.’

      Saul’s problem was he simply did not believe Jesus was who He claimed to be. There is nothing about he was a depraved person and purposely evil. He simple did not believe the truth about Jesus and in that unbelief he truly had a clear conscience about his life and he did.

      Getting a little more into this than maybe I should, but my point is that your concept of ‘depravity’ is also not something easily defined. Yes, the is slavery to sin but the depth of that slavery is not easily measured by man.

      Those Jews in Acts 2 were convicted to the heart of their responsibility in the crucifixion. It was not that they were depraved in the depth that your concept of ‘depravity’ assumes. For them to see Jesus as their Messiah is an easy misunderstanding for them to have and really is not about being depraved. They needed God’s work to be convince of the truth of Who He was not about their depravity.

      Look rhutchin, this is from a perspective I don’t think your use to but I do believe it is more consistent with the historical events and not imposing concepts on it that scripture doesn’t.

      Let’s just try to discuss. I respect your understanding and am understanding it clearer. Remember the proverb, “As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another.”

      Working together with things of God is iron sharpening iron.

        rhutchin

        Jim Poulos writes, “The Acts 2 is not arbitrary….Acts 2 people involved were all Jews. Jews! Remember what Jesus said to the Samaritan women? He said,”You don’t know who you worship we the Jews know who we worship for salvation is of the Jews.”…Jews knew who the true God was. Their background was not so corrupted so depraved to smoother their understanding…Which I see is what you would understand under the term ‘depravity.’”

        Paul says, “I can testify about [the Israelites] that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge…they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own,…concerning Israel [God through Isaiah] says, ‘All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.'” (Romans 10) Your claim is that the jews have understanding despite their lack of knowledge. I claim that the condition Paul describes is what the term, “Total Depravity” means. I think your claim that it does not is arbitrary and explains an equally arbitrary understanding of Acts 2.

        Acts 2 has, “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”…Those who accepted his message were baptized,…” Acts 2 does not explain why some accepted the message and some did not. The initial condition of the Jews is that described by Paul in Romans. Something has happened that results in “some” of the Jews accepting the message. Acts 2 does not tell us how that came about; only that it did. You say, “The is too much to lay out all at once but try to wrestle with that idea a little.” You should, at least, lay this out and show how some come to accept the message in Acts 2.

        Then “Eph. 2 and the concept of depravity… my point is that your concept of ‘depravity’ is also not something easily defined. Yes, the is slavery to sin but the depth of that slavery is not easily measured by man.”

        Ephesians 2 is a clear description of depravity. Paul speaks to the prior condition of himself and the Ephesian believers – “…you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.” How did they escape this condition, “…because of his great love for us, God…made us alive with Christ…it is by grace you have been saved.” I see you ignoring what Ephesians 2 says.

        My perspective is that of strict attention to that which the Scriptures tell us. Your explanations are creative but pretty much avoid the Scriptures.

rhutchin

” As long as sacrifices were done, by man, God and man maintained a relationship. And that was man’s work, not God’s work. Man was not so depraved that they didn’t know what to do in order to not be separated from God.’

It was God who initiated a covenant of works whereby the Jews could obtain forgiveness of sin through a sacrificial system. The continuing sin of the Jews attests to their depravity even to their corruption of the sacrificial system. If you are saying that man initiated the sacrificial system, then you depart from the Calvinists.

    Ed Chapman

    Oh ya? What about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob BEFORE any laws pertaining to any covenant of “works”? Was Abraham “saved”, especially since he was not “born again”, or “regenerated”, or had the “indwelling” of the Holy Spirit? What was the step by step process of Abraham’s saving, since he was alive long before Jesus died for sins, and when no “covenant” law was in place for sacrifices.

    There is no such thing as depravity of man. That is a Calvinist invented doctrine.

      rhutchin

      “There is no such thing as depravity of man. That is a Calvinist invented doctrine.”

      Paul said it first – “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires;…The mind of sinful man is death,… the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.”

      Romans 8 is the long form; the shorthand form used in conversation is “Total Depravity.”

