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Quickened
Apr 11th 2009, 12:56 PM
Before i use any scripture references or anything i want to speak frankly about my personal views and feelings. Once we get that out of the way i will have no problem providing any scriptures or passages that come to mind.

When it comes to the topic of election we obviously see people divided on the issue. I do have some questions for people that dont hold a Calvinist point of view.

For the people say that Man can reject God upon coming to know of His Glory how can this be? For man to have a full understanding of his sinful state and/or depravity and then reject the only solution doesnt seem logical to me.

And i stress that "full understanding" part. Stay with me on this for a second.

When i came to the knowledge of Christ there were a couple of things that happened. Let me give a touch of background first....

I grew up Roman Catholic. I knew the stories, the parables, the cross etc. I did communion, reconciliation, the rosary etc. But i was unsaved at the time. An important thing was I had a basic knowledge of sin. That sin waa a category of sorts where bad things fell..(Murder, Rape, Lust Etc) But that was all head knowledge.

When i came to the knowledge of Christ that moment in time opened up the flood gates where i actually saw sin for what it was. I saw how depraved I truly was. I fell to my knees, wept and begged for forgiveness.

Maybe because of my conversion and the fact that I didnt reject Christ will forever make me never understand this possibility of rejection. To me i believed in Irresistible Grace (The I in tulip) before i even knew what Calvinism was. It was a no brainer.

When I look at it logically I cant understand how a rejection of this grace once coming to the knowledge of it could be possible or biblical. There is another problem i see but i will take this one step at a time.

*Hope*
Apr 11th 2009, 01:13 PM
I believe it's both. Scripture clearly teaches that God chooses us, that He does the finding. It teaches that before we are saved we are "dead" in sin. But throughout Scripture there is also some responsibility placed on humanity (i.e. whether to accept Christ or reject Him). I think it's a mystery how this actually occurs, but I believe there is a choice on both sides: God's and Man's.

Quickened
Apr 11th 2009, 01:20 PM
I believe it's both. Scripture clearly teaches that God chooses us, that He does the finding. It teaches that before we are saved we are "dead" in sin. But throughout Scripture there is also some responsibility placed on humanity (i.e. whether to accept Christ or reject Him). I think it's a mystery how this actually occurs, but I believe there is a choice on both sides: God's and Man's.

Could you show me a case from Scripture where God's sovereign will was to have someone Do his will and He was rejected?

I do see instances where people come to the knowledge of Christ in Acts and that not all of those people hearing the Word believe.

matthew94
Apr 11th 2009, 01:24 PM
Maybe because of my conversion and the fact that I didnt reject Christ will forever make me never understand this possibility of rejection. To me i believed in Irresistible Grace (The I in tulip) before i even knew what Calvinism was. It was a no brainer.

I think you've answered your own question. To many people living for the Lord, grace does, in fact, feel and seem irresistible. But the reason the Scriptures spend so much time calling people to endure is because there are personality types and situations of life and other reasons why it is possible for a person to start resisting grace after truly experiencing it. We have to be very careful about assuming that everyone's experience is the same as ours.

Walstib
Apr 11th 2009, 02:26 PM
Could you show me a case from Scripture where God's sovereign will was to have someone Do his will and He was rejected?

If we just ease up a bit on your wording, because we know God is sovereign at all times in everything, so absolutely everything is within that context.

I'd say King Saul would be an example of this. Why not?

Peace,
Joe

And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him, "There he is, the man of whom I spoke to you. This one shall reign over My people." (1Sa 9:17 NKJV)

But Samuel said to Saul, "I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel." (1Sa 15:26 NKJV)

Walstib
Apr 11th 2009, 03:19 PM
Quickened,

I just thought of something I wanted to ask you.

On the sovereignty part of this. I think that sometimes an answer is found in a paradoxical question.

Is God sovereign enough to allow people to have input on choice?

Thoughts?

Peace,
Joe

RogerW
Apr 11th 2009, 03:34 PM
Quickened,

I just thought of something I wanted to ask you.

On the sovereignty part of this. I think that sometimes an answer is found in a paradoxical question.

Is God sovereign enough to allow people to have input on choice?

Thoughts?

Peace,
Joe

Joe please excuse me for jumping into your conversation with Quickened. I just wanted to interject a quick question. When does God allow people to have this input on choice? Is it before hearing and receiving faith through the hearing (Ro 10:17), or is it after?

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Apr 11th 2009, 03:42 PM
I believe it's both. Scripture clearly teaches that God chooses us, that He does the finding. It teaches that before we are saved we are "dead" in sin. But throughout Scripture there is also some responsibility placed on humanity (i.e. whether to accept Christ or reject Him). I think it's a mystery how this actually occurs, but I believe there is a choice on both sides: God's and Man's.

Greetings Hope,

I tend to agree with you here. However I would add it is not a mystery at all, because after we are chosen and found by God, we WILL (not might) turn to Christ for life because He makes us willing. There is not mystery because God is working in us through the Holy Spirit to both will and do of His good pleasure (Ph 2:13). Yes, after conversion there is responsibility on our part, but Who is the force guiding and teaching His own? Is it in our strength that we are able to perservere in faith, or is this only possible through the Power living in and through us?

Many Blessings,
RW

Quickened
Apr 11th 2009, 06:42 PM
I think you've answered your own question. To many people living for the Lord, grace does, in fact, feel and seem irresistible. But the reason the Scriptures spend so much time calling people to endure is because there are personality types and situations of life and other reasons why it is possible for a person to start resisting grace after truly experiencing it. We have to be very careful about assuming that everyone's experience is the same as ours.

I agree. Not everyones experience will be the same on a emotional level. But there will be similarities in the sense that people are "tuned into" God so to speak. There is conviction of sin when perhaps there may have not been before.

