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The Trinity

Icon Mongoose Icon75 The Trinity

The Trinity The TrinityIS IT POSSIBLE TO BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST AND REJECT THE TRINITY?

“Now on the final and most important day of the feast, Jesus stood forth and cried in a loud voice, If any man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink! He who believes in Me as the Scripture has said, Out from his innermost being springs and rivers of living water shall flow (continuously). But He was speaking here of the Spirit, Whom those who believed in Him were afterward to receive. For the Holy Spirit had not yet been given; because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honour). (John 7: 37-39).

Satan’s prime strategy from the very beginning of creation has always been to destroy faith by presenting mankind with something that looks like the genuine item. In the parable in Matthew 13: 24-30 the darnel or tares, sown by the enemy, look exactly like wheat in the early stages of its growth and only show its true colours at harvest time.

True to its botanical nature one grain of wheat produces several new ears of wheat only when it dies, a fact taken up by Christ to show that spiritual fruitfulness has its origin in the death of self (John 12: 24; 1 Corinthians 5: 36).

The darnel or tares are completely void of any such botanical traits and remain a wheat-like grass without producing any fruit right up to harvest time. Here Jesus makes it very clear that genuine faith always translates into a change in life, a change of mind, growth and fruitfulness. This is borne out by what Paul says in Hebrews 12: 14, “Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man shall see the Lord:”

A biblical founded faith must translate into a growth in sanctification. Please observe that it is not a growth to or up to sanctification, but in sanctification. We are justified by faith alone in Christ alone and in the same way He imputes sanctification to sinners the moment they are saved. From that instant onward the saint must abide in Christ in order to grow in grace and sanctification.

WHAT DETERMINES GENUINE FAITH?

Jesus chose the final and most important day of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles to announce in a loud voice the only prerequisite for a genuine faith — He who believes in Me as the Scripture has said. Everything necessary to acquire a genuine biblical faith has already been said in God’s Word. Scripture form Genesis 1: 1 through to Revelation 22: 21 contains God’s only and final word on faith and salvation. All other extra-biblical revelations (including Joseph Smith’s Golden Plates, The Jehovah’s Witnesses NWT of the Bible, Roman Catholicism’s Church traditions or any other prophet or visionary’s alleged encounter with Jesus Christ) do not and cannot hold true to Jesus Christ’s words in John 7 and must therefore be rejected.

Having established, on the strength of Jesus’ words in John 7, that holy writ is altogether sufficient for the acquirement of the faith necessary for one’s salvation and sanctification, it is obviously also vital to know the Person or Persons who wrote it.

The validity of a letter or a document is not determined by its own intrinsic value but by the character or the moral fibre of the person who wrote it. People who claim they believe in Jesus Christ but deny that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, are deceiving themselves and disqualifying themselves as genuine believers. It is impossible to maintain a belief in someone and simultaneously reject his personal biography. In similar vein, everyone who maintains that he/she believes in Jesus Christ, but denies His deity or the Trinity is disavowing the moral fibre and character of the Author of the Bible.

WHO IS THE AUTHOR?

Although the word “Trinity” never appears in the Bible — a fact many of God’s enemies use to discredit the validity of His Word. (Perhaps they should start looking for the word “automobile” or “aeroplane” in Scripture to make sure they really exist) — it is not at all difficult to prove that three Deities were involved in producing it.

In His answer to the woman who said, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts that You sucked!” Jesus used the word “Theos” when He said, Blessed are they that hear the Word of God (“Theos”) and keep it” (Luke 11: 27) The Greek word “Theos” (God) does not refer to a single person but clearly to the Godhead, comprising of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

In the well-known verse where Paul says that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3: 16), he uses the Greek word “Theopneustos” (theh-op’-nyoo-stos) which is derived from “Theos” and means that the Word was inspired by all three the Persons in the Godhead or Trinity. Apart from these definitive verses, there are several others where only One of the Persons in the Trinity are mentioned as the inspired source of the Word. Consider the following: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;” (Colossians 3: 16) and “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1: 21).

WHAT LIES AT THE ROOT OF MANKIND’S REJECTION OF GOD’S WORD?

— Only one thing — unbelief. Anyone who does not believe in the Triune God according to what the Bible teaches cannot claim to be saved. Perhaps they could have avowed with certainty their salvation if Jesus had only said, “He who believes in Me . . .,” but He qualified the kind of faith that is necessary to believe in Him, i.e. “as the Scripture has said.”

The Holy Spirit Who was sent to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment will never move outside of the bounds of Holy Writ when leading a sinner to faith in Jesus Christ. Any “belief” or “faith” remotely off limits with the Bible cannot save. If it were true that any kind of faith was able to save, then Jesus lied when he said, “as the Scripture has said.” How can anyone expect to be convicted of sin by the 3rd Person in the Holy Trinity if they reject the Trinity?

In the same breath one may ask, how can anyone expect to be cleansed of their sins if they regard Jesus Christ merely as one of God’s creations? God strictly forbids anyone to worship a created being because it is nothing else than idolatry.

What are the consequences of unbelief?

a) They do not have the Word of God and no light in them (John 5: 38; Isaiah 8: 20).

b) They cannot please God (Hebrews 11: 6)

c) They malign and discredit the Gospel (Acts 19: 9)

d) They persecute the ministers of righteousness (Romans 15: 31)

e) They incite others against the saints who preach the Gospel (Acts 14: 2).

f) They persevere in their unbelief (John 12: 37).

g) They harden their necks (2 Kings 17: 14).

h) They are condemned already (John 3: 18).

i) The wrath of God abides on them (John 3: 36).

j) They shall die in their sins (John 8: 24).

k) They shall not enter God’s rest (Hebrews 3:19; 4:11).

l) They shall be condemned (Mark 16:16; 2Thessalonians 2:12).

m) They shall be cast in the lake of fire (Revelation 21: 8).

“Since all this is true, we ought to pay much closer attention than ever to the truths that we have heard, lest in any way we drift past [them – the truths] and slip away. For if the message given through angels [that is, the Law spoken by them to Moses] was authentic and proved sure, and every violation and disobedience received an appropriate (just and adequate) penalty. How shall we escape if we neglect and refuse to pay attention to such a great salvation [as is now offered to us, letting it drift past us forever?] For it was declared at first by the Lord [Himself] and it was confirmed to us by those who personally heard [Him speak]. (Hebrews 2: 1-3).

[Therefore] while it is [still] called Today, if you would hear His voice, and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion . . . Today, if you would hear His voice, and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts.” (Hebrews 3: 15; 4: 7).

“Examine and test and evaluate your own selves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test and prove yourselves, [not Christ]. Do you not yourselves realize and know [thoroughly by an ever-increasing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you? unless you are [counterfeits] disapproved on trial and rejected! (2 Corinthians 13: 5).

IS YOUR SALVATION SECURE IF YOU BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS GOD AND MAN BUT KNEW NOTHING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT? (1 Corinthians 15)

When Paul first presented the Gospel to the Corinthians their thoughts were steeped in Greek Philosophy. The Greeks did not believe in the resurrection of the body as they proved by their attitude when Paul preached to them on Mars Hill (Acts 17:32). They laughed at him.

Their philosophers taught that the body was weak and a wicked prison of the soul, and the sooner it was released through death the better. They refused to accept that the body could live on after death. This was what Paul had to contend with when he wrote them this letter. The Corinthians did not doubt the resurrection of Christ and therefore Paul centred his discourse around this immutable truth in stead of repentance or salvation.

Indeed, something to remember is that Paul’s intention was not to bring them the Gospel. They had already accepted the Gospel and were indeed saved. They were well-acquainted with the Spirit’s work in their lives when they believed in Jesus Christ and His Gospel.

All that Paul needed to do was to prove to them that they, like Christ, would be resurrected from the dead. Furthermore, the resurrection of Christ itself is proof enough of the Holy Spirit’s work in the Gospel of salvation although the Spirit is not mentioned in chapter 15.

In Romans 8: 11 Paul says, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” The Corinthians must have known this but could have been confused by false teachers and apostles. So, although the Spirit is not mentioned in chapter 15, His role in the Gospel of salvation is made clear by Paul’s discourse on the resurrection of Christ.

DOES ACTS 19 PROVE IT IS UNNECESSARY TO KNOW OR ACKNOWLEDGE THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE TRINITY?

Some hold to the view that the twelve men Paul encountered in Ephesus were saved and base their argument on the fact that they were disciples. (verse 1). However the word “mathetes” (disciple) simply means “learner” or “pupil” and was a very well-known concept, especially amongst the Greeks.

Each philosopher had his own group of disciples, much like a professor of today who teaches a class of his own pupils. Because the term disciple was so well-known, Jesus qualified His particular brand of discipleship by His demand to deny oneself, take up the cross, to follow Him and learn from Him. Although the twelve were called disciples (learners or pupils) they were not disciples of Christ, but disciples of John the Baptist

The twelve should have known there was a Holy Spirit because the major thrust of of John the Baptist’s preaching was Christ’s future Baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3: 11). They should have known the Holy Spirit was to be given, but they were ignorant of the fact that He had already been given on the day of Pentecost.

Note carefully how brilliant Paul approached the problem in the manner he posed the question, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” He did not ask them “Were you baptized by John the Baptist when or after you believed?” or “Do you know the Holy Spirit.” Had he asked them the latter question, they would probably have answered “Yes, we were baptized by John when we believed.” If they had said this and if Paul hadn’t known that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a spiritual baptism, they would probably have forfeited the wonderful opportunity to be saved (Romans 8:9).

Paul the true gentleman that he was, assumed that they believed but tested their faith by asking them whether they had received the Holy Spirit. Knowing of the existence of the Holy Spirit and receiving Him are two completely different things. Had they indeed been saved they would have known that they had received the Holy Spirit because He and He alone applies the cleansing power of the blood of Christ to a sinner’s soul the moment he/she believes. The testimony of the Spirit within gives the assurance of your salvation (Romans 8: 16) and they did not have that inner witness because they did not even know that the Spirit was already given to quicken them the moment they believed.

So, what was the source of their problem? John the Baptist’s baptism had a two-pronged message attached to it — baptism unto repentance and belief in the One Who was to come after Him. Whether Apollos failed to convey this message in full, we do not know. We do however know that there was a flaw in his presentation of the Gospel because we read in the previous chapter (Acts 18 : 26) that “when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him with them and explained to him the way of God more definitely and accurately.” Whoever preaches the Gospel must present the full council of God.

They received the baptism of John without a full understanding of the necessity for repentance AND FAITH in the One Who baptizes in the Spirit and with fire and therefore was not saved. Ah! but how wonderful and precious is the unmerited grace of God. He did not allow them to continue in their unbelief and sent his servant Paul to present to them His full council.

John 14 from verse 18 shows that the presentation of the Gospel is the responsibility of all three of the Persons in the Trinity. “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me [GOD THE SON]: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and verse 21). “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father [GOD THE FATHER] will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (verse 23) “These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. whom the Father will send in my name, he [GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT] shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”(verse 25). Whoever believes as the Scripture has said, will know and believe in the Trinity because all three introduce themselves to the person who comes to Christ for salvation.

pixel The Trinity

90 comments to The Trinity

  • Phil

    I am a frequent reader of this website. One thing in the article that made me uncomfortable was your reference to ‘three deities’, which would equate to 3 gods in the following part:

    WHO IS THE AUTHOR?

    Although the word “Trinity” never appears in the Bible — a fact many of God’s enemies use to discredit the validity of His Word. (Perhaps they should start looking for the word “automobile” or “aeroplane” in Scripture to make sure they really exist) — it is not at all difficult to prove that three Deities were involved in producing it.

    The God of the Bible is a triune Being of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—three persons but One God. I would agree that the trinity is 3 persons, but not 3 gods. I have a friend, who likes T.D. Jakes (I used to). He’s OK with the fact that when T.D. Jakes is in Oneness Pentecostal settings, he preaches modalism and when not in those settings he preaches the trinity. I don’t see how you can call yourself a Christian if you don’t believe in the trinity. That’s an article of faith in most churches.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Phil

    4) Now each Person in the Trinity is God, God the Father (John 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Peter 1:2). God the Son (John 1:1,14; Romans 9:5; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 5:20). and God the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 3:16). But they are not separate GODS as I mentioned earlier, they are all ONE. — http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2013/06/06/understanding-the-trinity-god-the-father-jesus-christ-and-the-holy-spirit

    To understand Modulism, please read the above article.

