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Diolectic
Jan 20th 2008, 08:39 PM
I am very serious, these are incredibly valid points that people make God out to be and do.

Knowing that the Lamb was slain(the atonement) from before the foundation of the world(Rev 13:8 (http://www.biblegateway.net/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NKJV&x=0&y=0&passage=Rev+13%3A8)).
Some people make this to be only for a chosen few(the Elect), where God is not ALL Loving and very finite in grace; Creating men that are the non-chosen few. These must be hated creations, for the very purpose of being destroyed in hell, which is contrary to reality.

Some people are claiming that man can not even do what is required to be right with God which is to repent and put his faith in/on Christ.

Some people claim that one must be "regenerated" first before he can even attempt to repent and put his faith in/on Christ.

This puts the blame on God for them not obeying the command of repenting and putting his faith in/on Christ.

The blame is on Him because one is excused from a command until one is able.

Example:
A family has a law that all members must take turns mowing the lawn.
Along comes Junior, a day old infant.
Is Junior included in the law to maw the lawn, or is he excluded until the ability is come?
This is a fact of reality and can not be discounted just because it is about God.

Some people's theology has God literally condemning Junior to hell for not mowing the lawn by not giving him the ability first and letting him willingly choose to disobey.
If a father did this in reality, he would be deemd a sadistic, devilish tyrant. Why isn't God the same if this is true?

Or, to put this analogy to reality, You have man with no ability to do what is required to be right with God which is to repent and put his faith in/on Christ.
Some people's theology has God condemning man to hell for not doing that which they can no do.

This theology makes God wrathful and hating man from the result of His own doing.
This theology makes God wrathful and hating man because He Himself made them blind.
This theology makes God wrathful and hating man because He Himself would not let them obey by not regenerating them.

This theology makes God wrathful and hating man because He Himself made the law of "Federal Headship of Adam" so that all mankind would be condemned in Adam before any one was born(Psalm 51:5 (http://www.biblegateway.net/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NKJV&x=0&y=0&passage=Psalm+51%3A5)).

This theology makes God wrathful and hating man because He Himself made the very nature of man to be sin by the law of "Federal Headship of Adam" which HE Himself instituted. This nature causes all mankind to sin and go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.(Psalm 58:3 (http://www.biblegateway.net/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NKJV&x=0&y=0&passage=Psalm+58%3A3)).
(note: I do not agree to the way these Scriptures are used here)

Anyone
Please explain How God is Justified in doing all this with out saying, "God is God and I am not, so I have no right to think any thing that lines up with reality and compare it to GOD."
Or
"He is god, he can do what he wants even though it goes against all that is correct, and who am I anyway to question God."
This theology does not line up with reality, How can God do what is not real?

Again, I am seriouse, Please explain this theology with out the above excuses.

This is the God this theolgy presents:
(note: I do not agree to the this specific usage of the Psalms here)

God could have made a world with no sin when it is evident that HE didn't, means that He chose the world that has sin over the one that didn't. This, in turn, means that He wanted sin to exist.

He then made Adam to sin by His sovereignty(the ultimate cause of everything and ultimate control of everything); the reasoning behind this is if Adam did sin against God's will, that would mean that Adams will is greater than God's.

God made the law of "Federal Headship of Adam" so that all mankind would be condemned in Adam before any one was born(Psa 51:5 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=KJV&passage=Psa+51%3A5)). This causes the very nature of man to be sin, hence the "sin nature". This nature causes all mankind to sin and go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.(Psa 58:3 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=KJV&passage=Psa+58%3A3)).
(note: I do not agree to the way these Scriptures are used here)

God commands all mankind to do the impossible and condemns man for not obeying. Man is condemned for that which is unavoidable. Therefore, man is doing that which he was created to do, that is to sin.

Those who are pre-selected to hell in contraposition to the Elect, can not ever repent because God refuses to give them the ability and condemns for it.

jeffreys
Jan 20th 2008, 08:49 PM
First of all, if God gives us a gift, yet we refuse to accept and open it, that's not God's fault.

Second, the Psalms are poetry. And poetry - by its nature - is emotive, flamboyant and aggrandizing. If I tell my wife that my love for her is "deeper than the deepest sea", it would be foolish of her to go do research about how deep the deepest sea is, then argue with me that - at 6'1" - it is physically impossible for me to have a deeper love for her than the deepest sea. It would be wise for her to smile, and rest assured that she is deeply and unconditionally loved by her husband. To force literal meanings into poetry is to often miss the point of it entirely.

Toolman
Jan 20th 2008, 09:04 PM
Dio,

The "free-will"/arminian doctrine falls to the same accusations.

Free-will theology describes God as a being who fully knowing that those He creates will never place faith in Him and therefore be damned, nonetheless chooses to create them knowing full well, before creating them, that they will end up being damned.

Many claim that there is no way a loving God would create a being who He knows their end will be nothing be eternal torment. In what way would this be loving towards that creature knowing they will never repent.

That is why you have seen the doctrine of open-theism creep into the arminian denominations because then the omniscience of God can be denied thereby "dumbing" Him down.

In your example, the father does not have onmiscience therefore he doesn't know if "junior" will grow to be able to mow the lawn or not. This is not the case with God, he knows all things and knows before creating "junior" whether he will mow the lawn or not. So, the analogy, on many levels, doesn't catch all the nuances of God.

Diolectic
Jan 20th 2008, 09:52 PM
These are the logical conclusions to some peoples interp of the Bible.

I think a better way to do this is for those to explain pont by point.
To make the questions clearer, I emboldend the context.
Please give a piont by point explaination of each.
OR
Give the rease why you can/will not.

1: Some people make the Atonement to be only for a chosen few(the Elect) where God is not ALL Loving and very finite in grace. In contrast which the Atonement is for all and is ALL Loving and infinite in grace.

2: Please explain that God would Create sentient men that are the non-chosen, non-elect. These must be hated creations, for the very purpose of being destroyed in hell. Therefore, man is doing that which he was created to do, that is to sin & yet, being condemd for it.
The non-elect have no grace to be saved because the Atonement is not for them.
They were never suposed to be saved in the first place, which makes them created only to be distroyed in hell.
Therefore, they are not in hell for what they have done, but in hell for that wich they were created for.

3: Please explain how that man can not even do what is required to be right with God which is to repent and put his faith in/on Christ.
Man is condemned for that wich is unavoidable.

4: Please explain how that one must be "regenerated" first before he can even attempt to repent and put his faith in/on Christ. This theology makes God wrathful and hating man because GOD would not let them obey by not regenerating them.
Man is guilty for what God will not do.

This puts the blame on God for not giving them the ability to obey the command to repent and to put his faith in/on Christ.

5: Please explain why God would condemn man from the result of His own doing.
or
Man is guilty for what God did.
This is God making man candemned before the crime of sin by the law of "Federal Headship of Adam".
By this, God made the very nature of man to be sin by the law of "Federal Headship of Adam" which HE Himself instituted, this causes the very nature of man to be sin, hence the "sin nature".

6: Please explain why God would make a world with sin when HE could have made one that didn't.
This means that He chose the world that has sin over the one that didn't. This, in turn, means that He wanted sin to exist, & yet condemns for that which HE wills.

When the truth is that God could not have made a world woith out sin and not infringe on free will.
(He couldn't have made a world with no sin by making a world with no laws, God is not lawless)

7: Please explain how God wanted Adam to sin.
Some say this as true.

8: Please explain how those who are pre-selected to hell in contraposition to the Elect, can not ever repent because God refuses to give them the ability(regeneration) and condemns for it.
(Man is guilty for what God pre-ordains to be.)

One more question.
9: Do you think that it is GOD who rejects man, instead of man rejecting GOD?

Diolectic
Jan 20th 2008, 09:55 PM
First of all, if God gives us a gift, yet we refuse to accept and open it, that's not God's fault.

Second, the Psalms are poetry. And poetry - by its nature - is emotive, flamboyant and aggrandizing. If I tell my wife that my love for her is "deeper than the deepest sea", it would be foolish of her to go do research about how deep the deepest sea is, then argue with me that - at 6'1" - it is physically impossible for me to have a deeper love for her than the deepest sea. It would be wise for her to smile, and rest assured that she is deeply and unconditionally loved by her husband. To force literal meanings into poetry is to often miss the point of it entirely.Amen!
I agree with you.

I hate it when some use poetic scripture as doctrine. I can proove by scripture useing poetic scripture that the sun actualy revolves around the earth instread of the Earth around the sun.

Diolectic
Jan 20th 2008, 10:01 PM
Dio,

The "free-will"/arminian doctrine falls to the same accusations.That is why I am neither arminian nor Calvinist.

Call me a semi-pelagian Molinist.


Free-will theology describes God as a being who fully knowing that those He creates will never place faith in Him and therefore be damned, nonetheless chooses to create them knowing full well, before creating them, that they will end up being damned.Correct.
Mankind are created to worship Him.
The reason that they are going to hell is for choosing not to do what they are created for.


Many claim that there is no way a loving God would create a being who He knows their end will be nothing be eternal torment. In what way would this be loving towards that creature knowing they will never repent. He gave them all a choice to in the matter.

But, according to some peoples theology/doctrine, He doesn't give anybody a choice, He creates some as elect and some non-elet.

If one is of the elect, he has no choice because He was created for the sole purpose to be saved.
In contraposision to the "elect", was created for the sole purpose to be destroyed in hell.

Sure, there is an "apearance" of choice in their theology/doctrine, but in reality, the choice is ultimatly made by God.
God "regenerates", only some, so that they can not deny(no choice).
You might say that they had a choice in the matter after the "regeneration", then that would mean that they could have still rejected Him while being "regenerated"
That goes in contradiction to "irrisistable grace"
One has no choice in resisting, otherwise, it would not be irrisistable.
Furthermore, you would have a "born agian" sinner that rejects Christ.

So, in regards to your question. God creates all mankind out of love. He gives all a choice in the matter because He loves them.

Why would He create some that HE knows that will reject Him by choice?
He could not have made a world with out some being lost and not infringe upon free will.
Otherwise, He would most definatly save all by infringing uppon free will and electing all.

Would you seriously bake a poop pie?

That is the same as God creating a "non-elect", "vessle of wrath".
A poop pie would only be made for the sole purpose of being flushed down the toilet. So it is with the so called "non-elect" according to your theology.

drew
Jan 21st 2008, 02:05 AM
Hello Diolectic:

I essentially agree with your analysis as per the OP. I have not read any of the other responses yet, so I hope that I am not repeating.

I do not believe that the Scriptures teach "election" of individuals to salvation or to loss.

You are entirely correct in your view (as I understand it) that it is incoherent and nonsensical to suggest that we deserve to punished for being born "in Adam's sin". I submit that no human can truly make sense of the idea that a person is morally culpable for actions in respect to which he does not have the power of contrary choice.

Still, I think that there is a way that we can believe that we are born "doomed to die" as a result of Adam's sin without doing such violence to concepts of justice and guilt.

More specifically, I suggest that it is more coherent to think of the act of Adam more as "damaging the human DNA we all inherit" and not in terms of matters of moral guilt. So, on the view that I am proposing, Adam sins and the very fabric of the world is damaged such that we lose our immortality.

Part of my view about this includes the assertion that there is something deeply fundamental about the nature of created reality that "ties God's hands" in this respect. In short, an unavoidable (even for God) consequence of the creation of a universe as rich as ours is that, if Adam sins, all his children lose the immortality they otherwise would have been given.

On this view, we are not so much "guilty in Adam" as we are "damaged goods". By analogy, consider the child born with Aids. He is guilty of nothing, but he still has a big problem to deal with - his body is destined to get sick and die.

One final aspect of this overall view - I think that the Bible teaches that the lost are annihilated and not tormented eternally.

Does this overall picture address some of your "theological" concerns?

Clifton
Jan 21st 2008, 02:57 AM
What I have gleaned from the scriptures in the past few decades, is that when it comes to the Elect and those "predestined", that refers to certain individuals, say for one example, (which should be enough), Moses;
1Co 10:2 and all were immersed into Mosheh in the cloud and in the sea, ... (The Scriptures 1998+)

The element of immersion (re: baptism) here is: into/unto the Name Of Moses, meaning, "identified with the character and purpose." (Like when we get saved, we are immersed "into the name of the Lord" - a spiritual immersion);

Now, Moses was of the Elect and Predestined. The Israelites that believed into Moses, and continued to follow him, because in following him, they followed God, are integrated into the FAMILY of the Elect. They had a choice either to join the family (of the elect), or reject it - it was their choice.

So, that is my concluded thoughts regarding the Elect, and I have believed it in this manner for a very long time. As for people who think "that no matter what you do, you are going to where you are going to in eternity either way", well, my response to that is, "Praise The Lord for the gift of COMMON SENSE" ;) [EDIT: I should have pointed out that COMMON SENSE dictates that "...no matter what you do, you are going to where you are going to in eternity either way" does not apply to everybody"]

bjones
Jan 21st 2008, 04:53 AM
When Adam ate the fruit he died that very day, lest you make God a liar. He must have died spiritually since his physical body lived on.

When Seth was born he had the image and likeness of Adam, a living body and dead spirit. We are all born in the same way with living bodies and dead spirits which is why we must be born again. It is also why we are "condemned already" as it says in John 3.

So Adam died without spiritually living heirs. Jesus fulfills the Leverate law by producing living heirs on behalf of "the first man".

There is nothing unfair about producing life where there is only death. No one can accuse God of not producing more life here or there, when they are themselves incapable of producing any life at all.

Toolman
Jan 21st 2008, 03:26 PM
That is why I am neither arminian nor Calvinist.

Call me a semi-pelagian Molinist.


Ok :)


Correct.
Mankind are created to worship Him.
The reason that they are going to hell is for choosing not to do what they are created for.

This is where you are misrepresenting reformed theology.

Reformed theology teaches that man, of his own will, chooses to hate God and love sin. Man does this of his own will because that is what he wants to do.

God chooses to give grace to some (He does not owe grace to anyone.. that's why its grace). By this grace He actively changes the will of whom He chooses, by grace not force, to desire His Son instead of sin.

Men choose sin of their own will not by force.




He gave them all a choice to in the matter.

But, according to some peoples theology/doctrine, He doesn't give anybody a choice, He creates some as elect and some non-elet.

If one is of the elect, he has no choice because He was created for the sole purpose to be saved.
In contraposision to the "elect", was created for the sole purpose to be destroyed in hell.

Sure, there is an "apearance" of choice in their theology/doctrine, but in reality, the choice is ultimatly made by God.
God "regenerates", only some, so that they can not deny(no choice).
You might say that they had a choice in the matter after the "regeneration", then that would mean that they could have still rejected Him while being "regenerated"
That goes in contradiction to "irrisistable grace"
One has no choice in resisting, otherwise, it would not be irrisistable.
Furthermore, you would have a "born agian" sinner that rejects Christ.

So, in regards to your question. God creates all mankind out of love. He gives all a choice in the matter because He loves them.

Why would He create some that HE knows that will reject Him by choice?
He could not have made a world with out some being lost and not infringe upon free will.
Otherwise, He would most definatly save all by infringing uppon free will and electing all.

Would you seriously bake a poop pie?

That is the same as God creating a "non-elect", "vessle of wrath".
A poop pie would only be made for the sole purpose of being flushed down the toilet. So it is with the so called "non-elect" according to your theology.

I do not believe in a limited atonement, just for the record. I was just pointing out flaws in your own theology, which limits atonement and misunderstandings of reformed theology.

My theology believes that God is actually wise enough, powerful enough and loving enough to save all that He has determined to save.

Arminian theology (or semi-pelagian molinist, middle knowledge, etc.) believe that God is unable to save all. Reformed calvinists believe that God is unwilling to save all.

I hold to neither position but believe scripture is clear that God is both willing and able to save to the utmost.

watchinginawe
Jan 21st 2008, 03:53 PM
Arminian theology (or semi-pelagian molinist, middle knowledge, etc.) believe that God is unable to save all.Hello Toolman.

Since we are worried about mischaracterizations in the thread, I wanted to point out that "unable" is your word and is used for effect here. I think it is safe to say that most everyone posting on these forums do not believe that God is "unable" as in "wise enough", "powerful enough", or "loving enough" to do as He wills determinately. This includes judgment.

God Bless!

drew
Jan 21st 2008, 04:00 PM
Reformed theology teaches that man, of his own will, chooses to hate God and love sin. Man does this of his own will because that is what he wants to do.
I am hopng that you can explain what you mean here in a little more detail. Just so that you will know where I am coming from, I would find the following argument to be logically self-defeating:

1. Premise: it is indeed true that man cannot be held morally accountable for something over which he has no power of contrary choice.

2. Man is born with desires to sin. These desires are made manfest by wanting to sin. Because man is not born with any faculty to "balance" this desire to sin, man will indeed act out those wants and "choose" to sin.

3. Because man only does what he wants to do, he is acting of "his own will" and is therefore culpable for his actions.

This is a flawed argument, since, I think, it tries to vest moral accountability in the "wanting" tendency -a tendency which cannot be resisted.

The unsophisticated reader will think "Fred must be morally accountable for his sin, since he wants to do it". But this is not proper thinking: if Fred is born with wants that he does not have the power to resist, his acting on those wants is something he has no control over. He cannot, therefore, be seen as morally accountable.

Toolman
Jan 21st 2008, 04:05 PM
The unsophisticated reader will think "Fred must be morally accountable for his sin, since he wants to do it". But this is not proper thinking: if Fred is born with wants that he does not have the power to resist, his acting on those wants is something he has no control over. He cannot, therefore, be seen as morally accountable.

Just to help me out here Drew, do you believe that men have the ability within themselves, apart from God's Spirit at work in them, to resist sin and live righteously?

drew
Jan 21st 2008, 04:24 PM
Just to help me out here Drew, do you believe that men have the ability within themselves, apart from God's Spirit at work in them, to resist sin and live righteously?
No I do not believe that men have such an ability.

However, I do not argue that we are morally accountable for being born with an irresistable desire to sin. We are indeed born with such a nature, and we indeed do sin. And sin leads to death.

But, and this is key, the death that results is not "punishment" that is grounded in matters of moral accountability. It is rather the consequence of having "damaged DNA" that we inherited from Adam.

Consider a child born with HIV. Is that child morally culpable for having the virus? Of course not. Will he get sick and die if not treated? Yes, he will.

In short, there is an alternative to seeing this whole issue in terms of a "guilt-accountability" paradigm. We are born with a certain nature that will inevitably lead to death unless God intervenes. The sin nature entered the world with Adam's death. We are no more "accountable" for being born with that nature than is the child who is born with HIV.

In both cases, death is the result, unless somebody intervenes. And thankfully of us, God has indeed intervened and "fixed" his damaged creation so that we can escape death.

Toolman
Jan 21st 2008, 04:36 PM
No I do not believe that men have such an ability.

However, I do not argue that we are morally accountable for being born with an irresistable desire to sin. We are indeed born with such a nature, and we indeed do sin. And sin leads to death.

But, and this is key, the death that results is not "punishment" that is grounded in matters of moral accountability. It is rather the consequence of having "damaged DNA" that we inherited from Adam.

Consider a child born with HIV. Is that child morally culpable for having the virus? Of course not. Will he get sick and die if not treated? Yes, he will.

In short, there is an alternative to seeing this whole issue in terms of a "guilt-accountability" paradigm. We are born with a certain nature that will inevitably lead to death unless God intervenes. The sin nature entered the world with Adam's death. We are no more "accountable" for being born with that nature than is the child who is born with HIV.

In both cases, death is the result, unless somebody intervenes. And thankfully of us, God has indeed intervened and "fixed" his damaged creation so that we can escape death.

As a biblical universalist I could definitely find some common ground with what you propose, though I personally am not at the point of throwing out penal substitution as one facet of the atonement, but I know not all share my conviction there.

So, just to be crystal clear here, you reject the doctrine of eternal torment, i.e. that God torments (mentally or physically) for eternity those who sin against Him and reject Christ?

As to this particular thread, those who teach that God judges sinners by burning people for eternity (arminian and reformed) have to wrestle with the issue of God being a "loving God". Those were the issues I was addressing in this thread. As so often happens we have, IMO, a issue of the pot calling the kettle black. The arminian has to contend with God's foreknowledge. In free will theology God created men who He knew, with full foreknowledge, He would eternally damn and torment and yet He still chose to create such creatures. The same type questions of "Why would a loving God do that?" can be leveled there and often are by many atheists, agnostics, etc.

drew
Jan 21st 2008, 05:24 PM
So, just to be crystal clear here, you reject the doctrine of eternal torment, i.e. that God torments (mentally or physically) for eternity those who sin against Him and reject Christ?
You read me like a book. I am indeed in that minority who believes that the unredeemed are annihilated, not tormented forever.

Toolman
Jan 21st 2008, 05:32 PM
You read me like a book. I am indeed in that minority who believes that the unredeemed are annihilated, not tormented forever.

Alright.. I am in a minority myself so I can dig it :)

So, just to further dig down a bit. When you say "annihilated" do you subscribe that this is God's judgement upon the "unredeemed" or is it just the natural consequence of sin and God has absolutely nothing to do with it?

Pleroo
Jan 21st 2008, 05:34 PM
Funny, I was thinking this very thing last night and here it is in a thread title.

Theology: the field of study and analysis that treats of God and of God's attributes and relations to the universe; study of divine things or religious truth; divinity.

We [I'm referring specifically to Christians here] study God and how He relates to man and we think we've got certain aspects of that all worked out. We have our understanding of atonement, of salvation, etc., and we think we know the TRUTH. Newsflash ... carry any of those theories through to the logical conclusions and the conclusions will leave you with even more and deeper questions, most of them rather disturbing.

We're studying GOD here and our relationship with Him. Why do we insist that we are going to have all the answers tied up in a neat little systematic package? Why do we insist that the fatal flaws of other Christian's understanding of GOD are somehow less acceptable and more disturbing than our own?

I woke up with one thought in my mind this morning: "The wisdom of God is unfathomable. Have patience."

Unfathomable: So deep or remote that the limit or extent cannot be found.

The Spirit alone knows the mind of God and He alone can reveal Him to us. Considering that He is unfathomable, don't you think we can have patience in waiting on His revelation of Himself to us, and patience with others as well rather than disdain for those who don't agree with what we've decided is God's complete revelation of Himself and His ways to us?

Toolman
Jan 21st 2008, 05:44 PM
Hey MikeyO,

Well thought out response.

I have a couple of questions for you if that's ok.

1) Were you once a sinner, wicked, unrighteous, ungodly, child of wrath, enemy of God?

If you say yes, then my next question would be did God hate you?

If you say no, then I would I'll address that seperately.

Thanks for any input you can give.

drew
Jan 21st 2008, 06:20 PM
I know that you don't want to hear this but here it is anyway. God is God. He created as you said some vessels for wrath and some for glory.

Rom 9:22-23 [What] if God, willing to shew [his] wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
I believe that this account from Romans 9 has nothing to do with the question of "pre-destining" some to salvation and others to loss. I think that context and Scriptural precedent make it abundantly clear that Paul here is referring to the nation of Israel and how, like the potter and his pot, God has a right to "elect" Israel to play a specific role in God's plan to redeem mankind.

Some elements of the argument:

The context of chapters 9 and the first part of 10 is about God and his relation and treatment of Israel. This focus on Israel is clear throughout the text. Paul re-tells the entire covenant history of Israel starting with Abraham, including Isaac, Jacob, Moses, covenental promises of judgement (v. 28) and finally renewal (Chapter 10:6 and following quotes a covenant renewal passage from Deuteronomy 30). For brevity, I will not quote multiple verses that show that that God's treatment of national Israel is a central theme of chapter 9 (and 10). In such a context, it would hardly make sense for Paul to leave the main flow of the argument and go off on a tangent about the theology of how God treats individuals. Paul is talking about Israel and he maintains this focus throughout.

I will say this about the material that immediately precedes the potter account. Paul writes about Pharoah and Moses and how God has hardened Pharoah. What has God hardened Pharaoh for? To send him to hell when he dies? Hardly. Within the flow of the argument it is clear that God has hardened Pharoah to act in a way that brings about a clear act of redemption on the part of God - the rescue of the Jews from Egypt. I think it is clear that Paul is saying that, just as God hardened Pharoah in order to perform a great act of redemption, so it is that He is hardening Israel, for an ever greater act of redemption on the part of God.

More specificially, as we see in chapter 11, God hardens Israel in their trespasses so that the Gentiles can be grafted into the covenant famiy:

Again I ask: Did they (***national Isreal by context) stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles

We have echoes of the same thing in Romans 5:20 - the Torah is given to Israel to harden them, to make their sin (strangely enough) increase in service of the ultimate plan to redeem all mankind:

The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord


The use of the phrase "so that" indicates divine intention. In the mysterious purposes of God, the nation of Israel is being hardened, exactly like a clay pot, in order that salvation can spread to all the world.

Note what Paul writes at the end of the potter account in Romans 9:

22What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath (***i.e. national Israel) —prepared for destruction? 23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy , whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

Paul is weaving a brilliant and subtle argument - God has sovereignly given the Torah to national Israel so that they will "stumble", and as this text and the one from Romans 11 show, this has salvific effect for the world.

A final point that I will not dwell on in this post. There are texts in Isaiah and Jeremiah where the "potter and his pot" is used clearly in specific relation to God's treatment of the nation of Israel. Paul is no dummy, he intends the reader to understand that the "vessel fitted for destruction" in Romans 9 is Israel. And the vessel of mercy is the true convenant family - containing both Jews and Gentiles.

drew
Jan 21st 2008, 06:24 PM
So, just to further dig down a bit. When you say "annihilated" do you subscribe that this is God's judgement upon the "unredeemed" or is it just the natural consequence of sin and God has absolutely nothing to do with it?
This is a good, challenging question. Let me get back to you.

Toolman
Jan 21st 2008, 06:53 PM
I am still a sinner. Just because I am saved doesn't mean that I do not commit sin. Did God hate me? Mmmm good question. I want to say yes because I was as yet unsaved before the moment of salvation. Thus being a unregenerate sinner with no blood of Christ to pay for my sins I would say yes.
But I also want to say no because Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundations of the earth. He already chose me and died for me before the world began. Christ knew me before creation so He would have viewed me as an elect and thus loving me enough to send His son to die for me.
Very, very good question that I haven't really thought of. I will have to say my answer is no I think. I guess for no other reason than as I just stated. He knew me and thus had mercy on me for no reason. Am I different than an unsaved in how God views me before my salvation? I think so. I think that because He knew He wasn't going to save this or that wicked person God can say He hates them because He had no intention of saving them. But if He intends to save a particular person, I don't think we can say that He hated that person.
Excellent question I think I will ponder more. Just gave a knee jerk response to it. I believe I'm on the right path with my response though.

Thanks for the reply.

Since you are leaning towards a "no" in the respect that God did not hate you, then that causes, IMO, some instability in your soteriology.

If God did not hate you, if you were not under His wrath, then what exactly are you saved from? Why the need for mercy and grace if God's wrath did not rest upon you?

Your position then would not be that "God hates the sinner" as you earlier stated but that God hates some sinners and doesn't hate some other sinners.

But that leaves you with a problem with the text. The scriptures you quoted put no such limitation on God's hate of the wicked.

Just something to think about :)


Oh and by the way. I'm one of those minorities myself. No eternal torment, just annihilation.

Gotcha. My minority is a bit different but thanks for clarifying up front. Makes discussion easier.

Toolman
Jan 21st 2008, 09:25 PM
Toolman,

I agree with your response and I understand just where you are coming from. As I said in my post I wasn't sure which way I should answer since your question to me was rather unique than what I've heard before. However as you said what am I saved from? Yes we are saved from His wrath but did He ever hate me before I was officially saved. God knew me before the foundations of the world and as such saved me from before the foundations of the world. Did His wrath ever abide on me if I am elect? Hmmm questions.

I think that I need to do some bible study on that aspect of salvation. We can both say this or that but without verses to prove our position we are just yapping. I am glad you asked me that though. Gives me a good subject to study up on.

Can't ask for more than that Mikey :) appreciate your openness there.

Another area I would like to address in your post was where you stated:

"God is not all loving and does have a limit to His grace. "

This concerns me in this fashion. When we speak of God's attributes we must be very careful IMO.

For instance, we know that God is holy. I don't think that we would ever claim that God is not all holy and does have a limit to His holiness.

God is just. I don't think we would ever claim that God is not all just and does have a limit to His being just.

In the same manner we cannot, biblically, state that God is not all loving and does have a limit to His love.

Scripture clearly states that God IS love. This is his attribute as much as His holiness or "justness".

God is Holy. He cannot, by His nature, do anything that is unholy.

God is Just. He cannot, by His nature, do anything that is unjust.

God is Love. He cannot, by His nature, do anything that is unloving.

Either His attributes stand immutable or they do not.

Therefore whatever God chooses to do He chooses to do so out of love. His justice and love are not in opposition to one another but are in harmony.

So, with this in mind, we can see that even God's justice and His wrath flow from His love. There is no other option unless we are going to limit his attributes.

Just, once again, something to ponder.

bjones
Jan 21st 2008, 11:10 PM
Just a word of caution in the use of logic.

Logic speaks to the method of reaching a conclusion, not to the truthfulness of the conclusion.

Logic is a system designed to limit the structure and content of the input data, so that it can be evaluated within a fixed set of algorithms.

In logic, the statement, "it is true because God said so" is considered a fallacy, however, in truth, sometimes that statement is the most logical and wise answer.

I am not suggesting that statement to be used in place of reasonable discussion, however, whenever someone says "God would or wouldn't do this or that" it is on the face a straw-man argument since God will do as He pleases.

Trust in God trumps logic. The real question is not about the hypothetical responsibility of man and God in salvation, but your responsibility for your sin and choices today.

So whether your logic says that you have chosen to be pre-determined, or predetermined to have free will, God says, "Choose you this day whom you will serve."

drew
Jan 22nd 2008, 12:19 AM
Are you saying that God is incapable of hating someone? That can't be because of the verses I quoted already but will for the sake of ease quote again here.

Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

I think the case is overwhelming: Romans 9 has absolutely nothing to do with matters of individuals being "elected" to salvation or loss. Paul here is making the case that God has the right to "use" nations, and even individual people for his redemptive purposes. That he is not talking about election in the "salvation" sense is clear from the example of Pharoah which follows immediately. Paul writes:

17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth

If one tries to pursue the argument that Paul is talking about "salvation", one is forced to conclude that Paul is here talking about Pharoah being elected unto eternal loss. But context shows us that this is clearly not what Paul is talking about. He is talking about God's "election" of Pharoah, not to damnation, but rather to persecuting the Hebrews so that God could "display his power" by delivering the Jews from Egypt. Paul is not taking about God's right to elect people to salvation or to loss, he is talking about God's right to "elect" nations (and arguably people) to do certain specific things in redemptive history.

Besides, I think it is otherwise clear that Romans 9 and 10 are all about God's "right" to use national Israel as the place where sin gets accumulated through the effect of Torah. Paul is dealing with national Israel and it would be very unlike Paul to insert a theological tangent about the predestination of individuals to salvation or to loss in the middle of a treatment that is so obviously about national Israel.

Diolectic
Jan 22nd 2008, 02:00 AM
Correct.
Mankind are created to worship Him.
The reason that they are going to hell is for choosing not to do what they are created for.This is where you are misrepresenting reformed theology.

Reformed theology teaches that man, of his own will, chooses to hate God and love sin. Man does this of his own will because that is what he wants to do..
But, according to reformed theology/doctrine, He doesn't give anybody a choice, He creates some as elect and some non-elet....
Choice is not in the reformed theology/doctrine.



God chooses to give grace to some (He does not owe grace to anyone.. that's why its grace). By this grace He actively changes the will of whom He chooses, by grace not force, to desire His Son instead of sin.The contrast to this is that HE will not(unwilling to) give grace to the others. This means that HE does not want to save some. This make GOD out to be very finit in grace and not all loving.

The truth of the matter is that HE peasently gives all mankind the grace to be saved, but some reject it.


Men choose sin of their own will not by force.If one can not do anything els but to sin, that is not a choice.
Therefore, according to reformed theology/doctrine, No one chooses to sin, but they are only doing what is natural(sin nature). They can not choose not to sin.
Example:
No one chooses to breath, it is our nature to breeth, so it is with the theory of "sin nature"
Therefore, if one can not choose contrary, one is innocent by defaul.


My theology believes that God is actually wise enough, powerful enough and loving enough to save all that He has determined to save.If HE is determined to save some, then HE is determined not to save others.
This is wrong.


Arminian theology (or semi-pelagian molinist, middle knowledge, etc.) believe that God is unable to save all. Reformed calvinists believe that God is unwilling to save all.

I hold to neither position but believe scripture is clear that God is both willing and able to save to the utmost.Unable to save all or unwilling to save all, what other alternative is there?

If HE is willing to save "to the utmost", what do you make of those that are not saved?
Does God not want or is HE unable to save those who do not become saved?
I don't see any other alternative, there is no middle ground.

Toolman
Jan 22nd 2008, 03:45 AM
Toolman,

I have to disagree with this particular statement. Is God love? Yes He is but we have to define what God means by that. When the bible talks of God's love for any people it refers to His elect.

It is only your theology which directs His love towards only the elect.
Scripture clearly points out God's love for His enemies and those outside of the elect.
I can scripturally defend that position if you so desire.


Are you saying that God is incapable of hating someone? That can't be because of the verses I quoted already but will for the sake of ease quote again here.

No, I'm not saying that. In fact I'm agreeing with it. But we must then understand that God's wrath, His hate, His anger is generated from a position of His attribute of love (and justice and holiness, etc.).

So, biblically, we can understand that God's wrath (hatred, judgement, chastisement, discipline, punishment, etc.) are for a loving purpose towards His creation.

God cannot do anything that is unloving (just as He cannot do anything unholy or unjust). Therefore we can see even His severity is for our good.

Just as He hated you when you were wicked, His enemy, a child of wrath (if He didn't then the scriptures you post below are meaningless) yet demonstrated His love towards you helps us understand God's hate.


Psa 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

Psa 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

These verses teach clearly that God hates sinners. There isn't really anyway around this from the bible. God's love is unlimited when talking about His love for the elect. But the opposite is true when talking about the damned. Look in the OT for example after example of God destroying people. Did He love those people He brought judgement to? No.

There are abundant scriptures which teach of God's love for sinners, so we must take the whole of scripture and the full revelation to understand God's work of redeeming that which was His enemy, i.e. mankind.


Now some might try to say that yes He loved them but He's also just and must carry out the penalty of sin. Much as a father spanks a child. If that was true God would just save every single human soul that ever lived so He wouldn't have to condemn anyone.

Now, that is a wonderful, grace filled thought :)
Greatly magnifies the atoning work of Christ.


If God's love was unlimited to everyone then that is what He would do. No threat of damnation if God can not hate.

Just as God hated you when you were condemned (and you were when you were in unbelief), He also revealed His love for you in that condemnation.

Pretty merciful huh? Sounds like good news doesn't it!


Then that opens up the free will perspective of us choosing or not. God loves us and wants us to choose Him but if we don't God must, though loving us destroy us.

God can save all just as well as He could save one, through His regenerating work of grace. The number He saves has no bearing on how He saves them.


Now I am not a free willer so I don't buy that argument at all. But I think you see where this discussion will end up. It will end up with us talking about how we are saved and I don't think that this is the proper thread to do that in. It kinda gets off the subject a little from the original post by Diolectic.

I personally lean much more strongly towards a reformed soteriology and my purpose here was not to argue against that.

My point is in regards to the scriptures you posted and your limitation of God's attributes. If He is love then He cannot do anything that is unloving, just as He cannot do anything unholy or unjust.
This gives us a good understanding of how God's hate plays a role in God's love revealed to a people who are condemned and under His wrath.

If the "elect" are not under His wrath, are not condemned, are not subject to His hate then they have no need for atonement and reformed theology has a huge hole.

Hope that gives some food for thought.

Toolman
Jan 22nd 2008, 04:02 AM
But, according to reformed theology/doctrine, He doesn't give anybody a choice, He creates some as elect and some non-elet....
Choice is not in the reformed theology/doctrine.

That is incorrect understanding of reformed theology.

God allows the "unelect" to choose of their own will what they desire. 100% of the time they desire to reject God and His ways. That is their willfull choice.

God, by grace, works in the "elect" to change their will where they will desire to choose Christ.

That is reformed soteriology.


The contrast to this is that HE will not(unwilling to) give grace to the others. This means that HE does not want to save some. This make GOD out to be very finit in grace and not all loving.

I won't disagree with that at all. The reformed believe that God's saving love is for the elect only. He allows the unelect to choose of their own will.

But arminian (or middle knowledge, free-will or whatever) also are accused of an unloving God (visit any atheist site for confirmation) because He creates creatures that He knows full well will be damned and they will never be saved yet He still chooses to create them knowing full well their end is only to be damned.

The finger points way if you will


The truth of the matter is that HE peasently gives all mankind the grace to be saved, but some reject it.

We don't disagree.


If one can not do anything els but to sin, that is not a choice.

Men choose to sin of their own will. Scripture clearly shows that.


Therefore, according to reformed theology/doctrine, No one chooses to sin, but they are only doing what is natural(sin nature). They can not choose not to sin.
Example:
No one chooses to breath, it is our nature to breeth, so it is with the theory of "sin nature"
Therefore, if one can not choose contrary, one is innocent by defaul.

Men choose to sin of their own will. Its not that they cannot choose but the WILL NOT choose.


If HE is determined to save some, then HE is determined not to save others.
This is wrong.

Well, is God obligated to save anyone? If He is then He must do it by force and not by grace and mercy.

Grace and mercy by their definition is not something that one is owed but something that is given by choice of the one giving.


Unable to save all or unwilling to save all, what other alternative is there?

Both willing and able to save all, of course.


If HE is willing to save "to the utmost", what do you make of those that are not saved?
Does God not want or is HE unable to save those who do not become saved?
I don't see any other alternative, there is no middle ground.

Sure there is, it just takes a little thought :)

Gulah Papyrus
Jan 22nd 2008, 04:13 AM
Do you have to be hated by God to feel His wrath? God doesn't hate any person, he hates sin and evil. If he didn't love unsaved sinners then he wouldn't have sent Jesus, right?

Is this even relevent? I dodn't read all of the posts... : )

diamondeb
Jan 22nd 2008, 04:29 AM
I just stumbled into this one. But from what I skimmed over it looks like mankind is still arguing over what is what and which is which and who is who and whatever else there might be to argue over. I think I read somewhere there will always be war and rumor of wars.

My own personal belief is God is God. The same yesterday, today and forever. He loves all equally. He wants that all should be saved. He offers the gift of eternal life to all. He is to be feared. He is to be honored. He is to be worshipped. He cannot be put into a box. Our human minds will never be able to comprehend Him and His ways. The Holy Spirit can reveal things to us if we are willing to hear, and not just hear with our ears. Jesus told us to seek and we will find, knock and the door will be open.

What are you seeking? Are you willing to see what is behind the door?

Mankind has not had an open spirit because mostly the mind is closed.

Just my thoughts. :hmm:

My heart's Desire
Jan 22nd 2008, 06:13 AM
It would bother me to think that God would hate the ones He created even if they were under His wrath. John 3:16 God so loved the WORLD that He gave...
That verse doesn't divide the world into the evil and the good, it includes ALL..God so loved All.
I'll also be willing to admit that I don't know if God created evil, but I do know that God created Adam. He also created Eve but He created Eve from the bone of Adam. Then there was a serpent in the Garden. If God had not have given man the freedom to choose then the serpents efforts would have been for naught for they would not have been able to choose to disobey. Perhaps if the serpent knew they couldn't chose then would there have even been a serpent? Since God made Adam and they did disobey did that mean that God created evil after the Word says that what God created was seen as good?
I also think that God desires all to be saved. The book of Romans tells us that people have no excuse to not believe Him (which to me sounds as if it puts the responsibility totally on us to accept what He has offered) and so to be saved, but some don't believe.

Hawkins
Jan 22nd 2008, 09:36 AM
We don't understand all, that's the point. Do we understand pre-destination, no we don't. Do we understand freewill, no we don't. Do we understand....no we don't.

But we will when we are in Heaven.

Darren
Jan 22nd 2008, 11:21 AM
read the parable of the sower.

what is different about the varying areas of soil?

what does soil have to do to recieve seed?

for soil to be receptive to a sowers seed the soil must first be prepared.

and in a spiritual sense the holy spirit is what prepares the heart of men to recieve the seed of the gospel.

so if the holy spirit prepares, and the sower sows the seed of the gospel, what does the soil do to recieve it?

nothing.

i know this post seems overly simplistic in this argument, but it has always answered those who asked about our part in salvation.


---darren

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 22nd 2008, 02:57 PM
FWIW, here are a few quotes from A. W. Pink from The Sovereignty of God, Chapter Five, The Sovereignty of God in Reprobation…. pages 65,66 regarding the protestant stalwarts of the faith.


“Martin Luther in his most excellent work "De Servo Arbitrio" (Free Will a Slave), wrote: "All things whatsoever arise from, and depend upon, the Divine appointments, whereby it was preordained who should receive the Word of Life, and who should disbelieve it, who should be delivered from their sins, and who should be hardened in them, who should be justified and who should be condemned. This is the very truth which razes the doctrine of freewill from its foundations, to wit, that God's eternal love of some men and hatred of others is immutable and cannot be reversed."

John Fox, whose Book of Martyrs was once the best known work in the English language (alas that is not so today, when Roman Catholicism is sweeping upon us like a great destructive tidal wave!), wrote: "Predestination is the eternal decreement of God, purposed before in Himself, what should befall all men, either to salvation, or damnation."

The "Larger Westminster Catechism" (1688)-adopted by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church-declares, "God, by an eternal and immutable decree, out of His mere love, for the praise of His glorious grace, to be manifested in due time, hath elected some angels to glory, and in Christ hath chosen some men to eternal life, and the means thereof; and also, according to His own will (whereby He extendeth or withholdeth favour as He pleases), hath passed by, and foreordained the rest to dishonour and wrath, to be for their sin inflicted, to the praise of the glory of His justice."

John Bunyan, author of "The Pilgrim's Progress," wrote a whole volume on "Reprobation." From it we make one brief extract:


"Reprobation is before the person cometh into the world, or hath done good or evil. This is evidenced by Romans 9:11. Here you find twain in their mother's womb, and both receiving their destiny, not only before they had-done good or evil, but before they were in a capacity to do it, they being yet unborn-their destiny, I say, the one unto, the other not unto the blessing of eternal life; the one elect, the other reprobate; the one chosen, the other refused."

In his "Sighs from Hell," John Bunyan also wrote: "They that do continue to reject and slight the Word of God are such, for the most part, as are ordained to be damned."

Commenting upon Romans 9:22, "What is God willing to shew His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction," Jonathan Edwards (Vol. 4, p. 306 - 1743 A.D.) says, "How awful doth the majesty of God appear in the dreadfulness of His anger! This we may learn to be one end of the damnation of the wicked."

Augustus Toplady, author of "Rock of Ages" and other sublime hymns, wrote: "God, from all eternity decreed to leave some of Adam's fallen posterity in their sins, and to exclude them from the participation of Christ and His benefits." And again, "We, with the Scriptures, assert: That there is a predestination of some particular persons to life, for the praise of the glory of Divine grace; and also a predestination of other particular persons to death for the glory of Divine justice-which death of punishment they shall inevitably undergo, and that justly, on account of their sins."

George Whitefield, that stalwart of the eighteenth century, used by God in blessing to so many, wrote: "'Without doubt, the doctrine of election and reprobation must stand or fall together... I frankly acknowledge I believe the doctrine of Reprobation, that God intends to give saving grace, through Jesus Christ, only to a certain number; and that the rest of mankind, after the fall of Adam, being justly left to God to continue in sin, will at last suffer that eternal death which is its proper wages."

"Fitted to destruction" (Rom. 9:22). After declaring this phrase admits of two interpretations, Dr. Hodge-perhaps the best known and most widely read commentator on Romans-says, "The other interpretation assumes that the reference is to God and that the Greek word for 'fitted' has its full participle force; prepared (by God) for destruction." This, says Dr. Hodge, "Is adopted not only by the majority of Augustinians, but also by many Lutherans."

Were it necessary we are prepared to give quotations from the writings of Wycliffe, Huss, Ridley, Hooper, Cranmer, Ussher, John Trapp, Thomas Goodwin, Thomas Manton (Chaplain to Cromwell), John Owen, Witsius, John Gill (predecessor of Spurgeon), and a host of others. We mention this simply to show that many of the most eminent saints in bye-gone days, the men most widely used of God, held and taught this doctrine which is so bitterly hated in these last days, when men will no longer "endure sound doctrine"; hated by men of lofty pretensions, but who, notwithstanding their boasted orthodoxy and much advertised piety, are not worthy to unfasten the shoes of the faithful and fearless servants of God of other days.

"O the depth of the riches both of wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For what hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been His counselor? or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever, Amen" (Rom. 11:33-36).”

So the question is, is there evidence that God creates some for salvation and some for destruction?

Romans 9, 11:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Jude 4; Revelation 13:8, 17:8


For God's Glory...

drew
Jan 22nd 2008, 03:18 PM
Hello MikeyO:

I agree that if one chooses selectively from the set of definitions of "world" and "whosoever", one can indeed make John 3:16 work with the notion of a pre-destined elect.

But you are indeed being selective - other choices that could have been made would have made the verse mean something that would indeed not sustain the pre-destination view.

So while your point has some merit, it certainly does not settle the issue as to the meaning of John 3:16.

drew
Jan 22nd 2008, 03:30 PM
Commenting upon Romans 9:22, "What is God willing to shew His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction," Jonathan Edwards (Vol. 4, p. 306 - 1743 A.D.) says, "How awful doth the majesty of God appear in the dreadfulness of His anger! This we may learn to be one end of the damnation of the wicked."
I am going to continue to assert that this is a misreading of Romans 9, even on the part of the redoubtable Jonathon Edwards.

Romans 9 is about Israel. The "vessel of wrath" in verse 22 is Israel. The entire chapter is about Israel. Paul brings up Pharoah and claims that God had the right to harden him. Indeed He does. But, and this is clear from the Scriptures, God did not harden Pharoah in order to "send him to Hell" - He hardened him so that Pharoah would resist Moses' efforts to let the Jews go. God says that is done so that "I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth"

The reference here is the exodus - Paul is saying that God has the right to harden Moses in order to create a situation where God can then deliver his people from that bondage.

The "eternal destination" of Pharoah's soul is of no interest to Paul in this passage. He is talking about Israel, and he argues, albeit by strong implication, that God has the right to harden to harden Israel, just as a potter has the right to manipulate his pot.

What has Israel been hardened for? We get the answer in Romans 11:

Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles...

Paul is consistent throughout - Romans 9 to 11 is about Israel. Questions of whether individual persons are pre-destined to salvation or to loss are nowhere in view.

9Marksfan
Jan 22nd 2008, 03:34 PM
Hello MikeyO:

I agree that if one chooses selectively from the set of definitions of "world" and "whosoever", one can indeed make John 3:16 work with the notion of a pre-destined elect.

But you are indeed being selective - other choices that could have been made would have made the verse mean something that would indeed not sustain the pre-destination view.

So while your point has some merit, it certainly does not settle the issue as to the meaning of John 3:16.

But surely it is the most likely meaning, since predestination is so clearly taught elsewhere in the bible? Scripture does not contradict Scripture!

drew
Jan 22nd 2008, 03:40 PM
But surely it is the most likely meaning, since predestination is so clearly taught elsewhere in the bible? Scripture does not contradict Scripture!
I do not share your opinion about pre-destination being taught in the Scriptures.....as I suspect you already know. It is most definitely not taught in Romans 9, despite repeated efforts to use that passage as a "proof-text" for pre-destination. The case against Romans 9 being about pre-destination is, in my view, a "slam-dunk".

