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  • Eugene Adkins 9:08 pm on 2016-09-27 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Calvinism, , ,   

    Twice dead? Not without being born twice. 

    In his description of sneaky false teachers, Jude uses these words:

    These men are dangerous reefs at your love feasts, feasting without reverence, feeding only themselves. They are waterless clouds, carried along by the winds; autumn trees without fruit—twice dead, uprooted; wild sea waves, spewing out the foam of their shame; wayward stars for whom the utter depths of eternal darkness have been reserved.” (Jude 12,13 – NET)

    Nearly every reputable translation (as well as some not-so-reputable ones) uses the simple phrase “twice dead” when it comes to these fruitless trees. This is a description that should not only be concerning to anyone who falls into this spiritual category, it should be concerning to anyone who teaches or believes that once an indidvual is born-again, he or she can never abuse God’s grace to the extent that God’s grace is no longer afforded to that individual. The simple fact of the matter is one cannot be twice dead without being born twice. Someone who has never been alive spiritually cannot die spiritually one time, much less twice.

    God’s grace through Jesus can indeed keep us from falling away from the gift of salvation – all you have to do is read how Jude ends his letter; but to say that keeping ourselves in the love of God is equal to not being able to forsake that love is to say something that holds no more water than the clouds that get mentioned right before the trees.

     
    • docmgphillips 9:54 pm on 2016-09-27 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, dear brother. I had never thought about those words—twice dead—in that light. You have given me something to think about, and that is always a good thing.

      • Eugene 2:25 pm on 2016-09-28 Permalink | Reply

        Good deal. Hope others find it as useful as you did.

  • TFRStaff 6:49 am on 2016-07-08 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Calvinism, , , , , , , , , works that merit   

    13 Objections to Baptism by Dave Miller, Ph.D. 

    Some churches historically have taught that water immersion is the dividing line between the lost and the saved. This means that a penitent believer remains unforgiven of sin until buried in the waters of baptism (Romans 6:4). Much of the denominational world disagrees with this analysis of Bible teaching, holding instead that one is saved at the point of “belief,” before and without water baptism. Consider some of the points that are advanced in an effort to minimize the essentiality of baptism for salvation. Read >>

     
  • Eugene Adkins 7:09 am on 2016-01-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Calvinism, irresistible grace, ,   

    Dear Calvinist friend 

    Dear Calvinist friend,

    What does it mean to sigh?

    In case you’re not familiar with the meaning, the technical definitions are: 1.) (as a verb) to emit a long, deep, audible breath expressing sadness, relief, tiredness, or a similar feeling, and 2.) (as a noun) a long, deep, audible exhalation expressing sadness, relief, tiredness, or a similar feeling.

    To say the least, practically speaking, sighing is a very human emotion that mixes frustration and pain and the overwhelming sensation of unbelief at the situation that can accompany either or both.

    Did you know Jesus sighed? More than once according to scripture. But one time in particular is found in Mark 8:12 which says, “But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.”

    Why did Jesus sigh in Mark 8:12? I mean that wasn’t just a sigh in the flesh there – it was a God in the flesh sigh that went all the way down to his spirit!

    Well, think about the situation that he was facing.

    Sign after sign after sign after sign had already been given to the people (just read John’s gospel – not to mention the miracle that Mark had just covered) but the entire culmination of those signs couldn’t be anything but one big sigh on the part of Jesus because of the unbelief on the part of the people!

    Why would Jesus sigh if the people couldn’t help but be caught in unbelief at that time? Better yet, why would Jesus be caught in a state of frustrating unbelief if the people weren’t capable of doing what he desired of them? Either way it’s a good question. How could Jesus not believe what he was hearing if the people couldn’t believe in what he was doing?

    My Calvinist friend, I hope you understand what I’m about to say when I think of the damage that the doctrine of irresistible grace has done to the truth of free-will and the responsibility that comes with it in the eyes of many of its followers…sigh.

     
    • noblethemes 8:15 pm on 2016-01-24 Permalink | Reply

      Good point made using an interesting example, one I’ve never before heard. All the best to you w/blessings!

      • Eugene Adkins 6:23 am on 2016-01-26 Permalink | Reply

        NT,

        Thanks for taking the time to comment and for commenting with kind words. I’m glad you found the thought to be truthful and useful. That’s not a combination that fits for everyone…especially when you’re talking about Calvinism.

        • noblethemes 6:31 am on 2016-01-26 Permalink | Reply

          . . . even more especially when you’re talking TO Calvinists! LOL 😉

  • Eugene Adkins 7:41 pm on 2014-03-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Calvinism, , , , ,   

    Cornelius was no Calvinist and You Shouldn’t be Either! 

    I was told the other day by an adherent to Calvinistic theology that (and I quote):

    “The free human will can do a lot of things; but it cannot will anything pleasing to God; because the natural human mind cannot submit to God’s law.”

    The first thing/question that popped into my head after thinking about what they said was, “A free will that’s only free enough to do things that do not please God? Doesn’t sound very “free” to me.” After all, if a person has no free will concerning their will toward God they have no will at all!

    But then I started thinking about what the scriptures say (outside of the plainly contradicted verse of Romans 2:14) concerning people before they became a Christian and whether or not their will had any will to do the will of God and one person in particular came to mind, and that was Cornelius. Cornelius is a case that simply reveals how wrong Calvinistic theology is when it comes to their complicated and contradictory teaching on the free will (or the lack thereof) of men and women, for the scriptures (with emphasis added) say concerning Cornelius that:

    There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius! “And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.” (Acts 10:1-7)

    Cornelius was a good man, but like all sinners who are not in Christ he was not saved. But despite the fact that he was not saved, i.e. he needed to be quickened due to being dead in sins (Ephesians 2:1-5), Cornelius did things that were pleasing to God, and they were pleasing even to the extent that the Bible says that his works reached Heaven itself! That’s right; Cornelius did things that were pleasing to God before hearing and obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ. Cornelius was doing what Calvinism says can’t be done – he willed, and he did things that God took note of in a positive way. Sure, Cornelius still had to come to the Father through the Son because his good works could never justify his sinful deeds, but the point still remains, and that point is that God Himself took note of this man’s free will that willed to do the will of God.

