Blog post: Relax, Synergism Cant Hurt Anyone.

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Abiding

Guest
#1
[h=2]Relax, Synergism Can’t Hurt Anyone[/h][h=3]February 5, 2013[/h]
Recently I have been thinking about a strange phenomenon I have noticed the last year as I have studied, and engaged in discussions about, Calvinism. My goal in this post is not to point fingers at anyone, especially those who are not guilty of what I will present here. But it is inevitable that the errors I point out will apply to some people reading this blog, and I would like them to feel the rebuke and correction. Not so that I can be right and they wrong, but so that they can be more consistent in their beliefs and more Christian in their behavior.

Monergism:
Those that believe in monergism believe that before someone is regenerated (born again) they can by no means believe in the Gospel or repent of their sins. And once one is regenerated they can by no means resist believing or repenting. Nothing that men do can bring about regeneration. It is the work of God alone. He doesn’t regenerate someone because they meet any conditions (e.g. repentance, faith) but because of his sovereign choice alone. This doctrine is very closely related to the Reformed doctrine of unconditional election, and even more closely related to the doctrine of irresistible grace. Monergism means that God alone brings about regeneration, and man is completely passive. Man does not actively receive the Gospel until he has already been born again. After that the individual will irresistibly receive the message of truth.
Synergism:
Those who hold to synergism also believe that regeneration (new birth) is the work of God alone. Only God can give his Spirit, and only the Spirit can apply the resurrection life of Jesus Christ to an individual. There is nothing a person can do to force God’s hand or obligate him to regenerate his soul. But they do believe that God has decreed certain conditions that must be met before God will give him the new life that is found in Christ. Those conditions are faith and repentance (Mark 1:15). God has promised that those who meet those relational conditions will be received by his grace and given new life in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. So though a person cannot give himself the new birth, he does have a role to play. Christ has purchased salvation for Adam’s race, and he has sent his Church and his Spirit to invite everyone to this feast of salvation, but he demands people receive this message in faith and with repentance. If one refuses to repent and believe God will refuse to allow him entrance into the kingdom of God.
I’m sure theologically minded readers from both camps (monergist and synergist) can find something wrong with my summary of their position. Theologically minded people seem to be some of the most difficult people in the world to satisfy
But for better or for worse, I have done my best to accurately present their views.