  • Phil

    The word deity (“theotetos”) is a very strong and unique word. It appears only once in the New Testament in Col 2:9: “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead (“theotetos”) bodily.” It confirms that Jesus is truly God (deity) in bodily form. If Jesus is truly God (deity), which He undoubtedly is, it wouldn’t be wrong to say “For in the Father dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead (deity; “theotetos”)spiritually (for He is Spirit) and similarly also the Holy Spirit could be described as “For in the Holy Ghost dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead (deity; “theotetos”) spiritually (for He too is Spirit).

    The word “person” denotes “personality” and supposes that the One true God has three different personalities. Is that true? I don’t think so. When Jesus said “I and the Father are one” He meant that they both have exactly the same “theotetos” (deity) attributes. Both are fully God. Jesus is no lesser nor greater God than God the father and the Holy Spirit no lesser nor greater God than Jesus and the Father. When we see Jesus (and the fullness of his deity) we see God the Father and the Holy Spirit (their fullness of their deity). Therefore their oneness does not lie in their respective persons (personalities) but in their unique sameness of “theotetos” (deity).

    It does NOT mean that Jesus is an exact clone of God the Father or the Holy Spirit. Perish the thought. It would mean that Jesus had a beginning which is not true. Like the Father and the Holy Spirit, He has no beginning and no end. In order to have no beginning and no ending, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit must of necessity each be “theotetos” (deity).

  • Phil

    Deborah,

    I read your article, “Understanding The Trinity”, and agree with it 100 percent. You view the trinity just as I do, that being three persons in the one God. However, I personally would change that portion of the above article that calls them three ‘deities’. The online Merriam-Webster dictionary (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deity) defines deity as the rank or essential nature of a god, a god or goddess, and one exalted or revered as supremely good or powerful. The plural is deities. I know your intent, but when I read that portion of your article I interpret that as three separate Gods. Maybe I’m reading it wrong, I don’t know. Just as you say in the article you had me read, the trinity is very hard to understand.

    Thomas,

    I view what you posted as you believe in three Gods that are one in purpose. I don’t believe that. I found another article that says it better than I ever could in the Answers in Genesis Website: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2011/07/19/trinity-three-different-gods
    As I said above, the trinity is a difficult concept.

    Phil

  • Hans

    I understand the Trinity completely from the following scriptures: Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
    We have One God with One Spirit, and his Word has the very same Spirit. God’s Word became flesh and introduced us to the Father, to the Spirit of the Father, full of grace and truth.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Phil

    >> I view what you posted as you believe in three Gods that are one in purpose. I don’t believe that.

    Let me get this straight, you don’t believe that Jesus Christ is God?

    And just to let you know there is subordination within the Godhead.

    5)There is actually subordination within the Godhead.
    The Bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit is subordinate to God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son.
    Jesus Christ is subordinate to God the Father.
    This is how their relationship words and it does not deny the deity of any person within the Godhead. Concerning Jesus Christ the Son see (Luke 22:42; John 5:36; John 20:21, and 1 John 4:14). Concerning the Holy Spirit see (John 14:16,14:26; 15:26,16:7, and most importantly see (John 16:13-14.)

    - See more at: http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2013/06/06/understanding-the-trinity-god-the-father-jesus-christ-and-the-holy-spirit/#sthash.uA8fGgru.dpuf

  • Phil wrote:

    Thomas,

    I view what you posted as you believe in three Gods that are one in purpose. I don’t believe that. I found another article that says it better than I ever could in the Answers in Genesis Website: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2011/07/19/trinity-three-different-gods
    As I said above, the trinity is a difficult concept.

    Phil

    Would you say that Jesus is fully God?

    Would you say that the Father is fully God?

    Would you agree that the Holy Spirit is fully God?

    They are all entities in their own right but ONE God because they are all God.

    You are right in saying that you are reading the article wrong.

  • Phil

    I believe in God the Father, God the Son, and the God the Holy Spirit. They are one God. They are not three Gods. Deborah, I said I agree with your article, “Understanding The Trinity”. You state in the second paragraph, the following: “The Trinity is ONE God existing in three separate Persons. Now realise this just because we say three Persons does not mean there are three separate Gods, there is only ONE God. Now the world Trinity is not found in the bible, it is only a word used to describe the “trinue” Godhead, that being three co-external, co-existent Persons who make up ONE God. – See more at: http://www.discerningtheworld.com/?s=Understanding+the+trinity&submit.x=0&submit.y=0&submit=Search#sthash.UkWRcOyT.dpuf The three deities part of the above article just rubs me the wrong way. I see we’re not going to agree. To me, this is one of those things that gives Muslims fuel for the fire to claim that we worship multiple gods (deities). Christianity differentiates itself from the false religions that have multiple gods, because we worship ‘one’ God. And yes I know that there is a subordination.

  • Phil wrote,

    I believe in God the Father, God the Son, and the God the Holy Spirit. They are one God. They are not three Gods.

    Indeed, they are one God. However, God the Father is not God the Son and neither is God the Holy Spirit God the Son. For lack of a better word, we tend to use the word “persons” in stead of “Gods” to describe their oneness – i.e. three persons in one. However, as I explained earlier, the word “persons” suggests that they are three different entities each with his own personality. That’s not true. When Jesus said “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father,” He did not mean that He is the Father in the guise of the Son (Some believe that God is one who manifests Himself in three persons according to his will). The Son’s love, compassion, mercy and loving-kindness are exactly the same as the love, compassion, mercy and loving-kindness of the Father and the Holy Spirit. These attributes (among others) make them one God. What He meant was that they both contain exactly the same attributes that makes God to be God. They are so perfectly one in their God-ness that you can identify God the Father in God the Son and vice versa. And yet they are two deities whose perfect likeness in deity makes them one. The same applies to the Holy Spirit.

    You wrote:

    “The Trinity is ONE God existing in three separate Persons.”

    Which one of the the three Persons affords them all their deity (God-ness). Does the deity of God the Father afford the Son and the Holy Spirit their deity or is it the other way around. Or, are they all deities that contain exactly the same attributes of deity and hence make them one?

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Phil

    I get what you are saying, I will amend the article and remove the word deities and replace it with something more appropriate.

    I just went to check the article and I see it’s already been edited. Either Thomas did this, or I did this when I was sleep walking lol.

  • Phil

    Deborah,

    That’s great to hear. However, the three deities part is still in this article under the WHO IS THE AUTHOR? section.

    By the way, I love your articles that are against the teachings of Calvinism. There are only a few discernment sites out there that speak against it, the Berean Call being one of them. I have to overlook that aspect when learning about the other heresies that are out there. I follow about 9 discernment sites on a regular basis, yours being one of them. I initially got into learning about the different heresies, due to the teachings of a pastor of one of the churches I used to attend. He started to use extra biblical books (Gospel of Thomas, Book of Enoch), talk about the Nephilim a lot, and support the teachings of dominionism via a book by John Bevere called “Relentless.” Other Christians I know think that all these sites are negative and are only out to tear people apart. They don’t think I should view them. I don’t see it that way. There is a bunch of heresy out there that I wouldn’t have known about and just gone with the flow, if not for sites like this. A friend says, if you’re truly a Christian, that the Holy Spirit will warn you (put that check in your spirit) if something is wrong. She doesn’t see a need for sites like this. I disagree.

  • LR

    Consider this:
    “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Cor 5:19

    Let’s ask these questions:

    1. Who was in Christ? All three? Only the Son?
    2. Himself is singular and masculine. Why not themselves?
    3. Assuming all three persons in the Trinity are omnipresent, then the term “God” always means all three persons. Does this mean all three persons reconciled the world via calvary?

  • Phil wrote:

    That’s great to hear. However, the three deities part is still in this article under the WHO IS THE AUTHOR? section. – See more at: http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2014/01/15/trinity/#more-17580

    You are not answering my questions. I asked: Which one of the three Persons afford them their deity – the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit?

    Here’s another question for you. Do you believe in one God who manifests Himself in Three Persons? Please answer my questions.

  • Deborah wrote:

    Phil

    I get what you are saying, I will amend the article and remove the word deities and replace it with something more appropriate.

    - See more at: http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2014/01/15/trinity/#comment-286407

    What is more appropriate than the word “deity,” especially in the context of the One True God? Phil seems to think “person” or “persons” are more appropriate. In that case “person” or “persons” are ranked higher than “deity” making us mere mortals higher and greater than God or at least equal to Him.

  • Phil

    Thomas,

    You didn’t read my entire post. I got the quote “The Trinity is ONE GOD existing in three separate Persons” from Deborah’s article in the following link:

    http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2013/06/06/understanding-the-trinity-god-the-father-jesus-christ-and-the-holy-spirit/#sthash.uA8fGgru.dpuf

    Christianity is not polytheism, it’s monotheism. Is it One True God or Three True Gods? It seems that you’re saying it’s the latter. As I said in a previous quote, I believe that all three are God. God the Father is on His throne, God the Son is at the Father’s right hand interceding for the saints, and God the Holy Spirit is in all believers. However, there is only one God (deity). You’re not going to find a lot of people out there that think it’s three Gods (deities). I found an article on the Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry (CARM) that explains how it is that the Trinity could not be three Gods:

    http://carm.org/christianity/christian-doctrine/trinity-really-teaching-there-are-three-gods

    There’s no way to completely understand the trinity with our finite minds.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Thomas

    >> What is more appropriate than the word “deity,” especially in the context of the One True God? Phil seems to think “person” or “persons” are more appropriate. In that case “person” or “persons” are ranked higher than “deity” making us mere mortals higher and greater than God or at least equal to Him.

    You are right, I have been looking to find a word more appropriate and I can’t. I think the fact is this, as you say, they are 3 Gods(deity) in the context of One True God. If the context of “One true God” was not there then that would be a big problem.

  • Phil,

    The wording “The Trinity is one God in three separate Persons” does not do any justice to the Trinity because it suggests that God who is one has three separate personalities. In that case, Jesus could never have said: “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” Separateness is not a good way to describe the Trinity because separateness and oneness are the exact opposites. You cannot say God is one and yet also say that they are separate persons. I and my wife are one flesh but I cannot say that when you look at me you see my wife. Why? Because we have two totally different personalities. Not so with God. They all have the exact same personality. The love of God, for instance, is the exact same love you find in Jesus and the Holy Spirit. There are no degrees of love in either one of them. In this instance they are one and so it is also with all their other attributes such as holiness, righteousness, kind-heartedness, longsuffering etc., etc,

    You still haven’t answered my question. Which Person in the Trinity affords the three persons their deity? What you are doing is to merely substitute the word “deity” with “person.”

    Do you believe that God is one who manifests Himself in three persons?

    You wrote:

    You’re not going to find a lot of people out there that think it’s three Gods (deities).

    Your example to measure truth is, to say the least, not very convincing. You are in effect saying that the majority decides what is true. If Jesus is God, then He must be a deity in Himself (in his own right) and so too the Father and the Holy Spirit. Or does the deity of the Father render Jesus and the Holy Spirit their deity. God the Father sort of rubs off his deity (holiness, righteousness, long-suffering and kind-heartedness) onto Jesus and the Holy Spirit who are merely persons in the Godhead?

    Indeed, we cannot completely understand the Trinity with our finite minds. However, we dare not use words such as persons (in the sense of them being three entities with different personalities in one God) either.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Thomas/Phil

    I think what concerns Phil is the fact that the word ‘deities‘ in the Merriam-Webster dictionary refers to a god or goddess in a polytheistic religion. However Deity can also be used in Theology where Christianity’s God is monotheistic.

    Deity (ˈdeɪtɪ; ˈdiːɪ-)
    n
    1. (Theology) the Deity the Supreme Being; God
    deity (ˈdeɪtɪ; ˈdiːɪ-)
    n, pl -ties
    1. a god or goddess
    2. (Theology) the state of being divine; godhead
    3. (Theology) the rank, status, or position of a god
    4. (Theology) the nature or character of God
    [C14: from Old French, from Late Latin deitās, from Latin deus god]
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/deities

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Thomas

    This is the link that Phil posted (unfortunately it’s from a Calvinist website)

      The Trinity is really teaching there are three gods

      By definition the Trinity doctrine teaches that there is only one God. Nevertheless, there are those who assert that the Trinity is really teaching three separate gods. They claim it is either impossible for God to exist in three persons and/or that the Trinity is really borrowed from pagan three-god figures. Many add that a person is by necessity an individual being. Therefore, they conclude, that the Trinity really teaches three gods. The problem with this criticism is that it denies the very nature of the doctrine.

