The following is a compilation taken from several articles that I down loaded from the web, along with a few comments I inserted. Please do not ask me where I got this material... Most of it was probably derived from articles on the Revival Theology web site??

What about Calvinism?

What about the doctrine of original sin.

Are you aware that these doctrines or portions of them are almost universally accepted in the Church today and yet they have debilitating effects on the strength of the body of Christ?

Are you aware they were not taught at all in the bible or in the early Church?

Are you aware that these doctrines teach that all babies are so wicked at birth that they if they die they are doomed to ever lasting punishment?

There are many Evangelicals and Pentecostals who have been led to believe that belief in these doctrines are not a problem. Yet, these doctrines are not the truth and they portray God in a very evil light. Plus they provide a reason for sin. According to these doctrines God makes us all evil and guilty even before we are born, for things we had no control over. It is my position that the Church needs to shed itself of this terrible superstition and free itself from a terrible influence toward unrighteousness.

The following is a compilation of several articles on these subjects that I have taken from the web and have edited arranged and added to. This is not completely edited.

The 5 Points of Calvinism

Introduction

The doctrine known as Calvinism is similar to the ancient Greek philosophy called Stoicism. The Stoics believed everything was predetermined by fate. People simply fulfilled their preordained destiny. The Stoics tried to find happiness by living in harmony with their destiny rather than fighting it.

Elements of Stoicism were incorporated into Christianity by the forth century Catholic philosopher, St. Augustin. His literature provided the foundation for Calvinism.

Church historian, Philip Schaff, documents St. Augustin's beliefs in his introduction to the works of St. Augustin.

"Augustin... asserts that divine grace is not conditioned on human worthiness, and maintains the doctrine of absolute predestination, or, that from the mass of men who, through the disobedience of Adam (in whom all mankind were present potentially), have sunk into corruption and sin, some are chosen by the free election of God to be monuments of his grace, and are brought to believe and be saved, while the greater number, as monuments of his justice, are left to eternal damnation."

This statement alone should cause all Christians to question the justice of such a view.

St. Augustin's views were systematized, and carried into Protestantism by John Calvin, a sixteenth century Reformer.

The essence of Calvin's philosophy is that God is sovereign in all things. Before the creation, God sovereignly decided who He would save and who He would not. Man has no choice in the matter at all. Before certain individuals are born, God has already determined not to offer salvation to them, and Christ did not die for those individuals, there is no possibility of them ever being saved. On the other hand, God has predestined others to be saved, for what ever reason. In any case they cannot resist God's overpowering will. Since God sovereignly controls everything, they will be saved no matter what.

Calvinism is identified by five statements that sum up the entire system. They are known as the five points of Calvinism.

All of the five points are logical progressions from the central thesis, that God is sovereign and man is totally passive.

Not all Calvinists hold to all five points. There are many four point Calvinists who reject the most distasteful point, that of "limited atonement." However, their position is both illogical and unscriptural.

The first letter of each point forms the word "TULIP." This is helpful to remembering each point.

1. Total depravity of man.
2. Unconditional election.
3. Limited atonement.
4. Irresistible grace.
5. Perseverance of the saints.

We will briefly examine each of the five points in light of Scripture to see if Calvinism resembles the true character of God and the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

T

TOTAL DEPRAVITY

The Total Depravity of Man

Most Evangelical Christians would say they believe in the total depravity of man. By this they mean that man is inherently a sinner both by birth and by choice. He cannot in any way save himself or contribute to his own salvation. Without God's supernatural intervention he is hopelessly lost.

(This view is accepted by most Christians as being man's condition according to the Bible.

Question: Is every man born this way or is this depraved condition acquired? And is this what the bible really teaches?)

Calvinism goes even farther then this by claiming that man is totally incapable of responding to the gospel, or unable to choose to accept God's offer of grace.

Ephesians 2:1 is often quoted to support this idea. Here Paul says we were "dead in sins." Then comes the question from the Calvinist; Can a dead man hear? Can a dead man respond? Obviously the answer is no. But this line of reasoning is misleading. Paul was not using death literally. He did not mean we were physically or mentally dead. He explained what he meant by the phrase "dead in sins" in verse twelve.

Ephesians 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: (KJV)

Being "dead in sins" is the equivalent of being hopelessly lost, being totally incapable of saving ourselves. Paul was not saying we could not respond to God's grace, but that without God's grace, we are helpless and hopeless.

Since Calvinists believe man is incapable of responding to God's offer of salvation, they presume that God "enlightens" those who are elect with a supernatural understanding that is withheld from the non-elect. Without this illumination, or infusion of understanding, which God gives or withholds according to His choice, man cannot respond to God.