    Furthermore, take note of what the angel of God said to Cornelius. It was the angel who told Cornelius that Peter would tell him what he must do. What had to be done had to be done by Cornelius and it had to be done of his own free will, for if his will was anything other than free it would not have been Cornelius who was doing it, nor would there have been anything for him to do. There was nothing that he could do to make God owe his salvation to him, but something had to be done by Cornelius’ will, which willed to please God, in response to the gospel of Christ for this was and still is the will of God concerning the lost (John 3:16).

    This is why I say that Cornelius was no Calvinist and you shouldn’t be either!

    Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” (Acts 10:34-35)

     
    • davidbrainerd2 8:09 pm on 2014-03-18 Permalink | Reply

      Don’t let the Calvinist see this post. They’ll probably go buy a gun and shoot you. They can’t handle the truth.

      • Eugene Adkins 8:24 pm on 2014-03-18 Permalink | Reply

        Well, I have talked to a few Calvinists that have gotten “hot under the collar” and one who even created quite a headache for me by spamming me in the WordPress system, but none have threatened bodily harm…yet; and hopefully it will stay that way. I guess they could knock the dust off of their feet and condemn me to Hell, but then again how would they know if I’m going to Heaven or Hell since one’s works actually have nothing to do with whether or not someone is saved. Maybe they believe that doctrine does what works cannot.

  • Eugene Adkins 10:57 am on 2013-10-21 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Calvinism, , ,   

    The Absurdity of Calvinism Keeps Rolling 

    The last post that I did concerning Calvinism dealt with the absurdity of its adhere’s (primarily the words of John MacArthur) inviting someone to come to Jesus because at the end of the day (according to Calvinism) it has already been decided whether or not they’re going to listen or stay right where they are regardless of humanity’s interaction, involvement, intervention or whatever you want to call it. Because as the old Calvinistic saying goes, if you don’t have it you can’t get it, if you get it you can’t lose it and if you lose it you never had it – which leaves a person asking why would they even invite someone to come to Jesus if that person can’t accept or reject the invitation for his or her self to begin with?

    Well that post caught the attention of a person who decided to make a reply that fell three words short of 2,200 words (by comparison, this post is 20+ words shy of 1,000). The reply didn’t get approved, and it wasn’t because it made some point that I was “afraid of” or because “I couldn’t handle” what they presented. I didn’t approve the reply because there was nothing new to it or in it, and it added nothing significant to the conversation at all despite the vast number of words it used. It was more of the “your blog is nothing but opinion that tries to hide the truth of God’s word” along with a few other little “compliments” mixed in here and there. But again, that’s nothing new either; but all of that aside, there were a couple of other very closely related reasons why I didn’t approve the comment; namely because the comment and the commentator only revealed more of the absurdity that I referred to with the original post that attracted the comment to begin with. It revealed the fact that the majority of Calvinists don’t really believe what they preach!

    For one, this person used 2,200 words to try to do something that they, according to their own teaching, couldn’t do – that’s make someone “see the truth.” Because according to them, and I quote in the caps that they used, “SALVATION IS A DIVINE WORK OF GOD APART FROM THE COOPERATION OF MAN.” To that my question in return is, in the caps that I’m going to use, “WHEN IT COMES TO THE GOSPEL WHY EVEN BOTHER TO TELL SOMEONE THAT THEY’RE WRONG IF YOU CAN’T HAVE AN EFFECT ON WHETHER OR NOT THEY SEE THEIR ERROR???” That’s absurdity! If, as they said, “The will to come to Christ is the outcome of God’s unconditional, free and Sovereign election” is true, and they really believe that, then why even try to convince someone of something to which they cannot be convinced of through the given effort?!

    And as far as the whole salvation issue goes, how does this person indeed know that they are correct in their belief that God’s grace has forgiven them if they have NO PART TO PLAY IN THEIR SALVATION? Don’t dare suggest it’s because of something that they’ve done because then that would be absurd to them if they’re willing to remain consistent with their belief! Remember, they have nothing to do with whether or not they’re saved.

    The second reason I didn’t approve the dissertation of denial concerning Calvinism’s absurd invitation to come to Christ is because of the commentator’s inconsistency concerning their stance on the issue of salvation and God’s love towards others. On this particular commentator’s blog they presented a book to their readers called “Jesus Loves The Little Children” wherein the Calvinist author presents “the Gospel without words” so children can learn about sin and Jesus. Besides the fact that it sounds like they’re trying to do “the Spirit’s work” for him again, the title is in fact true but the title is in fact incongruous with what they believe, for if a child is not a part of “God’s unconditionally elect” then there is no love for that child! Because according to their own belief every child that is born is born already saved or already damned to Hell despite what Jesus did upon the cross. Now this is how they said it in their reply: Unregenerated man is dead in his sins, blind to the gospel, in enmity (having a deep hatred) with God, not subject to God’s will and never can be. But my description only says what they teach with a little more frankness and honesty concerning children that few Calvinists will share. So to be genuine with this commentator’s doctrine and self-purported beliefs the title of the book should be changed to, “Jesus Loves The Little Unconditionally Elect Children And Only Them” no matter how it may sound to others…because after all, that’s the “truth” of the “gospel” according to Calvinism!

    This is the whole reason why I called Calvinism’s invitation to come to Christ absurd to begin with, and it’s also the reason why I’m not going to deal with the absurd inconsistencies of its commentators who try to defend it.

