predestination vs freewill

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Magenta

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Jul 3, 2015
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My definition of human freewill is crystal clear if it is nothing else, my definition is there's no such thing.
I prefer the term self will, since man's will is constrained by too many factors to believe it is "free" :)
 

Evmur

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Feb 28, 2021
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I would would state it differently. I would say that as a result of becoming born-again(solely through God's will, of course), its recipient, from/by a mind that has been renewed by the Holy Spirit, will thank God profusely and say amen for it; however that response would be as a RESULT of becoming saved/born-again and in no way its cause.
God alone is the Savior not ourselves. He does not need nor want our acquiescence or permission to impart it to whomever He has chosen for such. In fact, the only appropriate response to God would be "thank you, Father". Should we believe that something(anything) more than Christ is required to become saved, would be to say to God that Christ's offering was insufficient for that which it was intended, and therefore, would be an insult of the highest order to the most high God and to His Christ.

[Heb 2:3 KJV]
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];

[Heb 7:24-25 KJV]
24 But this [man], because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
I'm sure that is what I said.
 

rogerg

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Jul 13, 2021
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Notice that the crowd of Jews wanted to know what *they* are to do. So Jesus told them the work that God wanted them to do. These are the "works God requires." These are not just the *works of God," but in context, the works that God desires the Jews to do.
No, can't see that. "this is the work of God" is not logically equivalent to "works God requires ". As I said in my prior, in effect, Jesus was giving them two answers: 1) there is nothing they could do for salvation and, 2) God must do it all

So you're turning the verse backwards to accommodate your theology. You need your theology to adjust to what Jesus said, and not adjust what Jesus said to accommodate your theology!
That's funny, that exactly what I was thinking about your reply. Jesus said "this is the work of God". So nothing has been turned around by me. Further, we are unequivocally informed by the Bible that we can NEVER be saved by our works.

I'll repost:
[Rom 4:4 KJV] 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

This verse is in direct conflict with your interpretation of John 6:29 and we know that it is impossible for the Bible to
contradict itself. However the verse complements, and harmonizes precisely with my interpretation of John 6:29.

Based upon it, we can clearly see that it would have been impossible for Jesus to have informed them that work of any kind was/is necessary for salvation.

No, it does *not* say that Jesus corrected their question. The question, quite clearly, and without alteration, is what should *we* do? Jesus didn't correct their question, but answered it: "you are to do the works that God has for you," in other words, the "works of God," which is to believe in God's Son.
By His answer, Jesus implicitly corrected their perception and by so doing, gave us all additional information. Where in the verse does it say "you are to do the works that God has for you", because I couldn't find anything close to it there? I think what you've accused me of doing, you have done. Your interpretation cannot be correct because it is impossible that everyone ever born has been offered salvation. If it was offered, where, how and when did it occur?

I'm quite confident that scholarly commentators would agree with me on this,
though I haven't looked it up. Do you have any commentators who would agree with your interpretation?
I have no idea. The opinions of commentators are of no interest to me and I do not follow any. I only place credence in the Bible alone.
 

randyk

Well-known member
Jan 14, 2021
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Pacific NW USA
No, can't see that. "this is the work of God" is not logically equivalent to "works God requires ". As I said in my prior, in effect, Jesus was giving them two answers: 1) there is nothing they could do for salvation and, 2) God must do it all
We're going to have to agree to disagree. In my view, there is no way Jesus, in this conversation, is discussing the finer points of Grace vs. Works. He was simply answering the question, "What must we do?"

Jesus could've turned around and said, "It's not what you do, but what I do." But he didn't say that. Instead, he answered their question, and told them they must do the true work of God, which is to believe in him.

I get it. It doesn't fit with your theology. Go in peace. But I have to tell you, that in the book of John there are works that Jesus alone did, and works that his disciples could do. They can be distinguished.

But Jesus did not distinguish between the works of the Jews and the work of God here. He only answered them by telling them that the work they must do must be the work of God. But feel free to believe what you must.

That's funny, that exactly what I was thinking about your reply. Jesus said "this is the work of God". So nothing has been turned around by me. Further, we are unequivocally informed by the Bible that we can NEVER be saved by our works.

I'll repost:
[Rom 4:4 KJV] 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

This verse is in direct conflict with your interpretation of John 6:29 and we know that it is impossible for the Bible to
contradict itself. However the verse complements, and harmonizes precisely with my interpretation of John 6:29.

Based upon it, we can clearly see that it would have been impossible for Jesus to have informed them that work of any kind was/is necessary for salvation.
I never said Jesus was arguing for what the Jews must do *autonomously* to be saved! Every law of God in the Scriptures assume that when men obey God they are appropriating the power of His word to obey Him.

Jesus indicated that following the Law faithfully is the proper path to salvation, and preliminary to the same. The assumption Jesus makes is that he, Jesus, must do his part, as well, which is to atone for sins. But there have always been things God has required of men, as well, including believing in Him as the only God, and obeying His word, or law.

You are trying to insert a soteriology argument into a Jewish conversation that is not dealing with abstract soteriological issues. We would never argue that our works *without Christ* earn us salvation. But we would argue that together with Christ's atonement our works prove our faith in Him as our only God, and thus merit for us the honor of being God's children. That is, we choose to apply the virtues of Christ in order to benefit from the atoning work of Christ.

By His answer, Jesus implicitly corrected their perception and by so doing, gave us all additional information. Where in the verse does it say "you are to do the works that God has for you", because I couldn't find anything close to it there? I think what you've accused me of doing, you have done. Your interpretation cannot be correct because it is impossible that everyone ever born has been offered salvation. If it was offered, where, how and when did it occur?
Israel generally was promised a time when they would no longer be cursed by the oppression of their enemies. This would come, somehow, by Messiah. And the Prophets threw in a few references to resurrection, indicating there would be a return to the Tree of Life, pacifying any judgment from God and preventing angelic judgment.

This was "national salvation," but can also be individualized, because some were faithful and some were not. Jesus suggested that those who would be saved were those who chose him as the Son of God, representing the Messiah of the only God. They would then obey His word, and not the word of any other so-called god. In believing in the one true God, and in obeying His laws, a few would show their faithfulness and thus find a path back to the Tree of Life, and to eternal fellowship with God.

This was how the Law of Moses was to operate, to lead Jews to salvation, even though this was impossible apart from Christ's atonement and apart from connecting, spiritually, with Christ himself. But you're adding all of this theology back into a simple conversation, and get it quite confused.

I have no idea. The opinions of commentators are of no interest to me and I do not follow any. I only place credence in the Bible alone.
I recommend you read some of the historic commentators. They are not perfect, because they are subject to their own time and influences. But they can be very helpful! They've tread over material long ago that we may just be scratching the surface of now.
 

rogerg

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Jul 13, 2021
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We're going to have to agree to disagree. In my view, there is no way Jesus, in this conversation, is discussing the finer points of Grace vs. Works. He was simply answering the question, "What must we do?"
Yeah I think we're at the agree to disagree point. To me, we're saved exclusively by God's grace which is freely given as a gift to some and that we should not attempt to add to it- Christ has done it all for us -- we're simply recipients. I think you believe otherwise - that somehow the following of law to some degree is necessary for salvation.
Anyway ttyl
 
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There is a tension in my mind in attempt to grasp these.
God is completely sovereign. God does not need man; man needs God.

All humanity is wholly and totally corrupt. All are spiritually dead in trespasses and sins. No one can help themselves spiritually.

No one can help God save themselves. God saves those who were predestinated in eternity past who would respond to God's good news.

God's grace is HIS unearned favor. God's mercy is HIS withholding of our just punishment.

Salvation and Faith are gifts from God, both of which are unearned. Salvation is the gift unto which we have eternal life. Faith is the gift unto which we are given the ability to respond to God's good news.

When man responds to God's grace offer, man is given the gifts of salvation and faith.

When man refuses to respond to God's grace offer, the gifts of salvation and faith are withheld, and man is given over to a reprobate mind.

In the end, of those that are saved and of those that are not, none can claim that were treated unfairly by God. The saved wanted to be saved, the condemned did not.
 
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God is completely sovereign. God does not need man; man needs God.

All humanity is wholly and totally corrupt. All are spiritually dead in trespasses and sins. No one can help themselves spiritually.

No one can help God save themselves. God saves those who were predestinated in eternity past who would respond to God's good news.

God's grace is HIS unearned favor. God's mercy is HIS withholding of our just punishment.

Salvation and Faith are gifts from God, both of which are unearned. Salvation is the gift unto which we have eternal life. Faith is the gift unto which we are given the ability to respond to God's good news.

When man responds to God's grace offer, man is given the gifts of salvation and faith.

When man refuses to respond to God's grace offer, the gifts of salvation and faith are withheld, and man is given over to a reprobate mind.

In the end, of those that are saved and of those that are not, none can claim that were treated unfairly by God. The saved wanted to be saved, the condemned did not.

Well, you obviously hold to the Calvinist doctrine of total depravity and perseverance of the saints which Arminians such as myself hold as false. It's a matter of what doctrines a Christian holds to. Some believe in Calvinist doctrines and others don't. A Calvinist view that believes man cannot reject the free gift of salvation is commonplace and so is the opposing view as well.
 
Apr 12, 2021
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Well, you obviously hold to the Calvinist doctrine of total depravity and perseverance of the saints which Arminians such as myself hold as false. It's a matter of what doctrines a Christian holds to. Some believe in Calvinist doctrines and others don't. A Calvinist view that believes man cannot reject the free gift of salvation is commonplace and so is the opposing view as well.
I believe the Word of God teaches what I've written in my message, but I have never called myself a Calvinist. I have studied reformed theology somewhat, and I'm still learning.
 

randyk

Well-known member
Jan 14, 2021
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Pacific NW USA
Yeah I think we're at the agree to disagree point. To me, we're saved exclusively by God's grace which is freely given as a gift to some and that we should not attempt to add to it- Christ has done it all for us -- we're simply recipients. I think you believe otherwise - that somehow the following of law to some degree is necessary for salvation.
Anyway ttyl
Yes, it's okay. But I don't want anyone to think that we helped Jesus in any way atone for our sins. That much you can be sure that I agree with you. The idea that we need do nothing I can't agree with, and I doubt you believe that either?
 

rogerg

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Jul 13, 2021
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Yes, it's okay. But I don't want anyone to think that we helped Jesus in any way atone for our sins. That much you can be sure that I agree with you. The idea that we need do nothing I can't agree with, and I doubt you believe that either?
Sorry randy, I'm not sure i exactly follow your questions. I DO NOT believe that anyone, in any way, helped Jesus regarding His achieving of salvation ( for those that He came to save). I DO believe that we can do absolutely nothing to contribute to our salvation - it is completely a gift from Him. God the Father tells us in the Bible that He would send a Savior to save His people from their sin- meaning saved to the uttermost, with nothing whatsoever remaining. Consequently, we are to rest (cease from works) in Him in faith (a faith also given as a gift). Should we do otherwise, in effect, we would be calling God a liar. This is not to say that Christians aren't called unto good works by God because they are, but as a result of becoming saved not as an attempt to contribute to it. God the Father and Jesus Christ should be given all of the glory (from us) for salvation, and we, being only its beneficiaries, should seek none.
Not sure I answered your questions. If not, please don't hesitate to let me know and I'll try to clarify
 

randyk

Well-known member
Jan 14, 2021
902
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Pacific NW USA
Sorry randy, I'm not sure i exactly follow your questions. I DO NOT believe that anyone, in any way, helped Jesus regarding His achieving of salvation ( for those that He came to save). I DO believe that we can do absolutely nothing to contribute to our salvation - it is completely a gift from Him. God the Father tells us in the Bible that He would send a Savior to save His people from their sin- meaning saved to the uttermost, with nothing whatsoever remaining.
I don't see anything difficult about my post. I was clarifying that I do not believe in the heretical position that fallen mankind can participate in Christ's exclusive work of atonement. Is that too difficult to comprehend? Or do you just wish to win an argument by painting your adversary as a heretic? If you're a faithful, practicing Christian you should be concerned about heresies, yes. But you should also try to avoid slandering your brother.

Don't even remotely suggest that I believe what you're saying, that "anyone helped Jesus regarding his achieving of salvation." I haven't said this anywhere in our exchange of posts, and I'm not sure why you bring it up now, as we were making finishing remarks?

I *never* said that we "contribute to our salvation," nor have I suggested that what Christ did for us is anything but a "gift from him." But saying that we have to do works every Christian should agree on, unless you wish to teach antinomianism? Jesus gave 2 commandments, to love God and to love our neighbor. And you can't read James, Peter, and John without realizing that that's precisely what they're teaching, that our salvation must be coupled with good works. If not, for what purpose were we saved, to continue living in our carnal nature?

Consequently, we are to rest (cease from works) in Him in faith (a faith also given as a gift). Should we do otherwise, in effect, we would be calling God a liar. This is not to say that Christians aren't called unto good works by God because they are, but as a result of becoming saved not as an attempt to contribute to it. God the Father and Jesus Christ should be given all of the glory (from us) for salvation, and we, being only its beneficiaries, should seek none.
Not sure I answered your questions. If not, please don't hesitate to let me know and I'll try to clarify
When you say we are to "cease from works" there is indication of a break in our communication. We're not on the same page. You seem to be talking about not working as part of earning our own salvation, and I'm talking about putting into action Christ's virtue in our lives through his salvation.

The Jews, of course, never could earn their own salvation. But they were on track to doing works as part of the process of leading to their salvation, which is very different from participating in Christ's work of atonement. They offered animal sacrifices, which was acceptable to God, but this never meant they obtained eternal atonement through them. They only did works in the process of faith that was to lead to Christ's exclusive work of atonement.

Work has always been part of the process of working towards salvation, or part of the program that follows salvation. We are saved in order to return to status with God, living in Him, and Him in us. You have to recognize this distinction or forever not communicate on this subject.

James 1.22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
1 Peter 1.15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
1 John 2.1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.
 
E

eternally-gratefull

Guest
Well, you obviously hold to the Calvinist doctrine of total depravity and perseverance of the saints which Arminians such as myself hold as false. It's a matter of what doctrines a Christian holds to. Some believe in Calvinist doctrines and others don't. A Calvinist view that believes man cannot reject the free gift of salvation is commonplace and so is the opposing view as well.
He does not believe in eternal security. You need to listen to what he says more and ask questions.
 
Apr 12, 2021
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Well, you obviously hold to the Calvinist doctrine of total depravity and perseverance of the saints which Arminians such as myself hold as false. It's a matter of what doctrines a Christian holds to. Some believe in Calvinist doctrines and others don't. A Calvinist view that believes man cannot reject the free gift of salvation is commonplace and so is the opposing view as well.
As I see it, it's an intrafamilial matter: one says they follow reformed theology as taught by Calvin, the other says Arminius, but in the end both are lovers of God our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
 

Pilgrimshope

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Sep 2, 2020
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There is a tension in my mind in attempt to grasp these. If there is freewill, it means your actions determine your outcome. If there is predestination, it means no matter what you do, you cant alter the outcome. But both above are mentioned in bible, which contradicts one another. Someone pls enlighten me thanks.
mankind was given freedom and choice from the start , we used it to follow Satan and cursed the earth and all creation .

we became servants to Satan in the world rather than God Satan made us slaves to sin

Christ has now come to offer freedom from it again giving us freedom back to choose life or death
 
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Predestined, but we must take the branches that we float around under in the river of life, before the the waterfall. That means clarity of vision, waking up, confidence and courage. And the devil also has thorny branches over the river, without clarity, we may grab one of them. I have been very bad at deciding and taking choices, when I should, so I have not had much freewill or will in the past. In retrospect I see a bunch of obvious good branches I should have taken hold of. By realizing it now, there are not really many choices to make, but it lead me to faith in realizing it, so, all good.
 

rogerg

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Jul 13, 2021
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I don't see anything difficult about my post. I was clarifying that I do not believe in the heretical position that fallen mankind can participate in Christ's exclusive work of atonement. Is that too difficult to comprehend? Or do you just wish to win an argument by painting your adversary as a heretic? If you're a faithful, practicing Christian you should be concerned about heresies, yes. But you should also try to avoid slandering your brother.
you've lost me. Is that what I did? Didn't you ask me the questions? I replied with my belief. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall mentioning you in it at all. If you see yourself, that's on you, not me. No slander was intended. I thought it was a religious discussion based upon what we each believe.

When you say we are to "cease from works" there is indication of a break in our communication. We're not on the same page. You seem to be talking about not working as part of earning our own salvation, and I'm talking about putting into action Christ's virtue in our lives through his salvation.
Yes, that's correct. I think we're not on the same page that's why I suggested that we should agree to disagree. I was primarily talking about the flaw in the concept of trying to earn salvation in any form, but also included "This is not to say that Christians aren't called unto good works by God because they are, but as a result of becoming saved not as an attempt to contribute to it. "

The Jews, of course, never could earn their own salvation. But they were on track to doing works as part of the process of leading to their salvation, which is very different from participating in Christ's work of atonement. They offered animal sacrifices, which was acceptable to God, but this never meant they obtained eternal atonement through them. They only did works in the process of faith that was to lead to Christ's exclusive work of atonement.
Disagree. What does "in the process of faith" even mean, please explain? Faith is either given as a gift to someone or it's not. True faith in Christ is a gift, not as something to be acquired by any individual.

Work has always been part of the process of working towards salvation, or part of the program that follows salvation. We are saved in order to return to status with God, living in Him, and Him in us. You have to recognize this distinction or forever not communicate on this subject.
Disagree. Works, except Christ's works, have never a part of "the process of working towards salvation". There are no works that can lead to salvation, only away from it. Maybe I'm missing it, but it sounds like you contradict you previous statement.
 
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I believe the Word of God teaches what I've written in my message, but I have never called myself a Calvinist. I have studied reformed theology somewhat, and I'm still learning.
He does not believe in eternal security. You need to listen to what he says more and ask questions.
I believe the Word of God teaches what I've written in my message, but I have never called myself a Calvinist. I have studied reformed theology somewhat, and I'm still learning.

Yes, I'm obviously still learning as well Jerry. My apologies brother for referring to you as a Calvinist. I guess I meant it loosely. I see now that a Christian can believe in one of the Calvinist doctrines and consider oneself part of the reformed tradition and not a Calvinist.
 
E

eternally-gratefull

Guest
Yes, I'm obviously still learning as well Jerry. My apologies brother for referring to you as a Calvinist. I guess I meant it loosely. I see now that a Christian can believe in one of the Calvinist doctrines and consider oneself part of the reformed tradition and not a Calvinist.
I always recommend here to try to listen to people openly and not try to put them under a denomination at all, that’s why we misunderstand so many people and can’t have a good conversation, because we think things about the other not true

sadly I think we are taught to do this in many of our churches, which is sad