Soteriology101: Joshua (from dismantles Leighton Flowers and Brian Wagner on Ephesians 1:4


It’s kinda got a ring to it doesn’t it?

The word, eklegomai in the Greek, can also be rendered selected, or elected. The apostle Paul uses the term often in his New Testament epistolary writings. Usually, he uses the term in reference to God choosing a particular people for Himself. However, the nature of this selection or election is rather convoluted in today’s church. The Reformed have historically held that this term refers to God’s choosing of a people for Himself before the foundation of the world. This entails the predestinating of all those who have been saved, are saved, and will be saved… before the foundation of the world.

Arminians and Baptist traditionalists want to see God’s choosing as almost wholly eschatological, or “forward looking,” having only to do with the post-regenerate life of those who chose Christ according to their free will.

Recently, an article appeared on Leighton Flowers’ Soteriology 101 website presenting a, well… interesting view on God’s choosing, specifically as it’s revealed in Ephesians 1. Granted the fact that I have basically broken Facebook with a post publicly asking Flowers the question, “is it the act of the sinner’s prayer which causes God to save a person?” I thought it might be good to move things to the blogosphere. The article appearing on his website was not penned by Flowers himself, but by Brian Wagner who often contributes there.

The Text

Included in Wagner’s article is an embedded video of Flowers critiquing J.D. Greear, who, if you remember, almost became the President of the Southern Baptist Convention (so close, but yet so far!). I’m not a huge fan of Greear (and I’m a Calvinist), nor am I really interested in whether or not Flowers was right over against Greear (because Greear could have been a bit more responsible with the text). I am most interested in Wagner’s response to it all and the fact that Flowers apparently agrees with such a response. So, first, as Flowers pointed out, we should begin with the beginning of the text. Who was Paul addressing in Ephesians, and about what was he addressing them? The passage in question begins as such:

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ Spiritual Blessings in Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved (Eph. 1:1-7).

If I could embolden the entire passage, I would. It’s a glorious section of text with which we now deal. Greear was preaching, in the sermon Flowers was critiquing, the traditional Calvinistic understanding of Ephesians 1. To grasp what that understanding is, we should turn now to one of the Reformed confessions. The London Baptist Confession of Faith, 1689, says:

Those of mankind that are predestinated to life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of his mere free grace and love, without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving him thereunto (LBCF, 1689, 3.5).

According to my position (and the WCF as well), God chose those who would be saved before the foundation of the world. In fact, Ephesians 1:4 was the first proof text the framers of my confession used to justify their wording in this paragraph. Wagner, on the other hand, argues that this choosing in Ephesians 1 is merely applicable to the life of the Christian after they are already in Christ. He writes:

The context is a description of spiritual blessings for those in Christ, who Himself is already seated in the heavenlies. The emphasis is therefore forward looking, not backward concerning God’s purpose. Other terms in this context (1:3-14, “inheritance”, “fullness of times”) confirm this future emphasis. The future blessing itemized in 1:4 is to be holy and without blame before God in the heavenlies with Christ in the future.

Is what Wagner says here accurate? Well, yes and no. Is it true that our salvation in Christ has eschatological import? Of course! In fact, that chiefly contributes to the spiritual sustenance of the present-day Christian. We have hope that we will be made like Christ, and that He will finally return to glorify His people. But is this what Paul is really getting at in this instance?

First, Flowers and Wagner are right, this Pauline letter is written to believers. No one is denying that, and I’m not even sure it makes much difference in this instance. Paul’s words throughout Ephesians presuppose that he is addressing believers. “Chose us in Him,” is an example of this type of language, post-introduction. In fact, all  of Paul’s letters are addressed to believers.

Second, Wagner seems to think Eph. 1:1-4 is predominantly forward looking, or eschatological. But the etymology doesn’t seem to allow for such emphasis. For example, when Paul says, “who has blessed us in Christ,” he uses eulogesas which is a verb in the aorist tense. That means that God blessed His people in the past, and this past action has an indefinite duration. Again, with respect to God choosing, Paul uses exelexato(root: eklegomai). The reduplication (cf. middle voice) and ending suggests an aorist tense once more. This is a past action without respect to duration. Wagner, therefore, is incorrect to say that this choosingis predominantly forward looking. The significance of God’s choosing rests in eternity (past action, before the foundation of the world), and that choosing has continual effects for His people (namely, union in Christ). To go on, predestined is also an active verb in the aorist tense, referring to a past action with indefinite duration.

Third, the relationship between God’s choosing His people and the concept of adoption needs to be properly understood. The problem with Wagner’s view, that God’s choosing predominantly correlates to the post-regeneration Christian life, is that it doesn’t have a robust understanding of adoption. Moreover, is it not true that if God would have never chosen the Ephesians (or all true believers for that matter), then they would have never been adopted in Christ? What is adoption? Wagner doesn’t seem to provide a definition, so I will provide one:

All those that are justified, God vouchsafed, in and for the sake of his only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption, by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God, have his name put upon them, receive the spirit of adoption, have access to the throne of grace with boldness, are enabled to cry Abba, Father, are pitied, protected, provided for, and chastened by him as by a Father, yet never cast off, but sealed to the day of redemption, and inherit the promises as heirs of everlasting salvation (LBCF, 1689, 12.1).

I do not think this is too controversial of a definition. I’m almost certain Flowers and Wagner would agree with it (Rom. 8:15). It appears as if Paul, in Ephesians, is telling his readers that they have been predestined, or foreordained, to be adopted as sons and daughters. There is a past action (aor., verb, predestination), and a status (nou., accusative, adoption). The former logically and chronological precedes the latter. It’s a very rational sentence Paul gives us in the first chapter of Ephesians, one significant concept leading to the next.

Fourth, Wagner appears to believe that phrases like fullness of time (v. 10), alludes to an exclusively future point. But the fulness of time, for Paul, came at the advent of Jesus Christ. Remember the words of our Lord, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel (Mk. 1:15).” “Set forth,” in Ephesians 1:9, leading up to “fullness of time,” in v. 10, is also a verb in the aorist tense, again indicating a pastaction with indefinite duration (proetheto). Wagner wants to atomize God’s redemptive plan by pointing to an exclusively future significance. However, I think Paul is emphasizing God’s purpose (e.g. adoption in Christ) in His eternal plan (e.g. before the foundation of the world).

Other Claims

Some other things Wagner says are quite astonishing.

For starters, Wagner’s compartmentalization of concepts such as adoption, being chosen, personal holiness, etc., lacks helpfulness. Salvation, as a unit, does not exist without any one of those things. So, while Wagner wants to make the context of the passage about spiritual blessings (which is true), those spiritual blessings are to be seen in the context of who God is and what His purpose has been revealed to be. Blessings should not be seen as mere posterior gifts, given to Christians once they are Christians. Rather, they need to be seen a-chronologically. We ought to see these blessings as predominantly logically preceding or proceeding one another, without respect to duration. Adoption does not occur without God’s choosing. So too, salvation, as a whole, does not happen apart from God’s choosing and determination to adopt a people to Himself.

Wagner then goes on to say:

The grammar of the complementary infinitive – εἶναι – “to be” must not be disconnected in thought from the main verb – ἐξελέξατο – “were chosen”. The blessing is not being chosen to be in Christ before the foundation of the world, but the blessing to be chosen in Christ to be holy and without blame in the future.

What he does here is interpret meaning in light of typical English understanding. A phrase like, “to be,” in English often sounds like it references the future. However, the original Greek reads differently. Wagner renders it “to be,” but it can also be rendered, “that we should be.” Einai is an active present verb. It’s not in the future tense as Wagner claims. It has significance for the here and now, not some future point in time. Thus, when Wagner says, “The blessing is not being chosen to be in Christ before the foundation of the world, but the blessing to be chosen in Christ to be holy and without blame in the future,” he is mistaken.

The trouble Wagner has run into is confusing the “blessed us,” in v. 3, with exclusively future events when it is actually the case that Christians are already blessed in Christ having been chosen in Him to now be holy and blameless before God; not according to our own merits, but according to the merits of Christ (Eph. 1:7; Rom. 8:15, 16).

The blessings in v. 3 include the being chosen before the foundation of the world. In other words, the blessings in v. 3 are not a result of being chosen in Christ before all time began. Rather, being chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world is one of the spiritual blessings God’s people have. This is seen in the term kathos which Wagner really didn’t discuss. Paul says, “even as (kathos) he chose us in him.” Kathos is a causal conjunction that is adverbial. What causal relationship is this word getting at? It is none other than the relationship between God’s choosing His people and His people’s justification (e.g. holy and blameless before him). This passage in Ephesians is a larger exposition of the Golden Chain of Redemption as seen in Romans 8:29, 30:

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.

Wagner then steps out of the text and begins talking about subjunctive/conditional statements, relating them to God’s apparently mutable knowledge. He writes:

The Scripture, with all its subjunctive/conditional statements, all its universal invitations and warnings, and all its verses clearly declaring that God is still making choices and determinations contextually supports the second option. The first option can only be true if all of God’s self-revelation in Scripture is viewed as truly analogical (a comparison with no true connection to reality), whereas the second option views Scripture as truly univocal (giving true meaning in connection to reality).

This is a massive problem. Statements like this place God in a relationship with time which makes Him subject to chronological progression. This is an issue from a biblical-theological perspective. One of the strongest statements in Scripture is, “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind (Num. 23:19).” Wagner might say that the context dictates a less black and white interpretation of this passage. But the author grounds this statement in the fact that God is not like man, fundamentally. That statement stands on its own. Moreover, Yahweh is the great I AM (Ex. 3:14). He is divinely a se, independent of creation. James wrote, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” Biblical data, such as the above, has forced the historical church (developed in detail by the Reformers) to make distinctions between Creator/creature, ontology/economy, archetypal/ectypal, etc.

Moreover, if God’s knowledge remains unsettled, in the present, open theism obtains. I hope this is not Wagner’s official position, but it seems to me that if a person thinks God’s knowledge is not immutable, and God acts with respects to His changing knowledge, open theism is the forced logical conclusion. The last thing I will mention is Wagner’s requirement of the Reformed:

If they do affirm that God no longer expresses His freedom of will in making choices and that God’s self-revelation in Scripture is mostly anthropomorphic/analogical, they will need to explain why God did not state this more clearly in the Scripture but needed future scholars to reveal this truth about Him after Scriptures were completed.

First, we do not think God no longer expresses His freedom of will. But this is an economic continuation of God’s actions; if it were ontological, God would be mutable. This is why we affirm the biblical doctrine of providence. Providence, according to the Reformed, is described as such:

God the good Creator of all things, in his infinite power and wisdom doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, to the end for the which they were created, according unto his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will; to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, infinite goodness, and mercy (LBCF, 1689, 5.1).

