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Thread: Common Fall of Humanity?

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    Re: Common Fall of Humanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by BillTwisse
    Wow, do I wish I could participate in all this! I have just a couple of moments between all the last minute chores in preparation for my trip.
    Quote Originally Posted by BillTwisse

    Thanks for taking the time to respond Bob – Have a good trip!

    Quote Originally Posted by BillTwisse
    One question that I might address to Ian, based on his view of the atonement: where does scripture teach that Christ's atonement is in punishment the equivalent of the eternal woe of the reprobate? I certainly agree that it is the equivalent of the punishment due to the elect for their sin and rebellion. But the Augustinian view proposes that eternal punishment is the penalty due all humanity for Adam's sin. This position I deny; it fails to distinguish between the curse of the law and the curse of the gospel. According to this typical view, all punishment is strictly the result of the penalty of law executed on Adam and his seed.

    I understand what you are meaning here Bob, and I think you will find I don’t rigidly follow ‘traditional theology’ in my understanding of many truths. Like you, I hold scripture higher than any creed, confession or writer.

    Certainly the punishment of the reprobate is not only according to the law but also according to the very righteousness of God as revealed in the Gospel, which Gospel they reject. They are punished for that great sin of unbelief. Their ‘eternal’ punishment is because their sin is never taken away – it remains and so the punishment continues for ever.

    What I mean by ‘equivalent’ is in terms of all that sin of the reprobate which is equivalent to the elect’s. If a reprobate murdered then the punishment is the same as that suffered on behalf of an elect man for his act of murder, by his Saviour Christ. The sin is the same in ‘essence’ hence the punishment is also. Likewise for stealing, anger, idolatry and so on. Certainly the curse of the law is the same against both reprobate and elect. Romans chapters 1 – 3 prove all men to be guilty before God (3:19). Why? Because they are all under sin 3:9. Elect and reprobate. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God 3:23.

    Now certainly the individual sins of each person vary from one to another. But those sins are the same in essence. Judged according to law the judgement for each is the same, whether found in the elect or the reprobate. Also the inbred sin which is in man is common to all (Romans 3:9) and the wages of sin is death 6:23. The reprobate also rejects Christ and His Gospel, and is judged for that. The elect obviously is brought to believe, but even he doesn’t always believe – until regeneration, by nature he ALSO was in unbelief. Hence that unbelief as a sin was atoned for by Christ.

    One difference between the judgement of the reprobate and the judgement of the elect in Christ is that whereas the sin of the reprobate remains in them and so God’s anger burns for ever against it, Christ actually consumed the fires of God’s wrath against His people – He was consumed by it and He consumed it. Mystery of mysteries!

    I believe that scripture teaches about the fall of man common to all by which sin entered and death by sin (Romans 5:12). It teaches of the judgement of God against that sin (and sins) both through the law and by the Gospel (Romans 3). As God is just and punishes sin according to a strict, immutable standard then the judgement of like sins is alike. Hence I would need to turn your question around and ask again, where does scripture teach a different type of sin in essence for the reprobate? And therefore a differing judgement?

    I recognise your distinction Bob between law and gospel. The elect are brought to believe the Gospel, so therein lies a difference (although that believing is by faith, a fruit of the Spirit. By nature, before regeneration, they were in just as much rebellion and unbelief as the reprobate were). But the sin which they had in them by nature is the same as the reprobate’s. Where does scripture speak of differing ‘sin’ passed down to some of Adam’s seed but not others. Are we not all descendants of Adam? (But we are not all in the Last Adam…)

    Quote Originally Posted by BillTwisse
    Your view of the plan of salvation is left to right; mine is right to left. In other words, for me the plan of salvation starts with God's purposes in eternity future purchased in Christ (primary)--with Adam and the temporal creation being the last event in God's purposes (subservient). On another thread I posted the views of Gordon Clark on the 'right to left' position.

    Is my view left to right? I’m not so sure Bob. Your summary here (“In other words, for me the plan of salvation starts with God's purposes in eternity future purchased in Christ (primary)--with Adam and the temporal creation being the last event in God's purposes (subservient)”) is much as I would view things. But I think my understanding of the first Adam, the common fall, and the elect being predestinated to sonship in the LAST Adam is more consistent with that summary than the idea that there is some distinction made by nature (or the nature of sin) between elect and reprobate in their descent from the FIRST Adam…

    Quote Originally Posted by BillTwisse
    But let's get back to 1 Cor. 15:19-28, which is THE key passage on this question. Paul wrote it long before Rom. 5:12-21 and I believe the focus of both passages is the same. Many are thrown off by the use of ALL in both passages, assuming that since in Adam ALL are said to die the context is obviously all humanity. But the context is the destruction of death--right to left reasoning. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. This has to be the death of God's elect--not the death of cows or the death of the reprobate. The death of cattle is not an enemy opposed to Christ, in fact, the elect are promised fatted calf to celebrate their redemption in Isa. 25! Neither is the death of reprobate men an enemy opposed to Christ. It is a positive execution of God's purposes of wrath toward them. The only class for whom death is an enemy is the elect. For these and these only, ALL these, in Adam they die and in Christ they are made alive. To view 1 Cor. 15:22 as anything but an exact parallel is very doubtful exegesis indeed.

