By Grace Alone vs. by Christ Alone?

John Piper has a very deep and important book entitled “Future Grace”. This book, with many other books of the same author, are precious displays of the rich treasures of God’s Word. However, at the beginning of his second introduction to this book’s content — a section especially written “For Theologians” — John Piper quotes the following passage from Robert L. Dabney’s writings about which I want to make a brief comment in this article:

“Is it by the instrumentality of faith we receive Christ as our justification, without the merit of any of our works? Well. But this same faith, if vital enough to embrace Christ, is also vital enough to ‘work by love,’ ‘to purify our hearts.’ This then is the virtue of the free gospel, as a ministry of sanctification, that the very faith which embraces the gift becomes an inevitable and a divinely powerful principle of obedience.”

(Robert L. Dabney, quoted from John Piper’s Future Grace, Introduction Two. Emphasis added)

I will comment about the part that I have emphasized.

Is it true that the faith by which we embrace Christ is vital before embracing Christ? How is it vital (living) before embracing Christ? Is not Jesus Christ the Life? Is not man dead in his sins without Christ?… If man can have life without Christ, then Salvation by Grace alone is something different from Salvation by Christ alone… Let me elaborate this…

God says that all humans are sinners: “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)

All men are dead (separated from God eternally) in their sins, because the wages of sin is death (spiritual eternal separation from God); and the only way to be saved from sin and death is by receiving the free Gift of God which is Salvation (eternal life) in Christ Jesus: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23); “Verily, verily, I say unto you, that he that hears my word, and believes him that has sent me, has life eternal, and does not come into judgment, but is passed out of death into life.” (John 5:24)

Thus we see that Salvation is defined as the eternal life, the passage from spiritual separation from God (death) to reconciliation and spiritual filial relationship with Him (life). So eternal life is a quality of life, and not merely a quanity or duration of existence. John MacArthur explains it well in the following quote:

“Well, the Jews understood eternal life. They understood that term or that concept. Simply stated, if life means–and it does mean–the ability to respond to your environment, that’s what life means, if you don’t think it means that, look at a dead person and see how well they respond, life basically means the ability to respond to your environment. Eternal life means the ability to permanently respond to your environment. And eternal life carries with it the divine environment. In physical life, we can respond to a physical environment. In eternal life, we have the ability to respond to the divine environment. In other words, we respond to the life of God. That’s why when we’re saved, Paul says we enter into the heavenlies. Our citizenship takes on a divine character and we all of a sudden come alive to God and that’s unending.

But it is a quality of existence, not a quantity of existence. It is the idea that I am sensitive to God, that I can respond to God. Before I was saved I was dead in sin, utterly unresponsive to the divine environment. When I became a Christian, I became capable of responding to the divine environment and I shall always be capable of responding to the divine environment.” (John MacArthur; How to Obtain Eternal Life)

Eternal life is not a mere duration of existence; in fact, even those who don’t have eternal life will have an eternal duration of existence, but in Hell… Eternal life is the quality of being in a good relationship with God in opposition to the death in our sins which separated us from God.

Now, in order to have this life, the eternal life, you need to receive it! You can’t make it; you can’t make your Salvation by any merit in you, not even by your faith; you need to receive it. As we have seen in Romans 6:23 (quoted above), eternal life is a free gift, and a gift is received for free and not deserved by anything we do, not even by the act of receiving it. And God’s Word explains that this life is a Person, JESUS CHRIST. Thus we read how the Lord said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father unless by me.” (John 14:6); “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believes on me, though he have died, shall live; and every one who lives and believes on me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26) And Christ’s Apostle John explained how they had seen the eternal life (Jesus) with their eyes: “and the life has been manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and report to you the eternal life, which was with the Father, and has been manifested to us” (1 John 1:2); the same Apostle later tells us again that Jesus Christ is the eternal life: “And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20) So the eternal life is a Person: Jesus Christ. Therefore, when Jesus explained the gift of eternal life, He said that this gift (“gift” is from the verb to give) is God’s Only-Begotten Son Himself: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes on him may not perish, but have life eternal.” (John 3:16) As you see, the Lord said that this gift of eternal life is given to the whole world. He explained this same truth to the Jews when He told them: “Verily, verily, I say to you, [It is] not Moses that has given you the bread out of heaven; but my Father gives you the true bread out of heaven.” (John 6:32) It is to be noted that this gift is not just a simple giving, but it is a Person (Jesus Christ) given as a sacrifice of propitiation to the whole world (the true bread given by God to the whole world): Those who eat this bread (have Christ by faith), for them this propitiation is an atonement for their sins; those who refuse this bread, for them this propitiation is for their judgment or condemnation: “And this is the judgment, that light is come into the world, and men have loved darkness rather than light; for their works were evil.” (John 3:19) And thus, as this propitiation is presented to the whole world, the Apostle John says that Jesus Christ is given by God as a propitiation for the whole world, and not only to those who have already eaten that bread (the believers): “and he is the propitiation for our sins; but not for ours alone, but also for the whole world.” (1 John 2:2)

Thus no one has the life (or anything vital in himself) before he has Christ who Himself is the Life: “And this is the witness, that God has given to us eternal life; and this life is in his Son. He that has the Son has life: he that has not the Son of God has not life.” (1 John 5:11-12). Note how the structure of 1 John 5:12 is the same as John 3:36 where the expression “believes on the Son” is the equivalent of “has the Son”:

