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  #11  
Old 02-13-2009, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: "CALVINISM: Sound Doctrine?"

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Originally Posted by stephanos View Post
Boy, this is good stuff right here!

George, do you have this write-up in any other format? I'd love to be able to share this with folks if that's all right with you.

Peace and Love,
Stephen

Aloha brother Stephen,

I'm sorry, but I don't have the study available in any other format. I haven't finished the study yet. I have a written outline for "LIMITED ATONEMENT", and I am still searching the Scriptures and working up an outline on the last two points.

Anyone can use anything that I have written here on the Forum or anything that I have posted on my web site. The only thing that I ask is that, whoever uses any of my written materials - NOT CHANGE anything (i.e. the words). Other than that, feel free to copy what I have written and share it with whomsoever you want.

There are a couple of other things to keep in mind (if you would) - Always point people to the Lord Jesus Christ as both LORD and SAVIOUR; and keep on declaring the King James Bible to be our FINAL AUTHORITY in all matters of faith and practice. I urge you (as I do all the other brethren) not to think too highly of men (any man), when it comes to studying and rightly dividing the word of truth.

Whatever materials (books, booklets, pamphlets, essays, etc.) you read, I'd advise you to carefully compare them with the Holy Scriptures, and always seek out the Holy Spirit's guidance as to whether what has been presented is the truth or not.

2 Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

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  #12  
Old 02-13-2009, 01:47 PM
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Brother George wrote: Calvinists state:
God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual. He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will (Eph. 1:4-8; Rom. 9:11) without any consideration of merit within the individual.

I do not agree with the statement: God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual.” If the statement is in reference to “works”, I will agree, but if it is in reference to “BELIEF”, then I CANNOT agree. “ANYTHING” would include “BELIEF” – can you see the confusion (again) of thinking that “BELIEF” (an operation of the heart) is a “WORK” (an operation of the flesh)?

No one can argue with:He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will (Eph. 1:4-8; Rom. 9:11) without any consideration of merit within the individual.All genuine Bible believers would go along with this statement {since MERIT = WORKS}, unless someone lumps in “MERIT” = “BELIEF”! You see how it goes? Can you see how vitally important WORDS are?

IF “MERIT” equals “WORKS”, then we can agree with the statement, without any reservations, for all true Bible believers know that God has not chosen the “elect” because of their “WORKS” – that would nullify BELIEF & FAITH & SALVATION by GRACE! But, if “MERIT” includes “BELIEF”, that would nullify the separate purposes of the heart and the flesh, making them both THE SAMEwhich they are NOT; which would ultimately make “BELIEF” a WORK”which it is NOT! {Can you see how TOTAL DEPRAVITY is the Lynchpin” upon which “Calvinism” relies?}
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.

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.
  #13  
Old 02-14-2009, 09:57 AM
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Default Re: "CALVINISM: Sound Doctrine?"

Aloha brother Forrest,


In regards to your inquiry, here is my answer.

Quote:
"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.)

Quote:
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.
  #14  
Old 02-14-2009, 11:46 AM
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Bro. George,

I don't want to sound like I'm limiting God or questioning His power, but is there anything in Scripture that states that God emphatically does know everything? Obviously there are certain things that are set in stone through history (Jesus being slain from the foundation of the world, etc.) and He will bring about His will, but the Bible says that Jesus knew their thoughts as they thought them, not that He knew what they were going to think.

Any ideas?
  #15  
Old 02-14-2009, 02:50 PM
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Hello Brother George,

Quote:
You wrote: 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.”
Thank you for those clarifying words {‘hear the word of the Gospel, and believe and’}. I have inserted them into my writing.

Quote:
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.
I am so with you on this. Unfortunately, I have had the committed "Calvinist" tell me it is God who "chooses" for you to believe. If you are not the "elect" you have absolutely no choice in the matter, even when you hear the word of Gospel. Quietism!
  #16  
Old 02-14-2009, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: " CALVINISM: Sound Doctrine?"

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Originally Posted by MC1171611 View Post
Bro. George,

I don't want to sound like I'm limiting God or questioning His power, but is there anything in Scripture that states that God emphatically does know everything? Obviously there are certain things that are set in stone through history (Jesus being slain from the foundation of the world, etc.) and He will bring about His will, but the Bible says that Jesus knew their thoughts as they thought them, not that He knew what they were going to think.

Any ideas?
Aloha brother,

The question that you ask has to do with the makeup & operation of the "Godhead" - Father/Son/Holy Spirit [Acts 17:29; Romans 1:20; Colossians 2:9] and I do not profess to understand very much about "It", other than to say I believe in it.

Acts 15:18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.


I try real hard to avoid speculation when it comes the word of God, and the Scriptural "Godhead" is one of the most difficult of all doctrines to discern and understand in the entire Bible.

How can one explain God (the Son) being born - becoming a baby? How does a person understand God (the Son) growing up: first as an infant; then as a child; and then becoming a man? I don't profess to understand it - I, by faith, just believe it.

It is obvious to me that, while on the earth, the Lord Jesus Christ (unlike the Father & Holy Spirit) was "limited" (by His earthly body) in that He could not be everywhere at one time (He was not - Omnipresent). He could get hungry, thirsty, weary & tired, and He suffered and could feel pain (He was not - Omnipotent).

Romans 1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; [Acts 2:30-31; Romans 9:5; 1Peter 3:18, 4:1-3; 2John 1:7]

And although Christ "knew" what was in men's hearts [Matthew 9:4; Luke 5:22, 9:47 Acts 1:24] - an "Attribute" that only God possesses [1Kings 8:39 & 2Chronicles 6:30], it would appear, because of His physical limitations, that He did not know all of their thoughts - unless he came into contact with them; and even then, He possibly may not have known "everything" about what they would think in the future (He was not - Omniscient).

