Monday, October 31, 2011

GOD'S GREAT GOLDEN CHAIN
...our unshakable hope of salvation in Christ Jesus the Lord

"For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified" -Romans 8:29-30.

This is one of the most profound and assuring promises in all of Scripture. It is commonly referred to as, "The Golden Chain of Salvation." It is a chain of five eternal links: God foreknew; God predestined; God called; God justified; and God glorified. Every aspect of our salvation is all and only of Him. No room for man's self-glory here; no room for a hint of human praise; no room for boasting in ourselves. This is the great work of the Lord alone in our salvation. Past, present and future hope secured for us in Christ Jesus. So therefore, we joyfully say with the apostle Paul, "if God be for us, who can be against us? For it is God who justifies..." (Rom. 8:31f).

1.) God foreknew: foreknowing (and/or foreknowledge) does not mean here to know about future events in advance--even though God does know all things. That is in keeping with Him being omniscient. He knows all things, in all times (past, present and future), concerning all His creatures and creation. Nothing is hidden from His sight and He, contrary to the heresy of The Open Theists, is not "presently learning" nor stunted in His knowing (Psalm 139).

Foreknew/foreknowledge, however, is never used in terms of knowing about future events, times or actions (omniscience). "Foreknowledge is a predetermined relationship in the knowledge of God. God brought the salvation relationship into existence by decreeing it into existence ahead of time" (MacArthur Study Bible, 1 Peter 1:2). God foreknew us by setting His electing love in pre-establishing an intimate relationship with those that He has sovereignly chosen in Christ before the foundations of the world (Eph. 1:4-6; 1 Peter 1:1-2). It is, I believe, only used in regards to God's electing love of His people and not, as some suggest, a "knowing ahead of time of events and actions." God knew us, had established relationship with us in times past eternal. He foreknew us. The antithesis of this is what the Lord said in Matthew 7:23, "depart from, I've never known you." Those are the most frightening words in Scripture, aren't they?

Foreknowledge was also used pertaining to Christ. Peter says, "He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for your sake" (1 Peter 1:20). Christ was foreknown in the eternal Trinitarian relationship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There was intimacy of relationship within the Trinity before anything that was made was made. The promise for us is that He foreknew us before the world was made... What God established in eternity, He brought about in time in our salvation through Christ our Lord.

John Murray says: "
Even if it were granted that `foreknew' means the foresight of faith, the biblical doctrine of sovereign election is not thereby eliminated or disproven. For it is certainly true that God foresees faith; he foresees all that comes to pass. The question would then simply be: whence proceeds this faith, which God foresees? And the only biblical answer is that the faith which God foresees is the faith he himself creates (cf. John 3:3-8; 6:44, 45, 65; Eph. 2:8; Phil. 1:29; 2 Peter 1:2). Hence his eternal foresight of faith is preconditioned by his decree to generate this faith in those whom he foresees as believing."
The late Dr. James M. Boice summarizes that:
"foreknowledge means that salvation has its origin in the mind or eternal counsels of God, not in man. It focuses our attention on the distinguishing love of God, according to which some persons are elected to be conformed to the character of Jesus Christ, which is what Paul has already been saying."
2.) God predestined: It means to determine a person's destiny beforehand. To be "pre" - before; "destined" - appointed. God in His sovereign electing love has predestined us, marked out beforehand, our eternal destiny. Again, what comfort this brings to the discouraged believer in the Lord in our daily sanctification in Christ. It tells us that, God, having fixed his distinguishing love upon us (foreknew), he next appointed us "to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers." And what is that destiny for the people of God? To be made like Jesus Christ--"conformed to the image of His Son." That is why beloved, "we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

3.) God called: James Boice in his excellent commentary on Romans says,
"The next step in this golden chain of five links is what theologians call effectual calling. It is important to use the adjective effectual at this point, because there are two different kinds of calling referred to in the Bible, and it is easy to get confused about them.

One kind of calling is external, general, and universal. It is an open invitation to all persons to repent of sin, turn to the Lord Jesus Christ, and be saved. It is what Jesus was speaking of when he said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28). Or again, when he said, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink" (John 7:37). The problem with this type of call is that, left to themselves, no men or women ever respond positively. They hear the call, but they turn away, preferring their own ways to God. That is why Jesus also said, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. .." (John 6:44).

