Regeneration Precedes Faith

In post 7 of the thread titled http://sharperiron.org/forum/thread-does-regeneration-precede-faith]Does Regeneration Precede Faith? I wrote:

Quote:
I intend to write an article for my blog on the subject of regeneration preceding faith. I will start a new thread on SI to discuss my article as well as post a link to that article here.

I have titled my article http://canjamerican.blogspot.com/2010/02/regeneration-precedes-faith.html Regeneration Precedes Faith . This paragraph explains my purpose:

Quote:
My purpose in writing this article is to show that regeneration, as it is understood by Calvinists, must precede faith. To that end, we will first look at the Canons of Dordt, specifically the section presenting man's spiritual depravity. Following that, we will see from the writing and preaching of selected Calvinists that they affirm the idea of regeneration preceding faith. This article will conclude with a look at the story of the raising of Lazarus from John 11. In my opinion, it is one of the best illustrations of regeneration preceding faith.

I do not moderate comments on my blog so feel free to post comments there or here, whether you agree or disagree.

Here are links to archived SI discussions on the same subject.

http://20.sharperiron.org/showthread.php?t=7755]What is first – repentance or belief?

http://20.sharperiron.org/showthread.php?t=1738]Which came first -- Regeneration or Faith?

http://20.sharperiron.org/showthread.php?t=2844]"That Spurgeon's sermons teach that regeneration precedes and gives rise to faith is impossible to deny."

The link in the first post has changed to http://sharperiron.org/spurgeons-sermons-teach-regeneration-precedes-and...this but Mike Riley’s link has expired.

If you would like to have a PDF of my article you may email me.

22217 reads
Paul S's picture

Caleb S wrote:
Paul S wrote:
Well there is a real difference between "before" in the Greek and the word translated "from" in relation to the foundation of the world. The two Greek words used in their respective contexts are not the same word and not the same meaning. The ESV is NOT a good translation based on its reading for Revelation 13:8. See Ephesians 1:4 and 1 Peter 1:20, for" before the foundation of the world." And Luke 11:50 sets the sense for the meaning of "from the foundation of the world." The two Greek words are simply not used interchangeably.

Non Sequitar
This is just a simple post to point out a non sequitar. Certainly, it is true that one word may have a meaning that is different than another word. . . .
Facts are not non sequitur. A disagreement over interpretation is not a non sequitur either.

Caleb S wrote:

Error
However, there are not two different Greek words in play here. Revelation 13:8 and Revelation 17:8 have the same Greek word "pro" just before "katabalas cosmou" (foundation of the world).
Here you are mistaken. The Greek word used in Revelation 13:8 and Revelation 17:8 is "apo" meaning in the context "from." "since," "after." The very same Greek phrase "apo katabalas cosmou" as used in Luke 11:50 and Hebrews 9:26.

The only true God is, who is, the only self evident truth not contingent on any thing else.

"[There is] no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD." -- Proverbs 21:30.

Caleb S's picture

Caleb S wrote:
Error
However, there are not two different Greek words in play here. Revelation 13:8 and Revelation 17:8 have the same Greek word "pro" just before "katabalas cosmou" (foundation of the world).

Further, Ephesians 1:4 and 1 Peter 1:20 both use the word "pro", and they are translated "before". This demonstrates that the semantic range of the Greek word "pro" encompasses both English renderings of "before" and "from".

Just like the English word "trunk" has a semantic range that can encompass quite a few different things, so also the Greek word "pro" has a semantic range that encompasses both English renderings of "before" and "from."
. . . .


As others have noted, the two verses in Revelation quoted above use "apo" rather than "pro". Thank you for pointing out my mistake. That is what I get for trying to write something quickly. My apologies.

Jim C's picture

Chip,

First, let me comment on the use of the word “death” since it is used in the contexts of the passages that I will quote in the next post. (Please forgive me for the extended length of this explanation. I felt that the importance of this subject and its relationship to our discussioin dictated extra Biblical support.)

On this earth we most often think of “death” as the end of life in our physical body. But I believe that the Bible often uses the term as a destination of the souls of dead people. In my understanding “death” = Sheol, but neither “death” nor Sheol equals heaven. In Sheol there was a protected place for believers and a place of torment for the others. In the OT only 3 people did not go to the place of death: Enoch, Moses, and Elijah. Watch how the term “death” is used in the New Testament. Jesus makes a startling announcement: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man keep my saying he shall never see death” (John 8:51). Did Jesus mean that men wouldn’t die if they kept His sayings? I do not think so. Rather they would not go to the place of “death”. Again Jesus says, “Verily, I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom” (Matt. 16:28). (The context follows Jesus telling about His coming with His angels, and rewarding every man according to his works. We know that all of the men standing there died physically. But some believed on Jesus Christ, and lived after his resurrection, and when they died physically they “passed over death” and immediately went to be with the Lord. Then just before He died, Jesus cried out with prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to Him who could save Him from (out of) death, and He was heard because of His piety” (Heb. 5:7). God didn’t save Jesus from dying. Was Jesus asking not to die, even though he knew that was the reason that He came, and “for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross”. Jesus came that He “should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9). Through death, “Jesus destroyed Him who had the power of death that is the devil” (Heb. 2:14). (Does the devil have the power over ‘physical death’? No, he held the power of the place of death) Jesus put an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power (Acts 2:24). Jesus did not put an end to physical death. Rather, “Christ Jesus abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2Tim. 1:10). God asked Job if the “gates of death had been revealed to him” (Job 38:17). David said that God was the one who would lift him up from the gates of death (Ps. 9:13). And in Revelation Jesus proclaimed that He had the keys to death” (Rev. 1:18). Near the end of Revelation we are told that death and Hades give up the dead which are in them (Rev. 20:13). And death and Hades are thrown into the lake of fire, also known as “the second death” (Rev. 20:14, 21:8).

Jim C's picture

Chip,

You stated,

Quote:
Sheol is sometimes clearly used in the OT to reference the grave, where the body of the deceased decays. It is also sometimes clearly a reference to the place of the afterlife, where the soul goes when it departs the body…. Context tells us whether the reference is to the abode of the soul or the physical form…. In Jesus' story, all would have entered sheol - the place of the dead. The rich man was in hell; Abraham and Lazerus were in heaven.

