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Redeemed by Grace
Feb 19th 2008, 01:36 PM
I, Robot….

Interesting and eye-catching title to this thread, I’d agree…. But what’s more eye catching is that some how, some way, God uses man to do His will, and yet man thinks, plans and does….

I submit for consideration, that man’s salvation is all from God, that any understandings, any agreements, any changes, and any good behavior is from God’s Spirit working, leading and even controlling.

I also submit that Jesus does not His own will, but the will of the Father and in like manner, God’s elect does the Father’s will as well… through and in Christ Jesus.

Does this mean that God created robots? Looking to the evidence, all men sin, all men do not seek God and all men are not righteous --- and thus are in need of a Savior…. Yet the Saviour has come and He was killed by men - both Jews and Gentiles, as God behind the scenes has planned.

So you decide… is it your wisdom that saved you, or was it God’s wisdom within you that saves you? Is it your natural will to live for Christ all the days of your life, or is it His Spirit within you that draws you to obedience of His will….


Does man have freedom of will to 'chose salvation', or does God give His will to free ‘em?

Can man still make willing choices in life, yet God directs and guides, and moves man in accordance to His will?


For God’s Glory…

cchandrus
Feb 19th 2008, 01:37 PM
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 19th 2008, 01:39 PM
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

AMEN !

obeytheword
Feb 19th 2008, 02:19 PM
I, Robot….

Interesting and eye-catching title to this thread, I’d agree…. But what’s more eye catching is that some how, some way, God uses man to do His will, and yet man thinks, plans and does….

I submit for consideration, that man’s salvation is all from God, that any understandings, any agreements, any changes, and any good behavior is from God’s Spirit working, leading and even controlling.

I also submit that Jesus does not His own will, but the will of the Father and in like manner, God’s elect does the Father’s will as well… through and in Christ Jesus.

Does this mean that God created robots? Looking to the evidence, all men sin, all men do not seek God and all men are not righteous --- and thus are in need of a Savior…. Yet the Saviour has come and He was killed by men - both Jews and Gentiles, as God behind the scenes has planned.

So you decide… is it your wisdom that saved you, or was it God’s wisdom within you that saves you? Is it your natural will to live for Christ all the days of your life, or is it His Spirit within you that draws you to obedience of His will….


Does man have freedom of will to 'chose salvation', or does God give His will to free ‘em?

Can man still make willing choices in life, yet God directs and guides, and moves man in accordance to His will?


For God’s Glory…

God did not create robots. He GAVE us free will. It is his desire that we use that free will to fix our affections on him - but in any case, we CAN choose to go our own way.

We DO have a part in the whole thing due to that one point.

Our part is to yield our will to the control of the Holy Spirit. That is of course not a work, it is an acceptance that we simply are not capable of living complete lives UNLESS we voluntarily place our will under his control.

Gods wisdom and Gods work is what saves us. It is most certainly going against our "natural" will to live for Christ! The Holy Spirit is what draws us - but even so we STILL have choice. We can STILL disobey and harden our heart.

In all truth - if he had wanted robots who had no will in and of themselves, that would have been quite a bit easier, and there would have been no fall ;)

Be Blessed!

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 19th 2008, 02:40 PM
John 10:27
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;


For further consideration, if the word is heard by all, what makes one follow and another not?


I submit that sheep are the possession of the shepherd, and being owned, they know him and follow his voice.... for they do not chose which shepherd they are to belong to, for the Shepherd chooses his sheep.... and thus then they know him and follow....

9Marksfan
Feb 19th 2008, 03:36 PM
Welcome back, RbG! Great to hear from you again!

Good thread.

Of course we have a certain limited freedom to live as we see fit - it's correct we're not robots - yet we ALWAYS do our own thing and have a bias to sin and to pleasing ourselves! We love darkness rather than light, because our deeds are evil. We are rebels against God's righteous demands of us and we will not have Him to rule over us.

So, if God were to leave us to our own devices, not ONE of us would ever have the will to desire Him or seek after Him in the way He intends (humbly, renouncing our pride and sin and self-righteousness and seeking His grace and mercy). Now, God KNOWS that we need a new heart in order to approach Him in Christ like that - so He graciously gives us that heart! And THEN we have the will to believe on Christ, repent of our sins, lead a holy life, etc!

Praise God for His sovereign mercy, without which ALL of us would be lost!

Souled Out
Feb 19th 2008, 05:55 PM
RbG, hi! I'm getting flashbacks of that wonderful Providence thread...:lol:

If salvation is all of God then how can it still be connected to man's choices? If I imagine that man's ability to choose (anything) is a great, big circle, to me, salvation is outside that circle.

Do you see it differently?

RogerW
Feb 19th 2008, 10:15 PM
I, Robot….

Interesting and eye-catching title to this thread, I’d agree…. But what’s more eye catching is that some how, some way, God uses man to do His will, and yet man thinks, plans and does….

I submit for consideration, that man’s salvation is all from God, that any understandings, any agreements, any changes, and any good behavior is from God’s Spirit working, leading and even controlling.

I also submit that Jesus does not His own will, but the will of the Father and in like manner, God’s elect does the Father’s will as well… through and in Christ Jesus.

Does this mean that God created robots? Looking to the evidence, all men sin, all men do not seek God and all men are not righteous --- and thus are in need of a Savior…. Yet the Saviour has come and He was killed by men - both Jews and Gentiles, as God behind the scenes has planned.

So you decide… is it your wisdom that saved you, or was it God’s wisdom within you that saves you? Is it your natural will to live for Christ all the days of your life, or is it His Spirit within you that draws you to obedience of His will….

Does man have freedom of will to 'chose salvation', or does God give His will to free ‘em?

Can man still make willing choices in life, yet God directs and guides, and moves man in accordance to His will?

For God’s Glory…

Greetings Rbg,

Lately I've been contemplating creation from the perspective of free will. If man was created with free will why does God have an answer for the problem of sin from before the foundation of the world? Does not the fact that God provides a remedy for sin before any sin exists tell us that God knew man would sin? If God knew man would sin, what does that say about man's so-called free will? I mean God provides a remedy for sin before creation, then man sins thereby showing the wisdom and providence of God in providing a remedy for sin before sin exists. Does this point us to man having free will or the providence of God? If man has free will it seems God would have waited to make sure His perfect creation would fail some so-called testing program in the garden before providing a remedy for sin. I mean after all the remedy is an exceedingly great sacrifice.

I don't know, when I think about how God has provided a remedy for my sin, not only before I sinned, but before I was created, I'm overwhelmed by a loving providential God to save me despite my so-called free will to reject Him. But then we find not only did God provide a remedy for sin before creation, He also wrote my name in the Lamb's Book of Life before creation...humm, even before I flexed my so-called free will to choose Him. Seems the only will truly free is Gods. He willed I would be saved, and then He provided a way to save me. All the glory to God alone!

Many Blessings,
RW

Partaker of Christ
Feb 19th 2008, 11:02 PM
Did I have a choice of being born of water?
Did I have a choice of being born a male?
Did I have a choice of being born sinful?

Do I have a choice of being born again?

Does a caterpillar have a choice to be a butterfly?
Does a maggot have a choice to be a fly?

Is the butterfly a robot?
Is the maggot a robot?

Mat 13:37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
Mat 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Gen 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
Gen 1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Jas 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 20th 2008, 12:21 AM
Welcome back, RbG! Great to hear from you again!

Good thread.

Of course we have a certain limited freedom to live as we see fit - it's correct we're not robots - yet we ALWAYS do our own thing and have a bias to sin and to pleasing ourselves! We love darkness rather than light, because our deeds are evil. We are rebels against God's righteous demands of us and we will not have Him to rule over us.

So, if God were to leave us to our own devices, not ONE of us would ever have the will to desire Him or seek after Him in the way He intends (humbly, renouncing our pride and sin and self-righteousness and seeking His grace and mercy). Now, God KNOWS that we need a new heart in order to approach Him in Christ like that - so He graciously gives us that heart! And THEN we have the will to believe on Christ, repent of our sins, lead a holy life, etc!

Praise God for His sovereign mercy, without which ALL of us would be lost!

Hi 9Marksfan,

I’ve been traveling, even spent a week in Mexico, so been out most of the month or so… back for a moment and then off again...

I will admit that this is a revisit to the point of God’s sovereignty and providence in one’s life, and maybe by stating it this way, someone else reading may see God's providence for the 1st time and suddenly --- see the wow of God….

Of course men aren’t robotic, at least as what we typecast a robot to be, but we do know or at least we should know that God does interact within the lives of man. I.e. as I pray for the salvation of another, am I not asking God to intervene within their ‘free will’ for salvation to connect? I could go deeper - but leave it to say that on one plane man plans his ways, yet on the bigger plane it is all under the control and direction of a sovereign God. Praise God!

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 20th 2008, 12:23 AM
Greetings Rbg,

Lately I've been contemplating creation from the perspective of free will. If man was created with free will why does God have an answer for the problem of sin from before the foundation of the world? Does not the fact that God provides a remedy for sin before any sin exists tell us that God knew man would sin? If God knew man would sin, what does that say about man's so-called free will? I mean God provides a remedy for sin before creation, then man sins thereby showing the wisdom and providence of God in providing a remedy for sin before sin exists. Does this point us to man having free will or the providence of God? If man has free will it seems God would have waited to make sure His perfect creation would fail some so-called testing program in the garden before providing a remedy for sin. I mean after all the remedy is an exceedingly great sacrifice.

I don't know, when I think about how God has provided a remedy for my sin, not only before I sinned, but before I was created, I'm overwhelmed by a loving providential God to save me despite my so-called free will to reject Him. But then we find not only did God provide a remedy for sin before creation, He also wrote my name in the Lamb's Book of Life before creation...humm, even before I flexed my so-called free will to choose Him. Seems the only will truly free is Gods. He willed I would be saved, and then He provided a way to save me. All the glory to God alone!

Many Blessings,
RW


Yes this topic is the deepest end of the pool for sure.... :)

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 20th 2008, 12:27 AM
RbG, hi! I'm getting flashbacks of that wonderful Providence thread...:lol:

If salvation is all of God then how can it still be connected to man's choices? If I imagine that man's ability to choose (anything) is a great, big circle, to me, salvation is outside that circle.

Do you see it differently?

Hi SO!

You remembered that thread.... bless your heart :saint:


I will admit, it's hard to comprehend at times but our minds have so much limitations to say that both can't exist...yet I believe that they do


God's blessings....

cwb
Feb 20th 2008, 12:48 AM
God did not create robots. He GAVE us free will. It is his desire that we use that free will to fix our affections on him - but in any case, we CAN choose to go our own way.

We DO have a part in the whole thing due to that one point.

Our part is to yield our will to the control of the Holy Spirit. That is of course not a work, it is an acceptance that we simply are not capable of living complete lives UNLESS we voluntarily place our will under his control.

Gods wisdom and Gods work is what saves us. It is most certainly going against our "natural" will to live for Christ! The Holy Spirit is what draws us - but even so we STILL have choice. We can STILL disobey and harden our heart.

In all truth - if he had wanted robots who had no will in and of themselves, that would have been quite a bit easier, and there would have been no fall ;)

Be Blessed!

I agree. If we were robots, then there would be no lies in this world since God says he would have all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. However when we accept Christ, it is still Him that does the saving. It is not our act of accepting that saves us. It is still His work that saves us.

Mograce2U
Feb 20th 2008, 03:51 AM
If God has not given man a free will within the bounds set by God, then how did Adam and Eve sin in the first place? The devil didn't make them do it, he merely suggested what led them into disobeying God - the choice was Eve's front to back when she as yet knew no sin. Did God know the choice they would make? No doubt He did, which is why He provided for the remedy beforehand. And to encourage mankind who He put under the curse of death, He gave them hope in salvation and instructed them in the way they were to walk in order to attain it. All of this He does without violating the will of the sensient beings He created. Sinful man had to be separated from the God who created him, but our God did not leave him alone to fend for himself, instead He revealed Himself and His will, so that men might know and love Him in kind.

Man may be blind to the visible presence of God but he is not without the attributes which are like the God who created him. He has needs and wants and thoughts, all of which can be appealed to. And appeal to him He does like the good King He is who provides for the citizens of His kingdom. The rebel however knows Him only by His sterness because he does not want Him to rule over him. Yet even the rebel counts on the rain to fall and the sun to shine and so is still dependent upon the favor of the God he despises.

Even Satan counts on God to be just and fair, else why would he charge Him with unfairness? Satan too knew God's favor at one time and still counts on His goodness. Sin certainly can lead one on to depravity, but we all start out on equal footing, with parents to show us the way. Satan is the only one who sinned without precedence for no good reason. The rest of do so knowing full well the consequence for our choices. Eve had a choice because God had told them what the consequence for disobedience would be. That makes them & us accountable for it.

So no, we are not robots by any means. You can't give a robot hope despite the choices he makes. But you can to a man made in the image of the God who created him. And God knows just how to do that!

Athanasius
Feb 20th 2008, 03:55 AM
I submit that God allows us free will. And that, by the proding of God, we can chose to accept his invitation or leave it.

As the above poster said, to claim we don't have free will is to make a mockery of the Garden.

9Marksfan
Feb 20th 2008, 11:10 AM
Adam and Eve absolutely had free will - but is our free will the same? Absolutely not! Adam and Eve died spiritually when they ate of the forbidden fruit - there was an immediate change, because they knew they were naked and they hid from God!

We are the same - we hide from God by nature - as infants we sin and disobey not by choice but by nature! The choice to sin develops as we develop - but we always choose to sin because we are sinners.

It would be the UTMOST cruelty for God simply to "respect our free will" as so many think is the extent of His work in saving us - when he KNOWS that we are dead and blind! How loving is it of Him to say "become alive" to a corpse or "see!" to a blind person UNLESS HE MAKES THEM ALIVE AND ENABLES THEM TO SEE!!!! "Prodding" and "encouraging" us ALONE would be the mockery......

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 20th 2008, 01:07 PM
To the reader, another question. Knowing what you know today, which would you prefer… to have God control your heart and give helps maybe beyond your awareness to better serve and please Him, or would you prefer to seek Him on your own strength and knowledge?

cchandrus
Feb 20th 2008, 01:51 PM
Prov 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

9Marksfan
Feb 20th 2008, 02:04 PM
Prov 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

But who is best able to keep us from falling (Jude 24) - us or God?

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 20th 2008, 03:30 PM
To the reader, another question. Knowing what you know today, which would you prefer… to have God control your heart and give helps maybe beyond your awareness to better serve and please Him, or would you prefer to seek Him on your own strength and knowledge?

Here is a piece or two from my puzzle for consideration...

Ezekiel 36:26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

John 3:3-8
3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
4 Nicodemus *said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?"
5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
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."



For God's Glory...

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 20th 2008, 03:56 PM
Adam and Eve absolutely had free will - but is our free will the same? Absolutely not! Adam and Eve died spiritually when they ate of the forbidden fruit - there was an immediate change, because they knew they were naked and they hid from God!

We are the same - we hide from God by nature - as infants we sin and disobey not by choice but by nature! The choice to sin develops as we develop - but we always choose to sin because we are sinners.

It would be the UTMOST cruelty for God simply to "respect our free will" as so many think is the extent of His work in saving us - when he KNOWS that we are dead and blind! How loving is it of Him to say "become alive" to a corpse or "see!" to a blind person UNLESS HE MAKES THEM ALIVE AND ENABLES THEM TO SEE!!!! "Prodding" and "encouraging" us ALONE would be the mockery......


Hi 9Marksfan!

Your reply here got me thinking a bit for something seemed amiss... And in rereading your post -- and then going back to Genesis 2 and 3, I think I found the reason for my ponder....

I can't see to see within Scripture that Adam and Eve had free will... For: 16The Lord God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat [from it], for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.

So if they had free will, then there would not have been restrictions put on them by God to their will, so I'm struggling to say I agree that God gave them free will.... willing choices with conditions and restrictions, yes, but free will... I need more evidence within scripture. FWIW... :)

obeytheword
Feb 20th 2008, 04:34 PM
Hi 9Marksfan!

Your reply here got me thinking a bit for something seemed amiss... And in rereading your post -- and then going back to Genesis 2 and 3, I think I found the reason for my ponder....

I can't see to see within Scripture that Adam and Eve had free will... For: 16The Lord God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat [from it], for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.

So if they had free will, then there would not have been restrictions put on them by God to their will, so I'm struggling to say I agree that God gave them free will.... willing choices with conditions and restrictions, yes, but free will... I need more evidence within scripture. FWIW... :)

What would have happened had neither of them eaten the forbidden fruit?

When you tell your son. If you do that again, you will get a spanking and go to your room. Does your son have free will to choose what happens to him?

I believe in both cases, the answer is yes. God KNEW the choice that would be made, and as such - he had prepared for it - but Adam and Eve HAD choice.

The question in a larger sense you bring up appears to be this. (please correct me if I frame it wrong)

Which is true?

1 - God is the architect, and knows what will happen before it happens. He wants to have a great creation that CHOOSES to love him, and as such, he worked it out so that with those conditions the end he wants will result.

2 - God is the architect, and decides exactly what will happen before it does. As such, we being his creations will do what we were created to do, and work within the constraints he has placed within us. We have only the will he has given us (for the most part - not trying to mean we have absolutely none here - just none as it related to salvation)

I have bolded what I believe to be the primary issue in both statements.

I personally believe scripture points to #1 being true.


Keep in mind with the above, I am not trying to make this an exhaustive list of exactly what you or I or anyone else believes, but just framing the general idea.

Be Blessed!

9Marksfan
Feb 20th 2008, 04:59 PM
Hi 9Marksfan!

Your reply here got me thinking a bit for something seemed amiss... And in rereading your post -- and then going back to Genesis 2 and 3, I think I found the reason for my ponder....

I can't see to see within Scripture that Adam and Eve had free will... For: 16The Lord God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat [from it], for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.

So if they had free will, then there would not have been restrictions put on them by God to their will, so I'm struggling to say I agree that God gave them free will.... willing choices with conditions and restrictions, yes, but free will... I need more evidence within scripture. FWIW... :)

What I meant was that they were the only human beings ever to have truly had the freedom to obey or disobey (perhaps free choice rather than free will?) - because they did not have a sinful nature which would ensure that they always disobeyed. Don't the theologians call it posse non peccare ie it was possible for them not to sin? Thereafter we are all in the condition of non posse non peccare ie it's impossible that we should not sin. Christ's condition was non posse peccare ie it was not possible for him to sin. Hope I've got those right - it's nearly 27 years since I last did any Latin!

RogerW
Feb 20th 2008, 05:11 PM
Hi 9Marksfan!

Your reply here got me thinking a bit for something seemed amiss... And in rereading your post -- and then going back to Genesis 2 and 3, I think I found the reason for my ponder....

I can't see to see within Scripture that Adam and Eve had free will... For: 16The Lord God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat [from it], for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.

So if they had free will, then there would not have been restrictions put on them by God to their will, so I'm struggling to say I agree that God gave them free will.... willing choices with conditions and restrictions, yes, but free will... I need more evidence within scripture. FWIW... :)

Hi Rbg,

I'm inclined to agree. As I stated in my first reply I have been spending some time contemplating so-called free will from the perspective of creation. Here are some of my thoughts on the matter. This is by no means exhaustive, and I would love to hear how others would respond to my thoughts.

In the beginning God created humans, He created them in His image. Since man was created in the image of God, he certainly has the ability to think and reason without the intervention of God. And he also has the ability to love.

God said in the day the human ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, man would be like God, knowing both good and evil. This leads me to believe that prior to eating of the forbidden tree man had no knowledge, that is to say man had no ability to know; i.e. recognize, discern, discover or feel what is good or evil.

God did not say that in the day they ate of the forbidden tree they would know only evil, but also in the day they ate they would know good. What would it be like to be loved without ability to recognize, discern, discover or feel that love? What is love without emotion, or the ability to discover it, or to feel it deeply?

Just as God had promised from the moment they ate the forbidden fruit they understood the evil that had enticed them. They heard the voice of God, and they were afraid (they now know fear, recognize fear, and emotionally (feel) fear God) because now they understand what it means to be naked (both spiritually and physically), so they hide from God. It was necessary for humans to discover (know) evil in order for them to discover (know) the love of God.

Ge 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

God could have simply given them the knowledge of good, and they could have from the beginning known (felt it) God’s love. But what would it mean to know, recognize, discern, discover or feel the love of God without knowing, recognizing, discerning, discovering or feeling what is evil? We could not know what God’s goodness toward us means. To know the love of God is wonderful, but how would we know it is wonderful without also knowing the horror and depth of depravity and evil apart from His all-encompassing love?

It would be like a man born blind, never seeing the beauty of God’s glorious creation. It can be described to him, and he can mentally understand, but he can never recognize, discern, discover or feel the deep emotions that come from the beauty of a rainbow, or an awesome sunset. So it would be with the love of God, the goodness of God, if we had no knowledge of evil that His love frees us from.

Knowledge of evil is necessary, even vital part of God’s redemptive plan for mankind. God wasn’t surprised or testing Adam and Eve to see if they would obey. God had an answer for the problem of sin before creation, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. God knew our first parents would fall because that is how He will have a people, pure of heart, and free of sin unto Himself for all eternity.

God created man, and His creation was very good. Then God uses Satan so that man will know what is good and what is evil. Then God bars the way to the tree of life, thereby ensuring a way that this body of sin (our flesh) will die. If God had not barred the way to the tree of life then mankind would live forever in a world filled with all manner of evil. Man would never be made fully alive from sin, or fully blameless and pure, living and reigning with the Lord forever. Now man’s corrupt, defiled, sin tainted flesh dies (flesh cannot enter the kingdom of heaven) and God resurrects those whom He loves to new bodies, free from all sin and evil, now able to know the gracious all encompassing love of God, because we fully know the evil that brings to ruin the unsaved world, and what we have been delivered from. Would this be possible if man’s eyes had never been opened and made to truly know the evil that separates us from His great love?

Where is man’s so-called free will? The only will that is truly free is Gods. Man's will is either enslaved to bondage and death, or a servant of Christ and righteousness. Just as man did not make a choice to be born, neither does man make a choice to be re-born. Salvation is of the Lord! He chooses us we do not choose Him!

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Feb 20th 2008, 05:46 PM
What would have happened had neither of them eaten the forbidden fruit?

When you tell your son. If you do that again, you will get a spanking and go to your room. Does your son have free will to choose what happens to him?

I believe in both cases, the answer is yes. God KNEW the choice that would be made, and as such - he had prepared for it - but Adam and Eve HAD choice.

The question in a larger sense you bring up appears to be this. (please correct me if I frame it wrong)

Which is true?

1 - God is the architect, and knows what will happen before it happens. He wants to have a great creation that CHOOSES to love him, and as such, he worked it out so that with those conditions the end he wants will result.

2 - God is the architect, and decides exactly what will happen before it does. As such, we being his creations will do what we were created to do, and work within the constraints he has placed within us. We have only the will he has given us (for the most part - not trying to mean we have absolutely none here - just none as it related to salvation)

I have bolded what I believe to be the primary issue in both statements.

I personally believe scripture points to #1 being true.


Keep in mind with the above, I am not trying to make this an exhaustive list of exactly what you or I or anyone else believes, but just framing the general idea.

Be Blessed!

Greetings Obey,

If Adam and Eve had not eaten of the forbidden tree then they would have never known evil, but worse then that they would never have known good.

Blessings,
RW

obeytheword
Feb 20th 2008, 06:04 PM
Greetings Obey,

If Adam and Eve had not eaten of the forbidden tree then they would have never known evil, but worse then that they would never have known good.

Blessings,
RW

So - they were forced to disobey God in order to live a complete life in its fullness? that sounds... odd at the least.

I would assert that "knowing good and evil" means essentially that their innocence was stripped away upon eating the fruit. This is consistent with nakedness being the primary thing "noticed"

Be Blessed!

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 20th 2008, 06:50 PM
Hi Rbg,

I'm inclined to agree. As I stated in my first reply I have been spending some time contemplating so-called free will from the perspective of creation. Here are some of my thoughts on the matter. This is by no means exhaustive, and I would love to hear how others would respond to my thoughts.

In the beginning God created humans, He created them in His image. Since man was created in the image of God, he certainly has the ability to think and reason without the intervention of God. And he also has the ability to love.

God said in the day the human ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, man would be like God, knowing both good and evil. This leads me to believe that prior to eating of the forbidden tree man had no knowledge, that is to say man had no ability to know; i.e. recognize, discern, discover or feel what is good or evil.

God did not say that in the day they ate of the forbidden tree they would know only evil, but also in the day they ate they would know good. What would it be like to be loved without ability to recognize, discern, discover or feel that love? What is love without emotion, or the ability to discover it, or to feel it deeply?

Just as God had promised from the moment they ate the forbidden fruit they understood the evil that had enticed them. They heard the voice of God, and they were afraid (they now know fear, recognize fear, and emotionally (feel) fear God) because now they understand what it means to be naked (both spiritually and physically), so they hide from God. It was necessary for humans to discover (know) evil in order for them to discover (know) the love of God.

Ge 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

God could have simply given them the knowledge of good, and they could have from the beginning known (felt it) God’s love. But what would it mean to know, recognize, discern, discover or feel the love of God without knowing, recognizing, discerning, discovering or feeling what is evil? We could not know what God’s goodness toward us means. To know the love of God is wonderful, but how would we know it is wonderful without also knowing the horror and depth of depravity and evil apart from His all-encompassing love?

It would be like a man born blind, never seeing the beauty of God’s glorious creation. It can be described to him, and he can mentally understand, but he can never recognize, discern, discover or feel the deep emotions that come from the beauty of a rainbow, or an awesome sunset. So it would be with the love of God, the goodness of God, if we had no knowledge of evil that His love frees us from.

Knowledge of evil is necessary, even vital part of God’s redemptive plan for mankind. God wasn’t surprised or testing Adam and Eve to see if they would obey. God had an answer for the problem of sin before creation, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. God knew our first parents would fall because that is how He will have a people, pure of heart, and free of sin unto Himself for all eternity.

God created man, and His creation was very good. Then God uses Satan so that man will know what is good and what is evil. Then God bars the way to the tree of life, thereby ensuring a way that this body of sin (our flesh) will die. If God had not barred the way to the tree of life then mankind would live forever in a world filled with all manner of evil. Man would never be made fully alive from sin, or fully blameless and pure, living and reigning with the Lord forever. Now man’s corrupt, defiled, sin tainted flesh dies (flesh cannot enter the kingdom of heaven) and God resurrects those whom He loves to new bodies, free from all sin and evil, now able to know the gracious all encompassing love of God, because we fully know the evil that brings to ruin the unsaved world, and what we have been delivered from. Would this be possible if man’s eyes had never been opened and made to truly know the evil that separates us from His great love?

Where is man’s so-called free will? The only will that is truly free is Gods. Man's will is either enslaved to bondage and death, or a servant of Christ and righteousness. Just as man did not make a choice to be born, neither does man make a choice to be re-born. Salvation is of the Lord! He chooses us we do not choose Him!

Many Blessings,
RW


Hi Roger,

Mighty fine strokes of the keyboard, my friend.... AMEN.

RogerW
Feb 21st 2008, 01:21 PM
So - they were forced to disobey God in order to live a complete life in its fullness? that sounds... odd at the least.

I would assert that "knowing good and evil" means essentially that their innocence was stripped away upon eating the fruit. This is consistent with nakedness being the primary thing "noticed"

Be Blessed!

Greetings Obey,

If God forced us to disobey, that would make God the Author of sin. God is NOT the Author of sin.

1Jo 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Can you imagine your life without ever having understanding of good? When someone we love dies, we mourn deeply because we loved deeply. Without knowing good we could never have known that kind of deep love. How can we celebrate life, without knowing how good life can be? Think about the things in your life that would be meaningless if you did not have the knowledge of both good and evil.

Many Blessings,
RW

Pilgrimtozion
Feb 21st 2008, 01:41 PM
To the reader, another question. Knowing what you know today, which would you prefer… to have God control your heart and give helps maybe beyond your awareness to better serve and please Him, or would you prefer to seek Him on your own strength and knowledge?

Hey RbG,

In considering your question, I find that I have no desire to choose one answer at the expense of the other. This method of thinking represents a dichtomous worldview that is, in my opinion, not Biblical. A major issue is that I can present Scriptures that seem to endorse both answers to your question while it appears that they cannot both be true. To take away from one of the two answers, however, is to take away from the power and truth of God's Word.

We find here a primary source of misunderstanding within Christianity. When discussing the Trinity, we encounter similar problems: Jesus is presented as man and yet as God, God is presented as one and yet as three. If we approach these subjects with a Greek thinking that creates dichotomy, we will not do justice to either viewpoint. Foundational to solving these disagreements is accepting the fact that the Bible presents both viewpoints as equally true. When one accepts that, he or she can continue, ask questions, tackle the issue, but will in the end fall back on the realization that the Bible teaches both.

Though this may present a logical contradiction, I see no reason to therefore abandon it. Since when it the logical possibility of something the cornerstone of truth? No, the Word of God. And if the Bible clearly presents both positions as true, then the Bible clearly presents both positions as true.

In answer to your question, then: Yes, God controls my heart. And yes, I seek Him with my own strength and knowledge. Both are required and both are true.

Yours in Christ,
Benjamin

Partaker of Christ
Feb 21st 2008, 01:49 PM
Greetings Obey,

If God forced us to disobey, that would make God the Author of sin. God is NOT the Author of sin.

1Jo 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Can you imagine your life without ever having understanding of good? When someone we love dies, we mourn deeply because we loved deeply. Without knowing good we could never have known that kind of deep love. How can we celebrate life, without knowing how good life can be? Think about the things in your life that would be meaningless if you did not have the knowledge of both good and evil.

Many Blessings,
RW

Hi RW!

Is there a difference between knowing and knowledge?

They would have known (in the spirit) not to eat, and the penalty (you will die)

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 21st 2008, 01:53 PM
Hey RbG,

In considering your question, I find that I have no desire to choose one answer at the expense of the other. This method of thinking represents a dichtomous worldview that is, in my opinion, not Biblical. A major issue is that I can present Scriptures that seem to endorse both answers to your question while it appears that they cannot both be true. To take away from one of the two answers, however, is to take away from the power and truth of God's Word.

We find here a primary source of misunderstanding within Christianity. When discussing the Trinity, we encounter similar problems: Jesus is presented as man and yet as God, God is presented as one and yet as three. If we approach these subjects with a Greek thinking that creates dichotomy, we will not do justice to either viewpoint. Foundational to solving these disagreements is accepting the fact that the Bible presents both viewpoints as equally true. When one accepts that, he or she can continue, ask questions, tackle the issue, but will in the end fall back on the realization that the Bible teaches both.

Though this may present a logical contradiction, I see no reason to therefore abandon it. Since when it the logical possibility of something the cornerstone of truth? No, the Word of God. And if the Bible clearly presents both positions as true, then the Bible clearly presents both positions as true.

In answer to your question, then: Yes, God controls my heart. And yes, I seek Him with my own strength and knowledge. Both are required and both are true.

Yours in Christ,
Benjamin

Hey back Ptz...

Ezekiel 36:26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.


I would not totally disagree with your observation, but would say that God's enablement - first causes your seeking - second.

And keeping with the 'robot theme' think of it this as the 'program'. It's His Spirit within you working to seek Him in your strength and thoughts.

Pilgrimtozion
Feb 21st 2008, 02:01 PM
Hey back Ptz...

Ezekiel 36:26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.


I would not totally disagree with your observation, but would say that God's enablement - first causes your seeking - second.

And keeping with the 'robot theme' think of it this as the 'program'. It's His Spirit within you working to seek Him in your strength and thoughts.
I hear you, but disagree. My personal opinion is that both are two views of the same thing - one looks from the bottom up, the other from the top down. Ultimately, they're describing the same thing.

This is much like what C.S. Lewis talked about when telling the story of the person from the three-dimensional world that had to describe a melon to somebody from the two-dimensional world. You are still trying to have one prevail over the other, while my opinion is that this is not Biblically sound. The only way to view them without hurting the way the Bible presents both views is to see them as equal and describing the same process at the same time. This logically incongruent, yes, but therefore not less true.

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 21st 2008, 02:10 PM
I hear you, but disagree. My personal opinion is that both are two views of the same thing - one looks from the bottom up, the other from the top down. Ultimately, they're describing the same thing.

This is much like what C.S. Lewis talked about when telling the story of the person from the three-dimensional world that had to describe a melon to somebody from the two-dimensional world. You are still trying to have one prevail over the other, while my opinion is that this is not Biblically sound. The only way to view them without hurting the way the Bible presents both views is to see them as equal and describing the same process at the same time. This logically incongruent, yes, but therefore not less true.

Fair enough... I always try to take the perspective that God is always sovereign, and that everything is, by and for His will, so He as the potter, can do and move upon men as He wishes.... so anything that is good is because of Him... and man without Him -- cannot do anything for Him.

obeytheword
Feb 21st 2008, 03:41 PM
Greetings Obey,

If God forced us to disobey, that would make God the Author of sin. God is NOT the Author of sin.

1Jo 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Can you imagine your life without ever having understanding of good? When someone we love dies, we mourn deeply because we loved deeply. Without knowing good we could never have known that kind of deep love. How can we celebrate life, without knowing how good life can be? Think about the things in your life that would be meaningless if you did not have the knowledge of both good and evil.

Many Blessings,
RW

Please do not take offense - for none is intended for certain - but that appears to follow at least indirectly from what you are saying though.

You assert they had no knowledge of good prior to doing what God told them not to.

You also assert they are more complete or fulfilled for doing so because they now know good.

The scripture clearly shows that they had to disobey God in order to gain the knowledge

From a simple logical standpoint, you appear to be saying if we combine these things.

"God did not want them to do it since he said so, but it is ultimately good they did because they are now better off since they can know good."

I am pretty sure that is not what you intend to mean, but it certainly seems to follow from what you have stated.

I believe this places a construct over scripture that just does not bear out the true nature of God.


Adam and Eve HAD understanding of Good - They were just in innocence - and that is what was stripped away.

Be Blessed!

watchinginawe
Feb 21st 2008, 04:09 PM
So you decide… is it your wisdom that saved you, or was it God’s wisdom within you that saves you? Is it your natural will to live for Christ all the days of your life, or is it His Spirit within you that draws you to obedience of His will…. Interesting thread RbG. But, I have to admit that the above gave me a chuckle or two. :lol: Are you asking us to decide how it is we were saved? :lol: Or perhaps teach us (better way of looking at it)? Please excuse my strange sense of humor. I find irony more humerous than ironic at times. :blush:

Anyway, what settles the matter for me is that I consider you a Christian brother and yet God allows us two distinct "decisions" on these matters. I 100% believe that is because of us, not God. I don't know why God suffers us really.

Additionally, I would characterize your whole thought completely differently. Can man choose to NOT accomplish (reject) God's will? If so, is there undone will of God? Can man choose NOT to be saved and reject God's salvation? Looking around I believe I see a whole heap of undone will of God. Better said, I see a whole heap of will of man.

Now, it isn't that God is powerless in such situations, it is just that He, in His wisdom, chooses man as an agent of some part of His will, an "executioner" (supply a better word please) of God's will in some matters. This is what some would term as a "free moral agent" of God's. We can do God's will, or we can not. For the most part God seemingly allows this.

I don't think that characterizes an "out of control" God or a "powerless" God, or a "powerful and wise" man robbing God of sovereignty (another one of those things I get a chuckle out of).

God Bless!

RogerW
Feb 21st 2008, 04:58 PM
Please do not take offense - for none is intended for certain - but that appears to follow at least indirectly from what you are saying though.

You assert they had no knowledge of good prior to doing what God told them not to.

You also assert they are more complete or fulfilled for doing so because they now know good.

The scripture clearly shows that they had to disobey God in order to gain the knowledge

From a simple logical standpoint, you appear to be saying if we combine these things.

"God did not want them to do it since he said so, but it is ultimately good they did because they are now better off since they can know good."

I am pretty sure that is not what you intend to mean, but it certainly seems to follow from what you have stated.

I believe this places a construct over scripture that just does not bear out the true nature of God.

Adam and Eve HAD understanding of Good - They were just in innocence - and that is what was stripped away.

Be Blessed!

Greetings Obey,

First of all I am not offended. I asked for others opinions for what I had written, so it would be rather silly to ask for commentary and then become offended when commentary is extended.

I cannot go along with "they were just in innocence, and that is what was stripped away." Where is innocence in disobeying a direct command? "Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?" It also takes away from the innocence argument when you consider how Eve responded to Satan, "...God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." If they had been innocent, then the only one deserving of God's wrath should have been Satan. Innocence indicates blamelessness, but God did not hold them blameless, because they were not without guilt. If they deserved God's punishment, how can they be called innocent?

The Bible tells us that Adam and Eve had no understanding of good prior to them eating of the forbidden tree. How could they have understanding of good when God had commanded them not to eat of tree that would bring them this knowledge?

Ge 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Enter Satan, making Eve question what God said, and telling them, hard to believe, but truth. After they eat from the tree their eyes will be opened...knowing good and evil.

Ge 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Just as Satan had said, their eyes of understanding were opened and they knew.

Ge 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Since they now know they are naked, and ashamed, God asks "hast thou eaten of the tree"? Thereby showing us they had no knowledge (understanding) of good and evil prior to eating of the tree.

Ge 3:11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

God confirms it was eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil that made them know good and evil.

Ge 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Ge 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

My whole point is that the LORD God allows sin to exist, and He uses sin to accomplish His redemptive purposes. Sin isn't something that came as a surprise, or happened by chance or through some test to see if our first parents would fall. Sin has always played a part in how God would redeem a holy, pure, and undefiled people for Himself.

Many Blessings,
RW

Mograce2U
Feb 21st 2008, 05:51 PM
Hi Roger,
Another way to look at Gen 3:5,7 is that they did already know good, but it was the knowledge of evil that was added. They were already naked but had no point of reference that this was a shameful thing before. The eating from the tree brought that knowledge to them. Adam walked in the garden with God shows he knew the goodness of God in that relationship. But for the life he would live in the world, he would also need to know evil for what it is too - because that is where the devil dwells. Innocency was not going to be sufficient once sin came into being. Then man would have to depend upon God for his discernment of which was which. The command of God which Eve so quickly forgot when challenged, would be their lifeline in the new world they were to enter. A lesson I think they learned - don't you? Adam rejoices when God gives him hope of life continuing thru the birth of children which is the future hope that they would birth the Savior.

And after the murder of Abel and the banishment of Cain, we see Eve retained that hope in Seth.

obeytheword
Feb 21st 2008, 06:04 PM
Greetings Obey,

First of all I am not offended. I asked for others opinions for what I had written, so it would be rather silly to ask for commentary and then become offended when commentary is extended.

I cannot go along with "they were just in innocence, and that is what was stripped away." Where is innocence in disobeying a direct command? "Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?" It also takes away from the innocence argument when you consider how Eve responded to Satan, "...God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." If they had been innocent, then the only one deserving of God's wrath should have been Satan. Innocence indicates blamelessness, but God did not hold them blameless, because they were not without guilt. If they deserved God's punishment, how can they be called innocent?

The Bible tells us that Adam and Eve had no understanding of good prior to them eating of the forbidden tree. How could they have understanding of good when God had commanded them not to eat of tree that would bring them this knowledge?

Ge 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Enter Satan, making Eve question what God said, and telling them, hard to believe, but truth. After they eat from the tree their eyes will be opened...knowing good and evil.

Ge 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Just as Satan had said, their eyes of understanding were opened and they knew.

Ge 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Since they now know they are naked, and ashamed, God asks "hast thou eaten of the tree"? Thereby showing us they had no knowledge (understanding) of good and evil prior to eating of the tree.