The other kind of call is internal, specific, and effectual. That is, it not only issues the invitation, it also provides the ability or willingness to respond positively. It is God's drawing to himself or bringing to spiritual life the one who without that call would remain spiritually dead and far from him.

There is no greater illustration of this than Jesus' calling of Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, who had died four days before. Lazarus in his grave is a picture of every human being in his or her natural state: dead in body and soul, bound with graveclothes, lying in a tomb, sealed with some great stone. Let's call to him, "Lazarus, Lazarus. Come forth, Lazarus. We want you back. We miss you. If you will just get up out of that tomb and return to us, you'll find that we are all anxious to have you back. No one here is going to put any obstructions in your way."

What? Won't Lazarus come? Doesn't he want to be with us?

The problem is that Lazarus does not have the ability to come back. The call is given, but he cannot come.

Ah, but let Jesus take his place before the tomb. Let Jesus call out, "Lazarus, come forth," and the case is quite different. The words are the same, but now the call is no mere invitation. It is an effectual calling. For the same God who originally called the creation out of nothing is now calling life out of death, and his call is heard. Lazarus, though he has been dead four days, hears Jesus and obeys his Master's voice.

That is how God calls those whom he has foreknown and predestined to salvation."
4.) God justified: Here is the great Reformation truth of the gospel, justified by faith alone. It means that the Sovereign Judge of the universe declares us “not guilty” by grace through faith through our Lord Jesus Christ (Roms. 5:1). We are no longer under the wrath of God, no longer the enemy of God. We have become His children and are now the objects of His love and mercy and no longer estranged by His enmity. But being justified is not just a declaration; but also a reality for the Christian. We have been clothed with the perfect righteousness of Christ. As Dr. MacArthur so wonderfully says, "Christ was treated on the cross as if He lived your life, so that we might treated as if we lived His life." He was clothed with our sin, though sinless; and we are clothed with His perfect righteousness, though sinful. Our sin imputed to Him; His righteousness imputed to us (Roms. 5:21). This is the great doctrine of imputation in our justification.
"Those whom, God effectually calls he also freely justifies, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them as their righteousness, but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on him and his righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God" – WCF Ch 11

“Justification is a judicial act of God, in which He declares, on the basis of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, that all the claims of the law are satisfied with respect to the sinner” (L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 513).

"The phrase in ipso (in him) I have preferred to retain, rather than render it per ipsum (by him,) because it has in my opinion more expressiveness and force. For we are enriched in Christ, inasmuch as we are members of his body, and are engrafted into him: nay more, being made one with him, he makes us share with him in every thing that he has received from the Father." (John Calvin Commentary on 1 Cor 1:5

"This calling is an act of the grace of God in Christ by which he calls men dead in sin and lost in Adam through the preaching of the Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit, to union with Christ and to salvation obtained in him." - Francis Turretin
5.) God glorified: Notice that Paul says this in the past tense. Our future glorification is already secured and perfected in Christ in eternity future. He knew us, determined our destiny to be like Christ, called us, justified us, and now the fifth link in the chain of our salvation... He glorified us. What hope, what promise of eternal life in and with Christ! Paul wrote in Philippians, "I always pray with joy ... being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Phil. 1:4, 6). God began the "good work" by foreknowledge, predestination, calling, and justification. And we can know that He will carry it on until the day we will be like Jesus Christ, being glorified.

No wonder Jude proclaims with absolute confidence: "Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen" (Jude 24-25).

What a fitting doxology for us today. Here it is beloved: have you gone through a time of trial and brokenness lately? Has your world been shaken--turned upside down by tragedy? Have you been through a divorce, death of a family member or suffered the loss of a child? Maybe you've lost a job or been fired for living honorable for the Lord? Who can bear the weight of such overwhelming pain on their own? But friend in Christ... here is our hope. The golden chain holds you fast. "Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you;" "He will never leave nor forsake you;" and that "nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Rejoice in the Lord and find your hope, security, significance, rest, worth, and purpose only in Him. He is everything we need!

this has been an encore presentation

42 comments:

Efrayim said...

Steve,

Would you be so kind as to expand on this comment?

1.) God foreknew: foreknowledge does not mean here to know about future events in advance. Foreknowledge is never used in terms of predicting events, times or actions. It is only used in regards to God's people.

I'm not sure what you are saying there and how it is perceived does have quite an impact.

Thank you.

Shalom,

Russ

ajlin said...

