R C Sproul mangles Pentecost

sproulheadshotDuring the Strange Fire Conference set up by John McArthur to attack the charismatic movements, and, along with it, the Pentecostal movements, R C Sproul, who is regarded by McArthur as the foremost Reformist theologian of the present era, was asked to speak, and chose the subject ‘Undervaluing Pentecost’.

R C Sproul is a gentleman, and, obviously, earnest in his approach. It’s not my desire to discredit him personally or his ministry, but to respond to his claims against Charismatics and Pentecostals during the Strange Fire Conference.

I watched his presentation on YouTube, and read a summary in notes provided by The Cripplegate site team, who are associated with John McArthur’s Grace Community Church in a leadership capacity, checking through more than once to be certain that I had understood what he was saying.

I will add some of R C Sproul’s comments, but the gist of what he was saying is that Charismatics, Pentecostals and, what he terms, neo-Pentecostals, have placed a low value on the meaning of Pentecost, by which he means the Day of Pentecost, when the Spirit of God was poured out upon the Church for the first time, fulfilling prophecy, as recorded in Acts chapter 2:1-4.

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

He claims that by teaching what amounts to a subsequent baptism, Pentecostals have relegated the new birth, where the Holy Spirit is given to those who receive Christ, to a lower form of sanctification by suggesting that there is a subsequent outpouring of the Spirit called the baptism with the Spirit.

He maintains that the new birth, where a person who receives Christ is born of the Spirit, or born again, or born from above, is one and the same as the baptism with the Spirit, which, Jesus said, believers should receive, and which, Peter revealed, was a fulfilment of the prophecy given by Joel that God would pour out of His Spirit upon all flesh.

“But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.”
Acts 2:16-18

In what Sproul calls the Baptism of the Spirit, he states,

‘One of the most significant aspects of the emerging charismatic theology is that it is normal and even normative for people to have the baptism of the Holy Spirit after their conversion. It is admitted that some people can have conversion/regeneration simultaneously with the so-called second blessing. But in the main, the usual, normal process is understood to have some kind of time differential between conversion/regeneration and the receiving of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.’

This is a fair assessment, but you have to remember that we teach that we do receive the Spirit at the new birth, being born of the Spirit, and the baptism with the Spirit subsequently or simultaneously.

Then he goes on to agree that the baptism of the Spirit is to do with the empowering of believers for a witness of Christ to the whole world.

At this point, R C Sproul makes an astonishing claim. He says,

‘When I talk about redemptive history, I’m talking about that whole flow of progress of how God reveals Himself through history. We see certain developments of God’s self-revelation in the OT. In the OT, the only way a person could be a believer was the same today: they had to be born again by the Holy Ghost. And so the Spirit was busy with the work of regeneration. So what’s the different between the OT and The NT, with respect to Pentecost. Well in the OT, what we call the Charismatic endowment of power, was only given by God selectively, to isolated individuals: like the Judges, or the prophets.’

Well, this is quite incorrect, of course. No one could be ‘born again’ under the Old Covenant. The regeneration could not come until Christ was risen and the Spirit sent from the Father.

But when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Titus 2:4-7

The new birth was only possible after Christ was raised from the dead. He was the firstborn from the dead, so that others might follow (Colossians 1:18). He is always the pre-eminent One. Moses was not, when called of God to lead Israel out of captivity, ‘born again’ of the Holy Ghost. He was anointed of God for a specific task. Being anointed and being born again are quite different and separate acts of God.

Moses was called and anointed of God not born again
Moses was never regenerated. He was under law. He was subject to law. The law was handed to Moses as a ‘schoolmaster’ to keep Israel until the coming of the Messiah, the Christ, who is also the Promised Seed of Abraham, to whom God gave the Covenant of Promise, which preceded the Law of Moses. New Testament theology clearly teaches that the law could never save us. We can only be saved by grace through faith.

But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”
Galatians 3:11 

So Moses was called, and anointed of God, but never born again until Christ was raised and ‘led captivity captive’ (Ephesians 4:8), having ‘preached to the spirits in prison’, that is, the grave (1 Peter 3:19).

For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
1 Peter 4:6

Then R C Sproul goes on to remind us that Moses was empowered by God for the task he was given, but makes the extraordinary claim that this was akin to the new birth and the endowment of the Spirit promised by Jesus to those who would believe on His name after He was raised. Of course, the endowment on Moses was that of the Holy Spirit, but to was an anointing for a specific task, not the outpouring of the Spirit promised by Joel. How could it be? Joel came many years later.

R C Sproul, then, confuses the anointing of God, and nominates the anointing on Moses as the new birth. Kings, such as David, and Prophets, such as Elijah and Joel, were also anointed for specific tasks, but they were not born again. Neither did they receive the Promise of the Spirit, which, we are told by John, was not yet given even in Jesus’ day, until Jesus was raised and glorified.

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
John 7:38-39

Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the Promise of the Spirit had come and they were all endowed with power from on high.

“Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
Luke 24:49

Pentecost and the Promise of the Spirit
Thus they waited in the Upper Room until the fiftieth day after His resurrection, which was the day of Pentecost, which means, literally, ‘fiftieth day’, being the day after 49 days, that is, seven weeks of seven days, a fulness of time, following the Feast of Weeks. Fifty is synonymous with the Jubilee, the day of freedom from all debt and captivity into a new beginning, which was always the fiftieth year in the Jewish calendar. Jesus is called the Jubilee. Pentecost was a precise day in a precise time prophesied and fulfilled on a specific day.

I add this because R C Sproul goes on to nominate no less than four Pentecosts. “And so all four people groups received their own “Pentecost,” as it were.” Yes, he has an agenda with his teaching so he suggests that God had more than one outpouring of the Spirit, which he considers four separate ‘Pentecosts’, thus missing completely the significance of Pentecost, its meaning, and its place on God’s time scale of prophecy and fulfilment.

He gives this theory because, being a cessationist, he needs a completion within the canon. For the cessationist, Pentecost must end. Having four of them gives a nice twist to a failed set of beliefs. Sproul creates a mythological series of outpourings which begin and end a designated move of God.

To achieve this, Sproul concocts four sets of believers. He claims there were, after the disciples on the actual Day of Pentecost, the ‘Samaritans’, the ‘God-fearers’, and the ‘Gentiles’. These coincide with four passages of scripture which indicate that the Spirit was poured on on four groups who all, then, prophesied or spoke in tongues as evidence of the outpouring.

In making these four separate outpourings, or, as he has it, ‘The Four ‘Pentecosts’’, he misses the point that, in fact, Luke, in the Book of Acts, is giving the account of how the outpouring first occurred on a single designated day, the Day of Pentecost, fifty days after the resurrection of Christ, as promised by Christ, who told the disciples to wait until the promise of the Spirit was fully come, which they did.

Continual outpouring
Thereafter, any evidence of the same outpouring was proof that it was a continuance of the original outpouring, and not a separate outpouring. In fact, Peter declared that this Promise of the Spirit ‘is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call”, Acts 2:39. Therefore, one would expect that, after the outpouring was begun on the Day of Pentecost, the promise would continue until Christ came for the Church at the end of the Age.

The prophecy of Joel states that God would ‘pour out of His Spirit upon all flesh’, meaning all people. The outpouring of the Spirit has no designated time span in scripture, nor generational completion, nor removal until the Holy Spirit is no longer in the earth working in and through the Church. The outpouring is to and upon all who believe on the name of Christ, starting with Pentecost, and continuing until the Lord comes for the Church. The Promise remains.

So there are not four Pentecosts, but one, which commenced the outpouring, which has not yet ended. The other three examples in Acts actually confirm the continuance of the Spirit to fill and baptise people who believe on the name of Christ.

Four ‘Pentecosts’
How does Sproul lay out the four Pentecosts? He starts with the outpouring on the Jewish disciples in the Upper Room in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost. This we can agree to. It is, obviously a Pentecost. Then he adds three others.

Samaritans: Acts 8:14–17. There was a mini-Pentecost among the Samaritan believers. They’d received the water baptism, but not the baptism of the Spirit until Peter and John laid hands on them. And you see this mini-repetition of Pentecost especially for Samaritans.

God-fearers: Acts 10:44–48; 11:13–18. This is Pentecost number 3. All of the believers received the baptism among the Jews, among the Samaritans, and now the God-fearers. This was not a theology of have and have-not. The significance that the Apostles see in the narrative that their experience was common.

Gentiles: Acts 19:1–7. Again we see a temporal separation between conversion and the reception of the empowering gift of the Spirit. But all of the Ephesians who were there that day received the Holy Ghost and were empowered for ministry.

Well, nowhere in Scripture is there a division of types of Gentiles in this manner, nor a division of Pentecosts. There were either Jews or Gentiles. The disciples in the Upper Room were all Jews who were with Christ, who believed on Him and were instructed to wait in Jerusalem until the outpouring, or endowment form on high. Then, after waiting until the actual Day of Pentecost, they were baptised with the Spirit and spoke in tongues. This was evidence of the outpouring. It started at Jerusalem as prophesied, and was upon the Jews first.

The Samaritans, ‘God-fearers’ and Gentiles were all considered outside of the Jewish concision. The Samaritans, especially, had associations with Israel, but were separated from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and mingled with the Gentile nations. There was the circumcision or the uncircumcision, the Jews or the Gentiles, the Jews or the Greeks.

The people Sproul calls ‘God-fearers’ were actually Romans, and, therefore, also Gentiles. They were of the household of Cornelius a Centurion who believed in God and gave alms. This was the first of the Gentile communities to receive the baptism with the Spirit, the outpouring which had begun on the day of Pentecost, and now, some ten years later, was given to the Gentiles, starting with Cornelius’ household as they heard the gospel preached by Peter.

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptised who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
Acts 10:44-48

Well, even Scripture here says that the Spirit was poured out on the Gentiles, not on the ‘God-fearers’, and the evidence was that they spoke in tongues. R C Sproul made his theory up about a separate group called ‘God-fearers’. They did fear God, but they were called Gentiles.

The whole point of the vision Peter had in the beginning of Acts 10 of unclean food being made clean was to demonstrate to him that God had sent him to the Gentiles, who were previously excluded from the Covenants.

It is important to the doctrine of this whole scenario that the people were addressed as Gentiles so that Peter, who previously only went to the Jews, could have his mind radically changed to include Gentiles and discover that God is no preferrer of persons.

That which we have seen and heard
Scripture tells us that there was then a council set up to discuss this, at which it was declared that God had chosen to pour out ‘this which we have seen and heard’ upon the Gentiles as well as upon the Jews. This was a mighty revelation. What did they see and hear? They saw that the same Spirit was poured on the Gentiles, and they heard that they all spoke in tongues. Then they baptised them in the name of Jesus. Peter’s account to the council ratifies this.

“And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptised with water, but you shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’ If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?” When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”
Acts 11:15-18

‘The same gift’, so Peter recognises the continuance of the outpouring in this baptism with the Spirit of Cornelius’ household, and as the same outpouring as on the Day of Pentecost ten years earlier. This outpouring was evidence that God had granted repentance to the Gentiles.

Subsequent baptism with the Spirit
The Samaritans received as a result of the evangelistic endeavours of Philip, who preached there and healed many sick, then sent for Peter and John to come and lay hands on he believers there to receive the Holy Ghost. The interesting thing, here, is that the account of the Samaritans actually teaches a subsequent endowment of the Spirit, one which Simon the Sorcerer coveted and was rebuked over.

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralysed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city. 

But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.” And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time. 

But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptised. Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptised he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done. 

Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 

And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! “You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” 

Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.” So when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.
Acts 8:5-25

Again, this is not a separate Pentecost. This is a continuation of the outpouring, and proof positive of the subsequent baptism of the Spirit alongside the new birth. See how Philip preaches, the people believe, they are baptised, then the Apostles send Peter and John to lay hands on them for the baptism with the Spirit.

When we are born again we receive the Spirit within (John 14:16-17). The baptism is the Spirit upon (Acts 1:8). The new birth is being baptised into Christ (John 3:5-8). The outpouring is being baptised, or filled, with the Spirit, or drinking of the Spirit as Paul calls it in 1 Corinthians 12:13, ‘For by one Spirit we were all baptised into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.’

Jesus said He would send the Spirit to the believers, and He would be with us, to convince us of our need of Christ, in us, when we had received Christ at the new birth, and then, upon us, with the endowment from on high of the Promise of the Spirit. This is the filling of the Spirit through the outpouring.

More Gentiles
The Gentiles of Acts 19 were people who were returning from Ephesus who had received the baptism of John, but not of Jesus. They received Jesus and were then filled with the Spirit and spoke in tongues. Again, this is not a separate Pentecost. This is a continuation, being several years later, when Paul was now in ministry. He asks if they had received the Holy Ghost, and they replied that they had not heard of the Holy Ghost. The significant thing is that they received the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues after the disciples laid hands on them, after being baptised into Christ.

Unfortunately, R C Sproul has made up the teaching of four separate Pentecosts to suit his need to end the outpouring. Pentecost was a beginning which has not yet ended. It was the outpouring which is still being poured upon all flesh, upon all who will believe.

Value added
This is not undervaluing Pentecost, but giving added value, because we are saying that Pentecost has never ended and won’t until Jesus comes for the Church. We are saying it is for all those who will call upon the name of the Lord. We are saying what Jesus said, that we should all wait to be endowed with power from on high, that the outpouring is for all who will believe, and that we can all receive through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are not saying there are ‘haves and have nots’, but that all can have.

Cessationists say that the outpouring has ended, and with it the grace of God upon all believers to prophesy and speak in tongues. That is truly undervaluing Pentecost, because it is saying that we have no more need of Pentecost or of understanding how the outpouring works, or for knowing who the Holy Spirit is, or what he does in and through us as believers.

I was surprised at this level of theology from R C Sproul, who is a godly man and a good theologian. However, this teaching misses the target severely. There are other aspects of this sermon which I could go into, and maybe on another occasion I will, but this is already quite a long post.

I hope you will regard this review of R C Sproul with respect and consideration if you choose to comment on it.

Steve


200 thoughts on “R C Sproul mangles Pentecost

  1. Well, this is quite incorrect, of course. No one could be ‘born again’ under the Old Covenant. The regeneration could not come until Christ was risen and the Spirit sent from the Father.

    I disagree.

    Jesus told Nicodemus that unless a person is born again they can’t see the kingdom of God – adn this was something he expected that Nicodemus, a ‘teacher of Israel’ would be able to understand this and that he shoul dnot be sur[prised at jesus having said it.

    How, if it was only a post reserrection ability, could Jesus have expected anyone to accept it prior to his death adn being raised again? Jesus spoke about being born again as a present reality and expectation – or else the command, that you must be born again or not see the kingdom, would have meant that all those who had died prior to the reserrection would not have seen the kingdom – and we know this is not true.

    Of course, what most Pentecostals teach as being born again is in fact not being born again at all.

  2. That’s nonsense, Greg. How could anyone be born again before the resurrection? Jesus himself, in the same passage, told Nicodemus that the Son of man would be lifted up on e cross and then all men would be drawn to him.

    John 3
    14 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
    15 “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
    16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
    18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    So how would you be saved before the Son of man is lifted up?

    If you read the whole post you will see that I also qualified the fact of the baptism being after the resurrection by quoting Jesus from John 7:38-39.

    “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

    They could not receive the Holy Spirit until after Jesus was glorified.

    The new birth is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    If men could have been born again before the cross, before the resurrection, what was the point of the death and resurrection of Christ?

    As I pointed out in the post, no man could be saved by the law. All were sinners. Not one was righteous. Only the cross of Christ could save any man or woman. There was no new birth until Christ. he is the firstborn from the dead.

    Colossians 1
    13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
    14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
    15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
    16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
    17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
    18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
    19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,
    20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

    Hebrews 1
    9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
    10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
    11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
    12 saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”
    13 And again: “I will put My trust in Him.” And again: “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.”
    14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
    15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
    16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham.

  3. John 12
    32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”
    33 This He said, signifying by what death He would die.

  4. ‘If men could have been born again before the cross, before the resurrection, what was the point of the death and resurrection of Christ?’

    Can you clarify a number of statements you make please Steve:

    1. By ‘born again’ do you mean what happens when we are resurrected to eternal life, rather than what happens when we believe on Christ and receive the Holy Spirit?

    2. Are you saying that no-one could be saved prior to Jesus’s death and resurrection?

    3. Are you claiming that an OT person of ‘faith’ would qualify for resurrection but did not live with the indwelling Holy Spirit, who was poured out on specific people only for specific tasks?

    4. Where in scripture does it explain the term regeneration?

    Thanks

    Your account of Sproul’s talk certainly makes him seem off-beat and non-biblical in a significant portion. I don’t agree with his stance on multiple pentecosts. There was one and that was sufficient. Subsequent extra outpourings were actually the results of initial faith in Christ after the true and full gospel was preached to the recipients.

    I believe scripture does account for being born again in the OT. Those who lived by faith lived transformed lives (think the difference between Abraham and Lot in terms of renewed minds), and would qualify for eternal life. Jesus quoted the OT when he declared ‘God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – he is God of the living not the dead’. In other words he is God to those who are counted as alive because they will be resurrected on the last day.

    To answer the question at the top of my post, if Jesus had not died and risen again, they (and we) would have no hope of eternal life.

  5. Born again means born from above, or born of the Spirit, born of God. This only takes place through the resurrection.

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
    1 Peter 1:3

    Under the Old Testament, God called some people for specific tasks and anointed them by His Spirit, but they were not born again.

    He accredited righteousness to some, such as Abraham, because they believed his promises, but they could not have been born again until the resurrection. They could not have received the promise of the Spirit, even though some of them, by faith, looked forward to the promise.

    Hebrews 11
    39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,
    40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

    They sought the new heavens and new Jerusalem by faith, but they could only look forward to them.

    Hebrews 11
    13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

    Therefore, when Christ was raised from the dead, the Bible says that he led captivity captive. He led these faithful saints to paradise. Matthew tells us that many graves were emptied of saints when Christ died and was risen.

    Matthew 27
    50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
    51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,
    52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;
    53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

    I explained where regeneration could be found in the post.

    Titus 3
    3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.
    4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
    5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
    6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
    7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

  6. Steve, judging from Greg’s brevity, I’ll hazard he thinks Moses could have been born again. Being born again was the result of faith, first in God (OT), then in his son. Jesus, being the first fruit of those who will be resurrected, ensures they will see the promise they died without witnessing ie Christ risen from the grave with a further promise to return and raise all believers to eternal life.

