Jean’s Gospel: Give Us Barabbas!

You may also like...

97 Responses

  1. Josh the Baptist says:

    Totally disagree, but well-written.

    Quickly, free choice is not in opposition to Grace Alone. It is possible to believe both.

  2. Jean says:

    Hi Josh,
    How would you define “free choice”?

  3. Josh the Baptist says:

    that one can accept or reject salvation.

  4. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, I am glad that you said that. As you and I may ‘bicker’ here, I would hate to think that folks think it may be personal. They do not understand the great canyon divide in theology and how we look at the work of Christ.

  5. Josh the Baptist says:

    The implication, again is untrue though. You would say that you see the work of Christ as accomplishing all of salvation. I do too.

  6. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Grace alone is hard to swallow because it requires us to face our most sacred sins – pride, and self-righteousness. Grace alone means we’re as helpless and undeserving as the dregs of society (we are all dregs apart from Christ). There can be no comparisons with others, because we merit nothing. Grace alone means that God’s love isn’t for sale. In fact, working for God’s grace or our salvation is to reject both of them.”

    For instance, I can totally amen this! But I do think this grace is available to all.

  7. Jean says:

    “But I do think this grace is available to all.” I would like to save this question for a future article. We’re not there yet.

  8. Josh the Baptist says:

    But that is what it all comes down to, if you say that by God allowing choice, I no longer believe in Grace Alone. There is no other route to take.

  9. Josh the Baptist says:

    Assuming Jean and MLD are in agreement, this is also terribly inconsistent.

    So MLD believes that God predestines salvation, with no choice allowed to man.

    He then believes that a person can choose to walk away from that faith.

  10. Josh the Baptist says:

    But free-will vs. predestination has been debated for centuries, and won’t be solved on this board. So, have fun!

  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “So MLD believes that God predestines salvation, with no choice allowed to man.”

    I don’t know where you get this. Predestination / God’s election is in the Bible somewhere – I know I’ve seen it there. Man’s natural and only state before any intervention by God is to reject God 100% of the time. I think those 2 things are absolutely true. At the same time I do not come up with the sentence you made.

    Although the “walk away from that faith” may sound good and I may use the term is discussion sometimes, my view is they allow their faith to dry up and die by separating themselves from the vine.

    But I think you would be wiser to discuss Jean’s views and comments vs what you may think mine are.

  12. Josh the Baptist says:

    “they allow their faith”

    So any way you say it, that is a choice, right?

  13. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Man’s natural and only state before any intervention by God is to reject God 100% of the time. ”

    Totally agree. Some may reject God’s intervention…Maybe we agree. Maybe they just “allow their faith to wither” immediately rather than waiting for later?

  14. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, you obviously have a misunderstanding about the will before salvation and the will after salvation.

  15. Josh the Baptist says:

    And I think you do, but we’ve been through this all before.

  16. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Some pastors and parishioners would love the possibilities that such a salvation plan would offer – imagine the sermon series, books, spiritual disciplines, etc.”

    Yeah.

    Calvinists have never written books about their beliefs.

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Calvinists are just as wrong 😉

  18. Josh the Baptist says:

    Maybe a Lutheran has written a book or two? 🙂

  19. Michael says:

    This is really well written.
    It is also probably the last place the Lutherans agree with the Calvinist…but it’s a very important place indeed.

  20. Michael says:

    Those who disagree must deal with 1 Cor 2:14…as clear a statement of the unredeemed will as you can get.

    Thus, the invention of “prevenient grace”…which I’ve yet to find in the Scriptures after thirty years of looking…

  21. Josh the Baptist says:

    Of course anyone who disagrees with me has to deal with 1 Timothy 2:4.

    We could do this for the next 1500 years if y’all want to. 🙂

  22. Michael says:

    Let’s take one at a time…how do you interpret 1 Cor 2:14?

  23. Josh the Baptist says:

    Well, I completely agree with it, but it does not seem to be talking about salvation implicitly, rather the thoughts of God. Given the fullness of what I see in the scripture, that verse out of context can not dissuade me from what I see in the character of God from Genesis through Revelation.

  24. everstudy says:

    I think that when we discuss ‘free-will’, we need to define what we mean by that. Some think it means that we can do whatever, whenever, however we feel. In reality, our wills are only as free as our opportunities and our abilities.

    I could purpose to defy gravity, but no matter what I do, no matter where I go, I am under its affect. My ‘will’ to defy it is only as free as my ability to actually defy it.