Second, of course we affirm that Scripture is analogical. There is simply no way God’s creatures could know like God knows. This is why Scripture is analogical. If we were to say a creature could know even one fact exactly like God knows that fact, we would be God. We do not know 2+2=4 like God knows 2+2=4. Our knowledge of propositional truths is analogical. Wagner wants biblical proof of this. Here it is:

  • “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law (Deut. 29:29).”
  • “Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? (Job 11:7)”
  • “Then the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice (Deut. 4:12).”
  • “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And he said, ‘Say this to the people of Israel: “I AM has sent me to you (Ex. 3:14).””

The requirement that Wagner imposes on the Reformed is a similar requirement that Jehovah’s Witnesses impose on the orthodox with respect to the doctrine of the Trinity. Anyone can reject someone’s proof texting and say, “That’s simply not good enough!” and then impose stricter requirements, unjustifiably I might add. What systematicians have done is deduce conclusions from the whole of Scripture. Premise (A) taken with premise (B) adds up to conclusion (C). This is how systematic theology works. Thus, if Wagner wants to impose those types of requirements on the Reformed, he needs to hold himself to the same standard. What is more, if he wants to operate according to some form of Biblicism, saying that everything must be explicitly stated in Scripture, he needs to justify that particular hermeneutical tenet with Scripture only.


Wagner’s Response:  ”

Thank you Joshua for taking the time to read and critique my article. Just a couple comments…

Thank you for including a link to the page where my exegesis is given so the reader can make further comparisons. I hope you don’t mind my putting it here again.

Also, the words “predestined” and “to be” are not “verbs”, but the first is a participle and the second is and infinitive.

Also, it usually is good in a critique to give an overview or list of the main points. Your focus seemed mainly on trying disprove my first point, that the context has a future emphasis.

I do agree with you wholeheartedly that Paul is saying these are present blessings possessed by all believers even if there are future heavenly aspects yet to be realized. But though we are positionally holy and blameless in Christ now, in verse 4 I still believe Paul is truly pointing to a guarateed future blessing of being holy and blameless “before” God.

That is not as important an issue however as your trying to separate the infinitive phrase “to be holy” from the main verb “chose us” as if the choice is a separate blessing, and the issue if it even was a choice of individuals. You skipped critiquing my main argument against “us” pointing to individuals.”


Joshua’s rebuttal:


I think you’re oversimplifying the parsing of those two terms. A participle is just a verbal adjective (modifying the verb) and an infinitive is a verbal noun (a noun functioning as a verb).

//Also, it usually is good in a critique to give an overview or list of the main points.//

Who said I was done? If that were my purpose in writing *this* article, I would have done that.

//But though we are positionally holy and blameless in Christ now, in verse 4 I still believe Paul is truly pointing to a guarateed future blessing of being holy and blameless “before” God. //

Well, you may “believe” that, but that’s just not what the passage is getting at linguistically, as I’ve demonstrated above. Rather, it has the entirety of God’s redemptive work in view. Colossians 1:22 is another instance Paul uses the same language. You can’t abstract the already from the not yet in a passage like this. It goes against Paul’s grammar.

//That is not as important an issue however as your trying to separate the infinitive phrase “to be holy” from the main verb “chose us” as if the choice is a separate blessing, and the issue if it even was a choice of individuals. You skipped critiquing my main argument against “us” pointing to individuals.//

First, the infinitive “phrase” is not a phrase, it’s a word (εἶναι) best rendered “would be,” or “should be,” not “to be.” This is because the plural pronoun, ἡμᾶς, comes after. In English order, it would look like: “that we should be…”

Second, how am I separating the two? If I make a distinction, it’s because Scripture does. If anything, I would say you’re ignoring everything between the two (i.e. “even as he chose (ἐξελέξατο) us in him *before the foundation of the world*, that we should be (εἶναι) holy and blameless before him.”)

Your argument in (5) hangs on your preceding exegesis. But I may write another article showing why (5) makes no sense in light of what the Bible *actually* says. This is the kind of thing that happens when we import rationalist (and I use that term in the old rationalist philosophical sense) man-made philosophy into the Word of God to avoid conclusions we don’t prefer.


Brian’s Open Theist Response:

“Just in case you are not aware… the “tense” of infinitives and participles in Greek only relates to their kind of action, not the time in which it occurred. The time of their action is related to the main verb and their meaning from context.

The context of the infinitive “to be” is determined to be future by the unique preposition – κατενώπιον – “in the presence of”. The other two uses of this preposition in the NT confirm this future idea. Col 1:22, Jude 1:24. The Colossians reference is especially significant since Colossians is viewed as a parallel epistle to Ephesians, written at the same time.”

Joshua’s Rebuttal:


If you could stop and objectively look at the text, you wouldn’t need to become a contortionist of the original language.

//The context of the infinitive “to be” is determined to be future by the unique preposition – κατενώπιον – “in the presence of”. The other two uses of this preposition in the NT confirm this future idea. Col 1:22, Jude 1:24. The Colossians reference is especially significant since Colossians is viewed as a parallel epistle to Ephesians, written at the same time.//

This contributes nothing to the conversation. The preposition says nothing of time. The time is determined by the aorist active infinitive of the einai (i.e. “should be”). Stop making things up. I could cite Summers, Mounce, Metzger, etc.

You’re just posturing to save face at this point.


Brain Wagner Open Theist Response:

I’m sorry you feel it’s posturing. Other good men hold to this view of that preposition in this verse as pointing to the future presentation of us before God, holy and without blame. The use of the aorist infinitive “to present” in Col 1:22 is speaking of a one-time presentation which hasn’t happened yet. That verse parallels the teaching of Eph 1:4. Paul speaks of this presentation to God in the future also in 2Cor 4:14, and Eph 5:27.

I would love to read what you have found in Sommers, Mounce, Metzger, etc on the meaning of this preposition – κατενώπιον – or of the aorist active infinitive – ειναι. If you have not looked these up yet in them… then you appeal to them would be “posturing”.

Joshua’s rebuttal:

“What about the preposition indicates future? Just parse it and show me. It’s that easy.

I’m sitting here *actually* parsing the terms myself and what I’m getting is diametrically opposed to what you’re telling me. What’s worse is you’re not demonstrating anything you’re saying. You’re just making claims.

You’re a charlatan trying to save face.”

Brian’s Open Theist Response: Thank you for the conversation. I have nothing to add except that prepositions don’t get parsed. If you have taken the time to look up the other passages I listed for you will see the evidence that Paul was pointing to a future presentation of us before God as holy and blameless. That evidence speaks for itself and there is nothing to add. Blessings.

Joshua’s Rebuttal:

“Thank you for the conversation. I have nothing to add except that prepositions don’t get parsed. If you have taken the time to look up the other passages I listed for you will see the evidence that Paul was pointing to a future presentation of us before God as holy and blameless. That evidence speaks for itself and there is nothing to add.”

What is that? Prepositions don’t get parsed? Exactly… so again, what about the preposition indicates future, IN Greek (not English)?

At this point, you’re refusing to even recognize the evidence for a different, more biblical, interpretation. I don’t have time to deal with that type of cultist mindset.


There you have it folks. When Brian is called out for twisting the Original Language of Biblical Greek of someone that he “thought” he could trick or deceive because he is a Professor and considers himself an expert at Greek he will challenge and encounter them He was I am sure shocked and surprised that no matter what tactic or deceitful strategy he used it was shown for what it was. Nothing more than a charlatan, a wolf in sheep’s clothing who has such an ill-will hatred toward the doctrines of Grace that he is willing to mishandle and incorrectly use the Word of the Living God to deceive God’s People. This time “compassionate Brian” as he calls himself, was called out on the carpet at every attempt he tried And in shameful disgrace had to leave knowing that Joshua was not buying what he was selling. The good thing is that what Brian has written we be posted there as long as Joshua keeps it posted. I have posted it here, on Facebook and on Google+ Leighton Flowers and Brain Wagner have had a free pass for way to long. Wagner has now uploaded a new article on Ephesians 1:4 with an open challenge to anyone who wants to argue in private email. You see he does not want it to be public where it can be edifying and eye-opening for all to see. Secrecy is where the darkness and the deceit of sin tries to prevail.




Soteriology101: Dr. Leighton Flowers, Traditional Baptists Contradictory Doctrine of Faith Between Articles 8 and 9

Hello Mr. Flowers,

A little question for you and a few things for you to think about. I know it will be something that you will never bring up because that is why I am no longer allowed to post on Soteriology101 although I have not been actually banned. Just my comments have been censored and banned. I can still like and approve other comments. I have never attacked anyone personally or was disrespectful in any way. But that is OK. I know I was asking the hard questions that one could not give sufficient answers to as I will attempt to do today.
I am emailing you directly with this. Will attempt to post it on Soteriology101. Will post it on my own WordPress site and on other Social blogs around the internet so that it is dispersed and is seen in more abundance as you yourself are pretty much omnipresent on the web.
The true genuine Christian believer’s assurance of Salvation. Does he have it? That is assurance that Christ will save him to the uttermost, completely and forever. Eternal Security.  According to Article 9, The Security of the Believer, after the person (a sinner I am guessing) responds in faith he does have this assurance, this security. This security seems to be based upon the responsibility or power of God in keeping the person saved according to Article 9. “ We affirm that when a person responds in faith, to the Gospel, GOD PROMISES TO COMPLETE THE PROCESS OF SALVATION IN THE BELIEVER INTO ETERNITY” 
The Traditional Baptist takes away from man his “Libertarian Free Will” and places the Security of the believer’s Salvation as the Responsibility of God. God is the one who though his responsibility, according to his will, by His power keeps the believer saved. That is according to Article 9, The Security of the Believer, the very doctrinal statement of the Traditional Baptist, IT IS GOD WHO PROMISES TO COMPLETE THE PROCESS OF SALVATION IN THE BELIEVER INTO ETERNITY.
What happened to the individual’s Libertarian Free Will, Dr. Flowers? IS THE BELIEVER NOW BEING IRRESISTIBLY SAVED AGAINST HIS LIBERTARIAN FREE WILL? I know. Sounds silly, absurd and illogical, but I thought I would parrot back to you what you are constantly saying to the Calvinist all the time. But nonetheless, that is exactly what you are saying in Article 8 and Article 9. Both are not in the least compatible but most definitely and emphatically according to your own illogical logic a contradiction.
I find this a remarkable and an amazing statement of contradiction that is not compatible with your system of belief Dr. Flowers of “Libertarian Free Will” as I believe I defined for the most part correctly below and slightly above.
Once the “sinner person responds in faith, to the Gospel” by his or her “Libertarian Free Will” meaning he or she could have chosen or rejected the Gospel offer. Did he or she lose their “Libertarian Free Will” their very “power of choosing one option or the other?” Even the “power or ability of the will of actually choosing one option but then at a later date being able to reject it and choose the other option or options?
I am sure you see where I am going with this Dr. Flowers. Your Article 9, The Security of the Believer is not compatible with your philosophy of “Libertarian Free Will,” Article 8.
Before I state Article 9, The Security of the Believer, the doctrinal statement of the Traditional Baptists. I want to first under-gird and give evidence to the fact of what I have said concerning your understanding and the definition of Libertarian Free Will by stating the Article 8, THE FREE WILL OF MAN.