Ge 3:11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

God confirms it was eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil that made them know good and evil.

Ge 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Ge 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

My whole point is that the LORD God allows sin to exist, and He uses sin to accomplish His redemptive purposes. Sin isn't something that came as a surprise, or happened by chance or through some test to see if our first parents would fall. Sin has always played a part in how God would redeem a holy, pure, and undefiled people for Himself.

Many Blessings,
RW

I do not disagree too strongly with most of what you have presented. I just cannot accept the position that they did not know good prior to doing what God told them not to. Sin was not in any way a surprise to God, it was known and planned for from the beginning. God knows what our choices will be - that does not in any way negate that we DO have a free will.


If you do not mind, could you please answer the first portion of what I posted above? I believe this was just a response to the idea of it being innocence.

Be Blessed!

RogerW
Feb 21st 2008, 07:18 PM
Hi Roger,
Another way to look at Gen 3:5,7 is that they did already know good, but it was the knowledge of evil that was added. They were already naked but had no point of reference that this was a shameful thing before. The eating from the tree brought that knowledge to them. Adam walked in the garden with God shows he knew the goodness of God in that relationship. But for the life he would live in the world, he would also need to know evil for what it is too - because that is where the devil dwells. Innocency was not going to be sufficient once sin came into being. Then man would have to depend upon God for his discernment of which was which. The command of God which Eve so quickly forgot when challenged, would be their lifeline in the new world they were to enter. A lesson I think they learned - don't you? Adam rejoices when God gives him hope of life continuing thru the birth of children which is the future hope that they would birth the Savior.

And after the murder of Abel and the banishment of Cain, we see Eve retained that hope in Seth.

Hi Robin,

At first thought I think we want to assume that Adam and Eve had knowledge of good, but the tree they were forbidden to eat from was the tree of knowledge of both good and evil. It makes no sense to say the tree of good and evil if eating of the tree brings them only knowledge of evil. Why does God tell say both good and evil?

Ge 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Ge 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
Ge 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

I believe they understand they have life, and this life comes from God. And they understand that God gave them dominion over all creation, and is the Provider of everything necessary for sustaining life. When God saw all that He had created, He announed it "very good". So clearly God sees His creation as very good, so why does God say they should not eat of the tree of knowledge of both good and evil? Surely since God pronounces what He has created is very good, we must assume that Adam and Eve had a knowledge of good? But that is not what the verse tells us. All that God created is very good, but that does not mean that Adam and Eve have knowledge or understanding of what we know is of good.

Ge 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Their nakedness was not shameful. They had no reason to feel shame prior to the fall. God had created them clothed only with flesh, and announces that His creation is very good. They only felt shame after eating from the forbidden tree, because their eyes were now opened, and they know that disobeying God is to no longer have God as their covering. The nakedness that shames them is their spiritual nakedness. Now they know the goodness they had with God all along, and in addition they discover the truth about evil.

All of this points to the Sovereignty of God in redemption, through creation and shows us that man has never been able, through an imagined free will to choose to save themselves. All of God...none of me!

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Feb 21st 2008, 07:39 PM
I do not disagree too strongly with most of what you have presented. I just cannot accept the position that they did not know good prior to doing what God told them not to. Sin was not in any way a surprise to God, it was known and planned for from the beginning. God knows what our choices will be - that does not in any way negate that we DO have a free will.


If you do not mind, could you please answer the first portion of what I posted above? I believe this was just a response to the idea of it being innocence.

Be Blessed!

Greetings Obey,

I am not asserting that Adam and Eve had no knowledge of good prior to eating of the forbidden tree. This is what I believe Scripture tells us.

Neither am I asserting that by eating of the forbidden tree they now know good. Again, this is what I believe Scripture tells us. What would you say are the implications of not knowing, understanding, discerning etc. what is good? And further how would it change us to know what is good, if we did not know what is good before?

From the very earliest books of the Bible we find that gaining knowledge through disobedience is a well founded fact of Scripture. Take for instance Moses when he struck the rock instead of speaking to the rock as God had commanded. The hard lesson for Moses was that he was not permitted to enter the promised land.

How do we account for God allowing Satan to enter His very good creation to introduce evil? Did God not know that Satan would tempt Eve, and cause them to fall? If God allowed Satan to tempt them, knowing they would fall, then did God intend for them to fall? Is the knowledge of good and evil working for God's glory and our good or not?

Tell me, as you see it, what is the true nature of God? Also you might consider the purpose for which God created humans?

Many Blessings,
RW

obeytheword
Feb 21st 2008, 08:17 PM
Greetings Obey,

I am not asserting that Adam and Eve had no knowledge of good prior to eating of the forbidden tree. This is what I believe Scripture tells us.

Neither am I asserting that by eating of the forbidden tree they now know good. Again, this is what I believe Scripture tells us. What would you say are the implications of not knowing, understanding, discerning etc. what is good? And further how would it change us to know what is good, if we did not know what is good before?

From the very earliest books of the Bible we find that gaining knowledge through disobedience is a well founded fact of Scripture. Take for instance Moses when he struck the rock instead of speaking to the rock as God had commanded. The hard lesson for Moses was that he was not permitted to enter the promised land.

How do we account for God allowing Satan to enter His very good creation to introduce evil? Did God not know that Satan would tempt Eve, and cause them to fall? If God allowed Satan to tempt them, knowing they would fall, then did God intend for them to fall? Is the knowledge of good and evil working for God's glory and our good or not?

Tell me, as you see it, what is the true nature of God? Also you might consider the purpose for which God created humans?

Many Blessings,
RW

The primary reason I take issue with much of what you have asserted is that you take away the will of man. God KNEW beforehand that Moses would sin, and God KNEW that the price that Moses would pay would be to not go into the promised land. That in no way takes away the free will Moses had in making the choice.

God wants to have us love him freely and without sin, and he wants to live among us. He KNEW that sin would enter BECAUSE he allowed us to have a free will. Because of this, he orchestrated the whole plan of what happened. He knew all that has happened prior to it happening. He loves all of us very much to say the least. His plan allowed all of us who were willing to be saved, and reconciled to himself.

Why did Satan have to be introduced? He is the catalyst. For love to have meaning, there must be an alternative thing to fix our affections on. Satan will pull away from God everyone he can, and everyone who does not truly embrace God, will in the end embrace one of the deceptions of Satan, for there are many.

If we have no choice in the matter, then the billions who end up in Hell will be there because God decided he wanted them there just because. This simply does not fit in with the very nature of God.

He allows us the choice - because a love we express to him if there is no other choice is not love. If we HAVE a choice of loving him and reject him - that is another story.

You can pull verses here and there to support portions of your assertion. But to boldly go and take away the very concept of our free will is not something that can be supported throughout scripture.

I do not believe you are intentionally twisting the word of God at all - but in the end it is being twisted.

I will pray for revelation for you - and will also bow out of this discussion so we do not have to entertain a spirit of debate and division.

Be Blessed!

Mograce2U
Feb 21st 2008, 08:21 PM
Roger,
I am thinking that if we never allow our children to walk because to do so would risk their falling down - that we must overcome that concern and take that risk because of the greater good that is found when our child can walk and not be carried by us. Now that is of course my carnal understanding of human behavior concerning the charges we have been given the care of. But I think it does give us some understanding on how God must view evil in its relationship to good - because we can perceive a distinction and pursue the greater good - just on experience alone. Which also overcomes the (evil) of our child falling down continually. I don't want to belabor this but I think you will get my drift.

If God must teach us to walk (grow us up) so that faith in Him can be gained for His glory, then the risk He introduced into the Garden makes good sense to me. Life in the Garden was only for a time then, so that it could be the future of a multitude forever. This particular hope of eternity is deep seated into our hearts for a reason. It is to be our motive for life.

When the father of the prodigal risks letting his son find his own way in the world, he knows that when he returns he will have gained a wiser son who loves and appreciates him all the more. This is what the hope of eternity thru Christ is to bring into our hearts when we see the wisdom of God in redemption. We tend to think the world is a great place in which to play, but time and circumstance will teach us differently that God has better things in store. Better things than Adam's life in the Garden of Eden. Getting him to where He could toss him out was only the first step!

What a great thread this is!

Edit: The sovereignty and grace of God in salvation in not the place where we ought to stop in our understanding of our redemption. It is also about giving man hope.

RogerW
Feb 21st 2008, 09:30 PM
The primary reason I take issue with much of what you have asserted is that you take away the will of man.

I don't have to take away the so-called will of man. Scripture is clear man's will is not free. Man is in bondage to sin, Satan, and death, or man is a servant of Christ and righteousness. Man makes choices everyday of his life about the things of this material world, but Scripture tells us plainly that without the Spirit indwelling, guiding and teaching us, none can willingly choose to be saved. Because until we are born again none have the desire to come to the Lord that they might have life.



God KNEW beforehand that Moses would sin, and God KNEW that the price that Moses would pay would be to not go into the promised land. That in no way takes away the free will Moses had in making the choice.

Yes, I too believe that God knew that Moses would sin. And you say God allows this so Moses could have free will? What does this say about the nature of God?



God wants to have us love him freely and without sin, and he wants to live among us.

Are you saying there are things that God wants, but He cannot have because the will of man is greater than God?



He KNEW that sin would enter BECAUSE he allowed us to have a free will.

God knew that sin would enter BECAUSE sin is used to drive His people to Him. It is the knowledge of our sin that makes us see our need of a Savior. As I've already stated man is in bondage to sin and death, or servants of Christ and righteousness.



Because of this, he orchestrated the whole plan of what happened. He knew all that has happened prior to it happening.

This is true nothing is outside of His Sovereign plan, and man's so-called free will cannot usurp the plans God has made for redeeming His people.



He loves all of us very much to say the least. His plan allowed all of us who were willing to be saved, and reconciled to himself.

God providentially loves His creation, and He savingly loves His elect. Who is willing to be saved? None! Unless God intervenes in the lives of some men, no man will be saved.



Why did Satan have to be introduced? He is the catalyst. For love to have meaning, there must be an alternative thing to fix our affections on. Satan will pull away from God everyone he can, and everyone who does not truly embrace God, will in the end embrace one of the deceptions of Satan, for there are many.

You make it sound as though Satan is more powerful than God. Satan can only do what God permits. Satan has no power to keep the elect of God from salvation.



If we have no choice in the matter, then the billions who end up in Hell will be there because God decided he wanted them there just because. This simply does not fit in with the very nature of God.

There is a Judgment and a lake of fire where many will end up. Who Judges and casts unbelievers into the lake of fire on the last day? If God is doing the Judging and casting what does this tell you about the nature of God?



He allows us the choice - because a love we express to him if there is no other choice is not love. If we HAVE a choice of loving him and reject him - that is another story.

How do those who are spiritually dead express love for God?



You can pull verses here and there to support portions of your assertion. But to boldly go and take away the very concept of our free will is not something that can be supported throughout scripture.

At least you acknowledge there are verses that support what I have said.



I do not believe you are intentionally twisting the word of God at all - but in the end it is being twisted.

Nor do I believe you are intentionally insisting on an unbiblical doctrine, but the doctrine of free will is unbiblical nonetheless.



I will pray for revelation for you - and will also bow out of this discussion so we do not have to entertain a spirit of debate and division.
Be Blessed!

I will also pray that God may open your eyes to know the truth. It is probably better that you do bow out then, because this is a topic I am very passionate about, and I find it very hard to resist.

Many Blessings to you as well,
RW

John146
Feb 21st 2008, 11:13 PM
Greetings Rbg,

Lately I've been contemplating creation from the perspective of free will. If man was created with free will why does God have an answer for the problem of sin from before the foundation of the world? Does not the fact that God provides a remedy for sin before any sin exists tell us that God knew man would sin? If God knew man would sin, what does that say about man's so-called free will? I mean God provides a remedy for sin before creation, then man sins thereby showing the wisdom and providence of God in providing a remedy for sin before sin exists. Does this point us to man having free will or the providence of God? If man has free will it seems God would have waited to make sure His perfect creation would fail some so-called testing program in the garden before providing a remedy for sin. I mean after all the remedy is an exceedingly great sacrifice.

I don't know, when I think about how God has provided a remedy for my sin, not only before I sinned, but before I was created, I'm overwhelmed by a loving providential God to save me despite my so-called free will to reject Him. But then we find not only did God provide a remedy for sin before creation, He also wrote my name in the Lamb's Book of Life before creation...humm, even before I flexed my so-called free will to choose Him. Seems the only will truly free is Gods. He willed I would be saved, and then He provided a way to save me. All the glory to God alone!

Many Blessings,
RW

Should we give glory to God for predestinating most people (relatively few are saved) to eternity in the lake of fire with no chance of salvation (according to you) as well? I wonder why God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Makes no sense (based on our view). Why wouldn't He take pleasure in His will being done (if it was His will for them to spend eternity in the lake of fire)?

RogerW
Feb 22nd 2008, 01:03 AM
Should we give glory to God for predestinating most people (relatively few are saved) to eternity in the lake of fire with no chance of salvation (according to you) as well? I wonder why God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Makes no sense (based on our view). Why wouldn't He take pleasure in His will being done (if it was His will for them to spend eternity in the lake of fire)?

Eric,

Men are not predestined to the lake of fire. Men are predestined to eternal life, not eternal death. In fact if God had not intervened in the lives of some men, then every man would in up spending eternity in the lake of fire. Men go to the lake of fire, not because they had no chance to be saved, but because they have died in their sins. Would you take pleasure in the death of a sinner? Just because God does not take pleasure in their death does not mean they will not receive the punishment their sins deserve.

Blessings,
RW

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 22nd 2008, 01:39 PM
Interesting thread RbG. But, I have to admit that the above gave me a chuckle or two. :lol: Are you asking us to decide how it is we were saved? :lol: Or perhaps teach us (better way of looking at it)? Please excuse my strange sense of humor. I find irony more humerous than ironic at times. :blush:

Anyway, what settles the matter for me is that I consider you a Christian brother and yet God allows us two distinct "decisions" on these matters. I 100% believe that is because of us, not God. I don't know why God suffers us really.

Additionally, I would characterize your whole thought completely differently. Can man choose to NOT accomplish (reject) God's will? If so, is there undone will of God? Can man choose NOT to be saved and reject God's salvation? Looking around I believe I see a whole heap of undone will of God. Better said, I see a whole heap of will of man.

Now, it isn't that God is powerless in such situations, it is just that He, in His wisdom, chooses man as an agent of some part of His will, an "executioner" (supply a better word please) of God's will in some matters. This is what some would term as a "free moral agent" of God's. We can do God's will, or we can not. For the most part God seemingly allows this.

I don't think that characterizes an "out of control" God or a "powerless" God, or a "powerful and wise" man robbing God of sovereignty (another one of those things I get a chuckle out of).

God Bless!

Hi WiA...

Yea, a bit of 'shock marketing' within the title of I, Robot, I would agree... :)

You see, I see salvation of man as actually the Salvation of God for man... ie that our salvation is for God, of God, by God, in God, through God, and God alone and that all of creation is, for, and because of His will and Glory.

I guess my underlying hope is that folks will see God's glory -- to see that He is big, real big, and there is nothing that is outside His will, nothing that takes Him by surprise, nothing that falls outside of His plan.... that He is sovereign, provident, omnipotent, omnipresent, true, holy, never changing, never learning, never expecting, etc.... and that there is not, has never been, and never will be a Plan B. And that our salvation is His work... even including our faith and repentance, regeneration, sanctification and glorification and that His Spirit is given for us who have been dead to make us alive.

And my hope continues that folks who know Him as Lord and Savior will find Joy to know that no matter what happens in life, that God is in control, that those who live for Him can find comfort that God is with them, that He is active, He is directing, He is engaging them for the purposes of His will and Glory, and subsequently, for their eternal benefit.

And lastly -- my hope is also to point away from man's perspective -- and to focus on God's perspective.... to encourage folks to say to God, 'show me my errors, lead me to your side, direct the action of my life that brings you glory, help me understand from your perspective who you are and who I am to you --- instead of God do this for me, I need this to happen, I want......


See, I believe that our high calling is to serve God with all our heart [that He has given us], and that it's His work that He has prepared before hand that we are to do.... Our eyes, by His word and guidance of His Spirit , will help us decrease and help Him to increase, and it is not I who does, but He who is within me.... thus, I -being His servant struggling to see God as God and submitting my will unto His and His workings within me.... drives me to ask the Lord, create within me and renew my heart and make me to serve You in the way You want me to, and not the way I think I should... make me to know and be, your servant....

All our days have been ordained by God, and our bounds have been established.... From God's perspective, each of us has been placed with purpose and plan, and each man walks each day accordingly.... From our perspective, if He so grants, is to see Him for who He is and His will and be glad...

Thus from my perspective desiring to be... His knowing servant - and maybe to some, His robot....

For His Glory...

RogerW
Feb 22nd 2008, 03:33 PM
Hi WiA...

Yea, a bit of 'shock marketing' within the title of I, Robot, I would agree... :)

You see, I see salvation of man as actually the Salvation of God for man... ie that our salvation is for God, of God, by God, in God, through God, and God alone and that all of creation is, for, and because of His will and Glory.

I guess my underlying hope is that folks will see God's glory -- to see that He is big, real big, and there is nothing that is outside His will, nothing that takes Him by surprise, nothing that falls outside of His plan.... that He is sovereign, provident, omnipotent, omnipresent, true, holy, never changing, never learning, never expecting, etc.... and that there is not, has never been, and never will be a Plan B. And that our salvation is His work... even including our faith and repentance, regeneration, sanctification and glorification and that His Spirit is given for us who have been dead to make us alive.

And my hope continues that folks who know Him as Lord and Savior will find Joy to know that no matter what happens in life, that God is in control, that those who live for Him can find comfort that God is with them, that He is active, He is directing, He is engaging them for the purposes of His will and Glory, and subsequently, for their eternal benefit.

And lastly -- my hope is also to point away from man's perspective -- and to focus on God's perspective.... to encourage folks to say to God, 'show me my errors, lead me to your side, direct the action of my life that brings you glory, help me understand from your perspective who you are and who I am to you --- instead of God do this for me, I need this to happen, I want......

See, I believe that our high calling is to serve God with all our heart [that He has given us], and that it's His work that He has prepared before hand that we are to do.... Our eyes, by His word and guidance of His Spirit , will help us decrease and help Him to increase, and it is not I who does, but He who is within me.... thus, I -being His servant struggling to see God as God and submitting my will unto His and His workings within me.... drives me to ask the Lord, create within me and renew my heart and make me to serve You in the way You want me to, and not the way I think I should... make me to know and be, your servant....

All our days have been ordained by God, and our bounds have been established.... From God's perspective, each of us has been placed with purpose and plan, and each man walks each day accordingly.... From our perspective, if He so grants, is to see Him for who He is and His will and be glad...

Thus from my perspective desiring to be... His knowing servant - and maybe to some, His robot....

For His Glory...

A hearty AMEN Rbg! I would rather be His robot, then serve Satan as a slave of sin and death.

For His Glory...Amen!

John146
Feb 22nd 2008, 08:12 PM
Eric,

Men are not predestined to the lake of fire. Men are predestined to eternal life, not eternal death. In fact if God had not intervened in the lives of some men, then every man would in up spending eternity in the lake of fire. Men go to the lake of fire, not because they had no chance to be saved, but because they have died in their sins. Would you take pleasure in the death of a sinner? Just because God does not take pleasure in their death does not mean they will not receive the punishment their sins deserve.

Blessings,
RW

Can you answer a simple question: is it God's will for some (most) to spend eternity in the lake of fire? According to you it seems that must be the case because you say He did not choose to intervene in their lives. Why do those people deserve to receive that kind of extreme punishment just because God (supposedly) did not choose to intervene in their lives? This makes God out to be a respecter of persons, which He is not.

It seems to me that what you believe contradicts these Scriptures:

34Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
35But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. - Acts 10:34-35

10But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
11For there is no respect of persons with God. - Romans 2:10-11

17And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: - 1 Peter 1:17

obeytheword
Feb 22nd 2008, 08:50 PM
Eric,

Men are not predestined to the lake of fire. Men are predestined to eternal life, not eternal death. In fact if God had not intervened in the lives of some men, then every man would in up spending eternity in the lake of fire. Men go to the lake of fire, not because they had no chance to be saved, but because they have died in their sins. Would you take pleasure in the death of a sinner? Just because God does not take pleasure in their death does not mean they will not receive the punishment their sins deserve.

Blessings,
RW

Ok - I said I would bow out, but I find that although I do not want to have a spirit of debate - I must speak for the truth.

Gods will is above all. I believe we both can agree on this.

Mans will cannot supersede Gods will. Again, this is true, and we agree.

God wants ALL to be saved. This is very clear from scripture

God wants ALL to come to know his son. Again, very clear

If Gods will is above all, and mans will cannot supersede Gods will - then how come if God wants ALL to come to know his son and be saved that many many will go to HELL?

You say that they "remain in their sins" If Gods will cannot be superseded by mans will, then how would they remain in their sins?

I believe scripture clearly teaches that God allows man the choice. He extends salvation to all - but he knows many will reject it. Before any of the acts of creation he knew what would happen, and how it would play out. Not because he decided just because to extend salvation to some and not all.

The crux of the matter surrounds the concept of "the elect"

On what basis does god choose the elect?

1 Peter 1

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:

Romans 8
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.



The elect ARE elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father. What does that mean? Rather simply that God KNOWS what will happen before it happens. He offers us choice, and he KNOWS what our choice will be.

On the basis of that knowledge he chose his elect. Very simple.

If you disagree - please explain what his foreknowledge is based on if not on our choice!


To be perfectly honest, if you take our choice out, and say it is all God making choices, etc - then you are dramatically changing the concept of Grace. Gods Grace is NOT just extended to some. It is very clearly extended to ALL. Some reject it, and some accept it.

Be Blessed!

John146
Feb 22nd 2008, 09:21 PM
Good post, Obey. We are not elect according to the predetermination of God as if He, through some random method using no specific criteria, chose some to be saved and some to not be saved before the foundation of the world. We are elect according to His foreknowledge of what people would do and what they would believe. I don't see any other way that people would be elect based on His foreknowledge. If we are elect just based on Him randomly choosing some to salvation and some not, then that would not be a case of us being elect based on God's foreknowledge. Instead, that would be being elect just based on God doing whatever He felt like, with no foreknowledge required, while using no certain criteria to determine who should be saved and who shouldn't.

RogerW
Feb 23rd 2008, 12:37 AM
Can you answer a simple question: is it God's will for some (most) to spend eternity in the lake of fire? According to you it seems that must be the case because you say He did not choose to intervene in their lives. Why do those people deserve to receive that kind of extreme punishment just because God (supposedly) did not choose to intervene in their lives? This makes God out to be a respecter of persons, which He is not.

It seems to me that what you believe contradicts these Scriptures:

34Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
35But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. - Acts 10:34-35

10But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
11For there is no respect of persons with God. - Romans 2:10-11

17And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: - 1 Peter 1:17

Eric,

Your question is asked from a skewed perspective. It is not the will of God that any man go into the lake of fire. That is why He has intervened in the lives of some men to keep them from going there. You'll have to ask God why He intervenes in the lives of some men while leaving others in their sins. "Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?" For Scripture tells us, God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and compassion on whosoever He wills.

When Scripture tells us that God is not a respecter of persons, does this mean that every man can choose of his own free will to be saved? Not at all. It means that all who love God will receive a full reward, for there is no respect of persons with God. Under the old covenant God set His love, and favor upon one special chosen nation. But now under the New Covenant in Christ, people from every nation of the world can receive God's love and be saved.

The respect that God had for Israel meant that He knew them in a special way, and remembered His Covenant with them.

Ex 2:24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
Ex 2:25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.

Le 26:9 For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.

Peter shows us that God has not forgotten His Covenant promise, but now the Covenant promise is extended unto every nation of those who fear Him, and work righteousness are accepted with Him.

Ac 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
Ac 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

God judges every man's work without respect of persons, who are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, Who was ordained before the foundation of the world, and is made manifest to all who by Him believe in God.

1Pe 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
1Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1Pe 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1Pe 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
1Pe 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Under the New Covenant in Christ every man that worketh good receives glory and honor from God. To both Jew and Gentile because there is no respect of persons with God.

Ro 2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
Ro 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Feb 23rd 2008, 01:37 AM
Ok - I said I would bow out, but I find that although I do not want to have a spirit of debate - I must speak for the truth.

Gods will is above all. I believe we both can agree on this.

Mans will cannot supersede Gods will. Again, this is true, and we agree.

God wants ALL to be saved. This is very clear from scripture

God wants ALL to come to know his son. Again, very clear

If Gods will is above all, and mans will cannot supersede Gods will - then how come if God wants ALL to come to know his son and be saved that many many will go to HELL?

Greetings Obey,

If it were God's will that all men be saved, then no man would go to hell! It is NOT clear from Scripture that God wants all to be saved, nor is it clear from Scripture that God wants all to come to know His Son. This is reading one's theology into Scripture. In fact what is clear in Scripture is (1) God will accomplish all that He wills (2) some men will spend eternity in the lake of fire. How do you reconcile these two truths?

Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
Isa 46:11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

Re 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

You try to reconcile these truths by saying God has given man free will to choose Him or reject Him. If that were true than no man would be saved. Because every man rejects Christ until he is born again. No man can come to God for salvation when they are without spiritual life to guide them in all truth.



I believe scripture clearly teaches that God allows man the choice. He extends salvation to all - but he knows many will reject it. Before any of the acts of creation he knew what would happen, and how it would play out. Not because he decided just because to extend salvation to some and not all.

What choice? The only choice the spiritually dead can make is to reject Him. Lazarus be resurrected from the dead is an excellent example of our spiritually dead state prior to salvation. Just as Lazarus could not come to life of his own free will, but only after hearing the voice of the Lord calling him from death to life, so too, when we are spiritually dead we cannot make ourselves spiritually alive. It is only through the indwelling Spirit at re-birth that we are given ears to hear the voice of Christ.



The crux of the matter surrounds the concept of "the elect"

On what basis does god choose the elect?

1 Peter 1

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:

Romans 8
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

The elect ARE elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father. What does that mean? Rather simply that God KNOWS what will happen before it happens. He offers us choice, and he KNOWS what our choice will be.

On the basis of that knowledge he chose his elect. Very simple.

If you disagree - please explain what his foreknowledge is based on if not on our choice!

It is true that foreknowledge means that God knows His own from before the foundation of the world. But His knowing us beforehand is not based on choices He foreknows we will make. If God, foreknowing His elect is based upon choices He knows they will make, then salvation is not of grace, but of man's free will. In saying that God saves us based upon foreknowledge that we would choose Him, is saying that our salvation depends upon our work, and not on the work of Christ alone. This is why Paul shows us through the example of Jacob and Esau that God chooses His own without any consideration of us having done any good or evil...why? That the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth.

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;)



To be perfectly honest, if you take our choice out, and say it is all God making choices, etc - then you are dramatically changing the concept of Grace. Gods Grace is NOT just extended to some. It is very clearly extended to ALL. Some reject it, and some accept it.

Be Blessed!

How is salvation by grace, if being saved is dependent upon how I respond to the gospel through so-called free will? It is you who is changing the concept of grace by saying that God cannot accomplish His purpose to redeem a people for Himself without the aid of fallen, spiritually dead men. Salvation is a free gift of God, and this gift is GIVEN to all who are ordained unto eternal life. The message of salvation is OFFERED to all mankind, and all who hear His voice and believe will be saved. Salvation is not a free gift merely offered to man. It is a free gift given to all who believe, salvation is actually accomplished in Christ, and not merely offered. Salvation is of the Lord...all of Him...none of us!

Many Blessings,
RW

losthorizon
Feb 23rd 2008, 02:06 AM
In fact what is clear in Scripture is (1) God will accomplish all that He wills (2) some men will spend eternity in the lake of fire. How do you reconcile these two truths?

The answer is through the “kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind...by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit" received through our personal responsibility to freely "receive Him". Salvation is given to all who “believe in His name...and he that believeth not shall be damned."
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, [even] to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12-13).

But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)

He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (Mark 16:16).

obeytheword
Feb 23rd 2008, 04:06 AM
Greetings Obey,

If it were God's will that all men be saved, then no man would go to hell! It is NOT clear from Scripture that God wants all to be saved, nor is it clear from Scripture that God wants all to come to know His Son. This is reading one's theology into Scripture. In fact what is clear in Scripture is (1) God will accomplish all that He wills (2) some men will spend eternity in the lake of fire. How do you reconcile these two truths?

Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
Isa 46:11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

Re 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

You try to reconcile these truths by saying God has given man free will to choose Him or reject Him. If that were true than no man would be saved. Because every man rejects Christ until he is born again. No man can come to God for salvation when they are without spiritual life to guide them in all truth.

Greetings RogerW

If it is not our free choice then the word of God is inconsistent. It says very plainly that he desires ALL to be saved. To deny that is to deny rather plain scripture.

1 Tim 2
3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Isaiah 45
22 "Turn to me and be saved,
all you ends of the earth;
for I am God, and there is no other.

Literally the ONLY way to harmonize the fact that God will accomplish ALL he wills and some will go to the lake of fire is very simple. It is HIS DESIRE for us to CHOOSE him of our FREE WILL. To say he has decided beforehand that some will go to the lake of fire and some to heaven is to make a mockery of Grace. If it is all preDETERMINED (as opposed to predestined) then what is the point of it all?


You are correct in a certain vein. No man apart from the work of God would ever choose God over sin. God works through the spirit - but in the end WE HAVE CHOICE. If you take our choice and replace it with ONLY Gods will, then ALL who go to hell go there having no chance of anything else ever.



What choice? The only choice the spiritually dead can make is to reject Him. Lazarus be resurrected from the dead is an excellent example of our spiritually dead state prior to salvation. Just as Lazarus could not come to life of his own free will, but only after hearing the voice of the Lord calling him from death to life, so too, when we are spiritually dead we cannot make ourselves spiritually alive. It is only through the indwelling Spirit at re-birth that we are given ears to hear the voice of Christ.

True - but is it a point that it outside this debate.




It is true that foreknowledge means that God knows His own from before the foundation of the world. But His knowing us beforehand is not based on choices He foreknows we will make. If God, foreknowing His elect is based upon choices He knows they will make, then salvation is not of grace, but of man's free will. In saying that God saves us based upon foreknowledge that we would choose Him, is saying that our salvation depends upon our work, and not on the work of Christ alone. This is why Paul shows us through the example of Jacob and Esau that God chooses His own without any consideration of us having done any good or evil...why? That the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth.

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;)


If it is based on just how we are - and God made us - he knit us together in our mothers womb, and knows the number of our days, the number of hairs on our heads, etc - Then HE would HAVE to simply decide to make some of us for the express purpose of seeing us burn. I do not serve that particular God - maybe you do...?

Us choosing to RELINQUISH our will in our lives and give over to the control of the spirit - and follow Christ IS NOT A WORK!



How is salvation by grace, if being saved is dependent upon how I respond to the gospel through so-called free will? It is you who is changing the concept of grace by saying that God cannot accomplish His purpose to redeem a people for Himself without the aid of fallen, spiritually dead men. Salvation is a free gift of God, and this gift is GIVEN to all who are ordained unto eternal life. The message of salvation is OFFERED to all mankind, and all who hear His voice and believe will be saved. Salvation is not a free gift merely offered to man. It is a free gift given to all who believe, salvation is actually accomplished in Christ, and not merely offered. Salvation is of the Lord...all of Him...none of us!

It is the nature of Gods purpose that you are twisting. It is his desire for us to VOLUNTARILY love him. He plans on spending eternity WITH us. He loves us, and wants us to love him of our own choice. He could have easily stripped away our ability to choose, but what would be the point in that? Think of the massive difference between him having people that love him because they choose to, and those who love him because there is no choice? Wow - big difference!

Salvation IS a free gift of God that he did not have to offer. You state above "the message is OFFERED to all mankind" Why would God bother to offer it to all if most had no chance of being saved? If they have no choice in the matter then God offered them something they literally could not have? It is quite simply a position that cannot stand. No offense intended. I think you have great intentions, but are simply misunderstanding the word.



Many Blessings,
RW

Blessings to you as well!

watchinginawe
Feb 23rd 2008, 05:33 AM
Nice post from the heart RbG.
You see, I see salvation of man as actually the Salvation of God for man... ie that our salvation is for God, of God, by God, in God, through God, and God alone and that all of creation is, for, and because of His will and Glory.For me, it is about grace. God's grace is clearly aimed at me. I am the benefactor. I don't seek to find any selfish or ulterior motive on God's part in His free gift. I don't mind saying that God's grace towards me affects how I view God. I've heard some say that they would praise God to the depths of hell. :hmm: I don't think I fit that description. I praise God largely for His grace. God's grace brings glory to Him.
Thus from my perspective desiring to be... His knowing servant Amen!

God Bless!

cwb
Feb 23rd 2008, 08:05 AM
How is salvation by grace, if being saved is dependent upon how I respond to the gospel through so-called free will?


God gives you a gift you do not deserve. You have the choice and free will whether to accept that gift or not. I do not see what is so hard to understand about that.

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 23rd 2008, 12:31 PM
Nice post from the heart RbG.For me, it is about grace. God's grace is clearly aimed at me. I am the benefactor. I don't seek to find any selfish or ulterior motive on God's part in His free gift. I don't mind saying that God's grace towards me affects how I view God. I've heard some say that they would praise God to the depths of hell. :hmm: I don't think I fit that description. I praise God largely for His grace. God's grace brings glory to Him.Amen!

God Bless!

Yep… it is all about His grace… He is the author, the initiator, the enabler and the keeper, all by His grace in seeking you and I out....

And why us? The only thing I can figure out is --- because He so desired....

Praise God that He chose to redeem you and I by His grace towards us --- saving us instead of leaving us in our sin to perish.


For His Glory...

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 23rd 2008, 12:36 PM
God gives you a gift you do not deserve. You have the choice and free will whether to accept that gift or not. I do not see what is so hard to understand about that.

Quick question.... if the choice were left to man, and God plays no part within man's mind to persuade him, a) what makes any man choose salvation and b) why would anyone pray to God for a loved one to become a Christian if God preserves man's free will to chose?

cwb
Feb 23rd 2008, 03:25 PM
Quick question.... if the choice were left to man, and God plays no part within man's mind to persuade him, a) what makes any man choose salvation and b) why would anyone pray to God for a loved one to become a Christian if God preserves man's free will to chose?

I agree with you that God plays a big part in man's mind to persuade Him to choose salvation. Without the leading of God, nobody is going to come to Christ and get saved. What I was arguing against in my post is the notion that there are some people that God chooses not to bring to salvation for no reason whatsoever.

Your question (A) - It is God who leads a man to accept salvation.
Your question (B) - I am not sure I understand your question. If there are some people whom God choses not to save, why would I pray for a loved one. My prayer would be useless if God already decided not to save them. On the other hand, if God chose to save them already, and God's will always happens regardless of the choices we make, why do I need to pray at all?

The way I see it, God chose to save every person. His free gift of grace is extended to every man (without exception). He also leads every man to accept His free Gift.

obeytheword
Feb 23rd 2008, 07:46 PM
Quick question.... if the choice were left to man, and God plays no part within man's mind to persuade him, a) what makes any man choose salvation and b) why would anyone pray to God for a loved one to become a Christian if God preserves man's free will to chose?

If the choice were fully left to man with no interference from God, then we would choose to remain in sin. However, God DOES intervene. Even then, we have choice.

If you wanted to, today - you could go out and murder someone, or steal a car, etc. You could continue to do those things until the day of your death. Would it then be God making those choices or you? It would clearly be you.

A Calvanist position takes responsibility off of us, and puts all the responsibility on God. HE is the one who does the work, but we still have choice.

A - God draws us in - he wants all to be saved. He accomplished salvation for all. He still wants us to choose him of our free will.

B - We are praying for God to soften their heart and receive the truth. Do YOU pray for loved ones?

Be Blessed!

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 24th 2008, 01:01 AM
Hi cwb


I agree with you that God plays a big part in man's mind to persuade Him to choose salvation. Without the leading of God, nobody is going to come to Christ and get saved.

So then salvation is not all man’s free will choice but God’s working in a man?



What I was arguing against in my post is the notion that there are some people that God chooses not to bring to salvation for no reason whatsoever.

So let me ask this, are there folks who once lived who not 'saved'?

So what about most of the Pharisees and Sadducees? With Christ today or without? Where they not religious? Were they not seekers of God? Did they not know and search the scriptures?

And what about those who died because of the flood? And what about those who have persecuted Israel over the 1000’s of years, like the Ninevites? And what about those in the future who take the number of the beast… Again, all men do not seek God and all men are not righteous, so do not all men deserve hell? So what makes you and I different that we can believe in Jesus as the Son of God and others cannot? I submit it is God Himself that makes this choice. For some clay is for honor, some for dishonor, but God's grace in long-suffering and even earthly blessing endures for a season.




Your question (A) - It is God who leads a man to accept salvation.
Your question (B) - I am not sure I understand your question. If there are some people whom God choses not to save, why would I pray for a loved one.

Because we are not God…. We pray, we plead, we petition because we love and we ask for God to save them just as He saved us….




My prayer would be useless if God already decided not to save them.
Again, we are not God so who would we know this or not and more importantly, why do we desire to judge God’s salvation on another… We are commanded to live and to preach salvation, and to let God work in the hearts of another through His work in others… God uses people to do His will, some to know, other will never know....



On the other hand, if God chose to save them already, and God's will always happens regardless of the choices we make, why do I need to pray at all?

One more time, we are not God. :) Sorry to be repetitive... but it's the same reply to the same question...



The way I see it, God chose to save every person. His free gift of grace is extended to every man (without exception). He also leads every man to accept His free Gift.

But this is not biblical… the call is open, no one responds, so God opens the heart to those He desires and then they respond…. And not everyone hears the call….

For His Glory...

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 24th 2008, 01:04 AM
Hi otw


If the choice were fully left to man with no interference from God, then we would choose to remain in sin. However, God DOES intervene. Even then, we have choice….

So how do you reconcile your free will with God’s intervention?



If you wanted to, today - you could go out and murder someone, or steal a car, etc. You could continue to do those things until the day of your death. Would it then be God making those choices or you? It would clearly be you.

I’ll try not to sound sarcastic here, but this logic doesn’t make sense… For by saying this, you are ignoring that God doesn’t sin, does not tempt, nor does anything evil, yet He uses this to do His will…. Judas’ life is a good example. Jacob is another...



A Calvanist position takes responsibility off of us, and puts all the responsibility on God. HE is the one who does the work, but we still have choice.

Here we go, the Calvinist label again…. How about using the Pauline label then where it belongs… Man is accountable for sin…. God’s grace works in sinful hearts to do good…. Even in non-saved man…. Look to King Cyrus as an example of this.



A - God draws us in - he wants all to be saved. He accomplished salvation for all. He still wants us to choose him of our free will.

So are you a universalist? For you say He accomplished salvation for all, so all must be saved… If so, then this is biblically wrong, for all are not saved.



B - We are praying for God to soften their heart and receive the truth.
But what about their free will? If God softens hearts, then there must not be free will?



Do YOU pray for loved ones?

You bet… Prayer is the part of the lifeblood of living for Christ…. For I believe that God gives and uses prayers of His children to work His will and to show His glory.



Be Blessed!

God’s blessing to you as well…

cwb
Feb 24th 2008, 01:11 AM
Hi cwb



So then salvation is not all man’s free will choice but God’s working in a man?



So let me ask this, are there folks who once lived who not 'saved'?

So what about most of the Pharisees and Sadducees? With Christ today or without? Where they not religious? Were they not seekers of God? Did they not know and search the scriptures?

