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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
laverne3

Question regarding Predestination and Election

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21 hours ago, Faber said:

Hi GG,

 

 Are there any doctrines of the Christian church that you believe Constantine changed? 

I don't believe so.  I don't know enough about this.

I know that he attended the Council of Nicea in 325 AD when the Nicene Creed was written up to state what Christian beliefs were/are.

 

I know that having seen here in different countries in Europe what becoming a part of government did to "religion"....it made the heads of it power hungry...man giving in to temptations; not doing at all what Jesus did the 40 days in the desert.

The church should INFLUENCE society and govt...but it shouldn't be a part of it,,,IMO.

 

This YouTube page might help..there seems to be a lot there.

 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=constantine+change+christianity

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On 3/12/2019 at 2:21 PM, William said:

Original Sin

  • Augustinianism: By the sin of Adam, in whom all men together sinned, sin and all the other positive punishments of Adam's sin came into the world. By it human nature has been both physically and morally corrupted. Every man brings into the world with him a nature already so corrupt, that it can do nothing but sin. The propagation of this quality of his nature is by concupiscence.
  • Pelagianism: By his transgression, Adam injured only himself, not his posterity. In respect to his moral nature, every man is born in precisely the same condition in which Adam was created. There is therefore no original sin.

Hi W,

 

Sorry for delay.

I don't agree at all with P.  I do believe he's the one that believed we could save ourselves with no help from God.  Talk of going from one extreme to the other!

I think most protestants believe in semi-pelagianism....but I haven't studied the isms... I've been studying the bible for many years and these persons do come up.  

 

As to Adam,,,the bible teaches that Adam's sin was not personally imputed to us; however, the fall has affected all of mankind.  Romans teaches that we're born with a sin nature, some call it the flesh,  and this sin nature tends to make us sin rather than not sin....Only after salvation when the sin nature is put under submission do we TEND to obey God.

On 3/12/2019 at 2:21 PM, William said:

Freewill

  • Augustinianism:  By Adam's transgression the Freedom of the human Will has been entirely lost. In his present corrupt state man can will and do only evil.
  • Pelagianism:  Man's will is free. Every man has the power to will and to do good as well as the opposite. Hence it depends upon himself whether he be good or evil.

First I'd like to clarify something. Calvinism do not oppose or reject free will. Like Augustine, Luther, and Calvin Calvinist oppose an autonomous or libertarian will which is not bound to man's sin nature. If by free will a person simply means a choice or an offering where the giver is not compelled by law then I as a Calvinist do not object.

Yeah... these simple explanations could be confusing.

I agree that man's will is free, but not the way Pelagius meant it....

without God man cannot do good...or at least a Godly good that has any merit in God's eyes.  Jesus said without Him we can do nothing.  John 15:5

 

To my understanding...calvinism teaches compatible free will.  Needless to say, I do not agree with this theology.  I do believe in libertarian free will...only libertarian free will is truly free.  I am not truly free if God forces me to choose what He wants me to choose....and that is compatible free will.

 

Free will (libertarian) is throughout the entire bible...from Genesis to Revelation.

Adam was given free will in the Garden and that free will was never taken away from us.  Unless you could show me where in scripture.

On 3/12/2019 at 2:21 PM, William said:

 

Predestination and Redemption

  • Augustinianism: From eternity, God made a free and unconditional decree to save a few [The doctrine of Augustine does not by any means involve the conclusion that the elect are " few " or " a small number."] from the mass that was corrupted and subjected to damnation. To those whom he predestinated to this salvation, he gives the requisite means for the purpose. But on the rest, who do not belong to this small number of the elect, the merited ruin falls. Christ came into the world and died for the elect only.
  • Pelagianism: God's decree of election and reprobation is founded on prescience. Those of whom God foresaw that they would keep his commands, he predestinated to salvation; the others to damnation. Christ's redemption is general. But those only need his atoning death who have actually sinned. All, however, by his instruction and example, may be led to higher perfection and virtue.