A serious problem with this line of thinking is that the Scriptures routinely make general offers of salvation to whomever will respond. These offers include appeals to the reasoning powers of unsaved men, and their ability to choose, and their ability to seek after God.

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Isaiah 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Mankind is not physically dead. Nor, is the mental capacity to reason dead. His spirit is what is dead. And, his spirit is what is "quickened" [or made alive] by Christ.

Paul does describe some people who are "reprobates" whom God has given over to a "reprobate mind" because of their constant refusal to acknowledge Him, after repeatedly being enlightened.

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein [in the Gospel] is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but BECAME vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore1 God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; (KJV)

1 Wherefore = because of this.

The conditions created in the life of individuals through their choice is the cause. The Bible has many such thoughts. God rejects men for cause, not on the basis of some arbitrary whim that He has not told us about. He has told us over and over why He rejects some and chooses others and the instructions and conditions He has set forth always has to do with our love and obedience.

We can see from this passage that there are two states of unsaved mankind. Some have constantly rejected God over a period of time, and consequently God has given up on them, and given them over to a "reprobate mind" which is totally incapable of responding to the gospel. However, the fact that Romans 1 teaches that God at some point turns them over to reprobate minds, indicates that at some point they were NOT REPROBATES, albeit being in a state of "dead in sins." My question to Calvinists is, what is the difference between a non-reprobate who has not believed the Gospel, and a reprobate that God has abandoned?

Now, it is perfectly clear that THE GOSPEL is what enlightens the mind of those "dead in sins" according to verses 16-18. And, it is also perfectly clear from this passage that lost people are enlightened, and still choose to reject the Gospel, choosing rather their sinful lifestyles. At some point, God gives up on them, and turns them over to a reprobate mind. This fact proves that the natural condition of every lost person [who has not become a reprobate] does have some enlightenment. And, it also proves that those who become reprobates, at one time were enlightened. It says they "knew God" and that God has "shown Himself" to them. Yet, they are lost. So, the natural state of being "dead in sins" DOES NOT mean that a person is incapable of responding to God. God has indeed been drawing them, yet those who willfully rebel against God's drawing them, and who make a PERMANENT decision to reject God, will eventually be abandoned by God. This state of mankind is far worse than just the natural state of an unbeliever.

Zech 1:2 The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers. 3 Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.

The point to Calvinism's "Total Depravity" claim, [that the natural man is totally without enlightenment, and incapable of responding to God], is to move to the next step, that God only enlightens and draws a few "elect" individuals. But, this premise is flawed at its very foundation, because God draws ALL MEN.

John 1:8-12 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, (KJV)

Christ enlightens "EVERY MAN THAT COMETH INTO THE WORLD!" He draws "ALL MEN" unto Himself. So, while I agree that being dead in sins means that one cannot save himself, and without such enlightenment, one cannot choose God. However, it is perfectly clear that God draws and enlightens ALL MEN by the hearing of the Gospel, even those who will become reprobates and go straight to hell.

Thus we see Calvinism's main premise is in error, and consequently the rest of this philosophical system is also in error.

No one can literally save themselves, period.

They are saved by grace through faith. All of which is a gift of God. FAITH IS NOT EARNED, NOR IS IT A WORK, STILL IT IS REQUIRED. IT CAN BE SAID IT IS A GIFT - NEVERTHELESS IT IS INSEPARABLE FROM OUR RESPONSIBILITY. Christ repeatedly accosted people for not having faith.

AGAIN: The Bible teaches us that God rejects people for a cause. In every text that deals with God rejecting the wicked it can be clearly seen that He does so for cause. Most every message of rejection is filled with a message that details why God has done so. The cause is clearly spelled out. It has nothing to do with predestination, but everything to do with willful unbelief and rebellion.

Unbelief is a choice that involves the rejection of knowledge. Unbelief is not an absence of faith, but a rejection of both knowledge and the free choice to believe what is clearly understood. It is the rejection of the evidence of those things which are not seen.

All of this is portrayed in the Bible and stands against the doctrines of Augustin and Calvin.

Questions for advocates of inherited sin

1. Why did Jesus never teach that man was depraved or why did he never blame Adam for everyone's sin's?

a. Or, why did He always hold each man responsible for his own sin.

2. If every newborn is "utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil", -

a. Then how do we account for the goodness of the "unregenerate" like Cornelius, Acts 10:1-4, 22, or anyone else today.

b. How do we account for all the good things that non-Christians do?

c. Also - how can "evil men proceed from bad to worse" 1 Ti 3:13?

