I am curious how YOU would answer this question...

zerinus

Well-known member
I am curious how YOU would answer this question...

Are there ANY circumstances, OUT OF YOUR CONTROL, which had they been different, you might not have believed in Christ?
Yes, his Atonement for my sins, and the message of his gospel I heard accompanied by the witnesses of the Holy Ghost.
P.S.

In full disclosure, my followup question will be...

If you answered Yes to the question above, WHO WAS IN CONTROL of those circumstances?
God was, obviously. Next question?
 

zerinus

Well-known member
Then let me ask you directly...

Has God done ANYTHING to help you believe in him, that had he NOT done it you might not have believed?
My answer is Yes, see my previous post.
If you say NO...

Then you have no need to thank God for what he has done for you (other than Calvary).
What is wrong with Calvary? That is the ultimate cause of all! Are you dismissing Calvary?!
P.S.

I say YES! The first of many is that God had me born to Christian parents in a country with few Christians.
How then do you explain thousands in the same situation who do not believe? And thousands not in that situation who do believe?

Still waiting for the next question!
 

zerinus

Well-known member
Are you saying that God does some things to bring people to faith that he does not do for others?

In other words, God arranges for most living in some countries to hear the Gospel, but does not arrange for most living in Afghanistan to hear the Gospel.
God will ultimately arrange for all to hear the gospel, if not in this life then in the next. Also, "God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him" (Acts 10:34-35). Somebody in Afghanistan who "feareth him, and worketh righteousness" will be accepted of him, just as Cornelius had been.
 

zerinus

Well-known member
Right, but this forum board concerns Arminianism & Calvinism.

So would you agree that...

Since God decides who gets to hear the message of the Gospel*, God ultimately decides who will likely get saved.


*Based on where God had you born.
Twice wrong! (1) It is the will of God that all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth, and (2) where one is born has no bearing whatsoever on whether one is saved or not:

Acts 10:

34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
35 But in every nation [and religion] he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
 

zerinus

Well-known member
... but I think the main thing that's out of my control is God's Unmerited Favor. If there was even one reason I should Merit the Grace of God, it wouldn't be Grace and could only be Merited Favor. By definition, Unmerited Favor HAS to be at the top of the list of things that are out of my control...
How then do you explain:

Acts 10:

34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
35 But in every nation [and religion] he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
 

TomFL

Well-known member
How then do you explain:

Acts 10:

34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
35 But in every nation [and religion] he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
You forget that man still needed Christ and his atonement on the cross as well as the gospel and faith
 

TomFL

Well-known member
That is not disputed, nor is it what I was questioning.
so what was problematic about

... but I think the main thing that's out of my control is God's Unmerited Favor. If there was even one reason I should Merit the Grace of God, it wouldn't be Grace and could only be Merited Favor. By definition, Unmerited Favor HAS to be at the top of the list of things that are out of my control...
 

zerinus

Well-known member
so what was problematic about

... but I think the main thing that's out of my control is God's Unmerited Favor. If there was even one reason I should Merit the Grace of God, it wouldn't be Grace and could only be Merited Favor. By definition, Unmerited Favor HAS to be at the top of the list of things that are out of my control...
"Grace" is not "unmerited favor". God "resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble" (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). So that is one prerequisite for obtaining grace, being humble. Faith is another requirement, as previously discussed. No faith, no salvation; and no amount of "grace" can change that. Obedience is another requirement: "for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience" (Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:6). If wrath comes on the children of disobedience, it follows that the grace comes on the children of obedience. You can't be experiencing wrath and grace at the same time. It is either one or the other. So being obedient is another prerequisite for obtaining grace.
 
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TomFL

Well-known member
"Grace" is not "unmerited favor". God "resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble" (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). So that is one prerequisite for obtaining grace, being humble. Faith is another requirement, as previously discussed. No faith, no salvation; and no amount of "grace" can change that. Obedience is another requirement: "for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience" (Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:6). If wrath comes on the children of disobedience, it follows that the grace comes on the children of obedience. You can't be experiencing wrath and grace at the same time. It is either one or the other. So being obedient is another prerequisite for obtaining grace.
So you imagine grace is earned ?
 

zerinus

Well-known member
So you imagine grace is earned ?
In your theology, everything has to be completely unconditional, or else it is "works". It doesn't allow room or flexibility for anything in the middle. The Bible isn't so rigid and inflexible. For example when the Bible says, "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble" (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5), do you honestly believe that being "humble" is some kind of a "work"? What kind of a twisted mindset is that, which considers "humility" some kind of a "work," or the means of "earning" something other? James says, "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up" (James 4:10). So you reckon James is teaching someone kind of a "works" based theology, in order to "earn" the privilege being "lifted up" by the Lord? What kind of strange mindset is that? The same applies to the other prerequisites for qualifying grace. "Obedience" to the commandments of God is not "works," it is just obedience. "Thou shalt not kill," "thou shalt not steal," "thou shalt not bear false witness," "thou shalt not commit adultery," "honour thy father and mother," etc. are not "works". You are not doing any "work" by not killing anybody. You would be doing a lot more "work" by going out and killing somebody, than by sitting at home and doing nothing. But you would be breaking God's commandments if you did. There is no salvation, grace, or blessing obtained from God without genuine and wholehearted repentance, which is another way of saying, keeping God’s commandments. To "repent" means to stop doing what one knows to be wrong, and start doing what one knows to be right. It means to stop breaking God's commandments, and start keeping them. That is not the same as "works," or "earning your own salvation". You may think that you are not a Calvinist, but whether you realize it or not, you have imbibed an awful lot of their false theological baggage.
 