Read the Book of Hebrews {Matthew/Acts/Hebrews/Revelation = the most difficult Books in the Bible to understand} and you will get just an inkling of the difficulty in understanding just exactly how the Lord Jesus Christ was governed, and executed the attributes of God, and operated within the Godhead while in His flesh. I for one, confess that I do not understand how this was accomplished. I only know that Jesus Christ was God "manifest in the flesh" [1Timothy 3:16] while on earth. How the Godhead accomplished this is still a mystery to me.

The following excerpts from Hebrews will give you an idea:

Hebrews 2:5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.
6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:
8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.

9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

11
For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.

14
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;


15
And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
17
Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren
, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Hebrews 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

There are precepts, principles, and fundamental tenets found in the Book of Hebrews which no man has been able to fully understand or fathom. Someday (soon I hope) when I come face to face with my Lord and Saviour I shall know [1Corinthians 13:9-12]. Until then I will continue to study God's word, determined to know whatever truth He, in His wisdom, is willing to show me.

Does God
"know everything"? Read Job, Psalms, and Proverbs. I believe you will find the answer to your question within the pages of those Books.

Last edited by George; 02-14-2009 at 04:01 PM.
  #17  
Old 02-14-2009, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by MC1171611 View Post
Bro. George,

I don't want to sound like I'm limiting God or questioning His power, but is there anything in Scripture that states that God emphatically does know everything? Obviously there are certain things that are set in stone through history (Jesus being slain from the foundation of the world, etc.) and He will bring about His will, but the Bible says that Jesus knew their thoughts as they thought them, not that He knew what they were going to think.

Any ideas?
For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. (1 John 3:20 KJV)

Seems pretty clear to me.

Peace and Love,
Stephen
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Old 02-14-2009, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: " CALVINISM: Sound Doctrine?"

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Originally Posted by stephanos View Post
For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. (1 John 3:20 KJV)

Seems pretty clear to me.

Peace and Love,
Stephen
Aloha brother Stephen,

Excellent verse! I'm going to "borrow" that one for my studies.
  #19  
Old 02-14-2009, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by MC1171611 View Post
Bro. George,

I don't want to sound like I'm limiting God or questioning His power, but is there anything in Scripture that states that God emphatically does know everything? Obviously there are certain things that are set in stone through history (Jesus being slain from the foundation of the world, etc.) and He will bring about His will, but the Bible says that Jesus knew their thoughts as they thought them, not that He knew what they were going to think.

Any ideas?
I guess the omniscience of God was made very clear to me when I first studied Exodus.

God knew what Pharoah would do before Pharoah ever did it. (Exodus 6:1, Exodus 7:2-4, Exodus 9:11-12)

In fact, God has the ability to harden the heart of a man, and to turn it, so God's power goes far beyond just KNOWING men's hearts and the future, God has the power to CHANGE the future and He CONTROLS it. (Prov. 21:1, Psalm 139:1-2, 44:21, I Sam. 16:7, 1 John 3:20)
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Old 02-14-2009, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Bro. Parrish View Post
I guess the omniscience of God was made very clear to me when I first studied Exodus.

God knew what Pharoah would do before Pharoah ever did it. (Exodus 6:1, Exodus 7:2-4, Exodus 9:11-12)

In fact, God has the ability to harden the heart of a man, and to turn it, so God's power goes far beyond just KNOWING men's hearts and the future, God has the power to CHANGE the future and He CONTROLS it. (Prov. 21:1, Psalm 139:1-2, 44:21, I Sam. 16:7, 1 John 3:20)
Forgive me if I get too "far-out" here, but I have a plausible idea how to reconcile God's sovereignty and man's free will.

Obviously, God is in control: I never questioned that. God can direct things and His will will come to pass regardless. However, I find that the same reason Calvinists twist the Bible to say that God chose things to happen a certain way can also be construed to say that while God is obviously in control and knows what will happen, He did not choose those things nor set them in place outside of mans' free will.

Now it's easy to say that outside of our comprehension, God does know everything that has happened and will happen because of His place outside of our existence within time. However, I have another way of looking at things that I hope some will at least find interesting, if perhaps not totally compelling.

Imagine that every decision that a man or woman makes changes their destiny and that of those they interact with. Even a small decision can alter things to an enormous extent, such as the choice to accept Christ, and that person becomes a great evangelist that leads millions to Christ. Now if God knew every possible decision that a person could make in their life, and every effect that would have on everyone else in the world, that would address the idea of man's will versus God's sovereignty.

Now just like with Pharaoh: God was going to make that man harden his heart. If God were to have made him hard and reject, then God would be cruel and potentially unjust (though God cannot sin so it's His decision anyway) in not giving pharaoh the chance to repent. However, knowing human nature, and how everything would effect pharaoh, if God had simply brought about the circumstances that He knew would cause pharaoh to harden his heart, God would not be unjust and pharaoh would still have retained his free will. In this case God's will would have been fulfilled without infringing upon the will of man.

It's a little different, and some might say it sounds like some sort of Eastern Mysticism, but when you think about it, almost every single (if not every) false religion is simply a perversion and corruption of the truth.

I think God is all-knowing, but in a different way than most think. I believe God is all-powerful, but in a manner which many wouldn't imagine. The verse that Stephen supplied would fit well with this explanation: God doesn't just know what will happen, He knows everything that possibly could happen!

Thoughts?
 

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