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wildboar
07-15-04, 11:21 PM
Matthew 21:46 - 22:14 But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet. NKJ Matthew 22:1 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: 2 "The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3 "and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. 4 "Again, he sent out other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, "See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding." ' 5 "But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 "And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. 7 "But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 'Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.' 10 "So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 "But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 "So he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. 13 "Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 14 "For many are called, but few are chosen."

The position of anti-duty-faith and anti-duty-repentance seems to be an absurdity in the light of our Lord's statement that many are called but few are chosen. What are they called to? Are they not being called to repentance? Nor is there any special kind of non-evangelical repentance in the text that it says they are called to. They were not called merely to stop their sinning or to acknowledge their holiness before the law, they were being called to the wedding feast of the Great King. Even when Gill discusses this passage he does not venture into the strange and unusual statements of the Huntingtonians or those short statements he himself makes elsewhere.

Brandan
07-16-04, 06:38 AM
Wildboar, those of us who deny duty faith do not deny that God commands men everywhere to repent and acknowledge Him as their creator. Men are called to be upright and do as they've been told - to walk in the way God has informed all of mankind to live. However we do not believe that God died for anyone but His sheep! The intention of the call to the reprobate is not that they may savingly believe in and of themselves, but that they may bring even more condemnation upon themselves. Certainly you believe that, don’t you? It is one thing for men to be commanded to subject themselves to Christ and another thing to bid men to save themselves by exercising some sort of inherent faith. By refusing to submit themselves to the Gospel command men pull down upon themselves dreadful judgments and destruction!

Those that are chosen are quickened from death unto life and willingly believe the Gospel not because it is duty, but because they can do no other. They love the Gospel, it is wonderful news to their ears, and they do not see their faith as a “duty”. Remember by preaching duty-faith, you turn faith into a legal obligation for God’s people - it becomes a work. I prefer not to think of faith in this way – what bondage! Faith is a gift that is supernaturally exercised by the Holy Spirit working in His people flowing from love and gratitude to Christ.

Duty-Faith is just the free offer of the Gospel repackaged. Duty-faith people put the condition of salvation on the exercising of faith instead of Christ.

wildboar
07-16-04, 07:21 AM
The intention of the call to the reprobate is not that they may savingly believe in and of themselves, but that they may bring even more condemnation upon themselves. Certainly you believe that, don’t you? Of course.


It is one thing for men to be commanded to subject themselves to Christ and another thing to bid men to save themselves by exercising some sort of inherent faith. All men everywhere are commanded to believe and repent and none of these special categories are used in the Scriptures. The context of the statement that many are called but few are chosen has to do with men being told of the Great Wedding Supper of the king, they are not being told to acknowledge Him as the creator. Once again the logical leap is being made that if God commands a person to do a thing the person must be able to do that thing. You are mistaking the imperative for the indicative. As Luther wrote to Erasmus:

The words quoted are imperatives, and only say what ought to be done; for Moses does not say, "Thou hast the strength or power to choose," but, "Choose, keep, do!" He issues commandments about doing, but does not describe man's ability to do...as soon as you get hold of an imperative verb you take it as implying the indicative, as if once a thing is commanded it must forthwith necessarily be done or be possible to do....Even grammarians and street urchins know, that by verbs of the imperative mood nothing else is signified but what ought to be done. What is done, or can be done, must be expressed by indicative verbs.

By refusing to submit themselves to the Gospel command men pull down upon themselves dreadful judgments and destruction!
Of course they do.


They love the Gospel, it is wonderful news to their ears, and they do not see their faith as a “duty”. Of course they don't.


Remember by preaching duty-faith, you turn faith into a legal obligation for God’s people - it becomes a work. I prefer not to think of faith in this way – what bondage! Faith is a gift that is supernaturally exercised by the Holy Spirit working in His people flowing from love and gratitude to Christ.

Faith is worked in us but it is also something we do. That is why faith cannot be viewed as a condition of salvation because then we would be saved by works.


Duty-faith people put the condition of salvation on the exercising of faith instead of Christ. This is completely false. Faith is not a condition of salvation but faith is required and commanded each time the Gospel is preached.

If what you are saying is true Paul would never said what he did to the centurion.

Acts 16:30-31 And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31 So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."

wildboar
07-16-04, 07:50 AM
Mark 16:15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Those at the Gospel Standard must think themselves to be wiser than our Lord when they say:


So that we reject the doctrine that men in a state of nature should be exhorted to believe in or turn to God (John 12:29, 40; Eph. 2:8; Rom. 8:7, 8; 1 Cor. 4:7). Therefore, that for ministers in the present day to address unconverted persons, or indiscriminately all in a mixed congregation, calling upon them to savingly repent, believe, and receive Christ, or perform any other acts dependent upon the new creative power of the Holy Spirit, is, on the one hand, to imply creature power, and, on the other, to deny the doctrine of special redemption."

God was aparently severly in error when He said:
Ezekiel 18:30-32 " 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. 31 "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? 32 "For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord GOD. "Therefore turn and live!"

He really ought to have only addressed individuals rather than making this proclamation promiscuously.

There is also no evidence from the text following that Jesus was addressing the elect only and it is said that if they do not repent they will perish. If all He is calling them to do is acknowledge God as creator wouldn't they still perish?

Luke 13:1-5 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 "Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."

Do you believe that Paul's statement on Mars Hill that God was calling all men everywhere to repent only had to do with acknowledging Him as creator. Why bring Christ into it?

Acts 17:30-32 "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 "because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." 32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, "We will hear you again on this matter."

Could you provide one clear statement in the Bible where people are warned not to tell everyone to believe and repent in an evangelical way but only to tell them to acknowledge God as creator?

wildboar
07-16-04, 08:00 AM
Just one more thing. Those at the Gospel Standard know that what they teach is in contradiction to what the Apostles did. They are engaging in a form of historical criticism in which they say that our situation is different than theirs and so we ought not preach the Gospel in the same way that they did. If you don't believe me just look at their articles of faith in which it is said:


We believe that it would be unsafe, from the brief records we have, of the way in which the Apostles, under the immediate direction of our Lord, addressed their hearers in certain special cases and circumstances, to derive absolute and universal rules for ministerial addresses in the present day under widely different circumstances. And we further believe that an assumption that others have been inspired as the Apostles were, has led to the grossest errors among both Romanists and Protestants. Therefore, that for ministers in this present day to address unconverted persons, or indiscriminately all in a mixed congregation, calling upon them to savingly repent, believe, and receive Christ, or perform any other acts dependent upon the new creative power of the Holy Ghost, is, on the one hand, to imply creature power, and on the other to deny the doctrine of special redemption.

wildboar
07-16-04, 08:10 AM
Okay, just another thing, I really mean it this time:p. Pink does an excellent job dealing with those who deny duty-faith and he was no friend of the well-meant offer of the Gospel. I highly recommend the following chapter of one of his books: http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Impotence/impot_06.htm

Brandan
07-16-04, 08:21 AM
All men everywhere are commanded to believe and repent and none of these special categories are used in the Scriptures. What I’m denying is that men are commanded to savingly believe.
Once again the logical leap is being made that if God commands a person to do a thing the person must be able to do that thing. I never made that leap. God commands all men everywhere to believe the Gospel. However, this believing is not a duty nor is it a saving belief. God is responsible for exercising faith, not men.
This is completely false. Faith is not a condition of salvation but faith is required and commanded each time the Gospel is preached.Yes, faith is required because it is a manifestation of regeneration and imputation; but who is responsible for exercising that faith? Men or God?
If what you are saying is true Paul would never said what he did to the centurion.

Acts 16:30-31 And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31 So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."I do not see any duty-faith being preached here. It is a trustworthy saying that those who believe will be saved. I have no problem proclaiming that either! I’ll shout it from the rooftops, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” Amen! All of God’s people will BELIEVE! However, what I take objection to are those who say that the actual act of believing is what actually saves the individual (conditionalism). This is what Arminianism actually teaches – men don’t have faith in the Christ, but faith in their faith. Instead of preaching, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ”, men put the condition “if” in that sentence. Instead I hear “If you will only believe on the Lord Jesus and accept His gospel, then you will be saved. See, it’s your DUTY to believe, and because you perform that duty - God saves you.” Charles this is a false gospel and I will have none of it. I know you don’t believe this, but when you use phraseology such as duty-faith, it can give people the impression of conditionalism. Most who preach duty-faith do in fact mean that faith is a condition. I would advise that you separate yourself from them as much as possible.

wildboar
07-16-04, 09:47 AM
Most who preach duty-faith do in fact mean that faith is a condition. I would advise that you separate yourself from them as much as possible. I am not willing to try to avoid one error by running headlong into another. I will separate myself from those who are actually in error. The PRCA and happily as I recently discovered the WELS as well as A. W. Pink both deny the well-meant offer and still teach duty-faith. There is both a passive and active aspect to faith. Faith is worked in us but it is not as if we do not also believe. We will not believe unless God works that faith in us but it is a sin for man not to believe. The fact that everyone is not given that faith does not make it any less sin.


I’m not denying that at all. What I’m denying is that men are commanded to savingly believe.
So you really believe that all this commanding of men to believe is nothing but a command to acknowledge God as creator? That's what the Great Commission was all about? Perhaps Answers In Genesis then is doing a better job of spreading the Gospel than any church is.

Brandan
07-16-04, 10:00 AM
So you really believe that all this commanding of men to believe is nothing but a command to acknowledge God as creator? That's what the Great Commission was all about? Perhaps Answers In Genesis then is doing a better job of spreading the Gospel than any church is.I'm denying that men have a duty to be saved.

Brandan
07-16-04, 10:47 AM
Look, I do not like the terms responsibility and duty. CHRIST IS RESPONSIBLE.... END OF STORY.

I am not responsible for anything. I am not responsible for my faith. I am not responsible for my repentance. I am not responsible for my sanctification. I am not responsible for regeneration, justification, glorification, or any other blessing of salvation. CHRIST IS. PERIOD!

Men will be held accountable for rejecting the Gospel of Grace. But reprobate men are not responsible to believe it. How COULD they when it's not even for them? God's promise of salvation is only to His people, and we are in Christ. Christ and all of His blessings are only for the elect. SO how in the world is everyone in the world responsible to believe God's promise and repent - especially when the promise is only to His people?

How can men be responsible for the imputation of Christ's righteousness? This is what I hear you saying Charles. That men are. Because without imputation, there is no faith. I order to "responsibly" exercise faith, men must first have the garment.

harald
07-16-04, 10:49 AM
In my convinced judgment duty faith and duty repentance are very serious errors, so serious that I would not hesitate to call them heresies. I see nowhere in the New Testament that so-called saving faith is a duty or an obligation of lost men and lost men. Saving faith or like precious faith is a gift of and from God which belongs to the covenant of grace, and to the persons legally confined within this covenant through Christ Jesus, the Covenant Head of God's elect. Men and men are judged for the wickedness of not giving assent to the truth(s) of the true Gospel when they hear it. To give assent to the truth of the Gospel when one hears it or otherwise learns it is a duty of all men. Because the Gospel is THE truth of God par excellence, it is a revelation of God to men. But men and men are not duty bound to "savingly believe" the Gospel according to Paul (which is Christ's Gospel), and "on the Lord Jesus Christ". Saving faith so-called cannot be a duty of non-elect men, because God is no deceiver, He cannot lie. Nor is it a duty of the elect, because faith as relates to them is a gift of God, and grace gifts and duty do not mix. My judgment is that preachers who go on preaching duty faith and duty repentance have not been called of God, but are running the errands of their own belly. Of the such kind was Charles H Spurgeon, and many others past & present. This type is only one kind of Satan called preachers.

Harald

Brandan
07-16-04, 11:20 AM
Thank you Harald for so eloquently explaining what I have been struggling to convey. I must admit that you portrayed in one paragraph the truth much better than I did with my incoherent rambling! I agree with you that duty-faith is an error that is VERY serious. So much so that if people really believe the logical implications of such teaching, they have no knowledge of grace. It is heresy. It goes hand in hand with common grace, free offer preaching, "two wills" of God teaching, denial of sovereign reprobation, etc.... What I can't figure out is why Charles is so willing to defend it when he trashes the rest as dung as we rightfully should.

Brandan
07-16-04, 11:29 AM
Of the such kind was Charles H Spurgeon, and many others past & present. This type is only one kind of Satan called preachers.My opinion of Charles Spurgeon shrinks more and more each day. I definitely need to take his picture off the library page! I can't believe how much error I have unknowingly endorsed on this site over the last few years. I thank the Lord for revealing truth to me and pulling me out of the influence of false gospel preachers.

Brandan
07-16-04, 11:45 AM
Do you believe that Paul's statement on Mars Hill that God was calling all men everywhere to repent only had to do with acknowledging Him as creator. Why bring Christ into it?....Could you provide one clear statement in the Bible where people are warned not to tell everyone to believe and repent in an evangelical way but only to tell them to acknowledge God as creator?
Gill had this to say about Acts 17:30

Acts 17:30, (GILL), And the times of this ignorance God winked at,.... Not that he approved of, or encouraged such blindness and folly, as appeared among the Gentiles, when they worshipped idols of gold, silver, and stone, taking them for deities; but rather the sense is, he despised this, and them for it, and was displeased and angry with them; and as an evidence of such contempt and indignation, he overlooked them, and took no notice of them, and gave them no revelation to direct them, nor prophets to instruct them, and left them to their stupidity and ignorance:

but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent; that is, he hath given orders, that the doctrine of repentance, as well as remission of sins, should be preached to all nations, to Gentiles as well as Jews; and that it becomes them to repent of their idolatries, and turn from their idols, and worship the one, only, living and true God: and though for many hundreds of years God had neglected them, and sent no messengers, nor messages to them, to acquaint them with his will, and to show them their follies and mistakes; yet now he had sent his apostles unto them, to lay before them their sins, and call them to repentance; and to stir them up to this, the apostle informs them of the future judgment in the following verse. Repentance being represented as a command, does not suppose it to be in the power of men, or contradict evangelical repentance, being the free grace gift of God, but only shows the need men stand in of it, and how necessary and requisite it is; and when it is said to be a command to all, this does not destroy its being a special blessing of the covenant of grace to some; but points out the sad condition that all men are in as sinners, and that without repentance they must perish: and indeed, all men are obliged to natural repentance for sin, though to all men the grace of evangelical repentance is not given: the Jews [a] call repentance hbwvth twum, "the command of repentance", though they do not think it obligatory on men, as the other commands of the law. The law gives no encouragement to repentance, and shows no mercy on account of it; it is a branch of the Gospel ministry, and goes along with the doctrine of the remission of sins; and though in the Gospel, strictly taken, there is no command, yet being largely taken for the whole ministry of the word, it includes this, and everything else which Christ has commanded, and was taught by him and his apostles; Mt 28:20 (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&createchaps=1&highlight=1&abrv=1&version=kjv&book=40&chapter=28&verse1=20).

harald
07-16-04, 12:45 PM
Brandan. I am content to hear you agree, because I believe I spoke truth. As for the Wild boar (Charles) he must himself explain why he believes so. As for Spurgeon he has misled many many. Some have exposed or criticized him during the years, but very few of them have been bold enough to speak the plain truth about him and his ministry.

Gill's comments are worthy of a hearing, in my opinion. Then another thing to consider as to the Acts verse under consideration is that the verb "to repent" is in the present tense infinitive, not aorist. To be considered how this fact affects the interpretation of the verse. When it is in present it appears that a strictly one time repentance is not so much in view, but the force seems to me to be something like "to be repenting", "to begin repenting". An interesting fact in connection with this is that "when Christ began His public ministry" (as they say) He used the verb "to repent" in the present tense, imperative, not aorist imperative, also the verb "to believe" in the same sentence is present imperative. This speaks to me that a strictly one time repenting and faithing is not in view as some versions seem to say. I found it, it is Mark 1:15. Thus in this verse I can think of three possible forces, "be ye repenting/believing", "begin repenting/believing", or, "keep repenting/believing". NOT a "repent at once!" type of command, which would correspond to aorist, but it's not employed here.
Then another famous verse, Luke 13:3. Likewise here Christ uses the present tense with subjunctive. Which means the force is not "except ye repent at once"; i.e. a one time act of "saving repentance" (so-called) or change of mind is not in view. I wonder how these facts would affect the popular hell evangelism of some religionists if they understood the implications of them. Or could they care less, I guess not. Probably they would go on preaching according to their paternal traditions.

Harald

tomas1
07-16-04, 03:55 PM
Is it a duty for reprobates to acknowledge their creator? Is it in their power with out the Holy Spirit to do so? How can even this limited good come from the evil that is in them? If good can come from evil then total depravity is false. If it is not possible for a reprobate to acknowledge his creator then does not the same objections hold to this limited duty as to faith, it makes God a deceiver etc.

wildboar
07-16-04, 04:19 PM
Look, I do not like the terms responsibility and duty. CHRIST IS RESPONSIBLE.... END OF STORY.Then you rightly bear the label of antinomian and are a legitimate card-carrying hyper Calvinist. The modern misconception is that he who emphasizes the sovereignty of God too strongly is a hyper-Calvinist. This is false. They Hyper-Calvinist is he who denies human responsibility. The Arminian denies God's Sovereignty. The Bible teaches both human responsibility and God's Sovereignty. In Romans 9 when Paul brings up the argument of the one who says how can God find fault, Paul does not say that he isn't responsible. The Arminian says that man is responsible and that God isn't Sovereign and so once again the Arminian would never have the argument Paul had. The hyper-Calvinist seeks to do away with one Biblical teaching the same way the gnostic does who claims that Christ was not really human. The Gnostic sees Christ's humanity as a threat upon His deity and so he throws out the humanity. Theology must always be biblical and not based upon the way we wish God would do things. We must be willing to accept Biblical teachings which threaten our own system.


How can men be responsible for the imputation of Christ's righteousness? This is what I hear you saying Charles.If this is what you are hearing then you aren't reading. Never have I said anything close to this and for you to say this shows you are afraid to deal with what I actually said. You must construct a straw man and knock him down. Go rip the straw man apart who says that we are responsible for the imputation of Christ's righteousness.


SO how in the world is everyone in the world responsible to believe God's promise and repent - especially when the promise is only to His people?
The argument of Erasmus continues, you are still confusing imperatives with indicatives. How can God command everyone to perfectly obey His law when we are sinful creatures? I suppose this lies within man's grasp as well.


It goes hand in hand with common grace, free offer preaching, "two wills" of God teaching, denial of sovereign reprobation, etc.... What I can't figure out is why Charles is so willing to defend it when he trashes the rest as dung as we rightfully should. Only in your mind and the minds of those who subscribe to the unscriptural statements of the Gospel Standard.


the Jews [a] call repentance hbwvth twum, "the command of repentance", though they do not think it obligatory on men, as the other commands of the law.
The Jews were wrong about a great many things, if we are to trust them we ought not to accept Christ as the Messiah. He falls into the Erasmian trap.


Repentance being represented as a command, does not suppose it to be in the power of men, or contradict evangelical repentance, being the free grace gift of God How in the world would repentance contradict evangelical repentance? He ought to stop right here and remember what he just said. Repentance as a command does not suppose it to be in the power of men. This is absolutely true!! If only Gill had listened to himself!!!

Also, I posted this on another forum but this is a response I got from Prof. Engelsma on another forum when I asked what men are being commanded to believe. It may clear up some things in the minds of others who are reading this. I believe his statements on this are clear and Biblical.


In the New Testament, all in the audience of the apostles are externally called to repent of their sins and to believe in Jesus Christ, as the Son of God in human flesh, the only Savior from sin and death. The promise is that every one who does so repent and believe will be saved (Acts 13:38-41; 17:30).
The mission audience is not called to believe that Jesus died for them, or that God loves them.
The only way anyone can know that Christ died for him personally is by believing.
The missionary calls men to believe on Christ.
This is the duty of every human who comes under the preaching of the gospel. So much is this true that refusal to believe aggravates the wickedness of those who do not believe (John 3:18).

Brandan
07-16-04, 05:30 PM
Then you rightly bear the label of antinomian and are a legitimate card-carrying hyper Calvinist.Wow... them's fightin' words!

How in the WORLD am I an antinomian because I ascribe 100% of salvation to Christ!?!?!?!?! I love God's law! I'm not free to go break it at will. I hate sin, and I strive not to sin. So tell me how in the world I'm an antinomian.

Don't tell me Charles that you actually believe you contributed some part to your salvation. Please don't tell me that...

wildboar
07-16-04, 05:40 PM
Don't tell me Charles that you actually believe you contributed some part to your salvation. Please don't tell me that... You are an antinomian because you deny man's responsibility. Are you reading what I actually post and thinking about it? It seems you are reading someone else's post. When did I say you were an antinomian because you believe you didn't do a thing for your salvation?

Brandan
07-16-04, 05:53 PM
You are an antinomian because you deny man's responsibility. Are you reading what I actually post and thinking about it? It seems you are reading someone else's post. When did I say you were an antinomian because you believe you didn't do a thing for your salvation?Brandan wrote: Look, I do not like the terms responsibility and duty. CHRIST IS RESPONSIBLE.... END OF STORY.

WildBoar wrote: Then you rightly bear the label of antinomian and are a legitimate card-carrying hyper Calvinist.

Then I wrote: How in the WORLD am I an antinomian because I ascribe 100% of salvation to Christ!?!?!?!?!

By claiming that Christ is responsible for 100% of salvation, I HAVE to conclude that I am responsible for 0%. Tell me Charles, if men are responsible for salvaton, what percentage did you contribute? What percentage does Christ contribute? This is all new to me! Please give me the math :)

harald
07-16-04, 06:29 PM
I wonder where in the New Testament the word "responsible" or "responsibility" is to be found in connection with salvation by grace ? Maybe I have missed something. Then another thing. The definition usually given for "responsible" in dictionaries is "accountable". Man is, in and of himself as a law-breaker considered, an accountable creature. Man is not in and of himself "able to respond", if that is understood by "responsible". I mean able to respond , in and of himself, with "saving faith" toward Christ. Neither is he duty bound or obligated to do so. Responsibility/accountability/answerability relates to law, not to free grace, as I see it. I think Paul the apostle was accused of being "antinomian" for preaching Justification before God by Christ alone, plus nothing minus nothing, before personal faith. Paul countered the cavillings of such accusing religionists by saying "Perish the thought! On the contrary, we are upholding law" (Rom. 3:31). Think about it thou whoever art quick to throw around the epithet "antinomian".

Harald

Mickey
07-16-04, 07:15 PM
So help me out here...are we called to "make disciples of all nations and to baptize..." If so then how exactly do we do that? To clarify, I know we are to preach the gosple, but lets say I run into someone (not literally) on the mountain bike trails and I am going to tell this person about the Christ. How do I go about doing that without preaching a false gosple according to what has been said in these posts so far?

wildboar
07-16-04, 07:22 PM
Brandan wrote: Look, I do not like the terms responsibility and duty. CHRIST IS RESPONSIBLE.... END OF STORY.

WildBoar wrote: Then you rightly bear the label of antinomian and are a legitimate card-carrying hyper Calvinist.

Then I wrote: How in the WORLD am I an antinomian because I ascribe 100% of salvation to Christ!?!?!?!?!

By claiming that Christ is responsible for 100% of salvation, I HAVE to conclude that I am responsible for 0%. Tell me Charles, if men are responsible for salvaton, what percentage did you contribute? What percentage does Christ contribute? This is all new to me! Please give me the math :) Man does get one jot of the credit for his salvation. However, you seemed to be saying that man was not responsible in any sense or for anything. And yes man is responsible because man is able to respond. Man will never respond in a positive away unless God first quickens him but man is physically capable of responding. If you put a barrel of oats and a piece of meat in front of a lion the lion will always choose the piece of meat unless he is turned into some other creature but that does not mean that the lion is physically unable to choose the barrel of oats. Man bears the responsibility for his sins. Do you deny this? Man bears the responsibility for not repenting and not believing. His refusal to do so does not negate his responsibility before God. If this is not the case then the same argument which says we shouldn't call men to evangelical repentance would also apply to whatever special type of repentance which we would like to invent.

wildboar
07-16-04, 07:23 PM
For a good summary of what the Gospel is I recommend: http://www.prca.org/pamphlets/pamphlet_66.html

2boysdaddy
07-16-04, 07:51 PM
And yes man is responsible because man is able to respond. Man will never respond in a positive away unless God first quickens him but man is physically capable of respondingCould you explain this? I would think that if man has the capability to respond, then the inverse is also true; that is, man can resist the call of the Holy Spirit. The way I read your post, the word "but" implies that man is capable of responding independently of the Holy Spirit. Although I am, to my own detriment, new to reformed theology, I believe that man is incapable of any response because he is dead in his sin i.e. total depravity. I know that my disection of your semantics may be moot solely based on the fact that you did not fully think out what you were trying to say before posting; however, if you could clarify, I would much appreciate it.

(Edited once to remove comma splice :D)

Brandan
07-16-04, 08:59 PM
So help me out here...are we called to "make disciples of all nations and to baptize..." If so then how exactly do we do that? To clarify, I know we are to preach the gosple, but lets say I run into someone (not literally) on the mountain bike trails and I am going to tell this person about the Christ. How do I go about doing that without preaching a false gosple according to what has been said in these posts so far?Reformed SSgt, a lot of people accuse me of not preaching the Gospel because I don't believe in the free offer or duty-faith. But this is not so... If given opportunity we simply proclaim the Gospel. Those who teach duty-faith believe we have to tell men they are obligated to save themselves through faith. Those who teach the well-meant offer do the same thing, but go further and say that God wants all men to be saved and this must be the foundation for all so called gospel preaching. Other "calvinists" say that the atonement is "sufficient" for everone and efficient for the elect so they can say "Jesus died for you."

Friends, duty-faith, free offer preaching, and common grace are nothing more than free-willism repackaged. Those who dislike the pure Gospel of FREE and PRISTINE GRACE will always accuse those who do not compromise of being antinomians, hyper-calvinists, or whatever awful name they can dream up. Througout all of Paul's epistles, you will notice he's constantly having to defend the charge of antinomianism from the legalists of his day.

Those who teach that men are responsible to save themselves through their faith are the real antinomians. How is that? Well they take God's law and lower it to their standards and their ability to keep it and work. They take God's Gospel of free grace and turn it into one of works. It profanes God's law and Gospel, and thus they are the real antinomians.

God told us what He thought of human responsibility when He rendered Abraham unconscious and cut the covenant with him.

wildboar
07-16-04, 09:49 PM
Could you explain this? I would think that if man has the capability to respond, then the inverse is also true; that is, man can resist the call of the Holy Spirit. Man is a rational moral creature. He is not a robot. He has the ability to choose good or evil. However, he always works in agreement with his own will. The unregenerate man is bound by sin and so this man hates the good and will always choose evil. The regenerated man believes and loves God because God has changed his will. But these are very real choices people make and someone still bears responsibility as long as they still have a will. Pharoah never acted contrary to his own will nor did anyone else.

Although I am, to my own detriment, new to reformed theology, I believe that man is incapable of any response because he is dead in his sin i.e. total depravity.Man can and does always respond to the Gospel. The preaching of the Gospel hardens the unregenerate man and causes him to sin all the more. The preaching of the Gospel brings the elect unto repentance. God's Word never returns to Him void.

Those who teach duty-faith believe we have to tell men they are obligated to save themselves through faith.I can only hope and pray that you really haven't been reading what I've posted and are really just ignorant and responding from what those who promote anti-duty-faith have told you duty-faith teaches. Otherwise I am forced to conclude that you are deliberately lying because you can't defend your position.

wildboar
07-16-04, 10:02 PM
In hopes that you really didn't understand, let me say it one more time in a slightly different way. Duty-faith does not teach man is obligated to save himself. Duty faith teaches that man is commanded to repent and to believe and is responsible to do so. This is starting to remind me alot of arguments I have had with people about baptism. Though neither I nor the person I am speaking of believe in baptismal regeneration it is proclaimed no matter how much I deny it that those who practice infant baptism believe in baptismal regeneration. And now, regardless of the fact that neither you nor I believe we are saved upon the condition of faith or as a result of our faith you seem to think that somehow the command to believe means that man is commanded to save himself. Perhaps an outline of the argument will be helpful. If this doesn't work I'm not certain what will.

Here's what duty faith teaches:
1. All men are commanded to believe

Here's what you are teaching:
1. Men are commanded to believe
2. A Command implies ability
3. All men do not have the ability to believe
4. Therefore all men are not being commanded to believe.

Here's what you are teaching that Duty-faith teaches:
1. All men are commanded to believe
2. Belief is the condition of our salvation
3. All men are commanded to save themselves

We both agree that premise 2 is completely false. Why do you keep insisting upon it? Why do you ignore the questions I ask and continue to knock-down your straw man? I really thought that this message board was better than most in being able to have a real intelligent conversation about theology, but it doesn't appear to be on this issue. So let me make it clear:
BELIEF IS NOT A CONDITION OF SALVATION!!!!

Brandan
07-17-04, 02:08 AM
I wrote: Those who teach duty-faith believe we have to tell men they are obligated to save themselves through faith.

Charles writes: I can only hope and pray that you really haven't been reading what I've posted and a really just ignorant and responding from what those who promote anti-duty-faith have told you duty-faith teaches.

Brandan writes: You yourself said that all men are responsible to exercise saving faith. Is this not what duty-faith teaches? If so, then what you are really saying although you're not really saying it (you contradict yourself) because this is how I understand it. If men are responsible to exercise saving faith that means God is not responsible for the exercisement of saving faith. God and man cannot both be responsible for the same thing at the same time. So if men are responsible for exercising saving faith, this means that salvation is not 100% of the Lord - men have contributed to salvation in some sense in this scheme. God has to be responsible for 100% of ALL of salvation. I said Christ is responsible for ALL of salvation - you called me an antinomian. That's a nice loving name to call someone - basically you said I wasn't a Christian - ok, let's move on...

What you haven't heard me say for some reason is that reprobate men will be held accountable for rejecting the Gospel. Men do respond to the Gospel, either by scoffing, or by responding in faith. However, when they do respond in faith, this faith is something they are not responsible for - it's a gift of God. If any man can claim responsibility for his faith, he doesn't know what GRACE is... I am not responsible for my faith - it is a gift of God. Yes, it is worked in me, but that still does not make me the responsible party - only the recipient of a wonderful gift.

Charles, I know, and trust you believe that faith is not a condition of salvation. I also hope that you look to Christ for 100% of salvation - that He is the party responsible for all of it. But when you say that men are responsible for exercising saving faith that sounds to me like you're saying just the opposite. Further, you called me an antinomian when I said that Christ was the party responsible for my faith so what am I to think? You're the one slinging hurtful names! I certainly can't claim to be the author of my faith, can you?

This discussion has degenerated into bitter name calling I'm afraid. I don't know much about the Gospel Standard brethren. I believe that duty-faith is a teaching that denies the Gospel if taken to its logical implications. I don't know why you keep bringing the GS people up - I have no affiliation with them. I simply recognize bad doctrine when I see it. Responsibility and saving faith are two terms that should never go together. Men are not responsible at all for their salvation and that includes saving faith. Men will be held accountable for rejecting the Gospel. I don't really see what the big deal is with all that I've just said. If that makes me a harsh hyper-calvinistic antinomian (and that's really ironic that you call me that considering you're PRC - some of the most hated "hyper-calvinists" in America)... so be it. I stand or fall before God. I choose to give Him all the glory in my salvation - He is the author and finisher of my faith - that makes Him the responsible party. Amen.

harald
07-17-04, 03:42 AM
Brandan. You say you know not much about the Gospel Standard Baptist. I know something and shall say something. Myself thinks highly of their articles of faith of 1875. Among other things they deny duty faith in it. I also think highly of their initial "leaders", if they may be referred to as such, i.e. Gadsby, Warburton, Kershaw, Philpot. In fact in the early 1800's they were often referred to as "Gadsbyite Strict Baptists". Around 1860 or thereabout they became known as "Gospel Standard Strict Baptists". This was in connection with the great split among the Strict Baptists, involving the Sonship controversy. Some man, or maybe a few men, have referred to the GS Baptists, as a denomination, as "Hyper-Calvinistic", i.e. that as a denomination or branch of Baptists they are Hyper-Calvinistic. In fact I think Pink is one who has thus said of them, perhaps due to their consistent anti duty faith stance. So the GS Baptists of all denominations of professing Christians would be the one which has most often and most consistently been derogatorily called Hyper Calvinist and antinomian. I am able to praise them, generally, for their strong stand against duty faith and the free offer heresy. I know the PRCA has also been called Hyper Calvinistic, but not nearly as much as the GS Baptists I think. And I think some PRCA people have tried to exonerate the PRCA from these charges by mentioning the GS Baptists as the Hyper Calvinist archetype or Hyper Calvinists par excellence. As if the PRCA wanted to communicate to the "Reformed community": "Hey, fellow Calvinists, we are not the bad guys, look at the GS Baptists, they are the real Hypers and antinomians".

Myself looks with sadness on the doctrinal decline among today's English GS Baptists. I think mainly on some of the compromise on the doctrine of justification before God. Some among them are not dogmatically maintaining the truth stated in their 1875 Articles, which echoes the Scripture and Paul. And there is among them clearly to be seen the harbouring of the heresy of gospel regeneration. This to me gives to the Gospel preacher(s) some seeming magical powers when brought to its logical conclusions. They are so dogmatical about the accuracy of the KJV that they appear to miss the fact that the Greek text does not teach gospel regeneration. Perhaps on part of some it is willfulness, or that they are too much leavened by Protestant errors. But it seems to me the early pillars were strong on Justification, and did not teach gospel regeneration. It seems to me even PRCA's Herman Hoeksema opposed gospel regeneration, and taught Holy Spirit regeneration apart from means. I could remember amiss.


Harald

tomas1
07-17-04, 05:05 AM
Darth Gill said:
I also hope that you look to Christ for 100% of salvation - that He is the party responsible for all of it. But when you say that men are responsible for exercising saving faith that sounds to me like you're saying just the opposite.

I think this is the nub of the whole issue when WB and others say all men have a duty to accept the gospel you somehow think we are saying men have a part in their salvation but come on you don’t honestly think any who have posted here believe that do you?

And I know that you and Harold don’t believe that man is not accountable to God for his actions even though it sure sounds like it from this thread. So I must conclude that this is only a quarrel about words. So I’ll remind everyone to be careful you never know who might be listening

2nd Tim 2:14Remind them of these things, charging them in the sight of the Lord, that they don't argue about words, to no profit, to the subverting of those who hear.

Ivor Thomas
07-17-04, 05:58 AM
W.b or any one else here who believes duty faith I would ask if they would read ,[Duty Faith by John Foreman]; its a bit long but well worth the trouble. Ivor Thomas...:cool:

harald
07-17-04, 07:48 AM
tomas1. My take is that this ongoing debate about duty faith is not due to mere choice of words, or a "matter of semantics". It has raged at least for 200 years, and more I think. I think there are two opposite notions involved, one which is pro duty faith and the other anti the same. There are no doubt in the latter times of Christendom's history examples of futile fights over words or expressions. One that comes to mind is when some say it is wrong to use "person" in connection with any of the Persons of the Godhead, e.g. "the Person of God the Father" would be wrong word usage according to some. Some instead of saying "the persons of the Godhead" would say e.g. "the subsistences within the Godhead". Some object to "Trinity" and use "Godhead" when they want to convey the plurality of Divine persons in the one God. This example also is to me futile quarrel over words or expressions, when both are quite legitimate. But to me and many others past and present "duty faith" altogether signifies a concept wholly foreign to the doctrine of grace and of Christ. I say both the term and the concept embodied in the term are misleading, deceptive. The same goes for "offering Christ". Like George Whitefield once preached, "today I offer you Christ and salvation", or something similar. This is to me heretical preaching and betrays a corrupted mind, at least (and especially) if it is repeated.


Harald

wildboar
07-17-04, 08:20 AM
Dr. Gill:

You are misunderstanding what is meant by duty-faith. Man has a responsiblity before God to believe. However, that does not mean that any man on his own does. God works faith in that person. Christ does the work that man could not do. Man can take no credit for the faith which is worked in him but the unregenerate person still has the responsibility to exercise such faith even though it is impossible for him. This is what is meant by duty-faith.

Though it is not completely analogous perhaps this would help explain things better. Man is responsible to keep God's law. However it is impossible for man in his sinful nature to do so. This does not mean that man is not responsible because he has no desire to do so. Christ fulfills the law for us.


W.b or any one else here who believes duty faith I would ask if they would read ,[Duty Faith by John Foreman]; its a bit long but well worth the trouble. Ivor Thomas...
Sure, I'll try to get to it in the next few weeks. For those who deny duty faith I highly recommend David Engelsma's book Hyper-Calvinism and the Call of the Gospel. http://www.rfpa.org/Scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=1 For a short article on the same subject I recommend: http://www.prca.org/pamphlets/pamphlet_35.html But the book is far more thorough and well worth the read.

Brandan
07-17-04, 10:30 AM
Is it a duty for reprobates to acknowledge their creator? Is it in their power with out the Holy Spirit to do so? How can even this limited good come from the evil that is in them? If good can come from evil then total depravity is false. If it is not possible for a reprobate to acknowledge his creator then does not the same objections hold to this limited duty as to faith, it makes God a deceiver etc.That is the common argument used to prove duty-faith. But the problem with duty-faith is the assumption that that faith is the condition of salvation. Men who are saved by Grace don't care to talk about their faith! They talk about Christ. They don't encourage men to "exercise faith" either! Faith is a gift that flows from the regenerate heart by the Holy Spirit. Faith is important, and it is the means through which God's people pull to their consciences the knowledge and benefits of redemption. But it is merely EVIDENCE of their salvation - not the instrument through which justification is wrought. That is what this battle is all about in my opinion.

2boysdaddy
07-17-04, 10:31 AM
I am in the middle of a couple of excerpts from Calvin's Institutes right now and there's a couple of things in book 3 that may be of particular interest. They are pretty long, but if anyone wants to read them, here are the links:

http://www.bible.org/docs/history/calvin/institut/ci300004.htm (Sections 11 and 12)


http://www.bible.org/docs/history/calvin/institut/ci300026.htm (Section 8) "Many are called, but few are chosen."

I'm still reading through them, if anyone has some particular illumination to share, please feel free. I'm still feeling out where I stand on this position, as this is the first that I have ever heard on the topic of duty faith. I have enjoyed this thread immensely, as I have others on this site, in that it has presented fantastic arguments both pro and con.
That being said, I only ask that we remember to do all this in the spirit of 2 Tim 2:14, a verse that Tomas posted earlier. In particular, I have noticed a large amount of frustration about this topic; this makes it hard for those of us who are trying to learn insofar as we are not interested in assigning labels so much as in the discernment of the truth. Thanks for all your help, I can only imagine the amount of research and work that goes into the postings on this site.

Bob Higby
07-17-04, 10:53 AM
Wow, is this forum cookin' again or what! I'm so pleased to see that dialog on the truth is 'back'!

I haven't had time to read through all of these posts. However, the bottom line on this issue goes back to our original differences on accountability vs. responsibility.

If 'responsibility' means nothing more than 'accountability' (as one contributor pointed out is a standard 'dictionary' definition), then we have no argument with one another. However, if man has SOME sort of natural ability ('physically able to respond'--as one contributor put it), then we know the real reason for our differences. The question is whether the Holy Spirit in regeneration gives ability for the first time or whether he simply awakens a natural ability so that it becomes prominent and finally acts.

Man has NO ability to believe unless he comes to prefer the gospel above all else. That is the bottom line. But those who laugh at the gospel of grace will be held accountable in eternal judgment for their folly.

Brandan
07-17-04, 10:57 AM
However, if man has SOME sort of natural ability ('physically able to respond'--as one contributor put it), then we know the real reason for our differences. WHoah whoah whoah - is there someone here who actually believes that? THat's a denial of Total Depravity, isn't it?

wildboar
07-17-04, 11:59 AM
But the problem with duty-faith is the assumption that that faith is the condition of salvation. That poor straw-man keeps getting beaten to a pulp, showing that the real argument for duty-faith is too strong for you.

Men who are saved by Grace don't care to talk about their faith! They talk about Christ. They don't encourage men to "exercise faith" either! Apparently Paul was unregenerate.
30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.


However, if man has SOME sort of natural ability ('physically able to respond'--as one contributor put it), then we know the real reason for our differences.
WHoah whoah whoah - is there someone here who actually believes that? THat's a denial of Total Depravity, isn't it? No, I said it and total depravity has to do with our desires. A person is physically capable of doing good but they have no desire to do so.

GraceAmbassador
07-17-04, 01:13 PM
No, I said it and total depravity has to do with our desires. A person is physically capable of doing good but they have no desire to do so.
Wow! "Men is intrinsically evil and not intensely evil.

As to explaining men's total depravity, I've always took the phrase above to mean that the entirety of men's nature had indeed no "capability of doing or desiring the ultimate good, or to desire God. I never thought that "not being intensely evil" included physical capability of doing good, or that "total depravity excluded the physical aspect of our nature. Does that mean that men is merely spiritually depraved, but physically potentially good? Isn't that separation of "spiritually depraved, from "physically capable" somewhat novel? (I ask in total awe of what to me is a novel notion).

Milt

Brandan
07-17-04, 01:26 PM
No, I said it and total depravity has to do with our desires. A person is physically capable of doing good but they have no desire to do so.So you would definitely disagree with yotal inability but not total depravity. Ok. I just don't understand how reprobate men - made to be DEVILS could have any physical capability of doing good. There is no "possibility" at all in these men of ever being saved.

wildboar
07-17-04, 01:31 PM
I merely saying that man is a rational creature and has the physical ability to choose good or evil the same way a lion has the ability to choose between meat and a barrel of oats but the lion will always choose the meat unless he is turned into another creature.

tomas1
07-17-04, 01:38 PM
If there was a physical difference between the elect and reprobate we could separate them with only a medical exam or DNA test then we could put the reprobate in camps it should make church discipline easer :p

harald
07-17-04, 02:03 PM
My mindedness is that men and men in some sense have a "desire" to be saved. I know some say unregenerate men have not desire or will to be saved, but this is not the whole truth of the matter. I do not know if this relates to what wildboar said above, but I will state my thought nevertheless. Unregenerate men have a desire to be saved, and also a desire to be saved by or through Christ. This is evidenced by the fact that many have believed in Him who have been unregenerate. So, they desire to be saved, and that by or through Christ, and they also believe in Him. But, their being unregenerate in and through all these ultimately puts them to shame when that Day comes. This means that a mere desire to be saved, and a mere desire for Christ and His salvation, is nothing. The real issue is the character of the desire, not the mere existence of such a thing as desire toward Christ and salvation through Him. The real issue is spiritually dead vs. spiritually alive. The difference, constitutionally, between a man who is spiritually dead and one who is spiritually alive, is not simply "desire", not the presence or non-presence of it, neither only its quality vs. non-qualitativeness. A spiritually dead man is blind, not merely possessed of defective or perverted desire as respects God and His salvation. The spiritually dead man wants the "new creature", whereas the spiritually alive man has the same. So, the vital difference between a spiritually good and a bad man is not "desire", but non-possession of "spirit" and possession of the same. The "spirit" or "new creature" or "new man" (etc. etc.) is, constitutionally, not merely a "desire", but much more. So, for a man to have a trust God-ward which is acceptable or well pleasing to Him it is not enough that there be a "desire" or will of proper quality in him. Also the mindedness needs to be in accordance with God's mind and thoughts. The will as a "faculty" is not autonomous, but as I see it is bound to the nature and its propensities. As the nature is so the will wills and wants, in accordance with the nature. For a man to be rightly attuned with respect to Almighty God he needs to be possessed of a governing principle of the mind which is of God. This is the key and real issue, not "desire" or "will". With Paul the apostle the will was not the main grievance, he being possessed of a God-given law or governing principle of the mind. With this principle he had the right will or want, one which was bent toward the good. What he complained was that even when possessed of a new governing principle from God he wanted that final something which was needed in order to his performing the good only. Therefore a scriptural anthropology maintains that even regenerate man is not free to do only good in the sense that Christ only was. A Scriptural anthropology dictates that regenerate man does not and is not able to "exercise faith" at will in a soul-satisfying manner. How much less then unregenerate man, who often boasts of "free will". True scriptural anthropology maintains with Paul that the Spirit of God and of Christ must animate "faith", must draw it into lively exercise by His invincible energy each time, otherwise the soul of the regenerate man is left barren and fruitless and unsatisfied etc. etc. How desperately pathetic and futile is then the exhortations of religionist preachers to men and men to "just exercise faith!" or "just believe on Christ!", or "just close in with Christ!" etc. etc. Such preachers themselves are destitute of the Spirit of Christ and thus also devoid of the principle of faith itself, and of the divine governing principle of mind.

For a right kind of faith to go out towards Christ as proper object of faith the mindedness must be right, the understanding illuminated by Divine light, the conscience renewed, the affections in spiritual exercise, and the will wrought upon by God the Spirit. This is much more than "desire" being involved. And who is sufficient for these? Not man, and no man. God must be at work in resurrection power by His Spirit, and man must be acted or wrought upon by Him powerfully. Else all is futile and vain, and ends in shame and disgrace.


Harald

Brandan
07-17-04, 02:37 PM
Harald, that was an amazing post. I don't know if it's correct or not. I've never even considered this topic before.... I will take your post tonight and think about it. Very interesting indeed. :)

wildboar
07-17-04, 04:56 PM
The unregenerate man fears punishment and hell and may wish to escape his punishment. However the regenerate man feels sorrow that he has offended God, that is the difference.

This is evidenced by the fact that many have believed in Him who have been unregenerate. What do you mean by this? Are you saying that they merely believed He was a historical person or what? It seems if it is something else it would be contradicted by John 3:16.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Brandan
07-17-04, 05:29 PM
I think what Harald means is there are many people who believe in the Christ, but are indifferent to the Gospel. There are many who believe they are sinners, but don't own their own sin. There are others who want a god to save them, but not the SOVEREIGN Lord of the Universe.

harald
07-17-04, 06:38 PM
The New Testament writings have instances of people who are said to have believed in Christ, but which the context shows were unregenerate. One which comes to mind is John chapter 2 at the end. Another Matt. 7 the "Lord Lord" people. It is obvious that not all of the NT examples (and those of post apostolic times) were such as had merely given credence to historical facts, but they had seriously committed themselves to Jesus Christ as they themselves conceived Him. Simon Magus is also said to have believed the Gospel, and by implication it must have involved some sort of believing in Christ, but I believe the context shows his belief was not Spirit-empowered, but self-empowered, meaning it was blind and groundless faith. Paul in 1Cor. 15 talks about the possibility of believing "in vain" or groundlessly . Such belief is a fearful thing indeed, seeing at the worst (unless God intervenes) it lands a man in hell. Those of John 2 were such as believed in Christ groundlessly, apart from Christ having previously entrusted Himself to them. Groundless faith is presumption, of which Philpot aptly said it is the blackest of sins. It is a solemn and fearful thing to think how many today in "Calvinistic" and "Reformed" circles have believed groundlessly, not even to mention those in free will circles. I just come to think of Carpenterite type calvinists, zealous and devoted people, of who many apparently draw their assurance of salvation from the fact that they have heard, cognitively understood, and mentally (often joyfully) embraced "THE Gospel" (as they often emphasize), centering around the doctrine of "limited atonement". It would be a delightful thing to see some of them be delivered from their delusion. Only God is able to effect it.


Harald

Brandan
07-17-04, 09:16 PM
Harald, I believe there are millions upon millions of people believing false gospels. I believe there are many who have heard the true gospel but have not been brought to see their sin - they are not weary and heavy laden. But I believe that ALL that believe (not with indifference) the TRUE GOSPEL are saved. All in all, I think there are VERY few people on earth today that know Christ - and that includes a lot of "calvinists". This is the way God has ordained it. God has maintained that remnant throughout history, and I'm overwhelmed to have been so priveleged to see such a small glimpse of God's plan. I think it's amazing how God has raised up the whore religion of character salvation and used it for His purposes to benefit His people.

I think of the pharisee who thanked God he was not like all the other sinners, and then I see the publican who dares not look up into heaven, but instead beats his breast and cries, "Lord have mercy on me, a sinner." I know that we as sinners can take pride in admitting our sin, but I can sincerely say I know how awful it is to feel under the weight of sin, what it is to know you've offended the GOD of the universe, to feel hopeless, and to see yourself as pitch black, as Paul did, the "CHIEF" of sinners. I'm the neediest person on EARTH! And I say this with tears.... Only then can an individual look outside of Himself to Christ and His grace and take comfort. Only when a weight is put upon a person can the weight be lifted by the love of Christ. Only then will the individual experience the joy of salvation. This is not introspectionism, this is the reality for every child of God.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord for HIS mercy, for His atoning blood, and for His love for awful sinners like myself. Every true disciple of Christ desires to be a real sinner wallowing in the dust before God's holiness.

harald
07-17-04, 09:53 PM
Brandan, I agree. Just as you marvel at the whore religion so did John on Patmos when by revelation he got to behold that scarlet harlot Babylon. And I have marvelled, and still marvel, although I guess I should not. The more days that pass the more I am marvelling at the seeming immensity of the depth of Satan's systematic deception of Christendom. Few people realize how far he's been permitted to go in deceiving and deluding people in the matter of salvation. It is so scary it is almost unbelievable. And I guess it ought to be exposed as thoroughly as it is deep, but where to begin, and where to find the needed boldness... Satan is deceiving professors by the hundreds of millions in all areas; experience, doctrine, practice, and if there be any more areas then also therein. Divine light is needed to expose the angel of darkness masquerading as "an angel of light" or a bringer of illumination. If one goes to the task of exposing the big names they will call you names and things. If one names heresy as heresy one is judgmental and negative and unloving. Positiveness and political correctness and nondiscriminatoriness is the tone of the day. But the exhortation is still there and still in force to those who have been summoned, to be seriously and intensely contending for the faith once entrusted to the sanctified, for certain men have crept in by stealth. So let the bondman of God take courage and stand fast, victory is certain.

