Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Synergism in Shambles! James R. White Exegetes John 6 in 8 Minutes

"Jesus teaches that God is sovereign and acts independently of the “free choices” of men. He likewise teaches that man is incapable of saving faith outside of the enablement of the Father. He then limits this drawing to the same individuals given by the Father to the Son. He then teaches irresistible grace on the elect (not on the “willing”) when He affirms that all those who are given to Him will come to Him."  James R. White, The Potters Freedom, 2nd ed. (Amityville, NY: Calvary Press, 2009), 153.

Dr. White goes on to say, 

". . . The first assertion is one of complete divine sovereignty . . . “All that the Father gives Me.” The Father gives someone to Christ. The elect are viewed as a single whole, given by the Father to the Son. The Father has the right to give a people to the Son. He is the sovereign King, and this is a divine transaction. All that are given by the Father to the Son come to the Son. Not some, not most, but all.  All those given by the Father to the Son will come to the Son. It is vital to see the truth that is communicated by this phrase: the giving by the Father to the Son precedes and determines the coming of the person to Christ. The action of giving by the Father comes before the action of coming to Christ by the individual. And since all of those so given infallibly come, we have here both unconditional election as well as irresistible grace, and that in the span of nine words! . . . the action of coming is dependent upon the action of giving . . . God’s giving results in man’s coming. Salvation is of the Lord."  James R. White, The Potters Freedom, 2nd ed. (Amityville, NY: Calvary Press, 2009), 155-6.

I would like to point out, as Dr. White said in the debate, the people following Jesus to Capernaum did it for the wrong reasons. They had motives other than God; their motives were self-serving. In my opinion this is most clear later in the chapter. After Jesus repeats once again that no one can come to Him unless it is granted them by the Father, we read in John 6:66, "From that time on many disciples went back and walked with Him no more." They went back and deserted the Master because they could not accept what Jesus said about His centrality in salvation and the sovereignty of His Father. In the next verse Jesus asks the twelve "Will you also leave me," and Simon-Peter answered, "Lord, to whom shall we go? For you have the words of eternal life. And we have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." The only reason anybody "chooses" and believes in Christ is because the Father enables them to do so. The right reason to believe comes only from God. 


PrinceVlad said...

When does one realize that he does not have the ability to turn away from God? When does one differentiate between the feeling of being saved instead of feeling pride?

otto said...

When one reads the words "and the one coming to Me I shall never cast out."

In one sense, nobody has the ability to turn away from God. We all "move and breathe and have our being in God." There is no way to hide from Him.

In another sense, even the "best" Christians turn away from God every single day, multiple times a day. This is because we are sinful creatures and we cannot follow God's precepts perfectly, we have fallen from grace in Adam. This is sin. (But I am not talking here about the Antinomian heresy of continuing in sin without restraint - some sort of "license to sin" because we are saved - rather I mean God is SO PERFECT it is impossible to fulfill every requirement He has of us. True Christians do not wish to live in sin; and those who do and claim to be Christians are liars.)

Romans 6:1,2 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be so! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

1 John 3:9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (this might seem different at first from what I just said, but the point of this verse is that we do not habitually sin. Christians are not inveterate sinners.)

1 Timothy 1:5 But the aim of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.

Yet in another sense, some true believers "fall away" from the faith for a time, or can fall into serious sin for a time. But if one is truly regenerated God will always draw him back to repentance and faith. The true believer will persevere to the end of his life, in faith, regardless of how many stumbling blocks he encounters along the way - and his "falling away" would not be a sincere falling away in the first place, for a believer that is. This is commonly called the doctrine of eternal security or the perseverance of the saints. But we mustn't ever get too comfortable in this world, only in the faith of our Lord, and we must work out our salvation in fear and trembling!

I think your question can be framed such, How do I know I am saved? How can I be sure of my salvation?

A Christian's salvation has been sealed with the blood of the Lamb! You know you are saved because you have faith in the redemption purchased for you by Christ and you assent to the propositions of the Bible, and this faith is applied to you by the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit that works the faith in you and unites you to Christ. Simply, you can know by reading the bible, by believing what it says, and by faith in the Lord.

otto said...

These are the words of eternal security:

John 10:28-31 And I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one."

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

2 Co 1:21-22 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.(The word here for "established" means, "to confirm," "to secure," and notice the word sealed)

1 Corinthians 1:8 He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

Rom 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Point being that that we can now continue in the newness of life in Christ and that sin does not have a reign over us any longer; we are slaves to sin no more!

I do not understand the second part of your statement. Salvation is NOT a mere feeling. It is not even, in the most infinitesimal way, on the same level with pride. You cannot compare the two, it is impossible. It is the difference between life and death. Salvation is knowing and believing what the good Lord has done for all who are His. Believers are not believers because of a whim or a temporary feeling. Are there true Christians who are proud? Of course, but they repent of their sin; we are all proud, it is one of the effects of the fallen heart. I have tried my best to answer you, forgive me if I have misunderstood you.