    There are few things more absurd than trying to talk with people who refuse to remain consistent with the plants that their doctrinal seeds lead to – namely, in this case, the poor and pitiful salvation blinding TULIP that Calvinism presents as the supposed truth. The absurdity may keep rolling but I’m not rolling with it.

    Then the disciples came to him and said, “Do you know that when the Pharisees heard this saying they were offended?” And he replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted. Leave them! They are blind guides. If someone who is blind leads another who is blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Mt. 15:12-14 – NET)

    Related Article:

     
    • Sandra Moore 12:10 pm on 2013-10-21 Permalink | Reply

      The link is broken on this post from Mr. Adkins.

      Sandra Moore

      • Eugene Adkins 12:46 pm on 2013-10-21 Permalink | Reply

        Sorry about that, Sandra. When the article was posted something got lost in translation in a huge way. That’s what I get for trying to post from something other than a desktop. Half of the post didn’t even show up, and I don’t know if I’m going to try and type it again since the vast majority of it was being typed out as I wrote it anyways. As of right now the post has been removed from the main page of the site. If you would like to read the original post that was referred to just put “Calvinism” in the search box on the main page of The Fellowship Room and it will probably be the first article that shows up.

        Again, I apologize for any confusion that the post may have caused.

        Eugene

      • Eugene Adkins 4:26 pm on 2013-10-21 Permalink | Reply

        The post, and its link, has been corrected, Sandra. Thank you.

  • Eugene Adkins 9:55 am on 2013-09-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Calvinism, , , , Limited atonement, ,   

    The Absurdity of the Calvinistic Invitation to come to Christ 

    I just listened to a sermon by John MacArthur entitled, “The Doctrine of Actual Atonement, Part 1” in which he tried to ridicule “evangelicals” who believe that Jesus died and paid the price for sin for every single person by saying that they use the Gospel to try to “coerce” people into coming to Jesus; and once again, which is on par for Calvinists, his lesson became full of circular logic, inconsistent reasoning’s and error filled conclusions that were reached because the starting point was wrong to begin with.

    On multiple occasions he referenced how a belief in universal atonement automatically requires a belief in universal salvation – which are two different things! And then he proceeded to “explain” how any atonement other than a “limited one” is actually an atonement that fails, thus requiring Jesus, due to his own logic (he actually talks about what makes sense to him which I didn’t think matters to Calvinists due to the whole irresistible aspect and perverted sovereignty of God), to only shed his sin atoning blood for people who were always going to be saved to begin with and not for people who believe of their own free will through the preaching of God’s grace and judgment of sin in the gospel.

    But the kicker for me is how Mr. MacArthur ended the sermon. After all the berating of “evangelicals” who supposedly coerce others with emotion, and after all the talk about how a person has no free will in the matter, this is how he ended his sermon* on “Actual Atonement” (aka Limited Atonement):

    All who will ever believe, will believe because the Father will draw them, and he will grant them repentance, and faith, and regeneration. Jesus’ death then is to be understood as a full satisfaction to God’s holy justice on behalf of all whom God will save. The atonement is an actual atonement, not simply a barrier removed. And it is in behalf of all who would ever believe, and since the sinner is unwilling and unable to believe apart from divine intervention and regeneration it comes then down to the power of God based upon the decree of God.

    People say, “Well how do you know whether Christ died for you?” The answer is, “Whosoever will may come, and if you come and believe in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ then the death of Christ was for you.” Don’t hold back, come to Christ.” (John MacArthur – minute 18:00 – 19:15 of the audio from “The Doctrine of Actual Atonement, Part 1“)

    Here are my big issues with such a conclusion based upon the content of what had already been said in the sermon:

    • Why in the world would someone invite someone to believe when that individual has no choice in the matter?
    • Why would you say that a sinner is unwilling to believe when they are unable to believe? One overrides the other making a “person’s will” in the matter non-influential, non-negotiable, non-consequential and non-existent.
    • Why would someone mention anything about “whosoever will” or even use the word “if” if a person’s salvation is supposedly unconditional?
    • Why would someone’s response to the invitation matter if a person’s response to the invitation doesn’t determine whether or not they’re actually saved – because you never know, Jesus may not have died for them, right?
    • Why in the world would you tell someone to not hold back and come to Christ if they can’t hold back because they’ve already been signed and sealed for Heaven? Or why in the world would you tell someone to not hold back and come to Christ if they can’t keep from holding back because they’ve already been signed and sealed for Hell?
    • Why would a person try to “coerce” an individual by using emotion and saying don’t hold back and come to Christ if in reality the response to the invitation has nothing to do with a person’s will at the end of the day?

    An invitation given by a “true Calvinist” is nothing but an absurdity that does the very thing that they ridicule others for – encouraging people to make a decision about the death of Jesus upon the cross when he shed atoning blood for the entire world; but what they fail to understand is that whether or not a person accepts that free gift has nothing to do with overriding God’s sovereignty. That’s why it’s called free will by the will of God.

    The doctrine of “Limited Atonement” is nothing but a doctrine invented by men that, in a twist of irony, does nothing good spiritually speaking, thus leaving it useful only as a rotten support beam to build the rest of the error filled elements of the house called Calvinism.

    O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, putting to death the prophets, and stoning those who are sent to her! Again and again would I have taken your children to myself as a bird takes her young ones under her wings, and you would not!” (Matthew 23:37 – BBE – emphasis mine)

    * the given quote from the sermon was written down by author of this post as he listened to the recording and not copied from a supplied document or manuscript; therefore it may contain some grammatical errors, but the sermon snippet itself has been given word for word

     
    • Scott Shifferd Jr. 5:42 am on 2013-09-30 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent points in a needed article Thank you for the clarity of thoughts. — I continue to find that Calvinism undermines “the washing of regeneration” (Titus 3:5, cf. John 3:5). Combining God’s sovereignty with irresistible grace, a person’s regeneration now becomes when one first believes and would thus be saved without dying, being buried, and raised with Christ. Regeneration and salvation are thus separated from and placed before the Gospel, the death of Christ, and His resurrection. That is shameful.