      First of all, Trinitarianism by definition denies that there is more than one God. It is clearly monotheistic in spite of what the critics want to claim.

      Second, there is a word used to describe a unity of three separate gods. It is the word “triad.” A triad is not a trinity. A triad is three separate gods — as in Mormonism. A Trinity is one God in three persons. A triad is polytheistic. A trinity is monotheistic.

      Third, there is no logical reason to deny the possibility that three persons can exist in one God. Critics may not like it, but it is not a logical impossibility. God is infinitely complex and we cannot understand His vastness nor simply claim He can’t exist in three persons. Instead, we should look at the Bible to see what it says about God and see if the Trinity is taught. But, that is another subject.

      Theologians admit that the word “person” is not the perfect word to use because it carries with it the idea of individuals who are different beings. This is what we are familiar with and this is one of the problems with using the term “person” when describing the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But this is what we must use when we see that when the Bible speaks of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, each are called God, each speak, and each have a will. They exhibit attributes of personhood. In describing what we observe, we are forced to use words that we are familiar with. “Person” is just such a word. But it does not necessitate here that each person is an individual being.

      And fourth, trinities are known and accepted by people as observed in nature. By analogy we see that creation itself is Trinitarian. Time is past, present, and future. There are not three times. Each part of the whole of time is by nature time yet there are not three times but one. Likewise, space is height, width, and depth. Matter is solid, liquid, and gas. The Bible says that God’s invisible attributes are made known in creation:

      Rom. 1:20: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

      When the critics of Trinitarianism say it really teaches three gods, they demonstrate their lack of understanding of the doctrine and they either purposefully or mistakenly confuse it with something it is not. Trinitarianism denies and opposes the idea that there is more than one God. It is by definition, monotheistic.
      –http://carm.org/christianity/christian-doctrine/trinity-really-teaching-there-are-three-gods

    ———–

    We are not teaching that there are three Gods. My goodness. What we are saying is that the Person of Father, the Person of Jesus Christ and the Person of the Holy Spirit are deity, they are God.

  • Joe wrote:

    If you are giving someone the gospel can someone accept it though God knows that he will not. If the answer is yes then God is mistaken if the answer is no then that person does not have the free will you say election takes away from the individual.

    I prefer to believe God who says: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” (Tit 2:11)

    Your argument is flawed in your assumption that God knows things beforehand because He decreed those things to come to pass beforehand. This, my friend is pure Calvinism. In fact, it is worse than that. It is divination. Satan knows things will come to pass because he suggests (to the mind of a person who for instance visits a fortuneteller) that something is going to happen and then causes it to happen. Believe me, he is quite capable of doing it that way.

    The fact that God knows everything, also that some will not respond in faith to the Gospel, does not mean that they are inept to respond in faith to the Gospel and to get saved. God’s foreknowledge does not prevent them from getting saved. God knew beforehand that Adam and Eve were going to sin and yet He created them, allowing the entire human race to fall in sin. The beauty of God’s tolerance (long-suffering), although He knew beforehand that this was all going to happen, is that He decreed that his Son should die before the foundation of the world.

    And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev 13:8)

  • Joe

    Thomas, thanks for the reply. Pity it is in the wrong post. I will not be commenting further over here since it is very clear that you have to be right no matter what. The person who posted under Phil in this very post was clearly saying the same thing as you. It was quite easy to see. Nonetheless you are having a go at him because you do not like the fact that he questioned your use of the word “deities”. My friend you need to show a little humility and kindness to your fellow brothers and sisters.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Joe

    >> I will not be commenting further over here since it is very clear that you have to be right no matter what.

    So what you are saying is that we must agree with your false teaching :) Sorry, we can’t do that.

    >> The person who posted under Phil in this very post was clearly saying the same thing as you. It was quite easy to see. Nonetheless you are having a go at him because you do not like the fact that he questioned your use of the word “deities”. My friend you need to show a little humility and kindness to your fellow brothers and sisters

    Yes Thomas and Phil are saying the same thing, but it is Phil who has the problem with the word ‘deities’ and he is questioning our beliefs.

  • Joe

    Debbie

    We will agree to disagree on election. You can call it error that is fine by me since it is very clear that the fact that the scriptures use the word “elect” over and over should tell you something. Just cut the word “elect” and the relating etymological words out of the Bible if it makes you more comfortable.
    Phil is most certainly not questioning your beliefs. He believes the same thing as you. If he is questioning your beliefs then why do you write that Thomas and Phil are saying the same thing? The issue as I said before is that you do not like being questioned, even on a simple thing such as word usage. As I said before you need to show a little humility and kindness to your fellow brothers and sisters. By the way admit when you are wrong for it is the way of the cross.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Dear Joe

    To understand TRUE Predestination please read this article: What it Really Means to be Elected, Chosen, and Predestinated – The Biblical Truth

    You become one of the Elect after you get saved, you are not one of the Elect chosen by God to be saved.

      Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. 1 Peter 1:2

    >> We will agree to disagree on election.

    No we will not. There is a right and a wrong way, not a half truth.

  • Joe

    Deborah
    I will read the article you have suggested dealing with predestination.

    [DTW deleted rest of comment - you are looking for trouble - Please don't comment again]

  • Hans

    Sometimes I am unsure of the exact meaning of words and would rather refrain from those words. God made Himself known to me by His word. The Father’s word conveys the message of what He wants to make known and of what He purposes. The Spirit of the Father is also conveyed in His word. God’s word is not without his Spirit, and Jesus Christ is the word of God in the flesh. This proves One God, being a Trinity.

  • Joe wrote:

    Phil is most certainly not questioning your beliefs. He believes the same thing as you. If he is questioning your beliefs then why do you write that Thomas and Phil are saying the same thing? The issue as I said before is that you do not like being questioned, even on a simple thing such as word usage. As I said before you need to show a little humility and kindness to your fellow brothers and sisters. By the way admit when you are wrong for it is the way of the cross.

    Is this your way of showing humility by accusing others of not being humble? Are you saying “I am humble and you are not?”

  • Joe wrote:

    Thomas, thanks for the reply. Pity it is in the wrong post. I will not be commenting further over here since it is very clear that you have to be right no matter what. The person who posted under Phil in this very post was clearly saying the same thing as you. It was quite easy to see. Nonetheless you are having a go at him because you do not like the fact that he questioned your use of the word “deities”. My friend you need to show a little humility and kindness to your fellow brothers and sisters.

    Persons = Deities
    Deities = Persons

    Is that it?

    I can assure you that you have the right to be wrong, but remember to be wrong is to be misled astray and that is NOT what Jesus expects of you. (Matthew 24:4).

    Humility, my friend, is to acknowledge when you are wrong and to put it right. The word election appears in the Bible, yes, but there is no such thing as election unto salvation. To say there is such a thing as election unto salvation is not only being wrong. It is pure heresy. How’s that for some good and solid humility?

    I would also like to remind you that being wrong can be very dangerous.

    There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (destruction in hell). (Pro 14:12)

    The belief in election unto salvation seems to be right but it leads to destruction. I would rather run from feigning humility and NOT warn you than feigning humility and leave you to follow your road to destruction. The doctrine of election unto salvation (predestination unto salvation) comes from the pit of hell and the sooner you realize it the better for you.

  • Joe

    Thomas, thank you for the reply. I am certainly not a humble man. I have seen true humility in my Saviour who humbled himself to the point of death on the cross. That stupid I am not.

    You said, “The word election appears in the Bible, yes, but there is no such thing as election unto salvation. To say there is such a thing as election unto salvation is not only being wrong. It is pure heresy.”

    You seem to be saying the same thing as Deborah who recommended that I read the following;
    To understand TRUE Predestination please read this article: What it Really Means to be Elected, Chosen, and Predestinated – The Biblical Truth

    Do you agree with Deborah that I should read that article and is it also your position?

  • Joe

    Am I to understand that you just refuse to publish anything I write because you think I am making trouble. Please show me where I have made trouble. I have been gracious to you all the while although you have not showed me the same. You just do not like to be challenged. Does Thomas agree with the article you asked me to read Deborah? Just say yes or no.

  • Joe wrote:

    Thomas, thank you for the reply. I am certainly not a humble man. I have seen true humility in my Saviour who humbled himself to the point of death on the cross. That stupid I am not.

    If you’re not a humble man, why then do you demand of me to be humble? You wrote: “As I said before you need to show a little humility and kindness to your fellow brothers and sisters.”

    Don’t you know that Jesus who is the essence of humility commands you to learn of Him how to humble yourself? Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Matthew 11:29). This very same Jesus who humbled Himself to the point of death on the cross inspired Paul of Tarsus to write:

    But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Gal 1:8-9).

    The Reformed doctrine of predestination (election) unto salvation is another Gospel proclaiming another Jesus through the work of another spirit and deserves to be anathematized.

    Please don’t write any further comments on predestination and election under this article “The Trinity.” Rather go to the article Deborah recommended you read and write your comments there.

  • Joe wrote:

    Am I to understand that you just refuse to publish anything I write because you think I am making trouble. Please show me where I have made trouble. I have been gracious to you all the while although you have not showed me the same. You just do not like to be challenged. Does Thomas agree with the article you asked me to read Deborah? Just say yes or no.

    If the promotion of heresy is being gracious, then, by all means, go ahead. But, if the promotion of heresy is the most ungracious thing to do, then I order you to stop because you are misleading others. Am I being humble when I order you to stop? Certainly! Read this:

    As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, (1 Ti 1:3)

    What Gospel is he talking about? Read here:

    And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 Jn 2:2)

    The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Pe 3:9)

  • Joe,

    How do you know that you are one of the elect and were predestined unto salvation before the foundation of the world? How sure are you that you are one of the elect?

  • Joe

    Thomas,thank you for taking the time to interact. I asked the following in an earlier post,
    “You seem to be saying the same thing as Deborah who recommended that I read the following;
    To understand TRUE Predestination please read this article: What it Really Means to be Elected, Chosen, and Predestinated – The Biblical Truth

    Do you agree with Deborah that I should read that article and is it also your position?”

    You forgot to reply on that.

  • Joe,

    If you hadn’t noticed through my interaction with you on election and predestination that I do in fact agree with Deborah on the article she recommended, then there must be something drastically wrong. Why haven’t you read the article yet?

    For whom he did foreknow (whom He knew beforehand would respond in faith to the Gospel and get saved), he ALSO did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Rom 8:29)

  • Joe

    Thomas, thank you. I will read the article.

  • Dan

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    How do you know that you are one of the elect and were predestined unto salvation before the foundation of the world? How sure are you that you are one of the elect?

    I would like to submit this for your careful consideration. I apologize for it’s length, I really tried my best to keep it short.
    In the first verses of Rom 9, Paul is talking about the salvation of his fellow countrymen. This is very important because the rest of the chapter builds on this and it continues all the way into Chapter 10 with verse 1 saying: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.”
    Paul in Romans 1 – 8, has just presented to us this great Salvation we have in Christ Jesus. We come at the end of Romans 8 and it seems the Jews are left out of this great salvation. Yet they are the ones that have the promises of God. The ones to who the promises were given.
    The conclusion they come to is this: Either Paul’s Gospel is wrong or God’s promises have failed.
    Paul’s Gospel has come under questioning and he has to defend it. If God didn’t keep His promises to Israel what makes us think He will keep His promises in (Rom 1 – 8) to us? If Israel’s unbelief could separate them from God, how can we be so sure that “nothing can separate us from the love of God?” So this is a very important question. It is in this context that Paul brings up the doctrine of Election in Chapter 9. Election in itself doesn’t get one saved, the human response is needed. Paul deals with that in Romans 10. In Romans 11 he finally answers the questions “Where is Israel in this great plan of salvation” and “Is God faithful to fulfill His promises?”

    (v.7) Isaac was chosen over Ismael. Isaac wasn’t the first born. Yet he was the child of promise. How?
    (v. 9) “by the appointed time I (God) will come and Sarah (not Hagar) will have a son.” Notice, it starts with God before it moves to Sarah. By the sovereign election of God.
    A big issue is, why does God elect some and not others? Scripture never tells us why. But we see here that Isaac’s election happened before he was even conceived.
    Some might say Isaac’s election over Ismael was because of his mother, Sarah. Some might say it was because of race, Ismael’s mother was an Egyptian maid. Paul says no.