We affirm that God, as an expression of His sovereignty, endows each person with actual free will (the ability to choose between two options), which must be exercised in accepting or rejecting God’s gracious call to salvation by the Holy Spirit through the Gospel.

We deny that the decision of faith is an act of God rather than a response of the person. We deny that there is an “effectual call” for certain people that is different from a “general call” to any person who hears and understands the Gospel.

Genesis 1:26-28; Numbers 21:8-9; Deuteronomy 30:19; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 8:1-22; 2 Samuel 24:13-14; Esther 3:12-14; Matthew 7:13-14; 11:20-24; Mark 10:17-22; Luke 9:23-24; 13:34; 15:17-20; Romans 10:9-10; Titus 2:12; Revelation 22:17

I will not comment at this time on the Scripture proofs provided but may do so later but want to continue the fact that Article 8 and Article 9 are not compatible being illogical and absurd by your very own standards Dr. Flowers. Maybe your Scriptures evidence which is proof-texting (will shed some light but I highly doubt it) that you accuse the Calvinist of (everyone does it and there is a Biblical Case for it as long as one does not pull the verse out of context and misuse and abuse it)

Now for the statement of Article 9: THE SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER.


We affirm that when a person responds in faith to the Gospel, God promises to complete the process of salvation in the believer into eternity. This process begins with justification, whereby the sinner is immediately acquitted of all sin and granted peace with God; continues in sanctification, whereby the saved are progressively conformed to the image of Christ by the indwelling Holy Spirit; and concludes in glorification, whereby the saint enjoys life with Christ in heaven forever.

We deny that this Holy Spirit-sealed relationship can ever be broken. We deny even the possibility of apostasy.

John 10:28-29; 14:1-4; 16:12-14; Philippians 1:6; Romans 3:21-26; 8:29,30; 35-39; 12:1-3; 2 Corinthians 4:17; Ephesians 1:13-14; Philippians 3:12; Colossians 1:21-22; 1 John 2:19; 3:2; 5:13-15; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 13:5; James 1:12; Jude 24-25

This statement of faith by the Traditional Baptist actually amazes me and somewhat shocks me considering what the Traditional Baptist as yourself believes concerning “libertarian free will.” You yourself being a “libertarian” when it comes to the “will of man.”

This definition may not be exact but I think it fits the mold close enough that there would be and is no reason for a silly nonsensical response. Not that you would respond anyway. I believe your strongest desire will determine you will not to choose to respond to this response and rebuttal. It is not “animal instinct” Chuckle. Animals have no consciousness, will or any sense of moral responsibility so that argument and allegory break down completely. Or robots or puppets for that matter. None of these also HAVE NOT BEEN CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD!! Much more to say on this but not the subject at this particular time. although if Dr. Flowers was to respond this is what he would focus on and not that which is difficult and problematic to his system of philosophy and faith. This we have seen and learned from his frequent and abundant articles and videos scattered all over the internet that the only “really focuses upon 3-4 hours a week.” Not sure if that is compatible either. It is Dr. Flowers life crusade and he cannot use Chris Date as an example. Chris, yes is focusing on what I believe is a real theological theory that should at least be considered and taken seriously, but if you listen to Chris overall and go to his individual website he is very familiar with the “whole Counsel of God” and has espoused it frequently. Even with you Dr. Flowers concerning your life’s crusade in destroying Calvinism in your two-part conversation with Chris on Compatibilism.
” Libertarians believe that free will is incompatible with causal determinism, and agents have free will. They, therefore, deny that causal determinism is true. … Non-causal libertarians typically believe that free actions are constituted by basic mental actions, such as a decision or choice.
I would add that “Libertarian Free Will” consist of individuals making “free choices” that are not “coerced” ( I also do not believe in coercion in the sense of man’s will choosing) to make any decision or choice in violation of their “free will” being able to choose between at least two options.
Let me continue what I believe and pretty much know what you believe about “Libertarian Free Will” For the “will of man” to truly and genuinely be free it must be “self-determined.”  It must not be “determined” by anything “subjectively or “objectively.” If it is then the “will” is truly not “free” in the “libertarian sense” In my own practical judgment, it is as if you are saying the “will of man” must be in a “neutral position.” For example. An individual person making a “choice” between two options chooses one with his or her “libertarian free will” (but could have chosen otherwise or in a different manner, the other option or options as stated by Article 8, The Free Will but rebutted by Article 9 as it is God’s responsibility through His effectual irresistible power to keep the believer saved until he or she is glorified and enters into the eternal state of heaven).
The “eternal state” poses another problem and difficulty for the Traditional Baptist also. Does the now “Glorified Saint” still have in his or her possession true genuine “Libertarian Free Will so that he genuinely and freely chooses to love, worship and adore the Lord Jesus without being determined to do so. It has to be this way to be genuine and true. That means even in heaven in a glorified state one could apostatize and rebel against God. Love has to free in the Libertarian sense.
But this is contrary and contradictory to what Article 9: The Security of the Believer says:……”We (the Traditional Baptists) deny that this Holy Spirit-Sealed relationship can ever be broken. We deny the possibility of apostasy.”
This denial is the individual in a state of Grace saved by Christ through his “Libertarian Free Will” (although the response is said to be effected through “Spirit Gospel Preaching) and the denial of apostasy in the eternal state with a glorified body while still possessing a “Libertarian Free Will” that can choose or reject between two options or even after choosing one option reject the former accepted option and choose the other option. Now, this is what I call an illogical, absurd,  and absolute nonsense. Even circular. Articles 8 and 9 contradict each other and are not compatible. This is truly “begging the question.” Chicken and the egg.
Houston/Flowers, we have a problem?!?!?!?
The Traditional Baptist such as yourself Dr. Flowers must believe this way. For this very reason. For love, adoration, and worship of God to real and genuine it must not be “determined.” It must have that “option” or “alternative choice” to be able to actually rebel and reject God and thus do so completely or your definition of “Libertarian free will” fall to the ground powerless and is found to be lifeless and devoid of its alleged meaning or definition.
Let me say briefly that there are elements of what I wrote above that the Reformed Calvinists believes in. I know you would say that “man acting freely and “God ultimately determining his will, choices and actions” is a contradiction. Completely absurd and illogical and arguing in a circle. To defend that issue is not my assignment here today. I have started doing that directly to you on my WordPress Site. Speakingthetruthinloveblog. I have addressed the arguments of ‘robots, puppets, and animal instincts being used as arguments against the will of man and determinism being compatible. You just do not understand the Decree of God in connection with moral responsibility. One gives rise to the other. One thing is for sure and you need to quit alluding to is this. That God is actively working evil or sin in the hearts of believers. I will be addressing the choices of men, the decisions of their will and how they are compatible with the Decree of God in the future in response to your misrepresentations and misunderstandings. The next subject I mean to address is “the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart” That is was God who did the “hardening” throughout even where it says “Pharaoh hardened his own heart” The Decree of God. His determining the will of man is thus compatible. One gives rise to the other. I will address the “murder of Christ” on the cross. The very article you wrote with so many misrepresentations and fallacies. I also will show how your own “system of belief” cannot account for “evil and sin” Something that you seem to not want to address on your own. Your own system of belief also has “great difficulty and a huge problem with the very existence of evil and sin.” This is due to the very “Infinite knowledge” of God that I know you believe in.
You mention “the Calvinist arguing in a circle is absurd and illogical. Everyone argues in a circle to some extent or degree. Anyone who understands the elementary substance of philosophy knows this. Even you Dr. Flowers ARGUES IN A CIRCLE WHEN IT COMES TO THE TRADITIONAL BAPTIST ARTICLE 9, THE SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER AND LIBERTARIAN FREE WILL. That is in the sense you call it illogical and absurd you are an offender yourself of this very same “flaw” as you would see it. This I will set out to prove.
Let me briefly mention this. The Bible, the very Word of God is authoritative and inspired. That is a “circular argument” but it is true nonetheless. The Bible claims for itself to be the very Word of God, authoritative and inspired. Prophets and Apostles wrote as they were moved along “by the Holy Spirit.” To the Non-Christian, this is absurd and illogical. Because it is just a book with words that claims for itself all that I have written above. Thus a “circular argument.” But you as a Christian believe this “circular” argument, Dr. Flowers.
I believe I have already shown extensively how the Traditional Baptist Article 9 of Faith, “The Security of the Believer” is a contradiction and is not compatible with Article 8: Free Will. I think you now see how this lines up with Libertarian Free Will” I have shown you from “your very own logic and reasoning” that this is nonsense, illogical, absurd and in no way can be compatible I want to make a few statements and ask a few strong illustrating questions. Then look at a few of your proof-texting that you have condemned and accused the Calvinists of doing. Following are some statements and questions I asked Brian Wagner who also believes a true Christian cannot lose his or her Salvation. He declined to reply. I can understand why. This position that you both take (although Brian takes on the “will of man” is different I think) makes you both at least an ONE POINT CALVINIST!!  Now for the statements and questions below:
You believe in libertarian free will. You believe the “will” when presented with a “choice” is “free” (in the libertarian sense) to make an option especially in relation to the “Gospel Offer”? Meaning the “will” is not “determined” in the sense of “Compatibilism” It can accept or reject the “offer of the Gospel” The Libertarian Will can also reject the choice or option it previously made and accept the other “alternative option.” It has to have that power and ability Dr. Flowers or your argument is absurd and illogical. That is why all by itself Articles 9 and Articles 8 of the Traditional Baptists Doctrinal Statement are not compatible and contradictory. But let’s continue.
But if the “will” must be “free” according to the Traditional Baptist for “faith, love, and worship of God to be genuinely true, free and not determined but self-determined, I ask what changed after one is saved that he cannot become unsaved?” Has the believer in Christ lost his power of choice? Even in heaven in what is the condition of the will? Of what quality? Will it be “free” in the sense that it is still making “real genuine choices” to love, adore and worship Christ” (Libertarian) but still “free” to do the opposite as Lucifer and a 3rd part of the angels did?  It has to be in your system of belief, philosophy, and faith or it is now being effectually in an irresistible way determined way by God’s Sovereign Power. IF THE TRADITIONAL BAPTIST IS DENYING THAT THE BELIEVER IN A STATE OF GRACE, SALVATION IN CHRIST, AND IN THE ETERNAL STATE IN HEAVEN IN A GLORIFIED BODY DOES NOT HAVE THE ABILITY TO APOSTATIZE AND REBEL AGAINST GOD (and they do according to Article 9 The Security of the Believer). HE NO LONGER HAS “LIBERTARIAN FREE WILL” YOU CANNOT HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO DR. FLOWERS.
I am just trying to understand how you understand the will of man, in his fallen sinful alienated from Christ state, his saved United to Christ state by grace through faith, and in the eternal state where man will be delivered from the very presence of sin forever, and puts on a new glorified body as Christ. But even Lucifer and the angels did not have sinful desires and tendencies until they did?  Where did sin and evil ultimately come from? Could the saints in heaven with their “will” that has to be “genuinely free” for “love, adoration and worship to God to be actual and real, choose to the opposite as Lucifer and the angels did and could the remaining angels do what Lucifer and a 3rd part of the angels did in rebellion to God. I guess I am asking if “Glorified Saints” with “wills” that are “genuinely free” and “self-determining” for “love. worship and adoration of Jesus Christ to be real and genuine, could that will choose to rebel also at any time (if I can even speak of time) in eternity.
According to “Article 8: Free Will, they can, it is a real possibility, but according to “Article 9: The Security of the Believer, it is an impossibility as God secures their salvation throughout all eternity despite Article 8, the Libertarian Free Will that can choose to reject what it has chosen at any given moment on earth or in heaven.
I do believe these are tough, difficult and problematic but reasonable questions to ask the Traditional Baptists who to me is just another form of Arminianism. Don’t want to offend but I do not see much difference when it comes to Soteriology other than the “Prevenient Grace Issue”
Now I will look at a few of your “proof text” from Articles 8 and 9 and give my evaluation and how they correspond with the actual statement of the articles and the philosophy you espouse Dr. Flowers.
Article 9: The Security of the Believer Proof Text

