Christian Theological Debate: Human beings accept the Holy Spirit
Debate Rounds (4)
One of the biggest debates among Christians today is this: How does the Holy Spirit enter the hearts of those who believe? Most agree that faith comes to us through God's word and the Sacrament, but the question is, do we make a conscious acceptance of the Holy Spirit, or does the Holy Spirit come to us without our choosing? Proponents of decision theology would argue that God wants all men to be saved, so he would give then equal opportunity. After all, it's not really love if you don't choose to love God right? Wrong. The Holy Spirit enters the heart of a Christian without that person's thought or effort.
Contention #1: Condemned sinners cannot make themselves righteous.
Most Christians agree that without faith in our savior, we are condemned sinners before God. How, then, could a condemned sinner make any motion towards his own salvation or secure his own eternal life? As Romans 3:23 says, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy spirit" (Titus 3:5). God makes it clear that the action of salvation comes from God's grace and the Holy Spirit's washing, not by human intervention.
Contention #2: "I cannot by my own thinking or choosing..."
These words, taken from Martin Luther's explanation to the third article of the Apostles Creed, are certainly true and are backed up by scripture. Romans chapter 8 verse 2 tells us, "because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." Scripture makes it clear. We were trapped by our sin, unable to help ourselves, but the Spirit set us free from that prison. From the Pentecost story as told in Acts 2, "All of them were filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages." And in Luke 24, "And he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures" All of these passages tell us one thing. God, specifically the Spirit, commands our faith. We do not choose to believe or accept it.
In the interest of keeping a brief debate, I will turn it over to my opponent to see what he has to say. God's Blessings!
Sources are Scripture as cited.
Thank you for making the debate.
I shall respond to both of my opponent's claims, and then make a case for my position.
1. Can we make ourselves righteous?
We both agree on this position. We are but broken sinners, literally at the mercy of God. However, this does not mean that we do not accept the Holy Spirit.
My opponent says "How could a sinner make a motion towards his own salvation?"
Well, with their faith of course!
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. -Ephesians 2:8
Grace is the gift of God, however our own faith is our motion to accept the gift which God freely gives to us.
2. Can we accept God's gift by our own choosing?
This may sound like the same question, but it is not.
The verses that my opponent gives for his reasoning that God commands our faith is lacking. I shall refer to each verse.
This verse only shows us that when Jesus dwells within us, we are set free from the law of sin and death. It does not show that we do not accept the payment of Christ to dwell within us.
We see in this verse that those who were in the house on Pentecost were filled with The Holy Spirit. However, these people were already believers.
This is why later on in the text, Jews were perplexed that these people were declaring the glory of God in their own language. That is also why others thought they had drank too much.
If this was where one became saved, then it would stand to reason that the Jews who were amazed would have also been saved.
This verse is being taken out of context. Jesus is opening their minds to the scriptures, because they were ignorant that Jesus had to rise from the dead. This is why Thomas would not believe until he actually saw Jesus, since he was ignorant that Jesus actually needed to be resurrected.
(They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) -John 20:9
My opponent has not given any good reasons to think that we do not freely choose The Holy Spirit.
I shall now make a case for why we do indeed accept the Holy Spirit.
I won't go into too much detail, but Ephesians 1:13 makes it very clear:
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.
When we believe, we are sealed with The Holy Spirit. We must accept the Holy Spirit through belief. At the moment of salvation, The Holy Spirit enters us, and we are sealed by it to a relationship with God.
Therefore, we choose the Holy Spirit.
But where did that faith come from? How can we, before we were one with Christ, come to accept something for the good of our salvation? The answer is clear: we cannot unless the Holy Spirit has already entered our hearts.
The voters can read my previous verses as citations in context and decide for themselves whether or not they provide a case for decision theology.
My opponent's citation of Ephesians 1:13 does not make it "very clear". 'Believed in him' refers to faith, and DOES NOT mean that we are responsible for our faith.
My opponent has only cited one bible verse, and this verse has proven absolutely nothing. He has made some weak rebuttals to my arguments, but has not disproved my cause, and has far from proven his own cause.
My opponent refuses to address any of my points except for the issue of faith.
Also, my opponent has not given us any scriptural or logical reasons to conclude that faith is given to us by The Holy Spirit.
I shall not add any new arguments this round, for the purpose of Con making an actual case based on Biblical evidence that the Holy Spirit is required for one to have faith.
However, I shall shortly address my opponent's claim about the verse in Ephesians.
The verse makes it clear that when we believed, we were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.
Faith is, in fact, our belief in God.
Therefore, one must have faith before receiving the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, The Holy Spirit does not enter our hearts before we have faith.
Therefore, we recieve the Holy Spirit by faith.
Therefore, we choose The Holy Spirit.
Jonnykelly forfeited this round.
Con has forfeited.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
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