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Feb 18, 2013

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Max

"When will we stop reading our own assumptions and beliefs back into the historical record?"

"Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13).

Peter, that which divides us in SBC is a battle of the mind ... a war in which human intellect exalts itself against the knowledge of God. We will not settle this thing until we develop the mind of Christ in the matter ... otherwise one side will continue to pit itself against the other in an attempt to change their minds. We've got too many folks resting in the teachings and traditions of men to allow their minds to be changed. And Lord knows that we all fall short of the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. While we are immersed in a debate trying to figure it all out, we are failing to "Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus."

Thus, to answer your question, it ain't going to happen.

Mark

Peter,

If a 5 Pointer embraces "Election/Predestination Theology vs. Free Will how is it possible for a 5 Pointer to have assurance of salvation.

I heard s "Stealth" 5 Point Preacer repetitively emphasize minimal redemption in his Sermons. Rather he magnified his emphasis that you could be Scriptually Sound, Serving, Witnessing, Giving and Believing and still not be saved.

By appearance I'm sure this 5 Pointer felt he was doing everything "right" so how could he justify his own assurance of salvation if he is heavily embracing "Election Theology".

I don't think it is possible.

Brother in Christ
Mark

Mark

Peter,

My second paragraph in the above statement has a couple of misspellings. The word "S" should be "a". The word "Preacer" should be "Preacher".

peter lumpkins

Mark

Thanks. You’ve touched upon a soft spot for classic Calvinists I think.  With you I’m unsure Calvinists have definitively answered their basis for assurance of salvation. For them, perseverance itself proves election but unfortunately no one can be sure until death that he or she has finally persevered. Added to this complication is the tiny little factoid that no one knows who the elect are but God alone since it is held within His secret counsel, a factoid we’re perpetually reminded about every time someone brings up evangelism and the sovereignty of God to the Calvinist. But if no one knows who the elect are but God alone, then how can Calvinists do anything other than “hope” that they are a part of God’s elect since by their own implicit admission they cannot know? And, like you say, people can do all sorts of things which may make them both “feel” and “look” like they are a part of God’s elect but are really only playing along.

Finally, there is something more according to Calvin himself. He argued that God actually gives the special call to some other than the elect, some He has no intention of actually saving. He says:

“...there is an universal call, by which God, through the external preaching of the word, invites all men alike, even those for whom he designs the call to be a savor of death, and the ground of a severer condemnation. Besides this there is a special call which, for the most part, God bestows on believers only, when by the internal illumination of the Spirit he causes the word preached to take deep root in their hearts. Sometimes, however, he communicates it also to those whom he enlightens only for a time, and whom afterwards, in just punishment for their ingratitude, he abandons and smites with greater blindness” (John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Institutes III, xxiv, 8; embolden mine).

If we would only let Calvin sink in here for just a moment. According to him, while God normally offers a universal call to all but reserves for the most part His special call of internal illumination of the Holy Spirit to the elect, He sometimes gives the special call to people only for a time. Afterwards, He abandons and smites them with greater blindness. If I’m hearing Calvin correctly, he suggests God actually snookers people into believing they are of the elect through a temporary but nonetheless genuine illumination of the Holy Spirit only to later withdraw the illumination and consequently condemn them all the more!

Given this frightening ground of the special call of God, what possible assurance could anyone possess that he or she has a permanent illumination of the Holy Spirit and thus are the elect rather than a temporary illumination of the Holy Spirit only for it to be withdrawn sometime in the future and thus leaving them castaway into an even more severe condemnation?

Mark

Peter,

Have you ever pinpointed the questions I've raised to Albert Mohler?

Respectfully, in Mark 2:16-17 didn't the Pharisees practice a form of Election or Castaway Theology on the Sinner, Tax Collector and even on Christ?

Importantly, Christ answered in verse 17, "it isn't the "well" in need of a physician but the "sick".

In 1 John 1:10 "if we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us". Were the Pharisees more consumed with the sin of others and not their own?

Simply by watching the Pharisees, Election Theology is a risky Methodology to practice on other believers who profess the Gospel.

5 Pointers will argue that Christ rebuked sin which is true. Some of Christ rebukes was directed at Religious Leaders "Electing" in holding people captive in a Law and Sin Centered Methodology a way to control them with minimal or no way toward redemption.

Yeah, so how can a true 5 Pointer who embrace Election Theology have assurance of salvation? It does match some Catholic Doctrine.

Brother in Christ
Mark

William Marshall

Mark,
How do you believe the Scriptures teach us to have assurance of our salvation? (Honest question from a Calvinist leaning brother)

wm

Debbie Kaufman

I am a 5 point Calvinist and have assurance. I believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and was saved. It's the Gospel. The same Gospel as you believe Peter. I just know that God in his mercy caused me to believe on Jesus Christ, a person I can neither see nor hear with my ear and otherwise would be difficult for me as a human being to believe under my own power.