There are changes that do occur.

I see the scriptures calling people to endure because we are surrounded by sin and temptation daily. I think that "type" of resistance after coming to the knowledge of Christ is temptation/disobedience. The believer may fall into a backslidden state but that would no way revoke their salvation. After all we will all fall into times of sin (the level of severity differs) but we are called to repent as we are further sanctified.

On a side note I want to state a thanks for those participating in this thread. It helps me not only analyze what others believe but mainly what i believe in light of scripture.

I am also thankful this thread wasnt 10 pages by the time I got back on. I wanted to take my time and dialogue. :)

Bandit
Apr 11th 2009, 06:49 PM
When it comes to the topic of election we obviously see people divided on the issue. I do have some questions for people that dont hold a Calvinist point of view.

For the people say that Man can reject God upon coming to know of His Glory how can this be? For man to have a full understanding of his sinful state and/or depravity and then reject the only solution doesnt seem logical to me.
...
To me i believed in Irresistible Grace (The I in tulip) before i even knew what Calvinism was. It was a no brainer.

When I look at it logically I cant understand how a rejection of this grace once coming to the knowledge of it could be possible or biblical. There is another problem i see but i will take this one step at a time.


Quickened, please consider the following.

God, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, says,

"My people have commited two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns - broken cisterns that can hole no water." [Jer. 2:13]

So God says that His people do reject Him. And what else does He say?

"Have you not brought this upon yourself, in that you have forsaken the Lord your God...?" [Jer. 2:17]

"I planted you [Israel] a noble vine, a seed of highest quality. How then have you turned before Me into the degenerate plant of an alien vine?" [Jer. 2:21]

But did God do nothing? Did God just sit back and watch while Israel turned from Him?

"In vain I have chasened your children; they received no correction." [Jer 2:30]

But in the midst of all this, God still offers forgiveness to His people.

"Return you backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings." [Jer. 3:22]

"Circumcise yourselves to the Lord and take away the foreskins of your hearts." [Jer. 4:4]

"O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness that you may be saved!" [Jer. 4:14]

But how does Israel respond to God's repeated appeals?

"They have refused to receive correction; they have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to return." [Jer. 5:3]

And what is the consequence?

"And now, because ... I spoke to you ...but you did not listen, and I called, but you did not answer, therefore ... I will cast you out of My sight." [Jer. 7:13-15]

So it seems that the bible contains much which indicates that men do refuse Him who speaks.

Notice what God says a little later in Jeremiah.

"I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doing." Jer. 17:10]

"Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters." [Jer. 17:13]

Now I don't know about you, but either God lied when He claimed that He had tried to speak to His people, and He lied when He said He had tried to correct them, or His people actually do have the moral volition to reject Him. And things don't change much when we get to the new testament.

"You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you!" [Acts 7:51]


So, to refer back to your post which I quoted part of above, do you now see that the grace of God is often resisted, even by His own people? So just because some accept His grace, don't think that there are not others who have rejected that same grace.

Quickened
Apr 11th 2009, 06:59 PM
Quickened,

I just thought of something I wanted to ask you.

On the sovereignty part of this. I think that sometimes an answer is found in a paradoxical question.

Is God sovereign enough to allow people to have input on choice?

Thoughts?

Peace,
Joe


Hey Joe!

To my understanding because God does have absolute supreme authority He would choose to allow certain people experience the Irresistible Grace which would result in a conversion.

I know that doesnt seem like much of a choice on the surface but allow me to hopefully explain.

I believe that God chooses to elect some to salvation out of His free will. We are all worthy of death and hell that follows because of Original Sin, Our own personal iniquities and perhaps our unbelief. God is just according to his Word to let us die in these sins.

He is not required to save any of us. Therefore when he chooses to save those that He elects to faith we see that as merciful.

Allow me to post the defination of mercy because when i was doing a word study I really enjoyed how fitting it is...



1: compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one's power
2 a: a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion

Before i go on a tangent I would like to explain something upfront so its right on the table

The idea of God desiring to save someone and they reject and nullify His desire seems unbiblical but furthermore portrays God as somewhat imperfect.

During creation when God desired something it came about and it was good. When God desired to terminate Sodom & Gomorrah he did so out of His desire. When God desired to utilize Jonah he called Him and although Jonah did his own thing it ultimately came down to what God desired.

I have a hard time understanding how God could desire one outcome and then man stifles it. If that was the case then Christ died in vain. If Christ really died for "all" and some of those "all" rejected that sacrifice then it almost cheapens the work done on calvery.

Why also would a loving God leave man to his own self-terminating devices if Christs work was indeed sufficiant for "all"? I think thats the key about Irresistible Grace. The blinders come off and we see the work on the cross for what it is. Not just a head knowledge but a spiritual understanding. We also see the state of our own sinfulness and jump at the chance to have our sins atoned for.

After all what man dying of thirst would turn down a drink from an overflowing cup when it was presented to Him. Man has a tendancy to "look out for #1" so upon coming to having an actual understanding of Christ brought forth by a quickening by the Holy Spirit I cant see man rejecting that.

Does this help clarify my position? I hope i havent confused things but thought i would take the oppurtunity to elaborate. :)

nice to dialogue with you on this subject!

Brian

Quickened
Apr 11th 2009, 11:32 PM
Bandit,

Hi! Thanks for taking the time to address this issue! :)

You bring up a good point and a great prophet to prove that point. As my memory (correct me if wrong) serves me Jeremiah was a prophet that didnt see any converts under his ministry.

Actually I think the whole (for the most part) of the OT would attest to this very same thing. Thats part of what i see in the saying "The OT is the NT concealed and the NT is the OT revealed". Did i get that right? I heard it a couple different ways and i have a knack for mixing those things up.

