Monday, March 28, 2011

Conversation with a member of the Church of Christ, chapter 4

Jeremy replied:
Did you actually just say that I am buying too heavily into Peter's metaphor?  Are you listening to yourself?  This is all YOUR OPINION.  You have yet to PROVE anything.  Do you see a point in us continuing this?

I replied:

If it is all just my opinion, where is your biblical response?  Did the apostles of the Lord or the Lord Himself respond that way, or did they respond with "It is written..."?  

Jeremy, later:
I understand.  It is kind of what I believe, and I didn't take that wrong.  I appreciate you qualifying not to take it wrong.  Thank you.  I don't want you to take anything that I say wrong either.  I think we are coming from two very different beliefs my friend.  I believe that a man has to hear the word as it says in Romans 10:17 before they can believe and John 6:44-45 says this is how God calls us.  I don't believe that God zaps us with it (though I do believe He is all powerful and can do as He wishes).  I don't believe that he teaches us that he will zap us when he chooses.  But I do believe that through His providence that if one is seeking God he will find Him.  I don't know that we are going to come to a resolution on this.  I stand firm in what I believe.  I have reasons and I have eplained them.  I do feel that you are far more versed on mens theologies than I am and I will admit that.  I should have asked what you believe before I asserted it.  Thank you for discussing this with me.  I still hold firm that the Bible speaks of different works and that the works it speaks of in Ephesians 2 is meritorious works, or works of the old law.  I just don't see how we come into contact with the blood of Christ other than water baptism.  When they pierced His side blood and water came out, do you not see a coorelation in that?

And finally:

I must add, you need to read Hebrews chapter 6, it is PLAINLY possible for people to fall away.... The Bible plainly teaches time after time, that there is something required of man.  God has done his part by offering the perfect sacrifice.  You're teaching that we have no free will....
"1Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to (C)maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
 2of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.
 3And this we will do, if God permits.
 4For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
 5and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
 6and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.
 7For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God;
 8but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned."

How do you get around that?

I replied:

It's interesting that you mention John 6:44-45.  A little insight into me - I have not by any means grown up Calvinist, not even Baptist. I grew up a moderately liberal Methodist, became an atheist, got saved and was charismatic for 6 years, realised that the way the modern charismatic church understands and practices the charismatic gifts is unbiblical and so became a regular ol' Southern Baptist, and just about 16 months ago became a Calvinist...because of John 6:45.

Jn 6:44No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

Two choices there for the identity of the one who is raised up on the last day:
1) The one who comes
2) The one who is drawn

v45 provides the answer.  EVERY MAN that hath heard and learned from the Father, comes to Jesus.  No exceptions.  And the one who comes to Jesus is raised up on the last day, in v44.  No exceptions. It's just like Romans 8:29-30 -

 29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

The same "whom", or "them" that are predestined are the same who are called.  The same are called as who are justified.  The same who are justified are glorified.  No exceptions.  No getting off the bus.  It's not the case that any who are justified don't get glorified.  They all get glorified.  It's the same "them", just like I mentioned before about John 10 - "they will never perish".  If they fall away, they perish.  Jesus said they don't perish.  Therefore, they don't fall away, simple as that.

Now, as I said before, it's your job not to run off to passages that you think teach that men can fall away and imply that there's a contradiction.  No, your job is to harmonise BOTH passages.  Let me help you out with Hebrews 6.
Do you really believe it ? V6 says that "it is impossible to renew them again to repentance".  Is that what you say?  If one falls away, that's it - they're damned?  If not, you don't believe what you're telling me about Heb 6 either.
But fortunately, that's not what it's saying.
Hebrews was written to a church in which were people tempted to go back to Judaism. If you go back to Judaism, a system that doesn't save, you prove you were "not really of us" (1 John 2). Look at v9, which you didn't quote - 9But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

Better things OF YOU, things that ACCOMPANY SALVATION. The author doesn't expect that the truly saved will fall away, and so he tells them what to expect from those who will later be revealed to have had only a said faith, to be false brethren.
Incidentally, that's what James 2 refers to as well. Not that we can live righteously enough to keep our own salvation - else, why think we need a Savior in the first place? Just to give us a one-time boost? Arrogant sinner - you need a Redeemer every second you live! James 2 is saying the same thing, DESCRIBING how true believers live and are expected to live.

You said "I have reasons and have explained them", but in reality you haven't. You accuse me of "opinion", yet all you've done is to copy+paste from a website you didn't write and which didn't respond to my points, and then to ignore my exegesis of the passages. I encourage you to actually interact with what I'm saying here.

You did say one thing about Eph 2, which I expected you to say, b/c Roman Catholics say it all the time (again you find yourself locking arms with Rome, which is very interesting):
--"I still hold firm that the Bible speaks of different works and that the works it speaks of in Ephesians 2 is meritorious works, or works of the old law."

Eph 2:8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

2 questions about this:
Question 1) What's so much better about "New Testament works" that they'd be so preferable to OT works?
Romans 7, speaking of the OT Law, says:
12Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

The OT Law is good and holy! It doesn't get any better than "good and holy", Jeremy.
The problem is that you're mistaking the use of the Law. Paul answers you in Galatians 3:
19Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator...22But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.23But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

You are misusing the Law, and it will be to your own destruction.  

Question 2) If the "works" in v9 are strictly OT Law works, give me a reason FROM THE TEXT that we shouldn't regard the "works" from v10 as strictly OT Law works.
Eph 2:8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works of the OT Law, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works of the OT Law, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in works of the OT Law.

So how's the fulfilling of the OT Law coming for you?  When's the last time you celebrated the Feast of Booths, or the Sabbath?

1 comment:

Joel said...

Or, if you like:
Q.'re saying man has no free will.
A. Who are you, O man, who answers back to God?