Darren
Jan 22nd 2008, 03:50 PM
maybe it's an either/or.

there is no doubt god predestined that some but not all would be conformed into the likeness of his son. ---romans 8:29-30.

this word in greek is proorizo(predestinate),and it carries the meaning of “determined beforehand,” “ordained,” or“to decide upon ahead of time.”

but, the bible also describes god as accepting anyone who believes in him or seeks him (deuteronomy 4:29).

so it seems within the mystery of god, both could be true, but yet not create a contradiction.

just a thought.

---darren

ProjectPeter
Jan 22nd 2008, 03:57 PM
But surely it is the most likely meaning, since predestination is so clearly taught elsewhere in the bible? Scripture does not contradict Scripture!
But then what do you do with those passages that make it clear that man chooses? There lies the rub... you are taking some passages and using them to nix other passages and with this... I'm with drew. Those passages aren't speaking predestination as put out by those of the Reformed doctrine.

VerticalReality
Jan 22nd 2008, 04:04 PM
I do not share your opinion about pre-destination being taught in the Scriptures.....as I suspect you already know. It is most definitely not taught in Romans 9, despite repeated efforts to use that passage as a "proof-text" for pre-destination. The case against Romans 9 being about pre-destination is, in my view, a "slam-dunk".

So then what would you say about Ephesians 1 that is not talking about Israel?



Ephesians 1:3-12
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, 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, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

9Marksfan
Jan 22nd 2008, 04:13 PM
But then what do you do with those passages that make it clear that man chooses? There lies the rub... you are taking some passages and using them to nix other passages and with this... I'm with drew. Those passages aren't speaking predestination as put out by those of the Reformed doctrine.

Darren has helpfully provided us with Greek definitions of proorizo - are you saying he's wrong?

And what passages make it "clear" that man chooses? And by "clear" I mean the ONLY POSSIBLE MEANING IN THE GREEK! So John 3:16 is out for a start!

I'd also like you to explain why proorizo doesn't mean what Darren says it does.

drew
Jan 22nd 2008, 04:22 PM
So then what would you say about Ephesians 1 that is not talking about Israel?
Thanks for asking this. I do not believe that the Ephesians 1 text is referring to Israel.

I believe that the "predestination" texts in Ephesians 1 do not apply to Christians generally, but rather only to a specific set of New Testament prophets and saints as identified per Eph 3:5:

“which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit”

I am more than happy to give the details of the supporting argument, although that might take multiple posts.

But, as I hope you can see, I actually believe that Ephesians 1 shows that God did indeed act in a specific historical context and did indeed pre-destine some people to salvation. I just don't think one can generalize this beyond that tiny special group.

ProjectPeter
Jan 22nd 2008, 04:29 PM
Let me ask you guys something. What was God's purpose in election?

ProjectPeter
Jan 22nd 2008, 04:30 PM
Daren has helpfully provided us with Greek definitions of proorizo - are you saying he's wrong?

And what passages make it "clear" that man chooses? And by "clear" I mean the ONLY POSSIBLE MEANING IN THE GREEK! So John 3:16 is out for a start!

I'd also like you to explain why proorizo doesn't mean what Darren says it does.
Well there lies the rub... the "definition" itself might have multiple choices... but the context doesn't. And sure I am saying he is wrong.... duh! ;)

ProjectPeter
Jan 22nd 2008, 04:33 PM
And let me add for clarification as I always do in these discussions. I am not a fan of "free will" and think that is really sort of a goofy saying. That being said... I understand that it is the common words used today meaning man has a choice so therefore.... it has to do for discussion sake. I am more of one that adheres to free moral agency.

VerticalReality
Jan 22nd 2008, 04:43 PM
Thanks for asking this. I do not believe that the Ephesians 1 text is referring to Israel.

I believe that the "predestination" texts in Ephesians 1 do not apply to Christians generally, but rather only to a specific set of New Testament prophets and saints as identified per Eph 3:5:

“which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit”

I am more than happy to give the details of the supporting argument, although that might take multiple posts.

But, as I hope you can see, I actually believe that Ephesians 1 shows that God did indeed act in a specific historical context and did indeed pre-destine some people to salvation. I just don't think one can generalize this beyond that tiny special group.

I see . . .

I think that presents serious conflict, however, since Paul informs us who the predestined are prior to verses 3-12 that I presented previously . . .



Ephesians 1:1-2
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


So, as you can see from this passage, Paul is addressing all the saints who are in Ephesus. Paul then goes on in verses 3-12 to include them in his talk of being chosen and predestined by God. Therefore, I can't see in context how this would support your theory.

9Marksfan
Jan 22nd 2008, 04:53 PM
Let me ask you guys something. What was God's purpose in election?

"...that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls)" Rom 9:11b NKJV

"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, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved." Eph 1:4-6 NKJV

"Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" 1 Pet 1:2 NKJV

"But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth" 2 Thess 2:13 NKJV

Actually, that was a great word study in itself!

ProjectPeter
Jan 22nd 2008, 04:53 PM
I see . . .

I think that presents serious conflict, however, since Paul informs us who the predestined are prior to verses 3-12 that I presented previously . . .



So, as you can see from this passage, Paul is addressing all the saints who are in Ephesus. Paul then goes on in verses 3-12 to include them in his talk of being chosen and predestined by God. Therefore, I can't see in context how this would support your theory.
Was Paul talking about each individual person or was Paul simply speaking about the church in Christ?

ProjectPeter
Jan 22nd 2008, 04:58 PM
"...that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls)" Rom 9:11b NKJV

"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, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved." Eph 1:4-6 NKJV

"Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" 1 Pet 1:2 NKJV

"But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth" 2 Thess 2:13 NKJV

Actually, that was a great word study in itself!
So what was the purpose? Safe to say.... that we are saved... new man in CHrist?

drew
Jan 22nd 2008, 05:19 PM
ISo, as you can see from this passage, Paul is addressing all the saints who are in Ephesus. Paul then goes on in verses 3-12 to include them in his talk of being chosen and predestined by God. Therefore, I can't see in context how this would support your theory.
Can you please be more specific - I see nothing of the inclusion of which you speak in 3 to 12. Are you really referring to verse 13 as being the text where the church at Ephesus gets bundled in?

9Marksfan
Jan 22nd 2008, 05:26 PM
So what was the purpose? Safe to say.... that we are saved... new man in CHrist?

As well as being conformed to Christ's image and obedient to him etc - the whole package! But ultimately that we might be "to the praise of His glory"! THAT'S the ULTIMATE purpose! GOD-centred, not MAN-centred!

VerticalReality
Jan 22nd 2008, 05:55 PM
Was Paul talking about each individual person or was Paul simply speaking about the church in Christ?

It could be either I suppose, but I would assume with the phrase "to the saints who are in Ephesus" that it would more than likely encompass all the believers who are in Ephesus.

VerticalReality
Jan 22nd 2008, 06:06 PM
Can you please be more specific - I see nothing of the inclusion of which you speak in 3 to 12. Are you really referring to verse 13 as being the text where the church at Ephesus gets bundled in?

Let me post the entire passage and I'll try to clarify what it is I'm saying . . .



Ephesians 1:1-12
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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, 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, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.


In verse one Paul addresses who he is writing to. In verses four and five Paul encompasses the people he is writing to in regards to the predestined and chosen stuff by using the term "us". The term "us" shows who are those that have been predestined and chosen by God. In this Paul illustrates that all the saints at Ephesus were chosen and predestined by God. So, in order for your theory to be plausible every one of the saints in Ephesus would have had to have been a prophet or apostle.

VerticalReality
Jan 22nd 2008, 06:16 PM
Okay drew, I think I see what you are saying now. Are you saying that you believe that only the first saints of the early church were "elected" and from some point after the early church folks were no longer elected anymore?

drew
Jan 22nd 2008, 06:21 PM
In verse one Paul addresses who he is writing to. In verses four and five Paul encompasses the people he is writing to in regards to the predestined and chosen stuff by using the term "us".
The passage need be read in this way. I add an annotated version showing how I think it can be read:

1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:

2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
{***this is the introduction to the letter and obviously the church at Ephesus is in view above.....}

{***Now, Paul turns to a discussion of what God has done for the "special group that I refer to, we need not read him as still talking about the church at Ephesus - it is entirely plausible that he has finished his introduction and has another "us" in view in the following...}

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us................... {***skip some verses}...................... 11In him we were also chosen,[e (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%201;&version=31;#fen-NIV-29202e)] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also

I think that it is in verse 13 that Paul returns to taking about the church at Ephesus. I am not sure your view can work well here - when Paul says "and you also", he seems to be making it clear that he has hitherto been talking about a different set of persons.

Returning to my assertions about the "introduction" ending at the end of verse 2, I appeal to the following example of one of those Christmas letters that people send which is structurally similar to the Eph 1 intro and shows how such a "transition" can be argued for:

"Dear members of my extended family:

God has blessed us (i.e. the wife and I) this year......."

drew
Jan 22nd 2008, 06:28 PM
Okay drew, I think I see what you are saying now. Are you saying that you believe that only the first saints of the early church were "elected" and from some point after the early church folks were no longer elected anymore?
Basically yes. My present position on the Ephesians 1 text is that God needed to "elect" a small set of persons unto salvation to "get the show on the road" as it were.

I am also able to argue (but have yet to do so) that Paul draws a sharp and clear distinction between this special set of persons and the rest of the world at large.

Also in defence of my view, I think that there is Biblical precedent for God intervening in history and "electing" specific people and / or groups to do a variety of things. I think we tend to forget the redemptive history of God acting in the world and we tend to default to believing that "you" generally denotes "all humanity". Sometimes it doesn't.

VerticalReality
Jan 22nd 2008, 06:28 PM
I think that it is in verse 13 that Paul returns to taking about the church at Ephesus. I am not sure your view can work well here - when Paul says "and you also", he seems to be making it clear that he has hitherto been talking about a different set of persons."

Yeah, I read that differently. I read the "also" as meaning "In addition to what was previously said . . . "

For example, if I'm filling out a resume I would say something like . . .

"I have worked extensively in the medical profession. In addition (or also), I have a working knowledge of computers . . . "

I see the "also" in verse 13 as saying that in addition to what is referenced to them in verses 3-12, they have also trusted in Him.

ProjectPeter
Jan 22nd 2008, 07:08 PM
As well as being conformed to Christ's image and obedient to him etc - the whole package! But ultimately that we might be "to the praise of His glory"! THAT'S the ULTIMATE purpose! GOD-centred, not MAN-centred!Was Jesus ordained before the foundation of the world?

ProjectPeter
Jan 22nd 2008, 07:25 PM
It could be either I suppose, but I would assume with the phrase "to the saints who are in Ephesus" that it would more than likely encompass all the believers who are in Ephesus.Well it stands to reason that Paul would start out his letter like all of them... addressing whom it was he was writing. What I am trying to get the focus on is what exactly it is that was preordained from the foundation of the world here.

Was he speaking of the church... those that are believers (no matter who... in other words not Joe, Bob, Mary and Sue while Frank, Harry, Lilly and Dorothy can't because they aren't "elect") and in fact what was foreordained was Christ? Look at all the Scripture that Nigel posted a bit ago... it's there if folks will look. :)

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 22nd 2008, 10:44 PM
I am going to continue to assert that this is a misreading of Romans 9, even on the part of the redoubtable Jonathon Edwards.

Romans 9 is about Israel. The "vessel of wrath" in verse 22 is Israel. The entire chapter is about Israel. Paul brings up Pharoah and claims that God had the right to harden him. Indeed He does. But, and this is clear from the Scriptures, God did not harden Pharoah in order to "send him to Hell" - He hardened him so that Pharoah would resist Moses' efforts to let the Jews go. God says that is done so that "I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth"

The reference here is the exodus - Paul is saying that God has the right to harden Moses in order to create a situation where God can then deliver his people from that bondage.

The "eternal destination" of Pharoah's soul is of no interest to Paul in this passage. He is talking about Israel, and he argues, albeit by strong implication, that God has the right to harden to harden Israel, just as a potter has the right to manipulate his pot.

What has Israel been hardened for? We get the answer in Romans 11:

Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles...

Paul is consistent throughout - Romans 9 to 11 is about Israel. Questions of whether individual persons are pre-destined to salvation or to loss are nowhere in view.

Setting aside that the audience was the church in Rome, a diverse church of saved Jews and Gentiles, I for one am not quick to dismiss Roman’s 8, 9, 10 and 11 to say this was written just for Israel, for the subject matter is God’s election and the object matter is His elect, all the elect…

Roman’s 10:12-17
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him;
13 for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."
14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?
15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!"
16 However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, "LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?"
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

So I say one must examine Roman’s 9 to see what the real message is, that God is sovereign in salvation as well as events of life, and that His creating a vessel for righteousness that is not all Israel shows the Roman Church that there is One God, One Savior and One Elect.

Exodus 32:13
"Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants to whom You swore by Yourself, and said to them, 'I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heavens, and all this land of which I have spoken I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.'"

Romans 4:13-16
13 For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.
14 For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;
15 for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.
16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,

Romans 9:6-9
6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel;
7 nor are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: "THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED."
8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.

For God’s Glory…

drew
Jan 23rd 2008, 12:13 AM
Setting aside that the audience was the church in Rome, a diverse church of saved Jews and Gentiles, I for one am not quick to dismiss Roman’s 8, 9, 10 and 11 to say this was written just for Israel, for the subject matter is God’s election and the object matter is His elect, all the elect…
The context does not support your assertion here, at least in respect to Romans 9. There really is no debating what Paul is talking about when he writes the opening of chapter 9 - he is talking about Israel:

I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit— 2I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, 4the people of Israel

It is true that Paul then goes on to "name names" - Esau and Jacob, for example. But this is clearly in support of the following assertion that he uses to introduce the bit where he "names names"

6It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children

Paul is making a distinction between "national Israel" and "true Israel". He is not addressing the matter of how individuals are pre-destined to heaven or to hell.

Paul then mentions Pharoah and his hardening. What was Pharoah hardened for? To send him to hell? No. He was hardened so that, so that "I (God, obviously) might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."

It just does not make sense that Paul is talking about a hardening of Pharoah in respect to his eternal destiny. He is hardening Pharoah so that he will try to keep the Jews in Egypt, not to send him to hell when he dies.

Which better supports God's claim that "He (God) will display His power and magnify His (God's) name:

1. God hardens Pharoah to keep the Jews in Egypt so that God can deliver them in spectacular fashion (Red Sea parting, etc.)

2. God hardens Pharoah to show that He has the power to send people to Hell.

I'll take door number one, Monte.

You see, the context really does not support the notion that Paul is talking about an elect that is pre-destined to Heaven anywhere here in Romans 9. Paul is talking about God's use, his "election" if you will, of nations and even specific individuals in order to "set up" the performing of a great act of redemption on the part of God.

How does the doctrine of the election of some to heaven and others to hell bring about the performing of a great act of redemption on the part of God?

It doesn't. Instead, Paul is talking about the election of the nation of Israel to be hardened - just like Pharoah was -and just like the potter hardens his pot.

Just like the hardening of Pharoah "sets up" an act of redemption by God, so does the hardening of Israel: Israel is the "place" where the sin of the world is accumulated so that it can then be borne by Jesus.

I will not argue this last point in this post, but I will if asked.

The remainder of Romans 9 is still all about these 2 "versions" of Israel - ethnic Israel and "true Israel". While there might be other sections of Scripture where the case is made that the members of "true Israel" are "elected" to that status, the argument here is clearly about election with a very different purpose - working out the redemptive plan of God in accordance with the covenant.

Even if individuals are "elected" to be members of true Israel, such election does not fit at all into the argument that Paul is making here.

drew
Jan 23rd 2008, 12:22 AM
Roman’s 10:12-17
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him;
13 for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."
14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?
15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!"
16 However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, "LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?"
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

So I say one must examine Roman’s 9 to see what the real message is, that God is sovereign in salvation as well as events of life, and that His creating a vessel for righteousness that is not all Israel shows the Roman Church that there is One God, One Savior and One Elect.
The text here nowhere suggests that people are specifically "pre-destined" to be saved. I think you cannot make the argument work that Romans 9 has anything to do about what happens to people when they die. If it did, then of course your argument here would have some force. Romans 9 is about election, of course, but not about election to salvation or loss. In Romans 9, Paul, focusing on Israel in particular, talks about nations and individuals being "elected" by God to serve a redemptive purpose.

Pharoah is elected to create a situation where God delivers the Jews from Egypt.

National Israel is elected "stumble" - to be the place where the sin of the world is magnified and concentrated so that Jesus can then bear it and the world saved. Thus we have the following from Romans 11:

because of their (Israel's) transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles....

For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world,...

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 23rd 2008, 03:35 AM
The text here nowhere suggests that people are specifically "pre-destined" to be saved. I think you cannot make the argument work that Romans 9 has anything to do about what happens to people when they die. If it did, then of course your argument here would have some force. Romans 9 is about election, of course, but not about election to salvation or loss. In Romans 9, Paul, focusing on Israel in particular, talks about nations and individuals being "elected" by God to serve a redemptive purpose.

Pharoah is elected to create a situation where God delivers the Jews from Egypt.

National Israel is elected "stumble" - to be the place where the sin of the world is magnified and concentrated so that Jesus can then bear it and the world saved. Thus we have the following from Romans 11:

because of their (Israel's) transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles....

For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world,...



Many thoughts to reply to, but I'll just reply with one question....

What does Romans 9:11 fit into your non-predestined hermeneutics?


Romans 9:11
for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls,


Thanks!

drew
Jan 23rd 2008, 04:57 AM
What does Romans 9:11 fit into your non-predestined hermeneutics?
Greetings:

I never said that God does not pre-destine. I happen to believe that he does not pre-destine people to their eternal fate. On the other hand, I do believe that He "elects" or "pre-destines" people and nations to specific tasks in this present world.

In the case of Romans 9:11, Paul is using Jacob and Esau to illustrate that God "elects" people to different roles in this present world. And Paul drives that home by stating that "the older will serve the younger". Paul does not say "the older will go to hell and the younger will go to heaven".

Paul is addressing "election" to tasks and roles in the present word, not matters of salvation and damnation.

My heart's Desire
Jan 23rd 2008, 06:29 AM
Greetings:

I never said that God does not pre-destine. I happen to believe that he does not pre-destine people to their eternal fate. On the other hand, I do believe that He "elects" or "pre-destines" people and nations to specific tasks in this present world.

In the case of Romans 9:11, Paul is using Jacob and Esau to illustrate that God "elects" people to different roles in this present world. And Paul drives that home by stating that "the older will serve the younger". Paul does not say "the older will go to hell and the younger will go to heaven".

Paul is addressing "election" to tasks and roles in the present word, not matters of salvation and damnation.

That's how i see it too.

bjones
Jan 23rd 2008, 09:43 AM
Okay drew, I think I see what you are saying now. Are you saying that you believe that only the first saints of the early church were "elected" and from some point after the early church folks were no longer elected anymore?

Rebekah was the first woman by the well. She was chosen to be the bride by the father.
Rachel was the second woman by the well, she was called or wooed (kissed) by the son.
Jesus wasn't looking for a wife, but stumbled across one at Sychar (meaning intoxicated and linked to the Holy Spirit) and gathered her into the kingdom (bride).

Chosen, called, and gathered ... the works of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Are there three classes of Christians or are we individually chosen, called AND gathered?

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 23rd 2008, 12:46 PM
Greetings:

I never said that God does not pre-destine. I happen to believe that he does not pre-destine people to their eternal fate. On the other hand, I do believe that He "elects" or "pre-destines" people and nations to specific tasks in this present world.

In the case of Romans 9:11, Paul is using Jacob and Esau to illustrate that God "elects" people to different roles in this present world. And Paul drives that home by stating that "the older will serve the younger". Paul does not say "the older will go to hell and the younger will go to heaven".

Paul is addressing "election" to tasks and roles in the present word, not matters of salvation and damnation.


Morning drew,

Soooo...let's take this a bit deeper... You are saying that God does predestine by the way of tasks, but not by the way of fate? So can you help me understand the difference? For then which tasks would be His predestination and which would not be? And if all tasks, doesn't this secure one's fate?


Looking to scripture, do you or would you be willing to see that each day a man has has been ordained and ordered by the Lord?

9Marksfan
Jan 23rd 2008, 01:00 PM
Was Jesus ordained before the foundation of the world?

To be the lamb that was slain? Yes.

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 23rd 2008, 01:49 PM
Greetings:

I never said that God does not pre-destine. I happen to believe that he does not pre-destine people to their eternal fate. On the other hand, I do believe that He "elects" or "pre-destines" people and nations to specific tasks in this present world.

In the case of Romans 9:11, Paul is using Jacob and Esau to illustrate that God "elects" people to different roles in this present world. And Paul drives that home by stating that "the older will serve the younger". Paul does not say "the older will go to hell and the younger will go to heaven".

Paul is addressing "election" to tasks and roles in the present word, not matters of salvation and damnation.


Morning drew,

Soooo...let's take this a bit deeper... You are saying that God does predestine by the way of tasks, but not by the way of fate? So can you help me understand the difference? For then which tasks would be His predestination and which would not be? And if all tasks, doesn't this secure one's fate?


Looking to scripture, do you or would you be willing to see that each day a man has has been ordained and ordered by the Lord?

In anticipation of a favorable response and before I have to reengage back to my business at hand, here are a few thoughts towards a guess in addressing what a reply could be from you ... :) [I probably missed what your reply would have been by a mile, but hoping not to... :saint:]

Proverbs 20:24 Man's steps are ordained by the LORD,
How then can man understand his way?

Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap,
But its every decision is from the LORD.

Psalm 139:16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

Proverbs 16:9 The mind of man plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps.

Proverbs 16:1 The plans of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD;
He turns it wherever He wishes.

Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom and no understanding
And no counsel against the LORD.

Proverbs 21:31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But victory belongs to the LORD.

Walking by faith knowing that God is providential is such a great joy and comfort, that no matter what happens -- be it good or bad, it happens because God is in control and His will is being done… This is the walk of faith... trust God that nothing is too big or too small, and that everything that happens is for His Glory and our benefit.

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

So to your seeing predestination just to events, limits the full counsel of God – IMO, for God is not a God of chance, of learning or wander, but His counsel is determined, secure and wise…. In our understandings, we look to see God and define God with human terms and say we think we plan and do and act… But it is because of God that we do anything…

James 4:13-15
13 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit."
14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
15 Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that."


For God’s Glory….

Teke
Jan 23rd 2008, 02:00 PM
Greetings:

I never said that God does not pre-destine. I happen to believe that he does not pre-destine people to their eternal fate. On the other hand, I do believe that He "elects" or "pre-destines" people and nations to specific tasks in this present world.

In the case of Romans 9:11, Paul is using Jacob and Esau to illustrate that God "elects" people to different roles in this present world. And Paul drives that home by stating that "the older will serve the younger". Paul does not say "the older will go to hell and the younger will go to heaven".

Paul is addressing "election" to tasks and roles in the present word, not matters of salvation and damnation.

I pretty much agree with your line of thinking on this Drew. :)
My approach would just be a bit different in grounding it in the dogma of Christ. IOW He would be the defining factor of such a matter. It does seem your leaning in that direction. Good post.:hug:

drew
Jan 23rd 2008, 06:05 PM
Hello Grace:

I was at the very end of a lengthy response to you when I somehow lost it all with a single button press....exceedingly annoying. Anyone else have this problem? Anyway, I don't have the energy to recreate it from scratch. I will get back to you later.....

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 23rd 2008, 07:46 PM
Hello drew,

Yea that is a bummer... When I write more than a paragraph or two, I usually put my thoughts within a Word document and then copy it over and paste it within the boards, just in the event that I hit the wrong button or that the system doesn't accept my post.:)


And no real need to be lengthy, for one or two points are good to discuss and digest...

For further consideration, here is another point within scripture whereas God states that some of the saints are destined to be captured and even die as martyrs under the hands of the Antichrist and S3tan...

Revelation 13:6-10
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.
7 It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.
8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.
9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear.
10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.

diamondeb
Jan 24th 2008, 06:33 AM
Well I can see I am way out of my league in this thread so I will add my little thought:
I choose to love and worship God the Father Almighty, Alpha, Omega, Beginning, End. I chose to believe He is the Creator of all. I have never felt worthy to be chosen by Him but for some reason He has called me by name and lead me on a path that seeks to follow Him and love the lovely and unlovely. By faith I have been redeemed from my life of sin. I have been cleansed but the blood of the Lamb. I have been freed and I have no idea why except for the fact...He loves me.
You have each spoken with big words, theological terms way over my comprehension but yet I feel sorry that it looks like you still have not figured it out.
Sometimes the wisdom of the Father is found in the heart and not the mind of man.
That's all I need to say. ;)

ProjectPeter
Jan 24th 2008, 12:21 PM
Hello drew,

Yea that is a bummer... When I write more than a paragraph or two, I usually put my thoughts within a Word document and then copy it over and paste it within the boards, just in the event that I hit the wrong button or that the system doesn't accept my post.:)


And no real need to be lengthy, for one or two points are good to discuss and digest...

For further consideration, here is another point within scripture whereas God states that some of the saints are destined to be captured and even die as martyrs under the hands of the Antichrist and S3tan...

Revelation 13:6-10
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.
7 It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.
8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.
9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear.
10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.
I think he's already agreed that this would be perfectly in line with Scripture in that God predetermines certain paths for certain people. That would certainly be one of them there paths! :)

And just for the record... I agree with him there. God predetermining our death is not predetermining our eternal fate. God setting man in charge of a nation... God taking that man's charge from a nation is the same. Determining the steps of a person for a specific purpose... not determining their eternal fate.

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 24th 2008, 12:26 PM
I think he's already agreed that this would be perfectly in line with Scripture in that God predetermines certain paths for certain people. That would certainly be one of them there paths! :)

And just for the record... I agree with him there. God predetermining our death is not predetermining our eternal fate. God setting man in charge of a nation... God taking that man's charge from a nation is the same. Determining the steps of a person for a specific purpose... not determining their eternal fate.

I hear you, but then how does he view the words of...

Romans 9:22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?

ProjectPeter
Jan 24th 2008, 01:09 PM
I hear you, but then how does he view the words of...

Romans 9:22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?
Again... predestined for a purpose. I figure he isn't disagreeing with the fact that God does just that very thing. Example given by Paul is a perfect one in Pharoah or in Esau. Both were for a purpose and used for a purpose just as I believe was the case with the twelve disciples... John the Baptist... Saul... David... even Jezebel and Ahab... Samuel... Ezekiel... Joe... Bob... Billy... etc.

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 24th 2008, 01:15 PM
Again... predestined for a purpose. I figure he isn't disagreeing with the fact that God does just that very thing. Example given by Paul is a perfect one in Pharoah or in Esau. Both were for a purpose and used for a purpose just as I believe was the case with the twelve disciples... John the Baptist... Saul... David... even Jezebel and Ahab... Samuel... Ezekiel... Joe... Bob... Billy... etc.


Cool, so you are also confirming that God holds the future too, right?

So my meaning is that each day is directed by the Lord... As the bible is filled with prophecy that has been fulfilled and yet to be fulfilled, that shows that God is active... so does he [and you :)] agree that man's steps are ordained by the LORD?

ProjectPeter
Jan 24th 2008, 01:25 PM
Cool, so you are also confirming that God holds the future too, right?

So my meaning is that each day is directed by the Lord... As the bible is filled with prophecy that has been fulfilled and yet to be fulfilled, that shows that God is active... so does he [and you :)] agree that man's steps are ordained by the LORD?
Sure God holds the future. But then this is one of those perfect examples of how Christian folk speak the same language but when you get down to where the rubber meets the road... we mean totally different things.

God holds the future and directs the steps of man but God doesn't walk those steps for man. Example: When you are tempted. There's a way out of that and God offers that way. What God doesn't do is shove you through the door. He leaves that up to you.

Just as God can see fit to end your life today... then relent and add 15 more years to your life because He was moved by your prayer and plea. Just as God can be set to destroy your nation and can be moved by your repentance and relent and not destroy your nation. Just as God can be set to bless your nation but because of sinfulness... He relents and destroys it instead.

So while we would say that God certainly holds the future... we aren't likely going to agree in what that means exactly. ;)

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 24th 2008, 01:42 PM
Sure God holds the future. But then this is one of those perfect examples of how Christian folk speak the same language but when you get down to where the rubber meets the road... we mean totally different things.

God holds the future and directs the steps of man but God doesn't walk those steps for man. Example: When you are tempted. There's a way out of that and God offers that way. What God doesn't do is shove you through the door. He leaves that up to you.

Addressing the first part first... I agree with your statement to about 99% The doctrine of concurrence... brings to play man's responsibility in his walk... But just as Joseph's brothers plotted to kill him for evil reasons, God's purpose was to use their evil for God's will in providing for them... Thus the 1% difference within our logic...



Just as God can see fit to end your life today... then relent and add 15 more years to your life because He was moved by your prayer and plea. Just as God can be set to destroy your nation and can be moved by your repentance and relent and not destroy your nation. Just as God can be set to bless your nation but because of sinfulness... He relents and destroys it instead.

Now this part we differ, for God cannot relent nor change, for God is God, but to man, we say that He can change, based on our perspective [Anthropomorphism]. For to each of your examples, God's pure will was to do what He purposed to do -- and to the men that saw this change, it was also His purpose to show this... It was the will of God both for Hezekiah to prayer, Isaiah to be sent, and God to give 15 more years to Hez....

And you forgot to include Jonah, for Jonah knew that God was going to 'save' the Ninevites if Jonah witnessed to them... and well the rest of the story is history... So our right prayers are birthed by God within us and everything that is according to His will, He answers...



So while we would say that God certainly holds the future... we aren't likely going to agree in what that means exactly. ;)

I agree with your assessment that we will disagree.... ;)

ProjectPeter
Jan 24th 2008, 02:12 PM
Addressing the first part first... I agree with your statement to about 99% The doctrine of concurrence... brings to play man's responsibility in his walk... But just as Joseph's brothers plotted to kill him for evil reasons, God's purpose was to use their evil for God's will in providing for them... Thus the 1% difference within our logic...



Now this part we differ, for God cannot relent nor change, for God is God, but to man, we say that He can change, based on our perspective [Anthropomorphism]. For to each of your examples, God's pure will was to do what He purposed to do -- and to the men that saw this change, it was also His purpose to show this... It was the will of God both for Hezekiah to prayer, Isaiah to be sent, and God to give 15 more years to Hez....

And you forgot to include Jonah, for Jonah knew that God was going to 'save' the Ninevites if Jonah witnessed to them... and well the rest of the story is history... So our right prayers are birthed by God within us and everything that is according to His will, He answers...



I agree with your assessment that we will disagree.... ;)God can't relent? Bible says He does and shows where He has. Your doctrine may not allow for that and I understand that... but problem is that Scripture is clear that God does and says it very plainly.

Jeremiah 18:7 "At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it;
8 if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it.
9 "Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it;
10 if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.

Joel speaks of it... Jonah speaks of it... even Jesus spoke of it. So you say He can't... Scripture says He can and does.

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 24th 2008, 02:28 PM
God can't relent? Bible says He does and shows where He has. Your doctrine may not allow for that and I understand that... but problem is that Scripture is clear that God does and says it very plainly.

Jeremiah 18:7 "At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it;
8 if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it.
9 "Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it;
10 if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.

Er...one more time, God cannot change... what you read within Jeremiah are the "options" declared by God that He would do based on circumstances.... but we know that God also rises up nations as well bringing down nations... so we know that He is provident and He is sovereign, so all things work to His will...

So what does this mean... Back to Jonah... God had proposed to save the Ninevites, the arch enemies of Israel through the prophet Jonah, and Jonah knew that if he went, God would save them... Why... because God would give them repentance and a heart of response... Concurrence at work my friend, by the subtle hand of God.



Joel speaks of it... Jonah speaks of it... even Jesus spoke of it. So you say He can't... Scripture says He can and does.

I agree that they speak of it, but God does not change... but to man, we say that we can change God's mind through prayer... I say that scripture teaches that we should pray for God's will to change our prayers to His will being done, not that our will will change God's mind.... God is involved in all things and in all things His will is done, independant of what we think or ask ----- For there is no PLAN B with God. Nor is there an IF -->> THEN -->> ELSE... :lol:

ProjectPeter
Jan 24th 2008, 02:40 PM
Er...one more time, God cannot change... what you read within Jeremiah are the "options" declared by God that He would do based on circumstances.... but we know that God also rises up nations as well bringing down nations... so we know that He is provident and He is sovereign, so all things work to His will...

So what does this mean... Back to Jonah... God had proposed to save the Ninevites, the arch enemies of Israel through the prophet Jonah, and Jonah knew that if he went, God would save them... Why... because God would give them repentance and a heart of response... Concurrence at work my friend, by the subtle hand of God.


I agree that they speak of it, but God does not change... but to man, we say that we can change God's mind through prayer... I say that scripture teaches that we should pray for God's will to change our prayers to His will being done, not that our will will change God's mind.... God is involved in all things and in all things His will is done, independant of what we think or ask ----- For there is no PLAN B with God. Nor is there an IF -->> THEN -->> ELSE... :lol:
Um... (like that better than errr ;)) God does not "change" does not mean God cannot relent. God doesn't change His ways... who He is... what He is... His attributes. But that doesn't at all mean God cannot nor does change what He had in store from someone. Again... your doctrine is in the way of Scripture itself which CLEARLY says that God relents. You said... GOD CANNOT RELENT. Scripture proves you grossly wrong there. Surely you don't disagree with that passage... and simple question. Does that passage say that God will relent?

Buck shot
Jan 24th 2008, 03:22 PM
Exodus 32:
11And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?
12Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.
13Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. 14And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

I think maybe this is off the original topic but I love this scripture. It shows where Moses' askes our Father a question and God changed His mind. Would not this be the reason that Jesus gave us the story of the woman and the judge and said to keep bringing our petitions before the Lord? I agree God does not change but I believe the Bible shows that He can change His mind.

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 24th 2008, 03:30 PM
Um... (like that better than errr ;)) God does not "change" does not mean God cannot relent. God doesn't change His ways... who He is... what He is... His attributes. But that doesn't at all mean God cannot nor does change what He had in store from someone. Again... your doctrine is in the way of Scripture itself which CLEARLY says that God relents. You said... GOD CANNOT RELENT. Scripture proves you grossly wrong there. Surely you don't disagree with that passage... and simple question. Does that passage say that God will relent?

Umm… [Just for you because you like Um better ;)]… Is God all knowing? Is there anything that takes God by surprise? Does God learn? Yet you say God reacts?

Perspective dictates that we know what we experience and even what we read… Within the bible, men are the authors and God uses the nature of each author in writing the bible… Paul writes differently than Peter. Peter writes with a different style than Luke, David writes differently than Moses… But from the framework of man, they write from what they know… thus in describing the indescribable, they are going to use terms and imagery to what they know and of the day, with the hand of the Holy Spirit guiding them… so your free will disposition tells you that God changes His mind based on what you do. My concurrence disposition states that God works in the hearts and minds of men to fulfill His will for His glory… The weight I give is that Salvation is for God, of God, by God, in God and through God and God alone, and that He works somehow in all to the counsel of His will, for He is both the Creator and sustainer of life, and this goes deeper than just bits and parts… Every day is planned, every day is precise... and every person created has purpose and is within the hand of God... fullfilling His will, for He is the Creator, we are the created


And to your question, does that passage say that God will relent - has to taken into an account this passage, for the sum of thy word is truth...

1 Samuel 15:29
Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind."

So my answer is that it doesn’t mean what you say it means… God does not change nor react, but to to man, we do and we write from a perspective that shows we have limits, for God's ways are not man's ways, that's why Christ came as a man to better relate... For man is just man.

For God's Glory....

ProjectPeter
Jan 24th 2008, 03:52 PM
Umm… [Just for you because you like Um better ;)]… Is God all knowing? Is there anything that takes God by surprise? Does God learn? Yet you say God reacts?

Perspective dictates that we know what we experience and even what we read… Within the bible, men are the authors and God uses the nature of each author in writing the bible… Paul writes differently than Peter. Peter writes with a different style than Luke, David writes differently than Moses… But from the framework of man, they write from what they know… thus in describing the indescribable, they are going to use terms and imagery to what they know and of the day, with the hand of the Holy Spirit guiding them… so your free will disposition tells you that God changes His mind based on what you do. My concurrence disposition states that God works in the hearts and minds of men to fulfill His will for His glory… The weight I give is that Salvation is for God, of God, by God, in God and through God and God alone, and that He works somehow in all to the counsel of His will, for He is both the Creator and sustainer of life, and this goes deeper than just bits and parts… Every day is planned, every day is precise... and every person created has purpose and is within the hand of God... fullfilling His will, for He is the Creator, we are the created


And to your question, does that passage say that God will relent - has to taken into an account this passage, for the sum of thy word is truth...

1 Samuel 15:29
Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind."

So my answer is that it doesn’t mean what you say it means… God does not change nor react, but to to man, we do and we write from a perspective that shows we have limits, for God's ways are not man's ways, that's why Christ came as a man to better relate... For man is just man.

For God's Glory....Context RbG... context!

1 Samuel 15:19 "Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD, but rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the sight of the LORD ?"
20 ¶Then Saul said to Samuel, "I did obey the voice of the LORD, and went on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
21 "But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God at Gilgal."
22 And Samuel said, "Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD ? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
23 "For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king."
24 ¶Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned; I have indeed transgressed the command of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice.
25 "Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me, that I may worship the LORD."
26 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."
27 And as Samuel turned to go, Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore.
28 So Samuel said to him, "The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to your neighbor who is better than you.
29 "And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind."


It was about obedience over sacrifice.... GOD's WAY... HIS ATTRIBUTE.

drew
Jan 24th 2008, 04:02 PM
I hear you, but then how does he view the words of...

Romans 9:22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?
Greetings all:

I suspect that Redeemed here believes the "destruction" referred to in this statement has to refer to the ultimate loss of an individual person - that this all about "going to hell when you die". I therefore take "Redeemed" as not denying my assertion that God "elects" in respect to tasks in this life, but he is claiming that Romans 9:22 shows that he also elects to "ultimate loss" - destruction. Is that the point behind your post?

I believe that Paul is still referring to Israel here and that he believes that national Israel is indeed a "vessel prepared for destruction", however they are only "prepared" for destruction. They will not ultimately have to bear that fate - that fate is for the Messiah.

I read Paul as discerning the subtle sophisticated way that God intertwines the fate of national Israel and of her representative Messiah Jesus. Paul's thinking on this, as I see it, is basically this:

1. Adam sins and the world is cursed as a result;

2. God enters into a covenant with Abraham and hints that through the nation of Israel, the entire world will be blessed. And the form that this blessing will take is this: The sin problem of Adam will be "fixed";

3. How can Israel solve the sin problem since she too is in Adam? So even though most Jews would think that they will bless the world through "showing how good it is to live up to Torah", this is impossible for her. Israel, as we know, proves to be faithless in keeping Torah.

4. Paul discerns a "darker" purpose for the giving to the Law - that it was given to draw sin to its full and awful height in the nation of Israel. Since Israel has proved faithless and cannot solve the sin problem (she herself is in Adam), God still must remain true to his promise in Genesis to use Israel to solve the sin problem. God might seem to be "stuck".

5. God, however, does not abandon the covenant - He provides a faithful Israelite, Jesus. I will not make the case here but Paul sees the concept of Messiah as having a powerful strain of "representation" - the Messiah truly "acts as the nation" which He represents.

6. So Jesus, acting as Israel in the form of being her "corporate" representative, bears the power of sin of the cross and defeats it. God has indeed done what He said he would do - He has used "Israel" to solve the sin problem.

7. Jesus was "elected" to bear the sin of the world from the foundation of the world - Jesus is the vessel that is "destroyed" on the cross. But Israel, too, is a vessel prepared for destruction - she is the place that, through the mysterious action or Torah, the power of sin is "lured", localizing it in Israel, so that Jesus, the representative Messiah, acting as Israel, can then defeat it. In this way, Paul can truthfully imply in Romans 9:22 that Israel is vessel prepared for destruction.

This is all behind and underneath what Paul says in Romans 9:22. If one takes it as simply a declaration that some people are pre-destined to hell, I think one ignores the deeper "history of redemeption" context (summarized in the points above) that Paul is arguing for.

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 24th 2008, 04:36 PM
Context RbG... context!

1 Samuel 15:19 "Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD, but rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the sight of the LORD ?"
20 ¶Then Saul said to Samuel, "I did obey the voice of the LORD, and went on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
21 "But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God at Gilgal."
22 And Samuel said, "Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD ? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
23 "For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king."
24 ¶Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned; I have indeed transgressed the command of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice.
25 "Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me, that I may worship the LORD."
26 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."
27 And as Samuel turned to go, Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore.
28 So Samuel said to him, "The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to your neighbor who is better than you.
29 "And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind."


It was about obedience over sacrifice.... GOD's WAY... HIS ATTRIBUTE.


Um... you missed the whole context of my post but ok, I'll go with you on this snippet....

How does context change the position that God does not change His mind?

And when you say HIS ATTRIBUTE, what is this? Here is what I take this to mean... if one changes his mind all the time, he is know as being wishy-washy... If one is always make up stories, he has the attributes of being a liar.... and if one is know to be known as faithful and true, is the attribute of God, who is immutable and cannot lie.

So if you please, I'd like to know how the context changes God's Attribute?


And I'm holding Numbers 23:19 and a few more references in my back pocket :saint:

drew
Jan 24th 2008, 05:19 PM
Proverbs 20:24 Man's steps are ordained by the LORD,
How then can man understand his way?

Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap,
But its every decision is from the LORD.

Psalm 139:16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

Proverbs 16:9 The mind of man plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps.

Proverbs 16:1 The plans of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
As you will probably know, I do not believe that the Scriptures teach "full-on pre-destination". What I mean by this is that I do not believe that God "pre-determines" in a specifically causal sense, everything that happens. And certainly He does not pre-determine every action that a human person undertakes.

One of the big problems with "full-on pre-destination" is that it violates the conceptual boundaries of "creature-hood". We are creatures, created in the image of God. If our actions are fully determined, directly or even indirectly, by an external agent (God), it becomes unclear if it can be legitimately said of us that we retain creature-hood. We seem to belong more in the category of objects, like the rock whose "actions" are determined by external forces. Or, it becomes unclear as to how we would be nothing more than merely extensions of God himself.

Some people do not like this kind of argument, critiquing it as "human wisdom". I think otherwise - we need to be fair to the relevant concepts. It is indeed legitimate to ask: "What characteristics are conferred on a creature?", "What is entailed in creaturehood?". I suggest that a degree of free agency is required in order for any being to legitimately be denoted as a "creature". In other words, the reason why the category "creature" is not the same as the category "object" is precisely that a creature possesses a degree of self-determination that an object does not. I submit that this distinction underlies our concept of a "creature" and why the concept even exists in the first place.

Anyhoo, while Proverbs 20:24 certainly seems to suggest all man does is determned by God, Proverbs 16:9 and 16:1 seem to clearly suggest a mysterious "division" between God and man. If God truly did determine all the thoughts and actions of a person, it would be inconsistent to then claim that:

The mind of man plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps

....since man is clearly represented as engaging in "planning" and, even more significantly, the "independence" of this planning from the agency of God is sharply driven home by the use of the word "but" (at least in the given translation).

So I just cannot see how this ensemble of texts can be used to assert "full-on predestination". Plus, we have the very real problem of honouring the conceptual boundaries of creature-hood.

I submit that we are see "creature-hood" as turning not on "complexity" - we still thing a computer is an "object", not a creature - but rather on the retention of some degree of autonomy.

ProjectPeter
Jan 24th 2008, 07:36 PM
Um... you missed the whole context of my post but ok, I'll go with you on this snippet....

How does context change the position that God does not change His mind?

And when you say HIS ATTRIBUTE, what is this? Here is what I take this to mean... if one changes his mind all the time, he is know as being wishy-washy... If one is always make up stories, he has the attributes of being a liar.... and if one is know to be known as faithful and true, is the attribute of God, who is immutable and cannot lie.

So if you please, I'd like to know how the context changes God's Attribute?


And I'm holding Numbers 23:19 and a few more references in my back pocket :saint:I didn't say it changes God's attributes. His attributes... His ways... those never change. 1+1=2 RbG! You have to take the post I replied to you there... with the post before and put them together to keep the discussion from getting weird here. I assume when I respond to you that you are keeping up with the discussion.

God told Saul to do this... Saul did that instead. God demands obedience and that WILL NEVER CHANGE. That doesn't mean that God never changes His mind or what it is that He has in store for a person, nation, or group of folk.

drew
Jan 24th 2008, 07:54 PM
So to your seeing predestination just to events, limits the full counsel of God – IMO, for God is not a God of chance, of learning or wander, but His counsel is determined, secure and wise.
I find this to be an interesting way to see things. I do not wish to come across as critical, but I would like to offer some thoughts.

It almosts seems to me that some people think that that the more we abase ourselves - the more we deny our active involvement in the working out of the kingdom - the more glory that God gets. I discern this strain of thinking in those who see a mere "free will" acceptance of grace as somehow stealing the credit from God. I can give examples of where Paul clearly boasts of his own achievements. No doubt, he frequently he gives credit to the Spirit as his true "source of energy". But there is little doubt - he is unashamed to speak of accomplishments that arise of his own initiative.

I think we should remember that God decided to makes us "in His image". Now, I do not pretend to know exactly what this means, but I do think that God did not create us to be "pawns" or mere extensions of His own self.

Your post above entails an implicit commitment to the idea that God's power and influence have to be as "big as possible". But, I suggest that in the very act of creation - and specifically in the creation of "creatures" made in His image, God has willingly "given up" some of his otherwise absolute control over the torality of existence.

One might even argue that it is conceptually incoherent for "love" to be said to exist between creature and Creator in a relationship where the Creator fully pre-determines every thought and action of the creature.

The idea that every good act is an act of God alone, or that any exercise of power in the world must be of God and God alone could, I suggest, be an slight distortion - arising perhaps from an otherwise "healthy" understanding of the relative greatness of God in comparison to us. I just see the Scriptures as vesting a certain degree of autonomy in the created beings that we are.

My heart's Desire
Jan 24th 2008, 08:11 PM
Well I can see I am way out of my league in this thread so I will add my little thought:
:)
Yep, comes down to a predestination thread methinks and a little in between.
I believe man choses yet God must know in the end who would because He knows beginning to end. Beyond that...um well peoples thoughts are interesting and I'm enjoying reading.
;)

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 24th 2008, 11:11 PM
I find this to be an interesting way to see things. I do not wish to come across as critical, but I would like to offer some thoughts.

It almosts seems to me that some people think that that the more we abase ourselves - the more we deny our active involvement in the working out of the kingdom - the more glory that God gets. I discern this strain of thinking in those who see a mere "free will" acceptance of grace as somehow stealing the credit from God. I can give examples of where Paul clearly boasts of his own achievements. No doubt, he frequently he gives credit to the Spirit as his true "source of energy". But there is little doubt - he is unashamed to speak of accomplishments that arise of his own initiative.

I think we should remember that God decided to makes us "in His image". Now, I do not pretend to know exactly what this means, but I do think that God did not create us to be "pawns" or mere extensions of His own self.

Your post above entails an implicit commitment to the idea that God's power and influence have to be as "big as possible". But, I suggest that in the very act of creation - and specifically in the creation of "creatures" made in His image, God has willingly "given up" some of his otherwise absolute control over the torality of existence.

One might even argue that it is conceptually incoherent for "love" to be said to exist between creature and Creator in a relationship where the Creator fully pre-determines every thought and action of the creature.

