Tuesday, September 16, 2008

God is sovereign, and yet man is responsible and not to be passive!

Repent and Be Converted!- Jim Savastio

Pressing into the Kingdom- Jim Savastio

Striving to Enter at the Narrow Gate- Jim Savastio

I think all vestiges of hyper-Calvinism are now bled from my body...and I am thankful my pastor preaches the text and is not afraid to tell plead with! the unconverted to obey the Gospel and repent and believe!


16 Comments:

At September 16, 2008 at 11:59 PM , Blogger WatchingHISstory said...

you know there is a substantive difference between telling (proclaiming - which is biblical) and pleading.
Telling assumes that god is the determiner of salvation and the announcement is that God has elected you to salvation. Jesus was eager to announce glad tidings to the down-trodden.

Pleading assumes that the individual's faith is the provider of his own salvation. Salvation is decision oriented.

Pleading assumes that salvation is a universal offer and the sad news is that God who wants to save all men is impotent to do so.

It is good news for man, he is free to choose hell if he desires. It is bad new for God, he can't save whosoever he wants. Just thoes who will let Him. How sad!

 
At September 17, 2008 at 8:56 AM , Blogger MarieP said...

WatchingHISstory,

You wrote:

"Telling assumes that god is the determiner of salvation and the announcement is that God has elected you to salvation."

But the thing is...even if we say that we are only to "tell" the Gospel, which I will deal with in a second, we are to proclaim the Gospel to all men everywhere:

Acts 17:30- "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent"

You then said:

"Pleading assumes that the individual's faith is the provider of his own salvation. Salvation is decision oriented."

If w3hat you say is actually the case, then God must be an Arminian:

2 Cor. 5:20- "Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God."

Some will say that those who are being implored here are Christians, but why would Christians need to be told to be reconciled with God because we, having been justified by faith, already have peace with God (Rom. 5:1)?

Eze. 33:30-31- "'Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,' says the Lord GOD. 'Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,' says the Lord GOD. 'Therefore turn and live!'"

I admit that some say that these verses are only to be addressed to the people of Israel as the chosen nation of the Old Covenant. But remember that God is also speaking to those whom He has not elected to the covenant of grace! Not all of Israel was truly Israel, as Rom. 9:6 says.

How I reconcile these things, I don;t know, as I am a finite human being. God's secret will is that His elect be saved and that whatever He has decreed will abound to His glory and good pleasure. But His revealed will commands all men everywhere to repent and that He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.

John Piper writes:

"The difference between Calvinists and Arminians lies not in whether there are two wills in God, but in what they say this higher commitment is. What does God will more than saving all? The answer given by Arminians is that human self-determination and the possible resulting love relationship with God are more valuable than saving all people by sovereign, efficacious grace. The answer given by Calvinists is that the greater value is the manifestation of the full range of God's glory in wrath and mercy (Romans 9:22-23) and the humbling of man so that he enjoys giving all credit to God for his salvation (1 Corinthians 1:29)."

Are There There Two Wills in God?

 
At September 17, 2008 at 7:13 PM , Blogger WatchingHISstory said...

I cannot accept Piper's two wills theory. Like dispensationalism it is a theory of sotierology.

Seems that Paul was pleading with the Galatians and many times we are pleading with Christians to embrace the gospel truths. ironic

We announce the good news to all the unconverted without discriminating who are the elect. The Holy Spirit applies the Father's election of grace and we guide them to obedience. Perhaps then we may plead with them to obey, repent etc. All the elect are born-again but not all progress at the same rate of discipline.

 
At September 18, 2008 at 8:48 AM , Blogger MarieP said...

WatchingHISstory,

You said:

"We announce the good news to all the unconverted without discriminating who are the elect. The Holy Spirit applies the Father's election of grace and we guide them to obedience. Perhaps then we may plead with them to obey, repent etc."

Acts 2
37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"
38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."
40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

Two important points brought out in a recent sermon:

1. The answer to "What shall we do?" was not "Nothing, you can't do anything!" Rather, the answer was "Repent and be baptized" (the command to believe being implied). While faith and repentance are gifts from God, God does not repent and believe for us.

2. Not everyone who was cut to the heart or asked this question repented and believed. This is because Luke adds "then those who gladly received his word" in verse 41.

All this under the sovereignty of God and with an understanding that God's grace is effective in bringing His elect to Himself.

