Lurker wrote: Hey John, 1) Agree. 2) Much subjective reasoning about the light which blinded Paul. Have a look at 2 Thes 1:8, 2:8 for another perspective. Also Isaiah 60:1-3. Note different effects for enemies and faithful. 3) True. John 16:8 bears this out. But.... herein is the problem. By the law is the knowledge of sin (Rom 3:20). The HS is God, God is love. So..... the HS, being God, must use a means outside Himself to convict of sin. What?
Good morning bro,
Just a quick one on three before I set off for work.
There is a conviction which all experience from birth, namely, their God-given conscience. Later in life some become so evil that this conscience is seared, and they no longer feel any pangs of guilt nor remorse for such things as crime.
I know that doesn't answer the question, but I thought I'd throw that in the pot. When I get home I'll try to get around to answering, but maybe US will have beaten me to it.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by saying that God must use a means outside himself to convict of sin.
Unprofitable Servant wrote: Brother Lurker, back to the discussion, to make sure we are on same page. The Scriptures teach that through the law is the knowledge of sin. Our Lord stated that one of the functions of the Holy Spirit was to convict men of sin.
Yes bro, this is another point I would like to make also, that knowing the law in all its detail as Saul did, will never convince of sin without the enlightenment of the Spirit. When Paul gave his testimony, he actually said that regarding the law he thought he was blameless.
Philippians 3:6 KJV (6) Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
So he regarded persecuting the church as godly zeal, and as for the law, he was keeping it mighty fine.
Lurker wrote: John, Thanks for your thoughts. I should say I don't take Paul's conversion as a cookie cutter pattern but there certainly was an order of God's work spread over 3 days which doesn't show up anywhere else. An order of events which seems largely missing in todays preaching to the lost. Blessings to all.
Thanks bro. There are some things which are most evident from the passage in question.
1. Saul became aware that Jesus Christ was truly raised from the dead. "Who art thou, Lord?" "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest." 2. Saul became aware of God's holiness and awesomeness. God manifested his holy light. Reminds me of when the Levites would tie some rope to the feet of the High Priest, so that when he went into the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the people, if the glory of God caused him to die, they could at least pull his dead body from the room, seeing as they were not allowed into it. 3. It is clear that the Holy Spirit was doing a convicting work in Saul's heart, by the will of God, at this time. "It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." Saul was well versed in the law, but these pricks of conscience he'd not experienced before, indeed, he delighted in the law until this event. Amen bro?
pennnned wrote: exciting text! well here it is from Acts 9... "And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: "And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? "And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. "And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. "And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. "And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. "And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink." 1- "saw no man", was led by hand, indications of physical blindness 2- filled with the Holy Ghost, three days later, verse 17
B. McCausland wrote: Please, accept some clarifications here 1. Yes, but the principle may extend to personal service in the Spirit. 'Clean hands' is an indispensible condition for anointed service, conveyed in the figures of OT washing rituals of the priests before service in the tabernacle, throughout the Psalms and into the NT teaching. 2. Sorry, brother, this is your personal assumption. The biblical teaching sustained is about men called of God, not humanly 'ordained' as understood in some religious establishments, but separated by the Spirit, unto the work He calls them to. 3. To exercise every God-given gift according to the ministration of the Spirit is a New Testament pattern. 'One-man-ministry' is a man-made idea, yet as you may know 'Scripture-illiterate-charlatans' (not Spirit centered) sometimes may confer a risk of stagnation to some biblical assemblies. Kind regards
1. Yes, amen. 2a. I assumed wrongly? My humble apologies. 2b. Yes, amen. 3. Absolutely yes and amen.
Lurker wrote: Hi John, 1 Tim 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. The HS inspired Paul to write this. Seems to me that anyone who attempts to minister to a lost soul should know and understand the pattern; know and understand how God works His redemptive work of mercy. But, alas...... absolutely no consensus. The result? False gospels which people just love to talk about but have no solution. Discouraging
Phew! I'm glad my own conversion echoes Paul's, or I might be getting worried.
The Lord Jesus visited me while I was a confirmed sinner, without invitation, with the intention of making me a Christian against my will, miraculously providing me with some "Arminian" style preaching and testimonies on tape, through which I heard the good news of salvation from the wrath of God by Jesus Christ and The Cross, and a Completely New Life in HIM, being resurrected and ascended.