Correct me if I am wrong. You seem to be saying that Sheol is one word with many meanings: “the grave”, “hell”, and “heaven”. You decide what the meaning is by the context of the passage. The deceased body can abide in Sheol= “the grave”, and the deceased soul can abide in Sheol=hell, or Sheol= heaven.

If I am correct in my assessment, then there seems to be a difficulty with your view. First, the verses that I referenced (in post #103) all were speaking of the SOUL in reference to Sheol. Since, by your definition “the grave” is for the physical body” then each of these passages would not be speaking of “the grave”. I would like to highlight a couple of verses and the difficulty it presents with your view.

Ps 89:48
What man can live and not see death?
Can he deliver his SOUL from the power of Sheol ?

This verse is speaking about the soul. Therefore the location is not “the grave”. When the Psalmist asks, what man can live and not see death, he might be speaking of physical death. But I believe he is referencing “death” as the abode of departed souls. All OT men except for 3 “saw death”. No man can deliver his own soul from the power of Sheol (who has the power over Sheol/death whom Jesus eventually put an end to?— Heb. 2:14). Now if Sheol can sometimes mean heaven as you contend, then I say it doesn’t mean heaven in this case, because no man would want or need to deliver his soul from heaven!

Ps 49:7-9
7 No man can by any means redeem his brother
Or give to God a ransom for him —
8 For the redemption of his soul is costly,
And he should cease trying forever —
9 That he should live on eternally,
NASU
Ps 49:15
15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol,
For He will receive me. Selah
.
NASU

Again this verse refers to the soul, not the body, therefore in this part of the verse Sheol is not referring to the grave. Sheol could not mean heaven in this instance either, since God would not need to redeem someone from heaven, and God would have already received him. This verse cannot be Sheol= hell. This soul would not be one that is in torment in Sheol (hell), since he will not be redeemed, and God will not receive him. Therefore, there is a SOUL held by power in Sheol that knows that he will be redeemed by God one day. And when the SOUL is redeemed by the blood of the sacrificed Lamb, God will receive Him.

Acts 2:31
(David) foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades,

This verse is speaking about Christ’s soul. Therefore this parallel passage to Acts 2:27 is not referring to the grave. Christ’s soul was not “abandoned” (NASB) in Hades. This passage did not say that Christ did not go to Sheol/Hades, rather he was not left there. So did His Soul go to the place of death, thereby “tasting death for all men” (Heb. 2:9), and destroying the devil who had the power of death (Heb. 2:14), putting an end to the agony of death (Acts 2:24), abolishing death (2Tim. 1:10), and since Christ had no sin (He was the undefiled, spotless Lamb of God) death could not hold Him (Acts 2:24). The veil of the temple tore in two at the moment of Christ’s death. The Spirit says that this signifies that the way into the holy place was now disclosed (Heb. 9:8). The way in was made. Jesus had just provided a “new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil of His flesh” (Heb. 10:20). This was pictured in the feast days of the Old Covenant. The Passover Lamb was killed at the end of the Jewish day, and that evening began the Feast of Unleavened bread. The Children of Israel were to bring one sheaf of the firstfruits of their harvest unto the priest. Then on the day after the Sabbath, the priest was to wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you” (Lev. 23:6-11). Then, seven weeks later was the feast of weeks, later called the Day of Pentecost where they were to bring two loaves of bread baked with leaven, “they are the firstfruits to the Lord” (Lev. 23:17). Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb, slain on Passover, and He is the single individual who first procedes through the veil into the heavenly Holy Place. Then on the day after the Sabbath He is raised physically, represented by the waving of the sheaf by the priest. Then 7 weeks later, The Day of Pentecost was the first day that men were baptized by the Lord Jesus Christ, into the Body of Christ, with the Holy Spirit. The two loaves seem to portray the Jews and the Gentiles who have both become fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel (Eph. 3:6).

Paul S's picture

Caleb S wrote:
Caleb S wrote:
Error
However, there are not two different Greek words in play here. Revelation 13:8 and Revelation 17:8 have the same Greek word "pro" just before "katabalas cosmou" (foundation of the world).

Further, Ephesians 1:4 and 1 Peter 1:20 both use the word "pro", and they are translated "before". This demonstrates that the semantic range of the Greek word "pro" encompasses both English renderings of "before" and "from".

Just like the English word "trunk" has a semantic range that can encompass quite a few different things, so also the Greek word "pro" has a semantic range that encompasses both English renderings of "before" and "from."
. . . .


As others have noted, the two verses in Revelation quoted above use "apo" rather than "pro". Thank you for pointing out my mistake. That is what I get for trying to write something quickly. My apologies.

I trust then what you ment to wrote was:

Quote:
Error
However, there are not two different Greek words in play here. Revelation 13:8 and Revelation 17:8 have the same Greek word "apo" just before "katabalas cosmou" (foundation of the world).

Further, Ephesians 1:4 and 1 Peter 1:20 both use the word "pro", and they are translated "before". This demonstrates that the semantic range of the Greek word "pro" encompasses both English renderings of "before" and "from".

Just like the English word "trunk" has a semantic range that can encompass quite a few different things, so also the Greek word "pro" has a semantic range that encompasses both English renderings of "before" and "from."
. . . .

The only true God is, who is, the only self evident truth not contingent on any thing else.

"[There is] no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD." -- Proverbs 21:30.

Paul S's picture

Paul S wrote:

I trust then what you ment to wrote was:

Quote:
Error
However, there are not two different Greek words in play here. Revelation 13:8 and Revelation 17:8 have the same Greek word "apo" just before "katabalas cosmou" (foundation of the world).

Further, Ephesians 1:4 and 1 Peter 1:20 both use the word "pro", and they are translated "before". This demonstrates that the semantic range of the Greek word "pro" encompasses both English renderings of "before" and "from".

Just like the English word "trunk" has a semantic range that can encompass quite a few different things, so also the Greek word "pro" has a semantic range that encompasses both English renderings of "before" and "from."
. . . .

Well I'm mistaken here. Since the Greek word "pro" as far as I know has not been translated as "from.."

The only true God is, who is, the only self evident truth not contingent on any thing else.

