Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Calvinism cont..

Salvation
(This is my second post in the last two days. Yesterday, there was a large increase in traffic to my blog due to my Calvinism post from last week. Many new comments were posted. I say that so that you will not miss out on the previous blog I posted Monday. Please take time to read it.)

This post is my second post on the Calvinism issue.

I would agree with Calvinism in that one who has truly trusted Jesus Christ will not lose their salvation. However, I strongly disagree with how they come to their conclusion of WHY a true Christian can never lose their salvation. The “P” of Calvinism demonstrates a lack of understanding on how salvation works.

First let’s look at how salvation works. (This, of course, will not be an exhaustive study on soteriology, but a general overview.) What is the one thing that has separated man from God? Sin! (Isaiah 59:2)Sin is the cause of death (separation). (Romans 6:23) Sin is the reason we need a savior. Sin is the reason all men are condemned. Sin is the reason for physical, spiritual and eternal death.

The fact is all men are going to die and face judgment. (Hebrews 9:27) “All have sinned,” and unless something takes place to remove one’s sin, he will face an eternal death (separation) from God in the lake of fire. (Romans 6:23; Rev 20:12-15; 21:8)

Now, the question is what removes our sin? (Please remember the ONLY thing keeping us from God is sin.) At first glance, the future of man might look hopeless. Why? We all have sin. Judgment is coming. The lake of fire is real! There is an eternal death! We are guilty before God.

The most prominent attribute of God in the Bible is His Holiness. The wages of sin are a result of God’s holiness and justice. God is a holy and just God. Because of this, there is a penalty of sin. He will NOT allow sin to go unpunished. If He did, that would go against His holiness and His justice. Now, another attribute of God is Love. Some have asked the question, if God loves everyone why does He not just save everyone? The answer is God’s love can not over ride His Holiness. Sin must be paid for.

So how does God solve the issue between His holiness and his love for His creation? Jesus Christ! God became a man. He was 100% man and 100% God. He lived a perfect life without sin. He was the only person ever born to accomplish this. He had no earthly father, thus no sin nature. He was PERFECT. He met the requirements for God’s holiness and His righteous standard (perfection).

So what does that have to do with our salvation? Everything! Let me explain.

In God’s infinite wisdom and love, he decided to sacrifice Himself. How so? God determined to pay the penalty of sin himself. What is the penalty? Death!

Because Jesus was without sin, and perfect, He was able to take our penalty. (Rom 5:8, Rom 6:23) Why? Because He was without sin. He was innocent. Had He been just another man, he would be facing the same judgment and not in a position to help anyone. It would be like two men drowning the ocean trying to save each other. Neither knows how to swim and neither is in a position to help the other because both are in the same danger. The two men would need someone who is NOT drowning to come and rescue/save them.

Remember the penalty of sin is death. He went to the cross and shed His blood as a sacrifice for sins. Rev 1:5 He truly took our place. Why did God do this? He died for us because He loves us. (John 3:16) Jesus paid the penalty, but three days later He defeated death and ROSE from the dead! He defeated the penalty of sin!! This sacrifice, Jesus made, satisfied the holiness and justice of God!!! (I John 2:2)

A great verse to show us what Jesus accomplished on the cross is II Cor 5:21: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Jesus Christ was made sin, while we were made the righteousness of God! This means Jesus took ALL of your sin upon himself and fully gives you His righteousness. Now, did Jesus have sin? No! He was perfect. So if the Lord gives you His righteousness, it is a perfect righteousness meeting God’s standard for perfection. Thus, there is NO LONGER a barrier between you and God. You would have eternal life! Your sin is gone! It has been paid for, by the work of Jesus Christ on Calvary!

The big question is how does this work of Jesus Christ be applied to our life. How does this work become effectual to us?

If the death and resurrection of Jesus is applied to our life, our sin is removed and we receive the righteousness of God! (II Cor 5:21)

Now, if you are a Calvinist you need to ask yourself if you agree with the above statement. Do you think the statement agrees with Calvinistic theology as written? (In particular the “P” of the TULIP) .I realize I have not specifically mentioned anything about the “P” as of yet. I will tie it together in my next post, as well as how the work of Jesus is applied to our life. I just want you to think about it before the next post.

Please hold comments only to the matter of salvation on this post. I know many would like to begin to discuss the perseverance issue, but that needs to wait until my next post. Allow me to make my argument first, and then fell free to disagree and comment.