    We have to recognize that our free-will is only as free as our nature, and apart from Christ, that nature is completely sin stained. So, if I am captive to my sin nature, so is my free-will.

    Until our ‘free-will’ is actually freed, we will not choose God.

    Unless I’m wrong…

  25. Michael says:

    It’s interesting that so many believe that the “character” of God depends on giving fallen and depraved humans a “choice” .

    I find that very odd that the same people who embrace this, embrace the character of God who wiped out the earth in the flood…

  26. Josh the Baptist says:

    Ok, you give the Calvinist answer for 1 Timothy 2:4.

  27. Michael says:

    everstudy,

    You’re right…

  28. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Until our ‘free-will’ is actually freed, we will not choose God.”

    I agree with Everstudy, but must point out that if the will is actually “freed” then it would also be free to not choose God.

  29. Josh the Baptist says:

    The people Noah preached to…was it a false offer? Were they actually unable to repent? Or did God, through Noah’s testimony make an offer that they rejected?

  30. Michael says:

    There is no single “Calvinist” response.

    If God is sovereign,then we assume that if He truly desires something,that something will happen.

    Yet, we know that all are not saved, so we need to dig a little deeper.

    In context, Paul is talking about different categories of people, so perhaps he means that God desires all social standings of people to be saved.

    Another possibility is that there are different sorts of “wills” in God.

    R.C Sprout does it this way…

    “When we speak about God’s will we do so in at least three different ways… The three meanings of the will of God: (a) Sovereign decretive will is the will by which God brings to pass whatsoever He decrees. This is hidden to us until it happens. (b) Preceptive will is God’s revealed law or commandments, which we have the power but not the right to break. (c) Will of disposition describes God’s attitude or disposition. It reveals what is pleasing to Him

    I can work with either or both…

  31. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Another possibility is that there are different sorts of “wills” in God.”

    Certainly that is no less of an invention than “prevenient grace”, right?

  32. Michael says:

    Wrong.

    We can see that Scripture uses “will” in different ways.

    What ‘prevenient grace” does is agree with Jean and I that the natural man cannot understand the things of God on his own and he must have some sort of divine intervention occur before he is ‘able’.

    The the challenge is to define the term and try to find some biblical referent for it.

    Good luck.

  33. Michael says:

    Both sides come to the discussion with presuppositions.

    The Arminian assumes the inviolability of “free will”.
    The Reformation people come in already discarding the notion.

  34. Em again says:

    quite a parade of comments here, so i’ll have to pontificate before i read them and lose my train of thought 🙂

    God’s breath blowing across the embers of our smoldering, but not quite dead, goodness is very descriptive of why i am convinced that, without the birth, we are dead and dying – spiritually dead and physically in the process of dying and leaving our souls to enter into eternity without justification before a Holy God… and, thus, i see that Christ’s finished work on the cross was for the sins of the whole world, saving souls from the time of Adam until the end of time… IF we believe – thus the wonderful explanation of faith and belief in H*ebrews

    while i would have to tweek the Lutheran viewpoint a bit to say a total “amen” – this well presented post by Jean does get the most critical point across – we insult both God’s Holiness and His grace and mercy when we think anything we do contributes to our Redemption and that i give a hearty AMEN, Brother

  35. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Both sides come to the discussion with presuppositions.

    The Arminian assumes the inviolability of “free will”.
    The Reformation people come in already discarding the notion.”

    But there is at least a third side, which I am coming from, the traditional Baptist view of soteriology.

    And I don’t think Lutherans fit either of those two boxes either.

  36. Josh the Baptist says:

    I would prefer the term “soul competency” to “free will”.

  37. Michael says:

    Lutherans and Calvinists are on agreement on this issue…we part soon thereafter.

    What’s a “traditional Baptist’?…I don’t buy that Baptists have a unique soteriology.

  38. Josh the Baptist says:

    I wouldn’t call it unique either, but it doesn’t fit in the Calvinist / Arminian tree.

    http://sbctoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/A-Statement-of-Traditional-Southern-Baptist-Soteriology-SBC-Today.pdf

    I don’t think that was the final drafted statement, but that would give you an idea.

  39. Em again says:

    “the birth,” well if anybody bothered to read that comment, it should have read “new” birth or “second” birth … sorry

  40. Jean says:

    Josh, I’m not familiar with the term, “soul competency.” Could you define that for us?

