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].

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Free Grace Theology -- The Frustrated Confusion Continues...

(Note: Due to my wife's grandmother's mishap, both the quality and the length of this post was not what I had intended, although I did want to continue on with my series. What follows is not an actual critique, but rather the frustration brought out by reading the extreme views of Robert N. Wilkin.)


Those from the Free Grace perspective suggest that sin can dominate a believer--with no time limit attached.
--Bob Wilkin, A Free Gracer

7 Little children, let no one deceive you! The one who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works. 9 Everyone who has been born of God does not sin, because His seed remains in him; he is not able to sin, because he has been born of God. 10 This is how God’s children—and the Devil’s children—are made evident.
--1 John 3:7-10, The Infallible, Inerrant written word of God, NOT a Free Gracer


Although no reader here will know of it, this that you are reading is actually the fourth try of this article – and might be the fifth by morning posting. Writing about the confusions and dualities I see within Free Grace theology has not been an easy thing.

For instance, look at the Bob Wilkin quote above. He would affirm a new nature, but in saying that a believer can be dominated by sin without limit is to deny the very “new nature” he claims to believe in. It is making a severe docetic distinction between spirit and flesh. Why do I say that? Because Free Grace theology creates a very real dichotomy between the new nature and the life of a believer. A person may be born again, born from above, born of God, and yet that new life just may or may not have any impact on their life – for an unlimited amount of time! How can any Free Gracer be blind to that most dangerous and heretical statement made by Bob Wilkin?

Consider an example of what that is conveying:

Imagine a person living in ancient times. Not only do they consider Caesar to be a divine Lord, but are also a follower of, say, Venus, or DIONYSUS, because it isn’t the ritual sex they enjoy, just the fellowship (you know, kind of like those guys who reads Playboy for the articles). According to Bob Wilkin, Free Grace theology would teach that sin may dominate the life of the believer for an unlimited period of time, that the above person could claim conversion to Christ and yet continue to live in that wickedness for … well… for an unlimited period of time, and we are to consider them to be true believers even if that unlimited period of time is life long!

Will there be backtracking now? Yet I ask, how can such a conclusion be denied? Will it be: “The new nature is perfect, and none of those sins he would commit is an expression of that new nature.” That is the very epitome of a docetic tenant which taught a dichotomy between the spirit and the flesh. Saying that the new nature can never be dominated by sin but that the believer can is to separate a person from their nature. That would be no different from saying that a person, dead in sin, will not, by necessity, reflect that dead in sin nature. If it is true for the one, it is true for the other.

Consider the above imaginary example. It has basis in real life:

8 For the Lord’s message rang out from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place that your faith[4] in God has gone out, so we don’t need to say anything. 9 For they themselves report about us what kind of reception we had from you: how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
1 Thess. 1:8-10

According to Free Grace theology, the bottom line, in terms of the believer being dominated by sin, is that you can be converted without really having conversion. And that is tragic. Praise God that the believers described in this 1 Thess. passage did not know anything of such nonsense.

Labels:

152 Comments:

Blogger mark pierson said...

"7 Little children, let no one deceive you! The one who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works. 9 Everyone who has been born of God does not sin, because His seed remains in him; he is not able to sin, because he has been born of God. 10 This is how God’s children—and the Devil’s children—are made evident.
--1 John 3:7-10, The Infallible, Inerrant written word of God, NOT a Free Gracer"

I was watching some interaction at "The Moor" between a Free Gracer (FG) and a Reformed believer (RB). The discussion was running along the same lines as your post. The RB pointed the FG to that verse mentioned above, hoping to get the FG acknowledge its existance. To my surprise the FG DID acknowledge that verse, only to say that a person's new nature would never sin, but that person could sin. My jaw dropped. Here they were discussing 1 John, a book written against gnosticism, and the FG displayed that very tendency in her theology, as if 1 John was not written to combat that heresy.

June 18, 2007 7:22 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

There is power in the blood.

I have asked FGracers several times the following question...
If a person is saved and justified before regeneration (their view) and regeneration fails to produce any godliness or fruit, why in their view is regeneration (being born again) necessary?

The deny it is needed for justification and deny that it will necessarily be effective in changing a person, but they agree with Jesus that one must be born again.

Why must one be born again if nothing is accomplished by the process?

Their only option is to deny God's power and affirm that the Holy Spirit does his best, but fails.
wayne

June 18, 2007 7:49 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Why must one be born again if nothing is accomplished by the process?

Wayne,
This is a very good question. I would like to see a person who holds to Free Grace answer it.

I also really have to wonder why Jesus and John spoke about repentance from the very beginning if it weren't necessary.

I don't know how there can even be a 'conversion' (new spiritual birth) without repentance. It just doesn't make sense, even to the intellect. It's vital to new birth, I believe.

June 18, 2007 8:38 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I think this 'nonsense' makes perfect sense.

June 18, 2007 8:52 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Matthew, please explain yourself.

June 18, 2007 10:03 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Doug and Mark,
Please forgive this quick aside:
Matthew,
I want to let you know that I think you're right about John 3:36b. Having given it more thought and looking into other versions of Scripture translation, I agree with you. In context, the better translation read: "believe" rather than "obey."
I tried to find an email address for you, but couldn't find one on your profile or your various blogs. I was going to put this at the end of the post comments that had this thread, but was concerned that you wouldn't see it there.
This said, I do think repentance and obedience are crucial and vital (in the truest sense of the word). I still like the ESV as well, but am considering migrating over to the NASU.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming...
:-)

June 18, 2007 10:23 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Collapse comments



"7 Little children, let no one deceive you! The one who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning."

Clearly this verse is meant to contrast the walk of a believer and that of a gnostic (false teacher, non believer).

June 18, 2007 10:42 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

The origins of each is in view: One born of God, the other unregenerate.

June 18, 2007 10:44 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

It doesn't seem worth arguing over. All Bob Wilkin's quote says is that it *CAN* happen. As he said in the quotes that you posted a couple of days ago, it probably won't.

Either way, conversion = converted from hell-bound to being saved from hell. Big change. BIG CHANGE! Don't diminish that.

June 18, 2007 2:28 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Susan,
That sounded so reasonable!

June 18, 2007 2:30 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

What you said to Matthew!

June 18, 2007 2:30 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Hi, Rose.
Thanks.
It's true, too.
I wanted to get in touch with Matthew to let him know, because I figured no one's reading back at that old post.
Several things brought me to that conclusion, one of which was our pastor noting that the Greek word "cosmos" (used in John 3:16, about which I posted at my 'other' blog) has eight different meanings, or applications rather. And I thought, hmm... perhaps one word isn't necessarily loaded with several meanings, as I was presuming 'believe' and its alternate translation of 'obey' in the Strong's Greek dictionary to mean.
I don't think 'world' means the same thing in different places of Scripture, so 'believe' with respect to 'obey' may not either. That said, I do think that words can have nuances, such as:
"I believe I can fly on this plane to Israel," but unless I am willing to actually set foot on the plane and let it lift me off the air, do I really 'believe' it?
Make sense?
So I do think that some words are distinctly used in certain contexts and in others, there may be nuance.
That, combined with the fact that languages change over time, make it difficult to know for certain the author's original intent.
Anyway, thanks.

June 18, 2007 2:42 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, read some Zane Hodges books and you will be amazed the sense he makes.

June 18, 2007 3:15 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Susan, I am glad you can see that.

It is so important that we are willing to listen to each other and engage in a reasonable way.

June 18, 2007 3:16 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose,
You said....All Bob Wilkin's quote says is that it *CAN* happen. As he said in the quotes that you posted a couple of days ago, it probably won't.


If something can happen, then the theological principle has been established and will apply even if it happens to many. This view of Wilkins will be great news for anyone that would like to indulge their sinful nature. If the doctrine is erroneous, then the piper will have to paid with one’s soul.
Wayne

June 18, 2007 3:32 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Yes, but all the elect will be saved anyways, Jazzy, so don't fret. None of them will pay for anything with their soul. :~)

June 18, 2007 3:43 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose,
No, No, No, we are to fret as it were. God uses men as the means to gather the elect. IOW men using preferably sound doctrine are used by God to gather the elect.

The view you just related is the hyper-Calvinist view that is very unbiblical and I have never held this view. The N.T. is full of passages to evangelize, make disciples, teach sound doctrine, refute those who don’t and so on.

Nice try, though.
wayne

June 18, 2007 4:02 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Wayne, I am jusy trying to comfort you with the logical conclusion of your doctrines. :~)

June 18, 2007 4:04 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

It is so important that we are willing to listen to each other and engage in a reasonable way.

Matthew,
I agree wholeheartedly.
I felt bad after I realized that I was most likely in error on that verse, when you had kindly asked me to think about the context of the first part of that verse and the word 'believe' used there.
Then I stubbornly planted a flag on the hill of Strong's Greek dictionary, without thoughtful consideration.
I think I did so a bit foolishly, so it was important for me to let you know that I do think I was in error there.
I haven't changed my views doctrinally, but I agree with you that it's good to discuss our differences in an atmosphere of mutual respect and fair consideration.

June 18, 2007 4:15 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose,
Thanks. While what you said is true, it does not mean that we should not be active and involved in envangelism, sound doctrine, etc. God has ordained the means to achieve his end. Thus, while we are comforted in God's providence and sovereignty, we are to actively be a part of the body of Chirst and be about his business rather than taking the hyper-Calvinist approach. I'm not fussing, but just wanted to make that point.
wayne

June 18, 2007 5:06 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Rose,

Read the article the quote came from. He is holding that out as a reality that can happen. Does he affirm that once saved, a christian can NOT have his life dominated by sin? The answer to that is no. Does he affirm that ***ALL*** believers are guarenteed Christian fruit? No. He doesn't guarentee any Christian anything. Wilkin holds the "CAN" out as a true possibility.

"Either way, conversion = converted from hell-bound to being saved from hell. Big change. BIG CHANGE! Don't diminish that."


And yet redemption is so much more than just saving someone from Hell. It is a living, vital union with the Son of God, something that Free Grace theology plays down just about every day. It is a reconcilliation with the one true supreme God-head of the universe, something Free Grace theology diminishes everyday.

June 18, 2007 5:11 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Mark,

"To my surprise the FG DID acknowledge that verse, only to say that a person's new nature would never sin, but that person could sin. My jaw dropped."

Mine would have too. Notice verse 10, it has a very, for lack of a better term, practical purpose.

June 18, 2007 6:34 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

It was timely in my morning reading that this should present itself.
From Sproul's "The Last Days' According to Jesus," p 121, he quotes the Jewish historian Josephus (from the latter's Book 5):
"Now even a man, if he be but a good man, will fly from an impure house, and will hate those that are in it; and do you persuade yourselves that God will abide with you in your iniquities, who sees all secret things, and hears what is kept most private!"

June 18, 2007 10:51 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Rose,
In the "Wondering about Repentance" post, you commented that your husband is Calvinist.
Does he not teach your children about God because "all the elect will be saved anyways...so don't fret" and that's "the logical conclusion of [his] doctrines"?

June 18, 2007 11:02 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose says "Either way, conversion = converted from hell-bound to being saved from hell. Big change. BIG CHANGE! Don't diminish that."

When considering the whole of the Bible, especially Hebrews 12:22-24 we see the totallity of the Christian experience here. I wish to focus in on 12:24 - to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant...
-
According to this verse every one coming to Christ encounters Him as the Mediator of the new cov (NC). Now, if we look back to the earlier chapters of Hebrews, 8-10, we see that the NC is a better covenant which was established on better promises. The old cov. (OC) did not give weak failing human flesh the power to live it out. The NC, on the other hand, has the promise of God that He will put His laws in people's minds and write them on their hearts and that all (those who are part of that NC) will know Him.

Further study of the NC will lead you to Ezek. 36:25-27 where we see the Holy Spirit dwelling within NC people Who will move them to walk in God's ways. This is key. The NC experience is hinged on that, the indwelling Holy Spirit and His changing of the affections of people in the NC.

See also Eph. 2:11-22 to see where Gentiles definitely do fit into the picture here.

June 19, 2007 7:30 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose,my friend, you have just illustrated a point I have been trying to establish for quite a while here: that system severs justification from the rest of the salvation experience as God intended it. Over time you'll discover that that position is unique to FGT only. See how many throughout history have held that view.

June 19, 2007 7:37 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Mark, read some Zane Hodges books and you will be amazed the sense he makes.

June 18, 2007 3:15 PM "

Matthew, I was inviting YOU to do so here, my friend.

Matthew, you are part of my regular prayers. I care about your welfare, so therefore I pray for you.

June 19, 2007 7:44 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, I appreciate your prayers.

Have you not read enough of my comments to understand my position?

I was making a very general, non-specific point.

June 19, 2007 9:07 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

" Rose~ said...
Yes, but all the elect will be saved anyways, Jazzy, so don't fret. None of them will pay for anything with their soul. :~)

June 18, 2007 3:43 PM "

Oh, Rose, and you started to do so well the other day when you attempted to articulate Wayne's position back to him. There was so much hope. I was so glad to see that you were at least trying to understand. Now this. :-(

June 19, 2007 9:15 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

" Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
Mark, I appreciate your prayers.

