Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Saturday, April 23, 2016

'Christ plus anything is not salvation'

“By Grace are Ye Saved”
Ephesians 2:8

Almost all professing Christians profess to believe that salvation is by grace. The Bible states the fact of salvation by grace alone so often and so clearly that you can hardly find any who claim to be Christians who openly deny it.
      The trouble is that the vast majority of men and women, and the vast majority of preachers talk about grace in such a way that they frustrate the grace of God. The grace they talk about is not grace at all, but works and freewillism, presented in the name of grace!
      It is therefore needful that we be constantly and clearly instructed in the doctrine of the grace of God. Grace comes from God who sits upon, and sovereignly rules this universe from his lofty “throne of grace.” Again and again, God the Holy Ghost inspired the apostle Paul to tell us that salvation is by the grace of God. Obviously, this is a matter of great importance. It cannot be overstated or stated too often, or stated too dogmatically. — “By grace are ye saved

Boasting Excluded
Salvation by grace destroys all room for human boasting (1 Corinthians 4:7).

“Boasting excluded, pride I abase;
I’m only a sinner saved by grace!”

If your idea of salvation allows you to boast that the difference between you and other people is something you are, something you have done, something you decided, or something you willed, you do not yet know the gospel of the grace of God. You have not yet been taught of God. You do not yet know God. No man, no flesh, can glory before God! God’s people know better than to boast even of their repentance and faith. We know that even these things are the gifts of God and the operations of his grace in us (Acts 5:31; 11:17; Romans 2:4; 1 Corinthians 3:5; Ephesians 1:19; 2:8; Philippians 1:29; Colossians 2:12). All the graces that are in God’s saints are the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

God Glorified
Salvation by grace alone means that God gets all the praise, honor, and glory for it. God the Father gets all praise for planning it. God the Son gets all praise for purchasing it. And God the Holy Ghost gets all praise for performing it (Ephesians 1:3-14). — “As it is written, he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord!”
Here is a litmus test for all doctrine. If it makes you swell with pride, if it causes you to look to yourself and say, with regard to any aspect of salvation, “There, I did that,” it is heresy. It is not the doctrine of the grace of God. However, if it causes you to bow humbly before God, blush with shame, and say, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory,” then you can be sure it is according to the doctrine of the grace of God.

Damning Doctrine
Any mixture of works with grace, any mixture of merit with mercy, any mixture of what you do with what God does is not only a terribly evil thing, but utterly damning to your soul.
We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Grace plus anything is not salvation, but damnation. Faith plus anything is not salvation, but damnation. Christ plus anything is not salvation, but damnation (Romans 11:6; Galatians 5:2, 4).






Don Fortner

21 comments:

Darrel said...

I have yet to hear ANY Arminian speak unreservedly about the Sovereignty of God---especially when it comes to salvation. When the fact of His eternal and all powerful sovereignty is mentioned they run like cock roaches when the light is turned on for the darkness of their fantasy doctrines. They may be quick to spout the current and popular definition of grace being "unmerited favor" but cannot explain why the Lord Jesus received grace as well (Luke 2:40 & Heb. 2:9). Do they consider Christ to be of the same "no merit" as the rest of humanity? Their own words tells us that the answer is "yes". His sacrifice is useless to the Arminian without their consent, without man taking the initiative in his own "saving", and useless to those for whom they claim He died on their behalf and yet spend eternity in hell, His sacrifice is further useless to the Arminian since they preach that ALL will be saved in the end, no matter what they have done, not to mention the fact that they ALL believe that the salvation gift of God can be lost, forfeited, or 'opted out of' at will. It is hard to find a more egregious blaspheme than that of "free-will" salvation, except the blaspheme of the Holy Spirit which, I suspect, many Arminians have committed several times over.

Perhaps a more accurate definition of grace would be "enabling power". Strong meat only for the chosen and redeemed.

lyn said...

Sadly, most preachers of our day adhere to this accursed gospel. There are few, if any, who will call this free will heresy what it is. May God raise up a man who will stand up and speak out against this accursed thing, which has taken such deep root in America.

Paul G said...

Hi Lyn, please tell me, if a man does absolutely nothing, can he be saved ?
By that I mean, if he does not believe or has faith, or if he refuses to believe or put faith in Jesus, can he be saved ?
Paul

Darrel said...