I have an analogy I like to share and I'll share it with you explaining what I as a Calvinist reject. For example, I'm going to give you a choice. In order to reach the heavens please flap your arms like a bird or do not flap your arms like a bird to reach the heavens, either way, you'll be held accountable and responsible for your decision. Of course you'll never reach the heavens by flapping your arms because you are not a bird but are grounded in your human nature. Whether you try or do not try you'll be held accountable and responsible for reaching the heavenly standard. Like the before analogy you are born in sin and have a sin nature. You'll never reach the heavens or holiness by pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps or trying to obtain righteousness before a Holy God by your works because you're grounded in your sin nature.

 

This is the autonomous or libertarian will that I reject. The choice is yours and given. However, Total Depravity is known as "Inability" which says because man is conceived in sin they're bound in a sin nature or as Luther stated in his works, "the bondage of the will".

I sure hope you're not talking about philosophical free will.  That IS different from libertarian free will.  Man does not have the free will to fly if he wants to...just a though re the flapping of the wings.

 

I agree that we cannot pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.  However, I don't believe in total depravity...having a sin nature that can be put under subjection by the Holy Spirit is different from being so depraved that we can't even look up at God.... even atheists can do good...there is some good in all men,,,if they're not saved it won't do them any good,,,,but there is a good that all men can be.  Even Hitler might have been a good son or a good husband....

 

I don't believe we are BOUND by sin....we are slaves to sin (is that the same?)...

bound means we cannot escape....slaves can escape, and indeed we do by coming to believe in Jesus as our Savior.

On 3/12/2019 at 2:21 PM, William said:

 

As far as Augustine believing infants needed to be baptized in order to obtain heaven, Augustine believed in baptismal regeneration and the grace conferred in the sacrament of baptism. As a Reformed person I too believe without God's Election all infants are hellward. The difference between Augustine and say Reformed today is that we do not believe that grace is so annexed to baptism that regeneration cannot occur without or is guaranteed with. Today, the Lutherans which are a Protestant denomination also theologically align with baptismal regeneration. As a Reformed Presbyterian we baptize infants too, but there's a difference between baptismal regeneration, covenant or household baptism, though the outsider may only see an infant being baptized which may convey a misunderstanding as to why we are paedo baptist.

Augustine made a mess with Original Sin.

How could a baby go to hell if he has no personal sin?

 

Are you saying that if a person is a believer but is not baptized, he is lost?

 

You'll find that I don't argue on and on ad infinitum,,,but I do like to learn and get to know people.

 

 

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On 3/12/2019 at 4:33 PM, C.Jord said:

Hello @William,

 

I do not believe that God pre-destines some  to salvation and others to judgment.  I believe that the pre-destination of believers to be conformed to the image of His Son, and to 'the adoption of sons', is as a result of His foreknowledge. He knows those who will come to salvation in advance of their coming.  Predestination is consequent on salvation, not a prelude to it. 

 

In Christ Jesus

Chris

I agree with you CJ..

 

Here's how I like to say it:

 

God predestined HOW we would be saved....

Not WHO.

 

God desires all men to be saved:

1 Timothy 2:4

4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 

 

2 Peter 3:9

9The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

 

And Jesus Himself said He would draw all men to Himself:

 

John 12:32

 32“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” 

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7 hours ago, GodsGrace said:

Free will (libertarian) is throughout the entire bible...from Genesis to Revelation.

Adam was given free will in the Garden and that free will was never taken away from us.  Unless you could show me where in scripture.

Lemme show you the only place where Libertarian/Autonomous Free will exists in Scripture: Genesis 3:5, "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” From this verse springs the principle which states that Eve would be like gods, and thus independent, able to rule over herself apart from God, and secondly, there is not one God, but many gods; each is sovereign over himself or herself.

 

In other words, libertarian/autonomous free will is the Devil's doctrine.

 

7 hours ago, GodsGrace said:

I think most protestants believe in semi-pelagianism.

Semi-Pelagianism is the theology of Catholicism (Synergism): https://www.christforums.com/forums/forum/77-pelagianism/

 

I'm on mobile now so I won't be typing much or on much until sometime in April after my move.

 

Until then hopefully others will chime in. If not we can pick up then.

 

God bless,

William

 

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