      • Eugene Adkins 6:42 am on 2013-09-30 Permalink | Reply

        I hear you on the regeneration. But going even further, in reality, Calvinism is all about salvation without having to do anything at all because it’s all done for and to you no matter what the topic/element/petal is that’s being discussed. In Calvinism there is absolutely no personal responsibility for anything good but somehow complete responsibility for the bad that cannot be helped. Trying to figure up that double speak makes even an accountant crossed-eyed; unless they’re a Calvinist and then it makes perfect sense because the “columns” never have moved to begin with.

        Thanks for the comment and the encouragement. Keep fighting the good fight.

    • calvinandcalvinism 11:45 am on 2013-10-18 Permalink | Reply

      The question to Mac would be “how was it actualized?” The problem with strict limited satisfaction is that it entails the elect were saved on the cross. Not wanting to say that the elect were saved on the cross, they will admit a delay, but accounting for this delay is problematic because they want to see the atonement as somehow self-applying or self-actualizing, that it causes its own application, namely the reconciliation of God to the sinner and the sinner to God.

      To get to that tho, they have to plug in instated premises like the atonement infallibly purchases faith for all for whom Christ died. Good luck on proving that though.

      So when they say the atonement actually saves, the thing to do is to ask what exactly does it mean and how exactly does it “actually save”?

      David

      • Eugene Adkins 3:53 pm on 2013-10-20 Permalink | Reply

        Your third sentence is an interesting one and it points out the frustration of following the path that the idea of “limited atonement” lays out…namely irresistible grace. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, David.

  • Eugene Adkins 6:32 am on 2012-10-03 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Calvinism, , , , , unconditional salvation   

    Understanding What’s Unconditional When it Comes to God 

    Mention unconditional and God in the same sentence and many in the religious world attempt to tie the two together through the word salvation. Yet, study the word of God and this principle cannot be shown.

    So what is unconditional when it comes to God and mankind? It’s the love of God toward sinners.

    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (there’s the unconditional love), that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (there’s the conditional salvation).” (John 3:16)

    Conditional salvation does not mean a person earns his or her salvation, but it does mean there are responsibilities that the love of God requires.

    For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8, NKJV) Again there’s the unconditional love of God! But some may say, “There’s no conditional salvation there, so salvation must be unconditional!” If a person backs up just a few verses they will read, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we havepeace 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 5:1-2, NKJV) See how simple it is to see something when we look at all of God’s scripture instead of making individual verses stand alone.

    The unconditional love of God gives humanity something to celebrate – a Creator that has expressed the fullest form of love toward fallen men and women (John 15:12-14). The conditional salvation by faith toward God gives humanity something to seriously consider – a salvation that requires faith and a willingness to change in light of the love that God has shown through Jesus (Acts 17:30-31).

    Unconditional salvation is a pipe dream, but unconditional love that leads towards salvation is a dream come true; and may God help us to help more people understand the difference between the two.

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:40 am on 2012-06-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Calvinism, ,   

    Poem about “Falling From Grace” 

    Here is a poem that I got from the bulletin of the Lebanon Road congregation in Nashville, TN that I used yesterday with my sermon. I’ve had it for quite a while and thought I would share it with everybody. I think you will probably find it useful. The author is unknown, but whoever wrote it did a great job!

    FALLING FROM GRACE

    We are often told that a Christian can’t fall, That once he is saved there’s no danger at all:

    No matter how far he may lapse into sin, The gates will swing open and let him pass in.

    But let it be stated in language that’s terse, That no one can cite the Book, chapter or verse

    Which teach the Christian cannot fall away, And lose his soul in the great judgment day.

    His body Paul tried to keep under sway Lest he be rejected and be cast away,

    And thus he has set the example for all, That we may be warned not to stumble and fall.

    And then he harks back to the Israelites’ day, Then twenty-three thousand had fallen away.

    He issues this sobering warning to all, “If one think he standeth, take heed lest he fall.”

    In writing to Timothy, Paul boldly saith, That some had already made shipwreck of faith;

    And Peter said Christians should watch every hour, For Satan is seeking whom he may devour.

    ‘Tis plain to be seen from what we have just learned That Christians today from the Lord may be turned;

    And those who still think that a Christian can’t fall, Are not in agreement with Peter and Paul.

    Coincidently, I also saw the poem get used in the Bulletin Gold email that I got yesterday.

     
    • laodeciapress 11:38 am on 2012-06-06 Permalink | Reply

      Do you think we can fall from grace in heaven?

      John 10:27-29

      My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of of the Father’s hand.

      John 6:39

      This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.

      Thankfully, we have God to hope in, not our own fickleness.

      • Eugene Adkins 4:58 pm on 2012-06-06 Permalink | Reply

        Hello again Laodecia,

        I can see that you enjoy talking about Calvinistic issues. I would encourage you to read the poem again, read the scriptures the poem references and then if you still don’t agree then do what the poem says and take it up with Peter and Paul.

        In all seriousness, although I am serious about my previous comment 🙂 ,the scriptures you reference really have more to do with the supposed “unconditionally elect” that leads up to the “perseverance of the saints.”

        The simple truth of the matter is that no one can snatch a person out of God’s hands (i.e. rob them of their salvation) as salvation is through the love of God in Christ (Romans 8:31-39); but what you’re interpretation of the scriptures is missing is the fact that God allows a person who refuses to remain in His love given through Jesus to forsake Him.