    Being born again does not happen because of Jesus’s resurrection, it happens when we believe and the Holy Spirit resides in us to renew our minds. He is the seal of the promise that we will qualify for eternal life at the last day when Jesus returns. His resurrection gives us that precious hope.

    I think your explanation (and thanks by the way for taking the time) only works if you see sheol, hades, paradise, hell etc as physical locations. If you take the many verses about sheol and hades as being under the earth’s surface, with their 2 compartments, one of which has now been emptied, it appears to tie together. The problem is that scripture is all but silent on the nature of the afterlife except to say that the dead know nothing of their state, are silent, cannot undertake normal human activity and the like. ‘Leading captivity captive’ does not imply any processional march with Jesus at the head from some underworld cavern. In fact, how could a place within physical earth constrain allegedly non-physical immaterial entities? If you believe we become as angels after death, they don’t appear to be overly hampered by petty obstructions such a matter.

    Scripture is saying a very different story to the blinkered view of a spirit underworld of perpetual torment or a paradise above. All these terms are supposed to convey is the STATE in which a person dies with respect to his eternal future. A person who dies ‘in Christ’ is regarded as in paradise awaiting eternal life. One who is not will be consigned to destruction by fire, pictorially named Gehenna (poorly translated hell) by Jesus to illustrate the awfulness of their fate.

  7. James makes the disciples of Christ the first fruits, in fact.

    James 1:18
    Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

    There is no way in scripture that Moses could have been born again in the time he walked the earth. Christ was the firstborn from the dead. Nothing happened until he was first raised.

  8. zeibart,
    Being born again does not happen because of Jesus’s resurrection, it happens when we believe and the Holy Spirit resides in us to renew our minds.

    But I’ve already shown you from scripture that the new birth absolutely depends on he resurrection of Christ.

    Again…

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
    1 Peter 1:3

    ‘Begotten us again’ is exactly the same as ‘born again’. How? ‘Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead’.

    Again…He is the firstborn form the dead.

    Colossians
    18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

    When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives at salvation we are born of the Spirit, which is another way of saying ‘born again’.

    Again, I reproduce scripture for you.

    John 3
    5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
    6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
    7 “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

    Being born again is being born of the Spirit, but no one is born again until the death and resurrection of Christ.

    Jesus told His disciples that the evidence that He had been raised would be that He would ask the Father and the father would send the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was not sent until Jesus had ascended.

    John 16
    7 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

    And…

    Acts 2
    32 “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
    33 “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.

    As for Christ preaching to the spirits in prison, or in the grave, that is, again, scripture. He preached to the dead from the grave and led them, captivity, captive. He led those who had been captive in the grave into salvation. He led them captive to Himself.

    1 Peter 4:6
    For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

  9. however the Greek for begotten again here adn ‘born again’ in John are different – the better rendering in John is: ‘born from above’. We are born from above by faith – adn that faith is what folks like Moses, Abraham etc all had – they were born from above, just as we are born from above by faith.

  10. Well John makes it clear, by the Holy Ghost, that being born again is being born from above, which is being born of the Spirit, which I have already stated a few times on this thread and in the post.

    if you are born from above, who are you born of? God.

    Who is God? God is a Spirit.

    “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
    John 4:24

    Born of the Spirit of God. Born from above. Born again.

    John 1
    12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
    13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    Why born again? Because the only ones who qualify are those born of a woman, born of water.

    Galatians 4
    4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
    5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

    Jesus fulfilled all righteousness, being born of a woman. So the sons of God must qualify by being born of a woman, born of flesh, so that they can be born again, born of the Spirit.

    That is why John, by the Spirit, tells us that we are born of the flesh and born of the Spirit.

    John 3
    5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
    6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
    7 “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

    That which is flesh is flesh and that which is spirit is spirit. Born of human parents. Born of the Spirit of God. Born again.

    Being born again, and being born from above, and being born of God, and being born of the Spirit, are one and the same thing.

    So when Peter, a different writer, speaks of being begotten again by God, he saying the same thing. He saying we are begotten again throughout he death and resurrection of Christ.

    The Greek is anagennao, which means, literally, ‘to be born again, to produce again, born anew’, so Peter is reiterating what Jesus told Nicodemus exactly in John.

    John uses gennao anothen, which is translated, ‘born from above, or born anew, or born over again’, so where is the difference in this? There is no difference. You are attempting to create a diversion through semantics.

    John qualifies being born from above by stating we have to be born of the Spirit. We could only have been born of he Spirit, as I have shown, once Christ was raised from the dead and the Spirit was sent from the Father.

    The correct way to exegete this is to view each expression and come to a conclusion, which is that being born again is also to be born from above, which is also to be born of God and to be born of the Spirit of God, which is what I have already given you.

    There is no two different means of being born again. We are born of the Spirit. We are begotten of God.

    You are attempting an exegesis which is not present in the text.

  11. Every translation I know of gives John 3 as ‘born again’, not ‘born from above’, so the latter is, obviously, according to scholars, not necessarily ‘the better reading’ of gennao anothen.

    I agree that it is a strong translation of the Greek, but the workers obviously looked at other passages and came to the conclusion that ‘the better reading’ was ‘born again’. This in no way takes away from the text or the context because Joh also tells us we are nor of eh spirit, which equates to being born form above.

    But it also equates with being begotten again, where Peter makes it clear that it is through the death and resurrection of Christ, which Christ himself pointed to in Joh 3, where he said that he would be lifted up, which was referring to his death.

    Now there was no point to Christ’s death if there was not, then, a resurrection, so we are raised in Christ through his death and resurrection.

    Moses could not have been raised through Christ’s death. He could not have been redeemed until after the Resurrection. No one could.

    That is why the writer to the Hebrews tells us none of the Old Testament saints received the Promise. They looked forward to the Promise and journeyed towards it by faith, but never attained to it. They could not util after the resurrection.

    Hebrews 11
    13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

    Which is why Peter tells us that Christ preached to the dead so that they too could receive what we have. But they could not have received the new birth before we because Christ was not yet raised, being the first born from the dead.

    1 Peter 4:6
    For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

  12. And, of course, Moses was a servant in the house, but we are, after Christ, sons.

    Hebrews 3
    1 ¶ Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus,
    2 who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house.
    3 For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house.
    4 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God.
    5 And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward,
    6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.

    Jesus also reminds us that John the Baptist was the greatest of the prophets, but even the least n the kingdom is greater than John. This is because John could not have been a son in his day because no one could be born again into sonship until Christ was resurrected.

    “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
    Matthew 11:11

  13. I think we are in violent agreement regarding what being born again consists of. Where we differ is that you say it only happened after Christ’s resurrection; I’m saying that his resurrection was the first fruit and ‘blessed hope’ for all who believe that they too would be bodily resurrected. That’s different from being born again through saving faith and then continuing to live on earth. That clearly happened in the OT.

    I contend that OT saints died without knowing precisely how they would get to the city whose foundation is built by God – they just knew it would happen and include them. They were justified by faith, and so were alive to God in life (by the Holy Spirit), and will qualify for resurrection at the last day. They have not received the Promise, which is a new spiritual body. They lived by faith, and everything apart from faith is sin.

    If Jesus had not died and been raised, none of the OT could have been resurrected, so the Hebrew writer is commending their faith for believing in a hope (resurrection) without a knowledge of Christ. How much more, he says in ch 12, should we who have had Christ preached be encouraged to persist and persevere in trials and difficulties when we have their example.

  14. This links to Eph 4. Leading captivity captive cannot talk about OT saints being released from a prison. Nowhere in the chapter does Paul even hint at that. Jesus’s death and resurrection meant that our otherwise captive state of death had been itself captured by Jesus. He has overcome and the gates of Hades shall not prevail.

    You can’t tie in 1 Peter 3 and 4 here either. Jesus did not take a trip to the underworld and preach the gospel. Scripture is very clear on this. No second chances after death – we die once and then are judged. The spirits in prison are either disobedient angels (Jude 6) that a preincarnate Jesus declared the message to before the flood, or were living people, now dead, who heard the gospel in ancient times so that they would be without excuse. There is no inference by Peter that Jesus did a mercy dash between death and resurrection.

    In fact, Jesus declared that the sign-seeking Jews would only get the sign of Jonah – that the Son of man would be 3 days in the heart of the earth (his tomb).

  15. Heb 3 is making the statement that Jesus is greater than Moses, and Melchisadek and the angels (ch 1). Moses was under a different covenant to ours, but he was still in close relationship with God, through faith, hence God would have considered him ‘born again’ and counted among those who would qualify for resurrection. He didn’t go to heaven after he died, he ‘slept with his fathers’, just as all the OT saints did. When the unrighteous died they just died, but the Godly slept. I think that’s a very deliberate descriptor of death.

  16. Steve, do a quick word search using ‘servant’ in the NT, especially Acts. We are servants of Jesus, just as he was a servant of God, and we are servants of one another. Our whole lives are in service to him who calls us brethren, no matter our adoption as sons.

  17. Yes we are all servants, but sons. However, the point being made is that a son is greater in the house than a servant, and has greater rights to a servant.

    No one could have been born again until after the resurrection of Christ, as he is the first born from the dead. Yes Moses slept, as did Abraham, and righteousness was accredited to them, but they could not be born again until after the bodily resurrection of Christ.

    What Sproul is trying to say is that because Moses was ‘born again’ he could receive the same endowment as the disciples of Christ at Pentecost. In effect, Sproul is saying there were Pentecosts under the Old covenant which match the Day of Pentecost when the Spirit was poured out on all flesh.

    This is wrong doctrine.

    Ephesians 4:8 is a quote from Psalm 68.

    Psalms 68:18-20
    You have ascended on high,
    You have led captivity captive;
    You have received gifts among men,
    Even from the rebellious,
    That the Lord God might dwell there.
    Blessed be the Lord,
    Who daily loads us with benefits,
    The God of our salvation!
    Selah
    Our God is the God of salvation;
    And to God the Lord belong escapes from death.

    In Ephesians, Paul is telling us that in ascending it is also true that Christ descended into death. It is accurate to say that he retrieved saints from death. Surely, death is another way of saying they slept, as Jesus pointed out to his disciples when he raised Lazarus from the dead.

    He is the Resurrection and the life. He raises whom the Father wills.

  18. Sorry Steve, it’s not accurate to say ‘he retrieved saints from death’. Jesus took Satan, death and Hades captive on his ascension. Those were the entities which previously had held man captive. So, he took captivity captive, not led a procession out of some section of the physical earth. The point Paul is making in this passage is contrasting how much Christ gave up for us, how low he had to stoop to free us and, in doing so, dispensed gifts, like the returning, all-conquering warrior would when he marched back to his home city after a successful war abroad, ahead of his captives giving out of his largesse.

  19. Back to Moses, faith is faith and attracts the same reward by God ie the Holy Spirit. He wasn’t poured out upon all ‘flesh’ as he was at Pentecost, but dispensed individually as it were otherwise the OT saints would have died in their sins and no-one would qualify for eternal life pre-Jesus. Since we know they will arise and a form of the gospel was preached to them. When the Spirit returns to Him who gave it on death, that is when, I believe, a person’s name is inked into the Book of Life.

  20. zeibart,
    Jesus took Satan, death and Hades captive on his ascension.

    I think you’re on your own with that one, zeibart. Jesus spoiled principalities and powers, making an open show of them at the cross, but why would he take them to heaven at his ascension? Makes no sense.

    Rather, Satan was cast down into the earth, and woe to the people of the earth. Death was defeated for those who believe, but death is still very much around us, and the grave is the last thing to be defeated. There is no sting to death or the grave for those who do not die in their sins, but there are still many people in their graves. And many who will be resurrected to judgement on the last day.

    In fact, death and hades will be cast into he Lake of Fire at the end of the age.

    I know this is an area of interest for you and you do not have an orthodox view, but you can see that by holding on to it you are struggling to understand what scripture means by ‘leading captivity captive’, which is generally understood to be the saints who slept, not the devil and his minions.

    If you make the claim that Moses was born again you negate the need for the death and resurrection of Christ.

    He was anointed of God for a specific task, but he was not born again. Otherwise, who would have been the first born from the dead? Adam?> Seth? Enoch? Abraham? Moses?

    In fact, scripture tells us who he first born form the dead was. It was Christ himself, so that on all things he would have the preeminence.

  21. I thought we were on the same page with being born again Steve, but it seems the written word can’t convey more entrenched thinking (mine and yours). Jesus rose from the dead and so was a firstfruit, example, of those who will rise again – at his coming again, not at the moment of death. Being born again happens, not when we are resurrected, but on receipt of the Holy Spirit. This only happens when we believe on the name of the Lord and are saved. Moses et al fall into this category. The Holy Spirit was not poured out in OT times because a) Jesus had not died and ascended into heaven and b) because a different, legal covenant was in force. But he was given to individuals of faith.

    OT saints have not been resurrected yet, but they were still born again, and sleep the sleep of the righteous waiting for the return of Christ (a promise they only saw dimly or not at all). Jesus had to come into history because without his death and resurrection, sin could not be paid for, the dead would stay dead, and we would have no first fruit as our blessed hope. So this view does not negate Christ’s resurrection – far from it.

  22. As to my comment on taking captivity captive, it makes perfect sense. I don’t imagine an actual parade with Satan, the grim reaper and Hades personified all traipsing along glumly behind Jesus. The concept Paul is conveying is one of Christ’s total victory (in a ‘now’ and ‘yet to come’ sense because we walk in partial knowledge and experience of the life to come, but it’s completeness is yet to be revealed. That’s when death and Hades are done away with forever, but they are still as good as vanquished for the believer).

    So, Paul has never, throughout all his writings, given the first clue that he thinks OT saints were lurking in the bowels of the earth and Jesus went down somewhere and set them all free. I think you’ll find my view the majority take on Eph 4. At least my research would suggest so.

    I think the approach of trying to understand scripture from a disembodied afterlife perspective forces all manner of odd conclusions from various verses, like Eph 4:8.

  23. The person of the new birth is called the new creature in Christ. No one could have been born again before Christ and his resurrection.

    At the resurrection of Christ, the graves were opened and saints were seen.

  24. In John 20:19 – 22, Jesus appears to the disciples, who were locked in the upper room, well before Pentecost Sunday. Specifically in verse 22 :

    “And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, ‘Receive ye the Holy Ghost’ ”

    This verse says it all for me. When Jesus breathed on them, they were, at that point in time, born again, by the Spirit of God. In a similar fashion, the first Adam was born naturally, when the same Spirit breathed natural life into him and he became a living soul. (Gen 2:7)

    In this instance, the second Adam – Christ, who rose from the dead for our redemption/justification, breathed spiritual life into this group of men.

    Thomas was absent on that occasion and was, therefore still in unbelief. He refused to believe the others when told of Jesus’ appearence.

    When Christ appeared a second time, Thomas was convinced and convicted by Jesus’ dramatic entry and manifestation of His glorified body, baring the marks of His passion. Thomas exclaimed “My Lord and my God”. This confession of faith could only have come from the lips of a regenerated man.

    Acts 2:4 is definitely a seperate and subsequent experience to John 20:19 – 22, as the apostles went through this scenario themselves. In Acts 2, there were 120 people waiting on God and it was quite some weeks later than the John 20 experience.

    Why would the “doubting Thomases” on the blog have cause to doubt their 2 differeng but closely related experiences and write ihem off like they do the experience of classical Pentecostals? Are they saying that the 12 apostles and Jesus Himself got it wrong???

    No doubt the ‘doctrine heads’ on the blog will find a dozen reasons to be nay sayers re my response, but they can’t argue with these two pasages of scripture. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, and I don’t see why, or how He could or would deny us the same experiences (based on the Word) that He gave to the early church. God is no respecter of persons, and taking into account the world situation, we need the power of the Holy Spirit right now, as much as they did back then.

    Go for it ‘nay sayers’ I know that you can’t help yourselves – and neither can I. Many reformed brethren are living in the past, and let’s face it, Calvanists can’t abide the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in its fullness. For some strange reason, it seems abhorrent to them that we can claim 2 separate and distinct experiences, which they are in outright of and deny that the second blessing is available for today.

    According to 1 Cor 13: 9 & 10, I have to inform you that “Cessationism” is not for today”. The ‘Strange Fire’ conference seems to have done little more than ensure that John MacArthur and his ilk have well and truly burnt their own fingers (that’s what you get for playing with Pentecostal matches). They have definitely burnt all their bridges towards their Pentecostal brethren with those matches too!

    Austin Hellier
    Brisbane

  25. Bones,
    that was the job of the Holy Spirit. In Acts, there was one huge “breath” – “like a mighty rushing wind.” (Acts 2:2)

    That is not the topic though – the “born again” experience is shown clearly in John 20 that it is or can be seperate and distinct from the Acts 2 “baptism” or “infilling”.

    I think there is still some confusion over the terminology used, and I do agree with some posters that God used OT saints in that the Holy Spirit came upon them for service, but they were not ‘born again’in the NT sense.

    Some were called the friendsof God others were regarded as servants, but none were called sons, as far as I can tell.

    I’m not buying into the Ephesians 4 wrangle or the “Jesus going to Hell/Hades/Gehenna” debacle – been there, done that…

    Austin Hellier
    ‘some people’s beliefs just take my breath away…’

  26. Adding to what has been said… Jesus words to his disciples in John 14:17 before His death and resurrection and before John 20. “that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” Notice the last line “He abides with you and will be in you.”

    Also Paul in 1 Col. speaks of the mystery hidden from past ages and generations, namely Christ IN you, the hope of glory. 1 Col 1:26-27 “that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

  27. R C Sproul says, ‘In the OT, the only way a person could be a believer was the same today: they had to be born again by the Holy Ghost. And so the Spirit was busy with the work of regeneration. So what’s the different between the OT and The NT, with respect to Pentecost. Well in the OT, what we call the Charismatic endowment of power, was only given by God selectively, to isolated individuals: like the Judges, or the prophets.

    But this is not the new birth. They were not born again. They were called and anointed. Being anointed is different to being born again.

    We are told that God is no preferrer of persons when it comes to the new birth. Under the New Testament all can be born again. The new birth does provide us with an anointing because we receive the Spirit, but this is not the same as under the Old Testament.

    God chose people under the Old Testament who were empowered through the Spirit to speak and act on behalf of God. They were not born again. They were set apart for a specific task.

