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)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Free Grace Theology and Repentance -- A Reply To Matthew Waymeyer Part 5

Matthew writes:
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Furthermore, does this getting right with God mean that one is no longer subject to His eternal judgment? FG would say “No,” which brings me to my next question: Then why did Paul say to the unbelievers: “Repent and get right with God [in a non-saving way] because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world through His Son”? If the “getting right with God” which takes place through repentance does not actually enable the unbeliever to escape eternal judgment (and FG says it doesn’t), then why does Paul refer to this judgment as the reason they need to repent?
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More accurately, Paul is, in effect, saying (with his specific application of repentance in mind) “Repent of your idolotry as a means of seeking after God” which would have a purpose of preparation for faith in Christ.

Remember what he had just said in the same dissertation with them?

Acts 17:26-28
every nation … should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us

He just explained to them that God made the world and the nations. He related to them that God wanted them to seek Him, and that He is not far away, implying that if they would seek they will find! Paul then presents information concerning the one true God that is in contradistinction to the idolatrous paradigm that these Athenians had adopted. This mindset significantly impairs the consideration of Christ’s exclusive claims. He is asking them to adopt his message concerning the “unknown God” and repent of their idolatry so as to prepare themselves for harmony with God.

The Apostles’ concerns do not end with the eternal salvation of their hearers. In some ways their concerns do not even begin there. The Apostles’ wish to make disciples out of their hearers. They want to facilitate and promote a heart in their hearers which is ground conducive to this end. Worldliness, idolatry, immorality, and other factors create discord between men and God, whether or not they are saved or unsaved.

A primary and eternal relationship with God is established at the moment that one receives the absolutely free gift of eternal life through the instrumentality of faith alone into Jesus Christ. But this is not an end! This is a beginning! Various mindsets, personality traits, and sin will keep one from harmony with God, from developing and growing one’s relationship with Him. Harmony with God is a bedrock foundation for true discipleship under Jesus. The Apostles were charged to “make disciples”. They use many means to this end.

The Apostles’ are clear that simple faith alone into Christ receives eternal life and justification at the very moment of punctilliar faith into Jesus. They are also clear that discipleship is the expectation of every regenerate Christian. On one hand they will preach the freeness of the gospel offer of Christ, and on the other they will teach the responsibilities and duties of those whom are sons and daughters of God, yet they will never mix the conditions for the two.

Next, we are faced with Matthew’s continuing bald assertion that Acts 17:31 means the “final” judgment, IOW, eternal judgment. This has been, by far, left undemonstrated and argued for in his assessment and claims against the Free Grace position. The idea that this is eternal judgment underpins his whole argument against the Free Grace position in this passage. Wouldn’t you think that he would at least have argued that this is indeed what he says it is, especially in light of the fact that he gives so much weight to this assertion in the arguments he assumes follow from it?

Matthew, you have assumed much and demonstrated nothing!

We are going to discuss the judgment that Paul has in mind here further down the post, but I will at least give a short introduction to it now. There are two things that I want you to notice in Acts 17:31. First note the phrase “He [God] has appointed a day”. This day is none other than “the Day of the Lord”, Christ’s glorious “parousia”, the time between the rapture of the church and Christ’s glorious manifestation in the clouds. There should be no need to mention that the awesome “Day of the Lord” will manifest the temporal judgments of our Holy God on the world.

I am surprised that Matthew hadn’t considered this to be the “Day of the Lord” seeing that he is a graduate from a (supposedly) dispensationalist seminary!

Next, in support of the fact that this is the day of the Lord, notice the phrase “He will judge the world”. The word "world" doesn't fit the "final judgment" scenario (unless someone believes that there will be such a day for ALL men contrary to John and Revelation). The final judgment will be only for unbelievers at the Great White Throne judgment, not the whole “world”. Believers do “not come into judgment”, because they have already “passed from death unto life”. Too, it is the world (the physical earth and its inhabitants) that will be judged in the Great Tribulation of the “Day of the Lord”.

The word “world” does fit with the judgments that are sure to come during the Great Tribulation. For it is during this time that God will mete out his wrath upon the world and its inhabitants.

The universal command to repent that Paul exhorts upon his Athenian hearers is Paul's version of "flee from the wrath to come."

In essence, Paul is saying to the Athenians in Acts 17:30-31:

"Turn to the one true and living God whose judgment can begin at any time and put faith in His Son who is the Executor of His judgment" (see Rev. 5).