    (v. 10) Jacob and Esau were twins, conceived at the same time, born of the same mother. Jacob was chosen over Esau. First principle: God’s election is not based on parentage or ethnic origin.
    Someone might say election was based on their works. Maybe Jacob was chosen because he was a better person than Esau? Or maybe Jacob was chosen because God foreknew that he would be a person of faith and Esau would not be. Notice Paul’s response: (v. 11) “…before they had done anything good or bad – in order that God’s purpose in election might stand not because of works but because of Him who calls.”
    Before they were even born God said, and here Paul is quoting scripture again: “The older will serve the younger.” (Gen 25:23)
    What about the character of Jacob over that of Esau? Jacob was chosen before they were born. Notice a second principle of God’s election: It is not based on human works or merit. If someone comes and says but God foreknew how the boys would turn out and that’s why He chose Jacob over Esau. Well if this was so then really it was election based on good works that God foreknew. This is clearly not what the passage is saying.
    (v.12) “not by works but by Him who calls ….” This viewpoint becomes even harder to prove when you go back to the original text in Genesis. Try to prove from that text that Jacob was a better person, you can’t. Jacob was a deceitful character.
    So Paul has shown us here that election is not based on race; your parentage; works or any other human merit. It is God who chooses and the conditions of why he chooses one over another are not given. It would seem they are unconditional.

    (v.13) “Jacob I loved but Esau I hated” (Mal 1:2;3)Who was Malachi really talking about here? He is talking about Israel and Edom. In the election of Jacob over Edom there is a distinction that can be seen all through history in Israel and Edom. Israel consists of the descendants of Jacob. Edom consists of the descendants of Esau. Malachi is giving Old Testament interpretation of (Gen 25:23) here: “Two nations are in your womb and two peoples from within you will be separated; one person will be stronger than the other and the older will serve the younger.” God’s love for Jacob and His rejection of Esau is fulfilled in the history of the two nations that descended from them. If Israel wasn’t elected, God would have destroyed them at the time of Moses and the days of the Golden Calf already.
    So when Paul is quoting this, is he referring to the nations or the individuals? This is important because it is based on this that some people say God’s election is not individual it is national. Now what are the effects of that? If election is national, who was chosen? The whole nation of Israel. Within the nation of Israel you had believers and unbelievers. Were the unbelievers still part of the chosen nation? Yes. When you say you had believers and unbelievers you had saved and unsaved. The election of the Nation of Israel was purely for blessing. In (Rom 3: 1;2) “What advantage is there in being a Jew or what value is there in circumcision? Much in every way…” Now here in (Rom 9) Paul lists those blessings in (v. 4; 5).
    The conclusion here is Paul is referring to both – election of the nation as well as election of the individual. Because Jacob was after all an individual. Earlier he also used Jacob who illustrate that election of the individual is not based on parentage.
    You have to have a doctrine on election because it is taught in the Bible. If you do not encounter the same objections had, you do not have Paul’s doctrine on election.
    (v. 14) Objection! “Is there unrighteousness with God?” Notice how Paul answers a question about righteousness with a quote from scripture: (v.15) “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy.”
    (v. 16) “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.” Your desire or effort to search after God may indicate that you are recipient of God’s grace, but it did not originate from you. No man seeks God by himself, scripture teaches that. The reason for God’s mercy is not because man seeks after God. Rather it is because of God’s mercy that anybody seeks God in the first place. The fact that you are or have searched for God is the evidence of God’s grace, not the cause of it.
    (v.17) Pharaoh is used as an example. God clearly hardened his heart (Ex 9: 12;35) (Ex 10: 27) (Ex 11:10) but that wasn’t until Pharaoh hardened his own heart several times (Ex 7:22) (Ex 8: 15; 32).
    One of the ways in which God punishes sin is by hardening the hearts of certain sinners and cutting them off from further opportunities for repentance.
    We see further examples of this in (Rom 1: 24) “God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity…” (v. 28) “Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind to do what ought not to be done.” Was it God’s choice? Who made the choice? They made the choice and God who is righteous and Holy, judged their sin. This is a hard doctrine but this is what the Bible teaches.
    Election is only unto salvation. Election is not unto eternal condemnation. When we vote for a new president, you do not elect everybody else to be not-president. If God didn’t choose some, none would be saved. The result of the fall is such that when He came to His own, His own didn’t even recognize Him.
    (v. 29) If God hadn’t intervened and saved a remnant, ALL “…would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”
    The principles of election according to God’s sovereign election are these: Election is not based on ancestry, race, human works or merit. It is not based on what we deserve; it is based on God’s mercy. Election without the appropriate human response, doesn’t save anyone. God’s election and the human response are like two train tracks. Both are needed yet they never meet, not in this life. If God chooses us ahead of time based on what He knows we will do, then whose choice is it that really counts? His or ours? Isn’t it ours? Which would mean God’s choice based on what He foreknew we are going to choose, is just a rubber stamp.
    Did Jesus only die for the elect? No, He died “so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish.”

    This is a summary of a study I’m working on. It is not my own, it’s the work of Dr Jack Fish who teaches the book of Romans at the Emmaus Bible College in Iowa.

  • Dan,

    Everything you wrote in your lengthy comment is standard procedure with all Calvinists. I know all the arguments and they are all faulty. The Jacob-Esau argument is faulty because Calvinists fail to see that it had nothing to do with salvation but with a preference of one over another for the sole purpose of bringing the Messiah into the world. Jesus summed it up perfectly in John 4:22: “. . . salvation is of the Jews” [and not of the Edomites or any other nation]. I usually say to the Jacob-Esau (love-hatred) committee. God’s hatred of Esau emphasizes his sovereign right to choose whomsoever He wills to accomplish his plan of salvation for all people. His hatred of Esau, therefore, is not as we see it but rather a preference, a choice if you will, of Jacob over Esau to accomplish his plan of salvation in his Son who is of the Jews (and not the Edomites). Furthermore, Esau (the older) never served Jacob (the younger). The nation who came from Esau served Israel and only for a time. (Genesis 25:23).

    You wrote:

    If God hadn’t intervened and saved a remnant, ALL “…would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”

    The irony is that the entire nation of Israel is still God’s elect despite their rejection of Jesus Christ and stubbornness to respond in faith to the Gospel.

    As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Romans 11:28-29)

    This verse completely debunks your view that election without the appropriate response, doesn’t save anyone. Most of Israel are not saved and yet they are elect. I wouldn’t use the word “election” because it immediately defaults back to Calvinism. I would rather say; You cannot be saved unless you respond in humility to the conviction of the Holy Spirit that you are a lost sinner and in desperation come to Jesus for your salvation so that by faith alone you may receive forgiveness for your sins (Matthew 11:28; Romans 10:13). It is not election plus the proper response that saves. It is the deep conviction of eternal lostness and a response to this conviction that saves. You would probably say it is the response that makes one an elect. Even this is wrong because it implies that only the elect respond while the reprobate do not respond. This again immediately defaults back to Calvinism. You do not respond because you are an elect. You respond because you because you freely choose to be saved (Revelation 22:17).

    You wrote:

    Did Jesus only die for the elect? No, He died “so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish.”

    To believe or not to believe is not based on election or non-election but on choice (Once again: Revelation 22:17). There is no such thing as election (predestination) unto salvation but election unto blessing and service. By the way, are you talking about faith before salvation as a precondition for salvation or about faith as a gift given to you after your monergistic salvation?

    You wrote:

    God’s election and the human response are like two train tracks. Both are needed yet they never meet, not in this life.

    This is a very bad example. It just doesn’t work. It suggests that you can never know for sure that you are saved until in the afterlife. If election and response never meet in this life, how do you know you are saved? It contradicts what you said earlier “Election without the appropriate human response, doesn’t save anyone.”

    Your election theory may be summed up as follows:

    If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that is elected hath the witness in himself: he that is not elected hath made him a liar; because he is not elected according to the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life to the elect only, and this life is in his Son. He that hath been elected by Son hath life; and he that hath not been elected by Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that have been elected in the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:9-13).

    You wrote:

    Election is only unto salvation. Election is not unto eternal condemnation. When we vote for a new president, you do not elect everybody else to be not-president. If God didn’t choose some, none would be saved. The result of the fall is such that when He came to His own, His own didn’t even recognize Him.

    Where do those who had not been elected before the foundation of the world go – to heaven or hell? Surely you must agree that non-election unto salvation is equal to non-election to heaven which simply means that the reprobate (non-elect) have been elected not to be saved and hence elected to go to hell. Or is election the only word that has no opposite? Or do you mean that election unto salvation is God’s election and election unto condemnation or damnation is man’s own election? Really? By not electing everybody else to be president and one particular person to be president rests completely on your freedom of choice. If God freely chooses whom He wants to save and not to save, election and its opposite non-election is a given fact.

  • Dan

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    Dan,
    Everything you wrote in your lengthy comment is standard procedure with all Calvinists.

    Stop right there. I am not a Calvinist. It is the doctrine of demons. Calvinists believe you are saved by Election. According to Paul’s doctrine on election: Elected or not, you have to personally come to the realization that you are a lost sinner and in need of a savior, and accept that His work on the cross is the only way for me to be saved. I have gone to great lengths to show you that.

  • Dan,

    Stop right there. I am not a Calvinist. It is the doctrine of demons. Calvinists believe you are saved by Election. According to Paul’s doctrine on election: Elected or not, you have to personally come to the realization that you are a lost sinner and in need of a savior, and accept that His work on the cross is the only way for me to be saved. I have gone to great lengths to show you that.

    The doctrine of election unto salvation is a Calvinistic doctrine, whether you like it or not and you clearly said: “Election is only unto salvation.” That’s all you have shown me. I have gone to great lengths to show you that election has a negative opposite “non-election” which simply means “elected unto damnation” and still you persist in saying that election is only unto salvation. You are in effect saying “God chose the elect unto salvation but by his just judgment he decided to leave the rest in the hardness of their own hearts.” This is exactly what the Canons of Dortrecht teach:

    The fact that some receive from God the gift of faith within time, and that others do not, stems from his eternal decision. For all his works are known to God from eternity Acts 15:18; Eph. 1:11). In accordance with this decision he graciously softens the hearts, however hard, of his chosen ones and inclines them to believe, but by his just judgment he leaves in their wickedness and hardness of heart those who have not been chosen. And in this especially is disclosed to us his act–unfathomable, and as merciful as it is just–of distinguishing between people equally lost. This is the well-known decision of election and reprobation revealed in God’s Word. This decision the wicked, impure, and unstable distort to their own ruin, but it provides holy and godly souls with comfort beyond words.

    You wrote:

    Elected or not, you have to personally come to the realization that you are a lost sinner and in need of a savior, . . .

    Can the non-elect respond in faith to the Gospel and be saved?

    When something looks like, walks like and quacks like a duck, it’s a DUCK. You can duck and dive as much as you like. “Election is only unto salvation” is pure Calvinism.

  • Dan

    Thom, all I can say is I got saved long before I knew any doctrines on election existed. I came to the realization that I was a lost sinner and in need of the Savior.

    Thom said: “God chose the elect unto salvation but by his just judgment he decided to leave the rest in the hardness of their own hearts.”

    1) Paul encountered this objection: (Rom 9: 14-18) “There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.”
    Notice Paul’s answer to a question of “injustice”- he answers with “mercy.” “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy…” Let’s continue reading….
    (v. 16) “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.”
    Why is he bringing up Pharaoh? This statement is as strong as it gets in the Bible. Our sovereign God rejected Esau and He hardened Pharaoh’s heart. It’s not hard to understand what Paul is saying, it is hard because it it’s hard to harmonize this with all the other biblical teaching on God’s love. (Ex 9:16) “I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” God has mercy on whom He wants and He hardens whom He wants. God clearly hardened Pharaoh’s heart: (Ex 9: 12; 35) (Ex 10:27) (Ex 11:10) but that wasn’t until Pharaoh hardened his own heart SEVERAL TIMES: (Ex 7:22) (Ex 8:15;32) Pharaoh made his own choices. The hardening of the heart is not election unto condemnation; it is the judgment of sin. Here are more examples: (Rom 1:24) “God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity…” (Rom 1:28) “Furthermore since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done…” Was it God’s choice? Did He elect them unto condemnation?
    2) The next objection Paul encounters: (v. 19) “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” If God chooses one and hardens another, why are we still responsible for our decisions? Can you see what this objection is doing? It makes God the author of sin. This objection is saying why does He still find fault? He makes us the way we are. We are just doing what He already determined us to do. You are saying that this hardening of the heart by God, is what keeps a person from salvation. The implication is that if God did not come and harden some and elect others, everyone would have an equal opportunity for salvation.
    This assumption is based on a false premise. Why? If God did not come and elect some, who would have been saved? No one. Man is lost. He is not lost because he is hardened. He is lost because he is a sinner. If we elect a president, we do not elect everybody else to be NOT-president. And that is really what you are saying. Election is only unto salvation. Election is not unto condemnation – that is the judgment of sin.