  28. Late to the conversation, but I wonder though how one has faith, unless it is given[fn:1], and to be given faith is anything but being born again (John 3).

    “Regeneration precedes faith” of course is the historical phrase.

    So for Abraham or anyone in the OT to have true faith in God (YHWH), then it would be specifically a gift from God himself, and more so actually the work of God and of Jesus pre-incarnate.[fn:2][fn:3] If we say no, then we have a bit of a problem because it means that those in the OT actually had a different ability to come to God (through the law?) than those after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

    Simply the same Spirit that provides us the ability to have faith in God, and thus receive his forgiveness and righteousness, is the same Spirit provided before and after Jesus’ death and resurrection.[fn:4]

    Certainly as you have quoted, Jesus specifically talks about the Helper coming but are we to say the Helper was not there before, but in a different capacity?

    I am not sure, but I would be hesitant to believe that one can come to the Father, by any other means then by the Father’s provision of his Spirit. And if we are to hold Jesus’ statement to be true in John 14, then ultimately no one in the OT came to the Father but through Jesus.

    Maybe this pushes further on the magnificent unity of the trinity, in that all three are right there in the provision of the gift of faith; be that today, tomorrow or two thousand years ago.

    REFERENCES

    [fn:1] “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.” (ESV. Ephesians 2:8-9)

    [fn:2] “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.'” (ESV. John 14:6-7)

    [fn:3] “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father.” (ESV. John 6:44-46)

    [fn:4] “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.” (ESV. Romans 3:21-26)

  29. “Reformist” – lol, your still an absolute “spiritist filled” snorkel bender Steve…….

  30. “But this is not the new birth. They were not born again. They were called and anointed. Being anointed is different to being born again.”

    Far out……just far out……and you were once a “pastor”…..this kind of diabolical misapprehension of the biblical doctrine of redemption and salvation (and its consistency throughout redemptive history) is quite staggering and rare for even someone immersed in dispensational error…Steve I think you could even give panadol a stuffin headache…..

  31. So, ‘signposts02scholar’, you are obviously agreeing with R C Sproul that Moses was, before the cross of Christ, born again.

    You are saying that Moses, when he walked the earth, was already redeemed and had received the new birth. Is that what you are referring to when you speak of ‘the consistency of redemptive history’?

    Are you saying that, because Moses was anointed of God to lead Israel out of captivity, he was, therefore, born again? Saul was anointed to be the first king of Israel. Was this anointing, then, the new birth?

    Lucifer was the anointed cherub who covered Eden. Are you equating anointing with the new birth? Or is it an endowment from God for a specific purpose and time?

    When Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received an endowment form on high, were they waiting for the new birth, or for the Promise of the Spirit?

    Do you also agree with R C Sproul’s ‘four Pentecosts’ which ended with the Book of Acts, or was there one Pentecost which began on the fiftieth day, and continues “to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call”?

  32. Happy to respond my “pentecostalist” friend – lets properly focus the debate so you can save my time and the nonsensical babble and waffle for your prayer in tounges later…..

    The modern doctrinal invention of dispensationalism (i.e. the doctrine of the vast majority of Pentecostals, and evidently yours (whether you know it or not)) is responsible for the many distinctions in MANY areas of theology and practice between the Old and New Testaments – not just salvation…Apart from being patently and seriously erroneous – it is also hopelessly and unnecessarily complex, retarded, inconsistent and clumsy.

    By way of overview, in what needs to be a fairly detailed discussion, I would submit that in both eras, God’s people were saved by grace alone. God is holy, and thus, fallen humanity was NEVER saved by observing the Law.

    If you don’t comprehend that then you don’t correctly understand the Gospel or why indeed it is “good news” and you might as well go and join Greg’s hijacked liberal anglican (small “a”) outfit in making a Australia a much nicer communist hell hole from which we can all go to a more permanent hell…

    So my penty(ist) amigo, do you affirm or deny the proposition that fallen humanity in either era was NEVER saved by observing the Law? – coz that’s what this whole thing turns on – not whether Moses led people out of captivity or even the Egyptian footy club to its first grand final in 1500 years,…or whatever…)

  33. No. I’m not a Dispensationalist. I disagree with that particular doctrine. It is interesting, but fraught with difficulties. That being sorted, let’s move on.

    No one is saved by observing the Law. If you bothered to read the post you would already see that this was articulated. Look. Why don’t you read the post before jumping to conclusions, and, rather that sling immature accusations, put-downs and insults, which work against you, either try to defend Mr Sproul’s very weak position or agree with the arguments raised in the post and following commentary that expose his clearly flawed claims.

    First, tell us how a person is born again, and when this commenced. Was it before Jesus was raised from the dead, or after? Are we saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, or not? How did Moses come to have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?

    His relationship was with THE I AM. He was not permitted to even see the Face of THE I AM. He could not stand in the Presence without being shielded. He was the friend of God, but not the son of God. Yet we enter through the veil into the Presence of God. Why? Because we are born again, therefore we are sons, but he was not.

    The glory of the New Covenant is said to be greater than that of the Old because the veil is torn away and we can enter freely into the Presence of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, through the blood of the cross. The glory shone on Moses’ face, but we are vessels of the glory within.

    He entered the man made Tabernacle of animal skins through ceremonial cleansing and the sprinkling of bull’s blood, on a regular basis for the people. We are the Tabernacle, the Temple of the Holy Ghost within, not made with human hands, who enter through the blood of Christ, once and forever.

    Moses looked forward to Christ, but he was not born again and could not have been until after the cross and resurrection. Jesus is clearly the first born from the dead. Moses was not born from the dead before Christ.

    Moses was a servant. We are sons. We are sons because we are born from above, under the New Covenant. No one was born again under the Old Covenant, nor could they be.

    Righteousness, through faith, was accredited to those under the Old Covenant who believed the promises of God, such as Abraham, but no one could be sin-free until the work of the cross was complete. Abraham knew God as El Shaddai, The All Sufficient One.

    He looked forward to the New Jerusalem, but never received the promises, dying in faith as he sojourned towards them. He was not born again. Jesus was not yet raised. Jesus died once for all.

    Secondly, there is only one Pentecost, one outpouring of the Spirit, which began on that day, and that outpouring has not ended. We can still receive the Spirit, the endowment form on high, and the ability to prophesy, as promised by Christ. Do you agree? Or will you defend Mr Sproul’s assertion that there were four Pentecosts, all featured in the Book of Acts, and all of which have ended completely? Do you side with his cessationist theology?

    Thirdly, you seem to claim that the anointing is akin to the new birth, both in the Old and New Testaments. The why did we need the New Covenant? Surely the Old was sufficient, if what you say is true. Why didn’t God just anoint everyone? Why only a small handful of people in several hundred years for specific tasks?

    I agree that every person who has been born again under the New Covenant has received the Spirit at the new birth, and therefore, through the Spirit, has an anointing. But there is no evidence that anyone before the New Testament, and before the resurrection of Christ, who was anointed of God for a specific task, was, therefore, at that time, born again.

    The cross is the fulcrum in all of time on which everything depends. It is the place in God’s economy when the Lamb who was slain before time became the sacrifice once and for all. It is where the redemption of man begins. The new birth follows. It could not precede, even though God saw it before the creation. The Old Testament saints saw ahead to it, but could not have been born again in their lifetimes. Christ is preeminent on all things. He was and is the firstborn from the dead.

  34. If your not a Dispensationalist, your soteriological misapprehensions are sure looking, walking, and quacking just like one……it must be straight coincidence that your misunderstanding and error particularly with regard to OT salvation (for want of a better term) is precisely on all fours with theirs….curious indeed – sounds like you are well and truly up long African river called denial again stevie……you position is in fact so classically dispensational, you would make Darby envious

    So, can you point to any scholarly reference in support of your position – I would be interested to see who you come up with and whether they are in the dispy camp or otherwise?

  35. I think you’re barking up the wrong tree with this one, Spotty. I’m not interested in you dispensational camp premise. It’s moot. You can use all the long words you want, but they all amount to the same distraction form the point of the post. Unless you devise some kind of invented position unrelated to actual scripture, you can’t explain in layman’s terms how a person is born again.

    I notice that, with your legalistic hat on, you always seek to set the ground rules for discussion. Isn’t that the way with the evasive contributor? No one at any time mentioned dispensationalism, nor Darby, nor any African rivers but you, and you have been told you are incorrect to make that assumption, so that, I would say, is the end of it.

    Now, how will you defend Mr Sproul’s claim that Moses was born again? Can you explain to us, sans dispensationalist claims, how Moses managed to be born again before Jesus was raised from the dead?

    R C Sproul,
    In the OT, the only way a person could be a believer was the same today: they had to be born again by the Holy Ghost. And so the Spirit was busy with the work of regeneration.

    Now, pray tell, since the Holy Spirit was not given until Jesus was raised, how could anyone under the Old Covenant have been born again by the Holy Ghost? Show me scripture. Where does it say this?

    Where, in the Old Testament, does it state that ‘the Spirit was busy with the work of regeneration’? Huh? The Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified and had not yet ascended into heaven, and was not glorified. He was yet to present himself before the Father and request that the Spirit, as promised, be sent in His place.

    No the Prophets of old foretold what they did not themselves understand.

    1 Peter 1
    10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,
    11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.
    12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things which angels desire to look into.

    ‘The grace that would come to you’. So they saw into the future and spoke of the coming Christ, but they themselves did not receive that promise until after it was fulfilled. They were inspired by the Spirit to speak things into being, but they did not receive the Spirit within as those who are born again surely do.

    And what does John say about the Word who was made flesh, by whom we are saved?

    John 1
    10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
    11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
    12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
    13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    The world did not know him. His own, Israel, did not receive him. How, then is anyone born again? Through faith in his name.

    Yet Mr Sproul claims men were born again before the Word was made flesh, crucified, buried and raised. He says the Spirit was regenerating men before he was sent as evidence that Jesus was raised. In fact he says that the regeneration had begun long before the Word was made flesh, and under there Old Covenant, which, we’re told, cold save no one.

    But R C Sproul’s sequence of events conflicts with scripture.

    Titus 3
    4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
    5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
    6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
    7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

    The regenerating, renewing Spirit was poured on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Consequently, this regeneration could not have taken place until the New Covenant was in place. The New Covenant which is written in the blood of Christ, being the blood of the cross, and therefore could not have begun until then. In fact, it could not begin until Christ was raised.

    Romans 6
    3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
    4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

    The Spirit was sent after He was raised as evidence that he was at the right hand of the Father and had sent the Spirit as promised.

    John 14
    15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.
    16 “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–
    17 “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

    John 16
    7 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

    Acts 2
    32 “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
    33 “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.

    So the Spirit was not, as Mr Sproul claims, ‘busy at the work of regeneration’ under the Old Testament. He could not have been, because Jesus was not yet raised, and had not yet sent the Spirit. And men were not being born again. They may have been inspired of the spirit, or anointed of the Spirit, but they were not regenerated, nor were they born again.

  36. You do realise, Spotto, that R C Sproul is posing this wildly off-line doctrine so that he can set up a cessationist position. He has devised an incorrect premise to substantiate a false assumption.

    I can’t wait for your response to the four Pentecosts that ended the ministry of the Spirit in Acts theory.

  37. Stevie wevie….

    You wont point us to any scholarly reference in support of your position because to do so would be to unequivocally expose the fact that your position is, in fact, classically Dispensational….again, like many pentes, I don’t think you have realised that you are a Dispy.

    Just admit the fact that the position you are trying to defend is a recent system of theology which has been popular for the last century or so namely Dispensationalism….and then I will move on to refute your position 🙂

  38. Hughie wooie…

    Having put up a couple of unconnected furphies which have nothing to do with the post, and have been easily disarmed, you now contrive a way to slink off to your protected environment where moderators guard your every word, and leave the actual conversation here to more mature contributors.

    Clearly you have no defence or Mr Sproul’s errors despite the obvious agreement you have with them. You have not said a dicky bird in defence o his position, only contrived to level an accusation against me, which is par for the course for your methodology.

    What surprises me, although it shouldn’t, is the weakness of theological accuracy regarding the new birth and operations of the Spirit presented by your chief living theologian, which you can neither defend nor demonstrate form scripture, despite your pretence of superior understanding of the same.

    The truth is that you need a springboard for your defence which requires another error that I’ve already disarmed.

    Tell us something we can all learn from, Spotty, or give your sarcasm a rest.

    Maybe you could start by letting us know how a person is born again.

  39. Spot,
    You wont point us to any scholarly reference in support of your position because to do so would be to unequivocally expose the fact that your position is, in fact, classically Dispensational…

    I gave you the Apostles Peter, Paul and John, and threw in Luke for good measure. They have far more to offer on the subject of the new birth, the cross, the resurrection and redemption. My position is classically Biblical.

    So far your ambit moves have yielded nothing and you have failed to address the post.

  40. There is nobody is there to help is there Stevie Wevie? your all out of anything by way reference even before the debate has begun…..that’s because there is nothing….On the biblical historical Christian side, there is an absolute abundance….try debating a muslim scholar who is well versed in liberal Christian higher criticism – you would get destroyed quicker than jimmy swaggart against Ahmed Deedat….otherwise go and check out the Christian men who are labouring in that field and debating the best Islam has to offer and you will see how much you have been sold a bill of goods…..and how mysteriously none of them are the chumps from your camp….

  41. So you have no defence for Mr Sproul, then, Hugh. Your silence is deafening.

    All this moving target stuff you’re, thus far, exhibiting, with your shifting gravatars and facetious insults, betray the fact that you keep returning and trying to put one over people who lead you a merry dance without even having to move from their original point. What are you afraid of, exactly? You posture as if you have all the answers and yet you produce none. Not one single defence for Mr Sproul’s errors clearly outlined in the post, and backed up with scripture on the thread, not of which you have attempted to refute.

    All you have said is that you don’t like dispensation list theology, which I agree is fraught with difficulties, and a yarn about some Muslim scholar or other who could, allegedly, argue me under the table on higher criticism. Big deal. Why would I even bother with that. I’m not interested in a Multi-culti theological debate over a failed religion like Islam with an unbeliever who denies the deity of the Son of God.

    I’m not commissioned to debate religious philosophies with infidels. I’m sent to preach the gospel of The Lord Jesus Christ. If, having heard the gospel preached, he denies Christ, that is between him and God. I can move on to someone who wants to hear the truth and is not after a debate. I’m not called to waste time trying to convince the children of disobedience who choose to continue to reject Christ even after hearing the gospel preached. My commission is to make disciples, not debate old wives tales.

    However, I am interested in the accuracy of the gospel and how it is presented. The unorthodox teaching presented by you and Mr Sproul is, frankly, surprising. I thought you folk were Sola Scriptura. But, look, I realise there may be some things I don’t know about the new birth and it’s significance to salvation, so I’m open to hear what you have to say.

    If you can show us how the Old Testament saints could possibly be born again I would be genuinely interested. But all this fluster and bluster, ooh look I gotcha stuff is frankly pointless, childish, and, so far, only shows what a pompous grandstander you can be. That’s fine, if you actually have something useful to say, but let’s get to the crux of the matter on this thread and put your apparently ample brain to work.

    Mr Sproul claims that the Holy Spirit was busy under the Old Testament regenerating people and they were being born again. How is this possible in the light of the fact that the new birth is dependent on the death and resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ?

  42. You are assuming that the work of the cross is only effective for those who exist subsequently in time from the resurrection. This might not be the case, in fact why should it be the case? God is in some senses outside of time so why should He care whether someone lives AD or BC? You are limiting God to your own temporal experience.

    The best exercise either of you could do would be to repeat the words “I don’t know” several times in the morning before you brush your teeth. We don’t know who is saved, why they are saved and most of all we dont know how they are saved. Just be grateful you are saved.

    Life is so very short. Go have a beer on the beach. Have a real conversation with someone – whether they are ‘saved’ or not. Accept that there are things you dont know and learn to enjoy it.

  43. You are right that we do not, for certain, know who is saved, but we do know why they are saved and how. It is written.

    The controversy is, in effect, over the Covenants. I am not in agreement with Hugh’s claimed dispensational theory, which I’ve already dismissed as unlikely but interesting.

    If anything, I’m more focused on the Covenants, especially the Covenant of Promise, given to Abraham, which is fulfilled in Christ through the New Covenant, by which we live.

    Hugh seems to think one could be saved prior to, or under, the Old Covenant, which was, in effect, a schoolmaster until Christ, when works were replaced by faith. But we cannot be saved by works, so the Old Covenant could save no one. I don’t say that it’s impossible that a person could have been saved by grace through faith prior to the cross, but that seems to be eliminated by Romans 3 which says all sinned and none was righteous until Christ.

    Romans 3
    20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
    21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
    22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;
    23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
    24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
    25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,
    26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

    That seems to settle it. We are justified through faith in Jesus Christ. Praise God!

    I don’t drink beer, but I am headed for the beach next week, and I intend to enjoy it, so thanks for the advice.

  44. wazza,
    ‘You are assuming that the work of the cross is only effective for those who exist subsequently in time from the resurrection. ‘

    No. You are assuming that assumption. It is prophesied of Jesus that he would lead captivity captive after the cross and at the resurrection. Those show died in faith prior to the cross will be raised in Him.

    It is also true to say that he preached to the lost in the grave.

    1 Peter 3
    18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,
    19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison,
    20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.

    The few were saved to live again, not saved as regenerated. The disobedient, it seems, were given another chance.

    Reformed theology resists this, of course, because they claim that people are elect by decree, regenerated without choice, and faith is imposed upon them regardless of their own desires. In fact, God rejects the desires of selected persons and imposes his own will whilst at the same time consigning the unselected to certain eternal torment regardless of the actions of their lives. These are in a hopeless position. They are born degenerate and remain degenerate. The cross has no effect on them, nor the resurrection. God renders the cross powerless to those he has not selected, so they are born degenerate, live degenerate and die degenerate and without hope in deliverance, salvation, grace or mercy.

    But, if Christ does indeed preach to the spirits in prison, that is, the grave, then they are given a renewed opportunity to receive the same reward as those who live subsequently to the cross. It is a supreme act of mercy and grace because, of course, we are told that Noah lived and preached righteousness before the lost world in his time, so even they are without excuse.

    It is a controversial teaching, but, nevertheless, the scripture is there and it is fairly plain, so there is no other reasonable explanation for it.