He that has the Son has life: he that has not the Son of God has not life.” (1 John 5:12)

He that believes on the Son has life eternal, and he that is not subject to the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides upon him.” (John 3:36)

So real living faith means to HAVE the Son. Any other kind of faith cannot save, because what saves is not faith itself, but its Object. It is by receiving Jesus Christ by faith that you have the eternal life and thus become a child of God: “but as many as received him, to them gave he [the] right to be children of God, to those that believe on his name” (John 1:12) Your faith is not vital before you have Christ, because Christ is the Life. Before you have Christ you are dead in your sins, and nothing in you is spiritually vital. Theodore Beza clearly explains what vital or saving faith is and HOW it is vital:

Now, the faith of which we speak does not consist only in believing that God is God, and that the contents of His Word are true:- for the devils indeed have this faith, and it only makes them tremble (James 2:19) — But we call ‘faith’ a certain knowledge which, by His grace and goodness alone, the Holy Spirit engraves more and more in the hearts of the elect of God (I Cor. 2:6-8). By this knowledge, each of them, being assured in his heart of his election, appropriates to himself and applies to himself the promise of his salvation in Jesus Christ.

Faith, I say, does not only believe that Jesus Christ is dead and risen again for sinners, but it comes also to embrace Jesus Christ (Rom 8:16,39; Heb. 10:22, 23; 1 John 4:13; 5:19, etc). Whosoever truly believes trusts in Him alone and is assured of his salvation to the point of no longer doubting it (Eph. 3:12). That is why St. Bernard said, conformably to the whole of Scripture, what follows, “If you believe that your sins cannot be blotted out except by Him against whom alone you have sinned, you do well. But add yet one point: that you believe that your sins have been forgiven you by Him. This is the testimony that the Holy Spirit gives to our heart, saying, ‘Your sins are forgiven you’.”

Since Jesus Christ is the object of faith, and indeed Jesus Christ as He is held forth to us in the Word of God, there follow two points which should be noted well.

On the one side, where there is no Word of God but only the word of man, whoever he be, there is no faith there, but only a dream or an opinion which cannot fail to deceive us (Rom 10:2-4; Mark 16:15,16; Rom 1:28; Gal 1:8-9).

On the other side, faith embraces and appropriates Jesus Christ and all that is in Him, since He has been given to us on the condition of believing in Him (John 17:20,21; Rom 8:9). There follows one of two things: either all that is necessary for our salvation is not in Jesus Christ, or if all is indeed there, he who has Jesus Christ by faith has everything. Now, to say that all which is necessary for our salvation is not in Jesus Christ is a very horrible blasphemy, for this would only make Him a Saviour in part (Matt 1:21). There remains therefore the other part: in having Jesus Christ, by faith, we have in Him all that is required for our salvation (Rom 5:1).

This is what the Apostle says, “There is no condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ.” (Rom 8:1).

Here is the explanation of our justification by faith alone: faith is the instrument which receives Jesus Christ and, consequently, which receives His righteousness, that is to say, all perfection. When therefore, after St. Paul (Rom 1: 17; 3:21-27; 4:3; 5:1; 9:30-33; 11:6; Gal 2:16-21; 3:9,10,18; Phil 3:9; 2 Tim 1:9; Titus 3:5; Heb. 11:7) we say that we are justified by faith alone, or freely, or by faith without works (for all these ways of speaking give the same sense), we do not say that faith is a virtue which makes us righteous, in ourselves, before God. For this would be to put faith in the place of Jesus Christ who is, alone, our perfect and entire righteousness.

But we speak thus with the Apostle, and we say that by faith alone we are justified, insomuch as it embraces Him who justifies us, Jesus Christ, to whom it unites and joins us. We are then made partakers of Him and an the benefits which He possesses. These, being imputed and gifted to us, are more than sufficient to make us acquitted and accounted righteous before God. (Theodore Beza, The Christian Faith, Chapter IV. This is quoted from Faith & Justification — emphases added)

The elect alone have this true faith (cf. Romans 8:30), and will never lose it, because they are predestined by God to become conformed to the image of His Son (cf. Romans 8:29). The elect are those who are chosen by God in Christ before the foundation of the world (cf. Ephesians 1:4). They are chosen NOT in themselves, but in Christ. They are not chosen for any merit in them, but because of Christ. They are not even chosen for their faith, because faith has no merit in itself, but its merit is its Object, i.e. JESUS CHRIST the bread given by God to the world.¹

So only those who have Christ have life, and thus they have a vital faith that produces a practical life of righteousness. Salvation is by Grace alone, i.e. by Christ alone, because all graces (all included in the Grace of Salvation or eternal life) are received from the fullness of Christ: “for of his fulness we all have received, and grace upon grace.” (John 1:16) This “grace upon grace” means that all graces needed for our practical sanctification are included in that Grace of eternal life that we have in Christ. In other words, all graces spring from this Grace of eternal life which is Christ Himself, for those who have life will live and not die. Thus the Spirit says that the righteous shall LIVE by faith (cf. Romans 1:17), i.e. the righteous shall live by the life of Christ. And as Christ is the life of those who are justified by faith, therefore it is impossible that any of the elect may ever die (as the Lord also explained in John 11:26), because Christ having died once for our sins will not die again; and as we are united to Him, so we will not die again: “Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him, knowing that Christ having been raised up from among [the] dead dies no more: death has dominion over him no more.” (Romans 6:8-9)