Hi Paul G,
Tell me, where does the faith for one to believe come from?

lyn said...

Hi Paul

Man, in his natural state, is unable to understand spiritual matters. That's why the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to write this, "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" 1 Corinthians 2:14.
God must draw the sinner {John 6:44}. To draw means to drag; there has to be a force greater and more powerful than ourselves to drag us out of the bondage of sin. That coupled with man's natural love of sin/darkness prevents anyone from being able to freely choose to be saved. This is where the grace and mercy of God are such a blessing, and yet often overlooked rarely expounded upon in many pulpits. No man has the ability to have faith/believe/trust in God for salvation, why? Because faith is a gift, given by God. I encourage you to consider watching this amazing teaching on Ephesians 2:8-9 https://youtu.be/o3dodm97SY4

The sinner does fly to Christ, but only after God has drawn them, regenerated them, and gifted them with faith. Those who have not been drawn and born again by God will in fact refuse to believe, they cannot believe and they will not believe. The love of sin and the depravity of man keeps him from wanting anything to do with such a holy and righteous God. This sermon by Spurgeon may be of help to you = http://www.spurgeongems.org/tulip-1.pdf


One last thing, in Jeremiah 17:9 God says "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Allow me to define key words in this text, starting with 'heart' - inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding, inclination, resolution, determination (of will), conscience - Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew definitions. We see that all of the inner man, including the will, is included in the word 'heart'. This 'heart' is deceitful - crooked, deceitful, polluted - Strong's Hebrew and Greek definitions.
The whole inner man is filled with deception, polluted by his sin nature.
'Desperately wicked' - incurable, sick, woeful- Strong's Hebrew and Greek definitions.
Now we have the complete picture of the inner man. We are all filled with deceit, polluted and incurably sick with and because of sin. There is no way a sinner can overcome such a vile condition that resides within himself by freely deciding to do so. God, who is all powerful, must bring sinners to Himself by His power and might. He must gift us with faith, for we haven't any faith in God within us, we are filled with deceit, crooked and corrupt.

This commentary from John Gill describes the heart better than I can, "everything in it is wicked; the thoughts of it are evil; the imaginations of the thoughts are so; even every imagination, and that only, and always, Gen_6:5 the affections are inordinate; the mind and conscience are defiled; the understanding darkened, so dark as to call evil good, and good evil; and the will obstinate and perverse: all manner of sin and wickedness is in it; it is the cage of every unclean bird, and the hold of every foul spirit; all sin is forged and framed in it; and all manner of evil comes out of it, Rev_18:1 yea, it is wickedness itself, Psa_5:9, it is so even to desperation; it is "incurably wicked", as it may be rendered; it is so without the grace of God, and blood of Christ".


I hope that answers your question

Paul G said...

Hi Darrell, faith comes from God, but faith applied comes from man :-)
And He has given everyone a measure of faith.

Paul G said...

Thanks Lyn, you said, 'No man has the ability to have faith/believe/trust in God for salvation,'

Please tell me, why then did peter asked the jailer to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and he and his household will be saved, if the jailer has no ability to believe ?

Also, thanks for the link to Spurgeon's teaching. I will read it in due time, although I know what Spurgeon is teaching concerning those matters.

lyn said...

Paul

You didn't watch the video on Ephesians 2:8-9 did you? If you had, you would not have responded to me or Darrel the way you did.

Concerning Acts 16:31, the word 'believe' is in the imperative mood in the Greek grammatical construction of the sentence. The imperative mood is a command or instruction given to the hearer, charging the hearer to carry out or perform a certain action. It doesn't imply the hearer has the ability to carry out the action commanded. The result of believing is salvation, that is not being questioned. This text doesn't tell the jailer he has the ability to have faith/believe in Christ, it is commanding him to do so. It isn't a choice and the end result doesn't lie with the sinner. Only God can save and give faith to sinners.

Your answer to Darrel is interesting, so you admit God gives us faith but faith applied comes from man. Can you support that view with scripture?





Darrel said...