    I follow what you are saying here but disagree that reading 1 Cor 15:22 as ALL men dieing in Adam is either doubtful exegesis or in any way inconsistent with the flow of Paul’s argument here. He is simply contrasting that whereas all in Adam die, all in Christ live, hence for all those born of Adam who are also in Christ the death which passed on to them from Adam is conquered by Christ. That is true for them, but not true for those in Adam who are not in Christ. To me that is a very plain and straightforward way of reading a passage which really doesn’t throw up any inconsistencies. Romans 5 may puzzle some people more with its contrasts, but I certainly don’t find 1 Cor 15:22 to be ‘difficult’ to understand. However as I have said before, if you DO read 1 Cor 15:22 as referring to the elect in Adam who die, that doesn’t alter the fact that the same thing is true of the reprobate! They will die, and are they not descendants of Adam also? Your understanding would seem to say that whilst they are physical descendants they are not ‘spiritual’ descendants in that sin and death don’t pass on to them like it does with the elect…. But where is that distinguished in scripture…?

    Quote Originally Posted by BillTwisse
    Well, I'm sorry to miss this great discussion but looking forward to great things down the road!

    Brother Bob (Bill)

    Thanks Bob – I look forward to hearing your further thoughts when you get back. I’m sure that when we hear your view padded out more with more explanation from the scriptures concerning the main points it will all make more sense! At the moment I’m conscious that I’m disagreeing with a teaching that I have still yet to hear fully!

    Ever in Grace,
    Ian
    "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" John 1:17

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    Re: Common Fall of Humanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    Saved to sin no more
    Actually I thought we are saved from the Wrath of God ...

    (Rom 5:9 KJV) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

    Whoops ... ya'all answered that hahaha
    It is what it is

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    Re: Common Fall of Humanity?

    Hope I can say this right Ian, I see for sin to be judged, it must be judged in and by Christ, position 3 bypasses the cross, and as no need of Christ not even for judgement, Position 2- brings in the judgement and delivers at the cross, the judgement result of sin for the reprobate, in what Christ suffers and condemms sin in the flesh. Ivor Thomas.

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    Re: Common Fall of Humanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by doctr of grace
    Actually I thought we are saved from the Wrath of God ...

    (Rom 5:9 KJV) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

    Whoops ... ya'all answered that hahaha
    Here's gill on the "wrath" in Rom. 5:9...

    shall be saved from wrath through him: not from wrath, as a corruption in their own hearts, which oftentimes breaks forth; nor as appearing among the people of God one towards another, which is sometimes very bitter; or as in their avowed enemies, the effects of which they often feel; nor from the wrath of devils, which is as the roaring of a lion; but from the wrath of God, from a sense and apprehension of it in their own consciences, which the law works; from which justification by the blood of Christ frees them; though under first awakenings they feel it, and sometimes, under afflictive dispensations of Providence, are ready to fear it: and also from the infliction of vindictive wrath or punishment for sin; for though they are as deserving of it as others, yet as they are not appointed to it, so they are entirely delivered from it, through Christ's sustaining it in their room and stead: wherefore they are secure from it both in this life, and in the world to come.
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    Re: Common Fall of Humanity?

    I think that since the future tense is used in Rom. 5:9 it is particularly the wrath of God which will be revealed in the judgment day which is being spoken of.

    Romans 5:9-10 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: Common Fall of Humanity?

    Ian, thankyou so much for your posts. You have given us much to consider. I am still thinking about this but unfortuantely am not able to devote much time to it at the moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Potts
    Bob has mentioned elsewhere that he doesn’t believe sin is passed on biologically. I would have to give a qualified disagreement to that. Sin is most definitely passed on by natural generation, from parents to child. As shown in various places such as Psalm 51:6. But man is more than just biological flesh and blood. He has a soul, he is a living spirit (though now fallen and spiritually dead). When a new life is conceived in the womb it is more than biological tissue – it is a soul. It is in that soul, in the life of man, in which sin is passed down.
    I don't see how Ps. 52:6 proves that sin is passed on by way of 'natural generation'. Furthermore, I agree the soul is where sin exists but how is the 'soul' passed down from the biological parents?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Potts
    This I think would need to be clearly shown from scripture. Two different kinds of sin. Just where is this shown? Thomas1 has referred to 1 John 5 but I believe the meaning there is very different. Where else could be said to show this idea?
    One thing I would appreciate would be if you could give your exegesis of Rom. 5:14, especially regarding who are those who have not sinned in the "likeness of the offense of Adam" and what those sins are?

