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Old 02-14-2009, 09:57 AM
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George George is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Posts: 891
Default Re: "CALVINISM: Sound Doctrine?"

Aloha brother Forrest,

In regards to your inquiry, here is my answer.

"Very good Brother George. I would appreciate your thoughts and counsel regarding some things I had written on Ephesians 1:4.
“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:”

"Since God is omniscient [all knowing] He certainly knew from eternity past who would exercise their “free will” to receive Christ and be placed “in Him,” but He knew this without imposing His will upon them."
I agree, with this caveat – “He certainly knew from eternity past who would {‘hear the word of the Gospel, and believe and’} exercise their “free will” to receive Christ and be placed “in Him,” but He knew this without imposing His will upon them.”

Acts 15:7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.

John 1:11He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

In order receive the Lord Jesus Christ we must first believe on Him. WHO are the “many” that received Him? It’s “them that believe on His name”.

John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Here is something we should all agree on. If you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day—you were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world.

The basis for God “choosing” any one person lies solely in Jesus Christ’s sinless sacrifice and atonement and whether or not you are in Him. We are chosen in Him. If you are not “in Him” by faith and you die a physical death in your alienated condition, you were not chosen.

In His perfect and sovereign will, God did not choose to elect the better man and reject the inferior one. Scripture teaches that every true Christian was indeed chosen in Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world solely on the basis of grace through faith.

In addition, Holy Scripture teaches that God ordained all true believers to be endowed with the certain quality of righteousness—to become a peculiar and separated assembly. God has also specifically chosen those who believe in Christ Jesus to be “holy” and “without blame” before Him in love. Our spiritual rebirth imputes righteousness and perfection.

To be holy literally means that we are declared as the most holy thing. It refers to a saint. Personally, I don’t “feel” very holy or saintly—but I am. It is important for us to know that usage of the word holy, in this context, is not referring to changed “outward” behavior. It’s not referring to living a holy lifestyle or improving our behavior.

In this particular passage it denotes that we have an absolute holy standing before God Himself—a declaration of righteousness. In Christ we are: “…holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:” (Colossians 1:22).

Brother George, as always, speak freely without any concerns of offending me. [IMG]file:///G:/DOCUME%7E1/GEORGE%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msohtml1/01/clip_image001.gif[/IMG]
I am in basic agreement with all of the rest of what you wrote.

We cannot underestimate the important role the word of God plays in our salvation. We must first hear the Gospel; then we must believe in our hearts; and then we receive <> faith, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. The only thing we must DO to be saved is that - we must believe! [Acts 16:30-31] That is why I believe that believing (i.e. belief) is the “KEY” that unlocks the Calvinist “puzzle”, and places all of the pieces in regards to their “doctrine” in their proper place.

Romans 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.