Having understood this well, we see that saying that faith should be vital in order to embrace Christ means that Salvation (passage from death to life) is possible without having Christ… And this contradicts all the passages that we have seen above; it contradicts God’s Word. If faith is vital before having Christ, then we have passed from death to life without Christ! In other words, this means that we have been saved without Christ! Ephesians 2:8 says that it is by Grace that we are saved through faith, and that this is the Gift of God! If we have been saved (passed from death to life) before having faith in Christ, then Ephesians 2:8 will mean that Salvation by the free Grace or Gift of God alone is something different from Salvation by Christ alone… But this is contrary to what the Bible teaches, as we have seen.²

Grace be with you!
Disciple of Jesus Christ

___

NOTES:

1. In the limit of this article, I don’t intend to write a treatise about biblical Election and Predestination. But let me just note that Election is NOT about what happens before Salvation, but it is about Salvation itself. All those biblical passages that are related to Election should be understood in the light of this fact: that Election is about Salvation itself, and NOT about what happens before Salvation. Calvinists have misunderstood this point, therefore they think faith can be vital before embracing Christ. But in general, Calvinists are the closest to the biblical truth of Election, while Arminians have totally misunderstood the biblical Election and thus they deny it. Election means that only those who have Christ are saved, because Christ alone is the Chosen One (the true Elect), and we in Him. As to HOW the elect are born of God, the Bible only says that it is a supernatural birth done by the Spirit of God through God’s Word: “for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.” (1 Peter 1:23) The Lord explained to Nicodemus that humans should not inquire about the details of this “HOW”, and explained that humans can only see the fruit of this new birth and know that a new life has begun there: “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8) Calvinism and Arminianism are two human systems of theology, and they do the mistake of inquiring concerning this “HOW”, therefore they get to some unbiblical conclusions. These one-sided systems of theology do not give God credit for a wisdom and power far higher than man’s intellect can discern. They try to reconcile man’s responsibility with his slavery to sin and with what they think is God’s Election, and thus they are obliged to re-interpret the biblical passages that do not agree with their system of theology. This is very bad, because the Bible should not be interpreted by any human system of theology; the Bible interprets the Bible. Only the Holy Spirit can interpret His own Word. (For an introduction to the biblical truth of Election, you can read the following: Election and Conversion by L. M. Grant).

2. This is the misunderstanding that made a Calvinist say that faith should be vital in order to embrace Christ. Don Matzat explains this misunderstanding with an illustration from real life: “At the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals gathering this past April, a noted Reformed theologian presented a paper on “grace alone.” He defined “grace alone,” not by the cross of Jesus Christ, but by the doctrine of predestination or election.” (Don Matzat, Martin Luther and the Doctrine of Predestination). The fact is that Election and Predestination have no meaning separate from faith or the cross of Jesus Christ, because we are chosen IN CHRIST and not in ourselves.

___

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117 Responses to By Grace Alone vs. by Christ Alone?

  1. Mary T says:

    So when the Bible says in John 3:16 “for God so loved the world” Jesus means EVERYONE not just the elect. And I read the article by John McArthur.

    If so, that means I’ve been hearing wrong doctrine by some that say that “the world” means ONLY strictly the elect.

    Which then brings us to the next thing – adding to and taking away scriptures. It is as if people changed that verse to say “for God so loved the world of the elect, that He gave his only begotten Son to the elect, that whoever is elect shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” Which would be wrong.

    Please confirm this.. thank you.

  2. YAQUBOS† says:

    Mary said:

    Yaqubos, so you believe we CAN say Jesus loves you when witnessing? I pondered about that. This caution comes from the belief that if we tell a person Jesus love them, it will give them license to continue in their sin. I know there are no little or big sins, but it might give them the impression that if they hear this, they might think that God approves of them in their condition. Instead, we may tell them to repent from sin.

    If you tell them this in a right biblical way, then they will not be misled. Why not tell them that God’s love (patience and kindness) lead them to repentance, and thus they are inexcusable if they refuse to repent?? This is what Romans 2:4 says, no?

    Mary said:

    The other caution comes from the belief that God hates iniquity, and further (this is what I was told) that God hates them. I am sorry to tell you this, but this is what some are preaching.

    Because they don’t know the difference between “hate” as the opposite of “phila” love, and “hate” as the opposite of “agape” love! Yes, God hates the sinner (the opposite of “phila” friendly and covenantal love), but He does NOT hate the sinner (the opposite of “agape” unconditional love). God is love (agape) by nature, sister, but NOT love (“phila”) by nature…

    Mary said:

    So then, based on that, people have decided to say “Jesus loves you but hates your sin”. So you see this is what is going on and it leaves me cautious about what we can say.

    Why not say: “Jesus loves you, THEREFORE He wants to save you from your sins that separate you from God and that cause His wrath to abide on you”??