Those of you that have read some of my other posts should be aware that I fall firmly in the synergist camp. But my goal today is not to prove which one is biblically correct. After all people from both camps agree that the Bible is absolutely clear about which one is the correct view. Instead I want to point out the practical ramifications of each position. Particularly I want to address a condescending zeal that I have seen too often manifest to remain silent about. Not all monergists are overly agressive; and for sure, not all of us synergists are as meek as we should be. But there is a trend among some Calvinists that I would like to challenge by appealing to the monergist position.
Hypothetical Situation #1
Let’s assume that synergism is true for a moment. I understand this is painful for some of you, but just go with me on this. If synergism is true, then the logic of monergism, if believed, could cause much destruction. If synergism is true, then monergism would be a dangerous error. It would imply that a non-elect soul does not have the ability to repent and believe even when the Gospel is preached and the Holy Spirit is present to convict and persuade souls to faith and repentance. Some people would assume they are not elect and would thus conclude that there is no use trying to repent and believe. They could (and many have) conclude that if God has chosen them he will convert them without their involvement.
Though this would represent the hyper-Calvinist position more than the moderate Calvinist view, we are not talking about what the proponents of monergism believe. We are talking about the way that unsaved people could perceive monergism and be led astray. And though some would say that monergism is not preached to sinners, just the message of the Cross and the command to repent, nevertheless, the secret is sure to get out one way or another. Also, though one says this is a misunderstanding of the moderate Calvinist position, one who is honest must admit that it is a valid and logical conclusion of their position. After all, don’t monergists believe that if one is not elect they cannot repent or believe, and if they are elect, they cannot help but believe and repent once God regenerates their heart? So let’s not quibble about philosophical distinctions. Let’s stick with the basic facts. IF (I understand that is a big “if” for some of us) synergism is true, then monergism would be a dangerous error that would lead many to feel that there salvation in no sense depends on their choices.
Because of this line of thought, those who sincerely hold that synergism is true believe monergism is a dangerous teaching in the Body of Christ. It makes sense (if one is willing to see it from their perspective) why they would denounce monergism and do all they can to convince people it is erroneous. If they love people they could do nothing else. To stay silent about such a (remember we are speaking hypothetically for those that cannot receive it in any other way) dangerous and deceptive error would be to let deadly poison spread through the Body of Christ and lead to many souls being lost for eternity. I hope my monergist brethren (and sistern;) can see why synergists cannot stay silent. This does not mean synergists are to be given a license to be belligerent and rude, but it does mean that if they are loving they must speak out.
Hypothetical Situation #2
Now let’s imagine that monergism is true. I hear the synergists groaning and the monergists saying emphatically, “It IS true!” If monergism is true then every soul that God has destined to be saved will indeed be saved. Nothing can stop his sovereign power. If he wants them to be saved they will be. And if he has chosen to pass people by, there is nothing that anyone can do to change his mind. Jacob will be saved and Esau will be lost, and that is that.
If this is the case, then the teaching of synergism cannot harm anyone. If someone is to be saved, and God will certainly bring it to pass, then the error of a person playing any role in his eternal destiny is not only absurd it is also harmless. If monergism is true not one elect soul has ever been, or ever will be, lost because of the erroneous teaching of synergism. If monergism is true, synergism might be error, but it is by no means dangerous. The monergist must admit that synergism never hurt anyone.
The last couple months on Twitter I have watched a group of Calvinists aggressively hound non-Calvinists. By no means am I referring to all or even most Calvinists on Twitter. I am referring to isolated individuals who have forgotten to be humble and gracious with their brothers and sisters in Christ; individuals who by no means represent their theological camp as a whole. The thing is I cannot understand their zeal. They say that they are defending the truth. That is all well and good, but their defense of the truth often becomes overly aggressive. And every discussion becomes a debate in which triumph is seemingly the main goal. I can only conclude this happens because they are defending truth, but not doing so in love. Of course that makes sense. Love for people can play no part in their zeal since their doctrine is that not one elect soul can be lost by any form of error. I know they can respond with “God ordaining means as well as ends” and all of that philosophical stuff, but I’m just simply too dumb to understand all of that. They profess to know that people cannot be lost no matter what they defend or allow to be propagated in the Body of Christ; so in my simple-mindedness I cannot believe that they are being so belligerent out of their love for people. Out of love for the truth, this I can imagine. But out of love for people, I just don’t see how.
Some would argue and say, “People cannot be harmed by error, but error diminishes the glory of God. So such zeal manifests a love for the glory of God.” Hold your horses there good buddy! God’s glory is eternal and nothing can diminish it. The clouds might hide the sun for a brief moment, but the sun’s radiance is not diminished one bit. “Yes, but I mean that people won’t be able to see his glory. Error hides God’s glory just as the clouds hide the sun’s rays.” But according to my theology every knee will eventually confess and give glory to God, so his glory is only hidden for a season from the eyes of men, but not diminished. Furthermore, from my theological perspective God will cause all things ultimately, both good and evil, to work out for his glory. He will turn what was meant for evil into good. But forget my theology for a moment, according to divine determinism (compatibilism) God was the one who put the clouds (i.e. theological error) in their place. And this was done ALL FOR THE GLORY OF GOD! So in my perspective God’s glory cannot be diminished one iota, but from a Calvinist perspective the case is even stronger. God doesn’t need any crusaders to go around defending his honor; he is more than capable of protecting his good name. One need only consider the glory he received from Pharaoh to see my point.
I can understand passionate zeal that arises out of compassion and seeks to protect the flock of God. Sometimes whips need to be made, tables need to be turned and the temple needs to be cleared out! But I cannot condone a condescending & overly aggressive zeal for the sake of truth alone. On one hand, smugness has no place among God’s people. On the other, truth without love is worthless to those who proclaim it, even if it benefits those who hear it. For if I understand and can proclaim all mysteries, have zeal enough to give my body to the flames, and yet have not love, I am useless!
Conclusion
So what is my point? The first is that Christians should always be loving, even when, especially when, fighting for the truth. Jesus turned over tables because he was upset with the injustice done to the God-fearing Gentiles who had no place to pray in the house of prayer for all nations. His zeal came out of his love for God who desired all nations to come to him and out of his love for those nations who needed God. Jesus called the Pharisees white-washed tombs, hypocrites and snakes, for the purpose of converting them to eternal life (Matthew 23, John 5:34). Not only did he speak so violently against them in love, but he even prayed for them to be forgiven while he was hanging on the Cross. Jesus was not zealous for truth alone, he was zealous for truth because he loved people and desired them to be saved. He was zealous for the truth because he loved the God who loves all men and desires them to come to the knowledge of truth. He turned over tables because he loved!
Secondly, if my reader counts himself/herself as a believer in monergism, please recognize that the “error” of synergism can’t hurt any of the elect, and it certainly cannot hurt the One who elected them! Take comfort in the fact that everything has been sovereignly decided. If you believe God has commanded you to speak the truth and confront error in spite of the fact that it makes no eternal difference, do so with the peace of one who knows God will cause his perfect plan to take place no matter what. Don’t be overwhelmed with burden as though losing a theological debate will cause God’s kingdom to fall apart. This anxiety can only lead to frustration that manifests itself in a condescending attitude and unnecessarily aggressive behavior. And if you believe that God is the one that opens people’s eyes to “the doctrines of grace” there is no need to be frustrated with other Christians who are still blinded to these truths. Remember, if they haven’t seen the glories of Reformed theology that is God’s will. There is no reason to berate them because they haven’t received the insight you have. Instead deal with them gently, lovingly, and yes, even humbly, knowing that those who are given much, from them much will be required.
James 3:13-18
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Lovingly,
Chris

