LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I Am In The Lordship Camp

By Mark Pierson

We can not approach scripture without seeing that those who truely come to Christ in faith experience conversion, a changed life. We can not approach scripture without seeing that those who come to Christ in faith also enter into a relationship of obedience to Him. See 1 Peter1:2 "for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ". The sprinkling of blood in this verse not only speaks of giving believers perfect atonement for sin, but also is speaking of entering into a relationship of obedience to Christ as Lord and Master. The language here of "sprinkling blood" brings to mind Exodous 24:3-8 where the people promised to do all that the LORD had commanded. Then Moses sprinkled them with blood - they were now in covenant to obey God.

No where in scripture does one come to Christ without coming into a place of obeying Him-Nowhere! The calls to salvation and to disciplship are one. Nowhere in scripture is there a division. Such a view is unscriptural and deadly. That view is 1 part exegetical and 99 parts logic. Logic is a great mistress, but a terrible slave owner.

One should be able to lead a person to Christ in Matthew, Mark and Luke just as easily as they can through John. How did the "synoptics" present the message of salvation? Merely by Jesus saying "Follow Me".

As someone else has said, " no repentance = no faith = no salvation"!

Labels:

74 Comments:

Blogger bluecollar said...

If I lose friends over this then so be it.

The truth must be stood up for!

June 21, 2006 11:52 AM

 
Blogger forgiven said...

Great Piece Mark,

It needs to be said ...Jesus is Truth

Is it ok to be called luke warm?

What does Jesus say about this?

Thank You my Brother

June 21, 2006 2:02 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

I hope to remain as your friend. I don't want to have conditions for friendships. You are one of those unconditionaly friendly guys. It is good to have an unconditional love from God, but with a desire on his part that I live under those conditions that would show I love him back, nevertheless his love will not part from me. He is my Father. Psalm 89:31-33

June 21, 2006 9:37 PM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

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 eiter 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. The experience here described is costly!

The rubbish put forward these days by MacArthur and his kin is meaningless, such as when they say that "salvation is free but will cost you everything". This, is in fact, ridiculous. It is sophistry and contradiction.

To equate salvation with discipleship is to advocate works-salvation.

Antonio

June 21, 2006 9:54 PM

 
Blogger jel said...

moring friend

you would make a great teacher,

June 22, 2006 7:07 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Antonio:

You use a man-made hermaneutic approach to drive a man-made deep division into the Word of God. You take John 20:31 and see that That gospel alone is the final authority on evangelism. Then from there you narrow it down even more to John 4:4-29 as the model for evangelism. That is your world view. Never mind that very few in history before Zane Hodges have seen things this way. History is not on your side in this approach. Where you divide and elevate The Woman at the Well scene to be the standard for all of evangelism the rest of christendom sees this as part of a larger whole and supplemental to the rest of scripture.

Man-made deep divides of the word that have no historical backing, versus treating this portion of scripture as part of a larger whole, well, you tell me which one of us is on shakier ground.

The Gospel of John was written as a supplement to the other Gospels, not as a separate work in a different category. The messages are to be combined, not separated. Only very few would say otherwise.

Please look at the rich young ruler in Luke 18:18-30. He was obviously aware that he lacked something. Jesus told him to sell all that he had and to come follow Him. Clearly here the call to discipleship and the call to salvation are one. Note verse 29 and 30, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life". This verse undenyably links discipleship and the call to salvation.

June 22, 2006 7:55 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Antonio: you say:
"The rubbish put forward these days by MacArthur and his kin is meaningless, such as when they say that "salvation is free but will cost you everything". This, is in fact, ridiculous. It is sophistry and contradiction.

To equate salvation with discipleship is to advocate works-salvation."

I've seen you say this word for word before. Jesus Christ is my only hope of salvation. He is my righteousness. The very moment that I called upon Him I was eternally justified, even before one single good work issued forth from my regenerate life.

June 22, 2006 8:28 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

MacArthur says exactly that same thing. MacArthur holds that a person is eternally justified the very moment that they come to Christ to take refuge in Him, BEFORE one single good work is produced in their life.

I've read "The Gospel According to Jesus" twice now, and "The Gospel According to the Apostles" as well as "Hard to Believe" and have not detected one single trace of MacArthur advocating works righteousness- not one. Please stop slandering this man of God.

June 22, 2006 8:38 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Antonio: In order for you to maintain your man-made position you must slap God the Holy Spirit in the face in telling people that regeneration won't necessarily result in a saved person loving Christ or being conformed to His image. Rubish! They are "new creatures in Christ" (2Cor. 5:17; Galatians 6:15). They WILL take on the family resemblance (Galatians 5:22-25). Love WILL be the sign that they are regenerate 1John 4:7-8.

June 22, 2006 8:53 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark
If following Christ is an inevitable result of accepting the free gift of eternal life, why does Jesus actually command people to follow Him (if this, as you and MacArthur say the call to salvation)?

Jesus tells people to repent and follow Him in the Synoptics and He tells people to believe on Him for eternal life.

Is it not reasonable to take Him at His own words and acknowledge that He is saying two very different things, possibly to different sorts of people?

Do you no think that by trying to make Jesus' words mean the same thing you are forcing your own interpretive model on the Gospels?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 22, 2006 2:40 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

No Matthew, The call to salvation and the call to discipleship are one. No where in scripture are we taught that they are different. That is merely the Free Grace position trying to force its own model onto scripture.

The book of Acts is full of people who live the life taught by Jesus in the synoptics. There is not one instance where a saved person lived wholly outside of discipleship. Even the Corinthian church, after Paul's rebukes started to show signs of repentance from its carnality.

MacAthur's point in "Hard to Believe" is that, if you come to Christ, the world will hate you. Jesus taught that, and so do the apostles in their epistles.

Free Grace arives at its conclusions through the use of radical man-made divisions in the word of God. The use much logic, and much less exegesis. They use John 4, the women at the well as their starting point and model for evangelism, and then are forced to comb through the rest of the Bible in order to make their system work. They must re-write James 2:14-26 and rediscover the purpose statement in 1 John. They say that the purpose statement for 1 john is found in 1:2-4 when the rest of christendom sees that clearly the statement is found in 5:11-13. Only a small portion of christendom subscribe to such an approach; and with the rise of Progressive Dispensationalism and New Covenant Theology I can only hope that these methods used by Hodges are pushed into oblivion.

June 23, 2006 12:07 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, can you show me a Scripture where eternal life is made conditional upon discipleship?

June 23, 2006 12:31 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew you say,
"Mark
If following Christ is an inevitable result of accepting the free gift of eternal life, why does Jesus actually command people to follow Him (if this, as you and MacArthur say the call to salvation?"

Matthew, here you do show a misunderstanding of the Biblical Doctrines of Grace. Why wouldn't Jesus use a command as a means to an end. Nothing in scripture is automatic. The Spoken (written word) word is the means whereby the elect come to faith in Christ-Romans 10:17;James 1:18;1Peter1:23.

The written word is the means whereby the elect are instructed as to how they should conduct their lives in Christ-2Tim.3:16-17. We are to desire the milk and meat of the word in order to grow thereby. Therein we see Jesus and are conformed to His image by the Holy Spirit.

Truely, the gift is free, but it does cost you your life as you live for Him, in fastings, witnessings, givings, standing fast for Christ in a Christ-rejecting society.

Living for Him and coming to Him for salvation are inseparable. The one necessarily will follow the other. Any other view is unscriptural.

I came to Christ realizing that He was my only hope of salvation. He, and He alone, is my righteousness. That moment I came to Him I was eternally justified, BEFORE any good work issued forth from my life. He is my Righteousness. He is my Righteousness!

The moment I came to Christ I knew I had to give up my tendencies to fight and hurt other men. I knew such behavior was unbecoming a Christian. Why is it that the people of this world know the Bible better than Christians? Let a professing Christian curse or not turn the other cheek and the shouts of "I thought you were a christian...I thought you were supposed to turn the other cheek..." will come flying. Even the worldling would seem to know that a person coming to Christ should experience a life altering encounter.

June 23, 2006 12:35 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Even the worldling would seem to know that a person coming to Christ should experience a life altering encounter.

The word SHOULD is a very good choice in that sentence.

Hi Bluecollar! Is that tent camping? Can you use a Coleman stove or is it primitive only? or ... do they use pop-up campers?

June 23, 2006 12:43 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Rose: I do not know what you are talking about with the "camping" thing.

It took me 3 hours to get to my blog today. My computer is realy messed up.

Matthew: see Matthew 7:21-23.

June 23, 2006 1:06 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Okay,Rose, now I get it. Nice shot.

June 23, 2006 1:20 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

It wasn't meant to be a shot, just a fun play on words. :~)

Now I am trying to figure out how it could be taken as a shot... :~) I feel a little slow.

June 23, 2006 1:27 PM

 
Blogger J. Wendell said...

Mark~ Great job at expressing your view.

I will camp with you, but may I say kindly to you and your readers, I do not hold to Lordship salvation, but I do hold to Lordship living.

I like the saying, "Salvation costs us nothing Jesus paid the price. Discipleship costs everything a total sacrifice."

