As JoshuaB has stated in another thread repentance itself is actually a work of the Lord.
Before one can "repent" they first have to be "convicted", that is come to realization they are "wrong", they are "sinful", they are in NEED of "repentance.
The only way that can happen is if the LORD "convicts" you of your sins. What I mean by that is when the Lord impresses upon you that you are in bad shape and need "fixing".
No person comes to the Lord on their own accord BUT are rather drawn to Him.
So to answer your question the whole idea of "repentance" comes from the Lord. He is the one who even puts the idea for us to "repent" inside of our hearts to begin with.
Repentance isn't an add on to faith BUT rather something which draws one to faith.
Repentance puts us into that position to say "what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30-31)
There are many people in this world who will miss out on salvation because they have no "conviction" within them. That is, they have no desire to "repent". Because in order to repent you have to have a sense that you are wrong. And because some people don't feel they are wrong or doing wrong they don't have the conviction to repent. Such people have "harden hearts".
They hear the message but it doesn't penetrate their hard hearts.
Brother, I hear you and I understand your point tho I disagree with it. If you say that repentance is a work of God, then why does He call us to repent? Why does He not repent for us? Furthermore, repentance is not faith, but IMHO a reaction to faith. But it's a necessary condition to salvation per the scriptures. But repentance is not a work or an effort that is awarded credit with God. Like someone trying to work off a debt. Rather it's a change of heart, a turning around, an about face to God. It's a surrendering. But it's us who must surrender. God doesn't surrender us Himself, He calls us all to repent. If He doesn't then He becomes the great puppet master and we are merely automatons. Faith precedes repentance. But faith alone without repentance is as James would call it "dead faith." Since it isn't lived out. Faith is more than a heart/mind thought/feeling. It's demonstrable, tangible, and observable. Abraham had to prepare to offer up Isaac and even lifted the kife over him before God stopped him. His faith needed to be demonstrated. Read Hebrews 11 and the heroes of faith. Which if any of them did not demonstrate their faith through tangible, demonstrable events? The same is true today IMHO. We have faith in God. This leads me to repent and be baptized for the remission of my sins and then I receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. And IMHO this is the repeatable NT conversion example that we have in the book of Acts.
There is no such thing as dead faith. There is either faith or there is not. Those who have faith are "Called unto good works" and thats why they repent. Its an act of the spirit. Who called them unto good works? How did they hear the call?
2nd tim 2:25-26 clearly shows repentance as an act of God.
25Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
On the other hand if you look at acts 11, its described as an act performed by man, so really, we can safely conclude that while it is an act of God that someone repents, they are held responsible for thier repentance, or the lack thereof.
By contrast, The new birth is NEVER, not once described as an act of anyone other than God. Its alwasy described as the sovriegn work of God. Be Born is a passive verb, believe, repent, those are active verbs. Those who are born again are recipients, You do not volenteer to be born, its just something that happens.
If i was to sign up for the army, that would be a decision I am free to make, however, I am not free to choose my family. That is something I cannot determine. When Jesus compares the start of the christian life to birth, which of these do you think he had in mind?
At best John 3:5 is a clumsy metaphor if it means what those who say you must be born again this way. Who can birth himself? I dont know anyone whose ever given birth to themselves.
James also illustrates this perfectly in chapter 1
18He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Also, John 1:12-13 illustrates this
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
Now I understand that for us, in reality, does it make that big of a difference? No...but it does to the evangelist, because it effects the way that he presents the entire gospel message, and how he tells people to be saved.
In order for a person to "repent" they have to have a sense of guilt. They have be "convicted of something. They have to come to some knowledge of their wrong doing.
No person comes to this on their own. There has to be an outside mechanism in the process.
No person can ever say they have a need of something or need to do something if they have no clue of that need to begin with. No person will come to the conclusion on their own they need to repent if they have no knowledge or understanding they are in the wrong to begin with.
This is why repentance is a calling and act of God because He is the one who initates within us the "need" to repent. He is the one who tells us we miss the mark. We can't do that for ourselves if we don't even realize or know there is a "mark" that we're missing or off track of.
m.g. so you're saying that God sovereignly chooses who to accept into His kingdom and who to damn totally independant of human interaction? Is that right? And if so, you're okay with that? Just curious.