Have you not read enough of my comments to understand my position?

I was making a very general, non-specific point.

June 19, 2007 9:07 AM"

I was hoping to see you comment on this post from your position.

June 19, 2007 9:24 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Mark
I was just being a little sassy. No harm meant.

June 19, 2007 9:56 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

I'm by no means a FG'er, but I'm hard-pressed to place a "time limit" on how long any given person can/will remain in sin. God deals with us individually, in His time, for His glory.

I have to wonder what the consensus would have been on, say, my husband, who was saved at 15 and for a 25-yr period completely ran from God. Twelve years ago, God got hold of him, changed his heart, gave him the grace to repent and follow Him, and he's been keeping the faith ever since. But for that 25 years, it didn't "look like" he was saved. He will tell you, though, that many, many times during that period, he KNEW God was there, chipping away at his rebellious heart.

Or, what judgment would people have made on me several years back, when I engaged in willfull sin for a shorter period of time. I'm guessing it didn't "look like" I was saved either.

So what to do?

When our brothers or sisters have gone astray, we pray for them. Sometimes we have no other alternative other than to beg God for His mercy. We walk alongside them to the best of our ability, and to the extent they will allow it.

We deceive ourselves if we say we have no sin.

I don't disagree with my reformed friends here, not at all. I just think we must be careful with our hard line stances. (And this is for myself as well.) We have to remember the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit is at play in the hearts and lives of His children.

June 19, 2007 10:13 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Rose,
Can you see how "just being a little sassy" doesn't translate well via computer communication?
I think what you did is more mockery than jest.
Especially when by your own admition your husband is Calvinist. It's hard for me to understand your lack of understanding in these basic doctrinal matters and why Calvinists would take God's words throughout the body of Scripture to make disciples of all nations and to preach the gospel.
It's a gross misrepresentation to imply that the logical conclusion of the doctrines we hold mean that God's going to save the elect anyway, so why worry?
I know you think you were just making a joke, but I don't think any of us here take the salvation of others so lightly as you portrayed it.
I think if someone had come on any of your websites and joked about the matters of Scripture you hold dear in the same manner, I'm not sure you'd receive it any differently.

June 19, 2007 10:29 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Ach. Doing two things at once rarely works. I'm feeding my daughter while typing.
This *should* read:
"It's hard for me to understand your lack of understanding in these basic doctrinal matters and why Calvinists would take God's words seriouslythroughout the body of Scripture to make disciples of all nations and to preach the gospel.
It's a gross misrepresentation to imply that the logical conclusion of the doctrines we hold dearmean that God's going to save the elect anyway, so why worry?

June 19, 2007 10:31 AM

 
Blogger Scribe said...

God deals with us individually, in His time, for His glory.

Thank you for bringing this out Gayla...God does deal with us as individuals...and in His time and for His glory doth He gather His wayward sheep.

I have to wonder what the consensus would have been on, say, my husband, who was saved at 15 and for a 25-yr period completely ran from God. Twelve years ago, God got hold of him, changed his heart, gave him the grace to repent and follow Him, and he's been keeping the faith ever since. But for that 25 years, it didn't "look like" he was saved. He will tell you, though, that many, many times during that period, he KNEW God was there, chipping away at his rebellious heart.

I was a "prodigal" for 4 yrs, and twas Mercy that drew this rebel into final submission--(What wonderous love is this, O my soul...?) To God be the glory!!

June 19, 2007 10:32 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Susan,
You're right - internet communication can be tough.

Actually, I thought Wayne got that I was teasing when he said "nice try" ( I smiled when I read "nice try"). We have gone round and round about this argument, Wayne and I. I was feeling so comfortable over here.

My husband is a Calvinist of a different stripe. (I keep telling him that he is not really a Calvinist, but he insistes he is). He allows a lot more room for the tension between the free will of man (which he recognizes) and the sovereignty of God. Actually, he would say, as I, that God has sovereignly given man a choice to receive Him. We have Calvinist/Non-Calvinist harmony in our home. :~)
I hope you are having a blessed day, Susan. Sorry if I offended.

June 19, 2007 10:39 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose, go on and be comfortable here, friend.

June 19, 2007 11:10 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

No offense taken, Rose.
Thanks for taking the time to explain it.
Your husband would probably agree with Norm Geisler's book Chosen But Free.
Scribe,
Amen. We must all remember that when dealing with people, especially loved ones who, as viewed by their walk and talk, may as yet be unsaved, yet who knows the mind and heart of the Lord with respect to them? And to us, as He sanctifies us daily. Perhaps He is growing us with respect to them.

June 19, 2007 11:21 AM

 
Anonymous danny said...

Susan, I'm glad that you now agree with Matthew and I on John 3:36.

Doug, did you stop to think that 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10 was addressing a faithful church? The Thessalonians as a whole were continuing in the faith, serving God from the very beginning. 1 and 2 Thessalonians deal with a faithful church. The Corinthian church, on the other hand, was knee-deep in carnality. No one in Thessalonica gave Paul grief. But the Corinthians were constantly giving Paul grief. Though many repented in 2 Corinthians, the problems still continued. 2 Corinthians 13 ends up with some of the Corinthians questioning Paul's apostleship.

Back in 1 Corinthians, Paul was able to tell them they were washed, justified, and sanctified despite all their fornication and uncleanness. Doug, many of those Christians died as a result of drunkenness in the Church. What is your answer for 1 Corinthians 11:30? What about Revelation 2-3 Doug? Of the seven churches, some were faithful. Some tolerated pagan worship and sexual immorality. All were Christ's church. Don't read the idea of "spurious" believers into Rev 2-3. It's not there. Again, give an answer about 1 Corinthians 11:30.

June 19, 2007 4:14 PM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

Gojira,

Would you like Wilkin's email so that you can ask him your question personally?

If you told me you would address him with politeness, courtesy, and graciousness, I would be happy to forward it to you. I that his answer would be satisfactory to quench the utter dissonance that has been created in your head by the consideration of FG ;)

Antonio

June 19, 2007 5:17 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Danny,

"Doug, did you stop to think that 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10 was addressing a faithful church?"

Of course they were faithful, but the passage is talking about their initial conversion.

"The Corinthian church, on the other hand, was knee-deep in carnality."

Indeed, but that is not the issue. The issue is with Wilkin's quote that would deny a real conversion. Did the Cor. have some problems? Of course they did. They were immature in their spiritual walk. However, if you are wanting to deny any change in them at all, I am afraid that you really do not have a point. I am not saying that to be mean, by the way.

"Back in 1 Corinthians, Paul was able to tell them they were washed, justified, and sanctified despite all their fornication and uncleanness."

You will also note that Paul, in describing the sins of the culture noted that such ***were***some of you. If they were fully still acting in that manner, then a past tense indicitive pointing to a break would have been pointless. You also state "despite all their fornication" It would appear that you are making an assumption. There was one person sleeping with his father's wife, whom Paul told to put out of the church. I do not see "all their fornication" anywhere in the text as if there was a wide spead problem. Your phrase can be taken as misleading. The passage is also talking about someone who is called by the name brother. That is ambigious. However, let's for the sake of argument say that this person was a true believer. That doesn't mean that all of his Christian life was spiritually immature, but just that one area. Even Ryrie concedes to that in relation to the extent of carnality.

" Though many repented in 2 Corinthians, the problems still continued."

Indeed. And that proves the point of the post, which, by the way, was not carnality, but about Wilkin saying that sin can dominate the life of a believer all the way until death with absolutely no change at all ever in that person.

"Doug, many of those Christians died as a result of drunkenness in the Church. What is your answer for 1 Corinthians 11:30?"

That it doesn't establish anything, unless you are wanting to agrue that they were sinful in all areas of their life. Does God bring discipline in the life of a ***believer***? Yes, and that has nothing to do with the question at hand since that is the implication of the position you are arguing against. It is, however, a denial on the Free Grace part since there can be no guarentees.

"Though many repented in 2 Corinthians, the problems still continued. 2 Corinthians 13 ends up with some of the Corinthians questioning Paul's apostleship."

Sorry, I missed this one. Yes, that was due to self styled super apostles, and of course it would be debatable what Paul told them to test, which, by the way, is not the topic. To defend the topic you are going to have to shown that sin had dominated all areas of their life, otherwise you are not arguing the subject.

"What about Revelation 2-3 Doug? Of the seven churches, some were faithful.Some tolerated pagan worship and sexual immorality. "

Actually two received received no negative comments. Can you show that everyone in those churches were saved? If you can actually show that, then you could actually show if all the members of your church is saved. But then again, you should not even be questioning the salvation of anyone in your church, since it is Christ's church. Nor should you be ever questioning the salvation of anyone in any church, since it is Christ's church. Do you see the problem I am getting at, Danny? Regardless, to stay on topic and not argue against Wilkin (which, interestingly enough, you have been doing) you are going to have to show that the Christians in those churches were fully taken over in every area of there lives. I am also not too sure where you are wanting to say they, the totality of each church, were involvd in pagan worship and fornication. The fornication mentioned in Thyatira would be spiritual, not necessitating literal, as the spiritual fits the context better. Anyway, you would need to establish first that there were no unsaved in any of those churches who had identified themselves with Christ and were self deceived. do you believe that the church has false teachers, Danny? Do you believe that all of those false teachers are saved? If you answer no, then you have just refuted yourself. If you answer yes, then you would need to establish that false teachers on avarage are saved.

"Don't read the idea of "spurious" believers..."

Why not? The essence of what that phrase means is held to in Free Grace theology just as much as it is in Calvinism.

June 19, 2007 5:39 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Hi Gayla,

It isn't a hard line stance. Nor is it really a time related isue. The issue had to do with conversion (which broadly brings in the the subject of the new birth, faith justification, and repentance). Nor is the issue about perfection. That being so, I couldn't say anything about your husband. I do know that if his sins would have warrneted church discipline, and there was no repentance, the scriptural command is to put that one out of the church. I do not say that to make you angry, but just to say that is the scriptural command. Like I said, I don't know your husband, or really anything involved. I will say, in referance to analogy, that sheep like to wonder the sheepfold, but a perfect Sheperd doesn't let that sheep leave. That rod and staff is used to bring wondering sheep closer just as it is use to pop the predator away. But how far a sheep wonders is always up to the sheperd's judgment. The issue, though, is that one person is saying (Wilkin), have all those things that accompany salvation happen, and yet still be dominated by sin from the first moment of the Christian life until death. Saying that totally seperates the new birth, being given a new heart, from the person. That is claiming conversion without being converted. Can a person backslide, sin, and be an all out bigger jerk than myself? Oh yes. But Hebrews also says that God disciplines every child He receives, and that if a person is without that discipline, then they are not true children of His. If a person can go out and just sin and sin and sin, and there is no conviction and no discipline, then there just might not be any sonship. God in His goodness and mercy saves us, gives us a real new life, a new heart. What He does not do in giving new life, a new heart, is to give birth to a still born.

June 19, 2007 5:45 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Antonio,

"I that his answer would be satisfactory to quench the utter dissonance that has been created in your head by the consideration of FG ;)"

Just the extreme views. I highly doubt you would ever hear me mention, say, Charlie Bing, even after Robbie has crammed this

The Warning in Colossians 1:21–23 (January 2007)
down my throat everyday for the past two weeks. Ever since he found out it was available for download at The DTS site he had been going, "go ahead an answer it if you can, big boy!" I hope you are proud of the monster you created! And whatever it was in that email you sent him, that he still will not let me read! Gee, thanks man! :-)

I'll get with you about the email.

June 19, 2007 6:01 PM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

Hey Doug,

this is a bit of hit and miss, but I provide it here. It was a comment I made to Moorhead some time ago. It may have some practicality here. I dunno. You can judge.

Dort:

"By such enormous sins, however, they very highly offend God, incur a deadly guilt, grieve the Holy Spirit, interrupt the exercise of faith..."?

I don't know how you would interpret "interrupt the exercise of faith" but it seems to me that the writers meant that such a man loses his faith (albeit they say temporarily, but they do not specify ANY objective standard of time by which is allowable and still be saved or shows that one is reprobate).

“lost his or her faith”

The first implication that comes to mind is that they have to first have faith in order to lose it. But if it was a false faith, then how can it be deemed LOSING "faith"? You have to have something before you can lose it. Nevertheless, are you saying that a Christian's faith is linnear without any preforations whatsover, Jonathan? If there is a preforation, they just CAN'T be regenerate? You either can say that you believe that faith can never fail in the truly born again Christian, or you must concede that loss of faith (even for a temporary, underterimed amount of time) is possible in a Christian.

Jonathan, it is impossible for a Christian, (even for at least a while in your belief) to lose his or her faith? Is this impossible in your theology? I don't think if you believe this that you would have any good Scriptural support, nor would experience bear this out.

“cease to name the name of Christ, and may even cease to confess Christianity”

Is this another one of those "there is no way possible that you can do this and be saved" sins?

I fail to see this "vast" difference you see!