I remember Dr. Oakley saying something about the fact that the word used here is foreknew (a verb) and not foreknowledge (a noun). -It is important that foreknowing is something that God actively does- that it does not simply refer to Him "seeing future events down through the corridor of time".

SJ Camp said...

Efrayim, good comment:

God is omniscient.. meaning, He knows all things of all His creatures and His creation in all times (past. present and future) - Psalm 139. Nothing is hidden from His sight; every thought, whim, motive, impulse, action, deed, now and in the future is completely disclosed to Him. There is nothing He does not know.

His foreknowledge (foreknew) is God setting His electing love in pre-establishing an intimate relationship with those that He has sovereignly chosen in Christ before the foundations of the world (Eph. 1:4-6; 1 Peter 1:1-2).

One is an attribute; the other salfivic. One defeats the heresy of The Open Theists; the other pre-establishes intimate relationship with His people.

I hope that helps clarify.
Steve

Matthew2323 said...

Also note that Paul says, "those He foreknew" as in the persons themselves; not "what" he foreknew, as in their actions. Yes, in God's omniscience He does foreknow all actions, but that is not was the Scripture is teaching in this particular verse.

If God elected His people because He knew we would choose Him, then Jesus was in error in stating that, "You did not choose me, but I have chosen you." The Apostle would also be in error when he said, "we love because He first loved us."

God is the Alpha and Omega, the Author and Perfector of our faith!

SJ Camp said...

I agree... that's what I was saying. This verse is not talking about God's omniscienct knowing of all things; but His specific electing love before the foundation of the world for His own. What you have stated is pure Arminianism--something I don't prescribe (which I know you don't either).

Foreknew: God pre-established intimate realtionship with HIs vessels of mercy (Romans 9) in times past eternal (2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:1).

Good to have you aboard this blog,
Steve

Efrayim said...

Thank you all for helping me to understand what was being said. I do agree with those observations.

Shalom y'all,

Russ

DOGpreacher said...

Wow! some good commentary. Let's not forget to include Amos 3:1-2, and Matthew 7:23 in the understanding of this word (knew, know, etc.). I love seeing this kind of theological discussion. I am a Baptist pastor preaching these great doctrines out here in east Texas (Arminian country).
In Christ,
Gregg

Terry Rayburn said...

dogpreacher,

Lest you feel you are alone in Arminian Country, believe me that everywhere is Arminian Country, as long as the flesh longs for some part in one's salvation.

Blessings,
Terry

donsands said...

Such a powerful portion of the Word!
I never seem to grow weary of hearing these words of truth. For it glorifies our Lord in such an incredible way!

Left to ourselves, without the intervention of the Lord, we would have absolutely no hope whatsoever, because we wouldn't want God to interfere, nor intervene.

Thanks.

donsands said...

bhedr,

I don't know why you mentioned me with 4given to have a good nights sleep, but I appreciate it. I always sleep well. I'm a very heavy sleeper. I love to sleep.
It's the "awake" hours that I need the blessings. Lots of struggles in this life, but the lord is always faithful. Great is His faithfulness. He is faithful to predestine us, to call us, to justify us and to glorify us, His elect!
"Therefore, brethern, be even more diligent to make your election and calling sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble: for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Pet. 1: 10-11

Captured! said...

Thank you, thank you, a thousand times, thank you!

Ive been going through a great deal of brokeness and experiencing my life as in a gyrascope; some of the difficult things mentioned at the end of this article. If it were not for knowing that God is orchestrating these things and is working it all for His good, then I would surely despair. I REALLY needed this reminder today and it encouraged my soul.

SJ Camp said...

Dear Friends of COT:

I have been ministering at a reformed theological conference this weekend and have as well today at a wonderful church in Michigan. I've just returned from a lengthy evening service where I was preaching on Rom. 3:21-26 on the theme "The Heart of the Gospel." I am a bit tired but thanking the Lord for His kindness and grace today.

I am concerned that some here are treating this blog these past few days as a chat room... PLEASE stay on topic and do remember that you are invited guests here. I don't say this pridefully, BUT, I have given a lot of freedom for discussion here than you'll find on many other blogs... if not most. I would appreciate a little more care on some of the posting though.

With that said, there has been some good thoughts expressed; and at the same time, some pretty elastic views of verses and doctrine that are not within the purview of sound doctrine. I will deal with them by tomorrow evening in brief.

Until then, I remain
Yours for the Master's use,
Steve
2 Cor. 4:5-7

Michele Rayburn said...