The idea that every good act is an act of God alone, or that any exercise of power in the world must be of God and God alone could, I suggest, be an slight distortion - arising perhaps from an otherwise "healthy" understanding of the relative greatness of God in comparison to us. I just see the Scriptures as vesting a certain degree of autonomy in the created beings that we are.


Hi drew,

My time is pretty occupied this afternoon and will be into the evening…. Here is something I found again within Pink that gives an insight to where I’m heading…

3. God exerts upon His own elect a directing influence or power.
Of old He led His people across the wilderness, directing their steps by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night; and today He still directs His saints, though now from within rather from without. "For this God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our Guide even unto death" (Psa. 48:14), but He "guides" us by working in us both to will and to do His good pleasure. That He does so guide us is clear from the words of the Apostle in Ephesians 2: 10-"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Thus all ground for boasting is removed and God gets all the glory, for with the prophet we have to say, "LORD, Thou wilt ordain peace for us: for Thou also hast wrought all our works in us" (Isa. 26:12). How true then that "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps" (Prov. 16:29)! Compare Psalm 65:4; Ezekiel 36:27.

AW Pink, The Sovereignty of God, Chapter 6, The Sovereignty of God in Operation, Pg 115,116 Baker Book House, March 2007

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 25th 2008, 12:26 PM
I find this to be an interesting way to see things. I do not wish to come across as critical, but I would like to offer some thoughts.

It almosts seems to me that some people think that that the more we abase ourselves - the more we deny our active involvement in the working out of the kingdom - the more glory that God gets. I discern this strain of thinking in those who see a mere "free will" acceptance of grace as somehow stealing the credit from God. I can give examples of where Paul clearly boasts of his own achievements. No doubt, he frequently he gives credit to the Spirit as his true "source of energy". But there is little doubt - he is unashamed to speak of accomplishments that arise of his own initiative.

Well I think you might be bringing something into this that is not there…

Go back and look at Proverbs 16:9…. Notice that man thinks, BUT it’s God who is setting man’s path… I don’t like the term free will, but have used ‘willing choices’ in the past to describe the ways man has been given by God, but know that God’s will is never compromised by man as man plans, does and behaves… Every choice is within the hand of God, for God can prevent me from sinning, just as He can also allow me to sin to participate to the sum purposes of His will…. So all things are under His direction and control, yet He also gives me willing choices.




I think we should remember that God decided to makes us "in His image". Now, I do not pretend to know exactly what this means, but I do think that God did not create us to be "pawns" or mere extensions of His own self.

Thanks Drew for using the term pawns, for most folks would have stated either robots or puppets…. I advocate that knowing that God is in control offers so much freedom….

As I shared briefly last night, God has access to the hearts and minds of all men and He hardens or soften them according to His sovereign purpose. For a Christian, being indwelt by His Holy Spirit means what then? As bond-servant, would not a child of God want to be an extension of God through and in Christ?





Your post above entails an implicit commitment to the idea that God's power and influence have to be as "big as possible". But, I suggest that in the very act of creation - and specifically in the creation of "creatures" made in His image, God has willingly "given up" some of his otherwise absolute control over the torality of existence.

Well I need to see this giving up part that you suggest…. For by His word all things were created in Him and through Him and for Him for His good pleasure… God is indeed BIG… really BIG, and man always tries to limit God’s existence, power and influence within their lives….



One might even argue that it is conceptually incoherent for "love" to be said to exist between creature and Creator in a relationship where the Creator fully pre-determines every thought and action of the creature.

Because God first loved us are we even able to Love Him…. How can one who doesn’t know God nor seek for God Love God without His love inside of us [read Holy Spirit] to Love Him? So consider this, what about His love for us and now in us loving Himself in a perfect way?



The idea that every good act is an act of God alone, or that any exercise of power in the world must be of God and God alone could, I suggest, be an slight distortion - arising perhaps from an otherwise "healthy" understanding of the relative greatness of God in comparison to us. I just see the Scriptures as vesting a certain degree of autonomy in the created beings that we are.

Ahh but then it gives credit to man being wise enough to know enough to love enough to be enough… Again, I say the man has been given willing choices in life, ie we think, plan and do, but behind these actions, God’s sovereign will is always in control, for God has access to the hearts of all men and He softens or hardens them according to His sovereign purpose.


This is tough to sometimes comprehend at times, particularly when bad things happen.... but the peace that passes all understanding is that God is a sovereign God and all things work together for good to those who love Him, for which He supplies our love for Him as well... Blessed be the name of the Lord!


And always... For God's Glory...

ProjectPeter
Jan 25th 2008, 03:10 PM
Um... you missed the whole context of my post but ok, I'll go with you on this snippet....

How does context change the position that God does not change His mind?

And when you say HIS ATTRIBUTE, what is this? Here is what I take this to mean... if one changes his mind all the time, he is know as being wishy-washy... If one is always make up stories, he has the attributes of being a liar.... and if one is know to be known as faithful and true, is the attribute of God, who is immutable and cannot lie.

So if you please, I'd like to know how the context changes God's Attribute?


And I'm holding Numbers 23:19 and a few more references in my back pocket :saint:
And just as a reminder because you never did answer the question put forth... Does this passage say that God relents?

Jeremiah 18:7 "At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it;
8 if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it.
9 "Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it;
10 if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 25th 2008, 05:27 PM
And just as a reminder because you never did answer the question put forth... Does this passage say that God relents?

Jeremiah 18:7 "At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it;
8 if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it.
9 "Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it;
10 if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.

The answer is.....


No.... God does not change His mind...


To this passage, if you read it closely... your should be able to see that it is written in an instructional, hypothetical format... IE If... conditional subject... I will relent... reactional object... And what you should also know is that God raises up nations and brings nations down and that God holds the heart of the king which are like channels of water direct by His hand... So God does not change... God's providential in all things...

And that's my final answer :)

IBWatching
Jan 25th 2008, 05:42 PM
That is why I am neither arminian nor Calvinist.

Call me a semi-pelagian Molinist...

Good luck with that. Whenever I am talked to by a 5 Pointer, I end up an Arminian every time! :lol:

ProjectPeter
Jan 25th 2008, 05:47 PM
The answer is.....


No.... God does not change His mind...


To this passage, if you read it closely... your should be able to see that it is written in an instructional, hypothetical format... IE If... conditional subject... I will relent... reactional object... And what you should also know is that God raises up nations and brings nations down and that God holds the heart of the king which are like channels of water direct by His hand... So God does not change... God's providential in all things...

And that's my final answer :)
Okay... so that's how you want to explain that away? It was hypothetical? Alrighty then... let me take care of my errands and I will give you more Scripture that takes away your ability to play the "it's hypothetical" card.

My heart's Desire
Jan 25th 2008, 06:16 PM
The "Does God change His mind question" has me baffled when I think on it. It is I suppose related to the statement that God does not change? Why does God say that He does this or that based on if people change their behaviour (like in the case of Israel) in the O.T. or Ninevah. Was it the change in their behaviour that made the difference in their life or did God change His mind and He decided to bless them when their behaviour changed. In a way, God has already laid down that if you turn to Him, He will bless, if you don't, then He doesn't. (and really I'm not sure that is correct either for God sends His rain on the just and the unjust) So if God says He relents when you do turn to Him, then really He is not basicly changing His mind for He has already said like "in the case of Ninevah" if they turn to Him then it is good and they did and it was, yet later on they turned from Him and the city was destroyed. So in reality, God did not change His mind and yet on a case by case basis He did. Comments? It's not like I know for sure, just curious.

My heart's Desire
Jan 25th 2008, 06:31 PM
Another thought is that God has already laid down the ground rules and consequences so in that respect God does not change.

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 25th 2008, 07:13 PM
Okay... so that's how you want to explain that away? It was hypothetical? Alrighty then... let me take care of my errands and I will give you more Scripture that takes away your ability to play the "it's hypothetical" card.

LOL... :rofl::rofl::rofl: I don't know if I should be scared, threatened or encouraged.... :rofl::rofl::rofl:


OK... so when you throw those scriptures over the wall, make sure you include all those that state that it is impossible for God to lie, that His will is immutable, and that He is the same yesterday today and tomorrow. That He doesn't think nor act as a man.

And using your own style that I hope you will understand... 'good golly man stop being so focused on what you see as being right and look deeper into the word.... Do you really think that an all knowing all powerful God can change His mind...? Don't you think that He controls all things, I mean really, that's why He is called God.... for goodness sakes!' ;)

John146
Jan 25th 2008, 09:58 PM
Well I think you might be bringing something into this that is not there…

Go back and look at Proverbs 16:9…. Notice that man thinks, BUT it’s God who is setting man’s path… I don’t like the term free will, but have used ‘willing choices’ in the past to describe the ways man has been given by God, but know that God’s will is never compromised by man as man plans, does and behaves… Every choice is within the hand of God, for God can prevent me from sinning, just as He can also allow me to sin to participate to the sum purposes of His will…. So all things are under His direction and control, yet He also gives me willing choices.

11Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? - Ezekiel 33:11

What is God's will for the wicked, according to this passage? That they die and spend eternity in the lake of fire, right? No. He desires "that the wicked turn from his way and live". Some of the wicked do this. Some don't. That shows that God does not predetermine their destinies, but gives them choices to either turn from their ways and live or continue in their wicked ways and die.

3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
- 1 Tim 2:3-6



Ahh but then it gives credit to man being wise enough to know enough to love enough to be enough… Again, I say the man has been given willing choices in life, ie we think, plan and do, but behind these actions, God’s sovereign will is always in control, for God has access to the hearts of all men and He softens or hardens them according to His sovereign purpose.You equate the act of God hardening or softening one's heart with God predetermining one to salvation or to damnation. But Pharaoh had a hardened heart long before God ever hardened his heart. The wicked spoken about in Romans 1 and 2 Thess 2 have chosen to reject God and reject Him even before God hardens their hearts and gives them over to their wickedness. God is sovereign and in His sovereignty He has chosen to give man the ability to decide whether to repent and believe the gospel or not.

ProjectPeter
Jan 25th 2008, 11:25 PM
LOL... :rofl::rofl::rofl: I don't know if I should be scared, threatened or encouraged.... :rofl::rofl::rofl:


OK... so when you throw those scriptures over the wall, make sure you include all those that state that it is impossible for God to lie, that His will is immutable, and that He is the same yesterday today and tomorrow. That He doesn't think nor act as a man.

And using your own style that I hope you will understand... 'good golly man stop being so focused on what you see as being right and look deeper into the word.... Do you really think that an all knowing all powerful God can change His mind...? Don't you think that He controls all things, I mean really, that's why He is called God.... for goodness sakes!' ;)
Matthew 18:21 ¶Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?"
22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
23 "For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a certain king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.
24 "And when he had begun to settle them, there was brought to him one who owed him ten thousand talents.
25 "But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made.
26 "The slave therefore falling down, prostrated himself before him, saying, `Have patience with me, and I will repay you everything.´
27 "And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.
28 "But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, `Pay back what you owe.´
29 "So his fellow slave fell down and began to entreat him, saying, `Have patience with me and I will repay you.´
30 "He was unwilling however, but went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed.
31 "So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened.
32 "Then summoning him, his lord said to him, `You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you entreated me.
33 `Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, even as I had mercy on you?´
34 "And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him.
35 "So shall My heavenly Father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart."


Does the King (representing God in this parable) relent from the mercy shown this man? Did Jesus tell the disciples that God would do the same to them (those shown mercy) if they didn't forgive their brother from the heart?

ProjectPeter
Jan 25th 2008, 11:30 PM
This perhaps?

Exodus 32:11 Then Moses entreated the LORD his God, and said, "O LORD, why doth Thine anger burn against Thy people whom Thou hast brought out from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?
12 "Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, `With evil intent He brought them out to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth´? Turn from Thy burning anger and change Thy mind about doing harm to Thy people.
13 "Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Thy servants to whom Thou didst swear by Thyself, and didst say to them, `I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heavens, and all this land of which I have spoken I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.´"
14 So the LORD changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people.

ProjectPeter
Jan 25th 2008, 11:31 PM
Maybe this is telling us God relents?

Psalms 106:43 Many times He would deliver them; They, however, were rebellious in their counsel, And so sank down in their iniquity.
44 ¶Nevertheless He looked upon their distress, When He heard their cry;
45 And He remembered His covenant for their sake, And relented according to the greatness of His lovingkindness.

ProjectPeter
Jan 25th 2008, 11:37 PM
This might come as a shock so prepare yourself! :lol:

Amos 7:1 Thus the Lord GOD showed me, and behold, He was forming a locust-swarm when the spring crop began to sprout. And behold, the spring crop was after the king's mowing.
2 And it came about, when it had finished eating the vegetation of the land, that I said, "Lord GOD, please pardon! How can Jacob stand, For he is small?"
3 The LORD changed His mind about this. "It shall not be," said the LORD.
4 ¶Thus the Lord GOD showed me, and behold, the Lord GOD was calling to contend with them by fire, and it consumed the great deep and began to consume the farm land.
5 Then I said, "Lord GOD, please stop! How can Jacob stand, for he is small?"
6 The LORD changed His mind about this. "This too shall not be," said the Lord GOD.
7 ¶Thus He showed me, and behold, the Lord was standing by a vertical wall, with a plumb line in His hand.
8 And the LORD said to me, "What do you see, Amos?" And I said, "A plumb line." Then the Lord said, "Behold I am about to put a plumb line In the midst of My people Israel. I will spare them no longer.

ProjectPeter
Jan 25th 2008, 11:40 PM
Did God tire of something God didn't do? You've posted and we all know... God don't lie. So is this correct or what great dance shall we do to get around what it CLEARLY says!

Jeremiah 15:6 "You who have forsaken Me," declares the LORD, "You keep going backward. So I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am tired of relenting!

ProjectPeter
Jan 25th 2008, 11:42 PM
Jeremiah 26:2 "Thus says the LORD, `Stand in the court of the LORD's house, and speak to all the cities of Judah, who have come to worship in the LORD's house, all the words that I have commanded you to speak to them. Do not omit a word!
3 `Perhaps they will listen and everyone will turn from his evil way, that I may repent of the calamity which I am planning to do to them because of the evil of their deeds.´

Imagine that whole "Thus sayeth"... it being God and all and He is speaking of relenting sure enough!

ProjectPeter
Jan 25th 2008, 11:50 PM
Here you have clear passages that make it clear that God will relent. It is amazing too when you think of how much you guys are fighting this fact when your own doctrine teaches that all men are born reprobate and thus enemies of God. If God didn't relent... you're still reprobate and an enemy of God.

Folks have to get past their doctrinal dogma because really... there are just passages that you can't get around. Not even with the "it's hypothetical" thing.

ProjectPeter
Jan 25th 2008, 11:55 PM
Here you have clear passages that make it clear that God will relent. Now... which of these passages is wrong and telling us a lie about one of God's attributes... one of His most amazing attributes because in all of these cases of God relenting... He showed compassion over judgment. It might freak some of you out that God would actually relent... I thank God daily that He does.

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 26th 2008, 02:21 AM
11Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? - Ezekiel 33:11

Yep, I agree…God does not have pleasure in the death of the wicked


What is God's will for the wicked, according to this passage? That they die and spend eternity in the lake of fire, right? No. He desires "that the wicked turn from his way and live".

Yep, I agree again, God DESIRES that all repent and turn from their sins and believe



Some of the wicked do this. Some don't.

Yep, I agree again… those wicked that God has called are given repentance and faith to believe… And I am one of these.



That shows that God does not predetermine their destinies, but gives them choices to either turn from their ways and live or continue in their wicked ways and die.

Without God’s regeneration of the heart, no one seek after God an no one will choose God



3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
- 1 Tim 2:3-6

So are you using this verse to say you are a universalist or that man is smart enough to choose God? When you underline and bold ALL Men, you seem to be saying all… But to me, men is not mankind, but representatives of men from every tongue and every tribe… Men / Man… Subset / Mankind




You equate the act of God hardening or softening one's heart with God predetermining one to salvation or to damnation.

Think about this for a second, what about Joseph? What about Jeremiah? What about Cyrus? What about John the Baptist? What about Moses? And of course, what about Jesus? Were not each of there lives determined by God beforehand?


But Pharaoh had a hardened heart long before God ever hardened his heart.

I gotta stop you here and say that this is not true… God foretold Moses before he left that He will harden Pharaoh’s heart in

Exodus 4:21 The LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.

So no, scripture clearly shows that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart as Pharaoh hardens his heart… but it is God



The wicked spoken about in Romans 1 and 2 Thess 2 have chosen to reject God and reject Him even before God hardens their hearts and gives them over to their wickedness. God is sovereign and in His sovereignty He has chosen to give man the ability to decide whether to repent and believe the gospel or not.

That’s your opinion to say, but I say the scripture clearly states that God is soverieng in all things and that he works in all folks, some to harden, some to soften…. And no, I don’t know why fully, but trust that God does know why.

Teke
Jan 26th 2008, 02:30 AM
Here you have clear passages that make it clear that God will relent. Now... which of these passages is wrong and telling us a lie about one of God's attributes... one of His most amazing attributes because in all of these cases of God relenting... He showed compassion over judgment. It might freak some of you out that God would actually relent... I thank God daily that He does.


I say it like this, "Lord have mercy".:D

Lisadawn
Jan 26th 2008, 04:56 AM
I am very serious, these are incredibly valid points that people make God out to be and do.

Knowing that the Lamb was slain(the atonement) from before the foundation of the world(Rev 13:8 (http://www.biblegateway.net/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NKJV&x=0&y=0&passage=Rev+13%3A8)).
Some people make this to be only for a chosen few(the Elect), where God is not ALL Loving and very finite in grace; Creating men that are the non-chosen few. These must be hated creations, for the very purpose of being destroyed in hell, which is contrary to reality.

Some people are claiming that man can not even do what is required to be right with God which is to repent and put his faith in/on Christ.

Some people claim that one must be "regenerated" first before he can even attempt to repent and put his faith in/on Christ.

This puts the blame on God for them not obeying the command of repenting and putting his faith in/on Christ.

The blame is on Him because one is excused from a command until one is able.

Example:
A family has a law that all members must take turns mowing the lawn.
Along comes Junior, a day old infant.
Is Junior included in the law to maw the lawn, or is he excluded until the ability is come?
This is a fact of reality and can not be discounted just because it is about God.

Some people's theology has God literally condemning Junior to hell for not mowing the lawn by not giving him the ability first and letting him willingly choose to disobey.
If a father did this in reality, he would be deemd a sadistic, devilish tyrant. Why isn't God the same if this is true?

Or, to put this analogy to reality, You have man with no ability to do what is required to be right with God which is to repent and put his faith in/on Christ.
Some people's theology has God condemning man to hell for not doing that which they can no do.

This theology makes God wrathful and hating man from the result of His own doing.
This theology makes God wrathful and hating man because He Himself made them blind.
This theology makes God wrathful and hating man because He Himself would not let them obey by not regenerating them.

This theology makes God wrathful and hating man because He Himself made the law of "Federal Headship of Adam" so that all mankind would be condemned in Adam before any one was born(Psalm 51:5 (http://www.biblegateway.net/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NKJV&x=0&y=0&passage=Psalm+51%3A5)).

This theology makes God wrathful and hating man because He Himself made the very nature of man to be sin by the law of "Federal Headship of Adam" which HE Himself instituted. This nature causes all mankind to sin and go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.(Psalm 58:3 (http://www.biblegateway.net/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NKJV&x=0&y=0&passage=Psalm+58%3A3)).
(note: I do not agree to the way these Scriptures are used here)

Anyone
Please explain How God is Justified in doing all this with out saying, "God is God and I am not, so I have no right to think any thing that lines up with reality and compare it to GOD."
Or
"He is god, he can do what he wants even though it goes against all that is correct, and who am I anyway to question God."
This theology does not line up with reality, How can God do what is not real?

Again, I am seriouse, Please explain this theology with out the above excuses.

This is the God this theolgy presents:
(note: I do not agree to the this specific usage of the Psalms here)

God could have made a world with no sin when it is evident that HE didn't, means that He chose the world that has sin over the one that didn't. This, in turn, means that He wanted sin to exist.

He then made Adam to sin by His sovereignty(the ultimate cause of everything and ultimate control of everything); the reasoning behind this is if Adam did sin against God's will, that would mean that Adams will is greater than God's.

God made the law of "Federal Headship of Adam" so that all mankind would be condemned in Adam before any one was born(Psa 51:5 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=KJV&passage=Psa+51%3A5)). This causes the very nature of man to be sin, hence the "sin nature". This nature causes all mankind to sin and go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.(Psa 58:3 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=KJV&passage=Psa+58%3A3)).
(note: I do not agree to the way these Scriptures are used here)

God commands all mankind to do the impossible and condemns man for not obeying. Man is condemned for that which is unavoidable. Therefore, man is doing that which he was created to do, that is to sin.

Those who are pre-selected to hell in contraposition to the Elect, can not ever repent because God refuses to give them the ability and condemns for it.

Diolectic,

I was agreeing with you until you got into the doctrine of original sin.

Let me explain. I don't believe that God condemns anyone who has not reached the age of accountability like the baby and the lawnmower. I don't believe a person is regenerated before they are saved......

God did not create evil. The original sinner was Lucifer who said he wanted to be like the most high God......to the point where he wanted to dethrone God and be God.

When God created Adam and Eve, he gave them free will and trees to choose from. Lucifer who was Satan by this time hated everything that God loves and still does. He possessed the serpent and deceived Eve, and she listened the the serpent rather than believing what God had told her. Adam listened to Eve. He was not deceived. He knew the facts. God did not make him sin. He chose to sin.

I am in my Grandfather, and my great grandfather. I am in my father. If anyone of my ancestors that I was directly descended from died before having children, then I would not exist - therefore. We are all in Adam when we are born because we are descended from him. The Bible makes it very clear that we are born into sin, not because God predestined it, but because Adam caused it........but Christ reversed the curse when a crown of thorns was placed on his head, when he was beaten and nailed to a cruel cross. Therefore....we have 1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

We have to appreciate what being "in Adam" means before we can ever appreciate what being "in Christ" means.

We sin because we are sinners, but when we are born again we do not have the old sin nature anymore. We have the very nature of God....in Christ.

Lisa

StevenC
Jan 26th 2008, 05:41 AM
Those who are pre-selected to hell in contraposition to the Elect, can not ever repent because God refuses to give them the ability and condemns for it.

Forget for a moment all those condemned to destruction by their rejection of God and consider those who do not reject Him. Is it not for these that God knowing from the beginning how it would end, did do all this? I would contend that it is for the sake of the elect that God has put up with all the wickedness. Not for the purpose of punishing evildoers, but that we might have life.

Regarding the condemnation of the wicked, if God who gives life to those that love him, did the same for the wicked, how would that be just? I think what confuses people is that some hold that God intends to eternally torment all the sinners. The Bible only says that they will be burned and die a second death.

I am reminded of this psalm:

Psalms 92:7 When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:

-Steven

John146
Jan 26th 2008, 11:05 AM
Yep, I agree again… those wicked that God has called are given repentance and faith to believe… And I am one of these.

Where does Scripture teach that the wicked are given repentance and faith to believe?



Without God’s regeneration of the heart, no one seek after God an no one will choose God

Where does Scripture teach this?



So are you using this verse to say you are a universalist or that man is smart enough to choose God? When you underline and bold ALL Men, you seem to be saying all… But to me, men is not mankind, but representatives of men from every tongue and every tribe… Men / Man… Subset / Mankind

I am certainly not a universalist. Where is your evidence that "all men" does not mean all mankind in that passage? Yes, man is smart enough to either choose God or reject God because "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:".



Think about this for a second, what about Joseph? What about Jeremiah? What about Cyrus? What about John the Baptist? What about Moses? And of course, what about Jesus? Were not each of there lives determined by God beforehand?

Because of His foreknowledge, God is able to predestine certain purposes for certain people in order to carry out His will. That does not mean He predetermines them to either salvation or damnation while giving them no choice to believe in Him or reject Him. No one has any excuse to not believe in Him, so if someone does not believe in Him because it was God's will for them not to believe, then how can it be said that they don't have any excuse? If they had no choice but to not believe, that would be a legitimate excuse for not believing. But Scripture says they are without excuse.



I gotta stop you here and say that this is not true… God foretold Moses before he left that He will harden Pharaoh’s heart in

Exodus 4:21 The LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.

So no, scripture clearly shows that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart as Pharaoh hardens his heart… but it is God

It's true that it was God that hardened Pharaoh's heart to not let the Israelite slaves go. But my contention is that Pharaoh had a hardened heart even before that because the slaves were not treated well and were longing to be delivered from that. I guess you see Pharaoh as having been a nice guy who treated everyone well before God hardened his heart?



That’s your opinion to say, but I say the scripture clearly states that God is soverieng in all things and that he works in all folks, some to harden, some to soften…. And no, I don’t know why fully, but trust that God does know why.

God certainly is sovereign. Now, why you take that to mean He predetermines every person to either eternal salvation or eternal damnation is beyond me. Sovereignty does not have to mean controlling all things as a puppetmaster controls his puppets, but for whatever reason that appears to be how you interpret God's sovereignty.

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 26th 2008, 12:50 PM
Where does Scripture teach that the wicked are given repentance and faith to believe?

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

So we all start out sinful....



Where does Scripture teach this?

John 3:7,8
7 "Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
8 "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."







I am certainly not a universalist. Where is your evidence that "all men" does not mean all mankind in that passage? Yes, man is smart enough to either choose God or reject God because "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:".

I contend that man is not smart enough, nor does he have the will to make any choice to believe God - unless God regenerates his heart to do so... this is called being born again. In order for any sinner to be saved three things are indispensable: God the Father had to purpose his salvation, God the Son had to purchase it, and God the Spirit has to apply it... for once again, our salvation is for God, of God, by God, in God, through God and this is done by God alone.




Because of His foreknowledge, God is able to predestine certain purposes for certain people in order to carry out His will. That does not mean He predetermines them to either salvation or damnation while giving them no choice to believe in Him or reject Him.

Why not? You ignore scripture by saying this...

Luke 1:12-15
12 Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him.
13 But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John.
14 "You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.
15 "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother's womb.

And to us:

Ephesians 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love



No one has any excuse to not believe in Him,

I agree very much with this part



so if someone does not believe in Him because it was God's will for them not to believe, then how can it be said that they don't have any excuse? If they had no choice but to not believe, that would be a legitimate excuse for not believing. But Scripture says they are without excuse.

All men are born sinful, all mankind is of sin.... And.... You were born without your advice or opinion as to who you are. So were was your choice? And why did God choose the Jews? Why not the Moabites? Why did God choose Abraham, or Moses, or Jacob or David or Mary and Joseph, or .....???? You're missing some deep doctrinal truths here in not seeing that God is involved, that all men deserve death, and that for some reasoning by God, He opens the hearts of those He wants in calling them His....

John 6:44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

John 6:65 And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father."
John 6:66 As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.





It's true that it was God that hardened Pharaoh's heart to not let the Israelite slaves go. But my contention is that Pharaoh had a hardened heart even before that because the slaves were not treated well and were longing to be delivered from that.

Then you are ignoring scripture....



I guess you see Pharaoh as having been a nice guy who treated everyone well before God hardened his heart?


Is that what I stated or how you want to interpret it? Come now John, this is not what's going on here, we are talking about God's providence and that He uses His created to do His will....




God certainly is sovereign.

Whoa.... what do you mean by God is certainly sovereign? When you say this, do you have exceptions applied to it or does sovereign mean sovereign in all things?




Now, why you take that to mean He predetermines every person to either eternal salvation or eternal damnation is beyond me.

It does seem to be beyond your grasp in understanding at this moment, and it's hard for me at times as well.... but scripture is full of stuff that show's God's hand in life, for we are His created. I'm praying that God will open your eyes to see this point more clearly.



Sovereignty does not have to mean controlling all things as a puppetmaster controls his puppets, but for whatever reason that appears to be how you interpret God's sovereignty.

Think about what you are implying here, that God cannot be a puppetmaster to His child, yet his child can be the puppetmaster to God... I mean 'based on what I do, I can make Him respond this way and that way'.... Of the two, I'd much rather be His object than He being mine...


John... I know that this is deep doctrinal theology here and it's hard to grasp. But really, God is God, there is no one like Him....

So I'll close to say that God does not change, there is no plan B, he is NOT the author of sin - nor is sinful or tempts with sin. But He has provided for it, He allows it, He uses it.... for His glory and purposes.

His mercy and kindness and Grace are long-suffering, and folks see this as His relenting... which misses that His plan never changes... For God allowed S3tan to sin, for the fall of the human race, and for pain and suffering, BUT again He is not the author of SIN and it grieves Him when people sin...

This subject is in the deepest end of the pool... and one where you need to go deep to the bottom to see the big picture....



For God's Glory...

John146
Jan 28th 2008, 07:06 PM
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

So we all start out sinful....

This did not answer my question at all.

So, I will ask it again: Where does Scripture teach that the wicked are given repentance and faith to believe?




John 3:7,8
7 "Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
8 "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."


Once again, this does not answer my question. So, I will ask again. Where does Scripture teach that "Without God’s regeneration of the heart, no one seek after God an no one will choose God".



I contend that man is not smart enough, nor does he have the will to make any choice to believe God - unless God regenerates his heart to do so... this is called being born again.

Is that what is taught in Romans 1? Is Romans 1 telling us that people have no excuse to not be born again and believe in God as a result? No. Romans 1 implies that people choose to change the truth of God into a lie. There is no excuse for this. But if God chooses not to regenerate their heart, how can it be said that they have no excuse for not believing? One isn't born again unless they first repent and believe in the gospel. This is illustrated here:

11In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. - Ephesians 1:11-14

Please read this carefully. Here is the order that Paul lays out.

1) One first trusts and believes in Christ after hearing the word of truth, which is the gospel

2) Then, after trusting and believing in Christ, we are sealed by that Holy Spirit of promise. That is when we are born again of the Spirit. The trusting and believing come first.

This is illustrated in the following passage as well:

42And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
43To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
44While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. - Acts 10:42-45

Once again, you see that people hear the word preached, believe in it and then the Holy Spirit indwells them. You have the order the other way around. You say that faith comes by the regeneration of the Spirit. Scripture says that "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17).





In order for any sinner to be saved three things are indispensable: God the Father had to purpose his salvation, God the Son had to purchase it, and God the Spirit has to apply it... for once again, our salvation is for God, of God, by God, in God, through God and this is done by God alone.

God does the saving. Absolutely. The shed blood of Christ on the cross of Calvary saves us. But how does that relieve us of the responsibility to choose whether to repent and believe the gospel or not? Your doctrine removes responsibility from man.



Why not? You ignore scripture by saying this...

Luke 1:12-15
12 Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him.
13 But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John.
14 "You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.
15 "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother's womb.

And to us:

Ephesians 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love

He chooses based on His foreknowledge. He knows everything that everyone will do before they ever do it. That is how He can choose us before the foundation of the world because He knows those who will repent and believe and those who will not.



I agree very much with this part

At least we agree on something. ;)



All men are born sinful, all mankind is of sin.... And.... You were born without your advice or opinion as to who you are. So were was your choice? And why did God choose the Jews? Why not the Moabites? Why did God choose Abraham, or Moses, or Jacob or David or Mary and Joseph, or .....???? You're missing some deep doctrinal truths here in not seeing that God is involved, that all men deserve death, and that for some reasoning by God, He opens the hearts of those He wants in calling them His....

John 6:44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

John 6:65 And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father."
John 6:66 As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.

Simple. He chooses based on His foreknowledge.

1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Notice, it doesn't say "elect according to the predetermination of God the Father".



Then you are ignoring scripture....

No, that was based on Scripture I read describing Pharaoh's treatment of the Israelites even before God hardened his heart to not let them go.



Is that what I stated or how you want to interpret it? Come now John, this is not what's going on here, we are talking about God's providence and that He uses His created to do His will....

Of course God does that, but He also requires people to decide to repent and believe the gospel or not, which is what I thought we were talking about.



Whoa.... what do you mean by God is certainly sovereign? When you say this, do you have exceptions applied to it or does sovereign mean sovereign in all things?

Certainly means 100% sovereign. But what does that mean exactly? You think it means He dictates every word and action that everyone does. I don't see it that way and I don't see any strong Scriptural support for that idea. Because He is sovereign, He can do whatever He wants. And I believe, in His sovereignty, He chose to have His Son die for the sins of the whole world, so that the whole world might be saved. But in order to be saved, He requires each person to repent and believe the gospel, but many decide to reject Him instead and they choose to change the truth of God into a lie.



It does seem to be beyond your grasp in understanding at this moment, and it's hard for me at times as well.... but scripture is full of stuff that show's God's hand in life, for we are His created. I'm praying that God will open your eyes to see this point more clearly.

I will pray that God will aid you in your understanding as well.



Think about what you are implying here, that God cannot be a puppetmaster to His child, yet his child can be the puppetmaster to God... I mean 'based on what I do, I can make Him respond this way and that way'.... Of the two, I'd much rather be His object than He being mine...

No, I did not imply in any way that His child can be God's puppetmaster. Please try not to misrepresent me or my views in the future. No matter what I do, God can respond however He likes. I have no control over that. But, based on what Scripture teaches, God does respond to the behavior of people. That couldn't be more clear. How you think that means we are controlling God is beyond me.



John... I know that this is deep doctrinal theology here and it's hard to grasp. But really, God is God, there is no one like Him....

I agree



So I'll close to say that God does not change, there is no plan B, he is NOT the author of sin - nor is sinful or tempts with sin. But He has provided for it, He allows it, He uses it.... for His glory and purposes.

His mercy and kindness and Grace are long-suffering, and folks see this as His relenting... which misses that His plan never changes... For God allowed S3tan to sin, for the fall of the human race, and for pain and suffering, BUT again He is not the author of SIN and it grieves Him when people sin...

This subject is in the deepest end of the pool... and one where you need to go deep to the bottom to see the big picture....

God's plan, to send His Son to die for the sins of the whole world, has never changed. I don't see how you can imply that my view of all this means that I think God changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.




For God's Glory...

Amen

RogerW
Jan 28th 2008, 09:16 PM
Is that what is taught in Romans 1? Is Romans 1 telling us that people have no excuse to not be born again and believe in God as a result? No. Romans 1 implies that people choose to change the truth of God into a lie. There is no excuse for this. But if God chooses not to regenerate their heart, how can it be said that they have no excuse for not believing? One isn't born again unless they first repent and believe in the gospel. This is illustrated here:

11In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. - Ephesians 1:11-14

Please read this carefully. Here is the order that Paul lays out.

1) One first trusts and believes in Christ after hearing the word of truth, which is the gospel

2) Then, after trusting and believing in Christ, we are sealed by that Holy Spirit of promise. That is when we are born again of the Spirit. The trusting and believing come first.

Greetings John146,

How would one be sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise if one had not already been indwelt by the HS? To seal means to put a stamp or a mark of ownership on something. This sealing is an acknowledgement from the HS that we are His. When something is sealed it makes a binding pledge that the thing sealed is true, and binding, as when a man seals a bond, a will or deed. Unless the HS has already claimed ownership by indwelling us, then He cannot put His seal upon us guaranteeing those to whom He seals a sure and binding deposit of life everlasting.

Read the text carefully it says they "heard" the Word of truth, the gospel of "their salvation". How could they have heard and been saved without the indwelling HS? John 3 clearly tells us that no man can enter the kingdom of God (be saved) unless He is born again; that is, he MUST be born Spiritually. To be born again means that you have been given Spiritual life. Spiritual life is the result of the HS indwelling. Unless we have already received the Spirit of God we cannot understand the things of God. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1Co 2:14

So the actual order:

1) One hears the Word; the gospel of salvation
2) The HS indwells and gives supernatural hearing (faith comes by hearing) All men can hear the gospel, but only those who hear His voice are saved (Jo 10:3,4)
3) The HS imputes Christ' righteousness (Ro 8:10; Ro 3:22 Ro 5:17), leading to faith; believing we turn to God in repentance
4) The HS seals; giving a mark or pledge of assurance that He will preserve the believer unto the coming of Christ.



This is illustrated in the following passage as well:

42And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
43To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
44While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. - Acts 10:42-45

Once again, you see that people hear the word preached, believe in it and then the Holy Spirit indwells them. You have the order the other way around. You say that faith comes by the regeneration of the Spirit. Scripture says that "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17).

This passage proves what I have said above. They hear, and as they hear the Word the HS falls on them that hear (received ears to hear through the Spirit). You'll notice that believing comes simultaneously with the Holy Spirit falling upon them, proving the truth of Ro 10:17.

The faith that comes through regeneration of the Spirit works in response to the hearing of the Word. The only one who can hear with Spiritual ears must possess the Spirit in order to hear His voice, because the natural man, that is the man without the Spirit guiding cannot understand things of the Spirit. Remember natural man; man who does not have the Spirit CANNOT UNDERSTAND the things of God!



He chooses based on His foreknowledge. He knows everything that everyone will do before they ever do it. That is how He can choose us before the foundation of the world because He knows those who will repent and believe and those who will not.

Jacob and Esau sure put a wrench in this theory.

Many Blessings,
RW

Jon87
Jan 28th 2008, 09:35 PM
I'm sorry if I seem a bit slow, but I am still very young in my faith and I'm having a tough time following all of your arguments.

--- Does God create some human beings that have no ability to accept Jesus Christ as their savior?

--- If you were one of these condemned, how would you know? Could you actually actively seek Christ, and be turned away?

9Marksfan
Jan 28th 2008, 09:43 PM
He chooses based on His foreknowledge. He knows everything that everyone will do before they ever do it. That is how He can choose us before the foundation of the world because He knows those who will repent and believe and those who will not.

Simple. He chooses based on His foreknowledge.

1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Notice, it doesn't say "elect according to the predetermination of God the Father".

If I may be permitted to chip in here?

The Greek for "foreknowledge" is prognosis - but it means much more than prognosis means in English. it has the idea of setting His love upon a people in advance of their existence - I'm sure that you are aware that "knew" in the OT often meant "loved" - that's the idea. God's counsel IS predeterminate - there are several passages that speak of this.

I will leave RbG to respond to the rest of your post but I will agree wityh RogerW that the sealing of the Spirit is a different and distict experience than regeneration. Here's a verse to help you:-

"Everyone that believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God" 1 Jn 5:1 ESV

It is very clear from the passage that being born of God precedes faith - this is a construction that John uses throughout his first letter and every time he is speaking of the evidences of being born of God - I'm sure you wouldn't argue that we keep God's commandments or love the brethren BEFORE we are born again - so we should look at faith in the same way -as the fruit not the cause of our rebirth.

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 29th 2008, 03:09 AM
I'm sorry if I seem a bit slow, but I am still very young in my faith and I'm having a tough time following all of your arguments.

--- Does God create some human beings that have no ability to accept Jesus Christ as their savior?

--- If you were one of these condemned, how would you know? Could you actually actively seek Christ, and be turned away?

Hi Jon87!

You've come across a thread that has a very deep topic, built upon multiple layers of doctrine, so as not to cause you to stumble, the simple answer is that all who seek God [believe in Him and His word] will not be disappointed, and that all men are sinful. So the core understanding is that Salvation is of the Lord, and it's by grace through faith. So God will not turn anyone away who are truly seeking Him, and those that are truly seek Him have God nudging them to do so.

So I rejoice in your youth in the faith, encourage you to examine your walk daily [as do I], giving yourself the test, and humble yourself in walking in obedience to the Gospel... Read and study the word daily, asking the Lord for wisdom and discernment, and live for Christ as He directs your path by His Spirit within you.

And do it all for God's Glory...

ravi4u2
Jan 29th 2008, 03:39 AM
I'm sorry if I seem a bit slow, but I am still very young in my faith and I'm having a tough time following all of your arguments.

--- Does God create some human beings that have no ability to accept Jesus Christ as their savior?

--- If you were one of these condemned, how would you know? Could you actually actively seek Christ, and be turned away?I just want to encourage you. Don't be intimidated by high sounding arguments. As the Psalmist says, “The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”

And now I will let Jesus answer your questions. Jesus says, "Everyone that the Father has given me will come to me, and I won't turn any of them away.“

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 29th 2008, 03:43 AM
This did not answer my question at all.

So, I will ask it again: Where does Scripture teach that the wicked are given repentance and faith to believe?

SO is your question about who are the wicked? For if so, is not man born sinful, thus wicked?




Once again, this does not answer my question. So, I will ask again. Where does Scripture teach that "Without God’s regeneration of the heart, no one seek after God an no one will choose God".

John, John, John.... do you not know that one must be born from above before they can believe? - John 3:7,8?




Is that what is taught in Romans 1? Is Romans 1 telling us that people have no excuse to not be born again and believe in God as a result? No. Romans 1 implies that people choose to change the truth of God into a lie. There is no excuse for this. But if God chooses not to regenerate their heart, how can it be said that they have no excuse for not believing? One isn't born again unless they first repent and believe in the gospel.


Look at the discourse between Jesus and Nicodemus closely.... Being born again from above comes first before believing....



This is illustrated here:

11In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. - Ephesians 1:11-14

Please read this carefully. Here is the order that Paul lays out.

1) One first trusts and believes in Christ after hearing the word of truth, which is the gospel

2) Then, after trusting and believing in Christ, we are sealed by that Holy Spirit of promise. That is when we are born again of the Spirit. The trusting and believing come first.

Please look again... you think and say 'I trust and now I am born', but like your physical birth, the action comes first and then you know it



This is illustrated in the following passage as well:

42And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
43To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
44While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. - Acts 10:42-45

Once again, you see that people hear the word preached, believe in it and then the Holy Spirit indwells them. You have the order the other way around. You say that faith comes by the regeneration of the Spirit. Scripture says that "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17).

Again, unless God works in the heart first, there will not be a response...







God does the saving. Absolutely. The shed blood of Christ on the cross of Calvary saves us. But how does that relieve us of the responsibility to choose whether to repent and believe the gospel or not? Your doctrine removes responsibility from man.

Er... I've never stated that man is not responsible, but seeing that you can't see regeneration, I can see why you think this of me... Man needs to reply, he can't reply without the Lord working within His heart first....




He chooses based on His foreknowledge. He knows everything that everyone will do before they ever do it. That is how He can choose us before the foundation of the world because He knows those who will repent and believe and those who will not.

You know, when I was a young lad, I thought that this was the case too. But I've come to learn that God is active within all creation, that the bible is full of prophesy that calls out who will do what, and this is not because He sees how we will be have inasmuch how He directs our path.




At least we agree on something. ;)

I think we agree on more than you think, but we are not seeing the deeper things in the same light.... Lord willing... this may diminish over time for you




Simple. He chooses based on His foreknowledge.

1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Notice, it doesn't say "elect according to the predetermination of God the Father".

Proverbs 20:24 Man's steps are ordained by the LORD,
How then can man understand his way?



No, that was based on Scripture I read describing Pharaoh's treatment of the Israelites even before God hardened his heart to not let them go.



Of course God does that, but He also requires people to decide to repent and believe the gospel or not, which is what I thought we were talking about.



Certainly means 100% sovereign. But what does that mean exactly?

100% means 100%



You think it means He dictates every word and action that everyone does.

Nope, that's not what I am saying... Man has been giving willing choices and personality and desire.... but yet nothing is outside of God directive... So look at Judas, scripture foretold that he would betray Christ 100s of years before he was born, down to the 30 pieces of silver....




I don't see it that way and I don't see any strong Scriptural support for that idea. Because He is sovereign, He can do whatever He wants. And I believe, in His sovereignty, He chose to have His Son die for the sins of the whole world, so that the whole world might be saved. But in order to be saved, He requires each person to repent and believe the gospel, but many decide to reject Him instead and they choose to change the truth of God into a lie.

So think about this for a minute, if God is sovereign, why would He let those who do not choice Him to die to hell? Did not Jesus state that all that the Father has given Him he will not lose? Then did Jesus die for the whole world or just the elect?




I will pray that God will aid you in your understanding as well.

Thank you so much... I pray for many folks on these boards but you are the first one who I can remember that stated they will be praying for me.... Praise God for your prayers towards me!




No, I did not imply in any way that His child can be God's puppetmaster. Please try not to misrepresent me or my views in the future.

Sorry, but this is not an accusation but a clarification, so no stones are being thrown here...:saint:



No matter what I do, God can respond however He likes. I have no control over that. But, based on what Scripture teaches, God does respond to the behavior of people. That couldn't be more clear. How you think that means we are controlling God is beyond me.

Oh well... maybe one day this will makes sense...

Have a great evening

ProjectPeter
Jan 29th 2008, 01:15 PM
I'm sorry if I seem a bit slow, but I am still very young in my faith and I'm having a tough time following all of your arguments.

--- Does God create some human beings that have no ability to accept Jesus Christ as their savior?

--- If you were one of these condemned, how would you know? Could you actually actively seek Christ, and be turned away?If you are new to the faith... don't pay us blowhards much attention. :lol:

Check out the forums Maturing In Christ or New in Christ! This one can get a bit froggy now and then! :)

ProjectPeter
Jan 29th 2008, 01:24 PM
Folks can knock off the "I see things deeper than you do" and "I'll pray that the Lord open your eyes to the truth" sort of stuff. That's pushing.

Redeemed by Grace
Jan 29th 2008, 02:42 PM
Folks can knock off the "I see things deeper than you do" and "I'll pray that the Lord open your eyes to the truth" sort of stuff. That's pushing.


I don’t know were you are seeing an issue here PP, but if it’s in context to John and I, I see this as being very loving and following a biblical pattern from both John and I…

Ephesians 1:15-18
15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints,
16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

I pray for you and others in the same manner and trust that you do the same for me, although I never have heard this from you… :)

ProjectPeter
Jan 29th 2008, 02:56 PM
Praying for folks is fine. Making the comment within the course of a thread and discussion is not because it reeks of arrogance and I'm much deeper than you are (another point that has popped up a bit too much). I pray for folks plenty... but if I, in the course of a discussion, tell you that I pray God opens your eyes to the truth (meaning my truth and your lie or error) then what purpose does that serve other than to be in your face albeit it coated in religious speak? You wouldn't take it well... nor should you.

I'm rather sure that you understand the point.

drew
Jan 29th 2008, 04:38 PM
The Greek for "foreknowledge" is prognosis - but it means much more than prognosis means in English. it has the idea of setting His love upon a people in advance of their existence - I'm sure that you are aware that "knew" in the OT often meant "loved" - that's the idea. God's counsel IS predeterminate - there are several passages that speak of this.
I agree that it is too much of a stretch to make the argument that God elects based on his foreknowledge. That robs the concept of "election" of too much. But I also believe one can be true to the "determinative" aspects of election without actually requiring that God "name names". In fact, the way Paul speaks about election in Romans strongly suggests that he is thinking in terms of God creating or "electing" a category of people, without actually pre-determining who will be in that category. But I won't give a full defence of that here.


"Everyone that believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God" 1 Jn 5:1 ESV

It is very clear from the passage that being born of God precedes faith - this is a construction that John uses throughout his first letter and every time he is speaking of the evidences of being born of God - I'm sure you wouldn't argue that we keep God's commandments or love the brethren BEFORE we are born again - so we should look at faith in the same way -as the fruit not the cause of our rebirth.
However, other translations do not have this temporal precedence:

NASB: Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him

NIV: Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well

John146
Jan 29th 2008, 06:42 PM
Greetings John146,

How would one be sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise if one had not already been indwelt by the HS?

Hello Roger,

Explain to me why no one has any excuse for not believing "that which may be known of God...even his eternal power and Godhead"? You are equating the knowledge of Himself that God gives to everyone with being regenerated. That would mean all people are regenerated because no one has any excuse for not believing "that which may be known of God...even his eternal power and Godhead". But, of course, we know that not all people are born again. Scripture is clear that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit or the regeneration of the Holy Spirit or being born again is not necessary for one to realize their need to repent and to believe in God and His Son. God commands everyone everywhere to repent. It would be pointless to command everyone to repent if not everyone can repent.