    The Bible tells us that we are saved by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves. How does faith come? That is the big question. But we are told. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ, that is, by the preaching of the gospel, which is the power of God onto salvation for those who believe. The regeneration comes as a result of faith. It doesn’t create faith. Faith comes to us when we believe the preached Word of God. This is wholly the work of the Spirit ad Word and dependent on God’s grace and the work of the cross.

    James 1
    18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

    Yes, it is of the will of God that we are born again, but it is by the Word of truth. The Word of God is preached and our dead spirit is quickened. It is made alive within us. It is nothing to do with our mental faculty, but everything to do with our dead spirit receiving the gospel. It is of God’s grace, of God’s mercy and of God’s Word.

    He quickens us. It is totally from and of God, but it is qualified by the necessity of the preached gospel. The Word of God is alive and powerful. Jesus is the Word. The life and light of men is in the Word who is God. The Word is the quickening power which revives the dead spirit.

    Romans 10
    13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
    14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

    And what is the gospel that is preached?

    1 Corinthians 15
    1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,
    2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you–unless you believed in vain.
    3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
    4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
    5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.

    So the cross and resurrection are central to the gospel, and is what we preach, and it is only through the preaching of the gospel that a person can be saved. It is of God and through God, but it precedes regeneration, which is of faith which receives the preached gospel.

    And it is for and upon all who will hear and believe. In terms of God’s omnipresence, he must know beforehand who they are and will be, but to say he itemised those who would be saved and those who would not is presumptuous and misses the fact that, under the New Covenant, which he must have foreseen, God is no preferrer of persons. He is not the author of confusion.

  45. Thanks, Greg. It’s been interesting and refreshing to briefly contribute to a site where pseudo-blog-tyrants like Zorro are not a moderator-protected species surrounded with meme-driven sycophants who pander to his obnoxious browbeating of people with a differing view.

    ‘They don’t like it up ’em’, as Corporal Jones would say.

  46. How does this fit anything? My argument is in now way disarmed. I have accurately and adequately refuted Mr Sproul’s claims about the new birth and Pentecost. Where is your defence of R C Sproul? Nowhere on this thread, that’s for sure.

    So far your defence has depended on an incorrect premise and you have said nothing to convince anyone that R C Sproul is correct Biblically.

    What we’re seeing is that you’re always prepared to mock people, insult them, denigrate them and slander them, but, when it comes to actually declaring what you believe in and what you stand for you are reticent to engage with anyone who has a reasonable grasp of the issues.

    Or even anyone who doesn’t have a grasp for that matter. You write reams and say nothing. Your sarcasm is not an argument. It is a defining clue to your attitude towards people you deem inferior. The ‘watcher’ sites you frequent are flooded with examples.

    Why are you reticent to let people know when and how we are born again? Since you claim people could be born again under the Old Covenant, can you produce scripture and verse, or even a reasonable argument for it? What, then, is the significance of the cross to redemption?

    Do you agree with R C Sproul that Pentecost ended some time during the Book of Acts, or do you agree with scripture that the outpouring of the Spirit begun on he day of Pentecost continue today?

    Perfectly reasonable questions. Surely a person of your Biblical caliber can answer these and subsequent questions in a civil way.

  47. Have you ever considered the legalistic aspects of the five points of Calvinism, which spell TULIP, as we know?

    Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)
    Unconditional Election
    Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)
    Irresistible Grace
    Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)

    It occurs to me that the only five point acronym which truly counts is JESUS.

    Justification by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
    Eternal life by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
    Salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
    Unconditional love of the Father who sent the Son to save all who believe
    Sanctification by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

    Who we were before we received Christ is less important that who we become in and through Him. Why we need salvation is less important than why He offers salvation and whence it comes.

    ‘God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them.’

    Christ brings liberty, not legalism. His cross changed everything, especially for those who believe. Grace is extended to all, accessible by all, and the access point is justification through faith in Christ, and comes by the preached gospel.

    JESUS. No other name!

  48. “Total Depravity” also known as “Original Sin”….

    Perseverance of the Saints….also known as “Once Saved Always Saved” (OSAS)

    …are you serious…?? Original Sin is an orthodox Christian doctrine whether you are synergistic or monergistic (you believe it too…you boob) and OSAS is a radical antinomian concept (which, for anyone who does not have a pumpkin for a scone, is not a charge that can be credibly laid at the feet of a Calvinist)….

    give me strength ….forget TULIPs, petal…, wake up and smell the roses….,the only “five point acronym” that accurately describes your theology is …”F U B A R”….

    What an absolute buffet of botanical buffoonery…….

  49. I wondered about that, old flower. I actually lifted that TULIP assortment from a Calvinist site, calvinistcorner.com/tulip, so, if you have to charge anyone, it is at his feet that the charge is firmly laid.

    Maybe you have an in-camp debate on the go. Who knows? Over at Calvinist Corner, Matthew J. Slick, B.A., M. Div., gives the following explanation for the ‘P’ of TULIP…

    Perseverance of the Saints:
    You cannot lose your salvation. Because the Father has elected, the Son has redeemed, and the Holy Spirit has applied salvation, those thus saved are eternally secure. They are eternally secure in Christ. Some of the verses for this position are John 10:27-28 where Jesus said His sheep will never perish; John 6:47 where salvation is described as everlasting life; Romans 8:1 where it is said we have passed out of judgment; 1 Corinthians 10:13 where God promises to never let us be tempted beyond what we can handle; and Phil. 1:6 where God is the one being faithful to perfect us until the day of Jesus’ return.

    Maybe you can take it up with him.

    John Piper seems to share his views, with, perhaps a slight proviso.

    God’s elect cannot be lost.

    This is why we believe in eternal security–namely, the eternal security of the elect. the implication is that God will so work that those whom he has chosen for eternal salvation will be enabled by him to persevere in faith to the end and fulfill, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the requirements for obedience.

    The proviso being:

    There is a falling away of some believers, but if it persists, it shows that their faith was not genuine and they were not born of God.

    http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-we-believe-about-the-five-points-of-calvinism#Perseverance

    So, in other words, they either are not saved in the first place, or, if they fall, God will ultimately find a way to correct them and bring them on track, because, being the elect, they are unable, then, to lose the salvation granted by God, which seems to agree with Matty Slick, BA, MDiv, but gives a qualification for those who clearly do not lead godly lives after their confession of faith.

    Which, in effect, can be summed up by Matty Slick’s controversial addenda, ‘OSAS’. Whether or not Matty is showing antinomian traits is debatable, but he is certainly claiming a Calvinist perspective.

    Are you saying that you agree that it is possible for a person to lose his salvation by rejecting Christ after having been saved at one point?

    Hebrews 6
    4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,
    5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
    6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

    Or do you go along with John Piper’s rendition, that the person was to actually saved in the first place?

    That we are born into sin I have no argument with, although Paul does remind us that had we not known the law we could not have known sin, since it is the law, as a result of the sin nature, which reveals sin. Total Depravity seems a very legalistic way of putting things, even for Arminians, but we can go along with it, with some slight reservations Biblically.

    I notice you avoided the other three petals, U-L-I. Maybe they are a stretch too far Biblically for comfort.

  50. Justification by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
    Eternal life by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
    Salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
    Unconditional love of the Father who sent the Son to save all who believe
    Sanctification by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

    And that right there kids was how the internet was won!

  51. Don’t get too excited five point FUBAR, before you start attempting to marshal support for your position through Matt Slick (great guy by the way), perhaps you had better actually read what he actually says about the distinction between OSAS and Perseverance of the Saints…..

    http://carm.org/what-is-the-difference-between-eternal-security-once-saved-always-saved-and-perseverance-of-the-saints

    Perseverance of the Saints is not the mere assertion of unconditional salvation and security of any person who claims to believe – far from it

  52. I was exactly quoting Matty Slick, dear flower. Your argument is with him, not me. John Piper definitely agrees with Matty. You seem to have a debate with them over eternal security, yet they are known Calvinists.

    It occurs to me that their position is fraught with difficulties when scripture is applied to their claims. You seem to agree.

  53. So are you now saying that your position on Perseverance of the Saints is now in agreement with Matty Slick’s explanation at the CARM page you cited?

    He doesn’t appear to be saying anything different, in essence, to what he declared at Calvinist Corner. He is definitely saying that a person cannot lose their salvation once they are saved, whatever terminology you want to use.

    By the way, I believe it is very difficult to ‘lose’ your salvation if it is genuine, but scripture clearly makes the point that some have rejected Christ and are in eternal jeopardy, as I have already pointed out rom Hebrews 6. Matty is very definitely resisting this warning from Hebrews. Do you agree with his rejection of Hebrews 6:4-6?

    Hebrews 6
    4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,
    5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
    6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

  54. If you want to disprove Perseverance of the Saints that’s fine ….

    Assuming you just want to confine your analysis to Hebrews 6:4-6 and NOT EVEN TOUCHING the cumulative force of evidence from passages outside of Hebrews, have a read of the following scholarly article published in Vol 1 of the 1995 hardback “The Grace of God, the Bondage of the Will: Biblical and Practical Perspectives on Calvinism” by Wayne Grudem, seminary professor and systematic theologian B.A. in Economics from Harvard University, an M.Div and D.D. from Westminster Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D in New Testament studies from the University of Cambridge.

    The article is called, appropriately for this discussion, “Perseverance of the Saints: A Case Study of Hebrews 6:4-6”. Grudem (rightly) contends, among other things, that this passage, in its immediate context, and within the larger context of the book of Hebrews as a whole, is entirely consistent with the Reformed doctrine of “Perseverance of the Saints”.

    Presumably you are going to need to phone a friend with this one so you better have “Dr” Phil Pringle on speed dial. Once you have digested the contents of that by all means, revert back….I’ll have stack of other resources waiting that would even give Panadol an Arminian induced headache 🙂

    http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB0QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.waynegrudem.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2012%2F08%2Fperseverance-of-the-saints-hebrews-6.pdf&ei=kY8FVOybB5aiugSe6YLYCA&usg=AFQjCNEhz9DNXq0chbhFy3LRLP812c0Ipg&bvm=bv.74115972,d.dGc

  55. Lets just assume Jesus agrees exactly with Steve on every point of doctrine. Would He be spending His time blogging against random Reformists? Would He be trolling theologians? Would He be slurring the Solas, Trampling over the Tulips?

    No, He said to leave the tares there otherwise you might get some of the wheat. So even if Steve has orthodoxy down pat (which is a big assumption), he certainly needs to work on orthopraxy.

  56. ……And for shit sake there is no such thing as a “Reformist” any more than there are “pentecostalists” or “liberalists”

  57. Well it seems to me that TULIP legalistically focuses on the human condition more than on the Jesus solution, so I proposed a better five point launching pad for preaching, through JESUS.

    Justification by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
    Eternal life by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
    Salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
    Unconditional love of the Father who sent the Son to save all who believe
    Sanctification by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

    It occurs to me that TULIP is placing the cart before the horse, as it were, by proposing that people are in such a fix that they need deliverance, but passing on the terrible news to some people that they are not in a position to be delivered.

    Whereas, by preaching JESUS people have a hope of redemption without the complication of someone like flower power having to spend hours explaining his complex theological position, and even recommending massive tomes of complicated language and explanation of a position which isn’t easily verified by scripture itself.

    If you can’t do it without the name of Jesus and a simple gospel presentation you’re wasting everyone’s time on peripherals, some of which are debatable, hence the ongoing discussion.

    But talking doctrine and theology is never a waste of time, as long as the discussion is open and civil.

  58. Well, Hebrews 6:4-6 doesn’t stand alone, of course. But are you skirting the issue it raises, or do you have another explanation which fits your theology, assuming you are now admitting that you actually comply with Matty Slick’s explanation.

  59. Which shows a definite lack of confidence in being able to present your case rationally without reference to others or relying on sarcasm.

    Can you put forward your explanation of Hebrews 6:4-6 in laymen’s terms in a couple of paragraphs or not?

  60. As I have always said FUBAR, there is practically no one who has even a modicum of credibility who you could reference…..why would I do the heavy lifting when I can get someone else to do it at the click of a hyperlink??….you are far too easily pleased with vapid, mile wide and inch deep modern “christianism” like (as CS Lewis put it) “an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.”

    Your problem is you are far too easily pleased with the kind of unadulterated crap pawned off as biblical christianity by carpet baggers like Phil Pringle…..

    Keep on doing the heavy lifting….Im quite happy to stand on the shoulders of giants…

  61. Without some semblance of “orthodoxy” there is absolutely no hope of “orthopraxy”

    That’s a reasonable statement, the only problem is that Jesus taught the opposite. Have a look at the Parable of the Good Muslim (also translated as the Good Samaritan).

  62. Your petty insults aside, going through Grudem’s attempt at an explanation which supports your view, it is patently clear that you seek to insult everyone’s intelligence with as blatant a piece of eisegisis as you could find anywhere. Did you think we came down with the last shower?

    First, gives the two basic arguements, and does such an expert job of presenting the case for the possibility of Christians falling away that the rest of the piece, where he vainly struggles to disprove the former, is about as contrived as you can get.

    It’s interesting to note that, despite the fact that he dissects just about every word along the way, he completely ignores the key phrase on falling away and skips through to some explanation of repentance not being the repentance the repentance is talking about in the passage.

    But the fact that the writer mentions a falling away indicates that there is a falling away from something significant. So significant, in fact, that there is no way back.

    So, if the person in question was not actually saved in the first place, what is he falling away from, and why is there, then, no subsequent repentance, since there could not have been a genuine repentance at the outset? He was not saved, according to you and Grudem. Therefore, he cannot possibly fall away, especially to a place where there is no longer a repentance. Nor could he crucify Christ afresh.

    Grudem’s effort is so fraught with contrivances and error that it was excruciating to even read more than a quarter of the work, but I am persevering on the grounds that I am finding more and more that reformed theology really needs to take a good look at itself and stop attempting to rewrite the Word on the basis of a flawed precept.

  63. Why do you think it proves your statement? You said without orthodoxy there is absolutely no hope of orthopraxy. Yet Jesus gives an example of someone who is totally unorthodox (according to the standards of the Jews) yet is doing the right thing.

  64. All things are lawful, but not all are expedient. Orthodoxy, to some extent, is subjective.

    However defence of truth via Biblical accuracy is a key element in establishing and confirming Christian orthodoxy.

    The tulip man contends that his orthodoxy outweighs all others, but there are weaknesses he cannot explain without utilising a smokescreen by, a) being rude or sarcastic, b) changing the subject, c) presenting long-winded, contrived eisegesis from people who begin with a flawed premise and bend scripture around it.

  65. Messrs Grudem and Sproul, and now the florist, remind me of my schooldays, when, with friends, we would, for fun, attempt to demonstrate mathematically that 1+1=3. It’s impossible, of course, because one plus one is always two, but, being cheerful adolescents, we were merely amusing ourselves. You grow out of that stage and responsibly pass on the real information to your own children that one and one equals two, because it’s important for them to know the truth and for us, as mature adults, to reveal it as it very obviously is.

    But not flower man’s quoted source, it seems, who has hit the same dilemma tulip man has discovered, that there is a pesky group of verses in scripture which, when left to their very obvious meaning, completely refute their theory on the perseverance of the saints.

    When the open-hearted student of the Word reads such passages, they take the verses at face value, and, being good Bereans, check it out against the rest of the canon, see that it is making it clear that there are those who fall away having once been enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift, become partakers of the Spirit, tasted the good Word of God and powers of the age to come, which is very obviously talking about people who are, indeed, saved, and more than likely at an advanced stage in their spiritual walk, but who have allowed their faith to be shipwrecked, and, tragically for them, rejected Christ and ultimately their very salvation. Other passages, by the way, when contextually measured against these, confirm this.

    It is a warning to continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not be moved away from the hope of the gospel we heard preached.

    But the flower power men don’t approach scripture this way. They come already believing that this scenario is impossible, because their doctrine says so. They are not prepared to take scripture like this at face value, and must find a way to circumnavigate it rather than change their own position once it is shown to be compromised by truth. Therefore they have to go through rings and hoops to attempt to show by any kind of implausible flimflammery that the scripture can’t possibly be saying what it very obviously is.

    I have genuinely been taken by surprise by this approach. I thought you guys were sola scriptura not sola theoria.

    The general method used, as far as I can make out, is to deconstruct every word, phrase and sentence, isolate it and, one by one, put up some kind of unconvincing reasoning devoid of true context with enough impressively eclectic language to place doubt in the minds of the reader, stretching out the process, line by line, using the Greek, of course, until they have actually convinced themselves, as the architects of this folly, that the writer of the Gospel or Epistle actually meant the complete reverse of what he clearly intended.

    Reading the piece was a real eye-opener.

    It really didn’t add up.

  66. wazza,
    ‘Jesus gives an example of someone who is totally unorthodox (according to the standards of the Jews) yet is doing the right thing.’

    Which proves my point that orthodoxy is subjective. Those who opposed Jesus were, according to him, not practicing the Law in an orthodox manner, but had reconstructed it and its meaning. Their orthodoxy, then, was not his.

    In reality, Jesus was a completely orthodox Jew. He fulfilled the Law. He completed the Law. He told John, at his baptism, that he must fulfil all righteousness.

    His practical application of the Law was an example and a fulfilment.

    His orthodoxy was demonstrated in his orthopraxy in contrast to the Lawyers of his day.

  67. I would agree with that – orthodoxy is subjective. What seems orthodox at one point in history often becomes superseded at another point in time as understanding changes. This is what happened with the NT – to say it was unorthodox for a person to claim divinity is a severe understatement – it was the ultimate blasphemy punishable by immediate death. Now it is orthodox.

    Many of the things we now see as orthodox will be questioned and superseded in the future. It has always been, and will be ever so. The scriptures are important – they are the understanding that has been given to man at the time they were written. They are interpreted differently as time goes on. But ‘orthodoxy’ is a concept that is subjective – and hence ultimately self-contradictory – for if “correct belief” is subjective then nothing is objective.

  68. Christian orthodoxy has to be tempered by scriptural accuracy, particularly the New Testament, but not apart from the Old, which gives context. I take it that you do not accept that all scripture is God-breathed and profitable for doctrine, instruction, correction or rebuke, or that the words of Christ are established. Then you have no standard or measure for Biblical orthodoxy.

  69. What do you mean by ‘particularly the New Testament’, do you think that ALL scripture is God-breathed or don’t you?

    There are some parts of the Old Testament that I don’t think are profitable at all for doctrine, instruction, correction or rebuke. I have posted some examples previously and asked you how they could be profitable at all. You have said that some parts of the OT are of Man not of God.