But aside from the human rationale/character of God side of the argument how do you deal w/this:
2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
If God desires everyone to repent, yet all don't repent, and you say only God can give us repentance, it would seem that God is the source for His own displeasure. Furthermore, the gymnastics one has to use to interpret all the "repent or else" verses in scripture is worthy of an olympic gold medal. It seems more reasonable to me, to allow for the general tenor of scripture to interpret a few problematic verses than to allow one or two sticky verses to color the majority of verses which speak to the topic.
way to go man....great point
Scriptures like John 3:16 are not compelling for free will because God always puts a qualification on the circumstance. Example: "for God so loved the world that whosoever would believe should not perish..." The qualification on whosoever is "believe". We know that faith comes from God (1 Cor 12). So those scriptures are not compelling for free will, but this one (at first glance) seems to be very compelling. Let's probe a little deeper.
We will ignore the fact that it says us-ward. The very fact that it does, could compell one to believe that this is directed to only christians. For the sake of the free will stance we will assume it is refering to all people.
What does that word "willing" mean? God is not willing means God does not want. If you read NIV the word want is used. They both mean the same thing. A want is a reflection of a desire. A desire is not the same thing as a plan. A person's desires can be contridictory to his plans.
Here is an example. Let's say that you are on a diet.You go into the grocery store and see a chocolate chip cookie at the bakery section. Your mouth begins to water because you really want that cookie. You walk past the bakery and pick up some lettuce. You then leave the store. Why didn't you get the cookie? Because your desire/want was contridictory to your plan. You wanted the cookie but had planned to diet. Your plan wins out over your wants (unless your in tough fighter shape like us, then you can handle cookies maybe)
The same thing is true with God. There are times when God desires things that are not a part of His plan. God is not a one dementional character! Sometimes God suppresses His wrath in favor of mercy. Sometimes he suppresses mercy in favor of righteous judgement. Sometimes they work together like in the blood of Jesus Christ. Let's give an example from scripture.
In Matthew 23:37 Jesus says,
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
then in Romans 11:8 & 11,
"Ro 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. 11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for [purpose giving phrase] to provoke them to jealousy."
and in verse 25, "...blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."
See in Matthew 23 Jesus says he wanted all of Israel to come to Him, but they would not. Why wouldn't they? God gave them a spirit of slumber so that they would not see or hear unto this day. You say, "That seems kind of cruel why would God do that." So that the fulness of the gentiles could come in. See salvation came to most believers through the disobedience of Israel. This is just one example but the point is made. According to Romans 9 God hardens whomever he wants to harden and he has mercy on whomever he decides to have mercy. He brought us in this world and he can take us out. :)
I hear you and understand you. As I've done the whole Calvinist -vs- Arminian thing many moons ago. I however, believe in free will. Further, I believe God has sovereignly chosen for man to have free will and freely accept or reject His work of Calvary. I believe God calls all men, not just the elect. I believe the elect are those who God foreknew and predestined accordingly. And we could volley back and forth and back and forth on this topic alone. Yet, you'd still feel as though I was detracting from the sovereignty of God and I'd still feel as though you're ignoring God's sovereign plan of man's free will.
In any event, I'm still correct. In fact, I faked a head snap and shot an outside single leg for the takedown. Then I rather clumsily worked to a side control only to be put in the guard until time ran out. So unless they're given points for going to guard I'm still the winner by 2 points.
dude I dunno, Im pretty good at submitting from the guard... ;)
I understand what you mean buddy, no hard feelings, just gotta write whats in my heart.
I appreciate all of your comments:
Josh: If Romans 10 is the plan of salvation, then how is it that the believers in Samaria believed in Jesus but didn't yet have the Spirit?
Because they hadn't recieved baptism by the holy spirit. They had been baptised with water, not with the holy spirit, two separate things Rooster.
me: Josh, you've missed my point...If the Romans road is the plan of salvation. One is to confess Jesus as Lord and Saviour and thou shall (future tense) be saved" then I'm assuming that at that point, you've recieved the Holy Spirit. By compare/contrast was that according to your theology based on the "Romans Road", the Samaritans should have already had the Holy Spirit! They did believe (Mark 16:16 and John 3:16) yet they were not saved yet?!?!!?!!?
No one has answered this yet.
Further, why isn't confession of Jesus as Lord and Saviour a "work"?
I'm not to sure where you're getting this from:
"m.g. so you're saying that God sovereignly chooses who to accept into His kingdom and who to damn totally independant of human interaction? Is that right? And if so, you're okay with that? Just curious"
in my post.
I'm simply suggest God is the one who initiates the idea of repentance in the hearts of men (humankind).