        You’re right in that we are fickle and God is not. But our fickleness doesn’t make God change His word for our sake my friend (Hebrews 3:7-15 & 4:11 & 6:4-6 & on & on). When God warns us about something, his word is not empty! At the end of the day salvation is conditional. It is not only based upon the love of God, but also our willingness to show our love to him (John 14:15 & 15:10).

        “This is a faithful saying:
        For if we died with Him,
        We shall also live with Him.
        12 If we endure,
        We shall also reign with Him.
        If we deny Him,
        He also will deny us.
        13 If we are faithless,
        He remains faithful;
        He cannot deny Himself.”
        2 Timothy 2:11-13

        Take care – Eugene

        • Eugene Adkins 5:01 pm on 2012-06-06 Permalink | Reply

          Sorry for the grammatical errors. I typed a little too quickly as I was in a hurry to go 🙂

    • laodeciapress 5:14 pm on 2012-06-06 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the thoughtful response!

      With the scriptures you reference obviously your view is that if God’s Word ever exhorts us to persevere in our faith, that automatically means that a true Christian can fall from grace.

      I simply do not take that view. I believe that God uses means (ie exhortations and convictions) to sanctify us, but it is certain that if anyone is in Him, that person will persevere.

      Romans 8:29-30 makes it very clear that all who are called are justified and all who are justified are glorified.

      Furthermore 1 John 2:19 remarks that if they had been of us, they would have remained with us.

      God’s warnings and exhortations are very real, and just like 1 John 2:19 says, if we fall away we prove that we never were actually true believers. As Romans 8 says, the elect of God are certainly glorified.

      • laodeciapress 5:15 pm on 2012-06-06 Permalink | Reply

        Also, you never answered my question. Do you believe that we can fall away once glorified in heaven?

      • Eugene Adkins 6:03 pm on 2012-06-06 Permalink | Reply

        My friend, the calling of God is done through the gospel (*2 Thessalonians 2:14*). A person can reject the calling of God – it’s not wise, but it can be done.

        For example:

        “*Therefore I will number you for the sword, And you shall all bow down to the slaughter; Because, when I called, you did not answer; When I spoke, you did not hear, But did evil before My eyes, **And chose that in which I do not delight*.”” *Isaiah 65:12*

        My friend, the context of the oft quoted “proof text” for this teaching of Calvinism is anti-Christ’s. Read it again.

        I’m going to show how silly Calvinism is at its core. You said, “*God’s warnings and exhortations are very real, and just like 1 John 2:19 says, if we fall away we prove that we never were actually true believers*.”

        According to Calvinism a “true believer” can’t fall away no matter what, so what’s the point in saying, “If you fall away you weren’t a true believer”???

        Watch this:

        “*Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;*” (*2 Peter 1:10*)

        Peter told Christian’s to do something with their election that you don’t believe in because according to you a “true” Christian’s calling and election are never in doubt. Again notice Peter’s “IF” that makes salvation conditional.

        God’s word does not issue useless warnings – “*Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall*.” (*1 Corinthians 10:12*) Paul meant exactly what he said, depsite how hard Calvinism tries to put a hollow spin on it.

        The issue is very simple understand when one takes off the perverted glasses of total hereditary depravity, unconditional election, etc. They lead to a dead end spiritually speaking.

        • laodeciapress 10:57 am on 2012-06-07 Permalink | Reply

          Thanks again for the response. I am always trying to better understand these things.

          Again, from my point of view the warnings are not useless. If someone falls away, they they will certainly incur the wrath of God. However, by doing so they prove that they were never a true Christian (ie the elect of God) in the first place. God’s elect will always persevere in sanctification because it is God who keeps them. That is how we know who the true believers are (through perseverance) and why we are exhorted to make our calling and election sure. If we see the fruits of repentance in our own lives, we can have confidence that we are truly in God.

          Also, we must distinguish between the general call and the effectual call. Romans 8 is clear that there is an effectual call that ALWAYS leads to glorification.

          I believe I get these doctrines clear from the Bible. 1 John 2 is still convincing to me because he defines antichrists as whoever denies Jesus and the Father and John contrasts antichrists with those who have an anointing from the Holy Spirit.

          Again with John 6:
          Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

          The people who come to Jesus are those the Father has given Him, and Jesus loses none of them. I don’t see how this could be taken any other way than perseverance of the saints.

        • Eugene Adkins 8:36 pm on 2012-06-07 Permalink | Reply

          Hello again Laodecia,

          Let me show just how useless and empty Calvinism makes the clear warnings found in the Bible.

          Like the old saying goes, Calvinism teaches that if you don’t have it, you can’t get it; if you get it, you can’t lose it; and if you lose it, you never had it.

          Do you see the cycle and how void it makes God’s warnings?

          If a person is “really” saved then they’ll never fall, so in reality it’s completely useless to warn them!

          On the other hand, if a person is not “really” saved then it’s completely useless to warn them because they’re inevitability going to fall away.

          That’s the ridiculousness of “unconditional election” and “perseverance of the saints” – one says the other can’t be overturned when it comes to salvation or condemnation no matter what anyone does.

          The mistake Calvinism makes is that makes perseverance a condition of the promise instead of the Biblically correct view that says the promise is conditional.

          Listen very carefully to what Hebrews 3:12-15 says:

          Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.

          Who was being warned about not receiving the reward of salvation here? Was it people who really weren’t Christians because they weren’t saved? Absolutely not! He says “brethren! He’s talking to people who were currently in a right relationship with God, but at the same time he was warning them about departing from that right relationship with the God who had saved them.

          He said they received the reward of salvation “IF” they held the same confidence from beginning to end. He warned them about hardening their “own hearts

          The other verses you quoted must be considered in light of the verses after verses after verses that make it plain that perseverance isn’t something done to us like Calvinism’s version of perseverance of the saints teaches! Perseverance is something that “we must do IF we want to be found faithful.