  • Joe

    Thomas and Deborah thank you for your time and interaction. I have read the article you suggested. My conclusion is that the person who wrote the article does not understand certain areas of “election” and so mistakenly misrepresents them. Furthermore his interaction with certain of the passages he quotes shows an inconsistent application of contextual and grammatical principles.

  • Dan,

    You are not a Calvinist but you certainly know how to utilize the exact same passages Calvinists use to substantiate their vial doctrines.

    You wrote:

    God clearly hardened Pharaoh’s heart: (Ex 9: 12; 35) (Ex 10:27) (Ex 11:10) but that wasn’t until Pharaoh hardened his own heart SEVERAL TIMES: (Ex 7:22) (Ex 8:15;32) Pharaoh made his own choices. The hardening of the heart is not election unto condemnation; it is the judgment of sin.

    Exactly! God knew even before Pharaoh was born that he would harden his own heart and on this basis God decided to use him to accomplish his purpose to redeem Israel from their servitude to Egypt. Dave Hunt writes in his book “What Love is This?”

    God did not cause Pharaoh to sin, but arranged circumstances and events to put this particular man (whose every quirk and wicked impulse He foreknew in detail) to be in authority at that particular time, in order to use his evil to fulfill His will. We affirm as biblical and reasonable both God’s ability and His sovereign right to arrange circumstances and to position on the stage of life those players whom He foreknows, so that His will is effected in human affairs—and to do so without violating their will
    or encouraging (much less becoming accessory to) their crimes.

    In relation to Pharaoh, Romans 9:18 states, “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” Calvinists make a great deal of the statement that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, as though that proves Unconditional Election and Limited Atonement. On the contrary, the hardening of his heart had nothing to do with whether Pharaoh would go to heaven, but with God’s use of Pharaoh at the time of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. God says His purpose was “that I might shew these my signs before him: and that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son’s son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the Lord” (Exodus 10:1). When God hardened Pharaoh’s heart to further His purposes for Israel and Egypt, to manifest His power more fully, and specifically to
    complete His judgment upon the gods of Egypt, He was, in fact, only helping Pharaoh to do what that tyrant wanted to do. When He sent Moses to Egypt, God declared, “I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go…” (Exodus 3:19). This was Pharaoh’s disposition before a word was said about God’s hardening of his heart.

    We gain a better understanding of God’s dealings with Pharaoh through the Hebrew words translated “harden” or “hardened” in the King James. In the sense of hardening one’s own heart, kabed is used four times: Exodus 7:14, 8:15, 9:7 and 9:34. Qashah, only used once (Exodus 7:3), means to become stiff-necked or stubborn. Chazaq (Exodus 4:21; 7:13,22; 8:15; 9:12,35; 10:20,27; 11:10; 14:4,8,17) means to strengthen or give courage, indicating that God was not causing Pharaoh to be an evil man or to do evil actions, but was giving Pharaoh the strength and courage to stand by his intent not to let Israel go, even when the plagues became overwhelmingly terrifying. As Forster and Marston explain after an in-depth word study: “The Bible does not teach that God made Pharaoh unrepentant. The main word used for the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart is chazaq, and it seems to mean that God emboldened or encouraged Pharaoh’s heart so that he had the stubborn courage to stand even in the face of very frightening miracles…. God never prevents anyone from repenting. “Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked? Says the Lord God: and not rather that he should return from his way and live?”

    Anyone who hardens his heart and persists in the hardening of his own heart will eventually be liable for the following indictment:

    Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Th 2:9-12)

    This does not mean that God cannot use them for his divine purposes. He can and He often does. You seem to have a problem with foreknowledge. The key to a correct understanding of Romans 9 is the word “foreknowledge.”

  • Joe

    What are the “certain areas of ‘election’” he does not understand and “so mistakenly misrepresents them?” What are the inconsistent application of contextual and grammatical principles you refer to? Your rebuttal is monumentally constipated with many words that mean absolutely nothing.

  • Dan

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    As Forster and Marston explain after an in-depth word study: “The Bible does not teach that God made Pharaoh unrepentant. The main word used for the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart is chazaq, and it seems to mean that God emboldened or encouraged Pharaoh’s heart so that he had the stubborn courage to stand even in the face of very frightening miracles…. God never prevents anyone from repenting.

    Thom, thank you for pointing this out. I’ll look into this some more. It will be very interesting. God bless.

  • Dan

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    You seem to have a problem with foreknowledge.

    Thom, I do not have a problem so to speak with foreknowledge. But I do have a problem when it is used by some to illustrate: “because God foreknew I will have faith, that’s why He elected me.”
    (Rom 9:11) “for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls”
    (Rom 9: 16) “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
    (Rom 3: 11) “there is not the man that understands, there is not one that seeks after God.” It is not in the power of natural man to turn to God and believe in Him by himself.
    (Joh 6:44) “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.”
    If God chooses us ahead of time based on what He foreknows we’re going to choose, then whose choice really counts? If God chooses us based on what He knows what we are going to choose, isn’t it our choice that really counts? Then His choice is just a rubber stamp of approval. If God foreknew we will choose Him and therefore chose us, our choice was really the determining factor. So His election is based on human works that He foreknew?
    The fact is, that if God had chosen us in spite of our unrighteousness, chose us before we were even born, not on the basis of anything we have ever done, then ALL of the credit for our salvation goes to Him. His choice of us is purely by grace. The human response to that is to choose “yes I accept what Jesus has done to make reconciliation with God possible,” or “No I reject it.” Paul’s doctrine on election, as explained in Romans 9 – 11, is a real blessing for us. This is a doctrine for which we should praise and thank God. If we have not done anything to gain our salvation except to accept it as a gift, then we can not do anything to lose our salvation. If He has brought us to faith, He will keep us in faith. He who has started a good work in us, will complete it.
    This doctrine on election, Paul’s doctrine on election is what motivated him for evangelism. He says in (2 Tim 2:10) “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” In (Acts 18:11) Paul was discouraged and he wanted to leave but God told him in a dream not to. Why? “….because I have many people in this city.” They weren’t saved yet but they were marked and they had to come to faith and receive salvation through Paul’s ministry.
    Now I know this is a difficult doctrine. I don’t know all the theological objections to this yet, I am still busy studying it. In one of your earlier posts you asked: “Can the non-elect respond in faith to the Gospel and be saved?” I’m struggling with this myself right now.

    Calvinists focus ONLY on the sovereignty of God. Armenians focus MOSTLY on the human responsibility. Paul’s doctrine on election requires BOTH. I think it’s worth looking into these things some more.

    God bless.

  • Dan

    Correction: I meant Arminianism instead of “Armenians.” LOL

  • Dan

    Thom, I do not have a problem so to speak with foreknowledge. But I do have a problem when it is used by some to illustrate: “because God foreknew I will have faith, that’s why He elected me.”
    (Rom 9:11) “for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls”

    (Rom 9: 16) “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
    (Rom 3: 11) “there is not the man that understands, there is not one that seeks after God.” It is not in the power of natural man to turn to God and believe in Him by himself.

    If man is unable to seek after God why would He command him to seek Him? Not only is he able to seek and search for Him; he is able to seek Him with all his heart and find Him.

    And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jer 29:13)

    And why would you interpret Romans 9:16 as God being merciful only to some (the elect) and not to others (the non-elect) when He distinctly says that He is merciful to all men and wants them all to be saved?

    For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, (Tit 2:11)

    Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? (Eze 33:11)

    The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Pe 3:9)

    And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 Jn 2:2)

    Like all Calvinists you have a Romans 9 and John 6:44 crack in the record kind of brain. The record plays sweet music until the needle comes to the crack and there is sticks – tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. What about Cornelius? Didn’t he seek after God?

    There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. (Act 10:1-2)

    And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. (Act 10:30-31)

    Cornelius was not yet saved then and yet he sought after God.

    You wrote:

    (Joh 6:44) “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.”

    If God chooses us ahead of time based on what He foreknows we’re going to choose, then whose choice really counts? If God chooses us based on what He knows what we are going to choose, isn’t it our choice that really counts? Then His choice is just a rubber stamp of approval. If God foreknew we will choose Him and therefore chose us, our choice was really the determining factor. So His election is based on human works that He foreknew?

    Yes, his choice is just a stamp of approval “But without faith it is impossible to please him (to get his stamp of approval): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Heb 11:6)

    You should really make some effort to read the rest of the Bible and NOT focus on the Calvinistically chosen passages. Why do you refuse to quote John 12:32 for instance? Yes, his election is based on human works that He foreknew.

    Jesus replied, This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger] (John 6:29 AMP)

    Here’s a question for you. Bearing in mind that you base your entire sotereology on Romans 9:11, would you say that God loves only his elect (Jacob) and hates the non-elect (Esau).

    You wrote:

    Calvinists focus ONLY on the sovereignty of God. Armenians focus MOSTLY on the human responsibility. Paul’s doctrine on election requires BOTH. I think it’s worth looking into these things some more.

    I am not an Arminian. Any case, you are contradicting yourself. At first you say “Then His choice is just a rubber stamp of approval. If God foreknew we will choose Him and therefore chose us, our choice was really the determining factor. So His election is based on human works that He foreknew?” And then you say “Paul’s doctrine on election requires BOTH.” Ah, I see, we cannot possibly understand how God’s election and man’s responsibility works. It’s like a train track that never meets in this life but only in the afterlife. What utter nonsense. Here’s the answer, and by the way, it is Paul writing here:

    Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Rom 5:2)

    It is faith that grants man access to God’s salvific grace. No faith – no salvific grace. You can’t expect God to grant you salvific grace if you do not have faith as a precondition for salvation. That’s it. That’s God’s rubber stamp of approval. If you believe, you will be saved; if you don’t, you’re are lost. Salvation has absolutely nothing to do with election.

  • Joe

    Thomas, thank you once again for the gracious interaction. You wrote;

    “What are the “certain areas of ‘election’” he does not understand and “so mistakenly misrepresents them?” What are the inconsistent application of contextual and grammatical principles you refer to? Your rebuttal is monumentally constipated with many words that mean absolutely nothing.”

    The writer of the article quotes a number of texts of scripture. It will take some time to interact with those texts in a meaningful way. I am willing to deal with each text in a chronological order and the writers comments thereon as I find the time. I will post my findings as I go along if that is alright with you.

  • Thank you Joe. I know that rebuttals can take a lot of a person’s time. Please feel free to take your time.

    Tom

  • Dan

    Thom, you have been instrumental in opening my eyes to the dangers of this doctrine we have been discussing. Lord willing I’m going to have to investigate this some more. Could you please point me to some scriptures that prove election is only for service and not unto salvation? Thank you for your patience. God bless.

  • Dan wrote:

    Thom, you have been instrumental in opening my eyes to the dangers of this doctrine we have been discussing. Lord willing I’m going to have to investigate this some more. Could you please point me to some scriptures that prove election is only for service and not unto salvation? Thank you for your patience. God bless.

    The very fact that the Jews are God’s elect (Isaiah 45:4; Romans 11:28) and yet the most of them are going to hell (Matthew 8:12), proves beyond any reasonable doubt that election is not unto salvation but unto service. What was the service the Jews rendered to the world? Well, Jesus Himself gives us the answer in John 4:22, “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.”

    God’s election of Israel began in Egypt with the sole purpose to bring his Messiah into the world. In both cases – Israel and the Messiah – it is election unto service and not unto salvation.

    Jesus Himself is one of God’s elect (Isaiah 42:1). Surely, you wouldn’t venture to call his election an election unto salvation. Therefore, it must be election unto service (Matthew 20:28).

  • Dan

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    The very fact that the Jews are God’s elect (Isaiah 45:4; Romans 11:28) and yet the most of them are going to hell (Matthew 8:12), proves beyond any reasonable doubt that election is not unto salvation but unto service.