[h=1]A Disciple's Theology[/h]Christopher C. Chapman's Practical Theology

 
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Abiding

Guest
#2
Ill admit after i heard so many times.....how deadly synergism was(which i didnt understand how it could be)
that someone hasnt found fault in this blog. And explained what i cant see there.
 
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2Co 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

Workers Together - G4903 -συνεργέω - sunergeō
From G4904; to be a fellow worker, that is, co-operate: - help (work) with, work (-er) together.

1Th 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Rom 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
 
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World English Dictionary
[TABLE]
[TR="class: tr1"]
[TD="class: td1, colspan: 2"]synergy (ˈsɪnədʒɪ)[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="colspan: 2"][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR="class: tr2"]
[TD="class: td2, colspan: 2"]— n , pl -gies [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR="class: tr3"]
[TD="class: td3n1, align: right"]1.[/TD]
[TD="class: td3n2"]Also called: synergism the potential ability of individual organizations or groups to be more successful or productive as a result of a merger[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR="class: tr3"]
[TD="class: td3n1, align: right"]2.[/TD]
[TD="class: td3n2"]another name for synergism[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="colspan: 2"][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR="class: tr5"]
[TD="class: td5, colspan: 2"][C19: from New Latin synergia, from Greek sunergos; see synergism ][/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

G4904 - συνεργός - sunergos
From a presumed compound of G4862 and the base of G2041; a co-laborer, that is, coadjutor: - companion in labour, (fellow-) helper (-labourer, -worker), labourer together with, workfellow.



1Co 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
The context of 1Cor 3 is the building of the church.

Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
Mat 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

Luk 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Luk 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
Luk 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
Luk 14:29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
Luk 14:30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
Luk 14:31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
Luk 14:32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
Luk 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
Luk 14:34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
Luk 14:35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.


Luk 6:43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Luk 6:44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
Luk 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
Luk 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Luk 6:47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
Luk 6:48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
Luk 6:49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.



The bible clearly teaches synergism. God tells us what to do and we can either be a doer of His word or we can refuse and be a hearer only.

Monergism is extremely dangerous as explicitly reasoned in Abiding's post for it induces a "wait on God to do everything for me" or "wait on God to MAKE me a doer." The truth is you CHOOSE THIS DAY who you will serve. God calls you to CHOOSE LIFE.
 
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Jos 24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
Jos 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Deu 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
Deu 30:20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

Joh 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Joh 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
 
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Abiding

Guest
#6
Oh great:cool:
 

Grandpa

Senior Member
Jun 24, 2011
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#7
Repentance and faith are a condition that must be met before God will give a person new life...?

How much repentance and how much faith are required? Is it different for different people? Does God grade on the curve?

I suppose it makes a little sense that a person would have to have faith and be able to turn from their own ways and turn to God and ask for His help.