To seal means to put a stamp or a mark of ownership on something. This sealing is an acknowledgement from the HS that we are His. When something is sealed it makes a binding pledge that the thing sealed is true, and binding, as when a man seals a bond, a will or deed. Unless the HS has already claimed ownership by indwelling us, then He cannot put His seal upon us guaranteeing those to whom He seals a sure and binding deposit of life everlasting.Yes, and this does not occur until after one repents and believes, as Scripture such as Ephesians 1:11-14 clearly shows. There is no reason to think the sealing of the Holy Spirit does not occur at the same time as the regeneration of the Holy Spirit and Ephesians 1:13 says: "after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.



Read the text carefully it says they "heard" the Word of truth, the gospel of "their salvation". How could they have heard and been saved without the indwelling HS?You equate the convicting and enlightening power of the Holy Spirit with regeneration. Why? Please give Scriptural evidence that the convicting and enlightening work of the Spirit in sinners is the same as being born again.



John 3 clearly tells us that no man can enter the kingdom of God (be saved) unless He is born again; that is, he MUST be born Spiritually. To be born again means that you have been given Spiritual life. Spiritual life is the result of the HS indwelling. Unless we have already received the Spirit of God we cannot understand the things of God. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1Co 2:14Explain your interpretation of 1 Cor 2:14 in light of what Paul taught in Romans 1 regarding no one having any excuse for not believing "that which may be known of God...even his eternal power and Godhead".



So the actual order:

1) One hears the Word; the gospel of salvation I'm with you so far.



2) The HS indwells and gives supernatural hearing (faith comes by hearing) All men can hear the gospel, but only those who hear His voice are saved (Jo 10:3,4)Many are called, but few are chosen (Matt 20:16, Matt 22:14). Those who are chosen are those who humble themselves and repent and believe the gospel. Those who are not chosen are those who "received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." (2 Thess 2:10). They willfully choose to reject the gospel of Christ.

You make this differentiation between hearing the gospel and hearing Christ's voice, which we would understand to be the calling of the Holy Spirit. You say that only the saved can hear the voice or the call of the Holy Spirit. If that is true then explain the following verse:

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

How do these unbelievers who are not chosen resist the Holy Ghost whom you say those who are not chosen are not able to even hear?



3) The HS imputes Christ' righteousness (Ro 8:10; Ro 3:22 Ro 5:17), leading to faith; believing we turn to God in repentanceOkay, you reference three verses to back up your point, so let's take a closer look at them:

22Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: - Rom 3:22

17For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) - Rom 5:17

10And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. - Rom 8:10

First of all, none of these say anything about the Holy Spirit imputing Christ's righteousness to someone which in turn leads to faith. Romans 3:22 is incorrectly translated in the KJV (which is a good translation overall, don't get me wrong) as speaking of the "faith of Jesus Christ". Most other translations accurately translate it as "faith in Jesus Christ". Whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. It is the "whosoever" that must believe in Him. Christ doesn't believe for us.

Romans 5:17 definitely doesn't support your claim. You'll have to explain to me how that verse supposedly supports what you said. Same thing with Romans 8:10. That verse doesn't even mention faith, yet somehow it supports your claim that the Holy Spirit imputes Christ's righteousness in someone, leading to faith?



4) The HS seals; giving a mark or pledge of assurance that He will preserve the believer unto the coming of Christ. How exactly did you determine that the sealing of the Holy Spirit is not directly related (or does not happen at the same general time) to the regeneration of the Spirit?




This passage proves what I have said above. They hear, and as they hear the Word the HS falls on them that hear (received ears to hear through the Spirit). You'll notice that believing comes simultaneously with the Holy Spirit falling upon them, proving the truth of Ro 10:17. But your interpretation does not line up with other Scripture.

13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

But, I guess you don't believe that we are sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise when the Holy Spirit falls upon us. Do you have any Scripture to back up that theory?



The faith that comes through regeneration of the Spirit works in response to the hearing of the Word. The only one who can hear with Spiritual ears must possess the Spirit in order to hear His voice, because the natural man, that is the man without the Spirit guiding cannot understand things of the Spirit. Remember natural man; man who does not have the Spirit CANNOT UNDERSTAND the things of God! I already covered this. Apparently, those unbelievers spoken of in Romans 1 can understand enough about God that there is no excuse for them to not believe "that which may be known of God...even his eternal power and Godhead" (Rom 1:19-20).



Jacob and Esau sure put a wrench in this theory. No, it doesn't. Romans 9 has nothing to do with individuals being predetermined to either salvation or damnation because if it did, then it would contradict the many passages that teach against that doctrine. Romans 9 has to do with corporate election and not individual election. Jacob and Esau represent two corporate entities.

We have to look at the Old Testament for context regarding Jacob and Esau so that we can determine exactly what Paul was talking about.

1The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. 2I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,
3And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. - Malachi 1:1-3


Remember, Romans 9:6-8 clarifies that one is not part of the Israel of God just be merely being a descendant of the nation of Israel. Even though Abraham and Isaac are mentioned within that passage, they are not the focus of it. The same goes with Jacob and Esau. In no way was Paul saying that God, just because He can, decided that Jacob would be saved and Esau would not be saved. Paul was speaking in terms of God's purpose for the descendants of Jacob and Esau.

23And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. - Genesis 25:23

Here, we can see that Jacob and Esau, while two individuals, represent two nations or two manner of people. So, if Jacob was predestined for salvation and Esau was predestined for damnation, then it would be reasonable to say that their descendants were also predestined for salvation or damnation, respectively. Yet, God was gracious to the descendants of Esau:

2And the LORD spake unto me, saying, 3Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward.
4And command thou the people, saying, Ye are to pass through the coast of your brethren the children of Esau, which dwell in Seir; and they shall be afraid of you: take ye good heed unto yourselves therefore:
5Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a possession. - Deut 2:2-5

So, the burden of proof is on you to show that Paul's point in Romans 9 when speaking of Jacob and Esau was to say that some are predestined to salvation, like Jacob, and some are predestined to damnation, like Esau, while having no choice in the matter. By doing so, you'd have to ignore the many Scripture passages that teach that it is man's responsibility to choose to either repent and believe the gospel or to refuse to repent and reject the gospel.

Eric

John146
Jan 29th 2008, 07:09 PM
I'm sorry if I seem a bit slow, but I am still very young in my faith and I'm having a tough time following all of your arguments.

--- Does God create some human beings that have no ability to accept Jesus Christ as their savior?

No.

3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. - 1 Timothy 2:3-6

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. - Isaiah 45:22

16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. - John 3:16-17

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. - Revelation 22:17

12For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. - Romans 10:12-13 (see Acts 2:21 as well)

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. - John 7:37

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

1My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. - 1 John 2:1-2

31Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
32For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. - Romans 11:31-32

30And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
31Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. - Acts 17:30-31




--- If you were one of these condemned, how would you know? Could you actually actively seek Christ, and be turned away?No. See the passages above.

John146
Jan 29th 2008, 07:46 PM
SO is your question about who are the wicked? For if so, is not man born sinful, thus wicked?

This is not that hard. I'm asking you to give me Scripture references that say that the wicked are given repentance and faith to believe by God.



John, John, John.... do you not know that one must be born from above before they can believe? - John 3:7,8?

You can call me Eric. Or Eric, Eric, Eric if you prefer. ;)

That is not what John 3:7-8 says.

7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.


Break this down for me and tell me where it says "that one must be born from above before they can believe?".






Look at the discourse between Jesus and Nicodemus closely.... Being born again from above comes first before believing....

Yeah, I guess I'll need you to specifically show me this because I'm not seeing it.



Please look again... you think and say 'I trust and now I am born', but like your physical birth, the action comes first and then you know it

Huh? Ephesians 1:13-14 says that after one believes they receive the Holy Spirit. Couldn't be more clear.



Again, unless God works in the heart first, there will not be a response...

Of course that is the case. Where did I say otherwise? My contention is that God works on everyone's heart, but people have the choice to resist Him or not.

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



Er... I've never stated that man is not responsible, but seeing that you can't see regeneration, I can see why you think this of me... Man needs to reply, he can't reply without the Lord working within His heart first....

Of course, but Scripture doesn't teach that the Lord only works on the hearts of some and not others.



You know, when I was a young lad, I thought that this was the case too. But I've come to learn that God is active within all creation, that the bible is full of prophesy that calls out who will do what, and this is not because He sees how we will be have inasmuch how He directs our path.

God is active and does as He pleases, yet He also gives conditions to people and acts according to their response. Scripture is quite clear about that and ProjectPeter has already illustrated that clearly previously in this thread and I also have given the example of Matthew 23:37 previously. God directs our path if we belong to Him. He works for the good for those who love Him.



I think we agree on more than you think, but we are not seeing the deeper things in the same light.... Lord willing... this may diminish over time for you

You are basically saying that I will understand the deeper things until I agree with you completely. That is funny. I think it's up to the Spirit to decide whether what I believe is true and not up to you.



Proverbs 20:24 Man's steps are ordained by the LORD,
How then can man understand his way?

Are you trying to use this verse to say that the Lord foreordains every step that all mankind takes as if we are all puppets or robots? Because that would not support what the rest of Scripture teaches. But I'll let you tell me what you believe the verse means.



100% means 100%

Yes, that's true, but that doesn't mean your definition of God's sovereignty is accurate.



Nope, that's not what I am saying... Man has been giving willing choices and personality and desire.... but yet nothing is outside of God directive... So look at Judas, scripture foretold that he would betray Christ 100s of years before he was born, down to the 30 pieces of silver....

So, that somehow means that it was God's will from the beginning for Judas to betray His Son? You are acknowledging that man has been given willing choices. So, why can't one of those choices be whether to repent and accept the gospel or refuse to repent and reject the gospel?

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. - Joshua 24:15



So think about this for a minute, if God is sovereign, why would He let those who do not choice Him to die to hell? Did not Jesus state that all that the Father has given Him he will not lose? Then did Jesus die for the whole world or just the elect?

Scripture clearly says that He died for the whole world, so stop arguing with Scripture. God allows people to choose to reject Him because He is not a respecter of persons. He has chosen to give man the responsibility to repent and believe the gospel. Now, this doesn't mean that He doesn't do anything to help man repent and believe. But it's still man's choice. That is the reason for the day of judgment. Why should people be judged and punished for eternity in the lake of fire if they did not have any chance to repent and believe the gospel? Why would God punish people for merely doing what He wanted them to do?



Thank you so much... I pray for many folks on these boards but you are the first one who I can remember that stated they will be praying for me.... Praise God for your prayers towards me!

We should all pray for each other because we all need it and none of us has all the answers. But what we shouldn't do is act like there is no possibility that we are wrong about a certain doctrine and then arrogantly tell someone that we will pray that God will lead them to believe the same as we do.



Oh well... maybe one day this will makes sense...


No, your understanding of this issue makes sense to me as far as the fact that I know why you believe what you do. I just happen to disagree with you.

Eric

John146
Jan 29th 2008, 08:05 PM
If I may be permitted to chip in here?

The Greek for "foreknowledge" is prognosis - but it means much more than prognosis means in English. it has the idea of setting His love upon a people in advance of their existence - I'm sure that you are aware that "knew" in the OT often meant "loved" - that's the idea. God's counsel IS predeterminate - there are several passages that speak of this.

I will leave RbG to respond to the rest of your post but I will agree wityh RogerW that the sealing of the Spirit is a different and distict experience than regeneration. Here's a verse to help you:-

"Everyone that believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God" 1 Jn 5:1 ESVIs this all you have to support your claim that the sealing of the Spirit is a different and distinct experience than regeneration? I'm speaking in terms of your belief that the sealing of the Spirit is not directly related to being born again and can happen several days (months? years?) apart.



It is very clear from the passage that being born of God precedes faith - this is a construction that John uses throughout his first letter and every time he is speaking of the evidences of being born of God - I'm sure you wouldn't argue that we keep God's commandments or love the brethren BEFORE we are born again - so we should look at faith in the same way -as the fruit not the cause of our rebirth.No, I don't think it's very clear from the passage at all that "being born of God precedes faith". Why so selective in your choice of translations? Do you always quote from the ESV or was that just convenient this time? Drew already pointed out how it is translated in the NASB and NIV and I believe those are more accurate than the ESV in this case. The KJV also translates it the same as the NASB and NIV. I'm not one of those KJV-only people, so I think we should look at all translations instead of just picking the one that agrees with our doctrine.

Here's how it reads in the KJV:

1Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. - 1 John 5:1

This doesn't indicate the order either way. I've looked at several other versions including the Amplified Bible, CEV, NKJV, NCV, ASV, and NLV. Now, I'm not certain if all of those are reliable, but I can't find any version besides the ESV that words it that way. But even with the way it's worded in the ESV, I don't see how that supports your view. It only does if you read into the text. You are reading it as if it says ""Everyone that believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God before they believed that Jesus is the Christ". But, it doesn't say that even in the ESV. And other versions just point out that those who believe in Christ are also born of God.

But, let me ask you something. How can one be born of God and still be an unbelieving sinner at the same time? Because that is what you are claiming because you say one can be born of God, but still has not yet repented and believed the gospel.

Eric

9Marksfan
Jan 30th 2008, 03:03 PM
I agree that it is too much of a stretch to make the argument that God elects based on his foreknowledge. That robs the concept of "election" of too much. But I also believe one can be true to the "determinative" aspects of election without actually requiring that God "name names". In fact, the way Paul speaks about election in Romans strongly suggests that he is thinking in terms of God creating or "electing" a category of people, without actually pre-determining who will be in that category. But I won't give a full defence of that here.

The context of the election passages in the NT as far as salvation is concerned is that individuals are elected yet they are never elected in a vacuum - the church in effect is elected, thereby smashing the kind of individualistic "I don't need the church" approach of so many these days. So I would agree with you in part - but I see nothing in any of the election passages to suggest that God doesn't predetermine who will be in the category of the elect.


However, other translations do not have this temporal precedence:

NASB: Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him

NIV: Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well

As I've said elsewhere, the ESV is being regarded by more and more as an improvement in accuracy on all the other modern translations, even the NASB. If you look at all the other "whoever...is born of God" passages in 1 John, it's very clear that there is a temporal precedence - giving the very strong indication that one's behaviour/actions/attitude/faith is evidence that one is born of God, not the cause of such an experience.

RogerW
Jan 30th 2008, 08:51 PM
Hello Roger,

Explain to me why no one has any excuse for not believing "that which may be known of God...even his eternal power and Godhead"? You are equating the knowledge of Himself that God gives to everyone with being regenerated. That would mean all people are regenerated because no one has any excuse for not believing "that which may be known of God...even his eternal power and Godhead". But, of course, we know that not all people are born again. Scripture is clear that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit or the regeneration of the Holy Spirit or being born again is not necessary for one to realize their need to repent and to believe in God and His Son. God commands everyone everywhere to repent. It would be pointless to command everyone to repent if not everyone can repent.

Greetings Eric,

In Romans 1 Paul doesn’t say that grace in salvation revealed through the gospel comes to all unrighteous men. Paul clearly separates those who have been separated unto the gospel of God from before the foundation of the world. The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation, so unless unrighteous men are given ears to hear the gospel of Christ they will not be saved.

Ro 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
Ro 1:2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
Ro 1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
Ro 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
Ro 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
Ro 1:6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:
Ro 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ro 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Scripture speaks of two revelations given us from heaven. One is the grace of God in Christ Jesus upon all who believe, and the other is the wrath and judgment of God upon unbelievers. The wrath is revealed in the law and in the judgment of God upon mankind through the examples of Adam, Sodom, Noah’s world etc., and in the cross of Christ where God spared not His only begotten Son.

Some things (salvation) can only be known through gospel revelation (faith comes by hearing), but there are some things revealed about God through His creation making man without excuse because God’s power, majesty, and glory are made manifest through the things He has made (Ps. 19:1). These things are “clearly seen” because God has given us eyes to behold His creation, and to behold His glory. These are “being understood” by the mind God has given us, which can recognize the glory of God through the creation and love Him. But some choose to walk in darkness, even though the light of God shines unto them, because they love the darkness, and take pleasure in their sin. Therefore they are without excuse. No one can blame God for loving idolatry and wickedness, and refusing to acknowledge the glory of God. God has given all mankind a conscience that bears witness to their works, their consciences either accusing or excusing them.


Ro 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Ro 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another

God has given all mankind the knowledge of knowing there is a God for the world exists, and is sustained. Mankind forsakes the truth of God and turns to the vanity of their own reasoning and foolish imaginations. They make their own gods and turn away from the True God. They create gods while all along having knowledge of God. The carnal mind is always enmity against God, so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. If any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.

Ro 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Ro 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Ro 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.



Yes, and this does not occur until after one repents and believes, as Scripture such as Ephesians 1:11-14 clearly shows. There is no reason to think the sealing of the Holy Spirit does not occur at the same time as the regeneration of the Holy Spirit and Ephesians 1:13 says: "after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.

You equate the convicting and enlightening power of the Holy Spirit with regeneration. Why? Please give Scriptural evidence that the convicting and enlightening work of the Spirit in sinners is the same as being born again.

I’ve already made the point that regeneration, the indwelling HS, repenting, believing, sealing happen simultaneously through the hearing (His voice) of the Word. If Eph 1:13 teaches that repentance and believing proceeds salvation, then it makes no sense to say we are quickened (made alive) while being dead in our sins. Isn’t it necessary for the HS to convict us of our sins in order for us to repent? You agree that sealing of the HS occurs at the same time as regeneration…is not regeneration the act of believing? Does not the fact that sealing, regeneration and believing happen together do away with so called choosing to be saved while still spiritually dead?

There are several passages in Scripture that equate being born again through the enlightening power of the HS, here are a few of them.

Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved

Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

2Co 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Eze 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Jan 30th 2008, 08:59 PM
Yes, and this does not occur until after one repents and believes, as Scripture such as Ephesians 1:11-14 clearly shows. There is no reason to think the sealing of the Holy Spirit does not occur at the same time as the regeneration of the Holy Spirit and Ephesians 1:13 says: "after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.

You equate the convicting and enlightening power of the Holy Spirit with regeneration. Why? Please give Scriptural evidence that the convicting and enlightening work of the Spirit in sinners is the same as being born again.





Explain your interpretation of 1 Cor 2:14 in light of what Paul taught in Romans 1 regarding no one having any excuse for not believing "that which may be known of God...even his eternal power and Godhead".

Are you equating “that which may be known of God…even His eternal power and Godhead” with understanding and receiving salvation through the power of the gospel? That is not what Ro 1 is teaching.

1Co 2:14 confirms Romans 1. Natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God, but that does not mean that God is not known to natural man, for God is manifested in His creation. We all know God. But those who know God and refuse to give Him glory is not the same as receiving things of God through His indwelling Spirit. The Spirit always testifies of the Son: Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. Without the indwelling Spirit, God is made manifest to all mankind through creation of the world, and our conscience, but revelation of the Son comes from the Holy Spirit. Therefore apart from the Spirit of God, natural man cannot receive knowledge of Christ for He is discerned spiritually.

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Ro 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Ro 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
Ro 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Ro 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.




Many are called, but few are chosen (Matt 20:16, Matt 22:14). Those who are chosen are those who humble themselves and repent and believe the gospel. Those who are not chosen are those who "received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." (2 Thess 2:10). They willfully choose to reject the gospel of Christ.

The problem with this teaching is that it ignores the fact that all man are fallen, all are spiritually dead in trespasses and sins, and none have the ability to humble themselves and repent and believe apart from the regenerating work of the HS. All mankind willfully choose to reject the gospel of Christ until they are born again. Many are called through the gospel going unto all mankind, however only those who are called, chosen and faithful are with Him (Rev 17:14).



You make this differentiation between hearing the gospel and hearing Christ's voice, which we would understand to be the calling of the Holy Spirit. You say that only the saved can hear the voice or the call of the Holy Spirit. If that is true then explain the following verse:

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

How do these unbelievers who are not chosen resist the Holy Ghost whom you say those who are not chosen are not able to even hear?

What do you think Stephen means here when he says, “ye do always resist the Holy Ghost”? Do you see this as having ability to usurp the power of the Holy Ghost? If God; the Holy Spirit desires to accomplish whatsoever He wills, can we really keep Him from doing that which He wills? Does not that make us more powerful than God?

Stephen is comparing these men to their fathers in the wilderness who oppose the message brought by the authority of God, through Moses, the prophets, the Savior, and the apostles of the Lord. Just as their fathers opposed the infallible Word of God, through Moses, so too they do oppose the Word delivered through the apostles.

Ac 7:27 But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us?

Ac 7:35 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.

Ac 7:39 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,
Ac 7:40 Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
Ac 7:41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.
Ac 7:42 Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?
Ac 7:43 Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Jan 30th 2008, 09:13 PM
Hello Roger,
Okay, you reference three verses to back up your point, so let's take a closer look at them:

22Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: - Rom 3:22

17For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) - Rom 5:17

10And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. - Rom 8:10

First of all, none of these say anything about the Holy Spirit imputing Christ's righteousness to someone which in turn leads to faith. Romans 3:22 is incorrectly translated in the KJV (which is a good translation overall, don't get me wrong) as speaking of the "faith of Jesus Christ". Most other translations accurately translate it as "faith in Jesus Christ". Whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. It is the "whosoever" that must believe in Him. Christ doesn't believe for us.

Romans 5:17 definitely doesn't support your claim. You'll have to explain to me how that verse supposedly supports what you said. Same thing with Romans 8:10. That verse doesn't even mention faith, yet somehow it supports your claim that the Holy Spirit imputes Christ's righteousness in someone, leading to faith?

Christ came to fulfill all righteousness.

Mt 3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe; the righteousness of God is revealed from faith (His) to faith (imputation), for the just shall live by faith.

Ro 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Ro 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Are we saved in the same way Abraham was? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. If believing had been the work of Abraham then it would not have been reckoned of grace, but of debt. But Abraham believed on Him that justifies the ungodly, and his faith is counted for righteousness. David describes the blessedness of man unto whom God imputes righteousness. God imputes righteousness to Abraham! Abraham believed God and his faith is counted for righteousness, that righteousness imputed by God led Abraham to faith.

Ro 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Ro 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
Ro 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.Ro 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
Ro 4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Ro 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Is this faith reckoned to Abraham for righteousness to Abraham only? He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of righteousness of faith while still being uncircumcised, so that they who are not circumcised, who believe receive imputed righteousness also. To those who walk in the steps of that faith of Abraham. For the promise was not to Abraham through the flesh or the law, but through the righteousness of faith. That is imputation of the righteousness of Christ that leads to faith.

Ro 4:9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

Ro 4:10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
Ro 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
Ro 4:12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
Ro 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Your argument against the KJV is almost always raised by those who refuse to accept that we are saved by faith OF Christ, and this not of ourselves, but a gift of God. For me to believe your argument has merit I would have to believe that the interpreters of the KJV came with an agenda to prove that salvation is not dependent upon man’s free will, but upon the Lord, Who imputes His righteousness that leads to faith for all who have been given ears to hear, repent, and believe.

Hmmm…come to think of it, I believe that is exactly the point the KJV translators are making.

Ga 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Ga 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Ga 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Eph 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Jas 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

Re 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.



How exactly did you determine that the sealing of the Holy Spirit is not directly related (or does not happen at the same general time) to the regeneration of the Spirit?

I did not say that the sealing of the HS is not directly related or does not happen at the same time as regeneration. I believe this is your argument. Did you not argue that we believe first, then we receive the HS at some point after we express our own faith and believe? You didn’t make clear whether you believe this all simultaneous, for to do so you would have to accept that hearing (spiritually) receiving the HS and His seal, believing, repenting happen together. That would be to acknowledge that believing through faith (you imagine we posses while spiritually dead), is not biblical.



But your interpretation does not line up with other Scripture.

13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

But, I guess you don't believe that we are sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise when the Holy Spirit falls upon us. Do you have any Scripture to back up that theory?

Again Eric, I believe this is your argument not mine. Again you acknowledge that the action of salvation is not merely we putting our faith in Christ, but rather that salvation comes through hearing the gospel supernaturally, and God supernaturally applying that Word to our hearts. We cannot supernaturally hear the gospel (hear His voice) unless the HS is giving us ears to hear, and imputing us with righteousness that brings us to faith, and then believing we repent….supernatural life; being born again; all of God; none of us.

I already covered this. Apparently, those unbelievers spoken of in Romans 1 can understand enough about God that there is no excuse for them to not believe "that which may be known of God...even his eternal power and Godhead" (Rom 1:19-20).

No, it doesn't. Romans 9 has nothing to do with individuals being predetermined to either salvation or damnation because if it did, then it would contradict the many passages that teach against that doctrine. Romans 9 has to do with corporate election and not individual election. Jacob and Esau represent two corporate entities.

We have to look at the Old Testament for context regarding Jacob and Esau so that we can determine exactly what Paul was talking about.

Remember, Romans 9:6-8 clarifies that one is not part of the Israel of God just be merely being a descendant of the nation of Israel. Even though Abraham and Isaac are mentioned within that passage, they are not the focus of it. The same goes with Jacob and Esau. In no way was Paul saying that God, just because He can, decided that Jacob would be saved and Esau would not be saved. Paul was speaking in terms of God's purpose for the descendants of Jacob and Esau.

Here, we can see that Jacob and Esau, while two individuals, represent two nations or two manner of people. So, if Jacob was predestined for salvation and Esau was predestined for damnation, then it would be reasonable to say that their descendants were also predestined for salvation or damnation, respectively. Yet, God was gracious to the descendants of Esau:

So, the burden of proof is on you to show that Paul's point in Romans 9 when speaking of Jacob and Esau was to say that some are predestined to salvation, like Jacob, and some are predestined to damnation, like Esau, while having no choice in the matter. By doing so, you'd have to ignore the many Scripture passages that teach that it is man's responsibility to choose to either repent and believe the gospel or to refuse to repent and reject the gospel.

Eric[/quote]

Eric, I agree that Jacob and Esau represent two nations. The text is pretty clear on this. But they are also individuals. How do you explain the names that are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life from before the foundation of the world? While it is true that Jacob and Esau represent two distinct peoples, it is equally true that these people have personal names; identities; personalities, and they are judged by what they do in the body.

Paul tells us “those women” and “Clement” and other “fellow laborers” names are in the book of life. These are not merely representing nations and peoples, they speak of certain individuals.

Php 4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
John tells us those who worship the dragon have not had their names written in the book of life from the foundation of the world. These are not merely representing nations and peoples, this speaks of individuals who will be held accountable before God on the day of Judgment.

Re 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

All whose names have NOT been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world wonder after the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit. Again individuals, not representatives of nations and people.

Re 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Whosoever is NOT found written in the book of life on Judgment Day is cast into the lake of fire. Whosoever does not merely represent nations and people, whosoever means any individual person.

Re 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life can enter into the holy city descending down out of heaven from God. Individual’s are saved!

Re 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Christ tells us that His sheep hear His voice, and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them. His sheep follow Him for they know His voice.

Joh 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
Joh 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Joh 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Joh 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Many Blessings,
RW

drew
Jan 30th 2008, 09:50 PM
Romans 9 has nothing to say on the matter of individuals being elected to salvation or to damnation:

11Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God's purpose in election might stand: 12not by works but by him who calls—she was told, "The older will serve the younger." 13Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

Paul is referring to the fact that God elects Esau (the older) to serve the younger (Jacob). He is not talking about one of them being predestined to heaven and the other to hell. To see this as implying that Esau was elected to eternal loss and Jacob to eternal life is not justified by the text. Paul tells us what the election is about - it is election to some role in the world of the here and now.

Same thing when we get to Pharoah later in the chapter. He is not hardened so that he will end up in hell, he is hardened to resist Moses' efforts to free the people, thereby creating a situation where God intervenes in this present world to deliver the Jews from Egpyt.

Issues of eternal destinations of individuals are nowhere in sight in Romans 9. Paul is talking about the covenant and how God's sovereign use of people (e.g. Esau, Pharaoh) and nations (e.g. Israel, Egypt) is in perfect fidelity with the covenant. It is the covenant that Paul is defending and explaining here, not what happens to people when they die.

drew
Jan 30th 2008, 09:54 PM
Re 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

All whose names have NOT been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world wonder after the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit. Again individuals, not representatives of nations and people.
The "normal" way an english reader would parse Rev 13:8 in the version you give would involve understanding that it is the Lamb that is slain from the foundation of the world. The grammar does not allow one to conclude that the names were in the book from the foundation of the world.

RogerW
Jan 30th 2008, 10:38 PM
The "normal" way an english reader would parse Rev 13:8 in the version you give would involve understanding that it is the Lamb that is slain from the foundation of the world. The grammar does not allow one to conclude that the names were in the book from the foundation of the world.

Okay Drew. Can you come up with another normal way an english reader would parse this verse in Rev 17:8? Nothing about the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, only "whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world." Certainly this verse gives credibility to reading Rev 13:8 as names written in the book of life from the foundation of the world? We understand that Christ is also the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, but that does not mean that the names were not also written in the book of life from the foundation of the world.

Re 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

With your reading of Ro 9 as corporate election you have yet to explain these names written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

Many Blessings,
RW

John146
Jan 30th 2008, 10:51 PM
Greetings Eric,

In Romans 1 Paul doesn’t say that grace in salvation revealed through the gospel comes to all unrighteous men. Paul clearly separates those who have been separated unto the gospel of God from before the foundation of the world. The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation, so unless unrighteous men are given ears to hear the gospel of Christ they will not be saved.

Ro 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
Ro 1:2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
Ro 1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
Ro 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
Ro 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
Ro 1:6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:
Ro 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ro 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Scripture speaks of two revelations given us from heaven. One is the grace of God in Christ Jesus upon all who believe, and the other is the wrath and judgment of God upon unbelievers. The wrath is revealed in the law and in the judgment of God upon mankind through the examples of Adam, Sodom, Noah’s world etc., and in the cross of Christ where God spared not His only begotten Son.

Some things (salvation) can only be known through gospel revelation (faith comes by hearing), but there are some things revealed about God through His creation making man without excuse because God’s power, majesty, and glory are made manifest through the things He has made (Ps. 19:1). These things are “clearly seen” because God has given us eyes to behold His creation, and to behold His glory. These are “being understood” by the mind God has given us, which can recognize the glory of God through the creation and love Him. But some choose to walk in darkness, even though the light of God shines unto them, because they love the darkness, and take pleasure in their sin.

What was that? Some choose to walk in darkness? What if they chose not to walk in darkness instead? Are they still going to spend eternity in the lake of fire because they have no chance to be saved as predetermined by God? It's very interesting that you believe that people can choose whether or not to walk in darkness, but they can't choose whether or not to repent and believe the gospel. Seems rather inconsistent to me.



Therefore they are without excuse. No one can blame God for loving idolatry and wickedness, and refusing to acknowledge the glory of God. God has given all mankind a conscience that bears witness to their works, their consciences either accusing or excusing them.

Ro 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Ro 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another

God has given all mankind the knowledge of knowing there is a God for the world exists, and is sustained. Mankind forsakes the truth of God and turns to the vanity of their own reasoning and foolish imaginations. They make their own gods and turn away from the True God. They create gods while all along having knowledge of God. The carnal mind is always enmity against God, so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. If any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.

Ro 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Ro 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Ro 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.None of what you're saying means that people are not able to choose to repent and believe the gospel or not.



I’ve already made the point that regeneration, the indwelling HS, repenting, believing, sealing happen simultaneously through the hearing (His voice) of the Word.Actually, I seem to recall that you've made the point that regeneration comes first and then comes repenting and believing followed by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Or am I confusing you with someone else? Can you point me to the post where you made that point?



If Eph 1:13 teaches that repentance and believing proceeds salvation, then it makes no sense to say we are quickened (made alive) while being dead in our sins.Why is that?



Isn’t it necessary for the HS to convict us of our sins in order for us to repent?Sure



You agree that sealing of the HS occurs at the same time as regeneration…is not regeneration the act of believing?No, I don't believe so.

4But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; - Titus 3:4-5


Regeneration refers to the Spirit cleansing and renewing us on the inside. This happens after we repent and put our faith in Christ. I don't know where you get the idea that regeneration is the act of believing. Do you have any Scripture references to support that idea?



Does not the fact that sealing, regeneration and believing happen together do away with so called choosing to be saved while still spiritually dead?It would if that was what Scripture actually taught. But I don't see that it does.

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, - Eph 1:13



There are several passages in Scripture that equate being born again through the enlightening power of the HS, here are a few of them.

Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved

Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

2Co 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Eze 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

Many Blessings,
RWRight. And none of those say that the convicting and enlightening work of the Spirit in a spiritually dead sinner's life is the same as the indwelling, sealing and regeneration of the Spirit within a new believer.

Look at Ephesians 2:5 again.

Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)

In parentheses there it says "by grace ye are saved". We know that we are saved not only by God's grace but also through faith. Whose faith?

9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. - Romans 10:9-10

30And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. - Acts 16:30-31


We are not born again/saved until after we put our faith in Jesus Christ. Notice the prison keeper in Acts 16 asked what he had to do to be saved. And Paul and Silas told him that he had to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. That was something that the man had to do first before he could be saved. It was his responsibility to make that decision to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ or not.

drew
Jan 30th 2008, 10:51 PM
Okay Drew. Can you come up with another normal way an english reader would parse this verse in Rev 17:8?
Re 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
I never commented on Revelation 17:8. I agree that this verse implies that names are in the book from the foundation of the world. I think that one can coherently claim that the names are there based on foreknowledge as importantly distinguished from pre-destination.


With your reading of Ro 9 as corporate election you have yet to explain these names written in the Lamb's Book of Life.
Whether or not there are other texts that support election of individuals, I think that Romans 9 is clearly not one. The case against Romans 9 being about individual election is so strong, one could write for hours and still not run out of evidence. Have we not pursued this before? Do you wish to take this issue further?

John146
Jan 30th 2008, 11:17 PM
Are you equating “that which may be known of God…even His eternal power and Godhead” with understanding and receiving salvation through the power of the gospel? That is not what Ro 1 is teaching.

That is your opinion and then your proceed to not really back up your opinion in any clear or convincing way at all.



1Co 2:14 confirms Romans 1. Natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God, but that does not mean that God is not known to natural man, for God is manifested in His creation. We all know God. But those who know God and refuse to give Him glory is not the same as receiving things of God through His indwelling Spirit. The Spirit always testifies of the Son: Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. Without the indwelling Spirit, God is made manifest to all mankind through creation of the world, and our conscience, but revelation of the Son comes from the Holy Spirit. Therefore apart from the Spirit of God, natural man cannot receive knowledge of Christ for He is discerned spiritually.

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Ro 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Ro 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
Ro 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Ro 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Let's back up a few verses in Romans 1 from where you started there.

15So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. 16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. - Romans 1:15-17

Is the gospel not the truth? I would think you would agree. So, what does Paul say after verse 17?

Ro 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

This is saying that these ungodly and unrighteous men hold the truth of the gospel, which Paul was just speaking about, in unrighteousness. That which may be known of God is manifest in them. How can you say that the gospel of Christ is not something that may be known of God? Also, they have no excuse for not believing in His eternal power and Godhead. Is Jesus not part of the Godhead?





The problem with this teaching is that it ignores the fact that all man are fallen, all are spiritually dead in trespasses and sins, and none have the ability to humble themselves and repent and believe apart from the regenerating work of the HS.

And I see it as that they do not have the ability to humble themselves, repent and believe apart from the convicting power of the Holy Spirit and their own God-given consciences. I see the convicing work of the Holy Spirit as not being the same as the regeneration of the Holy Spirit.



All mankind willfully choose to reject the gospel of Christ until they are born again.

Where does Scripture teach this?



Many are called through the gospel going unto all mankind, however only those who are called, chosen and faithful are with Him (Rev 17:14).

Can you explain why some would be called despite having no chance to be saved?



What do you think Stephen means here when he says, “ye do always resist the Holy Ghost”? Do you see this as having ability to usurp the power of the Holy Ghost?

It's obviously possible for someone to resist the calling of the Holy Spirit to salvation, if that's what you're asking.



If God; the Holy Spirit desires to accomplish whatsoever He wills, can we really keep Him from doing that which He wills? Does not that make us more powerful than God?

Okay, with this line of reasoning you should become a universalist because...

3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. - 1 Timothy 2:3-4

I believe you are looking at it from the wrong perspective. I believe it is God's will to give people the choice to either repent and believe the gospel or not. But He doesn't leave anyone hanging out to dry and He is longsuffering towards people. He gives everyone plenty of chances and He also graciously gives everyone a conscience and He works on convicting all people of their sin. But, yes, unfortunately some choose to resist the Holy Spirit.





Stephen is comparing these men to their fathers in the wilderness who oppose the message brought by the authority of God, through Moses, the prophets, the Savior, and the apostles of the Lord. Just as their fathers opposed the infallible Word of God, through Moses, so too they do oppose the Word delivered through the apostles.

Ac 7:27 But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us?

Ac 7:35 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.

Ac 7:39 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,
Ac 7:40 Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
Ac 7:41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.
Ac 7:42 Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?
Ac 7:43 Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

Many Blessings,
RW

The very idea of refusing or accepting something implies that a decision is made first to either refuse or accept. Notice that God gives them up to worship the false gods only after they already decided in their hearts that is what they wanted to do.

Eric

drew
Jan 31st 2008, 05:18 PM
Romans 1:20 demonstrates that natural man is indeed capable of responding to God:

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

In order for a man to be in a state where he is "without excuse" that man must, by conceptually necessity, have had a degree of freedom to choose a path other than the one he has chosen.

This is because the very concept of an "excuse" has free will implicitly bundled into it. That this is so is illustrated by the fact that we never say "that hurricane had no excuse when it killed hundreds".

The very concept of "excuse" comes with free will bundled into it. It would seem very hard, if not impossible, to make Romans 1:20 work without acknowledging that men who have rejected God's truth have done so with some degree of self-determining freedom.

RogerW
Jan 31st 2008, 09:13 PM
What was that? Some choose to walk in darkness? What if they chose not to walk in darkness instead? Are they still going to spend eternity in the lake of fire because they have no chance to be saved as predetermined by God? It's very interesting that you believe that people can choose whether or not to walk in darkness, but they can't choose whether or not to repent and believe the gospel. Seems rather inconsistent to me.

Greetings Eric,

You are right! I did not mean to say "some" choose to walk in darkness...I reckon this is one of those times my fingers typed faster than my brain could think. What I should have said, and have made abundantly clear throughout this thread and many others is that "all" choose to walk in darkness until they are made spiritually alive.

What you are attempting to do is use one passage of Scripture against another. Ro 1 clearly tells us that unrighteous man is without excuse because what may be known of God is revealed to them through His creation. However, 1Co 2:14 clearly tells us that natural man; that is unrighteous man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God because they are foolishness to them, and they cannot know because they are spiritually discerned. To accept your version of Ro 1 I would also have to accept contradiction in the Bible. I hope you would agree that the Word of God NEVER contradicts, and if it appears to contradict, the fault is not in the Word, but rather in our understanding of the Word.

I have shown you these two passages of Scripture are in perfect harmony, and Paul is not wishy washy telling us unregenerate man can understand, then telling us unregenerate cannot understand. You MUST reconcile this apparent contradiction caused by your misunderstanding of these passages. If we cannot find harmony throughout the Scriptures, then they cannot be called the Authoritative Word of God, because God does not contradict Himself.



Actually, I seem to recall that you've made the point that regeneration comes first and then comes repenting and believing followed by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Or am I confusing you with someone else? Can you point me to the post where you made that point?

Unless one is regenerated one will not repent and believe! They have no ability to do so. This is the point I have repeatedly made. You cannot understand how one who is spiritually dead cannot respond to things of the Spirit of God. Even though Christ promised the HS would now indwell His elect, you seem to have the HS working among us rather than in us. This was true in the old covenant, but Christ came to establish a new covenant, whereby He promised His HS would indwell His people, teaching and guiding them unto all truth.



Regeneration refers to the Spirit cleansing and renewing us on the inside. This happens after we repent and put our faith in Christ. I don't know where you get the idea that regeneration is the act of believing. Do you have any Scripture references to support that idea?

Regeneration is the act of re-birth; Spiritual re-birth. Remember what Christ told Nicodemus in Jo 3:5 - "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." How does one who is spiritually dead repent and put their faith in Christ? Just as you could not physically respond to anything physical until you were physically born, so too, we cannot spiritually respond to Spiritual truth (gospel) until we are spiritually re-born. It is the work of the HS within (not without) the heart of the elect to lead us to repentance and faith.

Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Joh 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (testify means to bear witness)

Joh 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (reprove means to convince, convict, rebuke)



Look at Ephesians 2:5 again.

Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)

In parentheses there it says "by grace ye are saved". We know that we are saved not only by God's grace but also through faith. Whose faith?

Let's not try to make Eph 2:5 stand on its own. Let's look at the whole context. In vs 5 Paul explains how we are saved by grace. We know grace does not originate from ourselves, for we have no grace to save ourselves. After showing us what we receive through His grace, Paul shows us how we are saved by grace; i.e. through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Paul has already said we are saved by His grace, so we know grace is not the gift of God Paul speaks of in vs 8. The gift we receive from God is faith, and this through imputation of Christ's righteousness. You may wish it to be our faith that brings us to repentance and believing, but we cannot claim for ourselves something we do not possess without the imputation of Christ's righteousness through the power of the Word and the HS.

Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.



9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. - Romans 10:9-10

Quoting a passage out of context does not give the whole gospel. How does a spiritually dead man, without ability to discern the things of God confess with his mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe from the heart unto righteousness?



30And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. - Acts 16:30-31

Again, this passage is from the Word of God and is absolute truth, but it does not tell the whole story. You MUST show how one who is spiritually dead is able to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and become saved.



We are not born again/saved until after we put our faith in Jesus Christ. Notice the prison keeper in Acts 16 asked what he had to do to be saved. And Paul and Silas told him that he had to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. That was something that the man had to do first before he could be saved. It was his responsibility to make that decision to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ or not.

Yes, the jailer asked what he must do to be saved, and Paul and Silas told him the truth, "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." But you've left out how the jailer was able to believe. Had Paul and Silas not given the jailer and his whole house the Word of the Lord then none of them could believe. Remember faith comes by hearing, hearing by the Word! Paul and Silas preached the Word, he received the HS, Who applied the Word to their hearts enabling them to repent and believe.

Ac 16:32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
Ac 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
Ac 16:34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

Many Blessings,
RW

9Marksfan
Jan 31st 2008, 11:07 PM
Is this all you have to support your claim that the sealing of the Spirit is a different and distinct experience than regeneration? I'm speaking in terms of your belief that the sealing of the Spirit is not directly related to being born again and can happen several days (months? years?) apart.

I didn't say that - I go along with what Paul says in that the sealing of the Spirit takes place after we believe. Yet we are incapable of believing unless we are born of the same Spirit. Why do you think that Paul says in Colossians 2 and Ephesians 2 that we are dead in trespasses and sins? What does "dead" mean? Incapable of action or response! God has to MAKE us alive in Christ FIRST - note that in Ephesians he speaks of regeneration BEFORE he speaks of faith - and he doesn't even mention faith in Colossians! He also doesn't mention faith in Tit 3:5!


No, I don't think it's very clear from the passage at all that "being born of God precedes faith".

Perhaps because you don't want to see it?


Why so selective in your choice of translations? Do you always quote from the ESV or was that just convenient this time?

No, I will quote from other translations too but if you check my other posts you will see it is principally the ESV or the NKJV. But here the ESV does bring out the meaning most clearly.


Drew already pointed out how it is translated in the NASB and NIV and I believe those are more accurate than the ESV in this case. The KJV also translates it the same as the NASB and NIV. I'm not one of those KJV-only people, so I think we should look at all translations instead of just picking the one that agrees with our doctrine.

Here's how it reads in the KJV:

1Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. - 1 John 5:1

This doesn't indicate the order either way.

But the natural reading is "has been" not "becomes" or "will be". As I said, were that the case, to be consistent you would have to apply that every time John uses that phrase. If you did that, here's what you would believe:-

Unbelievers become Christians by practising righteousness (2:29);
Unbelievers " " by not habitually sinning (3:9);
Unbelievers " " by loving (4:8);
Unbelievers " " by not sinning and by keeping themselves (5:18).

Now - would you like to reconsider what John mean when he says "is born of God"? The contect EVERY time is "has been born of God" because John is concerned at drawing the distinctions between those who are truly born of God and those who are in effect still children of the devil, despite what they may claim in terms of Christian profession and experience.


I've looked at several other versions including the Amplified Bible, CEV, NKJV, NCV, ASV, and NLV. Now, I'm not certain if all of those are reliable,

Some are, but some are dynamic equivalence "thought-for-thought" paraphrases.


but I can't find any version besides the ESV that words it that way. But even with the way it's worded in the ESV, I don't see how that supports your view. It only does if you read into the text. You are reading it as if it says ""Everyone that believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God before they believed that Jesus is the Christ". But, it doesn't say that even in the ESV. And other versions just point out that those who believe in Christ are also born of God.

But again if you look at all the other hallmarks of the Christian I've pointed out, you HAVE to conclude that they are all MARKS of conversion - this is how you recognise that people are Christians! And faith in Christ is another of the evidences that someone IS born of God - ie HAS BEEN!

What about 5:4 "For whatever is [ie has been] born of God overcomes the world." The only POSSIBLE meaning of "is" there is "has been".

OK - if I've not convinced you yet, there is a much clearer verse in John's gospel. You believe that we decide to become Christians - exercise our will - right? Anf then we're born again - God does His part - right? What about this then:-

"who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" Jn 1:13 NKJV

And if you're going to point me to the preceding verse, that is talking about adoption - that we become the children of God (legal status) by believing in His Name. The fact that we are already His spiritual children before that point is seen in the word "were" born - if it ALL happened after we had received Christ and believed on His Name, then John would have written "would be" born or "who were then born" or words to that effect - but he deliberately looks back to their spiritual rebirth, which enabled all this to happen (receiving Christ, believing on His Name, exercising the right (surely the will of man?) to become the children of God (by adoption)?


But, let me ask you something. How can one be born of God and still be an unbelieving sinner at the same time? Because that is what you are claiming because you say one can be born of God, but still has not yet repented and believed the gospel.

Eric

Because that's the grace of God! Salvation isd of God, not man! Otherwise, repentance and faith would be works which would oblige God to respond by giving us the new birth! We would have earned our salvation! But once we are born again, we will repent and believe (in most cases, immediately) becuase we have been given spiritual sight and spiritual life. I believe that the the LORD gave me a fresh insight into this recently when we think of tfour things that every live child does when it is born:-

It enters the world.
It sees the world.
It breathes.
It cries.

I believe we are meant to draw very clear spiritual analogies from these experiences - and to realise that none of these happens until the baby is born!

Finally, Jesus' own teaching is the clearest of all (as usual!):-

"...unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" Jn 3:3 NKJV

See = perceive, understand

"...unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" Jn 3:5 NKJV

We enter the kingdom of God here and now - albeit the fulness of that kingdom is yet to come. And we have to be born again before we can enter that kingdom - we cannot do it (ie by repenting and believing first) unless and until we are born again.

Look also at how Luke records Lydia's conversion in Acts 16:14:-

"...The LORD opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul" NKJV

"...The LORD opened her heart to respond to Paul's message" NIV

And perhaps bearing that truth in mind, when Paul writes to Lydia and all the others at Philippi, he says:-

"He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" Phil 1:6 NIV

Our conversion does not begin with us and then God steps in - it's God's work from the very start!

Back to Jesus' words again:-

"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day." Jn 6:44 NIV

Now if you're going to say "but Jesus said he would draw all men unto Him!" Well, are you a universalist? Because Jesus promises to raise up on the last day all whom the Father draws to Him - and it is clearly the resurrection to eternal life (not damnation) that He is speaking of in context (v40).