        Ed Chapman

        That is not discussing depravity. That is what Calvinists have determined it to be discussing. Christians, themselves, are carnal minded, the already saved ones are carnal minded, instead of being spiritually minded. Romans 8 discusses that Christians, believers, those who have faith, whatever you want to call it…THEY are the ones that Paul is telling to NOT be carnally minded. That has nothing at all to do with depravity.

          rhutchin

          Only in your world would Paul be describing a believer in Romans 8. Calvinists see Paul describing the world differently from you. Paul identifies two types of people in the world in v5:

          The depraved lost sinner – Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires;
          The believer – those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

Bob Hadley

There continues to be this question about regeneration and the issue of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

If one is dead, that means there is no life. Death is like darkness; it does not really exist but is the result of a lack of light or a lack of life. The Spirit is what gives us life. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” John 6:63 Spiritual life is the result of the presence of the HS and spiritual death is a lack of life given by the Spirit. Spiritual death which is the lack of spiritual life can ONLY be overcome by the life giving presence of the HS. If death is the absence of life and since it is the Spirit that gives life, the presence of the HS is necessary for regeneration, which IS NEW LIFE in the RT system.

New life or regeneration cannot overcome spiritual death apart from the presence of the HS. Now… regeneration does not GIVE SOMEONE THE ABILITY TO COME ALIVE. Regeneration is NEW LIFE which ALLOWS the individual to repent and believe. To try to reword this is to attempt to sidestep RT. The HS cannot make someone alive to repent and believe and THEN make them alive again. This makes no sense and there is no way to avoid this issue for the proponent of RT.

    rhutchin

    Pastor Hadley writes, “New life or regeneration cannot overcome spiritual death apart from the presence of the HS. Now… regeneration does not GIVE SOMEONE THE ABILITY TO COME ALIVE. Regeneration is NEW LIFE which ALLOWS the individual to repent and believe.”

    This discussion requires a definition of the “indwelling of the Holy Spirit,” that has been derived from the Scriptures and we do not have this. The Scriptures speak of a person being sealed after they believe and this can be seen as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that God gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask for it – again seeming to require belief first. Calvinism, as far as I know does not claim that the HS indwells a person prior to their belief in Christ and confession of Christ as Lord. Regardless, Pastor Hadley has not defined what he means by the “indwelling” of the Holy Spirit and how Calvinism has got it wrong.

    Some Calvinists (e.g., RC Sproul) argue the the born again experience is regeneration and precedes a person being able to “see” and “enter” the kingdom where “see” and “enter” refer to one believing or being saved, but being “born again” is not the point where the believer is indwelt by the HS as this comes after belief. If we use the example of Lazarus for comparison purposes, being born again can be likened to new life being given to a dead man (Lazarus) and believing is his response to Christ’s command to come forth – two separate events.

      Bob Hadley

      You continue to amaze me. The point that I am making is really very very simple. I do not care WHAT calvinism says; my point is NEW LIFE cannot come twice. New life is not possible apart from the presence of the Holy Spirit. Let’s set the issue of “indwelling” aside for a minute.

      How can a person be “born again” or be given new life so that he can repent and believe and THEN be given new life again after repentance and believing faith?

        rhutchin

        Pastor Hadley asks, “How can a person be “born again” or be given new life so that he can repent and believe and THEN be given new life again after repentance and believing faith?”

        Let’s distinguish between a “new life” that is from being “born again” and “eternal life” that comes from believing – they are two separate things as John 3 demonstrates. The issue is the relationship of “being born again” to salvation.

        The Calvinist says that a person is born again and receives a new life free from the old sin nature but is not saved at that point. The person is then able to hear the gospel, see the kingdom of God, and believe unto eternal life/salvation. Thus, the order of salvation:
        1. The person is unsaved and enslaved to sin.
        2. The person is born again thereby receiving a new life no longer enslaved to sin.
        3. The person is now able to “see” the kingdom of God as a consequence of being born again.
        4. The person hears the gospel and believes/repents thereby gaining eternal life and is said to “enter” the kingdom of God.

        You described it this way, “Calvinism contends that an individual who is lost has no capacity or ability to respond to the gospel message unless and until he is given new life at God’s sole initiative and the result of that initiative of grace on God’s part. At that point, the new born individual’s only response is one of repentance and believing faith.” That’s a good description.

        You seem to be saying that “new life” = “born again” = “salvation.” Thus you have the order:
        1. The person is unsaved.
        2. The person hears the gospel and believes/repents thereby receiving the promise of eternal life.
        3. The person is immediately “born again” as a consequence of believing and thereby “enters” the kingdom of God or receives eternal life.
        4. Being born again simultaneously conveys “new life” and “eternal life.”

