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)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Inevitable but NOT Automatic?

Dan Phillips on Pyromaniacs proposes the intellectually repugnant paradox that Christian growth is "inevitable" but "not automatic":

Is Spiritual Growth Automatic?

Here is my response in the comment meta, that may be deleted by them because of length, or truth, or both:

I get the idea that this is another one of those "paradoxes" we hear so much of in reformed soteriology.

"inevitable but not automatic"

inevitable
–adjective
1. unable to be avoided, evaded, or escaped; certain; necessary:
2. sure to occur, happen, or come; unalterable
–noun
3. that which is unavoidable.

I don't quite get it.

If man is responsible to co-operate with God in his sanctification, I don't see how consistent, progressive, "until death" growth is inevitable UNLESS it is in some sense automatic!

And if a regenerate man is guaranteed to progress in sanctification (the word "inevitable" surely suggests a guarantee!), the mode of this sanctification wholly eludes me UNLESS it is automatic.

I feel the need to quote the canons of Dort, which seems to indicate a sense of automation:

Article 4
Although the weakness of the flesh cannot prevail against the power of God[automatic?], who confirms and preserves true believers in a state of grace, yet converts are not always so influenced and actuated[automotized?] by the Spirit of God as not in some particular instances sinfully to deviate from the guidance of divine grace, so as to be seduced by and to comply with the lusts of the flesh...

Article 5
By such enormous sins, however, they very highly offend God, incur a deadly guilt, grieve the Holy Spirit, interrupt the exercise of faith[I thought faith was indefectable! Maybe this is an observation better elaborated on some other time], very grievously wound their consciences, and sometimes for a while lose the sense of God's favor, until, when they change their course by serious repentance [which we see God "certainly and effectually renews them to" (see below)], the light of God's fatherly countenance again shines upon them.

Article 7
For in the first place, in these falls He preserves in them the incorruptible seed of regeneration from perishing or being totally lost; and again, by His Word and Spirit, He certainly and effectually renews them to repentance[IOW, He automatically imposes upon them], to a sincere and godly sorrow for their sins...

Man can only have true responsibility if he is able to fail. If he indeed truly co-operates with God in his sanctification there will be the chance that he will not grow.

It is neither biblical, nor rational to propose that growth is inevitable BUT NOT automatic!

This is where Reformed theology sounds a bit absurd.

In the bible, and therefore in Free Grace theology, regenerate man is (I don't say this happily, but sadly) able to spurn the leading and guiding of God, to fail, and to shipwreck his faith. (If he was unable to, then growth would be automatic, right? I am certain that you would say that at some point, like Dort claims, that the backsliding regenerate man would be "certainly and effectually renewed" by God... but this would make it automatic, no? against your whole thesis here!)

The Reformed "fruit inspector" would deem this man unsaved, reprobate, because his works didn't merit the consideration of him to be among the elect.

The Free Grace advocate understands that regenerate man has REAL responsibility before God. If he, along the way, fails, God will chasten, discipline, mete out His displeasure, so as to correct the man. But God will not drag men down the path of obedience. God may choose to allow the wayward Christian's actions to produce their consequence, physical death:

James 5:19-20
Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

Such a one will also suffer loss and shame at the Bema of Christ, recieving the "bad" which he had done in the body as a steward/servant of Christ.

If a life of dedicated obedience necessarily followed justification (as is the contention of the Reformed tradition), there would be no need to entreat the will to:

Walk by means of the Spirit
Reckon ourselves dead unto sin
Stop presenting our members as instruments of unrighteousness
Present ourselves to God
Present our members as instruments of righteusness
Present our bodies a living sacrifice
Abide in Christ
etc..... etc....