The subject of this blog post is "God's Great Golden Chain...our unshakeable hope of salvation in Christ". Steve stated in the opening paragraph that the reason for the post was to "encourage you in the richness and security of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ".

Brian lovingly encouraged Lisa in her faith. I do not see this dialogue between them as idle "chat". I think it was meaningful and important. And I do not see it as "off topic" as the subject was "our unshakeable hope...". And so, I do not see any of the "Rules of Engagement" being broken. To not like what you are hearing does not qualify as breaking one of the rules, unless it is a personal character attack, which this was not.

If anyone does not want to discuss the security of the believer, they do not have to participate in this discussion. But I appreciate very much Brian's comments on this subject. And if he, or anyone else, has anything more to say about it, I would enjoy hearing it. This is the subject that we are on after all.

In His Love,
Michele

donsands said...

bhedr,

I was simply letting Scripture speak for itself. "Make your calling and election sure", is what it says. Amen.

The Father knew us intimately before He created the world. He predestined that we would be conformed into the image of His Son, who is the Lamb of God slain before the foundations of the world. He called us to Himself, and to the Cross. He justified us in the blood of the Lamb, and has glorified us in Christ. I love to meditate on these great truths. God did it all, all to Him we owe. Amen.

littlegal_66 said...

Steve stated, "these last few days." I'm thinking perhaps he's not referring to this thread exclusively, but maybe the previous couple of threads as well? (Which I've likely been guilty of posting "chat room-like" banter on myself).

Campi's consistently a gracious and patient blog host, but let's face it, as a group, we do provide quite a bit more text to wade through than comments posted on most other blogs.

I shudder to think that Steve would have to enlist a comment screener, or enable the "comment moderation" for his blog. (That might possibly require more attention than his schedule would allow.....and let's perish that thought!)
Personally, I'm going to try to do a better job of selecting my words and phrasing my thoughts before posting, and more importantly, of measuring their relevancy before I click "publish.".....(that is, after this post).

Shawn L said...

Thanks Steve Camp and everyone else for the conversions you had recently.

It has been so helpful to me as I have been so easily affected by circumstances in my life (excessive pressure at work to work tons of overtime and that probably won't stop until December) that I'm not focusing on how I can glorify God in these circumstances and these conversations are helpful to me as I pray again to rejoice in the Lord, finding my hope, security, and rest in Christ alone.

Oh that we would keep our first love in the forefront of our mind and fix our eyes on Christ. May we be like Paul praying to be content in every circumstance and never complaining, but rejoicing in the Lord as we yearn to Glorify Him alone in all things.

In Christ,
Shawn
Matthew 11:27-30

donsands said...

Blaurock,

i appreciate your taking the gospel forth. May our lord protect you and bring much glory to Himself through your faithfulness. Amen.

I disagree with your view on imputation. I believe it is biblical, as the Triune God is biblical, as Christ is the Man-God, and God-Man, and as biblical as Christ's atonement was for His elect children. These are all deep teachings, that's for sure, but they are certainly biblical.
Steve posted an incredible amount of biblical evidence for this teaching.
John Piper has an excellent teaching, as does John Bunyan, as do so many others, on this most important doctrine.

I can agree to disagree. And I will continue to study the Bible on this subject throughout my life, Lord willing.

donsands said...

joe,

"Adam acts sinfully and, because we were connected to him, we were condemned in him.
Christ acted righteously and because we are connected to Christ we are justfied in Christ.
Adam's sin is counted as ours.
Christ's righteousness is counted as ours." John Piper, comments on Romans 5: 18-19
Perhaps you could contact Dr. Piper, and continue this debate.

SJ Camp said...

I am back in town and cannot believe some of the things I have read here. Let me address a few for you:

blaurock said:
Covenant theologians also are unsure of when this covenant of grace was established.

No uncertainty in the doctrines of grace or their timing. 2 Tim. 1:9 and Titus 1:1 tell us when this was established: "in times past eternal" between the Father and the Son. 2 Tim. 1:9 "who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity," (emphasis mine).

Titus 1:2 "in the hope of eternal life that God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,"

That is why John in Revelation 13:8 says, "Rev. 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

Joseph: Thank you for your kind and supportive words in some of your commetns. They are appreciated.

I would like to begin to deal with one of your comments for I truly want to help you with some of your unbiblical thinking here:

You said: "All of us must remember that the gentiles were not under the Law but were in Adam. We were not engaged in keeping law but failing, we were in sin and dead. We were as much under the Law as we are now which is to say not at all. The law came to radicalize the state of sin, burden the conscience and cause men to plead for Messiah and mercy. It did not come to be the means of our righteous state. “Active Obedience” in the Atonement is a concept that portrays man as recoverable through the keeping of the Old Covenant."

You error here brother on several points:

1. Gentiles are also under the law; shut up into sin:
-Rom. 7:4 ¶ "Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God."

-Rom. 3:9 ¶ "What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;"

-Rom. 3:19 ¶ "Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;"

-Gal. 3:22 "But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Gal. 3:23 ¶ But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Gal. 3:24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. Gal. 3:25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor."

2. You said, "The law came to radicalize the state of sin." No. The law, was God's perfect standard, given to men to convict them of their sin and incarcerate us under God's wrath (Rom. 2).

-Rom. 7:6 "But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter." Rom. 7:7 ¶ "What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “YOU SHALL NOT COVET.”

Lastly, you say "“Active Obedience” in the Atonement is a concept that portrays man as recoverable through the keeping of the Old Covenant."

Where do you get such nonsense? No one has ever asserted this claim.

Grace and peace,
Steve

donsands said...

Good to have you back. Solid teaching Steve, Thanks. You are truly a man of His Word.

SJ Camp said...

Joseph: You quoted Gal. 3:27 as a proof text to defend your view that we are clothed with Christ and not imputed with the righteousness of Christ (boldly disagreeing with MacArthur who did represent the orthodox view here).

There are two problems here:

1. This verse is not talking about imputation as in 2 Cor. 5:21;

2. It is making the comparison between baptism and "putting on Christ" is the most common and better rendering of this text as in Col. 3:1-12.

Baptism here could mean two things: being baptized by Christ with His Spirit into His body; or the physical act of baptism. Most commentators (and I agree) take the first view. This is a "dry" verse in other words.

So Paul is describing the wonderful reality of regeneration: of being in Christ by His Holy Spirit; the putting on is the new life and new character--the fruits of the new life.

Let's stay on topic here brother.

What I am most concerned for you Joseph is not just the misappropriation of Scripture that you do to try and make your point, but that you now asserting a denial of imputation of the righteousness of Christ. This is serious Joseph.

My older brother Norm who a few months ago went home to be with the Lord, was a faithful missionary in Lebanon and Jordan for over two decades and then in his last years of his life in Chicago to the Muslim people. He saw much fruit from his with his wife Bonnie to the Muslims in sharing the gospel.

Covenant theology was such a blessing in explaining the continuity of Scripture to the Muslim people. The preaching of the Law brings conviction upon men's souls; the preaching of the gospel of grace brings the hope that is only through Christ Jesus... Why Because Christ is the end of the Law! It was completely satisfied in Him.

When you say things like "The Law is not operative in justification" you reveal that you really don't understand biblically all that justification entails in the atonement. The law was operative in justification in that Christ's death fully paid the penalty of our sin on the cross. To sin is to transgress the law - as the Apostle John says.

Before you post again here Joseph, make certain of what you are trying to say, i will not tolerate the unsound doctrine that you continue to share like in the last comment you displayed.

I have a trust here dear brother to "retain the standard of sound words" and to "guard the truth."

For those who comment frequently here at COT I must offer this qualifier: though I allow vibrant discussion on a myriad of theological issues, the allowance of those differing views is in no way a condoning or an acceptance of those views. This issue of imputation is not one that we can simply conclude as "we agree to disagree." One view is biblical and orthodox, the other is not. Unfortunately what Joseph has been asserting here is not in accordance with orthodox, historical, biblical Christianity. Be discerning when reading his comments.

Thank you, Steve

SJ Camp said...

Blaurock: As you know, I do not allow any posting in "book form" on this blog (read rules of engagement #5). BTW, I copied your post onto Microsoft Word and it was five pages long, single spaced, no paragraph breaks at a 12 point font. That is not a comment but an article.)

Per rule #8, I am deleting your comment. You may repost in a more brief and reasonable length and I will be delighted to engage your views.

Thank you.

SJ Camp said...

FitMedic Thank you for your comments. I appreciate your emotional and heartfelt response; BUT that does not change the fact that Joseph is out of step with orthodox biblical Christianity on this issue and that the verses he usually offers are proof texts (and yes I read them all).

By commenting, you have not been "breaking every supposed blog rule in the world"; but you have broken the rules of engagement on this blog by posting anonymously which I do not allow (Rules of engagement #4.).

I think some of you engage theologically on issues with the same care as you do in posting your comments--with no regard for the rules.

Therefore, all future comments of yours will be deleted until you have fully completed the online bio form (Joseph this goes for you too. Last names must be included). I want to know who I am speaking with. Full disclosure is necessary here brother for you to continue to be allowed on my blog.

Grace and peace,
Steve
2 Cor. 5:21

SJ Camp said...

bhedr: Please fill out completely the online form so that you can post here in the future. I do not allow anonymous posting.

Steve

Steve Sensenig said...

Steve, you wrote: I want to know who I am speaking with. Full disclosure is necessary here brother for you to continue to be allowed on my blog.

I just have to say that when I was participating in a discussion with you and some others, it was frustrating to click on "donsands" and "uncialman"'s names and not be able to find anything about them, either.

The profile for "uncialman" has no information whatsoever, and the profile for "donsands" has nothing but a link to a blog that Blogger says can't be found.

There were times when I would have preferred to respond privately to the comments those two gentlemen were making in support of your arguments, but were unable to.

I would hope that you would also require "full disclosure" from those who support you, too. You probably know who they are "in real life", but some of us don't.

I know you're frustrated with some of the comments here, and I respect your freedom to run this blog however you desire. But as some of us have tried to express, there do seem to be some "double standards" coming through in the discussion.

That is why I chose to finally bow out of the discussion on active obedience. However, by you saying that you don't think we can "agree to disagree" on this issue, it makes me wonder if bowing out was the right thing to do.

I have read all the posts and comments you have made in these past few weeks, and I still fail to see where you have answered some of the basic questions that I and others raised with actual biblical exegesis. If we still have questions, what can we do at this point?

in love for you as my brother in Christ,
steve :)

SJ Camp said...

Steve S.: You wrote: "I know you're frustrated with some of the comments here, and I respect your freedom to run this blog however you desire. But as some of us have tried to express, there do seem to be some "double standards" coming through in the discussion."

1. I am not frustrated with the comments here. People are free to express themselves on any issue with their point of view and enter into the discussion. I am frustrated that some here don't adhere to the rules of engagement and treat this blog as if they own it, control it or make policy.

Joseph, Blaurock, or whatever his real name is or whoever he may be, I understand has now started his own blog. Maybe three or four of his friends and him can chat together there about what they like and believe according to their own rules. I wish them the very best.

2. As you know Steve, I invite good vibrant discussion here and welcome the challenge for some who represent views not in accordance with biblical Christianity to make their case here. No double standards at this end (I give people a lot of freedom here)--but, I do see the double standards with some who have posted here.

3. This blog has been a blessing to many and myself--I have enjoyed meeting new friends in the faith and hearing their views. I don't agree with all that have posted, but I have learned from many of them and appreciate that greatly. None of us have arrived in this life... have we.

Grace and peace to you,
Steve
2 Cor. 5:21

Steve Sensenig said...

No double standards at this end

So I understand that to mean that everyone will have to fill out the entire online profile form in order to be able to comment here.

That will be good, because it will be very helpful to know who is commenting here.

Thanks for making that rule. I appreciate it.

Michele Rayburn said...

Hi Steve,

I have saved the comments on this post, and Joseph did say in his comment under "Blaurock" who he was:

"My real name is Joseph, but I've begun a blog under the name of Blaurock. The site is called,..."

I won't mention the name of the site unless you want to know the name of it. But Joseph simply started a new website and is now going by the name "Blaurock".

You must have missed this when reading his comment. Hope this clears things up now. I would have told you right away that they were the same person, but I never thought that it would upset you like this.

Like most people on this blog, Joseph put all kinds of information on his profile except for his full name. He gave us his first real name, Joseph, which is more than what most people do.

I know who Uncialman is and have been hurt and offended by his divisive spirit. But you allowed him to post anonymously.

I was going to remind him that no anonymous posts are allowed or they would be deleted, especially because it's easy to discredit people when you're anonymous. But I, too, noticed the double standard...that anonymous posts are allowed unless you don't like what they say. So, I said nothing.

I thought we all knew who Brian the BHDR is. I know his full name, because he used to post it. But like most people, he saw that he didn't need to put his full real name out there, so he apparently chose not to.

I would just like the rules to be consistent, Steve. It would avoid a lot of hurt feelings.