We will again revisit the theme of the universal command to repent in light of the Day of the Lord further along in this response.

Moving on to another issue:

How do we know that Paul preached faith alone into Christ alone for justification? Because he always did that! This was his message!

Look. Paul went to the Areopagus. He was summoned to speak concerning his views. When I read his sermon in Acts 17, it took me only 45 seconds to finish! The words recorded by Luke in this sermon are "the merest fragment" of what Paul actually said (see p. 85 in Harmony with God by Zane Hodges) and they are Luke's presentation of the speech for his own literary purposes. One should beware of making Luke's record say more than it does.

Did Paul preach Christ’s death on the cross? More than likely! Remember, this only takes 45 seconds to read and is a major abridgment of Paul’s speech.

Furthermore, we read at the end of the passage:

Acts 17:34
However, some men joined him and believed [!!]

For Luke, believing on Christ is the sole instrument that receives justification and eternal life, bringing with it the initial and eternal forgiveness of sins and thus harmony with God:

Acts 15:9
and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

Acts 26:18
that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me

Acts 16:31
So they said,"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved”

Acts 13:48
And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

Acts 13:39
and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Acts 10:43
To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.

It is abundantly clear that for Luke faith into Jesus brings with it the resultant of justification, eternal life, and initial, positional forgiveness of sins. A great number of passages in the New Testament conjoin the responsibility for the unsaved to believe into Jesus for the resultant of eternal salvation, Luke notwithstanding.

The Traditionalist cannot point to even one verse that conjoins repentance with a result of eternal life – not in Acts 17, not in the whole book of Acts, not in the Bible!

How can the Calvinist continue to assert his unbiblical insistence to add repentance as a condition for eternal life in light of no scriptural support?

25 Comments:

Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

This series continues its high standard.

August 24, 2006 12:29 AM  
Blogger Ryan S. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 24, 2006 6:08 PM  
Blogger Ryan S. said...

You're right Antonio, we don't need to repent, we can be live like the world that grace may abound. Jesus was just suggesting repentance after all. It's not as if our Lord or the apostles commands us to repent. Hmmm... You guys better think about that one! ;-)

Seriously, a repentant heart comes to all regenerate believers, and true repentance is all of God.

Repentance

Myself, I will continue to preach the Gospel of faith and repentance. God will finish the good work He starts in every true believer. Repentance is all of God!

Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
—Acts 17:29-31


I have to inquire: how do you proclaim the Gospel? Lets say we have a hypothetical unbeliever. Proclaim the Gospel. After all, you spend all of this time writing a blog to negate the integral nature of repentance to the Gospel. So, tell me how you evangelize, or better yet present the Gospel to me.

August 24, 2006 6:42 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Ryan,

provide me a verse that conditions eternal life, eternal salvation, or justification on repentance and we can talk.

otherwise there is no scriptural support for the unbiblical assertion that repentance is necessary for eternal life.

Also, just because repentance is a command in the Bible doesn't mean that it is necessary for eternal life.

The Old Testament has 613 laws and the New Testament has roughly twice as many grace-principled commands. Are all these commands necessary for eternal life?

Unless you can come up with a verse or passage that explicitely conjoins a command to repent with a resultant of eternal life, eternal salvation, or justification, I am afraid that we can't go any further.

So I will wait patiently for your biblical argument that repentance is a necessary condition to receive eternal life, eternal salvation, or justification.

Antonio

August 24, 2006 7:13 PM  
Blogger Malchymist said...

Ryan,
this is the FIFTH part of Antonio's extensive reply refuting repentance as a prerequisite for salvation.
You cannot deny his explanation of this larger passage by simply quoting the verses (Acts 17:29-31) he specifically showed in Part 4 do NOT mean what you are trying to say.
Neither can you do so by means of a snarky comment.

Please respond to Antonio's request for scriptural proofs of your doctrine.

I am sure Ryan stands by his own blog entries when I note:
On His site he has the post Evangelism Series (Part I): The Evangelist must proclaim the Law!in which he quotes John Wesley approvingly- "Preach ninety-percent law and ten-percent grace."
I also find it ironic that in his profile under Industry he has listed "Law."