    Be in Peace!
    YAQUBOS†

  3. YAQUBOS† says:

    Mary, that’s what I told you, but vacca said I was misrepresenting… I told you that the inexact doctrine of Calvinists about Election and the imaginary predestination for Hell is making many of them preach in a wrong way; they tell people that they can’t believe if they are chosen for Hell!! Good news, huh?…

    Be in Peace!
    YAQUBOS†

  4. vacca says:

    My quote I gave you on the wind bloes where it Will….Was from John MacArthur..So I guess you arbitrailly pick and choose what you wish.

    I explained the World has many definitions in Fact Paul in John has 12 different definitions of World..In context World can mean the Universe, earth, a paricular area on the earth, can mean Jews only, Greeks only, Jews and Greeks, can refer to unbelievers only, can refer to believers only. Can refer to both believers and unbelievers, can refer to the roman area, etc.

    John 3 :16 literally reads ” the believing ones” or “those believing” any Greek Scholar will attest to that.. That is not even an argument. John 3:16 is Linmited to Believers you may want to read the last verse in John 3 to confirm it is limeted to believers..So the “World ” in John 3;16 is the World of believers in that context..
    Of course God has a creative love for His creatures who argues that? God love’s the world in that sense. But God has a special love for His Elect ( who we do not know who they are untill God gives them a new heart by His GRACE).
    But God loved Jacob and Hated Esau before they did good or bad..They were even twins same DNA. But God by His own good pleasure Loved one and Hated the other.
    Mary
    In Answer to your questions:
    I never heard of the Six point Calvinist you are talking about.I do know James White uses 6 points..He stars with thw 1 st point with S The Soverignty odf God..So instead of TULIP James uses STULIP! Dr White adds the S because he says in our modern times the Soverenty of God has been lost .
    All orthodx Calvinist hold to Double predestination. Most people do not understand double predestination because they commit the error of ” Equal Ultimacy” Look that up when you have time.James White uses it alot.
    A hyper Calvinist ( which is heretical) does not beleive one needs to witness because God has choosen His elect and will be saved no matter what. ( which is absurd) Also A hyper calvinist beleives unlesss one is a Calvinist they will be lost..Only Calvivinst are saved ( which is also Absurd)
    And yes you are right..When I witness I nerver tell the sinner Jesus loves you and died for you..Jesus or the Apostles never witnessed like that..It is unbiblical.. I give them the biblical message and tell them they need to repent and Beleive on Jesus Christ for the forgivness of sins and for thier salvation. So don’t let anyone confuse you, witness like Jesus and the apostles did.. Not Jesus loves you, what you said is true.

    Godbless
    Vacca
    Nothing in my hands I bring , simply to thy cross I cling.

  5. YAQUBOS† says:

    vacca said:

    My quote I gave you on the wind bloes where it Will….Was from John MacArthur..So I guess you arbitrailly pick and choose what you wish.

    Of course! John MacArthur is not the Bible, vacca! I quoted him to show you how Calvinists have a theological schizophrenia, nothing more.

    vacca said:

    I explained the World has many definitions in Fact Paul in John has 12 different definitions of World..

    Paul? Who Paul, brother?? World means world. Point.

    vacca said:

    In context World can mean the Universe, earth, a paricular area on the earth, can mean Jews only, Greeks only, Jews and Greeks, can refer to unbelievers only, can refer to believers only.

    No, according to the context, world can either mean the universe or the earth, or all humans, or the sinful system in this world. For the rest, it’s your imagination. In John 3:16 it means all humans.

    vacca said:

    John 3 :16 literally reads ” the believing ones” or “those believing” any Greek Scholar will attest to that..

    Let me see? Strong’s dictionary:
    “πᾶς
    Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole: – all (manner of, means) alway (-s), any (one), X daily, + ever, every (one, way), as many as, + no (-thing), X throughly, whatsoever, whole, whosoever.”

    I see, vacca…

    vacca said:

    That is not even an argument.

    Then you wasted our time with a non-argument…

    vacca said:

    John 3:16 is Linmited to Believers you may want to read the last verse in John 3 to confirm it is limeted to believers..

    John MacArthur (a prominent Calvinist) disagrees with you… John Calvin disagrees as well… And the Bible of course clearly says God so loved the WORLD! As Mary explained, you are adding to God’s Word.

    vacca said:

    So the “World ” in John 3;16 is the World of believers in that context..

    No, the world is the world (all humans) in that context. Ask John Calvin and John MacArthur and many other Calvinists about this, and they will teach you. Don’t just listen to James White…

    vacca said:

    Of course God has a creative love for His creatures who argues that?

    Explain creative love, and explain why God should not have loved all humans in John 3:16.

    vacca said:

    But God has a special love for His Elect ( who we do not know who they are untill God gives them a new heart by His GRACE).

    Do you mean Jesus was talking about this special love in John 3:16??! Then God didn’t send Jesus for the whole world? Only for the elect? Then why does the Bible say that God is the Savior of all men??

    vacca said:

    But God loved Jacob and Hated Esau before they did good or bad..

    No, God said this when Jacob and Esau were both dead, brother… Once again, you’re doing the same error: quoting sentences out of their biblical context. Show me where is that said. Is it said BEFORE Jacob and Esau were born??

    vacca said:

    They were even twins same DNA. But God by His own good pleasure Loved one and Hated the other.