Sin is sin is sin. Their are heinous sins, and Christians can commit them. These one's you enumerate for us, that Zane Hodges discusses are sins that truly born again Christians can commit.

Do you deny this?

I will leave with Westminster:

"Nevertheless, they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation [wow, what exactly does this mean!? i digress...], fall into grievous sins...hav[ing] their hearts hardened [!!]"

The above mentioned sins that you list (that you say show that the regenerate person can in no way commit), would they not fall under the category of "grievous sin" (westminster) and "enormous sins"(Dort)?

Dort:

"...converts are not always so influenced and actuated by the Spirit of God..."

"When these [prayer and watchfulness] are neglected, they are not only liable to be drawn into great and heinous sins, by Satan, the world and the flesh, but sometimes the righteous permission of God actually fall into these evils."

"By such enormous sins, however, they very highly offend God, incur a deadly guilt, grieve the Holy Spirit, interrupt the exercise of faith, very grievously wound their consciences, and sometimes lose the sense of God's favor..."

"...in these falls He preserves in them the incorruptible seed of regeneration..."

"...lest by abusing his fatherly kindness, God should turn away his gracious countenance from them, to behold which is to the godly dearer than life: the withdrawing whereof is more bitter than death, and they in consequence hereof should fall into more grievous torments of conscience."

The only difference between Zane Hodges and Dort, is that Dort (and Westminster) have no OBJECTIVE time standards by which a backslider (whose faith is "interupted", read "lost for a time") can remain backslidden and still be saved.

They just can't die that way. Well, that leaves a whole lot of room for time during the interim, does it not!?

And why can't they die that way? You mean, they can go for some unspecified amount of time in a relationship with other "gods" (whatever they may be), who says not years, but they just cannot die that way!? Yet on their death bed, they just need repent, showing that they were truly elect?

This is not functionally different than Free Grace theology, in that the only difference is that we say that a true Christian can die that way, either because his sin is full grown (see James 1:14, 15) or because of the temporal displeasure of God whereby death is a punitive action for their unfaithfulness.

Quite possibly they die because of the righteous wrath of God against their unfaithfulness.

Take Solomon for instance. Only speculation can maintain that he died repentant. There is no indication in Chron or Kings that he repented. But HE WORSHIPPED OTHER GODS, LEAVING THE LORD GOD. His heart was turned to other Gods and was not loyal to the Lord.

We can look back and say with certainty that he is in heaven, no?

The gentlemen that Zane speaks about is like a Solomon.

It is Free Grace theology that says we can give NOONE assurance of their salvation. It is not our duty nor is it wise. We only point people to where they can gain certain assurance of eternal life, the objective Word of God; the promises of Christ.

Reformed people seem to me (and to anyone else as well?) to be very quick to judge someone else unsaved. "He must not be saved because (you fill in the blank)".

This is not our job! There is just to much judgmental stuff going around concerning this subject. Now open sin is another matter, unrepentance is another matter, but telling someone they are not saved, judging someone unsaved because of sin, what an endless regress and slippery slope that is!

June 20, 2007 12:31 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Reformed people seem to me (and to anyone else as well?) to be very quick to judge someone else unsaved. "He must not be saved because (you fill in the blank)".

I have never heard nor read any Reformed person doing this. Rather, I read in Reformed theology that we were created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:10) I think you twist Reformed theology to support your own view of it as works-salvation.

June 20, 2007 12:48 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Antonio, I will have to agree with Susan's assesment of your critque of Calvinism here. You often portray us as judemental people, projecting us as ones who are quick to try to decide who is saved and who is not. Where do you get your information? I think that you are very misinformed and misguided in your portrayal of Calvinism.

I have seen many people carefully and patiently correct you on these matters; and yet, you default back to all of your old arguments, that despite all the many times that people have tried to steer you into a proper understanding of said Calvinism.

I have no personal bad feelings for you. I just think that you really must start listening to Calvinists when they, who actually know what they're talking about, try to inform your views on Calvinism.

-Mark

June 20, 2007 1:06 PM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

With due respect,

It is the Calvinists who say who is and who isn't saved.

If they don't express love for God or the brethren

They CAN'T be saved

If they have lost their faith

They CAN'T be saved

If they fall into bouts of grievious sin

They MAY NOT be TRULY saved

If they are hardened and unrepentant

They MAY HAVE ONLY shown a SPURIOUS faith

The list can go on and on. YOU HEAR THIS STUFF ALL THE TIME from Reformed folks.

They have a notion of what TRUE Christians look like, and if they fall short of that mark, their salvation is put into question.

"They can't possibly be saved."

"Maybe they truly weren't born again."

"They only had a spurious faith."

"You will know them by their fruits!" [which the Tradidionalists take to be WORKS]

You guys are not honest about the beliefs of Reformed theology, nor its doctrine. There is a major tendency on their part to cast aspersions on people's "profession of faith" when their outward appearance does not "make the grade."

To move on. How come Susan and Mark didn't comment on the bulk of the material I presented in my last comment, but merely zeroed in on my last statements?

What say you of Dort and Westminster? How is what they provide in their credo any different than FG theology except for the insistence that at some time before death they will repent?

Doug has scoffed at Bob Wilkin's comment:

"Those from the Free Grace perspective suggest that sin can dominate a believer--with no time limit attached."

But the only difference for Dort and Westminster is that God at some point will call them inevitably back to repentance. And here is there is no time limit attached except some point before death.

I have been asked the question before, by Doug E.

""Do you believe that if a person has faith then later completely denied that faith, and dies in that state, do you believe that person will be in heaven eternally?"

This question is so common among so many Christians. However, not much has been written in the way of showing some presuppositions behind the question.

What goes these days by the name of perseverance is actually the exact opposite of the dictionary definition #1 in Webster's Third International: "continued or steadfast pursuit or prosecution of an undertaking or aim." doug e.'s question is not about perseverance in the dictionary sense, but about what state one dies in.

There are two or three strange and unfortunate twists in the use of the term perseverance of the saints since 1647. Since doug e's question doesn't use the word here, but specifically refers to the state one dies in, it is actually helpful, since he makes explicit what he is talking about -- the state one dies in.

Don't you think it is strange, given the definition above, that people often think that a saint has "persevered" in the Westminister sense if, no matter what happens until that moment, the person is faithful to Christ at the time of death? This is a changing of "be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life [a reward to already saved individuals] (Rev 2:10)" to "be faithful at death, and I will give you the crown of life.[which is the reward of eternal salvation itself!" THAT IS NOT WHAT THE VERSE SAYS! For many people who think they are defending the perseverance of the saints in some kind of Calvinist sense, the "continued" part doesn't matter, but the final moment is what matters. For these same people, the "steadfast pursuit" of something determines nothing. Only the final moment determines the destiny.

The soteriological view that one's salvation corresponds exactly to how faithful one is at death should be given a special name, and that name should not be perseverance of the saints, because perseverance, in that view, is precisely what means nothing in light of one's final moments.

In another forum I have wanted to call this with a name that is not too pejorative, while at the same time showing the irony of it: it is the "you're only as good as your last at-bat" theology.

Pardon to those who don't know the baseball meaning of "at-bat." It's basically a way of saying that this view teaches that a person's destiny corresponds exactly to what faithfulness to Christ exists at the end of life. Perseverance, whether of years or even hours, has nothing to do with it.

Antonio

June 20, 2007 5:05 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Antonio,

"It is the Calvinists who say who is and who isn't saved."

Uh huh.....suuuuuuuure. Free Gracers never do anything like that! Well, as long as the person has also believed in eternal security at the point of initial faith and has had assurance at that same initial point of faith. I have seen plenty of Free Gracers say who is saved and who isn't.

June 20, 2007 8:14 PM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 20, 2007 8:29 PM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

Hey Doug,

We [FG] consider anyone who has believed the promise of Christ in such passages as John 3:16; 5:24; 6:35-40; 6:47; and 11:25-26 to be saved.

Otherwise they are unsaved. That's the gospel.

John 3:36
36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life
NKJV

Unlike our Calvinist counterparts, we don't fruit inspect the outward appearance of man and deem one saved or unsaved by such considerations.

Now THAT's the difference!

I expect to hear a comment from you, Susan, and Mark that addresses my specific commenting on the claims of your OP [opening post]. The bulk of my comments have remained un-responded to in lieu of my statement that Traditionalists are overwhelmingly on record as casting aspersions on the salvation of others who have not "made the grade", conforming to the subjective standards imposed upon them by Reformed doctrine.

Antonio

June 20, 2007 8:32 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

"We [FG] consider anyone who has believed the promise of Christ in such passages as John 3:16; 5:24; 6:35-40; 6:47; and 11:25-26 to be saved."

Come on Antonio, you know you have argued certain things about eternal security and assurance. Let's test for consistancy: what if a person believed "such passages as John 3:16; 5:24; 6:35-40; 6:47; and 11:25-26" but never held to eternal security, nor had, at the initial point of faith, any subjective assurance. Is that person saved?

June 20, 2007 9:27 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Doug makes a good point. It seems you have asserted faith plus assurance on many occasions.

Antonio said…..
We [FG] consider anyone who has believed the promise of Christ in such passages as John 3:16; 5:24; 6:35-40; 6:47; and 11:25-26 to be saved.

We also believe sinners that believe what those verses teach are saved.

Antonio said….
Unlike our Calvinist counterparts, we don't fruit inspect the outward appearance of man and deem one saved or unsaved by such considerations.

We don’t fruit inspect either. You have been corrected many times for making that false charge. Jesus knows his sheep and they know him (John 10:14). We affirm that there is power in regeneration and sanctification (different degrees) will occur in believers over time. The quote of Wilkin in this post denies many plain scripture passages such as Romans 8:1-12, 1 John, Heb. 12:14, John 17, 2 Cor 5:17, and many more.

Antonio said….
Traditionalists are overwhelmingly on record as casting aspersions on the salvation of others who have not "made the grade", conforming to the subjective standards imposed upon them by Reformed doctrine.

That is a very general accusation. Are you talking about a traditionalist saying something like, “strive for holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” The writer of Hebrews also said that.

June 20, 2007 9:51 PM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

Doug,

You cannot believe those verses and at the same time not believe you are eternally secure. It is impossible. If you believe those verses, you are certain you are eternally secure.

John 3:16
"shall not perish"

John 5:24
"has ETERNAL life, and WILL NOT come into judgment, but has already passed from death unto life"

John 6:35
"shall never hunger"
"shall never thirst"

John 6:37
"the one who comes to me I will by NO MEANS cast out"

John 6:38-39
"... I have come ... to do ... the will of Him who sent Me... this is [His] will [:] I should lose nothing but raise it up on the last day"

John 6:40
"I will raise him up at the last day"

John 6:47
"has ETERNAL life"

John 11:25
"he SHALL live"

John 11:26
"shall NEVER die"
"shall, by no means, ever die even unto eternity" (my translation from the Greek; uses the emphatic denial "ou me" and "eis twn aiown" (into eternity)

Faith is being persuaded or convinced something is true.

If you believe Christ in His statement, you must believe youself eternally saved.

Only if you doubt His statement will you not be sure.

He is emphatic:

The believer shall:

not perish
will not come into judgment
has passed from death to life
has eternal life
never hunger
never thirst
will not be cast out
will not be lost
will be raised
shall live
and
shall never die

These are the clear, explicit assertions by Christ concerning the believer in Him.

If you believe in Him, you will by necessity believe that you are eternally secure at that same moment.

To doubt that you are eternally saved, is to doubt Christ in His promise.

Antonio

June 20, 2007 10:47 PM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

Furthermore,

I expect to hear a comment from you, Susan, and Mark that addresses my specific commenting on the claims of your OP [opening post]. The bulk of my comments have remained un-responded to in lieu of my statement that Traditionalists are overwhelmingly on record as casting aspersions on the salvation of others who have not "made the grade", conforming to the subjective standards imposed upon them by Reformed doctrine.

Antonio

PS: I notice that Doug is being genuine in not denying my assertion that Reformed theology does what I have stated they do, in other words, cast aspersions on people's salvation when they have not met with the subjective standards set by Reformed doctrine.

He is merely saying that "the FG people do it too!"

But I have proven that this is not the same thing...

June 20, 2007 10:51 PM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 20, 2007 10:53 PM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 20, 2007 10:53 PM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

Wayne:

faith = assurance

Heb 11:1

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."
NAS

June 20, 2007 10:54 PM

 
Anonymous danny said...

C'mon Doug. You know that Antonio and I believe that believing the passages mentioned means that a person is convinced that they have life through Christ. Can they doubt their salvation after they come to faith? Yes, but not at the moment of saving faith. At the moment of saving faith, a person is convinced that they have eternal life through Christ. At the moment of saving faith, a person has rested on Jesus. Jesus made it clear in John 4:13-14 and 6:35-40 that the gift is permanent. You may not believe that a person must understand security to be saved, but there's nothing wrong with preaching it when evangelizing, because, as you know, eternal security is true. Not to mention that security is written all over Jesus' Finished Work. It is Finished.