And what about those who died because of the flood? And what about those who have persecuted Israel over the 1000’s of years, like the Ninevites? And what about those in the future who take the number of the beast… Again, all men do not seek God and all men are not righteous, so do not all men deserve hell? So what makes you and I different that we can believe in Jesus as the Son of God and others cannot? I submit it is God Himself that makes this choice. For some clay is for honor, some for dishonor, but God's grace in long-suffering and even earthly blessing endures for a season.




Because we are not God…. We pray, we plead, we petition because we love and we ask for God to save them just as He saved us….



Again, we are not God so who would we know this or not and more importantly, why do we desire to judge God’s salvation on another… We are commanded to live and to preach salvation, and to let God work in the hearts of another through His work in others… God uses people to do His will, some to know, other will never know....



One more time, we are not God. :) Sorry to be repetitive... but it's the same reply to the same question...



But this is not biblical… the call is open, no one responds, so God opens the heart to those He desires and then they respond…. And not everyone hears the call….

For His Glory...
I disagree. God has extended the invitation for all to be saved. He wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowlege of the truth. If some are not saved, it is not due to a lack of willingness on God's part but a lack of willingness on that man's part.

obeytheword
Feb 24th 2008, 02:36 AM
Hi otw



So how do you reconcile your free will with God’s intervention?



I’ll try not to sound sarcastic here, but this logic doesn’t make sense… For by saying this, you are ignoring that God doesn’t sin, does not tempt, nor does anything evil, yet He uses this to do His will…. Judas’ life is a good example. Jacob is another...



Here we go, the Calvinist label again…. How about using the Pauline label then where it belongs… Man is accountable for sin…. God’s grace works in sinful hearts to do good…. Even in non-saved man…. Look to King Cyrus as an example of this.



So are you a universalist? For you say He accomplished salvation for all, so all must be saved… If so, then this is biblically wrong, for all are not saved.


But what about their free will? If God softens hearts, then there must not be free will?



You bet… Prayer is the part of the lifeblood of living for Christ…. For I believe that God gives and uses prayers of His children to work His will and to show His glory.



God’s blessing to you as well…
Amazing. I will continue to love you and pray for you. The funny thing is you DO have most of it right, just miss the final point. God is in control - we both agree on that.

The thing is - our free will is within the bounds God sets - you believe he does not include us in any part of salvation, and I disagree.

You have scripture you can point out, and I can do the same. At the point we are just talking past one another it becomes fruitless to continue the debate when we will just spend time jabbing back and forth and not actually conversing.

Regardless - be blessed. I am confident he will show you the truth in time.

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 24th 2008, 02:51 AM
Amazing. I will continue to love you and pray for you.

Thank you so much, for praying for one another is very right and biblical....


The funny thing is you DO have most of it right, just miss the final point. God is in control - we both agree on that.

The thing is - our free will is within the bounds God sets - you believe he does not include us in any part of salvation, and I disagree.

A contrar otw.... I do believe that man is involved.... If you like -- look up my name and the word concurrence as in the Doctrine of concurrence and you should see that I have been saying that man does have a role within salvation's call...




You have scripture you can point out, and I can do the same. At the point we are just talking past one another it becomes fruitless to continue the debate when we will just spend time jabbing back and forth and not actually conversing.

Regardless - be blessed. I am confident he will show you the truth in time.

Been where you've been otw.... and I've been shown that God is sovereign in all things.... even within what I do..... so maybe you too will be given this understanding... [And I understand that you mean the best....
For His glory...

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 24th 2008, 02:53 AM
I disagree. God has extended the invitation for all to be saved. He wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowlege of the truth. If some are not saved, it is not due to a lack of willingness on God's part but a lack of willingness on that man's part.

Were not the Pharisees willing?

RogerW
Feb 24th 2008, 03:23 AM
Salvation IS a free gift of God that he did not have to offer. You state above "the message is OFFERED to all mankind" Why would God bother to offer it to all if most had no chance of being saved? If they have no choice in the matter then God offered them something they literally could not have? It is quite simply a position that cannot stand. No offense intended. I think you have great intentions, but are simply misunderstanding the word.

Blessings to you as well!

Greetings Obey,

Reading over the past posts I missed this and wanted to reply to just this one point. Why is the message of salvation offered to all mankind since salvation is given only to His chosen people? Because it is through the hearing of the Word that God saves His people. God tells us He uses the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. God does not tell us who will believe, but only that we are to go into all the world and preach the gospel of good news.

1Co 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Many Blessings,
RW

Mograce2U
Feb 24th 2008, 04:38 AM
Were not the Pharisees willing?It seems they were not and so their eyes were blinded, but not the remnant:

(Isa 29:18-19 KJV) And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. {19} The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

(Isa 35:5 KJV) Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

(John 12:40 KJV) He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

(Isa 6:10 KJV) Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

This is the election which God was doing in the 1st century - it is not about us today. For us all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

cwb
Feb 24th 2008, 05:31 AM
Were not the Pharisees willing?

No. They rejected the son of God. Had they been willing they would have accepted. They were not forced by God to reject His son. God wanted them to accept Him.

Son_kissed
Feb 24th 2008, 07:17 AM
So what about most of the Pharisees and Sadducees?



Rom 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

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.

9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:

10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.

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.

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?

13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

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?

16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

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;

18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.

20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:

21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.

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?

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.

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:

27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes.

29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?

36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.



I don't think this is about God having chosen an elect few of Israel and blinding the rest for no good reason, or that He makes some vessels of dishonor just becuase He can and who are we to question that. God's mercy is ultimately deomonstrated on both the honored and dishonored. Some were blinded for a time for the reconciling of the world (v.15), not just the elect. Right?






Because we are not God…. We pray, we plead, we petition because we love and we ask for God to save them just as He saved us….





Where does that love come from that we have, for all those who will be lost, including some that we know, if not from God who must love them then as much as we do? And if He loves them would He willingly send them to Hell?

Just to note here, I dont disagree with you about very much RBG, and agree with you that God works within us and that if it was left to us we would only be able to accomplish evil, but I believe (and we've had this conversation before) that God acts on our desire to do/choose good/Him, based on His knowledge of us before time began.

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 24th 2008, 11:24 AM
I disagree. God has extended the invitation for all to be saved. He wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowlege of the truth. If some are not saved, it is not due to a lack of willingness on God's part but a lack of willingness on that man's part.


No. They rejected the son of God. Had they been willing they would have accepted. They were not forced by God to reject His son. God wanted them to accept Him.


In the context of your reply, the Pharisees and Scribes believed that they were heaven bound, that they were the chosen of God, and that their lives were examples to the Jews on how to live for God.... so in the context of your statement that: 'He wants all men to be saved...' and 'If some are not saved...' it's because of 'a lack of willingness on that man's part...' --- my statement is that the Pharisees where 'religious' and more than willing, they thought they were 'in', yet God stated NO....


Now in accepting Jesus as their Messiah, I agree, for their hearts were hardened by God [and in fulfillment of scripture I might add] and thus my point, man's salvation is: for God, of God, by God, in God, through God and God alone, and it's His will in choosing who is and thus who is not, and it's our responsibility to share the Gospel to every and anyone and just let the gospel go out... Those who He gives ears to hear will hear it and they will respond as He directs...


For His glory...

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 24th 2008, 11:26 AM
Rom 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

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.

9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:

10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.

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.

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?

13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

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?

16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

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;

18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.

20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:

21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.

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?

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.

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:

27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes.

29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?

36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.



I don't think this is about God having chosen an elect few of Israel and blinding the rest for no good reason, or that He makes some vessels of dishonor just becuase He can and who are we to question that. God's mercy is ultimately deomonstrated on both the honored and dishonored. Some were blinded for a time for the reconciling of the world(v.15), not just the elect. Right?

I agree with your basic point except for the highlighted blued point....







Where does that love come from that we have, for all those who will be lost, including some that we know, if not from God who must love them then as much as we do? And if He loves them would He willingly send them to Hell?

The sad part is that there are those whom we know who will be in hell.... The best I can say is that we are to both pray asking God for their salavtion and witness to them, trusting that we are doing God's will in both.




Just to note here, I dont disagree with you about very much RBG, and agree with you that God works within us and that if it was left to us we would only be able to accomplish evil, but I believe (and we've had this conversation before) that God acts on our desire to do/choose good/Him, based on His knowledge of us before time began.


Exactly !

Son_kissed
Feb 24th 2008, 02:25 PM
I agree with your basic point except for the highlighted blued point....

Can you explain verses 15 and 25 then?

My understanding is that the elect are those who are chosen by God to suffer, sacrifice and carry out a special part in His plan for the reconciling of many others. Not because they and they only are God's chosen and the rest are doomed. Even in the example of Jacob and Esau, Esau is rejected for a time, while Jacob is chosen and made to suffer, but ultimately the two are reconciled.


Exactly ! You say "exactly", but I think we disagree. I believe its our desire and willingness to choose good, not a willingness that God initially gave us, that He acts upon in the life of those who will be saved. The Pharisees did good and "thought they were in" for personal gain, not because they had a true desire and willingness for good. And thats why God told them "No." Not merely because He wanted to reject them and save others.

I'm praying for understanding on my part, and having said all that, I still agree with you on most points and that God works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phillipians 2:13).

I agree with what a few others have said in this thread already, that free will/election is not an and/or thing, rather its a both/and, and that both are proven in scripture which makes it difficult for us to understand.

Peace, and a blessed Sunday...

cwb
Feb 24th 2008, 03:11 PM
In the context of your reply, the Pharisees and Scribes believed that they were heaven bound, that they were the chosen of God, and that their lives were examples to the Jews on how to live for God.... so in the context of your statement that: 'He wants all men to be saved...' and 'If some are not saved...' it's because of 'a lack of willingness on that man's part...' --- my statement is that the Pharisees where 'religious' and more than willing, they thought they were 'in', yet God stated NO....



For His glory...
There is a big diffference between being religious and submitting to the righteousness of God. There are plenty of self righteous people who believe there own works get them in. That does not mean they are willing to submit themselves to the righteousness of God. Yeah they were religious. Were they willing to accept the gift God gave them - his only begotten son. Nope.



for God, of God, by God, in God, through God and God alone

I agree.




it's His will in choosing who is and thus who is not


You keep denying this verse:

I Tim 2:4
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

That sounds pretty plain and simple to me. It says he wants all men to be saved. That tells me that if any man is not saved, it is not a matter of God's willingness that person is not saved. It has to be something in that man that he is not saved becuase as this verse says God would have all men to be saved and to come to a knowlege of the truth. Going from what I read in the bible, I am going to have to disagree with you that there are some men that God does not want to save.

threebigrocks
Feb 24th 2008, 10:22 PM
Can you explain verses 15 and 25 then?

My understanding is that the elect are those who are chosen by God to suffer, sacrifice and carry out a special part in His plan for the reconciling of many others. Not because they and they only are God's chosen and the rest are doomed. Even in the example of Jacob and Esau, Esau is rejected for a time, while Jacob is chosen and made to suffer, but ultimately the two are reconciled.


Galatians 4



29But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. 30But what does the Scripture say?
"CAST OUT THE BONDWOMAN AND HER SON,
FOR THE SON OF THE BONDWOMAN SHALL NOT BE AN HEIR WITH THE SON OF THE FREE WOMAN."



I have to agree with the blue part that RBG disagrees with you saying. ;)

John146
Feb 25th 2008, 04:40 AM
Eric,

Your question is asked from a skewed perspective. It is not the will of God that any man go into the lake of fire. That is why He has intervened in the lives of some men to keep them from going there. You'll have to ask God why He intervenes in the lives of some men while leaving others in their sins.

I shouldn't have to ask God this. If your doctrine was true then YOU should be able to answer it. But you can't.



"Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?" For Scripture tells us, God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and compassion on whosoever He wills.

Where does this say anything about anyone being chosen to salvation or not? You think this passage has something to do with God predetermining people to either salvation or damnation but it says no such thing! Yes, God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy. So, whom does He choose to have mercy on?

30For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
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.

God has had mercy on all of mankind by not destroying everyone who sins against Him (which would include everyone in the world), which is what we all deserve.



When Scripture tells us that God is not a respecter of persons, does this mean that every man can choose of his own free will to be saved? Not at all. It means that all who love God will receive a full reward, for there is no respect of persons with God. Under the old covenant God set His love, and favor upon one special chosen nation. But now under the New Covenant in Christ, people from every nation of the world can receive God's love and be saved.

No, it does not mean "all who love God will receive a full reward". Where does it say that? You are taking it out of context. Look at the following verse:

17And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: 1 Peter 1:17

God not being a respecter of persons has to do with the fact that He judges all people fairly according to their work and not according to their race, nationality, economic or social status or anything along those lines. If He chooses some to be saved and some not to be saved, where is the fairness in that? He would be a respecter of persons in that case. But He is not a respecter of persons. Everyone will be judged by the same criteria: did you help the least of these or not (Matthew 25:31-46)? If you did, that shows that you repented and put your faith in Christ and therefore were born of the Spirit and the Spirit produced fruit/good works through you. If not, then it shows that a person did not have the Spirit of God in them and that is why they did not help the least of these.



The respect that God had for Israel meant that He knew them in a special way, and remembered His Covenant with them.

Ex 2:24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
Ex 2:25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.

Le 26:9 For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.

Peter shows us that God has not forgotten His Covenant promise, but now the Covenant promise is extended unto every nation of those who fear Him, and work righteousness are accepted with Him.

Ac 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
Ac 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

God judges every man's work without respect of persons, who are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, Who was ordained before the foundation of the world, and is made manifest to all who by Him believe in God.

1Pe 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
1Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1Pe 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1Pe 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
1Pe 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Under the New Covenant in Christ every man that worketh good receives glory and honor from God. To both Jew and Gentile because there is no respect of persons with God.

Ro 2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
Ro 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

Many Blessings,
RW

Here is what you miss. It says the one in every nation who fears Him and does works of righteousness is accepted with Him. In 1 Peter 1:17, it says he judges every man's work impartially. Every man. All of mankind. Calvinism ignores or twists so many passages that speak of all people and change them into supposedly only speaking of the elect. He judges everyone by the same standards and therefore is not a respecter of persons. If He chooses one to be saved and not other based on some criteria that you cannot even determine, then how can the one who is saved be judged by the same standards as the one who is not?

As far as Romans 2, why did you not quote verses 8 and 9?

8But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

Now, read verses 10 and 11 again and you will understand what God not being a respecter of persons really means. It means that anyone and everyone who (whosoever) "are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness" and "doeth evil" will experience "indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish". And any and everyone who (whosoever) "worketh good" will receive "glory, honour, and peace". It is man's choice to either obey the truth or not.

God, without respect of persons, will reward or punish each person according to the choice they make to either obey the truth or not. God has standards by which He judges all people. We know that on Judgment day all people will either be sentenced to the lake of fire or enter into His kingdom on the new earth. Your doctrine says that Scripture does not speak of how God determines whether one should enter the kingdom or be cast into the lake of fire. But Scripture does tell us how God determines this. And it tells us very clearly.

Eric

John146
Feb 25th 2008, 06:02 AM
Greetings Obey,

If it were God's will that all men be saved, then no man would go to hell!

This kind of statement is just silly because it doesn't take into account that there are various degrees of God's will. It's true that God will carry certain things out and nothing can change it or resist it. Nothing could stop Him from sending His Son to die for the sins of the whole world, for example. But there is also a level of God's desire where He gives man a choice. I can show you many examples in Scripture of God's will not being done on that level. Matthew 23:37, for example. It was not God's will for the scribes, Pharisees and other unbelievers in Jerualem to reject His Son, but they did it anyway. As a result of their rebellion and not as a result of God's predetermination before the foundation of the world, He had them and their temple destroyed in 70 AD.



It is NOT clear from Scripture that God wants all to be saved, nor is it clear from Scripture that God wants all to come to know His Son.

Yes, it is clear. Very clear.

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

You have to do some real stretching and twisting of the text to convince anyone that "the world", as used in this passage, is not referring to the entire world, as in all people. If "the world" means "the elect" in this passage then verse 17 would say "God sent not His Son into the elect to condemn the elect, but that the elect through Him might be saved. Can you see how silly it is to think that "the world" does not mean every single person in the world in this passage?

36He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. - John 3:36

Look at the above verse carefully. You say that you can't know how God determines one to be saved and another not. But this verse clearly shows that it's based on whether one "believeth on the Son" or not.

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

Again, how can you try to say that "all men" doesn't mean all of mankind? And how can all in verse 6 not mean all mankind? Especially in light of this passage:

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

Once again, it would be a huge stretching and twisting of the text to try to say that "the whole world" does not mean everyone in the world or all people. Especially since John pointed out that Christ was not just the propitiation for the sins of those who were already saved, but also for the whole world. He gave Himself as a ransom for all people so that all people could be saved if they repent and put their faith and trust in Christ.

11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
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 10:11-13

There's that word again: whosoever. If you search for all the occurrences of that word in Scripture you will find that it clearly is an all-inclusive word and could be replaced with the words "anyone in the world who". In a few verses, it refers to "anyone in the city who..." (Luke 9:5, for example) or refers to a certain group, like in Luke 14:33 ("whosoever he be of you"). In those cases, it is clear who is included in the "whosoever". But the point is that it's an all-inclusive word referring to the whole world whenever it doesn't make mention of people in a certain city or group. I challenge you to find one clear example where it means anything but that, including any where it only refers to the elect.

16I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
17And 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 22:16-17

The free gift of eternal life is available to "whosoever will". Whoever is willing to repent of their sins and accept God's free gift of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ will be saved.

20Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. - Revelation 3:20

If any man hears His voice and opens the door Christ will come in to his heart. How can "any man" not mean anyone in the world? And notice this isn't automatic, but one must "open the door" of their heart in order for Christ to come in. One must acknowledge their sins and their need for Christ to save them before He will ever come into their heart.



This is reading one's theology into Scripture. In fact what is clear in Scripture is (1) God will accomplish all that He wills (2) some men will spend eternity in the lake of fire. How do you reconcile these two truths?

Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
Isa 46:11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

Re 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

You try to reconcile these truths by saying God has given man free will to choose Him or reject Him. If that were true than no man would be saved. Because every man rejects Christ until he is born again. No man can come to God for salvation when they are without spiritual life to guide them in all truth.

Where is the Scripture that actually says anything resembling what I highlighted in your post in red above?



What choice? The only choice the spiritually dead can make is to reject Him.

Where is the Scripture that says this?



Lazarus be resurrected from the dead is an excellent example of our spiritually dead state prior to salvation. Just as Lazarus could not come to life of his own free will, but only after hearing the voice of the Lord calling him from death to life, so too, when we are spiritually dead we cannot make ourselves spiritually alive.

Scripture makes no such comparison. You are resorting to extra-biblical speculation, which is useless in a discussion like this.



It is only through the indwelling Spirit at re-birth that we are given ears to hear the voice of Christ.

Once again, where is the Scripture that says this?



It is true that foreknowledge means that God knows His own from before the foundation of the world. But His knowing us beforehand is not based on choices He foreknows we will make. If God, foreknowing His elect is based upon choices He knows they will make, then salvation is not of grace, but of man's free will. In saying that God saves us based upon foreknowledge that we would choose Him, is saying that our salvation depends upon our work, and not on the work of Christ alone.

Repentance and faith are not works. They are expressions of an attitude of sorrow for our sins and belief that Christ is indeed the Savior of mankind and that we put our complete faith and trust in Him for salvation. Those things are not works. Paul said we are saved by grace through faith and not of works. Since we're not saved of works yet we are saved through faith, then faith is clearly not a work.



This is why Paul shows us through the example of Jacob and Esau that God chooses His own without any consideration of us having done any good or evil...why? That the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth.

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;)

Romans 9 is not speaking of election to salvation or damnation but of election to a purpose that God determines for certain people.



How is salvation by grace, if being saved is dependent upon how I respond to the gospel through so-called free will?

Because God is so gracious and merciful, that despite the fact that He could have just destroyed the whole world at any point in history and condemned the whole world to the lake of fire, He didn't do that. Instead, He graciously made salvation available to all mankind.



It is you who is changing the concept of grace by saying that God cannot accomplish His purpose to redeem a people for Himself without the aid of fallen, spiritually dead men. Salvation is a free gift of God, and this gift is GIVEN to all who are ordained unto eternal life. The message of salvation is OFFERED to all mankind, and all who hear His voice and believe will be saved. Salvation is not a free gift merely offered to man. It is a free gift given to all who believe, salvation is actually accomplished in Christ, and not merely offered. Salvation is of the Lord...all of Him...none of us!

Why would the message of salvation be offered to all mankind but not salvation itself? That makes no sense.

John146
Feb 25th 2008, 06:35 AM
Yep… it is all about His grace… He is the author, the initiator, the enabler and the keeper, all by His grace in seeking you and I out....

And why us? The only thing I can figure out is --- because He so desired....

Praise God that He chose to redeem you and I by His grace towards us --- saving us instead of leaving us in our sin to perish.


For His Glory...

Should we also praise God for (allegedly) choosing not to redeem those He (supposedly) leaves in their sins who will spend eternity in the lake of fire?

Son_kissed
Feb 25th 2008, 07:07 AM
Galatians 4

Hi threebigrocks. I might be missing your point. Sorry. I just dont see a connection. Jacob and Esau were both of the same mother and father, and neither of the "bondwoman", but both of them of the "free woman."

Still, even those cast out/cut off, according to Romans 11:23,24, have the opportunity to be grafted in again if they "abide not still in unbelief."




I have to agree with the blue part that RBG disagrees with you saying. ;)

Ok, but then please explain Rom 11:15, 25 and 32 for me, because no matter how many times I read through Romans, I keep seeing the same thing... that God is at work electing some and blinding others for a time so that He can have mercy on all, and so that all will have the choice to believe and be reconciled to Him.

Joshua said, "Choose Life," If it wasn't their choice but God's spirit in them choosing for them, what would have been the point of the command? To put it bluntly, that would be like God telling Himself to choose, would it not?

There are just some things I can't wrap my head around regarding the view of some as it pertains to election, and I can only still conclude that the elect are those who have been chosen to carry out a special part of God's plan so that all will have the opportunity for reconciliation, not that they (the elect/chosen) only will obtain salvation.

I see the following parallels with Jesus, Jacob, and Israel being the elect/chosen, but Adam, Esau, and the Gentiles becoming benefactors of God's grace and abundant offering as well, by the suffering and sacrifice of the chosen/elect.


Adam - Jesus
Esau - Jacob
Gentiles - Israel

This just seems so evident to me...

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 25th 2008, 12:31 PM
Should we also praise God for (allegedly) choosing not to redeem those He (supposedly) leaves in their sins who will spend eternity in the lake of fire?


We praise God for being God, and that His will is done, on earth as in heaven, and leave any qualifier to the side....

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 25th 2008, 12:37 PM
Can you explain verses 15 and 25 then?

My understanding is that the elect are those who are chosen by God to suffer, sacrifice and carry out a special part in His plan for the reconciling of many others. Not because they and they only are God's chosen and the rest are doomed. Even in the example of Jacob and Esau, Esau is rejected for a time, while Jacob is chosen and made to suffer, but ultimately the two are reconciled.

The sum of thy word is truth…. Looking at Romans 11, one needs to see it for what it says, but measure with grammar and with history as to how and why it is written in pulling understandings… and also in light of all other scripture to build good hermeneutics.

The elect’s role is to serve God, and there is no difference within the elect between Jews or Gentiles, for wasn’t Abraham promised many descendants by God?





You say "exactly", but I think we disagree. I believe its our desire and willingness to choose good, not a willingness that God initially gave us, that He acts upon in the life of those who will be saved. The Pharisees did good and "thought they were in" for personal gain, not because they had a true desire and willingness for good. And thats why God told them "No." Not merely because He wanted to reject them and save others.

I'm praying for understanding on my part, and having said all that, I still agree with you on most points and that God works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phillipians 2:13).

So if you agree that God works in us, why limit Him to say he doesn’t give the desire and willingness to choose good?



I agree with what a few others have said in this thread already, that free will/election is not an and/or thing, rather its a both/and, and that both are proven in scripture which makes it difficult for us to understand.

Well define what you mean by free will then.... for I submit you see it a bit differently than most others then.... For free means unencumbered and will means determination, and I do not see scripture stating that we have free self-determination, do you?



Peace, and a blessed Sunday...


And to you as well....

9Marksfan
Feb 25th 2008, 02:20 PM
Should we also praise God for (allegedly) choosing not to redeem those He (supposedly) leaves in their sins who will spend eternity in the lake of fire?

When God condemns people who have rejected Him, that will be the ultimate display of His holy justice. Since we will be without sin at that time, then it will be completely appropriate for us to rejoice at God's justice:-


"Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia And her smoke rose up for ever and ever." Rev 18:20-19:3 KJV

Souled Out
Feb 25th 2008, 04:21 PM
My understanding is that the elect are those who are chosen by God to suffer, sacrifice and carry out a special part in His plan for the reconciling of many others. Not because they and they only are God's chosen and the rest are doomed. Even in the example of Jacob and Esau, Esau is rejected for a time, while Jacob is chosen and made to suffer, but ultimately the two are reconciled.

Yes, Sonkissed, the elect are a special part of God's plan.

The elect are those entrusted with the Gospel and they have no choice in their calling because they were chosen before the foundations of the world.

In the past few hundred years we’ve redefined the elect to mean those that are saved rather than what they are: they were chosen before the foundation of the world, a called out people, to spread the truth of The Gospel. In other words the elect are slaves to God, they are burdened and much is expected of them because they’ve been given much.

It makes me wince when so many are quick to label themselves as the elect when they don’t know what it really entails.

The House of Israel was the elect, the chosen vessel through which all the world is blessed.

From Genesis to Revelation, look at the elect in The Scriptures and you will see that there is a common theme with all of them. There is a reason why they are rarely deceived and why only false signs and wonders could deceive them if it were possible.

It is not of themselves why they remain steadfast, but of God who chose them.

Stay a berean in this.

John146
Feb 25th 2008, 04:33 PM
Hi cwb
So what about most of the Pharisees and Sadducees? With Christ today or without? Where they not religious? Were they not seekers of God? Did they not know and search the scriptures?

Most of the Pharisees and Sadducees did not seek God. They sought the praise of men. And they obviously did not know the Scriptures, otherwise they would have recognized that Jesus was the Messiah because of how He fulfilled so many Old Testament prophecies.



And what about those who died because of the flood? And what about those who have persecuted Israel over the 1000’s of years, like the Ninevites? And what about those in the future who take the number of the beast… Again, all men do not seek God and all men are not righteous, so do not all men deserve hell? So what makes you and I different that we can believe in Jesus as the Son of God and others cannot?

How are you concluding that others cannot believe in Jesus as the Son of God? Where does Scripture teach that they have no ability to do so?



Because we are not God…. We pray, we plead, we petition because we love and we ask for God to save them just as He saved us….

Why bother praying for anyone's salvation if He already predetermined everything long ago? If you pray for someone who you think God has not chosen, it won't do them any good (according to your doctrine).



But this is not biblical… the call is open, no one responds, so God opens the heart to those He desires and then they respond…. And not everyone hears the call….

Many are called, but few are chosen. (Matt 20:16, 22:14). What do you think that means?

John146
Feb 25th 2008, 04:36 PM
We praise God for being God, and that His will is done, on earth as in heaven, and leave any qualifier to the side....

So, I guess your answer is "Yes, we should also praise God for (allegedly) choosing not to redeem those He (supposedly) leaves in their sins who will spend eternity in the lake of fire.

John146
Feb 25th 2008, 04:52 PM
Hi threebigrocks. I might be missing your point. Sorry. I just dont see a connection. Jacob and Esau were both of the same mother and father, and neither of the "bondwoman", but both of them of the "free woman."

Still, even those cast out/cut off, according to Romans 11:23,24, have the opportunity to be grafted in again if they "abide not still in unbelief."


Ok, but then please explain Rom 11:15, 25 and 32 for me, because no matter how many times I read through Romans, I keep seeing the same thing... that God is at work electing some and blinding others for a time so that He can have mercy on all, and so that all will have the choice to believe and be reconciled to Him.

Joshua said, "Choose Life," If it wasn't their choice but God's spirit in them choosing for them, what would have been the point of the command? To put it bluntly, that would be like God telling Himself to choose, would it not?

There are just some things I can't wrap my head around regarding the view of some as it pertains to election, and I can only still conclude that the elect are those who have been chosen to carry out a special part of God's plan so that all will have the opportunity for reconciliation, not that they (the elect/chosen) only will obtain salvation.

I see the following parallels with Jesus, Jacob, and Israel being the elect/chosen, but Adam, Esau, and the Gentiles becoming benefactors of God's grace and abundant offering as well, by the suffering and sacrifice of the chosen/elect.


Adam - Jesus
Esau - Jacob
Gentiles - Israel

This just seems so evident to me...

Good post. That is a very good verse (Rom 11:23) that you bring up that clearly contradicts the idea of limited atonement. It's worth posting again:

20Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. - Romans 11:20,23

That little word "if" is very troublesome for adherents of the doctrine of "limited atonement".

Son_kissed
Feb 25th 2008, 04:55 PM
Good morning RbG,


So if you agree that God works in us, why limit Him to say he doesn’t give the desire and willingness to choose good?

Because I see that choice given to us throughout the Bible. If He gave us the willingness and desire to choose His Righteousness/Love, and that's the only way that we would choose it, it would not be our choice at all, nor do those, to whom He doesn't give the willingness and desire to, have a choice. We would either be forced to accept His Righteousness/Love, or not allowed it at all, and it's all up to God, based on His choice. So why tell us to choose?

Jesus says, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Joshua said, "Choose Life... or choose you this day whom you will serve." And all throughout scripture there seem to be choices that we each must make, not commands for a created people who ultimately have no choice.




Well define what you mean by free will then.... for I submit you see it a bit differently than most others then.... For free means unencumbered and will means determination, and I do not see scripture stating that we have free self-determination, do you?

I believe our will is at least free to the extent that we must choose Him for ourself. There is no denying God's sovereignty, and scripture makes it clear that He works in and through all people. But it seems to me that what He does is based on the choice He knew we would make even before He formed us in the womb.

John146
Feb 25th 2008, 04:58 PM
When God condemns people who have rejected Him, that will be the ultimate display of His holy justice. Since we will be without sin at that time, then it will be completely appropriate for us to rejoice at God's justice:-


"Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia And her smoke rose up for ever and ever." Rev 18:20-19:3 KJV

But where is the justice if God judges them for remaining in their sins if they could not help but to remain in their sins because He chose not to save them and instead leave them in their sins? Notice the reason for the punishment above: deception, murder, and fornication against God. God does not punish without reason. In your doctrine there is no reason for punishment because those who are punished had no choice but to be the way they are.

John146
Feb 25th 2008, 05:05 PM
Because I see that choice given to us throughout the Bible. If He gave us the willingness and desire to choose His Righteousness/Love, and that's the only way that we would choose it, it would not be our choice at all, nor do those, to whom He doesn't give the willingness and desire to, have a choice. We would either be forced to accept His Righteousness/Love, or not allowed it at all, and it's all up to God, based on His choice. So why tell us to choose?

Jesus says, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Joshua said, "Choose Life... or choose you this day whom you will serve." And all throughout scripture there seem to be choices that we each must make, not commands for a created people who ultimately have no choice.

There's the word "if" again. But notice something else in that verse. He refers to "any man" which is all-inclusive and means all people. Also, He says for any man to "deny himself". He is clearly saying that we are required to do something in order to be His disciple. He doesn't say that He does it for us. We must deny ourselves. We must humble ourselves and acknowledge our sins and that we can't save ourselves and we need Him to save us. That is our responsibility that God does not do for us.



I believe our will is at least free to the extent that we must choose Him for ourself. There is no denying God's sovereignty, and scripture makes it clear that He works in and through all people. But it seems to me that what He does is based on the choice He knew we would make even before He formed us in the womb.

I agree.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. - Rom 8:29

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.

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 25th 2008, 05:39 PM
Most of the Pharisees and Sadducees did not seek God.

That’s your assumption, but biblically that’s not how one became a Pharisee. They were well learned, knowledgeable, even teachers of the law.... yet they missed Jesus, not for the lack of studying, but because of pride and self-righteousness blinded them to see scripture clearly.

John 3:10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?

John 5:39 "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me;

Matthew 5:20 "For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

So I’d disagree… they were seeking God, but in their own way and mind





They sought the praise of men.

Maybe so, but for what… because they thought they knew God well



And they obviously did not know the Scriptures, otherwise they would have recognized that Jesus was the Messiah because of how He fulfilled so many Old Testament prophecies.

True, for even today many don’t know the scriptures, but instead of recognizing Jesus as the Messiah, they place other conditions on salvation.




How are you concluding that others cannot believe in Jesus as the Son of God? Where does Scripture teach that they have no ability to do so?

Sorry but I can’t follow your question… Taking as stab though in explaining what I’m saying is that salvation is not for all men, for history shows that God has judged folks in the past for their sins…





Why bother praying for anyone's salvation if He already predetermined everything long ago? If you pray for someone who you think God has not chosen, it won't do them any good (according to your doctrine).

Come now this is not my doctrine but your intepretation and application of your understanding as such....

This is the classic the 'why bother answer….' How do you know who is saved and who is not? Why would you judge the condition of another to say that they will never believe?

God states to pray for all men, even those who persecute you….

Matthew 5:44 "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

It's not your or my job to sort out who is saved or who is not... so why not pray for the salvation of everyone you meet?




Many are called, but few are chosen. (Matt 20:16, 22:14). What do you think that means?

Exactly what it says

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 25th 2008, 05:51 PM
Good Morning SK!


Good morning RbG,



Because I see that choice given to us throughout the Bible. If He gave us the willingness and desire to choose His Righteousness/Love, and that's the only way that we would choose it, it would not be our choice at all, nor do those, to whom He doesn't give the willingness and desire to, have a choice. We would either be forced to accept His Righteousness/Love, or not allowed it at all, and it's all up to God, based on His choice. So why tell us to choose?

That's right.... For when His Spirit opens our ears and eyes, then we will see what the words and commands are and then know and we will choose....

Like when Jesus heals the blind man, then the blind man can see.... This man could have put mud on his eyes all day long week after week, month after month and nothing would have happened, but it takes the work of Jesus 1st for it to take hold... so too when these words are written to the born again believer, he will now see heed and respond.... and it makes deep sense where before it may have not.



Jesus says, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Joshua said, "Choose Life... or choose you this day whom you will serve." And all throughout scripture there seem to be choices that we each must make, not commands for a created people who ultimately have no choice.

Yep the openness to all who read, yet without the work of Christ first within to 'make sense' those words, they can be only called going through the motions.... See the teaching of the soils in Matthew for more details...






I believe our will is at least free to the extent that we must choose Him for ourself. There is no denying God's sovereignty, and scripture makes it clear that He works in and through all people. But it seems to me that what He does is based on the choice He knew we would make even before He formed us in the womb.

Well for me, that makes me the determiner to God and positions me above His wisdom, for which I am not one bit smart enough to choose Christ on my own.... For scripture also states that He is found by those who were not even seeking.... so that states that it's all His work, and mine of Him with in confirming to my mind that I am His...

John146
Feb 25th 2008, 05:59 PM
That’s your assumption, but biblically that’s not how one became a Pharisee. They were well learned, knowledgeable, even teachers of the law.... yet they missed Jesus, not for the lack of studying, but because of pride and self-righteousness blinded them to see scripture clearly.

John 3:10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?

John 5:39 "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me;

Matthew 5:20 "For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

So I’d disagree… they were seeking God, but in their own way and mind

I believe they were seeking status and the praise of men and not God. If they were truly seeking God they would have found Him.

I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. - Proverbs 8:17

29But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. - Deut 4:29

13And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. - Jeremiah 29:13



Sorry but I can’t follow your question… Taking as stab though in explaining what I’m saying is that salvation is not for all men, for history shows that God has judged folks in the past for their sins…

You said that some cannot believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Where is the Scripture that says they cannot believe or do not have the ability to believe that Jesus is the Son of God? I can't make the question any more straightforward than that.



Come now this is not my doctrine but your intepretation and application of your understanding as such....

This is the classic the 'why bother answer….' How do you know who is saved and who is not? Why would you judge the condition of another to say that they will never believe?

God states to pray for all men, even those who persecute you….

Matthew 5:44 "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

It's not your or my job to sort out who is saved or who is not... so why not pray for the salvation of everyone you meet?

Why pray for their salvation since according to your doctrine their fate has already been sealed? Don't you believe they will be saved or not saved regardless of your prayer for their salvation? You do beleive that God predetermined the fate of every person who would ever live (using no criteria that you can discern) even before the foundation of the world, don't you?



Exactly what it says

I agree. But I'm not sure we agree with "exactly what it says". I believe that since many are called that means many are offered salvation. But few are chosen because few are willing to deny themselves and repent of their sins and put their faith and trust in Christ. Now that you know my interpretation, can you clarify yours since I doubt that you agree with me?

John146
Feb 25th 2008, 06:18 PM
Well for me, that makes me the determiner to God and positions me above His wisdom, for which I am not one bit smart enough to choose Christ on my own.... For scripture also states that He is found by those who were not even seeking.... so that states that it's all His work, and mine of Him with in confirming to my mind that I am His...

I don't think anyone here is claiming that anyone chooses to repent and believe in Christ purely on their own accord. No, it requires the convicting work of the Spirit as well as the preaching of the Word to enlighten someone to their spiritually lost condition. We are commanded to preach the Word to all people. There would be no reason to do so if not all people could be saved. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. People must make a decision to either accept or reject the gospel once they hear it.

44Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. 45And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
46I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
47And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
48He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. - John 12:44-48

The very idea that one can either accept or reject the gospel implies the free will to choose. Does one reject Christ and not receive His words because that's what He wants? Of course not. They will pay the price for their decision to reject Him on the day of judgment. If they reject Him because they have no choice but to do so, what reason would there be for them to be condemned?

People also choose to either resist the Spirit (Acts 7:51) or open the door to Him (Rev 3:20).

9Marksfan
Feb 25th 2008, 06:57 PM
But where is the justice if God judges them for remaining in their sins if they could not help but to remain in their sins because He chose not to save them and instead leave them in their sins? Notice the reason for the punishment above: deception, murder, and fornication against God. God does not punish without reason. In your doctrine there is no reason for punishment because those who are punished had no choice but to be the way they are.

Please don't assume you know my doctrine or caricature the Reformed faith. People choose to sin in particular ways because they have freedom to do so. But there are consequences. Everyone has the gift of conscience, which explains why not everyone commits these sins. But those who do, do so of their own free will so they are justly punished for this - and this is a cause of rejoicing on the part of the saints, because God is righteous in all His ways.

The bible nowhere teaches that God does not treat mankind as morally responsible agents who could have avoided courses of action by listening to their consciences. I agree that God punishes for a reason - people's disobedience and rebellion, which they freely choose. Everyone knows there is a God but they deliberately choose to suppress that knowledge to a greater or lesser extent (Rom 1).

IWalkWithHim
Feb 25th 2008, 07:42 PM
I agree. If we were robots, then there would be no lies in this world since God says he would have all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

You know, after reading this post, I thought to myself, if the above were absolutely true, and ALL people's were saved and slaves to Christ, would there really be a need for an Earth? Think about that....:hmm:

Son_kissed
Feb 25th 2008, 08:04 PM
Good Morning SK!



That's right.... For when His Spirit opens our ears and eyes, then we will see what the words and commands are and then know and we will choose....

Like when Jesus heals the blind man, then the blind man can see.... This man could have put mud on his eyes all day long week after week, month after month and nothing would have happened, but it takes the work of Jesus 1st for it to take hold... so too when these words are written to the born again believer, he will now see heed and respond.... and it makes deep sense where before it may have not.