    Of course one way in which the sins of elect and reprobate are different is the sin of unbelief, so, at least on that count, it is true to say that their sins are different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Potts
    If comparison is made with the devils who have no possibility of salvation through Christ, then I would point out that doesn’t scripture teach that they too ‘fell’? They left their first estate. They fell from heaven. Did not they rebel against God? Would proponents of #3 say that they were created evil in the first place?
    I think they would. Indeed the devil was a liar from the beginning and reprobate men were destined for destruction from the beginning - thus there was nowhere for them to fall from.

    Just a couple of thoughts to consider whilst waiting for Bob?

    Martin

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    Re: Common Fall of Humanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skeuos Eleos
    Ian, thankyou so much for your posts. You have given us much to consider. I am still thinking about this but unfortuantely am not able to devote much time to it at the moment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skeuos Eleos


    You’re welcome Martin. I haven’t much time myself either and I feel like I have said most of what I’d like to for the time being, so I’ll be brief now.

    Quite often Brandan posts links to Gill’s comments on passages. I notice we have yet to see links to Gill’s comments on 1 Corinthians 15 or Romans 5. I think if you take a look at them you’ll find that he is firmly in line with position 2.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skeuos Eleos
    I don't see how Ps. 52:6 proves that sin is passed on by way of 'natural generation'. Furthermore, I agree the soul is where sin exists but how is the 'soul' passed down from the biological parents?

    I didn’t say the soul itself is passed down in that sense. But sin IS passed down – Romans 5:12. I was distinguishing between it being passed down in the soul, the life of man, rather than in the biological tissue of the flesh as such (although sin and death do affect the flesh…).

    And I do consider Psalm 51:6 a good text to show that, though I’m sure others could be provided. Like Romans 5:12!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Skeuos Eleos
    One thing I would appreciate would be if you could give your exegesis of Rom. 5:14, especially regarding who are those who have not sinned in the "likeness of the offense of Adam" and what those sins are?

    Sure. The parenthesis from verse 13-17 is mainly dealing with the situation from Adam to Moses where there was no formal law under which man lived. Adam was given a command from God which he disobeyed. Hence his disobedience was reckoned to him, imputed to him, because of the command he was under. Likewise the Jews who had the Mosaic law were under that law and if they broke it they also disobeyed the command of God outwardly given to them, just like Adam. Hence their sin was again imputed to them. Their sin was ‘after the similitude of Adam’s transgression’ in the sense that they had a clear outward command(s) from God which they broke. Hence their sin is ‘imputed’ to them. That imputation is in relation to being under ‘law’ in the outward sense.

    Verse 14 however shows that death still reigned from Adam to Moses in those who still sinned, yet not against a direct command of God, or against the outward law, because it hadn’t yet been given at Sinai. So their sin wasn’t ‘imputed’ to them in that legal sense, yet they still sinned, were still sinners and death still passed on them. They still had a conscience and awareness of right and wrong, just like the Gentiles who were without law (see Romans 2). Sin is always sin. But it is ‘after the similitude of Adam’s transgression’ when committed under law, or under a covenant with God.

    This passage is greatly misunderstood but that is what I believe is meant here - it's all to do with the context of law really and showing that sin exists even where there is no law. Verse 20 shows that law just makes things worse - sin abounds under it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skeuos Eleos
    Of course one way in which the sins of elect and reprobate are different is the sin of unbelief, so, at least on that count, it is true to say that their sins are different.

    But unbelief and rebellion are common to the elect too BY NATURE. It is only the work of the Spirit in causing them to be born AGAIN of the heavenly man Jesus Christ which causes them to believe. Hence what was of the old man in the elect was the same as in the reprobate. What makes the elect differ is (in himself, not in God’s purpose) is when he is born again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skeuos Eleos
    The devil was a liar from the beginning and reprobate men were destined for destruction from the beginning - thus there was nowhere for them to fall from.

    “Nowhere to fall from”? Maybe, but show this from scripture. Scripture DOES teach about the angels who fell. What does that mean? It does teach about mankind falling in Adam, but position #3 rejects that understanding of scripture (Romans 5:12). Yet I am awaiting other scriptures to be presented to back up #3 along with all its implications….

    I will leave this discussion for now if you don’t mind. I've posted my thoughts and haven't really got the time to answer further questions from them - sorry. I’d be interested to hear more from the #3 camp from the scriptures in defence of that system however.