If one has never been sure that they are forever justified by Christ's work on their behalf, how can you argue that they have believed in Jesus? When someone believes in Jesus, they are sure that Jesus has given them irrevocable eternal life. They have the testimony in themselves.

As to Revelation 2-3, if there were unbelievers in those churches, I would have expected Jesus to say something along the lines of "But you have a few among you have not believed in Me unto eternal life." If there were unbelievers in those churches, there would have been a Revelation 22:17-type invitation. But there isn't one. Doug, I never said that there aren't false professors. They just aren't anywhere in sight in Rev 2-3.

It seems to me that in the case of those specific churches, justification by faith wasn't a problem. So Jesus didn't deal with unbelievers in Revelation 2-3. But it's a big problem in today's churches, so of course I would say that in today's churches, many are not saved. Why? Because it's too hard to believe that eternal life is freely provided by Jesus' Death and Resurrection. It's too easy to feel that one must examine one's love for God to make sure one is really saved. The Free Grace message is hard to believe. That's why FG is a minority.

Who is a false professor? One who has never agreed with God that they have irrevocable life through Christ, who paid the full penalty for their sins - past, present, future.

Jazzy, faith is conviction. Faith means that one is assured of something. We don't argue for faith + assurance. We argue that faith is assurance.

Without Holiness no one will see the Lord. Who said seeing the Lord means getting into the Kingdom? One can be in the Kingdom and "not see the Lord". Jazzy, you said that Calvinists don't inspect others' fruit. Maybe you don't, but there are many Calvinists who do.

June 20, 2007 11:18 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

"You cannot believe those verses and at the same time not believe you are eternally secure. It is impossible. If you believe those verses, you are certain you are eternally secure....If you believe in Him, you will by necessity believe that you are eternally secure at that same moment."


Thank you Antonio. You have proven my point.

June 21, 2007 3:32 AM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

"Can they doubt their salvation after they come to faith? Yes, ***but not at the moment of saving faith.***"

Thank you Danny. You have proven my point. Whatever you might say about "spurious faith," you yourself, plus Antonio, sure do hold to it.

And of course, you are aware that you guys hold to a strict works based assurance for the Christian life.

June 21, 2007 3:40 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Antonio, Danny - In your regeneration-less definition of eternal life - that "eternal life" that you hold to whereby a person is NOT a new creation, no new affections. practically no work of the Holy Spirit (only lip service to His work) - You have your novel idea that eternal life is merely a mental assent. The New Testament clearly teaches that the life is new, with new desires for the things of God as opposed to a life of enslavement to sin.

June 21, 2007 6:26 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Now look at the seven churches in Revelation - "To him who overcomes", verse 2:7; he who overcomes, 2:11; to him who overcomes, 2:17; He who overcomes, 2:26; He who overcomes, 3:5; He who overcomes,3:12; To him who overcomes,3:21... Overcoming seems to be the mark of true faith.

I can understand if you, coming from your mental assent stance, might get a little upset here. After all Christ DID teach repentance and the taking up of the cross and self denial to the unsaved Mark 8:34-38.

Danny, you said, "Without Holiness no one will see the Lord. Who said seeing the Lord means getting into the Kingdom?"
=======
So are you denying one must have the the gift of righteousness, Romans 5:17?!

A man is justified the very instant he believes in Christ, and eternally so; it is a legal stand. God pronounces that one righteous in His sight who believes that Christ paid the penalty for his/her sin. Sin must be paid for by blood, in this case, Christ's blood. He bore the Father's full fury for the sins of His people. The moment He said "it is finnished" the Father's fury was satisfied. There remained no more payment for sin. Christ PAID IT ALL. Three days latter The Father raised His Son, the Son took His life back again, and was declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Yes, He was raised because of our justification. Our faith is indeed in the finnished work of Christ. The resurrection was proof that the Father had accepted His Son's sacrifice.
========

"One can be in the Kingdom and "not see the Lord".
========
NONSENSE! Prove that scripturally!

June 21, 2007 7:06 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Antonio, time and again you have proven your pelagian position. Your position practically needs no Holy Spirit. I've seen you say that if you were knocked to the ground, as was Paul, that you would believe too. Hmmm. Have you ever considered those who came to arrest Christ, John 18:6? They fell to the ground when Christ announced "I am He". Did any repent at this point or put their faith in Him? Nope. What about those guards in Matthew 28:2-15. They saw the angel, shook with fear, and obviously knew that the resurrection had taken place. But, they were content to take the money offered and contribute to the lie that his disciples had taken His body. No repentance there either. What maketh you to differ from these? It is The Holy Spirit. He is poured out abundantly through Jesus Christ. He is the "Quickener", Eph. 2:1,5.

June 21, 2007 7:23 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Perseverance? Those truely regenerated will do so. Why? A new heart with new affections.

Will that "new creation" fall into sin occasionally? Yep. That is the reason for Galations 6:1-2. However he will feel the pangs of having grieved God, see Psalm 32:3-5. David suffered greatly in that time of unconfessed sin. When Nathan confronted him he literally unloaded his confession of sin. Such is the plight of a truely regenerate person. He will suffer internally, as David obviously did in these verses. If there is no internal suffering when one is in sin then legitimate questions should be raised whether the Holy Spirit truely resides in such a person.

June 21, 2007 7:36 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Antonio, Danny - You two obviously enjoy gymnastics. In order to preserve your little novel approach to what is saving faith you must resort to the garbage arguments that Danny displayed in his 11:18 PM comment.

I especially love this gem: "Who is a false professor? One who has never agreed with God that they have irrevocable life through Christ, who paid the full penalty for their sins - past, present, future."
===
Now, if he (the false professor) is talking about having salvation how is it that he does not have it? You do contradict your position, Danny. He never agreed? Yet he is talking as though he has, is he not? ... That song "Twistin' and turnin'" comes to mind.

Yes, Antonio, we do believe that if one does not persevere to the end that it is clear that the Holy Spirit had not done a work of changing one's affections, thus bringing them to that place where they would feel the pangs, as David did, of having grieved God. No pangs, no evidence of salvation, period.

June 21, 2007 7:52 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Antonio,
regeneration = freedom from the power of sin = holiness = eternal life.

Romans 6:22-23 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Notice that you do not set yourself free. GOD POWER does it and the benefit leads to holiness. Please notice it does not say might lead to holiness.

This whole debate boils down different beliefs on the Power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). Salvation includes sanctification.

June 21, 2007 7:57 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations... Yep, good news indeed. Freedom from the penalty, the power, and presence of sin preached through Christ. Amen.

June 21, 2007 7:58 AM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Danny writes,

"If one has never been sure that they are forever justified by Christ's work on their behalf, how can you argue that they have believed in Jesus?"

Well, it would appear to me that the thief on the cross had justification first but no assurance. After all, he did not think that he would be with Christ. You are also presupossing that everyone has an understanding of assurance. However, not only have you denied the justification of the thief on the cross until Jesus gave him assurance, you have also denied the justification of all those who aren't as smart as apparently Free Grace is. Here is an example: I have known more than a few people who, when asked if they were saved, "Will you go to Heaven when you die?" Their answer: "Oh I don't know. I hope so. I know god saved me, but I don't know about heaven..." Free Grace theology would deny them salvation because they were not smart enough to see the logical connection. In essence, you have just made salvation depend, not on Christ, but upon a person being able to make a logical connection. Again, you are assuming: 1) A person understands what assurance is, 2) Was instructed correctly concerning the gospel (in other words, you just condemned to hell a ton of Free Will Baptists, Pentecostals, Charasmatics, Methodists, and anyone esle who has not heard the Free Grace gospel of salvation by assurance),3)You have seperated eternal life from the Person of Christ, making eternal life the focus, the primary, with Christ as the secondary....
__________________________________

Let's see what else you have to say...

Danny writes:
"They have the testimony in themselves."

Hoping, of course, that they understand that testimony. And of course, to properly understand that testimony they have to be privy to the Free Grace teaching of the gospel. Well, that might not even work since there are those in Free Grace who deny the witness of the Spirit, of which, Wilkin would be one, as I am sure you know that he was written against it.
__________________________________

"Doug, I never said that there aren't false professors. They just aren't anywhere in sight in Rev 2-3."

So a false professor can be part of any church...just not the 7 in Revelation? Well, why can they be a part of any church besides the 7 in Rev.? That would seem off. What you affirm on the one hand, you deny on the other.

Regardless, you objection doesn't really hold water. You wrote,"I would have expected Jesus to say something along the lines of "But you have a few among you have not believed in Me unto eternal life."

Okay then, you should apply that to Cain, back in Gen. Unless you are wanting to argue that Cain was saved and then lost salvation, you have the same type of situation where God addresses someone on the basis of something other than faith. Another example would be the Rich Young Ruler. I would fully agree that Christ was showing him his need of salvation, but notice Christ did not speak of faith in Him as the means. In fact, He didn't speak of faith in Him at all. Well, applying what you have said, one would have to conclude that Jesus erred., because Christ did not come out and say "Believe in Me." Was He exposing the Rulers' utter lack of "goodness," that he did not have the power to actually do any "good thing"? Yes, He most certainly was. And the Rich Young Ruler walked away, not even hearing, "Believe in Me."

And in Revelation, can you, for example, honestly say that in 2:20 this "Jezebel" is actually saved? She was certainly part of the church that Jesus addressed. She was active in their assemblies.

Regardless, this is still engaging a double standard on your part. You have said that there are false professors in the church, but you do not extend it to the 7 in Rev.
_________________________________

"Who is a false professor? One who has never agreed with God that they have irrevocable life through Christ, who paid the full penalty for their sins - past, present, future."

You did it again. Actually three things:

1) Seperated eternal life and Christ.

2) Made eternal security and full initial assurance a condition.

3) Shown that in essence Free Grace theology fully agrees that there most certainly is a "spurious faith." You do, of course, understand what is meant by "spurious faith," yes?

June 21, 2007 8:04 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

It is interesting that FG advocates deny false professions and faith in some places such as(James 2:14) which destroys their whole system, yet they affirm it when it suits their apologetics in other doctrinal points.

For example.....
Rose's latest post has the following two assertions in her post to refute another reformed view:

"if they were really followers of God"

"Rather, if any of the Jews have truly been seeking the Father....."


Hmmmm. Maybe James was also speaking of professing Jewish Christians who weren't really follower of Jesus.

June 21, 2007 8:33 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

oh brother ....

June 21, 2007 10:23 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

I wasn't speaking of "professing Jewish Christians "

I was speaking of religious Jews who didn't really ant anything to do with God's Messiah.

June 21, 2007 10:24 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

want

June 21, 2007 10:24 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Antonio says - "To move on. How come Susan and Mark didn't comment on the bulk of the material I presented in my last comment, but merely zeroed in on my last statements?

What say you of Dort and Westminster? How is what they provide in their credo any different than FG theology except for the insistence that at some time before death they will repent?"
=====
"except for the insistence that at some time before death they will repent?"
=====
It's all in the Affections, Antonio. Truely saved (regenerate) people WILL feel the pangs of a guilty conscience, as David did in Psalm 32. REGENERATION is key. You don't honestly teach about regeneration, at least not as the Bible does.

Looking at your system I see that there is no need for the Holy Spirit's work:

People are free to come to Christ w/o regeneration's influence.

Once saved people can choose between walking in the Spirit and carnal Christianity.

There is no need to see results in the life that the Holy Spirit has truely taken up residence there.

Dead faith indeed.

June 21, 2007 10:25 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose,
"Really following" instead of not really following but claiming to?

"truly been seeking" instead of not really seeking but claiming to?

The only conclusion from your comments is that a false following and false seeking is what is being described here.

June 21, 2007 10:38 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

"Really following" instead of not really following but claiming to?

Right. Who has ever denied that there are people who go along with things - who pretend to believe and follow the teaching of the gospel (or the teaching of prophecy in the Jew's case) - but who, in their heart don't really believe?

"truly been seeking" instead of not really seeking but claiming to?


Right. Don't you think some of the religious Jews made a show of religion but their hearts were far from looking for the Messiah as God presented Him?

Then again, there was a blinding of the Jews for God's purpose, which is what my next post is about.

You seem like you think you have a "gotcha" moment or something exciting like that, Jazzy, but I have never denied that there is such a thing as a pretender. I don't think FG people have, either. Meow

June 21, 2007 10:55 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose,
I like your meow...

Rose said...
You seem like you think you have a "gotcha" moment or something exciting like that, Jazzy, but I have never denied that there is such a thing as a pretender. I don't think FG people have, either.

I guess I got the impression that Antonio and Matthew don't believe there are false professors as in the four soil parable and I thought it was a FG doctrine that yall all shared. Thanks for clarifying that you believe people can pretend (i.e. claim) to be a believer.

Please accept Jazzy's purr. She can really purr. Hope the baby is well....
wayne

June 21, 2007 12:36 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Yes sir,
Romans chapter 8 is pretty clear.
It says in vrs 14, ''As many that are led by the spirit of God, these are the sons of God.''
and in vrs 9, ''If anyone does not have the spirit of Christ, he is not His''

So, The message is this: If you have the spirit of Christ dwellnig in you, you will be led by Him.