Yep the openness to all who read, yet without the work of Christ first within to 'make sense' those words, they can be only called going through the motions.... See the teaching of the soils in Matthew for more details...

Again, I dont disagree with any of this. I believe, according to scripture, that God knows the heart of each man and will woo and help especially those who will choose Him to see the truth. But giving them the truth and forcing them to choose it, is two different things.







Well for me, that makes me the determiner to God and positions me above His wisdom, for which I am not one bit smart enough to choose Christ on my own.... For scripture also states that He is found by those who were not even seeking.... so that states that it's all His work, and mine of Him with in confirming to my mind that I am His...

We don't choose God because of wisdom. We go to him with childlike faith and choose Him because His love has drawn us. We might reject him becuase we think we're smart, but wisdom seems to have little to do with choosing Him.

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 25th 2008, 08:50 PM
Hi SK!


Again, I dont disagree with any of this. I believe, according to scripture, that God knows the heart of each man and will woo and help especially those who will choose Him to see the truth. But giving them the truth and forcing them to choose it, is two different things.


I don't see any force by God on any one... in fact I think it's the opposite, whereas they are grateful that He picked them out of sin's curse...

Ezekiel 36:26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.




We don't choose God because of wisdom. We go to him with childlike faith and choose Him because His love has drawn us. We might reject him becuase we think we're smart, but wisdom seems to have little to do with choosing Him.

Salvation's call has to have wisdom within it, for intellect has to play a major role in understanding the gospel..... Childlike faith comes along no doubt, but knowing that you are a sinner, knowing that there is nothing you can do to earn God's grace, knowing that Christ paid the complete price, has to have our intellect to see and understand in responding....

All of us here battle with our intellect, for sound doctrine reaches our minds and not only our hearts, [for as many folks who contribute here are as many folks who believe that their doctrine is the only correct one :lol:....] BUT our 'heart strings' follow right behind in response.... Look deep at scripture, the instruction is for reasoning and not so much for emotion, but again, I believe our emotions go hand-in-hand with our intellect and it's hard to separate.

For it's God's wisdom in opening our eyes that I proclaim one must have to be truly saved, and in that anything else is just going through the motions for a season.

For His glory...

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 26th 2008, 11:39 AM
So, I guess your answer is "Yes, we should also praise God for (allegedly) choosing not to redeem those He (supposedly) leaves in their sins who will spend eternity in the lake of fire.


That would be correct....

Romans 9: 21-26

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 26th 2008, 11:47 AM
I believe they were seeking status and the praise of men and not God. If they were truly seeking God they would have found Him.

I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. - Proverbs 8:17

29But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. - Deut 4:29

13And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. - Jeremiah 29:13



You said that some cannot believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Where is the Scripture that says they cannot believe or do not have the ability to believe that Jesus is the Son of God? I can't make the question any more straightforward than that.



Why pray for their salvation since according to your doctrine their fate has already been sealed? Don't you believe they will be saved or not saved regardless of your prayer for their salvation? You do beleive that God predetermined the fate of every person who would ever live (using no criteria that you can discern) even before the foundation of the world, don't you?



I agree. But I'm not sure we agree with "exactly what it says". I believe that since many are called that means many are offered salvation. But few are chosen because few are willing to deny themselves and repent of their sins and put their faith and trust in Christ. Now that you know my interpretation, can you clarify yours since I doubt that you agree with me?

The ball of faith is not within the court of man but of God within man....


Acts 13:48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

losthorizon
Feb 26th 2008, 01:37 PM
The ball of faith is not within the court of man but of God within man....

In the court of salvation God does His part and man must do his part. Look at the conversion of Lydia – the Book says “the Lord opened her heart” (God’s part) and Lydia did her part – she believed ( she did something) – she did the “work of God”.
"What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:28-29)

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart And 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. (Acts 16:14)

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 26th 2008, 01:47 PM
In the court of salvation God does His part and man must do his part. Look at the conversion of Lydia – the Book says “the Lord opened her heart” (God’s part) and Lydia did her part – she believed ( she did something) – she did the “work of God”.
"What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:28-29)

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart And 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. (Acts 16:14)


Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;


Salvation and faith and repentance are all God's work. Lydia was given the wisdom to understand the the Gospel, the Lord opened her heart [mind] and within this opening -- faith was given.

We are His vessels for His Glory...

losthorizon
Feb 26th 2008, 02:14 PM
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;


Salvation and faith and repentance are all God's work. Lydia was given the wisdom to understand the the Gospel, the Lord opened her heart [mind] and within this opening -- faith was given.

We are His vessels for His Glory...
Lydia’s “belief” was just that – her belief. It was something (of her own free will) that she choose to “do". If she would have refused to believe (and she could have) she would have remained outside of salvation “in Christ”. Why? Because “he that believeth not shall be damned.” Belief is man’s part in salvation. It is something he/she does - "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" – “believe in Him whom He has sent”.

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 26th 2008, 02:21 PM
Lydia’s “belief” was just that – her belief. It was something (of her own free will) that she choose to “do". If she would have refused to believe (and she could have) she would have remained outside of salvation “in Christ”. Why? Because “he that believeth not shall be damned.” Belief is man’s part in salvation. It is something he/she does - "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" – “believe in Him whom He has sent”.

OK, if that's what you understand... I though, see it as God's work within me, and not my own to boost in....


And to point to scripture, it states that she could only believe, for the Lord opened her heart.... So my reading in opening of her heart is by giving her faith to believe in Christ as her Lord and Savior... and that this wasn't her work, or even Paul's work, but supernaturally the Work of the Lord Himself...

9Marksfan
Feb 26th 2008, 02:37 PM
OK, if that's what you understand... I though, see it as God's work within me, and not my own to boost in....


And to point to scripture, it states that she could only believe, for the Lord opened her heart.... So my reading in opening of her heart is by giving her faith to believe in Christ as her Lord and Savior... and that this wasn't her work, or even Paul's work, but supernaturally the Work of the Lord Himself...

So do you believe that God believes for us? Isn't it synergistic, with our regenerated and renewed wills exercising faith, enabled by Him to do so, by receiving all that Christ has won for us and casting ourselves upon Him for grace and mercy?

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 26th 2008, 02:58 PM
So do you believe that God believes for us? Isn't it synergistic, with our regenerated and renewed wills exercising faith, enabled by Him to do so, by receiving all that Christ has won for us and casting ourselves upon Him for grace and mercy?

I'm not an advocate of the synergy dogma.... for that makes salvation man's 'smartness' in believing....

Being one of His sheep, I guess I could say that my 'DNA' is built to hear His voice and my wisdom is somehow His wisdom in responding to His call...

As one studies, it is very deep to know that man has been give a mind to think, yet God works man to do His will... Think of Joseph, of Pharaoh, of kings and rulers, of Judas, of Paul, of John the Baptist...of every man ever created.... each for God's purposes and ultimately for His glory....


So saying that God believes for us may plant a human understanding that seems impossible, but some how some what I can think do and say and it's all according to His plan.... This is deep, yet God is also everywhere at the same time too, and still I find that hard to grasp at times as well....

And don't even ask me how an airplane can fly, for I have no clue how something so massive can glide in the air....and yet I say that God built the airplane using man to do the work....


For His glory...

Brother Mark
Feb 26th 2008, 03:10 PM
And don't even ask me how an airplane can fly, for I have no clue how something so massive can glide in the air....and yet I say that God built the airplane using man to do the work....


For His glory...

So, did God cause Adam and Eve to sin? :hmm:

9Marksfan
Feb 26th 2008, 03:25 PM
I'm not an advocate of the synergy dogma.... for that makes salvation man's 'smartness' in believing....

Not at all. Man cannot and will not believe unless he is first born again and then enabled to believe in Christ - which he WILL do, because Christ has become irresisitible to his renewed heart. Nothing smart about that. Do we still disagree?


Being one of His sheep, I guess I could say that my 'DNA' is built to hear His voice and my wisdom is somehow His wisdom in responding to His call...

Yes - but you are NOT passive in these things!


As one studies, it is very deep to know that man has been give a mind to think, yet God works man to do His will... Think of Joseph, of Pharaoh, of kings and rulers, of Judas, of Paul, of John the Baptist...of every man ever created.... each for God's purposes and ultimately for His glory....

So you DO believe in concurrence then?


So saying that God believes for us may plant a human understanding that seems impossible, but some how some what I can think do and say and it's all according to His plan.... This is deep, yet God is also everywhere at the same time too, and still I find that hard to grasp at times as well....

But when you grasp that the only explanation for our volitionally believing is because we have a renewed heart and are enabled to believe - you can STILL say that salvation is all of God - yet he does NOT believe for us! We do so with His enabling!!!!! It is an active thing - otherwise Paul would have said "Let God sanctify you without any fear or trembling of your own, for He is at work in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" - that would be a passive Christian life - "let go and let God" - but it's a WORKOUT SESSION!!!!!!!! :monkeyd:


And don't even ask me how an airplane can fly, for I have no clue how something so massive can glide in the air....and yet I say that God built the airplane using man to do the work....

Precisely - man was not passive! But God deserves all the glory! Agreed?


For His glory...

Amen!

Son_kissed
Feb 26th 2008, 03:38 PM
Good morning again RbG.

Just want to say, before anything else, that I appreciate the graciousness and lack of contention in your posts.


Hi SK!

I don't see any force by God on any one... in fact I think it's the opposite, whereas they are grateful that He picked them out of sin's curse...

Ezekiel 36:26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

No doubt we are grateful! That doesn't negate the fact, if you're correct, that we didn't choose willingly, but were forced to choose God's righteousness and love while others were left to their own devises and could not make that same choice.

My understanding of the Ezekiel prophecy you quoted is that this will be the culmination of the "working out" of Israels salvation. They were made children of God long before, and the fulfillment of this prophecy is also the fulfillment of the promise God gave Abraham thousands of years earlier. A promise that was confirmed when, by faith, Abraham offered Isaac. This new heart He will give them is given after they've already been made His children long, long ago.

Again, RbG, I totally believe that God works in the life of believers, both before and after they believe, I just dont see any evidence, yet, that God makes the choice for them. God told Abraham to go, and Abraham obeyed. It was a command, and Abraham chose to obey.

He left the land of His idol worshipping family and chose God's righteousness. Nowhere is there any indication that God made that choice for him, that I see.


Salvation's call has to have wisdom within it, for intellect has to play a major role in understanding the gospel..... Childlike faith comes along no doubt, but knowing that you are a sinner, knowing that there is nothing you can do to earn God's grace, knowing that Christ paid the complete price, has to have our intellect to see and understand in responding....

All of us here battle with our intellect, for sound doctrine reaches our minds and not only our hearts, [for as many folks who contribute here are as many folks who believe that their doctrine is the only correct one :lol:....] BUT our 'heart strings' follow right behind in response.... Look deep at scripture, the instruction is for reasoning and not so much for emotion, but again, I believe our emotions go hand-in-hand with our intellect and it's hard to separate.

For it's God's wisdom in opening our eyes that I proclaim one must have to be truly saved, and in that anything else is just going through the motions for a season.

For His glory...

So why wouldnt God also give us the wisdom to understand why He would give some the ability to desire and choose His Righteousness and love, but not others? If He is revealed to us in scripture and through Christ, and we can trust Him based on what we can know, and part of what we're to understand is that He is fair and just, then I am missing something. That is not fair or just as far as I can see. Is this the part where we are to have childlike faith, and forget intellect? (Yes, its a rhetorical question, but feel free to answer it.;))

The God I know, as manifested in Jesus Christ would not do this. Consider the leper of Mark 1. Jesus was moved with compassion for this man and healed him, knowing the man would immediately disobey him. Yet he was still moved with compassion for him! It makes no sense that he would love this man and offer physical healing, but deny him the ability to be spiritually healed. The choice seems to be the man's alone. Jesus was willing.

Blessings

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 26th 2008, 04:51 PM
Not at all. Man cannot and will not believe unless he is first born again and then enabled to believe in Christ - which he WILL do, because Christ has become irresisitible to his renewed heart. Nothing smart about that. Do we still disagree?



Yes - but you are NOT passive in these things!



So you DO believe in concurrence then?



But when you grasp that the only explanation for our volitionally believing is because we have a renewed heart and are enabled to believe - you can STILL say that salvation is all of God - yet he does NOT believe for us! We do so with His enabling!!!!! It is an active thing - otherwise Paul would have said "Let God sanctify you without any fear or trembling of your own, for He is at work in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" - that would be a passive Christian life - "let go and let God" - but it's a WORKOUT SESSION!!!!!!!! :monkeyd:



Precisely - man was not passive! But God deserves all the glory! Agreed?



Amen!


Hi 9Marksfan....

I don't believe if I ever stated that God believes for us, but if I had, then I want to make a correction.... God gives us faith to believe and faith that won't fail, because it's from God, not from within ourselves

I have always been a proponent that Man has his thoughts plan and way, yet God directs His way.... Proverbs 16:9

and yet...

Philippians 2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure


So If you went search this site for my name and the key word concurrent, I think you would see that I do think man plays a part in the life He has been given, yet God is always in control...


Again, as a matter of perspective man's or God's, and it's God's that counts the most....


If you like to read good books on theology, I suggest you pick up Arthur W. Pink's The Sovereignty of God.... Not only does he offer good biblical hermeneutics, but it is written in good easy to understand flowing form....

9Marksfan
Feb 26th 2008, 05:19 PM
Hi 9Marksfan....

I don't believe if I ever stated that God believes for us, but if I had, then I want to make a correction.... God gives us faith to believe and faith that won't fail, because it's from God, not from within ourselves

I have always been a proponent that Man has his thoughts plan and way, yet God directs His way.... Proverbs 16:9

and yet...

Philippians 2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure


So If you went search this site for my name and the key word concurrent, I think you would see that I do think man plays a part in the life He has been given, yet God is always in control...


Again, as a matter of perspective man's or God's, and it's God's that counts the most....


If you like to read good books on theology, I suggest you pick up Arthur W. Pink's The Sovereignty of God.... Not only does he offer good biblical hermeneutics, but it is written in good easy to understand flowing form....

Thanks for the recommendation - but I first read it in 1984! It was the first book that exposed me to the doctrines of grace! I agree with all you've said and will check out your concurrent posts when I have a spare moment. Thanks!

losthorizon
Feb 27th 2008, 12:11 AM
OK, if that's what you understand... I though, see it as God's work within me, and not my own to boost in....


And to point to scripture, it states that she could only believe, for the Lord opened her heart.... So my reading in opening of her heart is by giving her faith to believe in Christ as her Lord and Savior... and that this wasn't her work, or even Paul's work, but supernaturally the Work of the Lord Himself...
Lydia’s faith “came” the same way my faith “came” – by hearing the word of God – “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” If you wish to eliminate any human role in salvation then you must go counter to sound doctrine – salvation comes when we “work the works of God” – "not of our own works lest any man should boast…" The Holy Spirit works through the gospel of Christ to bring one to saving faith in God.

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 27th 2008, 12:22 AM
Lydia’s faith “came” the same way my faith “came” – by hearing the word of God – “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” If you wish to eliminate any human role in salvation then you must go counter to sound doctrine – salvation comes when we “work the works of God” – "not of our own works lest any man should boast…" The Holy Spirit works through the gospel of Christ to bring one to saving faith in God.


I don't disagree with this at all...

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 27th 2008, 02:39 PM
Morning SK


Good morning again RbG.

Just want to say, before anything else, that I appreciate the graciousness and lack of contention in your posts.

I too am praising God for our discussion and for your tender heart for our Lord and shown within your replies...





No doubt we are grateful! That doesn't negate the fact, if you're correct, that we didn't choose willingly, but were forced to choose God's righteousness and love while others were left to their own devises and could not make that same choice.


But we do choose willingly, at least I did…. In fact I can’t think of one person who has ever stated to me that they were coerced by God to believe… I think what’s missing is finding an answer to “Why did I chose/find/come to/etc Jesus”, for “what makes me ‘smart/wise enough’ to see, understand, and respond to the Gospel, and yet to the man beside me, hearing the same message, does not.?” The differentiator is God, and not you or I.

Quick question -- is it impossible for God to do something within you and you not think or see that it is from Him? What I mean is, could you say that in your desire to believe God, and that your mind sees God and responds in love, and you say I made a choice to believe… could have this desire to believe, this understanding to see, could this have been supernaturally given to you by God? Is this possible or not?




My understanding of the Ezekiel prophecy you quoted is that this will be the culmination of the "working out" of Israels salvation. They were made children of God long before, and the fulfillment of this prophecy is also the fulfillment of the promise God gave Abraham thousands of years earlier. A promise that was confirmed when, by faith, Abraham offered Isaac. This new heart He will give them is given after they've already been made His children long, long ago.

So…. Let’s look at John 3:3, Jesus tells Nicodemus, one who is a teacher of the OT, that one needs to be born again in order to be saved, and Jesus then points him to Ezekiel to show that every man who is saved must be born of water and Spirit. Vs5.

Here we see the correct interpretation for Ezekiel given by Jesus Himself, that God is the one who works salvation in a man, and not man working his way to God.

Then also look to John the Baptist comments about the work of God in verse 27…. He states: “A man can receive nothing unless it has been give him from above”. Again, an emphasis of God’s sovereign authority in life.




Again, RbG, I totally believe that God works in the life of believers, both before and after they believe, I just dont see any evidence, yet, that God makes the choice for them.

This is so encouraging to hear, for I sense an openness to see God’s sovereignty in all things… Remember my above comments…. You are making these choices, but because God has given you the directive to do so, yet this directive is still within your choice… Hard to grasp I agree, but God being God places people within their roles that have been preordained, yet preserves their thoughts and ways….

Look at Pontius Pilate, he claiming that he had all authority to determine the fate of Jesus… And what was Jesus’ reply?

John 19:10, 11
10 So Pilate said to Him, "You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?"
11 Jesus answered, "You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin."





God told Abraham to go, and Abraham obeyed. It was a command, and Abraham chose to obey.

Good question, so the question you should also ask along with this is why Abraham? Didn’t God choose Abraham? And then I would ask, where does Abraham’s faith come from?

Romans 4:9-16
9 Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, "FAITH WAS CREDITED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS."
10 How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised;
11 and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,
12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.
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,


Ephesians 2:8,9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.


Faith is from God given to man to give back to God...




He left the land of His idol worshipping family and chose God's righteousness. Nowhere is there any indication that God made that choice for him, that I see.

Now just to clarify, I’m not saying that God makes the choice for anyone, but giving them the wisdom to choose ‘correctly’. See above reply for the details.



So why wouldnt God also give us the wisdom to understand why He would give some the ability to desire and choose His Righteousness and love, but not others?

But why would He? Who are we to ask and know and understand the ways of God in His choosing who He chooses?

Romans 9:14-20
14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!
15 For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION."
16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH."
18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.
19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?"
20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it?





If He is revealed to us in scripture and through Christ, and we can trust Him based on what we can know, and part of what we're to understand is that He is fair and just, then I am missing something.

He is fair and just, and holy and righteous and sinless, and jealous and a whole bunch more…. God is God and He is so much more. See next reply for the details :)




That is not fair or just as far as I can see. Is this the part where we are to have childlike faith, and forget intellect? (Yes, its a rhetorical question, but feel free to answer it.;))

What is fair? We all deserve death because of our sin. But God, in His infinite wisdom has called you and I to a saving knowledge of Him and His Son…. I see that if He were to be fair, I’d be eternally dead without Him... Hope you can see this is not about God's fairness but about man's judgement of God in salvation... We do this all the time, but to be truthful, God is God and we need to praise Him for He knows better than we...



The God I know, as manifested in Jesus Christ would not do this. Consider the leper of Mark 1. Jesus was moved with compassion for this man and healed him, knowing the man would immediately disobey him. Yet he was still moved with compassion for him! It makes no sense that he would love this man and offer physical healing, but deny him the ability to be spiritually healed. The choice seems to be the man's alone. Jesus was willing.

God bestows His mercies on whom He pleases and withholds them as it seems good unto himself… So too with salvation, for if Jesus came to save the whole world from sin, and yet the whole world does not repent and believe in part because of choice, then Jesus’ mission fails… But if Jesus comes to save the elect, those who have been preordained to be in Christ before the foundation of the world, then His mission will not fail and His will will be done… as planned. Praise God!




Blessings

May God be glorified and you and I be blessed as we study His word…

And sorry for my delay, but I have contracted the flu and it has knocked me down this week, in that I have even had to cancel most of my meetings, but found great joy in replying to your post, working on it between my coughing and sneezing and sleeping... and letting work slide a bit :)

Son_kissed
Feb 27th 2008, 04:41 PM
Thank you Redeemed.

Don't worry about the delay. I'm sorry you're not feeling well. The flu is miserable. Praying that the Lord sustains you and that you will be feeling better soon.

I'm going through one of the most painful experiences of my life right now. This discussion has helped to keep me focused on Jesus instead of my loss, and keeps reminding me that God is in control, that all things happen for a reason, and that He loves us and has a good and perfect plan. Even if we don't agree on some matters yet, I know we agree on that.

Im going to study the verses you've supplied, and pray, and take care of the daily needs of my family, but will get back to you on this when I can. Can't make any promises about how soon...

In Christ,

Son_kissed

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 27th 2008, 07:35 PM
Thank you Redeemed.

Don't worry about the delay. I'm sorry you're not feeling well. The flu is miserable. Praying that the Lord sustains you and that you will be feeling better soon.

I'm going through one of the most painful experiences of my life right now. This discussion has helped to keep me focused on Jesus instead of my loss, and keeps reminding me that God is in control, that all things happen for a reason, and that He loves us and has a good and perfect plan. Even if we don't agree on some matters yet, I know we agree on that.

Im going to study the verses you've supplied, and pray, and take care of the daily needs of my family, but will get back to you on this when I can. Can't make any promises about how soon...

In Christ,

Son_kissed


Hi SK....

Ah.... your trials are more important to me than my flu.... I will be lifting you up in prayer....

And remember,

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.

losthorizon
Feb 28th 2008, 02:43 AM
...God bestows His mercies on whom He pleases and withholds them as it seems good unto himself… So too with salvation, for if Jesus came to save the whole world from sin, and yet the whole world does not repent and believe in part because of choice, then Jesus’ mission fails… But if Jesus comes to save the elect, those who have been preordained to be in Christ before the foundation of the world, then His mission will not fail and His will will be done… as planned. Praise God!

I will respectfully disagree with your statement above. The work of Christ on the cross most certainly made it *possible* for “all men” to be saved but (as the Bible plainly teaches) only those who *choose* to believe on the One who died in our place will be saved just as those who *choose* not believe will be damned (Mk 16:16). God has chosen the “elect” before the foundation of the world based on His ability to foresee down through time those who would freely obey the gospel of Christ.

Those He has chosen are those He *knew* - of their own free will - would believe the gospel message as presented in the NT. i.e., God today saves those whom He foreknew would, of their own free will, choose to “believeth in Him” as their Lord and Savior - ‘whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life’. In God's plan of redemption God does His part and man must do his part - man must "work the works of God".
"What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" – “believe in Him whom He has sent”. The doctrine of “Limited Atonement” is a non-biblical doctrine. The writers of the NT were not Calvinists. ;)

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 28th 2008, 01:05 PM
I will respectfully disagree with your statement above. The work of Christ on the cross most certainly made it *possible* for “all men” to be saved but (as the Bible plainly teaches) only those who *choose* to believe on the One who died in our place will be saved just as those who *choose* not believe will be damned (Mk 16:16).

Hi LH...

The question I have for you is this, 'Is God sovereign in all things?' For if Jesus died for all the sins of the world, then you suggest either two things will happen, that all men will be saved or that Jesus’ death fails to save all men if but one does not choose to be saved. Your adding the word *possible* is because of your understandings, but not anywhere biblical, IMO.

If Jesus came to save the whole world, either the whole world will be saved or He will fail His mission…. Now I strongly see scripture stating that many reject Jesus, so point one is false. And I also see that God’s will is always done, for He is sovereign in all things, so failure is not an option with God, so point two is also false. So then, what’s left? I say that scripture clearly teaches He came to save His own…. Those whom the Father gave Him, He gave His life for His sheep, those elect, the many and not the all that God has given Him.

John 8:21 Then He said again to them, "I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come."

Matthew 25:41 "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

John 10:26 "But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.

==============================================



John 6:37 "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

John 17:1,2
1 Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You,
2 even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.

John 17:9 "I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours;

John 10:3,4
3 "To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4 "When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.

John 10:15, 16
15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
16 "I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.






God has chosen the “elect” before the foundation of the world based on His ability to foresee down through time those who would freely obey the gospel of Christ.

This limits God’s sovereignty and places God in subjection to man… I for one can’t go there… So how can you say He doesn’t touch any heart, but waits to see something dead become alive?

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

Romans 3:10-12
12 as it is written,
"THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE."

============================

Ezekiel 36:26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

John 3:5-7
5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 "Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'







Those He has chosen are those He *knew* - of their own free will - would believe the gospel message as presented in the NT. i.e., God today saves those whom He foreknew would, of their own free will, choose to “believeth in Him” as their Lord and Savior - ‘whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life’. In God's plan of redemption God does His part and man must do his part - man must "work the works of God".
"What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" – “believe in Him whom He has sent”. The doctrine of “Limited Atonement” is a non-biblical doctrine. The writers of the NT were not Calvinists. ;)

I respectfully ask you to look again at scripture and see if God is sovereign in all things…


And for the record… here are my tenets that I posted within another thread that I share here….

#1… That God is sovereign in all things…

In creation, in administration, in inanimate matter, in irrational creatures, in the children of men, in both good and evil angels, in Salvation, in reprobation, in operation, in human will, in human responsibility, in prayer, to say the least.

#2… That man’s salvation is for God, of God, by God, in God, through God, and God alone

#3… That a man’s salvation has been ordained by God before the foundation of the world, [which means before the fall of Adam and Eve, which means that the Fall was also ordained to happen by God.]

#4… That regeneration is God’s working in a man that set’s the soil for the Gospel to take hold, grow and produce fruit that He also has established beforehand.

One must be born again [regenerated] to then believe, and not that believing makes one born again…. The emphasis is God breathed and God driven, not man. And again, as many as been appointed to eternal life - believed

#5… That by God’s work, He gives faith and repentance and a heart of understanding along with His grace with salvation

#6… That God is long-suffering and desires that all should repent and believe, yet none do, but by the steps of #1-#5, He fashions out of corruptible clay, clay of honor….for His honor.

#7… That when in doubt, refer back to #1


For His glory...

Mograce2U
Feb 28th 2008, 03:24 PM
RBG #118 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1554902&postcount=118)

These were some of Elihu's words to Job:

(Job 33:23-30 KJV) If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show unto man his uprightness: {24} Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. {25} His flesh shall be fresher than a child's: he shall return to the days of his youth: {26} He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness. {27} He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; {28} He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. {29} Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, {30} To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 28th 2008, 06:34 PM
RBG #118 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1554902&postcount=118)

These were some of Elihu's words to Job:

(Job 33:23-30 KJV) If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show unto man his uprightness: {24} Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. {25} His flesh shall be fresher than a child's: he shall return to the days of his youth: {26} He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness. {27} He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; {28} He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. {29} Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, {30} To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.


Hi Robin,

Can you help me see your point behind the quote, for I'm assuming you are addressing the point about works saving a man, but I want to hear it from you and to the whys behind it and not just assume... :)


Tx.

losthorizon
Feb 29th 2008, 01:32 AM
Hi LH...

The question I have for you is this, 'Is God sovereign in all things?' For if Jesus died for all the sins of the world, then you suggest either two things will happen, that all men will be saved or that Jesus’ death fails to save all men if but one does not choose to be saved. Your adding the word *possible* is because of your understandings, but not anywhere biblical, IMO.

If Jesus came to save the whole world, either the whole world will be saved or He will fail His mission….

I’ll tell you what, Grace - I am trying to follow your logic but it appears to be weak logic (IMO) so help me out a little. And I will be happy to answer to your question regarding God’s sovereignty but you will need to define your term – please explain what you mean by “sovereign in all things”? I certainly think God “is before all things, and in Him all things consist" (Col. 1:16-17), i.e., God is sovereign over all creation – He personally sustains it at all.

Do you think it somehow diminishes God’s sovereignty when He gave man the gift of freewill, including the freedom to rebel against Him? Do you think man has the freedom to choose to sin against God or does God “cause man to sin” as Calvinist dogma suggests? Our atheist friends are always saying – “If God is omnipotent (power with no limits), why then does He allow innocent children to suffer”? If God allows the innocent to suffer does that diminish His sovereignty? Jesus came into the world to seek and save the lost. If the “good news” is presented to a sinner and the sinner chooses not to believe God’s truth does that act of disobedience diminish God’s sovereignty - does the sinner's act of rebellion prove that Jesus has "failed His mission"?

When the angels in heaven rebelled against God (of their own freewill) did that act of disobedience prove that God ceased to be “sovereign in all things” - did God "fail His mission" becuse of His creature's rebellion? Again, unless I am missing something is your presentation above your logic is non-logic. Do you believe there are things that God cannot do (can he lie)? If there are things God cannot do does that mean His sovereignty is diminished – does that mean He ceases to be sovereign in all things?

John146
Feb 29th 2008, 04:41 AM
The ball of faith is not within the court of man but of God within man....


Acts 13:48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

Why didn't you quote any of the previous verses?

44And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
45But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
46Then 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.
47For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. - Acts 13:46-47

Notice, that it was God's plan to have Paul and Barnabas first preach the word of God to the Jews. But since they rejected it, they turned to the Gentiles. The idea of accepting or rejecting the gospel implies free will. The implication is that they had a chance to accept it, but chose not to. That is very clear. Regarding verse 48, don't forget the following:

29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. - Romans 8:29

How are people appointed or predestinated to eternal life? Based on the verse above and 1 Peter 1:2, according to God's foreknowledge. God ordains or predestines our salvation based on His foreknowledge. He knew before the foundation of the world who would repent and believe the gospel and who would not. Even though God knows everything beforehand, He still intervenes in world affairs and in people's lives based on our actions and beliefs. Just because God always knew everything that would ever happen doesn't mean He predetermines everything that happens. He intervenes in "real time", so to speak, or within our realm even though He is outside of it and not confined within space or time.

John146
Feb 29th 2008, 05:04 AM
Not at all. Man cannot and will not believe unless he is first born again and then enabled to believe in Christ - which he WILL do, because Christ has become irresisitible to his renewed heart. Nothing smart about that. Do we still disagree?

Where is the Scripture that says "man cannot and will not believe unless he is first born again and then enabled to believe in Christ"?

John146
Feb 29th 2008, 06:53 AM
But why would He? Who are we to ask and know and understand the ways of God in His choosing who He chooses?

Romans 9:14-20
14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!
15 For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION."
16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH."
18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.
19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?"
20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it?

You are mistaken in thinking that the above has to do with choosing to either salvation or damnation. No. It has to do with God choosing people for a PURPOSE. He hardened Pharaoah's heart for a purpose, which was "that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.". He did not harden Pharaoah's heart so that Pharaoah would be damned to the lake of fire for eternity.

We DO KNOW how God chooses or determines one to be saved or condemned. That is clearly spelled out throughout the New Testament.

8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
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. 11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. - Romans 10:8-11

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

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. 18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. - John 3:16-18

10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. - 2 Cor 7:10



What is fair?

God judging everyone by the same standards.

17And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: - 1 Peter 1:17



We all deserve death because of our sin. But God, in His infinite wisdom has called you and I to a saving knowledge of Him and His Son…. I see that if He were to be fair, I’d be eternally dead without Him... Hope you can see this is not about God's fairness but about man's judgement of God in salvation... We do this all the time, but to be truthful, God is God and we need to praise Him for He knows better than we...

Many are called, but few are chosen. (Matt 20:16, Matt 22:14)



God bestows His mercies on whom He pleases and withholds them as it seems good unto himself… So too with salvation, for if Jesus came to save the whole world from sin, and yet the whole world does not repent and believe in part because of choice, then Jesus’ mission fails…

How can you say that Jesus's mission fails when the failure is solely on the one who chooses not to repent and believe? God has concluded all people in unbelief so that He might have mercy upon all (Romans 11:32), if they humble themselves and repent of their sins (Luke 18:10-14). His mission to make salvation available to "whosoever will" did not fail. He said, "It is finished". He accomplished what He came to do which was to make it so that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.



But if Jesus comes to save the elect, those who have been preordained to be in Christ before the foundation of the world, then His mission will not fail and His will will be done… as planned. Praise God!

Jesus came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Who is that then? ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Has He failed to call sinners to repentance? Does He, with respect of persons, call some and not others? Many are called, but few are chosen (Matt 20:16, 22:14).

10And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
11And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
12But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 13But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. - Matthew 9:10-13

Christ was sent to be the Savior of the world, but under certain conditions. Just because one chooses to reject Him doesn't mean He failed in His mission.

14And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. - 1 John 4:14-15

Christ was sent to be the Savior of THE WORLD. However, that does not mean He was sent to save the world and therefore He failed since not all are saved. He succeeded in making salvation possible for whosoever would confess that Jesus is the Son of God.

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 29th 2008, 12:02 PM
You are mistaken in thinking that the above has to do with choosing to either salvation or damnation. No. It has to do with God choosing people for a PURPOSE. He hardened Pharaoah's heart for a purpose, which was "that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.". He did not harden Pharaoah's heart so that Pharaoah would be damned to the lake of fire for eternity.

We DO KNOW how God chooses or determines one to be saved or condemned. That is clearly spelled out throughout the New Testament.

8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
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. 11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. - Romans 10:8-11

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

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. 18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. - John 3:16-18

10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. - 2 Cor 7:10



God judging everyone by the same standards.

17And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: - 1 Peter 1:17



Many are called, but few are chosen. (Matt 20:16, Matt 22:14)



How can you say that Jesus's mission fails when the failure is solely on the one who chooses not to repent and believe? God has concluded all people in unbelief so that He might have mercy upon all (Romans 11:32), if they humble themselves and repent of their sins (Luke 18:10-14). His mission to make salvation available to "whosoever will" did not fail. He said, "It is finished". He accomplished what He came to do which was to make it so that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.



Jesus came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Who is that then? ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Has He failed to call sinners to repentance? Does He, with respect of persons, call some and not others? Many are called, but few are chosen (Matt 20:16, 22:14).

10And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
11And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
12But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 13But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. - Matthew 9:10-13

Christ was sent to be the Savior of the world, but under certain conditions. Just because one chooses to reject Him doesn't mean He failed in His mission.

14And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. - 1 John 4:14-15

Christ was sent to be the Savior of THE WORLD. However, that does not mean He was sent to save the world and therefore He failed since not all are saved. He succeeded in making salvation possible for whosoever would confess that Jesus is the Son of God.

Hi John146,


So you say a lot here but to be truthful, not sure what your point really is.... 'how one is saved', 'who can be saved', 'how fair is God', 'free will is God's plan', 'I'm all wet', etc... So let's net this out to one question to start,

So which one shall I pick... :hmm: OK...


Does The shepherd pick His sheep to shepherd or does the sheep choose?


There are more questions, but I sense knowing this one is the basis for the next question, which will lead to the next and so on... Hope you understand that if we are interested in finding truth together, that we need to start with one truth to build to the next....

Thanks

Mograce2U
Feb 29th 2008, 05:11 PM
RbG,

Does The shepherd pick His sheep to shepherd or does the sheep choose? Taken in the context of Jesus' earthly ministry to find the lost sheep of Israel, He certainly did personally pick all those marked for salvation by delivering the gospel to them. None of His disciples/apostles were lost. The 144,000 represents all of these who were part of the (elect) remnant of Israel in the 1st century.

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 29th 2008, 07:09 PM
RbG,
Taken in the context of Jesus' earthly ministry to find the lost sheep of Israel, He certainly did personally pick all those marked for salvation by delivering the gospel to them. None of His disciples/apostles were lost. The 144,000 represents all of these who were part of the (elect) remnant of Israel in the 1st century.

Hi Robin,

I do not hold an amillennial or preterist view, so we of course would disagree who the 144,000 are.

Hope all is well...

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 29th 2008, 08:42 PM
Where is the Scripture that says "man cannot and will not believe unless he is first born again and then enabled to believe in Christ"?

Look to John 3 .

John146
Feb 29th 2008, 10:00 PM
Look to John 3 .

Nowhere in John 3 can I see where it says anything like "man cannot and will not believe unless he is first born again and then enabled to believe in Christ"?. Can you show me how you came to that conclusion?

John146
Feb 29th 2008, 10:20 PM
Hi John146,
So you say a lot here but to be truthful, not sure what your point really is.... 'how one is saved', 'who can be saved', 'how fair is God', 'free will is God's plan', 'I'm all wet', etc...

All I did was respond to points that you made, so I don't see the problem.



So let's net this out to one question to start,

So which one shall I pick... :hmm: OK...


Does The shepherd pick His sheep to shepherd or does the sheep choose?


There are more questions, but I sense knowing this one is the basis for the next question, which will lead to the next and so on... Hope you understand that if we are interested in finding truth together, that we need to start with one truth to build to the next....

Thanks

Are you referring to the following passage in particular?

14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
16Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

We don't choose Christ on our own accord. That is true. But we do choose whether to repent and obey Him and abide in Him. He commands all people everywhere to repent and believe the gospel. But not everyone does. How can that be? Only if He gives people a choice. Notice verse 14 above. We are His friends IF we obey His commandments (love God and our fellow man).

Let's look what else He said in John 15.

5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. - John 15:5-6

Again, Jesus gives a condition. If one abides in Him, then he/she will bear fruit and are in good standing with Him. If he/she does not, then they will be cast into the fire. This means that election is conditional, not unconditional, and it is determined according to the foreknowledge of God.

29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. - Romans 8:29


Jesus chose the 12 original disciples to follow Him, they did not choose Him. And, yet, one of them did not follow Him. How could that be if what He was talking about was choosing them to salvation according to the predetermination of God before the foundation of the world? He obviously wasn't choosing them all to salvation because one of them ended up not being saved. They were chosen for a purpose, not to salvation. The purpose for 11 of them was to preach the gospel to the lost. The purpose for the other was to betray Christ so that He would be crucified and have His blood shed as He came to do.

losthorizon
Feb 29th 2008, 11:35 PM
I’ll tell you what, Grace - I am trying to follow your logic but it appears to be weak logic (IMO) so help me out a little. And I will be happy to answer to your question regarding God’s sovereignty but you will need to define your term – please explain what you mean by “sovereign in all things”? I certainly think God “is before all things, and in Him all things consist" (Col. 1:16-17), i.e., God is sovereign over all creation – He personally sustains it at all.

Do you think it somehow diminishes God’s sovereignty when He gave man the gift of freewill, including the freedom to rebel against Him? Do you think man has the freedom to choose to sin against God or does God “cause man to sin” as Calvinist dogma suggests? Our atheist friends are always saying – “If God is omnipotent (power with no limits), why then does He allow innocent children to suffer”? If God allows the innocent to suffer does that diminish His sovereignty? Jesus came into the world to seek and save the lost. If the “good news” is presented to a sinner and the sinner chooses not to believe God’s truth does that act of disobedience diminish God’s sovereignty - does the sinner's act of rebellion prove that Jesus has "failed His mission"?

When the angels in heaven rebelled against God (of their own freewill) did that act of disobedience prove that God ceased to be “sovereign in all things” - did God "fail His mission" becuse of His creature's rebellion? Again, unless I am missing something is your presentation above your logic is non-logic. Do you believe there are things that God cannot do (can he lie)? If there are things God cannot do does that mean His sovereignty is diminished – does that mean He ceases to be sovereign in all things?
*bump*

I am still interested in your thinking on the question you presented - 'Is God sovereign in all things?' You mistakenly think that if Jesus died for the sins of “all men” and just one man rejects His offer of pardon then Jesus has somehow failed in His mission to reconcile man back to God. This is non-biblical thinking.