Paul,
Nearly every heresy has it's root in what a man can do on his own to get into the good graces of the god he worships. In order for this to work their way it is necessary for them to re-write Scripture, re-interpret it to fit their fantasy doctrines or simply ignore the Scriptures (selected or the whole of the Bible) that are not conducive to the heresy they promote. Arminianism is a prime example. They completely ignore, or try to re-write all the hundreds of Scriptures that teach the Sovereignty of God in all things, especially in His dealings with man. The OT is filled with verses that speak of God doing His pleasure WITHOUT the advice or consent of man, His manipulation of their hearts and minds to do His bidding---no where to be found is there even a hint of the supposed "free-will" of man being consulted for approval of God's plan and actions. Read Exodus, Samuel 1&2, Kings 1&2, Chronicles 1&2, Daniel, and even Ester, a book that never mentions the Name of God, but His sovereignty is on display from beginning to end.

As for the origin of faith, you are correct at first to say that faith comes from God, but you err as you try to say that man's cooperation is a necessary ingredient for faith to take hold. You cannot provide any Scripture to sustain your statement that "He has given everyone a measure of faith" because none exist (Rom. 12:3 is speaking to believers and not the whole of mankind, would you re-interpret this verse to accommodate this false teaching you promote?). Further, this Arminian trick ignores Rom. 3:10-18 where it is stated that there is "NONE righteous", "NONE who understands", and NONE who seeks after God." This done in order to continue the deception they have inflicted upon themselves and those that believe this tactic of selective dismissal of 'inconvenient Scriptures'.

Peter did not "ask" the jailer to repent, it was a command in answer to the jailer's question. The COMMAND to repent is always a COMMAND and never a suggestion, request, or option and yet only those born from above---born again---are afforded the gift of repentance. If you are really interested in 'repentance' then look it up in your concordance. You will find that a man does have the innate ability to 'repent' (it too is a gift), a man may even seek it and not find it as an action of his supposed "free-will" as did Esau, Heb. 12:16 & 17. For an Arminian to accept that Esau (and others) cannot find 'repentance' just because they say they want it is a good place to start. But that will come only at the discretion of the Sovereign Lord God, Who alone is the One who opens the eyes of the blind. You see, it is quite IMPOSSIBLE for you, me, or anyone else to see & understand, muchless believe the Scriptures apart from God the Holy Spirit doing the eye-opening work that He does---John 12:37-41; John 20:11-18; Luke 24:13-35 (esp. v. 31) and Luke 24:45. Willing something to be so is the same trap that the "name it and claim it crowd" have pushed on the church for over a century. It is the usurping of God Himself as the ONLY Creator and it makes man a 'little creator' in his own right. The "free-willism" of the Arminian clan is precisely the same as it declares that 'an act of the will' is a necessary component for a man to "achieve" salvation. This they teach despite the teaching of the Scriptures being the precise opposite.

The way you phrased your question about Peter and the jailer it sounds like you are saying that if the jailer repented, then his whole family (household) would be saved also. Was that your intent?

Paul G said...

Thanks Lyn, you said, 'It doesn't imply the hearer has the ability to carry out the action commanded.'

So then, do you think that Peter asked the jailer to carry out an action he was not able to do ?
That does not make sense to me.
If you asked me to repent of my ways and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, that would imply that I can and have the ability to carry out the action you have commanded me.

You said, 'This text doesn't tell the jailer he has the ability to have faith/believe in Christ, it is commanding him to do so.'

Why would Peter command the jailer to repent and believe, if he does not have the ability ?
That also doesn't make sense.

You said, 'It isn't a choice and the end result doesn't lie with the sinner.'

If the end result, 'salvation', (in that context) does not lie with the sinner, then why did Peter command the jailer to repent and believe ?
The end result has to lie with the sinner, there is no other way.
Why addressing the sinner if the problem doesn't lie with the sinner ?


I said, 'faith applied comes from man.'
It makes sense that when the Lord gave everyone a measure of faith and said that, 'if you believe and do not doubt in your heart and say to the mountain or the mulberry bush to pick yourself up by the roots and be planted in the sea, it will obey you'.
Well, that stands to reason that applied faith comes from man, so I think :-)

Paul G said...

Darrell, you said, 'Peter did not "ask" the jailer to repent, it was a command in answer to the jailer's question. The COMMAND to repent is always a COMMAND and never a suggestion, request, or option'.

Yes I fully agree with you, but Peter commands everyone (without exception) to repent and be saved, not only the jailer.
Therefore it is reasonable to say that if they DO NOTHING and ignore the command of the Lord, they will NOT be saved (in that context), including the jailer, only if they do and obey the command to 'repent and believe', they will be saved.