But it seems to me that God is the one who initiates everything. He makes the first move and then we respond, or don't.

Why do some respond and some don't? I don't know... I don't suspect you do either.

I suspect that if a person comes before God and believes in his heart that it is God's work to save them and it is Gods work to keep them saved that is a stronger and more powerful faith than the person who is thinking in the back of their mind that they may not have met all the requirements and maybe that is why God is not working in their lives...

That's the only danger I see in synergism. One person telling another person the requirements that must be met before they come before God. I think coming before God is most of the battle. Maybe all of it.

Ephesians 3:20-21
[SUP]20 [/SUP]Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, [SUP]21 [/SUP]Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
 

BarlyGurl

Senior Member
Nov 14, 2012
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#8
>>>The bible clearly teaches synergism. God tells us what to do and we can either be a doer of His word or we can refuse and be a hearer only. Monergism is extremely dangerous as explicitly reasoned in Abiding's post for it induces a "wait on God to do everything for me" or "wait on God to MAKE me a doer." The truth is you CHOOSE THIS DAY who you will serve. God calls you to CHOOSE LIFE.<<<<

Here-Here... I second that!!!!
 

BarlyGurl

Senior Member
Nov 14, 2012
2,541
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#9
Repentance and faith are a condition that must be met before God will give a person new life...?

I am wondering what "definition" of repentance you are using here... It seems some people think repentance is some theatrical wailing chest pounding contrition... when repentance truly means "change of mind"
 
A

Abiding

Guest
#10
Repentance and faith are a condition that must be met before God will give a person new life...?Yup, thats what the bible says to do.

How much repentance and how much faith are required? Is it different for different people? Does God grade on the curve? belief is required. one man said Lord i believe, help though my unbelief. musturdseed? Jesus is both the author and finisher of our faith. Do you think we are passive in this? Even tho it is a work of God?

I suppose it makes a little sense that a person would have to have faith and be able to turn from their own ways and turn to God and ask for His help.Yes i think we need to stretch forth out withered hand.

But it seems to me that God is the one who initiates everything. He makes the first move and then we respond, or don't.
I agree totally.

Why do some respond and some don't? I don't know... I don't suspect you do eithereAlthough i dont know anyones heart, Jesus told us many reasons why....example: they prefer darkness(ignorance) they hate the light because it exposes their evil desires of life, and they want to avoid that....we are told in the parable of the sower and the seed, we are given more than enuf explaination from Jesus Himself why. They dont want saved, or really anything at all to do with God.

I suspect that if a person comes before God and believes in his heart that it is God's work to save them and it is Gods work to keep them saved that is a stronger and more powerful faith than the person who is thinking in the back of their mind that they may not have met all the requirements and maybe that is why God is not working in their lives..I agree Peter said in order to escape the lusts of the world and to take on His nature to grow in grace and knowledge, and gives a list of duties(synergy) and if not you will stumble and forget you were purged from your sins(doubt of salvation). Of coarse we will need to grow and realize He keeps us and how thats done.

That's the only danger I see in synergism. One person telling another person the requirements that must be met before they come before God. I think coming before God is most of the battle. Maybe all of it.Why would a synergist say anything more than belief in Jesus Christ is required to come to God?

Ephesians 3:20-21
[SUP]20 [/SUP]Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, [SUP]21 [/SUP]Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Synergism doesnt believe we can do anything alone. But most monergists just dont understand they are relly synergists otherwise they would fall if they did "Nothing"

This synergist believes this:Jn 15:1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[SUP]a[/SUP] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; ​apart from Me you can do nothing.
 
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#11
My comments in blue.


Repentance and faith are a condition that must be met before God will give a person new life...? Yes indeed.

How much repentance and how much faith are required? Is it different for different people? Does God grade on the curve? It is not complicated. Repentance is simply the dynamic where the mind changes in regards to being in rebellion to God which necessitates the cessation of rebellion. The turning of "conversion" IS faith. The new believer simply gives themselves over to God and entrusts their well being to Him. Thus God leads them and they follow, just like Abraham packed up his stuff and left his homeland. Abraham believed God and simply yielded.

I suppose it makes a little sense that a person would have to have faith and be able to turn from their own ways and turn to God and ask for His help. Everyone has the "ability" to turn from their ways they just need the "motivation" to do it. This is why repentance is crucial. It is the godly sorrow that works a repentance unto salvation and the motivation to repent is wrought in godly sorrow.