On the other hand, if you are Not led by Him, that would mean that you do Not have the Holy Spirit in you and therefore, you are not saved.

June 21, 2007 1:43 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

GAUNTLET TIME:

Can anybody show me where in scripture that it is taught that a truely regenerate believer does not ultimately exhibit the leadings of the Spirit, where the life wasn't effected by Him?

June 21, 2007 1:51 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about acts 5:1-10?

June 21, 2007 3:39 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 Timothy 4:9-11

June 21, 2007 3:43 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1 Corinthians 11:29-31

June 21, 2007 3:44 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Galatians 3:1

June 21, 2007 3:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1 Corinthians 3:15

June 21, 2007 3:52 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1 Corinthians 3:1-3

June 21, 2007 3:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... ... ...

June 21, 2007 3:55 PM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

Hey Doug,

If I said to you:

"I put $100 in your bank account."

And you said you believed me (and you did), what are you certain you have?

$100.

Only if you doubt me could you not be certain you have the $100.

If faith = conviction and assurance, being persuaded that something is true, you cannot say that you believe something and at the same moment doubt it.

It is logcially sound to put forth if someone believes something, they consider it true.

If you believe Christ in His promise, you consider His promise true.

What does His promise say?

You shall never perish, never hunger, never thirst, never be lost, etc.

Therefore you consider that true. The only way you could not understand that you are forever saved is if you don't believe Christ's message, in other words, you do not believe His message to be true.

The logic is sound and even a child can understand it.

Dad: "Little Billy. I promise you that I put a Milky Way bar on your bed."

Little Billy: "I believe you, Dad."

Dad: "Billy. What is it you know you have on your bed?"

Little Billy: "Dad, I have a Milky Way bar!"

Dad: "Are you certain that you have a Milky Way bar?"

Little Billy: "Of course!"

Dad: "Why are you certain?"

Little Billy: "Because I believe what you said about the candy bar."

Assurance is of the essence of faith. Show me where this little illustration goes wrong, Doug.

You can't. It is rock solid.

In that one believes, he is certain of what he believes.

If he retains doubt, he neither believes, nor has assurance.

Antonio

PS: Oh by the way, Doug. When are you going to be the proper POSTING HOST and comment on my responses to your scoffing at Bob Wilkin?

You are being a very poor host.

Westminster and Dort are clear. The only time limit that they put on sin dominating a believer is that they need to repent before death.

The only difference is that Zane believes that one can die in that state:

thus

James 5:19, 20

James 5:19-20

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

Here it is clear that a believer can wander from the truth and die in that state. The admonition is to turn him back from his error so that he will not persist in it until death.

June 21, 2007 4:45 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Message to the anon. person:

I am not personally going to waste my time answering someone who will not give their name, let alone one who shows a huge lack of understanding in regards to the subject.

My goodness, it is a computer thing! It isn't like someone is going to reach out and smack you upside the head!

June 21, 2007 7:38 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Antonio,

"PS: Oh by the way, Doug. When are you going to be the proper POSTING HOST and comment on my responses to your scoffing at Bob Wilkin?"

Please repost your argument, that is, what you are wanting to say, please. I looked back and found something to a Doug E... I don't know anything about a Doug E. So if you could, please post what your argument is. Thanks. Oh, by the way, I do not mean any of that in a snide way, I am just confused what you are wanting me to answer. Thanks.

June 21, 2007 7:46 PM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

Oh, Antonio, two things...

Yes, children more often than not put adults to shame concerning faith issues....then again, are you defining faith as only intellectual assent or trust?

and two...

The James passage says nothing about anyone's whole life being dominated by sin, nor does it even imply that the person in question even ever left the church. It can also very well point to an unbeliever (a Jewish brother in a national sense) who knows the truth of the gospel and is wondering away from it. Regardless how one takes it, the idea of the OP has not been established since you did not show if the preson in question was totally dominated by sin. Can God bring a stern discipline to a believer? Yes, of course. That, though, doesn't even equal out to saying that sin has totally dominated their life. Moses was denied entrance to the Promised Land for one sin; that doesn't mean that his whole life was sinful or dominated by sin. God disciplines the way He sees fit.

June 21, 2007 7:55 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Anonymous said...
what about acts 5:1-10?
=======
While considering the "family traits" found in 1 John I do not see any evidence that Ananias and his wife were actually saved. Notice that after their misfortune that none of the rest dared join them, verse 13, but in verse 14 believers were still being added. I believe that he and his wife were of those who originally dared join them, Acts 5:13.
=====

Anonymous said...
2 Timothy 4:9-11
=====
Demas, ah yes. Nope. 1 John 2:15 "if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him", and 1 John 5:4 "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world". Demas loved the world. He did not exhibit having been born of God as we see what that means in these two verses.
=======

Anonymous said...
1 Corinthians 11:29-31
========
Many a reformed would differ with me here, so I realize that I stand alone on this one; but, I do not see that these were necessarily saved to begin with, merely those who had joined with the church similar to what was going on in Acts 5 before Ananias and his wife. I don't mean to sound flip, I just personally can't see how a Spirit-led person would not consider the Lord's table in proper manner, unless they were poorly instructed, which I admit is another thing that I must consider here... Still pondering this one.
=======

Anonymous said...
Galatians 3:1
=======
Paul was setting these people straight on doctrinal issues. I do not ever remember thinking that these people's salvation was in question here. Christians can err doctrinally for a while, and certainly no one is ever perfect in their doctrinal positions. He told these Galatians that "This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you", 5:8, then comes back in verse 10 and expresses confidence in them, evidently Paul was confident that his setting them straight here was going to be fruitful. Notice he calls them "brethren" at the end of the letter.
======

Anonymous said...
1 Corinthians 3:15
=========
"but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire". I've never questioned these people's salvation here. We are saved by grace through faith. Remember the works mentioned here pertain to how a man builds upon the foundation. Motives that are behind a person's buiding activity will be judged. This serves as a warning. It is hard for me to imagine a truely saved person to see ALL of his works burned, though a good deal of my own could. This verse is a warning to me. Some of the Bible studies that I have led may go up in smoke because I was doing some with other than pure motive, yet my salvation is not in question, just those particular instances.
======

Anonymous said...
1 Corinthians 3:1-3
=========
Note the words "Babes in Christ", "fed with milk", "still not able", "still carnal"; all these phrases indicate that carnal Christianity is a phase wherein a Christian is still a child in the faith, a phase that WILL be grown out of. It is not a state, but a phase. The idea that it is a state, was it not born of those who held, at least in part, to Keswick teaching, that which believes that some second work of grace is necessary to bring a person from being a "carnal Christian" to a place of maturity. I hold Keswick teaching as error at best.

Mark Pierson

June 22, 2007 7:49 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Good morning, Mark.
You say:
I do not ever remember thinking that these people's salvation was in question here.

That is the best thing you said in all your comments to the anonymous person!

BTW, I looked up those verses.

It sure looked to me like Demas was a brother. He worked with Paul and is mentioned a as fellow worker in Philemon. Was Paul so undiscerning? Also - consider - why wasn't Paul as quick as you are to say "Demas was not regenerate - couldn't have been."

Also - the Bible never gives us any reason to believe that Ananias a Saphira were not really of the truly converted. It never says any such thing.

Another thing re: Gal. 1 - is being "bewitched" = being led by the Spirit?! Of course they were believers, Mark ... bewitched believers.

I think those verses answer your gauntlet.

June 22, 2007 11:47 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"It sure looked to me like Demas was a brother. He worked with Paul and is mentioned a as fellow worker in Philemon. Was Paul so undiscerning?
=====
Discernment only goes just so far. No one Christian can tell if someone were truely saved, not even Paul. Rose, I know that your system will not permit you to believe that false believers can indeed participate in ministry, but they can. Judas healed the sick, preached repentance and so on, yet, he wasn't saved, and only Jesus knew of his true make-up.
=======

"Also - consider - why wasn't Paul as quick as you are to say "Demas was not regenerate - couldn't have been."
====
"Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world"... I know you are approaching this from a completely different angle than I. I maintain that a truely regenerate person will have a contrite heart, like the one illustrated by Paul in Romans 7. Such a heart will want to get it right with God, as Paul displays there.
======

"Also - the Bible never gives us any reason to believe that Ananias a Saphira were not really of the truly converted. It never says any such thing."
=====
I believe that my reasoning above explains my position very well. It is your different paradigm that prevents you from making sense of my reasoning. 1 John lists family traits, traits that will be evident in the lives of believers, due to the indwelling Holy Spirit. If these traits are not evident, as with the case of Ananias and Saphira, then there is a problem.
======

"Another thing re: Gal. 1 - is being "bewitched" = being led by the Spirit?! Of course they were believers, Mark ... bewitched believers."
=====
So what is your point? How are we different on this one?
=====
"I think those verses answer your gauntlet."
=====
No, they only prove that there is a wide chasm between two schools of thought. The starting points and resulting trajectories make for a wide distance between the two theologies. Your purpose statement for 1 John is 1:3 "tests of fellowship", while I place the purpoe statement at 5:13 " that you may know that you have eternal life". As long as we see this book so differently there will be no meeting of the minds here.

June 22, 2007 12:15 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

I'm not trying to be mean here, but with the rise of Progressive Dispensationalism, and New Covenant Theology, and the re-emergents of Covenant Theology it would seem that Classic Dispensationalism is on its way out; and with it some of its peculiar way of interpreting scripture. I am thankful for this as Free Grace Theology is heresy and deadly.

June 22, 2007 12:37 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Eternal life in a person is going to be evident. That is the clear teaching of scripture. To deviate from this truth is, at best, error. To claim that a life might not exhibit the presence of the Spirit is not Biblical. It is a lie and must be refuted. God's gospel is not honored with such teaching.

June 22, 2007 12:43 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose, I am so sorry to see you caught up in this "stuff". I pray the Lord opens your eyes.

You've shown a willingness to question FGT before. I pray you keep on questioning it.

June 22, 2007 12:50 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Free Grace Theology can only make sense to those who hold to Chafer's theology.
- Classic Dispensationalism -
Which represents an ever shrinking number of the Christian community.

June 22, 2007 1:03 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose, further more, you never really interacted with my thoughts throughout this thread. You merely popped in and declared victory w/o interaction. Hmmm.

June 22, 2007 1:25 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose, Please consider ALL of my thinking on this thread before your next interaction with me. I want your thoughts on it ALL. There is no way that you can go away unphased after serious consideration of all my thoughts here. I don't think that you have really reflected on anything that I have said in earlier comments as well as the one you did attempt to comment on.

June 22, 2007 1:32 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Mark,
ALl I want to say is that I don't think "Dispensationalism" is why I see those verses that anonymous posted the way I do. It just seems that those people were a part of the church.

You said:
I place the purpsoe statement at 5:13 "that you may know that you have eternal life".

It seems, rather, that you see the purpose as
"that you may know that you *DON'T* have eternal life."

This is the difference between our paradigms, I think.

Every blessing...

June 22, 2007 2:13 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

The verse is affirmative.

June 22, 2007 2:59 PM

 
Blogger Antonio said...

Rose,

your last two comments made me chuckle. They are right on!

Antonio

June 22, 2007 4:15 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

I would like to concur with Mark that the FGracers have never interacted with many of his good points as well as Doug and myself.

It seems there are serves (tennis analogy) that the FGracers can't handle so they ignore them and come back with a new serve of their own.

One example of a question that has gone unanswered:

FGT has faith and thus eternal life preceding regeneration. This post quotes Wilkin as saying sin may dominate a believers entire life. Yet, FGT (as does Jesus) affirms regeneration is necessary for salvation. My question that has gone unanswered is how can you claim it is necessary if it is not needed for justification and it produces no sanctification. Wilkin is claiming justification without regeneration and no sanctification whatsoever, so why is regeneration necessary in a case when it accomplishes nothing?

Jesus said you must be born again. That means it must accomplish something. What does it accomplish in the case that Wilkin gives? The fact that it is rare does not matter.

Rose, Danny, Antonio, anyone…… are you there? Are you going to interact or just let this serve go by and pretend it is not a problem? It would be nice to just stay on offense, but if you can't answer this question it is game, set, match as far as I am concerned.

June 22, 2007 6:03 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Wayne, being born-again gives one a new heavenly nature (2 Corinthians 5:17). This will be fully manifested after the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:48). Being brought into this glorious celestial position is a certain result of being in Christ.

Before that time, the regnerate person still posesses the old nature. However, she has the power to walk in the spirit by faith.

If she walks in the flesh by refusing to give up sinful habits, she will not overcome her old nature. Nevertheless, she will feel miserable about it (Romans 7:24, 2 Peter 2:20) and will face chastening. If she continues in that course, her flesh will increasingly take domminion over her life (Romans 6:16, 8:5). However, the Lord will not allow a believer to remain in that state for long and would end her life in judgment at some point (Romans 8:13, 1 Cor 11:29-32).

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 23, 2007 6:14 AM

 
Blogger Gojira said...