While I believe in the sealing of the Spirit (possibly synonymous with the baptism of the Spirit, as seen in Acts), it is quite clear that being born of the Spirit is a disrinct and prior experience. I think you will find that pretty well all commentators (of Reformed, Arminian and Pentecostal persuasions) see regerneration and sealing as separate experiences of the Spirit, with sealing being subsequent. Happy to be proved wrong, though!

RogerW
Feb 1st 2008, 12:40 AM
And I see it as that they do not have the ability to humble themselves, repent and believe apart from the convicting power of the Holy Spirit and their own God-given consciences. I see the convicing work of the Holy Spirit as not being the same as the regeneration of the Holy Spirit.

Eric,

Prior to receiving the HS we are still of the world of unbelief. This verse clearly shows us that the world cannot receive the Spirit of truth. The fact that we are convicted is because we have received spiritual re-birth, been born again, regenerated.

Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.



Can you explain why some would be called despite having no chance to be saved?

Look at the parable of the wedding feast (Mt. 22:1-14). Everyone, both good and bad are invited to the wedding, but what is the final outcome? Some, who had been invited were there without the proper wedding garment (without the righteousness of Christ). The King orders them bound hand and foot and cast into outer darkness. Why? Because many are called but few have been chosen/elect. Why would Christ tell us this parable that He likens to the kingdom of heaven, and say although both good and bad have been invited, only those covered by the righteousness of Christ are the chosen? The same with the parable of the dragnet. How can it be that the Lord would invite all manner of men, both good and bad to partake in the kingdom as it is on earth, and yet only choose/elect some of them to receive the eternal kingdom?



It's obviously possible for someone to resist the calling of the Holy Spirit to salvation, if that's what you're asking.

That might be true if our calling unto salvation was according to our works. But we are called with a holy calling according to His purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.

2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Since the calling is irrevocable it cannot be dependent upon our choice.

Ro 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (irrevocable).



Okay, with this line of reasoning you should become a universalist because...

3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. - 1 Timothy 2:3-4

I would indeed be a universalist if I understood this passage in the manner the free will advocate teaches.

It is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, Who is the Savior of all men in the way of providence and the Savior of the elect by the way of special grace unto salvation.

1Ti 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

It is the will of God that humanity be preserved. This does not mean that God wills to give saving grace to every human being. The preservation of humankind is what is in view in this passage. When the Lord died on the cross and made an atonement for sin, this sacrifice and atonement was made for ALL sin. Again, this does not mean that the cross makes it possible for all men to be saved. There are two ways in which the atonement for ALL sin is eliminated, through salvation, or condemnation. Those who are found to be in Christ will have all their sins atoned for through the sacrifice of Christ. But those who remain in their sins, apart from Christ's atonement will have their sins cast into the lake of fire with them. Humanity will be preserved (saved) and sin will be no more.



I believe you are looking at it from the wrong perspective. I believe it is God's will to give people the choice to either repent and believe the gospel or not. But He doesn't leave anyone hanging out to dry and He is longsuffering towards people. He gives everyone plenty of chances and He also graciously gives everyone a conscience and He works on convicting all people of their sin. But, yes, unfortunately some choose to resist the Holy Spirit.

The very idea of refusing or accepting something implies that a decision is made first to either refuse or accept. Notice that God gives them up to worship the false gods only after they already decided in their hearts that is what they wanted to do.

Eric

Your entitled to your opinion, we all have them. But having an opinion that cannot be supported through the Bible is mere humanistic logic without biblical validation...therefore not much good.

Many Blessings,
RW

brakelite
Feb 1st 2008, 05:42 AM
Hi everyone,
May I try to simplify if possible this discussion?

God predestines the eternal fate of each and every one of us dependent upon the choices we make.
"To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality,God predetermines that they will receiveeternal life;
But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness God predetermines that they will receive indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish. Rom 2 :6-11.

9Marksfan
Feb 1st 2008, 10:25 AM
Hi everyone,
May I try to simplify if possible this discussion?

Simplify? By twisting a passage of Scripture?


God predestines the eternal fate of each and every one of us dependent upon the choices we make.

Foreknowledge doesn't mean that - predestine means just that - destined BEFOREHAND.


"To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality,God predetermines that they will receiveeternal life;
But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness God predetermines that they will receive indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish. Rom 2 :6-11.

Why are you imposing these ideas which are simply not in the text? Paul is speaking about judgement at the end of time - the righteous and the wicked. How were the wicked known? The are contentious, they don't obey the truth but obey unrighteousness. How were the righteous known? They persevered (patient continuance in well-doing), they sought God's glory and honour in their lives and their own immortality (seeking first God's kingdom, setting their hearts on things above) - this was the fruit of their faith!

Now is this what God predestined? As far as the believers are concerned, yes - He predestined them to be conformed to the image of Christ - and He DOES NOT FAIL TO BRING THIS ABOUT! So on the last day, the righteous will be SEEN BY ALL to be God's workmanship, created for good works in Christ Jesus - these WILL be acomplished to God's glory and all the universe will see it! How did it happen? Those he predestined, He also called, those He called, He also justified, those He justified, He also glorified. It is God's work from start to finish! HE is the One who "is at work in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure" - and that willing and doing produce the "patient continuance in well-doing and glory and honour" to God - and so that immortality is achieved, because they will all - without exception - endure to the end! And they will receive eternal life.

The others CHOOSE to be contentious, they CHOOSE not to obey the truth, they CHOOSE to obey unrighteousness (because in their heart of hearts, that's what they love) - God grants them their wish - to be apart from His blessing, goodness and grace for all eternity. And they will receive indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish.

So believers receive eternal life because of God's unconditional election, which produces a life of godliness in them. And unbelievers choose to live a life of sin and wilful disobedience - and God rewards them accordingly.

tgallison
Feb 1st 2008, 01:07 PM
Simplify? By twisting a passage of Scripture?



Foreknowledge doesn't mean that - predestine means just that - destined BEFOREHAND.



Why are you imposing these ideas which are simply not in the text? Paul is speaking about judgement at the end of time - the righteous and the wicked. How were the wicked known? The are contentious, they don't obey the truth but obey unrighteousness. How were the righteous known? They persevered (patient continuance in well-doing), they sought God's glory and honour in their lives and their own immortality (seeking first God's kingdom, setting their hearts on things above) - this was the fruit of their faith!

Now is this what God predestined? As far as the believers are concerned, yes - He predestined them to be conformed to the image of Christ - and He DOES NOT FAIL TO BRING THIS ABOUT! So on the last day, the righteous will be SEEN BY ALL to be God's workmanship, created for good works in Christ Jesus - these WILL be acomplished to God's glory and all the universe will see it! How did it happen? Those he predestined, He also called, those He called, He also justified, those He justified, He also glorified. It is God's work from start to finish! HE is the One who "is at work in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure" - and that willing and doing produce the "patient continuance in well-doing and glory and honour" to God - and so that immortality is achieved, because they will all - without exception - endure to the end! And they will receive eternal life.

The others CHOOSE to be contentious, they CHOOSE not to obey the truth, they CHOOSE to obey unrighteousness (because in their heart of hearts, that's what they love) - God grants them their wish - to be apart from His blessing, goodness and grace for all eternity. And they will receive indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish.

So believers receive eternal life because of God's unconditional election, which produces a life of godliness in them. And unbelievers choose to live a life of sin and wilful disobedience - and God rewards them accordingly.

Nigel Greetings

If we are predestined to eternal damnation, what difference does it make how we live, or what we do? If there is no option on our part.

If we are predestined to eternal life, what difference does it make how we live, or what we do? It will not change anything.

terrell

9Marksfan
Feb 1st 2008, 02:42 PM
Nigel Greetings

If we are predestined to eternal damnation, what difference does it make how we live, or what we do? If there is no option on our part.

As I've said before, I do not believe in double predestination/equal ultimacy. There does seem to be a very clear link in Scripture between how the wicked live and their ultimate condemnation - they have in a very real sense "earned" it for "the wages of sin is death". As one preacher said many years ago (20 actually), "One of the miseries of Hell will be that sinners will realise that they worked hard to get there".


If we are predestined to eternal life, what difference does it make how we live, or what we do? It will not change anything.

That's where the other side of the coin comes in! Predestination shoukld not lead us to be fatalistic, because God always uses means to achieve His ends. Look at the following verses to see my point:-

"For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son" Rom 8:29 NKJV

This is sanctification - does that happen independently of anything we do? Of course not!

"...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." Phil 2:12b-13 NKJV

"...God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Thess 2:13b-14 NKJV

"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." Jn 6:37 NKJV

(Sorry - can't get rid of the italics!) This is how I resolved predestination in my own mind - rather than adopt a fatalistic "it doesn't make any difference what I do/don't do" approach, I realised that I had a responsibility to come to Christ - so I did!

Blessings.

Nigel



terrell

drew
Feb 1st 2008, 03:20 PM
What you are attempting to do is use one passage of Scripture against another. Ro 1 clearly tells us that unrighteous man is without excuse because what may be known of God is revealed to them through His creation. However, 1Co 2:14 clearly tells us that natural man; that is unrighteous man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God because they are foolishness to them, and they cannot know because they are spiritually discerned. To accept your version of Ro 1 I would also have to accept contradiction in the Bible. I hope you would agree that the Word of God NEVER contradicts, and if it appears to contradict, the fault is not in the Word, but rather in our understanding of the Word.
I have located your argument about how Romans 1:20 and 1 Corinthians 2:14 do not contradict each other. At a glance, what you write seem plausible. But what about the following scripture. It seems to clearly indicate that "choice" is available to a human being in respect to ultimate salvation. How do you make this text harmonize with 1 Corinthians 2:14?

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live...

Just to anticipate a possble response. If you argue that this text is not about "salvation" but only about life and death "in this world", I will point out that Paul quotes from Deuteronomy 30 in Romans 10 in a manner that I think makes it clear that he sees Deuteronomy 30 as being about a lot more than blessings in this present life for the Jews and the Jews only.

drew
Feb 1st 2008, 03:38 PM
Further on the matter of the 1 Cor 2:14 text: Here is the passage as per the NASB with some of the preceding verses:

but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8the wisdom (none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified (R (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%202;&version=49;#cen-NASB-28403R))the Lord of glory;
9but just as it is written,
THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD,
AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN,
ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM."
10For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,
13which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. 14But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

I am skeptical that you can sustain your position (as I understand it) on this text against the following interpretation that I see as eminently plausible:

This text only allows us to conclude that natural man cannot know the "things of the Spirit of God". It does not allow one to conclude that we cannot be aware that we lack this "knowledge" and hence that we could "freely" ask for it.

Consider an analogy. I do not know the content of the theory of general relativity. The content of that theory is to be taken as analogous to the "things of the Spirit of God". However, I do know that such a body of knowledge exists and where I could go to access it, if I freely decided to do so.

Likewise, I see nothing in the above text that rules out the following scenario: Natural man does not know the things of the Spirit God but still knows "that he does not know them" and can freely ask God to "download" this knowledge into his mind.

Can you explain why such an interpretation cannot be sustained by the text?

RogerW
Feb 1st 2008, 05:37 PM
I have located your argument about how Romans 1:20 and 1 Corinthians 2:14 do not contradict each other. At a glance, what you write seem plausible. But what about the following scripture. It seems to clearly indicate that "choice" is available to a human being in respect to ultimate salvation. How do you make this text harmonize with 1 Corinthians 2:14?

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live...

Just to anticipate a possble response. If you argue that this text is not about "salvation" but only about life and death "in this world", I will point out that Paul quotes from Deuteronomy 30 in Romans 10 in a manner that I think makes it clear that he sees Deuteronomy 30 as being about a lot more than blessings in this present life for the Jews and the Jews only.

Surely the context of De 30 will agree that vs 19 gives the nation a choice to choose eternal life or eternal condemnation? Moses says this day he sets before them life and good, and death and evil. Then Moses shows them the way they might have life and good instead of death and evil....they MUST keep the Lord's commandments, and His statutes, and His judgments, then they will live and multiply, and the Lord will bless them IN THE LAND WHERE THEY GO TO POSSESS. Nothing there about obtaining eternal life through obedience to the law, only about continuing to possess the promised land, and blessings and life in the land. But if they turn their hearts away, and will not hear the words of the Lord through Moses, and they are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them....then Moses pronounces judgment against them. The judgment is they shall surely perish, and God will not prolong their days upon the land they go to possess.

Now we come to vs 19 you tell us gives the nation a choice to receive eternal life or condemnation through their free will. Moses has shown them a way to receive either life and death, blessing and cursing. The choice given the nation; choose to keep His commandments and live long and prosper in the land the Lord is giving you to possess...OR turn away from the Lord thy God, worship other gods and serve them, and surely perish. Disobedience brings cursing and death, and the Lord will not prolong their days, nor will they continue to possess the good land God has given them.

To read De 30:19 as offering a choice to receive eternal life or eternal condemnation is a total distortion of the passage. The passage has nothing to do with choosing or rejecting the Lord, but is a sure promise of blessings and life for obedience to the law of God, or cursings and death for disobedience. We know the nation chose to serve other gods, and turned away from the One True God, since God is faithful to His promises, the nation perished from the good land He had given them.

De 30:15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
De 30:16 In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
De 30:17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
De 30:18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
De 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
De 30:20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

How does 1Co 2:14 harmonize with De 30:19? Perfectly! For the natural man, who turns away from the True God to worship other gods and idols are without the Spirit of God, and therefore cannot know the things of God because they are spiritually discerned.

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Feb 1st 2008, 05:50 PM
Further on the matter of the 1 Cor 2:14 text: Here is the passage as per the NASB with some of the preceding verses:

but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8the wisdom (none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified (R (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%202;&version=49;#cen-NASB-28403R))the Lord of glory;
9but just as it is written,
THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD,
AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN,
ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM."
10For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,
13which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. 14But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

I am skeptical that you can sustain your position (as I understand it) on this text against the following interpretation that I see as eminently plausible:

This text only allows us to conclude that natural man cannot know the "things of the Spirit of God". It does not allow one to conclude that we cannot be aware that we lack this "knowledge" and hence that we could "freely" ask for it.

Consider an analogy. I do not know the content of the theory of general relativity. The content of that theory is to be taken as analogous to the "things of the Spirit of God". However, I do know that such a body of knowledge exists and where I could go to access it, if I freely decided to do so.

Likewise, I see nothing in the above text that rules out the following scenario: Natural man does not know the things of the Spirit God but still knows "that he does not know them" and can freely ask God to "download" this knowledge into his mind.

Can you explain why such an interpretation cannot be sustained by the text?

Where in Scripture can you show us that the natural man, spiritually dead, without Spiritual knowledge is aware of his lack of knowledge and therefore freely asks for this knowledge? The unbelieving no doubt have a knowledge of God, for God has revealed Himself to them through creation, and conscience. Does knowing there is a God then translate into freely asking God to "download" the things of the Spirit of God into his mind? The knowledge of the unknown God certainly did not make the men of Athens ask for this Spiritual knowledge, in fact they were more superstitious then most men. Unless you can prove your analogy through Scripture it remains humanistic reasoning lacking biblical proof.

Ac 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

Many Blessings,
RW

John146
Feb 1st 2008, 07:46 PM
Greetings Eric,

You are right! I did not mean to say "some" choose to walk in darkness...I reckon this is one of those times my fingers typed faster than my brain could think. What I should have said, and have made abundantly clear throughout this thread and many others is that "all" choose to walk in darkness until they are made spiritually alive.

Okay, if all can choose to walk in darkness, then why can't all choose to not walk in darkness?


What you are attempting to do is use one passage of Scripture against another.No, you are claiming that, but I certainly am not attempting to do any such thing.



Ro 1 clearly tells us that unrighteous man is without excuse because what may be known of God is revealed to them through His creation. However, 1Co 2:14 clearly tells us that natural man; that is unrighteous man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God because they are foolishness to them, and they cannot know because they are spiritually discerned. To accept your version of Ro 1 I would also have to accept contradiction in the Bible. I hope you would agree that the Word of God NEVER contradicts, and if it appears to contradict, the fault is not in the Word, but rather in our understanding of the Word.

I have shown you these two passages of Scripture are in perfect harmony, and Paul is not wishy washy telling us unregenerate man can understand, then telling us unregenerate cannot understand. You MUST reconcile this apparent contradiction caused by your misunderstanding of these passages. If we cannot find harmony throughout the Scriptures, then they cannot be called the Authoritative Word of God, because God does not contradict Himself. You are not the one to decide whether I am making Scripture contradict itself. It's okay if we disagree on what Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 2 are saying, but there is no call for claiming that someone is forcing Scripture to contradict itself. You know very well that I don't believe that Scripture ever contradicts itself.



Unless one is regenerated one will not repent and believe!But where is your Scriptural support for this? You never back up this claim with Scriptural support. Sorry, but 1 Corinthians 2 says nothing about someone needing to be born again in order to repent and believe. That is a stretch if that's what you think.



They have no ability to do so.If they have no ability to do so, then how do they have the ability to believe "that which may be known of God...even his eternal power and Godhead"?



This is the point I have repeatedly made. You cannot understand how one who is spiritually dead cannot respond to things of the Spirit of God.Then how can they be expected to believe (without excuse): "that which may be known of God...even his eternal power and Godhead"?



Even though Christ promised the HS would now indwell His elect, you seem to have the HS working among us rather than in us.That is incorrect. Simple as that.



This was true in the old covenant, but Christ came to establish a new covenant, whereby He promised His HS would indwell His people, teaching and guiding them unto all truth. I didn't say otherwise.



Regeneration is the act of re-birth; Spiritual re-birth. Remember what Christ told Nicodemus in Jo 3:5 - "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." How does one who is spiritually dead repent and put their faith in Christ? Just as you could not physically respond to anything physical until you were physically born, so too, we cannot spiritually respond to Spiritual truth (gospel) until we are spiritually re-born. It is the work of the HS within (not without) the heart of the elect to lead us to repentance and faith.

Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Joh 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (testify means to bear witness)

Joh 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (reprove means to convince, convict, rebuke)You missed some verses along the way.

22Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. - John 14:22-23

Jesus says "IF" someone loves Him then He and the Father will make their abode with Him (through the Spirit, of course). If we repent and if we put our faith and trust in Christ, then He will come to indwell us. There are conditions that are required to be met first and this is what you miss. Look at John 14:17 again. Why can't the world receive the Spirit of truth? Because they never have a chance to? No, because they can't see Him and don't know Him. Why don't they know Him? Because they don't have a relationship with Christ as those who Jesus was speaking to in that verse did. Why don't they have a relationship with Christ? Because they have willingly refused to repent and believe the gospel.



Let's not try to make Eph 2:5 stand on its own.I didn't.



Let's look at the whole context. In vs 5 Paul explains how we are saved by grace. We know grace does not originate from ourselves, for we have no grace to save ourselves. After showing us what we receive through His grace, Paul shows us how we are saved by grace; i.e. through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Paul has already said we are saved by His grace, so we know grace is not the gift of God Paul speaks of in vs 8. The gift we receive from God is faith, and this through imputation of Christ's righteousness.You are misreading the text. It is salvation that is not of ourselves. Salvation is not of ourselves and is not of works. If you're going to be consistent in the reading of the text then you're saying that it's faith that is not of ourselves and faith is not of works. Is that what it's saying? No. Salvation is not of works and salvation is not of ourselves. Whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Who is the whosoever that believes in Him? Us. We are required to believe. It doesn't say "whosoever receives the gift of believing in Him will not perish but have everlasting life". If faith is a gift that God gives to some and not to others, why would that be? I thought God is not a respecter of persons?



You may wish it to be our faith that brings us to repentance and believing, but we cannot claim for ourselves something we do not possess without the imputation of Christ's righteousness through the power of the Word and the HS. The preaching of the Word and the convicting power of the Holy Spirit is what leads someone to repentance and salvation. This idea of Christ imputing His righteousness to us so that we can repent and believe in Him is unbiblical. He imputes righteousness to us after we repent and believe.



Quoting a passage out of context does not give the whole gospel. How does a spiritually dead man, without ability to discern the things of God confess with his mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe from the heart unto righteousness? Because God gives everyone a conscience and the ability to see their need for a Savior through the preaching of His Word if they will only repent and believe the gospel. He makes it known to them just as He makes "that which may be known of God...even his eternal power and Godhead" known to people.



Again, this passage is from the Word of God and is absolute truth, but it does not tell the whole story. You MUST show how one who is spiritually dead is able to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and become saved. I already have. You are the one who should show me how one who is spiritually dead is expected to believe, without excuse: "that which may be known of God...even his eternal power and Godhead".



Yes, the jailer asked what he must do to be saved, and Paul and Silas told him the truth, "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." But you've left out how the jailer was able to believe. Had Paul and Silas not given the jailer and his whole house the Word of the Lord then none of them could believe. Remember faith comes by hearing, hearing by the Word! Paul and Silas preached the Word, he received the HS, Who applied the Word to their hearts enabling them to repent and believe.

Ac 16:32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
Ac 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
Ac 16:34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. This argument doesn't hold water. Have there not been countless numbers of people who have had the Word preached to them only for them to then decide to reject it?

Eric

RogerW
Feb 1st 2008, 10:07 PM
Okay, if all can choose to walk in darkness, then why can't all choose to not walk in darkness?

Because we are spiritually dead in trespasses and sins we walk according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that works in children of disobedience. How does one who is dead spiritually choose not to walk in darkness? It is while we are yet dead in sins that the Spirit quickens us to life. We cannot choose to walk in the light while dead!

Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:



You are not the one to decide whether I am making Scripture contradict itself. It's okay if we disagree on what Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 2 are saying, but there is no call for claiming that someone is forcing Scripture to contradict itself. You know very well that I don't believe that Scripture ever contradicts itself.

Then please show me how you harmonize or reconcile these two passages of Scripture so they do not contradict, because your current understanding forces contradiction into these passages.



But where is your Scriptural support for this? You never back up this claim with Scriptural support. Sorry, but 1 Corinthians 2 says nothing about someone needing to be born again in order to repent and believe. That is a stretch if that's what you think.

Well for starters try Eph 2. No man knows the things of God but by the Spirit of God. Until we receive the Spirit which is of God, we have the spirit of the world. Those who receive the Spirit of God no longer follow the words from man's wisdom, but the wisdom which the HS teaches. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God...why? Because they are foolishness unto him, and he cannot know them because His Spirit must teach our spirit to help us to judge all things, therefore when we have the Spirit of God within, guiding and teaching us, we have the mind of Christ.

1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1Co 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

And remember what Jo 14:17 says the world cannot receive the Spirit of truth: "Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."

Until we are made Spiritually alive, we are of the world, and walk in darkness, but when we are born again then we know Him; for He dwells within us.



You missed some verses along the way.

22Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. - John 14:22-23

Jesus says "IF" someone loves Him then He and the Father will make their abode with Him (through the Spirit, of course). If we repent and if we put our faith and trust in Christ, then He will come to indwell us. There are conditions that are required to be met first and this is what you miss. Look at John 14:17 again. Why can't the world receive the Spirit of truth? Because they never have a chance to? No, because they can't see Him and don't know Him. Why don't they know Him? Because they don't have a relationship with Christ as those who Jesus was speaking to in that verse did. Why don't they have a relationship with Christ? Because they have willingly refused to repent and believe the gospel.

Again you are reading Jo 14 out of context. Why does Judas ask Christ how or why is it that He will manifest Himself to them, and not to the world? Because Christ has told them that He would soon be returning to the Father, and they could not go with Him. But He promises not to leave them comfortless, for He will send the HS, and on that day they will know that He and the Father are one, so they will also be one in Him, and He in them. Because they are in Him, and He in them, they will keep His commandments and love Him, and he who loves Christ is loved by the Father, and Christ will manifest Himself to them through the Spirit....not to the world...why? Because they have the HS teaching them the commandments, and showing them how to love the Lord.

Joh 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Joh 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
Joh 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
Joh 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

It is true that the Lord makes His abode within those who love Him, but we only love Him because He first loves us, and gives us the HS Who shows us the way to love Him.

1Jo 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.



You are misreading the text. It is salvation that is not of ourselves. Salvation is not of ourselves and is not of works. If you're going to be consistent in the reading of the text then you're saying that it's faith that is not of ourselves and faith is not of works. Is that what it's saying? No. Salvation is not of works and salvation is not of ourselves. Whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Who is the whosoever that believes in Him? Us. We are required to believe. It doesn't say "whosoever receives the gift of believing in Him will not perish but have everlasting life". If faith is a gift that God gives to some and not to others, why would that be? I thought God is not a respecter of persons?

That's right faith is NOT of ourselves, and faith is most definately a work. It comes through the work of righteousness, His not ours. We are imputed with the righteousness of Christ, just as Abraham. We don't have our own righteousness, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God. That is how we obtain like precious faith. Just as faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness, so too all who are of the faith of Abraham.

Ro 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Ro 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Ro 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Ro 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Ro 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Ro 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Ro 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

Php 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

2Pe 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

Ro 4:9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

Ro 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Ro 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,



The preaching of the Word and the convicting power of the Holy Spirit is what leads someone to repentance and salvation. This idea of Christ imputing His righteousness to us so that we can repent and believe in Him is unbiblical. He imputes righteousness to us after we repent and believe.

You have on occasion quoted the text I too often quote, which says, "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word." How does this faith come by hearing the word? Why doesn't everyone who hears the Word receive faith?



Because God gives everyone a conscience and the ability to see their need for a Savior through the preaching of His Word if they will only repent and believe the gospel. He makes it known to them just as He makes "that which may be known of God...even his eternal power and Godhead" known to people.

The Bible does NOT teach that everyone has the ability to see their need for a Savior. The Bible says that all men are without excuse because God, through creation and conscience has made mankind to understand that there is a Creator.



This argument doesn't hold water. Have there not been countless numbers of people who have had the Word preached to them only for them to then decide to reject it?

Eric

I couldn't agree more! Why? Doesn't the Bible tell us that faith comes by hearing the Word? Why do some hear, and receive saving faith, and yet countless numbers hear the Word preached and remain in unbelief? Is it not true that all men are dead in trespasses and sins, and therefore all unregenerate men can do is reject the Word? Why? Since faith comes by hearing the Word, yet some who hear never have saving faith, does that mean that God is a respector of persons? You can't argue they did not receive faith because they rejected the Word, because every unregenerate man; that is every man who has NOT the HS rejects Christ and His Word until they are born again.

Many Blessings,
RW

John146
Feb 1st 2008, 10:28 PM
I didn't say that - I go along with what Paul says in that the sealing of the Spirit takes place after we believe. Yet we are incapable of believing unless we are born of the same Spirit. Why do you think that Paul says in Colossians 2 and Ephesians 2 that we are dead in trespasses and sins? What does "dead" mean? Incapable of action or response! God has to MAKE us alive in Christ FIRST - note that in Ephesians he speaks of regeneration BEFORE he speaks of faith - and he doesn't even mention faith in Colossians! He also doesn't mention faith in Tit 3:5!

If being spiritually dead means we are incapable of action or response then why is there no excuse for everyone, including the spiritually dead, to believe (without any excuse for not believing): "that which may be known of God...even his eternal power and Godhead"(Rom 1:19-20)?

You seem to be saying that just because Paul mentions regeneration before he mentions faith in Ephesians 2 then that somehow means that regeneration comes first? I'm not seeing that. What I see is that salvation is equated with being regenerated (quickened, made spiritually alive). And what must occur before one is regenerated/saved is that they must put their faith in Christ. Whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.


No, I don't think it's very clear from the passage at all that "being born of God precedes faith".


Perhaps because you don't want to see it?

Do you think that I am not open to correction and that I don't have an open mind to the truth? If so, then you are judging me. Just because I don't see what you see in a passage, doesn't mean I don't want to see the truth or that I'm not looking at the passage with an open mind.



No, I will quote from other translations too but if you check my other posts you will see it is principally the ESV or the NKJV. But here the ESV does bring out the meaning most clearly.

In your opinion. Apparently, many translators disagree with you and so do I.



But the natural reading is "has been" not "becomes" or "will be". As I said, were that the case, to be consistent you would have to apply that every time John uses that phrase. If you did that, here's what you would believe:-

Unbelievers become Christians by practising righteousness (2:29);
Unbelievers " " by not habitually sinning (3:9);
Unbelievers " " by loving (4:8);
Unbelievers " " by not sinning and by keeping themselves (5:18).

Now - would you like to reconsider what John mean when he says "is born of God"? The contect EVERY time is "has been born of God" because John is concerned at drawing the distinctions between those who are truly born of God and those who are in effect still children of the devil, despite what they may claim in terms of Christian profession and experience.

Did I not already say
"But even with the way it's worded in the ESV, I don't see how that supports your view. It only does if you read into the text. You are reading it as if it says ""Everyone that believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God before they believed that Jesus is the Christ". But, it doesn't say that even in the ESV. And other versions just point out that those who believe in Christ are also born of God."



But again if you look at all the other hallmarks of the Christian I've pointed out, you HAVE to conclude that they are all MARKS of conversion - this is how you recognise that people are Christians! And faith in Christ is another of the evidences that someone IS born of God - ie HAS BEEN!

When someone initially puts their faith in Christ does their faith then end afterwards? You and I have faith now and we have had faith for a long time. But what we are talking about here is when we first believed. We have to look at it in that context. You seem to read 1 John 5:1 as if it is saying "when you first put your faith in Christ, you had first been born of God". You are reading a lot into the text.



What about 5:4 "For whatever is [ie has been] born of God overcomes the world." The only POSSIBLE meaning of "is" there is "has been".

I agree. So what? That doesn't mean that 5:1 is meant to be read as "for whosoever has been born of God will believe that Jesus is the Christ".



OK - if I've not convinced you yet, there is a much clearer verse in John's gospel. You believe that we decide to become Christians - exercise our will - right? Anf then we're born again - God does His part - right? What about this then:-

"who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" Jn 1:13 NKJV

And if you're going to point me to the preceding verse, that is talking about adoption - that we become the children of God (legal status) by believing in His Name. The fact that we are already His spiritual children before that point is seen in the word "were" born - if it ALL happened after we had received Christ and believed on His Name, then John would have written "would be" born or "who were then born" or words to that effect - but he deliberately looks back to their spiritual rebirth, which enabled all this to happen (receiving Christ, believing on His Name, exercising the right (surely the will of man?) to become the children of God (by adoption)?

Let's take a closer look at the context.

11He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. - John 1:11-13

Let's start with verse 11. He came unto His own and His own received Him not. What does that mean? He was a Jew and the Jews, as a whole, did not receive or accept Him. Which led Him to say this to them:

37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. - Matthew 23:37-38

This passage implies that if they would have received, accepted and believed in Him, He would have established a relationship with them and would not have rendered their house (the temple) desolate and would not have destroyed their city and the temple in 70 AD. This implies that He gave them a choice. That means they had free will to choose whether to accept and receive Him or to refuse and reject Him.

Let's move on to verse 12. To those who received Him and believed in Him, He gave power to be the sons of God. To become a son of God is to be born of God. The receiving and believing came first. It doesn't say that He gave them power to receive and believe in Him. It says He gave them the power to be the sons of God as a result of them receiving Him and believing in Him.


Now, on to verse 13. First of all, when we become sons of God we are not born of the blood or flesh, but we are born of God. But we are also not born of the will of man. What does that mean? Man (Mankind), in and of himself, did not decide that he wanted to be a son of God. The desire for mankind to become sons of God came from God. He desires all mankind to be saved. I find the Calvinist argument that "all men" doesn't mean "all mankind" in 1 Timothy 2:3-4 to be extremely weak. John 1:13 is not saying that we don't have a free will to choose whether to receive or reject Christ. Left completely to ourselves and our flesh or sinful natures, none of us would choose to receive Christ. But, thankfully, God did not leave mankind in darkness. Because of His grace, He sent His Son to die for the sins of the whole world so that whosoever (this word is all-inclusive) believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. He gave us all a conscience and His Spirit works in conjunction with our consciences to convict men (and women) of their sins.



Because of God's graciousness, there is hope for us. But He still requires us to choose to repent and believe the gospel or not. This offer of salvation must be available to all, otherwise the verses that say that God so loved the world that He sent His son to save it, that God desires all to be saved and all to come to repentance, that Christ died for the sins of the whole world, that God concludes all in unbelief so that He might have mercy upon all, and that Christ said He would draw all to Himself don't mean what they clearly say.






Because that's the grace of God! Salvation isd of God, not man!

I agree. We don't save ourselves. That God requires us to choose to repent and believe the gospel doesn't mean we can say that salvation is of us. We are saved by God's grace through our faith. The salvation is not of ourselves. God did it all by sending His Son to shed His blood on the cross at Calvary and God deserves all the credit and praise for our salvation.



Otherwise, repentance and faith would be works which would oblige God to respond by giving us the new birth! We would have earned our salvation!

I disagree. We are saved by God's grace through faith. We are required to believe. Whosoever believes. If faith was a work then Paul wouldn't have said that salvation is not of works. But He did say it was partially of or through faith.



But once we are born again, we will repent and believe (in most cases, immediately) becuase we have been given spiritual sight and spiritual life. I believe that the the LORD gave me a fresh insight into this recently when we think of tfour things that every live child does when it is born:-

It enters the world.
It sees the world.
It breathes.
It cries.

I believe we are meant to draw very clear spiritual analogies from these experiences - and to realise that none of these happens until the baby is born!

I don't agree that we are meant to draw spiritual analogies like that between natural birth and spiritual birth. That's extra-biblical speculation. Comparing a baby breathing and crying to us repenting and believing? Where exactly is the analogy there? Show me that concept in Scripture and then I'll listen.




Finally, Jesus' own teaching is the clearest of all (as usual!):-

"...unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" Jn 3:3 NKJV

See = perceive, understand

"...unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" Jn 3:5 NKJV

We enter the kingdom of God here and now - albeit the fulness of that kingdom is yet to come. And we have to be born again before we can enter that kingdom - we cannot do it (ie by repenting and believing first) unless and until we are born again.

That text only says that we cannot see or enter the kingdom of God until we are first born again. They say nothing about whether repenting and believing come first or after being born again, so I have no idea how you are drawing any conclusions from that text.



Look also at how Luke records Lydia's conversion in Acts 16:14:-

"...The LORD opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul" NKJV

"...The LORD opened her heart to respond to Paul's message" NIV

Let's take a look at the whole verse, so that we get the context.

14And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. - KJV

14One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message. - NIV

She was already a worshiper of God before the Lord opened her heart to Paul's message. The reason God opened her heart is because she worshipped Him.



And perhaps bearing that truth in mind, when Paul writes to Lydia and all the others at Philippi, he says:-

"He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" Phil 1:6 NIV

Our conversion does not begin with us and then God steps in - it's God's work from the very start!

Once again, I believe you miss the context of a passage. When does that good work begin?

8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. - Eph 2:8-10

After putting our faith in Christ and becoming saved, then the Holy Spirit leads us to do the good works that God had planned for us to do.






Back to Jesus' words again:-

"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day." Jn 6:44 NIV

Now if you're going to say "but Jesus said he would draw all men unto Him!" Well, are you a universalist?

Yes, I would have brought up that verse if you didn't first. No, I'm not a universalist. I equate the drawing of the Spirit with the calling. Many are called or drawn to Christ, but few are chosen(Matt 20:16, Matt 22:14). Why are few chosen? Because few choose to enter the narrow gate by repenting and believing the gospel.



Because Jesus promises to raise up on the last day all whom the Father draws to Him - and it is clearly the resurrection to eternal life (not damnation) that He is speaking of in context (v40).

It says that all that the Father gives Him, not draws to Him. Read the parable of the sower and see how some are drawn to Him, but "Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts"(Mark 4:15). Some are drawn to Him, but "when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended" (Mark 4:17). And some are drawn to Him, but "the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful" (Mark 4:19).



While I believe in the sealing of the Spirit (possibly synonymous with the baptism of the Spirit, as seen in Acts), it is quite clear that being born of the Spirit is a disrinct and prior experience.

If it is prior, it is immediately prior and not prior to repentance and faith.



I think you will find that pretty well all commentators (of Reformed, Arminian and Pentecostal persuasions) see regerneration and sealing as separate experiences of the Spirit, with sealing being subsequent. Happy to be proved wrong, though!

I'm not saying that regeneration and sealing are the same exact thing. But I am saying that they happen either simultaneously or very close together. If you're saying that all commentators disagree with that, then I guess I disagree with those commentators (who are all fallible, by the way).

John146
Feb 1st 2008, 10:40 PM
Further on the matter of the 1 Cor 2:14 text: Here is the passage as per the NASB with some of the preceding verses:

but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8the wisdom (none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified (R (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%202;&version=49;#cen-NASB-28403R))the Lord of glory;
9but just as it is written,
THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD,
AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN,
ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM."
10For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,
13which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. 14But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

I am skeptical that you can sustain your position (as I understand it) on this text against the following interpretation that I see as eminently plausible:

This text only allows us to conclude that natural man cannot know the "things of the Spirit of God". It does not allow one to conclude that we cannot be aware that we lack this "knowledge" and hence that we could "freely" ask for it.

Consider an analogy. I do not know the content of the theory of general relativity. The content of that theory is to be taken as analogous to the "things of the Spirit of God". However, I do know that such a body of knowledge exists and where I could go to access it, if I freely decided to do so.

Likewise, I see nothing in the above text that rules out the following scenario: Natural man does not know the things of the Spirit God but still knows "that he does not know them" and can freely ask God to "download" this knowledge into his mind.

Can you explain why such an interpretation cannot be sustained by the text?

Good post, Drew. Well said.

drew
Feb 1st 2008, 11:17 PM
Surely the context of De 30 will agree that vs 19 gives the nation a choice to choose eternal life or eternal condemnation? Moses says this day he sets before them life and good, and death and evil. Then Moses shows them the way they might have life and good instead of death and evil....they MUST keep the Lord's commandments, and His statutes, and His judgments, then they will live and multiply, and the Lord will bless them IN THE LAND WHERE THEY GO TO POSSESS. Nothing there about obtaining eternal life through obedience to the law, only about continuing to possess the promised land, and blessings and life in the land.
I thought you might give this answer. The problem is Paul's invokation of Deuteronomy 30 and the rather obvious connections between Deuteronomy 30 and other parts of Romans. I think that Paul clearly connects the content of Deuteronomy 30 to what has happened in Christ.

As such, Paul re-interprets promises about "the land" as being promises about "eternal life in a restored cosmos" and he interprets the "recipients" of the promise as "true" Israel, not Israel according to the flesh.

Here is Romans 10:6 and following;

6But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down) 7"or 'Who will descend into the deep?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:....

This is a clear allusion to Deuteronomy 30:11 and following:

Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

I have come to expect brilliantly wrought connections from Paul. I am convinced that he intends the reader to see Deuteronomy 30 as being a covenant renrewal passage that applies not to the Jews re their land, but applies to all mankind re ultimate justification.

I refer the reader to these texts from Romans 2:

Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts..

A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.

I do not think I am "reading in" these connections. What is Romans 2 about? It is about a coming judgement for all human beings. And what is at stake? Eternal life.

I believe that in Romans 10:6 and following finishes the thought from Romans 2, through reference to the Deuteronomy passage. God has written the law on the hearts of the believer "so that they may obey it". The law is not far away and "un-obeyable".

And this is how they are justified at the end. And that is why the Deuteronomy text in my previous post is not a choice for the Jew re his land - it is a choice re ulltimate justification.

I expect that this suggestion will not be agreed with.

RogerW
Feb 2nd 2008, 03:44 AM
I thought you might give this answer. The problem is Paul's invokation of Deuteronomy 30 and the rather obvious connections between Deuteronomy 30 and other parts of Romans. I think that Paul clearly connects the content of Deuteronomy 30 to what has happened in Christ.

As such, Paul re-interprets promises about "the land" as being promises about "eternal life in a restored cosmos" and he interprets the "recipients" of the promise as "true" Israel, not Israel according to the flesh.

Here is Romans 10:6 and following;

6But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down) 7"or 'Who will descend into the deep?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:....

This is a clear allusion to Deuteronomy 30:11 and following:

Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

I have come to expect brilliantly wrought connections from Paul. I am convinced that he intends the reader to see Deuteronomy 30 as being a covenant renrewal passage that applies not to the Jews re their land, but applies to all mankind re ultimate justification.

I refer the reader to these texts from Romans 2:

Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts..

A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.

I do not think I am "reading in" these connections. What is Romans 2 about? It is about a coming judgement for all human beings. And what is at stake? Eternal life.

I believe that in Romans 10:6 and following finishes the thought from Romans 2, through reference to the Deuteronomy passage. God has written the law on the hearts of the believer "so that they may obey it". The law is not far away and "un-obeyable".

And this is how they are justified at the end. And that is why the Deuteronomy text in my previous post is not a choice for the Jew re his land - it is a choice re ulltimate justification.

I expect that this suggestion will not be agreed with.

Greetings Drew,

The connection Paul is making with De 30 is the way of faith; for God’s word, in the Old Testament and the New is “the word of faith”…that is, it is the word which , in order to apply its saving grace must evoke the response of faith. “The word is close to you; on your lips and in your heart” is true; salvation is obtained simply by confessing with the mouth that faith that is in the heart. In vs. 9 confession precedes the faith of the heart; in vs. 10 the opposite is true. This is probably because Paul is considering De 30:14 where “on your lips” precedes “in your heart.” The natural order is that a person confesses that which is already present in his heart.

They were familiar with the doctrine of Moses. Throughout the OT you find God instructing Moses to teach them again and again what the LORD thy God requires of thee. It was understood and talked about, they did not have to travel to distant places to gain understanding. Paul is saying the same is true of the gospel. The facts were so well known by the preaching of the apostles, that they might be said to be in every man's mouth. Just as Moses’ doctrine was in their mind and something of meditation and thought. The same was true of the doctrine requiring faith of Christ. It was already among them by the preaching of the apostles, and was a subject of conversation and of thought.

“That is the word of faith which we preach” This is the use which the apostle makes of it; not that Moses referred to the gospel of salvation. His language gives the main idea which Paul wished to show, that the doctrine was plain and intelligible. The gospel message is plain and manifest to all.

The De 30 passage speaks of obedience to the law. The Old Testament law points us to the Savior, but the old covenant under the law was specifically for the Jews, and concerned the promise of physical land, along with life and blessings for obedience, and death and cursing for disobedience.

De 5:2 The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.
De 5:3 The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.
De 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
De 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
De 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
De 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
De 6:8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
De 6:9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

De 10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
De 10:13 To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?

The covenant promise God made with the nation, though a shadow of the true covenant in Christ, shows how obedience to the law would bring physical life and physical blessings. The law was never given as a means for partaking of the Covenant of Redemption in Christ. De 30 is written for the OT physical nation, and is not a covenant renewal passage that applies to all mankind ultimately unto justification.

De 11:13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,
De 11:14 That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.
De 11:15 And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.
De 11:22 For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him;
De 11:23 Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.
De 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
De 18:19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

De 26:16 This day the LORD thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
De 26:17 Thou hast avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice:
De 26:18 And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;
De 26:19 And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken.

De 28:1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
De 28:2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.
De 28:3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.
De 28:4 Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
De 28:5 Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.
De 28:6 Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
De 28:7 The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.
De 28:8 The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
De 28:9 The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.
De 28:10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.
De 28:11 And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee.
De 28:12 The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.
De 28:13 And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:
De 28:14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

Many Blessings,
RW

proverbs29
Feb 2nd 2008, 03:53 AM
First of all, if God gives us a gift, yet we refuse to accept and open it, that's not God's fault.

Second, the Psalms are poetry. And poetry - by its nature - is emotive, flamboyant and aggrandizing. If I tell my wife that my love for her is "deeper than the deepest sea", it would be foolish of her to go do research about how deep the deepest sea is, then argue with me that - at 6'1" - it is physically impossible for me to have a deeper love for her than the deepest sea. It would be wise for her to smile, and rest assured that she is deeply and unconditionally loved by her husband. To force literal meanings into poetry is to often miss the point of it entirely.
:monkeyd:I am so diggin' your analogy.

brakelite
Feb 7th 2008, 12:52 AM
I wasn't talking about forknowledge, I was talking about predestination. Perhaps my post was too simple? If my son chooses to misbehave, that is certainly his choice. as it is ours. However, I have predetermined that if he does so, he will be in trouble. Just as God has promised us if we disobey Him. The difference is that I can guess that my son may misbehave, but God knows whether we will or not. But that knowledge does not remove the choice from us.
The other aspect of predestination of course is as you described so eloquently, that God has predestinated us to be conformed into the image of Christ. But that also is our choice for it is only as we abide in Him that He can work in us His character and righteousness.

Regards
Brakelite

4nobletruths
Feb 7th 2008, 03:17 PM
You ask great questions. It is so encouraging to see someone willing to confront the difficult areas of life.
In essence you ask, 'If God is all powerful, if He can design any universe that he wishes, why do we have pain and suffering and cruelty?' A great question, one that many people never resolve.


The fact of our human existence is clear. We suffer.
Why?

Maybe the answer lies somewhere inside our own expectations of life. Perhaps we have a list of the life we 'should' experience.
Perhaps we will do better to accept the life we have and see it as good. Perhaps the question of suffering depends more on our own interpretation of our life than on the specific physical circumstances of our life.

We can find story after story where people are faced with physical pain, hunger, deprivation of all kinds, emotional turmoil. Yet, when asked, these people report they have peace inside themselves.

Jesus spoke directly to this when he said, '...if your son asks for bread, would you give him a stone? How much more will your Father in heaven give you good things if you ask him?'...

With this line of thinking, we see that the circumstances in our life are always present to help us. It is up to us to interpret our life in any way we see fit. So, perhaps, whether or not we experience our life as 'good', or 'bad' depends far more on us than on any specific event we might encounter.

With deep respect and appreciation for you,

Mark

drew
Feb 7th 2008, 05:04 PM
The De 30 passage speaks of obedience to the law. The Old Testament law points us to the Savior, but the old covenant under the law was specifically for the Jews, and concerned the promise of physical land, along with life and blessings for obedience, and death and cursing for disobedience.
I disagree with the stuff that I have bolded. And I will also suggest that Paul disagrees with it. One of Paul's great insights was that "old covenant" (as you refer to it) never was actually intended for the Jews. From Romans 4:

13For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law (***Torah), but through the righteousness of faith.
14For if those who are of the Law (***Torah) are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;

One needs to understand that when Paul refers to "Law", he is referring to Torah, and when refers to those "of the Law", he is talking about the Jews. Both these verses make it clear: Paul understands that the old covenant promises were not for the Jews only.

I cannot see how one can take Paul otherwise: He is clearly stating that the covenant promises made to Abraham were never for the Jews only. In verse 14, Paul clearly denies that the covenant promises are for the Jews only (for if.....)

It is important to understand that Paul goes to great efforts in Romans to "look back" at the covenant promises. He interprets that, from the very outset (Abraham), the promises were never for the Jews only.

RogerW
Feb 7th 2008, 10:09 PM
I disagree with the stuff that I have bolded. And I will also suggest that Paul disagrees with it. One of Paul's great insights was that "old covenant" (as you refer to it) never was actually intended for the Jews. From Romans 4:

13For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law (***Torah), but through the righteousness of faith.
14For if those who are of the Law (***Torah) are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;

One needs to understand that when Paul refers to "Law", he is referring to Torah, and when refers to those "of the Law", he is talking about the Jews. Both these verses make it clear: Paul understands that the old covenant promises were not for the Jews only.

I cannot see how one can take Paul otherwise: He is clearly stating that the covenant promises made to Abraham were never for the Jews only. In verse 14, Paul clearly denies that the covenant promises are for the Jews only (for if.....)

It is important to understand that Paul goes to great efforts in Romans to "look back" at the covenant promises. He interprets that, from the very outset (Abraham), the promises were never for the Jews only.

You are confusing Abraham and his descendants through the righteousness of faith (The Seed, Christ) with his physical descendants (natural seed; the Jews).