    Ian

    P.S. Ivor, I’m not sure if your last post was in agreement with me or not? Your original post backed #3 – are you now against #3 and for #2?
    "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" John 1:17

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    Re: Common Fall of Humanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Potts
    If comparison is made with the devils who have no possibility of salvation through Christ, then I would point out that doesn’t scripture teach that they too ‘fell’? They left their first estate. They fell from heaven. Did not they rebel against God? Would proponents of #3 say that they were created evil in the first place?
    Scripture does not teach the devils fell. They were created evil in the first place.
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    Re: Common Fall of Humanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    Scripture does not teach the devils fell. They were created evil in the first place.
    See this thread: http://www.predestinarian.net/showthread.php?t=1460
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    Re: Common Fall of Humanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reformed SSgt
    Now that we know we are one of God's elect, we know that there was no chance of us going to hell. So we can say now we weren't saved from hell right? Of course before we were saved we did not have this knowledge, and before we had assurance we thought thats where we were going. But since we have had the truth of election reveled to us by God we know that because of His election we never had a chance of going to hell.
    Just a quick comment on this by way of clarification. When we are brought to faith and believe the Gospel, the knowledge that we were elect from before the foundations of the world is indeed a great comfort - we do indeed realise that we were never actually destined for hell (though we previously feared it) because of God's election.

    However election itself is part of our salvation. We are saved because God the Father elected us, Christ the Son died for us, and the Holy Spirit regenerates us giving us faith to believe those truths. A perfect work of the triune God. But nevertheless all three stages of our salvation.

    Hence when I state, in accord with scripture, that we are saved from the wrath to come I think that is quite true. We are saved from that wrath BECAUSE we have been elected, and Christ has died in our place suffering that wrath for us. Those who are NOT saved, are those who are not elect and therefore they will suffer the wrath to come. The elect are saved from it. Election is part of that work of God which saves them, not only from their sins, but also from the consequences of those sins - death and the wrath to come.

    Of course I agree with all your comments above Mike but I just wanted to clarify that it is not inaccurate to speak of believers being saved from hell. They are - by that 'complete' work of salvation which encompasses election, Christ's atoning death and the work of the Spirit in applying that salvation in time in the experience of the believer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    Scripture does not teach the devils fell. They were created evil in the first place.
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill

    Thanks for the link Brandan. I see you have discussed this point before.

    However your statement that “scripture does not teach the devils fell. They were created evil in the first place” is, I must say, rather dogmatic, especially considering the number of preachers/writers who would agree that the devils did indeed fall, and were not created evil in the first place (but were, like Adam, obviously created in a state from which it was possible to fall into sin). There are several passages which reference the subject in scripture as noted in the thread you have linked to (the scriptures certainly speak of Lucifer falling, the angels leaving their first estate, the angels sinning and so on) - the issue is not whether such passages are in scripture but how those same passages are interpreted.

    Just for clarity the main passages which deal with the matter in scripture are Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28, Jude verse 6, 2 Peter 2:4 and Revelation 12:4.

    In the thread you have linked to it is said that Milton taught the fall of the angels. Maybe he did, but this understanding of the passages is hardly to be attributed to Milton as the main proponent, or as the one who originated the idea. In fact it is the generally accepted view of the church over many centuries. I had a quick look in my library at what various writers thought and every one I looked at agreed that one or more of the texts listed above refer to the fall of Satan and his angels (interpretations of each verse vary but the overall position of all the writers is that the devil and his angels did indeed fall from a holy state in which first created). In fact in my – albeit not exhaustive - search I didn’t find one writer who teaches otherwise! Among the writers I looked at were Reformed authors such as Hodge and Matthew Poole. Also J.N. Darby of the Plymouth Brethren shares the same view. Of ‘sovereign grace’ authors I looked up Gill’s comments – he holds to the same position. Likewise two modern sovereign grace authors agree – John Metcalfe in his work “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” and Don Fortner in his book “Discovering Christ in Revelation” both interpret Revelation 12:4 as referring to the fall of Satan and his angels – their rebellion against God, when they first sinned, from their initial created state (ie. they were not created evil).

    Gill's comments on 2 Peter 2:4 can be read here:-
    http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?vi...&createchaps=1

    And Gill’s comments on Jude can be read here:-
    http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?vi...&createchaps=1




    Here is a quote from Gill on Jude verse 6:-

    And the angels which kept not their first estate,.... Or "principality"; that holy, honourable, and happy condition, in which they were created; for they were created in perfect holiness and righteousness, stood in the relation of sons to God, and were, for the lustre of their nature, comparable to the morning stars; they were among the thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers; were a superior rank of creatures to men, and who beheld the face, and enjoyed the presence of God; but this estate they kept not, for being mutable creatures, one of them first sinning, the rest were drawn into it by him, and so were not what they were before, nor in the same estate, or place:

    but left their own habitation; by attempting to rise higher; or by quitting their station and posts of honour, being unwilling to be subject to God, and especially to the Son of God, who was to assume human nature, and in it be above them, which they could not bear; and by gathering together in a body, in another place, with Satan at the head of them; though this may be considered as a part of their punishment, and they may be said to do what they were forced to; for they were drove out of their native habitation, heaven; they were turned out of it, and cast down to hell; see 2Pe 2:4. And this their habitation, which they left, or fell from, or they were cast out of, is by the Jews frequently called the place of their holiness, or their holy place [g].