          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.” (Hebrews 3:6)

  • Eugene Adkins 8:32 pm on 2012-04-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Calvinism, ,   

    Natural Born Sinner? 

    Few doctrines like Total Hereditary Depravity start a person off on the wrong foot spiritually when it comes to understanding the Bible’s teaching on sin and salvation. Despite the fact that it leads to erroneous teachings on the cross of Christ, it distorts the responsibility, accountability and feasibility of answering for personal sin by teaching the sinner to say (or at least think), “It’s all Adam’s fault and I can’t help the way I’m born.”

    Sadly, by un-originally twisting the scriptures some even try to use Paul’s masterpiece on sin, law, faith, grace and salvation found in Romans to teach the existence of “original sin.” The abuse of Romans 5:12-19 disregards the fact that one doesn’t deserve spiritual death because we’re born any more than one deserves spiritual life because we’re born again!

    Babies born guilty of the sin of Adam? That’s just something inconceivable according to the scriptures (Ezekiel 18:20).

     
    • Don Merritt 8:27 pm on 2012-04-18 Permalink | Reply

      Nicely done Eugene! Very well put; and pithy! Thank you for writing it!

    • laodeciapress 8:52 pm on 2012-04-18 Permalink | Reply

      What about passages like Psalm 51, especially verse 5: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
      And in sin my mother conceived me.”?

      Also, would you then take the view that if infants die right at or soon after birth they have no need of Christ’s atonement?

      Could it be that Ezekiel 18 is a response to a faulty proverb spreading through Israel that abolished personal responsibility for sin? This doesn’t mean that humans aren’t born with a fallen nature.

      We are born with a fallen nature and we are also responsible for our sins. Without Christ, we are truly in a hopeless state.

      • Eugene Adkins 6:20 am on 2012-04-19 Permalink | Reply

        Hello Laodecia,

        Look at Psalm 51:5 in context with the rest of the psalm. In verse 1 David says the transgression belongs to him. In verse 2 David says it was his inquity and his sin. In verse 3 David says it was his transgression and his sin. In verse 4 David says it is his sin. Then in verse 5 David supposedly tries to shift the blame??? That just doesn’t fit what David’s saying.

        David was feeling about as low as he ever felt spiriutally and he used words to reflect his personal feelings on his personal life – there is nothing universal there to be found! David’s sin wasn’t his mother’s fault, Bathsheba’s fault or Adam’s fault – it was his own fault.

        Psalm 51:5 is hyperbole. It reflected the lifestyle that he had fallen into. David was no more literally brought forth in inquity any more than Job literally guided the widow from his mother’s womb (Job 31:18).

        As far as you mentioning the atonement, I don’t know if you understand the meaning of the word. Atonement is needed for those who have sinned. Babies have not sinned. It’s that simple.

        Plus, if you subscribe to the rest of Calvinism’s destortion of the atoning work of Jesus on the cross (like unconditional election) then it doesn’t matter because God has already decided who’s going to Heaven and Hell before the baby was born to begin with. And according to Calvinism there are babies that die who will be going to hell! So your question has no real point.

        Lastly, to your comment about Ezekiel. You’re missing the whole point of Ezekiel 18. God’s word is saying that children will not be held spiritually accountable for the sins of the previous generations. Ezekiel 18:20 says the soul that sins will die – not the soul that’s born. You won’t find one time in the scriptures where God says the rest of mankind is spiritually responsible for the sin of Adam and Eve. Don’t confuse repercussions from with responsibility for.

        If we are born with a fallen nature then we’re not responsible for our sins! You can’t blame a square peg for not fitting into a round hole. Paul said. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—” (Romans 5:12) Paul DID NOT say death spread to all because all were born sinners.

        God bless in your studies.

        • laodeciapress 11:05 am on 2012-04-19 Permalink | Reply

          Thanks for the response!

          It seems like your view is that if one is born with a fallen nature, they are not responsible for their sins. I just don’t see this as a Biblical view.

          I’m also a little confused as to what you believe we inherited from Adam’s sin. If it’s simply an evil world, doesn’t that set us up for sin and abolish some responsibility in your view?

          I think this passage from Romans 9 describes the sovereignty/responsibility phenomenon better than I ever could:

          Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, “THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER.” Just as it is written, “JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.”

          What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.” So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

          You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles

          • Eugene Adkins 6:42 pm on 2012-04-19 Permalink | Reply

            Hello again Laodeica,

            You said, “If it’s simply an evil world, doesn’t that set us up for sin and abolish some responsibility in your view?

            I don’t get what your question is trying to prove. Total Herditary Depravity does away with all responsibility to sin. Sin is a choice, and if one is born a sinner they have no choice but to sin. The scriptures teach that it is not God who makes mankind sin. To say such a thing is an affront to God’s holiness and goodness. “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” (James 1:13-15) This is exactly what Adam and Eve did and it’s what people still do today.

            God created Adam and Eve upright and sinless, but yet they still sinned. Now if Adam and Eve could sin and not be born sinners then there is no scriptural reason why the same truth cannot be applied to people today. The heart of mankind goes astray (Romans 3:12) – it is not born astray (Ecclesiastes 7:29).

            As to your comment, “I think this passage from Romans 9 describes the sovereignty/responsibility phenomenon better than I ever could” you are completely missing the point of Romans 9-11.

            To understand what Paul is talking about here you have to keep in mind the historical context of the verses he’s quoting along with the purpose of the book of Romans to begin with.

            You highlighted the part that says, “THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER”. Now where in the world is there anything about salvation in there? Calvinism does a lot of far-fetched jumping. It jumps from Adam sinning to everyone being guilty of Adam’s sin instead of their own (Romans 5:12). It also jumps from God using nations to bring Jesus Christ into the world to give all nations the chance to be saved (Romans 10:11-13) to determining that God has decided which individuals are worth saving regardless of their reaction. The context about Jacob and Esau is about nations my friend, not individuals (Genesis 25:23). The context of the clay and potter is about nations my friend, not individuals (Jeremiah 18:1-10). It’s about Jews and Gentiles as a whole. Look at verse 24 that you stopped at again.