Ro 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

The old covenant established through the law (Torah) is to the natural seed (many) of Abraham, but the New Covenant in Christ through Abraham is to them that believe.

Ro 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Many Blessings,
RW

drew
Feb 8th 2008, 04:14 PM
You are confusing Abraham and his descendants through the righteousness of faith (The Seed, Christ) with his physical descendants (natural seed; the Jews).

Ro 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

The old covenant established through the law (Torah) is to the natural seed (many) of Abraham, but the New Covenant in Christ through Abraham is to them that believe.
As you point out there, is indeed a distinction between Abraham and his descendants through the righteousness of faith (The Seed, Christ) with his physical descendants (natural seed; the Jews). And the verse above indeed refers to his "descendants through the righteousness of faith".

But this next verse you have provided only supports my position here:

Ro 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

This verse clearly states there were no promises made to the "ethnic Jews". Paul is stating that the "heirs" of the covenant promises are not the ethnic Jews ("through Torah) but rather this other group - the descendents through the righteousness of faith.

Yet you deny this. You claim, in opposition to Paul, that there were indeed covenant promises made to ethnic Israel:


but the old covenant under the law was specifically for the Jews, and concerned the promise of physical land

Paul is denying this. He is saying that, from the very beginning, the covenant promises are made to a group other than ethnic Israel - to the "descendents through the righteousness of faith"

You are arguing for two covenants with two different sets of heirs:


The old covenant established through the law (Torah) is to the natural seed (many) of Abraham, but the New Covenant in Christ through Abraham is to them that believe.
Paul sees only one covenant and that what the Jews understood to be covenant promises for them (ethnic Israel) were in fact made to a different group - "descendents through the righteousness of faith".

I suspect that you will argue that there is indeed a "separate" covenant for the ethnic Jews. There is a limited sense in which this is true but not in respect to the important covenant promises.

I suggest that it can be argued that Paul sees things as follows:

1. The promise of the land was really a shadow of a greater promise - the restored cosmos in which the children of God will spend eternity:

2. The "return from political exile" promises were really only a shadow of the greater promise - Christians will be rescued from the exile of death.

It is important to understand that Paul does not say "there was this old covenant with the Jews and now there is this new covenant with the "descendents through the righteousness of faith". Instead, he bends over backwards to go back in time and show that, from the very beginning, the "real but hidden" covenant promises were for the "descendents through the righteousness of faith".

I admit that this is a complex issue and that there is indeed a sense in which God "deals with national Israel". But I think that Paul re-interprets the orginal covenant promises, you seem to think that there are these 2 parallel covenants.

But I will say this: this is a tricky topic because, even if my interpretation is correct, there is a still a sense in which yours is as well. I am basically arguing the the original covenant promises to the Jews re the land and the promised return from exile really function in the Biblical narrative as "concrete" symbols of a more global set of promises that, from the very beginning, were promised to a different set of heirs. Yet, these more "concrete" and superficial promises do in fact play out in respect to the ethnic Jews. So it is indeed complicated.

awestruckchild
Feb 8th 2008, 04:38 PM
[quote=Toolman;1507609]Ok :)



Men choose sin of their own will not by force.

I do not choose sin of my own will. I actually will NOT to sin and STILL find myself sinning! This is how I was born and this is who and what I am.
I murder at least one person each and every day of my life. I am not willfully CHOOSING to murder them, I am doing what I do not wish to do! I guess you could say I am not forced to commit this murder but to me, that would be like saying my cat is not forced to go kill the mice under my shed - he is doing it by choice and willfully.

SunnyE
Feb 8th 2008, 04:46 PM
Just to add a bit to what Drew said. In Galatians 3;29 it also clearly says that "it is not by the flesh but Faith in Jesus Christ that you are considered as children of Abraham and heirs to All the promises".

According to this ethnic Jews have no connection to Abraham or God.

Already in Genesis 49 the Jews are told they would be the chosen
nation UNTIL He who comes into Jerusalem riding on a donkey.

drew
Feb 8th 2008, 05:29 PM
As I said in my previous post, this whole covenant thing is tricky. I think it cannot be denied that there is indeed some kind of a "covenant" that is specific to national Israel - some things that were promised to them and them alone.

However, I think that the way Paul sees things is this: while not denying the fact that God has made promises to national Israel, he sees each of these promises as having a "hidden", deeper and richer meaning for which the "superficial" promise to the Jews is merely a vague shadow. And he sees the heirs of these promise as being a "different Israel".

Thus, for Paul, a promise to the Jews that they will get this strip of land in Palestine is a "superficial" manifestation of a deeper "gift" - the gift of an entirely renewed cosmos - the "remade garden of Eden if you will - as per Romans 8:18 and following. And this is a promise not for the Jews but for those who have the faith of Abraham, Jew or Gentile.

Same deal with the "return from exile promises". While these probably do have a meaning in respect to "political restoration" for the Jews, there is a deeper meaning: rescue from the exile of death, again, not for the Jews but for those who have the faith of Abraham, Jew or Gentile.

Returning to the Deuteronomy 30 covenant renrewal passage. Since Paul alludes to it in Romans 10, and since Paul sees all these old covenant promises (to the Jews) as having a deeper meaning, I think it is entirely reasonable to assert that, for the believer, the "law is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it" (as per the Deuteronomy reference).

This dovetails perfectly with the clear teaching of a works judgement for all in Romans 2. How? Since the covenant has been renewed in Christ, we are, through the empowering of the Spirit, indeed capable of being found on that day to "have persisted in doing good" and to have been "doers of the law". No need to sweep what Paul says in Romans 2 under the carpet.

RogerW
Feb 8th 2008, 06:58 PM
As you point out there, is indeed a distinction between Abraham and his descendants through the righteousness of faith (The Seed, Christ) with his physical descendants (natural seed; the Jews). And the verse above indeed refers to his "descendants through the righteousness of faith".

But this next verse you have provided only supports my position here:

Ro 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

This verse clearly states there were no promises made to the "ethnic Jews". Paul is stating that the "heirs" of the covenant promises are not the ethnic Jews ("through Torah) but rather this other group - the descendents through the righteousness of faith.

Yet you deny this. You claim, in opposition to Paul, that there were indeed covenant promises made to ethnic Israel:

The Covenant of Redemption was given to Abraham, it required nothing from Abraham because it was established in heaven between the members of the truine Godhead. God Himself would ratify this Covenant! How was it (Covenant of Redemption) given to Abraham? Through his SEED; CHRIST! Christ was incarnate through Abraham. Does this mean that God did not make a covenant with Abraham and his natural seed? Absolutely not! God also made a covenant with Abraham and his natural seed.

The difference between the one Covenant of Redemption being given to Abraham, and the covenant God made with Abraham, what was given required nothing from Abraham. Even the seed through which Christ came was supernaturally given through Sarah, whose womb had long ago stop bearing life. But the covenant God made with Abraham and his natural seed required obedience. This covenant, regarding possession of the promised land came with stipulations - blessings, and long life in the land the Lord had promised for obedience to the commands of God...but cursing and death, losing the promised land were the results of disobedience to God's commands.

The promise that Paul speaks of in Ro 4:13 is the Covenant of Redemption through the righteousness of faith. This Covenant of Redemption was established in heaven before the foundation of the world. It is this Covenant that Christ came to fulfill promising salvation through the righteousness of faith. Unlike the covenant that God made with Abraham and his natural seed, this Covenant of Redemption is unto all people.



I suspect that you will argue that there is indeed a "separate" covenant for the ethnic Jews. There is a limited sense in which this is true but not in respect to the important covenant promises.

I suggest that it can be argued that Paul sees things as follows:

1. The promise of the land was really a shadow of a greater promise - the restored cosmos in which the children of God will spend eternity:

2. The "return from political exile" promises were really only a shadow of the greater promise - Christians will be rescued from the exile of death.

It is important to understand that Paul does not say "there was this old covenant with the Jews and now there is this new covenant with the "descendents through the righteousness of faith". Instead, he bends over backwards to go back in time and show that, from the very beginning, the "real but hidden" covenant promises were for the "descendents through the righteousness of faith".

I admit that this is a complex issue and that there is indeed a sense in which God "deals with national Israel". But I think that Paul re-interprets the orginal covenant promises, you seem to think that there are these 2 parallel covenants.

But I will say this: this is a tricky topic because, even if my interpretation is correct, there is a still a sense in which yours is as well. I am basically arguing the the original covenant promises to the Jews re the land and the promised return from exile really function in the Biblical narrative as "concrete" symbols of a more global set of promises that, from the very beginning, were promised to a different set of heirs. Yet, these more "concrete" and superficial promises do in fact play out in respect to the ethnic Jews. So it is indeed complicated.

Of course the covenant God made with the Jews points to the True Covenant through Christ. All of the OT law was a shadow of the Perfect Who would come. Neither Moses, nor Paul, nor any other prophet of God ever taught that man could be justified before God through keeping the law (Torah).

Heb 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
Heb 10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
Heb 10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
Heb 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Heb 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
Heb 10:6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
Heb 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
Heb 10:8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
Heb 10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
Heb 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

The law of faith in the New Covenant is what one must have to be justified before God. This law of faith was fulfilled by Christ alone! We receive this law of faith by grace alone...none of us; all of the Lord!

Many Blessings,
RW

John146
Feb 8th 2008, 07:10 PM
this Covenant of Redemption is unto all people.

I agree!

3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. - 1 Tim 2:3-6

1My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. - 1 John 2:1-2

drew
Feb 8th 2008, 11:22 PM
Of course the covenant God made with the Jews points to the True Covenant through Christ. All of the OT law was a shadow of the Perfect Who would come.
I think the connection is much stronger than this. Even if the scriptural case for the link were not so strong - and I think it is - I suspect that we should not be surprised if there were not a link. You seem to think the relationship is of "one foreshadowing the other". I think that the link is more of "one is an integral part of the other".

Look at what Paul writes about the Law in Romans 5 and Romans 7:

Romans 5:20 The law was added so that the trespass might increase....

There is strong implication of divine intent - that God gave Torah with the purpose of bring sin to its full height in Israel. I will shortly propose an explantion of the connection to new covenant.

Romans 7:11-13: For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. 13Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful

Once again, the phrases "in order that" and "so that" suggest a divine intention. God is up to something here, but what?

I suggest that God uses the Torah to actually magnify and concentrate sin in ethnic Israel. For Paul, sin is arguably a "power" that can literraly be "lured" out of hiding and brought to full power and concentration in ethnic Israel. Why does God do this?

To remain faithful to the single plan of redemption - the single covenant. As promised, God is using Israel to deal with the sin of the world. Israel has become a vessel fitted for destruction.

But of course, Israel is only fitted for destruction - she is only the "staging ground" for the power of sin. She is not qualified to deal with sin since she, too, is in Adam and has proven faithless.

So God produces a faitful Israelite who acts as Israel (this notion of representative Messiahship is deeply Scriptural). Jesus is the place where the sin of the world, accumulated over the centuries in Israel through the strange and dark purposes of Torah, is then concentrated down into a single person and dealt with.

God has remained true to the covenantal plan to use Israel to bless the nations. The hidden meaning of "bless the nations" is, I suggest, to play a role in solving the deepest problem of humanity - the sin problem.

Diolectic
Feb 9th 2008, 05:14 PM
Sorry for not being in on this thread that I started, but I may be back now.



Originally Posted by Toolman http://bibleforums.org/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1507656#post1507656)
Just to help me out here Drew, do you believe that men have the ability within themselves, apart from God's Spirit at work in them, to resist sin and live righteously?
No I do not believe that men have such an ability.

However, I do not argue that we are morally accountable for being born with an irresistable desire to sin.No one realy desires to sin, Paul, before he was saved loved the law of god and never wanted to sin, but he found that it is all he could do apart from the help of GOD. read Romans 7:15 on down, it tells about his strugle before he was saved.


We are indeed born with such a natureWe are all born with a human nature, nothing more, nothing less.
If "Sin Nature" is true, it would pervert the justice of God and distort the love of God.

Since God loves His creation so much, why would He impose a nature on it againt it's will and/or charge it with an indictment or a responsibility which they don't deserve and one of wich HE hates?

Our natuer comes from what we are, which is human.
Our fruit, weather sin or righteousness comes from what we love.

To know Jesus is to love Him.
A one who doesn't know God therefore he loves himself &/or the world, and inturn he sins.

We are only born with flesh that is able to sin because of temptation.

No one forces you to sin, however, people blaim it on the so called "sin nature".
The reason that one sins is because he loves himself more that the ONE who has the right over him.
If you Love the ONE who can deliver you from sin more than sin, you wouldn't choose to sin.
For example:
Do you try not to cheet on your wife?
No, there is no need to "try" because you naturaly don't cheet on your wife because you love her.

You naturaly sin because you love it, However, if you love the one who keeps you from sin, you would naturaly not sin.

To be born with a "sin nature" one is assuming that an infant already loves sin, however, as an infant, one does not understand sin and therefore can not love it and inturn can not have a nature for it.

The inclination of our will effects individual choices that we make. The choice that you make will naturally follow your inclination. Consequently, if you love yourself or the world more than the one commanding you, you cannot consistently do things that please the commander. Your decisions are in bondage to your effections and inclinations so that you only do what you have favor towards.
Love God, hate sin; Love yourself and the world, hate God.

The truth of the matter is selfishness or love of this world


This is a Biblical view of Human Nature:
John 15:4b ...As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
Romans 11:16b ...and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
Romans 11:24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree...

While we were not yet grafted into the cultivated olive tree, we were of our own tree with the root of ourself or in this world. If our root is of ourself or the world, we are selfish &/or worldly.

concider this:
A child born and brougt up not knowing God, grows up and becomes accountable for it's own actions will be unable to follow the righteous requirements of the Law because of it's selfish attitude.

On the other hand, a child born brougt up knowing Christ, which is eternal life. The child grows up and becomes accountable for it's own actions will be able to follow the righteous requirements of the Law because of his love for God. John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

This shows that one is born selfish and in reliance on the knowlege of God, not being born with a sin nature.

Furthermore, people do not have a "sin nature" just as an apple tree does not have an apple nature.
All sin is fruit from what man is rooted in, which is of eather three things. Rooted in Christ, the world or self.

If the root is holy, so also the branches. Romans 11:16b
As the branch is not able to bear fruit of itself, unless it remain in the vine, John 15:4

Since Christ is the Root/Vine & man a tree/vinebranch.
If man is not grafted into Christ, he is selfish &/or wotldly, because he has his own self as his root. Or he may also be worldly, for that is all he has(John 15:9, 1John 2:15)
This is the cause of all mans wickedness, that man is of the world and selfish and not of Christ and loving.

Therefore, the fruit does not make its nature, nor does the nature deside what its fruit is.

What makes it's fruit is what kind of tree and what it's root is of.
James 1:24 for he studied himself, and has gone away, and immediately he forgot of what kind he was.

What ever fruit it bears, the tree still has a tree nature. not an apple nature, oriange nature, banana nature.
The kind of fruit obviously does not change what it is or what nature it has.
However, what ever it is grafted into does change it's fruit, just as my analogy shows, which is of Scripture as I have shown.

What ever fruit man bears, sin or righteousness, it is still human nature.

Just a s a trees nature is to bear fruit, so is mans.


This is a flawed argument, since, I think, it tries to vest moral accountability in the "wanting" tendency -a tendency which cannot be resistedIt can and is resisted all the time.
I "want to sleep in every day and not go to work. I resist the "wanting" tendency" to sleeo in and go to work.

Thie understanding to this is that we do what is right over what we want.
We can only do this if we have the correct values. This is our own responcability. All mankind is able.


The sin nature entered the world with Adam's death. We are no more "accountable" for being born with that nature than is the child who is born with HIV.Actualy, the Human nature to be independant from God entered the world with Adam's disobediance.


You read me like a book. I am indeed in that minority who believes that the unredeemed are annihilated, not tormented forever.Annihilation is not punishment. You are saying that the damned are not punished, but only erased.

Diolectic
Feb 9th 2008, 06:32 PM
1: Some people make the Atonement to be only for a chosen few(the Elect) where God is not ALL Loving and very finite in grace. In contrast which the Atonement is for all and is ALL Loving and infinite in grace.God is not all loving and does have a limit to His grace.You are denying 1Jn 4:8b & 1Jn 4:16b God is love.
If God is not all loving, then HE can not be love.

God is not all loving and does have a limit to His grace.You are denying the Cross of Christ of which HE died for the world.
The cross of Christ is the grace of God. Rom 5:6"in due time Christ died for the ungodly." Which is all mankind.
Rom 8:32a&bHE that spared not his own Son...
...how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?


God hates the sinner.Ezek 18:23Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? says the Lord GOD: and not that he should turn from his ways, and live? The answer is no.
Eze 18:32For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies
Eze 33:11Say unto them, As I live, says the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live:
Lam 3:33For he does not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.




2: Please explain that God would Create sentient men that are the non-chosen, non-elect. These must be hated creations, for the very purpose of being destroyed in hell. Therefore, man is doing that which he was created to do, that is to sin & yet, being condemned for it.


The non-elect have no grace to be saved because the Atonement is not for them.
They were never supposed to be saved in the first place, which makes them created only to be destroyed in hell.
Therefore, they are not in hell for what they have done, but in hell for that which they were created for.I know that you don't want to hear this but here it is anyway. God is God. He created as you said some vessels for wrath and some for glory.God does not create vessels of wrath, He reforms the into vessels of wrath out of judgment.
Romans 9:21-23Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?
:22 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had before prepared unto glory,
This refers to:

Co-text:
Jer 18:2-6Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear my words.
:3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he worked a work on the wheels.
:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
:5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
:6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? says the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.

The Potter did not mare the clay Himself, but the clay became marred in His hands.
The Potter(God) did all HE could do to keep the clay(Israel) from being marred. He sent Jeremiah(along with all the other prophets) and the clay(Israel) rebelled anyway.
Therefore, the Potter hand to reform the clay into a new vessel.
Israel was warned to repent and they did not, that is the clay being marred.
God sent them to Babylon because of there repentance, this is the clay being reformed.

Furthermore in 2Timothy 2:20But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.
:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and fit for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.

This verse is telling us that we ourselves choose what kind of vessel we may be.



3: Please explain how that man can not even do what is required to be right with God which is to repent and put his faith in/on Christ.


Man is condemned for that which is unavoidable. First of all repenting and having faith doesn't make you right with God.What!!!!?

Anyways we are dead in our sins so how can a spiritual corpse do anything to help?You take spiritual death out of context.
All spiritual death means is that one has no relationship with Christ.




4: Please explain how that one must be "regenerated" first before he can even attempt to repent and put his faith in/on Christ. This theology makes God wrathful and hating man because GOD would not let them obey by not regenerating them.

Man is guilty for what God will not do.God is wrathful to the unsaved and hates them. Like it or not.According to RF and/or Calv, If God hates the wicked, which all mankind is, then why would he save any?
You are saying that God would never save anybody at all because all are unsaved to begin with and all are wicked to begin with.




5: Please explain why God would condemn man from the result of His own doing.


or
Man is guilty for what God did.God didn't sin man did.God must have inaugurated the "Federal Headship of Adam", therefore making the sin nature inevitable.
God is the one at fault of our "sin nature" if it is true.

If Adam and Eve and all their descendants never sinned then all would still be perfect.Not perfect, but only innocent.

Just because God allowed it for the purpose of showing His mercy to the elect doesn't mean He created it.According to the RF and/or Calv, God wanted Sin to exist, I've heard some say that God wanted Adam to sin.




6: Please explain why God would make a world with sin when HE could have made one that didn't.He made a perfect world. Man made a world full of sin. Could God have made one that didn't? Yes.You are saying that God wants sin.
That would make all who sin to do HIS will and be condemned for it.

But then since all things are done for His gloryYou are saying that sin is for HIS glory?



7: Please explain how God wanted Adam to sin.Give me a break. Just because He knew Adam would didn't mean He wanted it to happen.You just said that God could have made a world with out sin. That means HE wanted sin over a world that had none.
Which means HE wanted Adam to sin.

He had everything planned from before Adam sinned.He planed to have Adam sin?
According to RF and/or Calv, God controls everything and causes everything.




8: Please explain how those who are pre-selected to hell in contraposition to the Elect, can not ever repent because God refuses to give them the ability(regeneration) and condemns for it.Our abilities that is from us or God given cannot help in salvation.Does not answer the question.


We're saved by the faith of Christ and not our faith.That makes no sense at all.
No one is save by anyone else’s faith but there own.
If one has no faith at all, the faith of Christ will do them no good.
Furthermore, Jesus does not have faith of which we must have.


Repenting doesn't save either.One can not be save without repenting.

It's all works which the bible says can't save.Works of faith are essential.

God isn't obligated to save the non elect.One is non-elect until he is saved.
How are any saved?
If one is of the elect and not saved, He is still wicked and unsaved which God hates. How will HE save that "elect"?





9: Do you think that it is GOD who rejects man, instead of man rejecting GOD?I think man has rejected God. And in turn God has rejected those He didn't die for.An unborn Child can not reject Christ, therefore God will not reject him until he is of age to understand and reject.
Why wouldn't God die for my Grandpa("un-elect") who is in hell right now?
If I prayed with tears through the Holy Spirit to save my grandpa. What was my prayer then?

The work of Christ on His cross makes away for salvation of all mankind while the salvation it's self comes from the relationship one has with Him and not just in what he did on the cross.

This doctrine of Limited Atonement misinterprets the word atonement to be the salvation of man, when, in actuality, the true meaning is that it is only the taking away of sin, it is the forgiveness if sin, thus making peace between God and man (Col1:20). Christ's work makes redemption possible for all but guaranteed for only those who take advantage of it and apply it to their selves.
They claim that the atonement saves man instead of the relationship with Christ. The actual salvation is eternal life (John 17:3).


Rom
3:10-12 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11. There is none that understand, there is none that seeks after God. 12. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
This is everyone. We all reject him.My Pastors children never rejected HIM.
They were all saved even from the age of accountability.
I know of many kids that grew up knowing Christ who never rejected HIM.

As from your post, this proves that there are some very grievous flaws in theology which makes this parable all so true:
Mat 13:33Another parable spoke he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

Diolectic
Feb 9th 2008, 06:50 PM
I am still a sinner.There is no place in the Scriptures that call the saved a sinner.
Being an "sinner is being unsaved.
if you are syill s sinner, then you are not saved.
Just because you sin does not mean that you are a sinner. Sinners are called sinners because they willingly sin.


But I also want to say no because Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundations of the earth. He already chose me and died for me before the world began. Christ knew me before creation so He would have viewed me as an elect and thus loving me enough to send His son to die for meYou make God judge and condemn before the crime of sin is ever committed.
You make God elect you before you actualy chose to reciev Him, you make God condem the wicked before they even sin, by having God not elect them.

It is an unjust act to judge before an act.

Very, very good question that I haven't really thought of. I will have to say my answer is no I think. I guess for no other reason than as I just stated. He knew me and thus had mercy on me for no reason.I thought the reason was because you were elect?
Therefore you lie when you say that HE had mercy on you for no reason.


Am I different than an unsaved in how God views me before my salvation? I think so.Are you saying that God is partial? A respecter of persons?


I think that because He knew He wasn't going to save this or that wicked person God can say He hates them because He had no intention of saving them.This is a cruel and wicked god.
To put the indictment or a responsibility of a "sin nature on one so that he must sin(do that which is unavoidable) and not intend to save them.

That is equivalenbt of you baking a POOP pie.
you would only bake a POOP pie for the only poorpose of flushing it down the toilet.
This "POOP pie" that God create are sentient beings that are created for the sole purpose of being destroyed in hell.
You make God out to be a monster.

drew
Feb 9th 2008, 08:53 PM
We are all born with a human nature, nothing more, nothing less.
If "Sin Nature" is true, it would pervert the justice of God and distort the love of God.

Since God loves His creation so much, why would He impose a nature on it againt it's will and/or charge it with an indictment or a responsibility which they don't deserve and one of wich HE hates?
There is a way to avoid the objection that you mount here. There is no incoherence at all with the notion that we are born with a sin nature that is impossible to resist. If it is the case that in order to make the best possible world, God had to commit to a universe where the fall of man would result in us inheriting a sin nature, then there is no sense that justice is perverted.

RogerW
Feb 10th 2008, 07:21 PM
I think the connection is much stronger than this. Even if the scriptural case for the link were not so strong - and I think it is - I suspect that we should not be surprised if there were not a link. You seem to think the relationship is of "one foreshadowing the other". I think that the link is more of "one is an integral part of the other".

Look at what Paul writes about the Law in Romans 5 and Romans 7:

Romans 5:20 The law was added so that the trespass might increase....

There is strong implication of divine intent - that God gave Torah with the purpose of bring sin to its full height in Israel. I will shortly propose an explantion of the connection to new covenant.

Romans 7:11-13: For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. 13Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful

Once again, the phrases "in order that" and "so that" suggest a divine intention. God is up to something here, but what?

I suggest that God uses the Torah to actually magnify and concentrate sin in ethnic Israel. For Paul, sin is arguably a "power" that can literraly be "lured" out of hiding and brought to full power and concentration in ethnic Israel. Why does God do this?

To remain faithful to the single plan of redemption - the single covenant. As promised, God is using Israel to deal with the sin of the world. Israel has become a vessel fitted for destruction.

But of course, Israel is only fitted for destruction - she is only the "staging ground" for the power of sin. She is not qualified to deal with sin since she, too, is in Adam and has proven faithless.

So God produces a faitful Israelite who acts as Israel (this notion of representative Messiahship is deeply Scriptural). Jesus is the place where the sin of the world, accumulated over the centuries in Israel through the strange and dark purposes of Torah, is then concentrated down into a single person and dealt with.

God has remained true to the covenantal plan to use Israel to bless the nations. The hidden meaning of "bless the nations" is, I suggest, to play a role in solving the deepest problem of humanity - the sin problem.

Greetings Drew,

You have made statements in this thread and the Can Christians Go To Hell thread that I would like you to further elaborate on.

You have stated that Torah refers to Christian faith. Can you explain to me how you arrive at this conclusion? Can you show biblical agreement with this view? I've never heard anyone equate the old testament law with Christian faith before, so before telling you what I believe Scripture teaches regarding the Torah and Christian faith, I would like to know through Scripture how and why you make this link between Torah and Christian faith.

You've also said that "God uses Torah to magnify and concentrate sin in ethnic Israel". Again, please explain how and why you have drawn this conclusion. You say, "For Paul sin is a power that can literally be lured out of hiding and brought to full power and concentration in ethnic Israel". What Scripture validation do you find for this view? Again, I have my own opinions about sin, and I must tell you it is quite different then this opinion you put forth. Now I think we would both agree that where there are two contrary opinions, both can be wrong, but both cannot be right. I am not one to stand firmly on an opinion that can be biblically refuted, so instead of assuming I am right and you are wrong, please explain to me through Scripture how you have become convinced that you have correct biblical understanding here.

One last statement I would like you to clarify ...."Israel is the staging ground for the power of sin". It would also be helpful to limit our discussion to this thread and allow the Can Christians Go To Hell thread to return to the OP.

Many Blessings,
RW

drew
Feb 10th 2008, 09:22 PM
You have stated that Torah refers to Christian faith. Can you explain to me how you arrive at this conclusion? Can you show biblical agreement with this view? I've never heard anyone equate the old testament law with Christian faith before, so before telling you what I believe Scripture teaches regarding the Torah and Christian faith, I would like to know through Scripture how and why you make this link between Torah and Christian faith.
First of all, I have never equated Christian faith with Old Testament Law. Nevertheless, I can certainly understand that my views on all this might not be all that clear.

Let's start with what we know. Paul is clear that there is at least some sense in which the old Testament Law (the Torah) continues to be in effect. From Romans 3:

31Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law

And we have this from Romans 9 that shows (by clear implication) that there is indeed a sense in which "Torah" that is still in effect:

What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works.

So we know that Paul still talks about some kind of law being in force. Let me be clear: I am not stating that the Torah - the 613 rules - are still in force. What I am suggesting is that Paul clearly thinks that something that can be referred to as "law" is still in force. There is no doubt that this is the case - the statement from the end of Romans 3 shows that this is so; the law has been established.

Although the right wording is hard to find, I assert that Paul holds that, just like there is "ethnic Israel" and "true Israel", so there is "old Torah" and "true Torah". I assert, and will not argue the point in this post anyway, that Paul sees the content of true Torah as being embodied by what Jesus says in Matthew 22 - "true Torah" is constituted by the principle of loving God and loving neighbour as self.

If we follow this principle, we obey Torah at its deeper, more rich level. I believe that Paul believes that this "true Torah" is the essence of Christian faith. And in this sense, and in this sense only, is Christian faith to be "equated" with Torah. This is the sense referred to in Romans 9 (above) as the "pursuit of Torah" by faith.

I anticipate that some will say that to suggest that Christian faith is made up of "loving God and loving neighbour" smacks of "justification by works". Well, as I have argued in detail, I think that Paul never denies "justification by works". He denies "justification by works of (old) Torah". And the reformation tradition has got these thing backwards.

So I think that when Paul makes this statement:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

....he once more asserts that there is a sense in which the underlying "essence" of the "old Torah" has, in fact, not been done away with, but rather established.

I am going to guess that many Christians are "born into" the idea that faith = "assent to the proposition that Jesus died for my sins and rose again". I am not sure where in the Scriptures people get this idea. If you want to suggest Romans 10: 9-19, we can talk about that.

I conclude with some material from NT Wright that deals with Romans 3 and speaks directly to the matter at issue - namely the sense in which Torah has actually been established, not done away with.




The paragraph concludes (3:27-31) with a similarly brief account of the
immediate result of the divine covenant faithfulness being revealed in this way. Specifically, it rules out a revelation according to the model expected within Judaism, that is, national vindication. The ethnic “boasting,” of which Paul had spoken in 2:17-24, is eliminated, in a fashion that leaves two main pillars of Judaism undamaged. Monotheism and Torah, Paul claims, are enhanced, not undermined, in this paradoxical


fulfillment of the divine righteousness. Rom 3:30 shows that the Shema, the basic Deuteronomic confession of faith which serves as a summary of Torah, is emphatically upheld when the one true god declares Jew and Gentile alike to be within his covenant family on the same terms

drew
Feb 10th 2008, 09:56 PM
You've also said that "God uses Torah to magnify and concentrate sin in ethnic Israel". Again, please explain how and why you have drawn this conclusion.
I have just done this very things in the post you quote from me. Romans 5:20 and Romans 7 stuff. That material is my Scriptural basis for this belief, at least at the hight level. Do you not see how that argument works?


You say, "For Paul sin is a power that can literally be lured out of hiding and brought to full power and concentration in ethnic Israel". What Scripture validation do you find for this view?
That God intended to use Torah to magnify sin in Israel is, I assert, quite strongly established from Romans 5:20 and the Romans 7 stuff. Do you deny that this material shows that there is a divine intent to cause sin to become "magnified" or "intensified" through the action of Torah?

Now the next step - the notion that God is "luring sin" onto Israel so that it can be "concentrated" and "cornered" if you will cannot be defended by "quoting a verse". It is more of a "drawing the conclusion" that the evidence suggests.

We know that God intends the Torah to have this strange (and seemingly dark) purpose of magnifying sin in Irael. But what is God up to? Why is He doing this? It is here that we connect to the potter and his clay pot. I think it is clear from the context of Romans 9 that Paul is suggesting that Israel is the vessel fitted for destruction - the letter begins with Paul's lament about Israel and how they have rejected the Messiah. He then refers to Pharoah as a person who was hardened.

Note the structure of Romans 9:

1. Paul laments the fact that the Jews have rejected her Messiah;

2. In spite of this, Paul argues that God's promises to Israel have not failed since "not all who are descended from Israel are Israel";

3. Paul then talks about how Pharoah was hardened, not unto damnation but rather so that he (Pharoah) will resist Moses' effort to free the Jews.

4. Then we have the mysterious potter and his pot and the vessels destined for mercy and destruction.

5. Then Paul explcitly identifies who the vessels destined for mercy are:

What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

Clearly the vessel of mercy is the church - made up of both Jew and Gentile.

Who then, is the vessel fitted for destruction? It is Israel. I cannot "prove" this other than appeal to the fundamental logic of the entire sequence, and the stuff in Romans 11 about Israel being "hardened" and being "branches that are cut off". The evidence is extremely strong - the vessel of destruction in Romans 9 is Israel.

Paul is comparing Israel to Pharoah - both are hardened in God's purposes. And is the Torah that is accomplishing this hardening by magnifying sin in national Israel

More in next post....

drew
Feb 10th 2008, 10:22 PM
More about God using Torah to concentrate sin in Israel.

I assert, but will not argue the point in this post, that the whole purpose of the covenant with Abraham was to solve the sin problem for all mankind. I do not believe that Paul teaches the existence of a "redemption" covenant that is somehow "separate" from the covenant with Abraham and the Jews. It is all one covenant (essentially) in Paul's mind.

If the purpose of the covenant was to deal with the sin of the world, then it should not seem surprising at all the God uses Israel to "corner" sin or "lure it out in the open" where it can be defeated.

In any event, I think that Romans 9 shows that Israel is a vessel fitted fore destruction - again this works well with the concept that sin is being built up in Israel. Sin needs to be condemned and God has covenanted to use Israel to solve the sin problem. You do not need to be Albert Einstein for the following idea to occur: God will use Israel as "bait", as a kind of sponge that soaks up the world's sin into one place, in preparation for it to be dealt with.

And how can Israel deal with this sin that has been concentrated in her? She cannot, since she too is in Adam. This is partly what Paul means in Romans 3 when he refers to the ubiquity of human sin. So how can God remain true to his covenant to use Israel to solve the sin problem?

He finds a faithful Israelite who acts on her behalf - Jesus. Since Israel is in Adam, sin cannot be dealt with by her. It can only be "cornered" so that it can be passed on to Jesus who, very importantly, is her truly representative Messiah - one who, as a single person, acts on her behalf. The concept of "representative Kingship" - where the King not only "rules", he truly sums up his people in himself, is well established in the Scriptures. I will not make that case here.

I see a wonderfullly coherent and beautifully sophisticated plan here. There are not 2 covenants - there is only one. And from the giving of Torah, the plan of redemption has has always been "cross-shaped". From the very beginning, the concept of sin being "borne" by a suffering servant began to play out. Israel played that role - at least to a point. Just as we think of Jesus "bearing our sin" in his flesh, Israel is the place where sin begins to be concentrated to set up that great act of redemption by Jesus. Recall also, that as Moses receives Torah, the people below are making the golden calf - they are "re-enacting" the sin of Adam.

Do you not the pattern here?

And, of course, this is why Paul compares Israel to Pharoah in Romans 9, specifically in respect to this "that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth" Pharoah is hardened so that God can deliver the Jews from Egypt. Israel is hardened through Torah so that the sin of the world can be concentrated in her and then passed on to her Messiah.

RogerW
Feb 11th 2008, 03:57 PM
First of all, I have never equated Christian faith with Old Testament Law. Nevertheless, I can certainly understand that my views on all this might not be all that clear.

Let's start with what we know. Paul is clear that there is at least some sense in which the old Testament Law (the Torah) continues to be in effect. From Romans 3:

31Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law

And we have this from Romans 9 that shows (by clear implication) that there is indeed a sense in which "Torah" that is still in effect:

What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works.

So we know that Paul still talks about some kind of law being in force. Let me be clear: I am not stating that the Torah - the 613 rules - are still in force. What I am suggesting is that Paul clearly thinks that something that can be referred to as "law" is still in force. There is no doubt that this is the case - the statement from the end of Romans 3 shows that this is so; the law has been established.

Although the right wording is hard to find, I assert that Paul holds that, just like there is "ethnic Israel" and "true Israel", so there is "old Torah" and "true Torah". I assert, and will not argue the point in this post anyway, that Paul sees the content of true Torah as being embodied by what Jesus says in Matthew 22 - "true Torah" is constituted by the principle of loving God and loving neighbour as self.

If we follow this principle, we obey Torah at its deeper, more rich level. I believe that Paul believes that this "true Torah" is the essence of Christian faith. And in this sense, and in this sense only, is Christian faith to be "equated" with Torah. This is the sense referred to in Romans 9 (above) as the "pursuit of Torah" by faith.

I anticipate that some will say that to suggest that Christian faith is made up of "loving God and loving neighbour" smacks of "justification by works". Well, as I have argued in detail, I think that Paul never denies "justification by works". He denies "justification by works of (old) Torah". And the reformation tradition has got these thing backwards.

So I think that when Paul makes this statement:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

....he once more asserts that there is a sense in which the underlying "essence" of the "old Torah" has, in fact, not been done away with, but rather established.

I am going to guess that many Christians are "born into" the idea that faith = "assent to the proposition that Jesus died for my sins and rose again". I am not sure where in the Scriptures people get this idea. If you want to suggest Romans 10: 9-19, we can talk about that.

I conclude with some material from NT Wright that deals with Romans 3 and speaks directly to the matter at issue - namely the sense in which Torah has actually been established, not done away with.

Greetings Drew,

Could you please elaborate on what you believe "we establish the law" means? I need clarification because we know that Paul taught that keeping the law (Torah) will not justify us before God. I see those who attempted to keep the Torah for justification as believing they were doing good works; i.e. obeying the law to be justified. Since obeying the law, doing good works does not justify one before God, I'm wondering what good works OT Jews performed in order to be justified before God? If it is true that after the cross good works are necessary for justification, then good works for justification would be necessary for the OT Jews. For God does not have two salvation plans, one for the OT Jews, and another for NT Christians.

This is of great importance for according to this teaching (NPP) our salvation depends on understanding what good works are necessary for salvation. Since it is so important I do not believe that God would not show us CLEARLY in Scripture what good works are required of us.

It seems you are saying that the sum of the NT law, to which I agree, is this, "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" But you fail to show how we do this apart from the Lord, yet you seem to argue that this is necessary for justification? Do you see the quandry? We must show the love of the Lord to be justified, but we cannot show the love of the Lord unless we have been justified? And yes, your are right, if we rely upon our own efforts to show the love of Christ, then we are indeed depending on our own good works for merit. How is this any different than the OT Jew, who thought his good works; obeying the law would bring him merit before God?

Many Blessings,
RW

drew
Feb 11th 2008, 05:07 PM
Could you please elaborate on what you believe "we establish the law" means? I need clarification because we know that Paul taught that keeping the law (Torah) will not justify us before God.
Paul clearly states in Romans that some kind of "law" continues to exist - it has been established. I know that many Christians believe that "faith" somehow "replaces" law in respect to justification. Paul shows clearly in Romans 3:30 (and again in Romans 9:30 and following) that this emphatically not the case - there is indeed a sense in which there is a "law" that we must obey to be justified, since justification is clearly the matter at issue by context. Paul cannot, therefore be saying something like this: "there is a sense in which a law has been established but it is a law that we obey in gratitude for having been otherwise justified by "faith". Underlying all my arguments about Paul is a belief that he is a clear focused thinker, not inclined to insert scattered teachings about X into a context where the issue is clearly Y.

I will be frank: I think that most "evangelicals" do not take Paul seriously and misinterpret him. These Christians, if really called to the carpet on it, would be forced to say that they really do think all "law" has been "nullified" and replaced by "faith". They have the right to believe this, but they should not say that they are following Paul in this regard. Paul clearly believes that there is a sense in which following a "law" of some kind is necessary for justification. He says so here in Romans 3 and he says it even more clearly in Romans 2:13:

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

Having said this, I agree that Paul has asserted that keeping the Torah as the Jews understood it will not justify anyone. But we know from Romans 9 and elsewhere that there are, in Paul's mind, two modes of doing Torah, one "by faith" and the other "as if by works":

What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works.

Cleary, Paul is saying that those Gentiles who "attained righteousness" were following some kind of "law" - they, unlike the Jews, "arrived at that law". So, the only way I can see to make Paul not contradict himself is to see him as denying that one mode of doing Torah ("as if by works") justifies, but the other one does - "doing Torah by faith".

So I disagree with the unqualified statement "we know that Paul taught that keeping the law (Torah) will not justify us before God". This does not appear to be consistent with what Pauls says in Romans 2:7-13, Romans 9:3o and following, Romans 3:31, and elsewhere. There is a sense in which "keeping Torah" justifies us.

At this point, I will repeat what I have said: This "sense" of keeping Torah is not simply to keep the 613 laws - it is to recognize the underlying essence of those laws and obey that - to love God and your neighbour as yourself.

I think that Paul is entirely consistent. He says we are justified by "faith". He also says we need to be "doers of the law" to be justified. As much as some might wish that Romans 2:7-13 were not there, they are, and we need to deal with them.

The only way I can think of to make all this work is to say that Paul is telling us what the content of "faith" actually is - it is doing Torah in this deeper, richer, "as if by faith" sense. I think the problem is that many Christians do not listen to Paul - they listen to a tradition that has taught them that "faith" has no "works" content, that is only intellectual assent to the claim "Jesus died for your sins, believe this in your mind and you are saved". This, I think, is not what Paul teaches (despite Romans 10 - we can talk about that if you want). And so, many in the reformed tradition come up with exceedingly implausible and "forced" interpretation of texts like Romans 2:13.

And, as you know, I think that a strong case has been presented that Paul never denies "justification by 'doing good' " - he denies justification by doing the specificities of Torah that demarcate the Jew from the Gentile.

You asked what I thought Paul means by saying "we establish the law". I think this is simply a literary way of saying "this argument asserts that the law is established" - he is not suggesting a human activity as set against God.

I will address your other questions in a later post.

Diolectic
Feb 11th 2008, 07:37 PM
There is a way to avoid the objection that you mount here. There is no incoherence at all with the notion that we are born with a sin nature that is impossible to resist. If it is the case that in order to make the best possible world, God had to commit to a universe where the fall of man would result in us inheriting a sin nature, then there is no sense that justice is perverted. There is no way to discount the injustice of condemning one for doing that which is unavoidable.
You can't just say, "just because God had to initiated it, that makes it right." as you are doing.

The only answer to these heinous fallacies that I pose in my first post is This:
1: Some people make the Atonement to be only for a chosen few(the Elect) where God is not ALL Loving and very finite in grace. In contrast which the Atonement is for all and is ALL Loving and infinite in grace.
The answer is that the Atonement is the translated word kaw-far' from Hebrew to English which means “to cover” of the Jewish Fast of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). It incorporates the words reconciliation, propitiation (satisfaction) and forgiveness. The work of Christ on His cross makes away for salvation while the salvation it's self comes from the relationship one has with Him and not just in what he did on the cross.

This doctrine of Limited Atonement misinterprets the word atonement to be the salvation of man, when, in actuality, the true meaning is that it is only the taking away of sin, it is the forgiveness if sin, thus making peace between God and man (Col1:20). Christ's work makes redemption possible for all but guaranteed for only those who take advantage of it and apply it to their selves.
They claim that the atonement saves man instead of the relationship with Christ. The actual salvation is eternal life (John 17:3).

The next heinous fallacy:
2: God would Create men that are the non-chosen, non-elect. These must be hated creations, for the very purpose of being destroyed in hell. Therefore, man is doing that which he was created to do, that is to sin & yet, being condemd for it.
The non-elect have no grace to be saved because the Atonement is not for them.
They were never suposed to be saved in the first place, which makes them created only to be distroyed in hell.
Therefore, they are not in hell for what they have done, but in hell for that wich they were created for.
God elects accourding to HIS foreknowlege that we will accept Him, not for the reason of accepting or rejecting them.
God does not create vessels of wrath(Men are not born as a vessel of wrath).
God creats all mankind as a vessel for honor, but they are mared in HIS hand(Jer 18:2-6)[they choose to rebel and disobey], therefore, HE reforms them into vessels of wrath out of judgment.


The next heinous fallacy:
3: Man can not even do what is required to be right with God which is to repent and put his faith in/on Christ.
Man is condemned for that wich is unavoidable.
All mankind is able to have faith in Christ.
All mankind is able to do what is required to be right with God. The reason that they are condemnd is they do not do what they are able to do.
The are condemnd because they choose not to put their faith in HIM, they choose not to repent.

The next heinous fallacy:
4: One must be "regenerated" first before he can even attempt to repent and put his faith in/on Christ. This theology makes God wrathful and hating man because He Himself would not let them obey by not regenerating them.
Man is guilty for what God will not do.

This puts the blame on God for not giving them the ability to obey the command to repent and to put his faith in/on Christ.
Regeneration before salvatiuon is unbiblical.
Man does not need to be "regenerated" in order to put their faith in HIM and/or repent.
Therefore God is wrathful and hating man because man chooses not to do what he is already able to do.
Man is guilty for choosing not to do what is commanded of him.

The next heinous fallacy:
5: God would condemn man from the result of His own doing.
This is God making man condemned before the crime of sin by the law of "Federal Headship of Adam".
By this, God made the very nature of man to be sin by the law of "Federal Headship of Adam" which HE Himself instituted, this causes the very nature of man to be sin, hence the "sin nature".
The "Federal Headship of Adam" is not Biblical.
Sin nature is mans attempt to justify the reason for his own choice to rebel.
If it is only mans choice for sinning, he can not explain why one will always choose to sin.
The answer is that one will allways choose to sin is because he does not know Christ, he does not have eternal life.

All mankind is able to not sin by walking after the spirit according to Rom 8:5. The only way to do this is by choosing to put their faith in/on Christ and HIS Attonment and by repenting; this makes the relaitionsip with HIM possible which gives Eternal life. Eternal lif is the power to walk after the spirit that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in them that have a relationship with HIM.

The next heinous fallacy:
6: God would make a world with sin when HE could have made one that didn't.
This means that He chose the world that has sin over the one that didn't. This, in turn, means that He wanted sin to exist, & yet condemns for that which HE wills.
Truth is that God could not have made a world with out sin and not infringe on free will.
(He couldn't have made a world with no sin by making a world with no laws, however, God is not lawless)
God did not want sin, that is the reason why HE comands not to sin and it is why HE condemns it.

The next heinous fallacy:
7: Those who are pre-selected to hell in contraposition to the Elect, can not ever repent because God refuses to give them the ability(regeneration) and condemns for it.
(Man is guilty for what God pre-ordains to be.)
All man kind has the ability, they do not need to be "regenerated" befor they can choose.
God does not pre-ordain any one to hell!

drew
Feb 11th 2008, 08:18 PM
There is no way to discount the injustice of condemning one for doing that which is unavoidable.
I maintain that my argument is sound. I will try to restate it more precisely and then ask you or others to tell me where the argument fails. Please note this central tenet: there is no absolutely no "condemnation" for men in this model.

In order to fully express his loving character, God creates a world and populates it with creatures (men). However, it is possible that even if God creates the best possible world that He can - the one that most fully expresses the characteristic of love - something might happen that will result in men being born with an irresistable tendency to do things whose natural consequence is death (not eternity in hell, death in the sense of cessation of existence). The consequence of death is a necessity - not a punishment or condemnation.

This possibility arise from "philosophical" considerations - it might not be possible, even for God, to do anything He wants to do. Consider an analogy: An architect wants to build a house that has large overall floor space and that has sunrooms on the east and the west. Can he design such a building without the annoying consequence that it will be a long walk between these sun rooms? No he cannot. If the sunrooms are to exist, and if the house is to be big, the architect has no choice - there will be a long distance between these two rooms on opposite sides of the house.

Has the architect been "unloving" or unjust to the eventual house buyer? No, he has not. He has created the best possible house that he can. To jump out of the analogy and back to God: The structure of reality itself disallows God from doing everyhing He might "want" to do.

The risk that God takes in building this best possible world, unfortunately becomes true. Man "falls" and the fundamental nature of the universe is altered so that men are born with an urge to do things that result in their dying. Now please listen to me carefully: This "death" is not a condemnation - it is simply the way things have to be. Although I do not know why, it is entirely plausible that God really has no choice to prevent this - in precisely the same way the architect cannot prevent the annoying long walk between sunrooms in his house. If the architect wanted to avoid such unpleasantness, he cannot make the house be a big house with sunrooms on opposite sides.