This post was needed so that I could establish a good foundation for my next post. I would think most would agree with what I have written so far.

11 comments:

Kate said...

I look forward to reading your next post. One cannot argue what you've written thus far as you've quoted Scripture after Scripture showing how our perfect Saviour took on our sin so we may receive His righteousness. I'm glad this is so because Rom. 7:18 says that in our flesh dwells NO good thing! I'd be a gonner otherwise!

Colin Maxwell said...

Hi

As a Calvinist, I am interested in what you have to say. One thing I have noticed though...you write like David Cloud. Am I right in saying that he is your source material? There's nothing wrong in such a practice if he is, but Cloud isn't noted for giving references direct from definitive Calvinist sources (e.g. the major Church Confessions) and for giving us what he *thinks* Calvinism is. Without being patronising, I find this is a common trait in some of the anti Calvinistic circles. It will become evident how deeply you have researched your subject. If you want a serious and honest discussion, then I suggest that you do a good job and back up your statements with verifiable and definitive quotes. Otherwise, you will rise no higher than the David Clouds, Dave Hunts etc., of this world and we ight as well stick to them. I am interested in how you view perseverance of the saints.

Yes, as a Calvinist, I agree with your statement as it stands.

Colin Maxwell
(Calvinist and Missionary to the lost in the Republic of Ireland)

Chip said...

Kate,

Be careful, your comment makes it sound an awful lot like you believe in the T of the TULIP -- Total Depravity. Looks like you are at least a "one-point Calvinist."

(Now that's just a friendly joke :-)

On a serious note: In the previous thread you equated Calvinism with works-based religions. I'd like to hear why you make such a comparison.

Kate?

Stevetip said...

What do you mean by

"our sin is removed"

and what do you mean by

"we receive the righteousness of God"

Jesus paid the penalty for our sin. The punishment that would be due is removed, reckoned to Christ. The sin nature is changed, but we continue to sin. Our sin is still with us, both as we continue to sin and as we deal with the consequences of our sin.

Secondly, how do you see imputation? How do you define it? Is it really infusion? You need to better define both of these statements, because I may agree with what you say, but only because I define "we receive the righteousness of God" to mean imputation, and "our sin is removed" as a changed nature and the imputation of our sin to Christ.

WorshipLeader said...

Hello sir,
I am a calvinist seminary student. I wanted to say that first. That is not why I am writing. I came across your blog through a link from a calvinist friendly website. I would like you to know that, as a curious seminary student, i came to see but certainly not to argue. I want to say thank you for your service to the Gospel and your leadership in spreading the good news. I will not be asking any questions or criticizing your post but will be praying for you. I pray that God will keep you pure and give you opportunities to plant many seeds and tend a fruitful ministry that will see hundreds and thousands come to know the amazing grace of our God and honor the name of Jesus Christ with their lives, displaying the humility, guts and character you have been given all through the Holy Spirit's power. Praise God for his working in our lives, that he allows us, fallen, battered, defeated apart from his Son to spread the only news worth hearing. The Good news of his love, his judgement and his Son who saves us through his rightousness. PRAISE GOD! Let everything else be dross that is refined away.

WorshipLeader said...

I found your other site and will be praying that the Lord will open the doors for you to purchase your house or to provide for you in some other glorious way. God bless you and your beautiful growing family.

May God bless you and keep you,
Ron

Kent Brandenburg said...

Steve, love hopeth all things. Colin doesn't mind agreeing with something Scripture. Love rejoiceth in the truth.

Colin, My experience of reading Cloud on Calvin is that he directly quotes Calvin. My experience from reading Calvin is that he regularly contradicts himself. You can quote him in context and Calvinists will use another quote in direct contradiction to what he wrote. It allows them to pick and choose what Calvin believed. I would rather sort out what the Bible says and believe it then to attempt to figure out what various brands of Calvinists believed.

Thanks Ron.

Terry McGovern said...

Steve,

It would appear from your comment that we are in agreement on my statments concerning our sin being removed and the rightesousness of God. Although, I do not believe we have "changed nature" as a result, but a new nature as relsult. The old nature is still present, of course, and is still wicked. (Romans 6,7,8)

In the next post, I do bring up the fact that our sin was imputed to Jesus and His righteousness was imputed to us.