Harald

GraceAmbassador
07-18-04, 08:42 AM
Dear Brandan and Harald:

From the beginning I thought Harald had a good point. Especially in view of the passage on the publican and the pharisee as mentioned by Brandan. Let me add this two cents worth notion here.

It is called "religion", which is exactly what the pharisee had.

By definition "religion" is a word from the Latin that means "to reconnect, or to re-link". It is an obvious attempt from men towards God for reconnection. If anything, it reveals a certain degree of men's desire for a "deity". The desire for a deity is NOT the same as the desire for God. Men, as a totally depraved being, cannot desire the ultimate Good. He is intrinsically evil but not intensely evil, and as such, he desires a "deity".

Men's pursuit of a deity, however, is based upon the very idea or notion that a totally depraved being has of God. Therefore, man makes a "god" or a "deity" that is fashionable to his own depravation and is limited by his totally depraved condition. Such was the "deity" of the pharisees. As depraved beings, man tends to confuse his own "little god" with the Almighty God. But that does not make him "saved" or removes him from his totally depraved condition. He prays to a deity that is in conformity with his own "desire to reconnect" based upon self-righteousness, and the fulfillment of rules and regulations, that he, man, himself designs and expects his little god entity to accept such rules and regulations. Such was the "deity" of the pharisee. Such is the "deity" or religion.

God, before the foundation of the world has decreed that He will accpet men back to Him or "reconnect" men back to Him in His own terms. God decreed that He would not accpet our filthy rags or self-righteousness, our rules, regulations, our crying, our repentance, our shouting in church buildings, our elaborate services, our stained glass windows, our sumptous temples, our luxurious real estate, our money buying pardons, our esquisite performance of rituals, our robes of unrighteousness, or anything we can DO. God decreed that He would:


Look for men instead of men looking for him; He initiated contact
God would then provide a sacrifice.
God, then, became this sacrifice. The offended party SUFFERING AND DYING for the offender to pardon the offender.
God decreed that He would DECLARE the offended righteous because of His sacrifice. His sacrifice is SUFFICIENT to sustain such a declaration.
God decreed that He would provide His very own nature to abide in men to verify and witness that such a DECLARATION of righteousness would be maintained forever. So He seals men with His Holy Spirit and makes men, not building made by men's hands, His Temples
God, pursuant to the above, became the "author and the finisher of our faith". He begins and he finishes.
No "religion" can provide such a plan. No religion can reconnect men with The Almighty God. At best, religion, such as the pharisee's religion, can provide a sense of self assurance and supreriority, but ultimately it does not deal with the depraved state men happens to be.

Yes, men desire a "deity". So, they make a deity that looks like them. They deify men and humanize this deity. They have a human god and a god-ish man that they manipulate through following rules and regulation. But that does not mean the ultimate desire for "Almighty God".

The desire for the Almighty God can only be given and satisfied by God alone, as he chooses men to whom he reveals Christ. Then, God is God, and men is still men, and there is no change of role and there is no "self-help" or "self-designed" deity.

A last word: No "religion" and no "faith" teaches the list above! Only in what is called today "Christianity" and the "Christian Bible" we see a God that provides such a perfect plan as laid out above. Praise His name!

Milt

whs1
07-18-04, 11:25 AM
I can agree that we should watch for those who know the truth and preach the truth of the true gospel and are concerned with doctrinal purity. But as for this "Carpenter" blasting and setting up of straw men that look as though they are true ministers that come with true doctrine and yet are wolves because they "know" doctrine...that is a very subtle distinction here that can throw us away from doctrine.

harald says:
"I just come to think of Carpenterite type calvinists, zealous and devoted people, of who many apparently draw their assurance of salvation from the fact that they have heard, cognitively understood, and mentally (often joyfully) embraced "THE Gospel" (as they often emphasize), centering around the doctrine of "limited atonement". It would be a delightful thing to see some of them be delivered from their delusion. Only God is able to effect it."


I know that from my spiritual experiences [which mean nothing] it is what God has done for me that matters...I have come to see that I am harsh, critical, judgmental, brute-like, vile and wretched in my dealings with people. This has to go! Doctrine is important because God puts the ultimate level of concern upon it...

Psalm 138:2 "I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."

What I do and what those whom you dub "Carpenterites" do is in extreme pride and hardness chop everyone up around them that they see who do not agree with them doctrinally into shreds. That is wrong. But to say that just because a person does this makes him deluded about the true God and gospel is a leap. I will confess that I just read a sermon by J.C. Philpot on "Trying the Spirits" that exposes my harshness.
http://grace-for-today.com/1596.htm


In this Sermon, Philpot did make some very exposing and good observations...one being that in order to "try the spirits" first off one must try his own spirit. This brings me to my point. I am not here in this post to attack anyone...but to confess my critically harsh shredder mentality that chops everyone who disagrees with me to bits. I have been guilty of this pride and arrogancy from the beginning of my "profession of Christ".

I don't want to say at this point that I am not saved because of this. But one and all here [with some exceptions I know not of] profess to know and love our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. If there is anything that I just learned from reading this sermon, it is that everyone [to some degree] is guilty of shredding others with whom they disagree.

Having said that though. And being humbled by my own sin of pride...I would like to say that God has revealed to me [still] through His word that ***WHAT*** we believe is very; if not absolutely important. If it were not, why would God have bothered to have given us a Bible with His very words in it that gives us all the truth that we need to know ?

Yes, I believe that everyone makes judgments about themselves as well as about everyone else they come in contact with. But this seems to be my problem. If I have not cleaned out my own closet [confessed and repented of my own sins] how can I possibly look at anyone else's closet?

God knows that I have enough in my own to condemn me a billion times over.
But there must be a point when we can make judgments about others or else God would not have said "BEWARE" or "TRY the Spirits".



Marc Carpenter is guilty of helping my inborn pride to blossom...but I had the pride before that. What I believe is...that the truth does not suffer at all if it is being proclaimed. What we need to watch out for are those who are claiming to proclaim it but in doctrine are not proclaiming any thing except a false god and gospel.

Now, how is one to know [as harald seems to] that one who seems doctrinally pure [Limited Atonement BEING the heart of the gospel] and is prideful: is a wolf, as harald seems to say [Carpenterites being deluded].???

I would have a hard time with such a bold, sure position from one who has pride himself as harald does. ["Take heed to what I say"] is your language harald... as though you are some one and Grace ambassador saying he has been in the ministry 35 years (like that makes you better equipped than anyone like me)???

These things are pride and I don't have to mince words. You both are guilty of this. I am guilty of blasting with doctrine anyone whom I think is false in one little iota on essentials. I am here to say that I have not arrived at any state of purity and confess that I cannot even lift a finger at either of you. But I seem to be hushed out by everyone because I make mistakes...But others get away with sins also.

Brandan, you are right, I need to get over myself. But in order to interact with anyone I need to come clean. My life is like the life of a demon. (Cussing, Rock Music, Lord's name in vain, lust, and other things] My sins are ever before me. If my character and conduct are the determiner of my salvation, I am a goner. If it is Christ's righteousness alone in Christ's accomplished perfect atonement alone by grace through faith alone...well then I am in no shape to worry or complain or fret what man can do unto me.

Bill

whs1
07-18-04, 11:53 AM
As for "duty faith" and all that that teaching has to do with those who do not believe vs. believers in Christ...we see that the discussion has turned to "Can an Unbeliever exercise saving faith" or "If an unbeliever has an ability to exercise saving faith; what of total depravity and God's election." Duty does not imply abilty: example: the law of God given on Mt. Sinai.

A new thing here though is: can an unbeliever have a "faith" that does not save or "Is there any other faith but saving faith">? If there is another "faith" other than saving faith; then what of the atonement of Christ...did Christ die for the "kind of false faith" of the Reprobates??? True, Simon Magus 'believed', but does this mean he had "faith"? Is there more than one kind of faith?

I believe that there is only one kind of faith: saving. Does unregenerate totally depraved [not able to do any good at all, not believe, NOTHING GOOD Romans 3] have the "Ability" to Repent, and believe the gospel. NO.

All false "believing" is not the faith of God's elect. It differs in substance. It does not truly give the sinner a view of himself and God that puts him on the dunghill as a begging leper that can see no good in himself at all and is swallowed up in worship at such a gloriously perfectly holy, pure and adorable Saviour and God such as Jesus the Christ.


Yes, Brandan, I shall go with the flow of the discussion.


Bill

harald
07-18-04, 12:43 PM
Bill. I must confess your above post makes one think. It was profitable to read. I have never denied that I have pride. I probably have more of it than you, and it is a grievous thing to see it in exercise, and one part of me seeming to love it so. And doubt is present in me as well, and all kinds of evils.
All have great need of being humbled to the dust, me included. And there may often be pride involved when myself has expressed some doctrinal judgment against some preachers or such like. But very very seldom nowadays I make hasty or unwarranted judgments. I have learnt some lessons. In areas where myself is way off or ignorant I do not criticize others, at least I try not to, for that would be nothing but pure hypocritical judgment. But when I am firmly convinced in my judgment I do not hesitate to say a man is in error or heresy. As for me and my mentioning Carpenter there is nothing personal involved. For some reason he just happens to be a man I use as the archetype of a certain sort of sect. What I have against Carpenter is the few points of doctrine where he denies the doctrine of Christ and the Gospel of Paul. And you may call it or think it is pride, but I am 100 per cent sure and convinced in my mind that Carpenter's maintaining gospel or doctrinal regeneration is grave error or heresy. The same goes for his denial of the time lag between regeneration and Gospel conversion. His continual maintaining of these two grave errors speaks clear language to me, the man is not this day a God-called preacher of Paul's Gospel (which is Christ's).
Carpenter is a dogmatical man. He is consistent and zealous, and sincere. I have no need of accusing him of pride, though. It is enough that if and when I mention him I state his doctrinal deviations from the Gospel. These come to mind when I think of Carpenter, otherwise there are some commendable things about him which makes me respect the man as much as I am allowed to.

Bill, you are quick to criticize me, it seems. Are you clear yourself? If I name some man or men it is wrong, if I do not name any but give general character traits of some type of errorist that is wrong. But you need to show me the Scripture forbids it, not come weaning and crying like some sentimentalist or positivist ecumenist or neo-evangelical. Paul sometime named names of deceivers or errorists within the Christian community, sometimes he did not name names but only gave general characteristics which were to the point. Both approaches are legitimate. I am no God-called preacher, but I know that good such of the past were not fearful, but bold in exposing errors and heresies, sometimes naming names until the Christians knew the names by rote, and at other times not giving any specific names of heretics but being content to give character traits. Both approaches were effectual. Today's chocolate Christianity tolerates neither, but demands nothing but positivism. There is need for grace and mercy, but also for firmness. Jude said long ago to summoned saints they were to be contending for the faith once entrusted to the saints, in a serious and intense manner, that is what "earnestly" means. Not in a half-hearted manner, or un-seriously as some hireling. There can be no toleration of continued doctrinal error and hereticalness. Not in oneself nor in others. One man in Revelation was commended by Christ Jesus for not tolerating evil men and for testing those claiming they were Jews but were not but were a synagogue of Satan. Modern day professors who would forbid testing and dogmaticalness never show any NT Scriptures which clearly forbids this.

In serious ministers of the past such as Philpot was combined both firmness and dogmaticalness, as well as mercy and graciousness. He could in one breath cut heretics to the quick, and in the other apply soothing balm to the sores of suffering saints. Such was Paul before him, and Christ Himself before Paul.

It is not pride to test public would-be preachers and teachers, which purport to be a guide of the blind, a light to those in darkness, and to pass righteous judgment if they teach error or heresy. Tell me who is exempt from testing. No one, not me, not you nor anyone else. I recommend at least a three fold test. Doctrine, practice, experience. God-called preachers of the Gospel of Christ pass this test, and perhaps a few false ministers sometimes also. But generally false ministers fail the test in one or more areas. Such myself marks and avoids, very simple. Someone in another thread recommended this threefold test with reference to new candidates for church membership. Myself would say here the experimental test suffices generally. Of this opinion was also Philpot I trust, and his fellow ministers among the Strict Baptists. Just to name one example. True God-called preachers, I might add, preach doctrine, experience, and practise, shunning none of these areas. Again I think Philpot is a good example of a post-apostolic time minister of this quality. Another would be John Brine. Those men were scary at times, as compared to today's preachers in general, which are very shallow on experience and doctrine.

It does us no good to try sticking the head in the sand as ostriches do, the state of Christendom is most alarming and pathetic, as is the state of individual hearts of professors, mine included. Without exposing and reproving errors and such like aberrations there will be no conviction, and without conviction no repentance, and thus the pathetic state of things remains intact. In days of old God sent prophets among the people, reproving the people for their strayings, think of Jeremiah and Isaiah, for example. The people were sometime given to be cut to the heart by such forceful prophesying, and repentance followed, with times of blessing attending. People cry "revival" but do not want it God's way.

I apologize for the rambling, but I wrote as thoughts came to mind, unfeignedly.

Harald

harald
07-18-04, 01:10 PM
Bill. In times of old there was a need of differentiating between false and true faith. There is faith and faith, one of God, one of man or of man & Satan. Also today there is the need to differentiate between these two faiths, true vs. false. Some ministers of the past were very apt at this. But they are probably few in number today. If one would begin differentiating between faith and faith then no doubt people would close the doors to their fellowships and forums etc. I have in the past had to dismiss myself from some forums for doing so. Which means I know how mean otherwise kind and friendly professors of Christ's religion may get. It seems Carpenter has tried to do this sort of, and that is partially why he is hated. He has touched a taboo thing among professors of today. People will allow their "Jesus" to have been peccable and all sorts, but they will not tolerate someone questioning the source and quality of their professed faith, which shows their faith is their saviour and god. As for myself I can bear it that some people question my profession and faith, I cannot forbid them to make judgments in their mind, and do not want to. If my faith is of God it will stand the test of men and the Scripture, and of God's trial, and will not let me be put to shame in that day. If it is false then I am a goner for sure. I could not care too much what people think of my faith, more important is what God thinks of it. If it is of Him then all well.

Harald

Brandan
07-18-04, 01:33 PM
WHS-1, you wrote the best post I've read from you on this board. That sermon by Philpot was very good.

Brandan
07-18-04, 01:43 PM
Just for the record, I've never considered Marc Carpenter anything but a brother based on his profession in the true Gospel. I can't truly judge his state spiritual life completely, but I do appreciate his boldness in standing up against the blasphemous free will religion. Sadly, I think he has gone too far in his quest, and I must admit, it's hard not to blame him for being suspicious of everyone. We live in a dark apostate age where there are very few true pilgrims. It is hard to embrace other brethren without being suspicious. Bill, I appreciate your honesty, and will pray for you and and your wife as I truly think you are a brother in Christ. May God's Grace and Christ's Righteousness be your theme throughout your life and all your dealings with true and false professors.

whs1
07-18-04, 01:59 PM
And I want to tell you Brandan, that I thank the Lord for you and that I will pray for your walk with Christ and your wife. I do not attend Church and the last one I did attend I had to drive 100 miles (literally to attend) so that my wife and I could not continue. It was grace gospel church in Apopka Fl. As for that sermon, Brandan, I want to tell you that I had to tell my wife that it nailed me to the wall as to how I come off to people (especially Christians and doctrinal issues)! I have been blessed to come in contact with a humble servant as yourself. We have almost every theological doctrine in agreement and that is rare. You are a very gracious and merciful man and I actually wish I could be like that. I will pray that God makes me to be more and more conformed to the image of Christ.

Harald, I am sorry, but I am just the OPPOSITE of ""some sentimentalist or positivist ecumenist or neo-evangelical""; I am dogmatic myself. But all I was saying is that my pride has to be taken to the cross and how I deal with someone is important. The last thing on earth I think anyone should be is wishy washy and mushy about is God and his word. I don't believe we should be "ecumenical".

Bill

harald
07-18-04, 02:32 PM
Brandan said:

We live in a dark apostate age where there are very few true pilgrims. It is hard to embrace other brethren without being suspicious.

Brandan. I agree, with melancholy of mind. It is sad but true. It seems the Scripture forbids gullibility (1John 4:1), but also a disposition which would interpret everything in the blackest possible manner. I came to see this some week ago when studying Romans chapter 1. In the sin register of the heathen was on sin called "malignity" in the KJV, if I recall aright. Some render it "malicious disposition". It seems the word was used often to denote "evil interpretation". It is very difficult to steer clear of gullibility and this other evil. In connection with this there was lately a man who I wanted to believe all the best about, and not judge before the time, all the while in my spirit there was this nagging suspicion. It was very trying. External evidences seemed to say he was a good man, and I very much wanted to think he was, but inward intuition alerted me in the other direction. It was frustrating, as I did not want to deceive myself. Some days passed and the subject of Christ's peccability vs. impeccability was brought up. This man had not before said anything on it as I had heard, and when he got to say his mind it appeared that he believed in a peccable Christ, all the while being sound on justification by Christ's imputed righteousness alone. In a sense I was saddened, but in another sense I learned that I had not been allowed to utterly deceive myself with respect to the man. My inner man had had misgivings as to the man, legitimate such, and I nearly quenched them in my wanting to be too positive ("see no evil, hear no evil, think no evil"). Paul does say that some men will completely deceive the hearts of the simple or unsuspecting. And this man with his good words and fair speeches nearly deceived me, but yet I must state that he is not one who deceives on purpose, but is a most likeable man and one willing to learn truth. I just hope he's not of those who are ever learning and never being able to arrive at the full knowledge of the truth. But as said it is very difficult to steer clear between the two extremes of gullibility and naivety on one hand and that disposition of hyper-suspiciousness and putting an evil interpretation on all and any thing on the other hand. One of the reasons I wanted to think and believe the best of the man was probably due to my lack of fellowship in the truth, and when I had come in touch with one who seemed to believe the true Gospel I did not want to let such an opportunity of fellowship go past. Such disappointments as these tend to make me fretful like a child, and I may have thoughts of throwing in the towel, and quitting it all. Such it can be at times to be all alone in a country which knows nothing of Gospel light.

Harald

harald
07-18-04, 02:41 PM
Bill. I guess that confession is what I wanted to draw forth from you, that you are no wishy washy mushy man. And you are right that it is very important how one deals with others. I have much to learn in this area. Now I must be getting to sleep. Good night, Bill.

Harald

Brandan
07-18-04, 03:23 PM
I do not attend Church and the last one I did attend I had to drive 100 miles (literally to attend) so that my wife and I could not continue. It was grace gospel church in Apopka Fl. As for that sermon, Brandan, I want to tell you that I had to tell my wife that it nailed me to the wall as to how I come off to people (especially Christians and doctrinal issues)! Oh so you listened to Greg Elmquist! He's an awesome preacher in my opinion. I've listened to a lot from him. I'd like to listen to that sermon... do you have a date? His sermons are in mp3 format online...

http://www.gracegospelchurch.net/sermons/rapnorap.htm

I have a friend that attends that church. His name is Rich Pietroski. Wonderful guy to talk to. That man I can say knows Christ. In fact, he doesn't want to talk about anything BUT Christ. Christ should be the center of all our theology, so much so that we OOOZE Christ and His Gospel. Rich is an inspiration to me, and so are the people from that church. They rightly divide the Word, rightly judge false gospel, but are not overly consumed with determining who is regenerate and who is not because their focus is on the Saviour. Such should be our attitude.

Yours in the True Gospel,
Brandan

Bob Higby
07-18-04, 03:59 PM
WB:
I merely saying that man is a rational creature and has the physical ability to choose good or evil the same way a lion has the ability to choose between meat and a barrel of oats but the lion will always choose the meat unless he is turned into another creature

But what kind of 'ability' is this? To me it is phantom--i.e., no ability at all. Like the lion who will always turn to meat rather than oats, we humans choose whatever our motives prefer at any given time and cannot do otherwise.

whs1
07-18-04, 05:56 PM
Brandan, the best sermon was called "Who does the Saving" from Judges about Gideon. I looked...it was in 2002 that he preached it and in 2002 the website does not have that archived sermon at the moment because they are having difficulties...but when they get it the title is "Who Does The Saving?" by Greg Elmquist.

Bill

whs1
07-18-04, 06:09 PM
Brandan, do you go to a church now?

wildboar
07-18-04, 10:32 PM
But what kind of 'ability' is this? To me it is phantom--i.e., no ability at all. Like the lion who will always turn to meat rather than oats, we humans choose whatever our motives prefer at any given time and cannot do otherwise. In that sense you are correct. I wouldn't argue with you at all.

Skeuos Eleos
07-19-04, 01:32 AM
I don't have any useful contribution to make at this point except to say I have very much enjoyed and been blessed reading the interaction between Harald and WHS1 and preety much agree with what has been said. I would only want to add that I think that some can still set their standard too narrow - I think some may be tempted to to judge some as unregenerate on some criteria that is not part of the gospel. Anyway, I have certainly come to respect Philpot, Harald - O that we had men such as him in our day! Wildboar I recall has said elsewhere that he thinks that the Gospel Standard folks err on some points. I woul dlike to know whether that is just on Duty faith or on other matters? I have only read sermons so far and not detected anything which I thought doctrinally in error (not that I'm a good judge of sound doctrine by any means!). I think I saw a reference to a Gospel Standard statement of faith - can someone point me to where I could find that?

It would be good if we could get back to the original discussion but without the name-calling. It may be that the difference is only semantical but I think there needs to be a more careful examination of arguments and defining of terms - at the moment I am finding it hard to distinguish the difference between what DG and WB are saying but unless I am missing something (quite possible I know!) the difference seems to come down to the two of you needing to define terms like duty, responsibility and accountability.

Looking forward to more profitable discussion.

Martin

Brandan
07-19-04, 05:05 AM
I've been reading Philpot and Gadsby for awhile now, and agree they are awesome. I know what the GS men were like in their day, but what are they like today? I have their statement of faith and agree with it - it's very good.... I'll post it here...



The Gospel Standard


Articles of Faith






I We believe in the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, and receive them as a gracious revelation of the mind and will of God (Deut. 4:2, Ps. 19:7, Prov. 30:5-6, 2 Pet. 1:19-21, Rev. 22:18-19, John 5:39); and we believe that therein are revealed all the doctrines and truths which we here state. (2 Tim. 3:15-17.)

II We believe that there is but one living and true God (Exod. 3:14, Deut. 4:35, Deut. 6:4, Num. 23:19, 1 Sam. 2:2-3, Ps. 90:2, Ps. 115:3, Ps. 135:5, Ps. 139:7-10, Prov. 15:3, Ecc. 3:14, Is. 40:28, Is. 45:22, Is. 46:9, Jer. 10:10, Jer. 23:24, Mal. 3:6, Mark 12:29, John 4:24, 1 Cor. 8:6, Col. 1:16); that there are Three Persons in the Godhead, - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (Matt. 28:19, John 1:1, 2 Cor. 13:14, 1 John 5:7, Jude 20-21), and that these Three Persons are equal in nature, power, and glory; and we believe that the Son and the Holy Ghost are as truly and as properly God as the Father. (John 10:15, John 10:30, Eph. 2:22, Heb. 1:3, Heb. 9:14.)

III We believe in the everlasting and unchangeable love of God (Jer. 31:3); and that before the foundation of the world the Father did elect a certain number of the human race unto everlasting salvation, whom He did predestinate unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will (Gal. 4:5, Eph. 1:3-14, 1 Thess. 5:9, 2 Thess. 2:13, 2 Tim. 1:9, 1 John 3:1, 1 Pet. 1:2, 1 Pet. 2:9); and we believe that in fulfilling this gracious design, He did make a covenant of grace and peace with the Son and with the Holy Ghost on behalf of those persons thus chosen (2 Sam. 23:5, John 1:17), and that in this covenant the Son was appointed a Saviour, and all spiritual blessings provided for the elect, and also that their persons, with all the grace and glory designed for them, were put into the hands of the Son as their Covenant Head, and made His care and charge. (Ps. 111:8-9, Is. 42:6, Is. 54:10, Is. 55:4, Jer. 31:3, John 6:37, John 17:2, Acts 4:12, Rom. 8:29-30, Eph. 1:3, Eph. 2:13, Heb. 2:13, Heb. 6:17-18, Heb. 8:8-9.)

IVWe believe in the Fall of our first parents, and that by it the whole of the human race became involved in, and guilty of, Original Sin; and that as they are born into the world, the whole of their posterity are, in consequence, actual transgressors against God. (Rom. 5:12-21, Ps. 58:3.) And we believe that by the Fall all men were rendered both unable and unwilling spiritually to believe in, seek after, or love God until called and regenerated by the Holy Ghost. (Gen. 6:5, Gen. 8:21, Job 14:4, Job 25:4, Ps. 51:5, Jer. 13:23, Jer. 17:9, Matt. 15:19, Rom. 3:10-24, Rom. 5:12-19, 1 Cor. 15:22, 1 Cor. 15:45-50, Eph. 2:3, 1 John 5:19.)

VWe believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, being set up from everlasting as the Mediator of the New Covenant, and having engaged to be the Surety of His people, did, in the fulness of time, really and truly assume human nature, and not before, either in whole or in part. (Prov. 8:23.) And we believe that, though He existed form all eternity as the eternal Son of God (John 1:18, Phil. 2:5-8, Heb. 1:5, Heb. 1:8, Heb. 13:8, 2 John 3, Rev. 1:8), the human soul of the Lord Jesus did not exist before it was created and formed in His body by Him who forms the soul of man within him, when that body was conceived under the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary. (Is. 7:14, Matt. 1:23, Luke 1:26-38, John 1:14, Gal. 4:4.) And we believe that Christ's human nature consists of a true body and reasonable soul, both of which, together and at once, the Son of God assumed into union with His Divine Person, when made of a woman and not before (Luke 2:40, Heb. 2:14-17), that this human nature was not sinful, peccable, or mortal (Ps.16:10, Acts 2:27), though capable of death by a voluntary act (John 10:17-18), but essentially and intrinsically pure and holy (Song 5:9-16, Heb. 7:26); and that in it He really suffered, bled, and died, as the Substitute and Surety of His church and people, in their room and stead, and for no others (John 10:15, John 10:26, John 17:9, John 17:13), whereby, together with His holy, spotless life, He fulfilled the law, and satisfied all the claims of justice, as well as made a way for all those blessings which are needful for His people, both for time and eternity. (Heb. 9:22-28.)

VI We believe that the eternal redemption which Christ has obtained by the shedding of His blood is special and particular (Gal. 3:13, Heb. 9:12-15); that is to say, that it was intentionally designed only for the Elect of God, the Sheep of Christ, who therefore alone share in the special and peculiar blessings thereof. (Isa. 35:10, John 10:15, John 10:25-28, Acts 2: 47, Acts 13: 48, Acts 20:28, Rom. 5:8-10, 8:33-34, Rom. 9:13, Rom. 9:15-16, Rev. 14:4.)

VII We believe that the justification of God's elect is only by the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ imputed to them (Isa. 45:24, Isa. 64:6, Jer. 23:6, Matt. 7:18, Luke 18:13, Acts 13:39, Rom. 4:4-5, Rom. 5:19, Rom. 10:4, 1 Cor. 1:30, 2 Cor. 5:21, Phil. 3:9, Tit. 3:5), without consideration of any works of righteousness, before or after calling, done by them, and that the full and free pardon of all their sins, past, present, and to come, is only through the blood of Christ, according to the riches of His grace. (Rom. 3:20-27, Rom. 4:22, Rom. 9:11, 2 Tim. 1:9, Heb. 1:3, Heb. 9:22, 1 Pet. 3:18, 1 John 2:1.)

VIII We believe that the work of regeneration is not an act of man's free will and natural power, but that it springs from the operation of the mighty, efficacious and invincible grace of God. (Jer. 50:20, Ps. 110:3, John 1:13, John 6:29, John 6:63, John 6:65, John 14:8, Rom. 8:16, Rom. 11:4, Rom. 11:6, James 1:18.)

IX We believe that all those who were chosen by the Father and redeemed by the Son, and no others, shall, at the appointed time, certainly be convinced in their hearts of sin, by the Spirit (John 16:8, 1 Cor. 2:14, Eph. 2:1), be brought in guilty before God, and made the recipients of eternal life, coming to Christ for salvation, and believing on Him as the Anointed of the Father, and the only Mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5, Heb. 8:6, Heb. 9:15, Heb 12:24); but that none can spiritually come to Christ unless drawn by the Father (John 6:44, John 6:65); and that all the elect shall be thus drawn to Christ, and shall finally persevere; so that not one of the elect shall perish, but all arrive safely in glory. (Job 17:9, Matt. 24:34, John 4:14 ; John 5:24, John 6:37, John 6:44-47, John 10:28, John 17:6, John 17:12, John 17:24, Acts 2:47, Rom. 8:29-39, Phil. 1:6, 1 Pet. 1:3-5.)

X We believe that all men are by nature so completely dead in trespasses and sins that they cannot, while in that state, know or feel anything of God in Christ, spiritually, graciously and savingly. (Eph. 2:1-3). And we believe that, when quickened into everlasting life in Christ (as the elect alone are, or can be, or will be), the vessel of mercy then first feels spiritually the guilt of sin, and is taught to know in his own experience, the fall and ruin of man. (1sa. 1:6, Rom. 3:10-19, Rom. 7:18.) Thus every quickened child of God is brought, in God's own time and way, through the Spirit's teaching, from necessity to depend for salvation on Christ's blood and righteousness alone. (John 6:68, John 10:9, John 14:6, Acts 4:12, Eph. 2:8-10, Heb. 6:18.) And we believe that this teaching will not lead him to licentiousness, but make him willing to walk in good works, to which he is ordained, and which are acceptable to God only through Jesus Christ. (Rom. 8:14, Gal. 5:16-25, Gal. 6:14-16.)

XI We believe that man can never do a good work, properly so called, until the grace of God is implanted in his heart (Rom. 8:8), and that nothing is spiritually good but what God Himself is pleased to communicate to, and work in, the soul, both to will and to do of His good pleasure. (Phil. 2:13.) And we also believe that man's works, good or bad, have not anything to do with his call, or being quickened, by the Holy Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:5, Eph. 2:3-9, Tit. 3:5, Heb. 13:21.)

XII We believe in the effectual calling of all the elect vessels of mercy out of the ruins of the Fall in God's appointed time, and that the work of regeneration, or new birth, is the sovereign work of God, and His work only, the sinner being as passive therein as in his first birth, and previously thereto dead in trespasses and sins. (John 3:3-8, John 6:37-65, Rom. 8:30, 1 Cor. 1:26-29, Eph. 2:4-5.) We believe in the application of the Law to the elect sinner's conscience by the Spirit of God (Rom. 7:7, Rom. 7:9, Rom. 7:12), showing the sinner how greatly he has broken that law, and feelingly condemning him for the same; and in the manifestation of mercy and pardon through Christ alone made known to the soul by God the Holy Ghost. (Ps. 30:3 ; Ps. 130:7, Isa. 40:2, Jer. 33:8, Mic. 7:18, Rom. 7:5-10.)

XIII We believe that faith is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8), as well as true spiritual repentance and hope (Acts 5:31, Rom. 15:13, 2 Thess. 2:16, 1 Pet. 1:3), and a manifestation of pardon to the soul ; that through faith Christ is made precious to the soul (1 Pet. 2:7), and the soul drawn out in love to God (1 John 4:19); that all are the fruits and effects of the blessed Spirit, and that they will most certainly be productive of good works, and a walk and conversation becoming the Gospel. (Gal. 2:16-21, Gal. 5:22-26.)

XIV We believe in the Resurrection of the body, both of the just and the unjust (Acts 24:15), that the just (the elect) shall be raised up in glory and honour (Matt. 24:31, Matt. 25:31-40), and be openly acknowledged and fully acquitted in the Judgment Day, before angels, devils and sinners, and made fully and eternally blest both in body and soul; and that the wicked shall be raised up to be condemned, body and soul, to the unspeakable torments of hell for ever and ever. (Isa. 26:19, Dan. 12:2, Matt. 25:31-46, John 5:28-29, Acts 23:6, Rom. 6:23, Rom. 8:11, Rom. 8:23, Rom. 14:10-12, 1 Cor. 15:52, 2 Cor. 5:10, Rev. 20:12-15.)

XV We believe that Baptism and the Lord's Supper (1 Cor. 11:2, 1 Cor. 11:26, 1 Cor.14:40, Col. 2:5-8) are ordinances of Christ, to be continued till His Second Coming; and that the former is requisite to the latter; that is to say, that those only can scripturally sit down to the Lord's Supper who, upon their profession of faith, have been baptised by immersion in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and that, therefore, what is called "Mixed Communion" (Rom. 16:17) is unscriptural, improper, and not to be allowed in the churches of Christ. (Matt. 3:13-16, Matt. 28:19-20, John 3:22-23, Acts 2:37-42, Acts 8:12, Acts 9:18, Acts 10:47-48, Acts 16:14-15, Acts 16:30-33, Acts 18:8, Acts 19:1-6, Rom. 6:3, Col. 2:12.)

XVI We believe that the Believer's Rule of conduct is the gospel, and not the law, commonly called the Moral Law, issued on Mount Sinai, which hath no glory in it by reason of the glory that excelleth; that is to say, the gospel (Gal. 6:15-16, 2 Cor. 3:10, Rom. 7:2-4); the gospel containing the sum and substance and glory of all the laws which God ever promulgated from His throne, and the Jews, because of the hardness of their hearts, being permitted some things which the gospel forbids. (Deut. 14:1, Matt. 19:8-9.)

XVII We deny and reject, as unscriptural and erroneous, the baptism of infants, whether by immersion, sprinkling, pouring, or any other mode. (Heb. 11:6, Acts 8:12, Acts 8:37.)

XVIII We reject as blasphemous the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration; that is, that the person baptised is or can be regenerated in, by or through baptism, much less, if possible, by infant sprinkling. (John 1:13, 1 Pet. 1:23.)

XIX We believe in the sanctification of God's people, the term sanctification signifying a separation and setting apart by and for God. This, in the child of God, is three-fold: i, by election by God the Father (Jude I); ii, by redemption by God the Son (John 17:19); and iii, by the almighty regenerating operation of God the Holy Ghost (Rom. 15:16.) We believe that the blessed Spirit is the Author of what is styled in Scripture the new creature, or creation (2 Cor. 5:17, Eph. 4:24), or new heart (Ezek. 36:26); being, in truth, an implantation of the Divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4), through which the child of God would, according to the inner man (Rom. 7:22), be holy as God is holy, and perfectly fulfil all the good pleasure of the Father's will; but groans being burdened, being constantly opposed by the contrary workings of the old man. (Rom. 7, Gal. 5:17.) We reject the doctrine of progressive sanctification, or that a child of God experiences such a gradual weakening, subduing, or rectification of the old nature, called in Scripture the old man (Eph. 4:22, Col. 3:9), or such a continued general improvement as shall make him at any time less dependent upon the communications of the Spirit and grace of Christ for all goodness, or less a poor, vile, wretched, helpless sinner in himself, and in his own estimation. (John 15:part of 5, 2 Cor. 3:5, Rev. 3:17.)

XX We believe that the grace of God produces a real change in a man and teaches him to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live godly (Tit. 2:11-12), and that there is a growth in grace (2 Pet. 3:18, Phil. 3:8-10, Mark 4:26-29, 1 John 2:12-13), which consists principally in a growing experimental knowledge of a man's sinful self (1 Kings 8:38, Ezra. 9:6, Job 40:4-6, Ps. 73:22, Dan. x. 8), the vanity of the creature, the glory of God, the spirituality of His law, and the want and worth of Jesus Christ. This is accompanied by a deepening distrust of everything but the grace and love of God in Christ for salvation, and is not a growth in conscious goodness, but in felt necessity and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (John 3:30, 1 Cor. 2:2, Tit. 3:3-8, Eph. 3:8, 1 Tim. 1:15.)

XXI We reject the doctrine of perfection in the flesh, or that the believer ever becomes free from indwelling sin in this life, or whilst in the body. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8, 1 Kings 8:46, Job 9:2, Job 15:14, Ps. 119:96, Prov. 20:9, Ecc. 7:20, Rom. 7:18.)

XXII We reject the doctrines that the children of God cannot backslide, and that God does not chastise His people for sin. (1 Cor. 11:32.) For, though we believe that a child of God is called from a death in sin to a life of righteousness, and would, according to the law of his mind, or new nature, in all respects obey God's holy will as declared in the Scriptures, yet through the temptations of Satan, the allurements of the world, and the power and deceitfulness of indwelling sin, he may fall for a season like David, Peter, and other Bible saints did. (Jer. 3:14, Jer. 3:22, Hos. 14.) But we believe that when the children of God thus sin against God, and transgress His holy revealed will, God does in various ways and degrees chastise them for it (Ps. 89:30-33, Prov. 3:11-12), not in vindictive anger, but in tender love, as a father does the son in whom he delighteth. (Job. 5:17, Ps. 94:12, Ps. 119:67, Isa. 54:7-8, Heb. 12:5-11.) We believe, too, that in this matter of chastisement for sin God will deal in a most sovereign way, and as a God of judgment; so that, though the punished child shall be made to discern the reason of the rod (Mic. 6:9), it is seldom safe for others to judge according to the outward appearance. We further believe that no man living in habitual sin gives any proof that he is a child of God, and we cannot, therefore, have fellowship with him, be his profession what it may.

XXIII We believe, as expressed in Article IX., in the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints, and that, however much the elect of God may be tried by sin, and opposed by Satan, they shall all eventually attain to everlasting glory. Not one of them shall perish, for none can pluck them out of the Father's hand. (Isa. 51:11, John 10:28-29.)

XXIV We believe that the invitations of the Gospel, being spirit and life,* are intended only for those who have been made by the blessed Spirit to feel their lost state as sinners and their need of Christ as their Saviour, and to repent of and forsake their sins. (Isa. 55:1, John 7:37, Prov. 28:13, Matt. 11:28-30, John 6:37.)



Note - * That is, under the influence of the Holy Spirit.



XXV We deny that Christ died for all mankind. (Matt. 25:31-46, John 10:11, John 10:15, John 10:26.)


XXVI We deny duty faith and duty repentance - these terms signifying that it is every man's duty spiritually and savingly to repent and believe (Gen. 6:5, Gen 8:21, Matt. 15:19, Jer. 17:9, John 6:44, John 6:65.) We deny also that there is any capability in man by nature to any spiritual good whatever. So that we reject the doctrine that men in a state of nature should be exhorted to believe in or turn to God of themselves. (John 12:39-40, Eph. 2:8, Rom. 8:7-8, 1 Cor. 4:7.)



Note - The words supplied in italics (of themselves) are suggested by Mr. J. K. Popham in the Gospel Standard for December 1906, to clarify the intended meaning of the Article.



XXVII We deny that the Holy Spirit ever enlightens the non-elect, to make them capable at all of receiving grace. (1sa. 6:9-10, John 14:17, Rom. 11:7-8, Mark 4:11-12, Luke 8:10, John 12:39-40.)


XXVIII We reject the doctrine called "Baxterianism"; that is to say, that while all the elect shall assuredly be saved, there is a residuum of grace in Christ for the rest, or any of the rest, if they will only accept it. (John 3:27, 1 Cor. 2:14.)

XXIX While we believe that the gospel is to be preached in or proclaimed to all the world, as in Mark 16:15, we deny offers of grace; that is to say, that the gospel is to be offered indiscriminately to all. (2 Cor. 4:3-4.) See Articles XXIV., XXVI.

XXX We believe that the glorified body of the Lord Jesus Christ is the same flesh and bones now in heaven as that which hung upon the cross. (1 Cor. 15:16, 1 Cor. 15:20, Luke 24:39, Acts 1:9, Acts 1:11.)

XXXI We reject the doctrine of the annihilation of the wicked, and believe that all who die out of Christ shall be turned into hell, the fire of which shall never be quenched, the wicked there suffering for ever the torments of eternal fire. (Matt. 25:46, Rev. 19: last part of 20, Rev. 14:10-11, Rev. 20:10, Rev 20:15.)



Note - It is the same word in the Greek which, in Matt. 25:46, declares the eternity of life for the sheep which declares the eternity of punishment for the goats. So (Rev. 20:15), those who are "not written in the book of life" are "cast into the lake of fire," where they are "tormented for ever and ever." (Rev. 20:10.) Now the same words which are there translated "for ever and ever" are also used in Rev. 10:6, where the angel "sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever." Therefore if God is "to live for ever and ever," the torment in the lake of fire is to be for ever and ever; for the words are exactly the same in both passages.



XXXII We believe that it would be unsafe, from the brief records we have of the way in which the apostles, under the immediate direction of the Lord, addressed their hearers in certain special cases and circumstances, to derive absolute and universal rules for ministerial addresses in the present day under widely-different circumstances. And we further believe that an assumption that others have been inspired as the apostles were has led to the grossest errors amongst both Romanists and professed Protestants.


XXXIII Therefore, that for ministers in the present day to address unconverted persons, or indiscriminately all in a mixed congregation, calling upon them savingly to repent, believe, and receive Christ, or perform any other acts dependent upon the new creative power of the Holy Ghost, is, on the one hand, to imply creature power, and, on the other, to deny the doctrine of special redemption.

XXXIV We believe that any such expressions as convey to the hearers the belief that they possess a certain power to flee to the Saviour, to close in with Christ, to receive Christ, while in an unregenerate state, so that unless they do thus close with Christ, etc., they shall perish, are untrue, and must, therefore, be rejected. And we further believe that we have no Scripture warrant to take the exhortations in the Old Testament intended for the Jews in national covenant with God, and apply them in a spiritual and saving sense to unregenerated men.

XXXV We believe that there are various degrees of faith, as little faith and great faith (Matt. 6:30, Matt. 15:28), that when a man is quickened by the blessed Spirit, he has faith given to him to know and feel he is a sinner against God (Luke 18:13), and that without a Saviour he must sink in black despair. And we further believe that such a man will be made to cry for mercy, to mourn over and on account of his sins (Matt. 5:4), and, being made to feel that he has no righteousness of his own (Isa. 64:6, Phil. 3:9), to hunger and thirst after Christ's righteousness being led on by the Spirit until, in the full assurance of faith, he has the Spirit's witness in his heart that his sins are for ever put away (Rom. 8:16, Eph. 4:30, Heb. 9:12, Heb. 9:26, Heb. 7:27, Heb.10:14); but that the faith is the same in nature as is imparted in his first awakenings, though now grown to the full assurance thereof.

Now all and each of these doctrines and ordinances we can honestly say it is our desire to maintain and defend in one spirit and with one mind, striving together for the faith of the gospel.

And we desire, by the grace of God, that our conversation, both in the world and in the church, may be such as becometh the gospel of Christ, and that we may live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present world.

And, as it regards each other in church communion, we desire to walk with each other in all humility and brotherly love; to watch over each other's conversation, to stir up one another to love and good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, but, as we have opportunity, to worship God according to His revealed will; and when the case requires, to warn and admonish one another according to God's Word.

Moreover, we desire to sympathise with each other in all conditions, both inward and outward, into which God, in His providence, may bring us; as also to bear with one another's weaknesses, failings, and infirmities; and particularly to pray for one another, and for all saints, and that the gospel and the ordinances thereof may be blessed to the edification and comfort of each other's souls, and for the gathering in of vessels of mercy unto Christ.

And for every blessing and favour, both temporal and spiritual, we, who are as deserving of hell as the vilest of the vile, desire to ascribe all the praise to the glory of the grace of a Triune God.

Brandan
07-19-04, 05:11 AM
I agree with these articles and think I'll add them to the front page of the list of confessions I agree with...

1. The 5solas.org Statement of Faith
2. The 1729 Goat Yard Statement of Faith
3. The 1644 London Baptist Confession of Faith
4. The Gospel Standard Articles of Faith

Brandan
07-19-04, 05:19 AM
XXXIII Therefore, that for ministers in the present day to address unconverted persons, or indiscriminately all in a mixed congregation, calling upon them savingly to repent, believe, and receive Christ, or perform any other acts dependent upon the new creative power of the Holy Ghost, is, on the one hand, to imply creature power, and, on the other, to deny the doctrine of special redemption.


I assume what these articles are saying is that we are not to "call on" individuals to "make a decision" to "believe". I don't have a problem with that - however I wouldn't have a problem with a preacher making remarks such as "Come unto me, all ye who labour and are heavy laden." This is scriptural. I see no problem with a preacher declaring that whosoever believes on the Lord shall be saved. But to actually CALL on people, I would definitely disagree with... Is there a distinction to be found here?

Brandan
07-19-04, 05:22 AM
http://www.pristinegrace.org/media.php?id=313

wildboar
07-19-04, 07:34 AM
Here are the articles I disagree with:


XV We believe that Baptism and the Lord's Supper (1 Cor. 11:2, 1 Cor. 11:26, 1 Cor.14:40, Col. 2:5-8) are ordinances of Christ, to be continued till His Second Coming; and that the former is requisite to the latter; that is to say, that those only can scripturally sit down to the Lord's Supper who, upon their profession of faith, have been baptised by immersion in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and that, therefore, what is called "Mixed Communion" (Rom. 16:17) is unscriptural, improper, and not to be allowed in the churches of Christ. (Matt. 3:13-16, Matt. 28:19-20, John 3:22-23, Acts 2:37-42, Acts 8:12, Acts 9:18, Acts 10:47-48, Acts 16:14-15, Acts 16:30-33, Acts 18:8, Acts 19:1-6, Rom. 6:3, Col. 2:12.) There are the obvious differences I have with mode of baptism and so forth, but I also disagree with the practice of closed communion. I believe in close communion. I believe that the elders should examine a person to see whether or not they are in doctrinal agreement with the church before they are allowed to partake, but I don't believe in the practice to limiting such communion to those in the particular denomination. Anyone who agrees with this article and is not a member of one of these churches really ought to stop partaking of communion at whichever church they happen to be attending.

XVI We believe that the Believer's Rule of conduct is the gospel, and not the law, commonly called the Moral Law, issued on Mount Sinai, which hath no glory in it by reason of the glory that excelleth; that is to say, the gospel (Gal. 6:15-16, 2 Cor. 3:10, Rom. 7:2-4); the gospel containing the sum and substance and glory of all the laws which God ever promulgated from His throne, and the Jews, because of the hardness of their hearts, being permitted some things which the gospel forbids. (Deut. 14:1, Matt. 19:8-9.)
God's standard never changes, therefore the moral law of God still stands as a rule for the believer and so I disagree with this article as well.

XVII We deny and reject, as unscriptural and erroneous, the baptism of infants, whether by immersion, sprinkling, pouring, or any other mode. (Heb. 11:6, Acts 8:12, Acts 8:37.)
I obviously reject this article.

XIX We believe in the sanctification of God's people, the term sanctification signifying a separation and setting apart by and for God. This, in the child of God, is three-fold: i, by election by God the Father (Jude I); ii, by redemption by God the Son (John 17:19); and iii, by the almighty regenerating operation of God the Holy Ghost (Rom. 15:16.) We believe that the blessed Spirit is the Author of what is styled in Scripture the new creature, or creation (2 Cor. 5:17, Eph. 4:24), or new heart (Ezek. 36:26); being, in truth, an implantation of the Divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4), through which the child of God would, according to the inner man (Rom. 7:22), be holy as God is holy, and perfectly fulfil all the good pleasure of the Father's will; but groans being burdened, being constantly opposed by the contrary workings of the old man. (Rom. 7, Gal. 5:17.) We reject the doctrine of progressive sanctification, or that a child of God experiences such a gradual weakening, subduing, or rectification of the old nature, called in Scripture the old man (Eph. 4:22, Col. 3:9), or such a continued general improvement as shall make him at any time less dependent upon the communications of the Spirit and grace of Christ for all goodness, or less a poor, vile, wretched, helpless sinner in himself, and in his own estimation. (John 15:part of 5, 2 Cor. 3:5, Rev. 3:17.) Although sanctification does not make man any less dependent upon God, I believe it is something which is done throughout the believer's life. The believer knows God more and more and lives a progressively more holy life. This growing knowledge of God of course also leads the believer to sin in his life where he never noticed it before and drives him more and more to dependence upon God.

XXIV We believe that the invitations of the Gospel, being spirit and life,* are intended only for those who have been made by the blessed Spirit to feel their lost state as sinners and their need of Christ as their Saviour, and to repent of and forsake their sins. (Isa. 55:1, John 7:37, Prov. 28:13, Matt. 11:28-30, John 6:37.) I reject the above based upon the parable of the wedding supper. The parable has certainly been misused and abused in favor of the well-meant offer, but the invitation cannot be denied.
[UOTE] XXVI We deny duty faith and duty repentance - these terms signifying that it is every man's duty spiritually and savingly to repent and believe (Gen. 6:5, Gen 8:21, Matt. 15:19, Jer. 17:9, John 6:44, John 6:65.) We deny also that there is any capability in man by nature to any spiritual good whatever. So that we reject the doctrine that men in a state of nature should be exhorted to believe in or turn to God of themselves. (John 12:39-40, Eph. 2:8, Rom. 8:7-8, 1 Cor. 4:7.)
[/QUOTE]I reject the above article because it follows the Erasmusian hermeneutic and confuses an imperative with and indicative. If it is not sin for man to not do what he cannot do, then no unregenerate man ever sins and he has no duty to do anything.

XXIX While we believe that the gospel is to be preached in or proclaimed to all the world, as in Mark 16:15, we deny offers of grace; that is to say, that the gospel is to be offered indiscriminately to all. (2 Cor. 4:3-4.) See Articles XXIV., XXVI.It depends on what is meant here by the word offer. At the time of the writing of the Westminster Confession for instance, offer had the idea of presenting. This sense of the word offer is certainly not inappropriate. I deny the offer in the sense that God really wants those who hear the Gospel preached to be saved as it is commonly called the well-meant offer. But use of the term offer itself is not wrong.