    I could post quotes from the other authors on such passages as Revelation 12:4, Isaiah 14 or Ezekiel 28… (the latter two passages both having a dual application as with much prophetic writing in the Bible ie. an immediate application to the kings of the nations referred to, but also a spiritual application to Satan and his fall. This is similar to elsewhere in the prophets where there is a near application to the nations or Israel in its history, but also a more spiritual application relating to the coming of Christ, His work and the kingdom) … but it is not my intention here to debate the subject (you have another thread for that) but simply to emphasise that there is Biblical foundation for the view that Satan and his angels ‘fell’ (rebelled against God, probably through pride), that he wasn’t actually created evil in the first place (although obviously it was possible for him to fall from his original state into sin) and that this view is the commonly accepted position of the church historically – and not just protestant or Reformed writers but also many of a strong sovereign grace position such as Gill and Don Fortner today. Now that consensus of view doesn’t of course make all these men right, but it does mean that in disagreeing with these men of God one would need to be sure of solid scriptural evidence against them.

    I think readers of this thread should be aware that the position which holds that the devil never fell, but was created evil, is in fact a rather ‘novel’ and ‘unorthodox’ position, just as the #3 position is which rejects the common fall of man. This view of the devils fits in with the #3 view which Bob holds to, so it is not surprising that it was mainly Bob in the other thread who was arguing against the fall of Satan, as that view fits with his overall ‘system’.

    Now, please don’t get me wrong. I firmly believe that God is sovereign (as does Don Fortner, Gill etc) and that He is the creator of all things, and uses both good and evil to bring about His own purposes – nothing at all thwarts His will. But nevertheless I don’t believe that scripture actually teaches that God created the devil ‘evil’ in the first place (some verses say things such as ‘he was a liar from the beginning’ but that doesn’t mean he was created a liar. It could simply mean that he fell very soon after his creation. Which ‘beginning’ is referred to here? The beginning of the world?) but that he rebelled, sinned, and fell along with other angels which he took with him in his rebellion, and that that fall (as with Adam’s) was foreknown by God and part of His sovereign will. Hence God will be absolutely just in casting the devil and his angels into the lake of fire for eternity because the devil was not created evil but rebelled against his maker, just as Adam and his race did. As to the exact reasons and circumstances of the fall of Satan we are not told such things in scripture – a veil is drawn across it and it is not for us to delve too much into such matters which the Holy Ghost has chosen not to reveal to us in this present world.

    Oh, and as I’ve said before I have a great respect for Bob and value many of his posts here (and that goes for you too Brandan! Please take no offence as my disagreement with you here. ). But I do think it should be pointed out that in these areas (the fall of the devils and the common fall of mankind) he stands in opposition not just to some dispensational, Protestant or Reformed writers (with whom many of us here would disagree with on certain other doctrines) but also to sovereign grace preachers such as Gill, Metcalfe and Fortner amongst others.

    In Christ,
    Ian
    "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" John 1:17

    www.graceandtruthonline.com

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    Re: Common Fall of Humanity?

    Ian,

    I was curious if you thought position #3 and the idea that devils and reprobate were created in sin is a "damnable heresy". I realize that I'm standing in opposition to Gill, Fortner, Calvin, and all the great theologians of the past. But I don't look upon systematic theology as a popularity contest and I'm willing to stand alone for what I perceive to be the truth if need be. At any rate, I posted that link just to let you know that this position has indeed been discussed. Thanks for your comments brother.

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    Re: Common Fall of Humanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    Ian,

    I was curious if you thought position #3 and the idea that devils and reprobate were created in sin is a "damnable heresy". I realize that I'm standing in opposition to Gill, Fortner, Calvin, and all the great theologians of the past. But I don't look upon systematic theology as a popularity contest and I'm willing to stand alone for what I perceive to be the truth if need be. At any rate, I posted that link just to let you know that this position has indeed been discussed. Thanks for your comments brother.

    Brandan
    Brandan,

    I just typed a reply to this and lost it because I wasn't logged in! So this may be a bit briefer...

    I trust you will find that I am not among those who rush into branding every error I come across as a "damnable heresy". I have been on several online forums and it never ceases to amaze me how judgemental some people are and how swift they are to label others as teaching heresy if they don't agree with them. That reflects immaturity and reckless zeal I think. Indeed I myself have been accused elsewhere of holding and teaching heresy, denying 2000 years of Christian witness (!) and leading the sheep astray. Why? Because I don't blindly follow every traditional teaching but seek to submit to what the Spirit would teach me through the scriptures alone.

    ...Yet if ever I am forced to stand up and question some traditional teaching I do so in much fear and trembling knowing that I could be deceived and knowing that many of the men with whom I may disagree were greatly used of God in times gone by and given much light. But nevertheless all are men at best, all hold to errors, all see through a glass darkly and none know the full truth (I am not referring to the God-inspired prophets and apostles in what they wrote in scripture here, though of course outside of scripture they may have imbided certain errors. Indeed scripture records of differences between Paul and Peter at one point etc...). However we should all seek to submit to the scriptures and the Spirit's teaching with much meekness and with teachable hearts, and when truly convinced of a truth be prepared to stand for it, firmly, yet graciously.