    Paul himself says that some things he says are not of the Lord. They therefore cannot be of God because otherwise He would be lying.

    Do you yourself accept that ALL scripture is God-breathed and profitable for doctrine, instruction, correction or rebuke?

  70. Actually, I said that Christian orthodoxy is essentially based on the New Testament, with reference to the Old. The Old Testament, specifically the law, was a janitor to steer us to the New, which is the Covenant we live under, not the Old.

    I do think it is all God-inspired, in respect to the record, examples, and information, even though it is not exclusively the actual Word of God. Obviously, there are passages which are the thoughts of men, or the words of men, some of whom are ungodly. There is even a record of dialogue between the adversary and people, and the adversary and God, which, of course, apart from where God speaks, could not be the literal Word of God. However they give the underlying context to what God does reveal, so they remain valid.

    The thing is, do you take the Word of God as viable for today, or has it become irrelevant for you?

  71. Returning to the Grudem piece on Hebrews 6:4-6, I see that the theological ‘giants’ at CARM give the identical explanation, if in shorter form. Having already mentioned John Piper’s exegesis, I would have to think that this is standard Reformed fare, and quite astonishing.

    In an article tellingly called ‘Can a person lose their salvation, as Hebrews 6:4-6 seems to teach?’, Slick’s offsider, Alex Carmichael, even quotes Calvin, who admits to the dilemma presented, as does Alex, and comes up with something called ‘temporary faith’. I kid you not!

    Here, apparently, God grants ‘temporary faith’ so that this poor unfortunate can ‘taste’ the heavenly to come, then strips it away so that he can return to his reprobate state!

    http://carm.org/about-can-person-lose-salvation

    According to Carmichael, ‘John Calvin addresses this problem of “falling away” in his Institutes of the Christian Religion. He writes that, “experience shows that the reprobate are sometimes affected in a way so similar to the Elect.” In fact, they can “truly feel the efficacy of the Gospel,” and there is no reason why the Lord could not allow the reprobate “some taste of His grace,” or “irradiate their minds with some sparks of His light.” However, this is only what is called a “temporary faith.” Calvin writes further, “Not that they truly perceive the power of spiritual grace and the sure light of faith; but the Lord–the better to convict them, and leave them without excuse–instills into their minds such a sense of His goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption.” Calvin states that the unsaved person in this situation lays hold to the “shadow” instead of the “substance.”’

    So the sad, hapless person in question is permitted by God to ‘feel the efficacy of the gospel’, but is never allowed to enter the fulness of God’s offered salvation because, apparently, this lost soul is set for destruction as a reprobate.

    ‘The better to convict them’? What? Are you serious! God would do this to a person? On what grounds? By what Biblical principle would our God demonstrate such an intense level of cruelty to not only determine that this person was set from birth for eternal torment whilst at the same time planning, and executing a period of time in that person’s life that they would experience by ‘temporary faith’ an irradiation of their minds with some sparks of His light, only to then cause them to fall away, and then, because of the falling away, deem them unable to repent anew?

    Do these so called theological ‘giants’ even know what they are writing? Does flower top know what he is championing with this stuff?

    Old flower top can stand on the shoulders of these ‘giants’ if he chooses, but I’d rather walk with the Spirit of Christ any day.

  72. Tulip man,
    ‘OSAS is a radical antinomian concept (which, for anyone who does not have a pumpkin for a scone, is not a charge that can be credibly laid at the feet of a Calvinist)….”

    In fact, looking back over what Messrs Grudem, Slick, Carmichael and Piper, all Calvinists, have written it is clear that they all state, unequivocally, that a born again believer cannot lose their salvation, which can also be interpreted as ‘once saved always saved’ as Slick proposed in the earlier quote I put up, and which you challenged with the above statement.

    Besides which, since they all claim that God is the One who causes them to persevere and that it has nothing to do with the will, choice or ability of the person being preserved, what other conclusion could anyone reach?

  73. I take the Word of God as viable for today. I am against ‘Christian Purity’ tests which give one or two verses and ask do you believe that? Like ‘do you believe all scripture is God-breathed?’

    One has to take everything in its proper context, it is not a simple yes or no answer. Some passages such as the one in Kings where the bears maul the teenagers for calling someone ‘baldy’ are not profitable for anything except for rebuking Biblical literalists.

    People who use these purity tests would never think of taking such a literalist hard-line with other passages such as “Do you believe it is almost impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven?” or “Do you believe re-married people are committing adultery?”

  74. Wazza reckons that there are parts of the Old Testament that are not profitable at all for doctrine, instruction, correction or rebuke ……its just a coincidence though that all of those parts happen to be the parts that doctrinally instruct, correct and rebuke……

    NONE of it (OT/NT) is profitable…. when ya don’t believe any of it!!

    LMAO

  75. Are you of the female persuasion Nadia? Should you be trying to instruct me (being male)? Should you even be speaking on this blog?

  76. I don’t think I was applying a Christian purity test to your position, wazza. I was more establishing where your core beliefs emanate on the basis of orthodoxy. Surely an orthodox position on anything has to begin with standards and values.

    If you have no foundational basis your building is liable to be moved around by tidal movements and shifting sands. You are prone to being tossed about with every wind of doctrine.

    I notice you referred to the Old Testament as proof texts of hard sayings, when, of course, Christian values are primarily derived from New Testament values. We are not, as Christians, required to live under the Old Testament, in particular, the Mosaic law, but we do look to the accounts as examples and to give context to the New Testament, which built on better promises and expressing of God’s grace, mercy and love.

    Jesus ended the Old, especially the Law, which was for Israel of old to bring us to Christ and to faith, to introduce the New. He opened the way for all people, whether Jew or Gentile, to enter a new way of living based on faith, hope and love.

    The primary values we need to have established in our lives are those I indicated before which are built on JESUS.

    Everything comes back to contention between the legalism of TULIP compared to the grace of JESUS.

  77. If there is one darn thing in the world that you pair of twits should not be waxing eloquent on and that’s “Orthodoxy”

  78. Port old Nadia doesn’t know how to engage now that her ‘giants’ have had the light shine on their folly.

  79. And all the people SAID: ” logical fallacy: a pragmatic defect in an argument whereby the premises are just as much in need of proof or evidence as the conclusion” ……but thanks for trying Dr Spock …..now get back on your rainbow coloured Enterprise and bugger off somewhere into the outer reaches of the galaxy where no heterosexual man has gone before

  80. “Jesus ended the Old, especially the law”

    Sorry Steve, but Jesus disagrees with you

    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17-18)

    Guess it proves your point again that orthodoxy is subjective

  81. “Wazza reckons that there are parts of the Old Testament that are not profitable at all for doctrine, instruction, correction or rebuke ……its just a coincidence though that all of those parts happen to be the parts that doctrinally instruct, correct and rebuke……”

    He sounds smart.

    A lot of it is Nationalistic revisionism when compared to the actual archeological evidence of the Ancient Hebrews in the Middle East.

    A shame people believe it actually happened they still have to kill for and drive others out of their Promised Land.

  82. Huh? Sorry, just have to get someone fluent in moron….- Fubar, Wazza??? translation please??

  83. “Huh? Sorry, just have to get someone fluent in moron….- Fubar, Wazza??? translation please??”

    My universal translator detects high levels of bullshittery mixed with extreme levels of narcissicism from No Ballz.

  84. Satan called and left a message for Nadia:

    “You are doing great with the insults. If you keep going everyone will bow to your great intellect and accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour”

  85. It’s an interesting tactic by No Ballz. But when you’re one of the Chosen/Elect you can do whatever you want except maybe have gay sex. Obviously symptomatic of some shortcomings in his own life like the inability to attract women so must hide behind a facade and put down those who have factual arguments to make himself appear bigger.

  86. “Christian orthodoxy has to be tempered by scriptural accuracy,”

    So that rules out the Old Testament, the Disciples and everyone else in the first couple of hundred years CE and possibly the authors themselves.

    I doubt the guys writing bogus Paul thought they were writing scripture.

  87. I was aware of Matthew 5:17-18 too, wazza, but Jesus clearly wasn’t saying we continue under the law, but that the law was completed in him, and therefore fulfilled and superseded for those who believe. He didn’t come to destroy the law but to fulfil it and make the way clear for us to enter a new and living way through faith in him.

    Romans 10
    4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

    So saying he ended the law to introduce the New Covenant is perfectly sound for those who believe.

    Or maybe you don’t believe so it doesn’t count for you. You can live under law if you like, but the backyard gets messy when cutting up bulls, and we’re not talking BBQ here.

  88. Nadia is a classic example of someone who apparently likes to demonstrate that she knows heaps but doesn’t have a clue how to apply it to any given situation to achieve a positive outcome.

    There’s actually a Biblical concept that covers this, in 1 Corinthians 8.

    Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.

    If Nadia was half the person she claims to be when it comes to theological understanding and accuracy she would be able to explain her position fluently without having to resort to insults, sarcasm and self-aggrandisement.

    She could carefully and evenhandedly explain her position in clear terms with the aim of edifying everyone rather than showing off her pomposity and pride.

    It could be that Nadia is one of those who is living in ‘temporary faith’, and has the ‘shadow’ and not the ‘substance’, as Calvin points out, and is in danger of being dropped at some juncture, ‘all the better to convince’ her of her reprobate state.

    Whatever the case, there is certainly something missing in the way she interacts with people she could be teaching, if she is half as knowledgeable as she makes out. Which is, after all the very context of Hebrews 5 & 6.

    ‘For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.’

    I wonder if anyone thinks Nadia is a babe?

  89. Ok……responses:

    1. Sorry Mr Spock, I meant to say “I just have to get someone fluent in KLINGON” – not “moron” Freudian slip that’s all…the whole Star trek meme is doing my head in…

    2. Fubar……well, what can I say…. if knowledge puffs up – you must be a sultana….(actually there’s another good one when I get sick of “Fubar”)

    3. Wazza, Satan eventually managed to get through to me….turns out all he wanted is your Klingon translation of the bible coz the crud you and Sultana man are churning out is even new to him

  90. That, folks, is the level of intelligence and defence of his own doctrine Nadia has.

    Unable to show a single Biblical reason why anyone should agree with his ‘giants’ of the faith whose doctrine has been shown, without much trouble, to be utterly implausible and inept, and, despite boasting that further ‘demolishing’ of any rebuttals would be on offer, all Nadia the Tulip sniffer offers is inanity and sarcasm.

    I knew the flower man would struggle in a less moderated and protected environment than he’s used to over at the ‘watcher’ sites, but, frankly, this has been too easy.

  91. A brief survey of one of Arminianism’s “Giants” – the one and only George Bryson…..speaks for itself really…

  92. Is someone Arminian?

    You see, Nads, you’re stuck in a system which dictates to your theology regardless of its incongruence when measured against scripture, which you claim to be the basis of your doctrine, and yet reject whenever it compromises your beliefs.

    You can’t, as we have seen on this thread, defend it, so you attack others, thinking this to be adequate, when it merely points out your inability to calmly state your case. It’s always been the way with you.

    Even in this latest attempt you reject being associated with an ‘ism’, then raise one yourself.

    You appeal to schisms and even side with one against another, missing the point of Paul’s denouncement of that kind of immature approach. You’re so deeply immersed in it you can’t see beyond it, so you flaf about in it. You’re so anthropocentrically TULIP that you can’t see the gospel.

    Better to follow Christ.

    It’s a pity, because you’re obviously quite a bright fellow, with a clever wit, and have a decent handle on Biblical principles in general, but the way you treat people, on blogs at least, places you too close to the accuser and scoffer to currently be evidence of your own conversion.

  93. Going back to the CARM article Nads avoided, there was something Alex Carmichael wrote, in his already rebutted reference to Hebrews 6:4-6, which could slip by a casual reading, but it seemed to leap out at me as controversial and inaccurate to scripture, so I’ll bring it up. Watch carefully what he says here and compare it to actual scripture.

    Scripture says,
    ‘Christ died once for all’

    Carmichael says,
    ‘Christ died once for all time, for those who would believe in Him.’

    Did you catch that? Where scripture says that Christ died once for all, Carmichael makes it an issue of time, then he attempts to qualify it by tacking on ‘for those who would believe in him’, which has an element of truth, but not the way he means it.

    Let’s see what Paul tell us about the death of Christ and for whom he died.

    Romans 6
    10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

    The mere fact that he tells us that he died ‘once’ gives us the time. Once is both initiative and conclusive. Once and for all time, yes, but he doesn’t have to repeat that it was once and for all time. He doesn’t say once and for all. There is no conjunction. He says ‘once for all’. It clearly and contextually means once for all time for all people.

    Paul confirms this.

    2 Corinthians 5
    14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;
    15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

    ‘If one died, then all died, and he died for all’. So, he is clearly speaking of persons. If one (person) died, then all (persons) died, and he died for all (persons). Clear as day.

    I’ll give you three witnesses. More from Hebrews.

    Hebrews 7
    26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;
    27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

    So, just as the high priest offered sacrifices for himself and the people, so Christ is the Eternal High Priest who died once and for all people.

    Tulip will offer up Hebrews 9:28 where is says Christ bears the sins of ‘many’, but this is not a contradiction to ‘all’, since Christ died for all, but ‘all’ can also refer to ‘many’, or ‘a large number’, without being exclusive, besides which, form another perspective, not all will accept the offer of grace and eternal life.

    The word for ‘many’, polls means ‘much’, or ‘large’, indicating great numbers, so could refer to a vast group of people, but certainly doesn’t have to mean an elect group at the expense of others. It could just as easily refer to a multitude of people, and, in context with the other verses must. The context defeats the notion of a select, exclusive group.

    But the greater context says Christ died once for all, and the all is clearly people, not time, which is already covered in the use of ‘once’.

    To escape the accusation of universalism, I’ll qualify this by stating that, though he died once for all, not all will accept the free pardon offered because they will not all believe, which is why I have tentatively agreed with the second part of Carmichael’s sentence, where he says ‘for those who would believe in Him’, but not for the same reasons Carmichael gives.

    Carmichael has interpreted the verse to fit his doctrine, and not adjusted his doctrine to comply with the verse.

  94. ‘Christ died once for all time, for those who would believe in Him.’

    Sultana’s allegation: Carmichael has misquoted scripture.

    Question: Was Carmichael directly quoting scripture?

    Answer: No.

    Next…

    According to Sultana Bran Romans 6:10 the translated phrase “once for all” apparently “clearly and contextually means once for all time [AND] for ALL PEOPLE”

    The english phrase “once for all” is translated from the greek adverb “ephapax”

    Lets see on the basis of ordinary syntax and grammatical construction whether that is even possible….without adding an adjective and a noun:

    1. a verb/adverb, in normal syntax describes an action i.e. “ephapax” – once for all – upon one occasion only

    2. a noun, in normal syntax denotes a person, place, or thing – i.e. “people”

    3. an adjective’s syntactic role is to qualify a noun – i.e. ALL people

    Sultana Bran, can you please show me in the phrase “once for all” translated from the greek ADVERB “ephapax” where this mysterious adjective – “ALL” (greek: pas) and its accompanying noun “PEOPLE” (greek: ethnos) is found in the underlying greek text in addition to the adverb “ephapax”?

    On the basis of the ordinary rules of syntax and grammar of any language an adverb/verb cannot possibly denote a person, place or thing [unless its an adverb in Gregs and Wazzas postmodern Klingon dictionary]

  95. Well I already gave you this contextually in relationship to and comparison with Hebrews 7:28 and 1 Corinthians 5:14-15, which clearly refer to ‘all’ being ‘all people’, not all time. ‘Once’ gives us the time. ‘All’ gives us the target group. We don’t establish doctrine from one verse, or a translation of a single Greek word. We look at the whole and see it from the perspective of what the speakers are saying.

  96. No sultana cake, you dont get off that easy: does the language you speak follow the simple, ordinary rules of syntax and gramma or does it not?

  97. By the way, Carmichael adds ‘for all time’ because, in a previous paragraph he rightly makes the point that the only way to salvation is through the one off sacrifice of Christ, and it is through no other.

    In rejecting Christ and thinking that there must be another way other than this narrow path, such as thinking that there are many roads to Heaven, or that God gives people another chance after death, or that everyone will eventually be saved, this puts Christ “to an open shame,” because it makes Him out to be a liar, and it makes a mockery of Him dying once for all time for the full payment of sin.

    However, had he quoted scripture correctly he would have had to declare that ‘it makes a mockery of Him dying once for all for the full payment of sin’, which would have been more accurate, but would then have opened a discussion about Christ dying for all, inferring people, which, of course, is contrary to a limited atonement.

    Therefore, even he covers himself by adding ‘time’, where ‘time’ is not present in the text, which now exposes him to the probability that he recognises that it could, and indeed is, referencing ‘all people’ as well as ‘once’, being for all time.

    It’s very subtle, but it is, nevertheless, there.

  98. As I hinted before, the general means by which you deconstruct a context is through a contrived syntax, and here we go.

    Isn’t epaphax a compound of two words, hapax, ‘once’, or ‘one time’, and epi, which is positional, meaning ‘down upon’, or ‘over against’, indicating over against something or someone?

    Hence, ‘once for all sinners’, the context being that ‘He died to sin once over against…’ who or what?

    Well he did not die once for his own sin, because he never did sin. Therefore he died once ‘over against’, or ‘in the place of’ those who did sin.

    That is both contextually and scripturally correct, but we have to look elsewhere for confirmation, which is why I gave you 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 and Hebrews 7, which are both undoubtedly referring to people as well as time.

    2 Corinthians 5
    14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;
    15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

    Context.

  99. So Christ died for the sins of time or for the sins of people? Or the sins of all people for all time?

    Yo now very well that the meaning is applicable in both senses, i.e., once upon a time, or at once for all, so the actual meaning has to be determined by context, which is why there is a dispute over it.

    Ether Christ died once for all time for some, which is never, anywhere indicated in any of those passages, or the completion indicated is that he died once for all people for all time.

    Why do you have to insult people all the time?

    What is it about your character which has to resort to this kind of behaviour?

    I don’t mind banter, or humour, or even a passionate debate over issues, but you are consistently unchristian in your approach to anyone you see as different to yourself.

  100. You need to properly learn and understand the position you are tying to refute….

    Have you ever witnessed to a muslim? Do you hate it when a muslim describes you as a polytheist in relation to the doctrine of the trinity and will not let you define you define your own terms?