XXXII We believe that it would be unsafe, from the brief records we have of the way in which the apostles, under the immediate direction of the Lord, addressed their hearers in certain special cases and circumstances, to derive absolute and universal rules for ministerial addresses in the present day under widely-different circumstances. And we further believe that an assumption that others have been inspired as the apostles were has led to the grossest errors amongst both Romanists and professed Protestants. The above shows the same error as those who say that homosexuality is not wrong today. The argument in the above is that we live in different times today, therefore we should depend upon our own rationalizations than follow what the Apostles did.

XXXIII Therefore, that for ministers in the present day to address unconverted persons, or indiscriminately all in a mixed congregation, calling upon them savingly to repent, believe, and receive Christ, or perform any other acts dependent upon the new creative power of the Holy Ghost, is, on the one hand, to imply creature power, and, on the other, to deny the doctrine of special redemption.
Same problems here.

XXXIV We believe that any such expressions as convey to the hearers the belief that they possess a certain power to flee to the Saviour, to close in with Christ, to receive Christ, while in an unregenerate state, so that unless they do thus close with Christ, etc., they shall perish, are untrue, and must, therefore, be rejected. And we further believe that we have no Scripture warrant to take the exhortations in the Old Testament intended for the Jews in national covenant with God, and apply them in a spiritual and saving sense to unregenerated men.
Believe and you shall be saved, believe not and you shall be damned ought to be proclaimed to all men, regardless of the Puritan mutilation of this practice.

XXXV We believe that there are various degrees of faith, as little faith and great faith (Matt. 6:30, Matt. 15:28), that when a man is quickened by the blessed Spirit, he has faith given to him to know and feel he is a sinner against God (Luke 18:13), and that without a Saviour he must sink in black despair. And we further believe that such a man will be made to cry for mercy, to mourn over and on account of his sins (Matt. 5:4), and, being made to feel that he has no righteousness of his own (Isa. 64:6, Phil. 3:9), to hunger and thirst after Christ's righteousness being led on by the Spirit until, in the full assurance of faith, he has the Spirit's witness in his heart that his sins are for ever put away (Rom. 8:16, Eph. 4:30, Heb. 9:12, Heb. 9:26, Heb. 7:27, Heb.10:14); but that the faith is the same in nature as is imparted in his first awakenings, though now grown to the full assurance thereof.
This is a denial of the truth that assurance is part of the essence of faith. This denial was also the error of many Puritans and worked its way into the reformed churches. This is the same as the error of the papists who teach that only certain people can have assurance of salvation.

Brandan
07-19-04, 07:52 AM
XV - I disagree with this article because I do not believe in withholding the Lord's Supper from anyone that professes belief in the Gospel. I do not make baptism a prerequisite for fellowship - although it is strongly encouraged. I don't see a mandate for PUBLIC baptism - I believe private baptism is perfectly fine.

XXXIII - We shouldn't call on people to save themselves by faith. The key word is "savingly believe".

XXIX - Depends on what the word offer means... The Gospel is not an offer, but it is an offer (presentation). The WCF meant presentation but people don't view it that way today - today people see offer as a conditional offer.

XXXIV - Charles I don't think this article denies this...

XXXV - how in the world is this a denial of assurance is part of the essence of faith Charles?

wildboar
07-19-04, 08:47 AM
XXXIII - We shouldn't call on people to save themselves by faith. The key word is "savingly believe". I don't believe that the apostles went about looking to see if some people were regenerate or unregenerate and told the one to saving believe and told the other to just believe. They told all men everywhere to believe and repent without some previous examination.

XXXIV - Charles I don't think this article denies this...
The article taken by itself does not deny this, but taken in connection with the other articles a command to repent would imply creature power.

Article 35 speaks of a time lag between the giving of faith and the assurance of faith. It seems the man has to do a great deal of whining before he gets assurance. The giving of faith only leads man to know that he is a sinner according to the article. After re-reading it looks like I was wrong about only certain elect people being given assurance of faith, but it does appear that there could be a great deal of time between the giving of faith and assurance.

XXXV We believe that there are various degrees of faith, as little faith and great faith (Matt. 6:30, Matt. 15:28), that when a man is quickened by the blessed Spirit, he has faith given to him to know and feel he is a sinner against God (Luke 18:13), and that without a Saviour he must sink in black despair. And we further believe that such a man will be made to cry for mercy, to mourn over and on account of his sins (Matt. 5:4), and, being made to feel that he has no righteousness of his own (Isa. 64:6, Phil. 3:9), to hunger and thirst after Christ's righteousness being led on by the Spirit until, in the full assurance of faith, he has the Spirit's witness in his heart that his sins are for ever put away (Rom. 8:16, Eph. 4:30, Heb. 9:12, Heb. 9:26, Heb. 7:27, Heb.10:14); but that the faith is the same in nature as is imparted in his first awakenings, though now grown to the full assurance thereof.

Ian Potts
07-19-04, 10:04 AM
I don't believe that the apostles went about looking to see if some people were regenerate or unregenerate and told the one to saving believe and told the other to just believe. They told all men everywhere to believe and repent without some previous examination.
The article taken by itself does not deny this, but taken in connection with the other articles a command to repent would imply creature power.

Article 35 speaks of a time lag between the giving of faith and the assurance of faith. It seems the man has to do a great deal of whining before he gets assurance. The giving of faith only leads man to know that he is a sinner according to the article. After re-reading it looks like I was wrong about only certain elect people being given assurance of faith, but it does appear that there could be a great deal of time between the giving of faith and assurance.
Funnily enough I read something the other day by Toplady on faith, assurance and 'full assurance' which completely supported what it said here in the GS article.

If I get time sometime I might try and dig it out and quote what he said. But the fact that the flesh remains in the believer, that he still sins, and that even with faith he only 'looks through a glass darkly' surely shows that faith doesn't automatically lead to 'full assurance'. Faith gives spiritual sight, enabling us to look to Christ. But full assurance that our cry for mercy has been heard is rarely instant.

harald
07-19-04, 10:56 AM
Martin. I also respect Philpot, and wish there were favoured preachers of his calibre here down below today. If you have read only sermons of GSB men like Philpot and Gadsby and Warburton you will likely not find any errors or heresies. I have read a few by all those and cannot now recall any heresies put forth by them, nor any errors which would have stuck on my mind. But certainly there are issues where I disagree with e.g. Philpot. One thing where I think he made a wrong judgment was when he said the KJV translators were "good men", I take in the sense of regenerate men. But this he did not say in a sermon, but elsewhere. I do not think there has been any name calling so far in this thread worthy of mention. I think the discussion has been civilized. Hopefully it may continue so.

Harald

harald
07-19-04, 11:26 AM
Brandan. I agree that Gadsby and Philpot are quite awesome, compared to many other preachers in post apostolic times. And I trust God made them what they were. Also I agree that their statement of faith of 1875 is very good. It, along with the PB 1644 confession, are the two confessions I have bothered to post on my website so far. I have at some point considered posting also the 1729 Goat Yard declaration. I think the 1689 confession is weaker than all these three, perhaps partly due to the copying of much from the distinctly Protestant Westminster confession. In my judgment this confession was something of a sad mistake in Particular Baptist history. It has many good statements, but also some not so becoming, IMHO.

Other early (19th century) GS Baptist preachers besides Philpot and Gadsby who myself considers awesome would be John Warburton (Sr.), John Kershaw, Edward Samuel of Sleaford, Francis Covell, Joseph Hatton, Joseph Orton. There are others also in addition, but these come foremost to my mind right now. Some GS Baptist preachers of the 20th century whose sermons have blessed me would be Jesse Delves, Frank L Gosden, Ernest Roe. A GS Baptist friend in England once sent some sermon tapes by some of their contemporary ministers of the Gospel, and some of which I have listened to were quite good, but not all. And those which were good were not quite in class with those of old like Gadsby, Warburton, Philpot, Kershaw. I may be wrong but it seems to me their preachers of today (21st century) lack the Spirit power and anointing Gadsby & co. had been favoured with. At least some are not as righteously dogmatical as those of old were on vital points of the Gospel, and not by far as pointed and discriminating in their preaching. The friend I referred to was saddened at the state of GS Baptist churches in England of today. He did not give much detail, but told about lukewarmness as one thing. He said very few churches are zealous for the old paths that Philpot and Gadsby et.al. walked. While I probably should stay quiet I cannot help but say that there seems to be among the GS Baptists in England a trend of compromise as going on as respects the doctrine of justification before God. Their 1875 confession is Scriptural, but some of their contemporary leading men seem to me to compromise this truth, and teach as Luther taught. Also the same men seem to keep on maintaining the error of gospel or doctrinal regeneration, which was not what Philpot and Gadsby believed I trust. These two errors countenanced could explain some of their lack of power in preaching today. Another thing which saddens me about the English GS Baptists is that they seem to profile themselves too much as a "denomination". This I have especially concluded when looking into some numbers of the Gospel Standard magazine of recent years. It seems that when Gadsby still lived the Gadsbyite Strict Baptists (as they were then called) were more of a fellowship of sister churches than a denomination type aggregate. I do not personally give much for denominationalism, it tends to lord it over individual churches.


Harald

Brandan
07-19-04, 11:56 AM
Harald,

Interesting comments on justification. I think if we abolish the doctrine of eternal justification, it leads to the Luther view (faith is the instrument through which imputation of righteousness is received), which is very similar to the view that faith is the cause of justification yet vastly different. Free Grace and cheap grace become difficult to distinguish in this scheme I believe. It's amazing how different the words "by" and "because" change the entire Gospel. If we trash eternal justification / justification at the cross, then the door is opened for boasting in faith in my opinion, although this does not necessarily lead to heresy. As a believer in justification at the time of faith, I never did look to my faith as the "CAUSE" of justification. However, after learning the doctrine of eternal justification I began to see the precariousness of the Lutheran view...

A denial of justification from eternity or justification at the cross is indeed a foothold for heresy in my opinion. I'm not saying it IS heresy, but could easily lead to it. I find it interesting that many "reformed" individuals trash eternal justification today - and call it heresy. It is my opinion that if one does this, they are looking to their faith in some way as the cause of justification.

Brandan

harald
07-19-04, 12:50 PM
Brandan. I have not yet familiarized myself much with eternal justification or justification from eternity, as it is also called. I have some writings but have not taken the time to begin reading. I once read something Gill wrote on it, and it was fascinating, and I sensed there was something blessed in this view. I am definitely not opposed to it, and trust that when I get to read I shall be all the wiser on these things, and shall be blessed in learning more. Today I lean towards and stand behind the belief that the Scripture sets the actual time of God's elect's justification before God to be when Christ died voluntarily on Calvary's cross. Because I am a time-bound creature I find it natural to put it at that point in historical time, and I do not see the Scripture opposing this view. But more important than the actual point in time of the elect's Justification before God is the HOW of it all. More important than the time of it is how it was accomplished, and by whom or what. More important than the time of it is that it was (and ever is in force) IN and BECAUSE OF and BY MEANS OF (through, by the instrumentality of) and IN CONSIDERATION OF and BASED ON the Person of Jesus Christ, God the Son incarnate, AND His finished mediatorial work of satisfaction to God and His law and justice. Plus nothing minus nothing. Paul briefly said it like this, "Christ and Him having been crucified". Interesting that in the original the form of the verb "crucify" is in the perfect passive participle. Emphasizing both the act of being crucified, AS WELL AS its abiding meritoriousness and efficacy, so as to say, once crucified but not anymore on the cross, but the merit and its efficacy eternally in force and abiding.

A Scripture passage which to me speaks that Paul considers the point of Christ's crucifixion important is Rom. 4:25, which says "raised (by God the Father) ON ACCOUNT OF the justification of us". It does not say "raised IN ORDER TO" or "...FOR THE PURPOSE OF the justification ....", neither "..WITH A VIEW TO the justification". Heterodox men would have the "for" of some versions to mean just that. But Paul was inspired of Christ's Spirit, the Holy Spirit of the Truth, to use the preposition DIA followed by the accusative, which means the force of the preposition takes on the meaning of "ON ACCOUNT OF". Meaning Paul says God raised Christ on account of His having justified His covenant people by His obedience unto death. Nothing in the true Gospel of Paul which denies this fact.

The Scripture, as far as I am aware, nowhere teaches that a one time initial acting or "exercising" of faith in/toward Christ is the "instrument" of justification, or the "instrument" of receiving justification before God. I have not found the word "instrument" in the NT in such connexions. Nor do I recall that Paul uses the preposition DIA with the genitive (= through, denoting means or instrumentality)in connection with an expression which involves both subjective faith and the concept of justification.
A one time act or exercise of faith in Christ is nowhere in Paul's writings said to be justification's "instrument", when justification before God is considered. So those who maintain it is are falsifying facts, lying. They are not echoing Paul and the Spirit, but following men's traditions, religious paternal traditions, which Paul trashed as nothing but dung. But mark well, Christ's faithfulness is spoken of as the material instrument of God's elect's justification before God. Sovereign Divine imputation, an immanent act in God, is the Divine method. This is what Paul believed and taught in the power and demonstration of the Spirit of God. And men and men carped and cavilled at him, and he was called an "antinomian". But some rejoiced in this teaching of Paul. Me too. And I hope I am not alone.


Harald

Brandan
07-19-04, 01:15 PM
Harald,

I agree with you that our actual justification "in time" took place at the cross. Let me explain to you briefly why I support Justification from Eternity.

Rev. 13:8 states that Christ is the lamb slain before the foundation of the world. Isaiah 53 speaks of what was already DONE before Christ was even born of Mary. Eph. 1:6 says we were accepted in the beloved. :) I read this to be in eternity or everlasting to everlasting, as does John Gill. Eph. 1:3-7 state that ALL blessings are blessings of grace in Christ. 2 Tim. 1:9 says that our salvation and all benefits of it was given to us IN CHRIST before the world began.

Logically, I believe if God had not seen His elect as righteous and justified in Christ from eternity, He would have destroyed all of Adam's race as soon as Adam sinned.

Also logically, those saints in the Old Testament were justified by Christ just as we have been in EXACTLY the same way and for the same reason. Their justification was no different than ours. (Rom. 3:25) How could they be justified before the crucifixion of Christ if not for eternal justification?

It is true that we were JUSTIFIED IN TIME at the Cross - it was the physical consumation of the eternal reality.

We are also justified when we believe; but it is only in the sense that we pull knowledge and assurance of our justification to our consciences by faith.

Yours in the Glorious Gospel,
Brandan

wildboar
07-19-04, 04:04 PM
The following concerns assurance of salvation and is from an issue of the Standard Bearer which can be found here http://www.prca.org/standard_bearer/volume80/2004mar15.html#Editorial:




Prof. David Engelsma.

Faith Is Assurance: Scripture



True faith is assurance of personal salvation. Because assurance is certainty—absolute certainty (to be redundant)—true faith is certainty of one’s own salvation. It is certainty of deliverance from sin, death, and hell. It is certainty of acceptance into the fellowship of God, which is life eternal. Faith is assurance of salvation by the blood and Spirit of Jesus Christ according to the electing love of God in eternity.

True faith is assurance.

Assurance is not the fruit of faith. Assurance is not the reward of faith. Assurance is not a branch or appendix of faith. Assurance is not a later, heroic, rather rare development of faith, after many years of faith’s struggling with doubt and working to attain to assurance.

Assurance is what faith is.

Assurance is of the very essence of faith.

Strip faith of assurance (to speak nonsense), and what is left is not faith. What is left is unbelief.

Believers can sinfully doubt their salvation. But this doubt is not inherent in their faith. Doubt is not an unfortunate aspect of the faith of most Christians for much of their lives. Doubt is not 75% of faith along with 25% assurance, or even 1% of faith along with 99% assurance, until finally, for a few of “God’s best and dearest friends,” faith becomes 100% (full) assurance. Doubt is not even an evil that faith placidly puts up with day after day, year after year, generation after generation, as the normal way of life of the believer.

Doubt of one’s own salvation for a believer has its source in the Christian’s depraved, unbelieving nature. The spiritual father and nourisher of doubt is Satan. He created doubt in the beginning: “Yea, hath God said?” Doubt is sin. Undoubtedly, if we judge our sins rightly, as God judges them, the sin of doubting our salvation is more heinous than adultery, or stealing, or murder, or the other gross fleshly iniquities. What are these sins in comparison with making God a liar in His promises to us, or in comparison with accounting the suffering and death of the Son of God inadequate to redeem and forgive us?

Faith has nothing to do with doubt, except to condemn it, fight it, and overcome it.



Biblical Definition

Holy Scripture defines faith as assurance of salvation in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The word translated “substance” in the Authorized Version means “firm confidence,” or “assurance.” Luther correctly translated the word as “eine gewisse Zuversicht,” that is, “a certain confidence.” Faith is assurance that the things the believer hopes for, according to the promise of the gospel, are both real and for him personally. Similarly, faith is the “evidence,” that is, the conviction, that the things not seen are realities for the believer. Since the things hoped for and the things not seen are the things of salvation in Jesus Christ, faith is the assurance and conviction of salvation.

Assurance of salvation is what faith is.

That the apostle refers to the believer’s assurance and conviction of his own personal salvation is put beyond doubt by verse 2: “For by it the elders obtained a good report.” By faith the believer obtains a good report, obviously, about himself.



Certainty in the “Union” Texts

All the innumerable passages in Scripture that describe faith as union with Christ, so that the one who has faith is “in Christ” and Christ is in the one who has faith, teach that faith is assurance of belonging to Christ. Such a passage is Ephesians 3:17: “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.” Faith receives Christ in the heart of the believer. The one in whom Christ dwells knows the love of Christ—knows the love of Christ for himself (v. 19). Union with Christ, which is faith, is certainty of this Christ. Union with Christ—with Christ—cannot but be certainty of this Christ for oneself. Union with Christ is as much certainty that Christ is one’s own as the marital union is a woman’s certainty that the man to whom she is united is her husband. Who would teach that a woman—a Christian woman—can be married to a man—a godly man—but live in perpetual doubt whether he is her husband.



“Assurance of Faith”

Several passages of Scripture explicitly attribute assurance to faith. In previous articles in this series, I have already quoted and explained Hebrews 10:22: “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” “Full assurance” in the translation of the Authorized Version is simply “assurance,” which in the nature of the case is always “full.” This assurance of faith is not certainty that the believer has faith. But it is the certainty that belongs to faith, indeed, the certainty that is of faith’s essence. It is faith’s certainty that, washed with the blood of Jesus, his own Savior, the believer may boldly draw near to God Himself as his God. It is certainty of salvation.

“By the term full assurance,” Calvin explains, “the Apostle points out the nature of faith, and at the same time reminds us, that the grace of Christ cannot be received except by those who possess a fixed and unhesitating conviction” (commentary on Heb. 10:22).



“I am Persuaded”

The texts that characterize the one who believes the gospel as certain of the love of God for him, certain of the death of Christ for him, certain of the Spirit indwelling him, and certain of his future life and glory are legion. They are glorious. How did the Puritans dare to deny that faith is assurance? How do their spiritual heirs dare to deny this today? On the lips and in the heart of every one who believes the gospel of grace, every one who is “in Christ Jesus” by faith (Rom. 8:1), the apostle puts these sublime words of assurance: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? … For I am persuaded that [nothing] … shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:35-39).

By faith, every believer knows with certainty the love of God in Christ for him. By faith, every believer is persuaded that he will abide in this love forever.

This grand passage in its context in Romans is by itself alone the utter refutation of the notion that assurance does not belong to the essence of faith.



Justifying Faith as Assurance

In a class by themselves, as regards the question whether assurance is of the essence of faith, are the passages that teach justification by faith. Faith justifies. No one supposes that justification is a much later development of faith, or a reward of faith, or an addition to faith, or an appendix to faith. Justification is the fundamental benefit of faith. So soon as one believes, regardless that his faith is weak or strong, God justifies him by means of his faith in Jesus Christ. But justification is the forgiveness of sins, the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, the adoption unto sonship, and the appointment as heir of the world in the consciousness of the justified sinner. “I tell you,” said Christ about the publican, “this man went down to his house justified” (Luke 18:14).

If one hears the verdict of God in his consciousness, “I forgive your sins for the sake of Jesus Christ in whom you trust,” he is certain that God is favorable to him, that Christ died for him, and that he himself personally is saved. Justification involves assurance of salvation. Since justification is the fundamental benefit of faith, faith is assurance.

If now, the advocates of doubt respond that justification is not forgiveness in the forum of one’s consciousness, if they argue that it is possible to be justified without being sure of it, if they contend that, in fact, most Christians have faith and are justified without any certainty that their sins are forgiven, they sin against the basic gospel-truth of justification, as against the testimony of the entire Reformation.

And if they are right, the truth of God’s free justification of sinners leaves me cold. Justification does me no good. It leaves me, believer though I am, groaning in the misery of the guilt and shame of my sins and sinful nature, and fearful of a wrathful God. It sends me home as condemned in my own consciousness as the damned Pharisee.

Of Psalm 23, as the confident confession of every believer, and of the model prayer—the “Our Father”—as the confident prayer of every believer, I have spoken before in this series on assurance. Both of these familiar passages of Scripture are essential elements of the Christian’s life. Both imply certainty of salvation. Both are the expressions of faith. Faith says, “The Lord is my shepherd.” And faith says, “Our Father.” Faith says, “The Lord is my shepherd,” and, “Our Father,” because faith is assurance of salvation.



Assurance by Virtue of the Sure Promise

Faith is essentially and necessarily assurance because of the promise to which faith looks and upon which faith depends. Faith never exists by itself alone. Faith is always trust in the promise of God. The promise creates faith and draws faith to itself. The promise of God is true and certain altogether. Faith is convinced of the promise. Because the promise is God’s sure Word of the salvation of the one to whom the promise is given, and who believes the promise, faith is certainty of salvation.

As certain as is the promise of God, so assured is faith that receives and depends on the promise.

In Romans 4:13ff., the apostle teaches that faith is assurance by virtue of the sure promise that faith has respect to. Abraham “staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform” (vv. 20, 21). What was true of Abraham is true also of every one of us who has the faith of father Abraham (v. 23). Our faith too is “full persuasion” of God’s promise of our salvation in Christ.

So much is God, the heavenly Father of all His sons and daughters, determined that His dear children not live in miserable, terrifying, sinful doubt, that He adds an oath to His promise. “God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us” (Heb. 6:17, 18). This implies all the more that faith, which knows and rests on the promise, is assurance.



Preaching Assurance

Believers and their children must be taught that faith is assurance. The Spirit of Christ works assurance of salvation, that is, faith, by the sound, healthy, and health-giving preaching of the Word. Healthy preaching assures the believer that his faith may, must, does, and will consist of certainty of salvation.

Preaching that denies that faith is assurance; preaching that suggests that one can trust in Christ for salvation without having assurance; preaching that reserves assurance for only a few believers, who must make themselves worthy by years of struggle with doubt; preaching that delights in directing the spiritual gaze of men and women who believe the gospel away from Christ crucified to their own experiences, questioning the genuineness of their faith, the sincerity of their sorrow for sin, and the reality of their salvation—sickly preaching—creates doubters. The Spirit of Christ certainly does not make such preaching His means to work assurance, that is, faith, in the congregation.

Good preaching always comes “in much assurance” (I Thess. 1:5).

Not in much doubting.

Skeuos Eleos
07-19-04, 06:45 PM
Brandan,

Thanks for posting the GS articles of faith. There is much I like and agree with in them. Just a few comments without wishing to repeat comments already made:

I do disagree with limiting baptism to immersion – I thought we’d done the Greek to death on that one and that the agreement was that it doesn’t always mean immersion and nor does it always mean sprinkling! Further, I see no scriptural reason for barring someone from communion who hasn’t been baptised yet.


XVII We deny and reject, as unscriptural and erroneous, the baptism of infants, whether by immersion, sprinkling, pouring, or any other mode. (Heb. 11:6, Acts 8:12, Acts 8:37.) Will the argument ever be resolved over this one? Whilst personally I believe in "Believer's Baptism" I don't feel I have scriptural warrant to "deny and reject as unscriptural and erroneous" a sincerely held belief in infant baptism. Too much is made of this issue!


XXIV We believe that the invitations of the Gospel, being spirit and life,* are intended only for those who have been made by the blessed Spirit to feel their lost state as sinners and their need of Christ as their Saviour, and to repent of and forsake their sins. (Isa. 55:1, John 7:37, Prov. 28:13, Matt. 11:28-30, John 6:37.)
As regards WB's rejection of this on account of the example of the invitations of the Wedding Banquet: since God's purposes are unchangeable, surely His intention can never be to earnestly invite someone to believe whom he does not intend to quicken to believe?

I also have problems with 32 and 33. There are clear scriptural examples to call men to repent and believe. It could be a bit clearer here.

I don't see any time lag in article 35 - I think its talking about the sequence of events during conversion/regeneration but then it does start by talking about different degrees of faith - bottom line: its not clear enough.

Martin

Brandan
07-19-04, 06:49 PM
I agree with you on the vagueness Martin... It is very vague.. Also, as far as baptism is concerned - I don't make it an issue. I now don't believe immersion is THE SCRIPTURAL MODE, but I don't see sprinkling as legitimate at all. Personally, I think the individual should be soaking wet. If we're gonna make immersion the only mode, then we must go to the river too.

Anyway, there are a lot of good points in those articles - addresses stuff not seen in any confession - but fails to really clarify some of the stuff that might seem as failure to preach the gospel to all indiscriminately.

Skeuos Eleos
07-19-04, 07:00 PM
Agreed. I do very much like the articles that cover the more 'experimental' aspects of our faith around the inner wrestling described in Romans 7. This is what drew me to these folks in the first place - especially Philpot. It would be a shame to avoid such wonderful experimental preaching in the sermons of the Gospel Standard folks of the 19th Century because of a disagreement over certain aspects of their doctrine and what, for me, at least in my limited ability to comprehend the discussions so far, seems to be little more than minor differences - I say minor because it looks to me that the difference may be no more than semantics. Sorry, if to some these are major matters - I am only expressing my personal view and, if I am wrong to categorize it thus then put it down to the large amount of empty space in between my ears. :)

Martin

Skeuos Eleos
07-19-04, 07:03 PM
Getting back to the subject of Duty Faith, WB posted in the thread on “God’s Eternal Mercy”:

As for duty-faith, it is taught in the Scriptures and until I hear some real arguments about why I shouldn't believe it and why we should ignore the examples of the Apostles in favor of the rationalism of some English Baptists I prefer to follow God rather than man and agree with the Canons when they say:

Quote:
Moreover, the promise of the gospel is, that whosoever believeth in Christ crucified, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. This promise, together with the command to repent and believe, ought to be declared and published to all nations, and to all persons promiscuously and without distinction, to whom God out of his good pleasure sends the gospel.
But I don’t see anything in this extract from the Canons that is in opposition to those who deny Duty Faith – I’m sure they would agree with this much. Surely the issue is not about to whom the Gospel should be proclaimed but about whether all who hear such a proclamation have a ‘duty’ to respond? And doesn’t it therefore boil down to what is intended by the word “duty”? If ability in and of themselves is meant then it would clearly be wrong but, if all that is meant is that God will hold those who reject the gospel responsible for that rejection surely this much is true? or am I off the mark altogether here :confused:

Martin

Brandan
07-19-04, 07:09 PM
Martin I agree.

I can agree with this statement: Moreover, the promise of the gospel is, that whosoever believeth in Christ crucified, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. This promise, together with the command to repent and believe, ought to be declared and published to all nations, and to all persons promiscuously and without distinction, to whom God out of his good pleasure sends the gospel.

That statement isn't at odds at all with anti-duty-faith people.

Skeuos Eleos
07-19-04, 08:08 PM
if all that is meant (by 'duty') is that God will hold those who reject the gospel responsible for that rejection surely this much is true? Just to clarify: I do not mean that men are "responsible" in any sense that would imply that they have any ability within themselves to repent and believe - man has no such ability - what I mean is that, although by nature a reprobate can only reject the true Gospel yet God will hold him accountable, i.e. will "call him to account", for that rejection. Rejection of the glorious gospel of God's grace in Christ Jesus is the unforgiveable sin for which the reprobate will face eternal condemnation.

Brandan
07-19-04, 08:43 PM
Just to clarify: I do not mean that men are "responsible" in any sense that would imply that they have any ability within themselves to repent and believe - man has no such ability - what I mean is that, although by nature a reprobate can only reject the true Gospel yet God will hold him accountable, i.e. will "call him to account", for that rejection. Rejection of the glorious gospel of God's grace in Christ Jesus is the unforgiveable sin for which the reprobate will face eternal condemnation.Amen Martin. Enjoy your holiday!

Bob Higby
07-19-04, 08:54 PM
In a very real sense, God only is responsible for everything. As sovereign God he is the ultimate cause of all events, so the buck stops with him on all matters related to salvation and reprobation. Yet he owes no creature any explanation for his actions in this regard and owes to no LAW an obedience (since he is transcendent above and the author of all law).

Man, on the other hand, is fully accountable to God for his soul--but has no power whatsoever to ultimately determine his own fate--whether that destiny be redemption or damnation.

On confessions, if I critically evaluated any of them the way WB has done this one, I could find quite a number of points of disagreement. I basically will have to say that I have general agreement with most all Reformed or Nonconformist confessions which defend biblical Christology and soteriology--but also have technical disagreement with a number of points in all. I think it is perfectly fine for us to use any and all of them in the confession our faith--public or private.

wildboar
07-19-04, 09:36 PM
Nobody else here sees a conflict between these two statements?

XXXIII Therefore, that for ministers in the present day to address unconverted persons, or indiscriminately all in a mixed congregation, calling upon them savingly to repent, believe, and receive Christ, or perform any other acts dependent upon the new creative power of the Holy Ghost, is, on the one hand, to imply creature power, and, on the other, to deny the doctrine of special redemption.

Moreover, the promise of the gospel is, that whosoever believeth in Christ crucified, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. This promise, together with the command to repent and believe, ought to be declared and published to all nations, and to all persons promiscuously and without distinction, to whom God out of his good pleasure sends the gospel.


As regards WB's rejection of this on account of the example of the invitations of the Wedding Banquet: since God's purposes are unchangeable, surely His intention can never be to earnestly invite someone to believe whom he does not intend to quicken to believe? No, but I believe this is where both those who preach anti-duty faith and those who preach the well-meant offer both go wrong. Those who preach anti-duty faith seem to just plain ignore this passage and go about their merry proclamation of anti-duty faith while those who teach a well-meant offer gather the idea that God sincerely desire each of these people at his wedding feast. Both are wrong.

Brandan
07-19-04, 10:02 PM
Charles, you asked again if I see conflict here... I do not. Let me explain.
XXXIII Therefore, that for ministers in the present day to address unconverted persons, or indiscriminately all in a mixed congregation, calling upon them savingly to repent, believe, and receive Christ, or perform any other acts dependent upon the new creative power of the Holy Ghost, is, on the one hand, to imply creature power, and, on the other, to deny the doctrine of special redemption.This article claims we are not to call upon men to SAVINGLY believe the Gospel as if there is some implied ability. I don't walk up to my lost friends and say, "Believe and be saved!" I see this all the time - people preaching saving faith without preaching total inability and sovereign election. Men must be brought to dependence upon God for even the saving faith. It is a terrible thing to tell men to be saved without telling them they are unable, because when we do this, they have the impression that they have ability - whether you like that or not. Responsibility DOES imply ability - maybe not to you Charles - but to the lost man it does!
Moreover, the promise of the gospel is, that whosoever believeth in Christ crucified, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. This promise, together with the command to repent and believe, ought to be declared and published to all nations, and to all persons promiscuously and without distinction, to whom God out of his good pleasure sends the gospel.This is totally different in that this is simply declaring the facts of salvation. It is a trustworthy statement that those who believe will not perish. It should be preached to all men. But notice it says nothing of calling men to SAVINGLY believe. It states that God commands men to repent and believe. This is totally different from commanding all men to SAVINGLY believe the Gospel and that it's their responsibility for exercising faith.

wildboar
07-19-04, 10:23 PM
This is totally different in that this is simply declaring the facts of salvation. It is a trustworthy statement that those who believe will not perish. It should be preached to all men. But notice it says nothing of calling men to SAVINGLY believe. It states that God commands men to repent and believe. This is totally different from commanding all men to SAVINGLY believe the Gospel and that it's their responsibility for exercising faith.Those at the Synod of Dort did not make the distinction between these various types of repentance that the anti-duty faith people do. They were speaking only of the same repentance and the same believing that is worked in a true child of God.

It is a terrible thing to tell men to be saved without telling them they are unable, because when we do this, they have the impression that they have ability - whether you like that or not. This is a confusion of terms. Men are to be commanded to believe and when asked "What must I do to be saved?" Paul did not reply, "Your theology is wrong!"

wildboar
07-19-04, 10:34 PM
I notice that Ella claims that Hawker denied duty-faith as well. I was wondering if someone could supply some quotes and references in regards to this.

Brandan
07-20-04, 06:10 AM
I imagine this is the article you're referring to Charles:

http://www.evangelica.de/Duty_Faith_and_the_Protestant_Reformed_Churches.ht m
I have a feeling the PRC is pro duty-faith so they can pass the hyper-calvinism charge on to the REAL hyper-calvinists such as me. :D

Brandan
07-20-04, 06:48 AM
Wildboar, in this thread you've stated many times that responsibility does not imply ability. You say I'm making a logical error by failing not to see this. Yet you go and say stuff like this earlier in the thread: "And yes man is responsible because man is able to respond."

What in the world am I to think of your position? On one hand you claim that men are not able - on the other hand you claim they are! It's double speak! Does responsibility imply ability or not?

wildboar
07-20-04, 08:41 AM
I'm speaking of ability in two different senses. Man is not a robot, man makes very real choices. Man as a rational moral creature in a sense has the ability to choose good. However, man's will is bound by sin and so he will not choose good. So in the sense of what will actually occur, man will never do good and so since he is bound by sin we can also in that sense speak of him as being incapable of doing good. It's not contradictory, but two different ways of looking at the same thing. The first emphasizes man's accountability before God for what he does and man's true damnworthiness. The second way emphasizes man's depravity. I believe both are necessary to flesh out and do justice to the Biblical texts. I am a strong advocate of justification from eternity, but I have seen some so obsessed with it that they tend to ignore all passages which speak of subjective justification. I believe both must be preached in order to have a full understanding of justification.

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary the definition for responsible is:
1 a : liable to be called on to answer b (1) : liable to be called to account as the primary cause, motive, or agent <a committee responsible for the job> (2) : being the cause or explanation <mechanical defects were responsible for the accident> c : liable to legal review or in case of fault to penalties
2 a : able to answer for one's conduct and obligations : TRUSTWORTHY (http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=trustworthy) b : able to choose for oneself between right and wrong
3 : marked by or involving responsibility (http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=responsibility) or accountability <responsible financial policies> <a responsible job>
4 : politically answerable; especially : required to submit to the electorate if defeated by the legislature -- used especially of the British cabinet

I would hope that nobody would argue against 1a. I could see how 2b. could be misused to deny total depravity. However, I believe that man is also 2b when properly understood.

The definition of the word duty is:
1 : conduct due to parents and superiors : RESPECT (http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=respect)
2 a : obligatory tasks, conduct, service, or functions that arise from one's position (as in life or in a group) b (1) : assigned service or business (2) : active military service (3) : a period of being on duty
3 a : a moral or legal obligation b : the force of moral obligation
4 : TAX (http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=tax); especially : a tax on imports
5 a : WORK (http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=work+)1a b (1) : the service required (as of an electric machine) under specified conditions (2) : functional application : USE (http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=use) <got double duty out of the trip> (3) : use as a substitute <making the word do duty for the thing -- Edward Sapir>

The argument that duty implies ability just isn't true, nor is it contained within the meaning of duty. Employers often give employees duties that they are not able to perform. This does not mean it is not their duty. A person might serve as a nightwatchman and fall asleep. Some criminals come by and tie him up. When he wakes up to find out what happend and finds himself unable to do anything this does not mean it is not his duty to stop them.


I have a feeling the PRC is pro duty-faith so they can pass the hyper-calvinism charge on to the REAL hyper-calvinists such as me. The PRC is pro-duty-faith because it is what the Scriptures teach and it is an Arminian hermeneutic which denies duty faith. It is the argument that if God command someone to do something, man must be able to do it. If this argument were carried through to its logical terminus it would result in Pelagianism. Don't you see this?

Error must be condemned from whichever direction it comes. The errors of the Campingites must be condemned as much as the errors of the LaHayes and the Bahnsens. The errors of those who teach that God is the author of sin must be condemned as well as the David Hunts. Both legalism and antinomianism must be condemned. The PRC rarely speaks of the hyper-Calvinism of the English Baptists. There is an insanely large amount of literature refuting the error of common grace. There is far more literature condemning the errors within the dutch reformed churches of those who teach the hyper-Calvinistic error that assurance is not a part of the essence of faith.

As far as I can tell, the little literature that has been written was done after a book was put out by Huntingtonian Press that equated the PRC's denial of the well-meant offer with their own view of preaching. It became necessary to separate ourselves from them, to show the respects in which we differed so that we were not lumped in with them as is often the case and so a review of the book was written by Prof. Engelsma. The author of the book responded in a review of the review and in addition to some rather strange accusations said that the PRC's denial of common grace was a denial of God's providence. And so it seems that at least in this case we have someone who denies duty faith but affirms common grace dispelling the notion that duty-faith leads to common grace.

I know it is popular among many Baptists to view themselves as these poor objects of persecution rather real or imagined, but this is just silly. You would think from reading some of this literature that the PRC is spending a great deal of time writing against the English Baptists.

doctr_of_grace
07-20-04, 08:47 AM
It has been a very long time since I have posted anything in the forum. This particular thread has hit home for me and I hope to be able to continue to follow the discussion. I have been questioning this idea of "duty-faith" recently and so far tend to agree with WildBoar (Charles). Of course this may have something to do with our like mindedness on other topics as well :) .

I would like to thank WB for posting the article by Engelsma. This is so crazy but I have recently found myself in the camp of questioning my assurance before God. I must concur that it is a very wicked sin and something I need to come to terms with. I guess most recently I have been accused of only giving a mental acknowledgement of the Gospel and that I have no real love of God. That knowledge and doctrine have become my idol. (Somewhat like the person that Harald seems to believe Carpenter to be).

At first I thought this individual was way off base in even suggesting that I am merely a very knowledgeable unregenerate reprobate. But having read 1 John 2, I see that we as believers are in fact commanded to look at our own fruit. Are we not? I find myself wanting in so many areas of my life. I truly fight daily my desire to wallow in the garbage of sin. Thinking that sin is where I may actually find the ongoing desire of the "pursuit" of happiness. Why is this so if I am in fact a child of God. Sheesh ....

Anyways .... I am finding this discussion very enlightening in my current circumstances. I guess I am asking that you pray for me.

God Bless all those that belong to Him .... Jan

Ian Potts
07-20-04, 09:39 AM
There is far more literature condemning the errors within the dutch reformed churches of those who teach the hyper-Calvinistic error that assurance is not a part of the essence of faith.

I just wanted to make a quick comment on the above statement made in your earlier post. I presume from the earlier comments made in this thread that this 'hyper-Calvinistic error' is that which you pointed out in article 35 of the Gospel Standard articles. ie.



XXXV We believe that there are various degrees of faith, as little faith and great faith (Matt. 6:30, Matt. 15:28), that when a man is quickened by the blessed Spirit, he has faith given to him to know and feel he is a sinner against God (Luke 18:13), and that without a Saviour he must sink in black despair. And we further believe that such a man will be made to cry for mercy, to mourn over and on account of his sins (Matt. 5:4), and, being made to feel that he has no righteousness of his own (Isa. 64:6, Phil. 3:9), to hunger and thirst after Christ's righteousness being led on by the Spirit until, in the full assurance of faith, he has the Spirit's witness in his heart that his sins are for ever put away (Rom. 8:16, Eph. 4:30, Heb. 9:12, Heb. 9:26, Heb. 7:27, Heb.10:14); but that the faith is the same in nature as is imparted in his first awakenings, though now grown to the full assurance thereof.

However this article doesn't deny that assurance is part of the essence of faith does it? It simply says that there are degrees of faith, little faith and great faith, and that 'full assurance' comes when faith has grown. Doesn't that make sense? Little faith=little assurance. Bigger faith=bigger assurance.

Faith itself of course only gives assurance because of that which it sees and rests in spiritually (ie. Christ and His finished work). The Spirit witnesses with our spirit that Christ is indeed ours and that His blood has been sprinkled within our hearts. When a believer has little faith, and the sin which dwells in his flesh seems to be before his eyes, when he keeps looking to himself and his own failings, rather than to Christ and His perfections, then he slumps down in self despondency - assurance is far from him. But when God by grace lifts up his weary arms and stands him upon his feet, and causes him by faith to look away from self unto Christ alone - THEN he knows assurance. For faith looks not at the subjective things in self, but the objective realities of Christ, the Saviour, outside of self, and the reality of what Christ has done to save sinners.

As faith grows, as the believer grows by grace, as his faith is 'tried' by having to pass through many trials and as the believer is brought low in himself and brought to see by experience that there really is no good at all in his own flesh, that he has no strength outside of Christ, that indeed Christ IS his strength in weakness, then by that trying of faith, by its refinement as gold in a fire, assurance is granted - Faith looks with ever increasing certainty away from self unto the Saviour and rests only in Him. There, and there alone is sure and certain assurance.

"Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21.

Brandan
07-20-04, 09:43 AM
Ya know, I'm really liking the British and the Finnish on this forum! That was a great post Ian. Thanks. :cool:

whs1
07-20-04, 09:52 AM
If faith is a duty making man (Responsible) in the spiritual realm towards God and Jesus Christ then you have a big problem. Your problem is this: "Response - ability" by it's very origin implies man (towards God) possesses ABILITY to RESPOND, Wildboar. If this be so, you are implying by your very admission, that you believe that man possesses a free will.



At the same stroke of the pen, if faith is a duty making man (Accountable) in the spiritual realm towards God and Jesus Christ; then you are correct and there is no problem.



Bill

whs1
07-20-04, 10:09 AM
If duty-faith is defined as man's obligation to repent and believe Christ then (reprobate man) who does NOT possess this (ability) is NOT ABLE but that no less weakens his accountability and obligation to do so. I agree there. But using the word "Responsibility" to describe what man's duty is...is the error. Man HAS NO ABILITY TO "Repent and Believe" savingly unto salvation.


WB said:
"I'm speaking of ability in two different senses. Man is not a robot, man makes very real choices. Man as a rational moral creature in a sense has the ability to choose good."

This is false. Man cannot do good, have you read romans 3? I know you have.

If man has the physical ability to read the news paper, are you saying that he has the same physical abilityto read the Bible...yes. But when it comes to repentance and faith, those are impossibilities for the unsaved person unless...God gives it...read some of your confessions...

39 Articles...and Westminster Confession of Faith

"The condition of man, after the fall of Adam, is such, that he CANNOT turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and good works to faith, and calling upon God"...

















"Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation: so as, a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto."


























"When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, he freeth him from his natural bondage under sin; and, by his grace alone, enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good; yet so, as that by reason of his remaining corruption, he doth not perfectly, nor only, will that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil."






























"The will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to good alone, in the state of glory only."



Bill

doctr_of_grace
07-20-04, 12:31 PM
WB ... I am curious about "in what sense" you believe an unregenerate man has the ability to do good?

It seems to be a bit of paradox and mind you I am not the smartest apple in the tree .... That God is in fact 100% Sovereign and 100% the reason for a particular persons salvation and yet at the same time man is 100% responsible. This is really where the argument lies isn't it? How can both be true ... Yet we know that both are true. I can really see that denying faith duty can lead one down the road of rejecting man's responsibility.

Jan

Brandan
07-20-04, 12:36 PM
WB ... I am curious about "in what sense" you believe an unregenerate man has the ability to do good?

It seems to be a bit of paradox and mind you I am not the smartest apple in the tree .... That God is in fact 100% Sovereign and 100% the reason for a particular persons salvation and yet at the same time man is 100% responsible. This is really where the argument lies isn't it? How can both be true ... Yet we know that both are true. I can really see that denying faith duty can lead one down the road of rejecting man's responsibility.

JanOne more clarification! I reject completely man's responsibility to exercise saving faith - God is responsible.. I do not reject that he will be held accountable for rejecting the Gospel.

ugly_gaunt_cow
07-20-04, 01:08 PM
I can really see that denying faith duty can lead one down the road of rejecting man's responsibility.
JanAnother paradox?

If God is sovereign, then how can a man be led down the road of rejecting their responsibility to respond? Seems "illogical" is a more fitting description than applying the term paradoxical.


Duty-Faith makes no sense. It unravels at the seams because the logic of duty-faith quits being logical once contradictions are introduced into the sequence of events. "Duty" automatically becomes a work; an act of human will; and not of the Will of God; thus removing the sovereignty from God and placing ability into the hands of the sinner.

"Many are called, but few are chosen" seems as though it would be better understood with the following rational:

All men are called to serve God, yet all are born into bondage to sin and transgression against His divine law; and subsequently due the punishment thereof. The gospel is preached, and men reject it according to God's plan, furthering the solidification of their condemnation, and establishing God’s just judgement.

Any of the wretched worms, who, by the Grace of God, are brought into the Kingdom, does so purely out of mercy. Zero percentum of salvation can be attributed to any choice made on their behalf.

harald
07-20-04, 01:55 PM
If man has the duty to "savingly believe" in Christ then could it not be argued that he also has the duty to bring about his own quickening? And see to it that the justifying righteousness of Christ be imputed to his person? Why do the duty faith mongers limit the "duty" only to "faith" and "repentance", why are not all things "pertaining to life and godliness" likewise the "duty" of man?

To me duty faith is conditionalism, which is a form of LEGALISM. And duty faith on the part of professors of belief in sovereign grace is nothing but arminianism in calvinistic garbs.

Harald

Brandan
07-20-04, 02:02 PM
If man has the duty to "savingly believe" in Christ then could it not be argued that he also has the duty to bring about his own quickening? And see to it that the justifying righteousness of Christ be imputed to his person? Why do the duty faith mongers limit the "duty" only to "faith" and "repentance", why are not all things "pertaining to life and godliness" likewise the "duty" of man?

To me duty faith is conditionalism, which is a form of LEGALISM. And duty faith on the part of professors of belief in sovereign grace is nothing but arminianism in calvinistic garbs.

HaraldAmen Harald...

Let's see if we can coin some new terms...

Duty-Faith and Duty-Repentance are already terms people use.. Let's go further.

Duty-Imputation
Duty-Sanctification (which is taught in many reformed circles - ie. progressive sanctification)
Duty-Justification
Duty-Conversion
Duty-Adoption
Duty-Regeneration
Duty-Resurrection
Duty-Baptism (Baptism is something God does for us - not what we do for God!)
Duty-Assurance
Duty-Salvation

harald
07-20-04, 02:04 PM
With my precent understanding I cannot imagine God as one who at judgment day will say to non elects e.g. "I damn you to eternal perdition because you did not exercise saving faith toward my Son Jesus Christ, who nevertheless had not died for you and your sins".

But I believe the Scripture teaches man is worthy of judgment and punishment and wrath for hearing the true Gospel of Christ and not believing it as Divinely revealed absolute truth. If let us say the Gospel reveals an absolutely impeccable Christ (which it does), and a man acknowledges all other points of the Gospel as true and truthful, but in his mind entertains the belief that Christ is not absolutely impeccable. Then he makes God, the author of the Gospel message, a liar. How worthy of damnation is not such a man? I say more than those of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Harald

Brandan
07-20-04, 02:11 PM
Denial of impeccability is indeed blasphemous and evidence of unbelief in the Gospel in my mind.

ugly_gaunt_cow
07-20-04, 03:55 PM
Amen Harald...

Let's see if we can coin some new terms...

Duty-Faith and Duty-Repentance are already terms people use.. Let's go further.

Duty-Imputation
Duty-Sanctification (which is taught in many reformed circles - ie. progressive sanctification)
Duty-Justification
Duty-Conversion
Duty-Adoption
Duty-Regeneration
Duty-Resurrection
Duty-Baptism (Baptism is something God does for us - not what we do for God!)
Duty-Assurance
Duty-SalvationI got one to go along with "doodie"-faith!

Duty-Glorification!

wildboar
07-20-04, 05:00 PM
Your misrepresentation of duty-faith assures me that it is the correct position. If it were erroneous there would be no need to falsely represent it. Let it be known also that God commands all men everywhere to repent, not regenerate themselves. To say that duty-faith means we must also preach duty-imputation is absurd. I've already explained what I mean by responsibility so since it is continually being misunderstood I will simply use the term duty. Duty implies nothing about ability to respond and my questions are still not being answered while I seem to have to answer the same question myself over and over again. I already stated what I believed the content of the belief was and it was not that Jesus died for their sins, so this is another misrepresentation. Nor, do I believe that people go to hell only for the sin of unbelief. But their unbelief is sin and causes them to fall into greater sin. God often punishes sin with greater sin. In regards to the article of the Gospel standard on the issue of assurance, the article says that a person when first given faith does not have assurance but only despair. Please reread it again from the beginning.

Brandan
07-20-04, 06:04 PM
WildBoar, you say men are physically able to exercise faith. If that's the case - Jesus was man. Was he physically capable of sinning? In other words was He peccable?

