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  #21  
Old 12-31-2008, 11:33 AM
Steven Avery Steven Avery is offline
 
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Hi Folks,

Interesting thread, a bit out of my normal bailiwick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diligent
the obvious verse is:
Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
This is another one of those verses that 5-point Calvinism doesn't want you to believe. According to Calvin, Paul got this one backwards. I prefer Paul over Calvin.
Hmm. So is it a native part of Calvinism that regeneration is totally distinct from and precedes faith ? I would be curious how they defend that in lieu of verses like Ephesians 1:13.

I noticed that the Calvin Commentary page uses a translation that does not have "after". Instead "by believing in which you are also sealed". However this still has believing preceding being sealed. Do they separate being sealed from regeneration ? Within the box of Tulps, how are the flowers handled ?

http://www.the-highway.com/Calvin_Eph5.html
The Fifth Sermon on the First Chapter - John Calvin


Perhaps the Christian exegesis becomes a bit thick and mushy (even obtuse) when it has a foundational weakness.

This paper makes some good points.

http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org...ed/ddregen.htm
Reformed Theology and Regeneration - David Dunlop


Shalom,
Steven
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  #22  
Old 01-02-2009, 06:39 PM
Bill Bill is offline
 
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Thanks for the advice. I'm glad to see that I can get advice from people who have thought through this theology and are KJV believers. I'm already familiar with Michael Horton, A. W. Pink, and R. C. Sproul. It seems to me that since God is outside of time, an event, such as predestination, that is in our past would be in God's present at the time of salvation. Trying to understand this is as mind-boggling as learning relativity physics. I remember that after a Physics class in relativity I almost had trouble walking from my desk to the classroom door because my brain was so overwhelmed with the subject. Another aspect of this is that because our salvation is not of works, not of anything a person could boast about, it is thought that God must choose people for no discernable reason. I think this is not right because there are qualities of receptiveness to God, such as having a "broken heart and contrite spirit, trembling at God's word" that are not works or achievements that anyone could take credit for (brag about) but are different in different people and determine who will trust Jesus and who won't.

Last edited by Bill; 01-02-2009 at 06:41 PM. Reason: typos
  #23  
Old 01-03-2009, 02:42 AM
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PB1789 PB1789 is offline
 
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Default Deep and Wide!

Hello Bill. You are very correct about this not being an easy thing to grasp and we are mere humans... Able to invent light bulbs/automobiles/telephones, and many other things, but our brains are tiny in comparison to The Lord God Almighty--Maker of Heaven and Earth.

As good as those Authors/Preachers/Theology Profs. are/were that I mentioned before ( and don't forget to read some C.H. Spurgeon and some John Bunyan along with Berkof) the BEST thing to read and make our Statements of Faith from are the very Words of God that we have in our Bibles !

There are some rich and deep truths found in the first chapter in The Epistle to the Ephesians... Hope everyone will turn over there and read with an open heart and mind. This portion of scripture certainly makes John 17 more understandable. Starting at chapter 1, verse 3 we read on to v.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: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved."

... go ahead and read the rest of the chapter folks. This is a great and glorious thing! The Creator of Adam and Eve, Who put the stars in the sky and named them, and gives us water and oxygen, and numbers the very hairs on our head...God Almighty is in control and He knows what He is doing ! This should warm our hearts and comfort us. If we are Christians, it is because of The Lord...NOT ourselves !
  #24  
Old 01-03-2009, 08:37 AM
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Diligent Diligent is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PB1789 View Post
... go ahead and read the rest of the chapter folks. This is a great and glorious thing! The Creator of Adam and Eve, Who put the stars in the sky and named them, and gives us water and oxygen, and numbers the very hairs on our head...God Almighty is in control and He knows what He is doing ! This should warm our hearts and comfort us. If we are Christians, it is because of The Lord...NOT ourselves !
Absolutely. But if you believe, it is because of your heart:
Romans 10:9-10 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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Don't let anyone tell you that you don't do something to be saved:
Acts 16:30-31 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
(Belief is not a work! But it is a "do!")
  #25  
Old 01-03-2009, 08:53 AM
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Diligent Diligent is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PB1789 View Post
There are some rich and deep truths found in the first chapter in The Epistle to the Ephesians... Hope everyone will turn over there and read with an open heart and mind. This portion of scripture certainly makes John 17 more understandable. Starting at chapter 1, verse 3 we read on to v.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: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved."
Brother,

Eph 1 is indeed a wonderful passage of Scripture an should comfort the soul of any believer who reads it.