        In Calvinism, new life and eternal life manifest at two different times. In your system, new life and eternal life, while still two different things, manifest simultaneously (but in an orderly manner). However, in both systems, salvation is the result of believing faith/repentance.

        What is the contention here? Under Calvinism, God determines who will be saved by giving a new birth to those He wants to save. In your system, a person must decide that he wants to be saved and God then obliges him. Either way the person gets saved just as God knew he would before He created the world.

          Bob Hadley

          rhutchin

          What you have just written about “new life” and “eternal life” is a horrific stretch. Here is why… we are alive physically both regenerate and unregenerate. So “new life” is not physical so it must be spiritual. That being said, “new life” to the unregenerate that allows him to repent and believe is spiritual. So new life spiritually is a work of God that is eternal. There is no Scriptural basis as you suggest for one to be made alive to repent and then once repentance takes place, eternal life is conveyed.

          Read your own response… You described it this way, “Calvinism contends that an individual who is lost has no capacity or ability to respond to the gospel message unless and until he is given new life at God’s sole initiative and the result of that initiative of grace on God’s part. At that point, the new born individual’s only response is one of repentance and believing faith.” That’s a good description.

          According to calvinism, new life allows one to repent and believe. That new life is a guarantee of heaven. One does not need to be “born again” twice.

          You wrote…
          You seem to be saying that “new life” = “born again” = “salvation.” Thus you have the order:
          1. The person is unsaved.
          2. The person hears the gospel and believes/repents thereby receiving the promise of eternal life.
          3. The person is immediately “born again” as a consequence of believing and thereby “enters” the kingdom of God or receives eternal life.
          4. Being born again simultaneously conveys “new life” and “eternal life.”

          CORRECT.

          Again you wrote… In Calvinism, new life and eternal life manifest at two different times. In your system, new life and eternal life, while still two different things, manifest simultaneously (but in an orderly manner). However, in both systems, salvation is the result of believing faith/repentance. I maintain that “new life” which is the result of the indwelling of the HS is ONE event and begins at conversion and continues for eternity. Salvation is the result of repentance and believing faith. The inception of salvation is new life. Period. New life defeats death. It is eternal. So as I said, calvinism posits 2 stages of “new life” which I maintain is not Scripturally sustainable.

          Finally… you wrote… What is the contention here? Under Calvinism, God determines who will be saved by giving a new birth to those He wants to save. In your system, a person must decide that he wants to be saved and God then obliges him. Either way the person gets saved just as God knew he would before He created the world.

          God determines who will be saved by giving a new birth to those He wants to save. New birth MEANS new life. New life to BE SAVED and new life AFTER one repents is problematic.

          In your system, a person must decide that he wants to be saved and God then obliges him. Poorly constructed conclusion. I believe God reveals himself to the lost person through the gospel and seeks to reconcile the lost person unto Himself through the convicting work of the HS both of which demand a response on man’s part. (Which by the way as you indicate is what calvinism contends.) God’s initiatives carry consequences. If one repents and believes he inherits eternal life. If he does not repent and does not believe he dies in his sin. God is not obligated to man; man is obligated to God and the consequences of his own choices.

          “New life” is just that; new life. One who is “born again” lives forever with God in heaven. Repentance and believing faith do not give one eternal life as you suggest IF he has to be “born from above” to repent. Sorry that is a DOG that will not hunt.

            rhutchin

            Pastor Hadley writes, “So as I said, calvinism posits 2 stages of “new life” which I maintain is not Scripturally sustainable.”

            That is exactly what John 3 tells us. In John 3:8, “So it is with everyone born of the Spirit,” we understand that being born again is an action by the HS to give new life to a person. Then in 3:16, we see that it is the action of a person to believe that results in eternal life. We both posit 2 stages of “new life.” You agreed with my list saying that a person first believes and this is followed by the HS bringing about the new birth. This is just a reversal of the Calvinist position; being born again precedes belief. The issue is how these two separate actions interact with each other. You reverse the Calvinist order, so you accept the Scriptural validity of two actions – one by the HS (new birth) and one by the person (belief). If labeling them “new life” is a problem, then let’s erase the label and just work with John 3.

            Then, “The inception of salvation is new life. Period. New life defeats death.”