    That’s about God’s choice according to Grace. In the context from which you are quoting, this has nothing to do with the persons called Jacob and Esau.

    vacca said:

    And yes you are right..When I witness I nerver tell the sinner Jesus loves you and died for you..Jesus or the Apostles never witnessed like that..It is unbiblical..

    Jesus told the UNBELIEVER Jews that God gives them the heavenly bread! This means God gave to the sinners Christ crucified! Read the article again to see this explained. And Jesus clearly said in John 3:16 that God loved the world, all humans!
    The Apostles didn’t preach this?? Then what does your version of the Bible say in Romans 2:4? Will you explain that away as well?? “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4) Plus, did you forget that it was a companion of an APOSTLE who wrote to us that Jesus LOVED a lost sinner?? Read with me: “And Jesus looking upon him loved him (Mark 10:21) Are you missing all these passages in your copy of the Bible, vacca?? It was again an APOSTLE who said that Jesus is a propitiation NOT only for the elect (the believers), but also for the whole world! “and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2)

    You just say Jesus and His Apostles never said Jesus loves you and has died for you?? You say this because you are blinded by your one-sided system of theology as I explained before, therefore you can’t see the biblical passages that I just quoted. And there are many more!

    vacca said:

    I give them the biblical message and tell them they need to repent and Beleive on Jesus Christ for the forgivness of sins and for thier salvation.

    And the biblical message is that God so loved many of them that He chose them for Hell??

    Be in Peace!
    YAQUBOS†

  6. Mary T says:

    Vacca – a 6 point calvinist is one who believes in double predestination.. one that God specifically makes on purpose to go to hell. That is what Yaqubos is objecting to. And that is why people think ALL calvinists believe that. I have heard people even declare they are 6 point calvinists because of the double predestination thing.

    I have even heard where God is so sovereign that EVERY SINGLE TINY choice we make has been decreed by God to do that which includes I have a tickle in my nose and God ordains that I scratch it 3 times. God ordains that i walk 3 steps over here and then take a breath and take 4 steps there, all ordained by God. They said God ordains that I disbelieve the fact that God ordains that I scratch that nose. I just don’t know what to think of that.

  7. Mary T says:

    Vacca – you said – “And yes you are right..When I witness I nerver tell the sinner Jesus loves you and died for you..Jesus or the Apostles never witnessed like that..It is unbiblical.. I give them the biblical message and tell them they need to repent and Beleive on Jesus Christ for the forgivness of sins and for thier salvation. So don’t let anyone confuse you, witness like Jesus and the apostles did.. Not Jesus loves you, what you said is true.”

    Well now I am confused, both of you say two opposite things. Now I dont know what is appropriate.. Who am I to believe?

  8. YAQUBOS† says:

    Mary, you said:

    Well now I am confused, both of you say two opposite things. Now I dont know what is appropriate.. Who am I to believe?

    Believe what God says. Read my previous reply to vacca to see how Jesus and the Apostles told people that Jesus loves them and has died for them.

    Be in Peace!
    YAQUBOS†

  9. Mary T says:

    Hi brothers! I am going to go along with what I feel the Lord would have me to say to someone, because God might have me say Jesus loves you to one, and to another, something else.. I will trust that God is in me leading me what to say. And I will trust that I can only sow the seed and God is the one who tills the soil to make that seed grow. That is all i can do, after praying and studying the Scriptures and praying that God lead me. and if I make a mistake, I will not beat myself up for it. And realize im just a humble worker in the field, and God’s Word will not return unto Him void but will accomplish what it set out to do. That is having confidence in the Lord, not me. Like Paul Washer says “if God can use rocks and donkeys for his work, he can use me”. If i fretted about what He has in store for me, I guess I would be defeated and not go out in the world and share the gospel with every creature! 🙂 I just want to be worthy of that task… and to get to know Him and receive Him to give Him to the world… for giving myself is nothing,, but giving Jesus, YES ,,, that is everything! I’m just a vessel,, he is carrying me .. I am His temple, He lives His life thru me. That is what Imma going to do 🙂

  10. vacca says:

    So Yaq Says:
    ” ………world can either mean the universe or the earth, or all humans, or the sinful system in this world. For the rest, it’s your imagination. In John 3:16 it means all humans.

    So John: 12:19 Says ” The Pharises therefore said to one another, : You see that you are not doing any good; look the WORLD has gone after Him. So according to Yaq the world means every Human.

    Se we have every Human on the Face of the EARTH going after Jesus???/ Wow! People from China , and Russia, and Australa are all flying in to Follow Jesus..I quess this is just my immagination?
    Yaq, said World means all humans..
    Also notice in the Verse the Pharisees are not following Jesus..So much for yaq exegesis of WORLD..
    Lets look at another one ( I could do this all night to show how absurd yaq’s comment on the world means one of three things but these two will do for now)

    Romans 1: 8

    “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all. because your Faith is being proclaimed throughout the WHOLE WORLD..”
    So the Faith of believers at Rome was the subject of conversation by every Man, Woman, and Child on the entire Planet? WoW! How rediculous.