  41. Josh the Baptist says:

    It is strongly linked to E.Y Mullins – let me google it…

    http://www.theopedia.com/soul-competency

  42. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Lutherans agree with the Calvinists on Election – God does the choosing, but we even nuance it differently. Calvinist speak of total depravity while Lutherans speak of the bound will.

    The other difference is the motivation, or perhaps better what is the driving force. Here I think the big difference between the Calvinist and the Lutheran (and this is on many things). The Calvinists starts with the sovereignty of God and the Lutheran begins with Jesus Christ and the mercy of God.

    But I wonder if this was Jean’s question when he asked why Grace Alone bothers us? Not just grace, everyone believes in grace – but you add that alone and it’s like, “look Mr. , you’ve gone too far!”

  43. Jean says:

    Josh,

    This is from the SBC link you provided. Is this your view?

    “Article Eight: The Free Will of Man

    We affirm that God, as an expression of His sovereignty, endows each person with actual free will (the ability to choose between two options), which must be exercised in accepting or rejecting God’s gracious call to salvation by the Holy Spirit through the Gospel.

    We deny that the decision of faith is an act of God rather than a response of the person. We deny that there is an “effectual call” for certain people that is different from a “general call” to any person who hears and understands the Gospel.”

  44. Jean says:

    Here’s a group that won’t be too happy with the “decision” they made:

    “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

  45. Em again says:

    #44 – i don’t think we understand what it means to be “lawless” – somebody needs to preach to the slippery, self ordained preachers of it…

    reading about Packer from Michael’s link, i learned that those of us who still proudly consider our roots to be evangelical have a label – we are nonconformist evangelicals? i like that

  46. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    You can tell the churches that believe in decision theology very easily. They are the ones that keep pumping information out. Their theology is that people are lost not because of their sin and their hatred of God – but that they just don’t have enough proper information to make an informed decision.

    So, my job as a preacher is to give them information and they will make the right decision. Not much different than a Republican trying to convince a Democrat to join the GOP. If you knew what I knew, you too would join me.

  47. Jean says:

    Em at #34,

    Thank you.

  48. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jean @ 43 – First let me make it clear – the Traditional statement is not any kind of official SBC statement. We have a pretty open view on soteriology that allows Calvinists, Arminians, and “traditional Baptists” like myself. Here is the section on soteriology from the Baptist Faith and message:

    “IV. Salvation

    Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.

    A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.

    Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.

    B. Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God.

    C. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God’s purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person’s life.

    D. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.

    AND –

    V. God’s Purpose of Grace

    Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.

    All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.”

    Now, I 100% affirm both of those statements, with no amendments.

    I don’t like article 8 of the Traditional statement when removed from context of the rest of the document. Also, I don’t particularly care for the wording of it, even in context.

    But overall, the Traditional statement would give you a good view of the soteriology for most Southern Baptists.

  49. Michael says:

    That sounds a whole lot like “traditional” Arminianism…which is where the “free will” Baptist sprang forth from.

  50. Jean says:

    Josh,
    I appreciate your willingness to engage in an open dialogue. If the Baptist Faith and message IV. and V. are true, I’m totally screwed. I’m honestly despairing right now while writing this.

    My faith is not much to behold most days. I have a hard time turning the lordship of my life over to Christ, much less committing my entire personality to Him.

    My intent is not to be sarcastic or snarky. But, the Baptist Faith and message is a ball buster. I’m especially worried about the second paragraph of V: “All true believers….” How do I know if my belief is “true”? Truth be told, the longer I’m a Christian, the more I see and learn about myself that falls short of the glory of God. I see more sin and unbelief in my life today than I saw a year ago.

    Is it just me?

  51. Josh the Baptist says:

    Its not nearly Arminianism (actually Roger Olsen uses a very loose definition for Arminian. By his definition, I may be. But you may be too.). To people who can only imagine soteriology along the Calvin/ Arminian spectrum, it is confusing. Real Arminians swear I’m a Calvinist, while guys like you call me an Arminian.

    Free Will Baptists have a totally different theological construct than Southern Baptists. Not nearly the same thing, or even close.

  52. Josh the Baptist says:

    Honest question Jean, how do YOU know that your faith is true?
    Jesus told us that some people will think they have faith, but turns out it wasn’t true. So how do YOU know?

  53. Josh the Baptist says:

    In fact, MLD says some true believers will stop believing and their faith will shrivel and die. How do you know that you aren’t one of those?