"[There is] no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD." -- Proverbs 21:30.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Jim,

Weekends get hectic, so I probably wont have time to interact with your posts before next week - just didn't want you to think I was ignoring you. I do think you are looking for too much detail in sheol. It is just a general word for those who have left this realm. It only has one meaning, but it covers a broad spectrum of thoughts. It simply was net developed in the OT.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jim C's picture

Chip,
I like what a pastor said once. "If God said it, it matters!"

I believe that God has given us the depth of His Word for a purpose, and we are to mine its depths. If we are in a disagreement, then one of us may be right, or we could both be wrong, but God's Word does hold the truth. I appreciate a discussion like this because it drives us deeper into the Word and we see the finer detail that we may have overlooked before. I believe that we are instructed to "Test all things; hold fast what is good." (1 Thess 5:21).

Have a great weekend!

Alex Guggenheim's picture

When we consider the preservation by God of the story of the resuscitation of Lazarus from his state of death and its record in Scripture, we must consider the purpose or intent of the event itself and its record in Scripture. It has been asserted here that the resuscitation of Lazarus is either in part or whole an example of our regeneration in the new birth.

It is true that any assertion at any time regarding Scripture can be made, however assertions in and unto themselves are not sufficient (no one has done that I am stating the obvious on which to build). One must also have contextual vetting to support their use of Scripture. This is accomplished in several ways, often with heavy exegesis, sometimes with the plainness of the text or with direct statements in the texts. Also observations can be made about a text that helps us derive from it certain valid principles that can be demonstrated harmoniously within the text itself and throughout Scripture.

In John 11 then, we must go to the text and ask ourselves, does the text provide sufficient information to tell us the intention of the event and its record? Fortunately it does.

The first thing we find is that this death of Lazarus was special; it was not common in its context to all men because it had a specific purpose:

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4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.
The death of Lazarus was for the purpose of God the Son’s glorification which results in the glory of God. The next question then is what is meant by the “glorification of God the Son”. How, specifically, did this occur. This is answered in verse 40-42:
Quote:
40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me."

In other words, people were grappling with the person of Christ. His Messiahship was in question by enough people that God determined the performance of this event would not only result in the glorification of God the Son in showing he indeed was the one with power over life and death but the glory of God altogether. This sign was to vet his commission as God’s Son, the Messiah, sent from God the Father with power of life and death:
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25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Many had not come to the point that the oft maligned Martha came in her eloquent statement about Christ:
Quote:
27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
And the result of this event was not with the declaration, “See now how it is in the new birth, the order of one’s regeneration”, rather the result of this miraculous resuscitation, which reveals its intention, is found in verse 45:
Quote:
45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.
The context of this event is quite clear, to record the demonstration of our Lord that he was the Messiah and that from this sign of resuscitating Lazarus back to life he indeed was the one with power of life and death. Therefore we must categorically reject its use as an intended parallel or analogy of part or all of the process of one’s regeneration at the new birth on context alone. It is immediately eliminated. We may not, then, arrest the context and attempt to use it for another purpose, even if some of its parts seem to fit this other context.

A second appeal might come by way of observation. As I said above one might argue that while explicit statements or the context is not about the order or regeneration, we might observe certain things and project from them valid principles. And this is true, if the context were about the issue being raised. Here it is not. But let’s lay that problem aside and pursue it with what would be required to make the analogy fit.

In order for an analogy to fit we must have a certain number of parallels or sameness. By comparison we will find that not even that fits. It is true we might find a few similar elements but that is the best we can do and such a lacking falls significantly short what would be required within theological orthodoxy to sustain such a proposition.

A. Lazarus is resuscitated, brought back to life in his corrupted body. When we are spiritually regenerated we are given an uncorrupted spirit. The correspondence to this is not a corrupted body which is reanimated, rather the reception of our incorruptible bodies at the resurrection. These two events, Lazarus resuscitation and our regeneration, while containing an element or two that are similar, differ fundamentally in their substance.

B. Lazarus is called to walk out of the tomb. If we are making an analogy, the use of walking in Scripture does not pertain to a context of when one is regenerated but the process of maturity in the Lord. Again, the context are similar, possibly, but do not fit upon close examination.

While analogies are not intended to be detailed schematic matches, they must be contextually intended and substantively in possession of correlations that unfold in the narrative without difficulty or ignoring large elements that are lacking harmony with such assertions. This is only a basic and immediate consideration but simply its context and the statements within the text tell us that this is not intended to be analogous of spiritual resurrection so it must be rejected on that alone but even we consider the possibility of an analogy, it fails too greatly in comparison.

Jim C's picture

Alex,

That was a great post. It stirred my thinking in new ways. We know that Jesus Christ had raised others from the dead before Lazarus. There was a record of Elijah raising the dead. We’re these other records of individuals raised from the dead closer to the time of their decease? We know that Jesus was in the tomb for 3 nights and days, yet the Bible foretold that God would not allow His body to suffer corruption. But Lazarus was different. He had been in the tomb 4 days. His body had suffered corruption. The people were concerned because Lazarus was stinking. He had already succumbed to the corruption. So as you so aptly stated,

Quote:
The context of this event is quite clear, to record the demonstration of our Lord that he was the Messiah and that from this sign of resuscitating Lazarus back to life he indeed was the one with power of life and death.

I would add, Jesus had the power of life, the power over death and corruption. This demonstrates that God will have no problem raising corrupted bodies to life without corruption/decay one day in the future.

I really like the point that you made that Lazarus did not receive the uncorrupted Spirit as we do in regeneration.

Additionally, I would refute the usage of Lazarus to describe regeneration because men were not regenerated before Jesus Christ rose from the dead, and began to indwell men’s hearts, to give them the gift of eternal life. (1Pet. 1:3, Eph. 3:17; 1John 5:11, 12). Men who lived prior to the resurrection (i.e. Heb. 11) could not be in the state of “Total Depravity”, needing regeneration just to be able to have faith, because they did have faith, and they did things through faith which did please God. All without being regenerated.

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Jim,

Something else just dawned on me from verse 45:

Quote:
45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

In the midst of our discussion, this verse brings to light something else to consider for all of those dealing with the theological proposition that God regenerates first and from that people accept the truth of our Savior (i.e. believe). Clearly here, no such declaration is made and in fact, quite the opposite is made.