Anyways what i am getting at is you are correct. In the OT there is this reoccuring theme that God has a people. He has expectations of these people and these people fail to meet these expectations time and time again. God leads His people out of Egypt and they wind up making a Golden Calf to serve. They just cant seem to get it right.

But what i see in the OT is a testimony as to exactly why we need a Savior. If these people hadnt failed we might not have understood the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Why did God come down as man and die for us? We continually fail.

But on the cross, once Christ blood was shed... he paid for our sins past, present and future. (not trying to preach to the choir)

As i see it there was a difference between the OT saints whom were under the law and the NT saints that are under grace. I see a difference because it wasnt until Acts that the Holy Spirit was sent as our Helper. There is a transformation that occurs in believers after the death and Resurrection of Christ where they are quickened and indwelt with the Holy Spirit.

We see this throughout Acts. People receiving the Holy Spirit. I think that is one of the Major facts that pertains to believers is they are indwelt with the Holy Spirit who causes them to produce fruit. Which (imo) would be the fruits of the Spirit that believers bear as they grow in knowledge and grace and are conformed to His image.

I am not by any means trying to downplay your point but i see a difference in how believers are called and quickened to Christ as opposed to how believers walked in OT times. It is this quickening by the Holy Spirit that i am refering to when i am referencing IG.

Brother Mark
Apr 12th 2009, 12:14 AM
For the people say that Man can reject God upon coming to know of His Glory how can this be? For man to have a full understanding of his sinful state and/or depravity and then reject the only solution doesnt seem logical to me.

Logic doesn't save us though. We do things all the time that are not logical. Shoot, some people jump off bridges to their death. How is that good for them? It's called deception. ;)


When I look at it logically I cant understand how a rejection of this grace once coming to the knowledge of it could be possible or biblical. There is another problem i see but i will take this one step at a time.Romans 1 says that men suppress the truth about God in themselves.

Rom 1:18-23

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
NASB

Bandit
Apr 12th 2009, 12:47 AM
Bandit,

Hi! Thanks for taking the time to address this issue! :)



You are welcome.



You bring up a good point and a great prophet to prove that point. As my memory (correct me if wrong) serves me Jeremiah was a prophet that didnt see any converts under his ministry.



I do not think we can put numbers on those who responded because of his ministry, but the nation as a whole did not repent.



I am not by any means trying to downplay your point but i see a difference in how believers are called and quickened to Christ as opposed to how believers walked in OT times. It is this quickening by the Holy Spirit that i am refering to when i am referencing IG.


Remember the last verse I quoted in my post? I think it has much to say.

"You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you!" [Acts 7:51]

So it seems that the "quickening" you are speaking of can be resisted, and I suggest that the resistance mentioned here in Acts is no different than that which occurred in the Old Testament. So I do not believe your argument is valid. Stephen accuses those who rejected the gospel of Christ as having resisted the Holy Spirit, just as their fathers had resisted God in the Old Testament. Stephen seems unaware of any difference between OT resistance and NT resistance.

fuzzi
Apr 12th 2009, 01:00 AM
For the people say that Man can reject God upon coming to know of His Glory how can this be? For man to have a full understanding of his sinful state and/or depravity and then reject the only solution doesnt seem logical to me.
People don't act logical, as others have stated. They smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol and do a number of sinful and dangerous practices, knowing that they are taking chances with their lives, but they do so anyway.


Maybe because of my conversion and the fact that I didnt reject Christ will forever make me never understand this possibility of rejection. To me i believed in Irresistible Grace (The I in tulip) before i even knew what Calvinism was. It was a no brainer.
Irresistible Grace is not Scriptural.

"Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." (Acts 7:51)

"Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith." (2 Timothy 3:8)


When I look at it logically I cant understand how a rejection of this grace once coming to the knowledge of it could be possible or biblical. There is another problem i see but i will take this one step at a time.
People are illogical, as I said before.

I had someone witness to me for over three years, before I finally decided that I wanted the Lord. Some people wait even longer, some get saved the first time they hear the gospel. We're all different.

The Bible is full of Scripture that points out that mankind has freewill to accept or reject God's offer of salvation. The Lord gave Adam and Eve freewill to either obey or reject His commandment about the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They rejected Him, and they KNEW He existed! They walked with Him in the garden, and even spoke with Him.

Logically, how could they reject Him? He was there!

In the NT, as well, there are verses that point out that God does not have a limited number of people He has chosen for salvation, but that the offer of salvation is available to ALL:

"Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:4)

"Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (1 Timothy 2:6)

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" (John 1:12)

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

"Whosoever" means anyone, whoever wants salvation can have it. It does not say just those that God has chosen can be saved.

When the Bible is read, as a whole, we can see so many examples of freewill to choose or reject God.

And that His offer of salvation is available to all, not just a select few.

apothanein kerdos
Apr 12th 2009, 01:49 AM
Could you show me a case from Scripture where God's sovereign will was to have someone Do his will and He was rejected?

I do see instances where people come to the knowledge of Christ in Acts and that not all of those people hearing the Word believe.


Other than the entire Old Testament story of Israel?

apothanein kerdos
Apr 12th 2009, 01:52 AM
Quickened,

I just thought of something I wanted to ask you.

On the sovereignty part of this. I think that sometimes an answer is found in a paradoxical question.

Is God sovereign enough to allow people to have input on choice ?

Thoughts?

Peace,
Joe

EXACTLY! :pp

"Sovereign" means "absolute control," not "cause." This means that God can allow certain things to go one way, but still direct the consequences of those actions to His ultimate end.

For instance, God is not the cause of a five-year-old contracting HIV through his parents, but God can use this evil for good and to work toward His ultimate purpose.

Likewise, in the case of our salvation, He both chose us and we chose Him. He did this as a part of His plan. It's quite the mystery.