Ivor Thomas
07-20-04, 06:06 PM
No reason can be found in sinners, before or after believing, with or without repentance,which could possibly incline God to justify them, or bring him under any obligation to effect their justification. Their faith is no reason for him to justify them. Or their unbelief for his not doing so. In fact, God had already concluded the whole work of justification before the existence of multitudes that should afterwards repent and believe. That the sinner believes adds to and takes away nothing from his justification. The reason for the sinners justification lies wholly in righteousness of God through the death of Jesus Christ, not on the sinners believing it; his belief brings him into the knowledge of what God had done for him, but God had already done it: that is what is believed by the justified. This is what I believe . Faith is not a reason for, but a consequence of justification. Ivor Thomas..:cool:

Brandan
07-20-04, 06:14 PM
The fall MUST be physical and spiritual... MAN IS DEAD IN TRESPASSES AND SINS. If man is not physically dead - then this means he is not spiritually dead. (thanks Joey)

wildboar
07-20-04, 07:18 PM
I'm dropping out of this conversation. You are guys are obviously not thinking about or even completely reading what I am posting. I already said I would stop using the term responsibility but you guys can't get past it. I'm not denying man's physical fall. Jesus could not have sinned. End of story. You have no answers to my questions so I will answer no more of yours. You are just responding as you have been trained by your heroes to do to some terms without thinking about what I mean by them.

Brandan
07-20-04, 07:19 PM
Thank you Charles for participating up to this point... Will someone else take the up the pro-duty faith position (is there anyone else out there)? I would appreciate more comments on both sides.

Also Charles, where's that apology for calling me an antinomian and hyper?

Bob Higby
07-21-04, 03:31 AM
If 'duty' to believe the gospel is the mere equivalent of 'accountability' to believe the gospel, this discussion is a moot point because we all agree. However, I don't know if we have all agreed on this or not (I'm sure that we haven't): the various contributors are coming from a whole host of theological backgrounds and I truly perceive that some deny accountability as well. There is a strong nonconformist tradition confessing that the reprobate are only accountable to the law, not to the gospel.

You are just responding as you have been trained by your heroes to do to some terms without thinking about what I mean by them.

Well, as for myself, I can't name these heroes! I have no teacher of repute that I study continuously or follow. Can anyone else opposed to 'duty faith' name their mentor? I do not owe my soul to any teacher of repute--if I did, I would be denying God's sole ownership of it. We should glean the best from each teacher; not following any. On most subjects--where I have learned anything of value from another teacher who departs from 'orthodoxy'--that teacher is of value ONLY on that one point. Not on anything else.

Ian Potts
07-21-04, 05:27 AM
Brandan. You say you know not much about the Gospel Standard Baptist. I know something and shall say something. Myself thinks highly of their articles of faith of 1875. Among other things they deny duty faith in it. I also think highly of their initial "leaders", if they may be referred to as such, i.e. Gadsby, Warburton, Kershaw, Philpot. In fact in the early 1800's they were often referred to as "Gadsbyite Strict Baptists". Around 1860 or thereabout they became known as "Gospel Standard Strict Baptists". This was in connection with the great split among the Strict Baptists, involving the Sonship controversy. Some man, or maybe a few men, have referred to the GS Baptists, as a denomination, as "Hyper-Calvinistic", i.e. that as a denomination or branch of Baptists they are Hyper-Calvinistic. In fact I think Pink is one who has thus said of them, perhaps due to their consistent anti duty faith stance. So the GS Baptists of all denominations of professing Christians would be the one which has most often and most consistently been derogatorily called Hyper Calvinist and antinomian. I am able to praise them, generally, for their strong stand against duty faith and the free offer heresy. I know the PRCA has also been called Hyper Calvinistic, but not nearly as much as the GS Baptists I think. And I think some PRCA people have tried to exonerate the PRCA from these charges by mentioning the GS Baptists as the Hyper Calvinist archetype or Hyper Calvinists par excellence. As if the PRCA wanted to communicate to the "Reformed community": "Hey, fellow Calvinists, we are not the bad guys, look at the GS Baptists, they are the real Hypers and antinomians".

Myself looks with sadness on the doctrinal decline among today's English GS Baptists. I think mainly on some of the compromise on the doctrine of justification before God. Some among them are not dogmatically maintaining the truth stated in their 1875 Articles, which echoes the Scripture and Paul. And there is among them clearly to be seen the harbouring of the heresy of gospel regeneration. This to me gives to the Gospel preacher(s) some seeming magical powers when brought to its logical conclusions. They are so dogmatical about the accuracy of the KJV that they appear to miss the fact that the Greek text does not teach gospel regeneration. Perhaps on part of some it is willfulness, or that they are too much leavened by Protestant errors. But it seems to me the early pillars were strong on Justification, and did not teach gospel regeneration. It seems to me even PRCA's Herman Hoeksema opposed gospel regeneration, and taught Holy Spirit regeneration apart from means. I could remember amiss.

Harald

Sorry to take this discussion off on a tangent, but I was interested in this post by Harald on page 2. He mentions several points regarding today’s Gospel Standard preachers and I would be interested to know more about this. Please notice where I have emboldened the quote.

I receive the Gospel Standard magazine regularly which contains articles by past writers such as Philpot and Gadsby, but also present day preachers such as Gerald Buss and B. A. Ramsbottom. I have to admit that I haven’t picked up on the tendencies that Harald has pointed out in what I have read but maybe I have missed something.

Harald, could you give some examples of modern day GS men who compromise justification? Perhaps provide some quotes of what they have said, or at least describe in what way they differ in their views?

Also, could you describe a bit about the differences between ‘Gospel regeneration’ and ‘Holy Spirit regeneration APART FROM MEANS’. I think we would all agree that the Holy Spirit regenerates, so the question must be whether he uses means eg. The Gospel and/or the word of God. Could you describe what is held by proponents of each view and how they back that up from scripture please? One verse which springs to my mind is Romans 1:16 “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation” which would seem to indicate that the Spirit uses the Gospel as ‘the power of God unto salvation’. But perhaps you could show some verses that indicate one way or the other? Are there examples in scripture of people being regenerated 'apart from means'?

Thanks!

Ian Potts
07-21-04, 05:48 AM
To partly answer my own question I came across the following webpage:

http://uk.geocities.com/romans5_21/KJV_NT_mistranslations.html (http://uk.geocities.com/romans5_21/KJV_NT_mistranslations.html)

which contains the following extract. I’d be interested to hear more about this subject from others. Has it perhaps been covered in another thread here?






Eph. 5:26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of _water by the word(KJB)
In order that he might sanctify her, having cleansed [her] through the washing of the water in [and by] a lively utterance(TR)

Comm.: The KJV inserts an "and" between sanctify and cleanse without italicizing. It has no counterpart in the TR. But a greater error is to mistranslate the aorist participle. KJV says "cleanse", when it should be "having cleansed". Then it adds an "it" without italicizing, which has no counterpart in the TR. Besides, the pronoun in v. 25 is feminine, so "it" should rather be "her". Then it omits an inspired article in front of "water". Then it inserts an article before "word" without italicizing. The article is not in the Greek. It also misleads by translating the anarthrous word "rhêmati" as "the word". Many be they who heretically bring this verse of the KJV as support for their heretical doctrine of baptismal regeneration. Some bring the same as support of their error or heresy of Bible or Gospel regeneration. But as it stands written in the TR it supports neither delusion. Paul did not speak of the written word of God as the KJV seems to say. Nor of the same as preached by men. The noun "logos" would have been used in such case. The word "rhêma" has as its primary meaning "an utterance as spoken by a living voice". The construction of the Greek is such that Paul's sense is that the "lively utterance" (rhêmati; from rhêma, #4487 in Strong's numerical system) effected the "cleansing through the washing of the water". The preposition EN preceding rhêmati is likely both locative and instrumental here. The instrumental-locative rhêmati here is a reference to the truth of John 5:25, which speaks of "the voice of the Son of God" which quickens the dead. The voice/lively utterance of the Son of God is what effected the "cleansing through the washing of the water". The latter means the inward operation of the Spirit of Christ in regeneration and renewal of the chosen and redeemed sinner. Physical water is not involved, nor is the written word as preached or as read. The Triune God is absolutely sovereign and independent in the work of regeneration or begetting from above, using no means or instrumentality. God the Father quickens by the Son and through His and His Son's Spirit. The logical order here is that the lively utterance of the Son of God is voiced forth in the unseen and spiritual realm, which effects the co-simultaneous operation of His Spirit, who proceeds from Him and from the Father. This makes way for Christ's sanctifying "her", His assembly, through "belief of the truth", both initial belief of the truth in biblical Gospel conversion, and consequent walking in the truth by the teaching Spirit of sanctification. But it is not wrong to view the regeneration as the first step of His sanctifying His bride, the assembly.



That quote sounds fine as far as it goes, but could it not be argued at least that God's USUAL means of regenerating sinners is under the sound of the Gospel (preached or read)? eg. in Acts 26:16-19 we read:-

"But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me."

In verse 18 part of Paul's commision in being a minister of the Gospel is to the end that eyes will be opened and sinners turned from darkness to light. Now it isn't Paul who opens eyes, but the Spirit does and that is the result of regeneration, leading to the gift of faith. So can it not be said that the general way (if not exclusively) that the Spirit regenerates is by use of the means of the Gospel and/or word of God?

Brandan
07-21-04, 05:57 AM
the various contributors are coming from a whole host of theological backgrounds and I truly perceive that some deny accountability as well. Bob, I don't perceive this at all. I haven't seen anyone on here that said they would not be held accountable for rejecting the Gospel - and that is a common misperception I agree. I don't think men will be held accountable for not having the ability to exercise "saving faith" though as saving faith is a gift of God. Men will be held accountable for their sin of hearing and rejecting and scoffing at the Gospel - the greatest news on Earth. It is the height of arrogance of sinful men to laugh at or respond with indifference to Christ and His good news for His people.

Harald, you don't deny that men will be held accountable for rejecting the Gospel, do you? Ian, do you reject this notion? Scott? Anyone reject this? If so, then I believe that is a problem...

doctr_of_grace
07-21-04, 06:45 AM
I am sorry to see that Charles is dropping out of this conversation. I am really learning more about this notion of duty-faith. Because I am pro duty faith and a very young believer I will probably get beat up in here. I won't take it personally though :) .

I also see that "accountability" is probably a better term to use rather than responsibility. I also see why you guys are so against this idea. If someone in describing their duty believes that they themselves are responsible for their own salvation then they are missing the boat completely.

Here is the problem: It seems to me that Paul dealt with this in Romans ... How can a man be held accountible when it is God that makes the vessel for destruction and doesn't grant to each and every person the saving faith that every Christian clings to?

Here are my questions to not only Charles but especially to the rest of you guys that reject the idea of duty faith .... Is not hell going to be filled with those that have rejected the Gospel? Is not mankind duty bound to live God's moral law to perfection? When God commanded that ALL repent and believe did he not mean that? Oh one other question .... Does God repent and believe for you? Or do YOU do that because of the new heart of flesh that God has placed inside you? THIS IS NOT A WORK FOR SALVATION but a result of it ... so please don't misrepresent me!!!

Also a question for Brandon and others that may want to respond? Is the Christian's rule for life wrapped up in the 10 commandments? Are we to try to strive to live moral, clean lives and use those commandments as our guideline? Let me put it more bluntly ... Are Christians duty bound to live God's moral law? AGAIN .... it has nothing at all to do with someone "losing" their standing before God for falling short because we all will ... but are we not commanded as Christians to "live my commandments"? 1 John chpt 2 seems to address this.

Thanks ... Jan

Brandan
07-21-04, 07:31 AM
Commentary on the Gospel Standard Baptist Articles of Faith


ARTICLE 26 - On Duty Faith


by J.H. Gosden (http://www.pristinegrace.org/archive.php?view=author&author=J.H.+Gosden)


"We deny duty-faith and duty-repentance - these terms signifying that it is every man's duty spiritually and savingly to repent and believe. We deny also that there is any capability in man by nature to any spiritual good whatever. So that reject the doctrine that men in a state of nature should be exhorted to believe in or turn to God."

Whatever our worthy predecessors intended by the terms of this Article, they certainly did not mean to minimize the sin of unbelief. (emphasis Brandan) The purpose was to rebut the flesh-pleasing error taught by the Arminian that man in his natural state (that is, dead in trespasses and sins) is possessed of some latent power to exercise savingly the spiritual acts of faith and repentance. Our belief is that fallen man has neither power, nor will, nor inclination to anything spiritual. Scripture abundantly teaches this (I Cor. 2:14 Rom. 8: 7,8; Matt. 15: 19; John 1:11-13; 3:3-7). But this notwithstanding, we believe that all men are under obligation to believe and obey God. Though the Adam Fall utterly depraved and alienated human nature from God and goodness, rendering him as entirely incapable as unwilling to submit to God's law, yet the divine Lawgiver has not lost His power to command and to judge. Man's inability does not exonerate him. While some entertain a wholesome fear of the very term duty in relation to God, through its frequent misapplication, both Solomon and his divine Antitype speak of man's duty. On the completion of his extensive survey, the wisest man came to the conclusion that to fear God and keep His commandments is the whole duty of man (Eccl.12:13). And the all-wise God-Man said, "When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do" (Luke 17:10).

To the unregenerate the thought of duty Godward either does not arise or is soon dismissed with some formal religious service. What to innocent humanity must have been delightful is to sinful man irksome. Before regeneration he is capable neither of acceptable obedience nor worship. At the same time, unbelief is a chief sin, the root of all other sins (John 16:9; Rom. 1. 19, 28). But what is every man duty-bound to believe? Surely not that each individual is himself interested in the redemption work of Christ, Man is not called upon to believe a lie. No, but as God has revealed Himself in His Word and works, man is inexcusable in his unbelief. Here caution is needed. Men require to be thoroughly warned of their lost state under the law, convinced of their inability to meets its demands and told of their accountability to God and of his revealed wrath against all unrighteousness of men. Thus warned of "wrath to come" repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ may be properly preached (Acts 20:21). As the convincing power of the Holy Spirit attends the ministry, the elect are soughtout and brought in guilty before God. To them Christ will be attractive as held forth in the gospel. It is the sick soul who wants the Physician, and it is the minister's duty and privilege to minister the consolations of the gospel to such.

Faith being the peculiar gift of God's grace, and repentance a spiritual grant of heaven (Eph. 2:8 Acts 11:18; 5:31), neither can originate in the will or power of the creature or be the act of the unregenerate. Even when duly convicted, a sinner proves that to exercise repentance and faith is more than he is able for [capable of], apart from the empowering grace of the Holy Spirit. "Dutyfaith" and "duty-repentance" are little use to one who feels himself lost and helpless. To demand it from such s to strike the dying dead. But it is as life from the dead when he is enabled bv the blessed Spirit so to believe in Christ as to find power and courage to confess sin (unbelief is well as all other sins) to God, and to plead for pardon and mercy for His sake. Then, when witness is borne in upon the confessing sinner's heart of his grace-given interest in the redeeming blood of Christ, and the love of God is shed abroad in his heart with sweet dissolving efficacy producing deep contrition, it is the believer's delightful privilege (call it duty who will) to believe and to repent with an evangelical repentance unto salvation not to be repented of (2 Cor. 7:10). Accompanying this faith and repentance is deep reverence and unbounded happiness and sweet liberty. True worship, embracing adoration, admiration, trust, thanksgiving, praise, submission and absolute surrender, flows front the liberated spirit of the pardoned child; while the gracious fruits of humility and love and beauty to the garments of salvation which clothe the soul (Psa. 149:4@ Isa. 61:10). This is the purpose of the gospel ministry, as said Christ to the Apostle Paul: ". . . to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me" (Acts 26:18). Paul "warned every man, and taught every man" of the Colossian church in order to their being presented perfect in Christ Jesus (Col. 1:28). He did not unconditionally exhort every individual to believe in Christ, but showed those to whom He was sent "that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance 11 (Acts 26:18-21).

Indiscriminately to call upon all in a mixed congregation to do their duty, i.e. savingly and spiritually to believe in Christ, is to imply either that each individual person in the assembly is regenerate and convinced of sin, or that there is in those who are dead power to act Godward. This appears contrary to the leading of the Holy Spirit who instructs gospel ministers both what to preach and where. Even the apostles were forbidden to preach the Word in certain places for certain periods. Presumably most Godsent ministers know in some measure the influence which emanates from the Holy Spirit through the presence of some in their congregation whom He inhabits, or whom fie will bless and instruct through the ministry-, and the totally different influence sometimes felt when some particular opposition to the truth is being entertained by some hearers. Mysteriously, but no less trulv, the Holy Ghost controls the ministry of His Word according to the purpose of electing love and the condition of those present. In former and better days this was more clearly manifest than now.

We are charged by some with preaching only to the elect, instead of "evangelizing" the world. We have no zeal to boast,but can appeal to the great Searcher of hearts that we are painfully anxious for the success of the gospel the weight of immortal soul's is heavy. But we are equally anxious not to deceive into a false notion of faith (as we much fear is frequently the case) those who have never been convinced of sin. We venture to say that those who think themselves quite capable of exercising faith at will because it is their duty to believe, and are satisfied with their faith, have probably never yet learned the power of God in which Paul desired the faith of the Corinthians should stand (I Cor. 2:5), nor yet discovered the true Object of faith a revealed, not a "letter" Christ.

One good man said:



"O could I but believe, Then all would easy be:
I would but cannot, Lord, relieve,
My help must come from Thee."
Paul attributed to the Holy Ghost the power through which hope, joy, peace and faith should abound in the Roman saints (Rom. 15, 13). lie also prayed that God would fulfil in the Thessalonians "the work of faith with power." All which implies what every child of God proves in experience - that faith is the gift of God's grace, Christ is its Author, and for every subsequent prevailing act of faith the believer is dependent upon the reviving power of the Spirit of Christ who said, "I am the resurrection and the life." Definitely Paul teaches believing to be the result of the exertion in the soul of that very same power exerted in raising Christ from the dead (Eph. 1:19, 20). So that to reach that saving faith is a mere duty, for which a sinner is quite capable, is solemnly wide of the truth. Truly the just shall live by his faith - not on it, but by it, as it is drawn out into exercise upon its blessed Object, its Author and End, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Besides, it appears very far removed from the compassion (which it affects) to command unconvinced people to believe. The creation of believers is not a work for mere man, though "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Rom. 10:17). The mercy of God, which is His compassion, is shown in giving faith. "He bath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy on all" (Rom. 10:32). And it is most solemnly written: "He hath mercy on whom He will, and whom He will He hardeneth" (9. 18). "Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life" (Acts 11:18), and "put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith" (15:9). "Not of ourselves" but "the gift of God" is the saving faith of God's elect, and of a totally different nature from the faith into which impenitent unregenerate sinners may be persuaded. The latter does not purify the heart, nor work by love, nor separate from the world and sin. "It is dead, being alone" (James 2. 17). The professing world is filled with these nominal believers. But in giving living faith to some, the Lord makes effectual the preaching of the gospel, as in the case of Peter: "God at first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name" (Acts 15:14),

If Adam's guilt is transmitted to the human race, and all are born in sin and are dead to God by nature (Eph. 2:1) is it not a grievous error to suggest that by a general exhortation men can be awakened from that sleep of death, and of themselves savingly repent and believe the gospel? As good Berridge says:



"None can raise to life the dead
But He who raised Himself indeed,And for dead sinners died."
While we definitely believe that it is the duty of man to believe all God has declared, and that unbelief is guilt, we consider it seriously erroneous to call upon all persons indiscriminately to perform such spiritual acts as repentance and faith as if they possessed in themselves an inherent power of spiritual life. In the fervency of a minister's appeal, much depends on the spirit and the emphasis; but all vitality depends on the Holy Ghost. Vital power does accompany the preaching of the gospel, both in conviction and killing, in making alive and delivering, and it is an unspeakable honour to be the instrument of conveying the gospel ministerially to poor lost sinners. But as we have so frequently pointed out, there is a vast difference between preaching the gospel in a mixed congregation, and offering Christ and salvation indiscriminately to all. Some who came to John's baptism were met with a solemn rebuff: "O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance" (Matt. 3:7,8). Owen most truly says "Faith without repentance issues in presumption; repentance [that is, conviction] without faith issues in despair.

Isaiah asks: "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?" plainly implying that faith results from divine revelation. It was something more than response to mere human exhortation to believe that enabled Peter to declare his faith in such emphatic terms: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," The Saviour Himself declared whence that faith came: - Flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 16:17).

We conclude with the simple statement that whereas we believe it to be every man's duty to credit God's Word both as to the law's dernands and the record God has given of His Son, yet to address assemblies in such a way as to suggest that every person is capable of exercising saving faith and producing evangelical repentance is but to mock men. But solemnly to tell sinners that they have broken the holy law of God which therefore condemns them, and that "there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved" but that of the Lord Jesus Christ who is exalted a Prince and Saviour for to give repentance and forgiveness of sins; to testify that Christ is the end of the law to every one that believeth in Him, that in Him there is full pardon and plenteous redemption, and that God honourably justifies the ungodly who believe in Christ; to declare that however deeply convinced of sin, Christ is able to save to the uttermost all who come by Him to God, and that He will in no wise cast out any who come; to proclaim to all who deeply feel their ignorance that there is an infallible Teacher,the Holy Spirit, whom Christ hath promised shall be give to, who asks Him, of the, Father (Luke 11:13), to guide them into all truth (John 16:13)- this we believe is to preach according to the tenor of the Word of God. But though faith, "cometh by hearing", it does not necessarily come to all who hear. "As many as were ordained to eternal life believed" (Acts 13:48). Application is the sovereign prerogative of the Holy Ghost. The great apostle, perceiving that in preaching Christ he was the savour of life unto life to those who were saved and the savour of death unto death to those who were lost, exclaimed, "Who is sufficient for these things?" How much more reason have we to confess our insufficiency! Our mercy will be ever to prove with Paul that "our sufficiency is of God." This will not impair the earnestness of our appeals to the unconverted, but it will temper our addresses with a sobriety becoming the solemnity of the eternal issues involved.

harald
07-21-04, 07:56 AM
Brandan. You asked my standpoint on the Gospel and its rejection. No elected and redeemed person who God has preordained to be Gospelly converted will of course reject the Gospel. Such non elects who do hear or read the true Gospel of the Scripture but who entertain a thought in their heart that one or many points of the Gospel are not absolute Divine truth will aggravate their damnation, because they make God, the author of the Gospel, a liar and falsifier. But I do not at present believe God will reprimand reprobates for not having "exercised" "saving faith" so-called in Christ Jesus. "Saving faith" or more scripturally stated "like precious faith" is a covenant gift only for God's elect. It is no duty thing. God does not require it of His elect, so why of the reprobate? But to His elect He grants it as a gift through Christ who is exalted to give it and repentance "to Israel". Every reprobate, whoever they be, who happens providentially to hear or read the one true Gospel of God, and who does not rejoice in the fact (and message of that fact) that God has wonderfully saved a people by Himself for His own glory, even if the reprobate himself does not personally benefit from the content of the good message, will aggravate his damnation. The reprobate is duty bound to think most highly of the Gospel, because it is God's revealed truth, and the Scripture says it is "the truth", it is the Truth par excellence to which there is no comparison really. Just as the reprobate is duty bound to love and think most highly of God's holy Law, so with the one true Gospel of grace. But with respect to the Law the reprobate is also duty bound and accountable to do all of it. But because he does not do all of it he is under the curse of the law, and he will eternally perish under it because God hates him. This is my present conviction on this thing. And if I am wrong in my thinking I hope to be corrected asap.

Harald

harald
07-21-04, 08:12 AM
the Wild Boar seemed to think the GS articles were wrong on faith and assurance. I say they are not. He does not understand the underlying reasoning of the framers. The GS articles reflect the truth of the time lag between regeneration and Gospel conversion I have contended for in some other thread. Bill Schmitt I recall was suspicious toward this point of doctrine. What the GS framers and the GS "fathers" apparently believed was what the Scripture teaches. That there is a time lag between regeneration by the Spirit and Gospel conversion in power and in Holy Spirit. With respect to God's elect at the point of Holy Spirit regeneration apart from means the sinner is given "the principle of faith". The principle of faith or "law of faith" (Rom. 3:27, KJV), is part and parcel of "the new creature". But at the point of regeneration there is not assurance even though faith is present as a principle and a grace. The regenerated sinner's faith attains to initial soul-satisfying assurance at the point of God the Spirit leading him to Gospel liberty. His attaining to assurance is 100 per cent God's work, the sinner only blessedly experiences it. Initial assurance may be lost for one or another reason, and this is most often the case with God's true people. If it is to return God must sovereignly work in resurrection power in their heart again like as at the beginning when they first believed. The true saint just does not "exercise faith" as it may please him, it is God the Holy Spirit who sovereignly exercises the faith of the saint, He being the One animating "the inner man". Would-be preachers who are off on faith and its workings are not God-called, that is for certain. One example would be just such as are fond of exhorting and commanding professors to "just exercise faith!", "just look to Jesus!" etc. I maintain that the framers of the 1875 GS articles were wholly orthodox on the matter of faith and assurance.


Harald

wildboar
07-21-04, 08:15 AM
I guess I will continue for a bit since it seems that some are actually reading and thinking about these things. I apologize to you brandan for calling you a hyper-Calvinist and an antinomian in relationship to what you said about the moral law, however the labels still stick in regards to what you have said about duty-faith and for whatever reason you seem unwilling to discuss the real issues on this matter.


I don't think men will be held accountable for not having the ability to exercise "saving faith" though as saving faith is a gift of God.
Nobody is saying that. I am saying that man will be held accountable for not exercising saving faith. We go down the Pelagian road once again if we say that man is only accountable for that which he is capable of doing.


Besides, it appears very far removed from the compassion (which it affects) to command unconvinced people to believe....While we definitely believe that it is the duty of man to believe all God has declared, and that unbelief is guilt, we consider it seriously erroneous to call upon all persons indiscriminately to perform such spiritual acts as repentance and faith as if they possessed in themselves an inherent power of spiritual life. Pool Paul and Jesus were engulfed in so much error, if only he had attained the wisdom of these men.

Mark 1:14-15 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."

If you want to see a denial of the impeccability of Christ all you need to do is read the GS articles and see what Jesus did.

In regards to the statements about regeneration, since Jesus said that except a man be born from above he cannot see the kingdom of God, it only follows that regeneration must preceed the hearing of the Word. However, I believe that these happen within close proximity to each other. I highly recommend th following article on regeneration taken from Herman Hoeksema's Reformed Dogmatics: http://www.prca.org/articles/regeneration.html

Brandan
07-21-04, 08:16 AM
I am sorry to see that Charles is dropping out of this conversation. I am really learning more about this notion of duty-faith. Because I am pro duty faith and a very young believer I will probably get beat up in here. I won't take it personally though.Jan, I'm sorry to see Charles drop otu too. I don't think you're really pro duty-faith and neither is Charles. Duty-faith just seems to contradict all you really stand for - I will give you two the benefit of the doubt. There are a lot of unscriptural phrases being passed around, and because of this, I believe it gives people the wrong impression. Take for example, the phrase "exercise faith". Where in the Scripture is this terminology to be found? Men do not "exercise faith", they are GIVEN faith to see the Lord of Glory. God is responsible for "exercising faith" if men so desire to use that term.

The same goes for the words "duty / responsibility" and "faith". Nowhere in all of Scripture will you see these terms intermingled. If it is man's duty or responsibility to exercise faith, then by clear inference, it is also man's responsibility to be saved.


I also see that "accountability" is probably a better term to use rather than responsibility. I also see why you guys are so against this idea. If someone in describing their duty believes that they themselves are responsible for their own salvation then they are missing the boat completely.Yup! Amen. I know WildBoar does not believe this, but the VAST MAJORITY who preach duty-faith do indeed mean that men are responsible for "accepting the free offer of salvation." Usually the doctrine of "duty-faith" is tied in with "common grace" and the "free offer of the Gospel." When the Gospel becomes an offer of God's love that is conditioned upon the faith of man, it's quite fashionable to preach "duty to accept through faith." But even without preaching an offer, if one were to preach "duty-faith", there is an implied "offer" whether the preacher intends to convey it or not.


Here is the problem: It seems to me that Paul dealt with this in Romans ... How can a man be held accountible when it is God that makes the vessel for destruction and doesn't grant to each and every person the saving faith that every Christian clings to? God does as He pleases. Men will be held accountable for breaking God's law and rejecting and scoffing at the glorious Gospel. This passage really emphasizes all of God's responsibility and man's accountability. The scoffer is asking, "Why am I held accountable if God is responsible?" Paul's response was, "Who are you o man to answer back to God? God has to answer to NOBODY!" (paraphrased)


Here are my questions to not only Charles but especially to the rest of you guys that reject the idea of duty faith .... Is not hell going to be filled with those that have rejected the Gospel?Yup! And they will be in hell not only for their sins but because they rejected the Gospel - they do not have that have the robe of Christ's righteousness. That is really the Ultimate difference - Christ - not what man does or doesn't do. This should be our theme!


Is not mankind duty bound to live God's moral law to perfection?Men are commanded to obey and will be held accountable for failing to live up to God's law. Those who are in Christ will not be held accountable because Christ fulfilled the demands of the law for them.


When God commanded that ALL repent and believe did he not mean that? Of course He did. Commanding something does not presuppose ability. Imagine driving down the road at 90 mph and out of thin air a Stop Sign appears. You cannot stop, but nevertheless, you are still commanded to stop - and will be held accountable by the police officer for failing to stop. God commands men to believe, and failure to do so is indeed sinful - the height of rebellion against God.


Oh one other question .... Does God repent and believe for you? Or do YOU do that because of the new heart of flesh that God has placed inside you? I do not like to look to my faith as something I do. My faith is more or less an opening of the eyes and a mental grabbing of truth and pulling to my conscience what God has already done for me. You could think of it as us pulling to our minds the work of Christ, but I like to think of it more along the terms of God implanting Gospel truth in us and enabling us to embrace it.


Also a question for Brandon and others that may want to respond? Is the Christian's rule for life wrapped up in the 10 commandments?The Christian's rule of life is the Gospel. My law is LOVE and FAITH. I am not under the law as the rule for living, but instead, I look to Christ. What I mean by this is I'm not motivated or governed by the law. I am motivated by love and grattitude for Christ. As far as the "moral law", I do not like to separate it out from the rest of God's law and instead believe that ALL of the Scriptures are useful for instruction. We're not free to go around breaking the 10 commandments, although I do believe that my Sabbath rest is in Christ.


Are we to try to strive to live moral, clean lives and use those commandments as our guideline?Our guideline is Christ. We are to emulate Him. When we make statements such as this, I believe our focus is lost. We know that Christ fulfilled this law, and we strive to be like Him. The law demanded absolute perfection, and Christ lived up to its demands. If I'm put under the law as a rule for living, I begin to relate to God legally instead of relationally. By following Christ instead of looking to the law, I strive not to sin NOT BECAUSE it's against the law, but BECAUSE I love Christ and am GRATEFUL for all that He's done for me! The law is the last thing on my mind as I walk through my Christian life - my heart is centered on Christ Alone.


Let me put it more bluntly ... Are Christians duty bound to live God's moral law? AGAIN .... it has nothing at all to do with someone "losing" their standing before God for falling short because we all will ... but are we not commanded as Christians to "live my commandments"? Yes we are commanded to obey God's law - but we do not obey because we are "duty bound" but because we love Christ and in fact the thought of obedience is far from our minds because we're enamoured with Christ. Obedience is something that is naturally worked in God's people through love in Christ. Christ is able to restrain the flesh of His people through the law of love and faith.

Let me give you an example. Let's say you're in the grocery store and you see a candy bar you want. Let's say you're tempted to steal it. Now do you decide not to take it because you're thinking of God's LAW, or are you thinking of Christ's love for you and you don't want to let Him down because you love Him? If you don't take it because it's against the law, well, you're still sinning - you've failed to live up to the law of love and faith. See the law was given to increase transgressions and to point out sin. Christ fulfilled the law for us so that we would not be under that bondage of governance or motivation which is key.

I hope that I've answered your questions to your satisfaction.

Your friend,
Brandan

Ian Potts
07-21-04, 08:31 AM
In regards to the statements about regeneration, since Jesus said that except a man be born from above he cannot see the kingdom of God, it only follows that regeneration must preceed the hearing of the Word. However, I believe that these happen within close proximity to each other. I highly recommend th following article on regeneration taken from Herman Hoeksema's Reformed Dogmatics: http://www.prca.org/articles/regeneration.htmlI have yet to read the article linked to, but the emboldened statement would need some qualification I think. Presumably you mean "hearing of the Word" in a true, spiritual, enlightened state, ie. post regeneration. It is obviously possibly for people to sit under the preaching of the word of God for a long time before they are regenerated and 'hear' it with their outward ears. At a certain point in time the Spirit might then sound an alarm, then awaken the sinner to his state, convict of sin, and finally regenerate or quicken him. But the first three aspects show a work of the Spirit in bringing a sinner to that state of regeneration, through the 'hearing' of the word of God. That sinner won't be able to 'see' the kingdom of God until regenerated and given faith, but there is an enlightening of the mind to truths and realities by the Spirit's use of the word of God leading up to that point is there not?

I would probably describe these early steps of the work of the Spirit as the preparatory work. Where the ground is broken up and dug, ready for the sowing of the seed and the bringing forth of fruit. This preparation often starts with the awareness of sin and condemnation under the law and the alarm which that sounds to the sinner's soul of his lost condition before God. This can be some time (years even!) before saving faith in Christ is seen. I feel this aspect of the work of God in salvation is often neglected in modern preaching/thinking.

wildboar
07-21-04, 08:38 AM
I don't think Brandan is anti-duty-faith. I think he's just confused as to what the word duty means.


Of course He did. Commanding something does not presuppose ability. Imagine driving down the road at 90 mph and out of thin air a Stop Sign appears. You cannot stop, but nevertheless, you are still commanded to stop - and will be held accountable by the police officer for failing to stop. God commands men to believe, and failure to do so is indeed sinful - the height of rebellion against God.

Exactly. It is still your duty to stop. And the pastor who commands people to believe does not presuppose ability. There is nothing within the word duty that presupposes ability.

Duty-faith does not lead to common grace, in fact many of the anti-duty-faith folks hold to common grace. It is just as silly as the Romish argument that the preaching of God's free grace leads people to lead sinful lives.


I do not like to look to my faith as something I do. My faith is more or less an opening of the eyes and a mental grabbing of truth and pulling to my conscience what God has already done for me. You could think of it as us pulling to our minds the work of Christ, but I like to think of it more along the terms of God implanting Gospel truth in us and enabling us to embrace it.
You are creating a false dichotomy. Faith is certainly something worked in us by God, but we do actively believe. It is not something in which we take no part. God works faith in us and we believe because He has done so.

wildboar
07-21-04, 08:44 AM
I have yet to read the article linked to, but the emboldened statement would need some qualification I think. Presumably you mean "hearing of the Word" in a true, spiritual, enlightened state, ie. post regeneration. It is obviously possibly for people to sit under the preaching of the word of God for a long time before they are regenerated and 'hear' it with their outward ears. Certainly it would be. I was merely denying the idea that the preaching of the Word somehow caused the regeneration.


That sinner won't be able to 'see' the kingdom of God until regenerated and given faith, but there is an enlightening of the mind to truths and realities by the Spirit's use of the word of God leading up to that point is there not?
I don't see Biblical evidence for this.

I would probably describe these early steps of the work of the Spirit as the preparatory work. Where the ground is broken up and dug, ready for the sowing of the seed and the bringing forth of fruit. This preparation often starts with the awareness of sin and condemnation under the law and the alarm which that sounds to the sinner's soul of his lost condition before God. This can be some time (years even!) before saving faith in Christ is seen. I feel this aspect of the work of God in salvation is often neglected in modern preaching/thinking. I don't see this in Scripture either. Any man can see their own sinfulness and fear punishment from God. Certainly God prepares the soil but I don't see any evidence for a time lag.

Ian Potts
07-21-04, 08:58 AM
I don't see Biblical evidence for this.

I don't see this in Scripture either. Any man can see their own sinfulness and fear punishment from God. Certainly God prepares the soil but I don't see any evidence for a time lag.
Thanks for the response. However I think it is fair to say that not all men DO see their sinfulness, and many do not fear punishment from God. Yet at a certain point in time some come under terrible conviction of sin - LONG before they are ever able to look to Christ by faith. I believe that is a preparatory work of the Spirit in the elect.

I think much scripture could be brought up to illustrate the sounding of the alarm, the blowing of the trumpet, the trembling which comes upon sinners as they are brought under this alarm. But just to look at one passage:

"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." Romans 10:14-17

Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Elsewhere scripture talks of being given eyes to see, and ears to hear. Hearing needs to be granted first, then sight is given later. Are both metaphors for the same thing, or is there a granting of hearing first, leading on to sight (faith) later? Verse 17 implies the latter.

harald
07-21-04, 09:24 AM
Ian Potts. Thank you for your question. I hope to answer, but it is not possible to answer shortly, so it may take some time before you receive it. If it looks like I am delaying please hesitate not to remind me.

Harald

harald
07-21-04, 09:27 AM
Wild Boar says:

If you want to see a denial of the impeccability of Christ all you need to do is read the GS articles and see what Jesus did.


WildBoar. Could you explain what you mean or refer to in the above saying of yours. Do you charge the GS Baptist articles with saying Christ was peccable?

Thanks.



Harald

Brandan
07-21-04, 09:31 AM
Exactly. It is still your duty to stop. And the pastor who commands people to believe does not presuppose ability. There is nothing within the word duty that presupposes ability.

Men are duty bound to believe what God has said about the Gospel to be true, but men are not duty bound to "exercise saving faith" as that is a GIFT of God. A Gift can in no way be a duty. Remember what Harald said about belief and saving belief:



"Saving faith or like precious faith is a gift of and from God which belongs to the covenant of grace, and to the persons legally confined within this covenant through Christ Jesus, the Covenant Head of God's elect. Men and men are judged for the wickedness of not giving assent to the truth(s) of the true Gospel (Brandan: in other words BY REJECTING THE GOSPEL MEN WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE) when they hear it. To give assent to the truth of the Gospel when one hears it or otherwise learns it is a duty of all men. (emphasis Brandan's)"

Ian Potts
07-21-04, 09:37 AM
Ian Potts. Thank you for your question. I hope to answer, but it is not possible to answer shortly, so it may take some time before you receive it. If it looks like I am delaying please hesitate not to remind me.

Harald
Thanks Harald - I look forward to reading your thoughts - take your time, there is no rush.

Ian

Ian Potts
07-21-04, 09:51 AM
Just a thought or two on the 'preparatory' work of the Gospel. In all four Gospels we read of John the Baptist preceding Christ's ministry. For instance Mark begins with 'the beginning of the gospel' in this way:-



"1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
6 And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;
7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost."
Mark 1:18
John warned Judae to flee from the wrath to come. He preached repentance and baptised with water. He prepared the way of the Lord and made His paths straight. But he did not baptise with the Holy Ghost as Christ did, and he merely prepared the way for Christ. His ministry did not bring regeneration until Christ and the Spirit came. But it did prepare the way. We read in John:



"He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.
25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?
26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;
27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.
31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God."
John 1:23-34
What was the character of John's ministry? We see it in Isaiah 40:



"Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
2 Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD's hand double for all her sins.
3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
6 The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:
7 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.
8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!"
Isaiah 40:19
The consistency of John's ministry in the four Gospels demonstrates I believe that the 'beginning of the gospel' involves the voice of one crying in the wildnerness (or our souls) "Prepare ye the way of the Lord". This convicting work precedes the presentation of Christ. Just as in Romans from 1:16 until 3:20 there is a proving of man to be under sin before he is pointed to the work of Christ. Given that Christ baptised with the Holy Ghost, not John, is the hearer of 'John's ministry' regenerated before he can hear John's preparation or does John's ministry lead up to the point of regeneration by the Spirit? Is it the 'beginning' of the Gospel as spoken by the Holy Ghost in His preparatory work - the 'gestation period' as it were of the New Birth before a person is actually 'born again'?

I just put these thoughts forward for discussion. :)

(Oh, and although this may seem a little bit off topic I think the following point regarding duty faith can be made. The repentance preached by John was not 'evangelical repentance'. Only the Spirit can grant the latter - but John preached repentance to a gainsaying and wicked generation to turn from their sin in prepration for the coming of the Messiah. That was their duty. But the grace which Christ brought was free from God. Hence John 1:17 reads just as it does in my signature below - read John 1 to see how this leads into the account of John's ministry and how the legal work of Moses and the repentance which John preached is contrasted with grace and truth which CAME by Jesus Christ. Also notice Galatians 3:22-29. Verse 23 - "But before faith came....")

harald
07-21-04, 10:51 AM
wildboar says:

Pool Paul and Jesus were engulfed in so much error, if only he had attained the wisdom of these men.

Mark 1:14-15 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."

wildboar. Consider some facts. The verses you quote do not specify exactly to who or what kind of characters Lord Christ Jesus spoke those words. Do you think He for example spoke those words to the reprobates among the Pharisees and the lawyers? Consider also, you who read the Greek Testament, that the two imperative mood verbs are both in the present tense, possible translation would be "be ye repenting", "keep repenting", perhaps also "begin repenting". And "be ye believing", "keep believing", "begin believing" respectively. Nevertheless, which ever is the exact contextual force intended, the verbal aspect is not aoristic, but something else, viz. linear or progressive. So if those who teach duty repentance and duty faith would be honest and consistent with this passage of Scripture they would have to teach the "duty" is an ongoing repenting and believing, not one time acts. But I have so far seen no duty faith or duty repentance monger be so honest and consistent with God's written word. Wonder why so.
Another fact to consider. The command was not to believe "in" the Gospel. Men were told to believe in Christ, i.e. in the Person of Christ, not in the Gospel. They were to believe the Gospel, but not to believe "in" it. There is in the Greek just the dative case following the imperative mood verb, and I cannot imagine that this has the same force as EIS - "in", "into", "toward", cp. "faith toward (or "in"; Gr. EIS) our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21). Christ told some people to be believing the Gospel which testified of Him, to be believing in Him in accordance with the Gospel testimony.


Harald

harald
07-21-04, 12:39 PM
Ian Potts. You wished examples of modern day GS men who compromise justification. I come to think right now of one clear example, John R Broome. I have read quite a few of his writings obtained from the GS Publications Trust. In about a handfull of instances he approvingly talks about justification "through faith alone in Christ". I could check up the exact wording if needed. He also talks approvingly of Luther as a man who was orthodox on justification. Broome echoes Luther sentiments on justification, not the GS articles of 1875, which are orthodox in their briefness. Talking about justification before God alone by Christ's righteousness imputed. I have so far not seen Broome echo the truth of the GS articles. To me he is a compromiser of both the Gospel Standard Baptist faith he represents, as well as the Pauline Gospel. It is very clear to me that Martin Luther was not echoing Paul on justification before God, and thus he was heretical. I have proof from Luther on Gal. 2:16, and have at least once posted it to this forum. Paul's doctrine of justification before God and that of Luther's are diametrically opposed to each other. Another GS man of today who is not as well known as Broome and who I have seen entertain the same notion in a book of his would be Ian Sadler, author of "Mystery, Babylon the Great". He also spoke approvingly of Luther as a champion of the faith. My conviction is that if a man knows Paul's Gospel well enough he cannot countenance any unsound notion opposing what Paul said by Divine revelation as to Justification before God, which is the center of the Gospel.
And while you did not ask for any names I shall mention that the same Broome in one booklet made quite clear statements where he seems to express belief that the Gospel or the preaching of it is somehow instrumental in quickening. While I might run the risk of being accused of slander I will nevertheless say that I think Broome is a clear leavener among the GS Baptists of today. And the fact that he seemingly enjoys continual approval on the part of the denomination generally is to me alarming to say the least, in consideration of Scripture light. If there are watchful watchmen among the GS Baptists I wonder whether they have warned about Broome's errors. True watchmen of God would not let such errors go unnoticed without sounding the alarm in the camp. Maybe it has been done I cannot tell, but I have not learnt about any so far.

Then a brief description of Gospel regeneration and Holy Spirit regeneration. Those that contend for Holy Spirit regeneration apart from means contend that God when He quickens dead sinners He does not utilize any means at all, not baptism, not "decision", not the preaching of the Law, not the preaching of the Gospel, not preaching of doctrine generally, not the inscripturated word of God, the Holy Scriptures. Nothing. The contention is that God the Triune Lord is the sole agent of quickening, that God quickens through the Son by the Spirit. Christ said that by the voice of the Son of God is quickening. And that the Spirit makes alive or quickens. There is no contradiction. God the Son's voice echoing in the unseen and spiritual realm is what directs the Spirit to proceed with His operation of regenerating dead sinners. And when He does this He uses no means whatsoever. Quickening is a sovereign and instantaneous operation, it is said by some that in less than a nano second is a dead sinner passed from being stone dead to being spiritually alive to God when the Spirit quickens. I believe it. Christ talks about Spirit begetting "spirit". Not Gospel begetting "spirit". When it is contended that the Godhead quickens without means it is not to say they operate against what the Scripture reveals as to quickening, and all three members of the Trinity are in absolute harmony, e.g. the Spirit does not operate independently of the Father and the Son, but however independently of the preached and written word. I think all that hold to the classical doctrine of Holy Spirit regeneration agree basically with my sayings here.
Those that contend for means regeneration say that God quickens by the Spirit, but that in quickening the Spirit utilizes the preached or read Gospel or "Word". But I think I have never seen it explained how the "Word" or Gospel is utilized, in what manner exactly. It seems to be a mystery to themselves, albeit the Scripture as I see it does not specifically call regeneration a "mystery" (Gr. mustêrion). Some gospel regeneration contenders say that God sometimes quickens without the "Word" and sometimes by or through it. I see not this in Scripture. Nor do I see the view of consistent gospel regeneration proponents in the same volume. Some gospel regenerationists say God always quickens "under the preaching of the Gospel", but not necessarily that the Gospel data or information (the words) is utilized by the Spirit when quickening. There are variations within the gospel regenerationist camp, but no gospel regenerationist would ever maintain that "God never uses Scripture information in regenerating but only His Spirit".

Gospel regeneration proponents use Scripture such as the following for to support their view. Rom. 10:17, John 3:5, James 1:18, 1Pet. 1:23. Contenders of Holy Spirit regeneration apart from means often use such passages which involve only the Spirit in connection with some word which talks about quickening or begetting from above. But they also use much Scriptural logic, and some go to the Greek to refute gospel regeneration. The last is one of the most effective and most convincing.

Then I shall give examples from the Scripture of people which were no doubt regenerated apart from means such as the written word or the orally preached word (by mortal human preachers). Adam, Eve, Cornelius (Acts 10). There existed no inscripturated God-breathed word when Adam and Eve lived. I believe God saved both, which includes the gift of quickening. No human preaches were alive then. The voice of the Son of God made both of them alive. Cornelius did not hear the Gospel of God until Peter arrived. He was spiritually alive prior to Peter coming and preaching "the Gospel of his salvation". God had in the past at some point sovereignly quickened him by the Spirit apart from means. Some maintain he had perchance read the Scripture and been regenerated by it (involving the Spirit also, presumably). I say Cornelius testified he was an unbeliever as respects the Gospel until Peter's preaching. So what thing other than the Gospel he had read in the OT Scriptures would be non-Gospel content, or pure Law content. And the Law makes not alive, and not surely historical accounts of the judges and patriarchs etc. If not the Gospel in the OT then surely not any other OT information, and the Gospel he was a stranger to prior to Peter coming. Some say Cornelius was dead up to the point Peter preached and he believed along with the household. This does not hold tight in the light of Acts 10. God the Holy Spirit inspired Luke to say Cornelius was a "godly" man. The KJV says "devout". The underlying Greek adjective is the one used when it says "godly". I see no watertight proof that it is used in the NT as referring to unsanctified, unregenerated, people. Luke by inspiration also says that Cornelius was working righteousness and was accepted with God. Another clear proof of his being a regenerate man.

A passage which to me refutes Scripture or "Word" or Gospel regeneration is the verse at the end of Romands ch. 2. Where it says "by Spirit, not by letter". The Greek has the words "en pneumati ou grammati". The context is heart circumcision, regeneration. Mark well the words "ou grammati" - "not by letter". The stronger and objective negation "ou" is used. This saying of Paul's is in line with that in Galatians where he says no commandment is able to make alive. Then says some that the Gospel is no commandment but rather a promise. Then I say that Paul says to Timothy that Christ to certain sinners brought life to light through the Gospel, not that He brought life about through the same. The Gospel simply is "euaggelion" - "Good Message", not "quickening message". Then I would say to such who insist the Gospel of God is used as means in quickening; how much defective information may a Gospel presentation or sermon contain for it to be good enough for the Spirit to utilize. Can the Spirit of the TRUTH utilize a presentation which is even one per mille deviating from absolute Divine infallible and perfect truth in such an important and vital operation as the regeneration of an eternal soul. If He can, which Scripture would support this? And if He cannot but you still maintain gospel regeneration, then show me the 100 per cent perfect and absolutely infallible preacher or Bible translation or original Greek text which the Spirit likely utilizes.

Another argument in favour of Holy Spirit regeneration is Abraham. Abraham was quickened by God apart from means. No inscripturated Holy Scripture in existence then. And if someone says a human preacher begat him again from above through the Gospel then give the book, chaper, and verse proving such.

Nevertheless, the Scripture in its overall testimony supports Holy Spirit regeneration apart from means. The Scripture loosely read SEEMS TO support Scripture or gospel regeneration. I see gospel regeneration clinged to as not far from Nicolaitanism, seemingly giving to a certain group of servants (or "officers") magical powers above those of ordinary people. Paul was the chief apostle but he never claimed to have been instrumental in any one's being spiritually quickened. Some will bring up the passage where Paul says he begat the Corinthians through the Gospel. Even Gill erred here in his comments. Paul seems to say he regenerated the Corinthians through the instrumentality of the Gospel he preached. If this was his real meaning then I say Paul was a blasphemer. But it was not. Paul meant that he became the father of the Corinthians in a ministerial way, not in an organic way, spiritually. For he was instrumental in their Gospel conversion, which is not the same as regeneration. Paul begat or fathered them through the Gospel in the sense that he was instrumental in conveying to them a new spiritual-religious identity and consciousness through the glorious Gospel of unconditional and sovereign grace, and they became his followers, and Christ's. Paul became the father of the Corinthians through his Gospel in a similar sense as Luther may be said to have become the father of the Lutheran sect through his distinct sentiments.