After much prayer, calling on the name of the Lord, I was filled with the Spirit some days later.
But I wouldn't expect everyone else to follow the same pattern exactly.
B. McCausland wrote: Here is the pattern: those speaking by the Holy Ghost were 'holy' men. "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2Pe 1:21
I think this is referring to the scriptures being infallibly transmitted to mortal men, yes?
Sister, I think I am sensing a bit of your Presbyterianism coming out here, which believes in ordaining men for the ministry of the word. A bit like the clergy/laity divide which the PR never did get rid of in the mainstream churches.
But no problem, anyway. As I said earlier, I am a great believer in Christian ecumenism, my criterior being the new birth, which is an act of God, adopting the sinner into his family by grace through faith.
But even Charles Spurgeon finally came to faith (God working it in him) through the laboured preaching of an ordinary Methodist church member, showing that God will work through whom and when he chooses.
My fellowship does not actually ordain men into "the ministry", and any brother can minister the word at Breaking of Bread meeting as and when the Spirit leads them, either to pray, announce a hymn, read the scriptures, give out a word. It is most wonderful when the brethren are led of the Spirit.
Lurker wrote: Indeed it was effectual. God never fails, is never thwarted by the freewill of man. Paul's conversion was all of God and so are all subsequent conversions that are initiated by God. That said, the mechanics, if you will, of what happened, when it happened, by what means it happened and in what order it happened is what I have brought into question. I recall a woman poster years ago said she liked the idea of God choosing her but her decision to choose God is what she relied on for assurance of her salvation. Isn't that a shame? How many would admit to the same thing if pressed? It's a false assurance as 1 John 3:17-24 makes clear.
Lovely stuff bro.
1 John 3:14 KJV (14) We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
Looking forward to hearing more about Paul's conversion and its "mechanics". I would say something, but I've not grasped the points made thus far, so I'll just tune in and wait.
Sister B, Thanks for the post on evangelism - gospel. It's a shame there was so many points made in one post. However,
Ephesians 6:18-20 KJV (18) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (19) And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, (20) For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
The preaching of the gospel is making known a mystery, with utterance given by the Holy Ghost. Certainly it is not an intellectual exercise, where a man with a puny brain tries to convince another man with a puny brain of a certain message.
I would liken it to the OT man of God whom God told to prophesy over the dead bones in the valley, that they might come to life, bone on bone, then filled with flesh, standing to their feet, a mighty army. This ties in with "the wind bloweth...."
I believe there must be a message - in the "gospel" - and that message must be about the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ, that is, Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Salvation? I believe in conduits and portals, not assent to a message.
Unprofitable Servant wrote: What John UK describe is also a reminder of how the ecumenical crusades preach a false gospel. Even if the message from the pulpit was sound, if a RCC goes forward, they are told the way they become "saved" is though the sacraments of the RCC church. Another counselor might advise they have to be water baptized or some other works salvation. Some would be advised it is just an intellectual exercise they perform. Paul minced no words about those who give out false gospel, let them be accursed.
This is the big problem with the Ecumenical Movement, and why I have no truck with it.
An elderly brother who comes to our fellowship whenever he can, quite a frail man, asked me to go out with him preaching the gospel on the street.
I had to refuse, and when he asked me why, I said, "Because the church you belong to is part of the ecumenical movement, holding meetings with Catholics and Protestant liberals."
Compromise always has a bad effect. But a small group preaching the truth produces no confusion. This is just one reason why I'm a separatist.
Hey Christopher, your SermonAudio journey has been far more complex than I ever knew or imagined. It just goes to show how important it is for each one of us to be polite, kindly, caring, gracious, hopeful. And without the Spirit, we could be none of those things. It was a very happy day for me when you started posting. I remember it well.
And you're still here, hopefully for some time to come. The same thing happened when the old cobber started posting from OZ, most refreshing. I think it helped us all to look more practically about our Christian walk, rather than just debating doctrine all day long. And Dolores, of course, with her testimonies of real life; Get Real, who had such a dramatic change of heart. Too many to mention, really. But it's certainly been a place of blessing to so many. Some posts bless my socks off.
Wow Christopher, that is some testimony, thanks for sharing it. Remarkable.
And yes, I think you scored another hole in one with your analysis of the modern evangelistic techniques. They are very much geared up to affect the emotions rather than the affections.