John 10:28-29 – 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

This is an excellent passage of Scripture for the Calvinist. But for the Traditional Baptist, it is “begging the question” Yes the Father is keeping them and protecting them in his Sovereign Almighty Hand that no one can pry open and whose power no one can defeat. BUT THE BELIEVER ACCORDING TO THE TRADITIONAL BAPTIST AND ARTICLE 8 HAS LIBERTARIAN FREE WILL THAT GOD WILL NOT VIOLATE. IF THE BELIEVER WHO DECIDED TO ACCEPT THE FREE OFFER OF THE GOSPEL NOW DECIDES HE OR SHE WANTS OUT OF THE FATHER’S HAND THE TRADITIONAL BAPTIST HAS TO ADMIT THAT GOD WILL NOT FORCE THE BELIEVER AGAINST HIS OR HER LIBERTARIAN FREE WILL TO REMAIN IN A STATE OF GRACE IRRESISTIBLY AS DR. FLOWERS WOULD STATE IT.  So the “circular debate tactic, begging the question and the downright contradiction continues.
John 14: Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many [a]mansions; if it were not so, [b]I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
How does Dr. Flowers and the Traditional Baptists know that “where Christ is, all believers will be there also?” This is once again absurd, illogical and contradictory to Article 8: The Free Will.  The Believer may choose before Christ returns to reject and apostatize from the true faith of believing in Christ as his or her Lord and Savior. But Flowers and the Traditional Baptists says that Article 9 rejects this possibility. But Article 8 affirms this possibility emphatically. Remember Dr. Flowers? Are you saying that I ask once again that this has changed? I say that the Traditional Baptist Doctrinal Statement of Faith is Schizophrenia in nature. Let’s remind ourselves of Article 8 and that will be our conclusion to this rebuttal. I see no reason to go into the proof texts of Article 8. They are just as confusing in nature, absurd, illogical and just sheer nonsense in there understanding by the Traditional Baptist as the proof texts of Article 9. Conclusion. Articles 8 and 9 of the Traditional Baptists Doctrinal Statement of Faith is contradictory and most definitely and emphatically not compatible.


We affirm that God, as an expression of His sovereignty, endows each person with actual free will (the ability to choose between two options), which must be exercised in accepting or rejecting God’s gracious call to salvation by the Holy Spirit through the Gospel.

We deny that the decision of faith is an act of God rather than a response of the person. We deny that there is an “effectual call” for certain people that is different from a “general call” to any person who hears and understands the Gospel.


We affirm that when a person responds in faith to the Gospel, God promises to complete the process of salvation in the believer into eternity. This process begins with justification, whereby the sinner is immediately acquitted of all sin and granted peace with God; continues in sanctification, whereby the saved are progressively conformed to the image of Christ by the indwelling Holy Spirit; and concludes in glorification, whereby the saint enjoys life with Christ in heaven forever.

We deny that this Holy Spirit-sealed relationship can ever be broken. We deny even the possibility of apostasy.

Soteriology101 Brian Wagner Misunderstanding of Martin Luther’s understanding of the Holy Spirit creating faith in Sinner before the Sinner can Believe in Christ.

I repeat what I said before I answer you, and then ask do we have a contradiction. Or did Luther express things a little different than we do today and you are reaching and twisting to make those words fit your tradition and false teaching of Non-Calvinism. I say it is the latter. Even in what you wrote Luther is staying true to the Reformed Faith of Soteriology. The Spirit just has not opened your eyes to it. But it is ultimately what thus saith the Lord, or it is written.

“So what did Martin Luther believe?

“I say that man, before he is renewed into the new creation of the Spirit’s kingdom, does and endeavours nothing to prepare himself for that new creation and kingdom, and when he is re-created has does and endeavored nothing towards his perseverance in that kingdom; but the Spirit alone works both blessings in us, regenerating us, and preserving us when regenerating, without ourselves…”
– Martin Luther from Bondage of the Will, pg. 268

Oh Brian, you set yourself up my friend and Brother in Christ. Martin Luther is saying the same thing that the Reformed believers/Calvinist. He does call it ” the work of faith in us” which is very scriptural language. Luther was very inconsistent in what he said a lot. I am sure you know that. Even with Limited Atonement, also known as Definite Atonement, or Particular Redemption or seemed to go back and forth on that. So for either of us to use Luther it would be a negative. Although my quotation clearly says Luther believes in Regeneration before faith and conversion to Christ/eternal life/ Your quotation which I am yet to research to check the veracity of it seems to imply about the faith being God’s work with in us. The Non-Calvinist would refute this until the day he died because they do not believe these three verses. Brian we cannnot cherry pick Martin Luther. He was not a Calvinist but he falls very much into the same camp and leans strongly to regeneration preceding faith and conversion. We must take the whole counsel of Luther, or a larger portion that just a quote from the introduction to hia commentary on Romans. After some Scriptures I explain down below if you are willing to read them you can have a field day of Luther’s quotes and then you will have to decide and I look to see if you will make a public retraction or not. Something I have never seen Brian do. Brian I have seen some well researched work on Academia. But you are blowing through this without using the gifts God has given you and I know you know what I mean my brother in Christ.

I found your quote, but only in what is called the preface to the Epistle of the Romans. Yes I give you my word the exact same words you quoted. Here is the link below. But why did you stop there Brian. The next couple of pararaghs would have cleared this confusion up. They have a word for this my brother now you have to make a public apology for taking Luther out of context. Or will pride be blind to itself, because it can manifest itself in many faces. I do not believe that of you Brian. You have always seemed to humble, godly and a man of God to me. The quote that comes after your quote is below.BUT YOU TOOK LUTHER OUT OF CONTEXT, AND YOU KNOW THAT IS A NO NO MY BROTHER IN CHRIST, HE ACTUALLY MEANTIONS ABOUT GOD CREATING FAITH WITHIN US. THAT WOULD BE GODWORKING FIRST BEFORE THE SINNER HAS FAITH AND BELIEVES IN CHRIST.

Martin Luther’s
Preface to
The Epistle
to the Romans
This English translation is taken from
the edition produced by
Lutheran Publishing House, Adelaide, 1966

” 16. On the contrary, faith is a divine work in us, which
transforms us, gives us a new birth out of God, John 1:13,
slays the old Adam, makes us altogether different men in
heart, affections, mind, and all powers, and brings with it the Holy Spirit. Oh, it is a living, energetic, active,
mighty thing, this faith. It cannot but do good unceas-ingly.
There is no question asked whether good works are to be
done, but before the question is asked the works have been
done, and there is a continuous doing of them. But any
person not doing such works is without faith. He is groping
in the dark, looking for faith and good works, and knows
neither what faith is nor what good works are, although he
indulges in a lot of twaddle and flummery concerning faith
and good works.
17. Faith is a living, daring confidence in the grace of
God, of such assurance that it would risk a thousand
deaths. This confidence and knowledge of divine grace
makes a person happy, bold, and full of gladness in his
relation to God and all creatures. The Holy Ghost is doing
this in the believer. Hence it is that a person, without
constraint, becomes willing and enthusiastic to do good to
everybody, to serve everybody, to suffer all manner of
afflictions, from love of God and to the praise of Him who
has extended such grace to him. Accordingly, it is impossible
to separate works from faith, just as impossible as it is to
separate the power to burn and shine from fire. Accordingly,
beware of your own false thoughts and of idle talkers, who
pretend great wisdom for discerning faith and good works
and yet are the greatest fools. Pray God that He may create
faith in you; otherwise you will be without faith for ever and
aye, no matter what you may plan and do.

2 Thessalians 1:11 – for which also we pray always for you, that He may count you worthy of the calling of our God, and He may fulfill every good pleasure of goodness and work of faith with power,

It is not a “work of faith to us” It is God the Holy Spirit’s work of faith within us that he will complete and bring it to fruition in power, not by the mythical idol of free will or human effort, but by the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God dwelling richly within us.

John 6:29 – Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

I used the biased Calvinist Bible on that one. The ESV. I hope that is ok. JK 🙂

Philippians 1:29 -For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

Brian my friend and brother in Christ, you know what is so cool about Philippians 1:29. I know you can check it out yourself. I have read many Greek Scholars now and checked out in the Intinleaner Bible on Biblehub and my own personal one. The word translated into English “believe” from the Greek is the word is “pisteuw” It means it is a gift of God’s grace, the word is intimately related to the Greek word that can be found in 1 Corinthian 12. Where the Word of God talks about the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

We know faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, so that means there was a time when the wicked sinner did not have saving faith until the Sword of the Spirit worked powerfully in his life. Yes, the Power Holy Spirit in intimate connection with the preaching and proclamation of the gospel.

2 Thessalanions 3:2 – And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith.

Simple Brian, Evil, wicked and perverse sinners do not have within them innate saving faith as Ephesians 2 declares that while we were still dead in trespasses and sins God quicked and made us alive in Christ Jesus. It does say we believed before he quickened us and made us alive. It says he did this while we were spiritually dead in sin doing spiritually sinful activities. Not corspe dead. Please tell Dr. Flowers to stop saying that, he does not understand the analogy and thus he Misrepresents.

Read this slowly and prayfully Brian I beseech you in Christ

Ephesians 2

2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the [a]course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

See Brian there is there is spiritually dead activity in sin revealed in these verses before we came to Christ. It also reveals were we made alive while we were still dead in sin, not in a state of believing but walking and fullfulling the lust of the flesh. It goes on to conversion, “by His Mercy he saved us. Then we are saved by grace though faith, it is the gift of God, not of free will or of works lest any Non-Calvinist should boast. It goes on to say We are “his very own workmanship created in Christ Jesus, for good works, sanctification, becoming like Christ which we have been predestined to, and this being created by God and being his very own workmanship for good works was prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. The word “beforehand” in verse 10 means “hath before ordained” or prepared I will concede to that. But he chose us in Christ from all eternity that we should be Holy and Blameless in love.