  101. Do you have an explanation for 2 Corinthians 5:14-15? Did Christ die for all, or not?

    2 Corinthians 5
    14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;
    15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

  102. I talk to Muslims often.

    They are mostly interested in the Bible texts because they say wonderful things, such as “Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give your rest’. They ask what words like ‘weary’ mean and I explain, then we talk about what Jesus offers them. I usually ask if I can pray for them if they have needs. They are actually interested in what the New Testament says and I have given them away.

    They allow me to put my hand on their shoulder and pray in the name of Jesus. It’ a matter of letting them know I am a person of the Book and I care about them. It’s called witnessing.

    We don’t have to get into theological discussions over syntax because that is not where we live in the real world. Only TULIP defenders and legalists need this kind of security. The rest of us get on with the good news that JESUS has died for all who will accept the free offer of salvation.

    Maybe you need to extend your friendship base to include people of other religions so that you can show them that Jesus is a wonderful option in heir lives if they will only believe.

    Instead you waste your time scoffing at Christians, people who are supposed to be on your own side, and attempting to crush their doctrine with your tulip.

  103. By the way, she it comes to Muslims, the context of the discussion really matters.

    If I go to, say, Camden Tube Station, which is in the shadow of huge mosque, and debate the Muslim evangelists who often gather there, then, yes, I will come up against the brick wall of their prepared antichrist theological debating tactics, and, even when I show them obvious, undeniable pointers to the deity of Christ, they will say the Bible has been corrupted so it can’t be trusted.

    The only reason I bother with this is to guard the people they take on and show them why Muslim understanding of Christianity is flawed.

    Even when they are logically confounded by truth so they claim it is a lie.

    It is the same with JWs, who you can find outside every train station in UK these days if you want to annoy them during your lunch break or on the way to the shops by asking if they are born again and explain why they can’t be, under their doctrine, born again, whilst showing them Jesus own words that you must be born again to see the kingdom of God.

    These are, in effect, demonised people. You can see the shutters go down over their eyes as you show them the scriptures, which is why they will then flicker over to another unrelated subject. They are totally indoctrinated. The few that are new to their cause are easier to reach, so I will focus on them and leave the others to they shutters, but it generally only takes around six months of indoctrination to capture these people and render them unable to hear the truth.

    But if you meet the average non-indoctrinated Muslim who just wants to have a happy life and you build a relationship with them the opportunities are far greater.

    I would not really be interested in wasting too much of my time with an indoctrinated fanatic because I know we will go around in circles. So your attempt at challenging me to a duel with an expert apologist for Islam is moot. How many do you meet at work?

    I don’t have to prove anything to them. Has Michael White ever converted anyone he has debated? I doubt it. Debates don’t win souls.

    The gospel does, but in the right context and with the right attitude and approach.

  104. Sorry, I meant Dr James White.

    By the way, that is not a put down of James White, whom I think is the best and fairest of the apologists for Reformed Theology and a decent man. I have no major issue with R C Sproul, either, who is obviously a genuine and devout man of God. But some of his cessationist doctrinal stance is questionable. John Piper, too, is a decent man and I have great respect for these people, including the folk at CARM, who say some great things.

    Spurgeon was arguably one of the great Christian communicators and a Calvinist, as many others.

    But the way some of the more hardline Reformed folk treat non-reformed thinkers is often unkind, as with John McArthur over Charismatics and Pentecostals, which helps no one and certainly works against us when we witness to the lost.

    Reformed theology has much to offer, and really make us think about what we believe, which is healthy, but this divisiveness is unwarranted much of the time.

  105. Tell you what, Nadia, next time you’re in the big city of London why not give us a hoy and we’ll head down to Camden outside the mosque and you can outline the Trinity to a few Muslim evangelists, and see how you get on. I’m serious. It’ll be fun.

    You can try out Reformed theology on them. Maybe they’ll enjoy the tulip approach. You can let them know, according to your doctrine, they’re all totally depraved and God has a limited atonement which may or may not include one or two of them, depending on whether they’re in the elect. See if you can help them understand that.

    You can use all the syntax you like.

    I’ll stick to preaching JESUS.

  106. Unfortunately for you Sultana Bran, preaching Jesus has more theological content than “Jesus luvs me this I know coz Phil Pringle tells me so”

    If the best you can cobble together in response to my query above is this absolute unintelligible steaming pile of bovine scatology “the general means by which you deconstruct a context is through a contrived syntax” – Im calling it buddy:

  107. So far the only reasonable argument you’ve put up is to show that Jesus died once for all, which we all know anyway, so I don’t know why you’re starting a celebration party just yet.

    You failed to defend R C Sproul’s born again under the OT claims, or his four Pentecosts, or cessation claims. You hiccupped and spluttered over some dispensation theory assumption, completely maimed your own case on once saved always saved (is we or isn’t we), never addressed whether Jesus died for all or not, and tried to change the subject so many times the thread got seasick.

    Methinks you overcomplicate the gospel so much you no longer have the nerve to preach it.

  108. Anotherie just like the otherie perhaps?

    “After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters AT THE SAME TIME (“ephapax”), most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:6)

    Based on your own reasoning above, the correct rendering of the text must be:

    ….. he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters AT THE SAME TIME…FOR ALL PEOPLE, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep

    …..at the same time….for all people, most of whom are still living?????

    Sultana, were you alive at that time when the Apostle wrote that?

  109. That’s not at all reasonable. As I said it requires the context for the understanding. The context here is revealed so there is no misunderstanding. The word can mean either all at once, or once for all, and that is according to all Lexicons. In the case you presented, which is the only time it is use this way, it means all at once. He sees them all at once.

    If, on the other hand, Christ died once for all, then ‘all’ is indeed ‘always’, but also to cover all things required for the covering of the sins of the people, since, in Hebrews, it refers to the need of an annual sacrifice for Israel to atone for their sins, but, at the cross, Christ died once for all and there was no further need for the sacrifice, therefore all is covered, all is complete and, consequently, all are released from their sin.

    The only thing they need now do is accept the price paid through faith in Christ. There is no further payment for sin required. It is finished. They can be saved. How could it not be for all since all sinned and fell short of the glory of God. All sinned, so he paid for all sins and therefore all sinners.

    I will concede that the meaning is once for all in terms of time, but hapax also covers this and means ‘once only’, whereas ephapax is interpreted slightly differently depending on the setting, obviously, and can mean ‘all at once’, or ‘once for all’.

    Is this evidence that Christ died once but not for all people? Not at all.

    The very point that he died once for all signifies there was no further need for the sacrifice, therefore all are covered. The forgiveness was for all. It was once. For all time, for all sinners, for all sacrificial necessities, for all righteousness to be fulfilled, and for all legal requirements.

    Did he die for all people? Yes, we know this because we are told.

    2 Corinthians 5
    14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;
    15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

    You can’t get any clearer than this. It’s as if Paul is having to spell it out slowly and clearly for you so that you can’t possibly miss it.

    One died for all. He died once for all. The entire act was completed once, and for all.

    The only people he would not have died for would have been those who did not sin. But we are told that there was no one who did not sin. Therefore he died for all. That is what Paul and the writer to the Hebrews is trying to tell you.

    Jesus was one man paying the price of everyman’s sin. All sinned in Adam. Through one man, Adam, sin entered the world. Through one man, Jesus Christ, the sin was paid for at the cross.

  110. Did you know that hapax has as its root, hapas, which literally means, ‘all together’, or ‘all things’, ‘the whole’, and is derived from a as the parcel of union, and pas which means, ‘everyone’, ‘all things’, ‘individually, each, every, any, all, everyone, everything’, so ‘the union of all things together’? ephapax is just a strengthened form of hapax.

    So in the substitutionary act of Christ at the cross literally everything and everyone is covered and completed and there is no further necessity for sacrifice, It is done, once, for all and for all things, forever.

    The obvious connection, even in the root meaning of words, is inescapable.

    God is brilliant!

  111. Good to see it’s not just Pentecostals.

    The Reformed are now getting in on the act.

    Public Documents Concerning the Defrocking of R.C. Sproul, Jr and the Saint Peter Presbyterian Church Session

    http://hushmoney.org/RC_Sproul_Jr-defrocking-docs.htm

    So much for the Prime Directive.

    Might need to start a Reformed Watch if I could be bothered though Klingons might be more relevant.

  112. What’s with the sudden interest in young guys being defrocked cupcake? Bit bored of the Captain’s Log are we? 🙂

  113. Wonder what R C Spoul Sr taught his son?

    “I can confirm Lindt’s comments about RC Sproul Jr and the wife spanking. We were members there years ago and witnessed it in his home. We were there in the early years of St. Peter Presbyterian Church. RC would sometimes invite families to his home for a meal, not so much for the regular folks, but if you were big donors to the church and Highlands Study Center like we were. We saw at least three horrible things that night. The first was the “blanket training”. We’d never seen anything like it before and hope to never have to see it again. It involved RC placing his baby girl on a blanket and every time the baby crawled off the blanket RC would hit the baby with a wooden spoon. This happened repeatedly while we were in the living room with RC while Denise was in the kitchen making supper. All the baby was trying to do was get close to her siblings playing there in the living room. But RC just kept hitting her. RC explained that he was “breaking the will of the child.” He got his goal because the baby got exhausted from her own crying and fell asleep on the blanket. Not once did he ever comfort her after he hit her. He called it “self comforting” and explained that you shouldn’t comfort a crying child because children are manipulative and if you comfort them they’ll get the idea that they’re in charge.

    The baby woke up about the same time as Denise called us to supper. RC laid the baby on her back on the blanket and put one of those baby gym entertainment things there over the baby for her to play with. While we were all at the dinner table the baby started screaming. Denise tried to go and comfort the baby but RC sternly told her, “Sit down Denise”. The baby screamed and screamed for the longest time. It was awful to have to listen to. Finally RC got up to check on the baby. He was very angry. Then we heard him say, “Oh, I see what’s wrong.” He came back and explained that the baby gym had fallen over onto her face and she couldn’t get it off her. The screams had been screams of terror, cries for help, but RC ignored them and stopped Denise from helping.

    I don’t know what to call it but child abuse. He never comforted the baby and he wouldn’t allow Denise to either. Most people would look at the Sproul children and say, oh they’re so well behaved. If the only goal of blanket training and refusing to comfort your children is to get them to behave themselves then RC has done a great job as a father. I can’t believe that his children feel that their father loves them though. I’ve often thought about the severe psychological problems his children must suffer from today.

    After supper as we sat in the living room with RC and his children. Denise was cleaning up in the kitchen. RC got up to go in the kitchen. Denise must have done something to make him mad because he angrily told her, “Go to your room”. It sounded just like he was talking to a little child. Denise went to their bedroom and a little later RC went up and we could hear him spanking her. She stayed up there a long time before she came back down. The look on her face told all. She was humiliated and ashamed. It was the most awkward supper we’d ever had in anyone’s home. We didn’t accept anymore invitations from RC after that.”

    http://jensgems.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/doug-phillips-mentor-and-spiritual-father-speaks-out/comment-page-1/#comment-29676

    No wonder RC Sproul Sr maintains that domestic violence and abuse is not biblical grounds for a divorce.

    The Klingons are more human.

  114. Can this be verified? I’m always suspicious of online ‘evidence’ unless it is confirmed. If true it is tragic on many levels.

  115. How are you able to sustain multiple gravatars, Nadia? No one can be bothered to create that many email addresses just to hide their identity. Are you entering false emails? Or do you have software which enables this?

  116. RC Sproul Jr was defrocked for ecclesiastical tyranny and is a firm believer in Christian patriarchy.

    I’ve no doubt it’s true as there are other comments to back it up.

    ““Let’s get specific here.” Okay, Mykl, I’m game. Are you okay with wife spanking? R.C. Sproul, Jr. is, as anyone who *really* knows him knows. He regularly spanked his wife and he taught the men in his church to spank their wives. He was also abusive of his children, even the babies. He was deep into Gary Ezzo and blanket training. Just listening to his Basement Tapes won’t clue you in to that. You’d have to know him up close and personal, or have friends who are members of his church in Virginia, to figure any of that out.

    I get really suspicious of men who jump to defend wife spankers and child abusers like R.C. Sproul, Jr. So are you in to wife spanking yourself? Blanket training?”

    http://jensgems.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/doug-phillips-mentor-and-spiritual-father-speaks-out/comment-page-1/#comment-28449

    It even has a name CDD – Christian Domestic Discipline (wife bashing)

  117. ‘Reformed Watch’! Go for it! You seem to have a start point.

    Returning to the discussion over the doctrine of R C Sproul Snr in the post, Nadia/etc, so far, despite a whole lot of huffing and puffing and various insults, seems to have failed to either qualify or defend R C Sproul’s claims that people were born again under the OT, or his four Pentecosts, or his cessationist theory, nor has he been able to demonstrate why Hebrews 6:4-5 confounds the Slick claim of ‘once saved always saved’ in his definition of the Preservation of the Saints (They seem to be very confused about what they believe on this). He has also failed to tell us why he thinks the cross didn’t pay the price of all sin and therefore all sinners. He went silent when reminded of the root of ‘hapax’ being ‘hapas’, which means ‘the union of all things’.

  118. No….still waiting for a reply Sultana – does the language you speak follow the simple, ordinary rules of syntax and gramma or does it not?

  119. I’m more interested in RC Sproul Sr’s claim that spousal abuse is not grounds for a divorce. There we see the results of Sola Scripture.

    That to me is more important than any so-called Pentecost or who gives a rats what Hebrews 6 (written by an unknown author btw) says in the Greek.

  120. Anyone who says a woman who is physically (or in any other way) abused cannot get a divorce, is a dick.

    The only exception I would make is for Jesus, because I think He was incorrectly reported in this case.

  121. Oh dear. How one’s heroes quickly crumble when they’re shown to be a bunch of tossers responsible for perpetuating violence and rape in the home. All that’s left is name calling I suppose.

    Someone’s divorced from reality all right. It’s those hiding behind the Bible to support evil while whining over what other humans believe or what the fricking Greek word is in 3 Peter 5:17.

    F**k me if they’re the Elect. There’s more chance of Klingons being the Elect.

  122. You can add your mad mate Johnny Mac to that list. Apparently incest isn’t even grounds for a divorce. It will however make you a great prayer warrior as you go through this time of testing which God gives the grace to get through.

    These are great Bible teachers? Really! In what quadrant of the galaxy is that.

  123. The Greeks didn’t use punctuation let alone English grammar! The root word gives you everything you need to know about ‘all’. The cross dealt with everything. Everything! That’s why the way is clear to come to the Father. He drew everyone to Himself through the cross, as Jesus said He would.

    As I said long ago, you will resort to deconstruction of the entire context down to a doubtful explanation of a weak translation one Greek word or some grammatical slight of hand and completely miss the point of what is happening. And guess what! That’s exactly what you have done.

    What a load of energy you expend trying to prove that Jesus wasn’t capable of dying for all sin and therefore all sinners.

    And now you resort to foul language to underline your bad manners.

  124. “The Greeks didn’t use punctuation let alone English grammar! The root word gives you everything you need to know about ‘all’”

    lol….hate to be the one to break it to you Sultana …… grammar is the set of structural RULES governing the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in ANY given NATURAL LANGUAGE. Without the rules of grammar you don’t have any intelligible or recognisable “language”…..

    When you are referring to a “root word” of a word in a known language, you are necessarily invoking one of a number of specific subsets of the RULES of grammar namely “morphology” (identification, analysis, and description of the structure of a given language’s morphemes and other linguistic units)

    Pray tell, are you seriously insisting, on the one hand, that the koine greek language is the only known language NOT subject to the rules of grammar or does NOT follow any known grammatical form but on the other hand insisting it none the less contains “root words” – the rules of which falls under “morphology” which is a subset of the RULES of grammar??

  125. WHAT are you going on about??? These people are enabling wife and child abuse – even recommending it in some cases. And you are still discussing Greek root words and linguistics?

    Dont worry about the root, look at the fruit.

  126. Of course there are rules of grammar, Nadia (Nadia???), but you are merely attempting a diversion from the main issue being raised. I have fully explained what the context is, now you are attempting to shrink everything down to a single word or syntax argument which diverts us from the context of the whole.

    The question is, did Jesus die for all sin, and, therefore all sinners, or not?

    I am saying that having died once for all, Jesus fulfilled the requirements in one act for sin to be paid for and for sinners to be released.

    Whether you want to make ‘once for all’ ‘once and for all time’, or ‘once and never again’, or whatever is peripheral to fact that ‘once for all’, even if it doesn’t state ‘once for all people’ does, in fact, declare that there is no further requirement for anyone at any time to return to the cross on behalf of… what, or whom? Sinners, perhaps? Ah, yes, sinners. And who are sinners? Oh, it’s people! The descendants of Adam, no less. The whole world, in fact. ‘For all have sinned and fallen short’, and Jesus died for the sin of the world.

    “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

    “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”

    The propitiation for sins. The sins of the whole world. Holos Kosmos. The whole world of people, past, present and future. All sins. All sinners. He died for their sins. He paid for every sin. Therefore, for every sinner. The sin of the whole world.

    Hebrews is telling us that he did so once and for all.

    Once and for all means it is all over. It will never need to be done again. I t si finished. It is a complete work.

    And what was it to achieve? The sin of the whole world was paid for.

    “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit…”

    He suffered once for sins. Once – hapax. Which is derived from haps – ‘the union of all things’. Hapax is a completion of all requirements. The reason he died was for sins. For all sins. Sins only apply to sinners, the ones who sin. he died once for all sin, an therefore for all sinners.

    Why is this so hard for you?

  127. Romans 5:12, 18
    “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned, (…) Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.”

    What was the righteous act? The completion which took place at the cross. The substitutionary sacrifice of the Lamb of God who is Christ, our Saviour.

    It was a ‘once for all’ act. It requires no more action. Just as one man’s sin brought all under sin and condemnation, so one man’s act of righteousness bring all under grace and salvation.

    Adam’s disobedience in the Garden was, in a manner of speaking, a ‘once for all’ act of rebellion which resulted in all descendants being under his sin, and therefore bound to be sinners.

    It wasn’t Adam’s second sin, or third sin, or any other subsequent sin which condemned him and the world. It was the first sin. It was a once for all act of rebellion. It had consequences for everything to do with all descendants. The nature of the act affected all succeeding generations. The act of his rebellion and sin condemned all to sin.