I think that the Lord does not give anyone a command they are not able to do, perhaps like I would not give my children a command they could not do or obey.

You said, 'it sounds like you are saying that if the jailer repented, then his whole family (household) would be saved also. Was that your intent?'

No Darrell, that wasn't my intent, but since you mentioned that, I assume that the jailer, as the head of his house would have repented and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and therefore commanded all of his household also to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, just as Peter has said, so that ALL who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ would be saved, especially his household.
You see, the Lord is not willing that anyone should perish, but ALL to be saved, they perish, because they would not believe in the only one whom God has sent.

lyn said...

Paul,

God commands sinners to repent and believe, that does not mean they can or have that ability. This is why I posted various texts earlier to show you the bondage of sin and the natural love of it {re-read my April 24th 8:53pm post}. God must first do a work in the heart before a sinner can flee to Christ. That is the ministerial work of the Holy Spirit, a work that is no longer taught in most churches. You must be born again, can you re-birth yourself? No, the Holy Spirit must regenerate you {See John 3 and John 1:13 for starters}.
No one can believe apart from God working in their heart first, no one can repent on their own either - this too is given by God. " with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth" 2 Timothy 2:25
"When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, "Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life." Acts 11:18


In the video link I suggested, it gives a teaching on Ephesians 2:8-9. The Greek grammatical construction of the sentence was broken down and proves that faith and salvation are a gift from God. I do hope you will take time to watch it.
I also showed you that a command does not imply the ability to respond. Salvation has not one thing to do with man, it is a work of the triune God.

Also, 'all' does not mean every person ever born. An example of that is found in Revelation, 'from every tribe, tongue and nation' {bear in mind, you are reading a translation and not the original manuscripts. This is why it is good to use a Greek/Hebrew lexicon and study the grammatical sentence construction as well as the tenses of nouns and verbs} It is easy to take the word of God out of context to fit pre-conceived ideas that have infiltrated the church. God saves sinners from all walks of life, but He does not save everyone. God chooses His elect, the Holy Spirit regenerates the dead/stony heart, God gifts us with faith and repentance, sanctification, justification, and all that is necessary for the saving of our souls. When man states he has the ability to do anything to help God save him, then he fails to understand the work of the triune God in saving him as well as the sovereignty of the Almighty. The best advice I could give you is to study the inability and nature of man, until God reveals to you the utter wickedness and the depth of depravity in your own heart, you will not understand why you cannot believe apart from God gifting you.

Darrel said...

Paul,
Thank you for answering my questions, that in itself is a rarity.
You resort to man-made logic for your conclusions which is a grave danger and never coincides with Scripture. There is nothing "logical" about the Gospel, the Son of God taking on human flesh and dying for His chosen ones as God Himself subjected Himself to evil men for the only occasion in all of eternity. but even this, His being crucified by wicked men was of Heavenly, Sovereign design, purpose, and accomplishment; God using the wickedness of evil men to accomplish eternal salvation for the elect. A most specific Scripture saying this is John 19:11, Jesus speaking to Pilate: "You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above..." Isa. 55: 8 & 9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Human logic will always lead a man in circles, leading right back to himself. The Lord has no use for nor need of our "logic" but He does reveal the mystery of Himself to the ones He chooses to do so.

Leaving man's "logic" behind we are told that sinners are saved by grace through faith and that not of themselves---Eph. 2:8 & 9. If salvation truly is "not of ourselves" (and it is!) how is it that a man's decision to repent or not to repent becomes the focal point of who is saved and who is condemned? Keeping in mind that this so-called 'decision to repent' is something that is innate to his nature---he can accept or reject Jesus Christ by a decision of his will. That pretty much sums up the view of those who teach this, but they have continually failed to provide any Scripture that supports this notion or even hints at it. John 1:13 is explicit in it's rejection of such a notion and all related teaching that has spawned from Pelagius, Arminius, et al. and states plainly that salvation is "not of blood" (not inherited), "nor of the will of the flesh" (it is impossible for a man to 'will himself' into the Kingdom of God), "nor of the will of man" (a two-fold meaning in that again you can't will yourself to be saved, nor can you will it to be so that anyone else is saved). And finally it says "but of God" meaning that all the necessary work is done by the Lord, not just the cross and resurrection, but the convicting and sealing work of the Holy Spirit. Eph. 2:1 states "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins". But Arminius and friends would have men believe that they are not really dead in trespasses and sins, but possess some spark within them that will enable them to choose God at a time of their own choosing thus resulting in "salvation". Scripture says otherwise, but it is inconvenient for man to believe the truth about himself so he opts for the easy and pleasing lie that he is in control of his fate and eternal destiny. Men claim to have a free will but the will is never truly free but bound by the sins that control it, to the point that a man can only continue in his sin unless God intervenes---and He does, for the elect as spelled out in Eph. 2:4-10.