We have an old nature and a new nature. The new nature is sinless (1 John 3:9), but cannot win in a fight against the old nature (Romans 7). It takes an act of the will to submit ourselves to God and yield to the Spirit who then can empower our new nature to live through us. When we walk by the Spirit, we will not by any means fulfill the lust of the flesh (Gal 5:16). But this is a command and NOT a necessary result of justification. You see, justification solely comes from God, but sanctification is a cooperation between God and the Christian. Therefore, if the Christian is not willing (for whatever reason... he could be immature, a baby Christian, not of strong faith, under heavy stress and anxiety, caught up in the whirlpool of sin, the variables could be endless, etc) he will not grow in sanctification. EVERYWHERE in the Bible the will is entreated to cooperate with God for the growth in progressive sanctification. Therefore, if the Christian does not will and act, he won't grow in sanctification.

It is painfully obvious that if a life of perseverant faithfulness, works, and obedience necessarily came as a result of justification, then there would be no need for the literally hundreds of entreaties to our will to conform to God's will, to follow God's commands, and walk experientially as we are positionally (positional truth "in Christ"), that we find in the Bible. Why would these detailed commands and entreaties to our will be necessary if by virtue of our new birth (regeneration) we are relentlessly disposed toward keeping them?

If Christian's could not fail in their Christian life, the many warning passages (exemplified by those is Hebrews) would be utterly meaningless.

The whole process is capsulized in 2 Peter 1:5-11.

Here we are told that we should add to our faith: virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.

If we do not add these things, we will be unfruitful and barren in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus.

2 Peter 1:9
"...he who lacks these things is blind, shortsighted, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins."

Does Peter think that spiritual growth is inevitable? Hardly!

The regenerate Christian who fails to add those character qualities to his faith can biblically be described as "blind"! He forgot that he was cleaned from his old sins!

But Peter doesn't leave it there. He provides a precious promise and incentive to those who, by their will, persevere in adding those qualities to their faith:

2 Peter 1:10-11
"if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

The overcoming Christian will not only "see" and "enter" the kingdom (John 3:3, 5), but will have the abundant entrance, receiving the glories and honors of co-rulership and co-heirship with Christ, being confessed before the Father. The regenerate man who fails to add these qualities to his faith will lose out on these privileges:

1 Cor 3:15
"he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire."

2 Tim 2:11-13

11 For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him. (positional death and promise of eternal security)
12 If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him. (privilege for overcoming Christians)
If we deny Him,
He also will deny us (in the context, what will He deny? This is a chiastic structure; verse twelve is a unit. He will deny co-rulership with Christ!)
13 If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.
(Even when we lack faithfulness, God is faithful! He will not turn back on His promises to the regenerate! They are based 100% on HIS faithfulness and 0% on ours! The regenerate one will never perish, never thirst, never hunger, etc).

Antonio da Rosa

25 Comments:

Blogger H K Flynn said...

Good points. Over the course of a lifetime, spiritual growth is not inevitable and the rebellious end up clobbered by satan's strategies in his or her life. Confusion over this is truly tragic.

(Antonio, I've been wondering this for a while: where is it that Hodges says he does expect to see some change in a new believers life? I think that is a related but somewhat different matter. Or am I remembering wrong? I think you've acctually quoted him on this idea.)

I wish 6 Secrets was more widely read! It is a beautiful description of real, biblical spiritual growth.

Hope reentry into your California life is going well. Are there any folks from Manipur living in your neck of the woods?

Blessings, brother :)

October 19, 2006 7:54 PM  
Blogger joey said...

(this is my brief reply from the pyro site, apparently a dialogue on that site will not be possible...I may not be able to get back to this for a little while, have fun shredding it until I return :)

antonio,

you said a lot, and I will leave it to others to address the the whole thing...for I don't have that kind of time right now

one part of your essay :)particularly caught my attention though and I thought I'd chip in on that point.

"It is painfully obvious that if a life of perseverant faithfulness, works, and obedience necessarily came as a result of justification, then there would be no need for the literally hundreds of entreaties to our will to conform to God's will, to follow God's commands, and walk experientially as we are positionally (positional truth "in Christ"), that we find in the Bible. Why would these detailed commands and entreaties to our will be necessary if by virtue of our new birth (regeneration) we are relentlessly disposed toward keeping them?"

That qoute seems to sum up the point of your post.