  54. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I’m really sure I’m a Calvinist. 🙂

  55. Jean says:

    Josh,

    Thank you for asking. I want to answer you specifically regarding the following:

    (1) “how do YOU know that your faith is true?”

    (2) “In fact, MLD says some true believers will stop believing and their faith will shrivel and die. How do you know that you aren’t one of those?”

    I am not saved by faith (or belief). I am saved by grace through faith. My faith does not merit salvation; it is not a quality. Faith only apprehends, clings to and receives God’s grace.

    Jesus says “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples….” Jesus said “the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast….” Paul said that faith comes by hearing. I also have three other Sacraments that Jesus gave his church that deliver faith to me: Baptism, Absolution and Holy Communion.

    So, I trust (have faith) that God is gracious to me based entirely on His promises, as set forth in Scripture. I place no trust or faith in my faith.

  56. Josh,
    The scripture is quite clear that you must stay hooked up to the vine to survive (John 15) – and Jesus tells us how you do it – going to the place where Jesus has promised to be to receive what he has promised to keep us strong in our faith and you stay connected.

    It is not necessarily a ‘choice’ to disconnect … just get busy with Sunday morning soccer or too much of the joy of sleeping in. Miss church doing other things and you don’t even think about the hook up and after a while, without thinking, without making a conscious choice you are further and further away.

    Then a buddy at work says “don’t worry, you don’t need to go to where God is (church), God is everywhere – come on let’s play golf on Sundays … etc. Then the conversation is “yeah, I used to go to Church…” then after 10 yrs the conversation is “I used to be a Christian.”

    No choosing, all you did was unhook from the vine and soon you are dead.

  57. Some people really do think they pull it off. Chuck Swindoll’s post on Facebook yesterday – “The longer you walk with God, the more natural such walking becomes.”
    And of course all the comments below were people telling their story how the faithfully walk with God daily and all the tricks they perform to convince themselves they are doing.

    Perhaps they are, for for a guy like me that stumbles and stumbles while trying to get up – there is nothing but despair in Swindoll message of the day.

    I used to like the guy — heck I am sure I used to teach that. God forgive me for the folks I led astray who still live in that life of bondage.

  58. Josh the Baptist says:

    “So, I trust (have faith) that God is gracious to me based entirely on His promises, as set forth in Scripture. I place no trust or faith in my faith.”

    Well, that would be no different than in an SBC church

  59. Josh the Baptist says:

    “It is not necessarily a ‘choice’ to disconnect … just get busy with Sunday morning soccer or too much of the joy of sleeping in. Miss church doing other things and you don’t even think about the hook up and after a while, without thinking, without making a conscious choice you are further and further away.”

    So, to paraphrase , Go to church enough or you’ll accidentally end up in Hell. That’s works based salvation if I’ve ever seen it.

  60. Jean says:

    MLD,

    It seems that you’ve hit on another biblical teaching that rubs some people the wrong way: “for we walk by faith, not by sight.”

  61. Josh the Baptist says:

    By the way – none of these rub me wrong.

    I fully affirm Grace Alone. Love it. Would have no hope without it.

  62. I’m with Jean – I know that I belong to Christ because he told me he died for me and to deliver to me salvation.

    I don’t look to some inner witness of the spirit as some here do and I don’t look at myself for a changed life. I don’t look inward at all because if I did I would see only a rascal. I focus outward at Jesus, his word and the promises he said were mine in the sacraments.

    Jesus does not lie and he has told me – I was baptized INTO the name for the father and the name of the son and the name of the holy spirit.
    He told me this is my blood shed for you
    He said he forgives my sin and I have heard his voice through the absolution.
    He told me he died for me … shed his blood for me.
    Again, Jesus does not lie, so I need only look to his words and not anything about myself.

  63. Josh, I don’t know you belief on God’s presence – but we do make a distinction between God’s omnipresence and God’s presence in a certain place to deliver his grace. Perhaps you don’t.

  64. Josh the Baptist says:

    “I’m with Jean – I know that I belong to Christ because he told me he died for me and to deliver to me salvation.”

    Well, I’m with you and Jean.

    I just hope I make it to church the required number of times so that my name is not erased from the Book of Life.

  65. Josh, for someone who made the very first comment “Totally disagree, but well-written. ” – tou have done a good job walking it all back and then saying I don’t disagree. 🙂

  66. Josh the Baptist says:

    I think I’ve made clear the parts that I disagree with. There are many things that all Christians agree on.

  67. Josh the Baptist says:

    Some of my favorite verses:

    For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Possibly soccer.