If salvation could be had via an act of our will then it would be just that, an act of a man. This makes it to where God becomes obligated to "save" a man who has "chosen God" without the free gift of His grace. It leaves the door wide open for bragging rights from the day one is "saved" right through all eternity. Does the God you serve allow for a man to boast?

Darrel said...

Paul,
"I think that the Lord does not give anyone a command they are not able to do..."
But we have the command of the Lord in 1 Peter 1:16 "...Be Holy for I am holy". Do you fail this command? I do. Every day. Yet it stands as written that I am to "be holy". Do I accomplish this by trying, or is it done for me, in me, to me by the Holy Spirit? I can "choose" to be holy all day long and never achieve my goal. So does God command something for us to do that is an impossibility fro us on our own to do? Absolutely and that's the beauty of "Christ in you".

How about the First and Second Commandments of the Ten? Have you ever love the Lord your God with all you heart, soul, and mind? Neither have I (see Matt. 22:37-40). It is a fact that I will never fully obey this command while in this flesh, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to obey it. To the degree that I do obey it, it is solely due to the indwelling Spirit of God and not all the wishful thinking I can muster.

Jesus said "you must be born again" can you born yourself again just by wishing it to be so, or maybe by an act of your will bring about the miracle from heaven? no, I didn't think so, so why saddle men with the false notion that they can choose or reject God at their own whim, and even change their mind in the future if "salvation" becomes inconvenient or boring to them.

Lord, please open our eyes to the real salvation provided by You.

Paul G said...

Lyn, again thanks for your good explanation and I agree a lot with what you are saying.
I can see a little Calvinistic flavor in your doctrines. I think that we as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have to make sure that we believe what the Scriptures actually say and not lean too much on what our brothers John Calvin, Jacob Arminius or Charles Spurgeon has to say.
Sadly our brothers have died and they cannot defend their positions, but we ought to look to the Scriptures for inspiration and teaching and not to our brothers.

Many of our brothers and sisters maintain that the Scripture alone is the authority over us and is suitable for teaching and instruction, therefore we don't need any other writings for support.

I think that, if we believe and do exactly as the Word of the Lord has said without changing it's simple and plain meaning, then He might lead us into a deeper understanding of the apostles doctrines.
But that thanks again for explaining your view.

Paul G said...

Darrell, you said, ' Human logic will always lead a man in circles, leading right back to himself.'
Yes I agree with you, but a man without the Spirit cannot understand the things of the Spirit, he can only understand the things of the soul, which is logic.

You cannot speak to his spirit, because he is spiritually dead in his sins and trespasses. Therefore you need to speak to his logic, and if it doesn't make sense to him, he will not listen to you. Remember, 'the children of this world are wiser than the children of light'.

Also, I'm very glad that you have given me an idea of your theology.
What I can see is, that you wrestle between two teachings, the salvation by works which is Arminian teaching, and the salvation which is by grace alone the Calvinistic teaching.
Both of those teachings have troubled me for years, till the Lord Jesus opened my understanding to that problem.

We are NOT saved from being unsaved. Salvation standing by itself is meaningless, saved from WHAT ??
Throughout the Scriptures and our life we have been saved from various situations like saved from drowning or from the mouth of a shark or from a deadly cancer or whatever.

You see, the Lord Jesus will save us from of ALL those problems on the condition that we believe and DO, or call upon the Name of the Lord. That is for BOTH the elect and the non-elect, Satan's children and God's children alike.

However, there is one salvation which is a FREE GIFT and that is being born again, born from a DEAD state unto life eternal in the Spirit, and whosoever has received that free gift of eternal life can never die again.
Now that salvation is only for God's children the elect and for that no man can believe or do anything of themselves, because they are spiritually DEAD. (In the area in which a man is dead, he cannot function.)
The salvation from the dead is a free gift of God by grace alone and by the work of God alone and boasting is excluded. (While we were dead in sins and trespasses, but God made us alive in Christ).