 
At September 19, 2008 at 2:23 AM , Blogger Micah said...

Repent.

 
At September 19, 2008 at 6:32 AM , Blogger YnottonY said...

Hi Marie,

In case you want some historic Reformed/Calvinistic arsenal for combatting hyper-Calvinism, here is a link to some of the most excellent sources:

Subject Index

And as for God pleading through us, check out my sources on God Begging. Thomas Manton, Stephen Charnock, Samuel Rutherford, George Swinnock, William Gurnall, John Shower, John Flavel, Charles Spurgeon and John MacArthur [recently] have all used this strong metaphor to express God's passionate way of pleading with sinners to come to him. So, it is no wonder that the rest of the Puritans have no problem saying that God "pleads" with men to come through the gospel offer. Why? Because they did NOT deny that God wills the salvation of all men. It's hyper-Calvinists that do that. Some of them [hypers] honor the Reformers and Puritans with their lips, but their hearts are far from them.

 
At September 19, 2008 at 7:55 AM , Blogger YnottonY said...

Since I see you have posted on Andrew Fuller, you will probably like this quote that I recently put up :-)

Fuller on God's Love, Good-Will and Saving Desire

 
At September 19, 2008 at 11:31 AM , OpenID reformedandbaptist said...

MarieP

I'm just preaching through John 3 (and listening to some of Pastor S for inspiration!)....it is striking to me that at the beginning of the chapter Christ tells Nicodemus..unless a man is born again he cannot see or enter the Kingdom of God - truly a Divine work!

Yet in verse 14 & 15 using the serpent in the wilderness as example he preaches (it moves from conversation to discourse) that all who believe (man's responsibility) will not perish but have eternal life.

As Packer puts it so well (Evangelism and the Sov. of God) the divine work of grace that is salvation and how it harmonises with man's responsibility to believe is an antimony but not a paradox. It seems to me that both Hyper-calvinism and Arminianism answer a question that they should never really have asked one emphasises divine sovereignty and the other emphasises man's responsibility...the Bible teaches both!

Paul

 
At September 20, 2008 at 1:46 AM , Blogger MarieP said...

Tony,

Yes, I have the Sprinkle complete set of Fuller's works! You have some very interesting quotes from the Puritans there on your site.

The quotes on the Puritans' "Begging God" reminded me of the whole Francis Chan thing early last year. I am still not a fan of the video, but I can say that I have no problem with talking about God begging or pleading with sinners to be reconciled with Himself. I mean...it's what 2 Cor. 5:20 says.


Paul,

Amen! I found that sermon on John 3:14-15 very edifying as well!

Here is one from 2 Cor. 6:2. I was not at RBC that long ago, but it's one of those sermons where you would have wanted to be there because it's so powerful and obviously Spirit-owned just from listening to it on audio!:

The Day of Salvation

 
At September 20, 2008 at 2:20 AM , Blogger WatchingHISstory said...

seems to me Paul is pleading with the Corinthian believers not sinners in general.

 
At September 20, 2008 at 9:02 AM , Blogger MarieP said...

WatchingHISstory,

What are your reasons for saying this is limited to believers? I don't think Paul would have used the word "ambassador" if he meant just believers.

 
At September 20, 2008 at 12:57 PM , Blogger YnottonY said...

Paul is talking to the Corinthians about the nature of his gospel in general and the motives of his ministry as one who is [along with his companions] Christ's ambassador. It's clear that he is talking about things concerning salvation [see 2 Cor. 6:1-2]. He's contrasting himself and his message from those who boast in appearance [v.12]. Verses 19-21 objectively describe the "ministry of reconciliation" [v.18b], i.e. the gospel, that was given to him by God through Christ. Verse 20 describes the nature of his gospel plea.

It is true that this rehearsal of the gospel in the passage should motivate believers in Corinth to holiness of life, but Paul is talking about more than that in the context. He's telling the Corinthians why he does what he does, and he behaves in such a way that accords with the nature of the gospel message and the nature of the one who sent him so that no obstacles are put in any man's way [2 Cor. 6:3], unlike the arrogant false apostles.

 
At September 21, 2008 at 10:21 PM , Blogger WatchingHISstory said...

ynottony

of course you assume the well meant offer is set in stone and that is the inerrant Word.

But doesn't the well meant offer (hypothetical universal atonement)
actually put an obstacle in man's way that God does not allow.