TomFL

Well-known member
In your theology, everything has to be completely unconditional, or else it is "works". It doesn't allow room or flexibility for anything in the middle. The Bible isn't so rigid and inflexible. For example when the Bible says, "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble" (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5), do you honestly believe that being "humble" is some kind of a "work"? What kind of a twisted mindset is that, which considers "humility" some kind of a "work," or the means of "earning" something other? James says, "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up" (James 4:10). So you reckon James is teaching someone kind of a "works" based theology, in order to "earn" the privilege being "lifted up" by the Lord? What kind of strange mindset is that? The same applies to the other prerequisites for qualifying grace. "Obedience" to the commandments of God is not "works," it is just obedience. "Thou shalt not kill," "thou shalt not steal," "thou shalt not bear false witness," "thou shalt not commit adultery," "honour thy father and mother," etc. are not "works". You are not doing any "work" by not killing anybody. You would be doing a lot more "work" by going out and killing somebody, than by sitting at home and doing nothing. But you would be breaking God's commandments if you did. There is no salvation, grace, or blessing obtained from God without genuine and wholehearted repentance, which is another way of saying, keeping God’s commandments. To "repent" means to stop doing what one knows to be wrong, and start doing what one knows to be right. It means to stop breaking God's commandments, and start keeping them. That is not the same as "works," or "earning your own salvation". You may think that you are not a Calvinist, but whether you realize it or not, you have imbibed an awful lot of their false theological baggage.
My theology is Paul's theology

Eph. 2:8–10 —ESV
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Rom. 4:16 —ESV
“¶ That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,”

Rom. 3:20–28 —ESV
“For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
¶ But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—
the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
¶ Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.
For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.”

Rom. 4:4–5 —ESV
“Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due.
And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,”

you instead offer a system of merit which is works

And no James is not teaching works for humility is not a system of merit
 

CrowCross

Well-known member
I am curious how YOU would answer this question...

Are there ANY circumstances, OUT OF YOUR CONTROL, which had they been different, you might not have believed in Christ?

My answer is Yes. There are many. The first was that I was born to Christian parents in a country with few Christians. If I had been born to other parents I might not have believed in Christ.

It is a simple question and I did not use any fancy terms.

Are you willing to give us your answer.


P.S.

In full disclosure, my followup question will be...

If you answered Yes to the question above, WHO WAS IN CONTROL of those circumstances?
Salvaion isn't based upon happenstance. Salvation is solely based upon God saving you.
 

zerinus

Well-known member
My theology is Paul's theology

Eph. 2:8–10 —ESV
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Rom. 4:16 —ESV
“¶ That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,”

Rom. 3:20–28 —ESV
“For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
¶ But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—
the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
¶ Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.
For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.”

Rom. 4:4–5 —ESV
“Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due.
And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,”

you instead offer a system of merit which is works

And no James is not teaching works for humility is not a system of merit
Except that what Paul calls "works," is not the same as what you call "works". Do you think that Paul thinks that being humble is a "work"? Do you think that Paul thinks that having faith is a "work"? Paul's theology also includes these verses:

Romans 2:

9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another; )
16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

1 Corinthians 6:

9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 6:

7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.


Why don't you include these verses in your theology as well?
 

TomFL

Well-known member
Except that what Paul calls "works," is not the same as what you call "works". Do you think that Paul thinks that being humble is a "work"? Do you think that Paul thinks that having faith is a "work"? Paul's theology also includes these verses:

Were you confused I denied humility was a work and I certainly never called faith a work
 

zerinus

Well-known member
Were you confused I denied humility was a work and I certainly never called faith a work
Good! So we conclude that grace does not = "unmerited favor!" That is a step in the right direction! At last we seem to be getting somewhere!
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
Good! So we conclude that grace does not = "unmerited favor!" That is a step in the right direction! At last we seem to be getting somewhere!

Rom. 4:1 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, tour forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
Rom. 4:7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
and whose sins are covered;
8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”


Rom. 11:5 So too at the present time there is na remnant, chosen by grace. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.
 

TomFL

Well-known member
Good! So we conclude that grace does not = "unmerited favor!" That is a step in the right direction! At last we seem to be getting somewhere!
No I don't conclude that

The fact that faith and humility are not a work establishes grace

'you have it backwards
 

preacher4truth

Well-known member
"Grace" is not "unmerited favor". God "resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble"
The above verse, James 4:6 in its context isn't written about the world at large, but of believers, and isn't concerning eternal salvation, but of active grace in the lives of believers.

Grace concerning eternal salvation is unmerited favor. As Romans 11:5 says it (grace/favor) isn't on the basis of works (to merit) and if it were otherwise it would not be grace. If grace were merited (earned) then one would be boasting in what they did to save themselves. But there is no boasting, it is excluded. Note 1 Corinthians 1:26-31.
 
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