When I came to Christ there was a great deal I had to learn and become obedient to. There still is. Mark I am not a "free grace person" but I do know that grace is free. I am not a “Lordship salvation person”, but I know that my salvation is all of the Lord.

I side with Brian on this one, that I will remain a friend no strings attached!

June 23, 2006 2:41 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

>Discipleship costs everything a total sacrifice."<

Amen John. This is why Paul has to beg us to do our reasonable service and lay down our lives daily. I do believe at Salvation there is a change of heart and joy and peace are begotten within us by God and that this will give us hope, but at the end of the day a disciple is one who learns obedience as John says and we will have to engadge in a war that will sometimes paralyze us and send us under. Some saints recover and grow stronger while some die and go home to be with the Lord.

Mark one of the reasons I don't embrace the free grace position is because their logic would lead us to believe by reductionist view that the seed that falls without understanding could only be the true seed if they were to be consistant with their logic. You see even the seed that falls on stony ground bears fruit for a little while and that would imply fruit and works...so some of their logic is indeed off, but I am not ready to embrace some of the Lordship teachings either. They go to far in areas as well. Anyway...I love you brother, come on' you gotta laugh at Roses coment on camping.

June 23, 2006 11:06 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mr. Bluecollar,
You have nailed it in this post. The free gracers and other Arminians simply do not understand that regeneration precedes faith. When that is understood and believed, then discipleship follows because of what God has done, not man. Grace is about God doing something not man making a wise decision.

A few weeks ago I had one of them finally admit they believed regeneration followed faith and was necessary to salvation yet could possibly produce no changes in a persons life. It is necessary, but it may be ineffective in accomplishing anything. When a theology leads one down the path to that point of absurdity, then it is time to re-think their system. When they do that, they will throw Zane Hodges overboard and quit "spinning" Scripture beyond recognition.

I admire your spirit. Keep on keeping on brother.

Jazzycat

June 24, 2006 12:30 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, if a man decides to follow Christ and keep every one of our Lord's commandments, will he receive eternal life?

June 24, 2006 5:18 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Jazzycat, I know the timing of regeneration is one of your favorite subjects, but that is actually largely irrelevant to the issue of Free Grace/ Lordship Salvation.

With just a few exegetical difficulties to work out, one could probably believe in Free Grace and pre-conversion regeneration.

Calvinists seem quite unwilling to deal with the crucial issue at the heart of the Gospel. Not election and predestination, important as that is, but the faith which justifies.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 24, 2006 5:25 AM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

Jazzycat,

What do you do with the brother or sister *overtaken* in a fault that we are told to restore in a spirit of meekness, considering ourselves lest we also be tempted?

Brian

I know you don't believe in Carnal Christians, but what was the reason these believers were being called carnal?

June 24, 2006 6:46 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Brian,
I am not sure I understand your questions, but I believe sanctification is far from perfect for anyone and that anyone 'overtaken' with a fault should be as you say ministered to with love and kindness. Please give me the verse you are referring to concerning 'being called carnal.'

You are right the so called carnal Christian who is all carnal all the time with no desire to ever follow Jesus is a MYTH.

For more on carnal Christian (It is brief): http://www.brandonpres.com/photo_meditation/25_antinominism.htm

Jazzycat

June 24, 2006 10:04 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Matthew said......
(With just a few exegetical difficulties to work out, one could probably believe in Free Grace and pre-conversion regeneration.)

You do not or will not understand my point.... Free grace theology is not compatible with the Bible period. To make the free grace carnal Christian concept work you need to deny regeneration. Since you have not tried to do that (yet), you are left with believing in a powerless regeneration by the Holy Spirit that is meant to change a person but may in some cases do no good whatsoever. Saying that regeneration is necessary, but in some cases may have no effect is absurd.

(Calvinists seem quite unwilling to deal with the crucial issue at the heart of the Gospel. Not election and predestination, important as that is, but the faith which justifies.)

This is a ridiculous assertion as Mark, and all Calvinist are very clear on saving faith, justification and sanctification. I know sanctification is a dreaded word for you but it is in the Bible over and over and over and over. Your theology must construct all kinds of exegetical constructions to try and explain them all away. You have failed many times to do it and are still failing. While you are bright, knowledgeable and sincere, you are failing because the Bible does not support your theology. You are left with spinning, dodging, and denying the clear teaching of Scripture.

Jazzycat

June 24, 2006 10:43 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew: You say...
"Mark, if a man decides to follow Christ and keep every one of our Lord's commandments, will he receive eternal life?"

--------------------------

I say that a man WILL try to keep all of our Lord's commands BECAUSE he has received eternal life. The regeneration that resulted in his receiving Christ will also come with a desire to live a converted life-style. Remember, we are saved by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit-Titus 3:5. Regeneration is the impartation of new life. Note how many times John uses the term "born of God" in his first epistle. Those that are "born of God" will love the brethren -1John 4:7-8 - and serve the brethren from that love. Remember what Jesus taught in John 13:35.

--------------------------


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Jazzycat, I know the timing of regeneration is one of your favorite subjects, but that is actually largely irrelevant to the issue of Free Grace/ Lordship Salvation.

With just a few exegetical difficulties to work out, one could probably believe in Free Grace and pre-conversion regeneration.

Calvinists seem quite unwilling to deal with the crucial issue at the heart of the Gospel. Not election and predestination, important as that is, but the faith which justifies."

-------------------------
Matthew, just so I am clear, the faith that justifies does works, works come naturally from within the regenerated heart. Just as calling on the Lord Jesus for salvation comes naturally from the regenerated heart. The second that I realized my utter and absolute need for the Savior, thanks to regeneration and its eye-opening qualities, I fled to Him instantly. Then came the realization that now I must live for Him. I was changed from the inside out. I suddenly had a voracious appetite for His word which I would read for hours at a time. I craved to fellowship with God's people. I knew that now I must turn the other cheek instead of fighting and harming other men, as I was wont to do before my life-changing encounter with Christ.
------------------------------

June 24, 2006 10:47 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Jazzycat: Great visit!

You say," Free grace theology is not compatible with the Bible period. To make the free grace carnal Christian concept work you need to deny regeneration. Since you have not tried to do that (yet), you are left with believing in a powerless regeneration by the Holy Spirit that is meant to change a person but may in some cases do no good whatsoever. Saying that regeneration is necessary, but in some cases may have no effect is absurd."

------------------------
Right-on Jazzycat!

June 24, 2006 10:59 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Rose, my dear sister, I am sorry that I misunderstood you. Please forgive me.

John: I am honored by your visit.

Brian: I love your honesty and your visits. Don't stop coming by.

June 24, 2006 11:07 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Jazzycat says:
you are left with believing in a powerless regeneration by the Holy Spirit that is meant to change a person but may in some cases do no good whatsoever. Saying that regeneration is necessary, but in some cases may have no effect is absurd.

Hi Jazzycat. I read this and could not help but notice the obvious oversight on your part, my feline friend. Being translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light is no small thing. Having one's name written in the book of life and sealed for the day of redemption ...

Ephesians 4:30
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.


... is quite an amazing EFFECT. If you or I or the world can't see some visible, measurable change in the person's behaviour, that does not lessen the incredible effect of salvation - that a person who was headed for the fires of hell is now glory-bound. This IS NOT powerless regeneration. To say that this translation, just because you don't see a measure of it with your eyes of observation is [doing] no good whatsoever... are you not afraid that you could be insulting God's gracious generosity by saying such?

To say that the basic justification is having no effect because you can't measure that one's sanctification favorably ... this is a mistake. Can you see how you, perhaps, tread on dangerous ground by placing so much emphasis on outward appearance?

Let's spur one another on toward love and good works - this is necessary - this spurring - because we are still in the flesh and we still have a batlle with our flesh or old nature or whatever you want to call it. Doubting other's salvation is really not helpful if they say they are trusting Christ. Spur them on - encourage them in the faith and good works, but don't regard as unclean that which God has cleansed.

Meow.

June 24, 2006 12:14 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, if a Christian had no Bible (as do many Christians in the world) would he be faithful to the teachigns contained within it?

June 24, 2006 12:31 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Jazzycat you believe that regeneration is "powerless" to stop a Christian from committing sins.

I believe that regeneration is "powerless" to stop a Christian from committin lots and lots of sins.

What is the difference?

June 24, 2006 12:33 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mark,
Thanks for your kind comments. You have done a great job with this post and I just wanted to say Amen.

Rose,
Your point is good but you have veered from the path on to a rabbit trail and made assumptions about my thinking. I could not agree more on encouraging and spurring one another. If a person being so encouraged happens to be a false professor (only God knows for sure), then he may use your encouragement as the external call in bringing about the effectual call and regeneration. God does the judging and there are false professors (Matthew 7:21). If you are suggesting that everyone (100%) that claim faith in Christ are actually saved, then I suggest reading the Matthew 7 passage carefully.

Matthew,
The difference is that you believe it is possible for a saved person to not be changed at all and keep on sinning with no remorse or repentance. However, I believe (as Mark did such a beautiful job of describing about himself) a saved person will be a new changed person due to grace (2 Cor. 5:17). If it were by works, you are right there would be no difference in our beliefs. But it is by grace, which makes all the difference and it comes with power to change a person. The difference is not the amount of sin but a change of heart and direction. Flesh (professing faith) counts for nothing, but the spirit gives life (new creation). (John 6:63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.)