 
At September 22, 2008 at 7:36 AM , Blogger YnottonY said...

Charles said:

"of course you assume the well meant offer is set in stone and that is the inerrant Word."

Me now:

I am not just making assumptions. I gave a brief contextual explanation of 2 Cor. 5 above in order to show that Paul is talking about his gospel in general. That's something you denied [without any scriptural analysis offered]. Why? Because you're "assuming" that God cannot will the salvation of any of the non-elect. Not only is that not biblical, it is not even Reformed or Calvinistic.

Charles said:

"But doesn't the well meant offer (hypothetical universal atonement)
actually put an obstacle in man's way that God does not allow."


Me now:

First of all, this thread is not about various atonement theories [although it is true that the sufficiency of Christ's satisfaction forms a basis of the well-meant gospel offer]. So far the discussion in the comment area concerns whether or not God is sincerely pleading with everyone to come to him through the external gospel call. Let's stick with that issue. You have a problem with that because your driving presupposition is that God cannot will, wish, want or desire the salvation of anyone but the elect. That's not Calvinism.

Secondly, you merely make an assertion above, i.e. that "the well-meant offer puts an obstacle in man's way that God does not allow." What obstacle? What are you talking about?

By "obstacles" above, I mentioned Paul's statement in 2 Cor. 6:3. There he is referring to unnecessary offenses that might come by his own behavior and/or offenses that come by way of possibly misrepresenting the received truth of the gospel, or the "ministry of reconciliation." Paul does not want the ministry to lose credibility in any way, so he behaves himself in accord with the integrity of Christ in all things, even for the sake of the everlasting souls of those at Corinth.

 
At September 22, 2008 at 11:18 AM , Blogger WatchingHISstory said...

The worst obstacle is that it "possibly misrepresents the received truth of the gospel" and then the well meant offer would be something that Paul would oppose.

The proclamation is made to all who have the human ability to understand. The imperative is given to all who are given the hearing by the Spirit. This is a plea and a command and the hearers have a duty to obey. Basically this plea is, repent. Repentance does not bring the hearing. Through the new birth the Holy Spirit brings the hearing.

you said: "God cannot will, wish, want or desire the salvation of anyone but the elect. That's not Calvinism."
That is true. "God cannot"-that is the error you are creating for me. Would you have me say that God cannot do something? You are building a strawman of my view and then easily destroy it!

Calvinism believes that according to the pleasure of his will he decreed the salvation of the elect before the foundations of the world was laid.

Simply we proclaim Christ to the world as thoes who have been saved by his grace. (as on the day of Pentecost) and we offer a plea, an imperative, to those who are pricked in their hearts. The Holy Spirit does the adding to the Church.

 
At September 22, 2008 at 2:24 PM , Blogger MarieP said...

Tony,

You will be interested to know that I went to a wedding at church Saturday, and my pastor gave a brief word from 2 Cor. 5:17-19. Great wedding text! So I agree when you say that Paul is addressing both in that he is talking about the Gospel in general.

WatchingHISstory,

You said:

"The worst obstacle is that it 'possibly misrepresents the received truth of the gospel' and then the well meant offer would be something that Paul would oppose. The proclamation is made to all who have the human ability to understand. The imperative is given to all who are given the hearing by the Spirit."

Was the gospel and the command to repent and believe only given to the elect places like Acts 2, Acts 3, and Acts 17? If so, how does one know he or she is elect? Seems I would have to know if I am elect first, in your thinking. The Bible says "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" AND "no one can come to Me unless the Father who sent me draws him."

When I was converted, I did not know the doctrine of election. I did, however, know that Jesus Christ died for sinners, that I am a sinner, and that, by believing in Him, I have life in His name.

"Calvinism believes that according to the pleasure of his will he decreed the salvation of the elect before the foundations of the world was laid."

Who is denying this? Let me ask you a question: Do you believe we must include the doctrine of election whenever we proclaim the gospel? If so, why didn't the Apostles?

"Simply we proclaim Christ to the world as thoes who have been saved by his grace. (as on the day of Pentecost) and we offer a plea, an imperative, to those who are pricked in their hearts. The Holy Spirit does the adding to the Church."

How do we know who is being pricked in their hearts (in terms of the effectual call)? How does the sinner know if their conviction is godly sorrow or worldly sorrow? This would complicate the Gospel.

 

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