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rationalist
Jan 2nd 2008, 05:10 PM
Id like to say first of all I am not an athiest and I beleive in a God. And if I told you the values I hold it would sound like a Christian God. It has always been hard for me to accept the story of Christianity becuase of the story itself has never made much since to me however I do try and follow what Jesus taught in the bible.
So Back to the title of my thread. Why are we here. Im referring to the story of Creation. In order for Christianity to fit we all have to be condmened to hell from birth through the fall of Adam and Eve. If the story of Creation is wrong and we are not born with sin then salvation through Jesus would not be necessary and Christianty would be useless. So the story of Creation has to be perfect but it says in the bible that God created us from his image and in the beginning there was no seperation between God and man. If this statement was true Adam and Eve could have never sinned in the first place because God is perfect and incapable of sin. So if they were equal and there was no seperation, no possible way to sin. But Eve and Adam did take the temptation. Now God is all powerful and created everything and can see the future. Why did he put the tree of kowledge in the garden in the first place. He knew before hand that it would lead to eternal damnation of his creation, Man. So why do it? Why create man in your own image just to set him up to fail. Doesnt make much sense to me. Now this last statement"much sense to me" is the answer that is usually given back to me meaning that it is not something humans can fully understand. If not then why put it in the bible in the first place? So were we set up to fail and if not could God not see the future of man? Why even put the tree of knowledge in the Garden in the first place if we were not to eat from it. It would have no purpose but for temptation. Look but dont eat, not a very nice thing to do. You see I want to beleive in Jesus but it is just hard for me to do becuase the story of creation which must be fully beleived in sounds like alot like a man made story. I have to accept for somehting that happened 4000 years ago Im condemend to hell. How is a child who dies of cancer before he is 1 supposed to accept Jesus as his Savior.

Frances
Jan 2nd 2008, 06:03 PM
Why are we here?

I suggest it's to have the opportunity to trust God and spend eternity with Him.

I, personally, choose to believe all of the Bible to be God's infallible Word; and that I am not at liberty to pick and choose which parts to believe or ignore. I need the Salvation offered and have a gut-level faith that it is true, I also choose to believe Creation, as told in Genesis, is true too. . . I have discovered that 'coincidances' happen when I pray, I don't need to understand all the 'why' questions it is possible to ask, and I can always rely on God.

rationalist
Jan 2nd 2008, 06:09 PM
Thanks for the reply Frances but it didnt quite answer my question as to why God put the tree of knowledge in the garden knowing man would eat from it and be damned to eternal hell. But man actually couldnt have done that becuase it says in the bible man and God were equal " no seperation" so man could not have sinned becuase God couldnt.

Gypsy
Jan 2nd 2008, 06:13 PM
Hi rationalist,
In my mind God wants to have a genuine relationship with each of us. He created us to love him, but in order for that love to be real we also have to have the choice to not love. If I put a gun to your head and say "love me", you're probably going to say "I love you", but its not real love. Likewise if I built a robot that followed me around all day playing a recorded message that said "I love you, I love you, I love you" doesn't mean that the robot loves me. The reason we have free will is that is that real love always involves a choice to love.

If there were no tree of knowledge (i.e. if it were not even and option for Adam and Eve to sin) then there would be no choice for them to love God or not. They choose to reject that love and disobey God's will. They sinned. The wages of sin is death and so disease and death entered into the world. I don't think the point is whether or not God knew beforehand (to God there is not beforehand or afterward - He exists outside of time) that Mankind would fall. I think the point is that we had the chance and choose to fall from his love.

chisel
Jan 2nd 2008, 06:17 PM
Hi Rationalist,

Yes, those are all very good honest questions. I'm going to try and explain as best I can.

Let me give you a summary first and then I'll elaborate on some of the points you've made. Hopefully this will put things in a better perspective.

Genesis teaches us the following:
1. There is a God
2. He has human traits in that He is a personal God, with feelings, a will, motives, creativity etc.
3. He also has non-human traits: almighty, eternal, all knowing etc.
4. He created everything and everything He created was good in His eyes.
5. He created man in His likeness
6. Man rebelled against God
7. The world is messed up
8. He promises to repair the problem

Now if you take those 8 points into account and measure it against the world, you'll see it actually fits quite well. If one could look at all the beauty on earth, the trees, sunsets, the ocean, you kind of feel "What a wonderful world"....