June 24, 2006 3:41 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Jazzycat, why is it that a person who is regenerate sometimes fails to always show complete devotedness to Christ?

June 24, 2006 4:57 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

Hey Mark,

Your our "Bud" and none of us are going to stop coming by.

Jazzy,

The Carnal referance is in 1 Corinthians 3 and is translated as such in some translations. I don't know which one you have.

Lets take a look at slothfulness. The Puritans had little patience for it and if you were found in that condition on a Sunday(missing church) or slumbering at the unappropriate time, you were flogged or put in stocks. Of course we know that God hates slothfulness as well and we know that the wicked will be cast into hell for it. Unfortunately we as Christians can indeed be lukewarm and slothful as well as disobedient. I wish it were not so, but it is true. Lets look at what the apostle Paul has to say on this:

"For we hear that some among you walk in *idleness*, not busy at work, but *busybodies*. Now such persons we command and *encourage* in the Lord Jesus Christ, to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. As for you brothers, do not grow weary (hmm, an exhortation to not faint-notice the text says, *brothers*) in doing good. If anyone does not *obey* what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. DO NOT REGARD HIM AS AN ENEMY, but *warn* him as a brother." 2 Thessolonians 3:11-15

The problem is that the church today is not functioning as a body. Everyone is not holding one another accountable with a meek spirit and confessing faults to one another. This is only compounding our problem. You see the Holy Spirit is not going to do everything for us. He wants us to function as a body. This glorifies him.

Now having said that, I do think some non-believers take texts like this and make exuses for not having a change of heart about their sin and coming to Christ. They may use texts like this to justify themselves, but that doesn't mean we hide what the text says and make the claim that there are not carnal Christians. To do so is dishonesty with God as well as ourselves.

June 24, 2006 6:42 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Matthew asked:
(Jazzycat, why is it that a person who is regenerate sometimes fails to always show complete devotedness to Christ?)

Answer see... Rom 7, Phil 3:12, 1 John 1:10, Gal 5:17, 1 Pet 2:11, 1 John 5:4, 2 cor 3:18

THE BETTER QUESTION:
Matthew, How is it that a person who is regenerate could fail to ever show devotedness to Christ?

Jazzycat

June 25, 2006 12:32 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Hi y'all!

I mark Pierson, saved April 28, 1973, fell into the sin of pornagraphy on March 16, 1978, my 21st Birthday. For 1 solid month I took in a steady diet of x rated films and tried to seduce a girl (my age) to have sex with me. I delved into porn magazines as well. For those of you doing the math, I was 5 years in the Lord at this point. As I watched each movie over that month I became more and more addicted to them. I was now a slave to watching naked girls. The ticket taker at that theater was a friend whom I had witnessed to while in High School. When he sold me the ticket he said " Mark....You?! Yeah, me. What a witness, right?

Over the course of that month I began to sink farther and farther into remorse over the fact that I was living a life that was greavious to the Holy Spirit. I began to sorely miss the sweet times of prayer and private times alone with the Word of God. I began to long for those times, but I was a slave to those movies. Finally, I came to a place where I longed to be right in my walk with Jesus; but what about that addiction????

One day I sat down on a step at work. I stared out into space and cried out to God, "God, I don't care if you have to break my leg in order to bring me back to a close walk with you, please do it". Exactly one week later, I was in a car crash, with a broken leg. I spent 5 weeks in traction, and a total of 6 weeks in the hospital. My sweet times of prayer were restored as well as my wonderful times in His word. That was 1978 and I have not been to a dirty movie, or picked up a porn magazine since.

Moral of the story:
1)Christians can and sometimes do fall into slavery to sin.

2)Christians feel grief when they are in sin.

3)God chastens those who are truely His, and brings them back to Himself.

I believe another sign of regeneration is when a christian begins to experience what David described in Psalms 32 and 51 when they are entrapped by sin. They grieve, lose sleep and mourn untill they finally come to a place of confession and repentance.

June 25, 2006 12:35 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Brian,
You asked about 1 cor 3:
(I know you don't believe in Carnal Christians, but what was the reason these believers were being called carnal?)

Brian, I think these were new Christians as Paul used the term infants and Paul was exhorting them to cooperate in their sanctification. He certainly was not affirming any carnal Christian concept as he makes clear in 2 Cor 13:5.

Jazzycat

June 25, 2006 12:41 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Rose, sister and dear friend, I am so greatful for your contributions here. You make a great point:

"Let's spur one another on toward love and good works - this is necessary - this spurring - because we are still in the flesh and we still have a batlle with our flesh or old nature or whatever you want to call it. Doubting other's salvation is really not helpful if they say they are trusting Christ. Spur them on - encourage them in the faith and good works, but don't regard as unclean that which God has cleansed."

----------------------
Great! Question: What is the Genesis of the love and good works in our lives if not regeneration. They surely did not originate within us. Yes, let's spur one another on, only don't forget where the love and good works originate. To God alone be the glory!

Rose, I am so sorry that you see us calvinists as such a judgemental lot. We really aren't.
------------------
Brian: You say some great things here:"The problem is that the church today is not functioning as a body. Everyone is not holding one another accountable with a meek spirit and confessing faults to one another. This is only compounding our problem. You see the Holy Spirit is not going to do everything for us. He wants us to function as a body. This glorifies him."

"He wants us to function as a body"
Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times, yes!!!!!!

----------------------

Matthew; An answer to your question: "Jazzycat, why is it that a person who is regenerate sometimes fails to always show complete devotedness to Christ?"
------------------------
Answer is found in Galatians 5:17. The war between the flesh and the Spirit; a war that did not take place before the Holy Spirit took up residence there. Before the flesh had complete rule and dominion. Now the Holy Spirit has moved in and is available to help mortify these deeds of the flesh.

June 25, 2006 1:03 AM

 
Blogger J. Wendell said...

Great thread too.

June 25, 2006 7:48 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark it is honest of you to confess your sin here. However, your story in itself does not prove the conclusions you draw from it. You continued in that sin for a month without repenting. Might you not have repented during that time? Is it not possible that you could have prolonged that sin for a far longer period and dug yourself into a deep and wretched whole. I am thankful that this did not happen.

Chastening sometimes goes beyond the point of discipline. We read in 1 Corinthians 11 and in 1 John 5 that it is possible for a believer to so fall into sin as to loose the possiblity of repentance. In which case they will suffer physical death.

You have not answered my question about the Christian who has no Bible, Mark. Will he keep the commandments that it contains?

Is regeneration enougth in itself to ensure holy living, or must there also be dilligence in Bible study and prayer?

Nor did you answer my earlier question directly. If a man decides to follow Christ and keep His commandments, will he receive eternal life?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 25, 2006 10:04 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Jazzycat
"Matthew, How is it that a person who is regenerate could fail to ever show devotedness to Christ?"

We can and do. We sin and fail to spend time seeking the presence of God.

If we prolong such times, we harden ourselves and can in fact come to the point where we are unable to change our course (Romans 14:13-23, Hebrews 6:4-8, 10:26-31).

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 25, 2006 10:14 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

"Mark it is honest of you to confess your sin here. However, your story in itself does not prove the conclusions you draw from it. You continued in that sin for a month without repenting. Might you not have repented during that time? Is it not possible that you could have prolonged that sin for a far longer period and dug yourself into a deep and wretched whole. I am thankful that this did not happen."
-----------------------

Matthew: David went a considerable amount of time before Nathan confronted him with "Thou art the man". That period of time is covered in Psalm 32:3-4 "When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer..." Such was my lot. The joy of God's salvation was gone for that terrible period. I longed for it again, as any truely regenerate person in that position would. Hence, that anguished cry of my heart for Him to break my leg if need be in order to regain it.
-----------------------

"Chastening sometimes goes beyond the point of discipline. We read in 1 Corinthians 11 and in 1 John 5 that it is possible for a believer to so fall into sin as to loose the possiblity of repentance. In which case they will suffer physical death."
-------------------------
I am unresolved that true believers are spoken about in these verses you mention - see John 15:2,6 false professers.
-------------------------

"You have not answered my question about the Christian who has no Bible, Mark. Will he keep the commandments that it contains?"
-------------------------
The New Covenant mentioned in Hebrews 8:10-13, prophesied about in Jeremiah 31:31-34 and brought into power by Christ's shed blood - Matthew 26:28:God puts His laws in the mind and writes them on the heart. Eezekial goes even further in this matter When God through him speaks about putting His Spirit within and Causing us to walk in His ways. Check out 2Corinthians 3:3. Even the carnal Corinthian church was considered by Paul to have had God write His laws on their heart. Note also that Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, called himself a minister of the New Covenant, verse 3:6. Ordinarily, Christians have access to a Bible and should prayerfully devour it in order that the Spirit can conform them to Christ (2Cor. 3:18); but in some countries they scape around for whatever fragment of the Bible they can stumble across, a page here, a page there.
-----------------------

Is regeneration enougth in itself to ensure holy living, or must there also be dilligence in Bible study and prayer?