I do not know if my apparent rambling has been of any help. Nor do I expect to have convinced anyone either this or that way, but I know I have spoken what I know and am convinced is the truth on these things, and I believe it is the truth.

Harald

whs1
07-21-04, 06:41 PM
Harald, you don't deny that men will be held accountable for rejecting the Gospel, do you? Ian, do you reject this notion? Scott? Anyone reject this? If so, then I believe that is a problem...

All that have heard it, Brandan, but all do not live and hear it before they die, what of them???

What are they judged as "accountable" for rejecting or just: "What standard are they held accountable to? [Don't tell me that every single human has heard either. that does not make it to the reality of the matter.]

Bill:D

Brandan
07-21-04, 06:51 PM
WHS1, men will be held accountable for showing up without a spotless wedding garment. They will be held accountable for not being perfect. I was just pointing out that rejection of the Gospel is indeed a terrible sin - one on top of many.

whs1
07-21-04, 06:55 PM
"They will be held accountable for not being perfect."

So, if someone dies with out (hearing) the gospel, what is the standard that shows they are "imperfect"?

whs1
07-21-04, 07:02 PM
By the way, Brandan, do you believe in this "Anti-Gospel Regeneration" that is coming from the pit of hell? This is just pure evil. No one has or ever will be saved, regenerated withOUT the WORDS of the living God. That is just pure EVIL...from the pit of hell. This would mean that the whole of the Holy Scriptures were given in vain and that God was just blowing hot air. Secondly, it would mean that all those natives in the bush who have not heard can and mostly are regenerated by NOTHING BUT the Holy Spirit...which would make printing, preaching, and reading God's word USELESS.



Would it not???

Brandan
07-21-04, 07:23 PM
I believe in Gospel Conversion. I do not believe men are running around regenerate for years without ever hearing the Gospel as some of the primitive baptists teach and as John Bunyan believed. But I believe that men are regenerated at or just before the hearing of the Gospel at which point they are converted. I do not believe there is MEANS when it comes to regeneration as that is unscriptural - the means of regeneration is the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer - but I also believe that all regenerate men are converted at or near the time of regeneration.

Acts 16:14, (KJV), And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

Lk 24:44-46, (NKJV), Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." (45) And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. (46) Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,

WHS-1 I don't think this is as serious an issue as you make it. What is from the pit of hell is the idea that men can be regenerated and never converted and brought to faith in the Gospel. Some primitive baptists teach that, and I utterly renounce that teaching.

Your teaching on regeneration by means is unscriptural. I know you don't believe in Gospel regeneration - but you do believe in Gospel conversion. I fully support Doctrinal conversion - but not doctrinal regeneration as some call it.

wildboar
07-21-04, 07:24 PM
WildBoar. Could you explain what you mean or refer to in the above saying of yours. Do you charge the GS Baptist articles with saying Christ was peccable?
Absolutely. For the same reason those who claim it is a sin to drink alcohol are saying that Christ was peccable. The verse I quoted shows that Jesus called people to believe and repent. Those of the GS heresy say that it implies creature power for someone to do so. Apparently Jesus was preaching works righteousness and on the slippery slope to common grace and whatever other silly thing. The GS articles at least are honest enough to admit that their own method does not come from Scripture they say very openly that we should not follow the examples of the Apostles. As for me, I will follow the examples of the Apostles, you can choose to follow whatever man you wish. Circular reasoning is being used. They have constructed their own premise that it would be unjust for God to call someone to faith whom he does not give faith. Therefore they conclude that God does not do so. This is the same as with a Baptist who says it is sinful for someone to drink alcohol. He then concludes from this that every passage which speaks of alcohol in a negative way refers to actual alcohol and every passage which speaks of it in a favorable way speaks of grape juice. Similar is the notion of Baptist sucessionism. It starts with the premise that they are the true church. Then, since Christ said on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it they conclude that they must have always existed in a continual line. I prefer to let the Scriptures dictate my theology rather than the other way around.

whs1
07-21-04, 07:29 PM
I want to be clear here, I believe that the elect are regenerated by the Holy Spirit. I believe that no one can just "hear" the word "outwardly" and that automatically regenerates him. But to say that there is a "time-lag" between regeneration and "Conversion" is just not in Scripture. [Don't site apostolic times when miracles were still being performed.]. If there exists a "time-lag" then every believer may stay in DAMNABLE ERROR for as long as God (???) may decide to leave him or her there. No Bible verse militates against this???


Oh, Come ON!


John 17:17 "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."

2 Cor. 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

whs1
07-21-04, 07:53 PM
These verses also seems to me to militate against some "time-lag" theory.

James 1;18 "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."


1 Peter 1:23

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."

Who would argue here that being born again is not "REGENERATION"...?

Bill

whs1
07-21-04, 07:57 PM
Brandan said:

""Your teaching on regeneration by means is unscriptural.

You will have to prove this.

1 Peter 1:23 seems to be very SCRIPTURAL.

I know you don't believe in Gospel regeneration - but you do believe in Gospel conversion. I fully support Doctrinal conversion - but not doctrinal regeneration as some call it.""

I DO believe in "WORD OF GOD REGENERATION" OR "GOSPEL REGENERATION". I am not sure yet about "doctrinal regeneration".


Bill

tomas1
07-21-04, 08:29 PM
WB said
The verse I quoted shows that Jesus called people to believe and repent. Those of the GS heresy say that it implies creature power for someone to do so. Apparently Jesus was preaching works righteousness and on the slippery slope to common grace and whatever other silly thing.
This is why I am uneasy about anti-duty faith it seems to me to start with a doctrine and project it to scripture instead of starting with scripture and forming our doctrines accordingly.
Although I would agree with the logic of the anti-duty faith argument I made the decision long ago to submit my fallen logic to the perfect word of God. I’m not saying that God is illogical or somehow anti-logic I just think it is better to use Biblical words and Biblical methods. When we rely our ability to connect the dots logically instead of the Bible’s ability to simply tell us how to evangelize we are on dangerous ground.

Brandan
07-21-04, 08:55 PM
These verses also seems to me to militate against some "time-lag" theory.

James 1;18 "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."


1 Peter 1:23

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."

Who would argue here that being born again is not "REGENERATION"...?

Bill
1 Peter 1:23, I read THE WORD to be Christ - not necessarily the Gospel.

But I agree Bill, James 1:18 does seem to be speaking of regeneration by the Gospel. I'll have to rethink my position. Thanks!

whs1
07-21-04, 09:07 PM
Hey, WildBoar, here is your passage...

Acts 17:27 "That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him,
Does God here say he WANTS ALL MEN EVERYWHERE (in the "SHOULD) to seek the Lord...Notice what it does say next: if haply they might feel after him, and find him, [Notice here that it does not say that they are ever or even "able" to do this...QUITE THE OPPOSITE!!! "Haply"....look that word up...what does it mean? "feel after him" denotes to "GROPE" as in the darkness to find something you cannot SEE!!!


though he be not far from every one of us:
28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."


Does this mean that God wants every man every where to "SEEK" the Lord???

NO. It does not. Does "all men everywhere" mean every single human being???

No it does not. Where do you get this? The wedding parable...the ones called that did not come...because God did not give them faith,

"Many are called; but few are chosen." Since when does this imply duty? Is it every single man's "duty" to repent and believe the gospel? God did not call that native in the woods who died and never heard the gospel to 'repent and believe' ... he only judges those who hear based upon their light. They were called and they rejected it. That, along with their original sin, puts them in a greater accountability status at the judgment. Where is it all of a sudden in Acts 17 that all does mean every single human + "duty"???

I just do not see that. It could mean [speaking to WB here, ] ONLY all men of all sorts and kinds and nations everywhere...God's command being EFFECTUAL only for them and no one else.


Bill
Gee, I sure hope WildBoar sees the above.

wildboar
07-21-04, 09:25 PM
Anti-duty-faith position gives us a great deal more of logical problems unless we also embrace Pelagianism. The argument that I read in the various articles against duty-faith all have to do with the idea that God would not command man to do something which he was incapable of doing. For some odd reason they limit this to 'evangelical' faith and repentance. If they were logically consistent they would carry this idea to everything and pretty son God would be unjust to send men to hell because he is requiring something out of them which they are incapable of performing whether it be obedience to the law, faith, or whatever else. The false premise that God cannot require of man that which man is incapable of performing would also naturally lead one to believe that there is some law outside of God which is higher than God and dictates to God what He can and cannot do. Therefore, in this system the law is god which if carried through consistently would logically lead one to blank atheism.

The anti-duty faith folks try to get around this by ignoring the argument. They then turn around and ascribe a meaning to duty which it does not have in any dictionary I know of. They claim that duty implies ability. According to what I have no idea. Perhaps if they consult every dictionary that they can get their hands on they can come up with one that lists it as the 20th meaning of the word. Regardless of how many times you tell them that saving faith does not mean that the person saves themselves through the condition of faith they are so brainwashed that they will just keep repeating it as their mantra.

Aparently also when Jesus commanded people to repent and believe in their system he could not have been preaching evangelical repentance and faith. Why? Because it disagrees with their system. So apparently in the midst of all this talk of the kingdom of God which Jesus did he took some time out to call men to lead moral lives and to repent but not evangelically repent and not evangelically believe.

Interestingly, if Gill had taken his commentary on Ecclesiastes seriously he would have taught duty-faith himself, read what he writes here:



fear God, and keep his commandments: "the fear of God" includes the whole of internal religion, or powerful godliness; all the graces of the Spirit, and the exercise of them; reverence of God, love to him, faith in him, and in his Son Jesus Christ; hope of eternal life from him; humility of soul, patience and submission to his will, with every other grace; so the Heathens call religion "metum Deorum" (q), the fear of God: and "keeping of the commandments", or obedience to the whole will of God, is the fruit, effect, and evidence of the former; and takes in all the commands of God, moral and positive, whether under the former or present dispensation; and an observance of them in faith, from a principle of love, and with a view to the glory of God;

for this [is] the whole [duty] of man; or, "this is the whole man" (r); and makes a man a whole man, perfect, entire, and wanting nothing; whereas, without this, he is nothing, let him have ever so much of the wisdom, wealth, honour, and profits of this world. Or, "this is the whole of every man" (s); either, as we supply it, the duty, work, and business of every man, of every son of Adam, be he what he will, high or low, rich or poor, of every age, sex, and condition; or this is the happiness of every man, or that leads to it; this is the whole of it; this is the "summum bonum", or chief happiness of men: Lactantius (t) says, the "summum bonum" of a man lies in religion only; it lies in this, and not in any outward thing, as is abundantly proved in this book: and this should be the concern of everyone, this being the chief end of man, and what, as Jarchi says, he is born unto; or, as the Targum, such should be the life of every man. The Masoretes begin this verse with a larger letter than usual, and repeat it at the end of the book, though not accentuated, to raise the attention of the reader (u); that he may make a particular observation of what is said in it, as being of the greatest moment and importance.

whs1
07-21-04, 09:32 PM
I do not believe that duty implies ability. It does not follow that if God commands man something that man has to "be able" to do it. That is not the issue. The issue is:

"Is faith a duty"?

The answer is NO.

Bill

whs1
07-21-04, 09:34 PM
Wildboar, do you believe that "faith" is a "duty" of the reprobate or elect that we have to do?

If so, WHICH SCRIPTURE IS THAT IN?

Bill

whs1
07-21-04, 09:54 PM
I have a Scripture that it is NOT in...Wildboar...

Romans 3:27

"Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith."

It is not in this Scripture. The Law of works and the Law of faith are 2 Separate OPPOSING laws...


Or did I read this wrong?

Bill

wildboar
07-21-04, 10:53 PM
Wildboar, do you believe that "faith" is a "duty" of the reprobate or elect that we have to do?

If so, WHICH SCRIPTURE IS THAT IN?
I have answered this question repeatedly throughout this thread. I fear that the acceptance of anti-duty-faith has also affected the reading comprehension of many.

Regardless, duty implies ability has in fact been stated several times by Brandan and is the standard teaching of most who deny duty faith.

Since you are distancing yourself from this position I will answer your question once again. Repentance and belief are commanded by God. If you don't see this, I suggest you read the Bible. The reprobate will certainly never produce faith, they are incapable of true faith. However, this does not mean that they do not have the duty to believe. Nor do I suggest by this that the elect is saved by his act of believing or that the elect produces faith somehow on his own. God works faith in a person and the person believes. This is the teaching of Scripture.

Ian Potts
07-22-04, 03:35 AM
I have answered this question repeatedly throughout this thread. I fear that the acceptance of anti-duty-faith has also affected the reading comprehension of many.

Regardless, duty implies ability has in fact been stated several times by Brandan and is the standard teaching of most who deny duty faith.

Since you are distancing yourself from this position I will answer your question once again. Repentance and belief are commanded by God. If you don't see this, I suggest you read the Bible. The reprobate will certainly never produce faith, they are incapable of true faith. However, this does not mean that they do not have the duty to believe. Nor do I suggest by this that the elect is saved by his act of believing or that the elect produces faith somehow on his own. God works faith in a person and the person believes. This is the teaching of Scripture.Yes, but the point is WHAT are the reprobate commanded to believe? Are they commanded to believe the Gospel - that Christ is who He is and did what He did at the cross in saving sinners - or are they commanded to believe that Christ actually died FOR THEM and that His blood was shed for THEM? There is a big difference.

The contention of those of us who are against 'duty-faith' is that the reprobate cannot be commanded to believe the latter as it is not true of them - that represents believing SAVINGLY. The elect believes that Christ died for him because God enables him to AND IT IS TRUE OF HIM.

The reprobate however is not expected to believe that Christ died for HIM as that isn't true. What he SHOULD believe is the facts of the Gospel. That God is who He is, Christ is who He is, God has done everything He says He has, Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and so on. Those are facts, and even the devils believe them and tremble. Thus to reject those facts is unbelief, to make God a liar, and is a sin.

But man's 'duty' to believe THAT is not the same as believing that Christ died for HIM. This is the contention of the 'anti-duty-faith' positon - it is wrong to address all and sundry and call upon them to believe that Christ died for THEM personally. It is right that they should believe that He died for sinners, but not ALL sinners, only the elect. The elect are brought by God's grace to know that they are one of the elect for whom Christ died. They are GIVEN faith to believe that, it isn't a duty demanded of them. Duty only respects belief of the facts of the Gospel - not belief in the personal application of that Gospel, of Christ's blood to the person.

So we agree the Gospel should be PREACHED to all, and all should believe the truth of it. But in preaching that Gospel we don't think it right to insist that ALL believe savingly that Christ died for THEM as that isn't true of all. That is the distinction I believe, and gives the correct understanding of the scriptural passages taken as a whole without contradiction.

Ian Potts
07-22-04, 04:50 AM
Ian Potts. You wished examples of modern day GS men who compromise justification. I come to think right now of one clear example, John R Broome. I have read quite a few of his writings obtained from the GS Publications Trust. In about a handfull of instances he approvingly talks about justification "through faith alone in Christ". I could check up the exact wording if needed. He also talks approvingly of Luther as a man who was orthodox on justification. Broome echoes Luther sentiments on justification, not the GS articles of 1875, which are orthodox in their briefness. Talking about justification before God alone by Christ's righteousness imputed. I have so far not seen Broome echo the truth of the GS articles. To me he is a compromiser of both the Gospel Standard Baptist faith he represents, as well as the Pauline Gospel. It is very clear to me that Martin Luther was not echoing Paul on justification before God, and thus he was heretical. I have proof from Luther on Gal. 2:16, and have at least once posted it to this forum. Paul's doctrine of justification before God and that of Luther's are diametrically opposed to each other. Another GS man of today who is not as well known as Broome and who I have seen entertain the same notion in a book of his would be Ian Sadler, author of "Mystery, Babylon the Great". He also spoke approvingly of Luther as a champion of the faith. My conviction is that if a man knows Paul's Gospel well enough he cannot countenance any unsound notion opposing what Paul said by Divine revelation as to Justification before God, which is the center of the Gospel.
And while you did not ask for any names I shall mention that the same Broome in one booklet made quite clear statements where he seems to express belief that the Gospel or the preaching of it is somehow instrumental in quickening. While I might run the risk of being accused of slander I will nevertheless say that I think Broome is a clear leavener among the GS Baptists of today. And the fact that he seemingly enjoys continual approval on the part of the denomination generally is to me alarming to say the least, in consideration of Scripture light. If there are watchful watchmen among the GS Baptists I wonder whether they have warned about Broome's errors. True watchmen of God would not let such errors go unnoticed without sounding the alarm in the camp. Maybe it has been done I cannot tell, but I have not learnt about any so far.

Then a brief description of Gospel regeneration and Holy Spirit regeneration. Those that contend for Holy Spirit regeneration apart from means contend that God when He quickens dead sinners He does not utilize any means at all, not baptism, not "decision", not the preaching of the Law, not the preaching of the Gospel, not preaching of doctrine generally, not the inscripturated word of God, the Holy Scriptures. Nothing. The contention is that God the Triune Lord is the sole agent of quickening, that God quickens through the Son by the Spirit. Christ said that by the voice of the Son of God is quickening. And that the Spirit makes alive or quickens. There is no contradiction. God the Son's voice echoing in the unseen and spiritual realm is what directs the Spirit to proceed with His operation of regenerating dead sinners. And when He does this He uses no means whatsoever. Quickening is a sovereign and instantaneous operation, it is said by some that in less than a nano second is a dead sinner passed from being stone dead to being spiritually alive to God when the Spirit quickens. I believe it. Christ talks about Spirit begetting "spirit". Not Gospel begetting "spirit". When it is contended that the Godhead quickens without means it is not to say they operate against what the Scripture reveals as to quickening, and all three members of the Trinity are in absolute harmony, e.g. the Spirit does not operate independently of the Father and the Son, but however independently of the preached and written word. I think all that hold to the classical doctrine of Holy Spirit regeneration agree basically with my sayings here.
Those that contend for means regeneration say that God quickens by the Spirit, but that in quickening the Spirit utilizes the preached or read Gospel or "Word". But I think I have never seen it explained how the "Word" or Gospel is utilized, in what manner exactly. It seems to be a mystery to themselves, albeit the Scripture as I see it does not specifically call regeneration a "mystery" (Gr. mustêrion). Some gospel regeneration contenders say that God sometimes quickens without the "Word" and sometimes by or through it. I see not this in Scripture. Nor do I see the view of consistent gospel regeneration proponents in the same volume. Some gospel regenerationists say God always quickens "under the preaching of the Gospel", but not necessarily that the Gospel data or information (the words) is utilized by the Spirit when quickening. There are variations within the gospel regenerationist camp, but no gospel regenerationist would ever maintain that "God never uses Scripture information in regenerating but only His Spirit".

Gospel regeneration proponents use Scripture such as the following for to support their view. Rom. 10:17, John 3:5, James 1:18, 1Pet. 1:23. Contenders of Holy Spirit regeneration apart from means often use such passages which involve only the Spirit in connection with some word which talks about quickening or begetting from above. But they also use much Scriptural logic, and some go to the Greek to refute gospel regeneration. The last is one of the most effective and most convincing.

Then I shall give examples from the Scripture of people which were no doubt regenerated apart from means such as the written word or the orally preached word (by mortal human preachers). Adam, Eve, Cornelius (Acts 10). There existed no inscripturated God-breathed word when Adam and Eve lived. I believe God saved both, which includes the gift of quickening. No human preaches were alive then. The voice of the Son of God made both of them alive. Cornelius did not hear the Gospel of God until Peter arrived. He was spiritually alive prior to Peter coming and preaching "the Gospel of his salvation". God had in the past at some point sovereignly quickened him by the Spirit apart from means. Some maintain he had perchance read the Scripture and been regenerated by it (involving the Spirit also, presumably). I say Cornelius testified he was an unbeliever as respects the Gospel until Peter's preaching. So what thing other than the Gospel he had read in the OT Scriptures would be non-Gospel content, or pure Law content. And the Law makes not alive, and not surely historical accounts of the judges and patriarchs etc. If not the Gospel in the OT then surely not any other OT information, and the Gospel he was a stranger to prior to Peter coming. Some say Cornelius was dead up to the point Peter preached and he believed along with the household. This does not hold tight in the light of Acts 10. God the Holy Spirit inspired Luke to say Cornelius was a "godly" man. The KJV says "devout". The underlying Greek adjective is the one used when it says "godly". I see no watertight proof that it is used in the NT as referring to unsanctified, unregenerated, people. Luke by inspiration also says that Cornelius was working righteousness and was accepted with God. Another clear proof of his being a regenerate man.

A passage which to me refutes Scripture or "Word" or Gospel regeneration is the verse at the end of Romands ch. 2. Where it says "by Spirit, not by letter". The Greek has the words "en pneumati ou grammati". The context is heart circumcision, regeneration. Mark well the words "ou grammati" - "not by letter". The stronger and objective negation "ou" is used. This saying of Paul's is in line with that in Galatians where he says no commandment is able to make alive. Then says some that the Gospel is no commandment but rather a promise. Then I say that Paul says to Timothy that Christ to certain sinners brought life to light through the Gospel, not that He brought life about through the same. The Gospel simply is "euaggelion" - "Good Message", not "quickening message". Then I would say to such who insist the Gospel of God is used as means in quickening; how much defective information may a Gospel presentation or sermon contain for it to be good enough for the Spirit to utilize. Can the Spirit of the TRUTH utilize a presentation which is even one per mille deviating from absolute Divine infallible and perfect truth in such an important and vital operation as the regeneration of an eternal soul. If He can, which Scripture would support this? And if He cannot but you still maintain gospel regeneration, then show me the 100 per cent perfect and absolutely infallible preacher or Bible translation or original Greek text which the Spirit likely utilizes.

Another argument in favour of Holy Spirit regeneration is Abraham. Abraham was quickened by God apart from means. No inscripturated Holy Scripture in existence then. And if someone says a human preacher begat him again from above through the Gospel then give the book, chaper, and verse proving such.

Nevertheless, the Scripture in its overall testimony supports Holy Spirit regeneration apart from means. The Scripture loosely read SEEMS TO support Scripture or gospel regeneration. I see gospel regeneration clinged to as not far from Nicolaitanism, seemingly giving to a certain group of servants (or "officers") magical powers above those of ordinary people. Paul was the chief apostle but he never claimed to have been instrumental in any one's being spiritually quickened. Some will bring up the passage where Paul says he begat the Corinthians through the Gospel. Even Gill erred here in his comments. Paul seems to say he regenerated the Corinthians through the instrumentality of the Gospel he preached. If this was his real meaning then I say Paul was a blasphemer. But it was not. Paul meant that he became the father of the Corinthians in a ministerial way, not in an organic way, spiritually. For he was instrumental in their Gospel conversion, which is not the same as regeneration. Paul begat or fathered them through the Gospel in the sense that he was instrumental in conveying to them a new spiritual-religious identity and consciousness through the glorious Gospel of unconditional and sovereign grace, and they became his followers, and Christ's. Paul became the father of the Corinthians through his Gospel in a similar sense as Luther may be said to have become the father of the Lutheran sect through his distinct sentiments.

I do not know if my apparent rambling has been of any help. Nor do I expect to have convinced anyone either this or that way, but I know I have spoken what I know and am convinced is the truth on these things, and I believe it is the truth.

Harald
Thank you very much Harald for taking the time to give some insight in to what some modern GS men believe, and also the differences between the two ideas regarding regeneration. I will mention some of my thoughts on the latter subject in my next post below.

Regarding John Broome, I have actually heard him preach several times and have generally been blessed by his preaching. Last year I heard him on one particular occasion and the message was very powerful.

I have not however read his works that closely to check his views on justification and would be interested to read some quotes of what he says. However I do know your stance Harald regarding Luther, and personally I'd have to say that I feel you misunderstand the intent of Luther's words. I'm sure you can provide quotes which seem wrong but I think Luther's understanding of justification is actually in line with the GS article so am not surprised at Broome agreeing with him. Luther was writing in a very different day to ours and was setting forth an understanding of justification in contrast to the works religion of the Papists of his day. His emphasis on faith in contrast to works may give the impression of making 'our' faith something more than simply a God-given gift by which we look to Christ's justifying work on the cross and the righteousness of God imputed to us because of the shed blood, but I don't think Luther's intent was to disagree in any way with that.

We need to gather the 'sense' of what some of these writers mean. Unfortunately Luther is not here today to clarify what he meant! Nevertheless I don't want to get into a dispute with you regarding Luther - I understand your feelings and your rightful desire to defend the truth from all errors.

Thanks again for your post,

Ian

Ian Potts
07-22-04, 04:53 AM
1 Peter 1:23, I read THE WORD to be Christ - not necessarily the Gospel.

But I agree Bill, James 1:18 does seem to be speaking of regeneration by the Gospel. I'll have to rethink my position. Thanks!
This is why I was asking Harald to describe the two different positions regarding regeneration, either by the Holy Ghost alone, or by the Holy Ghost using means. There seem to be good points that can be made on both sides of the argument and I think some clarity needs to be seen in the matter.

I think we all agree that actual regeneration is a sovereign act of the Holy Ghost. The question is does He regenerate men 'in a vacuum' as it were? Or does regeneration occur in the context of people hearing the word of God in some way?

Certainly the two verses quoted above (1 Peter 1:23 and James 1:18) DO refer to the word of God/truth with regard to regeneration. So the word of God is a means by which the Spirit regenerates. The question really isn't about that, but about what is meant by the 'word of God'. Does it mean the written word, the preached word, the words that come from heaven from the Son, or even the WORD - the Son Himself.

Certainly 'word of God' can refer to the Son. He is the Word of God. He is the Alpha and Omega, the means through which God communicates with man. As it is written in Hebrews:



“GOD, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by Son,…”
Hebrews 1:1-2

God reveals Himself to mankind through His Son. He speaks by ‘Word’, by ‘Son’. The Son of God is the living Word, He is God’s speech to man. (See Hebrews 12:25)

The written word of God testifies of Christ, it contains His speech written down. But it isn’t the LIVING Word and in and of itself it is but ‘dead letter’. No one is quickened to life simply by reading the written word of God.

But when the Spirit of God takes of those written words they become lively. We only really know any truth from the scriptures when the Spirit reveals them to us – when Christ speaks to us, through the Spirit, by His word. That might be when reading the scriptures, with the Spirit applying to us what we read, or it might be hearing a preacher preach the truth in the power of the Spirit, truth which is in accord with the written word, or it may indeed even be words of truth spoken in heaven by the Son and revealed to us inwardly by the Spirit. Think of Paul on the Damascus road when he had the heavenly vision and heard the Son of God speak in power.

But whichever of these three ways we hear the LIVING word, it is still the WORD OF GOD and it is by this means that the Spirit regenerates a man. Through the LIVING word. Because to be regenerated IS to have the eternal life of Christ quickened within us, and thus to have the LIVING Word in us.

I don’t think that scripture uses the title ‘Word of God’ to describe Christ indiscriminately. In the verses we have mentioned why not use the title ‘Lord Jesus Christ’? Or ‘The Son of God’?

I’d say the use of ‘word of God’ and ‘word of Truth’ is to emphasise that Christ is the word, He is the truth, and truth is objective and is conveyed. Not just to emphasise that CHRIST is the word, but what Christ is, the WORD. It is by the communication of Christ from God to man that the Spirit regenerates us. Christ reveals God. In OT days God was veiled to mankind, but Christ revealed Him fully when He came. But He reveals Him in an objective, logical, way, the same way that language conveys a message. Christ reveals the truth of God to man. He reveals who God is, His persons, three persons in one God. He reveals God’s holiness, goodness, justice, mercy, love, grace. He reveals all His purposes, works, and dealings with mankind. He reveals the truth, because He IS the truth.

Now, in OT times, in the case of Adam, Eve, Abraham and so on, before they had scripture written down the revelation of the ‘word of God’ to these saints was not through reading the Bible or sitting under a Gospel preacher. But nevertheless the ‘word’ was still conveyed to them. Truth was made known to them. To some this was by the direct speech of God, sometimes by the Spirit, sometimes in dreams and visions. To others it was through the truths passed down from father to son. Later on the word was inscripturated and could be read. God also raised up prophets and preachers. But all were means of conveying truth, the Gospel, the knowledge of Christ, to men, by the Spirit.

I think whilst examples may be given of God quickening men by the direct speech of the Son of God from heaven by the Spirit, that we must be mindful that that quickening is still by that speech, still by words of truth, still by revelation of truth. It was at the Son’s command when He said “Lazarus come forth!” that Lazarus rose from the dead. Likewise when Christ in heaven says to my soul “Live!”, with His words conveyed to me by the Spirit, I am quickened to life. But it IS by that word of God.

In the age in which we live, after the cross, after the apostolic days, with the scriptural cannon completed, and with the EKKLESIA of God established by Christ, that Christ now builds His church by saving sinners through the preaching of the Gospel. He calls and sends ministers to preach the word of God. The Spirit attends that preaching with power (and ONLY that preaching of those men sent of God) and uses that word to quicken and convert sinners. The Spirit can also use the written word of God in a similar way when read by those whom God has chosen to save. Thirdly, I think it is also possible for the Spirit to regenerate someone who has yet to read the Bible or hear a preacher by conveying the words of Christ from heaven above directly to them. But it is still the ‘word of God’. It is still essentially the Gospel of Christ.

However, this third method of regenerating by the word of God, is not the ‘norm’. God has chosen to build His church through sending men to preach the Gospel. That is the primary means in which He works. Certainly God can, has, and sometimes does convey the truth of the Gospel, the word of God, directly from heaven (eg. Saul on the Damascus road), but it isn’t the normal way, and I don’t think that any fears of men as preachers getting ‘delusions of grandeur’ in their role in the work of God should lead us against acknowledging that God does save sinners by sending fallible men to preach the Gospel. It is not in any way to their glory, their words and eloquence can do nothing, but they are merely God’s mouthpieces, through which He conveys, transports, His word, by the Spirit from heaven to men.

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."
Romans 1:16

In Grace,
Ian

tomas1
07-22-04, 05:11 AM
Could we get practical for a minute? Suppose I’m sitting next to a guy at the tractor pull and the subject turns to spiritual things I am called to preach the gospel to him so what do I say? I don’t know if he is one of the elect or not so I need an all purpose line. The tractors are loud so it must be short and to the point.
If he asks "how do I get saved" what should I say?

Ian Potts
07-22-04, 05:25 AM
Could we get practical for a minute? Suppose I’m sitting next to a guy at the tractor pull and the subject turns to spiritual things I am called to preach the gospel to him so what do I say? I don’t know if he is one of the elect or not so I need an all purpose line. The tractors are loud so it must be short and to the point.
If he asks "how do I get saved" what should I say?
If he asks that it is perfectly reasonable to say "Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved".

Nothing there represents 'duty-faith', nor have you implied that Christ did die for him, nor have you said that he is able to believe without the work of the Spirit. He's asked the question, indicating a desire, and you can answer scripturally.

Brandan
07-22-04, 06:01 AM
Anti Duty-Faith people are not against the preaching of the Gospel! We just believe in preaching it properly. Pro duty-faith people believe it's perfectly acceptable to stand in front of a crowd of people they don't know anything about and proclaim it's everyone's duty to believe that Christ died for them. Therein lies the key difference.

John Gill was opposed to duty-faith, but he had this to say about preaching the Gospel...
"Souls sensible to sin and danger, and who are crying out, What shall we do to be saved? you are to observe, and point out Christ the tree of life to them; and say, . . . . Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, Acts XVI: 31. "He also said,
Be faithful, labour to shew the one and the other their wretched state by nature; the necessity of repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, in his blood, righteousness, and atoning sacrifice, for peace, pardon, justification, and salvation.Should people who are insensitive to their sinfulness be called upon to believe and be saved? Of course not. Scripture gives us no warrant for doing so. There is nothing wrong with proclaiming to a crowd the facts about Jesus Christ and what He did for sinners. There is nothing wrong with stating the obvious fact that those who are weary and heavy laden (notice the qualification) should come to Christ for rest. But to say men are duty-bound to come to Christ and be saved when we have no clue whether they have been convicted of sin is indeed terrible. We can state the obvious facts about the gospel, but to call on men to be saved is something you do not find in the Scriptures. You can command men to repent and believe that Christ died for sinners, but you cannot command men to believe that Christ died for THEM.

Many pro duty-faith people believe in proclaiming the Gospel to large crowds without even mentioning the depravity of men and the fact that men need to look to Christ for even the coming. This is not a true gospel - but only a half truth. I believe this is a serious error and leads to false conversions in the same way that Billy Graham hoodwinks people into his false gospel.

doctr_of_grace
07-22-04, 06:42 AM
Repentance and belief are commanded by God. If you don't see this, I suggest you read the Bible. The reprobate will certainly never produce faith, they are incapable of true faith. However, this does not mean that they do not have the duty to believe. Nor do I suggest by this that the elect is saved by his act of believing or that the elect produces faith somehow on his own. God works faith in a person and the person believes. This is the teaching of Scripture.
Amen and Amen again!!!

doctr_of_grace
07-22-04, 07:05 AM
If he asks that it is perfectly reasonable to say "Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved".

Nothing there represents 'duty-faith', nor have you implied that Christ did die for him, nor have you said that he is able to believe without the work of the Spirit. He's asked the question, indicating a desire, and you can answer scripturally.
Nothing there about the depravity of mankind or a call to repentance ... So you think this is really what a person needs to be told and that's it? I wonder about that. The MAIN problem with making such a statement to someone who is asking "what must I do to be saved" is there is no call to repentence. But also there is nothing in this statement about who the Lord Jesus Christ is. A muslim would be able to make the claim that he believes in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ yet he would qualify it with Jesus being just another prophet. So I guess I don't quite understand how one could begin and end the Gospel with this statement. Maybe you weren't suggesting that but I am confused about your reply.

doctr_of_grace
07-22-04, 07:06 AM
Many pro duty-faith people believe in proclaiming the Gospel to large crowds without even mentioning the depravity of men and the fact that men need to look to Christ for even the coming. This is not a true gospel - but only a half truth. I believe this is a serious error and leads to false conversions in the same way that Billy Graham hoodwinks people into his false gospel.
Don't misunderstand me here ... Billy Graham's way of evangelizing is pathetic ... But I believe Acts chpt 13 as well as Pentecost show the apostles preaching to large crowds.

Brandan
07-22-04, 07:13 AM
Nothing there about the depravity of mankind or a call to repentance ... So you think this is really what a person needs to be told and that's it? I wonder about that. The MAIN problem with making such a statement to someone who is asking "what must I do to be saved" is there is no call to repentence. But also there is nothing in this statement about who the Lord Jesus Christ is. A muslim would be able to make the claim that he believes in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ yet he would qualify it with Jesus being just another prophet. So I guess I don't quite understand how one could begin and end the Gospel with this statement. Maybe you weren't suggesting that but I am confused about your reply.If a man asks what must I do to be saved, we can safely assume that the Holy Spirit has quickened him and shown him his sins. Such a question is one of utter hopelessness! Obviously this guy knows something of his depravity! Further, you don't have to preach evangelical repentance. By believing the Gospel, the man has repented of his self-righteousness and sins.

Brandan
07-22-04, 07:26 AM
Don't misunderstand me here ... Billy Graham's way of evangelizing is pathetic ... But I believe Acts chpt 13 as well as Pentecost show the apostles preaching to large crowds.Yes, Acts 13 does show the apostles speaking to large crowds. There is nothing wrong with that at all. But notice Paul didn't say to them, "It is your duty to believe that Jesus died for you!" In fact what I find amazing is what Paul said when the Jews rejected his message of the Gospel....
(46)...It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.
We're not against the preaching of the Gospel to all men. We're against the concept that men are duty-bound to believe that Jesus died for them when it is obviously not so. They are duty-bound to believe that Christ died for sinners. Rejecting this message, as Paul said, men judge themselves to be unworthy of everlasting life which is essentially accountability to the Gospel.

How in the world is the reprobate duty bound to believe that Christ died for him when Christ obviously did not die for him? Men are not duty-bound to believe a lie. Men are duty-bound to believe the truth that Christ died for sinnners - and God in his providence opens the hearts of His elect and grants them the knowledge that the atonement applies to them! He causes them to rejoice in the message as we see in vs. 48, "when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed." This opening of the heart/understanding is something men do not have duty of performing - this is a work of God.

Ian Potts
07-22-04, 07:31 AM
Nothing there about the depravity of mankind or a call to repentance ... So you think this is really what a person needs to be told and that's it? I wonder about that. The MAIN problem with making such a statement to someone who is asking "what must I do to be saved" is there is no call to repentence. But also there is nothing in this statement about who the Lord Jesus Christ is. A muslim would be able to make the claim that he believes in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ yet he would qualify it with Jesus being just another prophet. So I guess I don't quite understand how one could begin and end the Gospel with this statement. Maybe you weren't suggesting that but I am confused about your reply.Thomas requested a short response to a person's question. That is what I provided, and the response is completely scriptural. I didn't say that it represented the sum of the Gospel - of course not. But it is the right response to the question. That isn't my view - I'm just quoting scripture. Acts 16:



" And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house."
Acts 16:27-32
A simple question, from one who by the Spirit was shown his need of salvation, and a simple answer given. Of course the Apostles didn't stop there, and neither would I. In verse 32 we read that "they spake unto him the word of the Lord". So should we.

wildboar
07-22-04, 08:01 AM
How in the world is the reprobate duty bound to believe that Christ died for him when Christ obviously did not die for him? Men are not duty-bound to believe a lie. Of course they're not. Nobody here is saying that they are. I've never said such nonsense. I've repeatedly denied it in fact. Perhaps larger print will help.

DUTY-FAITH DOES NOT TEACH THAT PEOPLE HAVE THE DUTY TO BELIEVE THAT CHRIST DIED FOR THEIR SINS!!!

You are confusing duty-faith with Billy Graham. The content of duty-faith as stated by Prof. Engelsm and of which I am in whole-hearted agreement once again is:

In the New Testament, all in the audience of the apostles are externally called to repent of their sins and to believe in Jesus Christ, as the Son of God in human flesh, the only Savior from sin and death. The promise is that every one who does so repent and believe will be saved (Acts 13:38-41; 17:30).
The mission audience is not called to believe that Jesus died for them, or that God loves them.
The only way anyone can know that Christ died for him personally is by believing.
The missionary calls men to believe on Christ.
This is the duty of every human who comes under the preaching of the gospel. So much is this true that refusal to believe aggravates the wickedness of those who do not believe (John 3:18).



Mark 1:14-15 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."

Since it is said that Jesus was preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God there is no reason to think that this repentance and believing are anything but evangelical. There is also no indication that He limited this preaching to "sensible sinners". He often preached to large crowds and I don't see any indication that Jesus told some to leave while he addressed the sensible sinners.

wildboar
07-22-04, 08:16 AM
Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Notice that in this instance, Paul and Silas had not had contact with the man's household. According to the anti-duty faith folk it would be wrong to call people whom are not "sensible sinners" to saving faith. However, Paul and Silas extend this promise not just to the "sensible sinner" in front of them but to his family who they have never met.

Brandan
07-22-04, 08:19 AM
DUTY-FAITH DOES NOT TEACH THAT PEOPLE HAVE THE DUTY TO BELIEVE THAT CHRIST DIED FOR THEIR SINS!!! I'm glad we're in agreement that men are not duty bound to believe that Christ died for their sins. But I disagree with you - duty-faith advocates do in fact teach this. In fact I was talking to an individual earlier this morning who said that men were in fact duty bound to believe this - and this person was a die-hard calvinist also that has agreed with you on every point that you've made Charles. I think we're making progress - but thanks again for the clarification of your beliefs. The bold text did help!

Brandan

Brandan
07-22-04, 08:26 AM
Men are duty-bound to believe the Gospel is true (mental assent to the truth) (which is not faith - even the demons believe) - they will be held accountable for rejecting the Gospel... but men are not duty-bound to believe that it applies to them (savingly believe) - as that realization is the gift of FAITH worked in the individual by the Holy Spirit. Wildboar, do you agree with this?

wildboar
07-22-04, 08:28 AM
Brandan:


But I disagree with you - duty-faith advocates do in fact teach this. In fact I was talking to an individual earlier this morning who said that men were in fact duty bound to believe this - and this person was a die-hard calvinist also that has agreed with you on every point that you've made Charles.</FONT></FONT></FONT></FONT></FONT></FONT>
This is the fallacy of hasty generalization. If I come across someone who is a Calvinist and who is also pro-abortion do I conclude from this that Calvinism teaches that abortion is okay? This is the same error as David Hunt who seeks to make his case by finding poor theologians from the Calvinist camp who make absurd and contradictory statements. You have to be able to separate what duty-faith actually teaches from what some of those who hold to duty-faith teach.

Brandan
07-22-04, 08:30 AM
Well first of all duty-faith is a BAPTIST doctrine. I don't recognize the PRC version of it as I've never encountered it before. I'm speaking of the duty-faith of Andrew Fuller, Charles Spurgeon, etc... What duty-faith are you talking about?

wildboar
07-22-04, 08:33 AM
Men are duty-bound to believe the Gospel is true (mental assent to the truth) (which is not faith - even the demons believe) - they will be held accountable for rejecting the Gospel... but men are not duty-bound to believe that it applies to them (savingly believe) - as that realization is the gift of FAITH worked in the individual by the Holy Spirit. Wildboar, do you agree with this? You are confusing the result of saving faith with saving faith itself. Saving faith consists of all I have listed above. Belief that Christ died for the person is the direct result of such belief, not the content of which they are duty-bound to believe. Once again, their inability to do so does not lessen their duty.

wildboar
07-22-04, 08:56 AM
Well first of all duty-faith is a BAPTIST doctrine. Oh great, now I'm being accused of being a Baptist:p I'm not worried though there won't be enough evidence for me to be found guilty...lol Denial of duty-faith is a distinctively Baptist doctrine. That is why the term duty-faith is not found in most reformed writings. The teaching of duty-faith is found in many writings, but the term itself is not. Fuller was certainly in great error. He denied the truth of the atonement and that is what led to his belief in the well-meant offer. His opponents were also in error however. A. W. Pink was a Baptist of course and was able to see the errors on both sides.


What duty-faith are you talking about? I'll post what Engelsma wrote again in large print since it seems to be helpful.


In the New Testament, all in the audience of the apostles are externally called to repent of their sins and to believe in Jesus Christ, as the Son of God in human flesh, the only Savior from sin and death. The promise is that every one who does so repent and believe will be saved (Acts 13:38-41; 17:30).
The mission audience is not called to believe that Jesus died for them, or that God loves them.
The only way anyone can know that Christ died for him personally is by believing.
The missionary calls men to believe on Christ.
This is the duty of every human who comes under the preaching of the gospel. So much is this true that refusal to believe aggravates the wickedness of those who do not believe (John 3:18).

wildboar
07-22-04, 09:05 AM
If I have not made it clear what the differences are between the historic Reformed position(PRC) and Gill/Huntington on the one side and Fuller on the other you may wish to read the following article: http://www.prca.org/prtj/nov97.html#LawAndGospel
It is a review by Prof. Engelsma of George Ella's book Law & Gospel in the Theology of Andrew Fuller It is not incredibly detailed but it explains the differences briefly.

harald
07-22-04, 09:13 AM
Charles. I will talk to you using your first name. And whether you or any other reading this post of mine dislikes it or not matters nothing to me. And whether any moderator removes it or not matters nothing to me. You have made the charge that the GS Articles framers were heretical men. I say you have made a hasty and false and unwise judgment. I say you have brought slander against them, yea, false accusation. You know well what Scripture says about such a thing. And by accusing them you also likewise accuse their forebears, men like Philpot, Gadsby, Warburton, Kershaw. You are basically saying these GS Baptist men were heretics, and this means you say they were wolves and deceivers, and reprobates. You say the framers taught a peccable Christ. Your own statement is on record for anyone to see. And by implication you say those which were before the framers, Philpot, Gadsby et.al. were teachers of a peccable Christ because they believed quite the same things as the 1875 AD framers as respects preaching the Gospel. You use language such as "the GS heresy". It is the first time ever, I think, I have seen anyone use such strong language in relation to the GS articles and the GS Baptists of those days. Let me tell you something to think on, if those men who drew the articles, and their forebears who I have named, were godly men, God's children, then you have brougth false accusation and slander against Christ just the same. Whatever one does against one little one who believes in Jesus Christ the Lord the same is done against Jesus Christ Himself. If you be a brother of Christ and those were your brethren in Him then by saying they were heretical men you have done something which Christ condemns in Matthew chapter 5. To call a brother, if indeed they were brethren of you, "heretic" is quite close to "thou fool" (KJV).

In front of me you have the right to voice any opinion you like, but I may not like it. The same applies to other men. Men among men have freedom of religion nowadays. But before God it is not so. Men will be condemned or justified by their words says Christ Jesus. If indeed you have here brought a false accusation, calumny, slander, against some of God's truly called ministers of the Gospel, saying they taught a peccable Christ, using language to the import they were heretics who taught heresy, you are duty bound to wholeheartedly repent towards Almighty God with a repentance that needeth not to be repented of.

I say I have not seen in the 1875 GS articles any saying that Christ was peccable or anything else than absolutely impeccable. Those men had a high view of Christ Jesus no doubt.

Harald

Ian Potts
07-22-04, 09:28 AM
You are confusing the result of saving faith with saving faith itself. Saving faith consists of all I have listed above. Belief that Christ died for the person is the direct result of such belief, not the content of which they are duty-bound to believe. Once again, their inability to do so does not lessen their duty.
Belief of something is the 'result' of some other belief? I'm afraid I just don't follow what you're saying here. If I believe certain things, those are the things I believe aren't they?

When God brought me to believe in His Son savingly by quickening me and giving me the gift of faith, that faith caused me to believe that Christ died for ME. That was and is my belief.

Could you clarify this statement please as it seems to merge 'natural belief' with 'saving faith' as though the first causes the 2nd eg. We exercise our natural duty to believe the facts of the Gospel and in reward God grants faith to believe in Christ as OUR Saviour. Doesn't sound like the Gospel to me...

Brandan
07-22-04, 09:31 AM
You are confusing the result of saving faith with saving faith itself. Saving faith consists of all I have listed above. Belief that Christ died for the person is the direct result of such belief, not the content of which they are duty-bound to believe. Once again, their inability to do so does not lessen their duty.WHat I hear you saying here is that belief and understanding that God died for you is a RESULT OF BELIEF of the facts of the Gospel (natural mental assent) to which all men are duty-bound and which you stated earlier are physically able of performing. That sounds like conditionalism to me. My belief that God died for me is not a result of anything I've done.

Brandan
07-22-04, 10:33 AM
This is why I was asking Harald to describe the two different positions regarding regeneration, either by the Holy Ghost alone, or by the Holy Ghost using means. There seem to be good points that can be made on both sides of the argument and I think some clarity needs to be seen in the matter.....

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."Thank you Ian for that awesome post. One of the best I've read on this forum. You truly are a blessing to me. I have learned much from you today. WHS-1, I agree with this completely - are you in agreement also?

Brandan

Brandan
07-22-04, 11:42 AM
Excellent post by BillTwisse in the other thread on duty-faith..
This issue is closely related to the 'free offer' controversy, it seems to me. If Christ is to be offered to all, then all have a responsibility and duty to believe. If Christ is not to be offered but preached, with the the simple declaration that all who believe in his person and work ARE justified, then faith is strictly what God does in the elect as a part of declaring them righteous. The fact that the non-elect laugh at the gospel in disbelief is what God does in them to harden their hearts and declare them reprobate.

disciple
07-22-04, 11:49 AM
i thought we already beat this dead horse over here (http://www.predestinarian.net/showthread.php?t=1503). i don't want to get into this (as i've already said what i needed to say at the other thread), but i'll just paste an excerpt from one of my posts over there:


should implies obligation or duty. under the thesarus for duty the first synonym listed is obligation and to say that someone should do something is to command and say that they are obligated to do it. under should in the dictionary is the entry used in auxiliary function to express obligation, propriety, or expediency. in fact here is the etymology of the word should: Etymology: Middle English sholde, from Old English sceolde owed, was obliged to, ought to. so i really don't see how one can split hairs here.the point is, if we just correctly define our terms and agree on those definitions, then i don't think anyone here would have a problem agreeing. as i understand it, no one here who believes that obeying the gospel (belief and repent) is an obligation, command, duty, responsibility, etc. for all human beings is saying that humans have the ability in and of themselves to savingly believe the gospel (at this point i have no idea where the distinction between believing and savingly believing comes from). nor is anyone saying that the gospel is commanding men to be saved (or save themselves or however yall might understand the issues). the simple point is that all human beings without distinction are commanded to certain things in the gospel, irrespective of their election or reprobation (since this is something that we are not aware of and we are the vehicles through which the gospel goes out).

i would also be interesting in hearing of the text where God is the one who believes for us (for that is how i'm understanding the phrase "God is responsible for exercising faith"). in our zeal to have a consistent system (in our understanding) we need to be careful that we are not discarding biblical language and understanding to accomplish this.

Brandan
07-22-04, 11:54 AM
One more point I need to make - I know I sound like a broken record - before I leave this thread for the day... I'll be back this evening.

Faith is NOT A WORK. Faith is a GIFT of God. If you make faith to be a work, you've destroyed the Gospel of Grace. As Luther said, "If any man ascribes anything of salvation, even the very least thing, to the free will of man, he knows nothing of grace, and he has not learned Jesus Christ rightly."

I would modify this and declare, "If any man ascribes anything to salvation, even the very least thing, to something man does or what God does in him, he knows nothing of grace, and he has not learned Jesus Christ rightly."

That is my position. I will not waiver from that. If anyone dares challenge this Gospel truth, then let him be accursed.