"That is the best thing you said in all your comments to the anonymous person!"

Rose,

I don't know if you will see this. I would like to tell you the reason I did not, and will not, answer Anon. When I wrote the first of this series, I commended you guys for having the courage of your convictions. In today's world, that really means something. When Anon. posted, anon did so as a troll, not giving a name. In other words, did not have the courage of his convictions as you guys do by not only making known what you believe, but also who you are who believe.

Lastly, there is also the point of this post that anon did not grasp. It has not been can Christians sin; it has not been, can Christians backslide; it has not been, can Christians face severe discipline from God; it has not been, will a Christian follow Christ perfectly.

June 23, 2007 6:39 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"It just seems that those people were a part of the church."

"that you may know that you *DON'T* have eternal life."

Rose, I asked in my last comment to you that if you come back you would engage my thoughts as they have appeared throughout this thread. Clearly you did not do as I had asked. This statement of yours here is a typical FGT ploy, "twist the opposing position, make fun of it, then run away". No wonder Antonio got a chuckle out of it. He is master at this. You are learning well from him, young obiwan; you are a good padawan-learner. :-)

June 23, 2007 8:07 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"It seems, rather, that you see the purpose as
"that you may know that you *DON'T* have eternal life."

You Free Gracers are just scared to face the fact that truely regenerate people WILL exhibit, as I've called them in this thread, family traits - traits of those in whom the Spirit dwells - traits that issue forth in an ever increasing measure, growing into Christ-likeness.

June 23, 2007 8:29 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 23, 2007 8:47 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Matthew, the last part of your response to Wayne..."However, the Lord will not allow a believer to remain in that state for long and would end her life in judgment at some point (Romans 8:13, 1 Cor 11:29-32)."

What if a person in that state dies of natural causes at a ripe old age, there being no sign that judgement had taken place?

June 23, 2007 8:54 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

I must go to work now. I won't be back until 10 PM eastern.

Please keep my dad in prayers. Thank you.

June 23, 2007 8:59 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Matthew,
You said…..
Wayne, being born-again gives one a new heavenly nature (2 Corinthians 5:17). This will be fully manifested after the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:48). Being brought into this glorious celestial position is a certain result of being in Christ.

Right, it gives a new heavenly nature.

Further you said….
Before that time, the regnerate person still posesses the old nature. However, she has the power to walk in the spirit by faith.

So far so good

Further….

If she walks in the flesh by refusing to give up sinful habits, she will not overcome her old nature. Nevertheless, she will feel miserable about it (Romans 7:24, 2 Peter 2:20) and will face chastening. If she continues in that course, her flesh will increasingly take domminion over her life (Romans 6:16, 8:5).

Matthew, this is where you go very wrong. You mention Romans 8:5 to support your view. Romans 8:1-15 is clearly comparing believers and unbelievers not sanctified Christians and carnal Christians. Rom. 8:9 (KJV) But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Peter 2:20 is likewise pointing to an unbeliever. Romans 7:24 is Paul talking about his battle with the flesh and it is a battle he won as he goes on to describe what it looks like in Romans 8. Your Romans 6:16 verse is also about believers and unbelievers.

You are asserting that regeneration by the power of God intended to sanctify can totally fail. You are claiming that the prayer of Jesus goes unanswered (John 17) and that man’s will overpowers the will of God.

I do appreciate your sincere effort to interact and defend your views. Quite frankly Mark has correctly identified some of your friends tactics and they get to be frustrating. However, I have admired your approach, zeal, and sincerity for over a year now. I just wish you would take the verses that refute FGT as literally as you take faith alone and eschatology verses.

Thanks,
Wayne

June 23, 2007 9:38 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark
If a backslider lived a life of comfort to a ripe old age, I would have doubts that they ever truly believed the Gospel.

Maybe other Free Gracers might think I am being judgmental, but the lack of any sign of chastening would be a possible indicator of a lack of spiritual reality there.

God Bless

Matthew

June 23, 2007 10:21 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Wayne
"I just wish you would take the verses that refute FGT as literally as you take faith alone and eschatology verses."

I do not see that I fail to take any verse seriously.

Rom. 8:9 (KJV) But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

This tells us that a believer is indwellt by the Spirit and has her identity in the Spirit.

However, to use this verse to deny that the flesh has an active power in the life of a believer is to ignore the reality of Romans 7.

"You are asserting that regeneration by the power of God intended to sanctify can totally fail."

There is never total failure, because sanctification will be completed eschatologically. The fact that God allows temporal failure is a demonstration of His grace. He still brings to glory the failed believer.

"Romans 7:24 is Paul talking about his battle with the flesh and it is a battle he won as he goes on to describe what it looks like in Romans 8."

I agree with you that this is a battle that Paul won. But the fact is that for some period, Paul was in a state of failure. You cannot but allow for some temporal failure.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 23, 2007 10:27 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Mark,
I don't know why you are making fun of me. I am not using "tactics" as you say. I am not "learning from Antonio." How weird to see you say those things to me. I really sincerely meant what I said. I think that is the main difference between our approaches - yours and mine, Mark, not "Diespensationalism" or "Free-Grace" and "Lordship" or "New Covenant Theology" but "Mark" and "Rose." It seems like you see these passages as casting doubt on salvation. It lit on me earlier when I read your comment about the emphasis of 1st John. I do think you are trying to pigeon-hole me sometimes, Mark. You say, Your purpose statement for 1 John is 1:3 "tests of fellowship"... I thought as I read that - 'when did I ever say this?' I haven't - Antonio or HKFlynn or Matthew has said it, but I don't know that I have ever decided what I thought they key verse of 1 John was, lazy as that is of me. I am not as clever as you make me out to be ..

This statement of yours here is a typical FGT ploy, "twist the opposing position, make fun of it, then run away".

Honestly, I scratch my head. My estimation of the differences in our paradigms is correct, isn't it? I see the NT as a book written to people who it's writers assume are believers. I think it's admonitions are for believers who need to be spurred on to better lives, to walking in the Spirit because there is a real chance of not doing so. On the other hand, some of the things you say make it seem like you think that several of the passages in question are meant to cause one to question their salvation or the salvation of others in their fellowship. I am not trying to be mean, I honestly think that is a difference between us. And look - I am not running away.

June 23, 2007 11:14 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Wayne:
regeneration ....how can you claim it is necessary if it is not needed for justification and it produces no sanctification. Wilkin is claiming justification without regeneration and no sanctification whatsoever, so why is regeneration necessary in a case when it accomplishes nothing?

Wayne, you say no one ever answers this question. I have given you my take of this very question several times. You did not accept it, but that doesn't mean that I did not give it.

Your question is kind of like, "Are you still beating your kids?" It assumes that I or others have said that regeneration produces nothing. I have told you before and shown you how that is not the case. First of all, I agree with you that normally regeneration produces visible results. It did in my case - my family could all see that I was a changed person after I was born again. However, I am not willing to say that X Christain (living as world) has not had any results because I cannot see the results. In both my case and X Christain's case, though, regeneration has accomplished something- it has given us eternal life - the very state of being children of God. We have been born into God's family and will spend eternity with Him, never to perish. You diminish this too much by saying that I believe that regeneration accomplishes nothing. In all cases, it accomplishses the amazing feat of bringing a lost sinner, a hopeless renegade, unto LIFE forever! In some cases, under normal circumstances, it also *shows* the world a change in such a person. The big difference betwween us, Jazzycat, is that I see that there are cases when this part may not occur, when the change that happened in the person's eternal state will not be *seen.* Lack of discipleship, lack of a Bible, lack of submission to God - there are any number of things that can get in the way of Christian growth.

Do you remember now that I have answered this, your question, before?

June 23, 2007 11:36 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Matthew,
your said...
Rom. 8:9 (KJV) But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. This tells us that a believer is indwellt by the Spirit and has her identity in the Spirit.

Yes and sentence two of this verse tells us that those that do not show the traits of having the spirit are unbelievers. Romans 8:1-15 contrasts believers (have the Spirit) with non-believers (have not the Spirit).

you said.....
However, to use this verse to deny that the flesh has an active power in the life of a believer is to ignore the reality of Romans 7.

Come on Matthew, you know we do not deny the sinful nature is active. We do deny that a believer is totally controlled by the sinful nature and so does Romans 8:1-15.

You said…..
There is never total failure, because sanctification will be completed eschatologically.

Matthew are you asserting that sanctification continues after death. I believe the correct teaching is that souls are made perfect in death at glorification.

You said…..
He still brings to glory the failed believer.

There are no failed believers. A “failed believer” is no believer at all! Not according to John.
1 John 5:4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Where is the wiggle room for a failed believer in this verse?

you said....
You cannot but allow for some temporal failure.

Yes, but not total temporal failure. True believers overcome setbacks and failure (1 John 1, Romans 8, and many other places)

Wilkin has stated that sin can dominate a believer with no time limit attached. The Bible clearly states that to be categorically untrue.

Wayne

June 23, 2007 11:38 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Mark,
Is this the thing you want me to interact with:
Will that "new creation" fall into sin occasionally? Yep. That is the reason for Galations 6:1-2. However he will feel the pangs of having grieved God, see Psalm 32:3-5. David suffered greatly in that time of unconfessed sin. When Nathan confronted him he literally unloaded his confession of sin. Such is the plight of a truely regenerate person. He will suffer internally, as David obviously did in these verses. If there is no internal suffering when one is in sin then legitimate questions should be raised whether the Holy Spirit truely resides in such a person.

How can we see what internal suffering X Christian has? Or ... are you saying if I have no eternal suffereing then I should re-evaluate whether i have believed the gospel or not? I am just not sure what the practical point is of what you are saying.

Respectfully.

June 23, 2007 11:39 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

You said…..
regeneration has accomplished something- it has given us eternal life - the very state of being children of God.

Does this mean that you agree with the reformed view that regeneration precedes faith? If not then this is a false statement since eternal life would come before or as you said one time with eternal life. Either way this would not be a true statement under your system.

You said…..
In all cases, it accomplishses the amazing feat of bringing a lost sinner, a hopeless renegade, unto LIFE forever!

Again, if the lost sinner does this before or with regeneration, then regeneration does not accomplish the eternal life. I am sorry but you can’t have it both ways. Either regeneration occurs first and brings a sinner to faith or it doesn’t. Either regeneration causes the faith or it doesn’t. You can’t say it doesn’t and then turn around and give regeneration the credit as you have tried to do here.

You said…..
Do you remember now that I have answered this, your question, before?

Yes, I remember and it made no sense then and it makes no sense now. You are basically saying that regeneration is necessary, but that it in some cases accomplishes nothing. Unless of course, I buy your argument of contradiction that I refute and discredit above concerning justification and eternal life.

If regeneration does not cause justification and regeneration does not produce any sanctification, then it accomplishes nothing. However, Jesus says a believe MUST be born again and that means that regeneration must successfully accomplish something. Now if you want to assert that it accomplishes faith itself, then I welcome you to the Calvinistic view. Otherwise, you have got to affirm that it brings about a measure of sanctification. However, it seems that you have denied this as well………..

In some cases, under normal circumstances, it also *shows* the world a change in such a person. The big difference betwween us, Jazzycat, is that I see that there are cases when this part may not occur,

This is not a gotcha moment. This is an attempt to logically show that this theological view can not be conformed to the doctrine of regeneration.

June 23, 2007 12:11 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose,
I should have started my last comment by addressing you.

Rose,

you said....

June 23, 2007 12:15 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Wayne
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

4 that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

There is no contrast between unbelievers in this passage. The contrast is between the flesh and the spirit.

You are breaking the connection with Romans 7, which shows the uselesness of the flesh in accomplishing holiness without the Spirit.

6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.


This is absolutely true of believers. The believer's sinful nature (which you hold a believer retains) is at enmity against God.

We know that a believer can be carnally minded, as the Corinthian believers were.

The carnal mind leads one into all kinds of sin.

Sin leads to death. It is an error to focus on spiritual death only. Sin brought physical death into this world.

Sin progressively leads a person to the grave, for sinful lifestyles are by their own nature self-destructive.

When a believer harbours sinful habits, she is risking her life, for all of those sins are ultimately self-destructive. And that is without even mentioning the judgment of God on His children.

Let us look at a later verse:

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.

Is this contrasting believers with unbelievers?

No, absolutely not. It is referrring to the readers themselves.

It is to this 'ye' that he says:

9 ¶ But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.


15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:


So these children of God, who are indwellt with the Spirit and who arwe children of God are at risk of living after the flesh.

Verse 13 is a contingency. It presents two possibilities, they mortify their flesh and live after the Spirit or they live after the flesh, a course that leads to destruction.

I deny completley your insistence that the theme of these verses is a contrast between the regenerate and the unregenerate.

"Matthew are you asserting that sanctification continues after death. I believe the correct teaching is that souls are made perfect in death at glorification."

Sanctification is not a process. It is something that Christ has done for the believer already. A Christian is sanctified positionally when she is made regenerate. When the believer is glorifed this state of sanctification is completely realised and manifested.

Prior to this the believer realises her sanctification through moment by moment faith.