  68. Josh, if you want to believe that unbelievers go to heaven that’s fine. That is the least of differences between Lutherans and SBC.

    I thought I gave you a complement back at #4 when I commended you for recognizing the canyon like differences we have.

  69. Josh the Baptist says:

    Ah, I’ve been way more involved in this thread than I intended to be. I love you all and think you are all part of the family. I’m glad you’ve found a place where you can have communion with the Lord.

    We all agree that Jesus was born of a virgin. Lived a sinless life. Died on the cross. Rose on the third day. Reigns forever.

    These other things are small details. Fun to argue about, but not nearly as crucial as we would like them to be.

  70. Josh the Baptist says:

    Mld, I do tire of your cheap argument tactics. I have never said anyhting close to unbelievers go to heaven. But if someone reads your post out of context they would think that I said that. Please be more careful when attributing thoughts to others.

  71. Josh the Baptist says:

    The canyon is just not as huge as you would like it to be. Despite whatever terminology you use, you just aren’t that unique among God’s people.

  72. Josh – what becomes of the believer who stops believing. I say he has walked away from his faith … (he can be brought back but in that time, he is in deep doo doo)

    As Chuck Smith used to say – and I agree – “stay under the spout where the glory comes out.”

    Josh – I don’t put anyone out of the family. I weep for those who move out.

  73. Josh the Baptist says:

    per the BF&M:

    All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation

  74. Josh the Baptist says:

    1 John 2:19 is a good starter on the subject.

  75. Josh the Baptist says:

    Other good ones –

    John 5:24
    John 10-27-29
    2 Timothy 2:19 is interesting.

  76. Your quote from the BF&M makes my point – even though they are in the sin of unbelief, they “will never fall from the state of grace.”

    The last phrase even more so — “(the believer who has fallen into the sin of unbelief and no longer believes) yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.”

    So although they have given up their belief, they are still secure in Christ

  77. Josh the Baptist says:

    OK, for anyone who just read MLD’s #76, he has either lost his mind, or is now a blatant liar. Anyone can read the Baptist Faith and Message and see that he changed the words drastically.

    MLD, if that is the only way you can win an argument…is it worth it?

  78. I put my words in brackets to just give a description of the person the passage is speaking of; Your passage says “Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit,…” will you not agree that these are people who fall into sin?

    Is not giving up your faith, walking away from it sin? I have put a face on that sinner and described a particular sin. Now you passage is saying that that person is still “in a state of grace.”

    Be fair to my words.

  79. Josh the Baptist says:

    No, you can’t change people’s words that way. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you didn’t understand that, but here forth when quoting someone, use their actual words. Then comment on it, argue with it, whatever. But making it look to other readers like your opponent said something they did not say is highly dishonest.

    Now – Giving up your faith would clearly not be a sin spoken of there, seeing that the whole passage is talking about people who keep their faith til the end. Seems pretty understandable.

    Do you honest believe that you can just substitute the words “sin” as “giving up your faith”. Because if that is the case, then each time you sin, you become unsaved again. I hope you don’t believe that.

  80. JoelG says:

    Good article Jean, thank you.

    Your #44 has caused me much anxiety over the years. From Matthew Henry’s commentary on Bible Hub:

    “Christ here shows that it will not be enough to own him for our Master, only in word and tongue. It is necessary to our happiness that we believe in Christ, that we repent of sin, that we live a holy life, that we love one another. This is his will, even our sanctification. Let us take heed of resting in outward privileges and doings, lest we deceive ourselves, and perish eternally, as multitudes do, with a lie in our right hand. Let every one that names the name of Christ, depart from all sin ”

    Yikes.

  81. Josh the Baptist says:

    In general, I want these conversations for the sake of any reading to see different approaches to Scriptural truth by different families of Christians.

    However, when it gets into the bickering back and forth, mis-characterizing what was said. I’m not sure it does anyone any good. I can’t imagine that anyone would actually keep reading it.

    I have to find a way to disengage myself from theses silly squabbles, while still showing up to present my take.

  82. JoelG says:

    Josh and MLD. You are like an old married couple. 🙂

  83. Josh the Baptist says:

    I know. I love the guy but he drives me crazy 🙂

  84. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, classic circular reasoning. AND I love how you eliminated my suggested sin. Out of all the world’s sins mine is the one that is not included here.

  85. Josh the Baptist says:

    MLD – I’m sorry I’m unable to help you understand, but I’m moving on.

  86. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Good with me.