The men who die as a result of "sinning" are not condemned - they merely follow the path that has to be taken in this universe for those who "sin". There is no injustice at all.

Now please tell me where the flaw is in this argument.

Teke
Feb 11th 2008, 10:17 PM
Hi Drew, excuse me....
I follow this understanding you've put forth. This post and your last one (188) make excellent points. Just a small question.:)


I maintain that my argument is sound. I will try to restate it more precisely and then ask you or others to tell me where the argument fails. Please note this central tenet: there is no absolutely no "condemnation" for men in this model.

In order to fully express his loving character, God creates a world and populates it with creatures (men). However, it is possible that even if God creates the best possible world that He can - the one that most fully expresses the characteristic of love - something might happen that will result in men being born with an irresistable tendency to do things whose natural consequence is death (not eternity in hell, death in the sense of cessation of existence). The consequence of death is a necessity - not a punishment or condemnation.


Do you mean this in the sense of "boundaries"? I agree death is a necessity BTW. Not just to stop sinners from sinning, but also to perfect the righteous.

RogerW
Feb 12th 2008, 02:58 AM
Paul clearly states in Romans that some kind of "law" continues to exist - it has been established.

In verses 19 and 20 Paul says both Jews and Gentiles are guilty of sin, and without excuse. What conclusion does Paul draw from this? He tells us there is no justification before God through good works or deeds of the law. While the law was given to reveal sin, it was not given to pardon sin.

Ro 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

Paul here is speaking of the righteousness that God has provided and imputed to Christians through His Son.

Ro 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
Ro 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
Ro 10:3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Ro 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

The righteousness of God without the law does not mean without perfect obedience to the law. Who can attain righteousness of God without obedience to the law? The God-Man; Jesus Christ! Christ attained perfect obedience to the law because we cannot. If there is no imputation of Christ's righteousness, no one will be saved (Isa 64:6; Mt 5:20). How is this manifested? By the gospel. Why is the gospel the power of God unto salvation? Because therein is the righteousness of God revealed (Ro 1:16,17). Christ fulfilled it for us, and reveals it to us (Ro 5:19).

Moses and all the prophets testified of this righteousness in Christ (Isa 53:11; Jer 23:5,6; Ps 85:10-13).

This righteousness is revealed by grace through faith. This righteousness of God is unto all who believe. There is now no difference between OT Jews and NT Christians. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Ro 3:9-11; Ps 14:1-3; Ro 5:12).

Ro 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Ro 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Ro 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Ro 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Ro 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Now is made manifest that perfect righteousness of Christ for every believer. We are imputed with the righteousness of God in Christ. Where is our boasting? By works? No way! The principle of faith destroys all boasting, for faith relies on Christ alone and claims nothing of self (1Co 1:30,31). Justification is by faith without works of the law.

Ro 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
Ro 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

There is no longer any difference between Jew and Gentile, we all stand in a fallen nature before God. God justifies both in the same way...by grace through faith. The covenant of works through the law is fulfilled in Christ, Who has honored it and established it (Mt. 5:17-20).

Ro 3:29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
Ro 3:30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
Ro 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.



I know that many Christians believe that "faith" somehow "replaces" law in respect to justification.

There is no justification without faith, and keeping the law will not bring us to faith.



Paul shows clearly in Romans 3:30 (and again in Romans 9:30 and following) that this emphatically not the case - there is indeed a sense in which there is a "law" that we must obey to be justified, since justification is clearly the matter at issue by context.

What is this law the we must obey to be justified?



Paul cannot, therefore be saying something like this: "there is a sense in which a law has been established but it is a law that we obey in gratitude for having been otherwise justified by "faith". Underlying all my arguments about Paul is a belief that he is a clear focused thinker, not inclined to insert scattered teachings about X into a context where the issue is clearly Y.

Really? I find clear and convincing proof in Scripture for the establishment of this very senario. And I too believe that Paul is clear and focused, and not inclined to insert scattered teachings. We can both be wrong, but there is only one truth in Scripture. Either we, who are dead in trespasses and sins, and without any ability to seek for God in Christ in our spiritually dead state, can attain faith apart from the HS, and obey the commands...or through the gospel we hear, receive His imputed righteousness unto faith, and therefore we are able to respond in obedience to the commands of God. One makes God the Sovereign in salvation, the other makes man.



I will be frank: I think that most "evangelicals" do not take Paul seriously and misinterpret him. These Christians, if really called to the carpet on it, would be forced to say that they really do think all "law" has been "nullified" and replaced by "faith".

On the flip side, many try to re-interpret Paul in a manner that causes confusion and contradiction to the Word of God. Why do they do this? To accomdate the need to have some control over their salvation.



They have the right to believe this, but they should not say that they are following Paul in this regard. Paul clearly believes that there is a sense in which following a "law" of some kind is necessary for justification. He says so here in Romans 3 and he says it even more clearly in Romans 2:13:

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

Who will obey the law and therefore be declared righteous?



Having said this, I agree that Paul has asserted that keeping the Torah as the Jews understood it will not justify anyone. But we know from Romans 9 and elsewhere that there are, in Paul's mind, two modes of doing Torah, one "by faith" and the other "as if by works":

What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works.

Torah was given specifically to the Jews. Trying to force it into the Covenant of Redemption/Counsel of Peace denies that which is old has vanished away in Christ (See Hebrews). If you want to say we now live by the law of faith, and you understand that the law of faith looks to Christ, then I can agree that there is indeed a law that must be fulfilled. Christ has fulfilled this law of faith perfectly on behalf of all whom He came to save.



Cleary, Paul is saying that those Gentiles who "attained righteousness" were following some kind of "law" - they, unlike the Jews, "arrived at that law". So, the only way I can see to make Paul not contradict himself is to see him as denying that one mode of doing Torah ("as if by works") justifies, but the other one does - "doing Torah by faith".

Gentile Christians follow the law of faith that looks to Christ for fulfillment. Those OT Jews needed the same law of faith as we to be justified, but instead of looking to God they sought to fulfill the law (Torah) that was never given as a way to be justified before God.



So I disagree with the unqualified statement "we know that Paul taught that keeping the law (Torah) will not justify us before God". This does not appear to be consistent with what Pauls says in Romans 2:7-13, Romans 9:3o and following, Romans 3:31, and elsewhere. There is a sense in which "keeping Torah" justifies us.

In bringing Torah into the New Covenant you are trying to find agreement with Judaism and Christianity that does not exist.

From Judaism 101:

The word "Torah" is a tricky one, because it can mean different things in different contexts. In its most limited sense, "Torah" refers to the Five Books of Moses (http://www.jewfaq.org/defs/moses.htm): Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. But the word "torah" can also be used to refer to the entire Jewish bible (the body of scripture known to non-Jews as the Old Testament and to Jews as the Tanakh or Written Torah), or in its broadest sense, to the whole body of Jewish law and teachings.

To Jews, there is no "Old Testament." The books that Christians call the New Testament are not part of Jewish scripture. The so-called Old Testament is known to us as Written Torah or the Tanakh.



At this point, I will repeat what I have said: This "sense" of keeping Torah is not simply to keep the 613 laws - it is to recognize the underlying essence of those laws and obey that - to love God and your neighbour as yourself.

As Christians we receive the whole Bible as the Word of God, therefore as Christians we do NOT keep Torah in any sense.



I think that Paul is entirely consistent. He says we are justified by "faith". He also says we need to be "doers of the law" to be justified. As much as some might wish that Romans 2:7-13 were not there, they are, and we need to deal with them.

I have no problem with Romans 2:7-13. I do however find it troubling the way some attempt to force unbiblical theology onto it.



The only way I can think of to make all this work is to say that Paul is telling us what the content of "faith" actually is - it is doing Torah in this deeper, richer, "as if by faith" sense.

We don't do Torah, it is used in Judaism, Christians keep the law of faith by looking to Christ.



I think the problem is that many Christians do not listen to Paul - they listen to a tradition that has taught them that "faith" has no "works" content, that is only intellectual assent to the claim "Jesus died for your sins, believe this in your mind and you are saved".

Yes, I agree many do not listen to Paul. Instead they attempt to re-interpret Paul's teaching to suit their doctrinal preferences. Some may teach that faith has no works, but I am not one of them. Since you believe that we must do good works to be saved, why would you have a problem with one professing to believe unto salvation? Do you not consider this a good work?



This, I think, is not what Paul teaches (despite Romans 10 - we can talk about that if you want). And so, many in the reformed tradition come up with exceedingly implausible and "forced" interpretation of texts like Romans 2:13.

Sorry but I don't find many in the Refomed tradition coming up with exceedinly implausible and forced interpretation any where near what I have read in this thread. Things like "Israel is the staging ground for the power of sin" and "...through the nation of Israel the entire world will be blessed". Really, through the nation and not through the Lord Jesus Christ? Or even this strange statement, "God uses Israel to solve the sin problem". I thought the Lord alone is the answer for sin?



And, as you know, I think that a strong case has been presented that Paul never denies "justification by 'doing good' " - he denies justification by doing the specificities of Torah that demarcate the Jew from the Gentile.



You asked what I thought Paul means by saying "we establish the law". I think this is simply a literary way of saying "this argument asserts that the law is established" - he is not suggesting a human activity as set against God.

Can you prove your opinions through Scripture?



I will address your other questions in a later post.

I look forward to that.

Many Blessings,
RW

drew
Feb 12th 2008, 06:17 AM
In verses 19 and 20 Paul says both Jews and Gentiles are guilty of sin, and without excuse. What conclusion does Paul draw from this? He tells us there is no justification before God through good works or deeds of the law.
He does no such thing. Please consider exactly what Paul says:

Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for (through the Law comes the knowledge of sin

All Paul is saying here is that the works of Torah will not justify anyone. Where, and please be precise, does Paul say in these verses that "good works" cannot justify?


Ro 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

Paul here is speaking of the righteousness that God has provided and imputed to Christians through His Son.
I don't think so. Paul is talking is talking in this verse about God's own righteous behaviour, not a righteousness that has been imputed to us (we are imputed righteousness, but it is not Christ's righteousness. In any event, this verse is not about that). In this verse, Paul is saying that now - at the present time - God has manifested his own righteousness by giving Jesus to the world.

drew
Feb 12th 2008, 02:49 PM
The God-Man; Jesus Christ! Christ attained perfect obedience to the law because we cannot.
It is true that we cannot attain true obedience to the "old" Torah - I think that we both agree that the old Torah brings only death. But, I see Paul as saying that through the power of the Spirit, we can attain to the essence of Torah - this "true" way of keeping Torah that believer, in fact, does attain to:

What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works.

Are you denying that Paul says here that some Gentiles in some sense "attain" a form of Torah? Remember, for Paul the word "law" means Torah. Of course, he is not saying that righteousness is attained by doing the 613 rules of the "old" Torah - he is talking about the "essence" of Torah. Remember, in Romans 3:31, Paul has been clear - there is a sense in which Torah has been established.

Besides, in the very Romans 10 passage that you have given, Paul alludes to Deuteronomy 30:11 and following, a passage that tells us what will happen when the covenant is renewed. And Jesus death and resurrection is precisely the renewal in question. And this passage shows that, in a mysterious way, the Spirit brings the law "to our hearts" so that we may obey it:

For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. 12"It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?' 13"Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?' 14"But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.

I suspect that you think this text is only related to nation of Israel. I would disagree with such a position and cite other stuff in Romans where it is clear that Paul believes that the "law" has in some sense been written on the heart of the believer, enabling the believer to, in some sense, attain true obedience:

For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them.

In context, Paul is clearly referring to Gentiles who get justified at the last day judgement. They do the things of the Law. You say that we cannot do the things of the Law. Now, again, Paul does not here mean that they do "Torah as if by works" - he knows that only brings death. Instead he means doing Torah in this deeper, richer sense.

I know its a little complicated, but don't blame me, I am only following Paul. For Paul, there remains a sense in which the Torah is still in force and still justifies. He could not be more clear than this statement from Romans 2:

for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified

How can this not mean that Paul thinks that there is a way of keeping Torah that will justify?

drew
Feb 12th 2008, 03:22 PM
If there is no imputation of Christ's righteousness, no one will be saved (Isa 64:6; Mt 5:20).
Just to be clear, the verses you quote in no way establish the need that Christ's own righteousness be imputed to save people. Here is the Isaiah text:

For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

Where does this text state or imply that Christ's own righteousness needs to be imputed to us?

And now the Matthew text:

For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Where does this text state or imply that Christ's own righteousness needs to be imputed to us?

Let's be clear: the concept of being ascribed a status of "righteousness" in no way requires that someone's else's righteousness be ascribed to us. RogerW, I am not suggesting that you hold this position, but I'll bet that some do. People are declared righteous all the time in courtrooms.

Do people ask them "Whose righteousness did you get?"

drew
Feb 12th 2008, 03:33 PM
Why is the gospel the power of God unto salvation? Because therein is the righteousness of God revealed (Ro 1:16,17). Christ fulfilled it for us, and reveals it to us (Ro 5:19).
I agree but it is God's own righteousness that has been revealed, and specifically His faitfulness to the covenant He made with Abraham to use Israel to solve the Adamic sin problem and thereby bless all the nations.

The gospel is about what God is doing, about His righteousness - His acting in fidelity with the covenant. While we are indeed imputed righteousness, it is not Christ's (or God's) righteousness that is imputed to us.

The gospel reveals something about God - His righteousness. While we also get righteousness, this righteousness is not at all what Paul is talking about in Romans 3:21-22.

Remember, in the early verse of Romans 3, Paul has been addressing how the Jews were not faithful in fulfilling their covenantal obligations.

Later, in verse 21-22, Paul is talking about how God has stepped up to the plate to "pinch-hit" for the faithless nation of Israel and, through the faithfulness of Jesus, fulfill the covenant that the Jews could not.

RogerW
Feb 12th 2008, 03:37 PM
Just to be clear, the verses you quote in no way establish the need that Christ's own righteousness be imputed to save people. Here is the Isaiah text:

For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

Where does this text state or imply that Christ's own righteousness needs to be imputed to us?

And now the Matthew text:

For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Where does this text state or imply that Christ's own righteousness needs to be imputed to us?

Let's be clear: the concept of being ascribed a status of "righteousness" in no way requires that someone's else's righteousness be ascribed to us. RogerW, I am not suggesting that you hold this position, but I'll bet that some do. People are declared righteous all the time in courtrooms.

Do people ask them "Whose righteousness did you get?"

Beloved Drew,

You miss the point of these verses. They tell us that we have no righteousness apart from Christ. The text in Isa shows how God views our righteous deeds. In the Mt passage Christ gives the example of the Scribes and Pharisees, who meticulously kept the law, yet Christ tells us our righteousness MUST exceed even theirs. I have shown you several passages of Scripture that speak of believers receiving the righteousness of Christ, we can't ignore them because they don't fit our doctrine. Please take the time to do your own search of the word "righteousness", and then see if you can still argue that believers are not imputed with the righteousness of Christ that leads to faith in the very same way that Abraham was.

Many Blessings,
RW

SDG
Feb 12th 2008, 03:59 PM
There is no place in the Scriptures that call the saved a sinner.

Greetings Diolectic,

1 John 1

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.


If we say that we have no sin, the truth is not in us. Therefore, we are not saved if we say we have no sin.

It follows that we must acknowledge that we have sin, if the truth is indeed in us. That means that the saved all must still have sin, does it not?

IF ~A, THEN ~B
B
Therefore, A

If [we say we have NO sin], then [the truth is NOT in us].
[The truth is in us].
Therefore, [we say we have sin].

This is not an excuse for sin. All sin is truly rebellion against our Holy God. It is simply stating the truth about our current condition.


In Christ,
Josh

RogerW
Feb 12th 2008, 04:10 PM
I agree but it is God's own righteousness that has been revealed, and specifically His faitfulness to the covenant He made with Abraham to use Israel to solve the Adamic sin problem and thereby bless all the nations.

Drew,

In saying that God uses the reprobate nation to solve the problem of sin is to say that Christ could not accomplish what He purposed on the cross without the help of fallen man. God provided a remedy for sin before the foundation of the world through the Lamb slain. Even though it was necessary for Christ to literally go to the cross in time, through the Counsel of Peace/Covenant of Redemption the salvation of God's elect was established in heaven before creation.

God the Son promised, in heaven, in eternity past that He would pay the sin debt. God the Father promised, in heaven, in eternity past that he would not allow Christ to remain in the grave, nor would He allow His Holy One to see decay. God the Holy Spirit, in heaven, in eternity past promised He would indwell every believer teaching them the things of the Lord, and keeping them in Christ unto the fullness of time. Where in the Counsel of Peace (Zech 6:13), or what we refer to as the Covenant of Redemption do you read that God the Father, God the Son, or God the Holy Spirit needs the help of reprobate Israel to accomplish His plan to save a people for Himself?

Zec 6:12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:
Zec 6:13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.

Zechariah is prophesying about the coming of the Branch, the Messiah, and the “conversation” here, or the conversation implied concerning this Counsel of Peace, is between the Branch who takes his place as a priest on his throne, and the Lord. So we find that some prefer to use biblical language; i.e. Counsel of Peace. God is providing the sole manner to redeem men before the foundation of the world. He does this by divine oath. By oath, the Son is consigned to covenant with the Father. He is to be priest. He is to be the sacrifice for sin and the priest who continually intercedes for those for whom he dies. In this, the Son is ratified by the oath to make the Counsel of Peace effectual. He now must obey. If he does not obey, the oath is broken, and curse would result.

Hebrews 7:26 says, “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” Luke 22:42, “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” John 4:34, “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” John 6:38 “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” Does this make sense to you now?

All of our election passages, Romans 9, Ephesians 1, for instance, are bound up in this Counsel of Peace, or this oath consigned to the Son. When the Son becomes incarnate, willingly, to redeem his bride, something he is going to have and desires to have as a love gift from his Father, he performs what is bound up in the oath. That is where election takes place in the Covenant of Redemption.

Ps 110:4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

God has sworn and will not relent of this “swearing.” The Son, is, forever, a priest, and will redeem his people. The Counsel of Peace/Covenant of Redemption was never made between God and the reprobate nation. You speak as though God had a plan A, but because of the unfaithfulness of the nation, God resorted to plan B. God does NOT have to step up to the plate to fulfill the Covenant the Jews could not. God's plan of redeeming a people for Himself never depended upon the faithfulness of fallen, reprobate humanity.

Many Blessings,
RW

drew
Feb 12th 2008, 06:12 PM
Hello RogerW:

My responses to your other posts are not yet finished.


You miss the point of these verses. They tell us that we have no righteousness apart from Christ.
I agree that we cannot be declared righteous apart from what Christ did. But that does not mean that we get Christ's righteousness.


I have shown you several passages of Scripture that speak of believers receiving the righteousness of Christ, we can't ignore them because they don't fit our doctrine.
I believe that I have responded to all those verses. If not, or if you want me to go over that ground again, please tell me what texts you want to discuss.

Part of me thinks that you believe that the only conceivable way a person can be righteous in God's eyes is for Christ's righteousness to be imputed to them. I agree that we need to see what the Scriptures say about whether Christ's righteousness is imputed to us. And I agree that such imputation of Christ's righteousness is one way that we could be declared righteous. But it is clearly not the only way.

One cannot make the following argument:

1. We are declared righteous;

2. The only possible means to be declared righteous is to have Christ's righteousness imputed to us;

3. Therefore, Christ's righteousness has been imputed to us.

Point 1 is correct but point 2 is not. We know, for example, that in a lawcourt metaphor, defendents are declared to be "justified" all the time without some other person's righteousness being ascribed to them.

So we need to see what the scriptures say about this. I have already provided scriptural arguments for my position, but I am willing to pursue this further, if you identify texts you would like me to address.

drew
Feb 12th 2008, 06:25 PM
Do you mean this in the sense of "boundaries"? I agree death is a necessity BTW. Not just to stop sinners from sinning, but also to perfect the righteous.
Hello Teke:

I am not entirely sure I understand your question. As I hope is clear from my posts, I believe that the very nature of the act of creating something constrains possible other actions that the creator might wish to take.

Consider the expression: "Have your cake and eat it too". It would be lovely to live in a universe where we could do this - enjoy the experience of eating the cake and yet preserve the anticipatory pleasure of eating the cake.

But, of course, we cannot.

I am asserting that in order to most fully express his love towards his creation, God may have had no choice but to make a universe in which "sin" by Adam would doom all mankind to death (not eternal torment - good old-fashioned "lights-out" death). I believe the lost are annihilated, not tormented eternally in hell). I think that some people are stuck in the "punishment" metaphor - they cannot (or will not) conceive of the fate of death as anything other than a punishment. I am not sure why this is. Does God "owe us" eternal life? I doubt it - a created being, if one that never "sins", has no legitimate claim on a never-ending life.

In the case of the cake, we know why eating the cake takes away the aniticipation of eating the cake in the future. In the "men inherit and irresisitable urge to sin which results in death scenario", we do not know why this has to be the case if God is to be as loving as He can.

But, and this is the key point, it is plausible (possible) that God is thus constrained. Our ignorance of the reason does not mean there is no reason.

threebigrocks
Feb 12th 2008, 06:30 PM
Now, by faith, we cannot have righteousness any other way except through Christ.

When is it man is deemed righteous on their own?

Romans 5


20The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
21so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Grace through righteousness. If grace comes through righteousness, does it come by the works of man, or does grace come through Christ? If grace comes through Christ, would it also need to come through His righteousness?

Romans 3


10as it is written,
"THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
11THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;


Nobody is righteous - UNTIL they seek God. How will they find Him? Through His Son - Christ Jesus.

Diolectic
Feb 12th 2008, 06:40 PM
Greetings Diolectic,

Originally Posted by Diolectic http://bibleforums.org/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1531547#post1531547)
There is no place in the Scriptures that call the saved a sinner.1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

If we say that we have no sin, the truth is not in us. Therefore, we are not saved if we say we have no sin.

It follows that we must acknowledge that we have sin, if the truth is indeed in us. That means that the saved all must still have sin, does it not?

IF ~A, THEN ~B
B
Therefore, A

If [we say we have NO sin], then [the truth is NOT in us].
[The truth is in us].
Therefore, [we say we have sin].

This is not an excuse for sin. All sin is truly rebellion against our Holy God. It is simply stating the truth about our current condition.

In Christ,
JoshAgain, There is no place in the Scriptures that call the saved a sinner.

We may sin, but we are not sinners.

21 verses that have the word "sinner"
46 verses that have the word "sinners"
None on them refere to the saved, redeemed, those that have eternal life.

You are thinking that just because you sin, you are called a sinner. Biblicly, a sinner is one who practises sin and does it habitualy. A sinner does not hate their sin.
We christians are not sinners, even though we may sin every once in a while.

threebigrocks
Feb 12th 2008, 06:42 PM
We christians are not sinners, even though we may sin every once in a while.

How does that work? Either we are sinners, or we are not.

drew
Feb 12th 2008, 06:45 PM
Torah was given specifically to the Jews. Trying to force it into the Covenant of Redemption/Counsel of Peace denies that which is old has vanished away in Christ (See Hebrews). If you want to say we now live by the law of faith, and you understand that the law of faith looks to Christ, then I can agree that there is indeed a law that must be fulfilled. Christ has fulfilled this law of faith perfectly on behalf of all whom He came to save.
You seem believe in the existence of two essentially separate covenants. I do not. I think that the Genesis 15 covenant is the initiation of what is, in its essence, a single covenant by which all men will be redeemed. I have argued at length for this already, and the reader will judge those argumnents on their own merits.

At the heart of that argument is the idea that while Torah was indeed given to the Jews only, the effect of Torah had global implications - the "sin of the world" was "lured" onto Israel by the action of Torah so that it could then be borne by Jesus. Can I prove this with a "verse"? No I cannot.

However, I think it is a very reasonable inference to make.

As to the stuff I have bolded. I agree with this, but only if the content of faith entails some kind of "striving" - as in those who persist in doing good will be given eternal life (as per Romans 2:7). I do not think Paul teaches that faith is simple intellectual assent to a proposition - it is more of an active thing for him.

So while we agree that there is a law of faith that we need to "obey", we may differ in respect to exactly what the word "faith" actually means, and therefore what it actually means to "obey" such a law.

drew
Feb 12th 2008, 06:56 PM
Grace through righteousness. If grace comes through righteousness, does it come by the works of man, or does grace come through Christ? If grace comes through Christ, would it also need to come through His righteousness?
I am going to assume this question is in response to something that I (Drew) wrote. Our righteousness does indeed come through Christ. But, for Paul, this means that we become righteous through Christ's faithful fulfillment of the covenant, not by having Christ's righteousness imputed or ascribed to us.

We are indeed imputed righteousness, but it not "anybody else's" righteousness. It is simply the righteousness of the acquitted defendent in the Hebrew lawcourt. And just like in our western lawcourts, we do not neeed to have some other person's righteousness ascribed to us in order to be declared righteous. As I have said, when OJ was acquitted (travesty of justice thought that was), he was declared to be "righteous". What person's righteousness was imputed to him? No one's of course. This shows that we can be declared righteous without Jesus' own righteousness being imputed to us. And of course, this does not deny that we are righteous because of Christ's righteous behaviour in fulfilling the covenant.

Here is a text from Romans 4:

Blessed is the man to whom, the Lord will not reckon sin.

The word "reckon" is the same word that is translated as "impute". The blessedness lies in the absence of imputed sin, noit in the imputing of someone else's righteousness.

RogerW
Feb 12th 2008, 07:39 PM
Hello RogerW:

My responses to your other posts are not yet finished.


I agree that we cannot be declared righteous apart from what Christ did. But that does not mean that we get Christ's righteousness.


I believe that I have responded to all those verses. If not, or if you want me to go over that ground again, please tell me what texts you want to discuss.

Part of me thinks that you believe that the only conceivable way a person can be righteous in God's eyes is for Christ's righteousness to be imputed to them. I agree that we need to see what the Scriptures say about whether Christ's righteousness is imputed to us. And I agree that such imputation of Christ's righteousness is one way that we could be declared righteous. But it is clearly not the only way.

One cannot make the following argument:

1. We are declared righteous;

2. The only possible means to be declared righteous is to have Christ's righteousness imputed to us;

3. Therefore, Christ's righteousness has been imputed to us.

Point 1 is correct but point 2 is not. We know, for example, that in a lawcourt metaphor, defendents are declared to be "justified" all the time without some other person's righteousness being ascribed to them.

So we need to see what the scriptures say about this. I have already provided scriptural arguments for my position, but I am willing to pursue this further, if you identify texts you would like me to address.

Drew,

What does it mean to be adopted and therefore heirs, joint-heirs with Christ?

Many Blessings,
RW

threebigrocks
Feb 12th 2008, 07:44 PM
Do we have our own righteousness now? Have we yet been judged and our adoption as Sons complete deeming us righteous eternally or do we now have it by faith?

drew
Feb 12th 2008, 08:02 PM
In saying that God uses the reprobate nation to solve the problem of sin is to say that Christ could not accomplish what He purposed on the cross without the help of fallen man.
I do not see how this follows at all. What God actually did (use Israel to solve the sin problem if my assertion is provisionally accepted) does not imply that He had to do it. I never said or otherwise implied that God had to use Israel.

God makes a covenant with Abraham and tells him that the nations will be blessed through him and his descendents. Am I wrong to assert this? It's true that there is no "verse" where Abraham is told that the specific form this will take is that Israel will play a role in solving the Adamic sin problem. But what does Paul think about this?

Rather, because of their (Israel's) transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles...

For if their (Israel's) rejection is the reconciliation of the world,...

30Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience,..

This seems pretty clear to me. Paul believes that the nations have been brought salvation because of the transgression of the Jew. And this does not mean that Paul is denying the centrality of Jesus' atonement on the Cross. But Paul says these things in Romans 11 and I believe him. I claim he says the same thing in Romans 9 in more cryptic form when he alludes to Israel being hardened just like potter hardens his pot.

Again, I am only taking Paul at his word. If people somehow believe that God is "robbed" of glory because He chose to use sinful Israel to bring redemption to the world, then they need to take that up with Paul, since he obviously believes it.

Teke
Feb 12th 2008, 08:03 PM
Hello Teke:

I am not entirely sure I understand your question. As I hope is clear from my posts, I believe that the very nature of the act of creating something constrains possible other actions that the creator might wish to take.


God is constrained by creation?:confused Sin is not a created being or person. It is more likely an illness brought on by our weakness.


I am asserting that in order to most fully express his love towards his creation, God may have had no choice but to make a universe in which "sin" by Adam would doom all mankind to death (not eternal torment - good old-fashioned "lights-out" death). I believe the lost are annihilated, not tormented eternally in hell). I think that some people are stuck in the "punishment" metaphor - they cannot (or will not) conceive of the fate of death as anything other than a punishment. I am not sure why this is. Does God "owe us" eternal life? I doubt it - a created being, if one that never "sins", has no legitimate claim on a never-ending life.

We differ here. Genesis says God "made Adam a "living" soul", which means IMO that the soul is immortal.
I do not see our physical death as "a punishment". Just part of the change which occurs with our being.
I don't believe the lost are "tormented eternally in hell", least not by God. Our torment comes from ourself, not God.
God doesn't "owe" us anything, but He is responsible of His creation. He proves this daily.

drew
Feb 12th 2008, 08:17 PM
Do we have our own righteousness now? Have we yet been judged and our adoption as Sons complete deeming us righteous eternally or do we now have it by faith?
I do not understand the second sentence. But I will take a shot at clarifying my position on this.

We will be justified at a future judgement as per Romans 2. At that judgement, some will get eternal life as Romans 2:7 clearly states. Can it be said that we have been declared "righteous" in the present, in advance of that future judgement?

I think that we can: Through the giving of the Spirit, God ensures that we will indeed exhibit the kind of works that will justify us at that coming judgement. We get the Spirit in the present through faith (appropriately defined - not mere intellectual assent). So the final verdict is "brought forward" into the present and we can indeed say that we are "righteous" in this sense - we know that the future verdict will be favourable if we have faith.

I will continue to undescore the obvious - in judicial contexts, one need not be imputed another person's righteousness in order to "possess" righteousness. If such imputation were indeed necessary, all the acquitted defendents would be able to answer the following question:

"Whose righteousness did you get?"

The fact that this is a nonsense question proves the point - one can have a status of righteousness without someone else's righteousness being ascribed to you.

drew
Feb 12th 2008, 08:32 PM
The Counsel of Peace/Covenant of Redemption was never made between God and the reprobate nation.
From Genesis 26:

I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,

From Genesis 28:

"I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.

I have been arguing that the blessing promised here turns out to be the solution of the Adamic problem. And I use Paul's rather clear statements from Romans 11 to show that this indeed the case - salvation (not something else) has come to the world because the Jews (not other people, but the Jews) have transgressed.

What do you think the blessing to the nations involves in these Genesis texts, if not what I have said (echoing Paul)? The Torah? Is that the blessing? The Torah brings death, as you know. So please tell me, exactly what does this promised blessing to the world consist of?


You speak as though God had a plan A, but because of the unfaithfulness of the nation, God resorted to plan B. God does NOT have to step up to the plate to fulfill the Covenant the Jews could not. God's plan of redeeming a people for Himself never depended upon the faithfulness of fallen, reprobate humanity.
I never claimed that God did not know from the foundation of the world that Israel would turn out to be faithless. From the very beginning, God planned to send Jesus. As Paul argues in Romans 3, Israel herself is in Adam like everybody else. I am not saying that there are 2 plans. I admit I see why you might conclude this since I have hitherto not explained that God had a single plan from the start. It is a single integated plan, just like there is only one covenant, not two.

And again, it is Paul, not me, who says that the stumbling of the nation of Israel has had salvific effect for the world.

RogerW
Feb 12th 2008, 08:37 PM
I do not see how this follows at all. What God actually did (use Israel to solve the sin problem if my assertion is provisionally accepted) does not imply that He had to do it. I never said or otherwise implied that God had to use Israel.

God makes a covenant with Abraham and tells him that the nations will be blessed through him and his descendents. Am I wrong to assert this? It's true that there is no "verse" where Abraham is told that the specific form this will take is that Israel will play a role in solving the Adamic sin problem. But what does Paul think about this?

The Covenant of Redemption God gave to Abraham, whereby all the nations of the world would be blessed does not come through Abraham's descendents or his natural seed as many, but through His spiritual Seed; Christ. It is through Christ, Who is born (descended from) of the seed of Abraham that all the nations of the world are blessed. This is not plan B because plan A failed, this is the plan that was written in heaven before creation.

The Jews had the prophets, the law, the tabernacle, the types and the promises of redemption through Christ. They refused (God did not make them refuse, nor did God give them the law to cause them to sin) and rejected Christ when He came. Therefore God delivered them to spiritual blindness to this day (Ps 69:20-25). Have they so fallen that there is no longer any hope for them? God forbid! God uses their rejection to send the gospel unto all the world, now through the gospel even the Jew can be saved. Paul shows us that salvation coming to the Gentiles provokes the Jew to jealousy, and through this jealousy it is Pauls desire that some of them might be saved.

Ac 13:44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
Ac 13:45 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.
Ac 13:46 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.
Ac 13:47 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.
Ac 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

Ac 28:27 For the heart of this people [Jews] is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Ac 28:28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

The nations were not brought salvation because of the transgression of the Jews. God has from eternity past planned, and provided the means to redeem His people throughout redemptive history. Salvation going unto all the nations of the world is designed to provoke the Jews, and as a result there is no longer any difference between Jew and Gentile.



Again, I am only taking Paul at his word. If people somehow believe that God is "robbed" of glory because He chose to use sinful Israel to bring redemption to the world, then they need to take that up with Paul, since he obviously believes it.

Drew, remember the promise to Abraham, that his Seed (Christ) would be a blessing unto all the nations of the world? This was before the nation of Israel existed. All along God has planned to bring about His redemptive purposes through Christ unto all the nations of the world, never was salvation meant only for the Jews. God uses their rebellion to fulfill His plan that was established in heaven before time began.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Feb 12th 2008, 08:41 PM
I do not understand the second sentence. But I will take a shot at clarifying my position on this.

We will be justified at a future judgement as per Romans 2. At that judgement, some will get eternal life as Romans 2:7 clearly states. Can it be said that we have been declared "righteous" in the present, in advance of that future judgement?

I think that we can: Through the giving of the Spirit, God ensures that we will indeed exhibit the kind of works that will justify us at that coming judgement. We get the Spirit in the present through faith (appropriately defined - not mere intellectual assent). So the final verdict is "brought forward" into the present and we can indeed say that we are "righteous" in this sense - we know that the future verdict will be favourable if we have faith.

I will continue to undescore the obvious - in judicial contexts, one need not be imputed another person's righteousness in order to "possess" righteousness. If such imputation were indeed necessary, all the acquitted defendents would be able to answer the following question:

"Whose righteousness did you get?"

The fact that this is a nonsense question proves the point - one can have a status of righteousness without someone else's righteousness being ascribed to you.

Since in our fallen nature we possess no righteousness of our own, from where does this righteousness come?

drew
Feb 12th 2008, 08:48 PM
Since in our fallen nature we possess no righteousness of our own, from where does this righteousness come?
It appears that you seem to think there is some kind of necessity that one can only acquire a status of righteousness if one gets "somebody else's" righteousness.

When a person is acquitted in a lawcourt - declared to legally "righteous", whose righteousness do they get? Do they get the judge's righteousness? No they do not.

The concept of being declared righteous does not require that we get some other person's righteous status - we can and do "get" righteousness without "taking it from somebody else".

It appears that a number of you think that one needs to get "someone else's" righteousness in order to acquire a righteous status. I have attempted to counterargue that supposition. I am not sure I can add to what I have already written about this. If you're not convinced, you're not.

drew
Feb 12th 2008, 08:55 PM
The Covenant of Redemption God gave to Abraham, whereby all the nations of the world would be blessed does not come through Abraham's descendents or his natural seed as many, but through His spiritual Seed;
I think that this text from Genesis proves otherwise:

"I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.

While I agree that there is an "ethnic" Israel and an Israel "according to the promise (Romans 9), the above text can only be read as referring to ethnic Israel. The descendents are described as getting the land. These are obviously the ethnic Jews. So by context the offspring through which the world will be blessed must also be the Jews - the genetic descendents of Abraham.

drew
Feb 12th 2008, 09:06 PM
They refused (God did not make them refuse, nor did God give them the law to cause them to sin) and rejected Christ when He came.
Here is what Paul says in Romans 5:20:

The law was added so that the trespass might increase.

I am only agreeing with Paul, strange as his statement seems. The term "so that" clearly expresses divine intent.

And from Romans 7:

13Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful

Again I appeal simply to what Paul says. He clearly expresses divine intent through "so that" and "in order that". There can really be no doubt: Paul thinks that one purpose of the Torah is make sin even stronger in Israel.

RogerW
Feb 12th 2008, 09:08 PM
It appears that you seem to think there is some kind of necessity that one can only acquire a status of righteousness if one gets "somebody else's" righteousness.

When a person is acquitted in a lawcourt - declared to legally "righteous", whose righteousness do they get? Do they get the judge's righteousness? No they do not.

The concept of being declared righteous does not require that we get some other person's righteous status - we can and do "get" righteousness without "taking it from somebody else".

It appears that a number of you think that one needs to get "someone else's" righteousness in order to acquire a righteous status. I have attempted to counterargue that supposition. I am not sure I can add to what I have already written about this. If you're not convinced, you're not.

Drew,

Let go of your humanistic analogies that cannot be biblically supported. How are we declared righteous before God? If we are to acquire a righteous status before God, and we have no righteousness ourselves (Ro 3:10) from whom do we acquire this righteous status?

Many Blessings,
RW

threebigrocks
Feb 12th 2008, 09:10 PM
I do not understand the second sentence. But I will take a shot at clarifying my position on this.

We will be justified at a future judgement as per Romans 2. At that judgement, some will get eternal life as Romans 2:7 clearly states. Can it be said that we have been declared "righteous" in the present, in advance of that future judgement?

I think that we can: Through the giving of the Spirit, God ensures that we will indeed exhibit the kind of works that will justify us at that coming judgement. We get the Spirit in the present through faith (appropriately defined - not mere intellectual assent). So the final verdict is "brought forward" into the present and we can indeed say that we are "righteous" in this sense - we know that the future verdict will be favourable if we have faith.

I will continue to undescore the obvious - in judicial contexts, one need not be imputed another person's righteousness in order to "possess" righteousness. If such imputation were indeed necessary, all the acquitted defendents would be able to answer the following question:

"Whose righteousness did you get?"

The fact that this is a nonsense question proves the point - one can have a status of righteousness without someone else's righteousness being ascribed to you.

Let me ask this. Does having faith mean faith in what we already hace or what we hope for? Are we not marked with the Spirit as a downpayment of that which is to come?

RogerW
Feb 12th 2008, 09:15 PM
I think that this text from Genesis proves otherwise:

"I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.

While I agree that there is an "ethnic" Israel and an Israel "according to the promise (Romans 9), the above text can only be read as referring to ethnic Israel. The descendents are described as getting the land. These are obviously the ethnic Jews. So by context the offspring through which the world will be blessed must also be the Jews - the genetic descendents of Abraham.

Drew,

How does this passage differ from the one you quoted earlier from Gen 26?

I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,

Ga 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Feb 12th 2008, 09:26 PM
Here is what Paul says in Romans 5:20:

The law was added so that the trespass might increase.

I am only agreeing with Paul, strange as his statement seems. The term "so that" clearly expresses divine intent.

From the Bible Class Commentary by Pastor Henry Mahan:

The law came in to make apparent the evil that is in us by birth and nature (Ro 3:19,20; 7:7). The law takes away all excuses and reveals to us what we are; guilty sinners! But where sin overflowed, abounded and contaminated every faculty, the grace of God in Christ did much more overflow in justification (Col 1;21,22), in regeneration (Ro 8:1) and in sanctification (2Co 5:17).



And from Romans 7:

13Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful

Again I appeal simply to what Paul says. He clearly expresses divine intent through "so that" and "in order that". There can really be no doubt: Paul thinks that one purpose of the Torah is make sin even stronger in Israel.

My sinful nature even used the law to deceive me. I was deceived into thinking I kept the law, which made me an ever greater sinner; a dead, deceived, self-righteous sinner wrapped in a false refuge! The law of God is just, holy and good! It forbids nothing but what is wrong and requires nothing but what is right. In its nature, design and rule it is worthy of its holy Creator. Is the law then the cause of my condition of death? Is the law the cause of my misery and inability? NO! It is my sin that damns me. The law is the mirror that reveals my sin in its true colors.

Many Blessings,
RW

drew
Feb 12th 2008, 09:39 PM
Let go of your humanistic analogies that cannot be biblically supported. How are we declared righteous before God? If we are to acquire a righteous status before God, and we have no righteousness ourselves (Ro 3:10) from whom do we acquire this righteous status?
The scriptures deploy all sorts of references to the real world - one cannot dismiss scriptural references to the structures of the real world as "humanistic reasoning". Here are the facts about the Hebrew lawcourt: there is a judge, a plaintiff, and a defendent. I am not making this up - this is the way things really worked for them.

When the judges rules that the defendent is "in the right", he "justifies" the defendent and confers the status of "righteousness" to the defendent. The judge does not impute his own, or any person's righteousness to the defendent - the defendent is simply declared to be in the right, that is to say, righteous.

There is no impuitng of another person's righteousness here. And, like it or not, the Scriptures do indeed refer to a human lawcourt model in respect to the matter of justification. The "lawcourt" metaphor is all over the place in Romans.

Imputation of another person's righteousness is not needed in order to be declared righteous. But, indeed, it could be the case that God imputes righteousness to us. But, if I recall, I have pretty much responded to all the scriptures that you claim support this. I am happy to go over them again if you wish.

drew
Feb 12th 2008, 09:43 PM
Let me ask this. Does having faith mean faith in what we already hace or what we hope for? Are we not marked with the Spirit as a downpayment of that which is to come?
I would say that is both. For Paul, there three "dimensions" to justification:

1. The death and resurrection of Jesus (our "past" justification);
2. The event where a person puts faith in Jesus (our "present" justification)
3. The Romans 2 judgement where some will get wrath and other eternal life ("future" justification).

The "present" justification correctly anticipates the "future" justification. So, I would agree that "we are marked with the Spirit as a downpayment of that which is to come".

drew
Feb 12th 2008, 09:57 PM
From the Bible Class Commentary by Pastor Henry Mahan:

The law came in to make apparent the evil that is in us by birth and nature (Ro 3:19,20; 7:7). The law takes away all excuses and reveals to us what we are; guilty sinners! But where sin overflowed, abounded and contaminated every faculty, the grace of God in Christ did much more overflow in justification (Col 1;21,22), in regeneration (Ro 8:1) and in sanctification (2Co 5:17).
Commentary or not, that is simply not true to the totality of what the texts says. I agree that the Torah also serves this function of "making apparent" our sinful nature. The Torah indeed "reveals" sin. That is affirmed in the Romans 7 text I have previously quoted.

But the text of Romans 5:20 says more than this. The plain sense is clear in all the following versions. The Torah was given with the intent to make sin increase. Why not take Paul at his word?

The law was added so that the trespass might increase.

The Law came in so that the transgression would increase

And the law came in besides, that the trespass might abound

Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound

20And law came in, that the offence might abound

Now let's look at Romans 7 stuff:

13Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful

It is true that the phrase "sin might be recognized as sin" is consistent with what the commentary says. But the phrase "sin might become utterly sinful is not. It does more than simply assert that sin will be "revealed". Like 5:20 it clearly speaks to a divine intent to intensify and magnify sin in national Israel. This last phrase is rendered as follows in the Youngs version:

that the sin might become exceeding sinful through the command

Diolectic
Feb 12th 2008, 10:26 PM
How does that work? Either we are sinners, or we are not.Just because we sin does not make us sinners.
As I said, a sinner is one who practises sin and does it habitualy. A sinner does not hate their sin.

Do you practise sin?
Do you still love sin?
Do you sin habitualy?
Can you explain why the Bible never calles the redeemd a sinner?

There is a diference, a christian should never call him self a sinner and equate himself with the lost.

drew
Feb 12th 2008, 10:46 PM
How does this passage differ from the one you quoted earlier from Gen 26?

I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,

Ga 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
If I may read between the lines, it seems like you think that Galatians 3:16 supports your thesis about a "covenant of redemption" that is somehow "independent of the covenant with Israel. I would again point out what the Genesis material says - that the world will be blessed through Israel. And in Romans 11, Paul statements that Israel's stumble has brought salvation to the world seems like a slam dunk that the Genesis 28 "blessing to the nations through Israel" has turned out to be precisely what Paul says: salvation.

Turning to Galatians 3:16, note what Paul goes on to write after verse 16 in an effort to qualify his itent in verse 16:

What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. 18For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.

Paul is making the point that the promised inheritance for the true people of God (justification, eternal life) is not based on the Law. If it were based on the Law, then the promise would be to all who obey the Law if that werre possible.

Instead Paul sees the covenant promises as being made to Jesus and, through Him, to all who place their faith in Him. One of Paul's most central insights is to re-interpret the following promises to Israel:

1. justification in the sight of the nations;
2. defeat of the pagans;
3. rescue from exile

....as these promises, made instead to Jesus (and through Him to believers)

1. forgiveness of sins (vs national justification)
2. defeat of death and sin (vs defeat of pagans)
3. rescue from the exile of death (vs political exile)

In short, Paul has a "eureka" moment when he realizes that "what God had promised for Israel at the end of history, He has done for Jesus in the middle of history (using an NT Wright phrase). When Paul beholds the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, the seed for the following thought is sown: resurrrection from the dead is the true meaning of justification. He sees the risen Christ as having received the covenant blessing of justification, now understood to be resurrection from the dead, and concludes that the covenant promises were not for national Israel, but for Jesus and his people.

So it is indeed true that the covenant promises were made to Jesus in this sense.

But none of this changes the text of Genesis 26 and Romans 11. God has indeed mysteriously used the stumble of Israel to bring this all about. God is only doing what He always said He would do - use Israel to bless the nations.

And what better blessing can there be than to be forgiven and rescued from death.

Sold Out
Feb 12th 2008, 10:57 PM
Those who are pre-selected to hell in contraposition to the Elect, can not ever repent because God refuses to give them the ability and condemns for it.

Great post. Predestination (election) is Satan's way of shedding doubt on the goodness of God.

RogerW
Feb 13th 2008, 12:12 AM
Great post. Predestination (election) is Satan's way of shedding doubt on the goodness of God.

But I don't find Scripture to substantiate that any man is predestined or elected to go to hell. What I do find is Scripture telling us that none are righteous, and we all deserve to go to hell, and would most assuredly find our way there had Christ not intervened in the lives of some men to save a people for Himself.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Feb 13th 2008, 12:28 AM
If I may read between the lines, it seems like you think that Galatians 3:16 supports your thesis about a "covenant of redemption" that is somehow "independent of the covenant with Israel. I would again point out what the Genesis material says - that the world will be blessed through Israel. And in Romans 11, Paul statements that Israel's stumble has brought salvation to the world seems like a slam dunk that the Genesis 28 "blessing to the nations through Israel" has turned out to be precisely what Paul says: salvation.

No Drew! What the passage says is that the nations will be blessed through the seed of Abraham. This corresponds perfectly with the passage in Gal 3:16.

Ge 26:4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;

Ga 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.



Instead Paul sees the covenant promises as being made to Jesus and, through Him, to all who place their faith in Him. One of Paul's most central insights is to re-interpret the following promises to Israel:

Ga 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

We have no faith to place in Him. We receive the promise by faith OF Jesus Christ given to them that believe.