Butch5
Apr 12th 2009, 02:42 AM
Could you show me a case from Scripture where God's sovereign will was to have someone Do his will and He was rejected?

I do see instances where people come to the knowledge of Christ in Acts and that not all of those people hearing the Word believe.


1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 ( KJV )
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

Surely not all Christians abstain.

Brother Mark
Apr 12th 2009, 02:45 AM
"Sovereign" means "absolute control," not "cause." This means that God can allow certain things to go one way, but still direct the consequences of those actions to His ultimate end.

Very good. IMO, sovereignty is often misunderstood and you have defined it very well. Often it is defined in such a way that makes God himself hostage to his sovereign will. Instead, his will proceeds from Him and is directed by Him. He is in constant control but that doesn't mean he "wills" all that happens to happen and is the cause of it.

Walstib
Apr 12th 2009, 03:57 AM
Joe please excuse me for jumping into your conversation with Quickened. I just wanted to interject a quick question. When does God allow people to have this input on choice? Is it before hearing and receiving faith through the hearing (Ro 10:17), or is it after?


Hi Roger,

No worries on jumping in bro. It's good in a way because the topic of hearing and when this is possible was what most of my "lost reply" was in the other thread. I am thinking because I was more looking to get an "Armenian explanation" in the other thread we could just go into it all here without expecting a reply there. Whew..

Simply I would say it is after hearing. Can't really chose something you never heard about. When we have the ability to hear becomes the question I think. This in the context that I believe we always have freedom of thought and choice.

As for the why, I got myself involved in too many threads and will get too it soon. ;)

Peace,
Joe

Quickened
Apr 12th 2009, 12:05 PM
1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 ( KJV )
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

Surely not all Christians abstain.

I would hope not! Those married ones shouldnt feel obligated to abstain! :lol:

I see what you are getting at in what you posted. Perhaps i should have been more clear because you are right that about the will of God here.

But i dont think that Christians will ever obtain sinless perfection here on earth. Sin will always be a battle and a struggle. There will be times when we fall and that is a part of our flesh that we have to deal with while we are here.

I guess what i was infering there was God willing someone to be saved. Which would coincide with my other posts here.

RogerW
Apr 12th 2009, 03:47 PM
Hi Roger,

No worries on jumping in bro. It's good in a way because the topic of hearing and when this is possible was what most of my "lost reply" was in the other thread. I am thinking because I was more looking to get an "Armenian explanation" in the other thread we could just go into it all here without expecting a reply there. Whew..

Simply I would say it is after hearing. Can't really chose something you never heard about. When we have the ability to hear becomes the question I think. This in the context that I believe we always have freedom of thought and choice.

As for the why, I got myself involved in too many threads and will get too it soon. ;)

Peace,
Joe

Hi Joe,

"Is it before hearing and receiving faith through the hearing (Ro 10:17), or is it after?"

I don't know if you noticed, but my comment about "when" is not only about "hearing" but also about receiving the gift of faith "by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:".

This, I believe, is when we "hear" His voice calling our name, and after hearing, because we have received the gift of faith, we choose to turn to Christ in repentance and everlasting life.

I do not believe it is possible for any man to hear the gospel without receiving the gift of faith, and choose to turn to Christ for life. Unless a man is first regenerated by the power of the Word and Holy Spirit, he/she is spiritually dead and is not able to receive the things of the Spirit of God. So, I would say, yes, we do choose Christ for life after rengeration, but we cannot choose Christ without it.

Many Blessings,
RW

Butch5
Apr 13th 2009, 03:18 AM
I would hope not! Those married ones shouldnt feel obligated to abstain! :lol:

I see what you are getting at in what you posted. Perhaps i should have been more clear because you are right that about the will of God here.

But i dont think that Christians will ever obtain sinless perfection here on earth. Sin will always be a battle and a struggle. There will be times when we fall and that is a part of our flesh that we have to deal with while we are here.

I guess what i was infering there was God willing someone to be saved. Which would coincide with my other posts here.

My point was simply that the will of God can be resisted. Here are two more,

Acts 13:45-47 ( KJV )
But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.

Acts 7:51 ( KJV )
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

Walstib
Apr 13th 2009, 02:46 PM
Hi Brian,
To my understanding because God does have absolute supreme authority He would choose to allow certain people experience the Irresistible Grace which would result in a conversion.What you have stated is quite logical. God would have the ability to set up the creation like this. Thing is I can make the same kind of statement. “because God does have absolute authority He would choose to allow all people to experience the resistable grace which may result in a conversion.” I understand this is how you view things presently, and in a way it is good to be dogmatic about things (Rom 4:21,14:5), but it is not the only option that can be reasoned.

I know that doesn't seem like much of a choice on the surface but allow me to hopefully explain.

I believe that God chooses to elect some to salvation out of His free will. We are all worthy of death and hell that follows because of Original Sin, Our own personal iniquities and perhaps our unbelief. God is just according to his Word to let us die in these sins.

He is not required to save any of us. Therefore when he chooses to save those that He elects to faith we see that as merciful.As stated I would agree. Though I am sure we now view election itself differently (corporate of type for me).

Allow me to post the definition of mercy because when i was doing a word study I really enjoyed how fitting it is...

Quote:
1: compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one's power
2 a: a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion

Before i go on a tangent I would like to explain something upfront so its right on the table

The idea of God desiring to save someone and they reject and nullify His desire seems unbiblical but furthermore portrays God as somewhat imperfect.
Well I certainly can understand it seems this way to you. :) If you had not included the word nullify I would have agreed. I can not do what I desire but that does not mean my desire has been removed. Example...

I can want to buy a new car but my wife tells me of her desire for something else to be done with the money. I can give up on buying the car to honor her without loosing the desire for a new car.