The long, drawn out, altar call, with music designed to produce tears (from the emotions) rather than tears of repentance. There is also a deceptive encouragement for people to get up out of their chair and "go forward". This is accomplished by having counsellors in the auditorium, who also get up to go to the front. This makes people imagine that it is the right thing to do, seeing as so many are doing it. It's the herd mentality.
And then there's the "sinner's prayer" itself, repeated parrot fashion with a whole load of other people and counsellors, who also "say the prayer". I don't agree with that, either. Far better to get alone with God in the closet and be reconciled to him there, where there is no influence from others.
But "some" will be saved, I'm sure, and they are much a child of God as anyone else. God knows what he does, and he does all things well, even though we fail him so often.
Some theologians have a most remarkable way with words.
"The Holy Spirit is fully acquainted with the present and everlasting virtue and efficacy of the Person and work of Immanuel, and what His heart was set upon when He made His soul an offering for sin, and how infinitely and eternally well pleased was Jehovah the Father with it, who has it in perpetual remembrance. The Father and the Son having committed the revelation and application of this great salvation unto the persons of all the elect to the Holy Spirit, He is pleased therefore, out of the riches of His own free and sovereign grace, to work in due season in all the heirs of glory. And as Christ died but once â€” His death being all-sufficient to answer every design to be effected by it â€” so the Holy Spirit by one act works effectually in the soul, producing a spiritual birth and changing the state of its partaker once and for all, so that the regenerated are brought out of and delivered from the power of death and translated into the kingdom of Godâ€™s dear Son. Without this spiritual birth we cannot see spiritual objects and heavenly blessings in their true worth and excellence."
Thanks Dolores for sharing some more of your testimony, I just love real life testimony of what the loving God has done in the lives of his people.
And amen to what you said about the growing process. It never ends and can get harder and harder. The more we know, the more God can stretch our spiritual muscles.
The first few years we are a bit wrapped up in cotton wool, babes in Christ. And he looks after us well, not allowing the devil much room. But later, when we've learnt about the warfare, and the whole armour of God, he permits the devil to attack us, simply to make sure the armour is in place, and that it really works.
The war can be really awful, if we look at it in human terms. Paul the Apostle's life was never the same after his conversion. He must have looked a right state after all those beatings, shipwrecks, 39 stripes several times.
I read one of John Wesley's journals, and it was impressive. While out preaching, a gang of strong men gathered him up and carried him as if he was a coffin on their shoulders, as they took him down to the local river to drown him. John said, "God's grace was wonderful, and I felt as though I was lying on a bed of rose petals."
Mind you, he used to spend hours with the Lord, even before breakfast.
How good of you to share your testimony of coming to know Christ by the hand of a FreeWill Baptist preacher. Me too!
I'm also glad that the CGB has not condemned you as a pseudo convert.
That hymn by Charles Wesley is one of my favourites, as it spells out exactly what happens at conversion. I don't think a non-Christian could ever have written words like that, and it has been a blessing to countless Christians over the centuries as they sing it.
Very interesting about the word "draw" and its connotations. Thanks.
It's also interesting that my point has been made for me by several concerning the prevenient grace producing faith and repentance. Without using the word "regeneration", God "does something" in the heart of the sinner, upon which he HAS to DO something. He doesn't sit still in his chair and say, "Oh I feel so bad about myself, all my sins, my rejection of God all these years; and I see that Jesus is the Christ, God's Son, and that he died in the room of sinners, to forgive them and bring them to heaven; but hey ho, I guess I'll just have to live with it."
What does he do? He "comes to Christ".
So at a crusade meeting, if someone repents of sin and trusts Christ, it is because God has done a work in them. Sure it is.
Dorcas wrote: John UK wrote: I would rather see the reformed do the work but we're to lazy.... No sir, We know several 'reformed men' who street preach , tract neighborhoods, etc. We also know that conversion proceeds from the grace of God alone, and the system which ascribes it partly to man (BGEA) and partly to God is worse than Pelagianism.
Hi Dorcas, yes, when I say "the work", I mean a big evangelistic thrust where millions hear the gospel. I would love to hear of men being called to the mission fields both at home and abroad, but we've forgotten to pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth labourers. It is not the same today as it was a century of two ago. Where are the evangelists touring your own neck of the woods. I'll wager the JW's have been or are planning a visit. Why is the world hearing from cults but not from the true men of God?