1 John 5:4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

This is positional.

It applies to Everyone who is born of God, even those who have been born again only for only a minute, who have not yet had to struggle with the power of sin.

It applies to the Christian in the Romans 7 state of temporal failure. When Paul struggled with his sinful flesh he had overcome the world.

Why?

Because he was born again.

The person who is born again is a new creature. She is passed from death into life. She now lives in a new heavenly position and ultimately she will be glorified.

There is nothing that Satan and the world's system can do to snatch such an one from Christ.

"Yes, but not total temporal failure. True believers overcome setbacks and failure (1 John 1, Romans 8, and many other places)"

Are you sure about that?

Do you not think the Corinthian believers who fell asleep because of their sins were failures?

But there is a bigger problem with your argument.

What is the fundamental difference between allowing temporal failure and allowing failure that is not corrected?

If Paul struggling with sin was unable to make progress at overcoming his flesh in the Romans 7 state, had the Holy Spirit failed?

When Peter sinned by compromising the Gospel, had the Holy Spirit failed?


If we as believes lose our temper, has the Holy Spirit failed?

No, of course not. Likewise, if a believer falls into a course of sinful habits that are not corrected, the Holy Spirit has not failed. The fault is with the believer.

Yet God is gracious and does not disown His erring child.

"Wilkin has stated that sin can dominate a believer with no time limit attached. The Bible clearly states that to be categorically untrue."

Where?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 23, 2007 3:09 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose, individual, sister in Christ, friend - From here out I will no longer treat you as a representative of a theological system; but as an individual with her own opinions. I am sorry for making fun of you. I was wrong. Please forgive me.

June 23, 2007 7:56 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose, I am very tired right now. Therefore, I will be brief in my response. Since you seem genuinly willing to talk to me I am sure that over time we will gain a better feel about where one or the other is coming from; because quite frankly, I don't have the energy right now to present my views in their fulness in this one comment.

The way I view regeneration it is the stony heart being replaced by a heart of flesh, see Ezek. 36. That heart of flesh, in my opinion, is a contrite heart; not sinless, but contrite. I believe King David's heart can be held up as a model here. I also see Paul's contritness in Romans 7.

Rose, you are mistaken if you think that the majority of reformed people go around fruit inspecting. Some do, even many do; but that is sin. We are to bear there burdens with them when they fall into sin, or are overtaken by one. That was my point in Galatians 6:1-2. After having been overtaken myself who am I to wonder about somebody elses salvation? I should be there to pray for, encourage, rebuke if necessary, come along side such an one as that. That was what Gal. 6:1-2 teaches.

In the case of 1 John I believe that letter was written into a situation wherein false teachers from a system that went on to become gnosticism were infiltrating the church with their doctrine, teaching that all matter is evil and that only spiritual is good. They also taught that Christ only "seemed" (Docitism) to have been in the flesh.

John was showing the way for the church to distinguish between a true believer (the Spirit's presence and working will be evident in a truely regenerate person's life) as opposed to the false teachers who obviously have not the Spirit and therefore no fruit. The "family traits" are the distinguishing mark here.

Any way you cut it the Spirit's presence will be evident.

Like I said, that new heart of flesh will show itself. No true Christian can go any time w/o a guilty conscience. I pointed out David's pain and anguish in Psalm 32 because some believe his sin was unconfessed for about a year. Look what he went through during that period of unconfessed sin. My bringing this up is not for people to behold of an indididual, but for that individual himself to check out, and compre to David and Paul.

More on another post and interaction between us. I'm too tired to go on.

Good night, friend.

June 23, 2007 8:31 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Matthew,
You said in speaking of Rom. 8:1-8…….
There is no contrast between unbelievers in this passage. The contrast is between the flesh and the spirit. You are breaking the connection with Romans 7, which shows the uselesness of the flesh in accomplishing holiness without the Spirit.

Rom. 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. No condemnation to them in Christ Jesus. This is a contrast between being in Christ and not in Christ. Not in Christ means condemnation. It is not speaking of a physical death. Being in-Christ is to be saved, justified, and regenerate. Not being in-Christ is to be unsaved, and unregenerate. What are the characteristics or family traits (Mark’s description) of being in-Christ? Well, they walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. Not perfectly, but they walk after the spirit.

Romans 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. Matthew, this passage is clearly talking about two separate groups of people not a contrast between the flesh and spirit in one group of people.

Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. In this passage the door is slammed on your assertion that the contrast is between two natures in one person. The whole passage (1-9) is contrasting believers to unbelievers to anyone reading and here Paul is telling these readers that if the Spirit dwells in them they are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. Then he tells the reader if they do not have the Spirit then they are not in-Christ.

Your look at v. 13 alone looks totally different when taken in context with v. 12 & v. 14 that you conveniently left out. Let’s look at all three:
Romans 8:12-14 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. (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. (14)For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Does verse 14 really need any explanation. If you are not a son of God you are not in-Christ and are not saved. One hundred percent that are led by the Spirit of God and them only are sons God. Obviously being led by the Spirit of God would rule out being totally dominated by the sin nature. I used the KJV since you prefer it.

From the wedding feast parable, to the four soil parable, to James 2:14-26, and now to Romans 8 it takes extraordinary “spinning” to come out with the FG theology intact. Outside of FG, can you come up with any theologians that support your view of Romans 8?

June 24, 2007 12:16 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Jazzycat,
What a strange conversation we have going. Actually, the whole question you posed is strange - the one about "why is regeneration necessary if it accomplishes nothing?" You say that no one will answer you - as though you have stumped those who don't see it your way.

I answer you and now you say:

Does this mean that you agree with the reformed view that regeneration precedes faith? If not then this is a false statement since eternal life would come before or as you said one time with eternal life. Either way this would not be a true statement under your system.

You are being really nitpicky now. Eternal life coming before regeration? Eternal life *IS* regeneration.

I answered you - you say it doesn't make sense. I am sorry it does not make sense TO YOU. Regeneration is the end. It is the gift of God, the eternal life received by faith.

Again, if the lost sinner does this before or with regeneration, then regeneration does not accomplish the eternal life. I am sorry but you can’t have it both ways. Either regeneration occurs first and brings a sinner to faith or it doesn’t. Either regeneration causes the faith or it doesn’t. You can’t say it doesn’t and then turn around and give regeneration the credit as you have tried to do here.

This is a waste of time because you are not even trying to understand what I am saying. I will say it again:
regeneration has accomplished something- it has given us eternal life - the very state of being children of God. We have been born into God's family and will spend eternity with Him, never to perish. You diminish this too much by saying that I believe that regeneration accomplishes nothing. In all cases, it accomplishses the amazing feat of bringing a lost sinner, a hopeless renegade, unto LIFE forever!

This happens through faith - simple trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. If we don't trust Christ, we don't receive regeneration/eternal life.

As I have pointed out to you before : This could be turned around on your system more successfully: If regeneration preceded faith, then why is faith necessary?

I think I would rather talk about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Meow :~)

June 25, 2007 10:02 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Mark,
I am glad you say that most reformed people don't go around fruit inspecting. That is good.

I know about the purpose of 1 John, but I hadn't decided on a key verse or anything.

I hope you are having a great day.

I like what you said about how you deal with tose who are taken up in a sin. With that in view, I wonder why we have to argue about it at all. If a Christian is capable of sin for a short while, how can we say that they aren't capable of sin for a long while? It is sort of splitting hairs, IMO.

June 25, 2007 10:10 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose is still talking to me. Good.

"If a Christian is capable of sin for a short while, how can we say that they aren't capable of sin for a long while? It is sort of splitting hairs, IMO."

Rose, I look again at Psalm 32. Davis went w/o confession for about a year there. Look how he suffered in that period. He was starting to waste away it would seem. The when Nathan confronted him he literally exploded forth with his confession. That is key here. I personally don't believe that a true Christian can exhibit anything other than what David displayed in Psalm 32. In my own personal experience, that period when I was ensalved to porn, I was beginning to ache inside, longing to have my intimacy with Christ restored. While a month into my "addiction" I prayed to the Lord to break my legs if need be in order to bring me back into sweet communion with Him. Exactly one week later I was in a car accident and my left leg was broken, yea, fractured. Five weeks of traction followed. After that another twelve weeks in a full length leg cast; and this during the very hot summer of 1978 with no AC. Now I walk with a slight limp, and I have very limited mobility in my left leg. But, I have my communion with Christ back again.

June 25, 2007 10:41 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose,
You said.....
Eternal life *IS* regeneration.

Rose, I have never heard that regeneration is just another word for eternal life. The following three passages is how the Bible describes that regeneration is more than that:

Titus 3:5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Eph. 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, (5)even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved--

June 25, 2007 12:15 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Jazzycat,
regeneration = bringing to life, giving new life and this life is eternal.

This is not so difficult to see how I would equate it with that life, that eternal life.

???? What is the difficulty?

June 25, 2007 1:49 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose,
The difficulty is that you are trying to redefine regeneration!

Dallast Theological Seminary where Zane Hodges taught (I believe) says the following:
"We believe that, owing to universal death through sin, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless born again;......but a new nature imparted from above, a new life implanted by the Holy Spirit through the Word, is absolutely essential to salvation, and only those thus saved are sons of God."

While there is disagreement on when regeneration occurs, I think Calvinist and non-Calvinist alike have agreed on this basic definition of regeneration: Basically we agree on it being a new nature, a new life implanted by the Holy Spirit.

This is not saying regeneration = eternal life as you assert. This is saying divine regeneration is essential to receive salvation (eternal life).

June 25, 2007 3:26 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose,
You asked….
If regeneration preceded faith, then why is faith necessary?

1. Because God ordained faith to be the instrument by which sinners gain access to eternal life.

Why is regeneration necessary and what does it accomplish?
2. Since man is born spiritually dead, regeneration is the means God uses to quicken humans spiritually (making them alive spiritually) which enable them to willingly come to faith in Jesus Christ.

Under your system you are unable to give a single thing regeneration accomplishes in the “carnal Christian” without re-defining regeneration.

For what it is worth, Matthew about a year ago basically said that regeneration gives the carnal Christian the ability to be led by Christ, but does not necessarily produce any positive results. Basically he is denying the power of regeneration and saying that it is necessary but may not accomplish anything.

Regeneration is a major concept in the Christian faith and I think you can see my confusion as to what is the FGT position.

June 25, 2007 3:44 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Jazzycat,
while my statement Eternal life *IS* regeneration may be oversimplified, you are taking the means and separating it from the ends, thus overcomlicating it.

I agree with the definition you give here: it being a new nature, a new life implanted by the Holy Spirit.

That is the gift - the new nature that will live forever. You say it accomplishes nothing. I say rubbish - it *guarantees* you to live forever. And as Matthew says, it *enables* you to be led by Christ. It also *enables* you to escape dominion of sin because you are a partaker of the divine nature. It also *enables* you to have fellowship. It also *enables* you to have sweet communion with the Lord. It also *enables* a myriad of other beautiful things in the life of the receiver.

Eternal life - regeneration as the reception of it, is the end, Wayne. You seem to see it as a process or a means. Regeneration is an event, the realities of which are realised in time.

June 26, 2007 9:26 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose, does not regeneration bring about new affections in a person? Is not the regenerate one a new creation?

June 26, 2007 10:39 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

A new creation, yes. Affections are a subjective business.

June 26, 2007 10:51 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose, please feel free to explain what it is that you mean that affections are subjective.

In reformed doctrine regeneration is first evidenced by new desires for the things of God - new desires for His word, prayer, fellowshipping with the saints, a desire to glorify the doctrine of Christ with ones life - all this comes about as a result of regeneration. They do not arise naturally from within a person apart from the Spirit's presence.

Your thoughts, friend?

June 26, 2007 11:04 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose, you have testified in the past that after you were saved your family noticed a change in you. Are we really all that far apart here?

June 26, 2007 11:07 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose,
The bold in this comment are direct quotes from you..........
First, I do not say regeneration accomplishes nothing because in my belief system it accomplishes everything. I say that the “Wilkin” FGT example of a person being totally dominated sin would have experienced a regeneration that accomplished nothing.

The difference between your view of “enabling” by the HS and my view is that you believe the enabling can fail and I believe it will have the victory. Paul in Romans 8:14 clearly agrees with me that this enabling will produce sons of God that will follow Christ. In short the enabling is 100% successful. Check my post on this subject.

To accomplish something, regeneration must either help a person become a believer (faith & justification) or help a person in sanctification. After death the act of glorification has nothing to do with regeneration.

(1) faith & justification: FGT holds that a person that simply believes the promise of Jesus about eternal life is immediately saved and eternally secure. Eternal life is accomplished and guaranteed at this point. For regeneration to accomplish anything here it must aid or help in this faith decision otherwise eternal life has been secured without any help from regeneration. Since the FG view is that regeneration occurs after faith, then it accomplishes nothing in having faith or being saved. In your 2-26-26 post you confirm that you believe that regeneration occurs after faith when you said, “If we receive Him by faith, we become born-again, “ These are your words and you are confirming the view that regeneration occurs after faith. In your comment just above this one you say speaking of regeneration, “it *guarantees* you to live forever” This is a contradiction because under your system you affirm that simple faith guarantees eternal life. If regeneration does in fact guarantee eternal life, then is must aid in attaining faith.