    So, no, I don't consider that position #3 and the denial of the fall of the devil is a "damnable heresy" Brandan. But I do consider it an error and for that reason, and not out of seeking an argument but out of love for my brethren I have sought to state where I see the failings in the ideas, and how I feel they deviate from the scriptures and the teachings of others, in order that you might clearly know with what and with whom you differ.

    I've presented several ways in my posts in which I feel these ideas take away from the work of Christ, man's accountability etc, and in the last post I hinted at another aspect with regard to the devil being created evil. I believe that God is sovereign, omnipotent and can do what He pleases, but I also believe that scripture reveals Him to be just, righteous, a God who delights in showing mercy, gracious, longsuffering, loving. I believe that when He sends people to hell He does so justly. The #2 position in its conviction that God created all men innocent in Adam but that in Adam they all wilfully rebelled against God, and that the devil likewise fell from His original, non-evil, state into rebellion, upholds such a just nature in that God is just to condemn those who have rebelled against Himself. The #3 position which states that the reprobate and the devil were created evil, however, seems to weaken this justice - it portrays a God who creates evil creatures and damns them for being as He created them. Whilst some might point at Romans 9 I do not believe that passage is defending such a view, but simply stating that God is fair and just to only elect those whom He wills, and judging the reprobate for their wilful rebellion against Him, indeed hardening them in their OWN wilful rebellion - but God is not the author of their sin. Their judgement is entirely because of their sin freely entered into. Obviously I recognise that God is the creator of all things, good and evil, and is just in all His actions but He is also not the 'author of sin'. These things are mysteries and I don't think the Holy Spirit has revealed them all to us through the Bible nor do I think it is given to us to delve into all these things which we will not fully understand this side of glory.

    I hope some of my thoughts here have been helpful. However, you will have to excuse me Brandan but I will really have to bow out of this discussion for the time being as I lack the time I'm afraid. I do pray that the Lord will lead us all into His truth granting us meekness to learn from Him and only Him - the only teacher we can truly depend upon.

    In Grace,
    Ian
    "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" John 1:17

    www.graceandtruthonline.com

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    Re: Common Fall of Humanity?

    Ian:

    Don't you know that not calling things damnable heresies is a damnable heresy?
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: Common Fall of Humanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by wildboar
    Ian:

    Don't you know that not calling things damnable heresies is a damnable heresy?
    Charles,

    I'm clearly too kind for my own good...!

    Actually I did say in my 'original' post before it got lost due to not being logged in correctly that there are certain clear heresies that deny fundamental truths of the Gospel which I wouldn't shy from naming as such. However many today seem to brand every little error as heresy - it rather demonstrates their own arrogance and pride I think, a failing in itself....

    I really MUST go now....!
    "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" John 1:17

    www.graceandtruthonline.com

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    Re: Common Fall of Humanity?

    Thanks Ian for all of your posts, I have printed them out as I believe they represent Camp #2 in a clear and understandable way.

    In regards to the Heidelberg Q #6 that I quoted early on in this post I have researched the scriputres behind that statement that Adam was created in true righteouness and holiness. For instance:Eph 4:24 "and that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteouness and true holiness".

    Now I don't see how that is in relation to the creation of Adam, I see that as in relation to Christ being the new man that we are to put on.

    2 Cor. 3:18 "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord"

    So again it seems that this is referring to the image of Christ that we are being conformed to, not the first man Adam.

    Col 3:10 "And having put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him" (is this referring to the knowledge we now have of God as Adam did in the garden?)

    These scriputres which are used in relation to the Heidelberg Q6 don't seem to be speaking of Adam at all being created in true holiness, but of the Christian who is being conformed to the image of Christ. Of coarse now I am a bit confused. Ian says that Adam was created innocent and that is different than truly holy and righteous, would someone be willing to expand that a bit.

    I know that BT says that true holiness does not beget evil, so is that the difference?

    WB: What does the WCF say on that subject??


    Anyway, in this research I found many references to the 'image of God' that was my original intent to look into and I have been doing that as well. To quote one author that I read "we the elect are being renewed to the image we were created with". There are many places in the NT on the image being renewed in us, so that is where I am at, still looking into the 'image'.

    One more thing...would God send His own image to hell, or because of the fall was all the 'image' lost? Any thoughts on that or is that one of the mysteries that is best left alone?
    "To those who have no works-phobia, I will state that you are not trembling before the gospel" Robert R. Higby

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    Re: Common Fall of Humanity?