By your logic, when the rebellious angels "which kept not their first estate" rebelled against God (of their own freewill), that this act of disobedience caused God to cease being the “sovereign in all things”. What do you think? ;)

losthorizon
Mar 1st 2008, 12:30 AM
Nowhere in John 3 can I see where it says anything like "man cannot and will not believe unless he is first born again and then enabled to believe in Christ"?. Can you show me how you came to that conclusion?
According to the Bible it’s an erroneous conclusion – the NT writers clearly taught the “new birth” comes through hearing the Word of Truth, not by some mystical process preceding faith. :)
He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. (James 1:18).

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. (1 Pet. 1:23).

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 1st 2008, 02:18 AM
Nowhere in John 3 can I see where it says anything like "man cannot and will not believe unless he is first born again and then enabled to believe in Christ"?. Can you show me how you came to that conclusion?

It is very simple.... How involved were you with your 1st birth? Meaning your choices and decisions... Same goes with Spiritual birth.

John 3:6-8
6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
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."

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 1st 2008, 02:20 AM
All I did was respond to points that you made, so I don't see the problem.



Are you referring to the following passage in particular?

14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
16Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

We don't choose Christ on our own accord. That is true. But we do choose whether to repent and obey Him and abide in Him. He commands all people everywhere to repent and believe the gospel. But not everyone does. How can that be? Only if He gives people a choice. Notice verse 14 above. We are His friends IF we obey His commandments (love God and our fellow man).

Let's look what else He said in John 15.

5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. - John 15:5-6

Again, Jesus gives a condition. If one abides in Him, then he/she will bear fruit and are in good standing with Him. If he/she does not, then they will be cast into the fire. This means that election is conditional, not unconditional, and it is determined according to the foreknowledge of God.

29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. - Romans 8:29


Jesus chose the 12 original disciples to follow Him, they did not choose Him. And, yet, one of them did not follow Him. How could that be if what He was talking about was choosing them to salvation according to the predetermination of God before the foundation of the world? He obviously wasn't choosing them all to salvation because one of them ended up not being saved. They were chosen for a purpose, not to salvation. The purpose for 11 of them was to preach the gospel to the lost. The purpose for the other was to betray Christ so that He would be crucified and have His blood shed as He came to do.

See my previous post

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 1st 2008, 02:27 AM
*bump*

I am still interested in your thinking on the question you presented - 'Is God sovereign in all things?' You mistakenly think that if Jesus died for the sins of “all men” and just one man rejects His offer of pardon then Jesus has somehow failed in His mission to reconcile man back to God. This is non-biblical thinking.

By your logic, when the rebellious angels "which kept not their first estate" rebelled against God (of their own freewill), that this act of disobedience caused God to cease being the “sovereign in all things”. What do you think? ;)


My position is that Jesus did not die for the sins of the whole world, but for the elect that God has called... from ever tongue and tribe as promised to Abraham... So all that the Father has given Jesus ALL will be saved.... God is not sinful, does not sin, and hates sin, but uses the sin of man to do His will.... For there is no Plan B...

Hard to grasp, but none-the-less true...

losthorizon
Mar 1st 2008, 03:25 AM
My position is that Jesus did not die for the sins of the whole world, but for the elect that God has called... from ever tongue and tribe as promised to Abraham... So all that the Father has given Jesus ALL will be saved.... God is not sinful, does not sin, and hates sin, but uses the sin of man to do His will.... For there is no Plan B...

Hard to grasp, but none-the-less true...
But you have never answered my questions –


Jesus came into the world to seek and save the lost. If the “good news” is presented to a lost sinner and the sinner chooses not to believe God’s truth does that act of disobedience diminish God’s sovereignty - does the sinner's act of rebellion prove that Jesus has "failed His mission" as you have suggested?


When the rebellious angels "which kept not their first estate" rebelled against God (of their own freewill), did this act of disobedience cause God to cease being the “sovereign in all things”?


Do you think it somehow diminishes God’s sovereignty that He gave man the gift of freewill, including the freedom to rebel against Him?
.
Do you think man has the freedom to choose to sin and rebel against God or does God cause man to sin and rebel as Calvinist dogma suggests?


Hard to grasp, but none-the-less true...
To be rejected because it is non-biblical…why...because God so loves all the world that He gave His only begotten Son to die on a cross to save mankind from their sins...and "he who believes and is baptized will be saved... ;)

Mograce2U
Mar 1st 2008, 03:53 AM
Hi Losthorizon,
My personal favorites are these:

(Acts 2:21 KJV) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

(Rom 10:13 KJV) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

That "whosoever" worked for me!

losthorizon
Mar 1st 2008, 04:31 AM
Hi Losthorizon,
My personal favorites are these:

(Acts 2:21 KJV) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

(Rom 10:13 KJV) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

That "whosoever" worked for me!
Hi Robin – “whosoever shall” works fine for me too…:)
Whosoever: “whatever person : no matter who.” (© 2007- 08 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated)Calvinists change “whosoever” and “all” into “elect” in over a dozen passages in the NT. Why? Because they must do so to support the unbiblical doctrine of “Limited Atonement”. Sad but true…

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 1st 2008, 09:22 PM
Hi LH,


But you have never answered my questions –


Jesus came into the world to seek and save the lost. If the “good news” is presented to a lost sinner and the sinner chooses not to believe God’s truth does that act of disobedience diminish God’s sovereignty - does the sinner's act of rebellion prove that Jesus has "failed His mission" as you have suggested?

RbG>>> I will try again to be very direct… Jesus came to seek and Save all that the Father has given Him. Are all the lost saved? The answer is no. Are all those lost who are of His sheep saved…the answer is yes… God the Father elected certain ones to salvation, God the Son died for the elect, and God the Spirit quickens the elect


When the rebellious angels "which kept not their first estate" rebelled against God (of their own freewill), did this act of disobedience cause God to cease being the “sovereign in all things”?

RbG>>> All things are under God’s control… All things…


Do you think it somehow diminishes God’s sovereignty that He gave man the gift of freewill, including the freedom to rebel against Him?

RbG>>> I’m sorry to be so direct, but you don’t even know what you are saying be saying man has free will. What is human will? Is it a self-determining agent, or is it in turn determined by something else? Is human will sovereign or servant? Does the will rule the mind, or does the mind control the will? Is the will free to do as it pleases, or is it under the necessity of rendering obedience to something outside of itself?


Again, what is the will? I submit that the will is the faculty of choice, the immediate cause of an action. Choice necessarily implies the refusal of one thing and the acceptance of another. The positive and the negative must both be present to the mind before there can be any choice. To will is to choice something which determines the decision. Hence the will cannot be sovereign because it is the servant of that something. The will cannot be both sovereign and servant. It cannot be both cause and effect. So man does not have and has not been created with free will. I personally would teach that man has been give the ability to make willing choices in life, but would also say that scripture teaches that man does not seek God, not righteousness and that all fall short, given free will or willing choices.

.
Do you think man has the freedom to choose to sin and rebel against God or does God cause man to sin and rebel as Calvinist dogma suggests?

RbG>>> Man is bound by sin, so man will not choose God, that’s why God has to birth again His elect by the regeneration of the Spirit



To be rejected because it is non-biblical…why...because God so loves all the world that He gave His only begotten Son to die on a cross to save mankind from their sins...and "he who believes and is baptized will be saved... ;)


You are misquoting John 3-16 to apply it to your predispositions. 'All the world' are words you are bringing, along with your usage of 'to save mankind'... this is not the same as:


John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

and thus is a wrong understanding...


For His glory...

John146
Mar 2nd 2008, 12:16 AM
It is very simple.... How involved were you with your 1st birth? Meaning your choices and decisions...

This is not valid to compare natural brith to spiritual birth. Is there any Scripture that does this in the way you are doing? If so, show me. Otherwise, I can't take this analogy seriously.




Same goes with Spiritual birth.

John 3:6-8
6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
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, where does this say that we must be born again before we can have the ability to repent and put our faith in Christ?

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 2nd 2008, 01:18 AM
This is not valid to compare natural brith to spiritual birth. Is there any Scripture that does this in the way you are doing? If so, show me. Otherwise, I can't take this analogy seriously.

I have been trying to lead you -- but it seems you don't want to follow....

Salvation is of the Lord.

No man seeks God

All men have sinned

God has chosen His elect from the beginning, through sanctification by the Spirit, and faith and truth

One must be born again to see the kingdom of heaven.

Everyone who is born of the Spirit is as the wind.

Salvation is by God's grace through Faith.

Less anyone should boast

I've left out the references just so you might search the scriptures to see for yourself...






Once again, where does this say that we must be born again before we can have the ability to repent and put our faith in Christ?

And again, one must be born again to believe... John 3:3....


Notice this verse starts with --- Unless......

John146
Mar 2nd 2008, 01:29 AM
Hi LH,

You are misquoting John 3-16 to apply it to your predispositions. 'All the world' are words you are bringing, along with your usage of 'to save mankind'... this is not the same as:


John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

and thus is a wrong understanding...


For His glory...

How about John 3:17.

17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Is this saying that God didn't send His Son to condemn the whole world but to make salvation available to the whole world or is it saying that He didn't send His Son to condemn believers but to save them? If the latter, why would it say that God did not send His Son into the world to condemn believers? Wouldn't that be obvious? Of course He wouldn't do that. Wouldn't it go without saying? So, it should be obvious that it's saying that God did not send His Son to condemn the whole world. So, if "the world" means the whole world there, then it does when it says "the world through Him might be saved" as well.

Does "the world" not mean the whole world in the following passages, either? In your mind, does "the world" ever mean the whole world in Scripture?

42And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. - John 4:42

14And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. - 1 John 4:14-15

What about this one?

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 2:2

Is Christ not the propitiation or atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, as it says in 1 John 2:2? The passage above clearly says that He is. If He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world and not ours only, then how can it be the case that salvation is not available to all people in the world? That is what "the whole world" means in that verse. In case you don't agree, in the Greek the whole world is "holos kosmos". It is used in the following verse:

14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. - Matthew 24:14

Obviously, "all the world" in this verse means all people in the whole world, and that is what it means in 1 John 2:2 as well.

John146
Mar 2nd 2008, 02:34 AM
I have been trying to lead you -- but it seems you don't want to follow....

The way I see it, you are trying to lead me into false teaching, so no thanks. However, I have been responding to you point by point, so it's not fair to imply that I'm somehow ignoring what you're saying or anything like that. I have made several points to you in other posts that you have never responded back to. But that's your choice to respond or not.



Salvation is of the Lord.

Yes, it is. Our being required to repent and choose to put our faith in Christ doesn't change that. It's your understanding of what that means that I believe is flawed. Salvation ORIGINATES with the Lord. He made it possible by the shed blood of His Son on the cross. But salvation does not occur until one repents, calls on the name of the Lord and puts their faith in Christ alone as their Lord and Savior.



No man seeks God

Not true. The following verses show that only some do not seek God but some do. All can seek God if they so choose.

4The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. - Psalm 10:4

1Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

2Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
3Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
4Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.
5Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.
6Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. - Isaiah 55:1-7

What does this passage teach? That IF the wicked and unrighteous forsake their ways and seek the Lord while He may be found THEN God will have mercy upon them and pardon their sins.

6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. - Hebrews 11:6

If no man seeks God how can it be that He rewards those who diligently seek Him?

Your view, no doubt, comes from Romans 3:11. But, you have to realize that Romans 3 quotes Psalm 14 (or Psalm 53 - they are almost exactly the same).

1The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
2The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
3They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 4Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD. - Psalm 14:1-4

What you should notice here is that, despite how it might appear on the surface, this is not actually saying that no one seeks God. It is saying that the fool who says there is no God, and the ones who are corrupt and do abominable works, are the ones who do not seek God. Notice that God says of those people that they "eat up my people". Wait a minute. I thought it said He looked down and He didn't find anyone who does good or seeks Him? Yet it's still speaking of His people? Surely He wouldn't say about His own people that none of them do good or seek Him, right? So, to say flat out that literally no man ever seeks God and no man can seek God contradicts the passages I quoted above (Isa 55:1-7, Heb 11:6-7) as well as several others. You have to look at Scripture as a whole instead of drawing conclusions from one verse (Romans 3:11).



All men have sinned

Clearly



God has chosen His elect from the beginning, through sanctification by the Spirit, and faith and truth

He chosen the elect according to His foreknowledge (1 Peter 1:2, Romans 8:29).



One must be born again to see the kingdom of heaven.

Definitely



Everyone who is born of the Spirit is as the wind.

Oops. That is incorrect. Read John 3 again more carefully. It is the Spirit Himself who is like the wind, not us. It is those of us who are born of the Spirit who can't see the Spirit just like we can't see the wind, but we know He is there just like we know that the wind is there by feeling the breeze and seeing the leaves on a tree blowing in the wind and so on.



Salvation is by God's grace through Faith.

Our faith. Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.



Less anyone should boast

Why is there boasting in having faith? Abraham's faith was accounted to him for righteousness (Romans 4:9). Does that mean he could boast of his faith? Do you think he boasted of his faith? I'm sure he didn't. To have faith in Christ, one must humble themselves, confess their sins, repent of their sins, and acknowledge that they can't save themselves and only Christ can save them. Where is boasting in that?



I've left out the references just so you might search the scriptures to see for yourself...

What made you think that I hadn't already?



And again, one must be born again to believe... John 3:3....


Notice this verse starts with --- Unless......

3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. - John 3:3

This verse says that unless one is born again they cannot see (or enter - John 3:5) the kingdom of God. It doesn't say one must be born again to believe. You are adding something that isn't there. If we repent, call on the name of the Lord, and put our faith in Christ, then we are born again and enter into the kingdom of God.

When do you think that the baptism of the Holy Spriit happens? There is no reason to think that it doesn't happen either simultaneously or very closely together with being born of the Spirit and made spiritually alive in Christ. The baptism of the Spirit is what places us into the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:13). But, according to you, when one is regenerated or born again they are not yet in the body of Christ because they still have to repent and believe before they are saved and enter into the body. I don't believe that is what Scripture teaches. I don't see how one can be born again and not saved or not yet saved. We are born again of incorruptible seed (1 Peter 1:23). What do you do in the scenario where someone is regenerated but is killed suddenly before they can repent and put their faith in Christ? Or is it just automatic that one who is regenerated will repent and believe the gospel? Speaking from your perspective, how long after one is regenerated do they typically repent and believe? What is your experience? When were you born again and how long after did you repent and believe?

Eric

losthorizon
Mar 2nd 2008, 03:34 AM
...God the Son died for the elect, and God the Spirit quickens the elect. I will try again to be very direct… Jesus came to seek and Save all that the Father has given Him. Are all the lost saved? The answer is no. Are all those lost who are of His sheep saved…the answer is yes… God the Father elected certain ones to salvation
Jesus died for “all men” and none are excluded from God’s love. Paul plainly tells us that Jesus “is the Savior of all men” (not just the elect) but He is the Savior “especially of those who believe”. This does major damage to you non-biblical “limited atonement” notion does it not? God has “chosen” to save all men and “whosoever will” will be saved...who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth…who gave himself as a ransom for all…”
This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:9-10)Please note – God is the Savior of (1) “all men” and (2) He is the Savior of all “those who believe”. Christ died for those who will reject God’s grace as surely as He died for those "whosoever will" believe.


All things are under God’s control… All things….
Again, you contradict yourself. You insist that if Jesus came to “save all men” as the Bible clearly teaches and just one man rejects His offer of pardon through His blood then Jesus has somehow failed His mission. Conversely, you insist that even though one third of the angels rebelled against God - He still has “all things” under His control and His mission is intact. I must ask where your consistency is in this strange logic? Please clarify.

I’m sorry to be so direct, but you don’t even know what you are saying be saying man has free will.
Au contraire – it is you who misunderstand free will, my brother. Did Adam and Eve have and exercise their free will in the Garden? Were they allowed to “freely choose” to disobey God just as the angels were allowed to exercise their free will when they disobeyed God? Does God simply force me to beleive or do I have the freedom to choose to believe on His name?
And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2)

losthorizon
Mar 2nd 2008, 03:49 AM
...Salvation is of the Lord.

"...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling…for it is God who works in you…”


No man seeks God
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you…Choose you this day who you will serve … as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord"


All men have sinned
“…we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men…he who believes and is baptized shall be saved..."


God has chosen His elect from the beginning, through sanctification by the Spirit, and faith and truth
“…we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men…And he died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised…who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth…who gave himself as a ransom for all…”


Salvation is by God's grace through Faith.
“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you…What shall we do that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe…”

I've left out the references just so you might search the scriptures to see for yourself...;)

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 2nd 2008, 12:31 PM
How about John 3:17.

17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Then you must continue to 18…

John 3:18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.


We all start out being judged of God.




Is this saying that God didn't send His Son to condemn the whole world but to make salvation available to the whole world or is it saying that He didn't send His Son to condemn believers but to save them? If the latter, why would it say that God did not send His Son into the world to condemn believers?

Verse 18 covers this



Wouldn't that be obvious? Of course He wouldn't do that. Wouldn't it go without saying? So, it should be obvious that it's saying that God did not send His Son to condemn the whole world. So, if "the world" means the whole world there, then it does when it says "the world through Him might be saved" as well. Does "the world" not mean the whole world in the following passages, either? In your mind, does "the world" ever mean the whole world in Scripture?

There are places that all means all of focus and not all in total population -- context dictates which is which.

If I where to say that all at the concert were jumping up and down when the band played, what did I write and what did I mean? If this concert had 20,000 folks would my writing state that each and everyone there jumped up and down or would that mean many? Chances are that not all 20K people were jumping up and down as the band was playing, but many would be a better understanding.




42And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. - John 4:42

14And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. - 1 John 4:14-15

What about this one?

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 2:2


So then, you are positioning that the whole world will be saved, for that’s what scripture that you bring to the table states… “The Christ, the Savior of the world”. So you are believing that all in total will be saved?

If nothing else, please explain why all will be saved or why if not, then this scripture is wrong and thus a contradiction?



Is Christ not the propitiation or atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, as it says in 1 John 2:2? The passage above clearly says that He is. If He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world and not ours only, then how can it be the case that salvation is not available to all people in the world? That is what "the whole world" means in that verse. In case you don't agree, in the Greek the whole world is "holos kosmos". It is used in the following verse:

14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. - Matthew 24:14

Obviously, "all the world" in this verse means all people in the whole world, and that is what it means in 1 John 2:2 as well.

Again, Jesus saves ‘many’, not the all in total world, but the all in relative. The world is not the total, but of the tongue and tribe of every nation. Context and grammar for each verse you have used needs to be weighed with each other…. Some verses mean total, other verse mean of many…. And to that, this is all I can offer you for now…

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 2nd 2008, 12:54 PM
The way I see it, you are trying to lead me into false teaching, so no thanks.

Fair enough I suppose, for you do not know me and should weigh everything to scripture....



However, I have been responding to you point by point, so it's not fair to imply that I'm somehow ignoring what you're saying or anything like that. I have made several points to you in other posts that you have never responded back to. But that's your choice to respond or not.

Point by point posts are hard to reply, for they rabbit trail away -- as well seem to be nit-picky, but if you find one point that is important that I have missed, then call it out and I will try to address it...




Yes, it is. Our being required to repent and choose to put our faith in Christ doesn't change that. It's your understanding of what that means that I believe is flawed. Salvation ORIGINATES with the Lord. He made it possible by the shed blood of His Son on the cross. But salvation does not occur until one repents, calls on the name of the Lord and puts their faith in Christ alone as their Lord and Savior.

Well this is the crux of our difference... Dead men can't believe the work of Christ until made alive to then repent, believe and walk... My position is that this is also God's work.





Not true. The following verses show that only some do not seek God but some do. All can seek God if they so choose.

4The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. - Psalm 10:4

1Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

2Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
3Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
4Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.
5Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.
6Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. - Isaiah 55:1-7

What does this passage teach? That IF the wicked and unrighteous forsake their ways and seek the Lord while He may be found THEN God will have mercy upon them and pardon their sins.

6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. - Hebrews 11:6

If no man seeks God how can it be that He rewards those who diligently seek Him?

By His Spirit, we know, by His works, we become....



Your view, no doubt, comes from Romans 3:11. But, you have to realize that Romans 3 quotes Psalm 14 (or Psalm 53 - they are almost exactly the same).

1The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
2The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
3They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 4Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD. - Psalm 14:1-4

What you should notice here is that, despite how it might appear on the surface, this is not actually saying that no one seeks God. It is saying that the fool who says there is no God, and the ones who are corrupt and do abominable works, are the ones who do not seek God. Notice that God says of those people that they "eat up my people". Wait a minute. I thought it said He looked down and He didn't find anyone who does good or seeks Him? Yet it's still speaking of His people? Surely He wouldn't say about His own people that none of them do good or seek Him, right? So, to say flat out that literally no man ever seeks God and no man can seek God contradicts the passages I quoted above (Isa 55:1-7, Heb 11:6-7) as well as several others. You have to look at Scripture as a whole instead of drawing conclusions from one verse (Romans 3:11).

I can say the same of you too...






Clearly



He chosen the elect according to His foreknowledge (1 Peter 1:2, Romans 8:29).



Definitely



Oops. That is incorrect. Read John 3 again more carefully. It is the Spirit Himself who is like the wind, not us. It is those of us who are born of the Spirit who can't see the Spirit just like we can't see the wind, but we know He is there just like we know that the wind is there by feeling the breeze and seeing the leaves on a tree blowing in the wind and so on.



Our faith. Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.



Why is there boasting in having faith? Abraham's faith was accounted to him for righteousness (Romans 4:9). Does that mean he could boast of his faith? Do you think he boasted of his faith? I'm sure he didn't. To have faith in Christ, one must humble themselves, confess their sins, repent of their sins, and acknowledge that they can't save themselves and only Christ can save them. Where is boasting in that?



What made you think that I hadn't already?



3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. - John 3:3

This verse says that unless one is born again they cannot see (or enter - John 3:5) the kingdom of God. It doesn't say one must be born again to believe. You are adding something that isn't there. If we repent, call on the name of the Lord, and put our faith in Christ, then we are born again and enter into the kingdom of God.

When do you think that the baptism of the Holy Spriit happens? There is no reason to think that it doesn't happen either simultaneously or very closely together with being born of the Spirit and made spiritually alive in Christ.

Not sure why the question, but would agree that being born again is the regenertion and sanctification of His Spirit with a believer and happens at understanding time of the gospel.



The baptism of the Spirit is what places us into the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:13). But, according to you, when one is regenerated or born again they are not yet in the body of Christ because they still have to repent and believe before they are saved and enter into the body.

No, no, no... I've never stated this.... where you got this is of your own creation.



I don't believe that is what Scripture teaches. I don't see how one can be born again and not saved or not yet saved.

Again, this is not what I have been saying.... You need not imply things of me that are not there....



We are born again of incorruptible seed (1 Peter 1:23). What do you do in the scenario where someone is regenerated but is killed suddenly before they can repent and put their faith in Christ?

Again, you have put a timeline on this, and not I.... Who stated that this doesn't happen together? Not I....



Or is it just automatic that one who is regenerated will repent and believe the gospel? Speaking from your perspective, how long after one is regenerated do they typically repent and believe? What is your experience? When were you born again and how long after did you repent and believe?

Eric


Are you asking me to defend a position you have assigned to me? Well I can't defend something I've never stated.... but to your last question, It all happened at the same time frame.... ;)

losthorizon
Mar 2nd 2008, 09:23 PM
...There are places that all means all of focus and not all in total population -- context dictates which is which.

If I where to say that all at the concert were jumping up and down when the band played, what did I write and what did I mean? If this concert had 20,000 folks would my writing state that each and everyone there jumped up and down or would that mean many? Chances are that not all 20K people were jumping up and down as the band was playing, but many would be a better understanding.

This is yet another example of forcing the word of God to say what it never was meant to say. Calvinists must change “whosoever” and “all” into “few” or “elect” in over a dozen passages in the NT. Why? Because they must do so to support the unbiblical dogma of “Limited Atonement”. Sad but true.

Our friend wants us to believe (falsely) the death of Jesus Christ at Golgotha had absolutely nothing to do with the SINS OF ALL THE WORLD including the sins of every man and woman who has ever existed on this planet. But the Baptizer told the truth when he proclaimed, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1;29).

Our friend wants us to believe (falsely) that Christ's death on the Cross was only for the "elect" and not for “the sin of the world”. He wants us to believe (falsely) that God purposed from the foundation of the world to condemn the non-elect to a devils hell and Christ never died for their sins thus leaving them with the impossibility of ever being saved at all. Who can believe this unbiblical notion?

The hyper-Calvinist wants us to believe (falsely) that when Jesus preached to the multitudes He proclaimed,
“Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, take no comfort in my words for there is NO hope for MOST of you. My perfect ONCE-FOR-ALL-TIME sacrifice is ONLY for the “elect”. When I am lifted up on the cross the sins of MOST of you are NOT going to be covered by my precious blood. I am not going to die for your sins because God has determined from the foundation of the world that you are losers destined for the Devil’s hell.

There will NEVER be an offer of salvation for MOST of you so there is absolutely no reason for you to HEAR the GOOD NEWS and BELIEVE on my name; there is no reason for you to RECEIVE me as you Lord and Savior; there is no reason for you to REPENT of your sins (they will NEVER be forgiven). And why is this so my dear children? Because I am not going to die for your sins! Have a nice day.”

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 3rd 2008, 02:06 PM
This is yet another example of forcing the word of God to say what it never was meant to say. Calvinists must change “whosoever” and “all” into “few” or “elect” in over a dozen passages in the NT. Why? Because they must do so to support the unbiblical dogma of “Limited Atonement”. Sad but true.

Our friend wants us to believe (falsely) the death of Jesus Christ at Golgotha had absolutely nothing to do with the SINS OF ALL THE WORLD including the sins of every man and woman who has ever existed on this planet. But the Baptizer told the truth when he proclaimed, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1;29).

Our friend wants us to believe (falsely) that Christ's death on the Cross was only for the "elect" and not for “the sin of the world”. He wants us to believe (falsely) that God purposed from the foundation of the world to condemn the non-elect to a devils hell and Christ never died for their sins thus leaving them with the impossibility of ever being saved at all. Who can believe this unbiblical notion?

The hyper-Calvinist wants us to believe (falsely) that when Jesus preached to the multitudes He proclaimed,
“Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, take no comfort in my words for there is NO hope for MOST of you. My perfect ONCE-FOR-ALL-TIME sacrifice is ONLY for the “elect”. When I am lifted up on the cross the sins of MOST of you are NOT going to be covered by my precious blood. I am not going to die for your sins because God has determined from the foundation of the world that you are losers destined for the Devil’s hell.

There will NEVER be an offer of salvation for MOST of you so there is absolutely no reason for you to HEAR the GOOD NEWS and BELIEVE on my name; there is no reason for you to RECEIVE me as you Lord and Savior; there is no reason for you to REPENT of your sins (they will NEVER be forgiven). And why is this so my dear children? Because I am not going to die for your sins! Have a nice day.”

Like many folks who don’t understand God’s Sovereignty in scripture, you look back to a time in history, find John Calvin, see his advocacy that God is God and label that bad and false doctrine… And thus label everyone a Calvinist who also sees God as God.

I am not here to debate with you or anyone, but to reason via scripture, never to defend the works of a man, but defend the writings within the Bible, so if you have interest in rationally discussing this subject with me and a few others, cool…. But if your desire is to name call, belittle, be sarcastic and offend, then I will take a bye in future following up with you…

Brother Mark
Mar 3rd 2008, 02:10 PM
Hey folks, let's remove the name calling and accusations from our posts. We can all play nice.

Thanks!

losthorizon
Mar 4th 2008, 12:15 AM
Like many folks who don’t understand God’s Sovereignty in scripture…

But I do understand the sovereignty of God - God’s rule is absolute over His creation. It is you who remain in confusion. It is you who insist that if Jesus came to offer salvation to “all men” as the Bible clearly teaches and just one man rejects His offer of redemption through His blood then He somehow has failed in His mission.

Conversely, you insist that even though one third of the angels in Heaven rebelled against God - He still has “all things” under His control and His mission is intact. I have asked you more than once to defend your lack of consistency is in this strange logic but you have refused to explain. Can you defend your position?


…you look back to a time in history, find John Calvin, see his advocacy that God is God and label that bad and false doctrine… And thus label everyone a Calvinist who also sees God as God.
History remains what it is and it records John Calvin’s dogmas for what they are and have always been – non-biblical doctrine. I correctly recognize your doctrine to be the doctrine of Calvinism. Are you denying you are a Calvinist?


I am not here to debate with you or anyone, but to reason via scripture, never to defend the works of a man, but defend the writings within the Bible, so if you have interest in rationally discussing this subject with me and a few others, cool…. But if your desire is to name call, belittle, be sarcastic and offend, then I will take a bye in future following up with you…
If I have misrepresented your view on any point then please point out my error. I am here simply to point out the truth of His word - the truth that God sent His Son into the world to save sinners. The work of Christ on the Cross was intended for all men – God wants no one to be lost and those who respond to His love and grace receive redemption through the blood of Christ. And who is in need of His cleansing blood? All mankind because all have sinned against Him. And who did Christ die for? He died for all mankind – why - because “the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” The dogma of “limited atonement” is a non-biblical doctrine that should be rejected by all Christians.
"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:6)

losthorizon
Mar 4th 2008, 03:36 PM
Hi LH,


You are misquoting John 3-16 to apply it to your predispositions. 'All the world' are words you are bringing, along with your usage of 'to save mankind'... this is not the same as:


John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

and thus is a wrong understanding...

'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3: 16-18) According to Robertson's Word Pictures in New Testament, the Greek phrase, “ton kosmon” (the world) in John 3:16 refers to “the whole cosmos of men, including Gentiles, the whole human race.” To this verse, John Wesley adds, “that is, all men under heaven; even those that despise his love, and will for that cause finally perish. Otherwise not to believe would be no sin to them.”

To misunderstand the significance of the once for all time sacrifice of Jesus Christ - that it was a sacrifice for all men and women that ever lived is to misunderstand the heart of the Bible. Jesus tasted "death for every man" not just the "elect"...

The world - All mankind. It does not mean any particular part of the world, but man as man - the race that had rebelled and that deserved to die. See Joh_6:33; Joh_17:21. His love for the world, or for all mankind, in giving his Son, was shown by these circumstances:

All the world was in ruin, and exposed to the wrath of God.
All people were in a hopeless condition.
God gave his Son. Man had no claim on him; it was a gift - an undeserved gift.
He gave him up to extreme sufferings, even the bitter pains of death on the cross.
It was for all the world. He tasted “death for every man,” Heb_2:9. He “died for all,” 2Co_5:15. “He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world,” 1Jo_2:2.

That he gave - It was a free and unmerited gift. Man had no claim: and when there was no eye to pity or arm to save, it pleased God to give his Son into the hands of men to die in their stead, Gal_1:4; Rom_8:32; Luk_22:19. It was the mere movement of love; the expression of eternal compassion, and of a desire, that sinners should not perish forever. ~Albert Barnes

RogerW
Mar 4th 2008, 05:58 PM
How about John 3:17.

17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Is this saying that God didn't send His Son to condemn the whole world but to make salvation available to the whole world or is it saying that He didn't send His Son to condemn believers but to save them? If the latter, why would it say that God did not send His Son into the world to condemn believers? Wouldn't that be obvious? Of course He wouldn't do that. Wouldn't it go without saying? So, it should be obvious that it's saying that God did not send His Son to condemn the whole world. So, if "the world" means the whole world there, then it does when it says "the world through Him might be saved" as well.

Does "the world" not mean the whole world in the following passages, either? In your mind, does "the world" ever mean the whole world in Scripture?

42And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. - John 4:42

14And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. - 1 John 4:14-15

What about this one?

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 2:2

Is Christ not the propitiation or atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, as it says in 1 John 2:2? The passage above clearly says that He is. If He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world and not ours only, then how can it be the case that salvation is not available to all people in the world? That is what "the whole world" means in that verse. In case you don't agree, in the Greek the whole world is "holos kosmos". It is used in the following verse:

14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. - Matthew 24:14

Obviously, "all the world" in this verse means all people in the whole world, and that is what it means in 1 John 2:2 as well.

Greetings Eric,

When Scripture speaks of salvation for “all” is that all men without exception, or all men without distinction?

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.

In a providential way God gives all men breath, food, blessings and common mercies. In this manner God is the Savior of ALL men. But God especially cares for His own, for those who have been predestined to receive eternal life from the foundation of the world.

There is a general providence, which attends all mankind, and a special providence, which relates to the elect of God (Ps 37:23-26; Mt 6:31-34; 5:45) The word "Saviour" is not here used in its strict meaning in regard to salvation, but is taken for one who delivers and protects through providence. Even unbelivers are providentially protected by God. In this sense He is the Saviour of all men, not in regard to their salvation, but because He providentially governs or directs all His creation. His goodness extends to the most wicked (the rain falls on the wicked as well as the righteous). Since God shows mercy and favor to those who are strangers, how much more toward us who are His children?

The verse clearly says that God “is the Savior of all men”, not will be the Savior based upon a free will choice, but the Savior of ALL men. But the verse also says "specially of those that believe." Since He will not become our Savior when we make a free will choice to accept Him, but is in fact already the Savior of ALL men, how can He add "specially of those that believe"? Is this saying that some will be eternally saved even though they do NOT believe? We know that cannot be what the text is telling us, and we also know that it is not saying He will be the Savior of all who freely choose Him...so what is this text telling us, if not of the providence of God governing and guiding His creation over ALL men?

God is the Savior of all men. In other words, all men who are saved are saved by God. He is the only Savior, there is none other. So all men who are saved are saved by Him, and not one man who is saved is saved by any other Savior, or through any other means. The only way to the Father is through the Son.
All means all. Christ brought salvation unto all humanity, and all men who repent and believe will be saved by the grace of God.

Christ’s death on the cross makes atonement for all sin. Atonement through the cross is for people from every nation, for Gentiles as well as Jews, for rich and poor. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” Christ and Christ alone is the propitiation for our sins. 1Jo 2:2 says: “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” But not all men become saved. The atonement for sin is applied to mankind through grace in salvation, or through Judgment in the fullness of time.


Jo 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

The word “men” in this passage was added, it reads, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all unto me.” Not every man will be drawn unto Christ, but only those who repent and believe. Christ’s death was public, and expressive of His mediation between God and humanity. Christ says in vs. 37 that even though He had done many miracles before them, yet they did not believe. Christ goes on to say this is fulfillment of the prophecy of Esaias that God has blinded their eyes, and hardened their hearts, so that they could not see, or understand and be converted. Knowing that God has blinded their eyes, and hardened their hearts to keep them from being converted, this cannot be telling us that He will draw all men unto Himself for salvation.

2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

All of humanity was born in Adam, and dead in trespass and sin. Christ died to save all humanity that would repent and believe and be saved.

Ro 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Who are “them all” in unbelief? Read the context of the passage. This is speaking of the Nation, His chosen people, Israel. Christ has mercy even upon the Jews, who scorned, and rejected Him, yet through the preaching of the gospel all of them who will be saved receive His mercy, just as the rest of mankind.

Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Does Jesus’ suffering and sacrificial death assure salvation for every man? I assume we would all add every man who repents and believes? But the very next verse tells us that only MANY sons are made perfect through His sufferings, not all men.

Heb 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

All of the universal passages that speak of the “world” are speaking of His created kosmos. All of God’s glorious creation was subjected to the curse through the fall. And all of His creation awaits delivery from the bondage of corruption. Christ is the Savior of the whole kosmos, through Him, all of God’s creation will be preserved. None of these “world” passages mean that it is the will of God to save every man.

Ro 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Ro 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Ro 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Ro 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Ro 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

Perhaps it will be helpful to consider what is the will of God in salvation? The following passages tell us the will of the Father. There are other passages also making the point that it is God’s will that Christ save all the Father has given Him. The Father’s will is that Christ save all the Father has given Him, and none of them be lost. The will of the Father in salvation is to save His people, not all people, but His people (Mt. 1:21; Lu 1:77). So how can we insist that it is God’s desire to save all people, unless we mean it is His desire to preserve humanity through redemption?

Joh 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Joh 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
Joh 6:39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
Joh 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Ro 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Mar 4th 2008, 06:06 PM
"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:6)


Greetings LH,

We've gone around this corner once already, but since you insist on quoting Isaiah 53 out of context here again is the context and the correct way to interpret this passage.

Yes, as Isaiah 53 tells us iniquity of all is laid upon Christ. Does that mean that Christ bore the iniquity of every man, or that Christ is the only one Who can bear our iniquity? If we continue to read Isa 53 this question is answered. His soul is made an offering for sin, but for whose sin? Is He made an offering for the sins of every man...NO! He shall justify [declare righteous] MANY, (not all) and He shall bear THEIR, (not every mans) iniquities.

Isa 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
Isa 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

Just in case we didn't understand that Christ bare the sin, not for every man, but for many, Christ, through His prophet Isaiah repeats it again. Very clearly, if you will receive the truth, Christ is the only One Who can bear our iniquities. For the many whom He justifies, He also bears all their sins. Not the sins of every man....but for many!


Isa 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

The only way that one can read Isa 53 and say that Christ's death paid the sin debt for every man, is to read an unbiblical doctrine, i.e. one's free will theology into the passage. For the passage in Isa 53 very clearly tells us that Christ justifies and bears the sins of many, not all men.

Here again in 1Jo we read that Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. Does that mean that His death paid the sin debt for every man? If you say it does, then you have another of those contradictions your doctrine forces upon the Word. Because very clearly in Isa 53 we find that Christ bore the sins of many, not all.

1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

We read He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. In other words, because of the faithful obedience of Christ the wrath of God has been satisfied, and through Him, in the fullness of time sin will finally be no more. Christ has made atonement for all sin, and the way His atonement is applied to all sin is through His cross and resurrection, or through the final Judgment in the lake of fire. One way or the other, because of Christ's faithfulness sin will be no more!

So the plain reading of this verse in 1Jo is that Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, and through Him the world will be saved. Not every single human, but His grand creation will be made new and life in the new heaven and the new earth will be without any sin.

Blessings,
RW

losthorizon
Mar 4th 2008, 07:23 PM
...All of the universal passages that speak of the “world” are speaking of His created kosmos. All of God’s glorious creation was subjected to the curse through the fall. And all of His creation awaits delivery from the bondage of corruption. Christ is the Savior of the whole kosmos, through Him, all of God’s creation will be preserved. None of these “world” passages mean that it is the will of God to save every man.

Wrong. It is God’s will that the gospel be preached to “all men” of “every nation”. Why? Because God’s desire is that all men come to the salvation that is “in Christ”. To which “men” has God made the offer of salvation? He has given the offer of pardon to “all men” that He loves. And whom does God love? “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…” And who are the men and women who comprise “the world”. According to the Greek, “the whole human race.”
That is, all men under heaven; even those that despise his love, and will for that cause finally perish. Otherwise not to believe would be no sin to them. ~ John WesleySome folks on this thread want us to believe that God has tricked the majority of humankind when He invites “whosoever will” to accept Christ as Lord knowing full well that the “many” were condemned before they were ever born to a devils hell. According to this false doctrine, God invites the lost to come to Him with the full knowledge that it is “impossible” for them to believe and repent because He has preprogrammed them to reject their Savior. Who can believe our God would perpetrate such a joke on those whom He loves?

Son_kissed
Mar 4th 2008, 09:42 PM
Hi RbG,

Hope you're feeling much better. I am, and thanks for your prayers. :)



I too am praising God for our discussion and for your tender heart for our Lord and shown within your replies...