A sign was given through a miraculous event by our Lord and from this sign, "many of the Jews...believed in him". The sign provided the convincing element to overcome their doubts. What is being attributed as the cause of their belief? A sign or elected regeneration? The sign was the source of illumination, not a preceding regeneration, and from that they believed on Christ.The text clearly attributes the cause of their final convincing to be that of the sign by our Lord in the miraculous resuscitation.

Are we now going to suggest that before the sign was performed, those that believed were actually regenerated even then resulting in their belief? I doubt there exists a single commentary offering this interpretation anywhere but that would be the only option for those proposing regeneration occurs before one believes when we prescribe it here.

And this is one of the calamities with regeneration before faith. On paper, and apart from its thorough biblical prescription, as a rational appeal to pious acquiescence to divine prerogative and sovereignty, this theological construct of regeneration before one believes sounds quite high and has a constructive or rational sense. But its Scriptural application, to me and clearly many others, is an epic fail. And here is one of those examples in this singular verse.

If regeneration as the cause of faith is so vital, so preeminently true, then where is its pronouncement here and in so many like places? But for the sake of accepting that sometimes our doctrines are derived from implied and observed means we are still left with a very plain text asserting something quite contrary to regeneration as the cause of believing.

James K's picture

Exactly Alex. The usage of this story as a picture of regeneration preceding faith is just special pleading. When you consider the other stories in John which would actually defy the point some on here are trying to make, it is all the more reason to reject their "picture" of regeneration.

Those who have argued regeneration preceding faith have simply presented a position, and then found an example (a bad one at that).

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Jim C.

Sorry it took so long to get back to you - life just got in the way.

While I agree that death might sometimes be used to designate the abode of the dead, I do not agree it is always, or even normally, to be understood this way. Your entire post, 123, completely ignores the spiritual use of death, seen throughout the Bible from the fall on. You seem to be lumping all uses of the word into one meaning, and frankly they just don't fit.

Now, let me try to clarify what I have been saying about sheol. Post 124 is still looking for too much detail. It is simply the abode of the dead. Each of the verses you cite is completely understandable is you substitute "abode of the dead" or "residence of the deceased" for sheol. Sometimes it references the grave, sometimes the eternal dwelling place of the soul. It is simply a general term refernecing the place one goes when this life is over. Per your final paragraph, yes Christ tasted death. He died - physically - then he overcame death and rose again. He was not the captive of death. This is the sense of Acts 2:27. See how it is translated int eh Amplified Bible - “For You will not abandon my soul, leaving it helpless in Hades (the state of departed spirits), nor let Your Holy One know decay or see destruction .” (Ac 2:27 Amplified)

Now, I reiterate the still unanswered question regarding legal status. We know OT saints were redeemed by faith, just like NT saints. We also know Jesus Christ was the lamb reckoned slain from the foundation of the world. The promise was as effective to save OT saints before its temporal occurrence as it was to save NT saints after its temporal occurrence. (God is atemporal, transcending time) It is only on the basis of this one event that either group can be redeemed by a holy God. We know NT saints go immediately to heaven upon death - 2 Cor 2:5-8. If it is insufficient to fully redeem OT saints and get them to heaven before the temporal event, on what legal basis is a holy God justified in granting temporary or partial reprieve? IOW, if they are not saved, why are they not condemned? Conversely, if they are judged by the merit of Christ's death to be justified before the law and no longer condemned, then why only half way saved. Legally, this half-way redemption is unscriptural.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jim C's picture

Chip,

Can you give me your Biblical support for the following statements which you expressed with such certainty?

1. We know OT saints were redeemed by faith, just like NT saints.
Where in the Bible does it say that anyone was redeemed by faith?

2. We also know Jesus Christ was the lamb reckoned slain from the foundation of the world.
Where does the Bible say that the Lamb was “reckoned slain from the foundation of the world”? Rev. 13:8, and 17:8 are both speaking about the Book of Life, which was written before the foundation of the world. The owner of the book was identified- “of the Lamb Slain”.

Quote:
Rev 13:8
8 And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.
NASB

3. The promise was as effective to save OT saints before its temporal occurrence as it was to save NT saints after its temporal occurrence.

4. God is atemporal, transcending time

How did God take men whose sins were “as scarlet” and “as crimson” and make them “as white as the snow” prior to the death, shed blood, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?

You said:

Quote:
Sometimes it references the grave, sometimes the eternal dwelling place of the soul. It is simply a general term refernecing the place one goes when this life is over. Per your final paragraph, yes Christ tasted death. He died - physically - then he overcame death and rose again. He was not the captive of death. This is the sense of Acts 2:27. See how it is translated int eh Amplified Bible - “For You will not abandon my soul, leaving it helpless in Hades (the state of departed spirits), nor let Your Holy One know decay or see destruction .” (Ac 2:27 Amplified)

Do we agree that Acts 2:27 is speaking specifically about Jesus Christ, the only man undefiled by sin?
It speaks of His SOUL (not abandoned to Hades/Sheol/place of the departed dead)
It speaks of His BODY (not left in the grave to decay)

Can you explain to me your understanding of what happened to Jesus’ soul when He died on the cross?

Jim C's picture

Chip,
I'm sorry for throwing so many questions out there. In retrospect, it would be better to stay focused. I do not understand what you are saying here. Would you please help to clarify my understanding by answering the question in bold?

You said:

Quote:
Sometimes it references the grave, sometimes the eternal dwelling place of the soul. It is simply a general term refernecing the place one goes when this life is over. Per your final paragraph, yes Christ tasted death. He died - physically - then he overcame death and rose again. He was not the captive of death. This is the sense of Acts 2:27. See how it is translated int eh Amplified Bible - “For You will not abandon my soul, leaving it helpless in Hades (the state of departed spirits), nor let Your Holy One know decay or see destruction .” (Ac 2:27 Amplified)

Do we agree that Acts 2:27 is speaking specifically about Jesus Christ, the only man undefiled by sin?
It speaks of His SOUL (not abandoned to Hades/Sheol/place of the departed dead)
It speaks of His BODY (not left in the grave to decay)

Can you explain to me your understanding of what happened to Jesus’ soul when He died on the cross?

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Jim,

I guess the lag time has gotten to you too. Smile Most of the questions you asked here were already asked (by you) and answered in post 109.

Now, I have been answering questions for some 30 posts, but the question I have been asking remains unanswered. Before we go any further, please provide your thoughts on the legal status of OT saints at death. I will restate it again:

We know OT saints were redeemed by faith, just like NT saints (Heb 11 [esp verse 39 ]; James 2:23; 2 Pet 2:7). We also know Jesus Christ was the lamb reckoned slain from the foundation of the world (i.e. efficacious for redemption) (Rev. 13:8 [Greek scholarship is somewhat divided on the construction of this verse, though the majority agree the grammatical structure indicates it is the Lamb slain from the foundation rather than the book which was from the foundation - see Barnes, Jamison, Faucet and Brown ]; Eph. 1:4; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Pet 1:19-20). The promise was as effective to save OT saints before its temporal occurrence as it was to save NT saints after its temporal occurrence. (God is atemporal, transcending time) It is only on the basis of this one event that either group can be redeemed by a holy God. We know NT saints go immediately to heaven upon death - 2 Cor 2:5-8. If it is insufficient to fully redeem OT saints and get them to heaven before the temporal event, on what legal basis is a holy God justified in granting temporary or partial reprieve? IOW, if they are not saved, why are they not condemned? Conversely, if they are judged by the merit of Christ's death to be justified before the law and no longer condemned, then why only half way saved. Legally, this half-way redemption is unscriptural.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jim C's picture

Chip,
Help me to understand your view of "what happened to the soul of Jesus Christ when He died?" As I try to think through what the various possibilities might be, they do not seem to make sense with the verse we are addressing (Acts 2:27).

Thanks,
Jim

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I entered the discussion after you dismissed Paul's contention that there was a place (not heaven) where God kept the souls of OT believers while they awaited the redemption and salvation that God had promised. I gave you an overview of Scripture that spoke about men's souls needing to be delivered from Sheol, or redeemed from Sheol. If they were in heaven they would not need to be delivered or redeemed. With a broad brush you seemed to sweep away the discussion. It seemed that you tried to circumvent the discussion. Yet, it seems to me there is some inconsistancy with your explanation and some of the details contained in the word of God regarding men's souls after death. I would really like to understand how you interpret some of these verses before you expand the discussion in a completely different direction on this thread. Perhaps you could begin a different thread for this different discussion.

I believe that this discussion belongs on this thread because there are those of us who believe that there was no Biblical regeneration (see below) or salvation prior to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are contending that God kept men "safe" while they were waiting for their redemption which would come through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. It seems to me that this is the only consistent interpretation of the verses which speak of men's souls in death. I am wanting to test my understanding of these Scriptures. And I am seeking to understand how you interpret these verses and test the consistency of this interpretation. (If you are amenable).

FYI I believe: (not for discussion yet, just helping you understand where I am coming from)

BIBLICAL REGENERATION: God sending the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, into the hearts of men to dwell (Eph. 3:17), to give them the gift of eternal life (1John 5:11, 12), the gift of salvation (Eph. 2:5).

Jesus Christ the Last Adam became the life giving Spirit (1Cor. 15:45). Without Jesus Christ in us there is no new life (1John 5:12). Men are saved by His life (Rom. 5:10); men are saved by regeneration (Titus 3:5); and when men are made alive with Jesus Christ, by grace they have been saved (Eph. 2:5). No man is "made alive with Jesus Christ" without having Jesus Christ dwelling in him. A person is saved when they are made alive with Jesus Christ. Faith preceded Biblical regeneration for thousands of years. Faith precedes Jesus coming to dwell in men's hearts (Eph. 3:17). Faith precedes the reception of eternal life (lots of verses!), and faith precedes salvation (lots of verses!) When a man is supposed to examine himself to see if he is in the faith, there is only one test (see the context!)-- "that Christ is in you!" unless you fail the test! (2Cor. 13:5)

On the Day of Pentecost Jesus (who became High Priest) began to baptize men into His Body, they became members of His Body (His Church). They became priests under the new covenant, and temples of God (God the Father and Jesus Christ now dwell in the hearts of men, and make themselves "one" spirit with men. The Father and Son did not do that before the cross, but Jesus did pray for this before the cross. The blood had to be shed which could cleanse men of their sins, and the sacrifice had to be offered in the heavenly holy place which could make men holy-- ready for the indwelling presence and union with a holy God.) God predestined what men would receive "in Christ", but no man was placed "in Christ" before the Day of Pentecost.

Jim C's picture

I came into this discussion, “Regeneration Precedes Faith”, quite late. In closely reviewing some past posts, I was reminded of a question that I always wondered about…

In Post #9 JohnBrian stated (highlighting mine):

Quote:
In John 5:24 we see a process, which begins with hearing and ends with eternal life. There is no everlasting life prior to believing “in Him who sent Me,” and hearing the word is a prerequisite to believing. Hearing precedes believing and believing precedes eternal life. What verse 24 does not address is the whom that is capable of hearing. For that we must go back to verse 21.

Quote:
John 5:21 NKJV wrote:
For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.

Quote:
Here we note that the Father raises the dead and gives life to those He has raised. So the order of this process is – Father raising the dead to life, those now raised hear the word, believe, and are promised everlasting life. The phrase “passed from death into life,” summarizes the process. Those who were once spiritually dead have been raised by the Father, which provides them with hearing ears, leading to belief and eternal life.
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Is it true that “the Father raises men to life providing them with hearing ears” and those who are raised have the capacity to “hear the word”? Is it true that there is a difference in capacity of hearing between the unregenerate and the regenerate?
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I have always wondered…
Can an unregenerate man spiritually perceive the truth of the gospel?
Can an unregenerate man “hear the gospel”?
Can an unregenerate man understand the gospel?
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Is hearing the gospel really necessary for an individual to come to Jesus Christ in faith? How much of the gospel must one hear and understand? What is the basic gospel message must one “hear” and “understand”, and how long does it take a “preacher” to present this ‘bare minimum message’?
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Then JohnBrian seemed to change his message. Later in Post #9 he stated:

Quote:
I believe that regeneration and faith are simultaneous activities, with regeneration being the cause and faith being the effect, I don’t believe an individual can be regenerated and them sometime later exercise faith.