"Nor did you answer my earlier question directly. If a man decides to follow Christ and keep His commandments, will he receive eternal life?"
--------------------
He receives eternal life the moment he calls on the name of the Lord, BEFORE any keeping of the commandments or good works. Those follow as a result of regeneration, as does his calling on the name of the Lord in the first place.

Me thinks you are deliberately trying to misrepresent my views here, for we have discussed these things at length on other blogs, as well as I have seen other Calvinists clearly present these truths before so that should no longer be such lines of questioning. You are trying to put me into a works salvation view. Nice try.

Jesus Christ is my righteousness! My assurance of salvation is in the fact that I know I am a hopeless sinner in absolute and utter need of the salvation found only in Him. "Whosoever Shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" is the truth that I bank on when it comes to my assurance. I have called out to Him, knowing He is my only hope of salvation. If I am not saved as a result of that then the Bible does not teach the truth.

June 25, 2006 12:10 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Why is it that the Free Gracer's totally misunderstand those who hold to the biblical teaching that Christ is the Lord and that people should bow before Him in repentance and "Come to [Him] all those who labor and are heavy ladden, and He will give you rest". He calls out to those who are convicted of their sins to "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls".

I pity that system that puts these truths into another dispensation. The Bible only recognizes 2 dispensations: Before the cross, and after.

As Grudem says," repentance is the opposite side of the same coin as faith. "...that they should repent, turn to God,and do works befitting repentance" - Acts 26:20. "testifying to Jews, and also Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" - Acts 20:21."but now commands all men everywhere to repent" - Acts 17:30.
" And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations" - Luke 24:47.

June 25, 2006 12:47 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

Hey Mark,
Thanks for your testimony. There are parts of it where I can identify with you. My trouble is God delivered me from the sin of Porn when I was younger and I had no desire to return to it. I also had great victory in my life. Unfortunately later something happened:

One look was all it took and I was back under again. I am terrified of speaking much on this subject. Suffice it to say that I sat down with two brothers at Church and confided in them. The Lord has given me victory and I am not involved in this treacherous evil anymore, but I am scared to death of this sin. I know I am still capable of falling into it and that is what terrifies me. I don't want to hurt my wife though. The accountability around me helps. For me it continues to be a constant barrage of temptation. Men at work put naked girls in front of me and often mock me because I don't look at the womens leggs going down the road. They know I am a Christian and tease me with the nickname "Preacher". And accuse me of being goody goody. Oh if they only knew. I have tried to tell them when I witness. This looking at legs and hollering on the CB is a pasttime for many truckers.

I was watching a Msnbc special with my wife last night about these guys that were on the computer getting teen girls to have sex with them, but they were being caught on camera. That seems crazy to me, something I can't have seen myself doing. and I didn't have a problem with that, but I never underestimate how far one can go, even as a believer. I can't see myself doing what David did, but I know I am capable of doing it. Mark has given his testimony...I never went as far as he did, but I am capable of it, so I don't judge him. I am thankful for his humble heart and I wish to always pray for him as well as many men who head in this direction.

I have always had a desire to serve God and do what is right, but I underestimated my flesh and that is what hurt me. For instance, when I met my wife, I purposed not to engagde in premarital sex. I wouldn't and didnt touch her for a whole year and a half. Unfortunately I undestimated and fell. I love her and regret what happened, but God is good and he has been merciful to us. Never say never though. Let him that thinketh he stand, take heed lest he fall. May we all pray for one another.

June 25, 2006 1:53 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, I am unsure as to how I misunderstand you.

I understand your position because I used to hold it. You believe that if a man is regenerate he will show consistent progress through the Christian life.

The problem with this position is that it means that one must look to one's own activity to confirm one is regenerate.

Are you absolutely convinced that you are not a false professor? I am sure you are not, but do you have that conviction?

Might not your sorrow for your past sin not be the same sorrow that Judas showed?

Are you sure that you will not fall into sin again and this time to complete apostasy?

If there is such a thing as a false faith is there actually any objective criteria by which you can measure your own faith?

"I am unresolved that true believers are spoken about in these verses you mention - see John 15:2,6 false professers."

John 15
2 "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."

So you think that unbelievers are actually part of the true vine, that they can be in Christ? You think that this passage is warning unbelievers to abide in Christ?

Just how exactly does an unbeliever abide in Christ, which is what this passage is warning them to do?

Let us look at 1 Cor 11:

32 "But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world."

Is this true of false professors? God judges false professors so that they are not condemned with the world?

1 John 5
16 "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.

17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death."

Do you consider false professors to be brethren?

James 5
19 ¶ "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;

20 let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."

Again some who are brethren may suffer physical death for their sins.

These folks are the same people who this is said of:

James 1
18 "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."

I think the evidence is conclusive that believers can suffer physical death as God's judgment on them for their sin.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 25, 2006 4:52 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"Ordinarily, Christians have access to a Bible and should prayerfully devour it in order that the Spirit can conform them to Christ (2Cor. 3:18); but in some countries they scape around for whatever fragment of the Bible they can stumble across, a page here, a page there."

Indeed, Mark. So if a Christian sinfully neglects to study the Word, there will be a lack of conformity. So regeneration is not enougth in itself. There must be a dilligent submission to God.

And if we do fail to be conformed God is gracious to us:

1 Cor 3
15 "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

June 25, 2006 4:59 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"Jesus Christ is my righteousness! My assurance of salvation is in the fact that I know I am a hopeless sinner in absolute and utter need of the salvation found only in Him. "Whosoever Shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" is the truth that I bank on when it comes to my assurance. I have called out to Him, knowing He is my only hope of salvation. If I am not saved as a result of that then the Bible does not teach the truth."

But have you done enougth works? If your calling is not accompanied by sufficent fruit, it cannot be genuine and is a mere intellectual knowledge that Christ 'might' have saved you, according to your own reasoning.

You cannot have it both ways, Mark.

Either you have to look for assurance in your works or you can acknowledge that faith might not always involve a life of devotedness.

June 25, 2006 5:04 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"He receives eternal life the moment he calls on the name of the Lord, BEFORE any keeping of the commandments or good works. Those follow as a result of regeneration, as does his calling on the name of the Lord in the first place."

Right. So trusting in Christ for salvation is not the same as undertaking works.

So when Jesus tells people to follow Him in the Synoptics He is saying something very different, though just as important, from His call to believe on Him for eternal life in John's Gospel.

The two things are not in conflict they are just different, as you seem to be acknowledging here.

"I pity that system that puts these truths into another dispensation."

Now you misundrstand me. When have I said that repentance is not for this dispensation?

"that they should repent, turn to God,and do works befitting repentance" - Acts 26:20. "testifying to Jews, and also Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" - Acts 20:21."but now commands all men everywhere to repent" - Acts 17:30.
" And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations" - Luke 24:47."

All of these verses show the vital importance of repentance. However, none of them prove that repentance is inevitably involved in faith.

In fact your own experience disproves Grudem's view.

When you were committing that sin, you needed to repent. However, while you were in that sinful situation, you had not lost your faith. You still trusted in Jesus Christ for eternal life, despite failing to repent of that sin for a month. This is a clear indication that repentance and faith are too different things.

I am sorry that I have so much to say.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 25, 2006 5:14 PM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

Matthew.

I have to say that you give some very salient points.

It seems that you have been doing some excellent studies in the Word, and your positions are quite persuasive.

Mark,

Regeneration imparts unto us the seed of eternal life, with all its great potentials. It is the very life of God within us. Yet we are responsible to cultivate that life within us.

Sanctification is a co-operation between God and man.

I don't understand the Traditionalist's view of sanctification. Why is it only partial? Why are their varying degrees? Why doesn't God do a complete work? And if man is responsible in any part for his sanctification, why can't we suppose (as I believe the Scriptures show) that man can fail on his part?

And why must you yoke the responsibilites of the Christian with the appropriation and receiving of a free gift?

This goes round and round. But one thing is for sure. Eternal life is absolutely free and discipleship will cost you your whole life.

free ≠ costly

Antonio

June 25, 2006 7:01 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mr. Bluecollar,
Your comments prior to Matthews are on solid Biblical grounds. You give God the credit for grace, regeneration, faith and in short everything. The free gracers give man the credit for the lip service of professing faith and also for success and failure in sanctification. They correctly hold that sanctification is co-operative effort with God but deny God is 100% able to succeed. We believe and agree with Paul that God will succeed in sanctification (Phil 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.) They have a form of godliness but deny its power. Their view of regeneration is so distorted, they have even made the following absurd statement: (“Regeneration imparts unto us the seed of eternal life, with all its great potentials. It is the very life of God within us. Yet we are responsible to cultivate that life within us.”) Regeneration is a seed that we must cultivate!!!! Unbelievable, we get a seed with potential that we use to accomplish getting ourselves born again. Somehow that does not sound at all like Jesus describes it in John 3:3.

I know it is frustrating when Matthew tries to twist your belief in regeneration with power that results in a changed person into what he calls a works salvation. I understand perfectly your excellent explanation of justification and sanctification. They refuse to understand or even acknowledge that regeneration has power. They see it as a seed with potential. You’ve done a great job with this post and I think it is necessary to encourage others with sound doctrine (Titus 1:9).