    Israel as a nation was elected unto blessing. Paul lists those blessings in (Rom 9:4;5) However in verse 27 of the same chapter (Rom 9:27) Paul quotes from the Old Testament: “…the remnant will be saved.” Paul already gave the reason for this in verse 6 of the same chapter (Rom 9:6) “…for they are not all Israel who are of Israel.” In verse 8 he goes on to explain “the children of the promise are counted as the seed.” In (Rom 9:7-13) Paul deals with individuals as the seed. In (Rom 9:29) he quotes from the Old Testament on why it was necessary for this seed. “UNLESS the Lord had left us a seed, we would have become like Sodom and Gomorrah.”
    In verses 7 – 13 having dealt with the election of individuals and the bases on which they were elected (Rom 9:7-13), in verses 14 – 24 he deals with objections to that election (Rom 9:14-24).
    Let’s look at some of those objections. In (Rom 9:14) it is suggested that God is unrighteous! To which Paul responds with “it is not about righteousness it is about mercy.” In (Rom 9:19) it is suggested that God is the author of sin! Why these harsh objections? Because He elected individuals for service?
    This chapter starts with: “…I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen…” After presenting them with this great gospel of salvation in Romans 1 – 8, they come to the realization but “where is Israel in all of this?” Paul is grieving because the Jews are lost! This whole chapter is about salvation and why the Jews missed it. Paul quotes from Isaiah“…a remnant will be saved.” Jesus died for all, nobody has any excuse. The invitation is for ALL. But it is in the remnant that God’s purposes are fulfilled.

    Now, I have admitted some things to you about this doctrine, but it doesn’t mean I’m convinced it’s wrong. ALL of this mentioned is straight from Romans 9 with Paul quoting from the Old Testament. This whole chapter is about the election of individuals and salvation – in the same text! The NEXT chapter, (Rom 10) deals with the human responsibility towards accepting this salvation.

    (Rom 10:14 – 15) They are SENT to preach this gospel. From hearing this gospel faith comes… “By faith you are saved.” “YOUR faith has saved you” (Luk 7:50) It is MY faith but does faith ORIGINATE from me? From this body of death, something good can come that can please God?

  • Dan,

    You didn’t ask me to provide some verses dealing with election unto blessing but unto service. In any case, those things Paul refers to in Romans 9:4-5 are merely the external, visible proofs of the Greater blessing they were given in Jesus Christ, but they rejected Him. I quoted to you Romans 11:28 which clearly says that the entire nation of Israel is God’s elect. Nowhere in that section does Paul make a distinction between true Israel and false Israel. He says that the entire nation is elect. Don’t you believe it? This election, as I said, is not unto salvation but unto service. (John 4:22).

    Do you really think Paul believed in election unto salvation in the light of his prayer in Romans 9:2-3? I don’t think he would have been so daft to be willing to be accursed and cast into hell for all eternity whilst the elect (remnant among Israel, as you say) are going to heaven in any case. Imagine him suffering in the Lake of Fire whilst his elect brethren for whom he prayed were enjoying the bliss of heaven because they were chosen unto salvation even before the foundation of the earth. Or did he only pray for the reprobate (non-elect) among his brethren? That would have made him even more daft. Why would he be willing to be accursed and cast into hell when his reprobate brethren were chosen to be cast into hell even before the foundation of the world? Imagine him suffering in hell while his reprobate brethren are slso suffering in the Lake of Fire because as the non-elected cast aways they cannot be saved. If there is something like election unto salvation, it would mean the Paul (an elect) was willing to become a non-elect and suffer in hell so that the non-elect could be made the elect and go to heaven. What utter nonsense.

    The notion that man is unable to believe because he is as dead as a corpse and therefore must be gifted with faith subsequent to his monergistic regenration is the most primitive doctrine imaginable. And don’t quote Ephesians 2: 8 and 9 to me because there it is not faith that is the gift, but salvation. This is but one of the many passages Calvinists deliberately distort to suit their villanous agendas. I quoted to you Romans 5:2 and still you refuse to believe that election is not unto salvation? A corpse cannot believe and niether can it sin? Can it disobey God? If not, then why is it cast into hell?

    If faith is a gift and only granted to the elect after their monergistic regeneration, then that faith is a false faith and cannot save. You need to repent. God will never inftinge on your free-will and impose his will on you by giving you faith (supposedly as a gift after your monergistic salvation). A gift can only be a gift when the receiver of the gift willingly and thankfully takes the gift. Something that is imposed on a person, is not a gift. It is an enforced coercement. It is NOT faith.

    Please don’t comment here on Calvinism or election and predestination. This thread deals with the Trinity and not election.

  • Dan

    Thom please allow me to say this and then I’ll say no more. Jesus is the author of your faith (Heb 12:2). ” … God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” (Rom 12:3) “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and THAT (faith) not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
    ALL the glory for your salvation goes to Him. He is your savior in every sense of the word. It has ALL been a work of Him, there is NOTHING that originated from you. The human response to this is to come to realize, that you are a sinner and you do deserve to go to hell, but because of the works of Jesus Christ on the cross, all you can do is to accept or reject His salvation, that originated from Him, that’s all. Accept it or reject it, that is the human response to this.

    William MacDonald quoted D. L. Moody: “Moody illustrated the two truths this way: When we come to the door of salvation, we see the invitation overhead, “Whosoever will may come.” When we pass through, we look back and see the words “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God” above the door. Thus the truth of man’s responsibility faces people as they come to the door of salvation. The truth of sovereign election is a family truth for those who have already entered.
    How can God choose individuals to belong to Himself and at the same time make a bona fide offer of salvation to all people everywhere? How can we reconcile these two truths? The fact is that we cannot. To the human mind they are in conflict. But the Bible teaches both doctrines, and so we should believe them, content to know that the difficulty lies in our minds and not in God’s. These twin truths are like two parallel lines that meet only in infinity.”

    Thom, your doctrine on election places “your” faith at the center of saving grace. That would be a works-based salvation.
    God bless.

  • Dan wrote:

    Jesus is the author of your faith (Heb 12:2). ” …

    The word for “author” is “archēgos” and simply means that Jesus pioneered the kind of faith believers should practice. It is a faith of perseverence to finish the race. It does not mean that man is as dead as a coprpse and therefore unable to believe of his own accord and that Jesus grants faith only to the elect after their monergistic regenration. That’s nonsense.

    God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” (Rom 12:3)

    The faith spoken of here has nothing to do with salvation. It pertains to Christian ministry and spiritual gifts. God has given a particular measure of faith to each Christian in accordance with the particular spiritual gift He has given them. The reason why Paul wrote this section was to warn Christians not to think of themselves more highly than they ought, but in accordance with the measure of faith God has given them. God has given each believer a particular measure of faith to serve him. Every single unbeliever has the same measure of faith in order to be saved because it is sufficient to believe in the all sufficient work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

    I have already told you that the gift in Ephesians 2: 8-9 does not refer to faith but to salvation. Salvation is a gift but it can only be given when the receiver of the gift puts his faith in Jesus Christ.

    What makes you think I do not give God all the glory for my salvation? Of course salvation is all of the Lord. However, I must want (be willing) to be saved – Rev. 22:17). God will never impose his gift of salvation on anyone who does not want to be saved.

    You said:

    The human response to this is to come to realize, that you are a sinner and you do deserve to go to hell, but because of the works of Jesus Christ on the cross, all you can do is to accept or reject His salvation, that originated from Him, that’s all. Accept it or reject it, that is the human response to this.

    How on earth do you expect a person who is as dead as a corpse and therefore unable to believe, to respond to the Gospel and to realize that he deserves to go to hell? You are inconsistent in your arguments. If you are dead in sins in and trespasses and unable to blieve on Jesus Christ in order to be saved, then you must also be unable to respond to the Gospel and realize that you deserve to go to hell. The same applies to your next argument (Moody’s illustration). To pass through the door you need faith. How then can a person who is as dead as a corpse believe and pass through the door? Or is he first regenerated (saved) this side of the door (given faith as a gift) and then pass through to realize that he is one of the elect. Moordy’s illustration is flawed and does not represent the Gospel truth.

    You wrote:

    How can God choose individuals to belong to Himself and at the same time make a bona fide offer of salvation to all people everywhere? How can we reconcile these two truths? The fact is that we cannot. To the human mind they are in conflict. But the Bible teaches both doctrines, and so we should believe them, content to know that the difficulty lies in our minds and not in God’s. These twin truths are like two parallel lines that meet only in infinity.”

    Thom, your doctrine on election places “your” faith at the center of saving grace. That would be a works-based salvation.

    Even Jesus Christ said that faith is a work that the unbeliever must do in order to be saved. “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (Joh 6:28-29). He did not say that it is the same as for instance doing things like indulgences, attending mass, etc. He simply meant that faith in Him and his fionished work on the cross is the only thing necessary for one’s slavation. But it is something the unbeliever himself must do. God is not going to give him or her faith just because they are the so-called elect.

    There is absolutely nothing to reconcile in the matter of salvation and the offer made to all people everywhere. The deciding factor is not election but faith or unfaith on the part of the unbeliever. That’s what decides whether he goes to heaven or hell – not election and non-election. Did Jesus come to the earth to save sinners or not?

    Are you blessing me for having a works-based salvation? Surely, you must know that God cannot bless someone who distorts his Gospel (Galatians 1:8-9).

  • Hans

    Dan, you said:“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and THAT (faith) not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
    It is not the faith that is a gift of God, it is grace that is a gift of God, the grace of God in Jesus Christ. According to scripture it is love for the truth that works faith in us, (there is no works in love) and by faith we receive grace from God.

  • Hans wrote:

    Dan, you said:“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and THAT (faith) not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

    It is not the faith that is a gift of God, it is grace that is a gift of God, the grace of God in Jesus Christ. According to scripture it is love for the truth that works faith in us, (there is no works in love) and by faith we receive grace from God.

    Well said, Hans.

  • colin

    I have been following this thread with much interest.
    But does not the Bible teach us that God “giveth to all life, and breath, and all things,..” Acts 17.25? Doesn’t then God give us our faith?
    “For in him we live, and move and have our being;..” Acts 17.28.
    I would safely assume then that “faith” may be included in these “gifts”. Or am I missing something?

  • Dan

    Hans wrote:

    Dan, you said:“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and THAT (faith) not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
    It is not the faith that is a gift of God, it is grace that is a gift of God, the grace of God in Jesus Christ. According to scripture it is love for the truth that works faith in us, (there is no works in love) and by faith we receive grace from God.

    Where does faith come from? “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Rom 10:17) “You were dead in your trespasses and sins” the day you heard the Gospel. (Heb 12:2) says “…Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith”. (Rom 12:3) ” … God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” Faith is not something that ORIGINATES from us. Faith is a gift from God that we RECEIVE by hearing the word of God. In (2 Cor 10:15) we see that faith can grow, so as we study the Bible God can add to our faith.
    “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Salvation is a free gift of God, so is grace and so is faith. Yet you interpret this verse as referring ONLY to salvation? There is NOTHING good that is able to please God, that ORIGINATES from this body of death. Now it is YOUR faith, you received it. But it did not ORIGINATE from you. ALL good things come from Him. It is “not as a result of (your) works, so that no one may boast.” You can’t even boast in the fact that you have faith. It is ALL a work of Him.

  • Dan

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    Hans wrote:

    It is not the faith that is a gift of God, it is grace that is a gift of God
    Well said, Hans.

    Thom, here you agree with Hans that is not faith that is a gift of God but grace. May I quote you from a few posts back? You wrote: “Ephesians 2: 8-9 does not refer to faith but to salvation.”

    Which one is it Thom? Grace or Salvation?

  • Dan

    Thom and Hans, where does your faith come from? Were you born with it?

  • Dan,

    Thom and Hans, where does your faith come from? Were you born with it?

    In whose image was man made? If man was made in the image of God then surely man is able to choose freely. The freedom of choice and faith go hand in hand. Your problem is that you believe God gives faith only to the elect after their monergistic regeneration. That’s not faith. It’s coercion, enforcement. Did you force your wife to marry you or did she choose to marry you? If she chose to marry you because she loves you, she did in in good faith.

  • Dan wrote:

    Thom, here you agree with Hans that is not faith that is a gift of God but grace. May I quote you from a few posts back? You wrote: “Ephesians 2: 8-9 does not refer to faith but to salvation.”