            OK. So, we have the person believing and then the HS conveying the new birth. Do you have the inception of new life occurring at the point where the person believes or when the HS conveys the new birth? The Calvinist says that salvation occurs with belief.

            Then “New birth MEANS new life. New life to BE SAVED and new life AFTER one repents is problematic.”

            Take repentance as simultaneous with belief. A person believes/repents. We would not expect to see a person believing and then continuing on as if nothing had happened. If a person believes, changes occur in the form of stopping certain practices and beginning new practices. regardless, don’t isolate repentance from believing. While not the same, they are so closely aligned that one (belief) always entails the other (repentance).

            Finally, ““New life” is just that; new life. One who is “born again” lives forever with God in heaven. Repentance and believing faith do not give one eternal life as you suggest IF he has to be “born from above” to repent.”

            Under your system, the new birth (and eternal life) follows after believing/repentance. 3:16 says, “whoever believes in him shall…have eternal life.” It is a forgone conclusion in your system that one who believes receives eternal life even if belief does not itself produce eternal life.

Bob Hadley

rhutchin,

This discussion is literally blowing my mind. I cannot believe you are trying to sell the idea that lost people receive new life twice. Look at the text.

8 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.” 9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”

So instead of this text explaining that there are 2 new births… He goes on to explain HOW a person is born of the Spirit.

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but[b] have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

I can honestly say I have not seen this explanation nor have I considered the fact that calvinism posits 2 “new births”. My argument relating the new birth with the presence or the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is certainly one side of the argument but this has opened up a whole different can of worms that your explanation is almost incomprehensible! I will be working more on this differentiating concept.

    Paul N

    What rhutchin is saying is not in the bible at all. It seems to me as if this stuff is being made up as the discussion goes along.
    The word born implies a lot: being parented, inheriting the nature of your parents, being a child and part of a family. Thus The idea that one is born again and yet not saved makes no sense at all. That individual MUST be a child of God at birth. The bible does not say man is born again (in order to believe) and born again after confession. I like you, am in disbelief.

      rhutchin

      Salvation requires that one believe. The new birth either precedes or follows after the person believing. The order of John 3 with new birth preceding believing is the order we should follow.

        Paul N

        Last comment on this from me. John 3 says no such thing.

      Jim Poulos

      The reality is that what ‘salvation’ actually means does not have a good foundation of understanding from either side of the arguments here.

      It is not about whether going to heaven instead of going to hell.

      This does go back to the background of the Gospel. Sin is man’s most threatening enemy. Not Calvinistism. SIN with capital letters, is.

      To Cain, the Lord said, “Sin lies at your door but you must master it.” Cain could not master this problem. He did not have the capacity. The history of salvation is God bring into the world though the pilgrimage of Israel the solution to defeat that enemy, SIN, defeating it through His Son.

      It was not about ‘depravity’ as usually understood. It is about nature and rule of man. Man, without the capacity that born ‘from above’ supplies him, could only succumb to Sin’s rule. Which is basically this present world outside the Church.

      They knew what was right but they could not do what they knew. He did what He knew was wrong. Wretched men they were.

      This is a completely different perspective on what salvation’s goal is. It is about the relationship with God as Father and Jesus as Lord that now can defeat the enemy Sin that man like Cain could not, and is now able with all God supplies to bring God’s glory into the world.

      If you think about salvation as rule or source. The two Great Competitors in the World today for man’s allegiance is SIN or GOD.

      Prior to Christ is was only Sin that ruled the inward man except for God’s intervention. Now after Christ, ‘Born again’ Man has the capacity to work in fellowship with God.

      Those Jews at Pentecost saw exactly their problem without being born again. They had a choice to submit to God’s allegiance through His son by getting baptized in water and then receiving the Spirit to master what they clearly saw they could not, sin. Only when they received the Spirit would they be ‘born again,’ and be part of the New Creation that will ultimately defeat sin. They knew but without the Spirit they could not rule or master the sin problem. Which is all our problem, the world’s problem.

      The old paradigms are becoming relics of the past.

        rhutchin

        “It was not about ‘depravity’ as usually understood. It is about nature and rule of man. Man, without the capacity that born ‘from above’ supplies him, could only succumb to Sin’s rule. Which is basically this present world outside the Church.”