2Co 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
2Co 7:11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

It is the godly sorrow that brings about the clearing of wrongdoing. In other words the rebellion is forsaken and rectified where possible and it is on this basis that the former sinner approaches God seeking mercy. The prodigal son had godly sorrow in the pig pen which wrought in him the desire to forsake the pig pen and return to his father and confess his sins.

But it seems to me that God is the one who initiates everything. He makes the first move and then we respond, or don't. Yes God does initiate everything. God made the first move in calling all men. God made the first move in giving a measure of light to all men. God made the first move in offering mercy should we repent. God made the first move by sending His son to die for us while we were yet sinners. God does not want anyone to perish but all to come to repentance. God has His hand outstretched to sinners. The sinner must approach God in the manner God has directed and that is through repentance and faith.

Why do some respond and some don't? I don't know... I don't suspect you do either. Choice. Many people are hardened due to sin. Some have been given over to a reprobate mind due to rejecting the light and thus treated God's grace lightly. The root issue is that God has given us the choice. Why do some people steal and others do not? Why do some people get hooked on drugs and others don't? Choice!

I suspect that if a person comes before God and believes in his heart that it is God's work to save them and it is Gods work to keep them saved that is a stronger and more powerful faith than the person who is thinking in the back of their mind that they may not have met all the requirements and maybe that is why God is not working in their lives... God saves us yes but only if we allow Him to. God does not force salvation on anyone. If we want to be reconciled to God through the blood of Christ we have to die with Him in that we die to sin. In dying to sin we then shift allegiance from Satan to God. Instead of serving sin we serve righteousness. We are set free through the "Spirit of life in Jesus Christ."

That's the only danger I see in synergism. One person telling another person the requirements that must be met before they come before God. I think coming before God is most of the battle. Maybe all of it. The Bible is full of "requirements." Repentance is a requirement. Forsaking rebellion is a requirement. Picking up our cross and denying self is a requirement. Ceasing to do evil is a requirement. The Bible lists such things all over the place. The reason is that it is MAN that has offended God, not the other way around. Therefore for reconciliation to take place it is MAN that has to forsake that which offends God and that is his rebellion. The forsaking of rebellion is the ONLY condition God requires in order that He will grant mercy. We forsake rebellion and turn to God and do what is right from our hearts. God sees this change of heart and then raises us up to newness of life. This is why it is about "faith" and not "works." For it is faith which is of the heart, works are merely the external dressing and can be done with or without an honest heart.

Ephesians 3:20-21
[SUP]20 [/SUP]Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, [SUP]21 [/SUP]Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. God gives that power to those who receive Him. We are mere light globes while God is the power source. We plug ourselves into God through repentance and faith.
 
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Grandpa

Senior Member
Jun 24, 2011
8,714
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#12
Repentance and faith are a condition that must be met before God will give a person new life...?

I am wondering what "definition" of repentance you are using here... It seems some people think repentance is some theatrical wailing chest pounding contrition... when repentance truly means "change of mind"
Were you asking me or Abiding...?
 

Grandpa

Senior Member
Jun 24, 2011
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#13

Synergism doesnt believe we can do anything alone. But most monergists just dont understand they are relly synergists otherwise they would fall if they did "Nothing"

This synergist believes this:Jn 15:1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[SUP]a[/SUP] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; ​apart from Me you can do nothing.
I suppose I believe the same things you do. I just believe that God is the cause of us coming to Him and God is the cause of us staying in Him.

Apparently God wants to see us put forth our little effort and faith so He can work His WORK. We pray our little prayer and He Honors that exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or think.


When He works exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or think it makes me think that the synergy part is very, very small.
 
Nov 26, 2011
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#14
Repentance and faith are a condition that must be met before God will give a person new life...?

I am wondering what "definition" of repentance you are using here... It seems some people think repentance is some theatrical wailing chest pounding contrition... when repentance truly means "change of mind"
The strict definition of the word means "change of mind." Yet repentance has to be viewed through the lense of how scripture presents it.

Repentance is not a mere confession of sinfulness and then you continue sinning.

Repentance is such a deep seated change of mind that effects the inner man to such a degree that it produces a change in conduct.

