Thursday, June 15, 2006

2. The True Foundation of Soteriology

.... This study begins by correcting a fundamental error of both Calvinism and Arminianism. In addressing the whole spectrum of salvation and it’s associated topics, both systems begin with the fallen state of man as their premise. Their views on this subject have differed, and the rest of their doctrines have been systematized accordingly:

1) If one accepts that man is totally depraved, and our salvation is 100% God and 0% man, one must, in good conscience, accept the remaining points of Calvinism in turn. They are inescapable conclusions of this premise.

2) If one accepts the ‘Free will’ or ‘Human Ability’ perspective of Arminianism, one must also accept its remaining points in turn. They, too, become inescapable conclusions of this premise.

3) For a fuller description of the five basic points of Calvinism and the five points of Arminianism, in a side-by-side comparison, click here.

.... It seems faulty, however, to begin this study with the fallen state of man as a premise. Such an approach makes man and his plight the preeminent question of salvation, with God only responding to man, rather than Christ having the preeminence in all things (Col 1:18).
The true basis for soteriology should be in the eternal purpose of GOD through Christ, with the plight of man being subordinate and relative to this. Remember that God’s purpose in salvation was ordained before mankind was even created — the Lamb was slain from before the foundation of the world — and only afterward did mankind come, and later fall into sin. Only then did we fit within the purpose that God had ordained through Christ before the ages (Rev 13:8; 1 Peter 1:19-20), so our true standing is in the preparation of the gospel of peace (Eph 6:15).
In the Epistle to the Ephesians, chapter one, Paul portrays the good pleasure of God’s will as the basis for our salvation. Only after this foundation is laid in Chapter 1 does he discuss the fallen state of man, in relation to it, in Ephesians chapter two. This is the true Biblical perspective, so this study will proceed on the same premise.


At 11:45 AM, Blogger Rose~ said...

That was a great link. I wish I had found it.
I think you make an excellent point about not starting with man. I have never stated or thought about it that way, but I think that what you have said was in my gut ... about the debate and why I have been bothered by it. Why do we have to figure "man" out anyway? (my question, not yours, I know)

At 1:35 PM, Blogger Bhedr said...

It is true Election starts with Yeshua and His glory.

This does not absolve us from reckoning with ourselves. This is the battle of God in making us aware of our livid ambivalence toward Him. We cannot deny it and say that it is not there. If we do then we deny the truth found in John 2:24-25.(Please don't think I am saying you deny it brother; I simply feel a need to put this in perspective so that others who witness what is blogged here will not be misled into thinking something else)

We have a hard time seeing ourselves. God had to make Jonah see himself when Jonah was wroth(the hebrew shows that Jonah was accusing God of evil) with God for not destroying Niniveh. God had to make him see himself by taking him out of himself and to the plant which he pitied. Jonah had self pity really and couldn't see.

He will not accept dishonesty about ourselves. We must come to terms with it in order to see the glory of Christ.

Jesus told the Jews that because they said they had no sin their sin remained.

In the gospel of John men loved darkeness rather than light and this is why they wouldn't come to the light, because they loved their sinful pleasure and were unwilling to come to the light to have it analyzed so that they would be honest with God and turn from it.

The Elder prodigal was unwilling to see himself and the younger prodigal who had everything taken from him was able to come to himself once he saw that he was eating pig food having despised his Father and his house in demanding his fathers blessings. We cannot live in self denial and say that we have come to God in true repentance.

When Cain was born Eve thought he was her deliverer in that the Hebrew there hints that she assumed him to be Yahweh and even Luther translated that passage, "I have begotten a man YHVH.

You can imagine the pride that would fill your heart growing up with your parents looking to you for deliverance.

God doesn't work that way. We view the externals but He does the inward work by use of the demands we use. Consider Abels name. Did you know it means: breath, vanity, or nothing?

So while Cains name had a meaning of aquiring something of value, Abels name meant uselessness to his mother.

Cain would spend his whole life resisting this truth, unwilling to surrender to God as Saul the Pharisee was unwilling to surrender and yeild, but praise God Yeshua took a proud hard heart and humbled it into that of Abels heart and his hatred for the line of Abel(really the line of Yeshua) departed and love for them entered his heart instead. His repentant heart no longer wished to murder that line, but love them instead.

Unfortunately Cain was never willing to surrender to Christ's Lordship and his proud heart was very resiliant. He even built a city in spite of the Curse God gave. He never yeilded to God and that stubborn heart went on teaching his children not to yeild as well. Look at one of his great great grandsons, Lamech,"Woman! I have killed a man for hurting me. If Cain should be avenged sevenfold then I shall be avenged seventy-sevenfold!"

You see Cain thought God's mercy was an enablement to do what he wanted as well as vindicate his cause. He was unwilling to see his depravity in order to genuinely repent and believe on the LORD Jesus Christ.

At 3:52 AM, Blogger Cleopas said...

Hi Rose,

That's actually a very good point in itself! Why do we need to figure out man? Jesus Himself knows what is in man (John 2:24-25), so whatever His mind may be, that consideration has been perfectly accounted for!

Hi Brian,

Of course, our depraved state does play a role that God will have to deal with, which is discussed a little later. But that was an interesting insight into Cain and Abel!


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