    Jesus said I do not pray for the Whole World only those you gave me out of the World

    I also said there is a world of the ungodly ( unbeleivers) and a world of the Godly ( beleivers) which Yaq said was my immagination.. As Yaq said World is ALL Humans..Which sows the absurdity from the 2 verse I gave..( Boy that must have been one long line folloeing after Jesus, can you immagine? LOL!
    So not world of the ungodly . no seperation between the two Worlds according to Yaq, Always means one of the three definitions Yaq gave. ( which we see is Bogus) ‘
    Lets look at 2 Peter 2 :5
    “.. and did not spare the ancient world, put presereved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, whenHE brought a flood upon the WORLD of the UNGODLY! There it is! and Noah was in the World of the GODLY!
    .But this is just my immagination.
    Revelation 13:3
    ” And I saw one of his heads as if it had beenslain, and his fatal wound was healed. Anr the WHOLE EARTH was ammazed and follwed the beast”
    According to Yaq that is All Humans followed the beast. Is that true? Or is this again the WORLD of unbleievers lets see.
    Rev 20:4
    And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those that had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and Because of the word of God. and those who HAD NOT WORSHIPED the BEAST or his immage………
    So here we have BELIEVERS who did not follow the beast..They were not part of the WHOLE WORLD in Rev 13:3..As we see there is the World of the unbeleivers and the World od Beleivers which Yaq denies.

    And Yaq takes one word and goes to Strong’s ?????What???
    Look up John 3:16 in ANY Greek lexicon
    Mine says:
    For So LOVED GOD THE WORLD THAT HIS SON THE ONLY BEGOTTEN HE GAVE, THAT EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES ON HIM MAY NOT PERISH BUT MAY HAVE LIFE ETERNAL.
    The original Greek text translated word for word in english..No WHOSOEVER like I said..And those who believe , Present tense Like I said.

    This is from the Interlinear GREEK- English New Testament.

    It has the GREEK on one line and the English undre Each Greek word..As I said no One doubts there is no word WHOSOEVER and it means the Beleiving Ones..So John 3 :16 is limited to Everyone who Believes..Not Whosoever..One must Believe..God love’ in John 3 in a Saving special way. John refers to the WORLD of Believers..And God does not have a peanut butter love, the He spreads evenly to everone. God does not love Pharoah the same way God loves the Apostle John.
    Just like we do not love our neighbors wife lke we love our own wife.

    And read Romans about the Twins in thier Mothers whomb before they did good or bad God to show His election God Loved one and hated the other.

  11. vacca says:

    Mary

    Yaq , did not show one verse that said Jesus died for you and Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life..That is unbiblical!
    In Fact Jesus told the Jews the reason they do not beleive is because they are not HIS SHEEP! The were not His Elect
    Jesus tell us He speaks in parables so that it stops men from understanding , so thet won’t be saved. Jesus only reveals the Father to those He wills to.

    Mary there is no such thing as the 6 point Calvinist you describe.

    And yes. God controlls every minute thing even where each particle of dust lands. Where every leaf falls.
    For of Him, and through Him , and to Him, are ALL things.

    Gob bless Mary.
    .You are doing the right thing..God gets all the Glory wether people believe or not..We all deserve JUSTICE..No man ever gets anything from God he does not deserve..We all deserve HELL but by God’s GRACE HE saves those HE PLEASES for HIS own GOOD PLEASURE!
    For our God is in the HEavens and does what soever HE PLEASES. Pslams

  12. vacca says:

    Atta Girl Mary,

    Yes’ Just preach Christ crucified..And Paul Washer is a good man! Kepp listening to Him!

    Love ya,
    Vacca

  13. vacca says:

    I think I am about done with theses Topics..Thanks for the debate Yaq,

    And Mary feel free to e-mail me abouth anything you wish .Any time you like

    my e-mail is
    pcalvan@cox.net
    Godbless you Yaq

  14. YAQUBOS† says:

    vacca said:

    So Yaq Says:
    ” ………world can either mean the universe or the earth, or all humans, or the sinful system in this world. For the rest, it’s your imagination. In John 3:16 it means all humans.

    So John: 12:19 Says ” The Pharises therefore said to one another, : You see that you are not doing any good; look the WORLD has gone after Him. So according to Yaq the world means every Human.

    No, can’t you see that the Pharisees were using a figure of speech there? That’s an exaggeration to mean that many people are going after Jesus, while they are unable to do anything! So the Pharisees didn’t use the word “world” in its true sense there.

    Once again, you made the same error: quoting a verse without its context. I hope you don’t mean that Jesus was using an exaggeration in John 3:16…

    vacca said:

    Se we have every Human on the Face of the EARTH going after Jesus???/ Wow! People from China , and Russia, and Australa are all flying in to Follow Jesus..I quess this is just my immagination?

    Yeah, ask the Pharisees of that! Their exaggeration is similar to the following: “I am dying of boredom”… I hope you don’t think now that I am really dying, OK?… The verb “to die” is not used in its real sense here. The Pharisees made a similar exaggeration. Jesus was not exaggerating when He was talking to Nicodemus. But your one-sided system of theology would make Him do so in order to keep the system standing…

    vacca said:

    Yaq, said World means all humans..
    Also notice in the Verse the Pharisees are not following Jesus..So much for yaq exegesis of WORLD..