            If you will keep the theme of chapters 9-11 in mind (well actually the whole book Romans up through chapter 11) you will find it’s about God working His plan to bring the Messiah into the world for all people (Romans 1:16,17). God used Jacob to bring the Messiah into the world and not Esau. God used Pharaoh (whom hardned his own heart and God was only “responsible” for hardening his heart by doing the judgments that Pharaoh refused to acknowledge) to display His mercy to the nation of Israel – – which was used to bring the Messiah into the world.

            God is the potter without a doubt, but what Calvinism ignores is that God DOESN’T ignore the way that the clay reacts to Him. The very verses after the potter and clay theme is introduced says -“Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! 7 The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, 8 if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. 9 And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, 10 if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.” (Jeremiah 18:5-10)

            Check that out! God saying in His omnipotent way that He allows the clay to determine whether or not it wants to listen to Him. And if you read Jeremiah you will find that God wanted Judah to repent but they refused (Jeremiah 13:11; 29:19). In Romans 9-11 Paul is talking about how God opened up His grace and mercy as wide as it possibly could be opened through the gospel which included extending it to the Gentile nations, not narrowing His grace and mercy like Calvinism does with “unconditional election” and “limited atonement”.

            You’re not seeing the forrest for the trees when it comes to Romans 9 and God’s elect my friend. The “foundational proof text” (Psalm 51:5) of Calvinism has crumbled, and so the rest of Calvinism falls in on top of it. To say that one is born completely depraved but yet with enough room to be responsible completely ignores the definition of completely!

            God bless in your studies, Laodicea.

    • laodeciapress 9:35 pm on 2012-04-19 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry about that confusion, the verses were capitalized because they were from the OT.

      I still think you misunderstand Calvinism doctrine. Total depravity does not abolish responsibility for sin, nor does it say we are only responsible for Adam’s sin and not our own. If you care to look into things a bit more, there’s a book by James White called “The Potters Freedom” which gives a really good description of the Biblical basis of Calvinism.

      I don’t agree with your description of Romans 9, or of the book of Romans in general. The language of Paul is very clear that this is personal, and I believe he responds to the very argument you present:

      -So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.
      -You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?”
      -On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God?

      Psalm 51:5 is still very clear. David recognizes that he is so in need of God’s grace that he was, in fact, sinful from the time his mother conceived him.

      Sorry for the confusion on my question. It was poorly worded. I was asking what you believe we inherited from Adam’s sin. If you believe we did inherit something, does this take away some responsibility?

      Without original sin, you have people dying free of sin. This makes statements in the Bible that “all have sinned” simply not true. If you take the whole Bible into consideration, we clearly see that man is hopelessly sinful from birth, responsible for their sin, and will die in their sin unless they receive forgiveness through Christ’s death.

      • Eugene Adkins 6:46 am on 2012-04-20 Permalink | Reply

        Good morning Laodicea,

        I understand the doctrine of Calvinism very well. I have watched debates, read books (although not the one you referred to), talked to others, and by the way I raised to believe in certain points of the TULIP in the baptist church. So I would say my familiarity with Calvinism is better than average.

        To settle the THD disagreement remember that Calvinism teaches that children are totally depraved and not capable of doing anything good whatsoever. If they cannot do anything good, then what does that leave them with? It leaves them with deserving God’s wrath despite the fact that they can’t do any better??? How can they possibly be responsible for something that they are not responsible for? That’s not the spiritual wrath I read about. That wrath is earned, not given freely (Romans 6:23). We don’t earn condemnation by being born any more than we earn justification by being born again.

        Psalm 51:5 is clear. The first 4 verses David says it’s all my fault and he doesn’t change his story in verse 5. It was the same hyperbole that Job used when he said he came from his mother’s womb guiding the widow (which is something not possible according to THD).

        You said, “Without original sin, you have people dying free of sin.” I say with original sin you have everyone dying in sin – including babies on their way to Hell. No one being true to Calvinist doctrine will deny this.

        You said, “This makes statements in the Bible that “all have sinned” simply not true.” The ALL refers those who have reached the age of accountability (Deut. 1:39; Jonah 4:11). Read Romans 7:9. When was Paul alive spiritually before the Law? Never, according to Calvinism this is impossible because he would have been born dead, but Paul said he was! Tell me friend according to your understanding of all, is “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” (Romans 5:18) telling the truth? The free gift of justification to ALL men? Not according to Calvinism – not according to Limited Atonement and Irresistable Grace. Nevertheless, there you have it. ALL men were given that gift that resulted in justification of life.

        Do you see the point? The ALL of Romans 3:23 refers to those who have chosen to walk in Adam’s steps just as the ALL who are justified are those who have chosen to walk in the steps of Jesus (Romans 3:26; 5:12, 18-19).

        If you take the whole Bible into consideration you will a God who implores ALL of mankind to come to Him. Not just some “unconditional elect.” If you take the whole Bible into consideration you will find that man chooses to sin, and that God chose to give His Son for the whole world that whosoever believes Him might have life. THD and the rest of Calvinism is a complete misrepresentation of God’s omnipotence and the gospel of Jesus Christ (1 John 2:2).

        To your last part when you said, “and will die in their sin unless they receive forgiveness through Christ’s death.” My friend remember, according to Calvinism’s THD they are already dead in their sin, and without the Unconditional Election of God’s choosing they have no hope of finding life in Jesus, and because of Limited Atonement not everyone CAN receive forgiveness through Christ’s death because Christ didn’t die for everyone!

        You see how awful it is to warn people about dying in their sins when they can’t do anything about it! That’s the falsehood of Calvinism for you, not the truth of the gospel.