Steve, if you delete everyone who disagrees with you, there will be no one left to sharpen iron with. You said that you didn't want to talk about this active/passive obedience thing anymore. And I think that is a good idea. I had already said in a comment before that if this subject is too divisive, we should not discuss it any longer. And you had said the same thing.

Perhaps, one on one, face to face would be better, but not on a blog, where there are too many people talking, and the finer points cannot be understood on each side because of all the glut of comments pouring in. It's just too much of a communication breakdown, especially for this subject.

You made the right decision to drop this subject. And I really think we should.

I have learned from this to always try to understand both sides of the argument, before seeking to be understood. If we can't appreciate what the other person is trying to say, if we can't discuss these finer points, with an open mind, and without feeling threatened, then we shouldn't bother at all.

I think both sides have presented their views biblically. Some will argue that one side is more biblical than the other. But if you don't come into this discussion with an open mind, and cannot respect each others views, then there will be nothing to be learned. If our minds are already made up, why are we debating this subject?

I think that God knows more about imputation than all of us. I wonder what it is that we do not know.

In His Love,
Michele

SJ Camp said...

Michele: You wrote "Steve, if you delete everyone who disagrees with you, there will be no one left to sharpen iron with."

Your comment is without merit (no pun intended). I have never deleted a comment because someone doesn't agree with me. On the contrary, I invite debate and discussion from a wide variety of views.

BUT, I do delete or prohibit from someone posting on this site who doesn't obey the rules of engagement. Joseph has done that in a few different areas.

Needless to say, he is welcome here if he makes this right and honors the rules of this blog. Until then, he is prohibited from posting.

One point of reference for everyone who blogs here. I receive over two-hundred emails everyday; plus the blog posts here which also are many. Plus my ministry duties with AudienceONE, etc. it stay's busy around here. Any blogger with that kind of volume is not capable of reading every word of every comment all the time. It is impossible. In the same way, I don't check everyone and their bio when they do post (I will from now on though). I have trusted people to be grown up, mature and honest as Christian that they would take it upon themselves to read and honor the rules of engagement here. I can see for some that is too much to ask. BUT, I do read most and have interacted here with several on an on going basis and have written extensively on this issue biblically, historically, and theologically.

So to reiterate from the rules of engagement a fair word of warning for all concerned who think the rules don't apply to them and are too prideful or busy to read them before posting: beginning today any one - friend or foe - who has not completed a full bio sheet will be deleted immediately starting tomorrow--no questions.

What I found interesting that when Joseph posted his last comment explaining his actions, he still hadn't updated his bio information. Unbelievable. He still thought his views were more important than being honorable about the rules of this blog. That cannot and will not be tolerated.

You all have until tonight to fill out your bios or you will not be allowed to post anything here in the future until you comply.

Grace and peace,
Steve
Col. 1:9-14

SJ Camp said...

Steve S. "Thanks for making that rule. I appreciate it."

That rule always existed. Hopefully others will finally take the time to comply.

SJ Camp said...

Bhedr
I appreciate this comment-thank you.

I also thank you for being sand-paper on this blog and in this discussion to help keep me in the Word, on my toes and to help smooth out the rough edges in my life.

Read the Buchanan article--I think you will find it thought-provoking and biblically lucid.

Grace and peace to you,
S.

littlegal_66 said...

"I receive over two-hundred emails everyday; plus the blog posts here which also are many. Plus my ministry duties with AudienceONE, etc., it stays busy around here. Any blogger with that kind of volume is not capable of reading every word of every comment all the time."

Pretty much what I was trying to point out to folks in my preceding post, (which is buried somewhere ^up there^ in this thread). Be assured, Steve, that whatever portion of time you are able to invest here is greatly appreciated.

littlegal_66 said...

To those who have forced our long-suffering host's hand on the "complete profile" issue, I respectfully offer that I wish you hadn't done so. Back when I first registered with blogger, I painstakingly filled out every aspect of my profile, with the exception of my surname. I omitted my last name in the interest of internet safety. Campi, as well as some of the longtime/frequent commentors with whom I have enjoyed becoming acquainted off-blog (and grown to trust), are all aware of my full identity. I am a female blogger, with 2 children to shelter & protect, and would prefer not to post my last name on the internet for the entire net-surfing world to see. I'll have to weigh the pros and cons & think long and hard before I do so. (I may be reduced to lurking in the shadows, instead of posting, beginning tomorrow).