    The Belgic Confession of Faith, Article XIV
    The Creation and Fall of Man, and His Incapacity to Perform What Is Truly Good

    We believe that God created man out of the dust of the earth, and made and formed him after His own image and likeness, good, righteous, and holy, capable in all things to will agreeably to the will of God. But being in honor, he understood it not, neither knew his excellency, but wilfully subjected himself to sin and consequently to death and the curse, giving ear to the words of the devil. For the commandment of life, which he had received, he transgressed; and by sin separated himself from God, who was his true life; having corrupted his whole nature; whereby he made himself liable to corporal and spiritual death. And being thus become wicked, perverse, and corrupt in all his ways, he has lost all his excellent gifts which he had received from God, and retained only small remains thereof, which, however, are sufficient to leave man without excuse; for all the light which is in us is changed into darkness, as the Scriptures teach us, saying: The light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness apprehended it not; where St. John calls men darkness.
    Therefore we reject all that is taught repugnant to this concerning the free will of man, since man is but a slave to sin, and can receive nothing, except it have been given him from heaven. For who may presume to boast that he of himself can do any good, since Christ says: No man can come to me, except the Father that sent me draw him? Who will glory in his own will, who understands that the mind of the flesh is enmity against God? Who can speak of his knowledge, since the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God? In short, who dares suggest any thought, since he knows that we are not sufficient of ourselves to account anything as of ourselves, but that our sufficiency is of God? And therefore what the apostle says ought justly to be held sure and firm, that God worketh in us both to will and to work, for his good pleasure. For there is no understanding nor will conformable to the divine understanding and will but what Christ has wrought in man; which He teaches us, when He says: Apart from me ye can do nothing.

    The Heidelberg Catechism, Lord's Day 3

    Q6: Did God create man thus, wicked and perverse?
    A7: No,[1] but God created man good and after His own image,[2] that is, in righteousness and true holiness; that he might rightly know God his Creator, heartily love Him, and live with Him in eternal blessedness, to praise and glorify Him.[3]
    1. Gen. 1:31
    2. Gen. 1:26-27
    3. II Cor. 3:18; Col. 3:10; Eph. 4:24
    Q7: From where, then, does this depraved nature of man come?
    A7: From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in Paradise,[1] whereby our nature became so corrupt that we are all conceived and born in sin.[2]
    1. Gen. ch. 3; Rom. 5:12, 18-19
    2. Psa. 14:2-3; 51:5
    Q8: But are we so depraved that we are completely incapable of any good and prone to all evil?
    A8: Yes,[1] unless we are born again by the Spirit of God.[2]
    1. John 3:6; Gen. 6:5; Job 14:4; Isa. 53:6
    2. John 3:5; Gen. 8:21; II Cor. 3:5; Rom. 7:18; Jer. 17:9

    The Canons of Dort, Third and Fourth Heads of Doctrine
    The Corruption of Man, His Conversion to God, & the Manner Thereof - Articles of Faith


    Article 1
    Man was originally formed after the image of God. His understanding was adorned with a true and saving knowledge of his Creator, and of spiritual things; his heart and will were upright, all his affections pure, and the whole man was holy. But, revolting from God by the instigation of the devil and by his own free will, he forfeited these excellent gifts; and in the place thereof became involved in blindness of mind, horrible darkness, vanity, and perverseness of judgment; became wicked, rebellious, and obdurate in heart and will, and impure in his affections.

    The Canons of Dort, Third and Fourth Heads of Doctrine
    The Corruption of Man, His Conversion to God, & the Manner Thereof - Rejection of Errors


    The true doctrine having been explained, the Synod rejects the errors of those:
    Paragraph 2
    Who teach: That the spiritual gifts or the good qualities and virtues, such as goodness, holiness, righteousness, could not belong to the will of man when he was first created, and that these, therefore, cannot have been separated therefrom in the fall.
    For such is contrary to the description of the image of God which the apostle gives in Eph. 4:24, where he declares that it consists in righteousness and holiness, which undoubtedly belong to the will.

    The French Confession, Article IX

    IX. We believe that man was created pure and perfect in the image of God, and that by his own guilt he fell from the grace which he received,[1] and is thus alienated from God, the fountain of justice and of all good, so that his nature is totally corrupt. And being blinded in mind, and depraved in heart, he has lost all integrity, and there is no good in him.[2] And although he can still discern good and evil,[3] we say, notwithstanding, that the light he has becomes darkness when he seeks for God, so that he can in nowise approach him by his intelligence and reason.[4] And although he has a will that incites him to do this or that, yet it is altogether captive to sin, so that he has no other liberty to do right than that which God gives him.[5]
    1. Gen. 1:26; Eccl. 7:10; Rom. 5:12; Eph. 2:2-3
    2. Gen. 6:5, 8:21
    3. Rom. 1:21; 2:18-20
    4. I Cor. 2:14
    5. John 1:4-5, 7; 8:36; Rom. 8:6-7

    The Waldensian Confession

    VIII. That man, who was created pure and holy, after the image of God, deprived himself through his own fault of that happy condition by giving credit to the deceitful words of the devil.
    IX. That man by his transgression lost that righteousness and holiness which he had received, and thus incurring the wrath of God, became subject to death and bondage, under the dominion of him who has the power of death, that is, the devil; insomuch that our free will has become a servant and a slave to sin: and thus all men, both Jews and Gentiles, are, are by nature children of wrath, being all dead in their trespasses and sins, and consequently incapable of the least good motion to any thing which concerns their salvation: yea, incapable of one good thought without God's grace, all their imaginations being wholly evil, and that continually.