All of you who claim faith is a duty, I take that to mean a work. You may say something else, and you know what you mean in your conscience. I'll refuse to mix the words faith and duty because of the false doctrine it conveys.

disciple
07-22-04, 12:15 PM
That is my position. I will not waiver from that. If anyone dares challenge this Gospel truth, then let him be accursed.is that a statement ex cathedra? are we duty bound to obey you? ;)


All of you who claim faith is a duty, I take that to mean a work.regardless of what they mean by it? should we rather find out what it is that others mean by what they say so that we might have understanding? i understand that you're emphasizing your personal perspective of the terminology, but i am really convinced that despite our own terminology and understanding of the issues, we are obligated (responsible, duty bound ;)) to discover what others mean by what they say so that we can be more effective communicators. i've read that what makes someone a good communicator is not in making yourself understood but rather in properly understanding others.

Brandan
07-22-04, 12:20 PM
is that a statement ex cathedra? are we duty bound to obey you? ;) LOL Doug! I'm not infallible, I'm just repeating what the Apostle paul said...

Gal 1:8, (KJV), But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

wildboar
07-22-04, 04:37 PM
Gal 1:8, (KJV), But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.Which is why the GS men are accursed since they deny the practice of the apostles as normative. They say this very clearly themselves.


I would modify this and declare, "If any man ascribes anything to salvation, even the very least thing, to something man does or what God does in him, he knows nothing of grace, and he has not learned Jesus Christ rightly." It seems that this anti-duty-faith doctrine not only destroys reading comprehension but also causes short term memory loss. Faith is not a condition of salvation. In case you forgot, faith is not a condition of salvation. Oh and by the way, faith is not a condition of salvation. But in case you forgot, it's not.

The problem seems to be that no matter how many times I explain it, what you are reading is that the elect child of God is saved by performing the duty of faith and the reprobate isn't. All I'm saying is that each person has the duty to believe. They don't of course but this does not diminish their accountability to do so. God works faith in a person and this person believes. This believing causes the person to believe the truths presented in Scripture and to believe into Christ. This is what is required of all who come into contact with the preaching of the Gospel. Their inability does not diminish their accountability. The person who believes will naturally also realize that Christ died for them but this is not the duty of the reprobate nor is this what is meant by duty-faith. As for statements about being physically able I already said that I would cease speaking of man being physically able, but this keeps getting brought up and misunderstood.


Could you clarify this statement please as it seems to merge 'natural belief' with 'saving faith' as though the first causes the 2nd eg. We exercise our natural duty to believe the facts of the Gospel and in reward God grants faith to believe in Christ as OUR Saviour. Doesn't sound like the Gospel to me...I have no idea where you are getting this idea from.

Harald, the GS men say that we ought not permiscuously call men to true faith and repentance. Jesus did this. Therefore by the standards of the GS Jesus sinned. It's as simple as that and I already explained it earlier.

GraceAmbassador
07-22-04, 04:57 PM
Notice that in this instance, Paul and Silas had not had contact with the man's household. According to the anti-duty faith folk it would be wrong to call people whom are not "sensible sinners" to saving faith. However, Paul and Silas extend this promise not just to the "sensible sinner" in front of them but to his family who they have never met.
Let me dip my spoon on that soup:

I don't think Paul and Silas are telling the jailer that he would be saved, meaning eternally saved if he would believe Jesus Christ (the divine and the annointed), but that he would be saved from the impending and eminent danger of being executed by the Romans for "losing" prisioners, a punishment that would extend to his family as well.. So Paul and Silas are telling him that their Jesus, their God, their Annointed Savior, Christ, would deliver him, the jailer from any deadly punishement as well as his household, and that he could believe.



PAUL AND/OR SILAS, ESPECIALLY PAUL WOULD NEVER PREACH SALVATION BY PROXY, OR, IF ONE BELIEVES, THEN HE AND HIS ENTIRE FAMILY WILL ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF THAT BELIEF WHICH WOULD BE ETERNAL SALVATION BY ASSOCIATION. WOULDN'T THAT BE A CASE OF UN-GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION? THERE IS NO SUCH A SUGGESTION IN THIS TEXT. (I can write small as well...):)

I know that many will try to interpret Paul and Silas invitation for the jailer to believe as "You and your household, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and all of you will be saved" foreseeing the "revival", or "you will be saved" in the future revival meeting they would have and in fact they had in his house later on, but that is silly. They are really saying: "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved; be saved you and be saved your household".
However, the "salvation" here is temporal and not eternal, such as when Peter cried out: "Save me Lord, lest I perish", or when Paul tells Timothy that by following his teaching "Timothy would be saving himself and others" (1st Tim 4:16). Salvation in this case, would be from the tragedies described in the beginning of the chapter in 1 Timothy 4 AND NOT ETERNAL SALVATION. (Unless someone proves to me that by following Paul's teaching one is saved and is a savior to others...)

So, I don't believe that this is a good text to defend the issue proposed by the title of this thread.

Again, just my humble, very humble, ground crawling, obescience paying humble opinion.

Milt

tomas1
07-22-04, 05:55 PM
On the common grace thread I think it was acknowledged by all that God has compassion for all his creation not just the elect. But we agreed that it would be best not to use the word love to describe that compassion or the word Grace to describe the good things God does for the reprobate.
It seems to me that most here are coming to a consensus that all men will be held accountable for whether they believe the Gospel or not but many feel that we should not use the word duty to describe mans accountability. Seems like a reasonable request to me.
The amazing thing to me is that some call those who might slip up and use the unapproved words (common grace instead of compassionate providence) and (duty instead of accountability) liberals and closet freewillers. Tell me again why this is not just a quarrel about words.
How would Spurgeon answer the man at the tractor pull? I’ll bet he would say the same thing as Ian. I know I am a little slow but is this what all the fuss is about?

Brandan
07-22-04, 06:04 PM
Spurgeon said all of us who were opposed to duty-faith were "hypers".

Brandan
07-22-04, 06:38 PM
Here's some stuff Spugeon had to say about hyper-calvinism..


I do not think I differ from any of my Hyper Calvinistic brethren in what I do believe, but I differ from them in what they do not believe. I do not hold any less than they do, but I hold a little more, and, I think, a little more of the truth revealed in the Scriptures. Not only are there a few cardinal doctrines, by which we can steer our ship North, South, East, or West, but as we study the Word, we shall begin to learn something about the North west and North east, and all else that lies between the four cardinal points. The system of truth revealed in the Scriptures is not simply one straight line, but two; and no man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once. For instance, I read in one Book of the Bible, “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Yet I am taught, in another part of the same inspired Word, that “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” I see, in one place, God in providence presiding over all, and yet I see, and I cannot help seeing, that man acts as he pleases, and that God has left his actions, in a great measure, to his own free will. Now, if I were to declare that man was so free to act that there was no control of God over his actions, I should be driven very near to atheism; and if, on the other hand, I should declare that God so over rules all things that man is not free enough to be responsible, I should be driven at once into Antinomianism or fatalism. That God predestines, and yet that man is responsible, are two facts that few can see clearly. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one part of the Bible that everything is foreordained, that is true; and if I find, in another Scripture, that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other. I do not believe they can ever be welded into one upon any earthly anvil, but they certainly shall be one in eternity. They are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the human mind which pursues them farthest will never discover that they converge, but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring. (Charles Spurgeion, Sermons on Sovereignty pp. 12-13)
Take any doctrine, and preach upon it exclusively, and you distort it. The fairest face in the world, with the most comely features, would soon become unseemly if one feature were permitted to expand while the rest were kept in their usual form. Proportion, I take it, is beauty, and to preach every truth in its fair proportion, neither keeping back any nor giving undue prominence to any, is to preach the whole truth as Christ would have it preached. (Charles Spurgeon, Sermons on Sovereignty p. 73)

At the close of the afternoon service, some of the Hyper-Calvinist friends, who had been present, found fault with what they called my unsound teaching. The Holy Spirit had very graciously helped me in speaking to the many young people who were gathered together, and I believe that some of them were brought to the Saviour; but, among’ other things, I had said to them that God had answered my prayers while I was a child, and before I was converted. That was certainly true, for, on many occasions, long before I knew the Lord, I had gone to Him with my childish petitions, and He had given me what I had asked of Him. I told the children that this fact had greatly impressed me while I was a boy, and it led me to believe more firmly in God’s overruling power, and in the efficacy of prayer, and I urged them also to pray to Him. This gave great offence to my critics, so five or six of those grave old men gathered round me, and tried to set me right in their peculiar fashion. Did I not know that the Scripture declared that “the prayer of a sinner is abomination unto the Lord”? That is a sentence which I have never been able to find in my Bible, and I told them so. Then they asked, “How can a dead man pray?” I could:not tell, but I knew that I prayed even while I was “dead in trespasses and sins.” They said that it was impossible; but I was equally positive that it could be done, for I had done it. They still maintained that it was not sound doctrine, and that God did not hear the prayers of sinners. There was quite a little ring formed around me, and I did my best to answer the objections; but, after all, the victory was won, not by Barak, but by Deborah. A very old woman, in a red cloak, managed to squeeze herself into the circle, and turning to my accusers, she said, “What are you battling about with this young man? You say that God does not hear the prayers of unconverted people, that He hears no cry but that of His own children. What do you know about the Scriptures? Your precious passage is not in the Bible at all, but the psalmist did say, ‘He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry’ (Psalm 147:9). Is there any grace in them? If God hears the cry of the ravens, don’t you think He will hear the prayers of those who are made in His own image? You don’t know anything at all about the matter, so leave the young man alone, and let him go on with his Master’s work.” After that vigorous speech, my opponents quickly vanished, and I walked away in happy conversation with The dear old soul who had so wisely delivered me from the cavillers. (Charles Spurgeon, Spurgeon's autobiography pp. 93-94)
So far as the general public was concerned, the Music Hall services were a great evangelistic campaign, in which “the slain of the Lord” were many. I determined that, whether my hearers would receive the gospel, or reject it, they should at least understand it; and therefore I preached it in plain, homely Saxon that a child could comprehend, and with all the earnestness of which I was capable. I recollect a friend saying to me, one Sabbath, as we went down the stairs from the hall, “There are eight thousand people, this morning, who will be without excuse at the day of judgment;” and I hope that was the case many another time as the vast multitude dispersed from the Surrey Gardens. I did not please everybody even then; and some found fault who ought to have been my best friends. I recollect great complaint being made against my sermon on the words, “Compel them to come in,” in which I was enabled to speak with much tenderness and compassion for souls. The violent, rigid school of Hyper-Calvinists said that the discourse was Arminian and unsound; but it was a small matter to me to be condemned by the judgment of men, for my Master set His seal very clearly upon that message. I think I never preached another sermon by which so many ‘souls were won to God, as our church-meetings long continued to testify; and all over the world, wherever the printed discourse has been scattered, sinners have been saved through its instrumentality; and, therefore, if it be vile to exhort sinners to come to Christ, I purpose to be viler still. I am as firm a believer in the doctrines of grace as any man living, and a true Calvinist after the order of John Calvin himself; and probably I have read more of his works than any one of my accusers ever did; but if it be thought an evil thing to bid sinners “lay hold on eternal life,” I will be yet more evil in this respect, and herein imitate not only Calvin, but also my Lord and His apostles, who, though they taught that salvation is of grace, and grace alone, feared not to speak to men as rational beings and responsible agents, and to bid them “strive to enter in at the strait gate,” and “labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life.” (Charles Spurgeon, Spurgeon's autobiography p. 240)
That “salvation is of the Lord” is as plainly revealed in Scripture as anything that we see in nature; and that destruction is of man is equally plain, both from the nature of things and from the teaching of Scripture. Hold the two truths; do not try to run to the extreme either of the Hyper-Calvinist or of the ultra-Arminian. There is some truth in Calvinism and some in Arminianism, and he who would hold the whole truth must neither be cramped by the one system nor bound by the other, but take truth wherever he can, find it in the Bible, and leave it to the God of truth to show him, when he gets into another world, anything that is beyond his comprehension now. (Charles Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit v. 56 p. 385)
Beloved, the purpose of God does not violate the free agency, or even the free will of man. Man is saved by the will of God, but man is made willing to be so saved. The fault is not in the hyper-Calvinist that he insists upon sovereignty, nor in the Arminian that he is so violent for free agency; the fault is in both of them, because they cannot see more truths than one, and do not admit that truth is not the exclusive property of either, for God is a sovereign, and, at the same time, man is a responsible free agent. Many among us are perpetually seeking to reconcile truths which probably never can be reconciled except in the divine mind. I thank God that I believe many things which I do not even wish to understand. (Charles Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit v. 12 pp. 278-279)

Eileen
07-22-04, 07:19 PM
Acts 16: 31-34

I was a bit confused by the statement Grace that Paul and Silas were not telling the jailer that he could be saved eternally, ie salvation, but that he would be saved from punishment. If that is so why in verse 32 does it say that they spake unto him the word of the Lord and to all that were in his house and in verse 33 that they were all baptized straighway and verse 34 he rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. Seems to me that Paul was saying that if you believe you shall be saved and also if your household believes they too shall be saved. According to the scripture as I read it, they did believe.

Am I reading your post incorrectly? And if so I am sorry. I have followed this thread clear through, I have no trouble understanding either side and I totally agree with Thomas1, it is all in the words (at least as I read it).

Brandan
07-22-04, 07:37 PM
On the common grace thread I think it was acknowledged by all that God has compassion for all his creation not just the elect.I don't remember acknowledging that. I believe GOd is GOOD to everyone, but it is not motivated by "compassion" for the reprobate. The reprobate are here solely for God's purpose and for the elect. He showers them with good gifts (if you really want to call them that) not because He has compassion for them, but because HE HATES THEM and He intends on increasing their condemnation.

wildboar
07-22-04, 08:10 PM
However, the "salvation" here is temporal and not eternal, such as when Peter cried out: "Save me Lord, lest I perish", or when Paul tells Timothy that by following his teaching "Timothy would be saving himself and others" (1st Tim 4:16). Salvation in this case, would be from the tragedies described in the beginning of the chapter in 1 Timothy 4 AND NOT ETERNAL SALVATION. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Perhaps nothing in Scripture is speaking of eternal salvation. Maybe everyone is getting saved from poverty, or opression, or bad hair?

Mickey
07-22-04, 08:54 PM
Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador
I don't think Paul and Silas are telling the jailer that he would be saved, meaning eternally saved if he would believe Jesus Christ (the divine and the annointed), but that he would be saved from the impending and eminent danger of being executed by the Romans for "losing" prisioners, a punishment that would extend to his family as well.. So Paul and Silas are telling him that their Jesus, their God, their Annointed Savior, Christ, would deliver him, the jailer from any deadly punishement as well as his household, and that he could believe.
I'm sorry but I have to say something--GA, that is probably one of the wors't cases of eisogeses I have ever scene. Now I don't mean to come across condemning, but there is simply nothing in the context of Acts 16:31-40 that permites you to assert this. As a matter of fact the chief magistrates sent their policemen, saying Release those men." So what danger would Jesus be saving the jailer from? They were set free from a higher authority! They were actually BEGGED to leave the city because they were Roman citizens! The scripture does't even hint that anyone escaped let alone that anyone was is some sort of danger. Could you please (GraceAmbassador) explain how you get this from this scripture?

Mike

Mickey
07-22-04, 09:16 PM
Also when you read Acts 16:22-30 there is nothing there either. I guess you could say that the jailer at the time he asked, " what must I do to be saved?" He didn't know they were Romans and that for all he knew someone did ecape. But that does not mean this mans question about be saved must be temporal. Since when are we called to believe that Jesus will deliver our families and ourselves from punishment for not doing our job (sleeping on the job)? Since that is how Paul and Silas responded to the jailers question in vs. 30 and 31.

So are you saying Jesus was going to bless an unregenerate man by delivering him and his family. When all this man cares about is only saving his hide and not his soul (I'm not implying he could save his soul just that he wasn't concered about eternity).

Mike

whs1
07-22-04, 10:28 PM
WHS-1, I agree with this completely - are you in agreement also?

You have to be more specific, Brandan, is it something harald wrote or what is above this statement?




Excellent post by BillTwisse in the other thread on duty-faith..
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillTwisse
This issue is closely related to the 'free offer' controversy, it seems to me. If Christ is to be offered to all, then all have a responsibility and duty to believe. If Christ is not to be offered but preached, with the the simple declaration that all who believe in his person and work ARE justified, then faith is strictly what God does in the elect as a part of declaring them righteous. The fact that the non-elect laugh at the gospel in disbelief is what God does in them to harden their hearts and declare them reprobate.



I AGREE, 100%, I LOVE THE TRUTH!


One more point I need to make - I know I sound like a broken record - before I leave this thread for the day... I'll be back this evening.

""Faith is NOT A WORK. Faith is a GIFT of God. If you make faith to be a work, you've destroyed the Gospel of Grace. As Luther said, "If any man ascribes anything of salvation, even the very least thing, to the free will of man, he knows nothing of grace, and he has not learned Jesus Christ rightly."

I would modify this and declare, "If any man ascribes anything to salvation, even the very least thing, to something man does or what God does in him, he knows nothing of grace, and he has not learned Jesus Christ rightly."

That is my position. I will not waiver from that. If anyone dares challenge this Gospel truth, then let him be accursed.

All of you who claim faith is a duty, I take that to mean a work. You may say something else, and you know what you mean in your conscience. I'll refuse to mix the words faith and duty because of the false doctrine it conveys.""


Brandan, AMEN, I AGREE AND ECHO THIS!!!

WHS1
Bill

whs1
07-22-04, 10:39 PM
Before I say anything; I would like to make a couple of observations. Wildboar goes to a Protestant Reformed Church. Wildboar quotes his "heroes" when necessary to back his points. Wildboar rejects the Scriptures as his final authourity because his "CHURCH" teaches that if you are not a memeber you are a reprobate until you join. That is a fact, I have heard it straight out of Barry Gritters a Protestant Reformed minister on video tape.


NOW, THE POST WILD BOAR IGNORED RIGHT BACK IN HIS FACE:

Hey, WildBoar, here is your passage...

Acts 17:27 "That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him,
Does God here say he WANTS ALL MEN EVERYWHERE (in the "SHOULD) to seek the Lord...Notice what it does say next: if haply they might feel after him, and find him, [Notice here that it does not say that they are ever or even "able" to do this...QUITE THE OPPOSITE!!! "Haply"....look that word up...what does it mean? "feel after him" denotes to "GROPE" as in the darkness to find something you cannot SEE!!!


though he be not far from every one of us:
28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."


Does this mean that God wants every man every where to "SEEK" the Lord???

NO. It does not. Does "all men everywhere" mean every single human being???

No it does not. Where do you get this? The wedding parable...the ones called that did not come...because God did not give them faith,

"Many are called; but few are chosen." Since when does this imply duty? Is it every single man's "duty" to repent and believe the gospel? God did not call that native in the woods who died and never heard the gospel to 'repent and believe the gospel but ONLY THOSE WHO HEAR???' ... he only judges those who hear based upon their light. They were called and they rejected it. That, along with their original sin, puts them in a greater accountability status at the judgment BUT NOT DUTY STATUS. Where is it all of a sudden in Acts 17 that all does mean every single human + "duty"???

I just do not see that. It could mean [speaking to WB here, ] ONLY all men of all sorts and kinds and nations everywhere...God's command being EFFECTUAL only for them and no one else.


Bill
Gee, I sure hope WildBoar sees the above.


GEE< he dodged it, but WILDBOAR, HERE IT IS AGAIN.

Faith is a gift, but not for the reprobate? A duty for the reprobate and a gift for the elect???


Or is it a duty for BOTH elect and reprobate, Charles???

Faith is NOT A WORK! I have SCRIPTURE FOR THIS

"Duty-Faith" has NO SCRIPTURE FOR IT!

GraceAmbassador
07-22-04, 11:47 PM
I'm sorry but I have to say something--GA, that is probably one of the wors't cases of eisogeses I have ever scene. Now I don't mean to come across condemning, but there is simply nothing in the context of Acts 16:31-40 that permites you to assert this. As a matter of fact the chief magistrates sent their policemen, saying Release those men." So what danger would Jesus be saving the jailer from? They were set free from a higher authority! They were actually BEGGED to leave the city because they were Roman citizens! The scripture does't even hint that anyone escaped let alone that anyone was is some sort of danger. Could you please (GraceAmbassador) explain how you get this from this scripture?

MikeStaff Seargent, yes sir! My son is also a Staff Seargent if that is what it means.

The jailer was a Roman, had no idea about Salvation, had no idea what Paul and Silas were all about other than troublemakers and the law of the Roman Empire demanded that any soldiier who would lose a prisioner, especially a jailer, would have his life and that of his family on the line. I learned this very early, probably in primary school, then in Sunday school.

If you conclude that the jailer was speaking about being saved from his sins after experiencing some tremendous miracles (the earthquake and then no one escaped), or all of a sudden recoginized that he was a sinner because of the miracle he was witnessing, wow, then perhaps my buddies the "pents" have a reason to say that if we "return to the miracles will won't need to preach anymore."

I would have more to say and to explain my point, my I think the way you approached it does not warrant any more explanation. Furthermore, if you think this is my unique interpretation of the text, that's fine too. I would say it is not.

Again, if you believe that ALL THE TIME that the words "save, salvation, saved", and related words appear in the Bible, then mean ETERNAL SALVATION, you will go down into confusion similar to that of the followers of Arminius.


So are you saying Jesus was going to bless an unregenerate man by delivering him and his family. When all this man cares about is only saving his hide and not his soul (I'm not implying he could save his soul just that he wasn't concered about eternity). What if in preparation for an elect's salvation God decides to spare the life of an unregenerate elect? Or, what if God decides, through a miraculous deliverance of a tragedy, or perpetrating a tragedy, such as murder, attract the attention of an unregenerate elect? Did you hear about a man name Saul, who later became Paul, lately?

What if in the preparation for the salvation of an elect criminal God sends him to die and be executed for his crime, right next to the King of Glory, and spares his life for just enough minutes for him to get saved? Did you hear about the thief on the cross lately? How much faith and doctrine could that thief have had?

What if in the preparation for the salvation of an elect roman centurion, God allows him to witness the gory scene of the crucifixion just to declare "This is truly the Son of God", which, by the way, is the only True confession? (Read Engelsma quote from WildBoar in a previous post).

Since you're asking, Sir, I am asking too:

Do you believe in salvation by proxy? The mormons do. They believe in baptism of the dead and it can be done by proxy "unto salvation". I don't!

If the jailer was saved at the jail scene, then why go to his house, why preach to his family... his family was included right there at the jail scene, remember?

Do you equate the word "unregenerate" with "unsavable"? We had people who think like that before in this Forum and we debated to clarify the confusion.

Do you maintain that because a person is unregenerate, he is "unsavable"?

Do you maintain that God will never use His process of effectual calling, or irresistable Grace to call an elect through a earmark type of event, such as a tragedy, that is forever seared in the mind of such an elect as the moment that, as a sheep of Jesus, having heard His voice?

Why, then, are you so suprised that God would use a "blessing of sparing the jailer's life" to save him eternally while alive? Did you realize that the jailer was about to commit suicide? Why would he want to kill himself as he pondered about the possibility that some prisioners escaped? Is that the action of one who is thinking about his soul? Why would Paul tell him not to do himself any harm? Did you really read the text? Think about it!

Now, brother, eisogeses is to add to the text. Would you please, be a good and compassionate brother and delineate phrase by phrase where I committed such a sacrilege in my previous post, which what it is, when we add to the Word of God? Or do you maintain that drawing conclusions based upon context, the style of the author, what the protagonists of the event wrote later about the issue at hand, and history of the days wherein the event took place is "eisogeges"? Did you ever compare this text with what Paul taught later about Salvation ? Please, show me if I used common rules of hermeneutics, or even a fair conclusion based upon history and all that I mentioned above, or show me, please, I beg of you, where I added to the text?

Of course the authorities told those guys to leave town! They also recognized the miracle; with one difference: they were reprobates and the jailer was an elect. Guess who was saved? Same miracle, different results.

I acknowledge that some interpretative traditions are really hard to break!
Billy Grahan will have 60% of his sermons' reasonings destroyed by my interpretation (and a few other non conformists) of this text.

The issue here is Duty Faith, and I don't want to sidetrack. You can respond in private, by clicking anywhere in my name, or we can discuss it openly. But I don't think we should sidetrack from this thread.

Blessings Seargent (Crisp, karate chop reverted type of salute...)

Milt

wildboar
07-23-04, 12:07 AM
Wildboar rejects the Scriptures as his final authourity because his "CHURCH" teaches that if you are not a memeber you are a reprobate until you join. That is a fact, I have heard it straight out of Barry Gritters a Protestant Reformed minister on video tape.
This is a lie. You show who your true father is.


NOW, THE POST WILD BOAR IGNORED RIGHT BACK IN HIS FACE:

Hey, WildBoar, here is your passage...

Acts 17:27 "That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him,
Does God here say he WANTS ALL MEN EVERYWHERE (in the "SHOULD) to seek the Lord...Notice what it does say next: if haply they might feel after him, and find him, [Notice here that it does not say that they are ever or even "able" to do this...QUITE THE OPPOSITE!!! "Haply"....look that word up...what does it mean? "feel after him" denotes to "GROPE" as in the darkness to find something you cannot SEE!!!
What in the world are you talking about?? I have said repeatedly that men are incapable of responding in faith to God, yet God requires this of them. I have no idea what you are saying. I think you may be doing a little too much dissection of the English of the KJV but I'm really not sure. I don't know if this will help but here is the passage as it is translated by the LITV and the context in which it is said.


The God who made the world and all things in it, this One being Lord of Heaven and of earth, does not dwell in handmade temples, nor is served by hands of men, as having need of anything. For He is giving life and breath and all things to all. And He made every nation of men of one blood, to live on all the face of the earth, ordaining fore-appointed seasons and boundaries of their dwelling, to seek the Lord, if perhaps they might feel after Him and might find Him, though indeed He not being far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and exist, as also some of the poets among you have said, For we are also His offspring. Then being offspring of God, we ought not to suppose that the Godhead is like gold or silver or stone, engraved by art and the imagination of man.

(Acts 17:24-29)

Does this mean that God wants every man every where to "SEEK" the Lord??? The passage does not say God wants anything. The passage uses an infinitive to express purpose and gives the reason for God's actions.


Many are called; but few are chosen." Since when does this imply duty? The GS articles state that the external call to repent and believe ought to be only given to sensible sinners. This is what I was adressing at the time. The reality of the matter is that the call ought to be given promiscuously and that the chosen will respond in faith. We need not pretend to be wiser than God and set up our own rules for evangelism. The invitation was not merely given to sensible sinners.


Is it every single man's "duty" to repent and believe the gospel?Yes, this was commanded promiscously by Christ as well as the Apostles. A command of God makes something a duty for the person to whom the command is given. Duty does not mean ability and I never said it did.


Where is it all of a sudden in Acts 17 that all does mean every single human + "duty"???

I don't understand the sentence.


Faith is a gift, but not for the reprobate? A duty for the reprobate and a gift for the elect???Faith is a duty for every man but man is incapable of creating faith in himself nor does he want to. God works faith in a person and that person believes.


Faith is NOT A WORK! I have SCRIPTURE FOR THIS

Me too, what's your point? Are you responding to some post which only you see on your screen. I fear that there are perhaps demons in your computer and some of the others here which take all my posts and insert 'faith is a work' and 'faith is a condition of salvation' into them.

Bob Higby
07-23-04, 02:23 AM
Wow!

All I can say is, why can't we return to the notion that BIBLICAL CONCEPTS should be supported with BIBLICAL TERMINOLOGY? Duty faith is not biblical terminology, so that is why this controversy exists.

DUTY, by its very definition, implies more than accountability. It implies a certain ABILITY--no matter how you slice and dice it. God, being sovereign, has the right to hold his creatures to account for the gospel and faith. This in no way, however, implies that it is a DUTY (in the sense of pure English) because all have to acknowledge that the performance of a duty implies the ability to 'step up' to the task.

Let's get back to NT definitions and try and forget the history of dogma--at least in establishing a baseline of truth.

wildboar
07-23-04, 06:32 AM
DUTY, by its very definition, implies more than accountability. It implies a certain ABILITY--no matter how you slice and dice it. According to what? In my mind it doesn't and I haven't seen a single dictionary that thinks it does. Here's the entry from Webster's 1828 Dictionary:


Duty

DUTY, n.

1. That which a person owes to another; that which a person is bound, by any natural, moral or legal obligation, to pay, do or perform. Obedience to princes, magistrates and the laws is the duty of every citizen and subject; obedience, respect and kindness to parents are duties of children; fidelity to friends is a duty; reverence, obedience and prayer to God are indispensable duties; the government and religious instruction of children are duties of parents which they cannot neglect without guilt.

2. Forbearance of that which is forbid by morality, law, justice or propriety. It is our duty to refrain from lewdness, intemperance, profaneness and injustice.

3. Obedience; submission.

4. Act of reverence or respect.

They both did duty to their lady.

5. The business of a soldier or marine on guard; as, the company is on duty. It is applied also to other services or labor.

6. The business of war; military service; as, the regiment did duty in Flanders.

7. Tax, toll, impost, or customs; excise; any sum of money required by government to be paid on the importation, exportation, or consumption of goods. An impost on land or other real estate, and on the stock of farmers, is not called a duty, but a direct tax.

This is a red herring anyhow since even if anti-duty-faith people were to rewrite the dictionary it is still not the issue which lies behind everything. The problem is that the anti-duty-faith folks want to have the disciples and Jesus going about calling people to all kinds of repentance and faith which is not evangelical and reserving the evangelical calls to 'sensible sinners.' Their argument is that God does not command someone to do something which they are incapable of performing. I have already shown how this false premise would automatically make it impossible for God to judge anyone for anything and ultimately make God subject to the law and eventually lead to atheism. The anti-duty-faith folks also want to ignore the examples of the apostles in evangelism because they lived at a different time than we do now and the anti-duty-faith folk have devised a superior method.

doctr_of_grace
07-23-04, 06:44 AM
I am wondering why those that are coming against duty faith are refusing to see what is being written .... This is absolutely amazing and somewhat humorous. I can see why Charles was ready to drop out of the conversation.

whs .... that was a pathetic response I think you are upset with Charles because of what he said about the GS ... calm down and read what he says not what you think he says.

Brandan ... I do NOT believe in a works justification btw ... and I do NOT believe that a man in and of himself is capable of believing. Duty faith does not mean that a man outside of God regenerating him has the ability to believe. I am trying very hard to grasp all of this and I do agree with what Charles has written.


If you take the anti-duty faith to it's logical end then you DENY accountability. That would be a true "hyper-calvinist". I am pretty darn sure that none of you guys deny accountability so can we have the same courtesy with duty faith NOT EQUATING to working toward a person's salvation?

Jan

Brandan
07-23-04, 07:06 AM
I am wondering why those that are coming against duty faith are refusing to see what is being written .... This is absolutely amazing and somewhat humorous. I can see why Charles was ready to drop out of the conversation.

whs .... that was a pathetic response I think you are upset with Charles because of what he said about the GS ... calm down and read what he says not what you think he says.

Brandan ... I do NOT believe in a works justification btw ... and I do NOT believe that a man in and of himself is capable of believing. Duty faith does not mean that a man outside of God regenerating him has the ability to believe. I am trying very hard to grasp all of this and I do agree with what Charles has written.

If you take the anti-duty faith to it's logical end then you DENY accountability. That would be a true "hyer-calvinist". I am pretty darn sure that none of you guys deny accountability so can we have the same courtesy with duty faith NOT EQUATING to working toward a person's salvation?

Jan
Jan, the language "duty-faith" is not biblical, so I will not use it. That is my stance, I will not waiver. Those who teach duty-faith are teaching heresy in my opinion, but I also believe there are some who hold to the terminology and deny what it really means. I will assume the best of you, and give you the courtesy owed and state that I do not believe that you believe in works based salvation in any form :D

However, I ask that you don't use that language when talking to the lost man. You may not MEAN to convey to them that men have ability and responsibility to be saved by exercising faith, but that is exactly how they will understand it.

So while you may believe you're on the side of truth and believe the truth, the fact is, you're teaching heresy and aren't even aware of it. We need to be careful with our choice of words.

Further, tell me Jan, how do you prefer to think of faith? If you think of it as a duty, as a legal obligation before God, then you will be more likely to talk about it as such. IF you think of it more as a gift, you will speak of it as such. So one's description of faith (gift or duty) seems to me to be a reflection of their heart. You may not think of duty-faith as referring to ability, but the fact that men prefer the word duty over gift seems to me to be a reflection of their understanding of Grace.

My two cents anyway, take it or leave it. We all stand or fall before the Master.

Brandan

wildboar
07-23-04, 07:26 AM
You may not think of duty-faith as referring to ability, but the fact that men prefer the word duty over gift seems to me to be a reflection of their understanding of Grace. Apparently the demons in the computer are at work again. It is certainly not the case that I prefer to speak of the duty of faith instead of the gift of faith. They relate to two different issues. Duty faith speaks of man's accountability before to believe. The gift of faith is that which God works in his elect children because otherwise they would not believe.


Jan, the language "duty-faith" is not biblical, so I will not use it. Does this refer to all non-Biblical terminology? Better stop speaking English then and at least better not speak of 'sensible sinners', evangelical repentance, and all the rest of the non-biblical terminology used by those who deny duty-faith, throw out the Trinity while you're at it.

However, I ask that you don't use that language when talking to the lost man. You may not MEAN to convey to them that men have ability and responsibility to be saved by exercising faith, but that is exactly how they will understand it.
No, that is how brainwashed anti-duty faith people twist it, it is not the meaning of the word nor do I think the average unregenerate person would hear ability anymore than when using the term accountability. The average lost person holds to the belief in free-will so terminology must be explained whatever route you take.

Brandan
07-23-04, 08:19 AM
Does this refer to all non-Biblical terminology? Better stop speaking English then and at least better not speak of 'sensible sinners', evangelical repentance, and all the rest of the non-biblical terminology used by those who deny duty-faith, throw out the Trinity while you're at it.You know what I meant! The Bible does not use language that would even give men the idea that faith is a duty.

I can see now this discussion is going nowhere. Charles, your use of sarcasm throughout this thread has been excessive. I hope this is only an anomaly.

Brandan

wildboar
07-23-04, 08:38 AM
I can see now this discussion is going nowhere. Charles, your use of sarcasm throughout this thread has been excessive. I hope this is only an anomaly.The thread is going nowhere because you will not answer the objections raised against your position nor will anyone else here who holds to the anti-duty faith position. You just continue to promote lies about what duty faith teaches and repeat them endlessly no matter how often I explain what is meant by duty faith. You have created your own dictionary in your mind of English words and what they mean. You are severely brainwashed. No matter how many times I explain or say something or how large of print I use you keep repeating the same lies about what duty faith-teaches.

As for those who believe this is merely an argument over words, I wish it were but it is not. I came across a book review today that I believe summarizes the differences very well. The book is called Hyper-Calvinism and John Gill, by Curt D. Daniel. In the review, Engelsma critiques Daniel for how he defines hyper-calvinism but he also distinguishes denial of the well-meant offer by the PRC and that of the English Baptists. It is the best short summary of the differences I have seen thus far. The full review can be read here: http://www.prca.org/prtj/apr97.html#HyperCalvinismAndGill Here are portions of it:




Daniel shows that there was in Gill and in the tradition of English Calvinism that he represents a definite hesitation, if not an express refusal, to call the unconverted sinner to believe on Jesus Christ with true (saving) faith. Daniel says that he was not able to find in Gill "the invitation 'Come to Christ' to the unconverted." Gill restricted this call to "sensible sinners" (pp. 455, 456). Daniel quotes Gill as teaching that the unconverted are obliged merely to believe certain facts about Jesus Christ, e.g., that He is the Son of God. They are not obliged to believe in Him as Savior. Nor are unbelievers who hear the gospel but remain unbelieving condemned for not believing with true (saving) faith.

In his The Cause of God and Truth, Gill wrote: "I do not find that any such are exhorted to believe in Christ for salvation; but as sensible of it" (that is, of their state and condition as sinners, by regeneration - DJE; cited on p. 477; see also pp. 461, 462). Daniel concludes that hyper-Calvinism denies that unbelievers "have the responsibility to believe savingly in Christ, for that belongs to those who have been regenerated" (p. 648). The reason why hyper-Calvinism denies that the unbeliever is called to believe is its fear that this would compromise Calvinism. To call a reprobate unbeliever for whom Christ did not die to believe in Jesus Christ would compromise the doctrines of election and limited atonement. To call any unbeliever to believe would suggest that an unbeliever has the ability to believe, thus overthrowing the doctrine of total depravity. Hyper-Calvinism does not understand that God's call, or command, to the reprobate sinner sincerely to repent and truly to believe expresses neither God's purpose nor the sinner's ability, but only the sinner's duty in light of the revelation made in the gospel.....



Running through the work are Daniel's interaction with and criticism of the Protestant Reformed Churches (PRC). He lumps them with the English Baptist hyper-Calvinists, regardless of the protest of the PRC. The Protestant Reformed reader who lacks time and inclination to read the entire work might want to read Chapter VIII, "The Free Offer Question" (pp. 364-495).

In the course of his critique of the teaching of the PRC on the offer, Daniel takes the occasion sharply to criticize this reviewer for my charge, in my Hyper-Calvinism & the Call of the Gospel, that the English hyper-Calvinists restricted the preaching of the gospel to the regenerated elect (p. 452). But he does not comment on the quotation from Hussey that I adduced in support of the charge. Then, only a few pages later Daniel asserts that the hyper-Calvinists invited only sensible sinners to Christ and "tend to preach only Law to unbelievers and only Gospel … to believers" (pp. 494, 495). If I say it, it is "deplorable misunderstanding"; if Daniel says it, it is the basis of a Ph.D.

Fact is, at the end Daniel comes down in his description of the essence of hyper-Calvinism exactly where I had come down earlier. The error of hyper-Calvinism is the rejection of the external call of the gospel to all who hear the gospel, with the weakening, or denial, of responsibility that is implied.

As for Daniel's challenge to the PRC to show where their denial of the "well-meant offer" differs from the English hyper-Calvinists' rejection of the external call of the gospel, the differences are important and clear. First, the PRC preach the gospel of Jesus Christ as Savior to all indiscriminately, regardless whether they are converted believers or unconverted unbelievers. They do not, as Hussey advocated, preach Christ as priestly Savior to believers, but Christ as threatening King to unbelievers.

Second, the PRC call, or command, or summon, every sinner to believe in Christ for salvation with true (saving) faith, warning all that those who do not believe will be held guilty by God for this worst of all sins. The PRC do not hesitate, or refuse, to give the imperative to all and sundry, "Come to Christ." Third, the PRC do not let people think that they can long for salvation and desire to believe, perhaps their life long, and still perish (see p. 359).

Brandan
07-23-04, 09:04 AM
http://www.evangelica.de/John_Gill_and_Hyper-Calvinism.htm

Brandan
07-23-04, 09:11 AM
From the article:
The Gospel Call and Duty Faith
A Hyper-Calvinist, Gill`s major critics say, does not believe that God calls indiscriminately all who hear about Christ to believe in Him. They say this, holding that man is obliged as a matter of duty to trust in Christ as a condition of salvation. It is odd that this opinion is often closely associated with Gill for several reasons. First, this view applied to Gill is an anachronism as the idea of saving faith being the known duty and within the natural ability of all men reached its fullest expression amongst the Baptists in 1785 with the publication of Andrew Fuller`s controversial book The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation. Gill, however, died in 1771 thus obviously having nothing to do with the debate that tore the Baptist churches apart after the book was published. The second reason is that during the earlier part of the 18th century the view of what came to be called ´duty-faith`, formerly propagated by Anglican Latitudinarians such as Tillotson , was gaining ground amongst the Independents but Gill, a staunch Baptist, maintained he did not take part in this debate . Even Andrew Fuller believed that Gill did not enter into the controversy and John Ryland Jnr, quoting Gill`s The Cause of God and Truth, argued that Gill never wrote on the subject of ´the Modern Question ` and exonerates him from taking the usual Hyper-Calvinist stand . John Rippon assumes that Gill did enter the debate in later life because of certain ´corrections` he made to his book The Cause of God and Truth. Rippon, however, does not state what these ´corrections`, are and how they might have applied to the debate in question .

In The Cause of God Gill clearly stresses the Christian duty, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to call and command sinners to repent . All men are naturally bound to repent, argues Gill, because they have naturally broken the law. Commanding them to repent is putting them under the curse of the law which they have broken in their natural state. To Gill, this is a law-ordained need for repentance in the legal sense. What man has broken, he has a duty to mend. This does not mean, however, that man can mend what he has broken and obtain legal righteousness, but he is still a debtor to the law for having broken it. The law forces its demands on every one because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. What Gill calls evangelical repentance, is for him another matter. He sees this as a turning form sin to receive pardon in Christ. This kind of turning from sin to Christ can only come about by a sovereign act of God`s goodness which leads to true repentance and Gospel righteousness.

Calvin taught likewise that there was an ´antithesis between Legal and Gospel (i.e. evangelical) righteousness`. Quoting Romans 10:5-9, he argues that there is a righteousness which is according to the Law described by Moses, "that the man who doeth those things shall live by them". This is quite different to the righteousness of faith which says, "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." Calvin then adds,
"Do you see how he makes the distinction between the Law and the Gospel to be, that the former gives justification to works, whereas the latter bestows it freely without any help from works? This is a notable passage, and may free us from many difficulties if we understand that the justification which is given to us by the Gospel is free from any terms of Law. It is for this reason he more than once places the promise in diametrical opposition to the Law. "If the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise" (Gal. iii. 18) `
Nevertheless, Gill`s teaching was quite misunderstood by Andrew Fuller who drew consequences from it which certainly did not reflect Gill`s thoughts when referring to the Christian`s duty to evangelise. Writing to John Ryland Jnr. in 1809, Fuller says, "The principle writings with which I was first acquainted, were those of Bunyan, Gill and Brine. I had read pretty much of Dr. Gill`s Body of Divinity, and from many parts of it had received considerable instruction. I perceived, however, that the system of Bunyan was not the same with his; for that, while he maintained the doctrines of election and predestination, he, nevertheless, held with the free offer of salvation to sinners, without distinction ." He goes on to imply that as a result of following Gill rather than Bunyan, "Those exhortations to repentance and faith, therefore, which are addressed in the New Testament to the unconverted, I supposed to refer only to such external repentance and faith as were within their power, and might be complied with without the grace of God. The effect of these views was, that I had very little to say to the unconverted, indeed nothing in a way of exhortation to things spiritually good, or certainly connected with salvation ." In the same letter, however, Fuller confesses to being positively influenced by John Martin who held very similar views to Gill`s. It seems strange that Fuller accepted the Gospel coming from Martin but did not accept Gill`s identical picture of it. The rest of the letter discloses possible evidence why. Fuller claims that he had been initially influenced by John Johnson of Liverpool, but then rejected his ideas. Johnson, who became a Modalist, influenced a number of members at Fuller`s church in Soham that several developed Sabellian and Arian doctrines and the Hyper-Calvinistic minister, Mr Eve, a lover of Johnson, had to leave because of his extreme views and fruitless ministry. Johnson went far more severe than Gill`s regarding the free offer and taught that as faith was a gift and not a duty, unbelief was not a sin. It seems that Fuller confused Johnson`s teaching with that of Gill, as was quite common at the time . Fuller also confessed to have been influenced in his understanding of the Gospel by reading the works of John Edwards of Cambridge (1737-1716),which he found ´good`, obviously mistaking the Cambridge man for Jonathan Edwards of New England whom had been recommended to him by his friend Robert Hall, Sen. of Arnsby. One scholarly work links John Edwards with the Cambridge Neo-Platonists . This could explain why Fuller emphasises the figurative nature of penal redemption and imputation in his theology rather than their historical vicarious aspect and stresses natural abilities and duties to strive for higher things. It is interesting to note that the modern critics of Gill quoted above, invariably follow Fuller`s misunderstanding of Gill`s theology of evangelism. A case in point is Robert Oliver`s recent censure of Gill where he states: "Gill made his own position quite clear in 1752, when he wrote:- ´. . . that there are universal offers of grace and salvation made to all men, I utterly deny .`"

This short quote, removed from its contextual and even syntactical position, has been passed on from writer to writer and has been used as the major, and in most cases the only, proof that Gill was a Hyper-Calvinist with a false view of evangelism, causing him never to exhort sinners to repentance and faith. The words so chosen are used to suggest that Gill left possible reprobates out of his general offers of grace but Gill is not arguing in that direction at all. He is claiming that saints and sinners alike are never called universally, en bloc, to salvation or judgement but always particularly, in God`s good time. Given the wider context, Gill`s words can hardly be used as evidence that he had left the realms of orthodoxy . Rather than denying evangelism, Gill is actually emphasising its importance and scope within the world-wide strategy of the Holy Spirit. The pastor-scholar thus says:

´The gospel is indeed ordered to be preached to every creature to whom it is sent and comes; but as yet, it has never been brought to all the individuals of human nature; there have been multitudes in all ages that have not heard it. And that there are universal offers of grace and salvation made to all men, I utterly deny; nay, I deny that they are made to any; no, not to God`s elect; grace and salvation are provided for them in the everlasting covenant, procured for them by Christ, published and revealed in the gospel, and applied by the Spirit .`

The context is very important and very particular. Gill is here defending Christ`s effectual call of His sheep and writing specifically against Whitby`s and Wesley`s teaching concerning a universal atonement and their theory that all have been atoned for and thus all are in a position to respond to the Gospel when this is indiscriminately offered on a take it or leave it basis. Gill rejects this kind of evangelism, saying that though we are ordered to preach the Gospel to every creature, the Spirit guides us to His own and these are effectually called. The Spirit speaks to particular sinners, at particular times and in particular places, making them ´sensible` to their lost situation and draws them to Himself. The Spirit, however, moves where He will at the time He determines. This means that even the elect must await their turn before being effectually called.

In The Cause of God, Gill makes it quite plain that the Gospel is to be preached to all, as the Spirit leads, but it comes as ´a savour of death unto death` for some and ´a savour of life unto life` for Christ`s Bride . Gill specifically emphasises that he is not denying the use of ´calls, invitations, and messages of God to men by his ministers` but maintaining that such calls, etc. are ´not sufficient in themselves, without powerful grace, to produce true faith in Christ, evangelical repentance towards God, and new spiritual obedience, in life and conversation.` Gill can argue in this way because he believes that there is a two-fold call in evangelism. ´First there is the internal effectual call which is the ´powerful operation of the Spirit of God on the soul` which cannot be resisted, then there is the external call by the ministry of the Word which, ´may be resisted, rejected, and despised, and become useless.` Such teaching, when compared with Calvin`s exposition of God`s call in Book II, Chapter XXIV of his Institutes reflects fully the heart of Calvinism. Even Andrew Fuller acknowledged Gill`s evangelistic outreach at times, in fact modern Fullerites tend to be far more critical of Gill than Fuller himself .
The Insensitivity and Inability of Man
Next, the suspicion that Gill denied that a person insensitive to his sinfulness should ever be summoned to conversion and argued that fallen humanity is beset by an inability to turn from sin and turn to God, must be dealt with, particularly as it is assumed that such a denial reveals a Hyper-Calvinist behind it. One of Gill`s earliest writings was a declaration of faith which he drew up and entered into his church-book at the start of his ministry. Paragraph Four of the Declaration of the Faith and Practice of the Church of Christ in Carter Lane, Southwark, reads:

We believe that God created the first man, Adam, after his image, and in his likeness, an upright, holy, and innocent creature, capable of serving and glorifying him: but he sinning, all his posterity sinned in him, and came short of the glory of God; the guilt of whose sin is imputed; and a corrupt nature derived to all his offspring descending from him by ordinary and natural generation: that they are by their first birth carnal and unclean; averse to all that is good, incapable of doing any, and prone to every sin: and are also by nature children of wrath, and under a sentence of condemnation; and so are subject, not only to a corporal death, and involved in a moral one, commonly called spiritual; but are also liable to an eternal death, as considered in the first Adam, fallen sinners; from all which there is no deliverance, but by Christ, the second Adam ."

Of special note here is the fact that Gill sees the Fall as permeating the very being and nature of man and not merely his will to believe. Man is physically, spiritually and morally fallen. He cannot serve God of himself either in body, soul, or spirit. Much later in his ministry, Gill had still not moved an inch from this position. Expounding John 5:40, "And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life," he says:

"These words are so far from being expressive of the power and liberty of the will of man to come to Christ , that they rather declare the perverseness and stubbornness of it; that man has no desire, inclination, or will, to go to Christ for life, but rather go anywhere else, than to him. Man is stout-hearted, and far from the righteousness of Christ, and submission to it; is not subject to the law of God, nor the Gospel of Christ; nor can he be, till God works in him both to will and to do of his good pleasure; or until he is made willing in the day of his power. No one can come to Christ, except the Father draw him; nor has he a will to it, unless it is wrought in him ."
Again of special note here is the fact that man, according to Gill, in spite of his inability to come to Christ because of his sin, is responsible for not doing so. He thus adds:

"Though man lies under such a disability, and has neither power not will of himself to come to Christ, when revealed in the external ministry of the gospel, as God`s ways of salvation, is criminal and blame-worthy; since the disability and perverseness of his will are not owing to any decree of God, but to the corruption and vitiosity of his nature, through sin; and therefore, since this vitiosity of nature is blame-worthy; for God made man upright, though they have sought out many inventions, which have corrupted their nature; that which follows upon it, and is the effect of it, must be so too."
Perhaps the strongest passage of Scripture dealing with the insensitivity and inability of fallen man to understand the Gospel is I Cor. 2:14 which Gill expounded in his Cause of God and Truth. "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned ." It is clear to Gill that this text proves conclusively that the Gospel of Christ can only be a stumbling block and foolishness to unconverted ears unless they are attended with a demonstration of the Spirit and power such as shown when Christ`s elect hear His voice through the preached word and follow Him.