And lets praise Jesus for his tender heart! God is so gracious. I am so thankful.

There is a song playing in the background, sung by a group named Selah, called "Glory." Beautiful song, wish you could hear it.


But we do choose willingly, at least I did…. In fact I can’t think of one person who has ever stated to me that they were coerced by God to believe… I think what’s missing is finding an answer to “Why did I chose/find/come to/etc Jesus”, for “what makes me ‘smart/wise enough’ to see, understand, and respond to the Gospel, and yet to the man beside me, hearing the same message, does not.?” The differentiator is God, and not you or I.

Quick question -- is it impossible for God to do something within you and you not think or see that it is from Him? What I mean is, could you say that in your desire to believe God, and that your mind sees God and responds in love, and you say I made a choice to believe… could have this desire to believe, this understanding to see, could this have been supernaturally given to you by God? Is this possible or not?

But, I'm not talking about a choice to believe. I'm talking about a coming to the end of ourself, seeing ourselves and the world for the helpless filth that we are, and desiring and chosing different. Believing and faith come after that. And, yes, I believe God helps us with that faith and belief.

It's that desire for pureness and goodness - Righteousness - that I think God found in us and knew of us before He even brought us into physical existence that is the difference between those who He enables to believe and those who don't. In contrast, there are those who realize their corruptness and don't care, but rather enjoy it and continue in selfishness.


So…. Let’s look at John 3:3, Jesus tells Nicodemus, one who is a teacher of the OT, that one needs to be born again in order to be saved, and Jesus then points him to Ezekiel to show that every man who is saved must be born of water and Spirit. Vs5.

Here we see the correct interpretation for Ezekiel given by Jesus Himself, that God is the one who works salvation in a man, and not man working his way to God.

Then also look to John the Baptist comments about the work of God in verse 27…. He states: “A man can receive nothing unless it has been give him from above”. Again, an emphasis of God’s sovereign authority in life.

I know you keep trying to restate it, but I just can't wrap my head around the idea that, if we have a desire of our own for righteousness, then that somehow diminishes God's sovereignty. What if I feed my kids ice cream for dinner, but they want beets, so I have to make them magically desire ice cream before I feed it to them? And what if they have their own desire for ice cream without my magic? Im giving them ice cream, and I'm no less in control if they desire it of themselves than if I had to make them want it.

I don't think my understanding of Ezekial conflicts with what Jesus was telling Nicodemus.

As a body Israel is promised salvation, but God still makes them individually accountable and the choice seems to be theirs, doesnt it?...

Ezekial 18:30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.

31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

It is only later, when salvation is imminent and they are about to see the Kingdom of God in all it's glory, that God promises HE will give them (presumably those who have turned themselves) a new heart.

That's my understanding anyway.


This is so encouraging to hear, for I sense an openness to see God’s sovereignty in all things… Remember my above comments…. You are making these choices, but because God has given you the directive to do so, yet this directive is still within your choice… Hard to grasp I agree, but God being God places people within their roles that have been preordained, yet preserves their thoughts and ways….

Look at Pontius Pilate, he claiming that he had all authority to determine the fate of Jesus… And what was Jesus’ reply?

John 19:10, 11
10 So Pilate said to Him, "You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?"
11 Jesus answered, "You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin."

I dont think I have ever questioned God's authority or sovereignty, but think that we still understand sovereignty differently.

And, I still see his preordination of the elect differenty, and that the elect are those that are ordained for a special purpose, and not that they alone will be saved.

Not sure that we've gotten any closer to agreeing than previously, but the study is good anyway. :)


Good question, so the question you should also ask along with this is why Abraham? Didn’t God choose Abraham? And then I would ask, where does Abraham’s faith come from?

Romans 4:9-16
9 Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, "FAITH WAS CREDITED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS."
10 How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised;
11 and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,
12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.
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,

Ephesians 2:8,9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Faith is from God given to man to give back to God...

Now just to clarify, I’m not saying that God makes the choice for anyone, but giving them the wisdom to choose ‘correctly’. See above reply for the details.

I dont disagree with your point that faith comes from God, but it still seems to be given based on our desire or choice for Righteousness first. There is no question that God woo's us and will help us get to the end of ourselves so that we might desire His righteousness, or that He will enable us to believe at that point. But, the desire seems to need to be ours and still seems to me to be separate from the wisdom to see that we need to make that choice.


But why would He? Who are we to ask and know and understand the ways of God in His choosing who He chooses?

Romans 9:14-20
14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!
15 For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION."
16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH."
18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.
19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?"
20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it?

I already quoted most or all of chapter 11 in a previous post, and I think that Romans 9, when not read in context, does seem to suggest that we are not to question God's authority. But when understood within the context of chapters 9 - 11, what Paul is actually proving is that, while we may not understand at first how God is working, that we can trust Him, that in the end, we will see that He has been working for the good of all.


He is fair and just, and holy and righteous and sinless, and jealous and a whole bunch more…. God is God and He is so much more. See next reply for the details :)

What is fair? We all deserve death because of our sin. But God, in His infinite wisdom has called you and I to a saving knowledge of Him and His Son…. I see that if He were to be fair, I’d be eternally dead without Him... Hope you can see this is not about God's fairness but about man's judgement of God in salvation... We do this all the time, but to be truthful, God is God and we need to praise Him for He knows better than we...

God IS good! And He does know better than we do, and we can praise Him, even when things seem hopeless, and dreary and unfair because all through His Word He demonstrates His goodness and that He is ALWAYS good and fair and just and has good intentions. And how often does He do this in our lives, where its only later that we find out why we went through previous trials and tribulations? Would we praise Him otherwise?

That, RbG, is why I just cant believe that He would create all of mankind, but only enable some of us to to make the right choice, and that for those He didn't enable, the consequences were an etenity in Hell. That is not the God I know. If the choice is not ours alone, then the God I know as revealed in scripture, and manifested in Christ, and in the workings in my life and that of others, would enable all of us.

Not long after my last post I was thinking of your name here - Redeemed by Grace -and was reminded of the story of Ruth. Is that not the sweetest story ever! The whole history of redemption is written in the story of Ruth.

At one point Ruth asks, "Why have I found grace in your eyes?" Here is the reply...

Ruth 2:11 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been showed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore

Ruth loved and cared for Naomi, and made a choice to continue in love and righteousness.

And what of Orpah the other gentile daughter-in-law? As Naomi tells them to go back to their family she says, "The Lord deal kindly with you..." Naomi trusted in His goodness, even to those who were not (yet) in His family. That is the same Lord I know and love and praise.

I know that I haven't supported my thoughts with many scriptures in this post and that I seem to have appealed more to the heart than previously, but that appeal is based on 36 years of Bible reading and study, and Him working in my life and that of others. My name, Sheila, in the original means "faith/blind." For many years I did have a blind faith, but it was always Gods intention for me to know Him, for each of us to know Him. My trust in Him is based on the knowledge of the faithfulness of His goodness and love as well as His other attributes, and I have to honestly say that I feel it would be sinful for me to go back to a blind faith that would only hope for goodness in His only enabling some to make the right choice, when I know his goodness, and that He wouldn't only enable some. And, if I'm wrong, God knows my heart.


May God be glorified and you and I be blessed as we study His word…



Amen

losthorizon
Mar 4th 2008, 11:49 PM
Greetings LH,

We've gone around this corner once already, but since you insist on quoting Isaiah 53 out of context here again is the context and the correct way to interpret this passage.

Hello Roger – where have you been? Yes that pesky corner. Of course the only “out of context quoting” seen here are those who insist that ‘world’ must mean ‘elect’ in verse after verse in order to support a non-biblical doctrine. But the truth remains intact - the general atonement of Jesus Christ is not a “limited atonement”. His death on the cross was not limited in its scope. Jesus made atonement for all mankind, i.e., He “tasted death for every man”. The good news is all humankind can have “remission of sins” through His blood if we receive the salvation freely offered “in Christ Jesus…
”But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” (Heb 2:9)

For every man - For all - Ὑπὲρ παντὸς Huper pantos - for each and all - whether Jew or Gentile, bond or free, high or low, elect or non-elect. How could words affirm more clearly that the atonement made by the Lord Jesus was unlimited in its nature and design? How can we express that idea in more clear or intelligible language? That this refers to the atonement is evident - for it says that he “tasted death” for them. The friends of the doctrine of general atonement do not desire any other than Scripture language in which to express their belief. It expresses it exactly - without any need of modification or explanation. The advocates of the doctrine of limited atonement cannot thus use Scripture language to express their belief. They cannot incorporate it with their creeds that the Lord Jesus “tasted death for every man.” They are compelled to modify it, to limit it, to explain it, in order to prevent error and misconception. But that system cannot be true which requires people to shape and modify the plain language of the Bible in order to keep people from error! ~ Albert Barnes, Hebrews 2:9

RogerW
Mar 5th 2008, 01:15 AM
Hello Roger – where have you been? Yes that pesky corner. Of course the only “out of context quoting” seen here are those who insist that ‘world’ must mean ‘elect’ in verse after verse in order to support a non-biblical doctrine. But the truth remains intact - the general atonement of Jesus Christ is not a “limited atonement”. His death on the cross was not limited in its scope. Jesus made atonement for all mankind, i.e., He “tasted death for every man”. The good news is all humankind can have “remission of sins” through His blood if we receive the salvation freely offered “in Christ Jesus…
”But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” (Heb 2:9)

For every man - For all - Ὑπὲρ παντὸς Huper pantos - for each and all - whether Jew or Gentile, bond or free, high or low, elect or non-elect. How could words affirm more clearly that the atonement made by the Lord Jesus was unlimited in its nature and design? How can we express that idea in more clear or intelligible language? That this refers to the atonement is evident - for it says that he “tasted death” for them. The friends of the doctrine of general atonement do not desire any other than Scripture language in which to express their belief. It expresses it exactly - without any need of modification or explanation. The advocates of the doctrine of limited atonement cannot thus use Scripture language to express their belief. They cannot incorporate it with their creeds that the Lord Jesus “tasted death for every man.” They are compelled to modify it, to limit it, to explain it, in order to prevent error and misconception. But that system cannot be true which requires people to shape and modify the plain language of the Bible in order to keep people from error! ~ Albert Barnes, Hebrews 2:9

Greetings LH,

We've been away celebrating 40 years of marriage. Some may insist that "world" must be translated "elect", but where have I said this? This is in fact what I have said:

We read He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. In other words, because of the faithful obedience of Christ the wrath of God has been satisfied, and through Him, in the fullness of time sin will finally be no more. Christ has made atonement for all sin, and the way His atonement is applied to all sin is through His cross and resurrection, or through the final Judgment in the lake of fire. One way or the other, because of Christ's faithfulness sin will be no more!

So the plain reading of this verse in 1Jo is that Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, and through Him the world will be saved. Not every single human, but His grand creation will be made new and life in the new heaven and the new earth will be without any sin.

Atonement is from 2644; exchange (figuratively, adjustment), i.e. restoration to (the divine) favor:--atonement, reconciliation(-ing).

So the whole world will be restored through the faithfulness of Christ's atoning work. Sin will be no more!

Many Blessings,
RW

losthorizon
Mar 5th 2008, 04:03 AM
Greetings LH,

We've been away celebrating 40 years of marriage. Some may insist that "world" must be translated "elect", but where have I said this? This is in fact what I have said:

We read He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. In other words, because of the faithful obedience of Christ the wrath of God has been satisfied, and through Him, in the fullness of time sin will finally be no more. Christ has made atonement for all sin, and the way His atonement is applied to all sin is through His cross and resurrection, or through the final Judgment in the lake of fire. One way or the other, because of Christ's faithfulness sin will be no more!

So the plain reading of this verse in 1Jo is that Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, and through Him the world will be saved. Not every single human, but His grand creation will be made new and life in the new heaven and the new earth will be without any sin.

Atonement is from 2644; exchange (figuratively, adjustment), i.e. restoration to (the divine) favor:--atonement, reconciliation(-ing).

So the whole world will be restored through the faithfulness of Christ's atoning work. Sin will be no more!

Many Blessings,
RW
Well, let me ask you this - “atonement” has to do with reconciliation between God and man. God’s plan of redemption focuses on “Christ reconciling the world” unto God through Christ’s work on the cross.
“…to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses, and having committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (2Co 5:19)Question for you – is the atoning offering of Christ available to all men, i.e., “all men under heaven; even those that despise his love?”

Btw – congratulations on 40 years of marriage.:)

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 5th 2008, 01:53 PM
Hi RbG,

Hope you're feeling much better. I am, and thanks for your prayers. :)

Praise God that you are doing better, for you’ve been on my heart… I too am doing so much better and back to my normal work schedule… which means I gotta get caught up… :lol:



And lets praise Jesus for his tender heart! God is so gracious. I am so thankful.

There is a song playing in the background, sung by a group named Selah, called "Glory." Beautiful song, wish you could hear it.

Thank you, it’s such a joy to see you rejoicing in the Lord




But, I'm not talking about a choice to believe. I'm talking about a coming to the end of ourself, seeing ourselves and the world for the helpless filth that we are, and desiring and chosing different. Believing and faith come after that. And, yes, I believe God helps us with that faith and belief.

I believe that scripture supports ‘the coming to see the end of ourselves’ is also God’s work

2 Corinthians 7:9,10
9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.
10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.




It's that desire for pureness and goodness - Righteousness - that I think God found in us and knew of us before He even brought us into physical existence that is the difference between those who He enables to believe and those who don't. In contrast, there are those who realize their corruptness and don't care, but rather enjoy it and continue in selfishness.

I don’t see God finding righteousness living in any of us, for without God, we can do nothing… but He puts His righteous there instead.

Romans 3:21-25
21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;





I know you keep trying to restate it, but I just can't wrap my head around the idea that, if we have a desire of our own for righteousness, then that somehow diminishes God's sovereignty. What if I feed my kids ice cream for dinner, but they want beets, so I have to make them magically desire ice cream before I feed it to them? And what if they have their own desire for ice cream without my magic? Im giving them ice cream, and I'm no less in control if they desire it of themselves than if I had to make them want it.

So here’s the difference… your kids would not want to know what they want -- nor do they desire to even follow you, in keeping the analogy similar… for the assumption to be similar is that they have to be dead to your will and wishes… So ice cream or beets, they don’t care until you first reach out to make them care.




I don't think my understanding of Ezekial conflicts with what Jesus was telling Nicodemus.

As a body Israel is promised salvation, but God still makes them individually accountable and the choice seems to be theirs, doesnt it?...

Yes there is always a remnant that God has and will save… But know that it’s via individuals to make up the plurals



Ezekial 18:30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.

31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

It is only later, when salvation is imminent and they are about to see the Kingdom of God in all it's glory, that God promises HE will give them (presumably those who have turned themselves) a new heart.

That's my understanding anyway.

Yes… but this verse is for the nation, the other is for the individual…. Individual salvation builds the church just as individual salvation of the Jews will one day will bring collectively all of Israel [Those currently alive in the sometime in the future during the last days] to see Jesus as their Messiah. Think about this as in how the church is built, Jesus is the Chief cornerstone and each of us is a block.... or Jesus is the head, and each of us is a body part...



I dont think I have ever questioned God's authority or sovereignty, but think that we still understand sovereignty differently.

But then there is still a question, wouldn’t their be? Does man’s will trump God’s? If you leave the destiny of salvation within the hands of man then God is not sovereign. And to modify sovereign for emphases, I would say completely sovereign which is redundant, but use for emphasis.



And, I still see his preordination of the elect differenty, and that the elect are those that are ordained for a special purpose, and not that they alone will be saved.

Not sure that we've gotten any closer to agreeing than previously, but the study is good anyway. :)



I dont disagree with your point that faith comes from God, but it still seems to be given based on our desire or choice for Righteousness first. There is no question that God woo's us and will help us get to the end of ourselves so that we might desire His righteousness, or that He will enable us to believe at that point. But, the desire seems to need to be ours and still seems to me to be separate from the wisdom to see that we need to make that choice.

OK… this view is from the 1st person, try seeing this from God’s eyes… If you are a sinner and not seeking God one day, but the next day you do… [which by the way is your first ah ha moment] – what made you smarter the next day than from the day before?





I already quoted most or all of chapter 11 in a previous post, and I think that Romans 9, when not read in context, does seem to suggest that we are not to question God's authority. But when understood within the context of chapters 9 - 11, what Paul is actually proving is that, while we may not understand at first how God is working, that we can trust Him, that in the end, we will see that He has been working for the good of all.

Well I think it’s much more stronger and more poignant than that… For this delves into God’s wrath and God's judgment, and His sovereignty of election and reprobation... But for now, we can move to another point and come back to this another time.




God IS good! And He does know better than we do, and we can praise Him, even when things seem hopeless, and dreary and unfair because all through His Word He demonstrates His goodness and that He is ALWAYS good and fair and just and has good intentions. And how often does He do this in our lives, where its only later that we find out why we went through previous trials and tribulations? Would we praise Him otherwise?

That, RbG, is why I just cant believe that He would create all of mankind, but only enable some of us to to make the right choice, and that for those He didn't enable, the consequences were an etenity in Hell. That is not the God I know. If the choice is not ours alone, then the God I know as revealed in scripture, and manifested in Christ, and in the workings in my life and that of others, would enable all of us.

So if the God you know is love only, and not everybody chooses Him, why then does He still let them go to hell? I mean, So if God knows all things and if He knows that before they were born that they will not choose to believe in Jesus then why did He create them anyway? I mean whether He chooses or man chooses, there will be men who will go to hell, will they not? So if God is love only, and one chooses not to repent and believe in Jesus, why does God allow this, if God is only love?

This is a hard topic I agree… but there are more questions to ask and to understand than these few here between you and I. Bottom line is God is God and He creates things of purpose, the mule to work hard, the dog to play. The field for planting, the mountains for skiing... :lol: My point is everything is in order, everything has purpose, everything is in the sovereign control of God.






Not long after my last post I was thinking of your name here - Redeemed by Grace -and was reminded of the story of Ruth. Is that not the sweetest story ever! The whole history of redemption is written in the story of Ruth.

At one point Ruth asks, "Why have I found grace in your eyes?" Here is the reply...

Ruth 2:11 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been showed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore

Ruth loved and cared for Naomi, and made a choice to continue in love and righteousness.

And what of Orpah the other gentile daughter-in-law? As Naomi tells them to go back to their family she says, "The Lord deal kindly with you..." Naomi trusted in His goodness, even to those who were not (yet) in His family. That is the same Lord I know and love and praise.

I know that I haven't supported my thoughts with many scriptures in this post and that I seem to have appealed more to the heart than previously, but that appeal is based on 36 years of Bible reading and study, and Him working in my life and that of others. My name, Sheila, in the original means "faith/blind." For many years I did have a blind faith, but it was always Gods intention for me to know Him, for each of us to know Him. My trust in Him is based on the knowledge of the faithfulness of His goodness and love as well as His other attributes, and I have to honestly say that I feel it would be sinful for me to go back to a blind faith that would only hope for goodness in His only enabling some to make the right choice, when I know his goodness, and that He wouldn't only enable some. And, if I'm wrong, God knows my heart.



Amen

Sheila, nice to know you…and I too have many years of His grace behind me and Lord willing more ahead as I desire to serve Him. Experience can be a good teacher if it confirms biblical doctrine, but by itself, can be a deceiver.

There are times when we are to take in the word as a baby and take as much as we can handle,

1 Peter 2:2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,

and then there are other times to know what we believe why we believe as measured by His word, and it is not as milk but as meat...

Hebrews 5:13,14
13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.
14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.


I so have enjoyed our discourse, for your kind spirit has been so refreshing, even if we don't see things the same...


Trusting that God will work in us both....


For His glory....

RogerW
Mar 5th 2008, 02:36 PM
Well, let me ask you this - “atonement” has to do with reconciliation between God and man. God’s plan of redemption focuses on “Christ reconciling the world” unto God through Christ’s work on the cross.
“…to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses, and having committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (2Co 5:19)Question for you – is the atoning offering of Christ available to all men, i.e., “all men under heaven; even those that despise his love?”

Btw – congratulations on 40 years of marriage.:)

Greetings LH,

Thank you!

The atoning work of Christ is preached unto all men under heaven; even those that despise His love. This is why Paul says God has committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Where do you find Christ’s atoning work as an offering of Christ? Believers proclaim the word of reconciliation that some may be accepted of Him. It is God Who reconciles us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and God in Christ Who is reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.

What does this mean? If God in Christ is reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, why will some men be left in their sins and cast into the lake of fire at the Judgment? How can this say Christ is reconciling the world (meaning every human) to Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them when we know that some men have and will die in their sins?

It cannot be that Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their sins unto them is speaking of every human. Clearly we understand that some men die in their sins.

From Bible Class Commentary by Pastor Henry Mahan.

‘God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself.’ “This phrase declares what is the ministry of reconciliation, its author, its means, its subjects and its consequences. Christ is God (Jo 1:1-3; Acts 20:28). In the person of Christ, God was actually providing Himself a lamb, a ransom and an atonement. He did not charge our sins to us but to Christ, having made Christ to be sin for us (Isa 53:4-6, 11, 12; 1Pe 2:24). The word ’world’ does not mean that Christ effectually bore the sins of every person and reconciled every son of Adam to God by His death. If this were true, no one would finally be lost. He reconciled the world in the sense that He redeemed a people out of every tribe, kindred and nation - not of the Jews only.” [I]“This message of substitution and satisfaction by the obedience and sufferings of Christ has been committed to faithful ministers of the gospel. We dare to preach it and dare not preach any other message (Gal 1:8,9; 1Co 9:16). Inasmuch as Christ is our righteousness, God does not call upon us to produce a righteousness, but to receive His righteousness by faith. Inasmuch as Christ is our Surety and Substitute, God will not require satisfaction from us but accepts us in the Beloved (Eph 1:6,7).”

2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
2Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Mar 5th 2008, 03:40 PM
Wrong. It is God’s will that the gospel be preached to “all men” of “every nation”. Why? Because God’s desire is that all men come to the salvation that is “in Christ”. To which “men” has God made the offer of salvation? He has given the offer of pardon to “all men” that He loves. And whom does God love? “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…” And who are the men and women who comprise “the world”. According to the Greek, “the whole human race.”
Some folks on this thread want us to believe that God has tricked the majority of humankind when He invites “whosoever will” to accept Christ as Lord knowing full well that the “many” were condemned before they were ever born to a devils hell. According to this false doctrine, God invites the lost to come to Him with the full knowledge that it is “impossible” for them to believe and repent because He has preprogrammed them to reject their Savior. Who can believe our God would perpetrate such a joke on those whom He loves?

I've been hesitant about giving reply to a reponse that begins with "wrong"! Why is it God's will that the gospel be preached throughout the whole world to all humanity? Is it merely to make an offer of salvation to all men, knowing that many men will reject His gracious offer? Or is it to find His lost sheep and bring them into the kingdom through the message of the cross and the power of the HS? Salvation, for all who are saved was really, literally, actually accomplished at the cross and resurrection. Salvation is not offered it is given to all who are saved.

Since we don't know who will be saved through the hearing of the gospel, and power of the Holy Spirit, because God says it is not our business to know who will be given eternal life, we are called to proclaim the good news to all men. All who hear His voice with ears of faith will be saved. So you see it is not improper to say "whosoever will", will be given eternal life. The next question is "whosoever will?" Or how will they hear His voice and be saved?

Every man is condemned in Adam, and all men would die in their sins... unless God intervenes and saves some. You will most likely argue that a free gift given must be accepted in order to be received. Did you accept the free gift of physical life? Could you have refused physical life? The same is true of spiritual life. This is why God uses the anology of physical life to help us to understand we have no part in receiving spiritual life.

Many Blessings,
RW

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 5th 2008, 03:48 PM
I've been hesitant about giving reply to a reponse that begins with "wrong"! Why is it God's will that the gospel be preached throughout the whole world to all humanity? Is it merely to make an offer of salvation to all men, knowing that many men will reject His gracious offer? Or is it to find His lost sheep and bring them into the kingdom through the message of the cross and the power of the HS? Salvation, for all who are saved was really, literally, actually accomplished at the cross and resurrection. Salvation is not offered it is given to all who are saved.

Since we don't know who will be saved through the hearing of the gospel, and power of the Holy Spirit, because God says it is not our business to know who will be given eternal life, we are called to proclaim the good news to all men. All who hear His voice with ears of faith will be saved. So you see it is not improper to say "whosoever will", will be given eternal life. The next question is "whosoever will?" Or how will they hear His voice and be saved?

Every man is condemned in Adam, and all men would die in their sins... unless God intervenes and saves some. You will most likely argue that a free gift given must be accepted in order to be received. Did you accept the free gift of physical life? Could you have refused physical life? The same is true of spiritual life. This is why God uses the anology of physical life to help us to understand we have no part in receiving spiritual life.

Many Blessings,
RW



Good posting and thanks for being an example of patience.... :saint:

John146
Mar 5th 2008, 08:00 PM
Greetings Eric,

When Scripture speaks of salvation for “all” is that all men without exception, or all men without distinction?

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.

In a providential way God gives all men breath, food, blessings and common mercies. In this manner God is the Savior of ALL men. But God especially cares for His own, for those who have been predestined to receive eternal life from the foundation of the world.

Predestined according to His foreknowledge of who would believe in His Son. When it says that He is the Savior of all men it means there is no other by which men can be saved. And all men can be saved IF they repent, call on the name of the Lord and believe the gospel with all their heart.



There is a general providence, which attends all mankind, and a special providence, which relates to the elect of God (Ps 37:23-26; Mt 6:31-34; 5:45) The word "Saviour" is not here used in its strict meaning in regard to salvation, but is taken for one who delivers and protects through providence. Even unbelivers are providentially protected by God. In this sense He is the Saviour of all men, not in regard to their salvation, but because He providentially governs or directs all His creation. His goodness extends to the most wicked (the rain falls on the wicked as well as the righteous). Since God shows mercy and favor to those who are strangers, how much more toward us who are His children?

Didn't you say previously that God hates unbelievers, including Esau? He sure is good to them despite the fact that He (supposedly) hates them, isn't He?



The verse clearly says that God “is the Savior of all men”, not will be the Savior based upon a free will choice, but the Savior of ALL men. But the verse also says "specially of those that believe." Since He will not become our Savior when we make a free will choice to accept Him, but is in fact already the Savior of ALL men, how can He add "specially of those that believe"?

Because we are not saved and don't receive eternal life unless we believe.



Is this saying that some will be eternally saved even though they do NOT believe?

Of course not.



We know that cannot be what the text is telling us, and we also know that it is not saying He will be the Savior of all who freely choose Him

I disagree with that. You are claiming that with nothing to support your claim.



...so what is this text telling us, if not of the providence of God governing and guiding His creation over ALL men?

God is the Savior of all men. In other words, all men who are saved are saved by God. He is the only Savior, there is none other. So all men who are saved are saved by Him, and not one man who is saved is saved by any other Savior, or through any other means. The only way to the Father is through the Son.
All means all. Christ brought salvation unto all humanity, and all men who repent and believe will be saved by the grace of God.

Yes, and Scripture indicates that man can choose to either repent and believe or to resist, reject and stay in unbelief. Choose this day who you will serve, whether idols or the one true God (Josh 24:15). Was Joshua a fool or did he understand that man was required to make a choice?



Christ’s death on the cross makes atonement for all sin. Atonement through the cross is for people from every nation, for Gentiles as well as Jews, for rich and poor. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” Christ and Christ alone is the propitiation for our sins. 1Jo 2:2 says: “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” But not all men become saved. The atonement for sin is applied to mankind through grace in salvation, or through Judgment in the fullness of time.

That He is the propitiation means that He is the means by whom a person can be forgiven of their sins and saved. There is no other name under heaven given to mankind whereby mankind must be saved (Acts 4:12). Whosoever thirsts and whosoever will can come to Christ(Rev 22:17). Salvation is available to all people in the world. That is what the text of 1 John 2:2 means.



Jo 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

The word “men” in this passage was added, it reads, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all unto me.” Not every man will be drawn unto Christ, but only those who repent and believe.

You have to be drawn to Him before you repent and believe. Some are drawn to Him, but never truly repent and put their complete faith and trust in Christ. Read the parable of the sower and see that some who are drawn to Him fall away for various reasons which include being deceived by Satan, being overcome by the cares and riches of this world, and being persecuted for believing the Word.

Of the unbelievers who did not understand His parables, Jesus says this:

15For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. - Matt 13:15

In this verse, Jesus is indicating that had these people not closed THEIR OWN SPIRITUAL EYES to the truth then they would have been converted/saved and He would have healed/saved them.



Christ’s death was public, and expressive of His mediation between God and humanity. Christ says in vs. 37 that even though He had done many miracles before them, yet they did not believe. Christ goes on to say this is fulfillment of the prophecy of Esaias that God has blinded their eyes, and hardened their hearts, so that they could not see, or understand and be converted. Knowing that God has blinded their eyes, and hardened their hearts to keep them from being converted, this cannot be telling us that He will draw all men unto Himself for salvation.

Here is what you constantly miss. Their eyes are blinded and their hearts are hardened only AFTER they have already blinded themselves and hardened their own hearts! I refer you back to Matthew 13:15.



2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

All of humanity was born in Adam, and dead in trespass and sin. Christ died to save all humanity that would repent and believe and be saved.

Ro 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Who are “them all” in unbelief? Read the context of the passage. This is speaking of the Nation, His chosen people, Israel. Christ has mercy even upon the Jews, who scorned, and rejected Him, yet through the preaching of the gospel all of them who will be saved receive His mercy, just as the rest of mankind.

He concluded them all in unbelief and had mercy upon all and yet not all were saved. The fact that He has mercy upon all doesn't mean He saves all of those people whom He has mercy on. He has mercy upon every person just by not destroying the world at any given moment. He has mercy on all by offering all a way out from the broad way that leads to destruction. Jesus said that we must go down the narrow path that leads to life. He never indicated that this was something that automatically happens.



Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Does Jesus’ suffering and sacrificial death assure salvation for every man?

No, it assures the possibility of salvation for every man. See, you want to always take all men and every man and redefine them. That is wrong. It really does mean literally every man (and woman). But it does not mean He saves every man automatically. Conditions have clearly been made in which mankind must meet in order to be saved and those include the need to repent, call on the name of the Lord and believe in Christ and His gospel.



I assume we would all add every man who repents and believes? But the very next verse tells us that only MANY sons are made perfect through His sufferings, not all men.

Heb 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Right. The only sons who are brought to glory are those who repent, call on the name of the Lord and believe in Christ.



All of the universal passages that speak of the “world” are speaking of His created kosmos. All of God’s glorious creation was subjected to the curse through the fall. And all of His creation awaits delivery from the bondage of corruption. Christ is the Savior of the whole kosmos, through Him, all of God’s creation will be preserved. None of these “world” passages mean that it is the will of God to save every man.

That's your opinion which you give with little to no support, in my opinion. You have to be very creative to maneuver your way around the following passage while keeping your doctrine afloat:

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




Ro 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Ro 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Ro 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Ro 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Ro 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

Perhaps it will be helpful to consider what is the will of God in salvation? The following passages tell us the will of the Father. There are other passages also making the point that it is God’s will that Christ save all the Father has given Him. The Father’s will is that Christ save all the Father has given Him, and none of them be lost. The will of the Father in salvation is to save His people, not all people, but His people (Mt. 1:21; Lu 1:77).

That contradicts 1 Timothy 2:3-6 among several other passages.



So how can we insist that it is God’s desire to save all people, unless we mean it is His desire to preserve humanity through redemption?

Joh 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Joh 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
Joh 6:39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
Joh 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Read John 6:40 carefully. Who are the ones who the Father wills to give to Christ? It looks to me like it is "every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him". There's that pesky requirement again that says people are required to put their faith in Christ. God doesn't believe for us. If He did then it would be ludicrous for Jesus to command people to do what God already does for them.

Eric

RogerW
Mar 6th 2008, 12:01 AM
Predestined according to His foreknowledge of who would believe in His Son. When it says that He is the Savior of all men it means there is no other by which men can be saved. And all men can be saved IF they repent, call on the name of the Lord and believe the gospel with all their heart.

Can you provide Scripture that His foreknowledge means He knows who would believe in His Son, and therefore predestined them to eternal life? I find Scripture telling me that Christ does know the hearts of all men; that they are desperately wicked, none of them will come to Christ that they might have life. I also point to Jacob, who was chosen without any consideration of any good he might do. Why? That the purpose of God according to election might stand. But, I find no Scripture to prove that God's foreknowledge is based upon knowing who would choose Christ, and predestinating them to eternal life.

We do agree that when Scripture says He is the Savior of all men it means there is no other means by which men can be saved. Yes, all men can be saved, not dependent upon 'IF' they repent and call upon the name of the Lord and believe the gospel with all their heart. This would be salvation by grace plus our good works. All men can be saved 'IF' they are drawn by the Father, given ears to hear His voice through the message of the gospel and the Holy Spirit, and imputed with righteousness unto faith, enabling them to turn from their sin, and to the Lord.



Didn't you say previously that God hates unbelievers, including Esau? He sure is good to them despite the fact that He (supposedly) hates them, isn't He?

No, what I said came from the words of Scripture. That God hates all workers of iniquity, and yes the Bible clearly says that God hated Esau (not loved him less then Jacob, but hated him) even before he had done anything good or evil, in fact even before he was born.

If God does not show a common providential grace toward His creation then men would have long ago utterly destroyed all of creation. Therefore God must providentially care for and nuture His creation until all who are destined unto eternal life come into the Kingdom.



Because we are not saved and don't receive eternal life unless we believe.

But who will believe? You say we can choose to believe, but Scripture tells us that we are spiritually dead in trespasses and sins, and until we are made alive in Christ we have no desire to seek, far less desire to believe.




"We know that cannot be what the text is telling us, and we also know that it is not saying He will be the Savior of all who freely choose Him"

I disagree with that. You are claiming that with nothing to support your claim.

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.

The passage itself supports my claim. Where does the passage say He will be the Savior of all who freely choose Him?



Yes, and Scripture indicates that man can choose to either repent and believe or to resist, reject and stay in unbelief. Choose this day who you will serve, whether idols or the one true God (Josh 24:15). Was Joshua a fool or did he understand that man was required to make a choice?

Joshua was not giving a choice, he was giving an ultimatum. In other words if it seemed evil to them to serve the Lord, they could choose to serve the gods of their fathers and die, or like Joshua and his house who chose to serve the Lord and live long on the land. The nation responded that they too would serve the Lord. But Joshua tells them they cannot serve the Lord, for He is a holy and jealous God, Who will not forgive their transgressions or sins. Joshua goes on to warn them that if they forsake the Lord to serve strange gods He will turn against them and do them hurt, and consume them after He has done them good.



Of the unbelievers who did not understand His parables, Jesus says this:

15For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. - Matt 13:15

In this verse, Jesus is indicating that had these people not closed THEIR OWN SPIRITUAL EYES to the truth then they would have been converted/saved and He would have healed/saved them.

They did not understand His parables because it was not given to them to understand.

Mt 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mt 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Mt 13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Mt 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

You say they could not hear because they had closed their own spiritual eyes to the truth (how would they have spiritual eyes in unbelief?), but through the prophet Isaiah it is God Who takes credit for making their ears heavy and closing their eyes.

Isa 6:10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

Isa 29:10 For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.

Isa 44:18 They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.



Here is what you constantly miss. Their eyes are blinded and their hearts are hardened only AFTER they have already blinded themselves and hardened their own hearts! I refer you back to Matthew 13:15.

I refer you back to the prophesy of Isaiah.



Right. The only sons who are brought to glory are those who repent, call on the name of the Lord and believe in Christ.

But who will repent, call on the name of the Lord and believe in Christ? There are none righteous, no not one, there are none who seek the Lord.



Read John 6:40 carefully. Who are the ones who the Father wills to give to Christ? It looks to me like it is "every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him". There's that pesky requirement again that says people are required to put their faith in Christ. God doesn't believe for us. If He did then it would be ludicrous for Jesus to command people to do what God already does for them.

Eric

What faith do those in unbelief possess in order to put it in Christ?

Many Blessings,
RW

losthorizon
Mar 6th 2008, 02:00 AM
...Why is it God's will that the gospel be preached throughout the whole world to all humanity?

Because it is God’s desire that “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2: 4). Jesus is the “propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world (1 John 2: 2). It was through “ the grace of God” that Jesus tasted “death for everyone (Hebrews 2: 9). As Albert Barnes correctly stated in his commentary, "How could words affirm more clearly that the atonement made by the Lord Jesus was unlimited in its nature and design?" Only those who must support a non-biblical dogma can misunderstand what the Bible so plainly and forcefully states about the atonement made for ALL mankind.


Can you provide Scripture that His foreknowledge means He knows who would believe in His Son, and therefore predestined them to eternal life?
Your question above wasn’t addressed to me but let me ask you – can you provide Scripture to support the non-biblical notion that the Godhead so hated the majority of mankind and counseled before the foundation of the world agreeing to pre-program and force most men to reject Christ thus leaving them with the only prospect available – an eternity in a devils hell?
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

That is, all men under heaven; even those that despise his love, and will for that cause finally perish. Otherwise not to believe would be no sin to them. ~ John Wesley

losthorizon
Mar 6th 2008, 02:17 AM
...But then there is still a question, wouldn’t their be? Does man’s will trump God’s?

You never explained/defended your lack of consistency regarding the sovereignty of God (fourth request). You insist that if Jesus came to offer salvation to “all men” as the Bible clearly teaches and just one man rejects His offer of redemption then He somehow has failed in His mission thus trumping God’s sovereignty. You then make a u-turn and insist that even though one third of the angels in Heaven rebelled against God - He still has “all things” under His control and His sovereignty is intact.

The angels have free will just as man has free will. Did the rebellion of the angels through their free will given by God trump God’s sovereignty? If not…why not? Can you defend your confusing position? ;)

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 6th 2008, 12:31 PM
You never explained/defended your lack of consistency regarding the sovereignty of God (fourth request). You insist that if Jesus came to offer salvation to “all men” as the Bible clearly teaches and just one man rejects His offer of redemption then He somehow has failed in His mission thus trumping God’s sovereignty. You then make a u-turn and insist that even though one third of the angels in Heaven rebelled against God - He still has “all things” under His control and His sovereignty is intact.

The angels have free will just as man has free will. Did the rebellion of the angels through their free will given by God trump God’s sovereignty? If not…why not? Can you defend your confusing position? ;)

And it will probably go to the 5th and 6th request, for I am struggling with your tone and appreciate Roger's tact with you, for you want to argue, I want to discuss. You desire to accuse, I desire to reason.

I have explained in terms of the bible, but you want to hear in the terms of your position, so my given is you want to see what you want to see.

Take the angel position, who says angels have free will? Show scripture and not inference.

I can certainly defend my position, for I am holding on to a reply that I wrote days ago.... but in looking at my reply to your points, I am using my 'freewill' is choosing not to sin by engaging with you in a heated debate as you label me and try to taunt and tempt me....

Sorry... it's better of me to disappoint you then my Savior...

RogerW
Mar 6th 2008, 12:48 PM
Because it is God’s desire that “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2: 4). Jesus is the “propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world (1 John 2: 2). It was through “ the grace of God” that Jesus tasted “death for everyone (Hebrews 2: 9). As Albert Barnes correctly stated in his commentary, "How could words affirm more clearly that the atonement made by the Lord Jesus was unlimited in its nature and design?" Only those who must support a non-biblical dogma can misunderstand what the Bible so plainly and forcefully states about the atonement made for ALL mankind.

Greetings LH,

You haven't addressed what I said, instead you just repeat what I have already fully responded to.