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And in Post #10 he stated:
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Quote:
I don’t know any monergist who would say that an individual can be regenerated without simultaneously expressing faith. There is no time gap between regeneration and exercise of faith
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If regeneration is necessary to bring forth the hearing, but if at the exact same moment a person is regenerated he is expressing saving faith, then did the individual actually hear any of the gospel?
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Is the message of the gospel really important? Or, is the gospel just a vehicle for God to use to give a gift of saving faith, and a vehicle to use to call the unregenerate into a state of instantaneous believing? Is this new believer, now believing the message which moments before he couldn't even perceive the spiritual truth of the message, or even really hear, or understand the message?
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Is everyone regenerated in a gospel presentation? Is it possible for someone to be regenerated/come to faith in Jesus Christ in isolation from other people, where the gospel isn’t even present?
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Thanks for any interaction that would help me understand this seeming contradiction!

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Jim C wrote:
I believe that this discussion belongs on this thread because there are those of us who believe that there was no Biblical regeneration (see below) or salvation prior to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are contending that God kept men "safe" while they were waiting for their redemption which would come through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. It seems to me that this is the only consistent interpretation of the verses which speak of men's souls in death.

Jim,

This is exactly why I ask the question. It is foundational to this issue. What you present is contra-scriptural and logically inconsistent. You have no basis for God's partial preservation of sinners in this unorthodox system you espouse. I will restate the question yet again.

What is the legal foundation for God to provide a half-way measure for people in the OT. We know OT saints were redeemed by faith, just like NT saints (Heb 11 [esp verse 39 ]; James 2:23; 2 Pet 2:7). We also know Jesus Christ was the lamb reckoned slain from the foundation of the world (i.e. efficacious for redemption) (Rev. 13:8 [Greek scholarship is somewhat divided on the construction of this verse, though the majority agree the grammatical structure indicates it is the Lamb slain from the foundation rather than the book which was from the foundation - see Barnes, Jamison, Faucet and Brown ]; Eph. 1:4; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Pet 1:19-20). The promise was as effective to save OT saints before its temporal occurrence as it was to save NT saints after its temporal occurrence. (God is atemporal, transcending time) It is only on the basis of this one event that either group can be redeemed by a holy God. We know NT saints go immediately to heaven upon death - 2 Cor 2:5-8. If it is insufficient to fully redeem OT saints and get them to heaven before the temporal event, on what legal basis is a holy God justified in granting temporary or partial reprieve? IOW, if they are not saved, why are they not condemned? Conversely, if they are judged by the merit of Christ's death to be justified before the law and no longer condemned, then why only half way saved. Legally, this half-way redemption is unscriptural.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jim C's picture

If you believe OT believers went to heaven when they died, can you answer this question that Chip will not answer?
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What happened to the Soul of Jesus Christ when He died on the cross?
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We are asking this question in reference to Acts 2:27, which is a quote from Psalm 16:10.

Quote:
“Thou wilt not abandon MY SOUL to Sheol, nor allow thy Holy One to undergo decay.”

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Peter said this verse was written by King David, specifically referencing Jesus Christ (Acts 2:31)

This is the information Chip has provided so far.

Quote:
Post #107
Acts 2:27 is a reference to
Acts 2:27 is a reference to the grave, hence the avoidance of corruption (i.e. decay). As I said, I believe it is simply a general term without complete development used to denote the abode of the dead, the place where dead people reside. The NT provides the fuller explanation.

Quote:
Post#120
Sheol is sometimes clearly used in the OT to reference the grave, where the body of the deceased decays. It is also sometimes clearly a reference to the place of the afterlife, where the soul goes when it departs the body. My point is that we should read the OT with a realization that their understanding was partial, murky if you will.

The bold highlight is mine. I wanted to make this point first: Do we agree that it doesn’t matter what OT writers understood, everything they wrote was inspired by our all knowing God, and His Word is His means of revealing truth to us.

About Acts 2:27
It seems there are four possibilities, of what happened to the soul of Jesus Christ.
A. Sheol = Grave.
Jesus soul remained in His body on the cross. His soul was laid in the grave, and arose with His body three days later. (Which post #107 seems to point to.)

B. Sheol = Heaven.
Jesus soul went to heaven when he died upon the cross.
If Sheol=heaven was the destination of Jesus’ soul, then why is there the strange reference to His soul not being abandoned in Sheol?

C. Sheol = Hell
Jesus soul went to the place of torment, where Chip said the rich man was sent.

D. Sheol =the waiting place for OT believers, like King David, known as “Abraham’s Bosom” or “Paradise”. This was a place that men were waiting to be redeemed from.

Quote:
Ps 89:48
What man can live and not see death?
Can he deliver his SOUL from the power of Sheol ?
NASB
Ps 49:15
5 But God will redeem my SOUL from the power of Sheol ;
For He will receive me.
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C & D were both rejected by Chip. If the answer is B, then what did God mean when David foretold that God would not abandon His SOUL to Sheol? If the answer is A, then why did Jesus' soul remain in the grave?
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ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS:
And in “D” above, (Ps. 89:48), who couldn’t deliver his SOUL from the power of Sheol? If Sheol =heaven, then would the SOUL need to be delivered from its power? If Sheol does not = heaven, then where was the SOUL which needed to be delivered from the power of Sheol ? (Ps. 49:15): And who knew that God would redeem his SOUL from the power of Sheol? If Sheol=heaven, then why would he need to be redeemed from heaven? What was this place, Sheol, that he needed to be redeemed from? If he knew that God would receive him, could he really be in heaven? If Sheol=heaven, then didn’t God already receive him? If Sheol=hell, would God redeem him and receive him?

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Jim C wrote:
If you believe OT believers went to heaven when they died, can you answer this question that Chip will not answer?
.
What happened to the Soul of Jesus Christ when He died on the cross?
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We are asking this question in reference to Acts 2:27, which is a quote from Psalm 16:10.
Quote:
“Thou wilt not abandon MY SOUL to Sheol, nor allow thy Holy One to undergo decay.”

.
Peter said this verse was written by King David, specifically referencing Jesus Christ (Acts 2:31)

Actually Jim, only one of is avoiding answering questions here. Way back in post 133, I answered your question on Acts 2:27.