Seeing that such writers as Naylor maintain that a Hyper-Calvinist is one who views man`s incapacity to repent as a natural limitation rather than as "a culpable evil arising from a perverted and sinful heart", there are no grounds for them to call Gill a Hyper-Calvinist on this count as the Baptist scholar`s views was fully orthodox. Concerning Gill`s position reflected in his 1729 statement of faith, Timothy George writes, "Bunyan and Keach before him, and Fuller and Spurgeon after him, could have embraced without reservation Gill`s congregational confession which, in reality, was merely an abstract of the 1689 Second London Confession ." Nettles even argues that Gill was less radical in certain points of theology than Bunyan and Keach!

Antinomianism

Most of Gill`s critics have difficulty in demonstrating outright that Gill was an Antinomian but they nevertheless link him strongly with that faction. Hoad connects Antinomianism directly with the Particular Baptists and says that it was Gill`s "influence which was a major factor in the retention of a ´High Calvinist theology` of a substantial part of those churches ". Naylor maintains that Hyper-Calvinism is a "benign form of Antinomianism" and quotes Augustus Montague Toplady in his definition of what an Antinomian believes, i.e.

"That believers are released from all obligation to observe the moral law as a rule of external obedience: That, in consequence of Christ`s having wrought out a justifying righteousness for us, we have nothing to do, but to sit down, eat, drink, and be merry; that the Messiah`s merits supersede the necessity of personal inherent sanctification ."

Naylor`s choice of Toplady in defining Antinomianism is most odd. Toplady was one of John Gill`s most intimate friends and regarded Gill as a pastor, scholar and brother in Christ par excellence. Furthermore Toplady stressed that Gill was the one person who, in face of the perpetual Arminian accusation of being an Antinomian had shown that "the Doctrine of Grace does not lead to Licentiousness " and that "his moral demeanour was more than blameless ". As Naylor accepts Toplady`s definition of Antinomians uncritically, one would have expected him to have also respected Toplady`s view of who was morally blameless.

Gill was often maliciously accused of Antinomianism outside of his denomination throughout his Christian life. One of his most prolific antagonists in this matter was Dr. Abraham Taylor an Independent minister and college lecturer. Taylor had continually accused Gill of being against good works and thus an Antinomian and Gill had written a long letter to him explaining that he was nothing of the kind. Taylor never replied to this letter.

Six years later a work was published which Taylor thought showed severe signs of Antinomianism. Though the work bore the name of the author, which was not Gill, Taylor immediately associated Gill with the work, claiming that he was the author under an assumed name. Without checking his suspicions, Taylor produced a pamphlet which he named An Address to young Students in Divinity, by way of Caution against some Paradoxes, which lead to Doctrinal Antinomianism.

The work was a monstrous display of abuse in which no vulgarism was considered to low to be levelled at Gill who could only say, "When these ill names and hard words are taken out, there is very little left for me to reply to." Nevertheless Gill replied as Taylor`s message in his pamphlet made true holiness an impossibility and attributed to man what only God can provide.
In his reply entitled The Necessity of Good Works Unto Salvation Considered Gill opens by disclaiming any connection whatsoever with the work Taylor assumed was his, stating that there is not a line in it from his pen and that he did not know of the book until it appeared in print. Regarding Antinomianism, Gill defines it as "a denying, or setting aside the law of God, as a rule of life, action, or conversation." As Taylor is obviously calling Gill an Antinomian because he does not believe that good works move God to save the good worker, Gill protests:

"Though we say, that works are not necessary to salvation; do we say, that they are not necessary to anything else? Do we say, that they are not necessary to be done in obedience to the law of God? Do we say, that the commands of the law are not to be regarded by men? That they are things indifferent, that may be done, or not done? No; we say none of these things, but all the reverse. Do we make void the law through this doctrine? God forbid: Yea, we establish the law, as it is in the hands of Christ our Lawgiver; to which we desire to yield a cheerful obedience; to show our subjection to him as King of saints, and to testify our gratitude for the many blessings of every kind we receive from him ."

Regarding good works, Gill tells Taylor: "That they are necessary to be done, or ought to be done, by all that hope to be saved by the grace of our lord Jesus Christ, is readily granted; but not in point of salvation, in order to that, or with a view to obtain it. Good works are necessary to be done, on account of the divine ordination and appointment; for such as are the workmanship of God are created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained, that they should walk in them. They are necessary, necessitate precepti & debiti, on account of the will and command of God, and of that obedience we owe to God, both as creatures, and as new creatures. They are necessary upon the score of obligation we lie under to him, and in point of gratitude for the numerous mercies we receive from him, and that by them both we and others may glorify him our father which is in heaven. They are necessary to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour, to recommend religion to others, to testify the truth of our faith, and give evidence of the reality of internal holiness. They are necessary for the good of our neighbours, and for the stopping of the mouths of our enemies ."

After such a testimony, it would seem a sheer impossibility to accuse Gill of being an Antinomian who saw no need for good works. This is also the conclusion of Timothy George who emphasises that ´Anyone who has examined Gill`s Body of Practical Divinity or looked at his sermons on The Law Established by the Gospel (1756) and The Law in the Hand of Christ (1761) will know how spurious is the charge of antinomianism against him .`
Charles you dissapoint me with your venomous attitude on this thread.

Brandan
07-23-04, 10:10 AM
I'll be shutting down this thread tomorrow... If you have any more comments on duty-faith, get them in while you can... We're going off on a new direction soon... "sensible sinners", two types of belief/repentnace, temporal vs. eternal salvation... etc...

Brandan

GraceAmbassador
07-23-04, 11:12 AM
Wise decision Brandan!

Milt

Ivor Thomas
07-23-04, 11:53 AM
Wild Boar you started this thread,and as it went on The Lord was what I call burning a scripture into my heart and mind for you Romans 3;v 22 that it says the faith OF Jesus Christ, not the faith IN Jesus Christ. Also I believe you are acting like that unwelcome guest feeling obliged or accountable to provide your own clothes, notice all the others just went The King obliged and provided fully. Ivor Thomas...:o

harald
07-23-04, 02:23 PM
There are many who in this particular thread have clearly and evidently shown their present state and true colours by their words. Unless God converts them here down on earth by His grace they will give an account for their words and works on Judgment day, and it will not hold up against God's holy law and inflexible justice. I talk about likeable people, who nevertheless are lost at present, standing in a false gospel. If God permits me to participate anymore on this forum I hope to say something of grave import. Otherwise I shall quietly withdraw myself. If any who has participated in this thread felt he was left wanting an answer from me which was due he may email me at the email address found on my website. I will not participate in this thread anymore as it is being shut down as well. I shall close with a thought-provoking quote from my friend Steve Baloga:

See yonder Calvinist. He assents to the sovereignty of God in the salvation of sinners. He loves it so much he fervently preaches the doctrines of the gospel. He outwardly obeys the command of the gospel. He refuses fellowship with men in false, Arminian worship. He ardently condemns the “free-will” gospel as blasphemy. He possesses a zeal after the gospel like none of his peers. He is as orthodox as a man can possibly be – correct on all the five points. And yet, in the end if he is found not possessing the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, he is cast into outer darkness!





harald

Brandan
07-23-04, 02:47 PM
See yonder Calvinist. He assents to the sovereignty of God in the salvation of sinners. He loves it so much he fervently preaches the doctrines of the gospel. He outwardly obeys the command of the gospel. He refuses fellowship with men in false, Arminian worship. He ardently condemns the “free-will” gospel as blasphemy. He possesses a zeal after the gospel like none of his peers. He is as orthodox as a man can possibly be – correct on all the five points. And yet, in the end if he is found not possessing the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, he is cast into outer darkness!Amen! I'd like to make that an article on pristine grace. The reason anyone is saved is NOT because of what they do, believe, or say out of duty, but because of the Imputed Righteousness of Christ. The difference between elect and reprobate is Alien Righteousness. Man's responsibility be damned. If I was responsible, I know my soul too well... I'd mess it up. Amen.

Eileen
07-23-04, 06:04 PM
I know that I am not as intelligent as those who post here however I just wanted to say that I still don't believe that the differences are as "major" as they have been made out to be.

To end up calling each other names and presumming that some are not "regenerate" is a sorry state of affairs for the Brethren. Never in this thread did Wildboar ever say that a person could have "saving faith" by anthing other than the GRACE of God, never did he say that "saving faith" was a work which we do. Sorry, it just ain't there.

A great misunderstanding!! :confused:

wildboar
07-23-04, 06:04 PM
When I started this thread I didn't let on but I was toying with the doctrine of anti-duty-faith. I wondered in what strange campe this would put me being some bizarre breed of anti-baptist anti-dutyfaith person. I wrestled with this for quite some time until I realized that anti-dutyfaith if carried forth to its logical conclusion would lead to atheism. I fear that others have not wrestled with the doctrine at all and would rather just repeat what they have been told and I know this to be true because the same lies about what duty-faith teaches were spread over and over again as they are even in the most recent posts. I couldn't get a single person to present an honest defense of anti-dutyfaith.

As for the post about Gill, yes he was often accused of being a hyper-Calvinist for the wrong reasons, but he is also for the right reasons which I have already stated.


I'll be shutting down this thread tomorrow... If you have any more comments on duty-faith, get them in while you can... We're going off on a new direction soon... "sensible sinners", two types of belief/repentnace, temporal vs. eternal salvation... etc...
It is certainly your right to shut the thread down but it seems a rather odd reason which you give. These teachings are all tied up with duty-faith and cannot be spoken of apart from it. I hope your lying is only within this thread is an anomaly.


Amen! I'd like to make that an article on pristine grace. The reason anyone is saved is NOT because of what they do, believe, or say out of duty, but because of the Imputed Righteousness of Christ. The difference between elect and reprobate is Alien Righteousness. Man's responsibility be damned. If I was responsible, I know my soul too well... I'd mess it up. Amen.AMEN!! LET ANYONE WHO PREACHES THAT FAITH IS A CONDITION OF SALVATION BE ANATHEMA!!!

Brandan
07-23-04, 09:35 PM
I hope your lying is only within this thread is an anomaly.Charles, enough with the accusations and name calling. I'm not "brain washed", or "lying", or "antinomian"... Futher there is no need to use big bold red text everytime you need to make a point. I respectfully request that you cut it out. Thanks!

wildboar
07-23-04, 10:12 PM
You continue to post things which say that duty faith teaches that man's salvation is conditioned upon faith. This is a lie. I have corrected you repeatedly, but you ignore my correction and continue to lie. There is nothing within the word duty which means ability, yet you continue to state this as well without providing me any definitional evidence. Saying that duty means ability is a lie. Acting as if I am saying that we are saved by performing our duty to believe is a lie. These are all lies and you continue to proclaim them without any evidence. The need for people to lie to refute duty-faith ought to be enough for some to question its validity so I am confident that God will use your sin of lying for the repentance and growth in knowledge of others. I do not claim to be free from sin in this thread. However, I am unable to sort out at this time at which times I have been righteously angry and angry out of my own frustration. I apologize for those times where my own frustration has gotten in the way. However, I truly see atheism as the logical consequence of duty-faith as I have explained before and so if I did not get angry at anti-duty faith and adressed it as a mere theological disagreement there would be something very, very wrong with me. I have not just randomly thrown out names without thinking them through. I have provided evidence for the names I have called people, as Jesus and his disciples did when they called people names. The same cannot be said for the opposition. While "names" may not have been used, the statement that duty-faith teaches conditional salvation and other such nonsense is false and the name is false.

tomas1
07-23-04, 10:37 PM
Eileen said
I know that I am not as intelligent as those who post here however I just wanted to say that I still don't believe that the differences are as "major" as they have been made out to be.

Me too If there is more here I’m too dense to see it. Maybe there were some in Gill's time that claimed to be Calvinists but thought that fallen man had the power to exercise faith in Christ or that salvation was based on Grace plus faith. But I see none of that here on this thread.

I feel we all have been treated to a lesson as to what can happen when we go beyond what was written.
Peace
P.S. Chuck maybe it would be a good idea to take a breath :p

Bob Higby
07-23-04, 11:39 PM
Charles, on the views of 'anti duty-faith' people:
Their argument is that God does not command someone to do something which they are incapable of performing.

Well, some may use this argument but it is not mine--and certainly not that of a lot of others on this forum who are uncomfortable with the expression 'duty faith.' When men argue against a certain position, they may have many different reasons for standing contrary to it.

For me, it is not a difference of substance. This is because we agree that all are accountable to believe the gospel (except a few dissenting parties) but none have natural ability to believe without Holy Spirit regeneration.

I won't use the expression 'duty faith' to describe my position simply because I'm unconfortable with what some might imply by my use of such an expression. I prefer to stick with biblical expressions only ("God commands all men everywhere to repent", "Repent ye and believe the gospel", etc.)

It is tragic that we ended up with so much disagreement in spirit since there is a lot of essential agreement in substance. But I, for one, do not like someone demanding that I endorse an expression like 'duty faith' when it is not found in scripture and I am not comfortable with it.

whs1
07-25-04, 01:01 PM
Beginning of Merged Thread - "Darth Gill"
---

What is it that men must hear when the gospel is preached? Is the gospel a proclaimation or a command? I have a sinking feeling that the thread entitled: "Duty Faith" has raised more questions in everyone's mind than it has answered.

I have to say some things that I believe so that I am not misunderstood.

1. I do believe that when unregenerate people [Elect or Reprobate] hear the gospel that they are accountable [not responsible] and UNABLE to repent and believe the gospel of Christ.

2. The audience of those that the gospel is to be preached to is not to be dissected so we only preach to those we judge are the elect and not reprobate.

3. The gospel is not to be preached in such a way as to present the gospel as an offer, or a message contingent upon the listener's response in any way shape or form.

4. The gospel is not to be presented in any way as to imply that the sinner has any "duty" WHICH may not imply ability but definately implies a DESIRE IN GOD TO SAVE UPON THE CONDITION OF REPENTANCE AND FAITH which we know and agree that the natural man CANNOT DO in a way that pleases God.

5. The doctrine of "Duty Faith" is false because the word "duty" gives the unregenerate the idea that if they [[["DO THIS: GOD WILL DO THAT"]]]] and God does NOT DESIRE TO SAVE ANYONE BASED UPON THEIR PERFORMANCE of Repentance and Faith because God has NOT DECREED TO SAVE THEM THAT WAY; furthermore we all know [reprobate too] that faith and repentance [as SCRIPTURE TEACHES] are GIFTS, NOT DUTIES!


I believe that [Like Wildboar says] that everyone is to come under the hearing of the gospel and are accountable when they hear it for rejecting it.

To conclude that being ' "anti-duty-faith" leads to atheism and that I have "demons" in my computer" ' is folly and ridiculous. I have no respect for someone who refuses to answer my posts then throws around ridicule and acts like they have to convince themselves that they are not believing some of the things that are said about them negatively in an argument against them (like Wildboar has done). The thread has been closed, but to say that the subject has been exhaustively disscused is not "TRUE"!

I have not understood why John Gill was accused falsely of being a "hyper-Calvinist". The Gospel Standard Articles vs. Duty Faith...I don't yet understand that. I thought that the Gospel Standard Articles (in one of them) was denying that the Gospel should be preached to everyone on earth.

Is this the issue, NO. The issue is whether or not God is "CALLING" the reprobate SINCERELY in the gospel preaching.

Duty faith says: YES.
Anti says: NO.

Is the issue whether or not God is Able to command man to do something man is UNABLE to??? Maybe. I agree God is able to command man to do anything whether or not man is able to or not.

Is faith a duty, NO. Is faith a work, NO.
Scriptures: say faith is a gift...Ephesians 2:8-9. Repentance is also 2 Timothy 2:25!

Romans 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

If Duty faith is true, then this verse says that "duty" belongs to the law of works which is REALLY THE SAME AS THE LAW OF FAITH.

But that is NOT what the verse teaches.

And know for sure that I am not parroting my anti-duty-faith heroes...I have not even read any, WB.

Bill

2boysdaddy
07-25-04, 01:55 PM
Whs,

Great post! I think that the whole of the book of Romans is an argument for the inability of mankind to exercise any kind of faith outside of God's saving grace. Romans 1:18-21: The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against the godlessness and wickedness of men who supress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be made known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Here, Paul shows that even though God reveals himself to all men, men refuse to believe. Man needs righteousness, but only God can provide, because man is dead in his sins. Paul then goes on in Romans 3:10-18; illustrating the state of unregenerate man. Man's inability to exercise faith apart from God only serves to further illustrate that he is worthy only of damnation. As you said earlier, only God can free man from this state of death, by his grace we recieve faith, lest any man can boast. I wish I could wax eloquent on this subject; however, a freezing cold office and too much coffee :eek: make it hard to think. I hope that I got my basic point across though.

wildboar
07-25-04, 02:15 PM
whs:

I did answer your questions as best I could. I could not tell where you were going with some of your statements. Some lacked a definite question of explanation of what you were saying or what you believed the passage taught and so I had difficulty answering those.

The reason I suggested perhaps demons were in your computer is because you continued to spread lies about what duty faith taught although I would constantly explain to you what it meant and people would continually say that duty-faith taught that faith was a condition of salvation. This is a lie.


Is this the issue, NO. The issue is whether or not God is "CALLING" the reprobate SINCERELY in the gospel preaching.

Duty faith says: YES.
Anti says: NO.
This is a lie.


4. The gospel is not to be presented in any way as to imply that the sinner has any "duty" WHICH may not imply ability but definately implies a DESIRE IN GOD TO SAVE UPON THE CONDITION OF REPENTANCE AND FAITH which we know and agree that the natural man CANNOT DO in a way that pleases God.
Duty does not imply desire in the person commanding the person. There is no definitional reason to conclude this.

Statements are made in the Bible commanding men to believe, plain and simple. Let God be true, and everyman a liar. It is clear from statements made in the last thread that every man who denies duty-faith is a liar.

whs1
07-25-04, 02:20 PM
Meanwhile, again, WB, you dodged the SCRIPTURES.

whs1
07-25-04, 02:24 PM
AGAIN,

Bill said:
""Is faith a duty, NO. Is faith a work, NO.
Scriptures: say faith is a gift...Ephesians 2:8-9. Repentance is also 2 Timothy 2:25!

Romans 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

If Duty faith is true, then this verse says that "duty" belongs to the law of works which is REALLY THE SAME AS THE LAW OF FAITH.

But that is NOT what the verse teaches.""

Wildboar, If you would stop long enough from dogmatically calling me names and address the Scriptures and what they mean, maybe we could have an enriched discussion on this.


I don't think you are lying, just deceived.

Bill

2boysdaddy
07-25-04, 02:46 PM
Wb,

Is there a good source you can recommend as to what duty-faith teaches? I am trying desperately to understand what is being said by both sides of this argument and I have decided that it would help me to define exactly the term "duty-faith," so as to not be unjustly influenced by partial bias definitions. What teachers taught this and where can I find their writings?

Eileen
07-25-04, 05:00 PM
I probably shouldn't even post here as I know I am way out of my league but I have read and re-read the duty faith thread myself to try and understand all that was there. This is a very short synopsis of what I have come up with so far:

Duty-faith: If God commands all sinners to repent & believe in Christ, then faith is their duty and unbelief is a sin (now the word duty does not imply ability) God can and does command all to repent and believe and has every right to do so. The Gospel should be indiscriminately preached to all, the elect will respond in faith ( because of the effectual call, GRACE) the reprobate will not, however he will be held accountable for not responding.

Anti duty-faith: God does not command someone to do something which they are incapable of performing ie, in this case repenting and believing.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks on the thread was the word duty, some used it others didn't like the use of it, however that doesn't negate the fact that all men are commanded to repent & believe.

It has taken me a lot of reading and re-reading just to come up with this much....WHEW! WB correct me if I am representing duty faith incorrectly as you understand it.

Here is a link I found of AW Pink on duty faith that I found helpful:

http://www.thevine.net/~phillipj/dutyfth.htm

Ivor Thomas
07-25-04, 05:30 PM
Eileen I would ask you to look again at Acts 17 v30; it says at the end of verse, commandeth all men every where to repent; It does not say what you and others have said [Believe] makes big difference to whole arguement dont you think. Ivor Thomas:cool:

Eileen
07-25-04, 06:12 PM
Ivor

You are certainly right about Acts 17 v 30, God only commands men to repent.:)

What about Mark 1: 14 & 15 "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,15 And saying, the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel"

In the gospel of John after the five thousand were fed and they came the next day to hear more and wanted to know how to do the works of God (having seen Jesus feed the crowd) Jesus said that the work of God was to "believe on him whom he hath sent" (would this imply a command)? Actually the whole 6th chapter of John speaks to this very thing. Verse 36:Jesus speaking again: "But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not" All are called to believe & yet as Jesus says in verse 37: All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out, which of coarse we know as the effectual call.

What think ye? I'm not up for an argument, I'm up for learning what the scriptures say.

tomas1
07-25-04, 06:52 PM
Are there any complete evangelistic sermons available from the anti-duty faith folks? It would be helpful for me to see their approach.

wildboar
07-25-04, 07:25 PM
whs:

I've explained Eph. 2:8-9 several times. You are not reading my posts. It is because of your false conception (or intentional deception) about what duty faith teaches that you believe that Eph. 2:8-9 refutes the duty-faith position. Duty-faith does not teach that man actually produces faith of himself and is saved by that faith. Duty faith teaches that man is accountable to believe and man will bear the punishment for the sin of not believing as well as for the rest of his sins.

2boysdaddy:


Wb, Is there a good source you can recommend as to what duty-faith teaches? I am trying desperately to understand what is being said by both sides of this argument and I have decided that it would help me to define exactly the term "duty-faith," so as to not be unjustly influenced by partial bias definitions. What teachers taught this and where can I find their writings? The best book I have seen which both Biblically affirms duty-faith and denies faith as a condition of salvation and denies the well-meant offer of the Gospel is Hyper-Calvinism and the Call of the Gospel by David Engelsma which can be ordered here: http://www.rfpa.org/Scripts/prodList.asp?showall=true&curPage=2&sortField=description The link posted by Eileen is also a good source. It contains quotes from many reformed men on this issue. Duty-faith is the historic position of Reformed Christianity. You won't find the name duty-faith as such but the teaching is there. It was generally unnecessary to refute the concept of anti-duty-faith because it was generally accepted, just as it was unnecessary to prove the resurrection to the Christian church because it was just a given. The anti-duty-faith position grew out of a certain group of English baptists and that is when the labels came in. They sought to protect themselves against the Arminianism of Fullerism and protect certain Biblical teachings by denying others the same way some throughout history in various ways have sought to affirm Christ's deity by denying his humanity and vice versa. They drew on the teachings of John Gill who in certain places denied duty-faith, though in others affirmed it. Anti-duty-faith folks both in this thread and elsewhere are incapable of removing themselves from the reactionary state the English baptists found themselves in and are incapable of distinguishing between duty-faith and the well-meant offer. Duty-faith merely teaches that man is accountable to God to believe regardless of his inability to do so.

Eileen:
Your understanding of the issues far surpasses the majority of those posting. I see nothing to disagree with you about as far as your summary goes.

Ivor:
Are you affirming duty-repentance and denying duty-faith?

doctr_of_grace
07-25-04, 08:34 PM
Ivor:
Are you affirming duty-repentance and denying duty-faith?
Great question Charles ... Hope Ivor can explain this to me.

Eileen ... Thank you for your responses. Your summary of what is being discussed here is right on.

Brandan
07-25-04, 09:37 PM
I think what Ivor is trying to say, and I agree with him, is this... Men are duty bound to repent of their sins and believe what God says about His gospel. However, men are not duty-bound to be given the gift of "evangelical repentance" and saving faith. There is a difference.

Notice Eileen in all the passages where Jesus preached the repentance and belief, He NEVER said the following: "Repent, and believe the Gospel SO THAT YOUR SINS MAY BE FORGIVEN AND YOU WILL BE SAVED"

There is a huge difference in terminology. God calls EVERYONE to belief and repentance in the external call of the Gospel. This belief and repentance is DUTY, and those that don't believe and repent will be held accountable or if you prefer are responsible for exercising this repentance and belief. However, men are not called to SAVINGLY BELIEVE and SAVINGLY REPENT (evangelical repentance and saving faith are two sides of the same coin) as these are precious gifts given to God's elect, therefore they cannot be called DUTIES.

There are different kinds of repentance and belief.

Belief type A - Affirmation of the truth of the Gospel. Agreement with God about the Gospel. Pure mental assent given to the truth. All men are duty bound to this type of belief. All men are COMMANDED to BELIEVE (type A) the Gospel.

Repentance type A - Turning from sin. All men are commanded everywhere to stop sinning and turn from their sins... This repentance will not procure salvation.

Belief type B - Saving faith. This is given to God's elect when they are quickened. After believing the Gospel, men are shown to see that Christ's atonement applies to them! Hallelujah, Christ died for ME! They are brought to see their utter depravity and sinfulness before God and not only agree with the terms of the Gospel, but LOVE IT and AFFIRM IT and REJOICE in it! They do not do this out of duty, but out of love and grattitude. This type of belief is only evidence of their justification already wrought for them on the cross. This belief is FREELY GIVEN to all of God's elect in time... How can this type of belief be considered a duty?

Repentance type B - (aka evangelical repentance) - Turning from all forms of works to gain favor with God for any aspect of salvation to complete dependence upon Christ Alone for all of salvation. This type of repentance (also known as evangelical repentance) occurs simultaneously for the first time when Belief type B aka saving faith is given. It is really another way of looking at saving faith.

So you see, we're not against commanding all to believe and repent of ther sin! But we're opposed to telling people it is their duty to have the gift of saving faith. When we encounter an individual after preaching the Gospel to them who responds, "What must I do to be saved?" we can say, "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." Those that ask such a question have been brought to see their wretched awful status before the Lord.

As Augustus Toplady wrote: "Did the Spirit of God ever convince you of sin? Do you see yourself liable to the curse of the law, and the just vengeance of God, for the innate depravity of your nature, and the transgressions of your life? Do you come to Christ humbled and self-condemned: sensible that unless you are clothed with the merits of Him our Elder Brother, you are ruined and undone, and can never stand with joy or safety before the holy Lord God? If so, lift up thy head; redemption is thine; thou art in a state of grace; thou art translated from death to life; thou art an heir of God, and a joint-heir with Christ. But if you never felt, nor desire to feel this work of the Holy Ghost upon thy heart, this conviction of sin, this penitential faith, all the supposed righteousness of thine own, wherein thou trusted, is but a broken reed; a painted sepulchre; and the trappings of a Pharisee."

wildboar
07-25-04, 10:12 PM
Belief type A - Affirmation of the truth of the Gospel. Agreement with God about the Gospel. Pure mental assent given to the truth. All men are duty bound to this type of belief. All men are COMMANDED to BELIEVE (type A) the Gospel.
Mere mental assent is sin.


Belief type B - Saving faith. This is given to God's elect when they are quickened. After believing the Gospel, men are shown to see that Christ's atonement applies to them! Hallelujah, Christ died for ME! They are brought to see their utter depravity and sinfulness before God and not only agree with the terms of the Gospel, but LOVE IT and AFFIRM IT and REJOICE in it! They do not do this out of duty, but out of love and grattitude. This type of belief is only evidence of their justification already wrought for them on the cross. This belief is FREELY GIVEN to all of God's elect in time... How can this type of belief be considered a duty?
Though it seems we just may very well be finally getting somewhere in this discussion, the statement above still leads me to believe you either don't understand what I am saying or deliberately misrepresenting what I am saying. I do not believe that the command for all men to repent and believe calls them to believe that Christ died for them. Belief that Christ died for them is a result of believing in the Gospel. If they believed in the Gospel they would also believe in Christ and the two are certainly related but those called to believe are not being called to believe that Christ died for them. It certainly is a wonderful joy for God to give us faith and to know that our sins our forgiven, but this does not diminish the idea that the unregenerate man has a duty to believe although it is impossible for him to do so.



Mark 1:14-15 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."

Do you really believe that in the above verse where it speaks about preaching the Gospel of God and the kingdom of God that Jesus was calling men to something other than evangelical repentance? Is that what the Gospel is? Repent and believe and you will still suffer eternally in hell because you only mentally assented to the truths of the Gospel?

Ivor Thomas
07-26-04, 02:13 AM
Mere mental assent is sin.

Though it seems we just may very well be finally getting somewhere in this discussion, the statement above still leads me to believe you either don't understand what I am saying or deliberately misrepresenting what I am saying. I do not believe that the command for all men to repent and believe calls them to believe that Christ died for them. Belief that Christ died for them is a result of believing in the Gospel. If they believed in the Gospel they would also believe in Christ and the two are certainly related but those called to believe are not being called to believe that Christ died for them. It certainly is a wonderful joy for God to give us faith and to know that our sins our forgiven, but this does not diminish the idea that the unregenerate man has a duty to believe although it is impossible for him to do so.

Do you really believe that in the above verse where it speaks about preaching the Gospel of God and the kingdom of God that Jesus was calling men to something other than evangelical repentance? Is that what the Gospel is? Repent and believe and you will still suffer eternally in hell because you only mentally assented to the truths of the Gospel? W.b again if the scripture called for what you say, you would be right but it does not by inserting IN the gospel it makes your point somewhat, but IN is not there. Ivor Thomas.:cool:

tomas1
07-26-04, 05:15 AM
So you see, we're not against commanding all to believe and repent of ther sin! But we're opposed to telling people it is their duty to have the gift of saving faith. When we encounter an individual after preaching the Gospel to them who responds, "What must I do to be saved?" we can say, "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." Those that ask such a question have been brought to see their wretched awful status before the Lord.

When the rich young ruler asked this question Jesus commanded him to follow him. But the ruler could not follow because of his love of wealth. so he went away sad. Was Jesus wrong for commanding someone to have faith for whom faith was impossible?

Brandan
07-26-04, 05:32 AM
Mere mental assent is sin.No it's not! Agreeing with God about the Gospel is not sin. Not agreeing with God about the Gospel is. I think what you're trying to say is even if one were to give full mental assent, they'd still be sinning. This is true. Even believers continue to sin continuously after being brought to belief in the Gospel (both types).


I do not believe that the command for all men to repent and believe calls them to believe that Christ died for them. Belief that Christ died for them is a result of believing in the Gospel.No, it's not! Belief that Christ died for an individual is not a result of ANYTHING, that ANYBODY does other than save the Lord Jesus Christ! To say otherwise is to make faith a work. It's a result of God's gift of saving faith. It's a result of God's quickening.


If they believed in the Gospel they would also believe in Christ and the two are certainly related but those called to believe are not being called to believe that Christ died for them.
It certainly is a wonderful joy for God to give us faith and to know that our sins our forgiven, but this does not diminish the idea that the unregenerate man has a duty to believe although it is impossible for him to do so.Why don't you call it duty-belief type A? There is a difference.


Do you really believe that in the above verse where it speaks about preaching the Gospel of God and the kingdom of God that Jesus was calling men to something other than evangelical repentance? Of course! Jesus was calling the Jews to national repentance. Here is what Gill had to say on Mark 1:15 -
He called them to repent, not only of their former sins and vicious course of life, but of their bad principles and tenets, concerning a temporal kingdom of the Messiah; concerning merit and free will, justification by the works of the law, and salvation by their obedience to the ceremonies of it, and the traditions of the elders: these he exhorts them to change their sentiments about, and to relinquish them, and give into the Gospel scheme; which proclaims liberty from the law, peace, pardon, and righteousness by Christ, and salvation and eternal life by the free grace of God.

Gill's comments on Matthew 3:2 -
Mt 3:2, (GILL), And saying, repent ye,.... The doctrine which John preached was the doctrine of repentance; which may be understood either of amendment of life and manners; for the state of the Jews was then very corrupt, all sorts of men were grown very wicked; and though there was a generation among them, who were righteous in their own eyes, and needed no repentance; yet John calls upon them all, without any distinction, to repent; and hereby tacitly strikes at the doctrine of justification by works, which they had embraced, to which the doctrine of repentance is directly opposite: or rather, this is meant, as the word here used signifies, of a change of mind, and principles. The Jews had imbibed many bad notions. The Pharisees held the traditions of the elders, and the doctrine of justification by the works of the law; and the Sadducees denied the resurrection of the dead; and it was a prevailing opinion among them all, and seems to be what is particularly struck at by John, that the Messiah would be a temporal king, and set up an earthly kingdom in this world. Wherefore he exhorts them to change their minds, to relinquish this notion; assuring them, that though he would be a king, and would have a kingdom, which was near at hand, yet it would be a heavenly, and not an earthly one. Hence the manner in which John enforces his doctrine, or the reason and argument he uses to prevail upon them to regard it, is by saying,

Again look at Gill's work on Acts 17:30 - notice the distinction between repentance and evangelical repentance
Acts 17:30, (GILL), And the times of this ignorance God winked at,.... Not that he approved of, or encouraged such blindness and folly, as appeared among the Gentiles, when they worshipped idols of gold, silver, and stone, taking them for deities; but rather the sense is, he despised this, and them for it, and was displeased and angry with them; and as an evidence of such contempt and indignation, he overlooked them, and took no notice of them, and gave them no revelation to direct them, nor prophets to instruct them, and left them to their stupidity and ignorance:
but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent; that is, he hath given orders, that the doctrine of repentance, as well as remission of sins, should be preached to all nations, to Gentiles as well as Jews; and that it becomes them to repent of their idolatries, and turn from their idols, and worship the one, only, living and true God: and though for many hundreds of years God had neglected them, and sent no messengers, nor messages to them, to acquaint them with his will, and to show them their follies and mistakes; yet now he had sent his apostles unto them, to lay before them their sins, and call them to repentance; and to stir them up to this, the apostle informs them of the future judgment in the following verse. Repentance being represented as a command, does not suppose it to be in the power of men, or contradict evangelical repentance, being the free grace gift of God, but only shows the need men stand in of it, and how necessary and requisite it is; and when it is said to be a command to all, this does not destroy its being a special blessing of the covenant of grace to some; but points out the sad condition that all men are in as sinners, and that without repentance they must perish: and indeed, all men are obliged to natural repentance for sin, though to all men the grace of evangelical repentance is not given: the Jews [a] call repentance hbwvth twum, "the command of repentance", though they do not think it obligatory on men, as the other commands of the law. The law gives no encouragement to repentance, and shows no mercy on account of it; it is a branch of the Gospel ministry, and goes along with the doctrine of the remission of sins; and though in the Gospel, strictly taken, there is no command, yet being largely taken for the whole ministry of the word, it includes this, and everything else which Christ has commanded, and was taught by him and his apostles; Mt 28:20 (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&createchaps=1&highlight=1&abrv=1&version=kjv&book=40&chapter=28&verse1=20).


Is that what the Gospel is? Repent and believe and you will still suffer eternally in hell because you only mentally assented to the truths of the Gospel?The Gospel is this. Christ came into the world to save His people from their sins. Those that believe (belief type B) this message shall have everlasting life, those that don't will perish.

Look at it this way, God commands all men to believe(type A) the Gospel message of truth. When those He did not die for reject the Gospel message, they will be held accountable for violating His command. It was given to them so that they would reject it. There is no way they could be commanded to have saving faith though because saving faith is a direct result of the Atonement (not of mental assent to the Gospel). It's completely separate from the individual. There is no way that men can be commanded to have a gift which was never meant for them in the first place.

Eileen
07-26-04, 06:27 AM
My work week starts so it will take me some time to read your posts Brandon, thanks for the replies. These things don't just jump off the top of my head it takes me time.

I will be looking forward to studying the issues.

Good question Thomas 1.

Brandan
07-26-04, 07:15 AM
When the rich young ruler asked this question Jesus commanded him to follow him. But the ruler could not follow because of his love of wealth. so he went away sad. Was Jesus wrong for commanding someone to have faith for whom faith was impossible?I'm not opposed to telling people to follow Christ, I'm opposed to telling them that the faith they need for following Him is a duty.

Ivor Thomas
07-26-04, 07:58 AM
So you see, we're not against commanding all to believe and repent of ther sin! But we're opposed to telling people it is their duty to have the gift of saving faith. When we encounter an individual after preaching the Gospel to them who responds, "What must I do to be saved?" we can say, "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." Those that ask such a question have been brought to see their wretched awful status before the Lord.

When the rich young ruler asked this question Jesus commanded him to follow him. But the ruler could not follow because of his love of wealth. so he went away sad. Was Jesus wrong for commanding someone to have faith for whom faith was impossible? Again you need to consider what Jesus said in verse 27 of Mark ch 10; with men it is impossible, but not with God, Ivor Thomas .:cool:

Brandan
07-26-04, 09:23 AM
An interesting discussion with George Ella on Hyper-Calvinism...

Antinomian Hyper-Calvinism versus the Law and the Gospel:
A New Focus Interview with George M. Ella

Q. The 18th century controversy regarding Hyper-Calvinism and Antinomianism seems to have emerged again in recent years and, although your book ´William Huntington: Pastor of Providence` has been welcomed by many, a few voices maintain that you have opened old wounds and should have let sleeping dogs lie.

A. Wounds caused by cries of Hyper-Calvinism have long been open and much salt has been rubbed in them in recent years. The once sleeping dogs of Antinomianism have been barking loudly for all to hear for some time. My aim in reviving Huntington`s teaching on the full Law and the full Gospel, as also my publications on Cowper, Gill and Hervey were intended as Gospel balm to heal these wounds and give the stray dogs of Antinomianism a training in rules of behaviour to make them fit guide dogs for the legally blind.

Q. Nevertheless, there are those who feel that in writing about men who they believe are tainted with Antinomian Hyper-Calvinism, you are laying yourself open to the same charges.

A. This is the way of all flesh. The more Huntington fought Antinomianism, the more he was given that name. Reversing the comparison, I suspect that the more people accused Huntington of Antinomianism, the greater was their own arrogance concerning the Law. It is no secret that those who called Huntington an Antinomian were Neonomians, Sabbath-breakers and adulterers. Recently a Sunday trader accused Huntington of being an Antinomian though he lost a good job through refusing to work on the Sabbath. When I pointed out the anomaly in his own behaviour, the Sabbath-breaker told me sanctimoniously that it was honouring the Lord of the Sabbath that constituted keeping the Sabbath which did not rule out Sunday trading as such. This is the kind of hypocritical Antinomianism that Huntington abhorred.

Q. What then is your attitude to the Moral Law?

A. I do not like the term Moral Law as it smacks of Greek Idealism and Humanism. The Bible speaks of the Law of Moses and I would like us to stick to that terminology. Modern evangelicals are emphasising man`s duty to keep the moral law irrespective of the spiritual and theological factors involved. The Mosaic Law is primarily theological showing that the law breaker is not only immoral, he is an enemy of God. This Law which shows us the will of God must be part and parcel of Gospel preaching. It is the Law that Christ has perfected, kept and established in Himself and is the Law that God will use on the Day of Judgement to separate the goats from Christ`s sheep. Not a jot or tittle of it will ever disappear.

Q. You believe then that the Law is the rule of life for a Christian?

A. The Mosaic Law is a very necessary rule but it can never be the sole rule of life for anyone. The Law is there to display the holiness of God and to show that man, left to himself, is a law-breaker by nature. If the Mosaic Law were his sole rule, man would be fully lost. But God has not left man to himself and his vain efforts to keep the law of works. He has supplied him with what the Bible calls the law of Christ and the law of faith (Rom. 3:27, Gal. 6:2). The rule of Law without the rule of Christ and the rule of faith is dead. It is a mere condemning codex on tablets of stone which kills and buries a man in his own sins without an offer of life and hope issuing from it. The rule of Christ and the rule of faith establish, continue, deepen and revitalise the Law and enable the dead sinner to live again in Christ, the Eternal Lawkeeper. As Peter says, all things pertaining to life and godliness are found in Christ. The believer no longer has an external law on tablets of stone as his guide but is caught up in Christ and his very heart and being is infused with Christ`s law-keeping nature, indeed Christ himself. He can thus testify that Christ his Righteousness lives in him and he is under the Law in the sense that he is under Christ. Without Christ`s rule and without faith in Christ to rule his life, the rule of Moses brings merely death and damnation. This death and damnation, however, is the way God has chosen to humble man and make him receptive to the law of Christ and the law of faith. Thus evangelists who do not first preach the terrors of the Law but merely appeal to the sinner`s sense of duty and preach ´Come to Christ because He loves you` and camouflage this by calling it ´the free offer` are not doing their duty. If such an evangelist, once the sinner is allegedly converted, tells him to go to Sinai to find his only rule of life, he is an outright Antinomian and abuses the Law. Cowper sums up the work of a true preacher succinctly:

“By him the violated law speaks out
Its thunders; and by him, in strains as sweet
As angels use, the Gospel whispers peace”

Thus, where Law alone rules, there is no Gospel; where the Gospel rules, Christ`s perfect law-abiding nature prevails. The duty-faith lobbyists, however, want peace without the storms of conscience so that they might be placed under a thunderless law after conversion. This is supererogatory Neonomianism, a subtle form of Antinomianism.

Q. What about Hyper-Calvinism? I must admit that a few critics, who have objected to your writing so warmly about John Gill, are associating you with that title.

A. There will always be people who feel they ought to go beyond Scripture in their legal zeal. Calvinists are in danger of hyping it as are Fullerites and Wesleyans. Incidentally, it is usually the Hyper-Fullerites who accuse Gill of being a Hyper-Calvinist. But seriously, how can people who deny limited atonement and the total fall of man accuse Gill of being more than a Calvinist when they, themselves, are far less? They are merely drawing attention to their own limits.

Q. Your answer may be seen as avoiding the question. Put directly, do you believe that there is no point in preaching repentance to sinners?

A. What a strange thought? The Lord came to call sinners to repentance and there are a lot of unrepentant sinners out there to whom we have a duty to urge both to repent and to believe. This task is a world-wide one and a permanent one until Kingdom come. Nobody realised this as much as John Gill who was the most successful Baptist in the first half of the 18th century in putting the great commission into practice. Even in his burial services to ´insiders`, Gill emphasised the world-wide scope of the Gospel beginning at the individual church member`s place of work.

Q. The mark of a Hyper-Calvinist is that he does not believe in commanding and calling the sinner to come to Christ. If God wants a soul, he believes, He will convert him without human aid. Is this your view?

A. Obviously not, as must be clear by now. I would, however, question your definition. Surely Arminians and the like call Calvinists ´Hyper-Calvinists` because they do not believe in indiscriminate invitations, commands, offers etc. to persuade the ungodly to believe. This view was never part of Reformed teaching and is certainly less Calvinistic than Calvin. The Holy Spirit calls whom He will and when He will and it is obvious that His work is discriminating. This is why He transports Philip into the desert and William Carey to Serampore. Calvin explains this in Book II, Chap 21 of his Institutes:

"The covenant of life is not preached equally to all, and among those to whom it is preached, does not always meet with the same reception. This diversity displays the unsearchable depth of the divine judgement, and is without doubt subordinate to God`s purpose of eternal election." He argues that God, "does not adopt promiscuously to the hope of salvation, but gives to some what He denies to others. It is plain how greatly ignorance of this principle detracts from the glory of God, and impairs true humility."

Q. Forgive me for digging deeper but someone wrote recently that the Hyper-Calvinist believes “the dogma that fallen humanity is beset by an inability to turn from sin and turn to God. So what men cannot do in their own strength, they need not do.” What do you say to that?

A. This is typical of the confusion of ideas prevalent in modern Fullerism, going back to Fuller himself who built a school of rational thought on his misunderstanding of Gill`s clear Gospel. Obviously all fallen men are dead in trespasses and sin. This includes, says Calvin, man`s body and soul including his rational powers. Fuller will not accept this. He says a dead man cannot be held responsible for not believing so man must have enough life in him to respond to the Gospel. This is the ´natural light` philosophy that Fuller obtained by reading the Cambridge Platonist John Edwards whom he mistook for Jonathan Edwards, the New England revivalist. Fuller`s logic, however, is built on his high view of man and his low view of the Fall; two very unscriptural positions. He sees the total fall as a rejection of Christ. Up to then, there is an Esau and a Jacob in all men, one or the other waiting to come out. The Bible teaches that man is doomed to death for disobeying the Law for which he is held responsible by God even though he may not have encountered Christ one way or the other. Thus what men in their own strength cannot do, they are entirely responsible for not doing. This was so much a part of Gill`s conviction that he had it anchored in his church`s Declaration of Faith in 1729. I agree with Gill because he agrees with Scripture.

Q. If you will bear with me, I have one more question. Do you believe that it is the duty of all men to love the Lord? It has been suggested recently that Hyper-Calvinists must answer the question negatively, whereas Calvinists are bound to say ´yes`.

A. Allow me to answer in words from Gill`s The Cause of God and Truth.

"Is it the duty of all men to love the Lord? Absolutely! Because they are the creatures of his making, enjoy the care of his providence, and are supplied by him with the blessings of life; therefore all men must joyfully love the Lord (p. 170)." Gill and Huntington could not have been more different as men. What united them was a clear calling to the ministry and the simple, highly effective message to sinners which they preached. Repentance and faith in Christ. Antinomians cannot talk about repentance, and Hyper-Calvinists do not believe in preaching repentance and faith to sinners. This is, however, our high calling in Christ Jesus. I am not a preacher and have not the privilege of proclaiming this Gospel from the pulpit. I do, however, feel very much called to spread the good news by retelling the stories of men of God such as Cowper, Gill and Huntington, who were masters at their evangelistic craft. Heaven is fuller because of their work in the Lord.

Brandan
07-26-04, 10:23 AM
Romans 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

If Duty faith is true, then this verse says that "duty" belongs to the law of works which is REALLY THE SAME AS THE LAW OF FAITH.Amen Bill, excellent insight... As a clarification, I'd like to add that the "law of faith" is not a "law" in the sense of duty. But it's based on the Hebrew word "hrwt" which means doctrine or instruction.

Brandan
07-26-04, 10:31 AM
One more clarification, it's a Greek word which answers to the Hebrew word. Again, I'll rely on John Gill...


but by the law of faith: not by a law requiring faith; nor as if the Gospel was a law, a new law, a remedial law, a law of milder terms; but the word "law" here answers to the Hebrew word hrwt, which signifies any "doctrine" or "instruction", and oftentimes the doctrine of the Gospel, as in Isa 2:3 (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&createchaps=1&highlight=1&abrv=1&version=kjv&book=23&chapter=2&verse1=3), and here particularly, the doctrine of a sinner's justification by faith in the righteousness of Christ; according to which doctrine the most unlikely persons are justified, even ungodly persons, the worst and vilest of sinners; and that without any consideration of works, by faith only, which is freely given them; and by faith in Christ's righteousness only: so that there is not the least room for boasting in the creature, but all their boasting is in Christ, who is made unto them righteousness, and by whom they are justified.

Brandan
07-26-04, 12:43 PM
Duty Faith & Repentance
by Samuel Trott (http://www.pristinegrace.org/archive.php?view=author&author=Samuel+Trott)


From: SIGNS of the TIMES: Vol.7 (1839)


An enquiry concerning the duty of the unregenerate to believe, repent or pray.

PART 1. Brother Beebe: - I will now notice the charge which Brother Meredith has been informed is made against the Old School Baptists, that they hold it "not to be the duty of the unregenerate to believe, repent or pray." I will in my examination of this charge endeavor to show what there is of truth and what of falsehood in its several items. I will commence with the subject of belief. The charge that we hold it "not to be the duty of the unregenerate to believe," has originated evidently from persons who do not know or distinguish the difference there is between believing the Son, and believing on the Son, or between believing the record that God gave of His Son, and believing on the Son of God. See John 3:36 & I John 5:10. Such distinction not only is made in the texts above referred to, but is evidently manifested in christian experience. The one, the believing on the Son of God, is no other than the exercise of that faith which is the gift of God, and is distinguishingly denominated the faith of God's elect. It is a reliance on that obedience which Christ has rendered to law and justice in behalf of His people, as our alone and complete righteousness before God and redemption from under the law, and a trust in Christ, as our whole salvation. But it is evident that, from a very early period in the travel of the church on to this day, a great proportion of the professed church of Christ have mistaken a simple belief of the truth of the record which God has given of His Son; or indeed a simple belief in the truth of the scriptures, for that faith which characterizes one as a believer in Christ. That is, the revelation made of Christ in the scriptures has been considered as a proposition presented to the minds of men for their reception; and the reception of this proposition either as dogmatically laid down, or on examination, has been understood as constituting one a believer in Christ, and the rejection of it, the ground of condemnation. Hence the solicitude that has been manifested to instill into the minds of children the knowledge and belief of certain summaries of what was considered essential points to be believed in order to constitute them christians. Hence the catechumenical system in the earlier ages of the church, and Sunday School and Bible Class plans of our day. Hence also creeds and catechisms as essential summaries of christian doctrine which must be driven into the minds of children by parental and priestly authority, and often beaten in by the rod of the schoolmaster, in order to make christians of them.

Owing to the mistake which has thus existed, when it has been asserted that the natural man is not required of God to exercise that faith which is peculiarly the faith of God's elect, and is not condemned for not exercising it, it has been construed into a denial of its being his duty to believe, that is, the record which God has given, or the testimony of the scriptures. The fact is, so far as I understand what is the Old School or apostolic Baptist doctrine on this point, it is this; that the peculiar faith which constitutes one a believer in Christ, in a gospel sense, and which goes out from one's self and from all he has done or felt, to rest upon, and plead Christ's obedience to the law, as his whole righteousness, and ground of acceptance with God, &c.; is a belief which the law knows nothing about; for the law is not of faith; and which can in no sense be considered a natural duty, it being not the acting of any natural powers or faculties of man as created of the earth earthy, but is the peculiar exercise of that spiritual life which was created in, and is derived from the Son of God, as the Head of His people; and which requires that a person be born of God to exercise it. Hence this faith in contra-distinction from its being a legal duty, is declared to be the gift of God. On the other hand, I understand the Old School doctrine to be, that it is the duty of all rational beings to believe all God has spoken in the scriptures as they have access to them directly or indirectly, and to believe the testimony of the works of creation and providence, where the scriptures have not come. To disbelieve the record, which God hath given of His Son, is to make God a liar (I John 5:10;) and surely no person can do this and be guiltless. The obligation man is under thus to believe God, arises, not from any demand which the gospel as such peculiarly makes upon him, but from the nature and fitness of things, and from what God is. It is a law of our creation.