Jazzycat

June 26, 2006 12:39 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"They correctly hold that sanctification is co-operative effort with God but deny God is 100% able to succeed."

Jazzycat, is God going to suceed 100% in sanctifying you while you are in the flesh?

Are you going to stop sinning 100 % and enable you to live a life of 100% devotedness to Christ?

Do you think God calls 99% sanctification a sucess? Does He accept 80% sanctification as a sucess? How about 70%?

The arguments that you level against my postion are the same arguments that a Wesleyan Perfectionist false teacher would level at your own view.

If God 'fails' becuase He does not stop us sinning all the time, then He also fails if He does not stop us sinning some of the time.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 26, 2006 5:33 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Matthew,
No Matthew, the Biblical view, which we have pointed you to many times, holds that God not only does not fail, but is 100% successful in regenerating with power and sanctifying with power. Perfection only comes at glorification and the Bible is clear on this. You want to argue that since a regenerated person still sins, then the mythical carnal Christian is no worse off spiritually for sinning with reckless abandon. The Bible refutes this over and over in many places. Try Romans 8 and you will see there is no wiggle room for your distorted view that being all carnal all the time and controlled by the sinful nature is a spiritual condition of a saved sinner as long as he gives lip service to calling on Jesus Christ for eternal life. It is not and the Bible in Romans 8 and many other places as well warns that lip service (of professing faith) with no sincere change of heart and direction is an unsaved false professor. Romans 8 just happened to pop into my mind but you can go to nearly every page and see this doctrinal concept. If you would step back and resist forcing Scripture through the Zane Hodges template, then maybe you could accept the clear teaching of the Apostles epistles.

I know regeneration is problematic for your theology, but I think Antonio’s definition that says, “Regeneration imparts unto us the seed of eternal life, with all its great potentials……..” has taken reinvention of doctrine to a new level. I prefer the Biblical definition of Jesus, Paul, John, and Peter.

Jazzycat

June 26, 2006 8:29 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Jazzycat, it is easy to say that one's view is the Biblical view and that it is the view of Paul and John, but proving it is another thing.


It is important to read Romans 8 in the light of the previous chapter, in which Paul presents the life of an immature Christian who is struggling with the flesh and not seeking to walk in the Spirit for holy living.

Romans 7
17 "Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

19 For the good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

21 ¶ I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

23 but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."

This is the experience of a Christian struggling with the flesh in his own strength and through the law.

In Romans 8, Paul presents the true and mature Christian experience of gracious and spirit-filled living.

Romans 8
13 "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."

If 'ye', that is those who are redeemed, walk after the flesh, they shall die. The Scriptures are clear about this. There are consequences for walking after the flesh. But the possibility is clearly present.

"But IF ye do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live".

So if we mortify our flesh and walk in the Spirit we may experience the life that regeneration enables. However, it is an 'if'.

This ties in with what Paul writes in Romans 6:

11 "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

12 ¶ Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace."

Are you sure I am the one who is forcing Scripture into a template?

Let us look at 2 Peter 2:

19 "While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning."

Here we have a regenerate person who has come into bondage through false teaching. He is lead into a state of wretchedness that is worse than his pre-conversion state.

How do we know he is regenerate? Because he has escaped the pollution of the world through the knowledge of the Saviour Jesus Christ.

Does a false professor know the Saviour Jesus Christ? Has he escaped the pollutions of the world? No, of course not.

What we have here is clear teaching about the possbility of apostasy.

I could cite many more and none of them can be convincingly applied to false professors.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 26, 2006 9:30 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

That is weird, Jazzycat, that you would say Matthew, or any of the other Christians here, find the doctrine of regeneration "problematic." We all believe that being converted or saved means being born-again, given new life. Regeneration is not only embraced by Calvinists and Lordship Salvation people. The only disagreement here - what it boils down to - is are we free moral agents before and/or after conversion. That is what the question boils down to. You think that in order for God to be sovereign, he must CONTROL everything. I think that He has made us in His own image ... meaning that we have the ability to choose - to choose sin, to choose to reject His salvation, to choose to not follow Him when He has has given us salvation etc... These are not the choices He would want us, as regenerated ones, to make ... and that is why there is the potential to "grieve the Holy Spirit, etc..."

Bluecollar,
Judgemental lot? I don't know that that is my thought so much. It just seems that this theology looks to works as a meauring tool for determining whether you or others are saved. I would focus on the testimony of faith, and if works or "evidence" is not present, then leave it in God's hands to sort it out whether there was real conversion or not. John and I have had that conversation about people that we know many times. Your theological position seems to go beyond that to making dogmatic statements about those without observable works. I don't see that trend in the Bible. :~)

Your friend even when we disagree,
Rose~

June 26, 2006 9:32 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

"Are you absolutely convinced that you are not a false professor? I am sure you are not, but do you have that conviction?

Might not your sorrow for your past sin not be the same sorrow that Judas showed?

Are you sure that you will not fall into sin again and this time to complete apostasy?

If there is such a thing as a false faith is there actually any objective criteria by which you can measure your own faith?"
------------------------
Matthew: I am sure that I am a sinner. I know that Christ came to save sinners, therefore, He came to save me. I know that whosoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life. Therein is my condidence.
------------------------

"I am unresolved that true believers are spoken about in these verses you mention - see John 15:2,6 false professers."

John 15
2 "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."

So you think that unbelievers are actually part of the true vine, that they can be in Christ? You think that this passage is warning unbelievers to abide in Christ?

Just how exactly does an unbeliever abide in Christ, which is what this passage is warning them to do?
---------------------
Matthew,This is both an admonition to true believers, as they should abide in Christ, as well as a lesson to us of what will become of false professors. note that in the above it is God Who makes the determination, not man. Yes, false professors are spoken of here, and God removes them as they don't (can't) bear fruit. I believe that 2 inevitable things happen when a person is truely regenerate...

1)They will enter into a relationship wherein their knowledge of God will grow deeper and deeper - John 17:3 - "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent". "ginosko" is an always increasing knowledge, in this case, an ever growing knowledge of God.

2) They will love the brethren - 1John 4:7-8 - "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
----------------------

"Let us look at 1 Cor 11:

32 "But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world."
----------------------
God chastens Whom He loves... Hebrews 12:5-11;Rev. 3:19.
-----------------------

"Is this true of false professors? God judges false professors so that they are not condemned with the world?"
----------------------
The false professors God removes in His own time and they wither.
----------------------

1 John 5
16 "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.

17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death."
----------------------
Grudem believes the people mentioned in these verses that you provide here to be teachers that persist in teaching heresy. Grudem and MacArthur both hold these to be true christians. I disagree with them. I can not fathom a true christian teaching heresies, based on how I see John 17:3.
-----------------------

"Do you consider false professors to be brethren?"
-----------------------
No,but I won't always know when I am dealing with one, either.
------------------------

James 5
19 ¶ "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;

20 let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."

Again some who are brethren may suffer physical death for their sins.

These folks are the same people who this is said of:

James 1
18 "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."

I think the evidence is conclusive that believers can suffer physical death as God's judgment on them for their sin.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 25, 2006 1:52 PM
---------------------
Again, there are false brethren in the church. Some will manifest themselves more easily than others. Ultimately, God will weed them out.
------------------------


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
"Ordinarily, Christians have access to a Bible and should prayerfully devour it in order that the Spirit can conform them to Christ (2Cor. 3:18); but in some countries they scape around for whatever fragment of the Bible they can stumble across, a page here, a page there."

Indeed, Mark. So if a Christian sinfully neglects to study the Word, there will be a lack of conformity. So regeneration is not enougth in itself. There must be a dilligent submission to God.
-------------------------
Matthew, there are seasons in every christian life where hunger for the word lags. I NEVER ONCE said that there should not be dilligent submission to God. See Romans 12:1-2.

Matthew, we have been over this ground before, even in the last month, on this blog, and you concluded that thread in agreement with me.
----------------------

And if we do fail to be conformed God is gracious to us:

1 Cor 3
15 "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

June 25, 2006 1:59 PM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
"Jesus Christ is my righteousness! My assurance of salvation is in the fact that I know I am a hopeless sinner in absolute and utter need of the salvation found only in Him. "Whosoever Shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" is the truth that I bank on when it comes to my assurance. I have called out to Him, knowing He is my only hope of salvation. If I am not saved as a result of that then the Bible does not teach the truth."


"But have you done enougth works? If your calling is not accompanied by sufficent fruit, it cannot be genuine and is a mere intellectual knowledge that Christ 'might' have saved you, according to your own reasoning."
-------------------
"But have you done enough works?"
Where do you get this stuff from? Is it secondary sources from Hodges about what MacAthur has supposedly said? Stop misrepresenting and mocking my position. MacAthur, Piper, Boice Phil Johnson ALL hold to "by grace you have been saved through faith".
---------------------

You cannot have it both ways, Mark.

Either you have to look for assurance in your works or you can acknowledge that faith might not always involve a life of devotedness.
-------------------
Your logic here is hard to follow. I do not look to my works for assurance. I look to the fact that I believe in Christ as my only hope of salvation.