The next post is finshed, but I will not be posting for a few hours. I want people to read this post first.

Ron,

Thanks for coming to my blog! I truly appreciate you praying for me! I found your comments very encouraging.

Throwback 13 said...

* For Joel: Please assign yourself an initial for your last name or a pseudonym that is distinct. I do not believe that you will want your posts to be confused with mine. Certainly I do not want the confusion that might happen if people think we are the same people.
* Throwback 13 (Joel Lichtenwalner)

* Brother McGovern: You sure revealed just how many disagree on this subject. Good start with this post on the necessity and nature of salvation.
* My wife and daughter now know what Anchorage looks like from the train. Denali was spectacular.

* For any who are interested in an exhaustive study of Calvinism, I recommend The Other Side of Calvinism by Laurence M. Vance (Hardcover - Aug 5, 1999). I don't know enough to recommend any other of his books.

Colin Maxwell said...

Kent,

I don't want to open up a new discussion thread about Cloud's shortcomings on this matter, especially since this thread seems to be going places. Suffice to say this, Cloud makes many statements about Calvinism without any backing whatsoever. In his spoken sermon on Calvinism - Who Is The Enemy? he publicly declares that not only does Calvinism believe that faith is a work, but that this is actually a "foundational Calvinistic doctrine" - but gives absolutely no proof - no quotes (say) from the Westminster Confession of Faith which has a whole chapter entitled "Saving Faith" nor any quotations from Calvin nor Spurgeon nor any other leading Calvinist. I have never heard any Calvinist describe faith as a work and furthermore I have never heard any other anti Calvinist charge us with such a monstrosity. Just Cloud spoofing in some pulpit in Australia. Unfortunately anti Calvinist critics like Cloud are 10 a penny and I'm pretty sure that Terry wants to be taken seriously in his criticisms. Calvinists are quite happy to defend their views, but we are under no obligation to answer what he thinks Calvinism teaches rather than its real contents.

Spurgeon was most scathing on this matter and rightly so: "The most infamous allegations have been brought against us, and sometimes, I must fear, by men who knew them to be utterly untrue: and, to this day, there are many of our opponents, who, when they run short of matter, invent and make for themselves a man of straw, call that John Calvin and then shoot all their arrows at it. We are not come here to defend your man of straw — shoot at it or burn it as you will, and, if it suit your convenience, still oppose doctrines which were never taught, and rail at fictions which, save in your own brain, were never in existence." (C.H. Spurgeon Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit: 7:550) Very hard words that I don't want to be applicable either to you, Terry or indeed any critic of Calvinism. All I have asked for is verifiable proof of his statements that will warrant the time it takes to respond on our part.

If you want more on this, drop me an email on: cfpc@esatclear.ie and this will keep this thread clear. Thanks for your time.

Anonymous said...

Why do so many Calvinists accuse or charge non-Calvinists with not researching out the matter fully? We could have read ALL the same books, done ALL the same research, and come to the conclusion that Calvinism is not Biblical - but because we are not Calvinists, somehow we don't know what we are talking about and have not studied out the issue...

It is also weird how when exposing certain statements or positions by varius Calvinists, there is always the charge of misrepresenting them - YET, so many Calvinists differ in varying degrees from one another on the points of Calvinism. "That is not what I believe - you are misrepresenting us..." - even though the actual statement was quoted completely in context and it was exactly what the particular author was stating.

Personally, I have read enough to know that I do not see Calvinism in the Bible and that it contradicts so many passages and principles in God's Word (for example, having the lost regenerated BEFORE they hear the Gospel and are born again - as if REgeneration and born AGAIN meant different things...).. I have read some of Calvinism's works - and have an utter destestation of reading a man who contradicts the Bible over and over, who quotes the father of Catholicism as the main former of his beliefs, who wrote and published his greatest theological work with 2 years of being saved (with the first year STILL being in the Catholic church!) - what do ANYONE of us know of the scope of theology as a brand new babe in Christ - especially when coming out of a false religious background?!? I have no desire to read more books in defense of Calvinism when I see from the Bible alone it doesn't line up - it is not a hobby horse of mine, so I will read it as I come across it (for example, in my friend's blog here), but will not scour the Net and bookstores looking for more (especially more in defense of it). That's me, feel free to disagree.

I do not hate Calvinists, but I do have a problem with the elite mentality - "you are not one of us, so you could never truly understand the issue..."