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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « Psalm Twenty-Three: The LORD is My Shepherd | Main | Images of the Savior (8 - Othniel) »

    Free will vs. blasphemy of the Holy Spirit

    Visitor:

    Free will vs. blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Please help me to understand how it is possible to blasphem against the Holy Spirit if man does not have free-will. ESV by Crossway notes at Luke 12:10?????????????

    Response:
    Apart from God's grace in Christ, no one believes the gospel. That man needs God's grace to believe (John 6:6:63-65) is itself proof that man has no free will. Left to himself he remains in bondage to sin.... Is He not? Ask yourself a simple question: Does the Bible teach that a person can come to faith in Christ apart from any work of the Holy Spirit? No, in his native, fallen, unregenerate state man will always choose to reject Christ. No one is coercing him to reject Christ, he does so voluntarily because his heart is corrupt and loves darkness. (John 3:19, 20)

    You may ask, how can he be responsible then? Answer. Consider if a man borrowed $1 billion from the bank to finance a new company. Instead the man squandered the money in a week of wild living in Las Vegas. Is he responsible to repay the debt to the bank? Of course. Is he able to repay? No, he is bankrupt. So his inability to repay the bank does not alleviate him of his responsibility. Likewise God commands men everywhere to perfectly obey His commandments. Do they? no. Are they responsible to obey? Yes. So again inability does not alleviate responsibility. God likewise commands us to repent and believe the gospel? Can we do so apart from His Holy Spirit and grace ? No? Are we responsible to believe nonetheless? Yes. Our inability to believe is because, in Adam, we are sinners by nature and we continue to choose to sin. Unless God renews our heart to understand spiritual things we would never believe the gospel. (1 Cor 2:14).

    So regarding your question about blaspheming the Holy Spirit. All those who reject the gospel, in the end, have blasphemed the Holy Spirit. They are completely responsible for their rejection of Christ (Whom the Holy Spirit gives witness). Furthermore, God is not obligated to save anyone ... and the greatest judgment is to leave them to their own so-called "free-will. So anyone who is saved can give God the glory for it was purely a work of His mercy and grace, in spite of ourselves. Praise the Lord.

    Hope this helps
    John H.

    Posted by John on October 12, 2010 05:33 PM

    Comments

    This seems to me a very weak example of what is happening, and does not answer the question at all. You have not approached the subject of how a man can be held accountable for his actions. In your example, a man goes to the bank with no debt, and spends it foolishly. However, that is not what is generally taught about man's sin nature. It is more appropriate if you say that man is born with 1 billion in debt, told he is unable to work to even pay off the starting debt, and then accumulates more on the way. With out the Messiah, all are doomed to seemingly spend eternity in tortuous punishment for a debt we did NOT choose to start out with, nor were we allowed to choose to have a nature that would not accumulate more debt. Then the Messiah does come, saves only those He chooses. The rest apparently can't choose say yes to Him, since the only way to say yes is to be picked. So the rest are left to eternal torment to pay a debt that started at birth and did not have a choice.

    So if the only choice is really God picking to save us, how is there true accountability and justice?

    I see it if we have at least a limited will, in which we truly can say yes or no to the offer of salvation, then you have the possibility of man being accountable.

    John,

    Thanks for the response. I am an earnest believer in the Doctrines of Grace but have a further question generated by your illustration of the debt owed but of the inability to pay it. The inability that reformed believers speak of is an inability to believe/obey that is different than the inability to repay the debt of sin.

    Inability in reality, it seems, is related to and stems directly from original sin which is either (1)not our debt responsibility in terms of sin punishment or (2) is our responsibility in terms of being born in Adam.

    Inability in the question posed to you has to do with the inability not to borrow the money in the first place rather than the inability to repay it after it is squandered.

    Good point about the $. The only thing I would change is that I would say, "My dad took out the loan and wasn't able to pay it back...and hence, I was born into his debt, which became my own and in time I added to this $ which i cannot pay back."

    For My great grand father (Adam) past his debt down to his descendants and since it was an infinite debt (aka sin), I cannot pay it back, but only add to it.

    None of us are responsible for anyones sins but our own.How can I be responsible for your sins? If I do sin it is my fault not yours! If I repent of my sin and truely in my heart am sorry I will be forgivin. I then become one step closer to becomming like Jesus or his Father the Holy Spirit. I will reveal my Fathers name to those whom I have chosen.Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!!! Dont do eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. Turn the other cheek and you will be a much better and happier person.

    Come on guys. Its not rocket science.Treat people the way youd like to be treated.If you do something wrong change it. Just be a nice person. Is that easy enough for you to understand ? I work for the Holy Spirit and we cant make it any simpler than that......

    As usual this was a thoughtful submit today. You make me want to preserve coming back and forwarding it my followers?-.

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