People "repent" of sin or wrongdoing only when they are shown the "need" for it. This is called "conviction". No one is sorry for a crime they didn't commit only for one they did commit. This act of "repentance" comes about when one is "convicted" of an act for which one has to repent for. And in order to be convicted one has to be placed in a position where they are "caught in the act" so to speak.
Many people don't repent because they aren't convicted.
They don't feel they have done anything wrong thus they don't feel they need to repent.
The key point is "they don't feel". In other words, they may hear the call to repentence but they CHOOSE not to respond to it.
Have you ever wonder why is it that out of a group of people who hear the same gospel message some believe and some don't? Like for example the group of people Paul preached to in Act 28:23-24. They all heard the same message from the same person BUT only some believed whereas others in the same group didn't.
Why? Because the gospel message didn't bring about any conviction. I should say it didn't sir up any conviction.
You see the gospel message, which is the means to salvation (Act 26:18), does three things simultaneously. It convicts, convinces, and converts.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God (Rom 10:17). The gospel is the word of God. When it is heard it is either rejected or received. When it is received it convicts, convinces and converts. It convicts by exposing ones sinfulness, it convinces by saying one needs to repent, it converts by offering Jesus. But when it is rejected it is because the hearer simply doesn't receive it. The message is profitless to them because they receive it with unbelief (Heb 2:2-11).
God desires that every repents but everyone won't because the very thing which is the catalyst for it is seen as foolishness (1 cor 1:18). BUT the good thing about God is He is longsuffering. Those who reject and won't receive the gospel are given plenty of opportunities to receive it (more so than any of us can imagine). A whole lifetime. And some may not receive it until they breath their very last. Each time one hears the gospel they are being presented salvation. It is at that moment they can receive it or reject it. Some of us, include many on this forum hear the gospel literally thousands upon thousands of times. But it doesn't produce a thing in them. BUT that isn't to say that it never will. For some it will.
People aren't drawn to God, God draws people to Him. The gospel of Jesus Christ is how God draws people toward Him. God works conviction and repentence through the Gospel message.
Josh, thanks for being real dude.
m.g. I'm having a hard time disagreeing with you bro. I agree with almost all of your above post. But... you say: "Many people don't repent because they aren't convicted." Now although I agree with you, I feel like you are implying that God is the one who brings conviction as stated here "The only way that can happen is if the LORD "convicts" you of your sins. What I mean by that is when the Lord impresses upon you that you are in bad shape and need "fixing"."
This logically leads me to deduce that you believe that God chooses to convict others and lead them to faith, repentance,etc. whilst choosing not to convict others leaving them in ignorance of their wrong doing and unable to repent. And this is where I get my above position that you ?
Or if I'm reading you wrong or reading into your post, could you clarify your position for me? Does God choose to draw some and not draw others or is His call to everyone or what? Thanks for clarifying. Sometimes we have to state and restate for the purpose of commuinicating clearly when using these types of forums.
"but I was baptised, by water and the spirit, remember?"
I know, I'm just using poor humor. Didn't you realize that people who disagree with me are barred from Heaven? 8^)
Oh and rooster, stop being soo mushy man!
"Josh, I really appreciate your spirit and I pray for you and cherish your prayers for me. Puzzled, love ya bro. MG, thanks for keeping my sword sharp, just quit baring your neck so much ;-)"
I mean, next you'll be suggesting that we remain cyber-pals with these heathens.
For real tho. You guys are all cool in my book. Even thoug you guys don't know jack about cessationists. My stupid thread fell like a milstone around the neck of a boat anchor.
Puzzled in love
You ask a very very good question.
The only way I can answer it (or attempt to answer it, I don't profess to know everything, biblical matters included) is to give you some scriptures which sort of address the issue.
Rom 1:18-32 as well as Heb 3:7-19 (which is derived from Psalms 78:1-72) suggest that God chooses to leave people to their own devices when they reject His "conviction" and call to "repentance". Thus I think God than stops trying to "convict" them and rather lets do as they "will". And the results of their own will is death and hell. So it can't be said that God sent them to hell but rather they decide for themselves to go (not consciously but by default for every decision has a consequence) because they wanted to do their own thing, follow their own way and will. And since God allow them to do as they "will" He also has granted to them to "bear" the consequence of their actions.
Incidently understand rejection comes in many forms including refusing to given an ear period.
So if God is drawing one to Him through the gospel BUT one refuses to even "consider" listening to it then ultimately God will stop trying to draw them to Him and "honor" their refusal.
It is interesting to note in all the text I mentioned in this post the people "harden" their own hearts.