That said, I wonder why he is commenting in this manner on a "Free Grace" site. I hope it is for true dialog and edification of us all.
...
To answer your inquiry I would have to say I "Preach 100 per cent grace." That in the context, as Paul says, "For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." 1 Cor. 2:2

August 24, 2006 9:45 PM  
Blogger Ryan S. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 25, 2006 6:18 AM  
Blogger Ryan S. said...

The Old Testament has 613 laws and the New Testament has roughly twice as many grace-principled commands. Are all these commands necessary for eternal life?

For all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The law doesn't save; for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Though, bringing the sinner to knowledge of sin and its consequences, are requisite for proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ's Free and Unmerited Grace.

August 25, 2006 6:52 AM  
Blogger Ryan S. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 25, 2006 7:15 AM  
Blogger Ryan S. said...

A Biblical Response to the Teachings of Zane Hodges, Joseph Dillow, and the Grace Evangelical Society by Phillip L. Simpson – 2006

There are your proof texts.

August 25, 2006 7:18 AM  
Anonymous Bud said...

Ryan is exactly the kind of guy I had in mind when I posted this.

Some people think that stating the same tired arguments again and again, even when they have been carefully refuted, is scholarship. His comment with Acts 17 in this blog is proof!

Somebody who claims his industry is "Law" ought to know better. The careful evaluation of evidence is what you're supposed to learn in law skewel.

I don't remember where I saw it, because Simpson's hit piece wasn't worth wasting the gray matter for storage, but Simpson has been thoroughly evaluated and refuted.

August 25, 2006 10:34 AM  
Blogger Ryan S. said...

Antonio,

Antonio wrote, "You can know that you have eternal life! Ask me how!" Well, I am asking. My query still stands. Share with me and everyone else the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You spend all of this time proclaiming why repentance is not integral to the Gospel; please enunciate the Gospel in its fulness. Assume nothing about what I know. Present the Gospel as you would to an avowed unbeliever or skeptic who is at least receptive enough to listen to you.

Ideas have consequences. I am curious how it is presented in light of Zane Hodges' negation of the call to repentance. Can you present the Gospel of Jesus Christ? This is a reasonable request.

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord...
—Acts 3:19

August 25, 2006 12:44 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Ryan,

thanks for attempting to find a verse that conjoins repentance with a resultant of eternal life, eternal salvation, or justification.

You couldn't find one?

Acts 3:19 does not mention any one of those resultant effects.

But keep scouring the Bible and see if you can find a single verse or passage that conjoins a command to repent with an explicit resultant of eternal salvation, eternal life, or justification.

Tip: you will be looking for a very long time.

I find it hard to believe that Acts 3:19 is the best you can do. It doesn't mention eternal life, justification, or eternal salvation.

This is fairly funny. On a previous comment you said that you had "innumerable" verses that proved your assertion that repentance is necessary for eternal life!

But, seeing this is a fair blog here, I will entertain your exposition on Acts 3:19 to prove that this is indeed Peter saying "repent and be eternally saved" or "repent and be justified" or "repent and you have eternal life" or even "repent and you will be saved from hell".

Give a well-reasoned exegetical and expositional treatment of Acts 3:19 and support the idea that Peter is conditioning one's eternal well-being on repentance.

Antonio

August 25, 2006 1:47 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Also, Ryan,

this is not a forum for your long pastes. If you feel that it is necessary that you cut and paste large quantities of spammed commentary, please do so on your own blog and merely leave a link here.

August 25, 2006 1:48 PM  
Blogger Malchymist said...

I went and read the link Ryan provided- the "Biblical Response..." and remembered reading it before.
It mentions MacArthur's "The Gospel According to Jesus" and "The Gospel According to the Apostles." I can only wonder where might "The Gospel According to Paul" be, seeing how it is the only "Gospel" given to us, the Church, by the risen Christ.

August 25, 2006 3:03 PM  
Blogger Ryan S. said...

Antonio, you seem very averse to having people even read anything contrary to what you affirm. It's also convenient to delete and ignore.

You regularly commit the fallacy of petitio principi (begging the question).

I would still be interested in hearing you articulate the Gospel of Grace in its fullness.

Surely, when you're not busy blogging away about why repentance is unnecessary for Christians, you are out evangelizing right?

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.
—1 Peter 3:15

So, what is the Gospel? Articulate it. Enlighten me.

August 25, 2006 5:19 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Ryan,

You write:
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you seem very averse to having people even read anything contrary to what you affirm. It's also convenient to delete and ignore
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Sir, I have hubmly requested that if you want to entreat my blog viewers to read a very large cut and pasted text article that you publish it on your blog and leave provide a hyper-link here.