However, when I read it without preconceptions of what predestination is, I got a new meaning. (This happened several years ago for me.)

If you believe Paul's teaching of predestination is about your salvation, then I ask you:
  • Has the dispensation of the fullness of times been fulfilled? (Eph 1:10)
  • Has all been gathered together in Christ? (Eph 1:10)
  • Has your inheritance been redeemed yet? (Eph 1:11 cf Eph 1:14, "until")
  • What do the words "who first trusted Christ" in Eph 1:12, and "afterthat ye heard the gospel... after that ye believed" in Eph 1:13 mean, if regeneration by the Holy Spirit precedes belief?
The point is that Paul is taking about something that God has predestinated. In this chapter, it's all future. If you're saved now (and you are!), then your predestination is not about your belief and your "choice" to receive Christ. Your predestination is, as a believer, to be conformed to the image of the Son (Romans 8:29), to the praise of his glory (Eph 1:14), etc.
  #26  
Old 01-03-2009, 10:16 AM
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Josh Josh is offline
 
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Brandon!

BTW, I like that: "Belief is not a work! But it is a "do!".
  #27  
Old 01-03-2009, 04:53 PM
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Forrest Forrest is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PB1789 View Post
... go ahead and read the rest of the chapter folks. This is a great and glorious thing! The Creator of Adam and Eve, Who put the stars in the sky and named them, and gives us water and oxygen, and numbers the very hairs on our head...God Almighty is in control and He knows what He is doing ! This should warm our hearts and comfort us. If we are Christians, it is because of The Lord...NOT ourselves !
Indeed. Here is my understanding and my comments on of Ephesians 1:3-14.
Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
The doctrinal truths contained in the first chapter of Ephesians begin with this important reality. This one truth is the foundation of all truth. We are blessed with all spiritual blessings, to include election, predestination, adoption, acceptance, redemption, forgiveness, grace, and security--specifically in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. God’s perfect plan and purpose rests in and revolves around the Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph 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:
God has indeed chosen us before the foundation of the world. But observe that His choosing and election is specifically in Christ. Not works, not law, not good behavior, not discipline and not effort. God’s sovereign plan and will is that all “in him” (Christ), be chosen before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before him in love.

In His perfect and sovereign will, God did not choose to select the better man and reject the inferior one. Every true Christian was chosen in Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world through the instrument of faith in His completed work. 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 specifically chosen those of us who believe in Christ Jesus to be “holy” and “without blame” before Him in love. Our being “holy” and “without blame” is not conditional to our holy and blameless behavior, it is a spiritual reality. Our spiritual rebirth in Christ imputes and endows us with the quality of righteousness and perfection.

How is a person in Him? As Brandon (Diligent) appropriately wrote. Only one way, believe in your heart. “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” (Romans 10:9).
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Again, the “predestination” and the “adoption” is specifically “by Jesus Christ.” It is the good pleasure of God’s perfect will that by Jesus Christ all who are in Christ are predestinated and adopted according to the good pleasure of His will.
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Again, we are accepted “in the beloved” (Jesus Christ).
Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
We have “redemption” only through the blood of Jesus Christ. We have the “forgiveness” of sins only by the blood of Jesus Christ. And, we have “grace” only by the Lord Jesus Christ. “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).
Eph 1:8-14 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Our everlasting security and assurance is specifically in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the “earnest of our inheritance” until the final day of redemption when we are in His eternal presence.

The entire doctrine of election, predestination, and God’s sovereignty is indeed a challenge to understand. But, I think we would all agree that God’s plan, before the foundation of the world, is that all who believe be saved through the Lord Jesus Christ. All spiritual blessings in heavenly places are ours through Him.
 

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