Can you see, the doctrine of grace applies only to God's children the elect in the NEW BIRTH alone and not in the salvation from our problems.

Even though we are born again we still can suffer the destruction of the flesh if we do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and DO not the works He has commanded us.
And for this reason we need to preach and present BOTH, the salvation which is for ALL mankind to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and to DO what He has commanded.
AND also the salvation which is a FREE GIFT of God by grace alone for God's children so that we who are born again refrain from boasting.

In this regard the Arminians and the Cavinists do NOT divide the word of truth rightly, they amalgamate the new birth salvation with any other type of salvation and for that reason they are always fighting with one another.

Perhaps read carefully Luke 18:35-43, blind Bartimaeus was calling upon the Name of the Lord to save him from being blind, and Jesus said in verse 42 "Receive thy sight; thy faith hath saved thee".
Was Bartimaeus saved from a spiritual dead state unto life (born again) ? No !
He was saved from physical blindness and that is because he believed in Jesus.
If he had done nothing, he would not have been saved from his blindness.
That salvation was NOT a free gift of God, but the new birth is.

Paul G said...

Darrell, you said, 'So does God command something for us to do that is an impossibility for us on our own to do?'

No Darrell, the Lord does not do that.
A command is there for us to keep, or to DO and if we transgress the command we will be punished for the transgression. That is called justice and the Lord is absolutely 100% just.

If the Lord would give you a command you could not do, then He would be unjust and He would not have the right to punish you.

You said, 'How about the First and Second Commandments of the Ten? Have you ever loved the Lord your God with all you heart, soul, and mind? Neither have I (see Matt. 22:37-40).'

Darrell, this is the GREATEST and the foremost of all the commandment. If you transgress that commandment, you need to have a serious look at yourself, there is a severe punishment attached to that.
It is not for me to judge you, but it is for you to judge yourself.
It is the greatest commandment of the Lord, therefore you have to ask yourself, WHY don't you love the Lord your God with all your heart etc. ALWAYS ?
Is it that you transgress the first command willingly because you have another god beside the Lord your God ?

In how many gods do you believe ?
If you say that you believe in one God, then please tell me in which one ?
The commandments require that you forsake the other gods, or the Lord will not let you go unpunished (just read the first and second Commandments carefully Exodus 20:2-7).

You said, 'It is a fact that I will never fully obey this command while in this flesh, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to obey it.'

It is required from you that you obey His commandment and not just 'wanting to obey it'.
Surely you would like that the Lord would says to you, 'well DONE good and faithful servant' ! and not 'depart from me ye who practice lawlessness (transgressing the commandments).

You see, if you love the Lord with all your heart, then the commandments are fulfilled and it is impossible to transgress the commandments.
Perhaps it is like, if you walk by the Spirit of the Lord you will NOT fulfill the desires of the flesh.
Do not think that that is impossible, for all things are possible to him who believes.

lyn said...

Hi Paul,

I think we, as believers, often approach the scriptures with pre-conceived ideas. As for Calvin, the doctrines of grace did not originate with him. I really have never read anything from Calvin, but I am familiar with the label. My understanding comes from God's word and the Holy Spirit, not John Calvin.
If we do not get the foundational truths correct, the rest of what we believe is shaky. That is why I encourage you to study man in his natural sinful state. For example, this is what God says, "Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5 Take note that the intent of the thoughts of his heart was a continual cesspool of wickedness. That doesn't mean mankind acts out on every evil thought, but it does show that all of mankind has a continual flow of evil within. Our own corruption runs very deep.

The holy Bible is all we need, however, studying deeper is necessary to reveal the true meaning of a text. For example, the bible must be read in context, and we must not assume words like 'all' and 'world' mean the entire population since the beginning of time. Again, context and cross referencing are a huge help. For example, you stated that God desired all of mankind to be saved. Yet, Christ himself states 'many are called, few are chosen'. Does that mean the bible contradicts itself? Of course not! God is sovereign and does desire all to be saved, that is, those from every tribe, tongue and nation. We cannot believe all means all otherwise verses like 'many are called, few are chosen' make no sense. Believing in universal salvation based on man's choice leads to much error in the rest of one's theology. God no longer is sovereign, man has the ability to reject His Creator's salvation, and grace and mercy are never rightly understood. Only the Holy Spirit can teach us truth, but, we must desire to be teachable and we must shed labels like 'Calvin' and ask God, 'Lord, teach me rightly'. We must humble ourselves before the throne and not cling to our views.