Acts 13:48 – 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying [praising and giving thanks for] the word of the Lord; and all those who had been appointed (designated, ordained) to eternal life [by God] believed [in Jesus as the Christ and their Savior].

Every major translation we have says something to this extent, that those who were “appointed or designated to eternal life believed.

But to get around this, the Non-Calvinist espousing the Pelagianism heresy in mistaken ignorance (still my brother in Christ) have got into bed with the JW. Their translation reads “disposed” and that I know is what is pushed here on Soteriology101 at the peril and wrongfully dividing the Word of God.

Now for Martin Luther briefly and then I am done:

“Irresistible Grace
In Bondage of the Will, 2.8, Luther denies that God compels or forces people to convert: “When God works in us, the will is changed under the sweet influence of the Spirit of God. . . . it desires and acts, not of compulsion, but of its own desire and spontaneous inclination.” But, of course, the most famous (or notorious) thing about his Bondage of the Will is Luther’s denial that we initiate this change: “our salvation is not of our own strength or counsel, but depends on the working of God alone.” Further, “man’s will is like a beast standing between two riders. If God rides, it wills and goes where God wills . . . . If Satan rides, it wills and goes where Satan wills. Nor may it choose to which rider it will run, or which it will seek; but the riders themselves fight to decide who shall have and hold it” (2.8).”

The best book in English on this thorny set of issues in early Lutheran dogmatics is Robert Kolb, Bound Choice, Election, and Wittenberg Theological Method: From Martin Luther to the Formula of Concord (Eerdmans, 2005).

Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Art. 2: “people resist God the Lord with their will until they are converted. . . . they resist the Word and will of God until God awakens them from the death of sin and enlightens and renews them. Although God does not force human beings in such a way that they must become godly (for those who persistently resist the Holy Spirit and stubbornly struggle against what is recognized truth, as Stephen said of the obdurate Jews in Acts 7:51, will not be converted), nonetheless God the Lord draws those people whom he wants to convert and does so in such a way that an enlightened understanding is fashioned out of a darkened understanding and an obedient will is fashioned out of a rebellious will. Scripture calls this creating a new heart. . . . God makes willing people out of rebellious and unwilling people through the drawing power of the Holy Spirit, and . . . after this conversion of the human being the reborn will is not idle in the daily practice of repentance but cooperates in all the works of the Holy Spirit that he accomplishes through us.”

Luther’s language is a little different than us, but he most definitely sides with the Calvinist. At first he through the secret working of the Holy Spirit the sinner is idle, but after conversion, there is Holiness and good works of love etc,

I say that man, before he is renewed into the new creation of the Spirit’s kingdom, does and endeavours nothing to prepare himself for that new creation and kingdom, and when he is re-created has does and endeavors nothing towards his perseverance in that kingdom; but the Spirit alone works both blessings in us, regenerating us, and preserving us when regenerate, without ourselves…”
Martin Luther fromThe Bondage of the Will (pg. 268)

“If any man doth ascribe of salvation, even the very least, to the free will of man, he knoweth nothing of grace, and he hath not learnt Jesus Christ aright.”
-Martin Luther

When God works in us, the will, being changed and sweetly breathed upon by the Spirit of God, desire and acts, not from compulsion, but responsively.
-Martin Luther

“Let all the ‘free-will’ in the world do all it can with all its strength; it will never give rise to a single instance of ability to avoid being hardened if God does not give the Spirit, or of meriting mercy if it is left to its own strength.” – Martin Luther

“A man who has no part in the grace of God, cannot keep the commandments of God, or prepare himself, either wholly or in part, to receive grace; but he rests of necessity under the power of sin.”- Martin Luther

“It is false that the will, left to itself, can do good as well as evil, for it is not free, but in bondage…On the side of man there is nothing that goes before grace, unless it be impotency and even rebellion.”- Martin Luther

“He that will maintain that man’s free will is able to do or work anything in spiritual cases, be they never so small, denies Christ.” – Martin Luther, Table Talk

“Even like as St. Paul was converted, just so are all others converted; for we all resist God, but the Holy Ghost draws the will of mankind, when he pleases, through preaching.”- Martin Luther

“God foreknows nothing by contingency, but that He foresees, purposes, and does all things according to His immutable, eternal, and infallible will. By this thunderbolt, “Free-will” is thrown prostrate, and utterly dashed to pieces.”- Martin Luther

All quotes are from the Bondage of the will unless noted otherwise.

Biblical Gospel – James White – Alpha and Omega Ministries, Powerful Bible Exegegis of John 3:16….The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not a Suggestion, but a Command, Says Dr, White. Salvation is of the Lord!!

This is so awesome, it made me literally fear and tremble at the Holy Word of God. Christ’s Gospel Message is being so synthetic today and not in the Authentic way that Dr. James White just from the very heart of God, speaking by the Holy Spirit in my opinion, is what is the missing truth in the Body of Christ Today. Dr. James White, I know you feel a call to witness to the Muslim community. They need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and you always give it, usually more than once, but my brother, the body of Christ needs you desperately defending the faith in this area once again renewed and fervent in Spirit. This is a gospel issue and so there can be nothing more important, and every Sunday morning, night and Wednesday night, Professing believers are hearing a synthetic Gospel and not the Gospel of Power that is the Authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ. God sent His Son so that every believing or every beleiving one shall not perish but have everlasting life. You said that God took a sinner like you and he saved you, that is the Glory of the Gospel. By grace alone, through faith alone, Because of Christ alone, to the Glory of God alone. I know you are folloing what you know and believe God is leading you to do, but I so much miss what just heard above and what I think and believe to be one of the most powerful preaching messages about the truth of the power of Gospel of Jesus Christ to save ever in my life. Thank you, Dr, White. I started out with RC Sproul, God rest his soul, wo has enter into his joy and rest in the Lord. I so envy him in a godly way. He was so in love with the God of His Salvation. But it was you who taught me the deep things about Doctrinal Truths of Soteriology101. It is so beautiful, so Amazing, I so adore and love the One True God and His Son whom he sent to die on that Cross and Secured my Salvation. Praise be to the Glory of His Holy Grace. I posted this video on Soteriology101, since I am reading their book on “Tradiional Baptist and Calvinist” The Name of the Book is “For God so Loved the World” On the back cover, they explain it is their foundational verse and what gives them credence for their beliefs and regection of Calvinism, I posted on “Soteriology101″that I was reading the book and then posted your video as a respone to their foundation verse, John 3:16, that they believe gives crecence to what they believe and regection and refutation of Calvinism. Which is just a nickname for some Holy Truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ found in Holy Scripture. Thank you Dr. White for your love for the Lord Jesus Christ and your Love for His Word.

Confronting BR.D on His Excuses as to why he will not Except The Challenge to debate and Defend NO-Calvinsim. His Excuses were Myraid and the conining ignornt espousal of the Pelagian Heresy

This is what I expected from you BRD. Hey. let me say up front that in no way do I want to be sinfully argumentive with you or to quarrel with you over the false teaching of Non-Calvinism. I will clarify my first, I guess you would say, long article tomorrow as I was sick all last night and was up all day. Nausea terrible night, would not wish it on anyone. 24-hour bug I think BRD. Feeling better now but sleepy and ready to drift off.

But this is the response I expected from you. I say this and do not mean to offend, as you have said things on here that far out-weigh what I am about to say.

Your comment is just one big long excuse as to why you will not respond and refute my article, maybe in pieces. One or two paragraphs at a time. I will not respond back until you are complety finished. More on that tomorrow. Just an excuse.

Then you are a Non-Calvinist dictator. At least you think so. You tell me, (I am putting a little sarcastic tone to this when you are speaking just for fun) “if you are going to address posts specifically to me – please limit them to one or two points. HAAAAA!!! More on this tomorrow.

How would you know if I addressed you on more than two points, you only read one paragraph!!!!!???? Really BRD!!!!!????

That is why I took most of the article in the beginning. to address “your behavior and your conduct emphatically declaring that you act accordingly, That is in a respectful manner when you speak to me.

As far as one or two points, if you would have read the whole of what I wrote. you would have seen I stayed the course on the mystical fictitious idol of enslaved free-wil.l and its power to exercise natural innate faith. Which is nothing more than espousing the Pelagian Heresy. I was testing the waters to see if that is what you believed as that is the prevailing them on Soteriology101. So you speak out of ignorance when you tell me to address you with no more than two points or you are just being downright disingenuous to be intimating thinking I will back off. Not my first rodeo and I am ready to take the bull by the horns and slam it to the ground. Another excuse again, tomorrow I will tell you will, clarifying in greater detail. It may offend you or embarressbut be prepared for frank and honest responses from me.

And hey I expect no less from you. Don’t lie to me BR.D. I will not stand for it and I will in a spirit of gentleness call you out on it. If you do it pubically, I will ask you to confess it publically. Although I do not think you have the spiritual substance or anthing of value to enter into a discussion of this propertion. I do not think the word of God dwells richly within you or truth has been blessed by God to your understanding so that it is dwelling in your inward parts. If it was, you would not have such a spirit of fear, but a sound and self-controlled mind and could piece by piece answer what I wrote. Like Eric said, there is time limit on reponses or rebuttals. Just another excuse.

I could realistically respond to a post that contains as many paragraphs as I wrote. There many who are equipped and have studied God’s word and know how to rightly divide the word of truth, so they will not be ashamed. It takes a lot of prayful Bible study time asking God to bless you with the understanding of His Holy Word and to give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation of Jesus Christ.

Like I said this is not a one or two sentence ot a one or two pararagh back and forth discussion. That is nonsense, silly, illogical and completely absurd. This is more than a something superficial surface scratching of God’s word BRD. We are discussing the deep things of God and you will not dictate to me how liitle or how long of a comment or response I will write. Are we on the same page there Sir with all due respect.

Why would there be a propensity for over reaction. You give yourself way to much credit BRD. As if you think you can control me with your magical powers of influence and words. Are you not going to behave as I have asked and instruted you to be. I have seen on here how you can be sinful with your tongue set on fire by hell cursing Calvinist men and women made in the image of God and then I am sure you go to chruch and bless God with that same tongue. God calls that being hyporitical BRD. Hey I am just being frank and honest as you declared you would be right my discussion individual. Cannot call you a brother since to you I am a heretic which makes me chuckle. And I don’t even feel right calling you my discussion partner because of your deep seated ill-will hatred of the nick name Calvinism that represents real and solid truths that can be found in Holy Scriptures, Like the word Trinity.

Why does Eric need to moderate, do you feel you will not be able to control your emotions in Christ cooperating with the Holy Spirit and manifesting self-control.

Trust me BRD, I will not be getting angry or offended with you. I chuckle at things I have read and the things you have said to me already. You do not want this debate because you are not capable, you have an inability to live up to the challenge, so every excuse in the book is being thrown at me. Even, “well we better get Erc to Monitor any interaction since there is the possibility of you over reacting.