During creation when God desired something it came about and it was good. When God desired to terminate S
odom & Gomorrah he did so out of His desire. When God desired to utilize Jonah he called Him and although Jonah did his own thing it ultimately came down to what God desired.
Now with God changing his criteria in the conversation with Abraham I think it may not have been the best example for you to use. If fifty righteous men had been found would God have gone against His word to destroyed them.. thirty.... ;)

I know we can’t really talk in “what if’s” but lets for discussions sake. Did God make the decision for Jonah to repent or did he give the freedom to Jonah to decide himself make the decision for obedience. Both these examples I see as showing the back and forth with man and God. Sure God knew Jonah would repent but that aspect of God’s sovereignty does not conflict with freedom of thought and choice.

In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (Pro 3:6 NKJV)
What happens if you don’t acknowledge God in all your ways. The logical conclusions would be that he does not straighten our path. So how do we combine this with God’s foreknowledge of what will ultimately happen? Something to get into here?
I have a hard time understanding how God could desire one outcome and then man stifles it. If that was the case then Christ died in vain. If Christ really died for "all" and some of those "all" rejected that sacrifice then it almost cheapens the work done on Calvary.
Well we can start knowing that Christ did not die in vain. Sure it sounds scary but a moot point to bring up I think. Same with comments like cheapening Jesus’ work and stifling God. I mean I know I don’t want to teach something that would do this!

I could reword it for the same effect. “I have a hard time understanding how God would stifle mans freedom to choose by forcing him to do things. If so we are all robots. If Christ did not die for all but only some then it cheapens the work done on Calvary.” My point? Without digging into the foundational points first comments like this just show present conviction. Having a good idea of what you are convicted of already let's dig into the meat. :)

Why also would a loving God leave man to his own self-terminating devices if Christs work was indeed sufficient for "all"? I think thats the key about Irresistible Grace. The blinders come off and we see the work on the cross for what it is. Not just a head knowledge but a spiritual understanding. We also see the state of our own sinfulness and jump at the chance to have our sins atoned for.
After all what man dying of thirst would turn down a drink from an overflowing cup when it was presented to Him. Man has a tendency to "look out for #1" so upon coming to having an actual understanding of Christ brought forth by a quickening by the Holy Spirit I cant see man rejecting that.Here I see you have man being regenerated before they ask to be forgiven. But what does the Lord seek?

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.(Psa 34:18 KJV)How can a heart be contrite before it has been regenerated in your view?

Does this help clarify my position? I hope i haven't confused things but thought i would take the opportunity to elaborate. Yes it does, not that I have not read it before but it has been a couple years since we spoke. ;) Now your answers to my previous questions would be nice for a start to continuing. That and the points brought up here. I do enjoy discussing things with you. May we each have an open mind to what each other is saying outside the context of our own understanding.

Peace,
Joe

Quickened
Apr 13th 2009, 03:47 PM
I was going through this thread again and i really dont like how i have worded some things. I think perhaps I was either distracted or rushed but i felt as though i havent taken proper time to elaborate and then proofread what i have posted.

I have went on a bit of a tangent concerning God's will.

How can it be that man chooses of his own and without any intercession? Or can man believe without the work of the Spirit engaging in his life? I think thats the dilemma that i run into. People are so focused on man's free will it seems they down play God into an old man that has done 99% of the work and if we would only believe then we too can be saved.

But where does even our belief come from?

John 3:27 really comes to mind here


Joh 3:27 John answered, "A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.

How true that is. Even our ability to believe is a gift from God. Faith is a gift given to us.

Although these are not all but I see that highlighted in a number of passages in the bible. I see that it is God who:
-calls us(Gal1:15-16, Eph 4:4, 2tim 1:9, Heb 9:15, Jude 1, 1pet1:15, 1Peter 2:9)
-opens hearts (acts16:14),
-grants repentence(acts5:31,11:18),
-applies grace which in turn allows us to believe(acts18:27),
-grants us repentence(2Ti 2:25).

Tit 3:5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

We are saved because of a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion which is the defination of mercy. The same verse also shows that we are saved by the washing and renewal of the Holy Spirit.

Through the regeneration process we are saved. The bible describes this as a creation, the giving of a new heart, a spiritual resurrection. It is through this regeneration that we are made Children of God. It is the Holy Spirit that brings forth this new birth.

It is only the Holy Spirit who can bring this understanding to minds and hearts darkened by sin. (Col 1:9,1Jn 5:20). This type of knowledge is given to us (1Jn 2:20) and I see the difference there. In our state of depravity we do not understand the things of God because our minds and hearts are darkened.

I think Ephesians really nails this. In chapter 2 we were spiritually dead in our trespasses and sins. We were following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit at work in the sons of disobedience. Living according to the passions of the flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and mind.

It was God in verse 5 that takes action making us alive together with Christ.

Up to that point were really are sheep just wandering aimlessly. We are going about the earth dead in our trespasses. Living according to the world which we dwell in and producing fruit brought forth by actions of the flesh. It is not until God steps in that any good comes about. Be that understanding, the faith that is brought forth, or anything else. Everything that happens to man is the result of God working in Him.

I see this and understand this. Thats why i dont understand why people put this importance on man's will and choice as if God is hanging there waiting for man to say "yes" before he begins these works within him. There is a choice being made here and that choice is being made with the knowledge and understanding that the Holy Spirit brings.

Man can choose but only as far as what he knows. Apart from the understanding brought forth by the Holy Spirit man can never choose righteousness and always chooses to live in sin, buried in iniquities, following he course of this world.

Man chooses God when the knowledge and understanding are imparted to him by the Spirit.

Brother Mark
Apr 13th 2009, 04:45 PM
No one can come to the Father unless it is given to him. But some reject that gift.

