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R.M. Archer

What do good works and believing do for us in this life? They allow us to feel the presence and blessings of God (enjoy His grace), and they glorify Him. Do you agree with me there Archer?

Yes, I would largely agree with that. They also cause others to see God through us… but that falls under “glorifying Him” closely enough that that’s really just me nitpicking, lol.

As for the KoH, I must admit, it is hard to draw exact lines on what it is. I will say this though, if you are in the KoH, you are enjoying the grace and closeness of God, and you cannot be sinning (one very common way to be in the KoH or press into as some would say is to be in church service, without sin of course). I kinda mixed up two different concepts, so I probably shouldn’t have even brought up the KoH.

Hm. I still think I don’t fully agree, but this is an interesting concept I might be interested in discussing further some other time.

Yes, He created man/Adam to be a steward, but why create the Earth in the first place? One reason that I already mentioned is for His glory and praise, but other than that, we cannot know the mind of God. He did not need us, and thus his creation of us was totally unnecessary, the only thing we know is that He desire’s our praise.

Fair enough.

However, we do read that all things should be done decently and in order (1 Cor. 14:40), and that ministers are to be overseers (Acts 20:28), and taking both of those things together, I believe that elders/bishops should be the ones administering those ordiances. Can it be done without them in an orderly and decent way? Possibly, but I still believe that to keep things running properly and ideally, ministers should be the ones to do it.

That’s a fair conclusion. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it. 🙂

As for water Baptism, we clearly see that the bible teaches and shows through numerous examples that it is done (and to be done) by ordained Elders or Bishops, and no one else. You probably already know the many examples of this (such as Philip, who was at that time a elder, not a deacon), so I won’t start listing them.

For sure. I definitely see evidence for baptism being something only Church leadership ought to administer.

First, if I sin, and God predestined that it would happen, He is then causing me to sin, so thus He would be sinning (even if I am still responsible, God sinned as well). How do you explain that?

If I create a story and characters and I cause one character to steal from another, or cause one to murder another, is it sin for me to cause those characters to sin? No, because I created the thing stolen, I created the characters’ lives, and therefore I have authority to manage those creations as I know will shape the story to its proper end. God created all things and therefore has authority over all things, authority to give and to take, be that property or life or anything else created. He is also not subject to the same moral law that we are since He created the moral law that He put in place for mankind. One cannot be subject to something that they themselves created; they are, of necessity, outside of it. It’s a similar principle to what Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 15:27 when he says that when God promises to place all things under Jesus’s feet, obviously that cannot include God Himself since God is the one who placed all things under Jesus in the first place. God must operate according to His character–in justice and love–but He has authority over creation that we do not and therefore our moral law that He designed for us was designed so as to prevent us from taking His authority into our own hands. He still has absolute authority over what He has created.

Secondly, I find no verses stating that absolutism is true. We find predestination in the context of sending his elect to heaven one day, but that is it. What verse would you use in support of this belief of absolutism?

I have a whole document listing verses that support various aspects of Total Sovereignty (predestination/election, God as the bringer of calamity as well as prosperity, absolutism, etc.). With a little bit of time I can go through and highlight the ones that support absolutism specifically and post a link to the document.

Uhh…I also believe in the TULIP, and the way you stated Irresistible Grace(IG) is right, but that does not answer the question. As you said, IG is God calling us from death to life when we are born again, and we can not deny that. However, that does not mean we will do as we should and belief in His word and follow His statues. An example of this is some guy in Africa who is born again and yet lives His whole life in ignorant unbelief and sin because he doesn’t have access to the bible or preaching. Another example is a man who is born again, but is just stubborn, and won’t listen to the bible or preaching even if he does have access to them. That doesn’t mean God failed at calling him and borning him again, it just means he is a stubborn sinner. That was my point.

Oh, I think I didn’t fully understand your initial question. Sorry.

I’ll tackle your second example first, since it’s the easier for me to answer. I would have a very hard time believing that someone truly born again would stubbornly continue in sin. Now, let me clarify a little bit because I know that could be misconstrued. I do think that Christians are just as prone to particular “pet sins” as anyone else; sometimes there is a particular sin or two or three that we cling to for a while. However, if the Holy Spirit is truly within us prodding us to get rid of them, as He is if we are truly born again, then they will eventually come to light and we will desire to reject them. It might take a while, but the Holy Spirit doesn’t just let people hold onto sin forever. If there’s no fruit in due season, it’s evidence that the tree is dead. So I don’t think people can be truly born again and stubborn in their sin and refusal to seek after God. The truly born again want God.

The first example is a little tougher for me because 1) I want more context (how was this guy saved?) and 2) I’m trying to figure out how the balance of ignorance comes in. On the one hand, sin is sin, period. On the other hand, sin is given life by the law; we don’t know sin without the law. (Romans 7) But, regardless of that, we do all have some basic understanding of morality simply by existing as moral creatures, and the Spirit informs the conscience of a believer even further. Our conscience can be influenced by the Spirit through Scripture or directly. Members of the early church were making conscience calls about food sacrificed to idols before the Bible was available to inform their decisions. (Of course, Paul’s letters addressed that, but it was after conscience had already decided for many of the people struggling with it, otherwise Paul wouldn’t have talked about considering the consciences of others.) So while it’s a hypothetical situation, I believe God would equip those with His Spirit to follow His commands through the Spirit.

I agree with that statement so much, and yet I also disagree in what you consider the doctrine of perseverance. I belief that the p in tulip is Preservation, meaning those God chooses and calls will never fall from His hand, His grace (exactly what you said). And yet, that does not mean they will persevere in good works. It does mean that the new man (the spirit of God in them) will prompt them to good works and to belief (as you said), but that doesn’t mean they will obey. Paul even talks about how he often disobeys God. He also talks at the end of Romans 8 about how nothing in the world, not even their own sin, can remove them from God’s grace. Thus we see that even though a person is born again (and might have even been a believer in works and speech at one time), that doesn’t mean they will continue in good works, it only means the spirit will continue to prompt them.

I think we might be experiencing a communication breakdown on this point. I think my use of “perseverance” and yours might not be matching up. I meant to refer to a general pattern over a believer’s lifetime; you seem to be interpreting “perseverance” to mean it’s a constant thing? Is that correct? Believers still absolutely struggle with sin and fail time and time again to listen to the Spirit’s prompting. However, true believers still seek to follow the Spirit’s leading and are able to succeed in righteousness through the power of the Spirit when they repent of their sin (by which I mean repentance of recent sin, not the initial and permanent repentance at the time of salvation) and turn from it to pursue righteousness again. Does that make sense? I’m not certain I’m articulating as clearly as I would like. 😛

Speculative fiction author. Mythology nerd. Worldbuilding enthusiast. Singer. Fan of classic literature.

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