The "duty of the unregenerate to repent," comes next under consideration. This owing to the confusion into which it has been thrown by the introduction of the various systems of conditionalism, and other causes is a difficult subject rightly to understand and explain in all its bearings. My own mind I confess has been much difficulted to draw a clear line of distinction between the different relations and senses in which the idea of repentance, is presented to our view in the scriptures, and between the idea of its being a duty incumbent on men at large, and that of its being a free gospel blessing bestowed by the exalted Saviour on the spiritual Israel of God. But as it is highly important that we should understand the true import of the scriptures on this subject, I have at different times elicited considerable enquiry from me; and such as I have, give I unto you. I will add that ever since I knew by experience what repentance is, as given by Christ, (as I have a hope that I do know it to some extent,) I have been fully convinced that the manner in which repentance is held and preached by the conditionalists of all grades, is altogether foreign from the scriptural view of it. On the other hand I have never been able to receive in all points as correct, the explanations which Doctor Gill and other sound brethren have given of it. There will be found some difference between the explanation of this subject which I have to give, and that given by Brother Beebe in No.14, more particularly in relation to John's preaching repentance; this difference I trust is not such as to break any bones.

I shall lay down the following positions, as waymarks, in the investigation of this subject. First: If we suppose that the original law of man's creation, or the law as published in Ten Commands from Sinai, commanded repentance as one of its requisitions, it will lead to the following insuperable difficulties. 1st. Repentance presupposes sin, therefore the law's commanding repentance as one of the conditions of its fulfillment, would be to command the previous existence of sin. 2nd. If the law commands repentance, then repentance is essential to that righteousness which the law requires, and consequently Christ in bringing in that righteousness and magnifying the law in behalf of His people, must have repented for them, as well as obeyed in their behalf in other respects. This supposition therefore I think cannot stand. 3rd. If we suppose that the gospel commands repentance as a condition of acceptance with God, then the gospel must in some sense be a law under which the human family exists. Consequently a failure to obey this command would involve condemnation. And if the gospel thus comes from God who changes not, with its demands upon the human family at large, then from the moment any individual existed as an accountable creature to God, he was obligated to render obedience to this gospel-law, and failing at any moment to do it, he incurred condemnation from it. If he lived twenty years, or more, or less, in impenitency or in transgression of this command of the gospel, and then became a penitent, his after repentance could not make satisfaction for his former neglect of it. Hence it is evident that all must be viewed as transgressors of this gospel-law. Now Christ redeemed His people from the curse of the law; but who is revealed as a redeemer from the condemnation of the gospel? And if not redeemed from it, must we not lie under the condemnation or suffer the penalty? If then no Redeemer is provided to save from gospel condemnation, who can be saved? If it be said that Christ redeemed from this as from the law, then as before He must have repented for His people. This is but one among several absurdities arising from a supposition of this kind.

4th. If on the other hand we suppose that the unregenerate are under no obligations to repent, we must consider them as justifiable in continuing on in their sins of whatever grade they may be. This I think none will admit; for there certainly are instances in the scriptures of unregenerated persons being exhorted or admonished to repent. The query then arises, Whence does this obligation to repent arise? This I will endeavor to answer, after a little. The difficulty on this subject has frequently been attempted to be solved by a reference to the fact of there being two kinds of repentance spoken of in the scriptures. There certainly are these different repentances brought to view, designated by different words in the original of the scriptures; but I find there is but one word in its formation and derivations, used in all those passages of scripture which are immediately connected with our present enquiry; such as Matt.3:2; 4:17; 11:20,21; Acts 8:22; 17:30; the same also is used in these, and the like texts, namely: Luke 24:47; Acts 5:31; also the word repentance as found in II Cor.7:9,10. (The word repented in this 10th verse, is a different word in the original and of different import.) Hence I think there is but the one kind of repentance we have to do with in this case. And I know not that it is here necessary for our present enquiry to consider this repentance as classed into outward, and heart repentances, or the like. The original word used in the above texts, metanoco, according to its etymology, signifies "To reflect on, or to be wise after the act, or to return or come to a right understanding." This repentance therefore imports a change of mind after an act has been committed, and which therefore implies a condemning of the act, and of course, sorrow for it, and a change of conduct. This sorrow may be natural or worldly sorrow, or it may be godly or spiritual sorrow, as the act is viewed in the light of reason, or in the light of the Spirit. If the former, it needs to be repented of again. But the main point in the idea of repentance, is I think altogether missed by conditionalists, and perhaps is frequently overlooked by others, and which in fact, is the substance of the thing. It is this, that as repentance is self-condemnation, it stands in direct opposition to all self-righteousness, self-justification, or reliance on our own acts for acceptance with God, &c. Hence the utter absurdity of making repentance a condition of salvation. In pursuing the enquiry concerning the obligation of men to repent, I shall have again to refer to the law of Ten Commands; and as I had occasion in the preceding communication, and have again in this to speak of it in distinction from the original law under which man was created, I wish here to guard against being understood as meaning that they are separate laws. I understand them to be in substance the same law, but differently revealed. In the original creation of man the law requiring him to love God with all his heart, &c., was not delivered to him verbally in so many words, nor in a series of implied prohibitions as in the Decalogue; but was written in indelible characters upon man. I do not say, nor mean in his heart; but upon his existence as a rational being, and upon all by which he was surrounded, for all declared the wisdom, power, and goodness of their Creator, and therefore reflected the obligation of man to love his Creator with all his powers and faculties. Thus it is said, Rom.1:19,20. "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." Had man continued in the state of uprightness in which he was created, he would not have needed the specifications contained in the Decalogue to show him what was right or wrong. Though a test of his love and subjection to God was needed, and that was given him in the prohibition of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But man having sinned and come short of the glory of God, and sunken into a state of condemnation, God, in bringing in that dispensation which was particularly designed to typify the salvation in all its parts, of spiritual Israel; as well as to prepare the way for the manifestation of the Messiah, saw proper, to give a new edition of the law, or to declare it in Ten Commands from Sinai, which commands are but so many specifications by which are showed man's entire departure from the standard of right. Hence says Paul; "I had not known sin but by the law; for I had not known lust except the law had said Thou shalt not covet." Rom.7:7. This law was given in the letter of it, in covenant form to national Israel; and was written on tables of stone to show that the law in itself cannot give life; that its commands in their outward address to man leave the heart as lifeless and hard as the stones on which they were written.

This law of Ten Commands, in its spirituality and as addressed to all, both Jews and Gentiles, I understand was given expressly to teach repentance. I do not say, to show that repentance was a part of the original requisition of the law, and a part of the righteousness it required; but that it is addressed to man as depraved and condemned, to call him off from self-confidence, and to repentance. I feel myself fully supported in this by the declarations of scripture, that the law was added by reason of transgression; entered that the offence might abound, &c.; and especially by this text, "What things soever the law saith, it saith to them that are under the law" - for what? - "that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God." What is this but self-condemnation before God, that is designed to be accomplished by the declaration of the law? And what is such self-condemnation, but repentance toward God? It is then I think clear, that it is the law of Ten Commands in its spirituality that calls for repentance. But it may be asked, Is it the laws thus calling for repentance that makes it the duty of man to repent, or thus to be humbled and abased before God? I answer no; for the law calls for it only as it shows the nature and truth of man's case, that he is a guilty condemned creature, polluted in all his ways. The fitness, propriety and obligation of man to repent arises from the nature and truth of the case. If it is a duty of man to practice truth toward God and toward man, then it is his duty thus to be humble and abased before God and men, because the truth is that he is thus debased by his transgressions of the law; and to plead or trust to his works for justification is to plead and trust a falsehood, as showed by the Decalogue; for his works condemn him. However I would here remark that I doubt the propriety of using the term duty in a strict sense in relation to repentance, although it may be admitted in a loose sense. Of the fitness of repentance, and of the obligation man is under to exercise it, from his still existing as the creature of God, and a subject of His moral government, I have no doubt, that is, so far as the light of reason and external revelation can show them the evil of sin.

Let us now look a little at christian experience on this point; for the Spirit's teaching is truth. When a person is led by the teachings of the Holy Spirit truly to know the law and by it to know his guilt and depravity, he at once falls prostrate at the footstool of mercy, acknowledging the justice of his condemnation, and feels that from the fitness of things, he cannot be too much abased and humbled before God against whom he has sinned. It is true that in the former stages of his exercises, he may have sought to work himself up to a repentance, as a something that was to make amends for his transgressions and make his peace with God; but he now abhors this attempt to mock God and dishonor His law as much as any of his former open sins. And he would no sooner think of pleading the condemnation and contrition he now feels as a reason why he should escape punishment, than the criminal before a court would think of pleading the fact of his being clearly proved guilty, as a proper ground for his being cleared. This contrite penitent sees and feels that there is no way by which in justice he can be released from enduring the curse of the law, until he is led by faith to behold that satisfaction which Christ has made to the law for such sinners as he. He now feels that there is a natural fitness that he and every other person should be abased and humbled before God as transgressors of His law and abusers of His goodness. But further, being brought into the light of the gospel, he sees that it was sovereign grace alone which brought him thus to repentance, and that the condemnation which man lies under in consequence of his awful departure from God, is that he should be given over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient, or fit, or as the Master saith, that he should love darkness rather than light.

In accordance with what I have above shown as taught by experience, of the fitness and propriety of men's being thus humbled before God, the Apostle speaks of the goodness of God, that is, in the riches of His goodness, forbearance, &c., toward man, leading him to repentance, or in other words, as naturally tending to produce in him humbleness and contrition of heart, if he rightly viewed himself, but that instead of its having this proper effect, he, after his hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto himself wrath against the day of wrath, &c. See Rom.2:4-5. Now I understand the Old School doctrine thus to teach the natural fitness that all men, to be consistent with truth, should be abased and penitent before God as transgressors of His law. And farther, I understand it to be in accordance with Old School doctrine for a person, when he knows of another's committing any sin, whether he be regenerated or not, to exhort him to repent of that sin, as Peter exhorted Simon, Acts 8:22. But this exhortation will of course with propriety, be nothing other than a persuading of the person to use that light which God has given him, relative to this sin, whether that be the light of reason, or of grace. Such exhortations however must not be considered as, peculiarly a part of the ministerial office. If the above comes up to what others would import by saying that it is the duty of the unregenerate to repent, let them have this phrase, to convey the idea that men can or are required of themselves to exercise that repentance which is unto life, or that it is their duty to exercise repentance as a part of legal righteousness, or to make amends for a deficiency in that righteousness, or as a condition proposed by the gospel, in either of these senses the Old School doctrine does not represent it to be the duty of the unregenerate to repent.

Although I have already drawn out this subject to what many will think an unprofitable and unreasonable length, yet I cannot as I have entered upon it, feel satisfied without pursuing the enquiry as to what constitutes the preaching of repentance both under the day spring, and the sun rising of the gospel.

PART II. The branch of the above enquiry now before us is, What constitutes preaching repentance both under the day spring, and the sun rising of the gospel day? The day spring of course comes first, and under this we find both John and Christ preaching, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." In order to come to a proper understanding of the import and design of this preaching, it is necessary to refer back to the peculiar standing of the Jews. I have already remarked on another branch of this inquiry, that the law of Ten Commands in the letter of them, were given in covenant form to national Israel. Connected with these commands and as conditions of the same covenant, was the observance of the whole Jewish ritual as commanded by Moses. In the offering of sacrifices and in other rites, repentance or an acknowledgment of guilt and condemnation was implied and taught; also the hearing and reception of the Messiah, when He should come, was commanded. Deut.18:15-19. Hence the "foundation of repentance from dead works" is named, Heb.6:1,2, among the principles or first rudiments of the doctrine of Christ, which the believers from among the Hebrews were called upon to leave. Hence also when Messiah came, it was according to the Divine and revealed plan of His manifestation, that He should first present Himself to the Jews, nationally, for their reception or rejection; on the principles of the Sinai Covenant. Hence it is said, Christ "came to His own and they received Him not," &c. John 1:11. It was as I understand it, in accordance with this arrangement, and the provisions of the Sinai Covenant, that John came preaching repentance and that Christ preached it; and also that the Seventy were sent two and two to give notice of His coming, or that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. They preached repentance to show that according to the order of Messiah's kingdom, and to what had been figuratively taught in the Sinai ritual, repentance, and not self-righteousness, was requisite to a right reception of the Messiah, and to entering into His kingdom. They called upon them thus to repent upon the principles of that covenant under which they as a nation in a peculiar manner existed, and according to which Christ thus first presented Himself to them as the Messiah for their reception or rejection. It is true, as Brother Beebe said, in his remarks on repentance, that a special design of John's being sent preaching repentance was "to make ready a people prepared of the Lord." But still I think John's preaching, saying Repent, &c., was addressed to the Jews nationally upon the principles of their covenant; and that it was thus left to the Holy Spirit, whose province it peculiarly is, to make manifest the "people prepared of the Lord," to lead such through John's preaching to be convinced of their sinfulness and just condemnation, and to hope for the immediate manifestation of the Messiah; and as a fruit of their repentance, to renounce their self-righteousness, and their dependence on, having Abraham for their father, for justification; and were accordingly prepared to come to John's baptism as a baptism - not of self-righteousness for justification, but of "repentance for the remission of sins." Hence in the text already quoted, John 1:11, after it is said "He came to His own, that is nationally, and His own received Him not, it is further declared that to as many as received Him, to them gave He power, &c., which were born not of blood," &c. Thus showing that their being distinguished thus from the nation, was peculiarly of God. From this view of this subject, Pedobaptists may think it consistent to preach repentance according to John's manner of preaching, because they imagine their children to have been brought in under the Abrahamic covenant; but surely no consistent Baptist will think of blending the principles of the Sinai covenant with the gospel ministry in calling upon men to repent as a self-preparation for receiving the gospel.

I will now come to the preaching of repentance under the sun rising of the gospel day. On this point we have a plain direction in Luke 24:47, where Christ after His resurrection teaches His disciples that, "Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." This I understand to be the particular instruction given how repentance is to be preached since the ascension of Christ.

1st. It is to be preached in His - Christ's - name. Not in Moses' name. Not as a demand of the law; nor as John preached it to the Jews on the principles of the Sinai covenant. Neither does preaching repentance in the name of Christ, consist with calling upon men to repent, for this implies that the repentance called for is such as the natural man can exercise, or the reflections of the natural mind will produce. Hence this preaching tends to build men up in the notion of their own ability and to satisfy them with such repentance as they are capable of exercising; and therefore tends to produce in their minds the very reverse to that repentance which Christ gives, a being abased in the dust as guilty, ruined, helpless sinners.

Repentance is truly preached in the name of Christ, when the law in its exceeding broadness, unchangeableness and spirituality as taught and illustrated by Christ, and established by the gospel is preached, as cutting off all human works as the ground of acceptance with God, "Stopping every mouth and presenting all the world as guilty before God." This is the preaching which, when the heart is opened by the Holy Ghost to receive it, and by Him applied, produces the fruits of genuine repentance, namely: a being stripped of all self glorying and self confidence and an abhorring of one's self and being humbled as in dust and ashes. But further in preaching repentance in the name of Christ, as He is "exalted as a Prince and a Saviour for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins," the sensible sinner [text obscured in original] should be pointed to Christ as Him who alone can melt his heart and give him that repentance which needeth not to be repented of. And the intimate connection between this repentance, and the receiving of the forgiveness of sins, must be clearly held forth; so that none, on the one hand shall indulge in the hopes of experiencing pardoning mercy through Christ, unless brought to know and feel the odiousness and exceeding sinfulness of sin; and on the other hand, that those who are mourning over their own vileness and ruin may be encouraged to hope for the forgiveness of their sins through Christ. Now I will leave it to Brother Meredith and others who have been alarmed at the cry against our Old School preachers, that they do not preach repentance to sinners, to judge whether the above described kind of preaching; or the calling upon the unregenerate to repent and the trying to scare them to it by dwelling on the horrors of hell, and thus leading them to infer that repentance is a bodily exercise, a mere excitement of the passions, appears the most consistent with gospel doctrine and preaching, and the most like preaching true "repentance toward God." But there is another point which it is incumbent on me to notice before I quit this subject, namely; Acts 17:30. "The times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent." We must first notice the import of the expression now commandeth. If the obligation of the Gentiles to repent, rests upon this command, as a new law then instituted, as those who dwell so much upon this text seem to intimate, then their previously gross idolatry afforded no just ground for repentance, and they were guiltless in practicing it. But such a conclusion is entirely inconsistent with Paul's view of their case given, Rom.1:18-32. The true import of this expression as connected with the idea that God had heretofore winked at the times of this ignorance, appears to me to be this, namely: That although hitherto the law of Ten Commands as designed to teach the knowledge of sin, was confined mostly to the Jews, while the Gentiles were left without any special revelation to teach them their sins; yet now under the gospel dispensation, this law as connected with the gospel proclamation was "to be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations," showing the absurdity and wickedness of idolatry, and the guilt and condemnation of all as transgressors of the divine law. Hence wherever the gospel came among the Gentiles thus accompanied with the proclamation of the law, those Gentiles whose hearts were opened to receive the word, were led to renounce all their hopes arising from those idolatrous rites which they had performed and to fall prostrate before God as guilty sinners, needing His pardoning mercy; as were the Jews stripped of their legal righteousness. And not only this, but God is so revealed in the external testimony of the law and the gospel as human reason becomes convinced comes are more or less made to feel that they are dependent on, and accountable to the living God. In accordance with this view of the import of this text, I will add that the primary idea of the word here rendered command, is to instruct, teach, direct, and hence also it came to be used to denote commanding as one mode of directing; it further signifies to give notice or warning, &c. Hence I understand the text as designed, not to intimate that under the gospel God had instituted a new command or law for the Gentiles, or laid them under a new obligation to exercise repentance; but to show the bearing and effect the gospel proclamation as embracing an illustration of the spirituality of the law was designed to have upon all people, and that it was thus addressed to all, in distinction from what was the case under the former dispensation.

Lastly, the subject of prayer, or the enquiry whether it is the duty of the unregenerate to pray, demands attention. If the charge that Old School Baptists "believe it is not the duty of the unregenerate to pray," is designed to convey the idea that they do not hold, or preach that it is the duty of unregenerate persons, or right for them, to read or say over a form of prayer, as a regular or occasional task, and as means of salvation, or a condition of acceptance with God, whilst their hearts are insensible of the wants their words express; every consistent Old School Baptist, and every other person who knows the wickedness of mocking God with lip service, while the heart is far from Him, must plead guilty to this charge. But as this charge imports that we do not admit it right for any person, under a sense of his dependence on God and feeling his need of divine mercy or aid in any case to ask God for it; I think the charge is false. I for one believe it right for anyone to pray to God for any aid or mercy that he truly feels the need of, and is authorized by the Scriptures to believe that God bestows upon the sons of men.

To say it is the duty of unregenerate persons to pray, as a form of worship is to say that God requires of them that worship which is neither spiritual, nor from the heart. But Christ informed the woman of Samaria that, "God is a Spirit and they that worship Him, must worship Him in Spirit and in truth." John 4:24. But for a person to pray, not as a form of worship, but simply to ask God for mercy because he feels he needs it, is the privilege of any; hence Peter exhorts Simon to pray God, if perhaps the thought of his heart might be forgiven him; under the impression, undoubtedly, that Simon from the sharp rebuke and warning he had given him, would see and feel the wickedness of his thought and the need of forgiveness.

I have thus traveled over a good deal of ground upon these subjects, whether Brother Meredith will be any better satisfied than with Brother Beebe's brief explanation, I know not. The confusion into which these subjects have been thrown by conditionalists and their use of them, seemed to require a general and particular examination of them. I cannot say that after all I have said, and my anxiety to place the subjects in a clear light, I have succeeded to any degree.

But I leave it. God may enable some others to set the subject in a clearer light, or may lead some to comprehend the ideas, I have attempted to convey; and if they are wrong to show the right.

Yours in the gospel of Christ,
Samuel Trott

tomas1
07-26-04, 03:31 PM
That is an excellent article by Samuel Trott. I think I am starting to see both sides of this issue better.
Ivor Thomas says:
Again you need to consider what Jesus said in verse 27 of Mark ch 10; with men it is impossible, but not with God,
But the command was made to a man and not to God.

Darth Gill says:
I'm not opposed to telling people to follow Christ, I'm opposed to telling them that the faith they need for following Him is a duty.
Do you have an example of the kind of preaching you disagree with?
Also I would again ask for any evangelical sermons from the anti-duty faith folks so I can compare

wildboar
07-26-04, 05:34 PM
Please actually read Mark 1:14-15. Even a child could understand what is said here. Throw the commentaries out the window for just a moment.


Mark 1:14-15 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
How can mental assent by itself have anything to do with the Gospel? Believe and go to hell but perhaps suffer a bit less? Is that the good news?


He called them to repent, not only of their former sins and vicious course of life, but of their bad principles and tenets, concerning a temporal kingdom of the Messiah; concerning merit and free will, justification by the works of the law, and salvation by their obedience to the ceremonies of it, and the traditions of the elders: these he exhorts them to change their sentiments about, and to relinquish them, and give into the Gospel scheme; which proclaims liberty from the law, peace, pardon, and righteousness by Christ, and salvation and eternal life by the free grace of God. How can you "give in to the Gospel scheme" without saving faith?

No it's not! Agreeing with God about the Gospel is not sin. Not agreeing with God about the Gospel is. I think what you're trying to say is even if one were to give full mental assent, they'd still be sinning. This is true. Even believers continue to sin continuously after being brought to belief in the Gospel (both types).
The Scriptures say that whatever is not of faith is sin. Are you saying that this passage is merely speaking of mental assent or some type of historic faith? This national repentance manuer is so so so similar to the belief of many Arminians in regards to election. They teach that Romans 9 is not speaking of election of individuals but of nations for various purposes. Once again hyper-calvinism's arminian hermeneutic appears.

No, it's not! Belief that Christ died for an individual is not a result of ANYTHING, that ANYBODY does other than save the Lord Jesus Christ! To say otherwise is to make faith a work.
God works faith in a person and the person believes. Are you denying that a person believes? This clearly taught in Scripture. Man actively believes. Are you denying this? Did God lie when he said that Abraham believed God?


It's a result of God's gift of saving faith. It's a result of God's quickening.
Well, duh.

There is no way that men can be commanded to have a gift which was never meant for them in the first place.Then the law is god and atheism prevails.

One more clarification, it's a Greek word which answers to the Hebrew word. Again, I'll rely on John GillThis is the problem, relying to heavily upon John Gill. Nomos(law) is not mere instruction, but instruction which tells what is required of a person.

Here's the full entry from BDAG on nomos:



• no,moj, ou, o` (ne,mw; [Zenodotus reads n. in Od. 1, 3] Hes.+; loanw. in rabb.—On the history of the word MPohlenz, Nomos: Philol 97, ’48, 135-42; GShipp, Nomos ‘Law’ ’78; MOstwald, Nomos and the Beginnings of Athenian Democracy ’69). The primary mng. relates to that which is conceived as standard or generally recognized rules of civilized conduct esp. as sanctioned by tradition (Pind., Fgm. 152, 1=169 Schr. no,moj o` pa,ntwn basileu,j; cp. SEG XVII, 755, 16: Domitian is concerned about oppressive practices hardening into ‘custom’; MGigante, NOMOS BASILEUS [Richerche filologiche 1] ’56). The synonym e;qoj (cp. sunh,qeia) denotes that which is habitual or customary, especially in reference to personal behavior. In addition to rules that take hold through tradition, the state or other legislating body may enact ordinances that are recognized by all concerned and in turn become legal tradition. A special semantic problem for modern readers encountering the term n. is the general tendency to confine the usage of the term ‘law’ to codified statutes. Such limitation has led to much fruitless debate in the history of NT interpretation.—HRemus, Sciences Religieuses/Studies in Religion 13, ’84, 5-18; ASegal, Torah and Nomos in Recent Scholarly Discussion, ibid., 19-27.





1. a procedure or practice that has taken hold, a custom, rule, principle, norm (Alcman [VII BC], fgm. 93 D2 of the tune that the bird sings; Ocellus c. 49 Harder [1926] th/j fu,sewj no,moj; Appian, Basil. 1 §2 pole,mou n., Bell. Civ. 5, 44 §186 evk tou/de tou/ sou/ no,mou=under this rule of yours that governs action; Polyaenus 5, 5, 3 n. po,mphj; 7, 11, 6 n. fili,aj; Sextus 123 tou/ bi,ou no,moj; Just., A II, 2, 4 para. to.n th/j fu,sewj n.; Ath. 3, 1 no,mw| fu,sewj; 13, 1 qusiw/n no,mw|)





a. gener. kata. no,mon evntolh/j sarki,nhj [i]in accordance w. the rule of an external commandment Hb 7:16. eu`ri,skw to.n no,mon I observe an established procedure or principle or system Ro 7:21 (n. as ‘principle’, i.e. an unwritten rightness of things Soph., Ant. 908). According to Bauer, Paul uses the expression no,moj (which dominates this context) in cases in which he prob. would have preferred another word. But it is also prob. that Paul purposely engages in wordplay to heighten the predicament of those who do not rely on the gospel of liberation from legal constraint: the Apostle speaks of a principle that obligates one to observe a code of conduct that any sensible pers. would recognize as sound and valid o` no,moj t. noo,j mou vs. 23b (s. nou/j 1a). Engaged in a bitter struggle w. this no,moj there is a e[teroj no,moj which, in contrast to the nou/j, dwells evn toi/j me,lesi,n mou in my (physical) members vs. 23a, and hence is a no,moj th/j a`marti,aj vs. 23c and 25b or a no,moj t. a`marti,aj kai. t. qana,tou 8:2b. This sense prepares the way for the specific perspective





b. of life under the lordship of Jesus Christ as a ‘new law’ or ‘system’ of conduct that constitutes an unwritten tradition o` kaino.j n. tou/ kuri,ou h`mw/n VIhsou/ Cristou/ B 2:6; in brief n. VIhsou/ Cristou/ IMg 2 (cp. Just., D. 11, 4; 43, 1; Mel., P. 7, 46). Beginnings of this terminology as early as Paul: o` n. tou/ Cristou/ =the standard set by Christ Gal 6:2 (as vs. 3 intimates, Christ permitted himself to be reduced to nothing, thereby setting the standard for not thinking oneself to be someth.). The gospel is a no,moj pi,stewj a law or system requiring faith Ro 3:27b (FGerhard, TZ 10, ’54, 401-17) or o` n. tou/ pneu,matoj th/j zwh/j evn Cr. VI. the law of the spirit (=the spirit-code) of life in Chr. J. 8:2a. In the same sense Js speaks of a n. basiliko,j (s. basiliko,j) 2:8 or n. evleuqeri,aj vs. 12 (lo,goj evl. P74), n. te,leioj o` th/j evleuqeri,aj 1:25 (association w. 1QS 10:6, 8, 11 made by EStauffer, TLZ 77, ’52, 527-32, is rejected by SNötscher, Biblica 34, ’53, 193f. On the theme of spontaneous moral achievement cp. Pind., Fgm. 152 [169 Schr.] 1f no,moj o` pa,ntwn basileu.j Õ qnatw/n te kai. avqana,twn Õ a;gei dikaiw/n to. biaio,tatonÕ u`perta,ta| ceiri,=custom is lord of all, of mortals and immortals both, and with strong hand directs the utmost power of the just. Plut., Mor. 780c interprets Pindar’s use of no,moj: ‘not written externally in books or on some wooden tablets, but as lively reason functioning within him’ e;myucoj w'n evn auvtw/| lo,gw|; Aristot., EN 4, 8, 10 oi-on n. w'n e`autw/|; Diod. S. 1, 94, 1 n. e;ggraptoj; cp. also Ovid, Met. 1, 90 sponte sua sine lege fidem rectumque colebat; Mayor, comm. ‘Notes’ 73.—RHirzel, AGRAFOS NOMOS 1903.). Some would put o` no,moj Js 2:9 here (s. LAllevi, Scuola Cattol. 67, ’39, 529-42), but s. 2b below.—Hermas too, who in part interprets Israel’s legal tradition as referring to Christians, sees the gospel, exhibited in Christ’s life and words, as the ultimate expression of God’s will or ‘law’. He says of Christ dou.j auvtoi/j (i.e. the believers) to.n n., o[n e;labe para. tou/ patro.j auvtou/ s 5, 6, 3, cp. 8, 3, 3. Or he sees in the ui`o.j qeou/ khrucqei.j eivj ta. pe,rata th/j gh/j, i.e. the preaching about the Son of God to the ends of the earth, the no,moj qeou/ o` doqei.j eivj o[lon. t. ko,smon 8, 3, 2. Similarly to be understood are threi/n to.n n. 8, 3, 4. u`pe.r tou/ n. paqei/n 8, 3, 6. u`pe.r tou/ n. qli,besqai 8, 3, 7. avrnhsa,menoi to.n no,mon ibid. blasfhmei/n to.n n. 8, 6, 2.





2. constitutional or statutory legal system, law





a. gener.: by what kind of law? Ro 3:27. n. th/j po,lewj the law of the city enforced by the ruler of the city (n. evn tai/j po,lesi grapto,j Orig., C. Cels. 5, 37, 2); the penalty for breaking it is banishment Hs 1:5f. toi/j n. crh/sqai observe the laws 1:3; pei,qesqai toi/j w`risme,noij n. obey the established laws Dg 5:10; nika/n tou.j n. ibid. (nika,w 3). Ro 7:1f, as well as the gnomic saying Ro 4:15b and 5:13b, have been thought by some (e.g. BWeiss, Jülicher) to refer to Roman law, but more likely the Mosaic law is meant (s. 3 below).





b. specifically: of the law that Moses received from God and is the standard according to which membership in the people of Israel is determined (Diod. S. 1, 94, 1; 2: the lawgiver Mneves receives the law from Hermes, Minos from Zeus, Lycurgus from Apollo, Zarathustra from the avgaqo.j dai,mwn, Zalmoxis from Hestia; para. de. toi/j VIoudai,oij, Mwu?sh/j receives the law from the VIaw. evpikalou,menoj qeo,j) o` n. Mwu?se,wj Lk 2:22; J 7:23; Ac 15:5. n. Mwu?se,wj Ac 13:38; Hb 10:28. Also o` n. kuri,ou Lk 2:23f, 39; GJs 14:1. o` n. tou/ qeou/ (Theoph. Ant. 2, 14 [p. 136, 4]) Mt 15:6 v.l.; Ro 8:7 (cp. Tat. 7, 2; 32, 1; Ath. 3:2). o` n. h`mw/n, u`mw/n, auvtw/n etc. J 18:31; 19:7b v.l.; Ac 25:8. kata. to.n h`me,teron n. 24:6 v.l. (cp. Jos., Ant. 7, 131). o` patrw/|oj n. 22:3. to.n n. tw/n evntolw/n Eph 2:15. Since the context of Ac 23:29 evgkalou,menon peri. zhthma,twn tou/ no,mou auvtw/n points to the intimate connection between belief, cult, and communal solidarity in Judean tradition, the term no,moj is best rendered with an hendiadys: (charged in matters) relating to their belief and custom; cp. n. o` kaqV u`ma/j 18:15. Ro 9:31 (CRhyne, No,moj Dikaiosu,nhj and the meaning of Ro 10:4: CBQ 47, ’85, 486-99).—Abs., without further qualification o` n. Mt 22:36; 23:23; Lk 2:27; J 1:17; Ac 6:13; 7:53; 21:20, 28; Ro 2:15 (to. e;rgon tou/ no,mou the work of the law [=the moral product that the Mosaic code requires] is written in the heart; difft. Diod. S. 1, 94, 1 n. e;ggraptoj, s. 1b, above), 18, 20, 23b, 26; 4:15a, 16; 7:1b, 4-7, 12, 14, 16; 8:3f; 1 Cor 15:56; Gal 3:12f, 17, 19, 21a, 24; 5:3, 14; 1 Ti 1:8 (GRudberg, ConNeot 7, ’42, 15); Hb 7:19 (s. Windisch, Hdb. exc. ad loc.), 28a; 10:1; cp. Js 2:9 (s. 1b above); meta. to.n n. Hb 7:28b; oi` evn tw/| n. Ro 3:19; kata. to.n n. according to the (Mosaic) law (Jos., Ant. 14, 173; 15, 51 al.; Just., D. 10, 1) J 19:7b; Ac 22:12; 23:3; Hb 7:5; 9:22. para. t. no,mon contrary to the law (Jos., Ant. 17, 151, C. Ap. 2, 219; Ath. 1, 3 para. pa,nta n.) Ac 18:13.—no,moj without the art. in the same sense (on the attempt, beginning w. Origen, In Ep. ad Ro 3:7 ed. Lomm. VI 201, to establish a difference in mng. betw. Paul’s use of o` no,moj and no,moj s. B-D-F §258, 2; Rob. 796; Mlt-Turner 177; Grafe [s. 3b below] 7-11) Ro 2:13ab, 17, 23a, 25a; 3:31ab; 5:13, 20; 7:1a (s. above); Gal 2:19b; 5:23 (JRobb, ET 56, ’45, 279f compares kata. de. tw/n toiou,twn ouvk e;sti no,moj Aristot., Pol. 1284a). dikai,w| no,moj ouv kei/tai, avno,moij de. … 1 Ti 1:9. Cp. e`autoi/j eivsin no,moj Ro 2:14 (in Pla., Pol. and in Stoic thought the wise person needed no commandment [Stoic. III 519], the bad one did; MPohlenz, Stoa ’48/49 I 133; II 75). Used w. prepositions: evk n. Ro 4:14; Gal 3:18, 21c (v.l. evn n.); Phil 3:9 (evk no,mou can also mean corresponding to or in conformity with the law: PRev 15, 11 evk tw/n no,mwn); cp. evk tou/ no,mou Ro 10:5. dia. no,mou Ro 2:12b; 3:20b; 4:13; 7:7b; Gal 2:19a, 21; evn n. (evn tw/| n. Iren. 3, 11, 8 [Harv. II 49, 9]) Ro 2:12a, 23; Gal 3:11, 21c v.l.; 5:4; Phil 3:6. kata. no,mon 3:5; Hb 8:4; 10:8 (make an offering kata. no,mon as Arrian, Anab. 2, 26, 4; 5, 8, 2); cwri.j n. Ro 3:21a; 7:8f; a;cri n. 5:13a. u`po. no,mon 6:14f; 1 Cor 9:20; Gal 3:23; 4:4f, 21a; 5:18 (cp. Just., D. 45, 3 oi` u`po. to.n n.).—Dependent on an anarthrous noun paraba,thj no,mou a law-breaker Ro 2:25b (27b w. art.); Js 2:11. poihth.j n. one who keeps the law 4:11d (w. art. Ro 2:13b). te,loj n. the end of the law Ro 10:4 (RBultmann and HSchlier, Christus des Ges. Ende ’40). plh,rwma n. fulfilment of the law 13:10. n. meta,qesij a change in the law Hb 7:12. e;rga n. Ro 3:20a, 28; 9:32 v.l.; Gal 2:16; 3:2, 5, 10a.—$o`% n. $tou/% qeou/ Ro 7:22, 25a; 8:7 because it was given by God and accords w. his will. Lasting Mt 5:18; Lk 16:17 (cp. Bar 4:1; PsSol 10:4; Philo, Mos. 2, 14; Jos., C. Ap. 2, 277).—Used w. verbs, w. or without the art.: n. e;cein J 19:7a; Ro 2:14 (ApcSed 14:5). plhrou/n n. fulfill the law Ro 13:8; pass. Gal 5:14 (Mel., P. 42, 291). plhrou/n to. dikai,wma tou/ n. fulfill the requirement of the law Ro 8:4. fula,ssein to.n n. observe the law Ac 21:24; Gal 6:13. ta. dikaiw,mata tou/ n. fula,ssein observe the precepts of the law Ro 2:26; diw,kein n. dikaiosu,nhj 9:31a; pra,ssein n. 2:25a. poiei/n to.n n. J 7:19b; Gal 5:3; Ro 2:14b, s. below; to.n n. threi/n Js 2:10. to.n n. telei/n Ro 2:27. fqa,nein eivj n. 9:31b. kata. n. VIoudai?smo.n zh/n IMg 8:1 v.l. is prob. a textual error (Pearson, Lghtf., Funk, Bihlmeyer, Hilgenfeld; Zahn, Ign. v. Ant. 1873 p. 354, 1 [difft. in Zahn’s edition] all omit no,mon as a gloss and are supported by the Latin versions; s. Hdb. ad loc.). ta. tou/ n. poiei/n carry out the requirements of the law Ro 2:14b (ApcSed 14:5; FFlückiger, TZ 8, ’52, 17-42). katalalei/n no,mou, kri,nein n. Js 4:11abc. evdo,qh n. Gal 3:21a.—Pl. didou.j no,mouj mou eivj th.n dia,noian auvtw/n Hb 8:10; cp. 10:16 (both Jer 38:33).—Of an individual stipulation of the law o` no,moj tou/ avndro,j the law insofar as it concerns the husband (Aristot., fgm. 184 R. no,moi avndro.j kai. gameth/j.—SIG 1198, 14 kata. to.n no,mon tw/n evranistw/n; Num 9:12 o` n. tou/ pa,sca; Philo, Sobr. 49 o` n. th/j le,praj) Ro 7:2b; cp. 7:3 and de,detai no,mw| vs. 2a (on the imagery Straub 94f); 1 Cor 7:39 v.l. —The law is personified, as it were (Demosth. 43, 59; Aeschin. 1, 18; Herm. Wr. 12, 4 [the law of punishment]; IMagnMai 92a, 11 o` n. sunta,ssei; b, 16 o` n. avgoreu,ei; Jos., Ant. 3, 274) J 7:51; Ro 3:19.





3. a collection of holy writings precious to God’s people, sacred ordinance





a. in the strict sense the law=the Pentateuch, the work of Moses the lawgiver (Diod. S. 40, 3, 6 prosge,graptai toi/j no,moij evpi. teleuth/j o[ti Mwsh/j avkou,saj tou/ qeou/ ta,de le,gei t. VIoudai,oij=at the end of the laws this is appended: this is what Moses heard from God and is telling to the Jews. o` dia. tou/ n. metaxu. kaqarw/n kai. avkaqa,rtwn diastei,laj qeo,j Iren. 3, 12, 7 [Harv. II 60, 3]; cp. Hippol., Ref. 7, 34, 1) to. bibli,on tou/ no,mou Gal 3:10b (cp. Dt 27:26). Also simply o` no,moj (Jos., Bell. 7, 162 o` n. or 2, 229 o` i`ero.j n. of the holy book in a concrete sense) Mt 12:5 (Num 28:9f is meant); J 8:5; 1 Cor 9:8 (cp. Dt 25:4); 14:34 (cp. Gen 3:16); Gal 4:21b (the story of Abraham); Hb 9:19. o` n. o` u`me,teroj J 8:17 (cp. Jos., Bell. 5, 402; Tat. 40, 1 kata. tou.j h`mete,rouj n.). evn Mwu?se,wj no,mw| ge,graptai 1 Cor 9:9. kaqw.j ge,graptai evn no,mw| kuri,ou Lk 2:23 (ge,graptai evn no,mw| as Athen. 6, 27, 23c; IMagnMai 52, 35 ; Mel., P. 11, 71; cp. Just., D. 8, 4 ta. evn tw/| n. gegramme,na); cp. vs. 24. e;grayen Mwu?sh/j evn tw/| no,mw| J 1:45 (cp. Cercidas [III BC], fgm. 1, 18f Diehl2 [=Coll. Alex. p. 204, 29=Knox p. 196] kai. tou/qV {Omhroj ei=pen evn VIlia,di).—The Sacred Scriptures (OT) referred to as a whole in the phrase o` n. kai. oi` profh/tai (Orig., C. Cels. 2, 6, 4; cp. Hippol., Ref. 8, 19, 1) [i]the law (hr'ATh;) and the prophets (~yaiybiN>h;) Mt 5:17; 7:12; 11:13; 22:40; Lk 16:16; Ac 13:15; 24:14; 28:23; Ro 3:21b; cp. Dg 11:6; J 1:45. ta. gegramme,na evn tw/| n. Mwu?se,wj kai. toi/j profh,taij kai. yalmoi/j Lk 24:44.





b. In a wider sense=Holy Scripture gener., on the principle that the most authoritative part gives its name to the whole (o` n. o` tou/ qeou/ Theoph. Ant. 1, 11 [p. 82, 15]): J 10:34 (Ps 81:6); 12:34 (Ps 109:4; Is 9:6; Da 7:14); 15:25 (Ps 34:19; 68:5); 1 Cor 14:21 (Is 28:11f); Ro 3:19 (preceded by a cluster of quotations fr. Psalms and prophets).—Mt 5:18; Lk 10:26; 16:17; J 7:49.—JHänel, Der Schriftbegriff Jesu 1919; OMichel, Pls u. s. Bibel 1929; SWesterholm, Studies in Religion 15, ’86, 327-36.—JMeinhold, Jesus u. das AT 1896; MKähler, Jesus u. das AT2 1896; AKlöpper, Z. Stellung Jesu gegenüber d. Mos. Gesetz, Mt 5:17-48: ZWT 39, 1896, 1-23; EKlostermann, Jesu Stellung z. AT 1904; AvHarnack, Hat Jesus das atl. Gesetz abgeschafft?: Aus Wissenschaft u. Leben II 1911, 225-36, SBBerlAk 1912, 184-207; KBenz, D. Stellung Jesu zum atl. Gesetz 1914; MGoguel, RHPR 7, 1927, 160ff; BBacon, Jesus and the Law: JBL 47, 1928, 203-31; BBranscomb, Jes. and the Law of Moses 1930; WKümmel, Jes. u. d. jüd. Traditionsged.: ZNW 33, ’34, 105-30; JHempel, D. synopt. Jesus u. d. AT: ZAW 56, ’38, 1-34.—Lk-Ac: JJervell, HTR 64, ’71, 21-36.—EGrafe, D. paulin. Lehre vom Gesetz2 1893; HCremer, D. paulin. Rechtfertigungslehre 1896, 84ff; 363ff; FSieffert, D. Entwicklungslinie d. paul. Gesetzeslehre: BWeiss Festschr. 1897, 332-57; WSlaten, The Qualitative Use of no,moj in the Pauline Ep.: AJT 23, 1919, 213ff; HMosbech, Pls’ Laere om Loven: TT 4/3, 1922, 108-37; 177-221; EBurton, ICC, Gal 1921, 443-60; PFeine, Theol. des NT6 ’34, 208-15 (lit.); PBenoit, La Loi et la Croix d’après S. Paul (Ro 7:7-8:4): RB 47, ’38, 481-509; CMaurer, D. Gesetzeslehre des Pls ’41; PBläser, D. Gesetz b. Pls ’41; BReicke, JBL 70, ’51, 259-76; GBornkamm, Das Ende d. Gesetzes ’63; HRaisänen, Paul and the Law2 ’87; PRichardson/SWesterholm, et al., Law in Religious Communities in the Rom. Period, ’91 (Torah and Nomos); MNobile, La Torà al tempo di Paolo, alcune riflessioni: Atti del IV simposio di Tarso su S. Paolo Apostolo, ed. LPadovese ’96, 93-106 (lit. 93f, n. 1).—Dodd 25-41.—B. 1358; 1419; 1421. DELG s.v. ne,mw Ic. Schmidt, Syn. I 333-47. M-M. EDNT. TW. Sv.

In regards to the interview with Ella, Ella shows himself incapable of distinguishing between the well-meant offer and duty-faith. He is like a preterist who believes that anyone who does not believe that all prophecy was fulfilled in 70 AD is a futurist.

Brandan
07-26-04, 06:55 PM
Please actually read Mark 1:14-15. Even a child could understand what is said here. Throw the commentaries out the window for just a moment.Well, wildboar, if I can't see it, does that mean I'm an idiot?


How can mental assent by itself have anything to do with the Gospel? Men are called to believe the Gospel, believe the truth about God and agree with Him about their awful condition... They are called to believe that Christ died for His people and that all who are weary and heavy laden are to come to Christ (saving faith) for relief. They are to agree with this. This is the Gospel. Indeed, they are commanded to believe and agree with every jot and tittle of the Bible. However, they are NOT called to be quickened, brought to utter despair, and look to Christ as their only hope. This is personal. This is something God does for His people. This cannot be a duty. This is a result of Christ's atoning work on the cross.


Believe and go to hell but perhaps suffer a bit less? Is that the good news?You're misunderstanding me! I never said that. Read what I said above. Men are COMMANDED to believe the Gospel! But they are NOT commanded to have saving faith - the special work of God that causes men to look to Christ for all the benefits of salvation... Men are not commanded to have the realization (saving faith) that what Christ did was for them.

whs1
07-26-04, 07:33 PM
I just read some of that post you posted Brandan by Samuel Trott yesterday...

That is incredible...I did not even know you read or knew about it.

Bill

Brandan
07-26-04, 07:45 PM
Do you have an example of the kind of preaching you disagree with?Here is a quote from Spurgeon separating assurance from faith. This is where duty-faith leads!
Faith is a duty as well as a privilege, but assurance a privilege only. I never find any man exhorted to get the sealing of the Spirit. I believe that every Christian should pray for it and seek it, but I know of no command. It is a boon, a priceless boon, and, unlike faith, it does not constitute a subject or command. Again, we read in Scripture that men are saved by faith, and live by faith, but neither salvation nor living are ever imputed to sealing or to assurance. We are not saved by assurance: we do not even live by assurance. The vital principle is couched in faith. That is the shell which holds the kernel of the inner spiritual life. I may be saved though I never had assurance; but even if I fancied I had assurance, I could not be saved if I had not faith. To faith we say salvation is promised, but to assurance such a promise is not given. (Charles Spurgeon, "The True Position of Assurance", Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit v. 10, Sermon 582, p. 696) Anyone who says it's your duty to believe that CHRIST DIED FOR YOU is preaching a false Gospel. You hear it all the time in Spurgeon circles. Usually it's tied to an offer - "Christ is at this moment waiting for you to believe, He wants you to believe, and it is YOUR DUTY to believe and be saved!"

Commandments to the unregenerate, "Believe and be saved!" are obviously unbiblical. You can command the unregenerate to believe the Gospel, but you cannot command them to "savingly believe" the Gospel.


Also I would again ask for any evangelical sermons from the anti-duty faith folks so I can compareOh, there are plenty of them! Just about ANYTHING from Philpot or Huntington is extremely evangelistic in my opinion. Just read Philpot or Huntingon and even Gill! Lots of evangelism in their stuff, especially Philpot or Huntington.

I wouldn't have issues with preachers saying that if anyone is struggling with their sin and recognizes their awful condition before God and so desires salvation to look to Christ for redemption! This is evangelism! This is the Gospel! But we don't walk up to dead dogs and tell them to believe and be saved, for it implies creature power and fails to preach the necessity of Sovereign Grace and Total Depravity. This is the billy graham / spurgeon type preaching, and it produces false converts! I'm against because it's a false gospel.

wildboar
07-26-04, 09:41 PM
Brandan:

What in the world is your problem? Why are you afraid to have an honest debate about this subject?


Anyone who says it's your duty to believe that CHRIST DIED FOR YOU is preaching a false Gospel.
I've said over and over again that men are not being commanded to believe that Christ died for them.

However, they are NOT called to be quickened, brought to utter despair, and look to Christ as their only hope. I have also never said that men are called to regenerate themselves. Why do you continue to spread these lies?

What I find in Scripture is a lack of difference in the preaching of the Gospel. All are commanded to repent, all are commanded to believe. It is the response which is different. Some respond in non-saving faith. They know the Gospel to be true but do not have saving faith, because God has not given it to them. They give mental assent to the truths of the Gospel and join the church, but they are hypocrites and eventually their true colors are shown. Their mental assent is not commended by God but rather brings a harsher punishment upon them because of their close contact with the truth. The command to repent and believe however is not limited in any Scripture passages I see to those who appear to have some real repentance or any other such thing as if it were possible to really tell anyhow. A person can and often it does happen that a person sees the misery of their lives and fears the punishment which they know they must suffer and says "what must I do to be saved?" without any love for God but only concern for themselves. We cannot peer into the hearts of men and determine if they are truly sincere nor do we find any example of Jesus or the disciples looking into the hearts of men before calling them to evangelical repentance.

Well, wildboar, if I can't see it, does that mean I'm an idiot?
It means you are blind and have exalted your own reason above Scripture.

Commandments to the unregenerate, "Believe and be saved!" are obviously unbiblical. And once again you deny the impeccibility of Christ.

wildboar
07-26-04, 09:53 PM
Luke 8:12-15 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 "But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. 14 "Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 "But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.

Brandan
07-27-04, 04:12 AM
And once again you deny the impeccibility of Christ.Wow, now tell me how I'm doing that!

Ivor Thomas
07-27-04, 04:42 AM
W.b you seem to be making the mistake of taking the word command to mean only one thing. For example it may be used to instruct teach etc;this I think has led you to make such assertion about what Brandon means ,Ivor Thomas.:cool:

Eileen
07-27-04, 07:38 AM
I have been reading an in-depth article by AW Pink in his Sovereignty of God book which addresses this issue. I didn't know that this controversy has been around for a very long time, duh eileen!! And of coarse there are still both sides, maybe more.

Brandon I have wondered on the anti-duty faith side:
You say tht there is no way that men can be commanded to have a gift which was never meant for them in the first place.

May I please ask why?? That will help further clarify for me the thoughts and ideas on the anti-duty faith side.

WB you say that this belief will lead to atheism, can you further elaborate for me? Is that because men will further eliminate any ideas that God has the right to require and command whatever He wants?

Only if you have the time guys.