I pray that this blog will continue to flourish, and may all that is communicated here continue to encourage believers and glorify Him.

SJ Camp said...

littlegal:
You have given me a very good reason for pause here. In my frustration with those that had abused the rules of engagement, I hadn't considered a protection issue with you. You are a friend and would never desire to see you or your children placed in any harms way.

I will amend my thoughts in this area. First name will be fine; as long as other essentials are listed with a valid email address.

Thank you for helping me in this area. No lurking in the shadows for you :-). I look forward to your next post.

Grace and peace,
Steve
2 Cor. 4:5-7

Steve Sensenig said...

Any blogger with that kind of volume is not capable of reading every word of every comment all the time.

This is completely understandable, Steve. And that is why several tried to help you see that you had jumped to the wrong conclusion about Joseph's "deception" in changing his name.

None of us who were reading the thread thoroughly were at all confused by the name change because he explained it clearly.

Unfortunately, by deleting his posts completely, you have solidified your position without so much as even acknowledging that maybe, because you weren't reading thoroughly (by your own admission), you made a mistake.

I respectfully submit to you, Steve, that, in doing so, you have falsely accused and judged a brother. It was done publicly, and I think it deserves a public acknowledgement of that oversight.

Note that I believe this was purely a mistake on your part, and not done with any malice or hatred. But a mistake like that still needs to be acknowledged and corrected.

In Christ,
steve :)

SJ Camp said...

Steve S. I am very sorry that I didn't see his "announcement" of changing his name. He did so to apparently to announce the start of a new blog of his and for that I do apologize.

But one thing I do not understand: If it was as innocent as that then: 1. why did he continue to post in both names rather than just the "new" name to avoid possible confusion?; AND, 2. why would he use another persons blog to promote his own? If you want to start one, just do it; but don't piggy back on the efforts of another without their permission.

Joseph could have just changed his name (I have done that before) and continued to post. But it appears he wanted to capitalize on the several posting at COT. Not good form.

I have been very patient with many of you on this blog this past week; I believe it was a mistake to allow Joseph to continue posting here without having to own up on his drive-by comments that I asked him to defend, and he did so without a sufficient reply.

That will not happen again. This thread is closed.

Steve
Col. 1:9-14

Steve Sensenig said...

Steve, I appreciate you taking the time to publicly acknowledge that mistake. Thank you, and thank you for understanding the spirit of my comment to that effect.

Captured! said...

Thank you, for the clarification of one or two of theprevious doctrinal postings...I had been reading here since the day of COT's inception, and normally leave with good things to think about. However, this last bunch of postings left me confused and unable to sift, which I used to think was hard to do, that is confuse me doctrinally! hahaha!!
Although the article itself was like water to my soul and very timely...and as such, of the Lord!

Anyway, ...I couldnt put my finger on the truth at that time and am so glad I revisted, I thought this was getting in deeper than what I could handle...but, was not feeling on solid ground.

Campi's clarification WERE EXTREMELY helpful as I deem him as one approved to teach and rightly divide the word and someone whose teaching I have trusted for the better part of 15 years.

I only began posting recently, and checked that I have completed my profile :-}

Grace and Peace to All!

JOYce ~♥~ said...

Foreknew = foreloved?

Steven, my profile doesn't comply either but has morphed cautiously to as it is with my husband's blessing. I am aware that unbelievers have impersonated Christian ladies and copied their blog style and name and registered an URL close to the real blog to confuse folks and then with the passage of a little time have posted in an unbecoming way for shock value and then some. I've also been privy to phone and snail/email abuse. Though an infrequent poster here ~ have no problem emailing you the info to comply.

SJ Camp said...

Joyce
You are good to go. Post away... And thank you for your sensitivity to the rules here.

Steve

JOYce ~♥~ said...

Admittedly, I didn't see the rules at the bottom sidebar until after having posted a few times and apologize for my error. You're welcome; I'm grateful. :-)

Nelson said...

Steve Camp,

I was very disappointed to discover that the one who advocates "saying it would love" towards sinners would believe in God as one who would limit his love for sinners.

It is also unfortunate that, in order to sustain such a theological view as you express, one must unjustifiably change the clear and plain meaning of words and terms as you seem to have done in your article with the word "foreknew" in Rom 8:29.

Of course, that doesn't affect my appreciation of your songs I presently have on CD, fo which my #1 favorite is "Run to the Battle".