Many Blessings,
RW

SDG
Feb 13th 2008, 05:16 AM
Again, There is no place in the Scriptures that call the saved a sinner.
Greetings Diolectic,

I'm sorry, but I just provided one to you. Another will be below, though.


We may sin, but we are not sinners.
In my opinion, this above view is being too accepting of sin, so long as it is limited.

Is there a specific point at which we sin too much and become sinners?



21 verses that have the word "sinner"
46 verses that have the word "sinners"
None on them refere to the saved, redeemed, those that have eternal life.

Luke 18

9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.

12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’

13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’

14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”


Was the "justified" tax collector not "saved"? :confused



You are thinking that just because you sin, you are called a sinner. Biblicly, a sinner is one who practises sin and does it habitualy. A sinner does not hate their sin.
We christians are not sinners, even though we may sin every once in a while.
James 2

8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well;

9 but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

11 For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.

12 So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.

13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.


Is a transgressor not a sinner? Is anyone guilty of violating the whole law not a sinner? What else could those possibly be?

Thanks to our God through Jesus Christ, "Mercy triumphs over judgment!" :pp

I agree that a lost sinner does not hate his sin. However, it is possible - actually, ordained by God - for a saved sinner to hate his sin.

In Christ,
Josh

Teke
Feb 13th 2008, 02:48 PM
Concerning what is not in our hands.

Of things that are not in our hands some have their beginning or cause in those that are in our power, that is to say, the recompenses of our actions both in the present and in the age to come, but all the rest are dependent on the divine will. For the origin of all things is from God, but their destruction has been introduced by our wickedness for our punishment or benefit. For God did not create death, neither does He take delight in the destruction of living things. But death is the work rather of man, that is, its origin is in Adam’s transgression, in like manner as all other punishments. But all other things must be referred to God. For our birth is to be referred to His creative power; and our continuance to His conservative power; and our government and safety to His providential power; and the eternal enjoyment of good things by those who preserve the laws of nature in which we are formed is to be ascribed to His goodness. But since some deny the existence of Providence, let us further devote a few words to the discussion of Providence.

Concerning Providence.

Providence, then, is the care that God takes over existing things. And again: Providence is the will of God through which all existing things receive their fitting issue. But if Providence is God’s will, according to true reasoning all things that come into being through Providence must necessarily be both most fair and most excellent, and such that they cannot be surpassed. For the same person must of necessity be creator of and provider for what exists: for it is not meet nor fitting that the creator of what exists and the provider should be separate persons. For in that case they would both assuredly be deficient, the one in creating, the other in providing. God therefore is both Creator and Provider, and His creative and preserving and providing power is simply His good-will. For whatsoever the Lord pleased that did He in heaven and in earth, and no one resisted His will. He willed that all things should be and they were. He wills the universe to be framed and it is framed, and all that He wills comes to pass.

When, therefore, we give heed to these things we ought to be filled with wonder at all the works of Providence, and praise them all, and accept them all without enquiry, even though they are in the eyes of many unjust, because the Providence of God is beyond our ken and comprehension, while our reasonings and actions and the future are revealed to His eyes alone. And by "all" I mean those that are not in our hands: for those that are in our power are outside the sphere of Providence and within that of our Free-will.

Now the works of Providence are partly according to the good-will(of God) and partly according to permission. Works of good-will include all those that are undeniably good, while works of permission are....... For Providence often permits the just man to encounter misfortune in order that he may reveal to others the virtue that lies concealed within him, as was the case with Job. At other times it allows something strange to be done in order that something great and marvelous might be accomplished through the seemingly-strange act, as when the salvation of men was brought about through the Cross. In another way it allows the pious man to suffer sore trials in order that he may not depart from a right conscience nor lapse into pride on account of the power and grace granted to him, as was the case with Paul.

One man is forsaken for a season with a view to another’s restoration, in order that others when they see his state may be taught a lesson, as in the case of Lazarus and the rich man. For it belongs to our nature to be east down when we see persons in distress. Another is deserted by Providence in order that another may be glorified, and not for his own sin or that of his parents, just as the man who was blind from his birth ministered to the glory of the Son of Man. Again another is permitted to suffer in order to stir up emulation in the breasts of others, so that others by magnifying the glory of the sufferer may resolutely welcome suffering in the hope of future glory and the desire for future blessings, as in the case of the martyrs. Another is allowed to fall at times into some act of baseness in order that another worse fault may be thus corrected, as for instance when God allows a man who takes pride in his virtue and righteousness to fall away into fornication in order that he may be brought through this fall into the perception of his own weakness and be humbled and approach and make confession to the Lord.

Moreover, it is to be observed that the choice of what is to be done is in our own hands: but the final issue depends, in the one case when our actions are good, on the cooperation of God, Who in His justice brings help according to His foreknowledge to such as choose the good with a right conscience, and, in the other case when our actions are to evil, on the desertion by God, Who again in His justice stands aloof in accordance with His foreknowledge.

Now there are two forms of desertion: for there is desertion in the matters of guidance and training, and there is complete and hopeless desertion. The former has in view the restoration and safety and glory of the sufferer, or the rousing of feelings of emulation and imitation in others, or the glory of God: but the latter is when man, after God has done all that was possible to save him, remains of his own set purpose blind and uncured, or rather incurable, and then he is handed over to utter destruction, as was Judas. May God be gracious to us, and deliver us from such desertion.

Observe further that the ways of God’s providence are many, and they cannot be explained in words nor conceived by the mind.

And remember that all the assaults of dark and evil fortune contribute to the salvation of those who receive them with thankfulness, and are assuredly ambassadors of help.

Also one must bear in mind that God’s original wish was that all should be saved and come to His Kingdom. For it was not for punishment that He formed us but to share in His goodness, inasmuch as He is a good God. But inasmuch as He is a just God, His will is that sinners should suffer punishment.

The first then is called God’s antecedent will and pleasure, and springs from Himself, while the second is called God’s consequent will and permission, and has its origin in us. And the latter is two-fold; one part dealing with matters of guidance and training, and having in view our salvation, and the other being hopeless and leading to our utter punishment, as we said above. And this is the case with actions that are not left in our hands.

But of actions that are in our hands the good ones depend on His antecedent goodwill and pleasure, while the wicked ones depend neither on His antecedent nor on His consequent will, but are a concession to free-will For that which is the result of compulsion has neither reason nor virtue in it. God makes provision for all creation and makes all creation the instrument of His help and training, yea often even the demons themselves, as for example in the cases of Job and the swine.

Concerning Prescience (foreknowledge) and Predestination.

We ought to understand that while God knows all things beforehand, yet He does not predetermine all things. For He knows beforehand those things that are in our power, but He does not predetermine them. For it is not His will that there should be wickedness nor does He choose to compel virtue. So that predetermination is the work of the divine command based on fore-knowledge. But on the other hand God predetermines those things which are not within our power in accordance with His prescience. For already God in His prescience has prejudged all things in accordance with His goodness and justice.

Bear in mind, too, that virtue is a gift from God implanted in our nature, and that He Himself is the source and cause of all good, and without His co-operation and help we cannot will or do any good thing, But we have it in our power either to abide in virtue and follow God, Who calls us into ways of virtue, or to stray from paths of virtue, which is to dwell in wickedness, and to follow the devil who summons but cannot compel us. For wickedness is nothing else than the withdrawal of goodness, just as darkness is nothing else than the withdrawal of light While then we abide in the natural state we abide in virtue, but when we deviate from the natural state, that is from virtue, we come into an unnatural state and dwell in wickedness.

Repentance is the returning from the unnatural into the natural state, from the devil to God, through discipline and effort.

When therefore He had furnished his nature with free-will, He imposed a law on him, not to taste of the tree of knowledge. Concerning this tree, we have said as much as is necessary in the chapter about Paradise, at least as much as it was in our power to say. And with this command He gave the promise that, if he should preserve the dignity of the soul by giving the victory to reason, and acknowledging his Creator and observing His command, he should share eternal blessedness and live to all eternity, proving mightier than death: but if forsooth he should subject the soul to the body, and prefer the delights of the body, comparing himself in ignorance of his true dignity to the senseless beasts, and shaking off His Creator’s yoke, and neglecting His divine injunction, he will be liable to death and corruption, and will be compelled to labor throughout a miserable life. For it was no profit to man to obtain incorruption while still untried and unproved, lest he should fall into pride and under the judgment of the devil. For through his incorruption the devil, when he had fallen as the result of his own free choice, was firmly established in wickedness, so that there was no room for repentance and no hope of change: just as, moreover, the angels also, when they had made free choice of virtue became through grace immovably rooted in goodness.

It was necessary, therefore, that man should first be put to the test (for man untried and unproved would be worth nothing), and being made perfect by the trial through the observance of the command should thus receive incorruption as the prize of his virtue. For being intermediate between God and matter he was destined, if he kept the command, to be delivered from his natural relation to existing things and to be made one with God’s estate, and to be immovably established in goodness, but, if he transgressed and inclined the rather to what was material, and tore his mind from the Author of his being, I mean God, his fate was to be corruption, and he was to become subject to passion instead of passionless, and mortal instead of immortal, and dependent on connection and unsettled generation. And in his desire for life he would cling to pleasures as though they were necessary to maintain it, and would fearlessly abhor those who sought to deprive him of these, and transfer his desire from God to matter, and his anger from the real enemy of his salvation to his own brethren. The envy of the devil then was the reason of man’s fall. For that same demon, so full of envy and with such a hatred of good, would not suffer us to enjoy the pleasures of heaven, when he himself was kept below on account of his arrogance, and hence the false one tempts miserable man with the hope of Godhead, and leading him up to as great a height of arrogance as himself, he hurls him down into a pit of destruction just as deep.

St. John of Damascus

9Marksfan
Feb 13th 2008, 03:18 PM
Can you explain why the Bible never calles the redeemd a sinner?

There is a diference, a christian should never call him self a sinner and equate himself with the lost.

So Paul was wrong to say this, was he?

"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the greatest" 1 Tim 1:15 (from memory, NIV)

Mote he didn't say "was" - but "am".

ProjectPeter
Feb 13th 2008, 03:32 PM
So Paul was wrong to say this, was he?

"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the greatest" 1 Tim 1:15 (from memory, NIV)

Mote he didn't say "was" - but "am".
And you think Paul used that as a way of saying that he was the biggest sinning man out there right now? Come on man... that's pretty much missing Paul's entire point to Timothy. And let me add too... that Greek word can also be translated was. ;) Keep in mind as well that this is your one example and it comes from a personal letter written to a man that was like a son to Paul. Find one of those type quotes in his letters to the church where he calls them other than saints?

Paul wasn't writing Timothy telling him, "look buddy... I'm a monster sinner believe you me!!! But you need to do what I am going to tell you in this letter even though since I am a monster sinner this all makes me a monster hypocrite. But one of the things you need to do is when you have someone in the church down there who continues in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also may be fearful of sinning. But hey... don't tell them that I am a monster sinner and don't rebuke me when you see me again because hey... I'm busy writing the Bible."

This sounds extreme probably but then hey... if that is what Paul was intending to portray then he in fact was the greatest of hypocrites.

drew
Feb 13th 2008, 03:48 PM
No Drew! What the passage says is that the nations will be blessed through the seed of Abraham. This corresponds perfectly with the passage in Gal 3:16.

Ge 26:4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;

Ga 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
In Galatians 3:16, Paul quotes Genesis 12:7, 13:15 and 24:7, while you draw a conncetion to Genesis 26:4. I checked 2 commentaries on this - none of them assert that Paul refers to Genesis 26 in Galatians 3:16. You correctly point out that, in Galatians 3:16, Paul indeed asserts the recipient of the covenant promises is a single seed - Christ. Your argument seems to be that the Genesis 26:4 use of "seed" must also denote a single person. You then conclude that the Genesis 26 text shows that the nations will be blessed through Christ, and that my assertion that Israel is in view in Genesis 26 is mistaken.

The problem is this: in Galatians the seed is the recipient of the covenant promise and Paul makes it clear that this is a single person - Christ, but in Genesis 26:4 the seed is the means by which (or the "vehicle" by which) the nations will be blessed.

The word "seed" denotes two entirely different things in these two passages, so one cannot conclude that "thy seed" in Genesis 26 refers to Jesus (to the exclusion of Israel) since "seed" clearly denotes only Jesus in Galatians 3.

You cannot legitimately assume that since "seed" is used in a singular sense in Galatians 3:16, and by reference in Genesis 12:7, 13:5 and 24:7, that is also used in the same way in 26:4. Why? Because in Galatians 3:16, and those first three Genesis passages, the "seed" is the recipient of the promise, whereas in 26:4, the word "seed" is used to denote an entirely different role - that of the means or vehicle by which the recipient gets the promise.

As Paul makes it clear in Romans 11, the nation of Israel has been used by God to bring salvation to the world:

But by their (Israel's) transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles...

The plan to redeem mankind is one plan - and it is the Abrahamic covenant. When it turns out that Jesus, and not Israel, goes to the cross and redeems mankind, God has not changed his mind at all. The reason is the deeply scriptural concept of representative Messiahship. Jesus is "the Christ according to the flesh" (Romans 9:5). He truly and fully represents his people and acts on their behalf.

So, of course, God has remained true to His covenant after all - He has used "Israel" to solve the Adam sin problem.

threebigrocks
Feb 13th 2008, 04:09 PM
Just because we sin does not make us sinners.
As I said, a sinner is one who practises sin and does it habitualy. A sinner does not hate their sin.

Do you practise sin?
Do you still love sin?
Do you sin habitualy?
Can you explain why the Bible never calles the redeemd a sinner?

There is a diference, a christian should never call him self a sinner and equate himself with the lost.

Please, do show me where one can sin and not be a sinner. Or where one can sin and not have it counted to him as sin.

RogerW
Feb 13th 2008, 06:56 PM
In Galatians 3:16, Paul quotes Genesis 12:7, 13:15 and 24:7, while you draw a conncetion to Genesis 26:4. I checked 2 commentaries on this - none of them assert that Paul refers to Genesis 26 in Galatians 3:16. You correctly point out that, in Galatians 3:16, Paul indeed asserts the recipient of the covenant promises is a single seed - Christ. Your argument seems to be that the Genesis 26:4 use of "seed" must also denote a single person. You then conclude that the Genesis 26 text shows that the nations will be blessed through Christ, and that my assertion that Israel is in view in Genesis 26 is mistaken.

The problem is this: in Galatians the seed is the recipient of the covenant promise and Paul makes it clear that this is a single person - Christ, but in Genesis 26:4 the seed is the means by which (or the "vehicle" by which) the nations will be blessed.

The word "seed" denotes two entirely different things in these two passages, so one cannot conclude that "thy seed" in Genesis 26 refers to Jesus (to the exclusion of Israel) since "seed" clearly denotes only Jesus in Galatians 3.

You cannot legitimately assume that since "seed" is used in a singular sense in Galatians 3:16, and by reference in Genesis 12:7, 13:5 and 24:7, that is also used in the same way in 26:4. Why? Because in Galatians 3:16, and those first three Genesis passages, the "seed" is the recipient of the promise, whereas in 26:4, the word "seed" is used to denote an entirely different role - that of the means or vehicle by which the recipient gets the promise.

Greetings Drew,

Again, you miss the point! The promise is not given to all the seeds of Abraham, it is given to ABRAHAM. God says through Abraham all the nations of the world will be blessed. God does not say through every one of your seeds all the nations of the world will be blessed. There is not one covenant with Abraham, there are two. One is given to Abraham and comes through His Seed (Christ) by promise, and the other is made with Abraham and his physical seeds after the flesh.

Ga 3:18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Ga 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Ga 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Ga 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

Ga 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.



As Paul makes it clear in Romans 11, the nation of Israel has been used by God to bring salvation to the world:

But by their (Israel's) transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles...

The plan to redeem mankind is one plan - and it is the Abrahamic covenant. When it turns out that Jesus, and not Israel, goes to the cross and redeems mankind, God has not changed his mind at all. The reason is the deeply scriptural concept of representative Messiahship. Jesus is "the Christ according to the flesh" (Romans 9:5). He truly and fully represents his people and acts on their behalf.

So, of course, God has remained true to His covenant after all - He has used "Israel" to solve the Adam sin problem.

But is it the Abrahamic covenant made by promise or after the flesh that God uses to solve the problem of sin? It certainly is NOT the nation after the flesh! Because you lack full understanding of the covenant promises to Abraham, you have read (with the help of NT Wright and NPP) an unbiblical doctrine that causes confusion, and disharmony of Scripture.

Many Blessings,
RW

Diolectic
Feb 13th 2008, 06:57 PM
Greetings Diolectic,

Originally Posted by Diolectic http://bibleforums.org/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1535005#post1535005)
We may sin, but we are not sinners.In my opinion, this above view is being too accepting of sin, so long as it is limited.

Is there a specific point at which we sin too much and become sinners?Just because you drive a truck does not mean that you are a trucker.
You need to be employed as a trucker to be called a trucker.
So it is with the term "sinner". We no longer have our employment sinning.



21 verses that have the word "sinner"
46 verses that have the word "sinners"
None on them refere to the saved, redeemed, those that have eternal life.Luke 18 9:14
Was the "justified" tax collector not "saved"?The Tax collector is is not saved, that is why he is asking GOD to be merciful to him.

The Redeemed knows that God is already being merciful to them, we wouldn't ask God to be merciful to us, we thatnk HIM for already being merciful to us.


You are thinking that just because you sin, you are called a sinner. Biblicly, a sinner is one who practises sin and does it habitualy. A sinner does not hate their sin.
We christians are not sinners, even though we may sin every once in a whileJames 2:8-13
Is a transgressor not a sinner? Is anyone guilty of violating the whole law not a sinner? What else could those possibly be?We are not transgressors, though we may , we are forgiven, we do not continue to transgress.
If one did continue to transgress the Law, then he would be called a transgressor or a sinner.

1John 2:1b ...And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

drew
Feb 13th 2008, 07:21 PM
Again, you miss the point! The promise is not given to all the seeds of Abraham, it is given to ABRAHAM. God says through Abraham all the nations of the world will be blessed. God does not say through every one of your seeds all the nations of the world will be blessed. There is not one covenant with Abraham, there are two. One is given to Abraham and comes through His Seed (Christ) by promise, and the other is made with Abraham and his physical seeds after the flesh.

Ga 3:18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Ga 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Ga 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Ga 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

Ga 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
I do not think that your argument is not correct here, although the terrain here is indeed challenging.

Despite your claim, Genesis 26 does assert that through Israel (a nation consisting of multiple people) the nations of the world will be blessed. Here are the NASB, NIV, and ASV renderings:

I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed

I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,

And I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these lands. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed

In the NASB, there are multiple descendants - note the use of the plural. In the NIV, the term "offspring" is used. I have done a little research and the normal sense of this term "offspring" implies plurality.

Let the reader not be confused. While in Galatians 3:16 Paul does indeed does say that in some old testament promises, the term "seed" (or offspring) is to be understood as singular (Genesis 12:7, 13:15, 24:7). But the use of the word "offspring" or "seed" in Genesis 26:4 is not being qualifed by Paul in Galatians 3:16. I certainly hope that you are not trying to argue that we need to take all references to "seed" and offspring as being singular just because of what Paul says in Galatians 3:16.

In Genesis 26:4, the "offspring" and "descendents" and "seed" are seen to retain their nominal sense of plurality - Paul simply does not qualify the reading of Genesis 26:4 - he qualifies other verses - check the commentaries.

And, as I have argued, the term "seed" is used in an entirely different role in Genesis 26:4. In this verse the "seed" is the means by which the promise is delivered to its recipients. In the other 3 Genesis texts, which Paul indeed does explain in Galatians 3:16, the "seed" is the recipient of the covenant promise.

In order to keep this post short, I will respond to your "two covenant" material in another post.

Teke
Feb 13th 2008, 07:29 PM
Greetings Drew,

Again, you miss the point! The promise is not given to all the seeds of Abraham, it is given to ABRAHAM. God says through Abraham all the nations of the world will be blessed. God does not say through every one of your seeds all the nations of the world will be blessed. There is not one covenant with Abraham, there are two. One is given to Abraham and comes through His Seed (Christ) by promise, and the other is made with Abraham and his physical seeds after the flesh.

Ga 3:18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Ga 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Ga 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Ga 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

Ga 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.



But is it the Abrahamic covenant made by promise or after the flesh that God uses to solve the problem of sin? It certainly is NOT the nation after the flesh! Because you lack full understanding of the covenant promises to Abraham, you have read (with the help of NT Wright and NPP) an unbiblical doctrine that causes confusion, and disharmony of Scripture.

Many Blessings,
RW

Roger, you posted this clear as day, "Which things are an allegory".
The "two covenant" theory is an "allegory".
Literally, Abraham had 8 sons. ;)

Diolectic
Feb 13th 2008, 07:37 PM
Originally Posted by Diolectic http://bibleforums.org/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1535291#post1535291)
Can you explain why the Bible never calles the redeemd a sinner?

There is a diference, a christian should never call him self a sinner and equate himself with the lostSo Paul was wrong to say this, was he?

"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the greatest" 1 Tim 1:15 (from memory, NIV)

Mote he didn't say "was" - but "am".If you would read the whole chapter, you would notice that in 1Tim 1:9 it says, "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,"

Paul is not including himself or equating himself with these... "ungodly, sinners, unholy and profane, murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, and manslayers".

Or do you think that Paul is telling us that the law is still made for him?
Is he denying that he is a righteous man?

One shouldn't make a teaching/doctrine from a hyperbole.
Surely Paul wasn not the true "Greatest" or "Cheif of Sinners".
They who know the truth but still resist are greater sinners than Paul who, when he fount the truth, he obeyed.
Therefore, you should not conclude that he was calling himself a present sinner.

Furthermore, Paul was speaking out of regret and shame.

drew
Feb 13th 2008, 07:44 PM
Ga 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Ga 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Ga 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

Ga 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
This is a complicated matter. I have, at times in other posts, indeed agreed that there is a sense in which there are multilpe covenants. But there is no doubt in the mind of Paul that they are not independent - they are not being executed in "parallel". It is not simply the case that one is a "foreshadow" of the other, or a copy of the other or a metaphor for the other, etc.

They are in fact intricately intertwined. Again, I return to Paul's clear teaching in Romans 11. The stumble of Israel has had salvific effect for the world.

For if the casting away of them (Israel) is the reconciling of the world,...

The material that you post in Galatians simply shows two strands of a single overall plan. True, Paul uses the phrase "two covenants". But, and this is important, even if we conceive of things this way, he does not say anything at all that rules out interaction between these covenants. And I think it is clear from Romans 9 and 11 that Paul sees the stumble of Israel as having salvific effect.

Romans 9 addresses precisely the same issues as the Galatians text: there is an "Israel according to the flesh" and there is an "Israel according to the Spirit (or promise)". As Paul then elegantly explains through the potter and the clay analogy and the verses that follow, "Israel according to the flesh" has been "elected" to be hardened so that salvation can spread to all the world.

23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25As he says in Hosea:
"I will call them 'my people' who are not my people;
and I will call her 'my loved one' who is not my loved one,

And Paul then reflects on that multiple times in chapter 11 where he clearly establishes that the "stumble" of national Israel has played a role in the salvation of the world. I have no idea how one can read Romans 11 otherwise without deforming Paul's words beyond recognition.

The fact that, as per the Galatians 4 material and the Romans 9 material, God has two distinct covenantal "threads" - one for national Israel and one for "Isreal according to the promise" in no way undermines the strong scriptural argument that these threads interact in a manner where, in the mysterious and wonderful purposes of God, the stumble of the Jews means salvation for the world.

God promised to use Israel to bless the world. And boy, He really did, although in a strange and wonderful way that Paul only discerns in hindsight. Instead of being a light to the nations by moral leaderhsip (through Torah), Israel has acted out the Christ pattern and been "cast away for the sins of the world".

Diolectic
Feb 13th 2008, 07:49 PM
Originally Posted by Diolectic http://bibleforums.org/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1535291#post1535291)
Just because we sin does not make us sinners.
As I said, a sinner is one who practises sin and does it habitualy. A sinner does not hate their sin.

Do you practise sin?
Do you still love sin?
Do you sin habitualy?
Can you explain why the Bible never calles the redeemd a sinner?

There is a diference, a christian should never call him self a sinner and equate himself with the lostPlease, do show me where one can sin and not be a sinner. Or where one can sin and not have it counted to him as sin.
Can you be called a doctor just because you interpret symptoms and told your friend to take an aspirin?
No, juist because you do thing like a doctor, does not make you a doctor.

Just because you drive a truck does not mean that you are a trucker.
You need to be employed as a trucker to be called a trucker.
You need to be employed as a doctor to be called a doctor.
So it is with the term "sinner". We no longer have our employment sinning, therefore we are not to be called sinners.
If so, I urge you to repent and stop employing you time in sin.
If so, the law was made for the likes of you(1Tim 1:9) but not for a righteous man.

RogerW
Feb 13th 2008, 08:46 PM
I do not think that your argument is not correct here, although the terrain here is indeed challenging.

Despite your claim, Genesis 26 does assert that through Israel (a nation consisting of multiple people) the nations of the world will be blessed. Here are the NASB, NIV, and ASV renderings:

I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed

I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,

And I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these lands. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed

In the NASB, there are multiple descendants - note the use of the plural. In the NIV, the term "offspring" is used. I have done a little research and the normal sense of this term "offspring" implies plurality.

Let the reader not be confused. While in Galatians 3:16 Paul does indeed does say that in some old testament promises, the term "seed" (or offspring) is to be understood as singular (Genesis 12:7, 13:15, 24:7). But the use of the word "offspring" or "seed" in Genesis 26:4 is not being qualifed by Paul in Galatians 3:16. I certainly hope that you are not trying to argue that we need to take all references to "seed" and offspring as being singular just because of what Paul says in Galatians 3:16.

In Genesis 26:4, the "offspring" and "descendents" and "seed" are seen to retain their nominal sense of plurality - Paul simply does not qualify the reading of Genesis 26:4 - he qualifies other verses - check the commentaries.

And, as I have argued, the term "seed" is used in an entirely different role in Genesis 26:4. In this verse the "seed" is the means by which the promise is delivered to its recipients. In the other 3 Genesis texts, which Paul indeed does explain in Galatians 3:16, the "seed" is the recipient of the covenant promise.

In order to keep this post short, I will respond to your "two covenant" material in another post.

The SEED, Christ through Abraham is ONE SEED. It is in this ONE SEED; CHRIST that all the nations of the world are blessed. The seeds, as many, are descendents of the flesh through the seed of Abraham, but there is only ONE SEED, Christ, descended through the seed of Abraham Who will bless the whole world.

Ge 17:19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

Ge 17:21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.

Ge 18:18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

Ge 21:12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

Ge 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
Ge 22:18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Ge 26:3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oathwhich I sware unto Abraham thy father;
Ge 26:4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;

Isa 41:14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

Isa 51:2 Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.

Many Blessings,
RW

threebigrocks
Feb 13th 2008, 09:01 PM
[/i]
Can you be called a doctor just because you interpret symptoms and told your friend to take an aspirin?
No, juist because you do thing like a doctor, does not make you a doctor.

Just because you drive a truck does not mean that you are a trucker.
You need to be employed as a trucker to be called a trucker.
You need to be employed as a doctor to be called a doctor.
So it is with the term "sinner". We no longer have our employment sinning, therefore we are not to be called sinners.
If so, I urge you to repent and stop employing you time in sin.
If so, the law was made for the likes of you(1Tim 1:9) but not for a righteous man.


The personal stuff isn't necessary. I'm calling out to appeal to what scripture says.

So if we are no longer "employees of sin" because we are of Christ, then we can sin but it really doesn't mean anything? Or has our duty and job changed to something else?

2 Corinthians 5



16Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

RogerW
Feb 13th 2008, 09:02 PM
Roger, you posted this clear as day, "Which things are an allegory".
The "two covenant" theory is an "allegory".
Literally, Abraham had 8 sons. ;)

Greetings Teke,

These two represent two covenants. The one of Sinai prefigured by Hagar, the old administration under the law, which was greatly mistaken (it was never given to save), and it degenerated into a covenant of works by those who cling to it.

The other the Covenant of Redemption under the new adminstration by grace (He 8:7,8). Both are through Abraham; one through his seeds as many born of the flesh, the other through his Spiritual Seed; Christ, and all who are born after the faith of Abraham.

Many Blessings,
RW

drew
Feb 13th 2008, 09:09 PM
The SEED, Christ through Abraham is ONE SEED. It is in this ONE SEED; CHRIST that all the nations of the world are blessed. The seeds, as many, are descendents of the flesh through the seed of Abraham, but there is only ONE SEED, Christ, descended through the seed of Abraham Who will bless the whole world.
It seems to me that your argument is circular. You simply assert that "seed" or "offspring" in a text like Genesis 26:4 is a singular quantity. It has already been shown that the Galatians 3:16 explanation / qualification does not apply to Genesis 26. In Galatians 3:16, Paul is talking about a singular recipient seed. In Genesis 26, Paul is using the term "offspring" in an entirely different sense - as referring to the agency by which the recipient gets the promise. Therefore, it is appropriate to take "seed" / "offspring" in its nominal plural sense.

Can you tell me precisely why we should see "seed" as being Christ and Christ only in Genesis 26:4. Presumably you will not make the rather dubious of move of arguing that "since 'seed' is claimed by Paul to be singular in texts like Genesis 12:7. 13:15 and 24:7, the word 'seed' must be singular in Genesis 26:4. Such an argument would be incorrect since Galatians 3:16 clearly does not qualify Genesis 26:4 - it qualifies other verses, but not that one.



Ge 17:19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

Ge 17:21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.

Ge 18:18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

Ge 21:12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

Ge 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
Ge 22:18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Ge 26:3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oathwhich I sware unto Abraham thy father;
Ge 26:4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;

Isa 41:14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

Isa 51:2 Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.
Rather than me guess at what you are claiming through these verses, let me ask you to please explain precisely how it is that one or more of these verses require the reader to believe that the agency by which the promise is fulfilled, as importantly contrasted with the recipient of the promise, has to be seen as excluding national Israel. If you can focus in on this, perhaps we can get somewhere. When I read these verses, none of them seem to support such a position. I have been clear that I am not saying that it is through Israel and Israel only that salvation comes to the world. I have clearly stated that I do not believe such a thing.

RogerW
Feb 13th 2008, 09:56 PM
It seems to me that your argument is circular. You simply assert that "seed" or "offspring" in a text like Genesis 26:4 is a singular quantity. It has already been shown that the Galatians 3:16 explanation / qualification does not apply to Genesis 26. In Galatians 3:16, Paul is talking about a singular recipient seed. In Genesis 26, Paul is using the term "offspring" in an entirely different sense - as referring to the agency by which the recipient gets the promise. Therefore, it is appropriate to take "seed" / "offspring" in its nominal plural sense.

Can you tell me precisely why we should see "seed" as being Christ and Christ only in Genesis 26:4. Presumably you will not make the rather dubious of move of arguing that "since 'seed' is claimed by Paul to be singular in texts like Genesis 12:7. 13:15 and 24:7, the word 'seed' must be singular in Genesis 26:4. Such an argument would be incorrect since Galatians 3:16 clearly does not qualify Genesis 26:4 - it qualifies other verses, but not that one.

Rather than me guess at what you are claiming through these verses, let me ask you to please explain precisely how it is that one or more of these verses require the reader to believe that the agency by which the promise is fulfilled, as importantly contrasted with the recipient of the promise, has to be seen as excluding national Israel. If you can focus in on this, perhaps we can get somewhere. When I read these verses, none of them seem to support such a position. I have been clear that I am not saying that it is through Israel and Israel only that salvation comes to the world. I have clearly stated that I do not believe such a thing.

Greetings Drew,

At least now you show you understand the heart of the dispute between us. The argument is NOT are the covenants interactive. After all we find the remnant chosen by grace through faith in the nation. The argument is this - does God use reprobate Israel to bless all the nations of the world. The answer is unequivocally NO! Christ alone blesses all the nations of the world through grace. Christ alone is the One who brings salvation; i.e. blessing unto all the nations of the world.

You seem to want to read Scripture in a vacuum...that is you want to use one verse to stand alone when very clearly the multitude of verses show without doubt that Christ alone is the Seed that comes through Abraham Who brings blessings to the whole world.

Many Blessings,
RW

Teke
Feb 13th 2008, 10:00 PM
Greetings Teke,

These two represent two covenants. The one of Sinai prefigured by Hagar, the old administration under the law, which was greatly mistaken (it was never given to save), and it degenerated into a covenant of works by those who cling to it.

The other the Covenant of Redemption under the new adminstration by grace (He 8:7,8). Both are through Abraham; one through his seeds as many born of the flesh, the other through his Spiritual Seed; Christ, and all who are born after the faith of Abraham.

Many Blessings,
RW

Hi Roger,
I guess I'm not following your line of thinking on this. But I'll give you my take so you can see what I see (hopefully) in these verses. IMHO covenants isn't the issue here, but the "promise".

In 4:21-31 By saying that Abraham's "two sons" and related events are "symbolic" (Gr. allegoreo) Paul is not implying that they are not historical. Rather he asserts that OT history is announcing something far greater than itself. "Hagar" and "Mount Sinai" symbolize earthly Jerusalem and the Jews under the law (v25). Sarah, the "freewoman" (v22 23), symbolizes the heavenly Jerusalem, that is, the Church (v26).

"The desolate" are those in the Church, especially the Gentiles; "she who has a husband" is Israel (v27).

The understanding is Isaac was the issue of bodies that were dead, and of a womb that was dead. His conception was not by the flesh, nor his birth by the seed, for the womb was dead both through age and barrenness. But the Word of God fashioned him...He that was not according to the flesh was more honorable than he that was born after the flesh.

It is not to disturb us that we were not born after the flesh. For from the very reason that you are not so born, are you most of all Abraham's kindred.

This is also why, as these scriptures go on to say (v29), that he who was born according to the flesh persecutes those born according to the Spirit.

Diolectic
Feb 13th 2008, 10:08 PM
The personal stuff isn't necessary. I'm calling out to appeal to what scripture says.I made it personal for you to actualy see what you are implying.
If you say that you are still a sinner, then the law is made for you and the rest of the unholy and profane, murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers.


So if we are no longer "employees of sin" because we are of Christ, then we can sin but it really doesn't mean anything?How would you come to the conclusion that if if we are no longer "employees of sin" that it means nothing?
If it meant nothing, then we would continue in it, nor would it greave us.
However, if we sin, we do not contue in it.
If we sin, we do not enjoy it.
If we sin, it is not charged to our account.
If we sin, we have anadvocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.


Or has our duty and job changed to something else?
We employ ourself in walking after the spirit so that we do not fullfill the lust of the flesh.

drew
Feb 13th 2008, 10:19 PM
The argument is this - does God use reprobate Israel to bless all the nations of the world. The answer is unequivocally NO!
There is apparently a difference between us that I see as you being willing to entertain a wider variance between the plain and literal reading of a text and what you see as Paul's intended meaning. When I read these statements by Paul conerning Israel and the world, my understanding of the English language and my sense of the degree to which one legitimately depart from the "literal reading" do not allow me to go where you have gone.

The reader, is of course, free to decide whether or not such verses can be accomodated with your position that God has not used Israel in bring salvation to the world:

Rather, because of their (Israel's) transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles...

But if their (Israel's) transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles,...

For if their (Israel's) rejection is the reconciliation of the world,..

You will say then, "Branches (Israel) were broken off so that I could be grafted in." Granted.

Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in...

As far as the gospel is concerned, they (Israel) are enemies on your account;...

30Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their (Israel's) disobedience

You talk about a multitude of verses that support your position. Are not the above a multitude?

I am not one of those people who insists that some texts are not metaphorical. However, I just cannot see how the above texts can be accomodated with your position.

For me, I cannot take phases like "because of" and "so that" and "as a result of" and take the cause and effect implications out of them. You apparently are doing this very thing - saying that "because of" does not really mean "because of" and that "as a result of" does not mean "as a result of". Or that "so that" does not indicate divine intent. And so on.

I am also not willing to make "increase" or "abound" simply mean "reveal" in this text from Romans 5:

The law was added so that the trespass might increase

Either I am being too inflexible or you are being too flexible. I guess the reader will have to decide.

skypair
Feb 13th 2008, 11:33 PM
1) Some people make this to be only for a chosen few(the Elect), where God is not ALL Loving and very finite in grace; Creating men that are the non-chosen few. These must be hated creations, for the very purpose of being destroyed in hell, which is contrary to reality.

2) Some people are claiming that man can not even do what is required to be right with God which is to repent and put his faith in/on Christ.

Some people claim that one must be "regenerated" first before he can even attempt to repent and put his faith in/on Christ.

This puts the blame on God for them not obeying the command of repenting and putting his faith in/on Christ.

The blame is on Him because one is excused from a command until one is able. Very good points!!


Example:

A family has a law that all members must take turns mowing the lawn.
Along comes Junior, a day old infant.
Is Junior included in the law to maw the lawn, or is he excluded until the ability is come?
This is a fact of reality and can not be discounted just because it is about God.

Some people's theology has God literally condemning Junior to hell for not mowing the lawn by not giving him the ability first and letting him willingly choose to disobey.
If a father did this in reality, he would be deemd a sadistic, devilish tyrant. Why isn't God the same if this is true?

This theology makes God wrathful and hating [AS] man because He Himself would not let them obey by not regenerating them. Would you please take this message over to http://www.baptistboard.com? The place (I hate to admit it of fellow Baptists) is "infested" with "people" (BUNCH of preachers on the debate threads, in fact!) who need your preaching!!

skypair

RogerW
Feb 14th 2008, 03:54 AM
There is apparently a difference between us that I see as you being willing to entertain a wider variance between the plain and literal reading of a text and what you see as Paul's intended meaning. When I read these statements by Paul conerning Israel and the world, my understanding of the English language and my sense of the degree to which one legitimately depart from the "literal reading" do not allow me to go where you have gone.

The reader, is of course, free to decide whether or not such verses can be accomodated with your position that God has not used Israel in bring salvation to the world:

Rather, because of their (Israel's) transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles...

Reprobate Israel saw themselves as righteous by virtue of birth through the seed of Abraham. God says He will make them jealous, and anger them through a people who are not of the seed of Abraham. God has abundantly blessed the nation, but they remain hard-hearted and stiff-necked disobedient people.

Ro 10:19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.
Ro 10:20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.
Ro 10:21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

But God has not utterly cast away His people, for there is an elect remnant which He foreknew. Though the nation, seeking to be justified through Abraham could not obtain the righteousness they sought, the elect remnant (of the faith of Abrahamm) did obtain righteousness. To the rest God has given a spirit of slumber, eyes they should not see, and ears they should not hear.

Ro 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
Ro 11:2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,

Ro 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
Ro 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day

Why does God give them a spirit of slumber? Was it so salvation would go unto all the world? No! It was to provoke them to jealousy. Their fall is not the reason salvation went into all the world, but rather by sending salvation unto the whole world some of them might be saved through the gospel. Since salvation has now come to the Gentiles, the nation too can see the salvation God has planned for His people. Seeing the Gentiles being made righteous by His grace through faith, they (the nation) too can become saved by His grace also through the message of the gospel. They too can be saved by grace through faith. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, but all one body in Christ.

Ro 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Ro 11:12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

Ro 11:14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

Ro 11:15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

Ro 11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

Ro 11:19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
Ro 11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
Ro 11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

Ro 11:24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?
Ro 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

Those remaining in unbelief are cut out of the good olive tree, and Gentiles are grafted into the same good olive tree (True Israel). The blindness was only until Christ came to establish His kingdom where both Jew and Gentile may become saved by grace through faith, if they do not remain in unbelief through hearing the gospel of salvation (Ro 10:17). Christ shows us the true Israel, according to election. All who are in Christ have become the Israel of God. So all Israel (true Israel, Israel of God) shall be saved, because Christ will take away their sins. So concerning the gospel the reprobate nation are enemies for the sake of the Gentiles, but as touching the election they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers (Deu 7:6-11).

Ro 9:6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
Ro 9:7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.

Ro 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

Ga 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
Ga 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

We find then the reason that God blinded the nation is not to bring salvation unto the whole world, but so that all of Israel, the Israel of God might be saved. This could not happen unless the Gentiles are grafted into the good olive tree; the Israel of God. Through the unbelief of the reprobate nation, God brings His elect Gentiles into True Israel, and through believing Gentiles bringing the gospel unto all the world, hard-hearted, stiff-necked Jews can also come into the True Israel, the Israel of God.

Ro 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
Ro 11:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
Ro 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.
Ro 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance [irrevocable].

Ro 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Ro 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
Ro 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

When the last Gentile has come into True Israel; by faith become saved, then will be the fulness of times and Christ will gather together in one all who are His, being predestinated according to His purpose, to obtain the promised inheritance: that we should be to the praise of His glory.

Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

Many Blessings,
RW

SDG
Feb 14th 2008, 05:59 AM
Greetings Diolectic,



Just because you drive a truck does not mean that you are a trucker.
You need to be employed as a trucker to be called a trucker.
So it is with the term "sinner". We no longer have our employment sinning.

I agree that we no longer have our "employment" in sinning! :) However, we're still sinners. Analogies to human definitions can be flawed don't always cut it, spiritually. According to the inspired Word, one sin makes us a transgressor.


The Tax collector is is not saved, that is why he is asking GOD to be merciful to him.
Then, I will ask again, is he "justified" but not "saved"?


The Redeemed knows that God is already being merciful to them, we wouldn't ask God to be merciful to us, we thatnk HIM for already being merciful to us.
Then why did David say in Psalm 51: "According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions" (v. 1). He was requesting God's mercy! Was he not redeemed? Remember that he said: "Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation" (v. 11-12).

I agree that we already know of His mercy and we ought to be ever thankful! :)



We are not transgressors, though we may , we are forgiven, we do not continue to transgress.
If one did continue to transgress the Law, then he would be called a transgressor or a sinner.

Then, I will ask you again, why did James say that if we stumble at one point, we are guilty of all, and are transgressors?



1John 2:1b ...And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

These verses seem to imply salvation for sinners (who still struggle with sin), by faith in Jesus Christ. May I ask how your argument fits in with them?

In Christ,
Josh

drew
Feb 14th 2008, 01:55 PM
Why does God give them a spirit of slumber? Was it so salvation would go unto all the world? No! It was to provoke them to jealousy. Their fall is not the reason salvation went into all the world, but rather by sending salvation unto the whole world some of them might be saved through the gospel.
I think we have reached an impasse on this matter. I have not been convinced of your position and you have not been convinced of mine. I assume you will not take offence if I do not engage, at least for now, in further discussion of this particular matter - the matter of whether God has used Israel to bring salvation to the world.

I hope that others have been reading and that, in the end, people have benefitted from it.

Until next the next time.....

RogerW
Feb 14th 2008, 03:55 PM
Hi Roger,
I guess I'm not following your line of thinking on this. But I'll give you my take so you can see what I see (hopefully) in these verses. IMHO covenants isn't the issue here, but the "promise".

In 4:21-31 By saying that Abraham's "two sons" and related events are "symbolic" (Gr. allegoreo) Paul is not implying that they are not historical. Rather he asserts that OT history is announcing something far greater than itself. "Hagar" and "Mount Sinai" symbolize earthly Jerusalem and the Jews under the law (v25). Sarah, the "freewoman" (v22 23), symbolizes the heavenly Jerusalem, that is, the Church (v26).

Hi Teke,

Okay so far we are on the same page.



"The desolate" are those in the Church, especially the Gentiles; "she who has a husband" is Israel (v27).

We are also in agreement here if you are saying that God's Church is extended among the Gentiles. That many Gentiles, according to the promise will be added to the saved.



The understanding is Isaac was the issue of bodies that were dead, and of a womb that was dead. His conception was not by the flesh, nor his birth by the seed, for the womb was dead both through age and barrenness. But the Word of God fashioned him...He that was not according to the flesh was more honorable than he that was born after the flesh.

In comparing the births of Isaac and Ishmael I would agree.



It is not to disturb us that we were not born after the flesh. For from the very reason that you are not so born, are you most of all Abraham's kindred.

This is also why, as these scriptures go on to say (v29), that he who was born according to the flesh persecutes those born according to the Spirit.

Here you leave me a bit confused. What do you mean "we were not born after the flesh?" Isaac the son of promise; i.e. supernatural, yet very much physical birth. If you are speaking of a spiritual re-birth, then I would agree that is not of the flesh?

Ishmael, the son of flesh, mocked and persecuted the son of promise. In the same way we have false prophets of justication by works and advocates of the Levitical law for receiving acceptance with God who mock and persecute those who teach salvation is by grace through faith; all of the Lord and none of us. They do not understand that salvation by works and salvation by grace are exact opposites and contrary.

The system of works and human merit must be forsaken from our hearts, from our churches, and from our fellowship. The heirs of God are the children of His grace. The self-righteous, the justified by works, the part Christ and part flesh advocates cannot understand that our deeds merit nothing apart from Christ. When we are born again, we are supernatural children of His free grace. To God be all the glory!

Many Blessings,
RW

Teke
Feb 14th 2008, 06:00 PM
Hi Teke,

Okay so far we are on the same page.



We are also in agreement here if you are saying that God's Church is extended among the Gentiles. That many Gentiles, according to the promise will be added to the saved.



In comparing the births of Isaac and Ishmael I would agree.



Here you leave me a bit confused. What do you mean "we were not born after the flesh?" Isaac the son of promise; i.e. supernatural, yet very much physical birth. If you are speaking of a spiritual re-birth, then I would agree that is not of the flesh?

Ishmael, the son of flesh, mocked and persecuted the son of promise. In the same way we have false prophets of justication by works and advocates of the Levitical law for receiving acceptance with God who mock and persecute those who teach salvation is by grace through faith; all of the Lord and none of us. They do not understand that salvation by works and salvation by grace are exact opposites and contrary.

The system of works and human merit must be forsaken from our hearts, from our churches, and from our fellowship. The heirs of God are the children of His grace. The self-righteous, the justified by works, the part Christ and part flesh advocates cannot understand that our deeds merit nothing apart from Christ. When we are born again, we are supernatural children of His free grace. To God be all the glory!

Many Blessings,
RW

Hi Roger.:)

Yes we are on the same page on this. The supernatural.....grace...born after the promise...(so many ways to put it)
I wouldn't go so far as to say that works and grace are opposites. After all grace is a work (energy) of God. In Israel's case the grace didn't produce the work it was suppose to. ie. the barren womb. This is alluded to in the OT in poetic form, such as Isaiah.


Isa 26:16 LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer [when] thy chastening [was] upon them.

Isa 26:17 Like as a woman with child, [that] draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, [and] crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD.

Isa 26:18 We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.

Isa 26:19 Thy dead [men] shall live, [together with] my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.


In agricultural terms, such as you put forth from Romans on the grafting, this also means that God is still cultivating Israel. So with the pruning (cutting off dead branches) comes fruitfulness. IOW through the Gentiles faith, Israel's opportunity for salvation is renewed. Their return through faith would be so glorious, it would be as "life from the dead" (Romans 11:15), the final resurrection itself.

I wouldn't go so far as to suggest a "re-birth". As the Church should look at this with the understanding of the dogma of the Trinity and the Being of Jesus Christ. As He represents the birth of THE Spirit (there is only "One"). :saint:
[i]I'm always dogmatic about the dogma's, faith, and Trinity in relation to Jesus Christ.

This has been an interesting thread. You and Drew have much in common pertaining to the dogma of faith. I was surprised by Toolman in the beginning, as I've read his posts for some time now (about 3yrs.) on this board yet never realized he saw grace dispensed in parts. Not surprising though for a western thinker influenced by Rome's western theology. Guess we learn new things about people no matter how long we've known them.

God bless all who have participated in this thread. :hug: