Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Thoughts About Ability And Inability.

Here are some fairly unprocessed thoughts on the subject of inability as described by Calvinism's TULIP.

Please comment and discuss. I don't have a solid teaching to do on these and would really like to learn with you all. I'm just copy and pasting from an email I sent myself from work earlier.

It's said that people can't simply receive the Gospel unless they are first "born again" (regenerated) because Scripture says "none seek after God." There are several problems with such a statement but the first is immediately obvious. The Scriptures don't say that none who are unregenerate seek after God, they say that "none" do. So regeneration isn't the issue. Secondly, we read in Scripture that God rewards those who seek after Him and that Salvation is a gift, not a reward. So the issue about how people get saved is not if they seek or not.

The faith of Adam. Immediately after God cursed the universe because Adam had heeded the word of the woman and eaten the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil Adam named the woman Eve. He chose this name because she was the mother of all living. Amazingly enough, God had just told them that they would die but Adam had faith in God. He believed that God would continue to give life. Right after Adam chose that name God provided the first sacrifice to cover their nakedness. God didn't first provide the covering before Adam could exercise faith. God saved Adam who had faith in Him, not the other way around.Obviously Adam was able to have faith in God immediately after the Curse.

Ps 58:3-5 says

3 The wicked are estranged from the womb;

They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.

4 Their poison is like the poison of a serpent;

They are like the deaf cobra that stops its ear,

5 Which will not heed the voice of charmers,

Charming ever so skillfully.

This shows us that the person is not overcome by the skill of the Evangelist. The person who is being witnessed to "stops" his ear. Not that he's unable to hear, but he willingly stops his ear from hearing.


bp said...

Kev, John 3 gives a clear explanation of why "none" seek God, and yet why some actually do. I'd encourage you to study it.

"This is the judgment, that light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light lest his deeds should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light so that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been carried out in God."

John is clear here that nobody comes to the light because of wicked deeds (that's all of us). And yet, miraculously, there are some who actually DO come to the light. And his explanation for the difference between those who don't and those who do is GOD.

John is not merely saying that man cannot be saved apart from some sort of prevenient grace by God. He is contrasting those who don't come (which initially is everyone of us) with those who do come, the difference being God's doing.

Please study this kev.

Kevl said...

Hi Bridget, people are not saved because they "seek" God. They are saved because they "receive" God.

God is a "rewarder" of those who seek Him, but He gives the "free gift" of Salvation to those who receive him.

Failure to see the very clearly defined differences between Discipleship and Evangelism causes some people who teach to lead people astray.


bp said...

If this isn’t a work of salvation by God here, what point is John (God) making? That though everyone hates the light and refuses to come, God draws some people to the light so that they can then choose to make a decision, so that it may be clearly seen that God drew them so they could choose? If God draws someone and there’s this miracle taking place, but the person decides not to receive Christ, how is this clear to anyone that God was at work?

Kev, John is clearly speaking of salvation in these passages. Read 16-18 before it. If all of us hated the light and refused to come to it because of our wicked deeds, and then all of a sudden we turn to what we hated and come to Jesus, this IS salvation. This work of salvation in us is the “work” that is done so that it can be clearly seen it is carried out in God.

p.s. How is God a “rewarder” of those who seek Him but don’t choose to receive Him?

bp said...

Hi Kev,
I apologize if I’ve come across as combative. I continue to read your blog from time to time, and sometimes I’ll read something you wrote and feel that Scripture so clearly teaches the opposite, and in responding, my passion can come across that way. Please forgive me. I probably just need to stop reading what makes me so agitated. :) :)

May God truly bless you, kev.

Kevl said...

Bridget I haven't been able to get back to this thread.

I will try to shortly.


bp said...

that's ok. We've been through it all. No need to respond.