"If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." 1 John 1:6-10

"And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him" 1 John 2:3-4

It seems fairly clear that these verses indicate that one cannot call themselves a Christian and not live like it. If one loves God, then one will obey him. The sin nature will make this a daily war, but nonetheless a Christian is one who walks in the light. The sanctification process is one of cooperation like you said, but when God's grace has invaded the sinners heart, that cooperation is inevitable. The fact that it is inevitable does not mean that we do not need instruction and encouragement in the fight.

6:16 PM, October 19, 2006

October 19, 2006 8:27 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

This is a Zane Hodges paraphrase from Absolutely Free!

(H.K., is this what you are looking for?)

----------
I will not quarrel that where there is justifying faith, that naturally, signs of regenerate life should exist too. This is a reasonable assumption for any Christian unless he has been converted on his death bed!

But it is quite wrong, and another thing altogether, to claim that a life of dedicated obedience is guaranteed by regeneration, or even that such works as there are must be visible to a human observer. God alone may be able to detect the signs of life from regeneration in some of His children.
----------

Joey, try to read those verses closely without importing your theology into them.

The epistle of 1 John is about fellowship with God; participation, sharing. Fundamentally what we are to share with God is the light for that is where He is at.

If we are walking in darkness (which implies walking in sin) and we say that we are having fellowship with God, we are nothing but liars and we are not giving place to the truth in our lives, allowing the truth to be a dynamic factor in our lives.

Why?

The only place that fellowship can occur with the Father is in the light!.

The word "know" is polymorphous, having many shades of meaning.

The Greek language is a flexible language just like English. It is quite legitamate to say to someone, "I know such-and-such, but I really don't know him".

The epistle of 1 John is about fellowship, intimacy in a relationship with God.

How do we know that we have come to know God in this intimate, fellowship sense? If we keep Christ's commmands!

If such-and-such claims to have special, intimate fellowship with God yet doesn't keep his commandments, he is a liar.

Why?

True intimacy with Christ comes as we obey His commandments (John 14:21, 23). You cannot be having true intimacy with Christ at the same time as disobeying His commands!

Be realistic! John uses common language. All the Reformed creeds speak of Christians being able to sin grieviously!

Are you going to be so bold as to say that when that Christian is engaged in those sins that he is sharing with God in the light?

No.

He is walking in darkness!

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Antonio

October 19, 2006 8:54 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Zane also says in a journal article on assurance:

----------
Of course, there is every reason to believe that there will be good works in the life of each believer in Christ. The idea that one may believe in Him and live for years totally unaffected by the amazing miracle of regeneration, or by the instruction and/or discipline of God his heavenly Father, is a fantastic notion—even bizarre. We reject it categorically.
----------
http://www.faithalone.org/journal/1990ii/Hodges.html

October 19, 2006 8:57 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Great post, Antonio.

October 20, 2006 1:46 AM  
Blogger H K Flynn said...

Thanks Antonio!

That's it:)...


Hi Joey,

Glad you visited Antonio's wonderful site. The passage I like that backs up what he just said on 1 John is the Lords teaching in John 14:

8Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." 9Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?

&

18"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him."

In our interpretation, He is calling his disciples, His leaders, to get to know God richly, to really see Him, by obeying Him.

The exchange with Philip is an important introduction to much of the upper room discourse.

Blessings.

October 20, 2006 5:52 AM  
Blogger joey said...

hey guys, I am new to this blogging thing, and don't have a site myself yet, but thanks for the interaction. I will be back for further on monday if this thread will still be active...but before I go, I certainly don't want to give the perception that Christians sin, and grievously at times. I also don't find to disagree with in your interpretation of John. I would say that assurance of faith is also a theme in 1 John. I think that relationship is important to the discussion but I would ask, is God's grace so weak that the human heart, once that grace pierces our blindness, can still return to the old man? Is God's grace not sufficient? (I'll be back, don't be too harsh :)

October 20, 2006 7:36 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Joey, without wanting to fall into the 'I never saw that verse before' mentality, I would suggest that 2 Peter 2:20-22 strongly indicates the apostasy of real Christians.