Luke 7:30
30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God's purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John.
NASB

John146
Apr 13th 2009, 05:53 PM
Before i use any scripture references or anything i want to speak frankly about my personal views and feelings. Once we get that out of the way i will have no problem providing any scriptures or passages that come to mind.

When it comes to the topic of election we obviously see people divided on the issue. I do have some questions for people that dont hold a Calvinist point of view.

For the people say that Man can reject God upon coming to know of His Glory how can this be? For man to have a full understanding of his sinful state and/or depravity and then reject the only solution doesnt seem logical to me.

And i stress that "full understanding" part. Stay with me on this for a second.

When i came to the knowledge of Christ there were a couple of things that happened. Let me give a touch of background first....

I grew up Roman Catholic. I knew the stories, the parables, the cross etc. I did communion, reconciliation, the rosary etc. But i was unsaved at the time. An important thing was I had a basic knowledge of sin. That sin waa a category of sorts where bad things fell..(Murder, Rape, Lust Etc) But that was all head knowledge.

When i came to the knowledge of Christ that moment in time opened up the flood gates where i actually saw sin for what it was. I saw how depraved I truly was. I fell to my knees, wept and begged for forgiveness.

Maybe because of my conversion and the fact that I didnt reject Christ will forever make me never understand this possibility of rejection. To me i believed in Irresistible Grace (The I in tulip) before i even knew what Calvinism was. It was a no brainer.

When I look at it logically I cant understand how a rejection of this grace once coming to the knowledge of it could be possible or biblical. There is another problem i see but i will take this one step at a time.Just because you don't understand how something can be true doesn't mean it isn't, of course. Tell me, if irresistible grace was true then how do you explain this:

Hebrews 6
4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Whether or not this passage is speaking of saved people falling away is debatable. I don't want to get into that debate here. Let's assume the ones who fall away in that passage are not saved. Is it reasonable to suggest that they did not experience God's grace? They "were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come". If that isn't a description of people who have experienced God's grace then I don't know what is. And, yet, they still fell away, or at least it's implied that it's possible for them to fall away. How do you reconcile that with your belief in irresistible grace?

And what about this verse:

Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

BrckBrln
Apr 13th 2009, 07:38 PM
If God was to be maintained in his incommunicable attributes, the Spirit of God, not man, had to effect the salvation of man. The only alternative to this would be that man could at some point take the initiative in the manner of his own salvation. This would imply that the salvation wrought by Christ could be frustrated by man. Suppose that none should accept the salvation offered to them. In that case the whole of Christ's work would be in vain, and the eternal God would be set at naught by temporal man. Even if we say that in the case of any one individual sinner the question of salvation is in the last analysis dependent upon man rather than upon God, that is, if we say that man can of himself accept or reject the gospel as he pleases, we have made the eternal God dependent upon man. We have then, in effect, denied the incommunicable attributes of God. If we refuse to mix the eternal and the temporal at the point of creation and at the point of the incarnation we must also refuse to mix them at the point of salvation. Cornelius Van Til, The Defense of the Faith

Just some thoughts...

Brother Mark
Apr 13th 2009, 07:59 PM
If God was to be maintained in his incommunicable attributes, the Spirit of God, not man, had to effect the salvation of man. The only alternative to this would be that man could at some point take the initiative in the manner of his own salvation. This would imply that the salvation wrought by Christ could be frustrated by man. Suppose that none should accept the salvation offered to them. In that case the whole of Christ's work would be in vain, and the eternal God would be set at naught by temporal man. Even if we say that in the case of any one individual sinner the question of salvation is in the last analysis dependent upon man rather than upon God, that is, if we say that man can of himself accept or reject the gospel as he pleases, we have made the eternal God dependent upon man. We have then, in effect, denied the incommunicable attributes of God. If we refuse to mix the eternal and the temporal at the point of creation and at the point of the incarnation we must also refuse to mix them at the point of salvation. Cornelius Van Til, The Defense of the Faith

Just some thoughts...



Luke 7:29-30
30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God's purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John.
NASB

BrckBrln
Apr 13th 2009, 08:12 PM
Luke 7:29-30
30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God's purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John.
NASB

Isn't it also God's purpose for us not to sin? There's a distinction between what God purposes to do (save sinners) and his revealed will for sinners (don't sin).

Bandit
Apr 13th 2009, 10:19 PM
Originally Posted by Brother Mark http://bibleforums.org/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=2043908#post2043908)
Luke 7:29-30
30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God's purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John.
NASB



Isn't it also God's purpose for us not to sin? There's a distinction between what God purposes to do (save sinners) and his revealed will for sinners (don't sin).


Hello BrckBrln,

If I understand what you are saying, then I don't think your objection is legit. First, some did partake of John's baptism, while others rejected that same baptism (as scripture says). So what God purposed to do was accomplished in those that partook of John's baptism, while that same purpose was not accomplished in those who refused John's baptism, even though His purpose was for them to partake of that baptism.

2nd, concerning your claim that His revealed will for sinners is not to sin, I think you may have confused God's purpose and command to turn from a life of sin to a life of righteous pursuit, with an imagined command to never sin. But the bible records both those who do turn from sin and those who do not, even though God commanded both to turn.

So then, both purposes, to save sinners and to have persons pursue righteousness are achieved in some, and not acheived in others.

Quickened
Apr 14th 2009, 02:50 AM
Hi Brian,What you have stated is quite logical. God would have the ability to set up the creation like this. Thing is I can make the same kind of statement. “because God does have absolute authority He would choose to allow all people to experience the resistable grace which may result in a conversion.” I understand this is how you view things presently, and in a way it is good to be dogmatic about things (Rom 4:21,14:5), but it is not the only option that can be reasoned.
As stated I would agree. Though I am sure we now view election itself differently (corporate of type for me).