And then you look at mankind, and you think, "how we messed everything up, and how evil we are"

That is the story of Genesis in a nutshell.

Now, Adam is an example of every human being. Each one of us can relate to Adam in that we all want to be better persons, but we all fail horribly at it.

Every human being has that dark side, so to speak...and we all struggle within ourselves to conquer that. In fact we cannot conquer it. We are simply too evil natured...

So why do we have this evil nature? Well God didn't really want robots, who do his every bidding. Think about having a robot as a friend that does exactly everything you want it to. No questions asked. You'll get lonely won't you? The robot's loyalty would be contrived, fake.

Similarly God wants you and me to be in His family. Each person in a family is autonomous, within the constraints of the family. In your own family you can do what you want, but if you crash you dad's car on purpose, He'll get upset, right?

I've already mentioned that God is personal and therefore He wants a personal relationship with us. A Father and child type of relationship...
Adam sinned on purpose, and we all keep breaking God's rules on purpose. God gave us the ability to do this, but He never willed it for us. Does that make sense?

Now something you may have missed in Genesis that right at the moment where God cursed the serpent and Adam and Eve, He also gave the promise of the Messiah, and that the He would conquer death, and crush the serpent's head. Genesis 3:15

So God isn't unreasonable because even at the very point where Adam and Eve CHOSE to reject God and listen to the devil instead, God already had the plan to send Jesus to bring about forgiveness for us.

You asked what happens to babies when they die...
Honestly I don't know. The Bible doesn't say anything about it, but the Bible does say that God is just and fair, so rest assured that whatever happens to the baby, will be fair.

You asked how does something that happened 4000 years ago affect you...
Let me ask you some questions, you don't have to answer them here, just think about it.

Have you ever told a lie?
If you have, then you are a liar, right?

Have you ever stolen something, no matter how small?
If you have then you are a thief, right?

Have you ever called someone something bad, like an idiot or something? Jesus said that if you do, you have murdered that person in your heart. Have you done that?

Jesus said that if you look at someone in lust, you have committed adultery with that person in your heart. Ever do that?

If you've answered any one of these with 'yes' then you're evil, just like Adam and just like me.

Yes, these are very high standards, and yes we simply cannot keep the 10 commandments, and that's why Jesus paid the price for our sins.

Why does God expect these high standards in the first place?
Well, He's perfect and hates evil. Would God be good if He tolerated that which is bad? If the president of a country closed down the military and police force and let criminals get away with anything, would you say such a president is any good?

So in short.
God is Good.
He made everything good, including us but we chose to be bad.
God doesn't like things that are bad, but He cares for us.
So He offered Him who is Good for us who are bad, instead of getting rid of us.
Now we can be good, not because we're good, but because of the Offer, namely Jesus Christ.

You asked how Adam and Eve could sin, being made in God's image...
Well first of all, Adam and Eve weren't God, they were simply made in the likeness of God.
Secondly, God, just like Adam and Eve, could sin if He wanted to, but He doesn't. Didn't the devil tempt Jesus in the desert? If Jesus wasn't capable of sin, why does the Bible say the Holy Spirit led Him into the desert to be tempted by satan?

RoadWarrior
Jan 2nd 2008, 06:19 PM
...why God put the tree of knowledge in the garden knowing man would eat from it and be damned to eternal hell. But man actually couldnt have done that becuase it says in the bible man and God were equal " no seperation" so man could not have sinned becuase God couldnt.

Hi Rationalist,

Could you give a Bible reference for that quote? I don't remember seeing that in my Bible. I think perhaps you have some misunderstandings of the story.

God created man in His image, not as an "equal" in the same sense that Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit are equal. Only God is perfect, man was never perfect; man is a created being. We are made from the dust of the earth.

As I view the tree, it was a test. It was not a trick. God gave Adam only one commandment. Adam had a choice and he could have obeyed God. He could have obeyed even after his wife had disobeyed. He could have passed the test but he did not.

Today we are given a choice as well. We do not have to be condemned to eternal hell. Throughout the Bible we see God seeking to call to Himself the ones who are willing to come and be in relationship with Him. The greatest call has been going out into the world since the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Have you considered your response to this choice? What is your response to the cross?