Am I the only one to state that we as church are in a poor place? That if revival does not come, we shall fade away into insignificance? Is Christ coming for a glorious bride or a dishevelled one?
I honestly think we need to put our own house in order, instead of rabbiting on about others who we disagree with.
from the pew wrote: When you guys locate the perfect church don't forget you cannot become a member otherwise it would then become imperfect with sinners like you in the pew.
Absolutely correct! It took the Lord a long time to drum that into me, but then, sanctification can take quite a while. But the Lord will teach his children in due course, and I have to be patient with what he is doing in myself, and in others around me. It is a lesson very important. signed, A sinner, second only to Frank, who is chief.
Frank wrote: John UK, how is this? 1 Must be a grace church - yes 2 Must preach the gospel - yes 3 Must baptise believers by immersion - yes 4 Must hold to the 1689 Confession - no ....
Oh Frank, it was going so well until you got to the best confession in the world - Spurgeon's own! Oh, you heretic!
Anyway, thanks a million for a valiant effort and closing remarks.
and then wrote: JOHN WESLEY'S shameful PERSECUTION OF TOPLADY - ANOTHER example of ARMINIAN HATRED for CALVINISM http://www.sermonaudio.com/new_details3.asp?ID=13367
It's not the Arminians on the forum that persecute me and malign me, it's the Calvinist Women's Brigade.
s c wrote: Thanks,John,for your response anyway...not being condescending here.
Well thank you SC, that's right sisterly.
And I hope you don't imagine I have Billy Graham as an idol.
And I hope you also realise what a 1689 Baptist believes.
As for seeing Billy Graham in heaven or not, based upon his Arminian doctrine, I will remind you and others that the majority of the saints in heaven will have been converted (by God's will, not their own "free will") through Arminian style preaching. That is my sad estimation, and it shows up the Reformed Church for not doing what it ought to be doing, taking the glorious gospel of God's grace to the world. You have to read church history to see when Calvinists were true men of God.
What did that great man of God, mightily used by HIM to preach the gospel we love to hear, George Whitefield no less, say about whether or not he expected to see John Wesley in heaven? He replied, "I do not expect to see Mr Wesley in heaven at all, for methinks he will be so much closer the throne of God than I."
Such ought to be the humility of any who believe the doctrines of grace.
s c wrote: If a preacher equivocates or compromises,wouldn't it be a stumbling block to direct people to the RC church or even to support heresy even though one speaks the truth at times?
SC, at a Billy Graham crusade, if a busload of Catholics turned up to hear him preach, they would hear the (Arminian) gospel, through which they could be converted, if God so willed it.
They would not have been there at all, if the BGEA had not made it mandatory for church members who go forward to be counselled by folks from their own church.
Now please remember that not only are several true Christians on this forum of the FreeWill belief (let's call them Non-Calvinistic) but also there are a multitude of Independent Fundamentalist Baptists on the Preacher's List who, according to you and others are rank heretics who need exposing as false teachers.
This is dodgy ground you tread.
I will debate with my brethren and sisters who think differently from me, but I am willing to enjoy fellowship with them, and trust God to fine tune both our beliefs.
Billy Graham preached Christ and him crucified, and God is well able to save his elect through such preaching. Of course I would rather see the Reformed doing the work, but we're too lazy.
Dorcas wrote: "The feverish aim of modern evangelism is not to promote the glory of the triune Jehovah, but how to multiply conversions". Pastor L.R. Shelton.
Dorcas, yes indeed, the quote by Pastor Shelton is a mighty fine one, as is evidenced by much of evangelism today, but not all.
The inference of his statement is of course leading to the "chief end of man" which as we know is "to glorify God and enjoy him forever".
To agree with God is to glorify God, as Job did, when he said, "The Lord gave, and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord."
God is glorified when he converts sinners. It is his work, a work of grace in the heart. God is also glorified when he does not convert sinners. He leaves them in their sins, which is where they wish to be. God is glorified in his saints, when they willingly obey him. And God is glorified through the wickedness and judgment of sinners, when they rebel against God.
What is conversion?
Well if Tom is sitting in a crusade meeting, and he hears about Jesus Christ, God can enlighten his mind, cause him to feel his sins, give him a desire to follow Christ, and show him that Christ died for him, producing repentance and faith. God can do that.