An adulterous husband may be sorry for his affair due to the turmoil it causes in his life. He may not want to lose his marriage. Yet if he does not forsake the affair it reveals that his sorrow is a worldy sorrow as opposed to a godly sorrow.

Godly sorrow is the realisation that you have offended God. It is the realisation that what you are doing is indeed wrong. If one is truly sorrowful for their conduct they forsake that which they are sorry about. They don't make excuses.

This is why Paul writes...

2Co 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
2Co 7:11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

Paul understood genuine repentance and that it was rooted in godly sorrow. This is why Paul would preach...

Act_26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

If there are no works connected to repentance then it is a false repentance. Just like faith without works is dead, repentance without the forsaking of known sin is dead.

If you look at all the examples of repentance in the Bible where God granted mercy you'll see that the wicked behaviour was forsaken.

Nineveh...

Jon 3:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
Jon 3:6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
Jon 3:7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
Jon 3:8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
Jon 3:9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
Jon 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

The Prodigal Son...

Luk 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
Luk 15:18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
Luk 15:19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
Luk 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
Luk 15:21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
Luk 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

Zacchaeus...

Luk 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
Luk 19:9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.


It is what the prophets taught...

Isa 55:7 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.

Jer 26:13 Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.


Simply put repentance is the dynamic by which the rebellion to God comes to an end.
 
A

Abiding

Guest
#15
I suppose I believe the same things you do. I just believe that God is the cause of us coming to Him and God is the cause of us staying in Him.

Apparently God wants to see us put forth our little effort and faith so He can work His WORK. We pray our little prayer and He Honors that exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or think.


When He works exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or think it makes me think that the synergy part is very, very small.

Actually i somewhat agree. Being as our efforts are worthless without His power(grace/charis/divine enablement)
But the letters to the 7 churches is an easy read to see how vital and important our responsibilities are. And how from beginning to end He wants our heartfelt effort. And if not Jesus pronounced curses.

For instance what will He do if we dont pray? etc
What will He do if we refuse so great a salvation?etc

But i totally agree God moves first!! Amen for that.
 
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RachelBibleStudent

Guest
#16
i think justification is mainly monergistic while sanctification is more synergistic...

and i think it is dangerous to try to make justification synergistic or to try to make sanctification monergistic...both tend to lead to spiritual discouragement...
 
Nov 26, 2011
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#17
i think justification is mainly monergistic while sanctification is more synergistic...

and i think it is dangerous to try to make justification synergistic or to try to make sanctification monergistic...both tend to lead to spiritual discouragement...
What you have done there is negate any conditions that must be adhered to on the part of man in order that reconciliation take place.

Justification and sanctification go hand in hand for the faith that God reckons as righteousness is a faith that sanctifies.

Act 15:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.


God does not reckon a filthy vessel as righteous.
 
A

Abiding

Guest
#18
i think justification is "mainly" monergistic while sanctification is more synergistic...

and i think it is dangerous to try to make justification synergistic or to try to make sanctification monergistic...both tend to lead to spiritual discouragement...
Well to make justification synergistic past a accent to the gospel would be wrong.
To say that you popped out of a bubble believing without first hearing and believing in Jesus Christ would be just not true.
Yet i have heard those type of confessions, from monergists.
 

Powemm

Senior Member
Jul 30, 2012
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#19
Very good
Post and thank you... so what does it mean in the verses below of we Arent to wait on God
And in Him?

Matthew 18:3
And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of
heaven.

Matthew 6:31-32

31*Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32*For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
 

starfield

Senior Member
Jun 13, 2009
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#20
My understanding of synergism is God providing the gift of grace through the substitutionary work of Christ but the sinner has to realize their state of depravity after they have been enlightened by the word of God and convicted by the Holy Spirit (John 6:44), realize they cannot get to Heaven simply by doing good works no matter how hard they try thus they need the Saviour to atone for their sins, and then they repent and accept God’s grace by faith. John 1:12 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. Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Conversely, the sinner can resist God's grace and reject Christ and the conviction of the Spirit. Titus 2:11- For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Heb 2:3- How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him. The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, salvation was offered to all (God desires that all are saved), however not all are saved because some are resisting His grace thus will not escape the judgment of God in eternity. So I believe the free acceptance of God's gift of salvation by faith is what makes salvation synergistic but it is far from a meritorious work.