ImmenseDisciple
Jan 2nd 2008, 06:20 PM
In order for Christianity to fit we all have to be condmened to hell from birth through the fall of Adam and Eve.
Not really. Whether we are born into sin or not, it serves as an allegory to our own lives; every single one of us learns what it is to sin, and does so - we all need redemption.

watchinginawe
Jan 2nd 2008, 06:49 PM
Thanks for the reply Frances but it didnt quite answer my question as to why God put the tree of knowledge in the garden knowing man would eat from it and be damned to eternal hell.It is a tough job to be "creator" but someone had to do it. :lol:

Here is an answer: So that God could redeem man to an incorruptible state with Him for eternity.

Now, why not just do that from the start? :hmm: I don't know. God suffered the same kind of rebellion among the angels. We aren't told much about angels and when they were created. Some insist it was during the creation account in Genesis, but I have never been to sure about that without insinuating a "time gap theory" of sorts. Apparently at some point angels had to choose who they would serve as well. Perhaps the answer is that God can't create Himself. That would make sense for an eternal God. So in creation, when God creates a being that can be aware of God so then is the presence of the choice of whether to serve Him.

So God creates angels and loses a third of them. Then man and is likely to lose even more. But those that will be in eternity with God ultimately serve His purpose in creation.
But man actually couldnt have done that becuase it says in the bible man and God were equal " no seperation" so man could not have sinned becuase God couldnt.No, man was never "divine". Man was created, God was not. Man and God were never equal.

God Bless!

rationalist
Jan 2nd 2008, 06:54 PM
Great answers all of you thanks alot. Ill have to find the verse it doesnt say man was equal but no seperation. But why put the tree of knowledge in the garden ? Did Adam and Eve take the fruit from the tree with knowledge that it was wrong ? For instance if you give me a drug and I knowlingly accept it is a sin becuase I know better but if you give a 3 year old a drug wrapped in chocolate is it a sin? Were Adam and Eve privledged to he knowledge that eating from the tree was a sin?

Again thanks everyone.

Great place for discussion

RoadWarrior
Jan 2nd 2008, 07:11 PM
Great answers all of you thanks alot. Ill have to find the verse it doesnt say man was equal but no seperation. But why put the tree of knowledge in the garden ? Did Adam and Eve take the fruit from the tree with knowledge that it was wrong ? For instance if you give me a drug and I knowlingly accept it is a sin becuase I know better but if you give a 3 year old a drug wrapped in chocolate is it a sin? Were Adam and Eve privledged to he knowledge that eating from the tree was a sin?

Again thanks everyone.

Great place for discussion

Here is what Adam knew, because God had told him:

Ge 2:15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." NKJV

Here is how Eve answered the serpent:
Ge 3:2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'" NKJV

You may notice from this Eve's first mistake. She added a phrase to God's command. This is something that gets people into trouble with God's word. If we add to it, or take something away from it, it weakens the truth of it.

They had only one command to obey.

Dt 4:2 You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. NKJV

Gypsy
Jan 2nd 2008, 07:23 PM
Did Adam and Eve take the fruit from the tree with knowledge that it was wrong ?Well for sure they knew:




16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' "


But why put the tree of knowledge in the garden ? If there were no tree of knowledge then Adam and Eve would not have had an opportunity to choose to obey God or not. Without the opportunity to exercise their free will love means very little. Who would you rather be married to, a husband/wife who truly loves you because they know you and have chosen to love you or one who is only with you because they feel they have no choice? God wants us to love him, but He wants it to be genuine love, not fake pretend High School dating love, real genuine love. That love has to be the result of a choice we make by exercising our free will, otherwise it means nothing.

RoadWarrior
Jan 2nd 2008, 07:56 PM
...So Back to the title of my thread. Why are we here. ...

Rationalist, I thought maybe I'd simplify things a bit, by dropping all the other stuff and answering your title question.

We are here, quite simply, because God loves us. If you look carefully at the creation story, you will notice that God came into the garden in the cool of the day and called for Adam, who was now hiding from God because he knew he had violated the commandment. We see the indications that there was relationship between them. God didn't just create the world, create Adam and Eve, then leave. He continued to interact with His creation.

It takes the whole Bible to tell the entire story, but maybe I can give you a couple quick verses to illustrate my point.