Thats what can be kind of tricky about studying different theological issues. Sometimes we look for explainations or answers that arent exactly clear cut in the bible and in doing so come up with different interpretations.

I do acknowledge that there are sometimes multiple interpretations. Hey i might be wrong on some of those. People around the bible chat long enough may remember me being corrected on my baptism stance in a thread of a style like this.

Some things i am going to get right, somethings are going to take a while longer to get right and some things i am certain i will never understand. Thats the beauty of my limited human intellect. :)

Also this isnt the first time that someone has brought up "corporate election". Its not a term that i have heard so perhaps here we can do a brief synopsis. Or perhaps i will start a thread on election after this one because i am not too sure (as i am going along) that i can logically discuss IG without discussing my view point (reformed) on election.

All in due time methinks!


Well I certainly can understand it seems this way to you. :) If you had not included the word nullify I would have agreed. I can not do what I desire but that does not mean my desire has been removed. Example...

I can want to buy a new car but my wife tells me of her desire for something else to be done with the money. I can give up on buying the car to honor her without loosing the desire for a new car.

Perhaps nullify was the wrong word. Trust me i can sit here for 10 minutes trying to think of the perfect word to better explain myself only to fail at my own ignorance! :lol:


Now with God changing his criteria in the conversation with Abraham I think it may not have been the best example for you to use. If fifty righteous men had been found would God have gone against His word to destroyed them.. thirty.... ;)

Perhaps my post here assumed things. When i look at S&G as a whole (which is easy from it having already passed) I think it was inevitable. I think the back and forth dialogue served more of a purpose for us the reader or for anyone future tense after that point.

I think this because from what we already know there is no one righteous. If we utilize all the OT or NT criteria of what God expects there would have been no possible way they would have met those expectations.

Which i guess leads me to ask... did God turn them over to a reprobate mind as spoken of in Romans?

Maybe the dialogue displays Gods mercy? He would have saved the whole town on account that 50 righteous men be found. In Genesis 18:24 Abraham uses the word "suppose" and then goes on to call God "The judge of all the Earth" and to "Do what is just"

Abraham supposes that there are righteous in that city and then appeals to God almost implying that it would be unjust to terminate the whole of the city because righteous men may possibly perish.

In Gen 18:20 God knew what was happening because of the outcry. In verse 21 it almost shows investigative work to "see whether they have done altogether according to tho outcry"

I would be led to say that God already knew what was going on and this serves us as the reader more once he engages with Abraham. I believe that shows the outcome was inevitable and God knew it.

I feel as though i am not explaining this properly... arrg!


I know we can’t really talk in “what if’s” but lets for discussions sake. Did God make the decision for Jonah to repent or did he give the freedom to Jonah to decide himself make the decision for obedience. Both these examples I see as showing the back and forth with man and God. Sure God knew Jonah would repent but that aspect of God’s sovereignty does not conflict with freedom of thought and choice.

The question you pose here is or seems rather tricky. Does Jonah ever properly repent?

The second part of that Question is a good one too. Did he give him the freedom to deicde to be obediant? Well Jonah was definately put into a situation that quickened him to be certain. Jonahs disobidence brought forth a situation.

The minute he boarded that boat we see the Lord move swiftly into action. As a parent would move to swift dicipline on a disorderly child. We read that he paid the fare and went on board to go to Tarshish. Immediately after we read that the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea and that the tempest was so severe that the ship itself threatened to break up.

It appears to me that God's will did indeed conflict with Jonah's freedom of choice when it resulted in disobedience. Jonah's initial choice was to skip out on Nineveh and flee to Tarshish. He never makes it there. Later we do learn of his reasoning to go there because he didnt want to see Nineveah saved.

Jonah's freedom of thought is intact and God doesnt change that about Jonah from what i see. Since chapter 4 clairifies a bit we see that from the beginning of the Book that Jonah didnt want to see the Ninivites saved and when they were he was displeased exceedingly. He seemingly justifies his actions prior by saying "this is why i made haste to flee". The term "displeased exceedingly" really doesnt grab the depth of the fact that his disappointment was so serve that he wanted to die.

Then later on in the dialogue over the plant he wants to die yet again. I think its more than just the lack of shade that makes him so dramatic. I dont think he got over the Ninevites being spared.

So overall God's purpose was completed as He intended with Jonah eventually going to Nineveah albeit reluctantly. The people all the way up to the King donned sackcloth and repented. God's mercy displays him as righteous and just.

Jonah never seems to get over his angst although the people repented. God's perfect will was achieved and the story ends rather abruptly. So i think this further displays that God really puts forth the good fruit in our lives even if we are disobediant or whether we understand his will or not. His main will here was Jonah going there and those people being able to repent.



What happens if you don’t acknowledge God in all your ways. The logical conclusions would be that he does not straighten our path. So how do we combine this with God’s foreknowledge of what will ultimately happen? Something to get into here?

Do we ever? Will we ever? I think our sinful nature tends to get in the way and i dont think we will be fully removed from it or sanctified completely until we pass unto the next life.

I think that it comes down to the process of sanctification. I may have to come back to this question to better address it.


Well we can start knowing that Christ did not die in vain. Sure it sounds scary but a moot point to bring up I think. Same with comments like cheapening Jesus’ work and stifling God. I mean I know I don’t want to teach something that would do this!

To further elaborate on this i would need to go into election a bit and perhaps its a bit soon for that. Or maybe inevitable? :lol: :hmm:


I could reword it for the same effect. “I have a hard time understanding how God would stifle mans freedom to choose by forcing him to do things. If so we are all robots. If Christ did not die for all but only some then it cheapens the work done on Calvary.” My point? Without digging into the foundational points first comments like this just show present conviction. Having a good idea of what you are convicted of already let's dig into the meat. :)

One thing I havent done a good job here is acknowledge the "robots" theory. I can guarentee you its not the first time i have heard it. I will ponder this and get back to you on this one.