Then the final curtain call comes because BRD is unable and not equipped to defend Non-Calvininism like about 95% of the individuals on here. BRD says;

“since there is the possibility of him overreacting, maybe it will be better if I do not reach out to him at all, since that is the case, that is he will be offended and over-react and be unable to behave and controll himself appopriately in respect. Speaking the truth in love.’

Why would I stress over you BRD, You just tapped out. BRD tapped out because he knows he cannot defend a false teaching when the truth will prevail over it,

But hey, it was fun, addressing your excuses I knew were coming. You though you were cunning with your words in stating why you would not or could not debate or discuss. But BRD, I have this gift, when something is written down on paper i can see right though the motives and desires that are mere excuses, The motives and desires that are meant to intimidate. The motives and excuses that are there because the person just is not up to the task of defending His beliefs. That is you BRD. You cry foul, too long, when you could have done one or two paragraph’s at a time. No rush, no hurry. You just were not able or were to lazy to put the time in. I think a little of both just between you and me. You could have skipped all of the directions where I was trying to teach you to behave in a respectful manner in the discussio.

Even now you sound very humble wth a smily face at the end, but I sense excuses and a false pretence of humility and a lifting up of oneself in saying there i a need for Eric.

I always ask myself when i decide to reply to somone, in what way will I approach them. With you is was with a spirit of gentleness or a rod of iron. I usually go with a spirit of gentleness but I chose a rod of iron with you. Because of the many disrectful things on here that you have posted.

So you go ahead and run along for now BRD and I will not bother you any longer. But hey keep that “reply button” ready for me. I may want to refute something you have to say does not mean you have to respond, but I wll sure enjoy refutting it knowing you have nothing, your tank is empty to respond in and defend what you believe. If you have been offended i am not sure what to say on this one, But be for sure, I am content and have perfect peace whether I debate you or not. I would rather debate someone who is equipped, trained and ready though. No offense meant so I hope none is taken. It is just the way I feel about you (only in my opinion) which I know I could be competely wrong. You were nicer than what i expected. I am not sure how you think you know I have very intense feelings. BRD you do not even know me. Now I would think that of you after reading your hatred and ill-will of Calvinism o here. So I would say the pot is black said the kettle, But don’t characterize me when you have never seen or me and it is really hard to figure someone out just by reading what they are posting. Any school boy knows that if the have been posting long enough.

Take care BRD and may the grace of God be with you always.

Soteriology101: Challenging BR.d on the charge that Calvinism is Heresy. Will he respond or just continue with His sinful Sarcasm and Humor, Saying Calvinists follow John Calvin and Worship god of John Calvin, thus they are Heretics.

Another good one brother, Good thing I do not take you seriously either or I would be pulling my hair out if I had any. Got any true substance you would like to add concerning the truth of God’s word that refutes Calvinism. which is just a nick-name for truths revealed in God’s word. I am not asking you to refute what I Just said or make any more jokes. We have enough unemployed comedians as it is. Substance, the truth that you believe refutes some from God’s word an issue that the Calvinist believes. No scattergun technique either. Going in every different direction. I am not sure if you are up for the challenge or you just want to make quick snappy sarcascatic empty vain assertions about the Reformed Faith. Your choice. After all, you are a “Free Agent” with the power of “Self-Determination,” I have one we can go with. How about the mythical fictional man-made idol of “free-will” that exercises some magical power to engage a natural innate faith that the evil, wicked sinner was born with to believe in Christ. God word says clearly that evil wicked sinners do not have faith.

You know what BR.D, I do not think you accept the challenge. I do not think you are up to the task or capable of understanding the Calvinist position or even your own. I probably understand your position better than you do. I do not think you have anything of any real spiritual value or substance to add to this discussion or debate. I think your words are empty, vain, deceitful and you have a tongue that is set on fire by hell. With it you bless God and with it, you curse men (Calvinist) who are created in the image of God. James 1. The Apostle James says in God’s Holy Word that such things ought not to be. With you, BR,D they are. And God calls upon us to expose the wicked works of darkness.

Ephesians 5:11 – Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

You attack the Calvinist, and wrongfully assert that he follows John Calvin and worship the god of John Calvin.

I could say of you, BR.D, that you follow Leighton Flowers and you worship the god of Leighton Flowers. The True God of Heaven knows you have been on here long enough to have been indoctrinated by him.

So I read a lot of what you have written and the vibe I get is just a deep-seated, ill-will hatred of what you would call the Heresy of Calvinism.

I have seen nothing, I mean nothing of any real spiritual value or substance from God’s Holy Word in refuting and rebutting Calvinism.

But that is not your thing is it BR.D. Your thing is to use snappy quick sharp sinful sarcastic remarks and humor to attack and think you have defeated Calvinism.

Now is your chance to prove me wrong in all that I have said. I know I should not be banned for what I have said to you after all the ad hominem attacks and personal sinful accusations against Calvinist you have made. I only did it as an example to show you how you sound, which is nonsense, silly, illogical and absurd.

Speak with maturity in the Lord and its time to grow up in Christ. Time to get off the bottle and quit drinking milk and eat some real spiritual meat. my friend.

But I think your tank is empty on gas. You are lacking in knowledge and wisdom of God’s word. Due to a lack of insufficient prayer and not studying to rightly divide the word of truth. This is just my opinion based upon what I have read here on Soteriology101 of your comments. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. So show me BR.D that you have more than sinful sarcasm and humor. As to this point, you have been weighed and found wanting, lacking in your Biblical Exegesis skills.

Now for the subject, I have chosen for us above. Two verses to start with to show sinful, wicked and perverse men do not have natural innate faith. This is the Pelagian Heresy that is being espoused on Soteriology101 although not on purpose, but in ignorance. Those here on Soteriology101 have gone so far to the extreme left to disprove Calvinism that they are now espousing the Heresy of Pelagianism. I do not think it is on purpose and I still call them my brothers in Christ.

2 Thessalians 3:1 -Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you,

2. and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.

Look closely and intently BRD. Verse 2 says clearly that evil and wicked men do not have faith. Please do not go into man-made philosophy to evade and ignore this easily seen truth of God’s word. But interact with it directly and show me where I am understanding it in a wrong way.

Now for the second verse:

Romans 10:17 – 17 So faith comes from hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the [preaching of the] message concerning Christ. 2015 Amplified Study Bible

Romans 10:17 – 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. NKJV

I gave Romans 10:17 to you in two different Bible translation in case you complained about the Amplified Bible. Which I think is very revealing here.

Romans 10:17 amazingly tells us two things BRD. That a wicked evil sinner who hates God and is hostile toward him. Loves his slavery and bondage to sin, that’s right, the sinner is a voluntary slave to sin taking great pleasure and love in the sinful desires he indulges in. He hates the light of Christ and loves the darkness of sin. John 3:18-20

But in Romans 10:17 God’s word says’ “faith comes to the sinner by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

If the sinner is already in possession of faith that he can exercise by the mythical idol of free-will, then why does the word of God in Romans 10:17 say that “FAITH COMES TO HIM” STRONGLY AND EMPHATICALLY STATING THE FACT THAT AT ONE TIME THE SINNER DID NOT HAVE FAITH.

Then there is the positive side of Romans 10:17, though being born again/or from above in connection of the instrumentality of the preached word/the gospel of Jesus Christ faith comes to the sinner and he is enabled to come willingly with a holy desire in faith believing to Christ through the effectual drawing of the Holy Spirit. So “FAITH” is a gift of grace, produced and created in the heart by the Holy Spirit in intimate connection with and through the instrumentality of the preached word of God, the very Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Explain to me why “Faith” has to come to a man as God says in Romans 10:17,

if he is already in possession of natural innate faith that he can exercise by the mythical fictitious idol of free-will of man.

Maybe two more verses:

Philippians 1:29 – For unto you, it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

This verse here is amazing. Not how FOH tortures it to make it say what it does not say to escape the truth of God’s word. Let God be true and every man a liar.

The very word for “believing/faith” in this verse, is actually in Greek, a term used to indicate that it is a Gift of grace, a gift of God. the Greek term is very kin to the gifts of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12. I will bring this out in fuller detail for you later. You can check with Brian Wagner to see if I am telling you the truth or get an Interlinear Bible and check it out for yourself. A Greek Bible Scholar showed me. Only someone who is self-deceived and spiritually blind or at the worst. is being disingenuous because of his pride and hatred of Calvinism, would not be able to see that “believing or having faith in Christ in this verse is something given or granted to sinners. Something they did not possess before.

Why do sinners have to be “given faith as a gift of grace” if they already possess it naturally and innate from their birth. Just waiting on the age of accountability so they can excercise the magical power of the enslaved bondage to sin and mythical idol of free-will to engage this faith to believe in Christ. No where taught in the Bible. Absolutly no where. And if you say it is, then you pit the Holy Scriptures against themselves and create a contradicition. How do you explain your imaginary idol free-will verses that engage innate faith to the verses I have given that show evil and wicked men do not have faith, and that faith is given or granted to them and it comes by hearing and hearing by the preached word of God. Implying that faith is a gift of God and that at one time the sinner was without faith until it came to him.

2 Peter 2:1 [a]Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative) of Jesus Christ,

To those who have [b]received and possess [by God’s will] a precious faith of the [c]same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:

2 Grace and peace [that special sense of spiritual well-being] be multiplied to you in the [true, intimate] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

3 For His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness, through [d]true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

2015 Amplified Study Bible

2 Peter 2:1 – 1 Simon Peter, a bondservant. and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have [a]obtained like[b] precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

I am going to just let God’s word be its own commentary and understanding on verse one. I put verses two and three to show you the that it is the Sovereignty of God’s power that does everything within us. Not that he believes for us, but he does create the faith and enables us with the ability to believe after taking out the stony heart that was evil wicked prideful, rebellious and would spit in the face of a Holy God and put in a heart of flesh that is willing and pliable so that a person is not forced irrestiably against his will. But the believing sinner comes willingly now that he has a new heart and a holy disposition. That which he once hated he now finds he has a holy desire to seek after. So when the Father or God the Holy Spirit draws that individual to Christ with the Sovereign almighty power of God, he comes willingly, not kicking and screaming against his enslaved will that was in bondage to sin. He has now been set free from sin through all Christ accomplished on the Cross, through death, burial and resurrection. For whom the son sets free is free indeed.

Anyway, back to 2 Peter 2:1 proving “faith is a gift of grace” I said I would just let God’s word speak for itself and I will. An honest person will just read out of it what it says and not read his traditions into it.

2 Peter 2:1……To those who have [b]received and possess [by God’s will] a precious faith of the [c]same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:

One more and I am really done BRD.

2 Thessalonians 1:11 With this in view, we constantly pray for you, that our God will count you worthy of your calling [to faith] and with [His] power fulfill every desire for goodness, and complete [your] every work of faith,

2 Thessalonians 1:11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power,

The Apostle Paul prays that God will fulfill in the Saints all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power.