Moses told the people this:
Dt 7:7-8
7 The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; 8 but because the Lord loves you, ...NKJV

Jn 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. NKJV

1 Jn 4:7-11
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. NKJV

1 Jn 4:15-16
15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. NKJV

So Rationalist, I would invite you to enter into that place of knowing Jesus as your Savior, and knowing His love. That is the part that drew me to Him, and that is what keeps me in Him. He loves me and cares for me. It makes all the suffering in this world worth enduring.

Adam and Eve, by their choice, lost the privilege of living in the garden. First they disobeyed the direct command of God. Then they tried to hide from God. (As if they could!) But God had mercy on them and set into motion the plan of redemption. God still wanted relationship, and He still does today.

torazon
Jan 2nd 2008, 09:21 PM
I used to struggle with this myself until very recently.

I believe God wanted companionship that might love "him". However God did not want robots or force anyone or anything to love "him". The only way for there to be pure love is if it's done by choice and that requires free will. You have the choice to either accept God's love or to reject it, he does not force us to do anything.

Why do people suffer is always a hard question for us. I used to get very upset with God for this as well. I finally had to humble myself and admit that my tiny pathetic brain was nothing compared to the mind of God and that I could not see the big picture. While I certainly do not fully understand these things I have accepted them. I anguish over the suffering that goes on, but when I consider the short life we have here vs our eternal soul it pales in comparison.

We cant see how one event may impact somebody else far down the road (ripple effect). God uses us in many ways that we can not even begin to see. Everything we say and do can effect many people for years to come no matter how small you may think it is. Something as simple as a kind word to a stranger could produce many good things for years to come.

I hope this helps in some small way.

rationalist
Jan 3rd 2008, 04:25 PM
Again every one thanks and very enlightening views. But again going to my original title why are we here. Why make earth to put companions ? Was it becuase heaven was full of angels and no room for man. Yes God did create man with free will for us to have a choice of love but quite a harsh punishment for man's first sin. How about a second chance before bringing death to us ? Was Lucifer's interference inevitable. Did God let Satan in the garden to tempt us. Is there Sin without the worldy possesion that Satan promises us.

Im not a bible expert but some who are bible historians say that we are here as pawns to prove to the rest of the angels that God is superior to Satan and that man will chose Gods Love over Satans therefore proving him right.

Would God have created us if Satan hadnt rebelled.

RoadWarrior
Jan 3rd 2008, 04:45 PM
... Why make earth to put companions ?
1.Was it becuase heaven was full of angels and no room for man.
2. Yes God did create man with free will for us to have a choice of love but quite a harsh punishment for man's first sin. How about a second chance before bringing death to us ?
3. Was Lucifer's interference inevitable. Did God let Satan in the garden to tempt us.
4. Is there Sin without the worldy possesion that Satan promises us.

5. Im not a bible expert but some who are bible historians say that we are here as pawns to prove to the rest of the angels that God is superior to Satan and that man will chose Gods Love over Satans therefore proving him right.

6. Would God have created us if Satan hadnt rebelled.

1. If you are worried about whether heaven was too full of angels for there to be room for more, maybe you need to study a bit of astronomy. The universe is enormous, and growing larger. Infinity is endless in both directions.
2. A second chance is what we got with Jesus. There are no second chances after we die. We make the choice on the earth and that determines where we go after.
3. I think it is of value to read Job chapters 1-3 alongside of Genesis chapters 1-3. In Job you see the interaction between God and Satan, and there is great insight as to what God is doing, if you have eyes to see and ears to hear.
4. Sin is not about worldly possessions, but about disobedience. Do you believe God, or not? If you believe God, why would you not do what He says to do?
5. Not pawns - that's a rather insulting word don't you think? But here is the scripture that supports what you are trying to express.

Eph 3:9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. NKJV


6. I personally do not believe that God created us in response to the rebellion of Lucifer, but as I stated in my previous post, He created us to love us, and to grow us up in love. Lucifer/Satan's role is an interference in that process. The story of Job tells us much of what God is looking for in His creation on earth.

watchinginawe
Jan 3rd 2008, 05:11 PM
But again going to my original title why are we here.I think what you are asking is why did God decide to create anything. I don't think we are going to be able to figure that one out, right? :lol:

Why are we here? To do God's will. God created us to do something, that something would be His will. When we do God's will, we find our purpose. Consider Adam and Eve:

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

God created Adam and Eve and communed with them (said unto them) and gave them a purpose. Simple as that. The created's purpose can only be found in the creator. When something that is created fulfills their purpose they bring glory to their creator. So, for our finite minds, our purpose is to glorify God, our creator.
Why make earth to put companions ? Was it becuase heaven was full of angels and no room for man. Yes God did create man with free will for us to have a choice of love but quite a harsh punishment for man's first sin. How about a second chance before bringing death to us ? Was Lucifer's interference inevitable. Did God let Satan in the garden to tempt us. Is there Sin without the worldy possesion that Satan promises us. These are unanswerable questions. We can contemplate them and suggest posits, but we aren't going to be able to really know God's "rationalization". Right?