    Which one is it Thom? Grace or Salvation?

    To what purpose is God gracious and merciful? Isn’t it to save lost sinners? For the grace of God that bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all men, (Tit 2:11).

    I am not going to waste my time with you when you stubbornly refuse to understand. Your arguments are becoming quite wearisome. At least, try to understand that grace and salvation are two inseparable parts of God’s mercy and that He is merciful to all people because He does not want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9). And you say you are not a Calvinist? Really??? All your arguments are solidly embedded in Calvinism, the most vial doctrine there is.

    Waky, waky!!!

  • Dan wrote:

    Faith is a gift from God that we RECEIVE by hearing the word of God. In (2 Cor 10:15) we see that faith can grow, so as we study the Bible God can add to our faith.

    Can anyone receive that faith, Dan? Or is it just the elect to whom God gives faith? If faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, then anyone can receive the gift of faith because the Word of God was written for all men. Or was it only written for the elect?

    You must at least try to read passages in their context. Yes, faith comes through hearing the Gospel but in verse 12 Paul says that God’s gracious offer of salvation by faith was given to all, Jews and Gentiles alike. Would He have made such an offer if He thought man is unable to believe unto salvation of his own accord. Please learn to read your Bible in context and then come back to comment here.

    No one is boasting in his own faith. It is not your faith that saves (faith in your faith kind of thing). It is God alone who saves BUT through faith alone. You cannot be saved if you do not first put your trust in Jesus Christ. You and your Calvie friends say: “You must first be regenerated without knowing it (because you are as dead as a corpse) and then, only after you had been made alive (saved), He gives you the gift of faith so hat you may believe the Gospel you heard. Are you so dumb to believe that a corpse can respond in faith to the Gospel when he, as a cadaver, supposedly HEARS the Gospel? Can a corpse hear and respond to the Gospel? Like all Calvinists your arguments are one contradiction after another.

  • Colin,

    The fact remains that man was made in the image of God and that image includes the ability to believe. To say that man is unable to believe and therefore only the elect must be given faith as a gift, is an outright denial that man was made in the image of God. It is blasphemy, to say the least. The problem Dan has, is, like all Calvinists, that he sees dead in trespasses and sins as being as dead as a corpse. If that is true, the corpse is not only unable to believe but also unable to do anything, including to sin. Paul Washer, for instance says that a corpse cannot hear, understand and respond to the Gospel and must therefore be regenerated (made alive) so that he can believe. That’s why they love to use Lazarus’s resurrection as an example of salvation. What utter nonsense. Please read here.

  • Dan

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    Colin,
    The fact remains that man was made in the image of God and that image includes the ability to believe. To say that man is unable to believe and therefore only the elect must be given faith as a gift, is an outright denial that man was made in the image of God. It is blasphemy, to say the least. The problem Dan has, is, like all Calvinists, that he sees dead in trespasses and sins as being as dead as a corpse. If that is true, the corpse is not only unable to believe but also unable to do anything, including to sin. Paul Washer, for instance says that a corpse cannot hear, understand and respond to the Gospel and must therefore be regenerated (made alive) so that he can believe. That’s why they love to use Lazarus’s resurrection as an example of salvation. What utter nonsense. Please read here.

    Colin, Calvinism is the doctrine of demons. It can not save anyone. The whole human race was doomed to destruction by its own sin and not by any arbitrary decree of God. If God allowed everyone to go to hell—and He could justly have done that—people would be getting exactly what they deserved. The question is, “Does the sovereign Lord have a right to stoop down and select a handful of otherwise-doomed people to be a bride for His Son?” The answer, of course, is that He does. Is God unrighteous for doing that? “It’s not about justice it’s about mercy.” (Rom 9:14) Does God love ALL men? Scripture teaches that. Does God long for the salvation of ALL men? Scripture teaches that. Well how can we reconcile that with Him sovereignly electing some and not others? We can’t. But I see BOTH God’s sovereign election and man’s responsibility are taught in scripture. Therefore I’m going to accept both. Thom can’t. He wants to hold on his doctrine that he is saved based on HIS faith that God foreknew HE WOULD HAVE and therefore elected him.
    Now it is YOUR faith, but it never originated from you in the first place. “I am a new creation” entirely of Him. There is NOTHING of old Adam in there. ALL of it is a work of Him. Faith enters our lives for the first time, “by hearing the Word of God.”

  • Dan wrote:

    Colin, Calvinism is the doctrine of demons . . . . Does God love ALL men? Scripture teaches that. Does God long for the salvation of ALL men? Scripture teaches that. Well how can we reconcile that with Him sovereignly electing some and not others? We can’t. But I see BOTH God’s sovereign election and man’s responsibility are taught in scripture. Therefore I’m going to accept both. Thom can’t. He wants to hold on his doctrine that he is saved based on HIS faith that God foreknew HE WOULD HAVE and therefore elected him.

    Now it is YOUR faith, but it never originated from you in the first place. “I am a new creation” entirely of Him. There is NOTHING of old Adam in there. ALL of it is a work of Him. Faith enters our lives for the first time, “by hearing the Word of God.”

    “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb (looked like a little lamb), but he spake like a dragon.” (Rev 13:11)

    You cannot say Calvinism is of the devil while you believe and say the very same things they believe and say. That’s hypocrisy of the worst kind.

    God loves everyone but He does not save everyone although He could? And this you call a mystery? NO, it’s plain heresy. And with that I end this conversation. I don’t want to give you any further opportunities to blaspheme God.

  • Dan

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb (looked like a little lamb), but he spake like a dragon.” (Rev 13:11)

    You cannot say Calvinism is of the devil while you believe and say the very same things they believe and say. That’s hypocrisy of the worst kind.

    God loves everyone but He does not save everyone although He could? And this you call a mystery? NO, it’s plain heresy. And with that I end this conversation. I don’t want to give you any further opportunities to blaspheme God.

    Thom, I have continuously tried to take you back to scripture. Instead you keep taking us back to the doctrines of Calvinism. Calvinism base their whole theology on some of the same scriptures I’ve given you. But like all lies of satan, the rest is made of half truths. Scripture teaches both election and the human response to that. Can you really not see that?

    I accept your decision to end this discussion.

  • Dan,

    Scripture does NOT teach election unto salvation. Never!

  • Hans

    Dan: God gave us the ability to reason, and we should use it. For lack of time I want to give you something to think about without all the scriptures, but will do so if needed. A human being, in his everyday life has the ability to choose from his own preferences: To love or to hate, to boast or to be meek, to endure or to give up, it is a matter of choice. To one person you will respond in a certain way and to another in another way. It all depends on what you think or believe of that person even if the situation is identical. Your way of thinking or faith in the character of the other person commands your way of reason and reaction. This is just a common fact of life. God does not have to give you faith to believe what you believe of the other person, it stems from the preferences and assumptions in your own heart. Likewise does God not have to give you faith in what you believe about Him when you hear about Him. That faith too stems from the preferences and assumptions in your own heart. Faith in Christ stems from a preference for the Spirit of Christ. You have been in this world and have seen it’s evil spirit, but when you hear about Christ, and become aware of His glorious Spirit, you have a choice (almost subconsiously)of which Spirit/spirit you prefer, and love for the Spirit of God in Christ draws you to Christ. This is why Jesus said: No-one can come to me if my Father do not draw them. It is the Spirit of the Father in Jesus Christ that draws you to Christ. Is it because you are good. No, no-one is good. It is as simple as choice, to love God, or to love the devil. This is the choice of free will. Once you have really chosen for God, God gives unto grace, the Spirit of grace to indwell you, to lead you and to guide you..

  • Hans

    Let us look at the order of events when we were saved.2Th 2:10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Love for truth is the first step. Gal 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. This love for the truth, the Spirit of truth in Jesus Christ, proven to us in His crusifiction, works faith in those who love Christ when hearing the message of the cross. Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. When we hear the word of the gospel, the word of our salvation we will either love what we hear or not. To love or not to love is a choice of our hearts and of our free will. Even evil men are able to love, but it is love for the Spirit of God in Christ that leads to faith in Christ, and this faith pleases God, and God gives unto you his Spirit to indwell you, to lead you and guide you and to even increase your faith. By the foreknowledge of God, knowing the end from the beginning, God foreknew who would love Him and elected them. Jesus Christ died for each and every person living on this earth, but only those that love Him will believe in Him, and be saved.

  • Dan

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    What’s the point in preaching the Gospel to the elect when nothing can thwart their salvation?

    They are elected, not saved. Only Calvinists believe they’re saved by election. Election doesn’t save anyone. You have to personally accept Jesus Christ as your savior in order to be saved. Once you’re saved, it is your only proof that you were elected in the first place.

  • Dan wrote:

    They are elected, not saved. Only Calvinists believe they’re saved by election. Election doesn’t save anyone. You have to personally accept Jesus Christ as your savior in order to be saved. Once you’re saved, it is your only proof that you were elected in the first place.

    Of course there are many who are not yet saved. I didn’t say they are already saved. I said that nothing can thwart (hinder, prevent) the elect’s salvation because God’s sovereign decree (the decision He made to save them monergistically before the foundation of the world) is irrevocable and cannot be prevented. Therefore, not even the so-called elect’s personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Saviour plays any part whatsoever in their salvation. What’s the point in accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour when God has already accepted you, even before the foundation of the world, in Jesus Christ? Your acceptance of Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour is a so-called decisional regeneration which turns your argument that man can do absolutely nothing for his salvation on its head and makes it look silly. The very act of accepting Jesus as your personal Saviour is something you do in order to be saved. Have you changed your mind? How on earth can a corpse make a decision to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour? That’s ridiculous. Unless, of course, God first brings to life (regenerates) the corpse without it having to believe (because it can’t) and only then enables the elect to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. This, my friend is Calvinism par excellence. It means that the elect must first be saved before they can be saved.

    If election is not unto salvation, unto what is it then? If your salvation is the only proof that you were elected in the first place, what then is/was this first place? The only proof that you are saved is that one time in your life you put your trust in Christ Jesus alone to save you. It is not your salvation that proves your election; it is your faith in Christ (faith as the Scriptures say – John 7:38) that proves you are saved. Paul said:

    For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (2 Tim 1:12)

    Note carefully, Paul used the passed tense “I have believed.” He is not saying that he believed once and has now stopped believing. He is referring to that day in Ananias’ house when he first put his trust in Jesus Christ in order to be saved. He did not believe to prove that he was an elect. The faith Paul exercised was a precondition faith which simply means that he could never have been saved without first believing. You call this “accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour.”

    By the way, when and where was Paul saved?

  • Hans

    Thomas wrote:Therefore, not even the so-called elect’s personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Saviour plays any part whatsoever in their salvation. What’s the point in accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour when God has already accepted you, even before the foundation of the world, in Jesus Christ?
    I do not understand what you are saying here. Could you please elaborate. Are you referring to what Calvinists believe, or is it somehow your own believe? From what you previously wrote it would seem as if you are referring to what Calvinists believe.

  • Hans

    Dan said that only those who accept Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour are counted as the elect. And yet, he also says that the elect, whilst they are yet unsaved, are not able to believe (put their trust in Jesus in order to be saved) because they are dead as a cadaver in their sins and trespasses. So, how can they accept Jesus as their personal Saviour when they are dead? The solution he offers, is Romans 10:17. However, he says “hearing” in this verse is not a verb (something the elect has to do) but is a substantive word which means “hearing” is used as a noun or an adjective in this sentence. With this kind of gymnastic semantics he tries to prove that faith does not originate with the sinner (which also implies that the sinner does not have a free-will to choose something good but only sinful things) but that the Word magically infuses “hearing” into the heart of the elect so that they can understand and believe. He says he is not a Calvinist but he surely thinks and talks like one.

    Yes I am referring to what Calvinists believe.

  • Dan

    Thom, You seem to have this idea that the fall didn’t affect your free will at all. In (Rom 10:5) Paul quotes Moses who said that if you keep the law you will be saved. Luther summed it up nicely: “If the human will is free, how can you account for the fact that throughout all the years of human history, then there ought to have been one person who obeyed perfectly the Word of God and one who sought God perfectly.” Yet we know that is not the case.

    Do we have a will? Yes, we see that in a baby who doesn’t want her diapers changed.
    Do we have free will? We have free will in the sense that you are free to make your own choices. You are not controlled. We are responsible for the choices we make. All through scripture we see God appealing to His creatures to make good choices and weeping when they fail to do so. He wept when the people of Jerusalem didn’t come to Him (Luk 19:41-44)

    Did you utilize your free will to search after God? “There is NOT ONE that seeks after God.” (Rom 3:11) “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2: 14).
    Your desire or effort to search after God did not originate from you. The fact that anybody (including you) searches after God is the EVIDENCE of God’s grace, NOT the cause of it.

    (Joh 15:16) “You did not choose Me, I chose you.” Was Jesus violating their free will? Were they not free to accept or reject it? The very first time faith entered your life was “by hearing the word of God.” If you felt that God was violating your free will, you should have closed your ears the day someone shared the gospel with you.

  • Dan,

    You really don’t have to give me a lecture on Luther who wrote a book called “The Bondage of the Will” which is wilfully contrary to the Word of God’s teaching on free-will. You are wilfully in danger of misrepresenting God and wilfully listening to the ramblings of a sinful man instead of to Him and his Word. You don’t seem to know the meaning of the following passages.

    And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (Rev 22:17)

    And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Jos 24:15)

    I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: (Deu 30:19)

    God did not say, “I will make some of you to choose life and the rest to choose death cause you cannot make a choice according to my will.”

    You wrote:

    Did you utilize your free will to search after God? “There is NOT ONE that seeks after God.” (Rom 3:11) “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2: 14).
    Your desire or effort to search after God did not originate from you. The fact that anybody (including you) searches after God is the EVIDENCE of God’s grace, NOT the cause of it.

    You acknowledge that man has a free-will but that he is unable to use it because it is supposedly in bondage to doing only evil. Deut 30:19 completely debunks this view. It says that man is capable of choosing between life and death (heaven and hell). Is heaven something evil?

    The evidence of God’s grace does not lie in man’s ability or non-ability to search for God but in the fact that God loved the WORLD so much that He gave his only begotten Son, so that whomsoever chooses to believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

    I have already quoted to you God’s command in Jeremiah 29:13 and yet you still cling to the silly notion that man does not seek God. Romans 3:11 does not mean that man is unable to seek God. It simply means that he does not want to seek Him. He rather seeks his own will and the pleasures of his own self-centredness and not God.

    1 Cor 2:14 refers to the deep things of God because it is the Holy Spirit that conveys it to believers deep within their inner beings (spirits). Unbelievers cannot understand the deep things of God because they don’t have the Holy Spirit. It’s as simple as that. It does not mean they are unable to understand and respond to the Gospel. Jesus Himself said that his Holy Spirit will convict the WORLD of sin, righteousness and judgment – of sin because they believe not on Him. (John 16:6-9). All people are able to either believe or not to believe in Jesus Christ because they are quite capable to resist or to respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Or does the Holy Spirit only convict the elect because they are the only ones who have sinned?

    You wrote:

    (Joh 15:16) “You did not choose Me, I chose you.” Was Jesus violating their free will? Were they not free to accept or reject it? The very first time faith entered your life was “by hearing the word of God.” If you felt that God was violating your free will, you should have closed your ears the day someone shared the gospel with you.

    As I said, you use the same old dumb arguments Calvinists constantly use because you don’t read your Bible. Do you have your own business? Have those who work for you chosen themselves to be employed by you or did you choose them? Contrary to the common practice of disciples (followers) picking a teachers in Jesus’ time, He had chosen his twelve disciples. He even chose Judas Iscariot.

    If man is as dead as a cadaver in sins and trespasses how can he hear and respond in faith to Gospel when it is shared with Him? Once again you are contradicting yourself. Paul made it very clear that God’s gracious offer of salvation through faith was given to all people – Jews and Gentiles alike (Romans 10:12). The Greek word “akoe” (hearing) can mean the thing heard (the message; Romans 10:16) or the act or sense of hearing (Romans 10:17).

    Look Dan. I am no longer going to waste my time listening to your Calvinistic arguments. I know every single one of their arguments and also their pet Scriptures they love to quote to you. Like them you are misrepresenting the God of the Bible and that is very dangerous. In fact, it is idolatry because you are presenting Him in a way contrary to his own revelation of Himself.

  • Hans

    Thank you Thomas, I thought so, just had to be sure that you are not starting to reason as a Calvinist does. Dan: I will once again quote to you the origins of faith. You can choose to believe God or not. Gal 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. FAITH WHICH WORKETH BY LOVE. Do you want to believe God? It is love for Christ that works faith in Christ. I am not only referring to faith that Jesus Christ, the human, died for our sins, but to faith in the Spirit of God in Jesus Christ made known to us on the cross and in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Every human being is capable of love, to love his wife, to love his children, to love his car, and even to love God when he hears the gospel. It is his choice.

  • Dan

    Thom we can agree on this: man has to personally come to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior in order to be saved. It is on how man got to that point, that we hold different views.

    God bless my friend.

  • Dan

    Thom we can agree on this: man has to personally come to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior in order to be saved. It is on how man got to that point, that we hold different views.

    God bless my friend.

    Indeed, the HOW is the deciding factor.

    “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall WE DO? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Act 2:37-38)

    “Then said they unto him, What shall WE DO, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God [THE WORK REQUIRED OF YOU], that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (Joh 6:28-29).

  • Dan

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    Dan
    Thom we can agree on this: man has to personally come to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior in order to be saved. It is on how man got to that point, that we hold different views.
    God bless my friend.
    Indeed, the HOW is the deciding factor.
    “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall WE DO? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Act 2:37-38)
    “Then said they unto him, What shall WE DO, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God [THE WORK REQUIRED OF YOU], that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (Joh 6:28-29).

    Yes, I agree with all that. I’m saying a person is being led TO that point of repentance because he wasn’t able to reach that point by himself. You believe that man is totally free in his will and able to get there. That’s the difference and I can accept that we won’t agree on that.

  • Dan wrote:

    Yes, I agree with all that. I’m saying a person is being led TO that point of repentance because he wasn’t able to reach that point by himself. You believe that man is totally free in his will and able to get there. That’s the difference and I can accept that we won’t agree on that.

    NO, it is not I who say man is totally free in his will. God Himself says so. I quoted the verse to you. Why do you shun God’s Word?

  • Hans

    Dan, is God wicked? Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. If God shewed (has shown) unto man that which can be known of Him, but somehow did not do that something that man might believe then God would not be just, and would be utterly wicked, for punishing them for something they have no control over, that is if they do not have the capability in themselves to believe the gospel. Such a god would be unjust and a wicked bully. The same goes for a god that sais ini mini miny mo, I choose you, the rest I”ll send to hell.

  • Dan

    Did Jesus only die for the elect? No He died for all. I’ve heard it explained like this: The parable of the dinner (Luk 14).
    After the completed work of Jesus Christ on the cross: “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his servant (the Holy Spirit) to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ “But they all alike began to make excuses…… Then the head of the household became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ “And the servant said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ “And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and COMPEL THEM to come in, so that my house may be filled. ‘For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.”

    Paul said: “For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren.” Paul was willing to sacrifice his place in Christ so that his brethren could be saved. (Rom 9:3) Moses did exactly the same thing: (Ex 32:32)
    If this was Paul’s response, how should we respond to this? Paul taught election (to the saints) but he preached Christ to ALL. We are commanded to do preach Christ to ALL.

    Tom, I am convinced that this doctrine, if researched and presented well, might bring a few Calvinists to repent and accept Christ. You seem to have a lot of Calvinists visiting here from time to time. It is for this reason, that I brought this before you. Unfortunately but quite understandably so, it escalated into long philosophical discussions on Calvinism instead.

  • Dan wrote:

    Did Jesus only die for the elect? No He died for all. I’ve heard it explained like this: The parable of the dinner (Luk 14).
    After the completed work of Jesus Christ on the cross: “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his servant (the Holy Spirit) to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ “But they all alike began to make excuses…… Then the head of the household became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ “And the servant said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ “And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and COMPEL THEM to come in, so that my house may be filled. ‘For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.”

    You believe that man has a free-will and is responsible for his choices but at the same time you believe that he must be COMPELLED (FORCED) to enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ? What kind of free-will is that?

    Luke 14 deals with Jews and Gentiles. Those who were invited but excused themselves with all kinds of silly reasons not to attend the dinner, are the Jews and those on the highways and along the hedges are the Gentiles. As such you are saying that only the Gentiles must be compelled to enter into an eternal relationship with Jesus Christ.

    Who are those doing the compelling? Well, the Master sent his servants to compel them. That means the servants had the authority to elect people to enter into an eternal relationship with God, that’s IF by compelling you mean to be elected.

    Do you know where your interpretation of Luke 14 comes from?

    Dave Hunt writes in his book What Love is This?”

    Though he preferred persuasion if possible, Augustine suppormilitary force against those who were rebaptized as believers after ersion to Christ and for other alleged heretics. In his controversy the Donatists, using a distorted and un-Christian interpretation of 14:23,
    Augustine declared:

    Why therefore should not the Church use force in compelling her lost sons to return?… the Lord Himself said, “Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in….” Wherefore is the power which the Church has received…through the religious character and faith of kings…the instrument by which those who are found in the highways and hedges—that is, in heresies and schisms—are compelled to come in, and let them not find fault with being compelled.

    Sadly, Calvin put into effect in Geneva the very principles of punishment, coercion, and death that Augustine advocated and that the Roman Catholic Church followed consistently for centuries. Henry H. Milman writes: “Augustinianism was worked up into a still more rigid and uncompromising system by the severe intellect of Calvin.” And he justified himself by Augustine’s erroneous interpretation of Luke 14:23. How could any who today hail Calvin as a great exegete accept such abuse of his passage?

    Compel? Isn’t that God’s job through Unconditional Election and Irresistible Grace? Compel those for whom Christ didn’t die and whom God has predestined to eternal torment? This verse refutes Calvinism no matter how it is interpreted!

    You adamantly maintain that you are not a Calvinist. If you’re not one of them, STOP using their silly arguments.

  • Dan

    The idea that a seeking sinner would search for God and not find Him because he is not one of the elect, is a lie straight out of hell. The fact that ANYBODY (including you, me, Cornelius) (Acts 10) searches after God in the first place, is PROOF that the Father is drawing us. It is the EVIDENCE for grace, not the RESULT of it.

    If you do not encounter the following objection to your doctrine on election, you do not have Paul’s doctrine on election: “Is there injustice with God?” (Rom 9:14)
    Paul responds to a question about righteousness with: “..MERCY..” (Rom 9:15)

    Grace is getting what you do not deserve. Grace is extended to ALL. Salvation is by grace and freely available to anyone who wants it.
    Mercy is not getting what you do deserve. Like Pharaoh, we all deserved the hardening of the heart (Rom 9:17;18). Why? “There is not one who seeks after God…..not even one.” (Rom 3:10-12)

    The conclusion here is: “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has MERCY.” (Rom 9:16)
    “Faith comes by hearing” indicates that it wasn’t there before. It came to you BY hearing. God is the source.

    To say that God elected you because He foreknew you will have faith, is contradicting to the truth. It is self-righteousness.

  • Dan

    The idea that a seeking sinner would search for God and not find Him because he is not one of the elect, is a lie straight out of hell. The fact that ANYBODY (including you, me, Cornelius) (Acts 10) searches after God in the first place, is PROOF that the Father is drawing us. It is the EVIDENCE for grace, not the RESULT of it.

    Have you never heard; have you never read, have you never understood THAT GOD DRAWS ALL PEOPLE. (John 12:32)

    You think too highly of yourself when you say it is your searching that corroborates God’s drawing. Have you never heard of the cross of Jesus Christ? The cross of Jesus Christ is the PROOF that God draws all people, regardless of whether they seek Him or not. And you have the audacity to accuse me of self-righteousness?

    Please don’t comment here again and waste my time, until you have learned what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about.

  • Margaretha Tierney

    It seems all your correspondents believe in the Trinity and that those who do not are not Christians. However, I would like to say that there are many Christians who do not believe in the Trinity. Instead they believe in one Supreme God the Father and His only-begotten Son Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 8:6. The Holy Spirit is the omnipresent Spirit of both the Father and the Son. Christ dwells in us by His Spirit. Col 1:27. All are free to study and believe as they are convicted, but in the end, there is only one truth.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Margaretha

    >> All are free to study and believe as they are convicted, but in the end, there is only one truth.

    You are right, you are free to believe what you what, but it’s not the truth.

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