God Bless

Matthew

October 20, 2006 8:17 AM  
Anonymous Gojira said...

Antonio,

Hey hoss! I tried to get an answer for you concerning the Horton/ Riddlebarger (who takes up that theme in chapter 3 of the book Christ the Lord) and Robbins critique as well. Phil can't link to where he supposedly answered those critiques because they are part of a public forum that he used to belong to, yet will not give me the name of, and even if I did find the place I might not be able to find his interaction because it is probably archived. I think Phil should write fiction, but I am basically done with the man with my last email to him. He will not deal with anything directly, and in my opinion is quite adept at dodgeball.

Peace and blessing to you Antonio.

October 20, 2006 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Gojira said...

Antonio,

Hey hoss! I tried to get an answer for you concerning the Horton/ Riddlebarger (who takes up that theme in chapter 3 of the book Christ the Lord) and Robbins critique as well. Phil can't link to where he supposedly answered those critiques because they are part of a public forum that he used to belong to, yet will not give me the name of, and even if I did find the place I might not be able to find his interaction because it is probably archived. I think Phil should write fiction, but I am basically done with the man with my last email to him. He will not deal with anything directly, and in my opinion is quite adept at dodgeball.

Peace and blessing to you Antonio.

October 20, 2006 9:59 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Hey Gojira,

I would be interested in the dialogue of Mr. Johnson as well.

He seems to be a law unto himself, like a crooked judge.

I dunno. If I can reach even one person who will change his mind about LS, I will be pleased.

I am so glad you are around. What is up with your blog?

Antonio

October 20, 2006 3:13 PM  
Blogger Gojira said...

Hello again, Antonio.

I hope you are doing well. There are ***many*** things I could share with you from a few emails from over the past few days, believe me.

"What is up with your blog?"

I am going to rename it and redo it. I have no idea how to set those things up. I post mainly in regards to Catholicism.

"He seems to be a law unto himself, like a crooked judge."

Hmmmm.....add in as well a Protestant version of Art Sippo with his man Dan as the Protestant Jerry-Jet.......Don't go there, Gojira. (That is a mental note to me, BTW.)

"I would be interested in the dialogue of Mr. Johnson as well."

Well, here is a peek of what he told me in his email to me:

"My exchanges with John Robbins took place in a YahooGroups forum
for two or three years in the late '90s. All of it was public.
Whether the archives still exist online or not, I do not know. I
do have a record of all those messages in my e-mail logs.

The actual correspondence and conversations I had directly with
Horton were mostly private, but I have discussed his book, his
arguments, and my interaction with him many times in various
online forums, especially from 1995-99. A simple Google search
should turn up some of that material for you."

A rational person would have simply given a link. I ain't found squat on google.

And of course, his disclaimer:
"But _I'm_ not obliged to produce those archives on demand every
time some gadfly comes along and drops the names "Robbins" or
"Horton."

Gojira.

October 20, 2006 5:23 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Some true thoughts here. I am still not on the same page on that "Outer Darkness" thingy but I think you do have a healthy perspective that leaves believers with hope. I do believe that there is a powerful source in the Holy Spirit that Peter and Paul try to convey to us in the divine nature and that if we focus on steps and our own striving we can be discouraged as well. "As ye have therefore received the the Lord Jesus Christ, so walk ye in him"

I really appreciate these words here by Dr Erwin Lutzer:
"I believe that we have often made the requirements for walking in the Spirit too complicated. We've stressed dedication, surrender, and discipline as prerequisites to the Spirits power. When I read books that give seven steps to the filling of the Spirit or others that condense it to four, I find myself asking, Can any one of us be sure we have fully carried out all of these requirements? Is not the Spirit's power given to sinners to enable them to be yielded and disciplined, rather than expecting all of these characteristics from them first?
Notice Christs words: "If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink." The only requirement is a thirst that will draw you to come to Him. We don't have to be supersaints, just thirsty sinners.That's why Christ could offer living water to a woman who had five husbands and was no living common-law. He promised that from within her would burst forth living water that would quench her emotional and spiritual thirst (John 4:10-14)Are you thirsty? Do you feel as I have often felt, like an apple tree trying to grow in the desert? Then you are a candidate for the Spirits life and power."- How To Say No To A Stubborn Habit, Dr Lutzer.