June 25, 2006 2:04 PM


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
"He receives eternal life the moment he calls on the name of the Lord, BEFORE any keeping of the commandments or good works. Those follow as a result of regeneration, as does his calling on the name of the Lord in the first place."

Right. So trusting in Christ for salvation is not the same as undertaking works.

So when Jesus tells people to follow Him in the Synoptics He is saying something very different, though just as important, from His call to believe on Him for eternal life in John's Gospel.

The two things are not in conflict they are just different, as you seem to be acknowledging here.
--------------------
I hold that the call to discipleship is one with the call to salvation. Nowhere in scripture are we taught different. If those people in the synoptics refused to "Follow" Christ, then any faith that they may have professed would have proven false. Faith that does not count the cost is false faith.
-------------------------

"I pity that system that puts these truths into another dispensation."

Now you misundrstand me. When have I said that repentance is not for this dispensation?

"that they should repent, turn to God,and do works befitting repentance" - Acts 26:20. "testifying to Jews, and also Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" - Acts 20:21."but now commands all men everywhere to repent" - Acts 17:30.
" And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations" - Luke 24:47."

All of these verses show the vital importance of repentance. However, none of them prove that repentance is inevitably involved in faith.
--------------------
Quite the contrary. In all these cases repentance is the message preached to unbelievers. Where there is no repentance there is no real faith.
-----------------------

"In fact your own experience disproves Grudem's view.

When you were committing that sin, you needed to repent. However, while you were in that sinful situation, you had not lost your faith. You still trusted in Jesus Christ for eternal life, despite failing to repent of that sin for a month. This is a clear indication that repentance and faith are too different things.
--------------------
I don't follow your logic here. The regeneration experience is one of a full relationship with God. David's experiences in Pslam 32:3-5 typifies so beautifully the experience of a regenerate person who goes for prolonged periods with out confession and repentance.
Note here the preserving action of God upon the believer, His "hand heavy upon" the believer. Note the believer's experience of no peace, but only "groaning," and waisting away of his body. This is the full picture of the saint in sin.
--------------

I am sorry that I have so much to say.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 25, 2006 2:14 PM

June 26, 2006 11:39 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Jazzycat: I am grateful for your contributions and encouragement!

June 26, 2006 11:46 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Rose: Thank you for your friendship.

Antonio: I am out of time. I shall respond to you later.

June 26, 2006 11:48 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew: I can say with Paul,"for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day" - 2 Timothy 1:12

My eyes are on Christ and His accomplishments, and faithfulness, despite your caracatures of calvinism.

Caracatures and half truths seem to be the order of the day,eh?

June 26, 2006 12:49 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark
"Matthew: I am sure that I am a sinner. I know that Christ came to save sinners, therefore, He came to save me. I know that whosoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life. Therein is my condidence."

Right. You know that you are saved. You have no need to examine yourself to see if you are a false professor on the basis of your works. If there are any warnign passages that are addressed to false professors they are irrelevant to you. If your belief in perserverance is correct, you have no need to fear falling into apostasy.

If you can have a certainty that you have truly believed, then anybody can have this certainty. Nobody should ever need to examine themselves to see if they are false professors or whether they have a 'false faith.' In fact the whole concept of a false faith falls down if it is possible to have a certainity of knowing that one is a true believer on the strength of one's faith alone.

"Yes, false professors are spoken of here, and God removes them as they don't (can't) bear fruit. I believe that 2 inevitable things happen when a person is truely regenerate..."

So you do think that false professors are branches of the true vine? That they are united to Christ in some way?

"Are false professors brethren?"

"No,but I won't always know when I am dealing with one, either."

You have avoided the issue raised by the text. The text indicates that it is possible for brethren to sin unto death. That is, to die physically through judgment.

"Again, there are false brethren in the church. Some will manifest themselves more easily than others. Ultimately, God will weed them out."

James is not addressed to false brethren, it is addressed to born-again Christians.

The passage I quoted was talking about brethren being in danger of death.

"Is this true of false professors? God judges false professors so that they are not condemned with the world?"
----------------------
The false professors God removes in His own time and they wither."

Well doen for avoiding the question. The passage is talking about people who die as a result of God's judgment who are 'judged so that they are not condemned with the world.' Does not sound like unbelievers to me.

"Your logic here is hard to follow. I do not look to my works for assurance. I look to the fact that I believe in Christ as my only hope of salvation."

If one can be assured of salvation on the strength of one's belief, does that mean you share Zane Hodges' view that the faith without works in James chapter 2 is the faith of a true believer? Do you then agree that we do not need to test our faith to see if it is genuine?

I wish your theology was as great as your beautiful faith and assurance.

Oh, that more mena and women had your assurance of eternal life!

"I hold that the call to discipleship is one with the call to salvation."

So why is there so little mention of the call to discipleship in John's Gospel? Why does Jesus not tell the Samaritan woman a few words about the need to follow Him and the cost?

"Quite the contrary. In all these cases repentance is the message preached to unbelievers. Where there is no repentance there is no real faith."

None of those verses tell us that faith is not faith unless it is accompanied by repentance.

"When you were committing that sin, you needed to repent. However, while you were in that sinful situation, you had not lost your faith. You still trusted in Jesus Christ for eternal life, despite failing to repent of that sin for a month. This is a clear indication that repentance and faith are too different things.
--------------------
I don't follow your logic here."

If faith is not genuine unless it includes repentance, how can a Christian who has not lost his faith ever need to repent?

You needed to repent while you were involved in that sin, yet you still had your faith that Christ had saved you.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 26, 2006 2:20 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose,
One free grace advocate in your UOG group affirms that regeneration is from God and is necessary for salvation and then affirms that in some cases this regeneration will accomplish nothing. Call me shallow, but if it is necessary for salvation shouldn’t it accomplish or achieve some desired result?

Another free grace advocate in your UOG group says the following:
”Regeneration imparts unto us the seed of eternal life, with all its great potentials. It is the very life of God within us. Yet we are responsible to cultivate that life within us.” The bottom line here is that sinners are responsible for their own regeneration.

Jesus, Paul, John, and Peter speak of a regeneration that comes with power from God. They say the following about it:
It is a regeneration that makes a person a new creation. It makes spiritually dead people alive. It enables people to act in new ways and have new attributes. It even enables them to overcome the world. It never fails.

This is done with the free will. It is not forced. Yet Antonio says it only gives potential and Matthew says it may not achieve any result. When you compare their thinking on regeneration with Biblical teaching, I would say their low view of regeneration is problematic, very problematic.

It is obvious that our view of the power, timing and results of regeneration is radically different than theirs.

Jazzycat

June 26, 2006 5:08 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Matthew,
I read where Zane Hodges has stated that a former minister friend of his that has publicly renounced Christianity and no longer believes is still saved and will be saved even if he never changes his mind back to Christ. It is little wonder with a teacher like this that you see regenerated people everywhere you look in Scripture. You say James in James 2:14-26 is talking about regenerated people. Zane Hodges says that the outer darkness of weeping and gnashing of teeth in the parable of the wedding feast is not unsaved people but regenerate Christians. Romans 8 clearly is discussing the difference between regenerate and unregenerate, yet you only see regenerate even among those that are controlled by the sinful nature (The key word being controlled). That means being all carnal all the time as opposed to being controlled by the Spirit where one battles the sinful nature, but is not CONTROLLED by it. Sure you can find some verses that seem to validate your view, but the totality of Scripture clearly teaches otherwise.

As I said in my post to Rose, It really comes down to your low view of regeneration. Specifically your view of the necessity, power, timing, and results of regeneration are quite different than Calvinists. Because we say it has power and produces results, you say we are judging fruit. Because you say it follows saving faith then this means it is just an add on that is really not needed for salvation. Since you say it may not change a person at all, that says it doesn’t have much if any power.

You are very close to universalism. Right now you say that a free ticket in the form of mouthing a lip profession is all that is needed for eternal life. Mr. Bluecollar has given wonderful testimony to being a Christian. Zane Hodges says if once upon a time you made a sincere profession, you can renounce Christ all you want but you are in. Somehow I believe Mr. Bluecollar will stand firm because of the power of God is evident in his life and not because he professed faith once upon a time.

Jazzycat

June 26, 2006 5:52 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Jazzycat,
Again, the point of regeneration is to impart eternal life. It accomplishes that. If you are born-again, you are God's child and you will not suffer in hell. This is a big accomplishment. You say that FG people don't think regeneration accomplishes anything, but I would say that they all believe it accomplishes this big happening! One who was lost is now found. One who was hell-bound is now rescued from that punishment. They are just not saying that it NECESSARILY accomplishes all the works and change of heart that you believe it must. I think of my own testimony that Bluecollar reminds me of (you can read it on my sidebar). If I had no one to disciple me - no church - no one to spur me on and tell me more of this wonderful salvation and help me see that the Word of God had more for me... If there was nothing more than that which brought me to saving faith, I can see how I may have easily turned back into my own ways and not progressed. Why is this so hard to understand that it is a possibility, but that the person is still spared the fires of hell because of saving faith? That's all we're talking about - is saving faith always followed by that which is ideal for Christian growth? I am sure it is not always, but the blood of Christ was still sufficient to deliever that one from the penalty of their sin. I think that is why Matthew says that ya can't have it both ways - if there is a moment of justification and that is sufficient to save, then you can't point to practical sanctification as necessary for salvation or to prove salvation. You can't have it both ways.