CONCLUSION: Under your FGT system, regeneration accomplishes nothing in securing eternal life by faith for anyone.

(2) Sanctification: In your comment just above this one you give the following list of things you say regeneration accomplishes, ” And as Matthew says, it *enables* you to be led by Christ. It also *enables* you to escape dominion of sin because you are a partaker of the divine nature. It also *enables* you to have fellowship. It also *enables* you to have sweet communion with the Lord. It also *enables* a myriad of other beautiful things in the life of the receiver.” You assert that enables = accomplish. To enable is to make something possible but it does not make it occur. If the thing enabled does not happen, then the enabling has not accomplished anything. In the “Wilkin” carnal Christian that is dominated by sin, regeneration has failed to accomplish any of the results of your list of things enabled.

CONCLUSION: Under your FGT system, regeneration does not accomplish any of the results that you say it enables. Regeneration by the HS has given it a try, but has actually accomplished nothing.

The following is a quote from one of your posts. While I would change a word or two, it is an example of regeneration that Romans 8:1-15 says will be 100% effective. This Spirit led person will always be victorious due to the indwelling Spirit of God and to deny this is to deny Romans 8. These are your words:
”The new creation is one who is inclined toward the things of God. This child of God can “get something” out of the Bible. Before believing, the Bible would be foolishness to him. Once a person has become this new creation, having the Spirit of God within them, that new nature doesn’t see the Bible as foolishness. That born-again believer needs to grow and develop. That spiritual being, born of the Spirit of God, doesn’t want to sin, but wants to please God. 2-13-06 post”

June 26, 2007 11:46 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mark & Rose,
I do not believe we are that far apart with Rose. My comment just above this one logically shows once again that regeneration does not accomplish anything in a FGT carnal Christian. Therefore, proving that a FGT carnal Christian is a myth. Ye must be born again means regeneration must accomplish results in sinner other than just making something possible.....

June 26, 2007 12:01 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Jazzycat,
You are trying to "gotcha" me ... and you're not listening to me.

"If we receive Him by faith, we become born-again," These are your words and you are confirming the view that regeneration occurs after faith. In your comment just above this one you say speaking of regeneration, "it *guarantees* you to live forever" This is a contradiction because under your system you affirm that simple faith guarantees eternal life. If regeneration does in fact guarantee eternal life, then is must aid in attaining faith."

I am not contradicitng myself. I think you just have such a firm view of regeneration as you see it that you cannot see what I see it as. I really don't like trying to spell out the order of things that are so above my comprehension, but I have Scriptural reason to believe that faith brings about regeneration which is the gifting of eternal life to the person with the faith. So yes, "regeneration *guarantees* you to live forever" because is the receipt of eternal life.

Can I be any more cleaar than that? This is not that hard!

Also, you say:
You assert that enables = accomplish.
Where did I assert this?

Also - you quote me again:
”The new creation is one who is inclined toward the things of God. This child of God can “get something” out of the Bible. Before believing, the Bible would be foolishness to him. Once a person has become this new creation, having the Spirit of God within them, that new nature doesn’t see the Bible as foolishness. That born-again believer needs to grow and develop. That spiritual being, born of the Spirit of God, doesn’t want to sin, but wants to please God. 2-13-06 post”

If I remember correctly, that was whe talking about the duall natured reality of the born-again Christian. Does this "come to the top" in every believer's case? Unfortunately, no, but the new creature cannot sin .... and he is also all those other things I mentioned above, but he must be strengthened or he will not dominate. 1 John 3:9

Now, I know you will have a feild day with what I have just said, but I have a baby.

June 26, 2007 12:45 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Mark,
No, we are not that far apart in our experience, I don't think. Maybe here is the difference - I am not willing to say that one who is enveloped in a life of sin is categorically unsaved if he has said that he has placed his trust in Christ for salvation. I think that is a difference and I apologize if I am misrepresenting anything about you here: I see justification and sanctification as very different items in the Christian life, but you do not, right? To me, justification is instantaneous and free. Practical, visible sanctification is not instant or automatic and it requires submission and even work. I see room for failure - even lasting failure on this earth. Not that I want failure or that I encourage failure - Lord, no!

Either way, God knows - and I am content to let him sort it all out. He is better at it than me. :~)

June 26, 2007 12:53 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

I do have a crying baby. wahwahwah

June 26, 2007 12:54 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"To me, justification is instantaneous and free."
======
Are you saying that I do not believe that justification is instantaneous and free? I know that free gracer's like to caracature reformed thought by saying that we believe in "infused righteousness". Are you not echoing them here? Justification is instantaneous. It is a forensic term meaning one is declared righteous before God by God the moment one believes in Christ.

Sanctification begins the moment a sinner is separated from the world and unto Christ, and goes on for the rest of the believer's earhtly sojourn. See 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet.1:2; and 2 Cor. 3:18.
======

"Practical, visible sanctification is not instant or automatic and it requires submission and even work."
======
As memory serves me correctly, on that very thread at your blog in Feb.'06 we agreed on this, and so does the rest of reformed theology. Why do you bring this up as though we have not covered this ground before? NOBODY in reformed says that sanctification is automatic; inevitable, yes, automatic, no. Why are you defaulting to your old arguments as though you have never been interacted with on these issues before? This is why I begin to question FGT tactics. Here you are following in their footsteps. Why?
=========

"I see room for failure - even lasting failure on this earth."
=====
Not possible. Conformity to Christ is God's goal on this side of the grave as well as in glory. You say that you have not decided on where the purpose statement of 1st John lies. From my position, 5:13, we are taught that he that is born of God overcomes the world. No wiggle room here.

In the above statement to Wayne you expressed a typical free grace position - "The new nature does not sin" - is this not duality here? Is this not close to gnosticism, spirit, good, matter, bad?

You have very grossly misrepresented my views when you say that I believe that there is no difference between justification and sanctification. This also the free gracer's do. We have been over this ground so many times, Rose. I am ver disappointed with how you disregard all of our past conversations. Disappointed and offended.

June 26, 2007 1:27 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Gees, Mark, Pleaase don't be offended. I was in a rush and had to get to the baby. I did say "I apologize if I am misrepresenting anything about you here" I am sorry.

I do not see the difference between the word automatic and ineitable.

God be with you and please forgive me if I forgot something about a past conversation.

June 26, 2007 1:43 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

I do remember that you had said justification was instantaneous, but I also remember you getting irate with the factthat others separate justification, which is instant, from visible sanctification, which I (they) say is not automatic/inevitable. That was the point I was trying to make about our differences, Mark.

June 26, 2007 1:46 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

"The new nature does not sin" - is this not duality here? Is this not close to gnosticism, spirit, good, matter, bad?

Is this tit for tat? I am a gnostic now? Should I be offended too?

June 26, 2007 1:57 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

You have very grossly misrepresented my views when you say that I believe that there is no difference between justification and sanctification.

Again, I am sorry, but I was reaacting to many of the more recent comments wherein you decry the fact that others try to separate them. That must have overshadowed our previous conversations.

June 26, 2007 2:06 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose,
You said.......
Can I be any more cleaar than that? This is not that hard!

Yes, because what you say makes no sense. No, but your refusal to engage the timing and definition of regeneration makes it hard.

I am not contradicitng myself. I think you just have such a firm view of regeneration as you see it that you cannot see what I see it as. I really don't like trying to spell out the order of things that are so above my comprehension,

I have a firm definition of regeneration that Calvinist and non-Calvinists alike agree on. What you view as regeneration and the fact that you don't understand the order of things does not change the fact that the correct definition and order are very important to the doctrine of regeneration and many people on both sides of the debate do spell out their view of the order of things and what are the results based on the accepted defintion of regeneration. If it is above your comprehension, just say so, but don't try to prove something by appealing to a lack of comphrehension.

There is no need to continue further in this debate. I do know that Romans 8:14 makes it clear that the sons of God are led by the Spirit and I have seen no passages that indicate a redeemed believer can be totally dominated by sin.....

June 26, 2007 2:44 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Jazzycat says:

...what you say makes no sense...

Just because it doesn't make sense to you does not mean that it is senseless. You are trying to make me sound foolish? Go ahead. All I was saying is that I am beneath comprehending it completely (which it is a little prideful not to admit, IMO), but I did offer an answer:

I have Scriptural reason to believe that faith brings about regeneration which is the gifting of eternal life to the person with the faith. So yes, "regeneration *guarantees* you to live forever" because it is the receipt of eternal life.

Above I repeat what I have said before.

You say:
...the fact that you don't understand the order of things ...

That sounds very pompous, Wayne.

... do spell out their view of the order of things ...

Again, I did this for you.

If it is above your comprehension, just say so, but don't try to prove something by appealing to a lack of comphrehension.

That is just insulting. I thought we were getting along here.

Maybe your system wil not allow you to view my words as any way but senseless because I don't believe in regeneration preceding faith, but a good percentage of the Christians I know would completely understand what I have said. You weren't trying to insult me, were you, Wayne?

June 26, 2007 3:00 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Wayne says:

I have a firm definition of regeneration that Calvinist and non-Calvinists alike agree on.

A said that I agreed with it, too:

I agree with the definition you give here: it being a new nature, a new life implanted by the Holy Spirit

No need to continue? Fine, but don't say that no one has ever answered your question, Wayne. You just don't like the answer. Your system will not allow you to even acknowledge it. tut tut

June 26, 2007 3:03 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Rose,
No insult meant. You mentioned things being incomphrensible for you to understand - not me. I just take apologetics seriously and dealing with a vague and in flux definition of regeneration and it's timing just leaves me with no understanding of your view.

I am sorry but I do not understand how one can say that eternal life is secured before regeneration occurs in a person and then insist that regeneration is needed to guarantee what is already a done deal.

However, I do understand other views such as the Arminian view.

At least we tried very hard to clarify the purpose of regeneration in a FG carnal Christian. You think you did that and I think you didn't.

Thanks for your tenacity. I admire that since, I have had people bail out on me too soon at times.

wayne

June 26, 2007 5:08 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose, I went into Wayne's July, 2006 archive and found this discussion between you and I. I will cut and paste here...

>Rose, you are operating from the presupposition that a divide can be made between Justification and Sanctification. Yes, they are distinct, but when the WHOLE of scripture is considered, they are inseparably linked. Nowhere in scripture do we see taught otherwise. As Jazzy has pointed out, Romans 7 and 8, along with Galatians 5 and 1 John describe the new life within. And, as I pointed out to you on my blog, a few posts back, forgiveness of sins is PART of the whole. See Jeremiah 31:31-34 coupled together with Ezekial 36:25-27. In these verses dealing with the new covenant we see the sin issue dealt with as well as the description of the new life that results from regeneration. See Jer. 31:33 and Ezek. 36:26-27. In your version of dispensationalism, you are taught to look at these verses as pertaining to another dispensation. I am sorry for that. Perhaps the commentaries that you consult treat these passages that same way, while the rest of christendom does not do so. It is from that presupposition that you operate, wherein no consideration is given the New Covenant giving of the new heart and God puting His Spirit within to move us to walk in His ways. The New Covenant/new life is what is described in Romans chapter 6- chapter 8, and 1 John.

Any way you cut it, new life will show itself. The awarness of one's sinfullness and the need to run to Christ for refuge are the beginnings, are where it starts to show itself. See John 1:11-12...<

That was from his, I believe, July 3, 2006 post. You can check his archive there to verify this.

If you were to go into your own archive, around the February 16, 2006 area you will see my views on our part in sanctification. As I recall you were very happy with my views and the way that I handled myself there. Like I said, you and I have discussed these things before. My views are all the same as they were in these comments between us then.

I can only hope that you hold no bitter feelings toward me, as I do not towards you.

Mark

June 27, 2007 7:04 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

In fact this whole conversation has taken place at least two times before. Here is one of those places...


https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=18297904&postID=115170411912425823&isPopup=true

June 27, 2007 7:32 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Yes, Mark it *IS* an old conversation, isn't it? In that link you gave, I see where I amswered Jazzy's question before (although he keeps isisting no one can answer him or he just ridicules the answer as "senseless") and I also see where you link just. and sanc., although you do say they are distinct. I knew that, but as I said in my above comment - I did not mean to misrepresent your views, I was thinking of a particular passion that you have flashed lately about those who separate them too much.

I never meant to "mischaracterize or distort". Ya know, I was thinking - all this talk of "tactics", perhaps "we" see "tactics" in others because "we" are employing "tactics" - like you referring to me as a gnostic.

I leave you with no hard feelings.

I also leave you and Wayne with a key passage to my answer that I have now given him again about what regeneration accomplishes:

4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.


(and if he is, he can)

What a great gift that the Lord has given us. Peace to both of you.

over and out

June 27, 2007 7:59 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Here is another place where a similar conversation took place...




https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=17149877&postID=113994577965398342

June 27, 2007 8:00 AM

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home