As I suggested before, the end result that has been revealed to us is that we are reconciled to God for eternity. So, working back from that, we could posit that God accomplished all of creation just to accomplish that. There is scripture that supports that view. Jesus Christ exists eternally as part of the Godhead, but yet what was His purpose? Apparently, it was ordained eternally as the lamb slain before the foundation of the world. :dunno: That is hard for us to fathom really.
Im not a bible expert but some who are bible historians say that we are here as pawns to prove to the rest of the angels that God is superior to Satan and that man will chose Gods Love over Satans therefore proving him right.

Would God have created us if Satan hadnt rebelled.I don't think that is a very mainstream view.

God Bless!

obeytheword
Jan 7th 2008, 09:21 PM
Going to answer as I see it, some of the questions you have asked.



Why make earth to put companions ? Was it becuase heaven was full of angels and no room for man.


I will try and answer the first part below - as for heaven being full. I do not believe that is the case.




Yes God did create man with free will for us to have a choice of love but quite a harsh punishment for man's first sin. How about a second chance before bringing death to us ?

Well - the thing is - they had literally 1 rule. They had it made, had no problems of any kind - and their creator said only 1 thing was forbidden - and they did it. He would have been totally justified at that point of saying "thats it - lets start all over and make the world new" But he did not want to do that. The thing is he DID offer a second chance in Jesus. Will answer the rest of this point below.




Was Lucifer's interference inevitable. Did God let Satan in the garden to tempt us. Is there Sin without the worldy possesion that Satan promises us.

I believe the answer is yes - it was inevitable. God knew what would happen, and he allowed us to be tempted. Will answer part of the why below. Not sure about what you mean with the last part of this.



Again every one thanks and very enlightening views. But again going to my original title why are we here.

Im not a bible expert but some who are bible historians say that we are here as pawns to prove to the rest of the angels that God is superior to Satan and that man will chose Gods Love over Satans therefore proving him right.

Would God have created us if Satan hadnt rebelled.


Funny enough this is actually a question I am beginning to work on answering for a sermon next week (the part I bolded). I believe there is a passage that gives a sort of answer. It answers part of your question directly anyway - and fleshes out some of the answers above.

Ephesians 1

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both[a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=56&chapter=1&version=50#fen-NKJV-29211a)] which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.



This section of scripture actually contains a big part of your answer - some re-hashes what people have said already, but will go over it.


First - verse 5 says " according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved."
Because he wanted to - and he wanted there to be praise for his quality of Grace that he would extend to us. By his Grace we are accepted by him - even though we have choice, and by that choice we sin and are not Holy like he is (in and of ourselves). Verse 7 and 8 expands on the grace part of it.


Ok - now look back at verse 4 "just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love"
He wants us to love him. There cannot be love unless there is the choice (and reason?) to not love. That explains the choices we have been given, and also explains the existence of Satan.


Now look at verse 9 and 10 "9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both[a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=56&chapter=1&version=50#fen-NKJV-29211a)] which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him."

Ok - this is the crux. He revealed this mystery (what you are asking in part at least) to us throughout the scripture, but primarily in the life of Christ. He WANTS to be in communion with us - by bringing ALL things in heaven and on earth together in Christ. It was by his good pleasure, and he purposed it himself (it was his idea).
He WANTS communion with us. He wants us to be voluntary lovers of him. He WANTS to bring the heaven and the earth together under Christ.

The thing is - God knows what will come - He chooses a set of circumstances he knows will in the end bring about what he wants to happen. He knows some hard times would come in-between the beginning and the end result he wants.

Anyway - I hope that helps at least a little bit!

Be Blessed!