The same way of coming to the Saviour in need of salvation is the same way he desires to be accessed in our walk. If we live each day with this need and with this communion then Spiritual growth will indeed be inevitable.

WE all try to fill the emptiness with many things and we can even fill the emptiness with service for Christ and activity, but really it is simple if we abide dailey and walk with God instead of looking to so many things to fill that void.

October 21, 2006 3:22 PM  
Blogger donsands said...

"But the Lord said to him, 'Go, for he [Paul] is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake.'" Acts 9:15-16

"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." 1 Cor. 15:10

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ jesus for good works" Eph. 2:9

"For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. ... shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the Day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain." Phil. 2:13,16

""Do not be deceived. Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Cor. 6:9

"Let know one deceive you with empty words ... the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience". Eph. 5;6

"If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; ... But if you are without chastening, then you are illegitimate and not sons. ... Now no chastening seems to be joyful ... afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness." Hebrews 12:7-8;11

"Now the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, ... Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. CONTINUE in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. ... O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle bablings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge-- by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith." 1 Tim. 4:1-2;16;6:20-21

"They went out from us, but they were not of us". 1 John 2:19

"Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous". 1 John3:7

"Exaime yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves." 2 Cor. 13:5

"Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
Amen." Jude 24-25

"He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it." 1 Thes. 5:24

October 22, 2006 5:40 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

"I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh, for just as you presented your memebers as slaves of uncleaness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness." Romans 6:19

Now read this written to some filthy Carnal christians:

"Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him...God will destroy him....God will destroy him...God will destroy him(sin unto death) For the temple of God is holy which temple you are. LET NO ONE DECEIVE HIMSELF, if anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise." 1 Corinthians 3:16-18

"Now these things have become example, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted....Nor let US commit sexual immorality as some of them did, and in one day TWENTY THREE THOUSAND fell, nor let us tempt Christ...nor let us tempt Christ...nor let US tempt Christ....nor complain...Now all these things happened to them as examples and they were written for OUR admonition upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore....Therefore...THEREFORE LET HIM THAT THINKETH HE STANDS TAKE HEED LEST HE FALL." 1 Corinthians 10:6-12

Paul warned the abominable church in Corinth mixed with lust and religious pride with the sin unto death and temporal judgment but look how he starts this epistle:

"I thank my God always concering you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus." 1 Corinthians 1:4

Paul says this not Zane Hodges. Puritan based teaching would warn them of hell...but Paul does not...in fact he even encourages them that God was still with them and would continue to work in them and confirm them...yet remember he also warned of the Sin Unto Death. Yes some will persevere but other believers will fall away and as a lesson we are to learn not to think to highly of ourselves. Remember Jesus said that every branch in him...IN HIM that did not bear fruit he would cut off.

There is a sin unto death brother and Zane Hodges is not the author of it...God is but Zane rightly recognizes it and we all do well to take heed and recognize it too.

Blessings to you brother Donsands and in the Love of our Lord,

Brian

"

October 22, 2006 6:14 PM  
Blogger donsands said...

"Moreover, brethern, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, IF you hold fast that Word which I preached to you---UNLESS you believed in vain." 1 Cor. 15:1

Many will come in that Day and say Lord Lord.

There are those who believe in vain. Empty faith. Worthless. We need to warn these people. May the Lord grant us the boldness to do so.

Have a blessed evening. God is too gracious.

October 22, 2006 7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Don,

You quote 1 Cor. 15. The "UNLESS" qualifies the previous "IF" Paul here is introducing his material aboout the Resurrection. In context, to "believe in vain" is not making a statement about the quality of faith. They still had pagan philosophy which stated there was no such thing as the Resurrection. If there wasn't then not even Christ was raised. If He was not raised then their faith was in vain because they would have been believing in something that never happened.