Again, no one has said that regeneration does no good - it performs the ultimate deliverance and is the good work that will be completed when we are glorified.

June 26, 2006 7:42 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose,
You said……….
“Again, the point of regeneration is to impart eternal life.”

I would say that the point of regeneration is to quicken a spiritually dead person so that they can come willingly to faith in Jesus Christ which gives them the free gift of eternal life. (Eph 2:4-5)

You said……….
“It accomplishes that.”

Let’s be precise here. I believe the F.G. position is that calling on Jesus in faith secures eternal life and then regeneration happens. So, the saving faith gives eternal life before regeneration occurs. Thus regeneration cannot impart something that has already been received. THIS BEGS THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: If regeneration comes after a person is already saved by faith, why is it necessary and what does it accomplish that adds to eternal life?

You said………..
“You say that FG people don't think regeneration accomplishes anything, but I would say that they all believe it accomplishes this big happening! One who was lost is now found. One who was hell-bound is now rescued from that punishment.”

Well once again Calvinist would agree that regeneration is the big happening, but I would think F.G. theology would say it was that faith that came before regeneration.

You said………..
“They are just not saying that it NECESSARILY accomplishes all the works and change of heart that you believe it must.”

As to works I do not put a quota on them and the Bible in the parable of the sower Jesus says the fruit will vary greatly from believer to believer. However, zero fruit is not one of the numbers Jesus mentions. I believe the change of heart will happen since regeneration has power.

You said………
“If I had no one to disciple me - no church - no one to spur me on and tell me more of this wonderful salvation and help me see that the Word of God had more for me... If there was nothing more than that which brought me to saving faith, I can see how I may have easily turned back into my own ways and not progressed.”

Certainly all believers have doubts and seasons of not only not progressing but, also backsliding. However we have God’s word that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion. There is power in the blood.

You said………
“Why is this so hard to understand that it is a possibility, but that the person is still spared the fires of hell because of saving faith? That's all we're talking about - is saving faith always followed by that which is ideal for Christian growth? I am sure it is not always, but the blood of Christ was still sufficient to deliever that one from the penalty of their sin. I think that is why Matthew says that ya can't have it both ways - if there is a moment of justification and that is sufficient to save, then you can't point to practical sanctification as necessary for salvation or to prove salvation. You can't have it both ways.”

We agree that justification is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, but y’all prefer not to believe us. We all say it and we all mean it. I wrote photo meditations on these doctrines long before I even knew what Free Grace theology was about. They affirm these beliefs and prove that I am not lying about it or changing my story. However, because we say that regeneration is wholly from God and comes with such power that a person is a new creation (2 cor 5:17) and will have fruit, you say (perhaps because of Zane Hodges) that we are claiming that sanctification is required for justification. We believe in the awesome power of God because the Bible teaches it.

Jazzycat

June 27, 2006 12:59 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"Matthew says it may not achieve any result."

Jazzycat you continually refer to this affirmation of mine. However, you neglect to mention that I restricted this to exceptional circumstances, for instance a person addicted to drugs or involved in prostitution.

I have never met a believer who did not show some fruit.

"Since you say it may not change a person at all, that says it doesn’t have much if any power."

On the contrary, regneration imparts a new nature. However, as you affirm the old nature remains present. Whether the believer walks in the spirit or in the flesh is not decided merely by the fact of regeneration.

Certainly, when the believer is transformed and glorfied the fulness of this new nature is realised.

"Right now you say that a free ticket in the form of mouthing a lip profession is all that is needed for eternal life."

This is a gross caricature and you should be ashamed of yourself for making it.

Profession does nto save anyone. Believing certainly does result in receiving eternal life.

"Somehow I believe Mr. Bluecollar will stand firm because of the power of God is evident in his life and not because he professed faith once upon a time."

Maybe so, but this is actually contrary to what Bluecollar said.

He believes that he is saved ebcause he professes to have called on the name of the Lord, not because of power of God is evident in his life. He is not looking to his works as evidence that he is saved but on his faith at the point of his conversion.

Jazzycat, do you have certainty that you ahve eternal life?

Are you certain that your own faith is not the 'faith of devils?'

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 27, 2006 5:59 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Mark
"Matthew: I am sure that I am a sinner. I know that Christ came to save sinners, therefore, He came to save me. I know that whosoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life. Therein is my condidence."

Right. You know that you are saved. You have no need to examine yourself to see if you are a false professor on the basis of your works. If there are any warnign passages that are addressed to false professors they are irrelevant to you. If your belief in perserverance is correct, you have no need to fear falling into apostasy.

"If you can have a certainty that you have truly believed, then anybody can have this certainty. Nobody should ever need to examine themselves to see if they are false professors or whether they have a 'false faith.' In fact the whole concept of a false faith falls down if it is possible to have a certainity of knowing that one is a true believer on the strength of one's faith alone."
----------------------
Matthew:Not everybody comes to Christ in repentance and faith, hence, false professors are born. Jesus preached repentance - Matthew 9:13;Matthew 4:17. He commanded that repentance be preached in the "Great Commission", - Luke 24:47. The apostles preached it - Acts 2:38; Acts 17:30,20:21,26:20; and so should we. Matthew, how does the message that you preach compare to the Great Comission? Do you make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit? Do you teach people to observe all that Christ has commanded? If your message is not like what we see in the Great Commision then you are preaching a message that is other than what Christ commanded. The object of the great Commission is discipleship and obedience to Christ.
-------------

"Yes, false professors are spoken of here, and God removes them as they don't (can't) bear fruit. I believe that 2 inevitable things happen when a person is truely regenerate..."

So you do think that false professors are branches of the true vine? That they are united to Christ in some way?

"Are false professors brethren?"

"No,but I won't always know when I am dealing with one, either."

You have avoided the issue raised by the text. The text indicates that it is possible for brethren to sin unto death. That is, to die physically through judgment.
------------------
James 5:20 is speaking of eternal death, and it is for the "sinner". These people are among the church, subject to hear the gospel while with us. If they wander they are in grave danger.
------------------

"Again, there are false brethren in the church. Some will manifest themselves more easily than others. Ultimately, God will weed them out."

James is not addressed to false brethren, it is addressed to born-again Christians.

The passage I quoted was talking about brethren being in danger of death.
-------------
No where in the word of God are christians refered to as "sinners" as we see in James 5:20.
-------------

"Is this true of false professors? God judges false professors so that they are not condemned with the world?"
----------------------
The false professors God removes in His own time and they wither."

Well doen for avoiding the question. The passage is talking about people who die as a result of God's judgment who are 'judged so that they are not condemned with the world.' Does not sound like unbelievers to me.
-----------
Nice try. You are importing the lesson from 1 Cor.11:32 over to here. It doesn't fit here. The "sinner" is an unsaved person in James 5:20.
---------------

"Your logic here is hard to follow. I do not look to my works for assurance. I look to the fact that I believe in Christ as my only hope of salvation."

If one can be assured of salvation on the strength of one's belief, does that mean you share Zane Hodges' view that the faith without works in James chapter 2 is the faith of a true believer?
-----------
No, I do not. The dead, demon-faith in James 2 does not save. It is as life-less and empty as when one says to that one in need "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled", while sending them away without necessary provisions.
---------------

Do you then agree that we do not need to test our faith to see if it is genuine?

I wish your theology was as great as your beautiful faith and assurance.

Oh, that more mena and women had your assurance of eternal life!

"I hold that the call to discipleship is one with the call to salvation."

So why is there so little mention of the call to discipleship in John's Gospel?
-------------

So little call to discipleship?! What about John 13:34-35,John 14:15,21, 15:1-20?
-------------
"Why does Jesus not tell the Samaritan woman a few words about the need to follow Him and the cost?"
---------
Why not read the whole gospel, not just part of it!
------------

"Quite the contrary. In all these cases repentance is the message preached to unbelievers. Where there is no repentance there is no real faith."

None of those verses tell us that faith is not faith unless it is accompanied by repentance.
--------------
A faith that does not repent and surrender is not saving faith. When I came to Christ I was told that Jesus was to be Lord as well as Savior. The day I fled to Christ I knew I had to live for Him from then on. That is the way I see life lived in the book of Acts. People were disciples, they lived sacrificial lives. I do not see one instance in Acts or anywhere else in the Bible where somebody possesed eternal life apart from discipleship.
------------

"When you were committing that sin, you needed to repent. However, while you were in that sinful situation, you had not lost your faith. You still trusted in Jesus Christ for eternal life, despite failing to repent of that sin for a month. This is a clear indication that repentance and faith are too different things.
--------------------
Actually, Matthew, I confessed my sin every time I exited the theater. There was remorse and sadness each and every time I fell. The point of anguish came when I realized that this falling into sin was going to continue unless God chastened me. That is why I told Him to break my leg if necessary. Iwanted to experience the joy of His salvation again. This does not prove any such thing. The sinner must hear the message of repentance, turning toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. - Acts 20:21.
-------------
I don't follow your logic here."