TEITZY
Jan 8th 2008, 12:17 AM
The underlying premise which one must accept and acknowledge when looking at these questions is that God is SOVEREIGN (as clearly seen in Eph 1) and therefore He does whatever He pleases (as long as it does not violate His own unchangeable character or attributes). Unfortunately those of us who live in democracies (whether believers or not) often have a hard time with the concept of a sovereign ruler wielding power as they wish, but for those in Bible times this was a common reality.

The Bible tells us that God is perfectly righteous and just and so if we acknowledge the God of the Bible as real we must also accept that whatever He does is right, even though from a finite human perspective it may 'appear' wrong or unjust. What right do sinful humans with finite understanding have, to judge the actions of an infinite being with perfect knowledge of all things? And of course if God is the Creator of man then He has the perfect right to set the standards of wrong and right and to do whatever He pleases with His creations. I know many people find these premises unpalatable but this is just the simple truth as presented in the Word of God.

Essentially the sole purpose of man is to glorify God. Paul described it this way in 1 Cor 10:31 when he wrote, "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." Whatever God does, He does for His own glory (Eph 1:6, 12, 14). To define what I mean by the "glory of God", the most simple definition is that the "glory of God" refers to His attributes or character (eg. love, mercy omnipotence etc.) so whatever God does He does to display or make known His unique character.

Eph 2:4-7 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

The passage above highlights certain redemptive attributes of God such as His love, mercy, and grace as shown towards sinners. These are an essential part of who God is but these attributes (in their redemptive sense) can only be displayed or known if sin is present. Paul expands on this thought in Romans 9:22-23:

What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,

Now this conclusion may upset you (many Christians struggle with it as well) but ultimately God allowed sin to enter His creation so that He might display to men and angels the fullness of His glory or character. Without sin God's mercy would forever remain a mystery since mercy is unnecessary in a perfect world with perfect creatures. On the other side of the coin, God's wrath would also remain a mystery without sinful men and angels to come under His judgment.

However unless you think we are just pawns in some cosmic chess game, the Bible also affirms man's responsibility for his own actions or sin and that men willingly reject God in favour of their sin which they love (John 3:19-20). There is also God's free gift of salvation which is offered to all if they wish to escape God's judgment and be saved from their sin. Now there is obviously certain philosophical paradoxes regarding the sovereignty of God and the will of man that our human minds cannot reconcile but that is to be expected when dealing with an infinite being. If we could fully comprehend the mind of God then God is essentially limited to human understanding and then becomes something far less than the eternal, omniscient being presented in the Bible:

Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

What we do know about God from the Bible is ALL we need to know to be saved from our sins. I pray that you can see your need for salvation and that you will place your faith in Christ who took the punishment for your sins and mine too. If you are honestly seeking God and His forgiveness then His Spirit will confirm these truths in your mind and remove any doubts you might have.

Cheers

Leigh

Nihil Obstat
Jan 13th 2008, 08:51 AM
Would God have created us if Satan hadnt rebelled.

Satan (Lucifer) rebelled because God was going to create man... and man would be closer to God than he would ever be.

JesusLovesYou
Jan 13th 2008, 03:49 PM
We are here to bring glory to God.
Nothing more.
Nothing less.

daughter
Oct 21st 2008, 01:18 PM
Id like to say first of all I am not an athiest and I beleive in a God. And if I told you the values I hold it would sound like a Christian God. It has always been hard for me to accept the story of Christianity becuase of the story itself has never made much since to me however I do try and follow what Jesus taught in the bible.

Hey Rationalist... could you clarify what aspects of Jesus' "teaching" you try to follow?

Evangelist Smith
Oct 21st 2008, 01:36 PM
Hello friend hope u are doing well.

I wanted to address the statement you made

that you try to follow what Jesus taught in the Bible

If you will get your Bible and turn to Mark 1:15 you will see that Christ came into Galiee preaching "Repent ye and Believe the Gospel"

what is the Gospel?

Why must I repent?

The Gospel is this

That Christ died for our sins, was buried and arose the third day according to the scriptures


why must I repent?

and God commanded that all men everywhere repent

I tell ye nay except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish

Now once again you say you try to follow what Jesus taught in the Bible

so that tells me tht you do believe in Jesus

Correct?

and with that being said

Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins, that He was buried and arose on the third day?

Do you believe this? It is Christ' teachings.



God bless
Evang.dare

tango
Oct 21st 2008, 05:33 PM
Closing the thread pending a review.