October 23, 2006 6:20 AM  
Blogger joey said...

I'm back! (i have some catching up to do)

Matthew,About the 2 Peter 2: 20-22 verse. I think that if verses 20-22 are read apart from the rest of the chapter they could indicate the apostasy of real Christians. But read the whole chapter and it becomes clear Peter is referring to false teachers...not true Christians.

"They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us." 1 John 2:19

If I took your approach to scripture reading I would argue that that verse says that that someone who "falls away" proves they were never really Christians. Lookiing at the context in which it was made indicates that John was specifically talking about "antichrists." I therefore can't argue conclusively from that one verse that true Christians can't fall away.

Context is very important to understanding the meaning of a verse.

October 23, 2006 8:06 AM  
Blogger donsands said...

anony,

I think you are in error.

"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures;
And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" 1 Cor 15: 3-4

These verses correlate with the first two verses. This is Paul's thought. I preach the gospel, and you received it, and are saved, IF you hold fast, and if you did not believe in vain.

October 23, 2006 9:49 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Don,

Rapid fire proof-texting will persuade no one. Why don't you take one of those verses and provide a well reasoned exegetical exposition taking the context into consideration.

Do you think that Free Grace theologians have never seen those verses before?

October 23, 2006 1:29 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

>Many will come in that Day and say Lord Lord.<

Brother Don,
Clearly these will be Lordship proponents as they are calling him Lord. Notice Jesus does not say that many will come and say Dear Son of God it was by thy grace alone...

At the Judgment of the sheep and the goats the goats say, "Lord when did we not clothe you...

The sheep say.."When did we ever clothe you?"

The goats were trusting in their fruit

The sheep were trusting in the grace given to them.


Some indeed are false converts as they are trusting in their committment of their surrender. When committment and surrender to God fall by the wayside and discouragement sets in then men become bitter with God as they were trusting in their own earnest effort to hold up the bargain. So I do believe in false converts if they are not trusting in the grace of God alone.

October 23, 2006 2:11 PM  
Blogger donsands said...

Antonio,

These 4 verses from Paul speak the truth quite clearly to me.
Sometimes the simplicity of what the Scriptures say is all we really need. And I thank God for that.
I am not that smart really.


bhedr,

"When you did it to the least of these" is tremendous fruit in the lives of God's elect.

You shall know them by their fruit, and every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bear bad fruit. This preceeds just before the Lord says, "Many will come who thought they knew Me, and He will say I never knew you. Get out of my sight you who practice lawlessness!

We are never going to agree methinks.

I do not want to continue going around in circles.
I do love to be challenged, and I love the Scriptures, but for now I must call it quits.

I'm sure we shall meet again.

October 23, 2006 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don,

"I think you are in error."

Logically speaking, the same could be said about you.

Do you also hold that salvation could be lost, Don? That would be the implication of how you are reading the verse. Or are you a LS advocate? Either way, your synergism precededs you.

"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures;
And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" 1 Cor 15: 3-4"

And what is the theme of the whole passage, Don? It would be the reality of the ressurrection. I would refer you again to what I posted earlier. It would seem to me that your interpretation wouldn't hold because it disrupts the flow of the text, especially around verses ll-19.

October 23, 2006 4:30 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Don,

a text without a context is nothing but a pretext

October 23, 2006 6:14 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Take care brother Donsands,

We are all learning these excellent truths and God is the one with the mind we learn from.

Let us all be sure that we are anchored and resting in Christ alone for salvation. I hope you will consider some of the texts I provided.

If you are indeed resting there and methinks you are then take care dear blood bought brother of our Dear Lord,

Brian

Just make sure that you are hearing with both ears what Spurgeon preached. He wasn't perfect, none of us are, but he nailed it on this one.

Did you ever read this?
The Warrant Of Faith

October 23, 2006 6:52 PM  

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