Now just because a persons heart is hard doesn't mean it won't be soften. I think everyones heart was hard toward the gospel at one time or another. It is a matter of how much of the gospel message actually penetrates the heart and does its work of "conviction" "convincing" and ultimately "convertion". So over time it can work on ones heart BUT at the same instance over time it doesn't do a thing to the hearts of some.
It is said that the same sun that softens or melts ices hardens clay. Some people the more they hear the gospel the more harden they are to it. The more repulsed and sicken of it they become.
When Jesus talk about the gospel being like seeds sow on various types of soils and one of the types is a hard soil I think He is refering to a heart which is hard.
*nodding in aproval*
Okay, now I understand. You and I are in the same boat on this one. Thanks for clarifying your position bro.
Puzzled the onenessatarianarminianevangelicalpentecostalfundamentalist
mg: Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God (Rom 10:17). The gospel is the word of God. When it is heard it is either rejected or received. When it is received it convicts, convinces and converts. It convicts by exposing ones sinfulness, it convinces by saying one needs to repent, it converts by offering Jesus. But when it is rejected it is because the hearer simply doesn't receive it. The message is profitless to them because they receive it with unbelief (Heb 2:2-11).
me: isn't the fact that the receiver has to "hear the word" and receive it (from someone who witnesses to them) require the involvement of PEOPLE and thus tie it to your conception of "works" or man somehow involved in salvation?!?
mg: The only way I can answer it (or attempt to answer it, I don't profess to know everything, biblical matters included) is to give you some scriptures which sort of address the issue.
me: :-) um....want to rephrase that?!
mg: ow just because a persons heart is hard doesn't mean it won't be soften. I think everyones heart was hard toward the gospel at one time or another. It is a matter of how much of the gospel message actually penetrates the heart and does its work of "conviction" "convincing" and ultimately "convertion". So over time it can work on ones heart BUT at the same instance over time it doesn't do a thing to the hearts of some.
me: Kind of like me preaching to you about One God and the need to die with him, be buried with him and receive the infilling of his Spirit ;-)
Ok, no one who disagrees with me has yet reconciled Acts 8 and Romans 10 which is what this thread is all about.
If the Romans Road to salvation is to confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour and then you ARE saved (note: it really says SHALL BE saved), you ARE TRULY SAVED AT THAT MOMENT, then we can conclude you have the Spirit. Why is it that the believers in Samaria essentially went down that "Romans Road". They did everything you would find at any modern day baptist revival and yet, they were unsaved. Can someone reconcile?
Let's try this again:
Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
That is what many consider the NT "plan of salvation" as opposed to Acts 2:38 (8, 10, 19, 22). So, when someone "does this" (careful, that language speaks of a "work") then they are saved. Let's examine this in light of a specific body of believers who went from 'sinners' to saints:
Read Acts 8: Act 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and PREACHED CHRIST unto them.
CHRIST IS PREACHED
Act 8:6 And the people with ONE ACCORD GAVE HEED unto those things which Philip spake, HEARING and SEEING the MIRACLES which he did.
ALL THE PEOPLE GIVE ACCORD, AND THERE ARE MIRACLES
Act 8:7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed [with them]: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were HEALED.
MIRACLES ARE DEFINED
Act 8:8 And there was GREAT JOY in that city
AND WHY NOT?
Act 8:12 But when they *BELIEVED* Philip preaching the things CONCERNING the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were BAPTIZED, both men and women.
THEY *BELIEVED* AND WERE BAPTIZED!!
Act 8:14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria HAD RECEIVED the WORD of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
SAMARIA HAS RECEIVED THE WORD OF GOD.
Now, according to your statement above, they are saved. They have heard the word of God, believed the word of God, experienced miracles, joy and have been baptized. They are done! This is the perrenial baptist revival. HOWEVER, PLEASE NOTE, (CONTRARY TO YOUR THEOLOGY):
Act 8:15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
Act 8:16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
Act 8:17 Then laid they [their] hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
UP UNTIL THEY HAD RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT, THEY WERE NOT SAVED!!!
Jhn 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man HAVE NOT the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Josh, one cannot be saved w/out the Spirit yet these belivers in Samaria did not have the Spirit after they were baptized. Please consider what I have wrote. It's not that "I'm right" it's that the bible declares it to be true. There is so much more I could show in type and in word and deed, and I will be happy to share it with you. There is NOTHING that compares to the experience of being buried with Jesus and taking on his name (as a bride takes the name of her Groom).