"Can you provide Scripture that His foreknowledge means He knows who would believe in His Son, and therefore predestined them to eternal life?"


Your question above wasn’t addressed to me but let me ask you – can you provide Scripture to support the non-biblical notion that the Godhead so hated the majority of mankind and counseled before the foundation of the world agreeing to pre-program and force most men to reject Christ thus leaving them with the only prospect available – an eternity in a devils hell?


It becomes apparent that you really aren't interested in having a discussion about the things I actually say. It appears you are only interested in raising these questions about things you perceive that some people may have once said. But I can assure you I have never made these silly statements, and therefore will not reply to things that may or may not be real statements.

If you wish to discuss statements I have actually made perhaps you can begin by addressing my question, that I notice you acknowledge, but then give no answer to. And just to set the record strait have I not already acknowledged that Christ' atonement was made for ALL sin? But instead of addressing what I mean when I say Christ's atonement is for ALL sin, you continue to pretend that I misunderstand what the Bible so plainly teaches. If you weren't so pre-occupied with labeling those who understand the sovereign grace of God, and instead try to actually respond to what is actually stated, then maybe we could discover we both have some things we could learn from one another.

Many Blessings,
RW

losthorizon
Mar 6th 2008, 11:19 PM
...you want to argue, I want to discuss.

But isn’t one persons discussion just another persons argument? Are you not just using semantics to avoid defending a position that appears to be contradictory? This is your thread and you were the one who introduced the sovereignty of God. I am simply asking you to explain your position with scriptural support – something you have yet to attempt leading me to believe you may not be able to defend your position.


I can certainly defend my position, for I am holding on to a reply that I wrote days ago.... but in looking at my reply to your points, I am using my 'freewill' is choosing not to sin by engaging with you in a heated debate as you label me and try to taunt and tempt me....
If you have a prepared explanation for your contradiction then present it for review. What “taunt and temp” would that be?

losthorizon
Mar 6th 2008, 11:29 PM
Greetings LH,

You haven't addressed what I said, instead you just repeat what I have already fully responded to.

As you have already mentioned, “we've gone around this corner once already”. You asked the question, “Why is it God's will that the gospel be preached throughout the whole world to all humanity?” I responded to your question. The other question was addressed to another poster requesting that poster to explain his specific position.

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 7th 2008, 01:19 PM
Losthorizon, Quickly...

Starting Page 7


In the court of salvation God does His part and man must do his part. Look at the conversion of Lydia – the Book says “the Lord opened her heart” (God’s part) and Lydia did her part – she believed ( she did something) – she did the “work of God”.

"What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:28-29)

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart And 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. (Acts 16:14)

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;


Salvation and faith and repentance are all God's work. Lydia was given the wisdom to understand the the Gospel, the Lord opened her heart [mind] and within this opening -- faith was given.

We are His vessels for His Glory...



Lydia’s “belief” was just that – her belief. It was something (of her own free will) that she choose to “do". If she would have refused to believe (and she could have) she would have remained outside of salvation “in Christ”. Why? Because “he that believeth not shall be damned.” Belief is man’s part in salvation. It is something he/she does - "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" – “believe in Him whom He has sent”.


OK, if that's what you understand... I though, see it as God's work within me, and not my own to boost in....


And to point to scripture, it states that she could only believe, for the Lord opened her heart.... So my reading in opening of her heart is by giving her faith to believe in Christ as her Lord and Savior... and that this wasn't her work, or even Paul's work, but supernaturally the Work of the Lord Himself...

Page 8



Lydia’s faith “came” the same way my faith “came” – by hearing the word of God – “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” If you wish to eliminate any human role in salvation then you must go counter to sound doctrine – salvation comes when we “work the works of God” – "not of our own works lest any man should boast…" The Holy Spirit works through the gospel of Christ to bring one to saving faith in God.



I don't disagree with this at all...





...God bestows His mercies on whom He pleases and withholds them as it seems good unto himself… So too with salvation, for if Jesus came to save the whole world from sin, and yet the whole world does not repent and believe in part because of choice, then Jesus’ mission fails… But if Jesus comes to save the elect, those who have been preordained to be in Christ before the foundation of the world, then His mission will not fail and His will will be done… as planned. Praise God!

I will respectfully disagree with your statement above. The work of Christ on the cross most certainly made it *possible* for “all men” to be saved but (as the Bible plainly teaches) only those who *choose* to believe on the One who died in our place will be saved just as those who *choose* not believe will be damned (Mk 16:16). God has chosen the “elect” before the foundation of the world based on His ability to foresee down through time those who would freely obey the gospel of Christ.

Those He has chosen are those He *knew* - of their own free will - would believe the gospel message as presented in the NT. i.e., God today saves those whom He foreknew would, of their own free will, choose to “believeth in Him” as their Lord and Savior - ‘whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life’. In God's plan of redemption God does His part and man must do his part - man must "work the works of God".


"What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" – “believe in Him whom He has sent”.

The doctrine of “Limited Atonement” is a non-biblical doctrine. The writers of the NT were not Calvinists.

So notice the sudden topic shift.

This is were you start down the path that moves away from discussing to personalizing with accusing and labeling, and positioning your opinion as authority over mine…

But, ignoring the personal stuff, I replied…





I will respectfully disagree with your statement above. The work of Christ on the cross most certainly made it *possible* for “all men” to be saved but (as the Bible plainly teaches) only those who *choose* to believe on the One who died in our place will be saved just as those who *choose* not believe will be damned (Mk 16:16).
Hi LH...

The question I have for you is this, 'Is God sovereign in all things?' For if Jesus died for all the sins of the world, then you suggest either two things will happen, that all men will be saved or that Jesus’ death fails to save all men if but one does not choose to be saved. Your adding the word *possible* is because of your understandings, but not anywhere biblical, IMO.

If Jesus came to save the whole world, either the whole world will be saved or He will fail His mission…. Now I strongly see scripture stating that many reject Jesus, so point one is false. And I also see that God’s will is always done, for He is sovereign in all things, so failure is not an option with God, so point two is also false. So then, what’s left? I say that scripture clearly teaches He came to save His own…. Those whom the Father gave Him, He gave His life for His sheep, those elect, the many and not the all that God has given Him.

John 8:21 Then He said again to them, "I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come."

Matthew 25:41 "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

John 10:26 "But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.

==============================================



John 6:37 "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

John 17:1,2
1 Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You,
2 even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.

John 17:9 "I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours;

John 10:3,4
3 "To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4 "When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.

John 10:15, 16
15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
16 "I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.





God has chosen the “elect” before the foundation of the world based on His ability to foresee down through time those who would freely obey the gospel of Christ.
This limits God’s sovereignty and places God in subjection to man… I for one can’t go there… So how can you say He doesn’t touch any heart, but waits to see something dead become alive?

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

Romans 3:10-12
12 as it is written,
"THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE."

============================

Ezekiel 36:26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

John 3:5-7
5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 "Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'




Quote:

Those He has chosen are those He *knew* - of their own free will - would believe the gospel message as presented in the NT. i.e., God today saves those whom He foreknew would, of their own free will, choose to “believeth in Him” as their Lord and Savior - ‘whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life’. In God's plan of redemption God does His part and man must do his part - man must "work the works of God". "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" – “believe in Him whom He has sent”. The doctrine of “Limited Atonement” is a non-biblical doctrine. The writers of the NT were not Calvinists.
I respectfully ask you to look again at scripture and see if God is sovereign in all things…


And for the record… here are my tenets that I posted within another thread that I share here….

#1… That God is sovereign in all things…

In creation, in administration, in inanimate matter, in irrational creatures, in the children of men, in both good and evil angels, in Salvation, in reprobation, in operation, in human will, in human responsibility, in prayer, to say the least.

#2… That man’s salvation is for God, of God, by God, in God, through God, and God alone

#3… That a man’s salvation has been ordained by God before the foundation of the world, [which means before the fall of Adam and Eve, which means that the Fall was also ordained to happen by God.]

#4… That regeneration is God’s working in a man that set’s the soil for the Gospel to take hold, grow and produce fruit that He also has established beforehand.

One must be born again [regenerated] to then believe, and not that believing makes one born again…. The emphasis is God breathed and God driven, not man. And again, as many as been appointed to eternal life - believed

#5… That by God’s work, He gives faith and repentance and a heart of understanding along with His grace with salvation

#6… That God is long-suffering and desires that all should repent and believe, yet none do, but by the steps of #1-#5, He fashions out of corruptible clay, clay of honor….for His honor.

#7… That when in doubt, refer back to #1


For His glory...
Page 9



Hi LH...The question I have for you is this, 'Is God sovereign in all things?' For if Jesus died for all the sins of the world, then you suggest either two things will happen, that all men will be saved or that Jesus’ death fails to save all men if but one does not choose to be saved. Your adding the word *possible* is because of your understandings, but not anywhere biblical, IMO. If Jesus came to save the whole world, either the whole world will be saved or He will fail His mission….
I’ll tell you what, Grace - I am trying to follow your logic but it appears to be weak logic (IMO) so help me out a little. And I will be happy to answer to your question regarding God’s sovereignty but you will need to define your term – please explain what you mean by “sovereign in all things”? I certainly think God “is before all things, and in Him all things consist" (Col. 1:16-17), i.e., God is sovereign over all creation – He personally sustains it at all.

Do you think it somehow diminishes God’s sovereignty when He gave man the gift of freewill, including the freedom to rebel against Him? Do you think man has the freedom to choose to sin against God or does God “cause man to sin” as Calvinist dogma suggests? Our atheist friends are always saying – “If God is omnipotent (power with no limits), why then does He allow innocent children to suffer”? If God allows the innocent to suffer does that diminish His sovereignty? Jesus came into the world to seek and save the lost. If the “good news” is presented to a sinner and the sinner chooses not to believe God’s truth does that act of disobedience diminish God’s sovereignty - does the sinner's act of rebellion prove that Jesus has "failed His mission"?

When the angels in heaven rebelled against God (of their own freewill) did that act of disobedience prove that God ceased to be “sovereign in all things” - did God "fail His mission" becuse of His creature's rebellion? Again, unless I am missing something is your presentation above your logic is non-logic. Do you believe there are things that God cannot do (can he lie)? If there are things God cannot do does that mean His sovereignty is diminished – does that mean He ceases to be sovereign in all things?
So here we are… I’ve given you a lot of meat, and you reply ignoring most…. So…. You want the soap box to position your understanding as being correct, failing to see and address most if not all the scripture of the previous post, and your words not being gracious, but being ones of; condescending, ie ‘weak logic’, ‘your logic is non-logic’; assuming… God “cause man to sin as Calvinist dogma suggests” … that Angels have freewill… and then to measure God to man and claim that God cannot lie, to me and using your terms, is one not learned to see the depths of God’s wisdom, and not to have the grace in words of speech.
But then, there is more:


*bump*

I am still interested in your thinking on the question you presented - 'Is God sovereign in all things?' You mistakenly think that if Jesus died for the sins of “all men” and just one man rejects His offer of pardon then Jesus has somehow failed in His mission to reconcile man back to God. This is non-biblical thinking.

By your logic, when the rebellious angels "which kept not their first estate" rebelled against God (of their own freewill), that this act of disobedience caused God to cease being the “sovereign in all things”. What do you think?

So, having not read Post 118, or at least you not acknowledging it, I see that you are now on a mission, not to learn but to discredit… and yet I still responded, what was I thinking???



My position is that Jesus did not die for the sins of the whole world, but for the elect that God has called... from ever tongue and tribe as promised to Abraham... So all that the Father has given Jesus ALL will be saved.... God is not sinful, does not sin, and hates sin, but uses the sin of man to do His will.... For there is no Plan B...

Hard to grasp, but none-the-less true...
And now here is were it becomes obvious, you are on a mission and not hearing what I’ve been saying directly to you, nor what I and a few others have been contribution to the post…





My position is that Jesus did not die for the sins of the whole world, but for the elect that God has called... from ever tongue and tribe as promised to Abraham... So all that the Father has given Jesus ALL will be saved.... God is not sinful, does not sin, and hates sin, but uses the sin of man to do His will.... For there is no Plan B...

Hard to grasp, but none-the-less true...

But you have never answered my questions –
· Jesus came into the world to seek and save the lost. If the “good news” is presented to a lost sinner and the sinner chooses not to believe God’s truth does that act of disobedience diminish God’s sovereignty - does the sinner's act of rebellion prove that Jesus has "failed His mission" as you have suggested?
· When the rebellious angels "which kept not their first estate" rebelled against God (of their own freewill), did this act of disobedience cause God to cease being the “sovereign in all things”?
· Do you think it somehow diminishes God’s sovereignty that He gave man the gift of freewill, including the freedom to rebel against Him?
.
· Do you think man has the freedom to choose to sin and rebel against God or does God cause man to sin and rebel as Calvinist dogma suggests?


Hard to grasp, but none-the-less true...
To be rejected because it is non-biblical…why...because God so loves all the world that He gave His only begotten Son to die on a cross to save mankind from their sins...and "he who believes and is baptized will be saved...


The next pages get a bit more personal and a more deeper into your agenda, but, I’m stopping here.

losthorizon
Mar 7th 2008, 02:04 PM
...The next pages get a bit more personal and a more deeper into your agenda, but, I’m stopping here.

Wouldn’t it have been easier just to admit you cannot defend your apparent contradiction in logic about the sovereignty of God? Didn’t you start this thread to promote your own agenda - the dogma of “limited atonement”? Or are you claiming to have no agenda?;)

Brother Mark
Mar 7th 2008, 02:06 PM
Alright folks, let's keep the personal accusations of agendas out of this thread.

Son_kissed
Mar 7th 2008, 06:06 PM
Praise God that you are doing better, for you’ve been on my heart… I too am doing so much better and back to my normal work schedule… which means I gotta get caught up… :lol:

Well, I hope for your sake, that you're less of a procrastinator than I am. ;)


I believe that scripture supports ‘the coming to see the end of ourselves’ is also God’s work

2 Corinthians 7:9,10
9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.
10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

I don’t see God finding righteousness living in any of us, for without God, we can do nothing… but He puts His righteous there instead.

Romans 3:21-25
21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;

I agree with all of the above. :)


So here’s the difference… your kids would not want to know what they want -- nor do they desire to even follow you, in keeping the analogy similar… for the assumption to be similar is that they have to be dead to your will and wishes… So ice cream or beets, they don’t care until you first reach out to make them care.

Why is it that they can't finally get sick of beets and desire ice cream without me reaching out first? I agree they may not desire ice cream if they don't know it exists, and the scriptures are clear that God makes Himself known and will woo us. But, if they know it exists, I don't see why they might not desire it of their own.

And, yes, God gave us the law so that we could see just what filthy sinners we are and that we can't live righteously of our own ability, but I still don't find any compelling evidence that it's Him who enables us, apart from any desire of our own, that makes us desire and choose Righteousness.


Yes there is always a remnant that God has and will save… But know that it’s via individuals to make up the plurals

No disagreement there.


Yes… but this verse is for the nation, the other is for the individual…. Individual salvation builds the church just as individual salvation of the Jews will one day will bring collectively all of Israel [Those currently alive in the sometime in the future during the last days] to see Jesus as their Messiah. Think about this as in how the church is built, Jesus is the Chief cornerstone and each of us is a block.... or Jesus is the head, and each of us is a body part...

Which verse is for the nation? Ezekiel 18 specifically speaks to the accountability of individuals, telling them that the sins of the father will not be passed to the son, that each man is accountable for his own sins or uprightness. And then verse 30 states that He will judge them, "every one" according to his (their own) ways.

The verses in chapters 11 and 36, where He speaks of giving "them" a new heart, speaks of Israel as a Nation after He has gathered them.

But, look at chapter 12, before the gathering takes place.



Ezekiel 12:2 Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.


Interesting that they have been given eyes to see and ears to hear but still apparently choose not to see or hear.

Same thing in Zechariah


Zechariah 7:12 Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.

And since we have brought up Romans so often:


Romans 2:5 5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God

But there seems to be a point at which the God sees a desire in man for something different:

Zephaniah 3 is the same prophecy of that of Ezekiel 11 and 36 and Jeremiah 32, but in Zephaniah we find who it is that is gathered:


Zeph 3:18 I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden

Then the prophecy of giving them a new heart after He has gathered them. But only those who are sorrowful.

We also have David:


Psalms 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

It's only after David is sorrowful and admits his transgressions that He apparently feels he can ask God to give him a clean heart and right spirit.

Again, in Ezekial:


Ezekiel 18:31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

It seems apparent here, again, that it's we who must first choose to have a new heart and spirit.

Back to Romans:


Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?


Here Paul tells us it's His goodness that leads us to repentance. Not God making us repent.


But then there is still a question, wouldn’t their be? Does man’s will trump God’s? If you leave the destiny of salvation within the hands of man then God is not sovereign. And to modify sovereign for emphases, I would say completely sovereign which is redundant, but use for emphasis.

But your view of sovereignty reminds me more of dictatorship than sovereignty. There is a big difference in a sovereign leader who, although is judge, jury, lawyer and executioner, allows the person to plead guilty or innocent, and the dictator who allows no plea at all.


OK… this view is from the 1st person, try seeing this from God’s eyes… If you are a sinner and not seeking God one day, but the next day you do… [which by the way is your first ah ha moment] – what made you smarter the next day than from the day before?

I dont think it has anything to do with being smarter or wiser, its finally, as I've said before, just a realizing that you want something different. Or, at the very least, a fear of God that you've been ignoring and finally give into.

And, again, I believe God will help us get to that place and give us eyes to see and ears to hear, but we can still choose to be rebellious, and then He may harden and blind us, too, according to the scriptures presented above.


Well I think it’s much more stronger and more poignant than that… For this delves into God’s wrath and God's judgment, and His sovereignty of election and reprobation... But for now, we can move to another point and come back to this another time.

I dont see that in chapter 9 at all, so probably a good idea to move on.


So if the God you know is love only, and not everybody chooses Him, why then does He still let them go to hell? I mean, So if God knows all things and if He knows that before they were born that they will not choose to believe in Jesus then why did He create them anyway? I mean whether He chooses or man chooses, there will be men who will go to hell, will they not? So if God is love only, and one chooses not to repent and believe in Jesus, why does God allow this, if God is only love?

I've never said that God is love only. He is also just and a lot more things, but His love and justness, and everything else that He is, is Righteous and good and pure. One definition of Righteous is "morally justifiable." To create beings and enable some to choose Him, but not others and send those others to hell, is not morally justifiable. He expects us to be morally justifiable, so would He do anything He wouldn't want us to do? And what does He ask us to do? He asks us to love even our enemies.

Yes, this is a hard topic as you state below. And, I don't know that we can find any specific scripture in the Bible, but my belief is that He created us, knowing that some would not choose Him and go to hell, because, as His creation and being made in His image, He respects us and our choice (in having respect for Himself, and so us, made in His image), even our potential - before He began to create - and gives us the opportunity to live and choose.

Phew, that was a lot of words in one sentence. :lol:

But, that makes more sense than randomly enabling some people to desire and choose Him, but not others.


This is a hard topic I agree… but there are more questions to ask and to understand than these few here between you and I. Bottom line is God is God and He creates things of purpose, the mule to work hard, the dog to play. The field for planting, the mountains for skiing... :lol: My point is everything is in order, everything has purpose, everything is in the sovereign control of God.

He decided not to create mountains for skiing in Mississippi. I'm going to have to ask Him about that when I see him. I had always dreamed of raising kids on the slopes, but a month after my oldest was born we had to make a move here, and I've never been skiing since. Even so, they've had plenty of broken bones and sprains, so I wouldn't be surprised if He said, "I was being merciful, imagine the injuries if they had skied!" :)

I know God does everything for a purpose, but it's always for His glory, and we can usually find His mercy and grace and power in all that He does, and that is what is glorifying. In not enabling some, all I see is his power. Without mercy and grace, power is not glorifying. Yes, there is mercy for some, but is that glorifying that there isn't for others?


Sheila, nice to know you…and I too have many years of His grace behind me and Lord willing more ahead as I desire to serve Him. Experience can be a good teacher if it confirms biblical doctrine, but by itself, can be a deceiver.

There are times when we are to take in the word as a baby and take as much as we can handle,

1 Peter 2:2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,

and then there are other times to know what we believe why we believe as measured by His word, and it is not as milk but as meat...

Hebrews 5:13,14
13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.
14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.


I so have enjoyed our discourse, for your kind spirit has been so refreshing, even if we don't see things the same...


Trusting that God will work in us both....


For His glory....

Thank you, RbG, I trust He's working in both of us, too.

Blessings

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 7th 2008, 06:49 PM
Well, I hope for your sake, that you're less of a procrastinator than I am. ;)



I agree with all of the above. :)



Why is it that they can't finally get sick of beets and desire ice cream without me reaching out first? I agree they may not desire ice cream if they don't know it exists, and the scriptures are clear that God makes Himself known and will woo us. But, if they know it exists, I don't see why they might not desire it of their own.

And, yes, God gave us the law so that we could see just what filthy sinners we are and that we can't live righteously of our own ability, but I still don't find any compelling evidence that it's Him who enables us, apart from any desire of our own, that makes us desire and choose Righteousness.



No disagreement there.



Which verse is for the nation? Ezekiel 18 specifically speaks to the accountability of individuals, telling them that the sins of the father will not be passed to the son, that each man is accountable for his own sins or uprightness. And then verse 30 states that He will judge them, "every one" according to his (their own) ways.

The verses in chapters 11 and 36, where He speaks of giving "them" a new heart, speaks of Israel as a Nation after He has gathered them.

But, look at chapter 12, before the gathering takes place.



Interesting that they have been given eyes to see and ears to hear but still apparently choose not to see or hear.

Same thing in Zechariah



And since we have brought up Romans so often:



But there seems to be a point at which the God sees a desire in man for something different:

Zephaniah 3 is the same prophecy of that of Ezekiel 11 and 36 and Jeremiah 32, but in Zephaniah we find who it is that is gathered:



Then the prophecy of giving them a new heart after He has gathered them. But only those who are sorrowful.

We also have David:



It's only after David is sorrowful and admits his transgressions that He apparently feels he can ask God to give him a clean heart and right spirit.

Again, in Ezekial:



It seems apparent here, again, that it's we who must first choose to have a new heart and spirit.

Back to Romans:



Here Paul tells us it's His goodness that leads us to repentance. Not God making us repent.



But your view of sovereignty reminds me more of dictatorship than sovereignty. There is a big difference in a sovereign leader who, although is judge, jury, lawyer and executioner, allows the person to plead guilty or innocent, and the dictator who allows no plea at all.



I dont think it has anything to do with being smarter or wiser, its finally, as I've said before, just a realizing that you want something different. Or, at the very least, a fear of God that you've been ignoring and finally give into.

And, again, I believe God will help us get to that place and give us eyes to see and ears to hear, but we can still choose to be rebellious, and then He may harden and blind us, too, according to the scriptures presented above.



I dont see that in chapter 9 at all, so probably a good idea to move on.



I've never said that God is love only. He is also just and a lot more things, but His love and justness, and everything else that He is, is Righteous and good and pure. One definition of Righteous is "morally justifiable." To create beings and enable some to choose Him, but not others and send those others to hell, is not morally justifiable. He expects us to be morally justifiable, so would He do anything He wouldn't want us to do? And what does He ask us to do? He asks us to love even our enemies.

Yes, this is a hard topic as you state below. And, I don't know that we can find any specific scripture in the Bible, but my belief is that He created us, knowing that some would not choose Him and go to hell, because, as His creation and being made in His image, He respects us and our choice (in having respect for Himself, and so us, made in His image), even our potential - before He began to create - and gives us the opportunity to live and choose.

Phew, that was a lot of words in one sentence. :lol:

But, that makes more sense than randomly enabling some people to desire and choose Him, but not others.



He decided not to create mountains for skiing in Mississippi. I'm going to have to ask Him about that when I see him. I had always dreamed of raising kids on the slopes, but a month after my oldest was born we had to make a move here, and I've never been skiing since. Even so, they've had plenty of broken bones and sprains, so I wouldn't be surprised if He said, "I was being merciful, imagine the injuries if they had skied!" :)

I know God does everything for a purpose, but it's always for His glory, and we can usually find His mercy and grace and power in all that He does, and that is what is glorifying. In not enabling some, all I see is his power. Without mercy and grace, power is not glorifying. Yes, there is mercy for some, but is that glorifying that there isn't for others?



Thank you, RbG, I trust He's working in both of us, too.

Blessings


Hi SK!:)


Wow, you've been busy... that's wonderful... I gotta jump on another call but will comeback and read with interest your post and points soon, Lord willing.

Blessings back...

John146
Mar 7th 2008, 10:53 PM
They did not understand His parables because it was not given to them to understand.

Mt 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mt 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Mt 13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Mt 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

You say they could not hear because they had closed their own spiritual eyes to the truth (how would they have spiritual eyes in unbelief?), but through the prophet Isaiah it is God Who takes credit for making their ears heavy and closing their eyes.

Isa 6:10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

Isa 29:10 For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.

Isa 44:18 They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand. Once again, you skate around what Jesus clearly said in Matthew 13:15. You say it wasn't given to them to understand Jesus's parables. But you don't answer the question of why it is not given to them to understand. It is answered in Matthew 13:15 very clearly. It says "their eyes they have closed". It's clearly not speaking of their physical eyes but their spiritual eyes. So, whether you want to believe it or not, it was possible for them to close their own spiritual eyes to the truth. None of the verses you quoted say otherwise. Those verses speak of what God sometimes does after people already close their own eyes and harden their own hearts. He gives them over to their sins and hardens their hearts even more. Nowhere does it say He hardens people hearts before they ever have a chance to receive or accept the truth and come unto the knowledge of the truth so that they might be saved as a result (2 Thess 2:10, 1 Tim 2:4).

You quoted Isaiah 6:10. This is how that verse should be understood:

34The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man? 35Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
36While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
37But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
38That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
39Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
40He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
41These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
42Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
43For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
44Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
45And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
46I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
47And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
48He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. - John 12:34-48

So, unless you look at the whole context of this passage, which quotes Isaiah 6:10 in John 12:39-40, you will not understand what it means. Did God blind their eyes and harden their hearts without reason? No! Look at the rest of the passage. First, look at the beginning. Jesus told the crowd to believe in the light (which was Him) and walk in it while they still had the chance, rather than walking in darkness. He indicated that this was up to them to do. He wasn't going to do it for them. He made it clear what they should do (believe in Him and walk in Him), but it was up to them to agree and put their faith in Him and follow Him. He did many miracles before them but they still did not believe. Now, if they had no chance to be saved, then explain why Jesus said:

37If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
38But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. - John 10:37-38

Jesus performed miracles to show that He was the Son of God and the Father was in Him. Why would He then perform miracles for people who had no ability to believe they were done through the power of God the Father being in Him?

Moving on in John 12, we see another reason why He blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts. Because "they love the praise of men more than the praise of God". Then He said, "whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness". Whoseover is an all-inclusive rather than a restrictive word. Then He said that anyone who rejects Him and does not receive Him and His words will be judged/condemned. The fact that they reject Him implies that they could have accepted Him but chose to reject Him instead. They choose to refuse to receive the love of the truth so that they would be saved (2 Thess 2:10) and instead have pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thess 2:12).




But who will repent, call on the name of the Lord and believe in Christ? There are none righteous, no not one, there are none who seek the Lord. That is untrue. You're not reading that text (Romans 3:11) in the right context. Read Psalm 14 (or 53) and you will see that it is only the wicked who do not seek the Lord. They are the fools who say there is no God and "eat up" His people (Psalm 14:4).

The following passages make it quite clear that people can indeed seek God:

6Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. - Isaiah 55:6-7

This passage says that "the wicked" and "the unrighteous man" should "forsake his way" and "seek ye the LORD while he may be found". It clearly implies that this must be done by choice and is not something that just automatically happens.


6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
7By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. - Heb 11:6-7

If no man seeks God then why does He reward those who diligently seek Him?






What faith do those in unbelief possess in order to put it in Christ? They possess a God given conscience in which they can use to either reject Christ or accept Him and put their faith in Him. One can either choose to accept Christ and His gospel or they can choose to give "heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron"(1 Tim 4:1-2).

Eric

Mograce2U
Mar 8th 2008, 05:18 AM
Daniel 2+ also gives us an example of how God makes a man accountable for what he knows. King Neb's dream which Daniel interpreted, lead him to make an image of gold and require the people to worship it, which resulted in his insanity for 7 years. And this his son knew all about, so that when he sees the hand writing on the wall - he gets no 2nd chance, and is slain that very night. That is why hearing the gospel makes a man accountable for how he responds to it.

It is not as though this thing was done in a corner and no one has heard about it. Who can plead ignorance today? Mohammed heard about the Jew's religion and also the Christian gospel and came up with Allah & Islam instead - a bit like Neb did with the dream he was given when he took the part he wanted to hear and forgot the rest.

Men who do not choose God are not doing so because they are confirmed atheists (at least most that is); rather they prefer a god of their own making - one they can manipulate and bribe. Man is inherently religious and his depravity is the result of that not the cause. Which is why scripture tells us:

(Prov 22:6 KJV) Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

See also Deut 6 for similar instructions for raising children. No man comes into this world alone without help either from parents or peers. And God has seen to it that this is how he will be made response-able.

And even the first man Adam - the only one who could have had this excuse - God trained personally. I can only imagine what Adam had to tell his children about God! And we do see that Abel listened to him while Cain did not.

RogerW
Mar 8th 2008, 04:58 PM
Once again, you skate around what Jesus clearly said in Matthew 13:15. You say it wasn't given to them to understand Jesus's parables. But you don't answer the question of why it is not given to them to understand. It is answered in Matthew 13:15 very clearly. It says "their eyes they have closed". It's clearly not speaking of their physical eyes but their spiritual eyes. So, whether you want to believe it or not, it was possible for them to close their own spiritual eyes to the truth. None of the verses you quoted say otherwise. Those verses speak of what God sometimes does after people already close their own eyes and harden their own hearts. He gives them over to their sins and hardens their hearts even more. Nowhere does it say He hardens people hearts before they ever have a chance to receive or accept the truth and come unto the knowledge of the truth so that they might be saved as a result (2 Thess 2:10, 1 Tim 2:4).

Greetings Eric,

I'm breaking this down in response to your post to hopefully make it easier to follow. I'll try to respond to each of your points, and I would ask that you also try to respond to all of the points I made from the reply you are responding to. I notice you left ouy much of my argument.

Mt 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
Mt 13:17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
Mt 13:18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

Looking at the parable a little more closely helps us to understand "why" some see and others even appear to see, but in truth they never understood at all. I have just posted this same argument in another thread, and since you may not have seen it there I will post it here also. In the other thread the contention is over eternal security, but the point of the parable can also be applied to who will believe and why.

The point of contention in the parable is of course the one who believes for a time and appears to lose his salvation. The pertinent question that begs to be asked is, why the one who believes for a time did not continue to believe? If you can understand, and answer this question then perhaps you will understand the parable. Since the only contention is with the one who appears to be saved, and then loses their salvation, this will be my focus.

First we need to remember why Christ says He speaks in parables:

Mt 13:11-13 "He answered and said unto them, because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand."

Mr 4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
Mr 4:12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

Lu 8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

Matthew tells us he received the seed, which is the Word with joy, but he had no root in himself, so he endured only for a while, but could not endure tribulation and persecution that arose because of the Word. Mark tells us they received the Word with gladness, but endure only for a time because they have no root in themselves, so fall away when they are afflicted and persecuted for the Word's sake. Lastly Luke tells us they receive the Word with joy, and for a while believe, but these too have no root so in time of temptation they fall away.

Mt 13:20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
Mt 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Mr 4:16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
Mr 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.

Lu 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

What does it mean to have no root? The Root every true believer MUST possess in the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, and the bright and morning star.

Re 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

Re 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

When we are graffed into the True Olive Tree (Eternal Church), we become partakers of the Root (Christ), Who bears us, we do not bear Him. When we abide in Christ and He in us then we WILL bring forth much fruit, but without Him we can do nothing.

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 11:18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

Joh 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

So did those in the parable who appeared to believe for a while, but had no Root lose their salvation? Or was it that their belief was not mixed with faith as we read of those in Hebrews.

Heb 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
Heb 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
Heb 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

We can believe, for even the devils believe and tremble, but unless our believing is mixed with faith we are not saved.

Jas 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Unless we receive imputation of His righteousness enabling us to have faith, then we cannot be saved. We might look like Christians, and even act like Christians, fooling ourselves and others, but only those who abide in the Root and the Root in them are truly born again.

Many blessings,
RW

RogerW
Mar 8th 2008, 05:46 PM
You quoted Isaiah 6:10. This is how that verse should be understood:

34The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man? 35Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
36While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
37But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
38That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
39Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
40He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
41These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
42Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
43For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
44Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
45And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
46I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
47And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
48He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. - John 12:34-48

So, unless you look at the whole context of this passage, which quotes Isaiah 6:10 in John 12:39-40, you will not understand what it means. Did God blind their eyes and harden their hearts without reason? No! Look at the rest of the passage. First, look at the beginning. Jesus told the crowd to believe in the light (which was Him) and walk in it while they still had the chance, rather than walking in darkness. He indicated that this was up to them to do. He wasn't going to do it for them. He made it clear what they should do (believe in Him and walk in Him), but it was up to them to agree and put their faith in Him and follow Him. He did many miracles before them but they still did not believe. Now, if they had no chance to be saved, then explain why Jesus said:

37If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
38But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. - John 10:37-38

Jesus performed miracles to show that He was the Son of God and the Father was in Him. Why would He then perform miracles for people who had no ability to believe they were done through the power of God the Father being in Him?

All of Israel forsake the LORD. In fact Scripture tells us that all people, prior to salvation forsake Him. God calls Israel a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters, who have forsaken the LORD and provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger. This is why God blinds their eyes that they see not, and closes their ears that they should not hear, be converted and saved. Does that mean there is no hope for the nation?

Isa 1:2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
Isa 1:3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
Isa 1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

But God does not leave this sinful nation without hope. Through His prophet, Isaiah, the LORD says that though they be rebellious and have forsaken Him, He will leave a very small remnant, who will be saved, else they would have become as Sodom and Gomorrah.

Isa 1:9 Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

1Ki 19:18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

Under the New Covenant God still has a people called Israel, but these are not the rebellious nation that forsake the LORD. This Israel is called through the seed of Isaac. The seed of course being Christ. These are called the Israel of God.

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.

Ga 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

Now, under the New Covenant in Christ, all men, both Jews and Gentiles can become saved through the gospel “IF” they hear through the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit, receive His imputed righteousness, enabling them to faith and repentance.

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 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

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 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.

How do we become saved? Is it through our choosing Him, or through the righteousness of God by faith OF Jesus Christ?

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.
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.

God has given us the example of Israel for a reason. It is to show us that all people forsake the Lord, and do that which is right in their own eyes. There are NONE, not only the wicked, but every single one of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Just like the unrighteous Jews, none of us seek the Lord, because we are not better than they, we are all under sin, and both Psalm 14 and 53 confirm this truth.

Ro 3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;

Because we are no better than the Jews, neither can we hear His voice, unless He calls us by name.

Mt 12:18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
Mt 12:19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.
Mt 12:20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
Mt 12:21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

Joh 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

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.

So in the New Covenant in Christ all people can become saved. But our salvation is not dependent upon free will choice. God has a people for Himself, this is the reason for the creation of mankind, that God might have a people for Himself. Throughout human history God, through His message of the gospel, and the power of the Holy Spirit, has been and continues to gather this people He has chosen for Himself. As soon as the last one of His chosen elect people is born into the Kingdom, then Christ will come again to claim His special people unto God. The way that His chosen elect people come into the Kingdom is through the gospel message, and the imputation of His righteousness, leading them to faith and repentance. All of God....none of man!

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Mar 8th 2008, 06:22 PM
That is untrue. You're not reading that text (Romans 3:11) in the right context. Read Psalm 14 (or 53) and you will see that it is only the wicked who do not seek the Lord. They are the fools who say there is no God and "eat up" His people (Psalm 14:4).

The following passages make it quite clear that people can indeed seek God:

6Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. - Isaiah 55:6-7

This passage says that "the wicked" and "the unrighteous man" should "forsake his way" and "seek ye the LORD while he may be found". It clearly implies that this must be done by choice and is not something that just automatically happens.

It seems that hearing is needed for their soul to live, if they are to come into an everlasting covenant with the Lord. Will all hear, will all seek? According to vs. 5 He will call a nation that does not know Him, and they shall run unto the Lord thy God for the Holy One of Israel.

Isa 55:3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

Isa 55:5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.

Who will seek the LORD? For His thoughts are not our thoughts. Since none will seek Him, He sends forth His Word out of His mouth, and it will not return to Him void, but will accomplish His will.

Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isa 55:10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
Isa 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

What is His will, or that which He pleases? That all whom the Father has given Him, will come to Him. This is the will of the Father, that of all He hath given, Christ should lose none, but these will believe on Him, and have everlasting life.

Joh 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Joh 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
Joh 6:39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
Joh 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.



6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
7By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. - Heb 11:6-7

If no man seeks God then why does He reward those who diligently seek Him?

Hebrews 11 is one of my favorite chapters of Scripture. The whole chapter tells us that without faith, which is evidence of things not seen, it is impossible to please Him. For it is by "it" FAITH the elders obtained a good report. They did not diligently seek Him without faith. It is because we have faith that we diligently seek Him. Chapter 11 of Hebrews shows this clearly. We read again and again "by faith", "through faith".

Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Heb 11:2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.



They possess a God given conscience in which they can use to either reject Christ or accept Him and put their faith in Him. One can either choose to accept Christ and His gospel or they can choose to give "heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron"(1 Tim 4:1-2).

Eric

We all given a conscience to know the difference between right and wrong. This is one reason man is without excuse. But where do we find faith exists within the hearts of unbelievers?

Faith is - persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly, constancy in such profession; by extension, the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself:--assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

Many Blessings,
RW

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 10th 2008, 12:28 AM
Hi son_kissed!


Well, I hope for your sake, that you're less of a procrastinator than I am. ;)



I believe that scripture supports ‘the coming to see the end of ourselves’ is also God’s work

2 Corinthians 7:9,10
9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.
10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

I don’t see God finding righteousness living in any of us, for without God, we can do nothing… but He puts His righteous there instead.

Romans 3:21-25
21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;

I agree with all of the above. :)

This is good, real good! Praise God for our discussion and for having like minds on His word of truth…


I was starting to write offers of counter for consideration to the other points you have brought to discuss, IE I wrote a little diddy about your beets and ice cream analogy, hopefully showing more differences between God's enabling and man's 'choice' --- but decided that you and I -- in seeing that we are in one accord to the point above-- is the best place to stop and praise God and rejoice…

Hope all is well and trusting that God blesses your studies...

John146
Mar 10th 2008, 03:29 PM
Greetings Eric,

I'm breaking this down in response to your post to hopefully make it easier to follow. I'll try to respond to each of your points, and I would ask that you also try to respond to all of the points I made from the reply you are responding to. I notice you left ouy much of my argument.

Sorry, but I don't feel obligated to respond to every single point you make. You have responded to me before without addressing all of the points I made in the post you responded to. Why should I be held to a different standard than you hold to in your own responses? I have responded to MANY of the points you have made in your various posts so I don't think there is any cause to complain if I don't respond to every one of them.




Mt 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
Mt 13:17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
Mt 13:18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

Looking at the parable a little more closely helps us to understand "why" some see and others even appear to see, but in truth they never understood at all. I have just posted this same argument in another thread, and since you may not have seen it there I will post it here also. In the other thread the contention is over eternal security, but the point of the parable can also be applied to who will believe and why.

