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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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  • « Live Where the People Are | Main | "God's fulfills His Plan Without Ever Coercing Our Volition"? - Is this True? »

    He either is morally able or he is not commanded?

    from an ongoing conversation ...

    Me: "...On the contrary, man is completely responsible to believe the gospel. To repent and believe is an imperative (a command) that man is completely responsible to obey. However, that does not mean he is morally able to do so."

    Visitor: He either is morally able or he is not commanded. For the record, I am a raging Calvarminan.

    Response: As an everyday example ... If you borrowed $100 million from a bank to establish a new venture but then squandered it an a week of wild living in Vegas, does your inability to repay the bank alleviate you of the responsibility to do so? No of course not. So if in an every day example this proves inability does not undo our responsibility, how much more so with God, to whom we have a debt we cannot repay. Therefore his commands to obey do not mean man is morally able. After the fall God does not change his standard simply because we are sinful.... but thanks be to God, in Christ Jesus He pays our debts in FULL.

    The imperatives or commands of God were not given to show our ability, but our inability. In Rom 3:20 Paul says this very thing: "...through the law comes knowledge of sin." The law, in other words does not reveal ability but our impotence. ...the commandments are not given pointlessly; but FOR THE PURPOSE that through them the proud, blind man may learn the plague of his impotence, if he tries to do as he is commanded. Does it follow from the command: 'turn"' that therefore you CAN turn? Does it follow from "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart' (Deut 6.5) that therefore you can love with all your heart? it does not follow. ... ...

    Just for the record, there is no such thing as a Calvarminan, you are EITHER a monergist or a synergist. There is no middle ground. Either you believe the work of regeneration is Christ alone (Monergism) or you believe it is Christ PLUS your UNREGNERATE will (synergism) . But the Bible declares that faith is not the product of our unregenerated human nature.

    John 6:37 says >>"ALL THAT THE FATHER GIVES TO ME WILL COME TO ME". Let me ask ... according to this verse how many people will come to Jesus who the Father gives to Him? Some? No the Text unambiguously says "ALL" that the Father gives the Son will believe the gospel. ALL ... not some.

    Posted by John on June 23, 2011 02:00 PM

    Comments

    The absolute best response to this issue I have ever read. Excllent explanation.

    The absolute best response to this issue I have ever read. Excllent explanation.

    Great explanation -- just because we're obligated and have a responsiblity, it doesn't necessarily follow that we have the ability and means to do do so. I would wonder though, whether after one is regenerate whether God's command -His Word- doesn't in a sense carry the power to obey, by the power of the Holy Spirit that is. Not necessarily meaning that we can obey perfectly, but that as His new creations, the power of His Word contains the ability that we need and is imparted somehow to us by the Holy Spirit.
    Just sort of thinking out loud. Not sure if I'm making sense though.

    Deb,

    Oh there is no doubt about it. When God grants a new heart, faith infallibly follows. Prior to regeneration it was not possible to obey the gospel. In regeneration God gives new desires, a new creation, a love for God that had not existed beforehand. In this we have been set free to follow Christ.

    In answer to Deb's inquiry....
    2Co 5:14-15 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died;
    and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
    Christ is all in all in both our Justification and Sanctification, remember, "ALL THE PROMISES OF GOD IN HIM ARE YEA, AND IN HIM AMEN, UNTO THE GLORY OF GOD BY US" 2 COR 1:20

    DEB,

    I would also point you to this verse; and considering your musings out loud, maybe this verse would be an answer to consider?


    1Pe 1:5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

    Another way of saying that is, "we are being kept" for the day of salvation.

    Michael you are so correct there is such comfort found in the doctrine of the "Preservation of the Saints" that is usually past over but should be meditated on for assurance and strength especially during these times of unbelieving

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