  • Weylan Deaver 10:28 am on 2011-03-17 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Calvinism   

    “If I killed my wife and mother and debauched a thousand women I couldn’t go to hell–in fact, I couldn’t go to hell if I wanted to.”

    A Baptist preacher in Louisville, Kentucky in 1959, exhibiting his Calvinistic doctrine of once-saved-always-saved (as quoted in Ben Bailey’s book, “A Study of Denominations and Their Doctrines,” p. 42)
     
    • Richard 1:15 pm on 2011-03-17 Permalink | Reply

      Greetings,
      Over the past 15 years I have been learning how to study the scriptures by covenants and not so much by Testaments. However, giving a covenant answer or response to these folks is not going to go very well because they want what they want–it wears a lot of disguises–but in the end it allows men to worship God their way and not God’s. New Covenant begins in Acts 2 not Matthew one.
      The only way is keep teaching scripture..we are seed planters more than harvesters.

      • Weylan Deaver 3:36 pm on 2011-03-17 Permalink | Reply

        Richard,
        Although the New Testament church was begun on earth in Acts 2, Jesus had already been preaching “the gospel of God” (Mark 1:14). Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are New Testament documents, written by Christians (not practicing Jews) years after the church began, which were accepted as the gospel by the early church. I hope you do not make the mistake of taking Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as part of the Old Testament. But, what do your comments have to do with the Calvinism in the above quote? I see no connection.

    • Stephen R. Bradd 3:05 pm on 2011-03-17 Permalink | Reply

      That may be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard!

    • Steve 9:44 pm on 2011-03-17 Permalink | Reply

      Is there really an understandable point to Richard’s comments? I wonder from whom he is being taught this covenant / testament belief?

      • Richard Hill 11:46 pm on 2011-03-17 Permalink | Reply

        I can tell you of at least one person teaching this. I suddenly started receiving his emails maybe a year ago. His website is http://www.biblestudiesbydanbillingsly.net/
        How does this idea jive with all the kingdom teachings and kingdom parables? Didn’t Jesus say “You have heard it said. . .but I say to you. . .” Is he not comparing Moses’ teachings with kingdom, i.e. New Covenant?

    • Steve 12:28 am on 2011-03-18 Permalink | Reply

      RH, Sometimes when I write into the night I am not very clear. My first question was meant to be more about the relationship of the original post by Weylan (the Baptist preacher quote) and my difficulty in seeing any linkage of “Richard’s comments” to the quote. Sorry about that confusion. About the new covenant beginning in Acts 2, I do have some difficulty in accepting his point on this as well. Conceptually speaking, if we can agree that Jesus is teaching everyone how to live, as recorded in the gospels; and, if this is radically different and diametrically opposed to the old covenant, than how can one say these teachings were part of the old covenant? When I looked at the link you provided above, I can see how it might be what influenced “Richard” to make his comments above. If so, though, I still do not understand this comment found in that link. “only the New Testament of Christ in Acts 2 – Revelation 22 sets forth his teaching that applies to men in this new covenant age” No, I think one must also include the Gospels as teachings…”that applies to men in this new covenant age.” I know it is late, but does that not make sense? Good night to one and all…

    • Richard 9:09 am on 2011-03-18 Permalink | Reply

      Greetings, The authority for the way we are to live and work and worship God comes to us after the cross. In dealing with folks who believe as illustrated in the post–Taking one’s authority from Acts 2 forward–puts a real dent in Calvinism.
      Wednesday night I listened to an 82 year old preacher say pretty much what some of you are saying about the gospel of Matthew..

      The reason that it took me many years to begin to see covenants–is due to the way I was taught the scriptures. Same way most of you have.

      The reason that “covenant teaching” or teaching it “your way” does not work–is not due to fault on our part nor on God’s.
      Many of us are just like the Calvinist–just read your responses to the idea of covenant–We all want what we want and because we are Christians–does not mean we all have it right.
      The Calvanist has been taught–His wagonwheel rut theology does not allow for any text or texts that would alter his conclusions.
      We are the same way about many things–fact is the scriptures do clearly identify and teach covenants but we have not been trained nor inclined to think about scriptures from a covenant standpoint.

      One advantage that covenant teaching has–putting Matthew Mark Luke and John up to the cross under the Old Covenant–is that it keep each covenant law under each covenant. Calvinistic teaching has a much more difficult path when using just the New covenant as our authority.
      Now, my final sentence in my first post is still true. When one will read the texts exactly as given–a Calvin person can see the evidence to adjust his thinking toward the teaching. Same is true with Covenants.
      Let me close with an illustration…The “good News” of the kingdom of God in Mark 1 is not the same “good news” of Acts 2.
      Richard

      • Weylan Deaver 9:55 am on 2011-03-18 Permalink | Reply

        Richard, you are woefully mistaken, and the error is serious. Jesus claimed his words would judge us (John 12:48), and that certainly includes his words in Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. Jesus gave instruction that would doubtless have application in the church (cf. Matt. 18:15-17). Jesus gave new legislation regarding marriage/divorce (cf. Matt. 19). It is true that there was an Old Covenant and we live under a New Covenant. But terms of the New Covenant began to be preached in the days of John the Immerser and Jesus. Jesus’ death on the cross ended the old and began the new. Shortly thereafter, the terms of the new began to be enforced in Acts 2. But you must allow for a transition period in which God was moving things from one to the other. It is a great mistake to say the Gospels are Old Testament literature. Remember, “The law and the prophets were until John: from that time the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached…” (Luke 16:16).

        • John Henson 11:03 am on 2011-03-18 Permalink | Reply

          Structurally sound, Weylan.”Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions,” (Ecclesiastes 7:29).

        • John Henson 11:06 am on 2011-03-18 Permalink | Reply

          Scripturally, that is.

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