        This is a good Calvinist statement. Kudos.

    rhutchin

    Pastor Hadley writes, “So instead of this text explaining that there are 2 new births… He goes on to explain HOW a person is born of the Spirit.”

    I agree.

    Then, “I can honestly say I have not seen this explanation nor have I considered the fact that calvinism posits 2 “new births”. My argument relating the new birth with the presence or the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is certainly one side of the argument but this has opened up a whole different can of worms that your explanation is almost incomprehensible! I will be working more on this differentiating concept.”

    I don’t see how your comment here relates to 3:14-18 that you quoted. These verses describe the action of the person to believe.

    So, you identified the action of the HS to impart a new birth and the action of the person to believe. I don’t understand why there would be an issue in identifying the new birth with a new life and the act of believing with eternal life. The order of John 3 with the new birth described first followed by the person believing is the order Calvinists follow. It seems reasonable to me.

      Bob Hadley

      rhutchin

      New birth GIVES one new life. New birth does not allow one to believe so he can THEN have new life. At least TRY to be consistent with your own theology. If a person is DEAD in his sins and needs to be given new life so he can repent… admit it. If he gets new life to repent and believe he does not AFTER that get some other new life. That is one of the most convoluted statements I believe I have heard made in all my time of discussing the fallacies of calvinism.

        rhutchin

        I believe that I am being consistent. We each view the process of salvation differently. I have the HS initiating a new birth/new life in the lost sinner after which the sinner hears the gospel, believes unto eternal life. You reverse the actions having the lost sinner hearing the gospel, coming to belief first followed by the HS initiating the new birth and providing a new life and eternal life. The issue concerns which of us has the actions in the correct order. John 3 explains the new birth first and then states that the person who believes has eternal life. I think the order we find in John 3 is the order we should follow. I don’t see where that is necessarily convoluted; it seems reasonable to me.

          Bob Hadley

          rhutchin

          Look at WHAT you wrote: I have the HS initiating a new birth/new life in the lost sinner after which the sinner hears the gospel, believes unto eternal life.

          That means the Holy Spirit gives new life to the regenerate person TWICE. Come on… you do not see a problem with that? The new life one receives from the Holy Spirit whether it is before or after repentance is eternal. There is NOTHING else for the Holy Spirit to give the new born individual. Surely you can understand that objection.

            rhutchin

            “The new life one receives from the Holy Spirit whether it is before or after repentance is eternal.”

            This is one point of disagreement. In John 3, the HS is the source of the new birth/new life but this only enables a person to see and enter the kingdom of God. In the preaching of the gospel, a person sees the kingdom of God in Christ and comes to believe or enter the kingdom thus gaining eternal life. You don’t see it that way believing instead that the lost person hears the gospel and believes and only then does the HS come on the scene to give new birth and eternal life. Again, John 3 describes the new birth first and then makes a statement about those who believe having eternal life. I just think we should follow that order – new birth first; belief second.

            Another point of disagreement is that I say a person must be able to “see’ the kingdom before he can believe and you say that a person must believe before he can “see” the kingdom.

            We look at the Scriptures differently and that is not going to change.

              Bob Hadley

              ok. The HS is the SOURCE of new birth. We agree. “But THIS only enables a person to see.”

              What is THIS? Calvinism contends a person is totally depraved and dead and cannot see unless and until God gives him NEW LIFE. IF “THIS” is new life THEN that is the problem I have with your position. If it is not NEW LIFE and NEW LIFE comes when one repents and believes we are on the same page but that is NOT what calvinism contends.

              Will you please tell me what THIS is?

                rhutchin

                “This” is the new birth – “the new birth only enables a person to see and enter the kingdom of God. There should be no dispute here since John 3 says, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Once a person is “born again” he can then see and enter the kingdom.

                So, in your statements, “Calvinism contends a person is totally depraved and dead and cannot see [the kingdom] unless and until God gives him NEW LIFE [through a new birth]” and

                “If it is not NEW LIFE and NEW LIFE comes when one repents and believes we are on the same page but that is NOT what calvinism contends.” The new birth is new life but not eternal life; it occurs prior to a person believing and is the basis on which a person believes..

                So, nothing has been resolved. The issues are still (1) whether the new birth precedes one believing or follows after believing, (2) whether a person must see the kingdom in order to believe or must believe in order to see the kingdom, and (3) whether the new birth confers just new life or also eternal life.