One last point, and I don't want to digress to much. Romans 10 also states:
Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. This is just 4 short verses after the "romans road" plan.
This actually comes from the Old Testament:
Joe 2:32 And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
Now people typically suppose (especially when you show OT types of baptism) that it "doesn't count" because the Old Testament is about works. That's not true at all. The mode has changed, but never the underlying requirement. Faith plus obedience. Back in the Old Testament you had to have faith and call on the name of the Lord, but like today, that was foundational to all the preceeding actions you took that were required by God to show your faith. Noah HAD TO BUILD A BOAT, the Children of Israel HAD TO PUT BLOOD ON THEIR DOORSTOPS, Cain HAD TO OFFER A BLOOD SACRIFICE, Moses had TO CIRCUMCIZE HIS SON, Naaman HAD TO DIP IN THE JORDAN SPECIFICALLY, Joshua HAD TO CROSS OVER TO THE PROMISED LAND etc forever. It's no different today. Like then, we must have faith, we must believe, we must respond to God's call BY MEETING HIM AT THE APPOINTED PLACE AND TIME. That place is at Golgotha. We have to (as disciples or followers) take up our cross and DIE WITH HIM, BE BURIED WITH HIM AND RECEIVE HIS SPIRIT.
Yes, that is clear. You cannot be saved without the spirit and Acts says that the believers in Samaria did not have the spirit, but the baptism of the holy spirit is what gives you the holy spirit, not john's baptism, which you think to be baptism in christ. John did differeniate between the two, the believers in rome did in the letter of Hebrews, and if you followed the rest of Justin Martyr's apologetics, youd see that your position is not actually supported in the end.....Jesus himself supported this in john 3 when he likened the holy spirit to the wind. Where does it come from? Where does it go to? No one knows. The same is true with the holy spirit, it works the way it works, its mysterious, we cannot understand it...but its a real force. There is not some formula a+b+c=saved then BLAMMO you get into heaven. Unfortunately, its not this clear cut. Beyond that, I think that when you rest in Acts to determine the formulas to be followed, you risk adding traditions of Men from 2000 years ago, that where for them at that time, and going beyond what is written in the rest of the new testament.
There are many many many more verses that talk about justification by faith through grace, than there are talking about the nessessity of baptism...which I take to be spirit baptism, and I think I have shown can be counted over and over again, in most of the cases that you display, as being immersed in the spirit. We have to interpert the minority of scripture in light of the majority of it, and this simply throws the scale off.
josh: Yes, that is clear. You cannot be saved without the spirit and Acts says that the believers in Samaria did not have the spirit,
me: ok, so my original contention is, How is the Romans Road the plan of salvation when they DID THAT??!?
josh: but the baptism of the holy spirit is what gives you the holy spirit, not john's baptism, which you think to be baptism in christ...
me: you got a couple different things going on here. I know that the baptism of the Holy Spirit gives you the Spirit. I know that water baptism is a distinct rite. Also, you are confusing John the Baptists baptism with the Christ initiated water baptism. You know, that's the one that is done in most churches by sprinkling, pouring or immersion invoking the "name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit." The idea that their is no Christian water baptism aside from John's is definitely new to me and is considerably outside the orthodox.
Further, Paul clearly rebaptized John's disciples distinctly from the Spirit baptism.
Also Paul says Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:
Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism,
Baptism is equated with death/burial. The Spirit is always equated to LIFE and Resurrection...
Josh: Beyond that, I think that when you rest in Acts to determine the formulas to be followed,
me: why not? Romans road, is a "formula", John 3:16 is a formula. By 'formula' you mean a specific step, or response or "plan" for salvation. Why not Acts where we see repeated conversions?!?!
Josh: you risk adding traditions of Men from 2000 years ago, that where for them at that time, and going beyond what is written in the rest of the new testament.
me: This is an extremely confusing statement. This is not the "traditions of men" but this is THE HOLY WORD OF GOD.
2Ti 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Also, it implies this notion that the scripture is somehow in contradiction, or that certain verses merit more weight then others. This is patently untrue. All scripture fit together like a tapestry that is woven to make one perfect picture. The death, burial and resurrection of our saviour!
josh: We have to interpert the minority of scripture in light of the majority of it, and this simply throws the scale off.
me: this is also a confusing sentence. Every verse, every principle, every stmt must in context bring harmony. It sounds like you are suggesting a democratic interpretation in which a verse must agree with the majority opinion of it despite verses that may imply something different. You may not be saying that so forgive me if I'm mistaken.