I respect other people's blogs as well. When I have a fairly large comment or I want to refer a reader to an article, I will leave a hyper-link to the text on the blog's comment.

You write:
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You regularly commit the fallacy of petitio principi (begging the question).
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Ryan, enlighten us here. Make a case and show us what you have only hereto contended.

You use alot of big words in your communications, yet you assert much and demonstrate nothing.

We Free Gracers are advocates of a careful and well-reasoned study of the Scriptures. We do not just merely proof-text. We demonstrate our position by a considerate treatment of the text.

So far in our discourses you have not provided a single rational argument in favor of your beliefs. This is telling. And I must say that I just don't have alot of time to beat around the bush and defend myself and my theology against the petty and un-founded charges you continue to throw my way.

Furthermore, your tone is in great disparity with your superior Christian knowledge. Are you used to courteous and compliant responses when you communicate this way?

Your comment that I believe that "repentance is unnecessary for Christians" is nothing but a bold-faced lie.

How is it you can contend against something (Free Grace theology) when you do not even understand it nor accurately represent it?

I have posted 5 thoughtful articles on repentance and have yet to post 2-3 more.

Can you dispute any of the testimony contained therein? If you think you can, make a case against my articulated positions with a well-reasoned and expositional appeal to the Biblical text.

Other than that you will only appear to the many as being a frustrating hit-and-run artist.

Antonio

August 25, 2006 5:51 PM  
Blogger Ryan S. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 25, 2006 6:10 PM  
Blogger Ryan S. said...

What is the Gospel of Grace? Articulate it. Explain it. Present it in its fullness as if you were presenting it to the lost. That's a reasonable request.

Ideas have consequences. My contention is that your theology undercuts the means of evangelism, and it very likely will be manifest in your presentation of the Gospel. So please present the Gospel.

August 25, 2006 6:11 PM  
Blogger Malchymist said...

Ryan,
You personally emailed me regarding your feeling I made an ad hominem attack on you. I sent a personal response.
However...
I am gravely distressed over your comments here.
I will call them what they are in plain English: They are RUDE!

Before you lay out any more challenges on this site I suggest you go and read the posts Antonio has gone to great lengths to research, write and post here regarding the beliefs and scriptural proofs of Free Grace Theology. I am not asking any more than what I did myself to see where he stood.

Please,
This sequence of posts is nonproductive, nonresponsive and most of all not reflective of the love of Christ.

August 25, 2006 8:02 PM  
Anonymous Bud said...

Ryan,

Here it is, short and sweet. Everything anyone and everyone needs to know about the conditions of entering eternal life.

August 25, 2006 8:32 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Hi Antonio,
You continue to explain your thoughts in a thorough series of postings. Good job.

Ryan,
I don't really call myself a Free-Gracer, but my Aug. 23 post on my blog is what you keep asking Antonio for. I have a couple of improvements to make to it, but you could read it and see how a person can present the great work that Christ has done ... without using the concept of repentance.

August 26, 2006 7:09 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

If Ryan wants to read some great Gospel posting, he might want to visit Jon Lee's Evangelical Musings. There is a link on this blog.

God Bless

Matthew

August 26, 2006 8:31 AM  
Blogger Bobby Grow said...

Ryan,

I disagree with Antonio's soteriological perspective in some of the minutae; but you seem to be asserting that Antonio hasn't fully explained his position--that's wrong!! You said:

What is the Gospel of Grace? Articulate it. Explain it. Present it in its fullness as if you were presenting it to the lost. That's a reasonable request.

What are you talking about? I don't think there is anyone in all of blogdom who has more fully and exhaustively articulated their position on the gospel, than Antonio has. His whole blog is dedicated to His view of the gospel. You don't come off as genuine in your dialogue--you're just wantin' a fight, aren't you?

August 26, 2006 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Bud said...

Ryan,

If my previous comment was not sufficient for you, consider this one.

Although you may not agree with Antonio those of us who consider him our colleague, will you concede that you were wrong in asserting that neither he nor we have articulated the FG position on the gospel?

August 28, 2006 6:00 AM  
Blogger prophetic said...

Hi,I am certainly glad to find this. cool job!

Master prophet e. bernard jordan

October 20, 2011 3:32 AM  

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