  87. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    That Matthew Henry quote is classic especially that last sentence. Many believe it is within their reach and instead of looking to mercy in their Savior they look to self improvement.

  88. JoelG says:

    And when self improvement doesn’t come, here comes despair and insecurity. Those Christ spoke of in Matthew 7 must have not subjected themselves to the mercy of Christ to begin with.

  89. Em again says:

    vines, fruit, pruning, seeds, grafting, rooting… it is not a new caution, but always holds true – at least for some of us: don’t take an analogy further than it was intended

    good night and God keep us all close

  90. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    JoelG, unlike some here I cannot brag about my love for God – in fact at times I am ashamed.

  91. JoelG says:

    And you are forgiven. Thank you Lord.

  92. Mr Jesperson says:

    Josh, I agree with you about problems with our most prolific commenter. For instance, over the weekend I noted that he was using circular reasoning. He through that back in my face saying logical fallacies do not matter. I guess because they cannot be found in scripture. Then like a true hypocrite, he throws it at you when it is convenient. I am at the point where I have stopped reading what he says. First of all he does not put his own name on his comments. Then he will say almost anything to try to prove he is a better at this debating then anyone. I am with you here we should listen and be respectful and not play games with each other. I am not here to win an unnecessary argument. I care about what is truth. If I can help someone think straighter, I will challenge them.

  93. Steve Wright says:

    Same Gospel writer, same Jesus speaking, same Greek word.

    John 6:44

    John 12:32

    Nope, nobody can come to Jesus unless God draw them. Absolutely 100% amen.

    Yep, Jesus and the cross draws all people to Himself. And this is where faith comes in. No neutrality with Jesus and the cross. You believe (faith) or you don’t. All get a chance. Because all are drawn.

    (and before someone talks about how that word is used to drag things…note the key is THINGS, inanimate objects. It is used of people to influence, to entice…like drawing a donkey with a carrot, not drawing a bucket of water out of a well (one of Sproul’s exegetical errors due to his bias on this issue)

    I’ve always wondered how come Jesus rebukes people for their lack of faith if faith is 100% a gift of God and not something they are held responsible for once God shows them all they need in order to exercise faith and they refuse to because they love their sins and the darkness and not the light.

    (Actually…I’ve never wondered that much at all…because I don’t see the Bible teaching that about faith at all)

  94. Jean says:

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks for weighing in. Your #93 would differ from the article in these two places:

    “You believe (faith) or you don’t. All get a chance.”l and

    “I’ve always wondered how come Jesus rebukes people for their lack of faith if faith is 100% a gift of God and not something they are held responsible for once God shows them all they need in order to exercise faith and they refuse to because they love their sins and the darkness and not the light.”

    What I have argued is that all fallen sinners, prior to conversion, love their sins and the darkness, are subjects of Satan’s kingdom, and are children of God’s wrath. Only a complete rescue will save any of us.

  95. Mr. J,
    I do not remenber saying to you or anyone that logical fallacies do not matter and I am sure there would be a fallacy just in the statement. I do agree however that I am just as prone as the next guy to fall into them.
    Now, I will admit that I do hold people to their words just as I expect to be held.

    From our weekend conversation, I remember only you saying that I should concede your position since sometime in college you took a World Religion class. 😉

  96. Why some are save and others not I do not know. It is called he “Crux Theologorum,” the “Crux of the Theology” – the cross of the theologian.
    Here is what I do know;
    if someone ends up in heaven it is 100% God
    if someone ends up in hell it is 100% the individual.

    Somehow the word, the preached word does the saving – this is why a Lutheran pastor preaches in God’s 2 words (the law & the gospel) – does a mic drop and walks off. No postscript pleadings, warnings, or invitations.

    Those 2 words are very important and the reason I don’t do the scripture duel with people. The reason both sides can whip out their supporting verses is because God has spoken both sides – in his law and his gospel … as we are to do. So you have verses both for security and you have verses of warning and each is to be used appropriately for it’s own purpose.
    So if I see someone who is cocky in their faith and freedom, I would speak to that person in God’s law and give the warning verses of the real possibility of falling from their faith.
    If I am speaking to someone who is broken by their sin I will speak to that person in God’s gospel and speak the security verses to them.
    Both are real – neither is hypothetical.

    and for comment count MLD = 21 // JtB = 43 😉

  97. Babylon's Dread says:

    I should not have missed this discussion. The people who set these categories set the discussion. I may have to get this revived.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.