If faith is not genuine unless it includes repentance, how can a Christian who has not lost his faith ever need to repent?
----------
Where did this come up in the conversation? I was in sin. I never once doubted my salvation during that episode; but I needed to repent. I was grieving the indwelling Holy Spirit, disobeying the Word, bringing shame to my Savior and not going forward in conformity to Christ.
------------

You needed to repent while you were involved in that sin, yet you still had your faith that Christ had saved you.
--------
Correct!

Every Blessing in Christ

June 27, 2006 8:02 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Rose:
You say, "I think of my own testimony that Bluecollar reminds me of (you can read it on my sidebar). If I had no one to disciple me - no church - no one to spur me on and tell me more of this wonderful salvation and help me see that the Word of God had more for me... If there was nothing more than that which brought me to saving faith, I can see how I may have easily turned back into my own ways and not progressed."
-------------
Don't sell the New Covenant short. In it God says that He will put His laws in their mind and write them on their heart as well as not remembering sins and lawless deeds and being merciful to their unrighteousness. - Hebrews 8:10-13. Remember, throughout history, people have come to Christ and grown spiritually in far more adverse situations than either you or I could imagine. Think of the great Roman persecutions of over 300 years. How did christians grow under those circumstances? Look at the Thessalonion church. They came to Christ in "much affliction" and still growed spiritually. Note what Paul says of them in 1Thess. 1:2-3 "remembering..your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope...". He was commending this church, which was born and grown in affliction. Some commentators believe that Paul only spent 3 weeks with this church before he moved on.

June 27, 2006 8:24 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"Not everybody comes to Christ in repentance and faith, hence, false professors are born."

I certainly agree that there are false professors. These are people who either believe a false gospel of works or who have never believed at all.

A person can know whether he is one of those folks without looking at his works. You know that your own faith is genuine. Hence, as I said, you ahve no need to examine yourself to see if you are a real believer.

But you do need to examine yourself to see if your walk is consistent with your faith and your calling.

"The "sinner" is an unsaved person in James 5:20."

Where do you get that from? The person is one of 'ye', that is the same people who are born again (James 1:18). There is nothing in that verse to indicate that the person is unsaved or that the death is anything more than physical death. The Bible often refers to individuals as 'souls', hence there is no implication that spiritual death is spoken of.

"The object of the great Commission is discipleship and obedience to Christ."

I certainly hope that I do lead people to discipleship and obediance.

"No, I do not. The dead, demon-faith in James 2 does not save. It is as life-less and empty as when one says to that one in need "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled", while sending them away without necessary provisions."

The concept of a false faith is hard to square with your own experience. You know that your own faith is genuine.

If it happened that next year you fell into the sin of sending away a person who was in need, I am sure you would repent, but you would not conclude that your faith had been false all along.

It is not the that the faith of James 2 is deficent, the devils genuinely believe in God, but rather the deficency is in the lack of works. This will not have a grievous effect on one's sanctification and spiritual life.

James says "show me your faith without works and I will show you my faith with works." Here James is actually comparing his own faith with the erring believer. The deficency is not in the faith but in the lack of works.

"Why not read the whole gospel, not just part of it!"

Discipleship is certainly found in John, however a message of eternal life is presented which is isolated from the call to discipleship.

The logical conclusion of this is that discipleship is vey important, but it is not involved in appropriating eternal life.

--------------------
"Actually, Matthew, I confessed my sin every time I exited the theater. There was remorse and sadness each and every time I fell. The point of anguish came when I realized that this falling into sin was going to continue unless God chastened me. That is why I told Him to break my leg if necessary. Iwanted to experience the joy of His salvation again. This does not prove any such thing. The sinner must hear the message of repentance, turning toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. - Acts 20:21."

So had you lost your faith while you were in the movie watching the films?

"Where did this come up in the conversation? I was in sin. I never once doubted my salvation during that episode; but I needed to repent."

If faith and repentance are inseparable, you must have lost your faith during those times that you were in need of repentance.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 27, 2006 9:12 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew; Please do two things for me:

1)Please give me an example of how you would share the gospel with me if I was a lost sinner. What scriptures would you share? Please be thorough.

2) Please expound to me Titus 3:5. What is the "washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit"?

June 27, 2006 10:36 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

1. I would tell you of your sin, and God's utter hatred of it, probably citing Romans 3:10.

I would tell you of Christ's sacrifice for sinners, probably referring to Isaiah 53 and of His resurrection. And I would tell you that if you trust in Jesus Christ for eternal life you will receive eternal life (John 3:36).

2. The washing of regeneration involes the impartation of a new nature to the sinner through the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, whereby we are enabled to be conformed to Christ. This coincides with the reception of the new standing before God in justification which is what is alluded to in that verse.

The renewing of the Holy Ghost refers to the continuing ministry of the Holy Ghost in the believer.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 27, 2006 11:14 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew: Thank you so much for that. It is nearly identical to what I would share except I would also use Luke 24:47. I see repentance as a blessing because Jesus did come to turn us from our sins - Acts 3:26 "...God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities".

Thank you, Matthew

June 27, 2006 11:57 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Hi Mark.

Jazzycat,
I meant to comment on part of your comment before, but since you said a similar thing again, I will ask you about it now.

You said:

Let’s be precise here. I believe the F.G. position is that calling on Jesus in faith secures eternal life and then regeneration happens. So, the saving faith gives eternal life before regeneration occurs. Thus regeneration cannot impart something that has already been received. THIS BEGS THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: If regeneration comes after a person is already saved by faith, why is it necessary and what does it accomplish that adds to eternal life?

This sort of reminds me of a question that my husband has asked. Why not view it as happening simultaneously? I am not sure that it can be separated so neatly as you do.

Furthermore, look at what you have said here in particular:

If regeneration comes after a person is already saved by faith, why is it necessary and what does it accomplish that adds to eternal life?

I have wondered the same thing about the "regeneration preceeding faith" position. If a person is born-again with no faith, no interest in the things of God, why is faith necessary? Your own question cuts both ways - deeper on your side.

If people are given the new life, the life of God within them before having faith, then why is faith held up by the NT writers as so primary - salvation by faith!

Your position seems to be salvation by regeneration ... and your challenge could be more appropriately leveled at yourself -If a person is born-again with no faith, no interest in the things of God, why is faith necessary?
... there are myriads of Scripture that point to faith as God's way for salvation. It is the crown jewel of NT doctrine - coming to God by faith upon hearing the gospel.

June 27, 2006 5:49 PM

 
Blogger Doug E. said...

Mark you've been busy :-)

Great post!

Doug

June 27, 2006 6:20 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose,
That is an excellent question and I think grace, which in the reformed view is what causes the regeneration of God’s chosen which leads to the saving faith is where it really starts. Carrying that back even further you have predestination of the elect before the foundation of the world. I guess the order then would be predestination, external call, regeneration, effectual call, conversion (faith & repentance), justification, adoption, sanctification, glorification (at death). I think you answered the question perfectly when you said, “there are myriads of Scripture that point to faith as God's way for salvation.” Thanks, since we are in total agreement on that I would say that God also has ordained that regeneration will have enough power that it will never fail to produce the faith that leads to the justification. The sinner is not forced kicking and screaming against his will, but comes willingly (All that the Father gives me will come to me…..). In the reformed view a sinner will not come unless regenerated (Eph 2:4-5, John 3:3, 6-44, 6-65, Rom 9, etc.). So regeneration is absolutely essential and comes with much power. Therefore, my position is the same as the reformers, justification is by faith alone. Granted this is brought about by grace through regeneration. Somehow your testimony that I read seems to fit exactly what I have described and I know mine does. Salvation is a done deal at the moment of true saving faith. Justification follows immediately and as Jesus said none will be lost.

Now your simultaneously answer to the order of regeneration and faith sounds like semi-Calvinism maybe. It is sure being on the fence pretty good. I have answered your excellent question as best I could so would you please answer mine and explain to me your view on why regeneration is necessary and what does it accomplish. I have certainly given my view.

Jazzycat

June 28, 2006 12:37 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Hi Rose:

I admire you and your love for Jesus. I admire your thoughts here:
"... there are myriads of Scripture that point to faith as God's way for salvation. It is the crown jewel of NT doctrine - coming to God by faith upon hearing the gospel."
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Beautiful!

My question: Going into that moment when your friend looked you in the eye and told you that truth that Jesus died for you ( yes, I belive a calvinist can say that with a sinner, and so does Spurgeon) you testified of certain things that had turned you off to Christ prior to that; why the change? What about that moment was so different? Weren't you an agnostic prior to this event? Yet, suddenly, you receive that most beautiful message with all meekness, and are "changed from the inside out". Why the change in disposition? You went from a place of "blantant sin" to awe of the Savior, why? Why don't other people in simular circumsatances do the same, but rather , go to their grave not receiving that same beautiful message with the same meekness?

By contrast, there was a young man in the news last month that lived in the middle east who came to Christ knowing full well that it would cost him his life. Yet, he confessed Christ any way, even though doing such was considered a capital crime in that country. What brought him to that moment, staring death in the eye, and, yet, he confesses Christ? I am interested in your thoughts.

June 28, 2006 7:32 AM

 

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