Quote:
Chip Van Emmerik wrote: Per your final paragraph, yes Christ tasted death. He died - physically - then he overcame death and rose again. He was not the captive of death. This is the sense of Acts 2:27. See how it is translated in the Amplified Bible - “For You will not abandon my soul, leaving it helpless in Hades (the state of departed spirits), nor let Your Holy One know decay or see destruction .” (Ac 2:27 Amplified)

Unfortunately, the question I have been asking since at least post 91 has been studiously avoided. I will ask it AGAIN.

On what legal basis does your treatment of OT people rest? We know OT saints were redeemed by faith, just like NT saints (Heb 11 [esp verse 39 ]; James 2:23; 2 Pet 2:7). We also know Jesus Christ was the lamb reckoned slain from the foundation of the world (i.e. efficacious for redemption) (Rev. 13:8 [Greek scholarship is somewhat divided on the construction of this verse, though the majority agree the grammatical structure indicates it is the Lamb slain from the foundation rather than the book which was from the foundation - see Barnes, Jamison, Faucet and Brown ]; Eph. 1:4; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Pet 1:19-20). The promise was as effective to save OT saints before its temporal occurrence as it was to save NT saints after its temporal occurrence. (God is atemporal, transcending time) It is only on the basis of this one event that either group can be redeemed by a holy God. We know NT saints go immediately to heaven upon death - 2 Cor 2:5-8. If it is insufficient to fully redeem OT saints and get them to heaven before the temporal event, on what legal basis is a holy God justified in granting temporary or partial reprieve? IOW, if they are not saved, why are they not condemned? Conversely, if they are judged by the merit of Christ's death to be justified before the law and no longer condemned, then why only half way saved. Legally, this half-way redemption is unscriptural.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jim C's picture

Chip,

You stated,

Quote:
Jim,
This is exactly why I ask the question. It is foundational to this issue. What you present is contra-scriptural and logically inconsistent. You have no basis for God's partial preservation of sinners in this unorthodox system you espouse.. I will restate the question yet again.

The belief that OT saints did not go to heaven when they died, is not unorthodox, contra-scriptural, or logically inconsistent with the teachings of the Bible. But this belief does not line up with the assumptions of the Reformed system of theology.

I tried to answer all of your questions that you keep reposting in post #108. I did not enter this discussion until post #104, where I asked you many different questions which help to point out inconsistencies with your view, which you did not answer. I truly want to understand what you think happened to Jesus’ soul when he died, and how you reconcile the issues I raised in #140.

I am hoping to “kill two birds with one stone” with a quote from a message preached by John MacArthur. First I hope to demonstrate that John MacArthur taught that OT believers did not go to heaven when they died, but they went to heaven after Christ’s death on the cross. He interprets Ephesians 4 as Christ leading OT saints to heaven. The excerps are long, but the message was over 12 pages long. Later I will match the pertinent points of his message to the various questions you keep posting. Here is the web address for the message that I am quoting.

http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/1621_The-New-Covenant-Part-3?q=sheol

This message is from “The New Covenant” Part 3, Hebrews 9:15-28, by John MacArthur, Sept. 24, 1972 He preached this message before I was even a Christian!


Quote:
People inevitably will ask, in a question and answer time, "How were people in the Old Testament saved?" They were saved by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. They were saved by the death of Christ on their behalf. Read it again. "For this cause He is the mediator of a new covenant." What cause? "That by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they who are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." By His death, then, He brought redemption to those under the first covenant.
Messiah became the mediator not only in order that He might pay the penalty of sinners who lived since the cross, but that He might pay the penalty of sinners who lived long before the cross. When Jesus died, He gathered up all the sinners from the beginning of time to the end of time in that one sacrifice. That's the point that He's making.

Now when you look at the Old Testament don't be confused and think that the sacrifices took away sin. They did not take away sin. They were merely acts of obedience that showed that faith was legitimate. And they were symbols of an act that would satisfy God. And that's why, as I told you before, the Old Testament saints never really entered the presence of God until the death of Jesus Christ. When they died in the Old Testament, they went to a place called Sheol, a place called Hades. There they remained, I believe, until the death of Jesus Christ. And we'll say more about that in a moment.

So the sacrifice of Christ, then, is retroactive, as is the Day of Atonement sacrifice in Jewish history. You know, on Yom Kippur last Monday, when they went through the ritual of symbolic sacrifice that atoned for sin, that was retroactive for the sins of the past year. And so the death of Christ was retroactive clear back to Adam.

And, as I said, before Christ died, salvation was on credit. Payment was made at Calvary. And I believe that...Ephesians, some of you asked this. Let me just look at it with you for a minute. Ephesians 4:8 and 9 tells us that it was at the death of Christ that He then took these Old Testament saints, who couldn't have full access until He opened the way, and took them to God. Ephesians 4:8. "Wherefore He saith, when He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men. Now that He ascended," verse 9, "what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth."

And we believe that Jesus, when He died, went down into Sheol, gathered the Old Testament saints, their spirits, and ushered them into the presence of God, so that they had to be waiting until perfect sacrifice was made on the one final day of atonement, and then were ushered into the presence of God. The Old Testament saints, then, who were called, could not inherit their promises until sins were done away. That's what it says at the end of verse 15. They were under the first testament, but it was only by His death that they were able to inherit their promises. The first covenant couldn't bring them to God's presence.

Now, what is the...it says at the end of verse 15 "the eternal inheritance." What is that? Well, it certainly has to be salvation. It has to be all that salvation is, and it came to them in the fullest sense. Total access to God, perfection in the sense it's used in Hebrews, came when Jesus died.

We inherit God! We are "heirs of God" (Rom. 8:17). The eternal inheritance men receive after the death of Jesus Christ is: Jesus Christ! - the gift of eternal life, given to men when Jesus Christ comes to dwell in a man's heart (1John 5:11, 12; Eph. 3:17). This is the work of God that saves a man, and regenerates a man (Eph. 2:5; Titus 3:5).

Jesus Christ=eternal life=salvation=regeneration

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Jim C wrote:
I tried to answer all of your questions that you keep reposting in post #108. I did not enter this discussion until post #104...

Jim, I just reread post 108. You gave several reasons why you do not accept my position. I did not see any answer to my question. You still have not positively dealt with the legality of a half-way redemption in the OT. Even if you had not read any posts before you entered the conversation, I just checked and counted six (6) times I have asked this same question of you directly since you have joined the conversation.