    The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter IV
    Of Creation


    II. After God had made all other creatures, he created man, male and female,[4] with reasonable and immortal souls,[5] endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after his own image;[6] having the law of God written in their hearts,[7] and power to fulfill it:[8] and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject unto change.[9] Beside this law written in their hearts, they received a command, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; which while they kept, they were happy in their communion with God,[10] and had dominion over the creatures.[11]
    4. Gen 1:27
    5. Gen. 2:7; Eccl. 12:7; Luke 23:43; Matt. 10:28
    6. Gen. 1:26; Col. 3:10; Eph. 4:24
    7. Rom. 2:14-15
    8. Gen. 2:17; Eccl. 7:29
    9. Gen. 3:6, 17
    10. Gen. 2:17; 2:15-3:24
    11. Gen. 1:28-30; Psa. 8:6-8

    The Larger Catechism

    Q17: How did God create man?
    A17: After God had made all other creatures, he created man male and female;[1] formed the body of the man of the dust of the ground,[2] and the woman of the rib of the man,[3] endued them with living, reasonable, and immortal souls;[4] made them after his own image,[5] in knowledge,[6] righteousness,and holiness;[7] having the law of God written in their hearts,[8] and power to fulfil it,[9] and dominion over the creatures;[10] yet subject to fall.[11]
    1. Gen. 1:27
    2. Gen. 2:7
    3. Gen. 2:22
    4. Gen. 2:7; Job 35:11; Eccl. 12:7; Matt. 10:28; Luke 23:43
    5. Gen. 1:27
    6. Col. 3:10
    7. Eph. 4:24
    8. Rom. 2:14-15
    9. Eccl. 7:29
    10. Gen. 1:28
    11. Gen. 3:6; Eccl. 7:29

    The Shorter Catechism

    Q10: How did God create man?
    A10: God created man male and female, after his own image,[1] in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness,[2] with dominion over the creatures.[3]
    1. Gen. 1:27
    2. Col. 3:10; Eph. 4:24
    3. Gen. 1:28
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: Common Fall of Humanity?

    The Second Helvetic Confession - Chapter VII
    Of the Creation of All Things: Of Angels, the Devil, and Man


    Of Man. Now concerning man, Scripture says that in the beginning he was made good according to the image and likeness of God;[1] that God placed him in Paradise and made all things subject to him (Gen., ch. 2). This is what David magnificently sets forth in Psalm 8. Moreover, God gave him a wife and blessed them. We also affirm that man consists of two different substances in one person: an immortal soul which, when separated from the body, neither sleeps nor dies, and a mortal body which will nevertheless be raised up from the dead at the last judgment in order that then the whole man, either in life or in death, abide forever.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: Common Fall of Humanity?

    Thank you Charles for posting all of them. Speaks loudly!
    "To those who have no works-phobia, I will state that you are not trembling before the gospel" Robert R. Higby

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    Re: Common Fall of Humanity?

    John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

    To have no truth and to be the father of lies and a murderer from the beginning does not leave room for being good once upon a time.

    Make the tree good or evil.

    Matthew 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
    Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
    Matthew 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

    The devil is an enemy of all righteousness, so how could there have been room for him to ever be righteous?

    Acts 13:10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

    The snake was created subtile.

    Genesis 3:1 ¶Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

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    Re: Common Fall of Humanity?

    Ragged Edge good comments!

    Bob said earlier:
    Quote Originally Posted by BillTwisse
    No creature may be proposed to need that which is tangibly impossible to experience. Even so, it is absurd to propose that the devil and his children need salvation. They are created in eternal sin, beyond the possibility of regeneration.
    So true!

    The reprobate cannot possibly experience salvation since they were not saved on the cross. They were created to be damned.. SOOOOOO, if that is the case, we cannot say they "need" salvation. There is NO POSSIBILITY WHATSOEVER of regeneration, and I would have to conclude that they were created in eternal sin whether it be Adam's imputed sin or not. The thing is, if they were created in Adam's sin, then at SOME POINT they would have had right standing in the mind of God and thus you would have to conclude they are in need of salvation...

    Also I went searching on this concept of "eternal sin", and while it's not in the KJV, it is in the ASV...

    Mk 3:29, (ASV), but whosoever shall blaspheme against the Holy Spirit hath never forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin:

    Any comments?
    This is my signature.

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