    Of course once for all involved people, even though it doesn’t say ‘people’. What else could it refer to? There is no other reason for a substitutionary act which is once and for all. It involves people. Not righteous people. But sin-bound people. Only people sin.

    God covered the sins of Israel through the provision in the Law which atoned for sin through animal sacrifices, but the blood of animal sacrifices never removed sin altogether, and had to be repeated annually along ceremonial acts by the High Priest.

    Only the substitutionary act of Christ had the power to reverse the curse. It was a once for all act which removed the requirement for further sacrifices. God released all descendants of Adam from their sin through this one-off act.

  128. Sultana Loaf – I take that first post as an admission on point in issue that even the koine greek language (like any other) must follow the simple, ordinary rules of syntax and gramma in order to be intelligible.

    So on the basis of the simple, ordinary rules and conventions of syntax and gramma, is it, or is it not your position that an ADVERB can, in the place of a NOUN, denote a person, place, or thing?

  129. This is amazing, must be the contemporary equivalent of arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    Both of you think you are saved, so its no big deal in the end. Its someone else’s problem.

    Any God who has made following Him dependent on analysis of grammatical utterances and obscure koine greek from 2000 years ago, dosent deserve to be followed.

  130. Actually – I now crown both you (Wazza) and Spock Jockey “the Morris Albert Twins”….feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelings

  131. Well as I have said all along, wazza, the gospel is for all people, and therefore all people can be saved through faith in Jesus Christ, since there is room at the cross for all. I believe Jesus died at the cross for sin, and that this means all sin, and therefore all sinners.

    Nadia has difficulty with this because she claims that the cross was not for all sinners, and that is why she is persisting with the syntax line, which, as I have already shown, is totally peripheral to the work of the cross. Even if she is correct, and there is reasonable room for doubt, the point is mooted by the purpose of the cross.

    Whether Christ died once and for all as an adverb or not doesn’t negate the fact that he died once for all and, therefore, the work of the cross is complete, and all sin has been dealt with.

    If he died once for all in terms of time only, then we know that it is a complete act, which I have already stated several times. If it is a completed act, then, we are told, he died for all sin. In that he died for all sin, it must follow that he died for all sinners, sin since is not sin unless a person is involved because only people can sin.

    I know this sounds somewhat obvious, but it apparently isn’t very obvious to Nadia, who is doing everything she can to detour us from the fact that Jesus died once on the cross for all sin and therefore for all sinners.

    Nadia would have you believe that he only died on the cross for a certain group of people and not for others. On other words, although scripture tells us that he died for all, and that all died in him, TULIP people advocate that he did not, in fact, die for all people but for certain people.

    So when we show TULIP people scripture which says he died for all sin and therefore all sinners they have to find something, anything which in any way throws some kind of doubt into the minds of those they attempt to take captive. Which is why he is persisting with a syntax argument which is actually declaring the truth that Jesus died once for all, and, when connected to other scripture which states he died for all sin, and that all died in him, tells us that he died for all people.

    It is utterly inescapable. Why Nadia is persisting with it is quite banal.

    Why is it significant. Because Reformed thinkers claim there is a group of people who cannot avoid being saved, whether they like it or not, and another group which cannot be saved even if they wanted to.

    That is why I have asked Nadia to tell us what the gospel is, but she is not only unwilling, she also knows that she cannot preach the gospel without revealing that there is no hope for some people, and that the work of the cross did not pay for all sin at all.

  132. I have no reason to think that Nadia will address any of this because she is a creature of safety. She doesn’t want to give too much away about herself, or about her position, nor will she concede anything. She would rather slip slide over to another point to avoid admitting anything or actually acknowledging a contrary point to her own. She’ll willingly name others and accuse them, but refuses to be known herself.

    That’s why she loves the cover of the ‘watcher’ sites where she has free reign to exploit those who stand up to her invective, knowing fully well that the ‘watchers’ will moderate, censure and falsely accuse anyone who who challenges their perspective or defends people they poor scorn upon.

    Over there she is safe. She can say what she wants and will be championed. Here, when she comes in with an abrasive attitude and rude manner she is likely to get a serve back in her direction. But when the doctrine of her ‘giants’ is shown to be doubtful, she is first dismissive, but then, when confronted with a decent counter becomes indignant, and, when shown to be on dodgy ground, seeks a foothold where she feels more confident of making a point. So the discussion shifts, slips and slides until she thinks she can control it. Now she will hold her ground even though the argument has moved on.

    I don’t think she knows the gospel. That is why she can’t articulate it. For her it is hidden somewhere in TULIP, which is a hat that has slipped over her eyes so she can’t see beyond the darkness.

  133. Well I’m glad we’ve sorted out that they’re wrong about doctrine and not something important like promoting domestic violence. Ideology’s far more important than human lives.

    “These people are enabling wife and child abuse – even recommending it in some cases. ”

    They are. The lack of admission of this fact can only lead one to assume that they agree.

    Nadia’s probably after a man who will show her some discipline.

  134. As I have already said, Spocky, if you want to pursue it go ahead. You possibly have a case, although it dates back to over eight years ago, and it appears that he was later exonerated and the church in question issued an apology. I’m not interested in a witch-hunt for the sake of pulling a man down, whether he’s a Calvinist or not, or acting on rumours and supposition. There’s enough of that online as it is. If he was defrocked and disciplined and has served a period of retraining then that is between him and his oversight.

    I am interested in the doctrine that is put out by these people, though, because they are fierce opponents of ministries which consider the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit, as well as the operations of the Spirit through the Church, to have ended, and are highly critical of those who reject cessationist theology. Reformed teaching is, in some quarters, quite aggressive, vocally, towards other evangelical teaching.

    Doctrine is extremely important. If it is wrongly applied it does have eternal consequences. The New Testament has several epistles and books which warn against false teaching and ministry.

    That’s not to diminish the need to fight against abuse of all kinds. The thread and post, however, focus on the error in some of R C Sproul’s teaching, which is actually typical of Reformed thought, and not original or separate from it, we find.

  135. I find it very strange that Nadia would dismiss concern about wife and child abuse as mere ‘feelings’ – and presumably think that by contrast the grammatical analysis of a 2000-year-old sentence in an ancient language would be objective.

    Steve’s position is similar – even if multiple eyewitnesses report the same behaviour, it can’t be relied upon – there is always some doubt. But there can be no doubt about whether ‘all’ was meant as an adverb or noun in the original Koine Greek. That is totally objective.

    Thanks Nadia for the musical interlude.

  136. Which multiple eye witnesses, wazza? Can you name and number them? Is their testimony reliable? Do you also have defence witnesses? A statement from the accused? Are you privy to the original reasons given for defrocking the accused, which included giving communion wine to children and starting a church without the permission of the board of the church which defrocked him? Are you calling a man guilty on the evidence of witnesses on an online forum?

    If the rumours are true, then I agree that abuse of a wife and children is unacceptable and should be called out. I have already stated this. This is, however, an interlude to the original discussion, so why wouldn’t it be deemed relevant to continue the discussion whilst allowing you and Spocky to pursue your own lines of inquiry?

    On the other subject, I am in no doubt that ‘all’ is one of the most important words in the New Testament, because it indicates just who has been offered deliverance, salvation and eternal life. The dispute over whether ‘all’ means all, or a few has eternal consequences if there is a vocal group which demands that there is a limited atonement based around unconditional election, which diminishes the power and effect of both the cross and the gospel.

  137. On the other hand, and on second thoughts, having just read through an ugly and uncalled-for swag of comments by Nadia under the guise of TF/Amused/Zorro/Spot-the-liar and numerous other tags over at the ‘watcher’ sites, I can say that, if this is an example of the fruit of Reformed doctrine, then there is a major problem with the whole system if adherents can consider it Christ-like to verbally and unrelentingly scoff at, insult, put-down and cajole commenters, Christians, pastors and church-members in the way this multi-masked enforcer does, and all under the cover of a pseudonym. Several pseudonyms, in fact.

    Really, I want nothing further to do with this unrepentant enemy of Christ.

    John McArthur’s Strange Fire conference was on a similar level of spite as it attacked members of the Body from its very strange TULIP standpoint. The entire ‘watcher’ sites’ modus operandi is Reformed doctrine based these days.

    This fruit alone is evidence for people to remove themselves from its influence tout suite.

    Now what were you saying about Jnr?

  138. Sultana…..none of those tags “TF/Amused/Zorro/Spot-the-liar” are me and I have no idea what the ‘watcher sites’ are that your referring to…..what I do know is that typically you can be refuted in a few short paragraphs…..if there is any doubt about that, all any reasonable person has to do is look at the length of my posts compared to yours above…..I like to conserve my time and energy for more productive endeavours….all though I get a real kick out of your long diatribes – especially the mandatory immediate “second post” – its bloody hilarious

  139. You mean there are two of you! I earnestly apologise for mistaking you for TF/Amused/Zorro/Spot-the-liar/etc. The similarities are, without doubt, spooky. I’ll take your word for it, though. Sorry to him, too, for mistaking him for you.

    Nonetheless, if both you and he are examples of the Reformed bunch, my case is actually strengthened. Do you suck lemons for breakfast or something?

    You had debated people here previously, though, so you must be the former Mosco, who also liked to use the Python knight sketch when he prematurely assumed he’d made a point Is there a pattern here, or is there yet another to which we attribute the Reformed diatribe-laden slap-down technique of witnessing?

    ‘what I do know is that typically you can be refuted in a few short paragraphs.’

    Er…in fact you have shown nothing to convince anyone that anything you say has any basis in Biblical fact. When you have been rebutted you generally resort to name calling, subject changing or a Monty Python sketch detour. Nothing you have said has refuted anything. In fact you have been attempting to defend your own support of the errors in the post and the errors at CARM.

    ‘I like to conserve my time and energy for more productive endeavours’

    And yet here you still are. It’s like the itch you can’t scratch. You cannot get your points across so you try again and again. Meanwhile you provide me with ample opportunity to preach the actual gospel on a site which reaches several hundred a week. It’s not actually all about you at all.

    Mostly you have shuffled around in the mire of someone else’s attempt at justifying false doctrine. The only thing you came close to proving was the ‘once for all’ assertion you made. Oh, sorry, you also proved that you are as rude and bad mannered as your Reformed counterparts aforementioned.

    You still haven’t told us the significance of what ‘once for all’ achieved.

    Did Jesus die for all sin?

  140. Second comment, as expected: you said,
    ‘all any reasonable person has to do is look at the length of my posts compared to yours above’

    So if a person comes up with shorter comments (posts are the lead articles) that will be evidence to readers that s/he has a better argument? I don’t think so, Nadia. If that were the case wazza, the clearest and most economical of all commenters here, would win hands down.

    If we took out the snarky remarks and innuendo from your comments most would say nothing at all.

    In fact, any reasonable observer would notice that you skirt most issues, hang on to the obvious when you finally grasp it, and miss the point of the discussion as well as the context of scripture being discussed.

    The length of some of my comments highlight the fact that it is so hard to get what scripture says across to you that it has to be repeated. But you still don’t get it! LOL!

  141. and it appears that he was later exonerated and the church in question issued an apology.

    Who are you talking about?

    There are letters of RC Sproul Jr’s ‘repentance’ for ecclesiastical tyranny and spiritual abuse.

    http://hushmoney.org/RC_Sproul_Jr-defrocking-docs.htm

    According to that ‘great’ Bible teacher RC Spoul Sr, spouses who are victims of abuse have to put up with it until God changes the abusing spouse. They cannot divorce for Jesus said the only grounds for divorce as adultery.

    Unbelievable that people listen to this medieval superstition.

  142. Spocky, as I said, I am against abuse of wives by husbands. I also support the notion that wives in abusive marriages should be encouraged to get out while they still can. No wife should have to endure a maniac who spanks her as a claimed tool of correction.

    RC Spock Jr. You are indeed the returned Mosco. OK, it helps to know that you and the infamous Zorro are not one and the same person. What is it with Reformed folk? Are they all brought up with the same vulgar tendencies?

    However, before you attempt to move in another predictable direction, I guess, trying to prove that ‘all’ is not all in the Greek, you haven’t finished the rest of the exercise yet. here are many loose ends flapping about above which you started then left.

    Unfinished business:

    Is it ‘once saved always saved’, which you claim to be ‘a radical antinomian concept’, but which Matthew Slick lays claim to, and which you subsequently defended on his behalf, or is there a possibility that a person, once saved, can renounce their faith and Christ and lose their faith irrevocably, as indicate by Hebrews 6:4-5?

    Do you, along with Calvin, hold to something called ‘temporary faith’ by which God can later exempt the sorry person ‘to better convict them’?

    You have yet to explain your defence of R C Sproul Sr’s claim that Moses was born again in his lifetime through the Holy Spirit.

    In his own words, “In the OT, the only way a person could be a believer was the same today: they had to be born again by the Holy Ghost. And so the Spirit was busy with the work of regeneration.”

    You have yet to produce Biblical evidence for the claim that the Holy Spirit was ‘busy with the work of regeneration under the Old Covenant’, or how a person could be born again before the death and resurrection of Christ. Scripture/verse.

    You have not explained why you think R C Sproul is correct to advance the notion of four Pentecosts which, upon completion, removed the need for a continued outpouring of the Holy Spirit, ending the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit, miracles of God, and the healing ministry of the Spirit of Christ through the Church.

    You have not told us if you believe that Christ died for all sin. Is the following correct:

    2 Corinthians 5:14-15
    For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

    In fact, in those short few paragraphs of yours you not have successfully explained any of these claims.

  143. The Reformed still live in the Middle Ages. Their God is about disciplining people and so it is with their ministers and spouses. Nothing like slapping your wife around if she is disobedient cos that’s what God is like.

    Of course the rest of the world gives the bird to the Reformed and their idiotic ramblings.

  144. What happened to ‘husbands, love your wife as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her’? And what’s this ‘blanket training’ all about for infants?

    It bears some resemblance to the concept of TULIP, though, doesn’t it? Which, as I pointed out earlier in this present conversation, is man-centred and entirely control-driven.

    Even the idea of grace is perverted into a control mechanism. Instead of having, simply, grace, which is the unconditional favour of God, it has to be ‘irresistible grace’, which somehow seems to be an oxymoron, where grace is, on the one hand, God’s unmerited favour towards sinners, but on the other hand, God’s forced… well I’m stuck for words, here, attempting to describe involuntary grace, because grace can never be imposed upon a person against their will, or it is not grace by its very nature.

    If I offer you a gift, the idea is that the opportunity to receive it is entirely yours, it is voluntary, or it is not a gift. If it is compulsory and I render you unable to reject it, it is an imposition. Therefore it is not grace.

    It might be for your benefit that I give you a free gift, but if you refuse it or reject it then you have declined a benefit, but it was not my decision to deny yourself the benefit, but yours, so I have made the generous offer, but you have decided you do not require the benefit.

    But if I have it my power to press that benefit in your life and render you unable to resist the opportunity, I am not exerting grace but control and manipulation. It is coercion.

    When a husband of the ilk we are describing wants his wife to do something differently to the way she is at present, the grace would be to explain the benefits of a different way, to even give opportunity for explanation for why she is doing it another way (come reason with me), but beating the crap out of her to enforce the ‘benefit’ seems to me to be a prohibition of liberty and an imposition on a person’s will. It is certainly not any kind of grace I have ever seen promoted in the Bible. It is the ‘irresistible ‘grace” of a dictatorial husband.

  145. Hey Sultana Snacks, are there any exceptions to the synergist understanding of “Unlimited Atonement” that Christ died as a propitiation for the benefit of all mankind without exception?

    Remember – short concise statements (in ONE (1) post) – not pages of uncontextual crap in an unknown language that does not follow the rules of grammar (and has nouns that occasionally fill in for adverbs when they are off sick for the day)….

  146. I’ll take as long as I need to qualify my comments, thank you.

    You see how you obfuscate the argument based on your own perception. You have a ‘Limited Atonement’, so you have to come back with something called an ‘Unlimited Atonement’ and begin your argument with a false premise. I don’t think I mentioned the atonement, though, did I?

    You are unsubtley changing the subject from the things you have failed to answer, moving us away from the difficulties you have with ‘irresistible grace’, Slick’s and Piper’s ‘you can’t lose your salvation’ doctrine, Sproul’s ‘cessationist’ theology, Sproul’s four Pentecosts to end the outpouring of the Spirit and, therefore, the gifts of the Spirit, and how you can justify your claim that the Holy Spirit was ‘busy regenerating’ people so that they were born again under the Old Covenant, and the rest.

    Biblically, the atonement was a covering for sin under the Old Covenant using the blood of animals, but it never removed sin. The propitiation was by Christ for all sin.

    Do you believe that the propitiation paid for all sin? Did the blood of Christ remove all sin?

  147. Ah, stuff it, Nadia. I can’t be bothered to waste space and time on a sarcastic exponent of elitist dogma like you. The rudeness, name-calling and arrogance in every comment you make creates a stink of unpalatable proportions.

    If you could have some kind of endearing Christlike quality which encourages discussion I might give it the time. But this continual barrage of unsophisticated insults makes it unpleasureable to discuss anything with you.

    If you can’t tone down the put-downs I’m not interested any more.

  148. Oh come on…don’t be a [edited do to the likelihood of inciting hatred of fairy’s], what is this? “Morris Albert Tribute Week”????

  149. Further to the post, R C Sproul tweets one of his favourite doctrines, which reflects Calvinism at its most divisive…

    ‘Faith is the fruit of regeneration, not the cause of it’

    In which case, R C we don’t need faith, do we? Because if we are regenerated without faith, surely we are already saved, born again, brought back to life, and without any need for faith.

    There is no escaping form this conclusion. Matthew Slick attempts, at Calvinist Corner to explain it by a light bulb analogy.

    In a light bulb, electricity must be in place in order for light to occur. But, it is not true that light must in place for electricity to occur. The light is dependent on the electricity, not the electricity on the light. Therefore, the electricity is logically first. That is, it must be necessarily present in order for the resultant light to appear. However, the electricity is not temporally first because when the electricity is present, light is the necessary and simultaneous result. When two things are simultaneous, one does not have temporal priority over another. So, when the electricity is present, there is not a duration of time before light occurs. It occurs simultaneously with the presence of the electricity. This is the same with regeneration and faith. Regeneration must precede faith not in a temporal sense, but in a necessary sense. In must be in place in order for believing to occur, but it occurs simultaneously with regeneration. So, logically, regeneration is first. Temporally they are simultaneous.,/i>

    No. They cannot be simultaneous and follow a procedure at the same time. It is one or the other. Slick attempts a get-out-of-jail card, but it cannot work. He know that, if we are first of all regenerated, then faith is made null and void.