I know, I know. Faith is not a work. Your right it is not a work in us. But faith is the work of God in us and he will complete it with his mighty power. Like I said he does not believe for us. We are free agents. God gives us the gift of grace enabling us to believe in Christ. To us it just the empty hand of faith.

We are to look attentively and steadfastly unto Jesus who is the Author (Originator, source, origin, in the Greek) of our faith, and he is the one who will bring it to the place of maturity, a finished state of completion in Christ.

OK, BRD, I ask you not to focus on typos, silly nonsense, sinful sarcasm or humor. Even personal attacks. Show me you have something of real Spiritual substance and value to add to this discussion and debate.

You believe I am the heretic here, Show me why through the Word of God’s grace and not through the vain pholophicies of men or vain deceit, but through the truth of God’s word.

I do not even want to win a debate with you BRD. I just want to be as close and pure to God’s word as I possibly can. I am not here to convince you, prove anything to you, for only the Holy Spirit can do that. But if you do see I am speaking truth by God’s Spirit, will you receive the engrafted Word of God with Meekness,or will you remain self-deceived and in the poison of bitterness hating Calvinism and calling Calvinist heritics. You now have the floor BRD, will it be silly nonsense, or maturity in Christ. Will it be the excuse, well its to long. Well you know the Bible is a prettly long message to us also. This subject of Calvinism and Non-Calvinism is not something su;erficial or surface-scratching. That is why there is not much accomplished in conversations here because no one wants to enter into the meat of the word. Mud-slinging, Calvinist bashing and the calling of Calvinist heritics is so much more easy.

BRD, Ready, set, go!!!


I tell you the truth about one thing though. I am so sorry about the way Dr. Flowers and his friend were treated in such a nasty sinful, UnChristlike way by these two men who are professing to be Christians and Calvinists at that. It was uncalled for and the moderater was not capable of responding to his responsibilities. That is why I say Dr, Flowers is a very kind, gentle, godly Christlike man. He has not been perfect, but most of the time his conduct I must confess has been blameless when interacting with Calvinist. Most of the time he is seeking to understand I have noticed, He does pushback and he should.

But in this free-will debate, Dr. Flowers is so patient, so self-controlled. (which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, indicating he was really being Christ-Controlled as he yielded and cooperated with the Spirit’s power and Christ’s sanctifying work within him. He finally spoke with Godly firmness and said, “Brother, (pleasing in mercy and grace but in godly firmness) can I complete one sentence without being interrupted. The man immediately backed down and Dr. Flowers was finally able to speak. In that debate I believe Dr. Flowers when he was finally able to speak he was at his best defending and refuting what he believed and disbelieved.

But the other two Calvinist Christians, (I hesitate to call them that but only God can judge the heart) did not respect Dr. Flowers and His debate friend, whose name escapes me at this time. They shamed themselves and did not adorn the gospel of Christ with the beauty of Holiness. Nor did they walk worthy of the Gospel of Jesus of Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul had a Godly jealousy toward those Christians who were under His care and Spiritual welfare. He would often in a Godly Love be braggadocious about their love, faith and good works to others mentioning how it had spread abroad.

So when I mention Dr. Flowers. Brian Wagner and Eric the Admininastater on here as being a Holy Loving Triad. That is Christlike and Godly men having holiness of the heart of heart and life, that inward beauty of Christ within them being manifest outwardly. I am not looking for browny points or trying not to get banned.

No, I am trying to get us all to follow their Godly Holy and loving example. To follow them as they follow Christ. Nothing more and nothing less. Brothers because what I have read on here. We all need to look in the mirror of God’s word and see how we measure up. God has not lowered His standard of Holiness for anyone. He expects us daily to strive for perfection in Holi8ness. To perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord.

.2 Corinthians 7:1 Therefore, since we have these [great and wonderful] promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, completing holiness [living a consecrated life—a life set apart for God’s purpose] in the fear of God.

Did not God command us, “to be Holy as he is Holy.” The God of Holiness has not lowered his standard of Holiness for anyone, other than the fact we as Christians have redefined sin and created a god in our own image. Now I thank God for the blood of Jesus and for what is called the “Great Exchange” When Jesus, as a Lamb of God for sinners slain on that Holy Cross of Calvary,” There our sins were imputed to Him and His righteousness imputed to us. Jesus’, the God-Man, who walked a perfect sinless obedient life while here on earth even to the point of Death, That was His righteousness that was imputed to us. The righteousness of Christ imputed to ungodly sinners who were completely undeserving, unmerited grace, deserving condemnation, the wrath of God, hell and eternal punishment in the lake of fire for all eternity and eternal separation from the presence of the Lord forever. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the HolyGhost. I want some of that. 🙂 Praise is to the Glory of God’s grace by which he has made us accepted and blessed with the righteousness of Christ in the Beloved. The Father’s Beloved Son in whom he is well pleased. We who are now in Christ, have put on the Holy garments of Christ, the Garments of Salvation, that Royal Robe of Righteousness, and have become Kings and Priests before our God in heaven.

2 Corinthians 5:21 He made Christ who knew no sin to [judicially] be sin on our behalf so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God [that is, we would be made acceptable to Him and placed in a right relationship with Him by His gracious lovingkindness].2015 Amplified Study Bible

But underneath this Robe of Righteous is the “on-going never-ending work of the sanctifying work of Christ through the Power of the Holy Spirit” It is what we have been predestined to, to be conformed into the image of Christ. His likeness, which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, love as described I Corinthians 13 and so much much more given within and descriptive in the Holy Scriptures. This process of sanctification is “gradual, slow and sometimes it is hardly noticed or cannot even be seen. Sometimes it is even retarded when the beloved of God backslides. Just as King David did in committing Adultery with Bathsheba. King David was in unrepentant sin for 9 months. Reading the Psalms we see the anguish of heart mind and body David went through for his backsliding and unrepentant sinfulness. But God had promised a long time ago that he would not remove His Mercy from King David as he Did with King Saul. This is an absolute God-promised truth for a  professing and actual genuine possessing Christians in Christ who has backslidden in sin. God will heal their backsliding as he comes with healing forgiving grace in His wings.

Hosea 14:4 – I will heal their apostasy and faithlessness;
I will love them freely, 
My anger has turned away from Israel. 2015 Amplified Study Bible

NKJV Hosea 14:4 – “I will heal their backsliding,
I will love them freely,
My anger has turned away from him.

Psalms 35:18 –
The Lord is near to the heartbroken
And He saves those who are crushed in spirit (contrite in heart, truly sorry for their sin). 2015 Amplified Study Bible

A Godly sorrow that leads to true repentance unto Salvation.

Isaiah 54:10 – Though the mountains are shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

Malachi 4:2 – But for you who fear My name [with awe-filled reverence] the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go forward and leap [joyfully] like calves [released] from the stall.

God has saved us completely and forever, to the uttermost and Jesus our high priest daily makes intercession for us, before the throne of God. David’s sanctification had come to a complete stop. So God sent a Prophet and firmly rebuked him and David repented and was restored but not without severe consequences. You can read this for yourselves in the Psalms.

So the process of being sanctified in Christ by the Power of the Holy Spirit, not to mention through the instrumentality of the word of God. Jesus said Father sanctify them through your truth, your Word is truth. This process is gradual, slow, hardly noticed and sometimes not even seen.

Romans 8:29 – 29 For those whom He foreknew [and loved and chose beforehand], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [and ultimately share in His complete sanctification], so that He would be the firstborn [the most beloved and honored] among many believers. 2015 Amplified Study Bible

The word “foreknew” in the above passage speaks of God looking upon one with a special intimacy, loving relationship, “whom he foreknew” speaks of people, not actions that see in the future.

2 Corinthians317-18 – Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [emancipation from bondage, true freedom]. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit. 2015 Amplified Study Bible

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of [a]witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us,

2 [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, [b]disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].

3 Just consider and meditate on Him who endured from sinners such bitter hostility against Himself [consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 2015 Amplified Study Bible

Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the [g]sinful nature [which response impulsively without regard for God and His precepts].

17 For the sinful nature has its desire which is opposed to the Spirit, and the [desire of the] Spirit opposes the [h]sinful nature; for these [two, the sinful nature and the Spirit] are in direct opposition to each other [continually in conflict], so that you [as believers] do not [always] do whatever [good things] you want to do.

18 But if you are guided and led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the Law.

19 Now the practices of the [i]sinful nature are clearly evident: they are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality (total irresponsibility, lack of self-control),

20 [j]idolatry, [k]sorcery, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions [that promote heresies],

21 envy, drunkenness, riotous behavior, and other things like these. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things, there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the [l]sinful nature together with its passions and appetites.

25 If we [claim to] live by the [Holy] Spirit, we must also walk by the Spirit [with personal integrity, godly character, and moral courage—our conduct empowered by the Holy Spirit]. 26 We must not become conceited, challenging or provoking one another, envying one another. 2015 Amplified Study Bible

Romans 7:14 We know that the Law is spiritual, but I am a creature of the flesh [worldly, self-reliant—carnal and unspiritual], sold into slavery to sin [and serving under its control].

15 For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled and bewildered by them]. I do not practice what I want to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate [and yielding to my human nature, my worldliness—my sinful capacity].

16 Now if I habitually do what I do not want to do, [that means] I agree with the Law, confessing that it is good (morally excellent).

17 So now [if that is the case, then] it is no longer I who do it [the disobedient thing which I despise], but the sin [nature] which lives in me.

18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh [my human nature, my worldliness—my sinful capacity]. For the willingness [to do good] is present in me, but the doing of good is not.

19 For the good that I want to do, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.

20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want to do, I am no longer the one doing it [that is, it is not me that acts], but the sin [nature] which lives in me.

21 So I find it to be the law [of my inner self], that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.

22 I joyfully delight in the law of God in my inner self [with my new nature],

23 but I see a different law and rule of action in the members of my body [in its appetites and desires], waging war against the law of my mind and subduing me and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is within my members.

24 Wretched and miserable man that I am! Who will [rescue me and] set me free from this body of death [this corrupt, mortal existence]?

25 Thanks be to God [for my deliverance] through Jesus Christ our Lord! 2015 Amplified Study Bible

Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.

12 So then, [a]brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but not to our flesh [our human nature, our worldliness, our sinful capacity], to live according to the [impulses of the] flesh [our nature without the Holy Spirit]—

13 for if you are living according to the [impulses of the] flesh, you are going to die. But if [you are living] by the [power of the Holy] Spirit you are habitually putting to death the sinful deeds of the body, you will [really] live forever.