    Yeah, we’re seeing the strength of your exegesis when you quote verses out of their context and you misinterpret them… That’s really shameful for one who believes in Sola Scriptura…

    vacca said:

    Lets look at another one ( I could do this all night to show how absurd yaq’s comment on the world means one of three things but these two will do for now)

    I challenge you to quote ONE verse IN CONTEXT that contradicts what I said. And I know what I am talking about…

    vacca said:

    Romans 1: 8

    “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all. because your Faith is being proclaimed throughout the WHOLE WORLD..”
    So the Faith of believers at Rome was the subject of conversation by every Man, Woman, and Child on the entire Planet? WoW! How rediculous.

    This is the Epistle to the ROMANS, brother! Rome is the CAPITAL of the Roman Empire which was considered the whole world back then! And as I said before, “world” either means the universe or the earth, or all humans, or the sinful system in the world. Paul used here the second meaning which is “the earth”. The whole known world (earth) back then, and not necessarily all humans, heard about the faith of the Roman Christians, because Rome was the center and all news about Rome reached the whole known world back then!

    What’s the matter with you? Are you not being able to refute my strong biblical arguments with something better than this?…

    vacca said:

    Jesus said I do not pray for the Whole World only those you gave me out of the World

    Yes, and in that context He was praying for the unity of His Church! So, indeed, He was not praying for the whole world (not for all humans), but for those who are His!

    And? How does this prove your point, vacca?…

    vacca said:

    I also said there is a world of the ungodly ( unbeleivers) and a world of the Godly ( beleivers) which Yaq said was my immagination..

    Yes, show me ONE biblical passage in which “world” is used in the sense of “world of the godly”. I am challenging you. I hope these challenges will help you see the bankruptcy of your position…

    vacca said:

    As Yaq said World is ALL Humans..

    No, I did not say this. You see? You need to be exact when you present the position of others. I said: according to the context, “world” may mean the universe or the earth, or all humans, or the sinful system in the world. Did you get this for once?…

    vacca said:

    Which sows the absurdity from the 2 verse I gave..( Boy that must have been one long line folloeing after Jesus, can you immagine? LOL!

    The verses that you gave have showed your bankruptcy, as we have seen…

    vacca said:

    So not world of the ungodly . no seperation between the two Worlds according to Yaq, Always means one of the three definitions Yaq gave. ( which we see is Bogus) ‘

    Give me ONE biblical passage that contradicts what I said. I am waiting…

    vacca said:

    Lets look at 2 Peter 2 :5
    “.. and did not spare the ancient world, put presereved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, whenHE brought a flood upon the WORLD of the UNGODLY! There it is! and Noah was in the World of the GODLY!

    No, my friend! Put your Calvinistic assumption aside, and look what the verse is really saying! It says God did not spare the WHOLE ancient world! Here, “world” means all humans in the whole earth! But the flood did NOT come as a judgment on this whole world! Some were saved. The flood came as a judgment on the world! And here “world” is the sinful system in the world which Peter calls with its real description “world of the ungodly” which is synonymous to “sinful system of the world”!! Have I not said that one of the meanings of “world” is the sinful system in the world?? So if there is that sinful system called “world”, then there is a godly system also called world?? What kind of exegesis is this, vacca??!! What kind of logic??!!

    Do you see the absurdity of your interpretations? This is the result of human-made one-sided theology, vacca…

    vacca said:

    .But this is just my immagination.

    Of course! Show me where is “world” ever used to mean only the elect??! I challenge you!

    vacca said:

    Revelation 13:3
    ” And I saw one of his heads as if it had beenslain, and his fatal wound was healed. Anr the WHOLE EARTH was ammazed and follwed the beast”
    According to Yaq that is All Humans followed the beast. Is that true? Or is this again the WORLD of unbleievers lets see.
    Rev 20:4
    And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those that had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and Because of the word of God. and those who HAD NOT WORSHIPED the BEAST or his immage………
    So here we have BELIEVERS who did not follow the beast..They were not part of the WHOLE WORLD in Rev 13:3..

    Where is the word “world” used in Revelation 13:3, vacca?? WHERE?? Have you even begun to change words in the Bible to prove your point? The word used there is “earth” and not “world”. The context shows that that means that in the whole earth people were amazed of what happened. That doesn’t mean all humans, but people in the whole earth. That’s not the word “world”; it’s the word “earth”, and in this context that word “earth” is used in a way that means “people in the whole earth”. I guess you know that the earth is not a human to be amazed… So that verse means that “people everywhere on earth were amazed”.

    So once again you failed to bring any verse in which the word “world” (and not “earth”) is used in any other sense than the ones I gave you! You even tried to replace “earth” for “world” in a desperate effort to prove your point, but you failed… How sad… One-sided theology makes people handle God’s Holy Word in this way…

    vacca said:

    As we see there is the World of the unbeleivers and the World od Beleivers which Yaq denies.

    WHERE?? Where did you read the word “world” meaning “the world of believers”??? Show me.

    vacca said:

    And Yaq takes one word and goes to Strong’s ?????What???
    Look up John 3:16 in ANY Greek lexicon
    Mine says:
    For So LOVED GOD THE WORLD THAT HIS SON THE ONLY BEGOTTEN HE GAVE, THAT EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES ON HIM MAY NOT PERISH BUT MAY HAVE LIFE ETERNAL.
    The original Greek text translated word for word in english..No WHOSOEVER like I said..And those who believe , Present tense Like I said.