But a quick response would be that Jonah was still able to choose to be disobediant but eventually God's will is done.



Yes it does, not that I have not read it before but it has been a couple years since we spoke. ;) Now your answers to my previous questions would be nice for a start to continuing. That and the points brought up here. I do enjoy discussing things with you. May we each have an open mind to what each other is saying outside the context of our own understanding.

Peace,
Joe

I greatly appreciate your kindness, patience and gentlemanly approach to our discussion! I greatly enjoy these types of discussions because i never know what i will learn next. Or perhaps maybe i will help someone. Either way its iron sharping iron. Perhaps one day someone will ask us about a topic and we will remember the thing we learned while studying and discussing a certain topic here.

Its exciting to think on how the Lord uses these situations to build us up and draw us closer to Him.

May all we do and say be done to bring Glory to Him!

apothanein kerdos
Apr 15th 2009, 07:42 AM
And waltzing back in here to beat a dead horse...

I'm going to offer my syllogism for how God's sovereignty and man's free-will can co-exist. Now, this isn't me trying to "philosophize" the issue, I'm simply taking my understanding of the Scripture (which is that both God is sovereign, knows the future, knows what actions we will do, but that we also have free will) and showing how my understanding doesn't contradict. This is not an explanation of how I believe things work, because there is no possible way I can know how God functions outside of time, much less inside of time.

The following is heavily influenced by Plantinga's Free Will Defense.

First, to provide some definitions:

Sovereignty - the ability to control all events, guide all events toward one's plan, but not actualizing said ability in all possible situations

Foreknowledge - the ability to see what actions will commence in both the actualized world and possible worlds

Possible worlds - worlds that could plausibly occur, but haven't and/or won't be actualized (i.e. "In a possible world, Nixon could have won the 1960 Presidential election")

H = Person
A = Action
P = Proposition

With that said:

As Christians, we can and must assume two things from Scripture; (1) God knows the future in its entirety and (2) humans have the ability to choose. If humans do not have the ability to choose, specifically in the realm of morality, then all responsibility for evil must befall back on God (see Exploring the Problem of Evil (Pt. 2) (http://thechristianwatershed.com/2009/04/01/exploring-the-problem-of-evil-pt-2-why-does-god-allow-evil-to-exist/) for a more detailed reason as to why this is a problem). Therefore, somehow God must know future events and man must have free will.

Often times, people come up with the following reasoning:
(I'll interject here and say that I'm beginning with 15 because this is a potential addition to my "Problem of Evil" syllogism)

(15) If God knows that H will do A, then no matter what, H will necessarily do A.

and

(16) If no matter what H will do A, then H has no other choice than to do A

At first glance, this seems to be quite open and shut. However, I'm not sure that (15) is necessarily true; we need to look at it some more. In other words, though it is true that if God knows H will perform action A, is it necessarily true that P is true? Or, as Plantinga puts it:

"...it simply doesn't follow that if God knows P, then P is necessarily true." (God, Freedom, and Evil, p. 67)

We often forget that God is omniscient. In being omniscient, He knows every proposition and which propositions are true and which ones are false. Thus, what God knows at time T1 will be actualized in time T2. He forsees what will occur at T2 in T1, but this doesn't necessarily mean He caused A to actualize in T2, merely that He foresaw that H would perform A at T2. So can God be wrong? Can H perform, say, ~A (the opposite of action A) at T2, thus doing something God did not know at T1?

Or, as Plantinga has it written:

(17) It was within Jones' power at T2 to do something that would have brought it about that anyone who believed at T1 that Jones would do A at T2 (one of whom was by hypothesis God) held a false belief and thus was not God - that is, that God (who by hypothesis existed at T1) did not exist at T1

The problem with (17) is that it ignores what is implicit within the omniscience of God, namely that He knows what will actualize and what won't actulize. Thus, if H performed ~A at T2, then God would have known at T1[/i] that [/i]H would perform A at T2.

Or, as Plantinga argues:

"[(17)] says that it was within Jones' power to do something - namely, refrain from doing A - such that if he had done that thing, then God would have held a false belief at T1. But this does not follow...If Jones had refrained from A, then a proposition that God did in fact belief would have been false; but if Jones had refrained from A at T2, then God (since He is omniscient) would not have believed at T1 that Jones will do A at T2." (pg. 70)

Thus, God's omniscience is the lynchpin in the argument. Because God knows what will happen in the future, He is (mysteriously) able to know the future while at the same time allowing us to make a choice. We have a real choice though he knows what that choice will be.

(18) H can perform A or ~A at T2, but God will know at T1 which choice will be actualized

We could say

(19) If H performs A at T2, then any being existing at T1 believing that H would perform ~A at T2 has held a false belief

But again, the inherent problem with this is that it ignores God's omniscience - God wouldn't hold to (19) because, knowing what will be actualized, He wouldn't believe that H would perform ~A at T2.

Theologically, what this means is that our free will doesn't negate or contradict God's knowledge. Likewise, it doesn't contradict His sovereignty as, being omnipotent along with omniscient, He could put barriers in the way for H to perform ~A at T2. Furthermore, knowing that H would perform A in given situation S, He could guide factors to S.

Now, how He does all of that, how He works all things towards His Will - that is an absolute mystery. In my opinion, both sides of the free will debate try to simplify it way too much. As you can tell above, this is a complex issue (and what I offered is actually a simple version of the syllogism), and that's just to explain how our free will doesn't contradict God's sovereignty an foreknowledge.

What it shows is that God's view is complex and transcendent, but that His sovereignty doesn't contradict our free will.

Hope that helps...I'll probably need to break some of this down later. But for now, since it's 3am and I can't sleep, I'm leaving it as is.

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