Mark

William,

If you are you leaning Calvinist, check out Spurgeon Gems and click on the Assurance Box. A "How to be Sure" box will pop up.

O'Donnell isolated 1 John 5:13 "these things I have written unto you that may know that ye have eternal life"

The major thing I take exception in this page is there lacked emphasis in the shed blood of Jesus and dying on the cross and put greater emphasis on works, with a half sentence of the needing to "Believe in Jesus which minimalized what Jesus did for us and why he did it.

If all we have to do is live a Holy life then why do we need Jesus in the first place?

In 1 John 1:10 it states that we sin, so it is an impossibility to be 100% pleasing to the Father, which is why we needed Jesus to die for our sins.

We need to come to the realization the need to mentally and physically pursue Holiness, knowing full well that scriptures states that we all sin.

The consequences of sin and being Unholy really has at least 2 important parts which also includes the need to be obedient.
The punishment on earth that we deserve on earth that is judged and enforced by man and then there's the punishment that may or may not include redemption of sins that will be carried out by the Father.

Without Jesus dying for our sins and shedding his blood there is no redemption of sins. (no matter how Holy you think you are)

Focusing on a Sin Centered Methodology and being constantly reminded of our unworthiness rather than a Christ Centered Ministry is focusing on self rather than Christ and will simply rob us of the joy of serving and pursuing Holiness.

Brother in Christ
Mark

William Marshall

Mark,
Thanks for your response. I have never met a Calvinist who would disagree with your statement: "Without Jesus dying for our sins and shedding his blood there is no redemption of sins (no matter how holy you think you are)." The difficulty with assurance is that all kinds of people claim to believe in Jesus but give no evidence of that in their lives. Of course I cannot judge whether or not they are true believers, but the Bible tell us to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). Jesus taught that a tree is known by its fruit (Matthew 7:15-20, John 15:1-17). And John wrote the book of 1 John (as you quoted) so that we could know that we have life (assurance). How can we know? If we believe that Jesus came in the flesh and died for us and if that faith is producing a hatred for sin and a love for fellow believers. If our 'faith' in Jesus is not producing such fruit then we may not be truly redeemed. Yet, if we do see such fruit then we can continue to take hope and have assurance that Christ has indeed saved us. I would figure that most calvinists (and non-calvinists) would talk about assurance in these ways. Hope that helps brother!

wm

Mark

William,

"If we believe that Jesus came in the flesh and died for us and if that faith is producing a hatred for sin and a love for fellow believers" is a rarely emphasized "truth" that I have heard from the 5 Point or Hyper-Calvinistic.

What I have heard from a particular Reformed Calvinist (who operated his ministry in Stealth mode not disclosing his 5 Point Doctrine) who repetively embraced a form of Election Theology of what I compare to what the Pharisee's practiced on the Sinner, Tax Collector and even Christ. His emphasis was strictly works and Election.

"You could be doing everything right, physically and mentally (or not doing enough) and not be saved" and avoid qualifying why Jesus died or offer scriptures that gives people the opportunity to recieve Jesus and gain Assurance of Salvation.

Embracing Calvinism, which include several different dialects is risky, especially if you feel the need in staying within the boundries of TULIP and Practice Election Theology on Congregations as your basis in teaching scriptures.
(we know not all Calvinist are 5 Pointers or Hyper-Calvinist which creates confusion within Churches, then you have 5 Pointers that admittedly believe (by appearence) in Free-Will like Miss Debbie, having assurance of salvation in the above posting)

There isn't a concensus to what Calvinist believe or the Methodology in which they will teach or deliver scriptures.

If the Bible is sufficient why do Calvinist need TULIP?

William Marshall

Mark,
Not sure how to respond since you brought up several different issues. I would encourage you to talk with and read other calvinists. Perhaps that will help you better understand where they are coming from, not that you will agree with them on everything. Anyway, good to talk with you.

wm

Mark

William,

It was good talking to you.

I have discussed Calvinism with Calvinist and they weren't sure how to respond either.

In this dialogue you didn't seem consumed with "Methodology". I really didn't see anything that was argumentitive nor did I really see that you centered your ministry practicing Election Theology or staying within the perimeters of TULIP when interpreting scriptures to your Congregation.

If you are a Reformed or a Hyper-Calvinist I wouldn't know it in your responses. I can't say that with some of the Calvinist that I have had dialogue with in the past.

You don't have to answer this question but rather meditate on it.
Why embrace or defend Calvinism when they can't even come up with a Concensus for what they believe?

Mark

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