    See? So the text DOES say “everyone who believes on Him may not perish”.

    Thank you very much for backing up my point…

    vacca said:

    As I said no One doubts there is no word WHOSOEVER and it means the Beleiving Ones..

    As we have seen in YOUR quote, there is the expression “everyone who believes”. That’s enough for me. Thanks. I already told you what the Greek “pas ho” means, and you came to affirm what I said with this literal quote. You’re great at backing up my points, vacca.

    vacca said:

    So John 3 :16 is limited to Everyone who Believes..Not Whosoever..One must Believe..

    John 3:16 says more than one thing. It says that God loved the whole world (all humans) that He sent His Only-Begotten Son, so that all those who believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life. I don’t see who of us told you that even unbelievers will have eternal life. The text is clear: all those who believe in Christ will have eternal life.

    vacca said:

    God love’ in John 3 in a Saving special way.

    The verb for love there is the Greek “agape” which is unconditional love. The context shows clearly that it is not about special covenantal love. God could not have loved the sinners in a covenantal way unless they entered in the Covenant with Him by faith. God’s love did not appear to us while we were in that Covenant, but while we were yet sinners, as He sent His Son to a LOST world, and not to a world which is in a Covenantal relationship with Him. So you contradict all this when you say that God’s love in John 3 is that special covenantal love.

    vacca said:

    John refers to the WORLD of Believers..

    There is nothing called “world of believers” in the Bible. “World” in the Bible either means the universe or the earth, or all humans, or the sinful system in the world (which Peter called the world of the ungodly). In the context of John 3 we see clearly that “world” in John 3:16 means all humans. The earth or the universe have nothing to do in this context, and God hates the sinful system of the world. The only remaining option is “all humans”.

    vacca said:

    .And God does not have a peanut butter love, the He spreads evenly to everone. God does not love Pharoah the same way God loves the Apostle John.

    Agreed! What you said here is very right. But John 3:16 is not about peanut butter love, but about AGAPE love. Thanks for admitting that God DID love Pharaoh, although not with a covenantal love like He did to the Apostle John.

    vacca said:

    Just like we do not love our neighbors wife lke we love our own wife.

    Exactly! But we DO love (or rather SHOULD love) both women with the same AGAPE unconditional love, because Jesus taught us to love all humans, even our enemies.

    vacca said:

    And read Romans about the Twins in thier Mothers whomb before they did good or bad God to show His election God Loved one and hated the other.

    Yes, Romans was written hundreds of years after Jacob and Esau were dead, brother. Just read the context and see that the issue is not the time, but the choice of God according to Grace.

    Be in Peace!
    YAQUBOS†

  15. YAQUBOS† says:

    vacca said:

    Yaq , did not show one verse that said Jesus died for you and Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life..That is unbiblical!

    We have seen the verses where it is said that Jesus loves you and has died for you and therefore you have to repent and believe in Him. But I NEVER said that we should tell people that God has a wonderful plan for their life, because that’s NOT biblical. His wonderful plan is ONLY in Christ, and only those who have Christ can have that plan fulfilled in their lives.

    Don’t make me say things I did not say, vacca.

    vacca said:

    In Fact Jesus told the Jews the reason they do not beleive is because they are not HIS SHEEP! The were not His Elect

    Yes, only those who HAVE believed in Christ can believe what He says continuously. What’s your point? Are you doing the same error of quoting verses out of their context again?…

    vacca said:

    Jesus tell us He speaks in parables so that it stops men from understanding , so thet won’t be saved. Jesus only reveals the Father to those He wills to.

    Indeed! Jesus does NOT want a dead head-faith! And we have seen that ONLY those who have Christ have the life and thus can understand God spiritually.

    vacca said:

    And yes. God controlls every minute thing even where each particle of dust lands. Where every leaf falls.
    For of Him, and through Him , and to Him, are ALL things.

    Amen! He even controls every sinful act, but WITHOUT participating in that sinful act. He has not chosen anyone for Hell, so He is not responsible of their lack of faith in Him.

    vacca said:

    We all deserve HELL but by God’s GRACE HE saves those HE PLEASES for HIS own GOOD PLEASURE!
    For our God is in the HEavens and does what soever HE PLEASES. Pslams

    Amen! And His good pleasure is IN CHRIST. There is no blind fatalism.

    Be in Peace!
    YAQUBOS†

  16. YAQUBOS† says:

    About vacca’s words:

    I think I am about done with theses Topics..Thanks for the debate Yaq,

    And Mary feel free to e-mail me abouth anything you wish .Any time you like

    my e-mail is
    pcalvan@cox.net
    Godbless you Yaq

    Thanks for trying to explain the Calvinistic point of view, brother. I am glad you don’t tell people God loved them so much that He chose the majority of them for Hell. You are in my prayers.

    To all readers: vacca is my dear brother in Christ. For any question about Calvinism you can contact him, and I am sure he will faithfully explain his position. But before you ask him about Calvinism, ask him to explain to you the way of Salvation. I believe the Lord will give him the grace to help you know His truth.

    Be in Peace!
    YAQUBOS†

  17. Mary T says:

    Yaqubos and Vacca, I thoroughly enjoyed this topic, as I have learned from the both of you, and I will just have to trust the Holy Spirit to let me sort it out. Thank you for spending time on explaining it.

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