Darrel said...

Paul, re: comment @ 6:54 am
There is no "wrestling" between two opposing doctrines. The heresies of Arminianism have been and still are well documented. The T U L I P attributed to Calvin is correct, but Calvin was a man who opted for the murder of those that opposed his teachings just as we see today throughout the world's other heretical religions (don't forget the 50,000,000 +/- killed over 605 years, 1203 to 1808, by various popes).

Luke 18 does not speak of Bartimaeus, he is found in Mark 19:46-52 (an oversight on your part, no doubt). To conclude that he was not redeemed by this meeting with Jesus is not warranted by the Scripture---it is not explicitly stated either way in Luke. In Mark, however, there is a 'clue' left for us when Bartimaeus calls Jesus "Rabboni" or "My Great One" indicating that he knew full well who Jesus was---the Son of God. All that aside, to refer to the gracious and kind (merciful to a degree) acts of the Lord of healing and restoring and even resurrecting the dead as "salvation" (even of a lesser sort than redemption) only leads to confusion and again is not warranted by the Scriptures. Does not the Lord make His sun to rise on the evil and the good? and make His rain fall on the just and the unjust? Matt.5:45. You said "We are not saved from being unsaved..." Yet that is precisely what we are saved from: the state of being "unsaved", lost, still 'in our sins', without God, bound for an eternity of condemnation in hell. Later you said "the Lord will save us from all our problems on the condition that we believe and DO..." There is no such promise for us to be 'saved from all our problems.' Would that include for you tribulation? John 16:33 and 2 Tim. 3:12. This is a very dangerous and unbiblical teaching you are putting forth. Why does this 'secondary salvation' of yours not teach that we will all escape physical death, if we are to be delivered from ALL our problems---death is a problem for life.

The "destruction of the flesh" is coming to us all, saved and unsaved alike. Death is a certainty (Heb. 9:27) along with all the attending diseases that bring death to us. Death and disease have nothing to do with whether a man "believes" or not, they will come, even to those of great faith. So to say that "...we can suffer the destruction of the flesh if we do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and do not the works He has commanded us". This makes our "deliverance" contingent upon our own works and not the grace of God. Further, the lost have NO faith of any kind and therefore they, too, are subject to the grace of God in any temporal 'deliverance' He may afford them.

Darrel said...

Paul, re 6:57 am
The overall tenor of this comment is that of achieving salvation through your own works. Secondly, you state that sinless perfection is attainable: "You see, if you love the Lord with all your heart, then the commandments are fulfilled and it is impossible to transgress the commandments."
"Be holy, for I am holy." Are you perfectly holy in God's sight because you worked at it until you got there? Can you one day arrive at this perfect holiness by your own efforts? Or is holiness, as required in 1 Peter 1:16, a gift from God because of the sacrifice and resurrection of His Son? In Rom. 7:1-25 Paul bemoans his flesh that constantly drives him to sin, even though he despises it. He does not lie to himself by saying that he never sins or even that he can get where he wants to be (never to sin again) given enough time. He honestly confesses his sinful state to the Lord and his desire not to be as he is. Yet knowing that the "old man", our old nature, is still active, he does not resort to bragging about his "faith" by saying that if he only believed more fully then his sin problem would go away. Instead, he is honest before his God and while constantly aware of his sinful state, he is also aware of who his Deliverer is: the Lord Jesus Christ, Rom. 8:1. We are not condemned because Christ has become our righteousness, the propitiation for our sins. Being honest with yourself and with the Lord is part of the salvation He has gifted the redeemed. The lost will always try to persuade God to accept them in their sins, with all their ill-gotten efforts to please Him as they attempt to alter His character to fit their own desire. If you think you can attain to perfect sinless righteousness; to unabridged holiness; to a love for God that never wavers all on your own, then what was the need for the sacrifice of the Son of God?

Paul G said...

Thanks again Darrell, but I have quoted Luke 18:35-43 and not Mark.
The book of Mark has only 16 chapters and not 19 chapters as you have said.

Perhaps we should continue our conversation at a later time, we are falling to far back. But thanks again till next time :-)
Paul