    Faith for what? Salvation? No, because, according to Sproul, we have already been saved by regeneration. We cannot be regenerated without simultaneously being saved, born again and released from all sin. Faith, then, under this regime, is made redundant for salvation. We are saved by grace without faith. Yet, the Bible differs from this conclusion.

    The problem with this analogy, of course, is that someone has to flick the light switch. Neither the globe (faith), nor the electricity (grace) can create light (life) without the decision to switch on the light.

    The issue is the light, not the globe or the power. Both the globe and the power are in place. They are available. They await the instruction, or the action that switches them on. They have been made available at the cross of Christ. Grace and faith are in Him. The need for life is in the sinner. Regeneration is the light coming on.

    Well we know from scripture that Jesus, the Word of God, is the light. He is the light and tyne life of every man that comes into the world. He is the Word. He is Light. He is Life.

    John 1:4
    In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

    So it is the Word which must come on in the lives of sinners. The grace is present. Faith is present. So how dos faith come?

    Romans 10:17
    So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    So what switches on faith? Hearing the Word of God.

    The main thing all Calvinists leave out, as far as I can see, in this doctrine is the Word of God, which is the gospel of Christ. They say grace is pressed into people and faith is pressing into people, and regeneration is pressed into people, and they are powerless to respond in any way. Monergism vs synergism.

    Yet the Bible tells us clearly how faith comes and receives grace to be regenerated.

    Romans 1:17
    I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…

    The gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. Faith (belief) comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (the gospel preached).

    Slick claims that ‘logically, regeneration is first’, claiming ‘logic’ as the victor, yet, Christ, there Word, Logos, is the means of regeneration for all who believe. He is the ‘Logic’, the ‘Reason’, and more. He is the Rhema, the Living Word, the Word that has the power of regeneration through the Spirit.

    Faith comes by hearing, and by hearing the rhema of Christ.

    Faith, also, is a fruit of the Spirit, not of regeneration. Regeneration, in fact, requires faith, just as pregnancy requires the seed of the man and of the woman. His seed must germinate hers. God’s grace to our faith, which is of God’s Word, who is the Seed of God made flesh.

    Hopefully, one day, the light will go on for these people and they will start preaching the gospel and not some complicated doctrine that requires a master’s degree to understand.

  150. You see, if you don’t understand how people are saved, and why Jesus was sent to the cross, you do not have the right gospel, and if you do not have the right gospel you have to remember the words of Paul…

    Galatians 1
    6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,
    7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
    8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
    9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
    10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
    11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.
    12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

    That is the crux of the matter.

  151. Steve, do you want to put your money where your mouth is and call in and debate Matt Slick on his program, CARM Radio? – Im quite serious, he will schedule a time for you to call him and he will air it on his show…..I will email him for you and tell him you want debate him on the topic of regeneration preceding faith ok?

  152. Let’s have some more great Bible teaching from that great Bible teacher RC Sproul Sr.

    If your husband knocks you around, get over it.

    Good teaching there.

    (Actually now that I think of it, it would be much easier for a woman to simply kill their abusive husband if they were to follow this clown’s advice. I mean then they could marry again)

  153. RC Teddy, there’s nothing to debate. He’s made himself clear. Regeneration before faith is an untenable doctrine. He can come here if you like and explain it to his heart’s content. Or maybe you can explain it for us.

    It seems that R C Sproul is saying that we are born again (regenerated) by grace without faith. Now that is not the gospel that Paul preaches. Therefore, it is another gospel.

    We are saved by grace through faith.

    Through faith. The grace is accorded, and salvation is present and available, but must be accessed.

    If you enter a room ‘through’ a door, what comes first, the room or the door? ‘Through’, dia, is the ‘channel of an act’, even in the koiné Greek. By grace, through faith.

    Not rocket science.

  154. What did you think Nadia? Did you think you could change the subject just one more time to divert the discussion away from the fact that you are defending erroneous doctrine? Maybe Matty can get me on his program and beat the gospel to a pulp for your amusement. No thanks. You an just as easily email Matty and give him the details pot this thread, where he doesn’t have his finger on the button.

    The more I look into these doctrines the more cultish it is becoming. I am actually astonished at the lack of theological soundness of some of these claims, bearing in mind that John McArthur champions R C Sproul as the greatest theologian of this Reformed stuff.

    And you are defending the untenable claim that regeneration precedes faith, when the gospel is clear that we are saved by grace through faith.

    The reasons you need this doctrine are plain, of course, because, if men are able to repent by any kind of decision they make once they hear the gospel, then your doctrines of limited atonement and irresistible grace completely fall apart.

    Your world is unravelling.

  155. Given that you have recently discovered that the bible was not written in English and given your new found devotion and love of that other language (hee hee!!! 🙂 ……..Using proper exegesis including the proper treatment of the verb tenses of the underlying GREEK text of 1 John 5:1 can you please show us how regeneration is actualised as a result of faith and not the other way around?

    Again – lets just confine our arguments to the epistle of 1 John and not the force of other texts – so…. once you have established that, can you please take us to any other examples in that epistle (hint: there’s several of them) specifically describing actions that take place as the result of the new birth where the sequence of words is grammatically utilised in the same way as set out above (i.e. that regeneration is actualised as a result of faith)?

  156. No. I don’t have to play silly games controlled by your agenda. Doctrine is established by the context of the whole canon, or it is suspect. JWs can, in their minds, show that Jesus is not God until they are confronted with John 1, which they then changed in their New World Translation.

    The onus is actually on you to show that faith is unnecessary to the new birth, which is not born out by the context of scripture.

    Show us where it says we are not saved by grace through faith.

  157. Well, it seems you have a problem then….your argument stands or falls on a proper exegetical treatment of the text which unfortunately includes a proper analysis of its underlying ORIGINAL LANGUAGE (irrespective of your desire to avoid it) …holding to sola scriptura has its consequences amigo – you might as well join your flakey liberal mates herein and their continuing whiney Morris Albert tribute to logically fallacious argumentation.

    Anyway, the following for your viewing pleasure “Regeneration, Faith, and Tradition Driven Eisegesis”

  158. R C Nadia,
    ‘your argument stands or falls on a proper exegetical treatment of the text which unfortunately includes a proper analysis of its underlying ORIGINAL LANGUAGE (irrespective of your desire to avoid it)’

    Well, ditto your argument, amigo. You are not immune from this and have so far avoided explanation for support of the issues in the post and a couple of others.

    But you can’t rely on snippets of language assessment at the cost of context of the whole. 1 John 5:1 is quite open to more than one application, either to show that the new birth comes as a result of grace through faith, or to suggest that the new birth leads to faith, but the question is, was John teaching on the means of the new birth or on how to avoid error, following on from the previous chapter?

    The only way to confirm it one way or another is to appeal to the context of the whole of the canon, which comes back to the central truth that we are saved by grace through faith.

    Therefore, I am correct to remind you that we cannot be confined, for doctrine, to one letter which is not specifically addressing the question at hand, but must seek the confirmation of all scripture, which makes your demands unreasonable.

  159. Thanks again for that! but – AGAIN – could you please show us how regeneration is actualised as a result of faith and not the other way around using proper exegesis including the proper treatment of the verb tenses of the underlying GREEK text of 1 John 5:1???

  160. By the way, James White, despite a very interesting talk, but detoured by his own point of view, hasn’t actually got hold of the context of what John is saying. He has argued from an eisegesic perspective, creating a scenario which isn’t present in the text, or intended by the writer.

    John wasn’t given a sequence of events which lead to the new birth or to faith, but James White has adapted his eisegesis to this, as if John was addressing the order of regeneration. He isn’t. It’s not there, nor is it intended, nor is it intended as a secondary argument.

    John doesn’t speak about how we are regenerated, but reminding us that when we are born again certain things become apparent in our lives, such as righteousness, the ability to determine truth from error, actualisation of love, and a right relationship with other believers. He has not denied Paul’s assertion that we are saved by grace through faith.

    1 John 5:1 would be true whether we were saved by grace through faith, or as James White and yourselves are claiming, if we are saved by grace sans faith.

    We would still be born again, and all the things mentioned in 1 John would be attributed to us, and, in regard to the language, the tenses would have the same relevance to the text.

    If I say to you that when you are born again you will have faith, I am not declaring that you were born again before you had faith, but that the new birth is synonymous with faith.

    I can very easily agree that John is saying that everyone who (now and continually) believes that Jesus is the Christ has (already) been born again, but this in no way negates the truth that we are saved through faith, and therefore, the new birth, at the point of birth, comes through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, as Paul teaches.

  161. Do you say that justification is directly connected to the new birth? Are we justified by faith, or by regeneration? Surely we cannot be regenerated (born again) without being justified.

    Is salvation one and the same as regeneration?

    Further, since you also assert that faith is not of ourselves but of God, why would faith not be accorded as the precursor to regeneration, even in Reformed theology?

    Why this insistence on regeneration before faith, which, you must admit, is the same as declaring regeneration sans faith, for which there is no scripture, and which goes against Ephesians 2:8?

    Romans 5:1-2
    Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

    Romans 3:27-30
    Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.

  162. Did you see what I just did, Nadia?

    I broke out of the attempted confines of your binding shackles of limited theology by appealing to the whole of scripture, of which there is far more, to burst open your legalistic tampering with content and context.

    You need to be set free, old bean.

  163. Following the light bulb illustration, which I’ve already dealt with in this thread, Matthew Slick gives us this rather indecisive claim…

    The exact nature of regeneration is a mystery. We know that God changes us and indwells us (John 14:23; 1 John 1:1-4). We are made new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17), and because we are made new, the old things pass away. The old things consist of a rebellious heart against God, our hatred for him and his ways, our blindness before him, our deadness in sins, and our enslavement to sin. These are all done away with.

    Well, it is not a mystery at all.

    We are regenerated through faith in the preached Word of God. Faith is of God in the sense that God’s Word is alive and powerful, and deeply penetrates body, soul and spirit, quickening the dead spirit of unregenerate men. The gospel, which is the preached Word of God, is the power of God unto salvation for those who believe, which Paul brilliantly explains in Romans 10.

    Romans 10:13-17
    For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    It is only a mystery if you make the erroneous claim that we are regenerated apart from faith.

    You make a claim for regeneration preceding faith, then you say it is a mystery, but why do you say this? Because you cannot explain it and have no actual scripture to back this up. Yet Paul tells us the mystery is revealed. And John tells us exactly how we are born again.

    John 1:11-13
    He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    He gave the right, or the privilege, to be born again to those who believe in His name.

    Those who believe in His name.

    When John writes his epistles to his readers he knows they already grasp this truth. He is not telling them that they are regenerated before faith in one letter, and then born again through with in his gospel. He is telling them what kind of people they are when they have been born again. But he is not saying we are born again without faith.

    So we are born again, that is, regenerated, through faith in the name of Jesus. There is no other name under heaven by which a man can be saved.

  164. One would have to think that Nadia/RC/Mosco/Whatever has decided that it is safer to slink away into obscurity than to discuss the errors of his hero Mr Sproul, or the strange exegesis of Mr Slick and co.

    Their exclusive doctrines of limited atonement and irresistible grace leaves them in the predicament of not knowing, for certain, whether they, despite their claims of doctrinal superiority, are actually saved themselves, especially given Mr Calvin’s premise that God might grant temporary faith to teach the depraved sinner who will ultimately be rejected anyway a lesson, which presumably could include Mosco himself and those he defends.

    After so long a silence, we’d have to conclude that Mosco has nothing (more?) to offer in defence of Messrs Sproul and Slick and has left them out to dry.

    Meanwhile, I’ll reiterate the reality of salvation by grace through faith for all in the name of JESUS…

    Justification by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
    Eternal life by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
    Salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
    Unconditional love of the Father who sent the Son to save all who believe
    Sanctification by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

    No other name…

  165. Took a bit of a ‘breather’ old chum did ya? Does your wife beat you or something? you just seem like the wimkpy kid in the playground that even the prefects want to beat to a pulp or at least give a an atomic wedgie….. I take it you ready to do some greek!

  166. I took a breather? I beg your pardon?

    After four unanswered comments I think it was you who took the break, old son. More than a month, in fact. Giving yourself some breathing space to start some new offensive no doubt. I had to write my last comment to stimulate some life in you.

    I’m thinking you don’t have the answers to the anomolies Messrs Sproul and Slick have set up. You haven’t solved any yet, qualified any or successfully defended any. I’ll wait in anticipation of your explanations of their rebutted claims above.

    Plain Bible will do.

    All the goal-post moving jiggery pokery with Greek and ‘possible’ word meanings have become the only way you guys can cope with plain English as it is presented in numerous translations of the same text. Apart form the NIV, that is, which is a Reformed text for the most part.

    In your world ‘all’ doesn’t mean ‘all’, ‘whosoever’ doesn’t mean ‘whosoever’, and Jesus’ cross had a limited effect. You have to micromanage the Word to miss the point of it all. How about some English in context?

  167. To recap the unanswered issues put before you that you have studiously avoided, reformedspock:

    Unfinished business:

    Is it ‘once saved always saved’, which you claim to be ‘a radical antinomian concept’, but which Matthew Slick lays claim to, and which you subsequently defended on his behalf, or is there a possibility that a person, once saved, can renounce their faith and Christ and lose their faith irrevocably, as indicate by Hebrews 6:4-5?

    Do you, along with Calvin, hold to something called ‘temporary faith’ by which God can later exempt the sorry person ‘to better convict them’?

    You have yet to explain your defence of R C Sproul Sr’s claim that Moses was born again in his lifetime through the Holy Spirit.

    In his own words, “In the OT, the only way a person could be a believer was the same today: they had to be born again by the Holy Ghost. And so the Spirit was busy with the work of regeneration.”

    You have yet to produce Biblical evidence for the claim that the Holy Spirit was ‘busy with the work of regeneration under the Old Covenant’, or how a person could be born again before the death and resurrection of Christ. Scripture/verse.

    You have not explained why you think R C Sproul is correct to advance the notion of four Pentecosts which, upon completion, removed the need for a continued outpouring of the Holy Spirit, ending the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit, miracles of God, and the healing ministry of the Spirit of Christ through the Church.

    You have not told us if you believe that Christ died for all sin. Is the following correct:

    2 Corinthians 5:14-15
    For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

    Do you say that justification is directly connected to the new birth? Are we justified by faith, or by regeneration?

  168. Thanks again for that! but – AGAIN – could you please show us how regeneration is actualised as a result of faith and not the other way around using proper exegesis including the proper treatment of the verb tenses of the underlying GREEK text of 1 John 5:1???

    Again, once you have established that, can you please take us to any other examples in that epistle (hint: there’s several of them) specifically describing actions that take place as the result of the new birth where the sequence of words is grammatically utilised in the same way as set out above (i.e. that regeneration is actualised as a result of faith)?

  169. Nice sidestep, and I have already answered this question in depth. It’s actually red herring in terms of how doctrine is formed, by the way.

    For the record, do you or your sources arrive at a doctrinal stance based on a single epistle, or do you utilise the entire canon?

    I’m certain, to save time in this discussion, that you would have to say it is the latter, or your entire credibility is completely shot.

    If I am correct and you and your sources would insist on utilising the entire canon to derive and discuss and demonstrate the accuracy of doctrine, why are you insisting that someone else should be limited to evidence from a single epistle?

    If you read my response to the question you asked ages ago, you will see that your attempt at a Calvinistic doctrinal slap down on this issue was so glaringly telegraphed that the attempted blow was dodged well before it came anywhere near the thread.

    It also shows, now that you are attempting to regurgitate the same flawed argument, that your own doctrinal stance is bordering on the cultic, and seriously flawed.

  170. As I said in my original question challenging you on this issue on 25 Sept, lets just confine our arguments to the epistle of 1 John and not the force of other texts for the time being.

    You still have not answered the question using proper exegesis which necessarily requires the proper treatment of the verb tenses of the ORIGINAL GREEK text of 1 John 5:1 – because you simply cannot do it…as shown on another recent occasion, you cannot deal with the original Greek text, in fact you even tried to weasel out of it by insisting that the rules of grammar do not apply to it (that one made my day! :))

    I will assume that you don’t want to go there again by making those kinds of really dumb basic errors (not that making a peanut of yourself appears to bother you), so on the most basic grammatical level do you admit that 1 John 5:1 in its original Greek language (that is, the language that the apostle wrote the epistle in) has a particular grammatical form?

  171. Assume all you want. The Greek is very important of course, an I have never denied its obvious place in determining doctrine, but why should the rules of debate be set by you when you haven’t solved a single problem posed too you by the errors in Mr Sproul’s doctrine outlined in the post, and Mr Slick’s doctrine pointed out further down the thread, which even included a rebuttal from you over the ‘once saved always saved’ claim he made, that you claimed was ‘a radical antinomian concept’. Infant, why are you setting the rules at all by limiting the discussion to one short epistle.

    I know exactly where you are going with your argument, and it is clearly error. Your argument is so telegraphed that it would be a waste of time bothering with it.

    You have completely avoided telling us whether you consider justification to be a result of regeneration of faith. Are we justified by regeneration or by faith? You know very well that I can produce scripture to show that justification is by faith, and not by regeneration. In fact we are saved by grace through faith. Salvation comes by grace through faith, therefore regeneration is by grace through faith.

    The journey through 1 John is interesting, but, as I have already shown in clear terms, it doesn’t demonstrate that regeneration precedes faith. It is a contrived argument.

    Now you are merely arguing over whether or not I am prepared to answer something I have already covered earlier in the thread in an attempt to dig yourself out of the hole you’re in.

  172. I wasn’t calling you and ‘infant’ by the way. That was spell-check. I meant to say ‘in fact’.

    I won;t compromise on the fact that doctrine is established by reference to the whole canon. I’m sure you can limply ‘prove’ a number of things by limiting our reference point. We could all do that, but you know as well as anyone, or should do, that doctrine is established through the whole canon. Sola Scriptura, and all that.

    In fact, you are concerning me somewhat by your insistence on limiting the discussion to such narrow terms. Is this the way Calvinists discuss scripture and doctrine? Isn’t everything based on the context of the whole?

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