3. Why is the Greek word "sarx" (English=flesh, Mistranslated "sinful nature" throughout the NIV) which Calvinists say teaches the inherited depraved sinful nature of man, which word is also used in scripture when speaking of Jesus in -

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, (Sinful nature?) he also himself likewise took part of the same; (Sinful nature?) that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 1 Pet 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, (Sinful nature?) arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh (Sinful nature?) hath ceased from sin;

1 Pet 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, (Sinful nature?) but quickened by the Spirit:

I Jn 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh (Sinful nature?) is of God:

Why would Jesus not inherit the guilt of sin & depravity from his mother Mary?

5. If Mary was actually "conceived sinless", as the Roman Catholics teach, so that Jesus would not get inherited sin then:

a. wouldn't Jesus' brothers and sisters also be born but 1/2 full of inherited sin?

a. wouldn't all the children of Christians today (whose parents depravity has been removed), be born without inherited sin.

b. If we can inherit the corrupt nature of our parents, then why can we not inherit the righteousness of our parents?

c. If God could conceive Mary without sin why did He not simply conceive Jesus without sin?

6. What is the difference in "nature" between Adam before his sin, Mary who was "immaculate" and Christians, who have their depravity removed via their salvation, and Jesus Himself?

7. If baptism removes the depraved nature of man, then why does he continue to sin afterward?

8. If Adam became depraved only after he sinned, then why did he sin before he was depraved?

It is said that we sin, because we are "wholly inclined" towards evil and "utterly indisposed" towards good. That may explain why we sin, but again -

9. Why did Adam sin?

Adam was totally hereditarily righteous, yet he still sinned!

10. If Adam chose to sin while dead to sin, may we not also choose to do right while dead in sin?

11. Where are all of the babies who were killed in the flood and in Sodom and Gomorrah, etc?

Scriptural refutation of Inherited Sin

The mechanism for the transmission of inherited sin is false: Yes, the physical consequences of sin does afflict children for several generations.

Exod 20:5 .... for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

Exod 34:7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

However, the spiritual consequences of sin cannot be transmitted from father to son, but only falls on the one who committed the act:

Jer 31:29 In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge. 30 But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.

Ezek 18:2 What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge? 3 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. 4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

18:19 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live. 20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him 21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. Jer 32:29-30

Exod 32:31 And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. 32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. 33 And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. (KJV)

In this last passage, Moses wanted to receive the punishment for someone else's sin. In verse 33, the individual who sinned was to be removed from the book; it says nothing about one whose parents have sinned.

We will be judged, only, on the basis of our own actions:

Matt 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Rom 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

God judges for cause, not arbitrarily. We can find the reasons or basis of His judgment in the scriptures.

2 Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

1 Pet 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

2 Chr 19:7 Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.

Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

Col 3:25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

Isa 59:1-2, "Your sins have separated you from your God"

not Adam's .

Sin is committed by individuals breaking God's law: -

I Jn 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

I Jn 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. (KJV)

(Infants have done nothing)

Where is one Bible verse that says we will be condemned for any sin other than our own?

Unsaved and unregenerate men are capable of doing good and have freewill:

Calvinists teach that if a sinner helps an accident victim, he still sins because he does it for the wrong motive.

Gentiles do by nature the good things of the law: -

Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) (KJV)

Cornelius was devout, feared God, righteous, Acts 10:1-4, 22 yet needed further conversion: 11:14

Man has a freewill and can choose to do good or evil: Josh 24:15 "Choose this day..."

God requires man to act and do something to be saved... infants can't act or do

"Unless you repent you will perish": Lk 13:3

"Save yourselves": Acts 2:40 KJV

"Repent and be baptized every one of you for forgiveness of sins": Acts 2:38

Why are we told to "work out our own salvation": Phil 2:12

The spoken and written gospel message is God's power for salvation: Rom 1:16; 1 cor 1:18

These words imply that we, individually, were once in God's grace at conception and birth.

The very words used to describe salvation refute inherited sin:

 

Justification - Romans 5:18

A court term; a legal word

Addresses the subject of our guilt before God

Reconciliation - Romans 5:6-11; Col 1:14,20,21

A word dealing with social intercourse; human relations; to make friendly again, payment of a price to recover from the power of another, a restoration to favor.

Addresses the subject of our being estranged from God

Redemption - Colossians 1:13-14

To buy back; A slavery term; human commerce; purchasing one's freedom; a ransom

Addresses the subject of our slavery to sin

"Regenerate"

to generate again, renewed, restored

 

SLAVES TO SIN - UNABLE TO FREE ONESELF?

Slavery is not something that is absolute. Slaves can free themselves, that is if they are willing to die for their freedom. This is what happens when we are converted. We die to self and are made alive to God again. Having walked away from Him earlier in our life, we are reconciled back to Him.

The Bible describes infants as pure and holy:

1. Jesus used infants as a model for all believers to imitate in character proving they were not "utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil"?

Matt 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Matt 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. (KJV)

2. Paul also used infants as a model of purity for Christians to follow:

1 Cor 14:20 Dear brothers, don't be childish in your understanding of these things. Be innocent babies when it comes to planning evil, but be men of intelligence in understanding matters of this kind. (TLB)

3. Paul states that he was once spiritually alive but then he sinned & died/was killed:

Rom 7:9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. (KJV)

Proving that he too was at one time without sin or free from inherent wickedness.

4. God said that the king of Tyrus was "blameless in your ways from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you." Ezek 28:15

5. "God made men upright but they sought devices" Eccl 7:29 (plural can't refer only to Adam)

Newborns do not know the difference between good and evil

6. God allowed the children to enter Canaan but not the parents: "your little ones who...have no knowledge of good and evil shall enter". Deut 1:34-39

7. Jacob & Esau, "the twins were not yet born, and had done nothing good or bad" Rom 9:11

8. Jesus "Before He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good" Isa 7:15-16

9. Jer 19:2-6 human sacrifices of children to Baal is called the "blood of the innocent"

10. If newborns do not know "good or evil" yet the Bible says , "Your sins have separated you from your God" (Isa 59:1-2). This can only mean that newborns are born free of inherent sin and so are united with God.

 

As in Adam, all die... 1 Cor 15:22

Text

Newborn, innocent & alive

Sinner, guilty & dead

Adam & Eve: Gen 1-3

Didn't know good from evil

Ate forbidden fruit

Jacob & Esau: Rom 9:11

Don't know good from evil

When they sin against God

Jesus: Isa 7:15-16

Didn't know good from evil

Jesus never sinned

Apostle Paul: Rom 7:9-11

"Once alive"

"sin killed me"

King of Tyre: Ezek 28:15

"Blameless from creation"

"until sin found in him"

All men: Eccl 7:29

God made men upright

They sought out devices

Like Adam, each man is born in the "Garden" and is cast out when he sins

The second Spiritual death implies both a first spiritual death and initial spiritual life: The Second death is hell: It is a spiritual separation from God: Rev 20:6,14 Our first death is when we first sin and are separated from God till judgment. Again: For us to be able to die a first death we had to have been spiritually alive at birth.

The science of genetics teaches us that both men and women pass along both good and bad genetics. Some genetic defects or diseases are carried only by women and only their sons are affected. Their sons do not pass them to their children. It would appear that this fact makes it impossible for Jesus to have been prevented from inheriting original sin. He said He was the son of man, so any inherent defect that would be found in every human would naturally have been also found in Him.

The Unavoidable Consequences -

If Inherited Sin Were True

Every newborn is "utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil" ?

Then every newborn is as wicked as the Devil himself.

Newborns that die are lost.

God failed to provide instructions on how newborns can be saved.

God will condemn to hell a newborn for someone else's sin and something it could not do.

B. Jesus inherited the depraved nature and guilt of sin like any other man, otherwise

Jesus had an advantage in overcoming sin that we do not.

Jesus was not made like his brethren in all things" Heb 2:14-18

Jesus was not tempted in all things just as we are. Heb 4:15

C. Man has no responsibility to hear and obey the gospel (irresistible grace)

Calvinists teach that man being depraved, cannot comprehend the gospel message. The Holy Spirit must specifically touch an individual, thus allowing them to respond to the gospel. Thus man cannot be saved without the direct and miraculous operation of the Holy Spirit.

If men go to hell, it is because God never extended his Holy Spirit to that individual, thus giving them the ability to accept and comprehend the gospel then: God is therefore responsible for all the unsaved going to hell. For God created certain men who never had any chance or opportunity to be saved! This makes God a respecter of persons

Man cannot be responsible for his sin, if he has no freewill. Our courts of law do not hold those who were forced accountable for their actions and neither does God. There is little difference between "the devil made me do it" and "Adam made me do it" Ultimately, God is responsible for man's sin if that is the way He created us at conception. Like migrating birds that have no choice, we are acting out of nature and instinct.

The bible has nothing to say about man violating God's ultimate sovereignty.

This is because it is an impossibility. Disobedience deserves punishment, but it cannot violate God's ultimate sovereignty. "He will work, who will stop Him?" We move and have our being in Him. He is not far from any of us. The thought that somehow we can violate His ultimate sovereignty is never made a topic by any biblical writer, but it is a continual theme among certain fellowships.

Still God is portrayed as having emotions as if man can effect them. He gets angry and hates and loves and these emotions are varied according to what man does. If this somehow is unacceptable to our way of thinking or contrary to our doctrine I suggest that it is we who must change and leave the Word of God to portray it's original message.

Sin lies at the door, but "you" must overcome it. Underline the "You". Cain obviously had a choice and God was not happy about what he did with it. God's ultimate will is being done, but not His every desire. He is not willing that any should perish, but many do. He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, nevertheless many wicked people die in their sins.

 

The bible portrays God as giving humans creative ability.

They were delegated limited Sovereignty over their creations. This is an area that further portrays their freedom of choice.

Inventions

Eccl 7:29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

Strong's. # 2810 chishshabown (khish-shaw-bone'); from 2803; a contrivance, i.e. actual (a warlike machine) or mental (a machination):  KJV-- engine, invention.

Plans

Prov 8:11-12 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. 12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

Strong's # 4209 mezimmah (mez-im-maw'); from 2161; a plan, usually evil (machination), sometimes good (sagacity): KJV-- (wicked) device, discretion, intent, witty invention, lewdness, mischievous (device), thought, wickedly.

It is God who gave humans wisdom, and He still does give it to them. It is from wisdom that comes our creative ability and/or the ability to choose.

God is not static, He is still creative and He has given us some measure of His own inherent spontaneity. As a result our spontaneity, our creativity, our ability to choose are inherent abilities given to us by God and are associated and identified with our being created in His image.

Exod 31:6 And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee; ..

Based on this logical and scriptural basis we see that God has endowed humans with the ability to create and to do good or evil things with that ability. This removes God from being directly involved with every evil dead or wicked desire. The bible repeatedly portrays God as blaming all wicked humans for their evil deeds and praising others for their good deeds. This makes no sense if He has not only ordained everyone's thoughts, but has also brought every thought or desire into existence.

For this would demand that we have neither creative, ability, nor any real choice, nor any God given spontaneity.

 One of God's essential attributes is spontaneity. 

He has always been and will always be a creative being.

Is this one of the many attributes that he gave us when He created us in His image. I think so.

God has demanded that we control our desires and thoughts.

Deut 5:21 Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's.
Deut 7:25 The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God.
Ps 10:3 For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth. (KJV)

Note: the wicked have a desire of their own, it is not from God.

Gen 4:7 "If you do well, will not {your countenance} be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it." (NAS)

From both the time of Adam, and that of his son, God has held us accountable for our choice and for acting on or desires. Again - Underline "ours," not God's.

 

Meriting Salvation?

It is very often said that if our choice has anything to do with our Salvation that this means that in some way we merit it.

This point of view reflects a very stunted portrayal of the invaluableness of salvation, to say the least. What can a man give in exchange for his soul? How do we measure the value of salvation?

We hire someone to do house work for us for $8.00 per hour. Our wealthy neighbor hears about this and out of pride raises the wages of his house keeper to $25.00 per hour. When other people in the community hear about this they all comment that this worker cannot rightfully earn that pay. Many of them said that this worker received a nice gift, not a raise. The $25.00 per hour house keeper believed that if she only washed one dish and did nothing else for eight hours she had earned every penny and was due her full pay check.

Where do these views come from? Are they all correct?

There are many Christians who believe that we do not have to be baptized, for if we did it would mean we were doing something that earned our salvation. So according to many Christians we cannot even choose God, nor should we be taught that we must get baptized for if any of this were essential it would somehow mean that doing so would mean we are meriting our salvation. To them anything that can be construed as being meritorious is contrary to our being save without works. They point to the thief on the cross as an example. They do this because he was not baptized and yet it is evident that he still went to heaven. They would only be convinced that baptism was essential if that thief had torn himself loose from the cross and had himself baptized. In all of this, it seems that their view of the value of salvation is like nothing. They project the thought that if salvation could be earned it would take nothing more then a choice or being baptized. To them any required effort would add up to our earning our salvation, no matter that the energy expended amounted to nothing.

Applying this view to finances - If someone gives us a billion dollars and we write a check this would mean we somehow earned that money. Now according to Calvinism - if we were to send that benefactor a small token of appreciation we, for sure, would be meriting that billion dollars. However, - Our obedience is both the least we can do and the most that we can do and it is essential. To do less is to insult God.

U

Next -Unconditional election.

Inability? What about Cain and Able

What About Calvinism?

The "IF" Verses

 

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