14 For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, “[b]Abba! Father!”

16 The Spirit Himself testifies and confirms together with our spirit [assuring us] that we [believers] are children of God. 2015 Amplified Study Bible

The wicked sinful and evil flesh can grow corrupt because of the deceitful lusts of the flesh. We are to put off the old man and all of its evil desires. Jesus told us how serious this is, and we need to quit playing around with our pet sins. This is spiritual warfare my brothers and sisters in Christ. Did not Jesus say in the Gospel after saying that even if you look at another women and lust after her in your heart you have already and really in the eyes of God committed the sin of adultery? He says anger is the same as murder. That is why the root of all murder is anger, (thou shalt not kill/murder) is the sin of anger. The apostle said “do not let the sun go down upon your anger, giving place or opportunity to the devil. When we harbor anger, which is murder within the heart, we actually open ourselves up for the temptation of the devil to bring division. Allowing for his evil schemes. wicked influences and demonic works in intimate connection with our sin of anger, to kill, steal and destroy,  That is we allow demonic inroads into our lives. Anger almost always leads to bitterness and by it many become defiled. The devil is roaming about seeking whom he may devour so we must be vigilant and alert.  But first and foremost submitted to God so that we can resist the Devil, having God’s promise that he will flee as we resist the devil and obey the Lord. Remembering the very purpose Jesus came and died on the Cross and rose from the dead was to destroy the works of the evil one. As stated in 1 John3:8 – The one who practices sin [separating himself from God, and offending Him by acts of disobedience, indifference, or rebellion] is of the devil [and takes his inner character and moral values from him, not God]; for the devil has sinned and violated God’s law from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. So Jesus says it is time to get real and quit playing church, your eternal soul rest is in the balance. If your eye offends thee, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter into heaven with one eye than to enter into hell with two. If your hand offends you and causes you to sin habitually, cut it off because it is better for you to enter into heaven with one hand than to enter into hell with two. We know Jesus was speaking metamorphically. He was saying it was time to get radical, with a Holy anger, and hate what our Holy God hates, cling to that which is good Holy and Pleasing to God, but cast away as an unclean thing with a Holy hatred that which God despises, To beg God to remove our eyes from looking at worthless things. To kill, mortify, put to death besetting, habitual remaining remnants of sin and even secret sins. Even sins we think are ok in life because we all do it. God forbid, away with such a thought. God is a Holy God and demands that we be Holy as he is Holy. Without holiness, no one shall see the Lord.

Hebrews 12:14 – 14 Continually pursue peace with everyone, and the sanctification without which no one will [ever] see the Lord. 2015 Amplified Study Bible

Matthew 5:8 –  “Blessed [anticipating God’s presence, spiritually mature] are the pure in heart [those with integrity, moral courage, and godly character], for they will see God.

Blessed in Matthew 5:8 can mean highly favored of the Lord

I say emphatically without hesitation that good works of holiness are necessary to one’s salvation. You say, Kevin now you sound contradictory. No, the basis and the only way we are saved now, continue to be saved and we ultimately be forever saved in eternity in the Presence of the Holy Lovingkindness and Tender Mercies of our God,  delivered from the presence of sin forever is by grace through faith in Jesus and that not of works. it is the gift of God. No one can boast except in the Lord Jesus Christ. Take your eyes off of yourself and look through the eyes of faith at Christ your Saviour. You will see that it is by God’s grace alone, through Faith in Christ alone, Because of Christ alone, (it is finished) to the Glory of God alone,

You say, “well Kevin what do you mean when you say THAT GOOD WORKS OF HOLINESS ARE ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL AND NECESSARILLY EMPHATIC TO OUR ETERNAL SALVATION. I mean this. I do not believe in once saved always saved with a license to sin, I mean to live a lifestyle of wickedness after someone professed Christ as his Lord and Saviour. HOLY GOOD WORKS ARE THE EVIDENCE THAT YOUR SALVATION IS GENUINE, REAL AND TRUE. IT IS HOW YOU MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE,

Romans 8:13 –  for if you are living according to the [impulses of the] flesh, you are going to die. But if [you are living] by the [power of the Holy] Spirit you are habitually putting to death the sinful deeds of the body, you will [really] live forever. 2015 Amplified Study Bible

So we as Christians need to cry out to God to create within us a clean heart, a right, faithful, loving, obedient, holy heart that fears God (fear that is coupled with love) always and that he will renew a right spirit within us.

Psalms 51 is A Contrite Sinner’s Prayer for Pardon, forgiveness and mercy.

Psalms 51:1 – Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness and guilt
And cleanse me from my sin.

I am conscious of my transgressions and I acknowledge them;
My sin is always before me. (Have you ever felt that way, I have.  “My sin is always before me.”  I think it is because we have not seen sin before a Holy God for what it is. In Romans 7 the exceedingly sinfulness of sin before a Holy God, oh the Madness of Luther). Thank you R. C, Sproul

Against You, You only, have I sinned
And done that which is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak [Your sentence]
And faultless in Your judgment.

I was brought forth in [a state of] wickedness;
In sin, my mother conceived me [and from my beginning I, too, was sinful].

Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part [of my heart] You will make me know wisdom.

Purify me with [a]hyssop, and I will be clean;
Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Make me hear joy and gladness and be satisfied;
Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.

Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a right and steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.


The sustaining grace of Christ and keeping the power of the Holy Spirit.  We will persevere to the end because we are preserved by the Grace of God.  Jesus in John 6 came down to do the will of the Father in John 6:38.  In verse 39 Jesus says, “this is the will of my Father that all he has given me, I should lose none, and raise them up on the last day.  Look at the continuance,  Losing none and raising them up on the last day.  Just like I heard Dr. James White say many times, it is impossible for Jesus to fail to do the will of the Father.  Jesus will lose none that the Father gives Him, which John 37 says all that “are given will come to him and will in no wise cast them out.”  That is the strongest negation in the Greek. So Jesus will lose none that he gives eternal life to and will raise them up on the last day.  Glorification, delivered from the presence of sin forever, seeing Jesus face to face, the one who saved us by His grace.  In a new and glorified body, I might add.  Praise to the Glory of His grace who works all things after the counsel of His will according to His own Good Pleasure.  Good enough for me Lord. You are God, I am not. You are Sovereign who is in the heavens and you do whatever you please. The council of sinful man is nothing, for it is the council and purpose of God that will stand and last forever. You are the potter I am a pot. Do with me as you will.

As Romans 8:13 says above in 3 different places we as the Loving Father’s objects of Grace, Born Again or From Above by God the Holy Spirit, with Life and immortality being brought to light through the instrumentality of the Gospel. We should be about the business of killing, mortifying and daily putting to death sins that want to manifest themselves through our bodies.

It is not a suggestion for the Christian. It is a Holy Obligation. that has nothing to do with a preference or to situations being just right. It is a Command of God straight from God’s Holy Word Spoken to us, to be Holy as he is Holy., For without Hoiness no man shall see the Lord. it is accomplished by the sanctifying grace of Christ through the inward indwelling power and means of the Holy Spirit, as we yield and cooperate with God the Holy Spirit whose ministry is conforming us to the image of the Son of God. It is in the fear of the Lord coupled with the Love of God that we will cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and the spirit. Remember it does say “spirit” also.

If we are not about the business of daily killing sin, sin will be killing us” John Owen

So, saying all of that, I make this one final plea for the namesake of Christ and the glory of God. For whether to eat or drink or whatever we do, let us do all for the Glory of God.

Eric, who I do know no all that well, I am not even sure if he likes me, but I will pursue peace with all men, as much as is possible and is in my power. I would beseech him by the mercies of God to clean up this site (Soteriolpgy101) so that it will Glorify the God who saved Him. I call upon Eric who is the Administrator or any other Administrators (if there are any, also Dr. Flowers) to sanctify and make Holy this site for the Glory of God.

At this time there is sinful, name-calling, mud-slinging, sinful ad hominem bashing, evil words being spoken with tongues that are set on fire by hell, Tongues that on Sunday morning bless God and then on Soteriology101 curse men, Such things ought not to be, God forbid!!

I know the person I am about to mention is not a fan favorite. Dr. James White. I will be the first to admit he is a little rough around the edges but do I see any great sinful character flaws. No more than I see in Dr. Flowers. If you see them, show me. But be sure you are not sinfully judging Dr, White, by comparing him to other people. His Master is able to make Him stand or fall, and Dr. White will Stand firm in the Grace of Christ, letting the Word of God’s Grace prevail within him, becoming more sanctified daily. It is easy to sit in judgment of others. But how many of you in gentleness and love can persevere in Prayer for Dr. White until you see the Beauty of Holiness blossom forth in Christlikeness in the areas he is still lacking in the Spirit’s sanctification. A big part of it is just the way God made Dr. White. He has a very strong personality and people are taken back by that. But in every debate, I have watched he has conducted himself accordingly. Then just like the women caught in adultery, he that is without sin, here on Soteriology101 let him or her cast the first stone. Not one of you or me has sinless perfection. People who live in glass houses should not cast stones. We all are plagued by the remaining remnants of sin. Read the Apostle Paul again in Romans 7. The things he wanted to do that were godly loving and holy he did not do habitually, but the things he hated, he found himself at times still doing. Is this not true and keeps us humble before God and going back to the throne of Grace to receive mercy and forgiving grace. And begging our God as we look in faith to Christ for greater supplies of sanctifying grace to kill and mortify sin and put on Christ and His Holy Virtues.  As we confess our sins God promises to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness with the Holy Blood of Jesus Christ.

So like I said, I do not think this way to long post, which is an open letter to Soteriology101 which will be posted on my WordPress site (and other social blogging sites)  will be posted here.

I am not sure where I stand with Eric, I have found through reading the things on here of what he has written he seems to have a deep-seated ill-will hatred of Calvinism. In one place on Soteriology101, where it seemed (I did not read it well but got the gist of it and did read Eric’s words that were very clear)  Calvinist had a falling out and Eric made a comment I believe to Brian Wagner, that he did not care if it kept going if it kept people from believing in the Calvinist Doctrine. Calvinism to the Reformed Believer is only a nick-name for what is revealed in the Word of God’s Grace.

So I am not sure if Eric is welcoming me as a brother in Christ or not, or wants me to go away. He is never said that, so I will believe the best about him. There just seems to some undercurrent when he is talking to me like he is keeping me at a distance for some reason. I am not looking for special attention. Jesus gives me that, I just want to know he welcomes me as a true brother in Christ despite our differences and not seem so grouchy in his responses and comments to me. Now I know and admit I could be completely wrong about Eric and in advance say so. It is hard to know what a person is feeling when blogging. So I could be completely wrong, Could just be Eric’s personality. Which is fine. It is ok if we never talk, I just want to know that he and I are ok in Christ despite our differences. I do no need Eric, nor am I craving his attention or stalking him. He does not complete me. I am complete in Christ.

This one last thing. On any of Dr, James White’s Social Site’s. When someone, it does not matter who it is, comes and says something negative or sinful with their tongue about Dr, Flowers. That post is immediately deleted and that person is banned permanently for life.

That is Holy Christlike Administration to the Glory of God that abstains from the cursing of the tongue of men who were created in the image of God.

God bless and once again may the grace of Christ be with you always. Hope I did not offend anyone as I desire to pursue peace with all as much as is possible as it lies with me.