Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Free Grace Doctrine Correlation : My Positions

I have been asked by some to integrate my position into some kind of whole. The following is an attempt to correlate the various doctrines in my Free Grace position by making 27 points that contain affirmations and denials within my theology. I am looking forward to both continue with my exposition of James 2:14ff and give an exposition of the Parable of the Sower as found in Luke.

I don’t know if I have left anything out or not; as this has been a somewhat hastened attempt to put something together. I realize that I haven’t included any Scripture references, but this was for time’s sake. I have much exposition contained in the posts of my blog already, and plan to continue to do so. If you require references for a certain point, I would be willing to proceed with them for you in the comments section.

Some have asked about my position on the ontoligical nature of the regenerate Christian. I have attempted to briefly explain it here as well. Your questions are welcomed (your objections less so…). Clarifications are not out of the question either.

27 Points of my Free Grace Position

1) Eternal life is a guaranteed absolutely free gift received immediately by the intermediate agency of a simple act of punctilliar faith in Jesus Christ alone for the purpose of receiving eternal life, apart from works of any kind; and at that simple moment of faith in Christ, he is eternally secure!

2) At the moment of faith the believer is regenerated: God imparts unto him His seed along with its great potential. This new nature is completely sinless; cannot sin at all, as an absolute.

3) The believer's sin nature has been, in Christ (positionally), crucified. Although it remains in the believer's ontological nature, our regeneration has given us the potential necessary to mortify it in experience.

4) The potentials of our new nature are realized as a) we submit ourselves to God, b) come face to face with the glory of Christ as He is revealed in His word (whereby the Holy Spirit changes us from glory to glory), c) recognize and utilize the great and precious promises that are ours in Christ, d) through praying to God the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and according to the Father’s will, and e) by walking in the light as He is in the light (fellowship). The potentials are as limitless as our God, for the seed in us is His divine nature!

5) Although regenerate man has great potential because of the divine nature being imparted unto him, the potentials of that nature do not automatically nor necessarily bloom. Experiential and progressive sanctification is the cooperation between God and man (wheras eternal salvation is all from God). Regenerate man must will and act in cooperation with God in order to grow experientially and access the potentialities of his new nature. It is the sad fact that the greatest majority of regenerate Christians do not explore and cultivate this potential to its greatest lengths. It is even sadder that in extreme and remote cases the regenerate Christian can lose his faith in Christ and abandon Christianity. Yet in all this, God remains faithful to His promises whereby eternal life is the guaranteed immediate possession of anyone who simply believes in Christ for the reception of Jesus' free gift of eternal life.

6) There is such a thing as a false professor in Christianity. But it lies in only 2 areas:
a) One who lies and says that they believe in Jesus alone for eternal life (for purpose of infiltrating, or wishing to be accepted, etc)
b) One who believes a message that is not the saving message of Christ (the true gospel), and believes that he has believed the true gospel.

There is no such thing as a spurious faith in Christ alone that has for its purpose the reception of eternal life. The modifiers, such as "head" faith, "false" faith, "spurious" faith, "temporary" faith, etc., are the machinations of those who oppose the idea that eternal life is, in reality, an absolutely free gift. No such modifiers to faith exist in the Bible. The Bible knows nothing of any such thing as a “substandard” faith in Jesus Christ for eternal life (not even in the Epistle of James or parable of the sower!).

7) The nature of true faith in the current traditional climate of Christianity is somewhat ethereal and unexplainable, mystical and complex. “Faith is a dense fog, an impenetrable mystery for most pastors and theologians today” (Bob Wilkin). And what is fog in the pulpit is surely darkness in the pew. Faith is not commitment, surrender; does not include works of obedience, nor is faith an act of the will! Truth, as to its nature, is propositional. Faith is being convinced/persuaded that something is true. Faith is the passive result of being convinced/persuaded that a proposition is true. Jesus Christ is the Guarantor of eternal life to the believer in Him for it. Saving faith, then, is the conviction (being convinced) that Jesus guarantees you eternal life by faith alone in Him!

8) Assurance of eternal life is not something that is gained subsequent to salvation. Absolute and certain assurance of possession of eternal life is of the essence of saving faith. Since saving faith is being convinced of Christ’s saving message whereby He guarantees eternal life to the believer in Him for it, one by necessity is certainly assured of possession of eternal life the very moment he believes. The guarantee of eternal life is infused into Christ’s saving message, therefore when one believes this message (is convinced that it is true) he at that same moment is convinced that he has everlasting life!

9) Doubts of salvation are not uncommon in those who truly are regenerate. Although they at the moment they believed in Christ had absolute assurance, circumstances in the Christian life can cause them to take their eyes off of Jesus and redirect them on the self, the circumstances, or both; loss of assurance is then experienced. But certain assurance of eternal life can again be theirs the moment they look to Christ and His promises in simple faith. As the Christian grows in the faith, those times of doubt will be less experienced, even precluded.

10) At the moment of faith in Jesus for eternal life, the believer becomes a child of God. He is thus ushered into a new relationship with God. This relationship as to its essence is familial. In this relationship, God is the perfect Father. He nudges, directs, leads, chastens, scourges, teaches, encourages, etc.: all the attributes of a perfect Dad. Yet, God does not drag His children down the path of obedience. He uses means for the purpose of directing His children, but the children may spurn God’s direction.

11) The Christian has the opportunity to grow into “full grown” sons, and thereby receive the entitlements and priveledges of such (as inheritance and priviledges in the kingdom). Remaining a mere child, or regression from any attained experiential position may be met with the chastening and/or wrath of the Father. These chastenings may include sickness, lack of success and prosperity, God’s heavy hand in circumstances, etc. The wrath of God can include the afformentioned things and can include pre-mature physical death.

12) The sins of the Christian are not looked at lightly with God. Sins of the Christian are a serious matter that involves serious consequences. Sin, when it is practiced and reaches maturity can cause death (natural consequences of sin). Sin is also met with God’s temporal displeasure, whereby He chastens, scourges, and may mete out His wrath for such.

13) Man is saved by grace through faith apart from works, but will be judged by our works. The unregenerate will be judged by his works (at the Great White Throne judgment), but condemned for his name being absent from the Book of Life. The regenerate will be judged (not for eternal destiny; this was determined the very moment of simple faith in Christ for eternal life) by his works at the Bema (rewards/judgment platform) of Christ (the judgment seat of Christ). The results for the overcomer in the Christian life will be the superlative entrance into the kingdom, with attending glories, honors, position and rank, co-inheritance with Christ, co-reigning with Christ, and intimate fellowship with Christ and his band of reigning servant kings. The results for the subcomer will be dishonor, shame, remorse, regret, sorrow, and deep loss, with only the mere entrance into the kingdom.

14) Repentance is not a condition of eternal life. Faith alone in Christ alone is the sole intermediate agency by which one receives eternal life.

15) Repentance of sins by the unsaved (either corporately or individually) can avert or halt the temporal wrath of God that is now being displayed in the world.

16) The repentance of an unsaved man, whereby he repents of the sins that trouble his life, and whereby he turns to God (examples of which are going to church or reading his bible) can be a path for him to, in time, find the way to be saved and believe in Christ for eternal life. His repentance may start him on the path that leads to harmony with God.

17) Harmony and fellowship with God is lost when a believer falls into continuous sin for a period of time. Repentance is the necessary remedy to avert or halt the temporal chastenings of the Father, and restore harmony with God.

18) Repentance is not a mere changing of the mind; it surely includes such, but this is not the extent. Repentance is an act whereby the sinning one turns from his sin unto righteousness, producing the works meet with his re-direction.

19) Inheriting the kingdom of God is not equivocal to merely entering it. The impartial observer will quickly note the two very distinct imports of the words: “inherit” and “enter”. It is the theologian who misses the significance! Much confusion has been spawned by illegitametly affirming the equality of both, which eclipses the doctrine of grace. To link the two fatally compromises the freeness of eternal life. Entering the kingdom of God is conditioned solely by faith in Christ. Inheriting the kingdom, along with its attendent rulership priviledges is conditioned on faithful obedience and works to the end of life.

20) The inheriting and rulership of Christ’s metachoi (Greek, = “partakers”), along with its attending greater intimate fellowship with Christ, is the grand reward that Paul often spoke about. The intimacy that we will share with Christ in His kingdom corresponds to the intimacy that we share with Him now.

21) This grand reward is to be distinguished from the “treasures” that we are commanded to provide for ourselves in heaven. Specific acts of sincere piety are rewarded with corresponding treasures in heaven that cannot fade away. The subcomer may not rule with Christ but any treasure that he has provided for himself will be his in heaven.

22) The call to eternal life and the call to discipleship are two distinct invitations. Those who equate the two corrupt the essentially free nature of the gospel offer. The call to eternal life is the invitation to receive an absolutely free gift. Discipleship, on the other hand, requires very hard work.

23) There are many who equate the call to self-denial, self-mortification, giving up one's life, and doing all other kinds of hard works, with conversion, but by so doing they either explicitly or implicitly deny the freeness of the gospel. By no stretch of the imagination is the demand for self-denial and self-sacrifice an invitation to receive a free gift. The attempt to harmonize these polarities always ends either in hopeless absurdity or in theological sophistry.

In this respect the man on the street is often more perceptive than the theologian. If someone were to offer him a gift in return for self-denying obedience, he would readily recognize that offer as grotesquely misrepresented! The Son of God never engaged in such contradictions. What was free, He represented as free. What was costly, He presented as costly.

24) Discipleship is the construction of a life that will have enduring meaning and worth into eternity that will bring with it the contingent glories of a life that has been laid down for Christ. The call to discipleship is a call to the "abundant" life. It is the call to a living now that results in purpose, meaning, fulfillment, and joy (attended with sufferings and persecutions) in the present; in other words: genuine living. It is the call to a life now that one "loses" his life in an earthly perspective but gains it from a heavenly perspective.

25) Eternal life is not a static thing; it can be increased, grown; it can bloom. It can be built upon. Present possesion of eternal life is only one aspect. Eternal life as a yet future attainment is something that is merited by faithful obedience and perseverance. It is a reward. Present possesion of eternal life is just the starting in the life of the believer. The new believer is now called to give up his life to find it. Present possesion of eternal life is just the entry way into the experiential knowledge of God.

26) The regenerate Christian who submits himself to discipleship will have meaning, purpose, fulfillment, joy, and the abundant life NOW as a result of his discipleship that includes dying to self, living for Christ, and picking up one's cross. He also in the future life will have provided for himself a richer experience in the kingdom of God , the abundant entrance, that is truely superlative! Glories, honors, inheritance, and co-reigning with Christ are some of the things he has to look forward to.

27) The Christian who does not submit himself to discipleship will endure chastenings, temporal consequences, lack of real purpose, meaning, and fulfillment in the present (the non-abundant life). He will not be able to look forward to a favorable review at the judgement seat of Christ (the Bema). He will have saved his life (in the present) but lost his life (in the future), the life he could have had in the kingdom of God. Yes he is saved and will be in the kingdom. But he considered the gaining of the world as compensation for him losing his life (in both a present and eternal sense). He will be in the kingdom; saved, yet as through fire.

68 Comments:

Blogger Joe said...

So, is "a simple act of punctilliar faith in Jesus Christ" doing something, thereby making salvation dependent upon a work?

January 14, 2006 5:14 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

There are some good points here and It seems to me that the area we disagree in is in faith itself.

Faith is not being persuaded intellectually.

Christ and the cross is the power of God and it is foolishness to the intellect of carnal man.

Jews request a sign. Greeks seek after wisdom.

Faith is an entrustment. It is born out of the fear of God into not fearing God by entrusting ones soul to the Person of Jesus Christ.

In the same anxiety that one depends on money to get them through the week; therin sleeps the worry of the soul and that which Christ's death on the Cross makes rest of. Hope in Him.

This is not intellectual.

In reality I think we only differ in agreement by the space of 17 inches.

The distance of the head and the heart.

But perhaps I have misrepresented you and you do believe that faith is born in the soul and the reigns of man, not the Brains of man.

Always enjoy looking at the cover of your book. It floods my soul with joy.

Absolutely free.

You brother have been helpful to me in that I see that I can go to far in my earnestness and my own life with preaching legalism.

However I must say that I still differ and do know that faith is not intellectual.

BTW, what does punctilliar mean?

January 14, 2006 8:30 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Joe, excellent question.

No, faith is merely the intermediate agency by which one receives the absolutely free gift of eternal life.

Faith's role in the reception of eternal life is purely instrumental; an organon leptikon (in the writings of Luther), in other words, like the empty hand of a beggar receiving a gift.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Antonio

January 14, 2006 10:58 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Brian, you may be interested in an article by a 5 point Calvinist along the lines of Gordon H. Clark, whose name is John W. Robbins, of the Trinity Foundation. The article talks about faith from a historically Calvinistic viewpoint:

The Biblical View of Truth

It is totally mind opening, to use a pun!

Antonio

January 14, 2006 11:02 PM  
Blogger Doug E. said...

Antonio,

You said, "Faith is the passive result of being convinced/persuaded that a proposition is true."

Who decied who gets convinced and who doesn't; God or man?

God Bless,

Doug

January 14, 2006 11:33 PM  
Blogger Doug E. said...

You said,
"Sin is also met with God’s temporal displeasure, whereby He chastens, scourges, and may mete out His wrath for such."

Does God know how to correct His children effectively, to actually get them to walk in His ways, or does he just do his best and hope that they will come around?

Doug

January 14, 2006 11:39 PM  
Blogger Doug E. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

January 14, 2006 11:43 PM  
Blogger Doug E. said...

You Said,

"The results for the subcomer will be dishonor, shame, remorse, regret, sorrow, and deep loss, with only the mere entrance into the kingdom."

Wow that sounds like heaven to me. I thought it was a place of no tears. (By the way this is very close to Mormon doctrine) Good luck working your way to the top of heaven.

By the way what will they be remorsing about, their sins, I thought they were paid at calvary. So much for your free grace.

Doug

January 14, 2006 11:51 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Doug, I wonder, could you be more childish?

Why should I dignify and honor your questions with an answer since you obviously do not wish to hear a well reasoned response but have already made up your mind and seek to childishly bring my sacred convictions into shame?

You do not sound like someone interested in a perspective that just may be the truth! And yes, I am convinced that it is.

Your childish objections do not further communication, but serve to try to humiliate me and stop any beneficial conversing on either side.

disappointed,

Antonio

January 14, 2006 11:58 PM  
Blogger Doug E. said...

If these questions can't be answered then maybe your theology is not as strong as you thought.

I did not intend for my tone to be beligerent and if it was I apologize. But some of the implications of your doctrine is dangerous and should be pointed out. If they are not dangerous please show me why by answering my questions.

Doug

January 15, 2006 12:10 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Sir, I can handily answer any question you pose concerning my theology.

Your questions, as posed, are highly deragatory.

I would be pleased to answer your questions, as they are ones I deem need to be asked.

But I would require of you, Doug, to ask in a manner that shows that you sincerely would desire an answer. If your pride would not allow you to do so, I understand.

Please rephrase the questions and give them in some form of semblance like: 1) 2) etc... and I would be MORE than happy to answer them.

Antonio

January 15, 2006 12:19 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

What is with your arrogance?

January 15, 2006 12:20 AM  
Blogger Modern Day Magi said...

"For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you."
- Romans 12:3 (NIV)

"Grace given me" - reference to the freely given, saving grace of Jesus, purchased by Him at the cross.

"measure of faith" - obviously given to men and women by God in different and appropriate measures.

The gifts of Faith and Grace are different, even though they are both from God. Grace is a 'no strings' gift, we can't add anything to it and only by God's Grace are we saved.

Faith however, is not a passive gift. It requires action on our behalf as the bible clearly says in James 2:26 that "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."

Let me get a little anecdotal.
say my wife gives me a foot rub. This is a passive gift, a;ll i do is lie there and recieve the nice pampering of my feet. A brand new Sony PSP, however is not a passive gift. I have to use it, play games, watch movies, recharge the batteries and care for it. otherwise it becomes a very expensive paperweight.

January 15, 2006 5:39 AM  
Blogger Doug E. said...

Antonio,

Please accept my apologies if I came across as arrogant. As I read the post I was greatly concerned over what I see as extremely bad theology. Some of it even Non-Christian in my view. In a friendly manner we can discuss them.

I will re-phrase my questions 1 and 2,

1. Who decides who gets conviced (faith) and who does not? God or man.

2.Does God know how to correct His children effectively, to actually get them to walk in His ways? I don't see this as actually taking place in free grace theology.

With apologies,

Doug

January 15, 2006 7:41 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Antonio, I rejoiced to see your systematic articulation of Free Grace theology.

John 20:29
'Jesus saith unto him "Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and yet beleived."'

I cannot remeber if Antonio has mentioned this verse before, but to me it seems to show the passive nature of belief. Thomas had seen with his eyes that Jesus had risen. Was that passive or active? It was passive. He could only recieve the evidence with his eyes. To disblieve would ahve been an act of self-deception.

Was his belief merely intellectual assent? Is this a relevant question? His intellectual acknowledgment of Christ's resurrection had consequences for him emotionally and spirtually.

Jesus here equates the belief of Thomas (which is clearly passive) with the belief of thsoe who have not had Thomas' experience of seeing Jesus alive and risen.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

January 15, 2006 9:09 AM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

Antonio,
Could you please post scriptures for each of your points of Free Grace position? Man's opinion means little (as you must agree), only the infallible truth of God's word can be trusted.
Thank you,
Tiffany

January 15, 2006 12:03 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

I dunno i might be a 24-25 point Antonioist. I'll have to *think* about it:-)

January 15, 2006 1:12 PM  
Blogger Pastor Jim said...

Doug, I love your ambition, but you know he is not going to answer you. You bring up even more points that prove his own theories against each other. This is why he can't answer. It is not a matter of who is right, antonio. It is a matter of, are we teaching what God is teaching. And, you, antonio, are not! You use your dictionary and thesaurus for the wrong reasons. Take a couple of steps down off of your pedistal and come down to reality. Someone asks you intelligent questions, and you call him childish. Just because you have no answers. That, my friend, is real mature. It is a good thing you believe God has already forgiven you. I guess that is what gets you by.

January 15, 2006 2:33 PM  
Blogger bluecollar said...

Antonio,
Thank you for taking the time to post your positions. Along with reading Bob Wilkin's response to MacArthur's "THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE APOSTLES" I am getting a better feel for where you are coming from. Again, Thanks for the clear look into your theology. I respect your thoroughness.

With Respect,
Mark Pierson

January 15, 2006 4:57 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Antonio,
You really are weird! A truly peculiar person! I guess that’s why I love you, anyway you know I’m a 26 & ½ ‘er .;-)

January 15, 2006 6:24 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Hi Antonio,
What is "non-christian" about this? What is "heresy" here?
I think you are spot on for the majority of your points, and I think I am not sure ...but you may be right... about one or two.
Then there is that 1/2 that KC refers to that I really question.

Great post! Keep up your efforts!

January 15, 2006 6:55 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Doug says:
... I thought it was a place of no tears ... By the way what will they be remorsing about, their sins, I thought they were paid at calvary.

Doug, God will wipe away every tear, but don't you think there is room for shame at the Bema seat? I am sure I can remember reading about it.

I thought I saw you sneer when you said this to Antonio:
So much for your free grace.

achhh! You were being so nice yesterday.

January 15, 2006 7:00 PM  
Blogger Doug E. said...

Rose,

I did sneer, and growled and huffed and puffed. I don't dislike Antonio personally, in fact overall he seems like a pretty nice guy. But boy do I really dislike this theology. Up untill this post I saw it just as a little off. After this post I have much graver concerns about it.

God bless,

Doug

January 15, 2006 7:32 PM  
Blogger Doug E. said...

Rose,

The Bema Seat is one thing, but these words...

"The results for the subcomer will be dishonor, shame, remorse, regret, sorrow, and deep loss, with only the mere entrance into the kingdom."

...Seem to indicate something much more eternal than the Bema Seat. Is Christ's righteousness that has been imputed to us not enough to be co-heirs with Christ.

Was Christ's work and suffering not enough. If I am reading this correctly, then all Christ's work did is get us into a shame ridden mere entrance. The rest is up to you.

Doug

January 15, 2006 8:34 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Doug asks:
----------
Who decied who gets convinced and who doesn't; God or man?
----------

I think this is the wrong question to ask. Please refer to my blog here:

Faith is not an act of the Will

In a nutshell, man cannot decide to place his faith into something that he hasn't been convinced of. And when he is convinced he has believed as a passive result.

"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom 10:17).

"This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" (Gal 3:2).

"And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (John 16:8).

It is the word of God, when heard and considered, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, that convinces the man.

Two things are needed: the openness of a mind to consider the Word of God, and the Word of God itself through the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

Antonio

January 15, 2006 9:58 PM  
Blogger Doug E. said...

Antonio,

Thanks for that thoughtful response. It seems to me that you are saying the man doesn't do it. So it must be God. If it is not God then it must be mere chance.

Am I correct in assuming that you are saying it is God?

Doug

January 15, 2006 10:02 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Doug asks:
----------
Does God know how to correct His children effectively, to actually get them to walk in His ways, or does he just do his best and hope that they will come around?
----------
I don't know... He didn't stop you from the same sins that you fell into today that you needed to confess...

What we are discussing here is God's familial relationship to the regenerate one, by which he chastens, scourges, directs, teaches, leads, and encourages for the purpose of training and raising His children.

As with any father/child relationship, there are two wills involved. The father can do that which is his part in the matter, making all the right choices and decisions, but there is, again, another will involved: that of the child.

In this familial relationship, the father can do all the right things and the child can still choose to rebel. Now barring slapping chains on the child and forcing him to do the father's will, the growth of the child will be contingent on both the actions of the father and on the child.

You say, "to actually get them to walk in His ways". Are you grading on the curve here? Last time I checked no one is perfect at this. Maybe you could say "nominally" or just not sinning that much. I don't know.

God uses all means barring forcing them to obey. There are two wills in the matter and two natures in the regenerate Christian.

I don't know what kind of glory would God get for forcing someone to obey Him. Now Jeffrey Dahmer forced unsuspecting victims to do things, but we know the kind of glory he received from that.

Did you catch that I answered your questions about the regenerate nature of Christians in this post? But you didn't question it. I am glad that you agree.

Antonio

January 15, 2006 10:13 PM  
Blogger Doug E. said...

Antonio,

It does come close to answering what I was asking regarding the new nature, but as I posed to Matthew the other day, I am not just asking if it give us the potential. I am asking how it give us the potential.

Thanks,

Doug

January 15, 2006 10:27 PM  
Blogger Doug E. said...

Antonio,

Here is what I posed to Matthew...

"My question is how does the nature enable man to co-operate? Sorry, I am not trying to be difficult. I too see man’s will as active in the following of Christ and living Godly.

But the question is not whether man’s will is active or not, even Calvin would agree that it is, but the question is why would a man who loves evil even begin to engage his will to live a Godly life.

My answer (which I see as scriptural) is that God has changed our nature so that we now desire to engage our will to follow Him. This is not legalism.

Your answer implies that God changing our nature is not enough? There must be some additional good in you that decides to work with the new nature."

Doug

January 15, 2006 10:36 PM  
Blogger Doug E. said...

Antonio,

What your answer regarding God's correction of His children seems to neglect is that God can work on the heart, Not merely externaly as a human father. Though He does not perfect us instantly, (though He could if He wanted since that is what glorification is) His word does promise that our faith will endure.

-1Jo 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

We are also kept by the power of God through Faith, not on account of our faith. Faith is the means that God uses to keep us. To lose faith also violates this passage.

-Jer 32:40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

For someone to lose faith would mean that they are departing from him, because they no longer have the fear he has given them.

January 15, 2006 11:18 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Doug, concerning your post on the remorse experienced at the judgment seat, I am close to completing a post that will adress your questions.

As to your question concerning potentialities, the motivations to live the godly life, to grow, and to seek to bloom the potentials of the divine nature planted in us as a Christian are:

1) gratitude for certain assurance of eternal life
2)God temporally blesses obedience and chastens for disobedience
3) The superlative reward of co-heirship/co-rulership with Christ, and the static "treasure" rewards in heaven.

Concerning your recent comment on convincing, I already answered that it took TWO things.

The open mind of the sinner to consider the gospel, and the Word of God through the Holy Spirit. If that doesn't clarify enough, I don't know what will.

Antonio

January 15, 2006 11:22 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Matthew,

Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I had never really thought of that verse that way. It really does support the passively experienced exercise of faith!

Modern Day Magi,

The grace being spoken about in this passage contextually has to do with Paul's present empowerment to minister in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, specifically in this context, to the Romans.

Tiffany (mommy),

Is there a specific point # that you needed more clarification on and Scripture references? Please refer me to a point in my post and I will be happy to comment and provide both scipture and exposition on. Thank you for visiting my blog!!

Antonio

January 15, 2006 11:29 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Brian (Bhedr),

Listen,

I really appreciate your viewing this blog. So many things that I have written around blogdom have been piecemeal and haven't given any type of overview.

It is just wrong to cosider my view antinomian. The wayward Christian is in all senses accountable for his sins.

When one looks at my position as a whole, he may better appreciate it.

I want to apologize for some of our bickering, as on my part, at times, was accomplished in the flesh for prideful purposes.

I really appreciate your heart for Jesus and your desire to glorify the One who gave His all for you.

Your proud brother,

Antonio

January 15, 2006 11:35 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Pastor Jim,

you make things interesting.

Stick around, you may be encouraged and actually learn something.

Antonio

January 15, 2006 11:37 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Mark Pierson (Blue Collar),

You are an amazing man.

I apologize for any forward and offesensive comments that I have made.

I have no qualms with people, just with theology.

I have found you to be a man of integrity and peace, and your genuineness shines through.

I wish you grace and peace and love, and I hope this year brings you closer in intimacy with the One who you cling to.

Your friend, neighbor, and compadre,

Antonio

January 15, 2006 11:41 PM  
Blogger Doug E. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

January 15, 2006 11:44 PM  
Blogger Doug E. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

January 15, 2006 11:49 PM  
Blogger Doug E. said...

Sorry about the two previous deleted comments, couldn't get my fingers to hit the right keys. I guess it's time for bed.

Antonio,

Regarding who is responsible for who gets convinced (faith) and who doesn't, I guess I didn't read you correctly. So your answer must be primarily man, secondarily the holy spirit.

You said...

"The will is involved in one point. The individual must determine to consider the evidence of Scripture. A person cannot become convinced and convicted by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God unless they are open to the discourse."

It's not until man makes the first move to consider the evidence that the Holy Spirit can then do his job.

So you still have to answer the question, Why are you a Christian and joe down the street is not. What made you willing to consider the evidence? Where you more humble, smarter, or less hard hearted.

This view of faith seems to say that you are a christian because somehow you have a little more good in you than joe down the street did.

Doug

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

This Scripture seems to work against this view.

January 15, 2006 11:52 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Doug,

The gospel is for "whosoever" believes. God is entreating all and inviting all to listen to the gospel and believe.

Rev 22:17

And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

Why are some Christians and others not?

I guess some care to respond to their benefit and others care not to respond to their demise.

Some desire to hear of eternal life, others desire to wallow in their worldly pursuits.

Both have the same opportunity.

John 12:32
32 "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself."

You write:
---------
This Scripture seems to work against this view.
----------
"seems" is the operative word, as this is merely your contention, opinion and assertion.

I heartily disagree.

Antonio

January 16, 2006 12:16 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

K.C.,

I am a full-point CASEY'er, as I am in your corner.

Thank you for your encouragement and love.

And yes, I am weird, peculiar, and several other odd adjectives as well (actually plenty more says my wife!).

Grace and peace to you, brother. It is a pleaure having you comment on my blog!

Rose,

comment on what are the one or two points that you may differ on in order that I can give you the full attention and address such so that you can have all the information. If you'd rather in an email, do so, but it may be better here so as to benefit the rest.

My desire is to be understood completely in all points. I expect noone to agree with everything, but I desire to be understood, so I would clarify anything for you.

Thanks again for visiting my blog,

and God bless you!

Antonio

January 16, 2006 12:21 AM  
Blogger Nate said...

Dude,

Your a Soldier! Thank you for your theological honesty, and taking time to answer questions! Seems there is alot of misconceptions about free-grace theology(whatever brand)out there.

Awesome post, maybe some will visit, read, and realize your not quite as a big a "heretic" as they say! Or maybe they will who knows, people hate the idea of free-gifts, especially from our Lord!

PEACE,

NATE

January 16, 2006 4:48 AM  
Blogger Solifidian said...

Doug,

Just out of curiosity, how do you understand the following passage from Acts 17:10-12?:

10As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.

Were these Bereans regenerate before they received the message with great eagerness, before they examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true, before they believed? Why are they said to have had more noble character than the Thessalonians?

January 16, 2006 8:19 AM  
Blogger Doug E. said...

Solifidan,

In my understanding they either where regenerated, as all believers in the old testiment. Or the holy spirit was working in them to search the scriptures.

The option is either you can take credit for coming to Christ or believe that you came to christ because of the working of the holy spirit. I believe scripture speaks to the latter.

God Bless, and thanks for the question,

Doug

January 16, 2006 9:31 AM  
Blogger Doug E. said...

To all,

At this point I must come to an end as there are papers that I have due and books that must be read for classes. Not to mention the limited family time that I must take full advantage of while the Lord has granted them to me.

Just so you understand my heart, in one sense, I hated every minute of this. I do not enjoy conflict or debate, but scripture says that we are to work against every argument that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. Though I do not see this theology as the worst of all evils I do see error in it and had a duty to scripture to take my stand against it.

Regarding you Antonio, though I take serious issue against certain aspects of your theology, I do not take issue with you. You have been very hospitible to me even when I overstepped my bounds. And even though, some of your theology has mixed in it some non-Christian aspects (in my view), I have not come to the place where I have declared you a non-christian. So at this point I still call you brother.

I will be stopping by from time to time, to make a comment here or there, and you are more than welcome to stop by mine.

Thanks for the hearty discussion, may it drive us all to the scriptures to search them dilegently.

God bless,

Doug

January 16, 2006 9:47 AM  
Blogger W. H. Conner said...

Antonio,


In this context, what sort of an existence would an individual who turned to Christ on their deathbed receive in heaven, considering they had no time following salvation to either earn the status you speak of, or lose it through a life of carnality?

Just wondering,

Hayes

January 16, 2006 11:31 AM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Amen brother!

It's about what is true isn't it?

If there are areas I agree with you and I think that you are wise in, then I will point them out.

I am finding out here in the blogisphere and in Church...well, I believe in much the same way God brought everyone together at Pentecost he is moving in America in these last days, I think, that will dwarf Pentecost before the Lord returns, so that He may call His bride away without spot or wrinkle.

So I think we help one another in drawing closer to him in truth.
You have found some eye opening areas that I think we do need to take stock of in order for all of us to come to a balance of the Worship of God in Spirit and in Truth.

We are not Islands.

Love in Christ,
Brian

January 16, 2006 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear antonio,
i have read many of your comments and find them very interesting and thought provoking. i was trying to find some bio info on you to see if our conversions had any mutuality. have you been born again?
thank you in advance for responding,
monique

January 17, 2006 8:02 AM  
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

Antonio,
I found your manifesto very intriguing. There are some points that I feel you described very well. In addition to the questions already raised about faith, I would like to add one concerning your view of repentance.

From your statements it seems that you believe that an unbeliever can demonstrate repentance. You equated going to church and reading the Bible as repentance. While it is true that these may be interpreted as seeking after God, are there not many who do so simply out of curiosity, or a desire to make a show of religion?

You also indicated that believers should demonstrate repentance in their fellowship with God and other believers. I agree wholeheartedly.

My question then is this: If repentance can be a part of a persons life before he is born again (which I question) and is part of his life after he is born again, how can it not be a part of the salvation process?

According to the words of Christ in Luke 13:3,5, repentance is absolutely essential to eternal life. In that some other references to the requirement of salvation indicate only belief (a choice), may we not conclude that biblical, saving faith is inseperable from repentance?

January 17, 2006 11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to gordon and all;
i see where your coming from..let me expound on your theme and show how God is responsible for the entire salvation process: 1. Rom 12:3 and heb 12:2 show that we are all given faith and Jesus is the author AND the finisher of our faith. start to finish it is HIM. 2. Rom 11:32-God shuts us all in DISOBEBEIENCE so that He can in turn show mercy. He uses satan in this process...think JOB. 3. Heb 12:5-7- He chastises His sons for said disobedience..ie. brings them to humility to show who is really in control 4. 2 Tim 2:24-26 and acts 11:18- REPENTENCE is a gift from God and NOT your choice or decision. this is definitely part of the sanctification process as is the finishing of your faith which repentence is even part of. 5. 2 thess 2:10-11- sanctification includes the love of truth another gift from God you recieve leading to salvation. this gift may come before repentence, but still part of sanct. 6. eph 2:10- the work you are to do once sanctified and justified has been created BY HIM for us to do and indeed we are HIS WORKMANSHIP from start to finish. we truly have nothing to boast about because He has done it ALL and we can do NOTHING w/out HIM (john 15:5)-the anonymous dude -

January 18, 2006 6:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to gordon again;
i forgot to mention that when you say belief (a choice) is all that is required this is in error. the most glossed over error in christianity. jam 2:19 shows us that even the demons belive in 1 God...look up believe in the concordance. believe, trust and faith all mean the same thing and are used interchangeably. demons believe, but do not place their faith in Jesus. your faith comes from God. it is not intellectual assent. it is an action word that infers "placing all your eggs in that basket." As heb 12:2 shows us Jesus is the author and perfector of our faith. He is responsible for your faith. look up perfector in the concordance and it will say "finisher." Jesus gives us our faith as a naked piece of wood and either polishes it to a nice petina or He roughs it up. He hardened pharoahs heart and He can harden anyones or give them a heart of flesh (ezek 36:25-27) because He will show compassion and be gracious to who He wants (exodus 33:19)- a. dude

January 18, 2006 7:30 AM  
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

Dude,
You misunderstood what I was saying. I am not implying that mere intellectual acknowledgement of God's existence is all that is necessary to be saved. I was referring specifically to texts such as Acts 16:31. My point that I am trying to make is that repentance and saving faith are reciprocal. For one to truly turn in faith to God, he must change his mind concerning his sin.

January 18, 2006 8:53 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Gordon, thanks for your visit and comment.

I did not equate going to church and reading the bible as repentance. Please re-read my comments on repentance.

you write:
----------
are there not many who do so simply out of curiosity, or a desire to make a show of religion?
----------
sure. I don't know what this has to do with my dotrinal statements. That this is true most certainly does not preclude that some go because they have turned from their sins, turned to righteousness and are turning to God.

you write:
----------
My question then is this: If repentance can be a part of a persons life before he is born again (which I question)
----------
Read the book of Jonah

you write:
----------
and is part of his life after he is born again, how can it not be a part of the salvation process?
----------
Your logic is lacking here. That it can be a part of the life of the unregenerate and that it is a required part of the life of a Christian in no way necessitates it to be a condition for eternal life. It just does not follow.

you write:
----------
According to the words of Christ in Luke 13:3,5, repentance is absolutely essential to eternal life. In that some other references to the requirement of salvation indicate only belief (a choice), may we not conclude that biblical, saving faith is inseperable from repentance?
----------
I, for one, do not know how you get the concept of eternal life into Luke 13:3,5. The only way to do so is to import that meaning into the text itself.

Luke 13:1-9
There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."
---------

Galileans physically died. On 18 the tower of siloam fell and it "killed them". Unless Jesus' audience repented, they too would perish. They would "likewise" perish. This word "perish" is the common and usual word for "physically die".

If they wouldn't repent, they would suffer the same fate as these people, physically die.

"Unless you repent, you will LIKEWISE perish". What like wise? These people physically died! If these Jews did not repent, they would die like these men. Look further:

6 The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

He also spoke this parable: "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, 'Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?' 8 But he answered and said to him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.'"

This is the fate of the Jews in A.D. when the Roman armies cut down Jerusalem and 1 million Jews died. John the Baptist preached repentance and said that the consequences was that the axe was already at the base of the tree and all God had to do was to chop if they didn't repent.

The same with this parable. He was giving them another opportunity to repent. But they didn't, so temporal punishment came upon them and Jerusalem was destroyed along with their lives.

Repentance, among other things, averts and stops God's temporal wrath against sin.

Jesus, in the context, talked about repentance with the consequence of not repenting as physical death, but most cannot help but to import into this text the idea of soteriology. This is not warranted whatsoever.

People dying in the sacrifices by Pilate. 18 physically dying under the tower of siloam. Repent or LIKEWISE die!

Again, this is even borne out in the next parable. God gave the nation much time to repent in order to avoid the temporal calmity that befell Jerusalem in AD 70. John the Baptist preached the same things.

Antonio

January 18, 2006 9:40 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Anonymous, since you didn't ask any questions, I think it is sufficient for me to say that I disagree with most of what you said, and I am convinced that the references you use to prooftext your comment do not support your theology.

Antonio

January 18, 2006 9:45 AM  
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

Antonio,
I based my statement concerning church attendance and Bible reading on your 16th article in which you indicate that these are evidences of a repentant sinner turning from sin towards God. It is true that these can be indicative of a changed nature, but they are not proof positive.

How can a person turn from sin to God (repentance) and yet not embrace eternal life? You directed me to the book of Jonah. Surely you are aware that while the definition of repentance is basically consistent throughout the Bible, the Old Testament is a different dispensation regarding God's dealings with man.

You stated that you do not understand how I get the concept of eternal life from Luke 13. Very simply, the message of Christ consistently dealt with eternal life--Read John 6:63. Luke 13 refers to eternal life as a contrast to perishing. "Perish" can refer to spiritual death, see John 3:16.

I have trouble justifying your explanation of the parables. Why would God call them to repentance to avoid one form of physical death, only to eventually face another? It would seem that if one would keep repenting, he would never die. Surely that is not what you mean to say that you believe. All men will die, repentance (coupled with faith) gives us access into eternal life.

January 18, 2006 10:18 AM  
Blogger Solifidian said...

Anonymous,

You may be interested in the following article regarding repentance. The author, David Anderson, discusses from a Free Grace perspective some of the repentance issues you brought up.

Repentance is for All Men

Also, regarding your view of James 2:19 and the belief of demons, you may find the following article of interest. It discusses James 2:19 from a Free Grace perspective.

The Faith of Demons: James 2:19

January 18, 2006 11:14 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Gordon, the bible reading and going to church I did not say were evidences of a changed nature!

About your equation, I mean that there is more to it than what you said I equated with repentance.

Regarding dispensationalism, you must not understand Jesus' ministry to corporate Israel. He told them to repent or tragedy would befall them, as i have already expounded by the parable of the fig tree.

Jesus spoke to much more than just eternal life, sir.

And it remains clear that you import the idea of eternal life into luke 13. The text is clear. Perish is the normal and usual word for dying.

The lesson is clear: repent or you will LIKEWISE die. And they did.

1 million jews killed in ad 68-70 by the Romans and Jerusalem and the temple destroyed. Why? Because they didn't repent and thus avert God's temporal wrath against their sin.

You would do well to read those articles that solifidian linked to.

Antonio

January 18, 2006 11:29 AM  
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

Antonio, thanks for your thoughtful replies. It seems that we are reaching an impasse, so perhaps we should drop this debate and agree to disagree. Shall we?

January 18, 2006 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello out there! i am a new christian and i was told i could get some good insight on this blog. i cannot really participate because i am not knowledgable yet. i enjoy reading it though. i was also told to make sure anyone i listen to has been born again. antonio, have you been born again? i wish to remain anonymous because you would all recognize my name, but i am proud and awed by the overwhelming changes in my life. my real name is not monique, but that is what u can call me.

January 19, 2006 12:58 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Monique Anonymous.

I am born again, of this I am certain.

Let me ask you a question:

Are you born again? and if you are, How do you know?

Thanks for visiting my blog. Let me know if you have any questions concerning any of my posts.

God bless you!

Antonio

January 19, 2006 5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

solifidian and antonio;
i read the articles you suggested with eagerness to hear a new, thoughtful perspective that i possibly had not considered. the rpentence article i found to be useful to a limited degree. the article on james was the most tortured logic i have ever endured. it was painful to read. in an article about any passage of scripture pertaining to the actions of a regenerate soul wouldnt you think the Holy Spirit might be mentioned? i mean, it does have quite an impact on a believer right? the Holy Spirit was mentioned ZERO times. The writer also made the assertion that the passage had been corrupted which should be patently offensive to any christian. he also cast dispersions on the entire book of James. the conclusion of the whole article was that the passage and the chapter doesn't mean what it says. it just can't understand how anyone looking for the truth can perform such an excersize on a passage of Holy, God breathed scripture.
as for repentence, the article was interesting from a historical perspective and marginally from an exegetical perspective. what the writer doesnt ever mention is the two passages below that list repentence, unequivecally as gifts from God. i will list them here for your reader's sake and to make it easier in an attempt to get a thoughtful reply. antonio, please share your thoughts on repentence and faith in respect to these two passages and the two i will write which demonstrate that our faith comes from God as a gift also. how can free grace claim faith and repentence as a free will choice?How does Jesus perfect or finish our faith in your opinion?
Romans 12:3-“3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”
· Hebrews 12:2-“2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” thank you for taking the time to reply and see a different point of view.
A. dude

January 19, 2006 7:26 PM  
Blogger H K Flynn said...

Antonio,

You are a soldier and I am honored to be your friend and co-worker!

Thank you for constructing your F/G Doctrine Correlation. I'm happy to be a 27-pt Correlated & Percolated Free Gracer!

And thank God for your readers who agree and those who disagree and are attempting the tricky long term project of thinking fresh about the NT.

Antonio, your answers are as carefully reasoned as your posts.

My family has said good bye to my husband's mother and I've needed to be there for people. That's why I've been absent. And I have an amazing group of devout in-laws.

But I'm glad that exchanges like these can be accessed by open minded blog readers.

God bless.

January 19, 2006 8:46 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

A. Dude,

With sincerity, I am not going to play that game. If you are going to come here and give me texts that you expect me to do the work on, whilst you just merely reference to them, is just NOT going to happen.

If you want me to do the work on those verses, expositing them within a contextual and grammatical well-reasoned discourse, I would expect you to FIRST do the same thing; supporting your interpretation of them.

Even reading them as you have so divorced them from context, I do not get the sense that they are saying what you are implying they say.

Do us all a favor, and develop your support for your position by clearly and contextually giving a well-reasoned observational exposition of those verese that support your interpretation of them.

Why should I have to even asnwer to your mere assertions based upon two mere proof-texts without a shred of support to lend to your interpretation of them?

I will not.

I would be happy to give you my take on these verses, if you can ably support your interpretation of them. If not, they do nothing to substantiate your claims, being merely verses yanked from their contexts. As such is the case, they prove nothing.

So you do your homework and provide support for your interpretations of these verses, and then we'll talk.

Other wise, this is just the run-around.

The burden of proof lies with you to first support your contentions with the "proof-texts" you use.

Those verses don't mean anything to me out of their context.

Antonio

PS: I just don't play this game. Read the intro to my latest post. No more proof-texting without support for the interpretations of them.

January 19, 2006 9:40 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

H.K. Flynn,

Thank you again for your support and kind words. They are much appreciated.

I really do learn alot from you and am honored to have crossed your path.

Antonio

January 19, 2006 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

antonio, how disappointing! i will only view one text at a time? we are talking about thematic truths. i keep my verbage to a minimum and prefer to let the words of God speak for themselves. if there were any contextual issues which needed to be adressed i would have mentioned them. i was raised in a religion which focused on 1 text about baptism or the Lords Supper and ignored the rest of the passages in the NT on each of those subjects. the truth about repentence and faith must satisfy all the passages about them in the NT. I am searching for the truth and am not wed to any position with a man made name. im not playing games. rightly dividing the word of God is #1 with me and not a game. i dont follow man made positions like calvinism or arminianism. i am looking for the WHOLE truth. i found your blog as a link from another and was hoping i had finally found someone who could provide some intelligent discourse.why cant your theology on repentence and faith provide answers to some key passages on these issues? these passages have no context which needs an elaborate explanation. they are self evident as far as i am concerned. if you are a teacher (i am not) let me be a student and ask questions! if i am wrong or there is a context to them i am unaware of, please show me. some of your other readers may benefit from an explanation as well. a.d.

January 20, 2006 2:19 PM  
Blogger Solifidian said...

A.Dude.,

I don’t want to interrupt your dialogue with Antonio, but concerning your issues with Dr. Hart’s article on The Faith of Demons, you may want to write to him and discuss your concerns. He can apparently be reached online from the following address:

Dr. Hart

January 20, 2006 2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

antonio- I am moving today, actually i am packing today and moving tomorrow, but my friend is here helping me. I was showing her your blog. She has an amazing knowledge of the bible! She enjoyed reading the argument you are having the most! She said she was surprised there was animosity on a Christian blog! (She doesnt have a computer.) We are going to print out 2 or 3 of your posts and all the comments and study them on the looong drive ahead of us tomorrow. i wont be able to respond for a couple of days, but the computer will be the last thing we pack up tonight-so I hope you get this and respond before then.
I have been through a very rough time lately. I have always considered myself a Christian. I have been a church goer for quite awhile, but never a bible studier. In the depths of my despair over some personal disappointment, I told Jesus He could have my life from here on out. Most of my dreams have been shattered and I just don't hold on to them anymore. I started reading the bible and I just cannot stop! I began listening to Christian radio for like the first time ever and also found out there was a Christian cable channel. I am embarrassed to say I didnt even know it existed. Most importantly though is the way I began to worship. Sunday worship became the focus of every week. I FEEL a connection to God when I am there. Only there at first, but now everywhere. I am constantly either studying, reading the bible or listening to it on radio or TV. I never feel alone, even though I am alone most of the time. I have become involved in several ministries at church (which I am now leaving :( )In a phrase, my life has turned upside down! I truly feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in me and it is the greatest feeling in the world! My old broken dreams don't matter to me anymore, I am open to God's will for my life. That is my story.
Does everyone feel this way? When you were born again was it like this? Is everyone who is born again experience it this way, so palpable? Tell me about how it happened to you. (My friend had a nearly identical experience to mine.) thanks-Monique

January 21, 2006 11:59 AM  
Blogger posttinebraelux said...

Antonio,

Forgive me for being "late" to your blog, but I am new to the blogworld and am still investigating what all is out here. I've read through a few of your blogs and get the impression that you believe those of us who would claim mongergism as a true doctrine would also claim that we believe works are necessary for salvation. Is that an accurate statement? You would agree that "good works" necessarily follow conversion, no? I would obviously disagree with you regarding your belief in a "synergistic" doctrine of regeneration, but I'm sure you've met with that disagreement ad-nauseum. Your blog is very provocative and you've certainly stirred my interest in this "free grace" stuff. I too believe that grace is a gift freely bestowed on those whom God has, in eternity past, elected, but I think that may be significantly different than what you believe. At any rate the grace is free to those whom it is granted - but what a cost to Him who bestows it!

July 13, 2006 12:59 PM  
Blogger Bob Evans said...

Just moved from Fla to San Diego, CA and having a terrible time finding fellowship. You will readily surmise the reason:

Here's my 'blog'
http://www.biblestudymanuals.net

I count GES individuals for greatly helping my understanding of Scripture - especially for helping me develop the proper approach: via the normative rules of language, context and logic.

My cell phone number is 727-204-8189

Please call.

Bob Evans

December 11, 2007 2:48 PM  

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