Unfortunately, the question has been studiously avoided AGAIN. I will ask it AGAIN. For sake of simplicity, you may want to focus on the bolded portions.

On what legal basis does your treatment of OT people rest? We know OT saints were redeemed by faith, just like NT saints (Heb 11 [esp verse 39 ]; James 2:23; 2 Pet 2:7). We also know Jesus Christ was the lamb reckoned slain from the foundation of the world (i.e. efficacious for redemption) (Rev. 13:8 [Greek scholarship is somewhat divided on the construction of this verse, though the majority agree the grammatical structure indicates it is the Lamb slain from the foundation rather than the book which was from the foundation - see Barnes, Jamison, Faucet and Brown ]; Eph. 1:4; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Pet 1:19-20). The promise was as effective to save OT saints before its temporal occurrence as it was to save NT saints after its temporal occurrence. (God is atemporal, transcending time) It is only on the basis of this one event that either group can be redeemed by a holy God. We know NT saints go immediately to heaven upon death - 2 Cor 2:5-8. If it is insufficient to fully redeem OT saints and get them to heaven before the temporal event, on what legal basis is a holy God justified in granting temporary or partial reprieve? IOW, if they are not saved, why are they not condemned? Conversely, if they are judged by the merit of Christ's death to be justified before the law and no longer condemned, then why only half way saved. Legally, this half-way redemption is unscriptural.

Jim, this point is foundational to the position you are trying to take. I will not continue this discussion with you until you provide an answer.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Kevin Miller's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
On what legal basis does your treatment of OT people rest? We know OT saints were redeemed by faith, just like NT saints (Heb 11 [esp verse 39 ]; James 2:23; 2 Pet 2:7). We also know Jesus Christ was the lamb reckoned slain from the foundation of the world (i.e. efficacious for redemption) (Rev. 13:8 [Greek scholarship is somewhat divided on the construction of this verse, though the majority agree the grammatical structure indicates it is the Lamb slain from the foundation rather than the book which was from the foundation - see Barnes, Jamison, Faucet and Brown ]; Eph. 1:4; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Pet 1:19-20). The promise was as effective to save OT saints before its temporal occurrence as it was to save NT saints after its temporal occurrence. (God is atemporal, transcending time) It is only on the basis of this one event that either group can be redeemed by a holy God. We know NT saints go immediately to heaven upon death - 2 Cor 2:5-8. If it is insufficient to fully redeem OT saints and get them to heaven before the temporal event, on what legal basis is a holy God justified in granting temporary or partial reprieve? IOW, if they are not saved, why are they not condemned? Conversely, if they are judged by the merit of Christ's death to be justified before the law and no longer condemned, then why only half way saved. Legally, this half-way redemption is unscriptural.

Chip,
If you don't mind, could I ask you a question about an assumption I see in your paragraph here? At least I think i am seeing it. Do you believe that EVERYTHING about New Testament saints is also true about Old Testament saints since the both groups of saints are relying upon an event that was effective from the foundation of the world? For example, do you believe that ALL Old Testament saints were indwelt by the presence of the Holy Spirit? I don't believe that they all were, but we can't label the ones who weren't indwelt as "half-way" saved. They were fully saved, but they just did not have all the benefits that were provided to saints who were alive after Christ's death. Couldn't the physical presence of God in heaven also be one of those benefits that was not provided to all men until the resurrection of Christ. Residing in Sheol rather than heaven does not make an OT saint "half-way" saved any more than living without the indwelling Holy Spirit made them "half-way" saved.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Kevin,

That's a good question. No, I don't think everything is the same. No, I don't believe OT saints were indwelt by the Holy Spirit in the same way as NT saints. However, I think these are apple to oranges comparisons. As a dispensationalist, I believe God has worked with His people in different ways at different times.

However, man's depraved state is universal. Condemnation is the default position in every dispensation. A holy God must have some grounds, some propitiation, to justify sinful man and remain just Himself. The cross is the sole basis of justification for sinners, whether they are looking forward to the cross or backward to the cross. Residing in some half-way state after death is a half-way salvation. Either the cross is sufficient to save OT saints or they remain condemned. There is no justification for them NOT being in heaven after death - unless someone wants to advocate a decision making process for OT saints after death once the work on the cross was completed. Of course, these is entirely heretical. As I said earlier, this whole concept of a half-way stopping place grew out of the Catholic doctrine of purgatory and migrated to protestant denominations.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jim C's picture

Chip,

We seem to be talking past each other. JohnBrian suggested that we move the discussion of what happened to the souls of OT believers when they died, to another thread. I will take your paragraph which expresses your concerns to the new thread.

BTW, I hope you did see that John MacArthur did make the case for OT believers waiting somewhere other than in heaven (Sheol/Abraham's Bosom/Paradise) for Christ to come to redeem men, and be The Way so that men could come to the Father through Him.

Jim

Jim C's picture

Kevin,

You did a great job focusing on the essential issue. I hope that you will follow us to the other thread and continue to help to distill the facts to the most critical ones and use your gift for asking great questions.

Jim

James K's picture

Matt 9:12-13 says:

12 But when He heard this, He said, "Those who are well don't need a doctor, but the sick do.
13 Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I didn't come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Alex has demonstrated that Lazarus is a poor example of proving regeneration prior to faith. This text however meets the necessary requirements to give an accurate picture.

John 5:6-7:

5 One man was there who had been sick for 38 years.
6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had already been there a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to get well?”

The man was sick and unable to help himself. He confessed his helplessness in verse 7. His condition was hopeless. Only Jesus could help this man.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Kevin Miller's picture

James K wrote:
Matt 9:12-13 says:

12 But when He heard this, He said, "Those who are well don't need a doctor, but the sick do.
13 Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I didn't come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Alex has demonstrated that Lazarus is a poor example of proving regeneration prior to faith. This text however meets the necessary requirements to give an accurate picture.

John 5:6-7:

5 One man was there who had been sick for 38 years.
6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had already been there a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to get well?”

The man was sick and unable to help himself. He confessed his helplessness in verse 7. His condition was hopeless. Only Jesus could help this man.


So in John 5:6-7. was the man able to have the desire to be helped before Jesus helped him? According to Calvinist thought, he wouldn't even be able to recognize his hopelessness before the healing.

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