The point of contention in the parable is of course the one who believes for a time and appears to lose his salvation. The pertinent question that begs to be asked is, why the one who believes for a time did not continue to believe? If you can understand, and answer this question then perhaps you will understand the parable. Since the only contention is with the one who appears to be saved, and then loses their salvation, this will be my focus.

First we need to remember why Christ says He speaks in parables:

Mt 13:11-13 "He answered and said unto them, because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand."

Mr 4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
Mr 4:12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

Lu 8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

Matthew tells us he received the seed, which is the Word with joy, but he had no root in himself, so he endured only for a while, but could not endure tribulation and persecution that arose because of the Word. Mark tells us they received the Word with gladness, but endure only for a time because they have no root in themselves, so fall away when they are afflicted and persecuted for the Word's sake. Lastly Luke tells us they receive the Word with joy, and for a while believe, but these too have no root so in time of temptation they fall away.

Mt 13:20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
Mt 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Mr 4:16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
Mr 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.

Lu 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

What does it mean to have no root? The Root every true believer MUST possess in the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, and the bright and morning star.

Re 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

Re 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

When we are graffed into the True Olive Tree (Eternal Church), we become partakers of the Root (Christ), Who bears us, we do not bear Him. When we abide in Christ and He in us then we WILL bring forth much fruit, but without Him we can do nothing.

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 11:18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

Joh 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

So did those in the parable who appeared to believe for a while, but had no Root lose their salvation?

Okay, this illustrates how frustrating it can be trying to have a discussion with someone like you. When did I ever say that the ones who were drawn to Christ and fell away were ever saved in the first place? I didn't. And I don't believe that. So, here you are responding to me based on erroneous assumptions you are making about what I said. The 3 groups of people that are described in the parable of the sower who end up being deceived or overcome by other things are never saved in the first place. They never get to the point where they truly repent of their sins and surrender their lives to Christ. They are brought to that point to make that decision but Satan or the cares of the world or the fear of persecution keep them from making that decision to repent, deny themselves and surrender their lives to Christ.



Or was it that their belief was not mixed with faith as we read of those in Hebrews.

Heb 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
Heb 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
Heb 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

We can believe, for even the devils believe and tremble, but unless our believing is mixed with faith we are not saved.

Of course. Can you show me where I ever even hinted that I believed otherwise?



Unless we receive imputation of His righteousness enabling us to have faith
, then we cannot be saved.

Give me specific Scripture that states what you are saying here.



We might look like Christians, and even act like Christians, fooling ourselves and others, but only those who abide in the Root and the Root in them are truly born again.

Of course. Scripture is clear about that.

John146
Mar 10th 2008, 04:58 PM
All of Israel forsake the LORD. In fact Scripture tells us that all people, prior to salvation forsake Him. God calls Israel a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters, who have forsaken the LORD and provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger. This is why God blinds their eyes that they see not, and closes their ears that they should not hear, be converted and saved.

Yes, and it was of their own choice to forsake Him. If it wasn't then for what reason would He be angry with them? If they were merely doing what He wanted them to do then there would be no reason for Him to become angry with them.



Does that mean there is no hope for the nation? I'm okay with discussing the nation of Israel, but I made points regarding John 12 that deals with individuals and not the nation of Israel. Why didn't you address the points I made regarding INDIVIDUALS?



Isa 1:2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
Isa 1:3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
Isa 1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

But God does not leave this sinful nation without hope. Through His prophet, Isaiah, the LORD says that though they be rebellious and have forsaken Him, He will leave a very small remnant, who will be saved, else they would have become as Sodom and Gomorrah.

Isa 1:9 Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

1Ki 19:18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

Under the New Covenant God still has a people called Israel, but these are not the rebellious nation that forsake the LORD. This Israel is called through the seed of Isaac. The seed of course being Christ. These are called the Israel of God.

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.

Ga 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.Yes, I was aware of all that, Roger. Thanks, anyway. I'm really hoping we can stick to speaking about individuals and whether salvation is available now to all individuals in the world or not. We can talk about the difference between the nation of Israel and the Israel of God in another thread.



Now, under the New Covenant in Christ, all men, both Jews and Gentiles can become saved through the gospel “IF” they hear through the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit, receive His imputed righteousness, enabling them to faith and repentance. Where does Scripture say this? I've asked you this before and so far you have not given any convincing answers to that question. I believe all people have a conscience. Don't you? And therefore, people can use their conscience to make choices to repent and believe or not. The gospel is preached to everyone. The Spirit works on convicting everyone of their sins. Those things never fail. God will ensure that those things are done. However, there is a responsibility on our end to make a willful choice to repent and believe or not. God commands "all men everywhere" to repent. Why command everyone to repent if not everyone can repent? Scripture teaches that everyone can, at least at some point in their lives. Some, after repeated chances to repent, have their hearts hardened and are given over to their sins and this is to fulfill a purpose that God has for them, such as when He hardened Pharaoh's heart in order to "shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth".

8They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. - Jonah 2:8 (KJV)

Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. - Jonah 2:8 (NIV)

8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?
10 Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. - - Jonah 3:8-10 (NKJV)

We see passages like these throughout Scripture. You believe in unconditional election to salvation, right Roger? Correct me if I'm wrong. I don't want to assume anything. I believe in unconditional election of people to serve a purpose and not unconditional election to salvation. I believe in conditional election to salvation because of passages like the above where God clearly lays out conditions for either spiritual salvation or salvation from physical destruction. You seem to think that EVERYTHING is unconditional because God controls everything. He is in control, no doubt. But He chose to give people a conscience which gives them the ability to freely make moral choices. This doesn't mean we have complete free will. I didn't choose to be born. I didn't choose to be born where I was born. I didn't choose to have blue eyes. I didn't choose a lot of things that God chose for me. But that doesn't mean I can't choose to either repent, put my faith in Christ and believe the gospel or to reject or forsake Christ thereby forfeiting the salvation by God's grace that could have been given to me.

It seems like you overlook (purposely?) the many passages that give conditions that people must choose to meet in order to be saved.

People are told to seek the Lord while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6-7). Jesus told people: "While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light". What do passages like these imply? That people must choose to repent, call on the name of the Lord and believe the gospel WHILE THERE IS STILL TIME. They must do this before they die or before God gives them over to their sins or it will be too late. Your doctrine takes all the urgency away to reach the lost while there is still time!



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 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

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 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.

How do we become saved? Is it through our choosing Him, or through the righteousness of God by faith OF Jesus Christ?

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.
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.Notice something that you miss from these passages. We are imputed with righteousness only AFTER we believe in Christ. You say we are imputed with righteousness so that we can believe. Where does it say that in these verses? Break it down for me if you would because I don't see it. What I see is that God justifies those who believe in Jesus (Romans 3:26). The belief in Jesus must come first. You underline "the faith of Jesus Christ". Why didn't you underline "them that believe"? You underlined that we are justified freely by his grace. We are also justified by OUR faith. He justifies those who believe in Jesus (Rom 3:26).



God has given us the example of Israel for a reason. It is to show us that all people forsake the Lord, and do that which is right in their own eyes. There are NONE, not only the wicked, but every single one of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God.Yes, we all sin. But it doesn't say that we all don't seek God. I gave you verses that clearly show otherwise (Isaiah 55:6-7, Heb 11:6-7).



Just like the unrighteous Jews, none of us seek the Lord, because we are not better than they, we are all under sin, and both Psalm 14 and 53 confirm this truth.

Ro 3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;

Because we are no better than the Jews, neither can we hear His voice, unless He calls us by name.Many are called, but few are chosen. You seemingly say that all who are called are also chosen. No! Everyone who is chosen is also called. You can't be chosen without being called. But you can be called without being chosen. You have great difficulty getting your doctrine to line up with what is taught in parables such as the parable of the sower and the parable of the wedding invitation of Matthew 22:1-14.

You spoke about the gospel going out to the Gentiles because the Jews were no better than them. That is true. So, look what Jesus said about the Gentiles:

8Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
10So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
11And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
12And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
13Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
14For many are called, but few are chosen.

This is clearly a depiction of the gospel of salvation being preached, first in Israel and then to the Gentile nations (the highways). Now, when one preaches the gospel they are sure to tell anyone and everyone listening that if they repent, call on the name of the Lord and put their faith in Jesus Christ then they will be saved. Do you disagree? This is what the disciples did so I'd think we should follow their example. So, many are called to salvation, but few are chosen to salvation. That is what this parable teaches. There is no reason to call one to salvation if they never had a chance to be saved. The reason that one is called to salvation but not chosen is just as the parable teaches. We can't inherit the kingdom of heaven without the proper attire, so to speak. We can't inherit the kingdom without putting on the righteousness imputed to us by Christ. How does this happen? By accepting the invitation to the wedding, first of all! And by accepting Christ, repenting of ours sin, calling on the name of the Lord and willfully surrendering our lives to Him. The Jews that rejected Christ chose to do this. And many Gentiles reject Him as well. But they can't say that they didn't get the invitation.

Therefore, the responsibility is all on them because despite hearing the Word, they refused to believe it by their own choice. If it was God's choice for them to not accept the wedding invitation and not repent and put their faith in Christ then why are they taken away and cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth? Are they being punished for merely doing what God wanted them to do? No. That would make no sense. They are punished for making a poor decision to not believe the gospel and to reject God's Son.




Mt 12:18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
Mt 12:19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.
Mt 12:20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
Mt 12:21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

Joh 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

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.

So in the New Covenant in Christ all people can become saved.You don't really believe that because you say that God, by His own predetermination based on no reasons or criteria that are given in Scripture, chose some to salvation and the rest to damnation before the foundation of the world.



But our salvation is not dependent upon free will choice. It is partly. You take our own personal responsibility completely out of the equation. There is no rhyme or reason to the existence of hell and the lake of fire if people have to spend eternity there merely because they never had a chance to go anywhere else.



God has a people for Himself, this is the reason for the creation of mankind, that God might have a people for Himself.That's right. And those people are everyone who believes in Christ.

40And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.



Throughout human history God, through His message of the gospel, and the power of the Holy Spirit, has been and continues to gather this people He has chosen for Himself. As soon as the last one of His chosen elect people is born into the Kingdom, then Christ will come again to claim His special people unto God. The way that His chosen elect people come into the Kingdom is through the gospel message, and the imputation of His righteousness, leading them to faith and repentance. All of God....none of man!I see no Scripture that says Christ's righteousness is imputed to someone and they then proceed to repent and have faith. Can you show me any?

Eric

9Marksfan
Mar 10th 2008, 05:32 PM
Eric,

Do you believe that Christ's righteousness is imputed to us once we believe?

Roger,

Don't you believe that God-given faith is the key to receiving all the benefits of salvation - redemption/forgiveness, reconciliation, adoption, righteousness, justification etc (not necessarily in that order!)?

Blessings.

Nigel

John146
Mar 10th 2008, 05:35 PM
It seems that hearing is needed for their soul to live, if they are to come into an everlasting covenant with the Lord. Will all hear, will all seek? According to vs. 5 He will call a nation that does not know Him, and they shall run unto the Lord thy God for the Holy One of Israel.

Isa 55:3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

Isa 55:5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.

Who will seek the LORD? For His thoughts are not our thoughts. Since none will seek Him, He sends forth His Word out of His mouth, and it will not return to Him void, but will accomplish His will.

By saying that none will seek Him, you are directly contradicting Isaiah 55:6-7. He said to seek Him while He may be found. He wouldn't say that if no one could seek Him.



Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isa 55:10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
Isa 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

What is His will, or that which He pleases? That all whom the Father has given Him, will come to Him. This is the will of the Father, that of all He hath given, Christ should lose none, but these will believe on Him, and have everlasting life.

Joh 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Joh 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
Joh 6:39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
Joh 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

You changed the wording of the text. You say that the will of the Father that Christ would not lose any of the ones that the Father gives Him. I agree. But then you seem to imply that there is somehow a select group which God predetermined somehow before the foundation of the world that only a select few would believe in Christ. Is that what John 6:40 says? No. It says that it is the Father's will to give everlasting life to everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him. You add in this exclusiveness that is not there. It is all-inclusive to anyone in the world who puts their faith in Christ. One cannot have everlasting life without believing in Christ. God doesn't believe for anyone. He commands it of us to believe. And salvation is available to all. Whosoever thirsts and whosoever will put their faith in Christ will receive everlasting life(Rev 22:17). This is not an exclusive salvation country club. All have sinned. We're all sinners. Christ came to call sinners to repentance. Since everyone in the world is a sinner that means He came to call all people in the world (all men everywhere) to repentance. He would not call one to repentance if that person could not repent. Christ died for all so that all could come to the knowledge of the truth so that they might be saved. But this only occurs if one willingly repents and puts their faith in Christ. Scripture teaches this repeatedly.



Hebrews 11 is one of my favorite chapters of Scripture. The whole chapter tells us that without faith, which is evidence of things not seen, it is impossible to please Him. For it is by "it" FAITH the elders obtained a good report. They did not diligently seek Him without faith. It is because we have faith that we diligently seek Him. Chapter 11 of Hebrews shows this clearly. We read again and again "by faith", "through faith".

Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Heb 11:2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.

And whose faith is it speaking about? Ours! That is what you fail to acknowledge. We cannot please God without having faith and believing that He is who He says He is. He rewards those who diligently seek Him. One must have faith to seek Him. Our own faith. By faith, Noah...by faith, Abraham...by faith, Isaac...by faith, Jacob... All those people were blessed because of their own faith that they chose to put in God.



We all given a conscience to know the difference between right and wrong. This is one reason man is without excuse. But where do we find faith exists within the hearts of unbelievers?

The ability to believe obviously exists within the hearts of all people. That is why there is no excuse. Read Romans 1 and see that the people had the ability to believe (otherwise, they would have an excuse not to) but the changed the truth of God into a lie. That was their own doing. It wasn't God's will for them to change His truth into a lie.



Faith is - persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly, constancy in such profession; by extension, the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself:--assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

Many Blessings,
RW

Right. Believers have faith and unbelievers don't. By choice. That is why there is no excuse not to believe. If there was no choice then there would be an excuse. How can one be expected to believe, without excuse, if they didn't even have the choice to believe in the first place?

John146
Mar 10th 2008, 05:37 PM
Eric,

Do you believe that Christ's righteousness is imputed to us once we believe?

Once we believe, yes. We have to believe first.

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, - Ephesians 1:12-13

9Marksfan
Mar 10th 2008, 05:43 PM
Once we believe, yes. We have to believe first.

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, - Ephesians 1:12-13

Good, just wanted to check you weren't one of these NPP folk! ;)

John146
Mar 10th 2008, 05:53 PM
Good, just wanted to check you weren't one of these NPP folk! ;)

What does NPP stand for?

Son_kissed
Mar 10th 2008, 06:06 PM
Hi son_kissed!



This is good, real good! Praise God for our discussion and for having like minds on His word of truth…


I was starting to write offers of counter for consideration to the other points you have brought to discuss, IE I wrote a little diddy about your beets and ice cream analogy, hopefully showing more differences between God's enabling and man's 'choice' --- but decided that you and I -- in seeing that we are in one accord to the point above-- is the best place to stop and praise God and rejoice…

Hope all is well and trusting that God blesses your studies...

Ok, RbG. Things are good, thank you, and I hope all is well with you, too.

God bless your studies as well, and know that I'll continue to read this thread and the other. I never get so confident in my understanding of scripture that God can't teach me, and in His time and His way He is always revealing many new and wonderful things to me. I'm sure He won't stop now.

Blessings

9Marksfan
Mar 11th 2008, 12:06 AM
What does NPP stand for?

New Perspective on Paul.

RogerW
Mar 11th 2008, 08:01 PM
Roger,

Don't you believe that God-given faith is the key to receiving all the benefits of salvation - redemption/forgiveness, reconciliation, adoption, righteousness, justification etc (not necessarily in that order!)?

Blessings.

Nigel

Greetings Nigel,

I believe we are drawn by the Father to the Word (Jo 6:44,45). When we hear with spiritual ears (Ro 10:17; Gal 3:2), it is because we have been given to hear His voice (Jo 10:16, 27). Through hearing we receive His imputed righteousness of faith (Ro 4:11-13). Now we acknowldege our sin, repent and believe. Unless we have received His imputed righteousness of faith we cannot believe.

Note: Ro 4:11 he had yet is not part of the Greek manuscript. it should read "a seal of the righteousness of the faith which 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:"

KJV same thing when reading Ro 4:12 he had yet was added and not part of the Greek manuscript. The verse should not say he had faith being uncircumcised as it does.

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 being 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.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Mar 11th 2008, 08:15 PM
By saying that none will seek Him, you are directly contradicting Isaiah 55:6-7. He said to seek Him while He may be found. He wouldn't say that if no one could seek Him.

Yes, and all who hear will seek.



You changed the wording of the text. You say that the will of the Father that Christ would not lose any of the ones that the Father gives Him. I agree. But then you seem to imply that there is somehow a select group which God predetermined somehow before the foundation of the world that only a select few would believe in Christ. Is that what John 6:40 says? No. It says that it is the Father's will to give everlasting life to everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him. You add in this exclusiveness that is not there. It is all-inclusive to anyone in the world who puts their faith in Christ. One cannot have everlasting life without believing in Christ. God doesn't believe for anyone. He commands it of us to believe. And salvation is available to all. Whosoever thirsts and whosoever will put their faith in Christ will receive everlasting life(Rev 22:17). This is not an exclusive salvation country club. All have sinned. We're all sinners. Christ came to call sinners to repentance. Since everyone in the world is a sinner that means He came to call all people in the world (all men everywhere) to repentance. He would not call one to repentance if that person could not repent. Christ died for all so that all could come to the knowledge of the truth so that they might be saved. But this only occurs if one willingly repents and puts their faith in Christ. Scripture teaches this repeatedly.

Does everyone see the Son and believe on Him?




And whose faith is it speaking about? Ours! That is what you fail to acknowledge. We cannot please God without having faith and believing that He is who He says He is. He rewards those who diligently seek Him. One must have faith to seek Him. Our own faith. By faith, Noah...by faith, Abraham...by faith, Isaac...by faith, Jacob... All those people were blessed because of their own faith that they chose to put in God.

The Bible tells us that faith comes by hearing the word of God. How can it be our faith, if we only receive it by hearing the Word? Again, who will seek Him without faith, which comes through hearing the Word?

Ro 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Many Blessings,
RW

John146
Mar 11th 2008, 11:55 PM
Yes, and all who hear will seek.

Okay, I thought you said no one seeks God? Are you changing your mind or did I misunderstand you? Did you look at the context of the passage in question (Isaiah 55:6-7)? Isaiah 55:1 says "every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters". Does that remind you of any other verse? It reminds me of Revelation 22:17 which says "...And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely". Does this seem like exclusive language? Not to me. The water of life is offered to whosoever will take it. Whosoever will "seek the Lord while He may be found", "call upon Him while He is near", "forsake his way" and "his thoughts" (Isaiah 55:6-7).



Does everyone see the Son and believe on Him?

No. One must choose to see and believe on Him. One must "forsake his way" and "his thoughts" and put his/her faith in Christ willingly while there is still time. God does not do this for us but He does lead us to this decision by the preaching of the Word.



The Bible tells us that faith comes by hearing the word of God. How can it be our faith, if we only receive it by hearing the Word?

Where does it say that we receive faith merely by hearing the Word? We must hear it and believe it. That is our responsibility. It is preached to all because its message is for all people. But as the parable of the sower and the parable of the wedding invitation teach us, some choose to accept it and some choose to reject it.



Again, who will seek Him without faith, which comes through hearing the Word?

Isaiah 55:6-7 implies that the one who needs to forsake his ways and his thoughts is the one who is expected to seek the Lord while He still may be found. So, my answer to your question is "whosoever will". All people have a conscience. Therefore even the most wicked person knows deep down they are missing something. But many won't admit it. But some do forsake their evil ways and thoughts and seek truth and find it when they hear the Word preached to them. When they hear it they realize that the Word is the truth they have been searching for and they then put their faith in its message and the One whom the message is all about: Jesus Christ.

Eric

losthorizon
Mar 12th 2008, 02:54 AM
...The Bible tells us that faith comes by hearing the word of God. How can it be our faith, if we only receive it by hearing the Word? Again, who will seek Him without faith, which comes through hearing the Word?

The bible clearly teaches that man has the gift of free will – the free will to “choose” between obeying God and disobeying God and when we “choose” to obey Him it is a “choice” we make of our own free will.

Joshua speaks of this free will to serve God that comes through “our faith” – a biblical concept that does major damage to the Calvinistic notion that man cannot choose to serve God but is forced to serve just as a pre-programmed android is forced to serve its creator.
"Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the God of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24)

Mograce2U
Mar 12th 2008, 03:24 AM
Abraham is a good study for this thread:

(Gen 15:5-7 KJV) And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. {6} And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. {7} And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.

What has happened here? God gives Abraham a promise, Abraham hears and believes it, and God accounts to him as righteousness. And God reveals Himself to Abraham in the process. Would Abe have been able to believe what he did not first know? And how could he know it until he heard it? Did God initiate the relationship? For sure He did. But without Abe's response, what relationship could he have had with Someone he did not know?

Rhetorical I know, but this is not rocket science...

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 12th 2008, 12:55 PM
Abraham is a good study for this thread:

(Gen 15:5-7 KJV) And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. {6} And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. {7} And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.

What has happened here? God gives Abraham a promise, Abraham hears and believes it, and God accounts to him as righteousness. And God reveals Himself to Abraham in the process. Would Abe have been able to believe what he did not first know? And how could he know it until he heard it? Did God initiate the relationship? For sure He did. But without Abe's response, what relationship could he have had with Someone he did not know?

Rhetorical I know, but this is not rocket science...


So God is the initiator as I think I hear you, for which I say Amen.... But do you also think as Abram's creator, that God also gave him a heart of understanding? And also, when God made a covenant with Abram, was Abram circumcised or not circumcised at the time?

For His glory...

Mograce2U
Mar 12th 2008, 04:03 PM
So God is the initiator as I think I hear you, for which I say Amen.... But do you also think as Abram's creator, that God also gave him a heart of understanding? And also, when God made a covenant with Abram, was Abram circumcised or not circumcised at the time?

For His glory...Yes I do, and was to trying to show how He did that. It was by bringing the man into the knowledge of Himself, which He first had to reveal to him. No heart of understanding comes upon a man while he is ignorant, but thru the hearing of the word which God sends to him - that dispells his ignorance. God calls and man responds to the call when he hears it.

Adam hid in the garden only until God called his name. That was when Adam came out of hiding and answered the call he heard. The call is from God, the response is from man and the result is the man then possesses a heart which understands.

But even Adam already had the experience of walking with God in the garden before the fall. So he was not in ignorance but in fear at that point. The fear came because he knew he had done wrong. So fear is what made him hide from God.

Man has moved millenias away from the knowledge of God that Adam had, so that now he even questions His existence. But something of Adam's knowledge remains in him, else he would not share his fear. That is why God must be the one who calls a man out of his hiding and his self-imposed ignorance.

Abraham's call from God was a promise given to him several times before Gen 15:6 when he then believed it and it was accounted to him as righteousness. Yet Abraham had obeyed what he heard previously. God's word sends a testing to the man to pull this response out of him. What obedience could he have had if he had not first heard something from God? Yet that took some time before the light shone fully in Abraham's heart.

But even he was not in total ignorance; being a descendant of Noah, he would have heard the story of the Garden and the fall and the flood already. What he lacked was a personal knowledge of God. This is what God brought to him.

So for us today we are in even better position to share the knowledge of the glory of the Lord with a world who already has heard about Jesus, but has yet to know Him. Since this is the pattern God has set forth in how His glory will be known in the world thru each of us who have believed His word when we heard it. And even in remote parts of the earth where no Christians can be found (?), we see God is able to speak to a man like He did Abraham to bring him to faith or to a place where he can hear the gospel.

Your robot theory implies that each man is an island and all alone in the world without any fellowman to help bring him to a right knowledge of God. I suppose that could be the case if nobody knew God at all!

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 12th 2008, 06:18 PM
Yes I do, and was to trying to show how He did that. It was by bringing the man into the knowledge of Himself, which He first had to reveal to him. No heart of understanding comes upon a man while he is ignorant, but thru the hearing of the word which God sends to him - that dispells his ignorance. God calls and man responds to the call when he hears it.

Adam hid in the garden only until God called his name. That was when Adam came out of hiding and answered the call he heard. The call is from God, the response is from man and the result is the man then possesses a heart which understands.

But even Adam already had the experience of walking with God in the garden before the fall. So he was not in ignorance but in fear at that point. The fear came because he knew he had done wrong. So fear is what made him hide from God.

Man has moved millenias away from the knowledge of God that Adam had, so that now he even questions His existence. But something of Adam's knowledge remains in him, else he would not share his fear. That is why God must be the one who calls a man out of his hiding and his self-imposed ignorance.

Abraham's call from God was a promise given to him several times before Gen 15:6 when he then believed it and it was accounted to him as righteousness. Yet Abraham had obeyed what he heard previously. God's word sends a testing to the man to pull this response out of him. What obedience could he have had if he had not first heard something from God? Yet that took some time before the light shone fully in Abraham's heart.

But even he was not in total ignorance; being a descendant of Noah, he would have heard the story of the Garden and the fall and the flood already. What he lacked was a personal knowledge of God. This is what God brought to him.

So for us today we are in even better position to share the knowledge of the glory of the Lord with a world who already has heard about Jesus, but has yet to know Him. Since this is the pattern God has set forth in how His glory will be known in the world thru each of us who have believed His word when we heard it. And even in remote parts of the earth where no Christians can be found (?), we see God is able to speak to a man like He did Abraham to bring him to faith or to a place where he can hear the gospel.

Your robot theory implies that each man is an island and all alone in the world without any fellowman to help bring him to a right knowledge of God. I suppose that could be the case if nobody knew God at all!


Hi Robin...


First things first, I don't have a robot theory per se, so think of it as an eye-catcher and thought provoker opening to the post.... The idea is based on Proverbs 16:9, whereas man plans and thinks, yet Got is still in control of man. In thinking this through, nothing is outside of His control, nothing is outside of His will.... the Good we do is because of Him, the bad that we are is still used by Him to work out to the good pleasure of His will....


The second thing to ponder is to think outside of the box.... when we say words like robot, or puppet, our minds conjure up images as to the stereotypes we see on TV or in the books we read.... for our minds are on one plane and His mind is on another....


So my basic comment is no matter what, God is working His will in and through man, no matter what, man's ways are not a cause to change God's will, and no matter what, God uses man, some to see His hand, some that will never have a clue, to do His will....

Judas had no idea nor thought that he was going to betray Jesus, for his heart was not for the Lord, but for himself...as well as the Jews of the day, for as Peter stated in Acts 2...

Acts 2:22-36
22 "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know--
23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.
24 "But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.
25 "For David says of Him,
'I SAW THE LORD ALWAYS IN MY PRESENCE;
FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, SO THAT I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.
26 'THEREFORE MY HEART WAS GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED;
MOREOVER MY FLESH ALSO WILL LIVE IN HOPE;
27 BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO HADES,
NOR ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY.
28 'YOU HAVE MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE;
YOU WILL MAKE ME FULL OF GLADNESS WITH YOUR PRESENCE.'
29 "Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.
30 "And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE,
31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY.
32 "This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.
33 "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.
34 "For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says:
'THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD,
"SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,
35 UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET."'
36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified."

So.... God's will is done on earth, as it is in heaven....


For His glory...

losthorizon
Mar 13th 2008, 02:48 AM
...Judas had no idea nor thought that he was going to betray Jesus, for his heart was not for the Lord, but for himself...as well as the Jews of the day...

So did God pre-program Judas from the foundation of the world to betray the Christ or did Judas (of his own free will) “choose” to betray Jesus? Does man have such "free will" or does God force the "non-elect" to reject Him so He can damn their souls before they are even born?

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 13th 2008, 11:29 AM
So did God pre-program Judas from the foundation of the world to betray the Christ or did Judas (of his own free will) “choose” to betray Jesus? Does man have such "free will" or does God force the "non-elect" to reject Him so He can damn their souls before they are even born?

You didn’t know that Christ’s betrayal was prophesized within scripture, even down to the 30 pieces of silver and the potter’s field? :hmm:

losthorizon
Mar 13th 2008, 12:20 PM
You didn’t know that Christ’s betrayal was prophesized within scripture, even down to the 30 pieces of silver and the potter’s field? :hmm:
Can't you answer the simple question - did God pre-program Judas from the foundation of the world to betray the Christ - was Judas forced by God to be damned as your dogma teaches? ;)

Kahtar
Mar 13th 2008, 01:12 PM
Can't you answer the simple question - did God pre-program Judas from the foundation of the world to betray the Christ - was Judas forced by God to be damned as your dogma teaches? ;)You're a tad harsh, there, lh. Tone it down a little.
Because God knew beforehand what Judas would do doesn't mean God pre-programmed him. We are not robots. Foreknowledge does not constitute programming.

Mograce2U
Mar 13th 2008, 02:55 PM
You're a tad harsh, there, lh. Tone it down a little.
Because God knew beforehand what Judas would do doesn't mean God pre-programmed him. We are not robots. Foreknowledge does not constitute programming.Perhaps it is predestination that does then?

Kahtar
Mar 13th 2008, 03:00 PM
Perhaps it is predestination that does then?Nope. I don't think so. Predestination does not preclude the ability to make choices. It simply means that, already knowing what choice we will make, our future is determined.
But I have no doubt you'll disagree with that. No problem.;)

grptinHisHand
Mar 13th 2008, 03:12 PM
We are not all predestined to anything. Those who believe and receive Christ as Savior are predestined to be 'conformed into the image of His Son.' See Romans 8
Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

He forknew because He is eternal, He knows the end from the beginning. It does NOT mean He forces any of us to anything. We are given choices. We, even believers, do not always do what is His will. It is not His will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance:
2Pe 3:9 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.

Jesus said
Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

God's will isn't always done. So many times we do our own will!!
g

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 13th 2008, 09:06 PM
We are not all predestined to anything. Those who believe and receive Christ as Savior are predestined to be 'conformed into the image of His Son.' See Romans 8
Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

He forknew because He is eternal, He knows the end from the beginning. It does NOT mean He forces any of us to anything. We are given choices. We, even believers, do not always do what is His will. It is not His will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance:
2Pe 3:9 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.

Jesus said
Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

God's will isn't always done. So many times we do our own will!!
g


I strongly and respectfully disagree... the God I serve controls all things...

Colossians 1:15-17
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him.
17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Revelation 4:11 "Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created."


Tough to fathom, I agree, but none-the-less true....

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 13th 2008, 09:12 PM
You're a tad harsh, there, lh. Tone it down a little.
Because God knew beforehand what Judas would do doesn't mean God pre-programmed him. We are not robots. Foreknowledge does not constitute programming.



So asking a question about foreknowledge, If God only foreknows, why would He let Judas follow through with his deed?

For cannot God interact with man's will?

Jude 1:24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,


Foreknowledge has to be more than just knowing, can't it be?

Son_kissed
Mar 13th 2008, 09:54 PM
Wasn't the epistle of Jude written to believers (of which Judas was apparently not) who would recognize stumbling and desire not to?

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 13th 2008, 09:59 PM
Hi SK...

Not sure I follow your point....


Maybe this might help, for it's in the same light....

Genesis 20:6 Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also kept you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her.

Son_kissed
Mar 13th 2008, 10:20 PM
Both the believers Jude was writing to and Abimelech were in accord with Gods will already. He keeps them from stumbling, because He "knows the integrity of [their] heart" and their desire to do His will.


Gen 20:2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.

3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife.

4 But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, LORD, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?

5 Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.

6 And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.

7 Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.



I guess my point is that God does interact with our will as is evident, but not necessarily against it, as with Pharaoh later. He knew the choice both Abimelech and Pharaoh would make - what was in their heart - and worked in accordance with their will. That doesnt mean that they didnt have a will of their own, does it? Or that He made their choices (righteousness and Life, or not) for them, only that He knew the choices they would make.

Son_kissed
Mar 13th 2008, 11:10 PM
I have a question now. :)


Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.


If God has to enable us to believe, and some aren't enabled, then is the free gift really available to all as stated above?

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 14th 2008, 01:16 AM
Both the believers Jude was writing to and Abimelech were in accord with Gods will already. He keeps them from stumbling, because He "knows the integrity of [their] heart" and their desire to do His will.

Hi SK! :)


See, I don't see scripture in the same light as you suggest... I see that all of creation is for God's good pleasure, then suggest that the subject is always God and the object is always His creation. To say that man chooses makes man the controller of his own destiny, which is counter to scripture...


One being

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



So God's will is being done, and sometimes by men who don't see or seek God and they do His will, and sometimes men can see that God is moving in and through men and His creation.... If God is a sovereign God, for which I truly believe with all that He has given me to understand that He is, then every thought and every breath of man is because He wills it to be. Men - being sinful, do not seek God of their own accord, but by His Spirit within the world, He is merciful on all, but only gives saving grace to the humble, for whom He brings to humility by His Spirit in a regenerating work to respond to the wisdom of the Gospel.





I guess my point is that God does interact with our will as is evident, but not necessarily against it, as with Pharaoh later. He knew the choice both Abimelech and Pharaoh would make - what was in their heart - and worked in accordance with their will. That doesnt mean that they didnt have a will of their own, does it? Or that He made their choices (righteousness and Life, or not) for them, only that He knew the choices they would make.


I think if you look closer, I hope that you will find God saying that He will harden Pharaoh first, that is God - is the one who is hardening Pharaoh's heart....

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.

Exodus 8:19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God." But Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

And thus here we have a verse that says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart.... yet God said he was the one who hardened his heard back in Chapter 4...

Exodus 9:34 But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned again and hardened his heart, he and his servants.

See, God being sovereign and His will is never thwarted, is in control of the rain, the wind and the heart for the purposes of His will to be accomplished.

Again, I see man's will polluted by sin, and that man's heart is evil, and only by God's grace that any good comes from within any man, yet one day, God will remove his grace upon all men and His wrath will be displayed on those who have rejected His Son...

This is a hard subject, for sure, for we see things through our perspective of thought and feelings, but --- God has a different level of understanding that is not natural to man's ways. We say that if we have liberty to think and do, it's impossible for God to somehow circumvent our thoughts and ways...for He has given us a will to decide, a will to choose..., right? BUT.... Proverbs 16:9 says

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

So to the matter of the heart, God purposes the good, and he uses man's sins to accomplish His will -- even if it has to be within a donkey so that His will is done.... God is either totally sovereign in everything or not sovereign at all....

Judas was selected by God and it was Judas who it was written about 100's of years before he betrade our Lord- yet Judas' heart was also hardened on his own. Do you think Judas knew the scriptures? I'd say he was probably blinded not to see that it was he who was the betrayer of Jesus....

Same with Pharaoh, same with Saul, and on the positive side, God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise.

1 Corinthians 1:19-31
19 For it is written,
"I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE,
AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE."
20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom;
23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,
24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.


25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;


27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,
28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,
29 so that no man may boast before God.


30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
31 so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."


For His glory...

losthorizon
Mar 14th 2008, 02:40 AM
You're a tad harsh, there, lh. Tone it down a little.
Because God knew beforehand what Judas would do doesn't mean God pre-programmed him. We are not robots. Foreknowledge does not constitute programming.
Actually, Kahtar there are those posting on this thread that do believe God programmed Judas just as a technician would program a robot. These folks believe God damned the majority of humanity before they were ever born – before they ever had a chance to hear the gospel of Christ. These folks believe God forces most men to sin against Him so He can damn them at the Judgment. They want us to believe God tricks men into thinking salvation is open for whosoever will believe on His name.

I think my question was legitimate but I doubt the one to whom it was addressed will have the courage to answer. He will simply say we can’t understand the mind of God – a God (according to his dogma) who forces men to sin so they can spend eternity in hell. Who can believe such dogma? Certainly no one who reads about the love of our God who is longsuffering and would have none perish but rather have all come to a knowledge of His Son. No - our God is not a trickster.

losthorizon
Mar 14th 2008, 03:05 AM
...Again, I see man's will polluted by sin, and that man's heart is evil, and only by God's grace that any good comes from within any man, yet one day, God will remove his grace upon all men and His wrath will be displayed on those who have rejected His Son...

But according to your doctrine don’t you also see a God who willed before the foundation of the world that most of humanity must “reject His Son”?According to your doctrine you see a Christ that did not die for the sins of all men. According to your doctrine God’s grace – His offer of salvation - never reaches most men. Isn’t that correct – doesn’t God force a few to believe while forcing most men to reject the Christ?

Kahtar
Mar 14th 2008, 03:18 AM
Unfortunately, losth. you are discussing posters instead of the topic. Try not to ignore this one, ey?

Son_kissed
Mar 14th 2008, 11:03 AM
Good morning RbG, :)


Hi SK! :)


See, I don't see scripture in the same light as you suggest... I see that all of creation is for God's good pleasure, then suggest that the subject is always God and the object is always His creation. To say that man chooses makes man the controller of his own destiny, which is counter to scripture...


One being

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

Ok, but man's steps are ordained by the Lord based on what - His choosing us, or our choice? Both maybe? What else does the scripture say?

It says God knew Abimelech's heart and that was the reason He didn't allow Abimelech to touch Sarah. He then goes on to say that Abemilech can choose life or not...

Gen 20:7 Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.


So God's will is being done, and sometimes by men who don't see or seek God and they do His will, and sometimes men can see that God is moving in and through men and His creation.... If God is a sovereign God, for which I truly believe with all that He has given me to understand that He is, then every thought and every breath of man is because He wills it to be. Men - being sinful, do not seek God of their own accord, but by His Spirit within the world, He is merciful on all, but only gives saving grace to the humble, for whom He brings to humility by His Spirit in a regenerating work to respond to the wisdom of the Gospel.

I don't disagree with any of that. I've said before in another thread where we were discussing this that I believe, according to John 3, that we believe because we are already regenerated and enabled to. That regeneration is a spiritual thing and therefore something that occurs outside of time. This is the reason Nicodemus came in "darkness" toward the light of Jesus, and why Jesus told him that only those born of the spirit can see the Kingdom of God (who is Jesus, and who Nicodemus had just professed to be of God!). Nicodemus didn't quite understand yet, but Jesus explained and eventually he would come to believe.

Anyway, I'm with you on the above. :pp


I think if you look closer, I hope that you will find God saying that He will harden Pharaoh first, that is God - is the one who is hardening Pharaoh's heart....

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.

Exodus 8:19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God." But Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

And thus here we have a verse that says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart.... yet God said he was the one who hardened his heard back in Chapter 4...

Exodus 9:34 But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned again and hardened his heart, he and his servants.

I think its evident that Pharaoh had chosen unrighteousness long before, when he decided to try and kill every newborn male of Israel, and again when he (considering himself a god as Pharaohs did) stated that he didn't know the God of Israel, and why should he obey him.

God was working in accord with Pharaohs choice for unrighteousness.



See, God being sovereign and His will is never thwarted, is in control of the rain, the wind and the heart for the purposes of His will to be accomplished.

Again, I see man's will polluted by sin, and that man's heart is evil, and only by God's grace that any good comes from within any man, yet one day, God will remove his grace upon all men and His wrath will be displayed on those who have rejected His Son...

This is a hard subject, for sure, for we see things through our perspective of thought and feelings, but --- God has a different level of understanding that is not natural to man's ways. We say that if we have liberty to think and do, it's impossible for God to somehow circumvent our thoughts and ways...for He has given us a will to decide, a will to choose..., right? BUT.... Proverbs 16:9 says

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

So to the matter of the heart, God purposes the good, and he uses man's sins to accomplish His will -- even if it has to be within a donkey so that His will is done.... God is either totally sovereign in everything or not sovereign at all....

Judas was selected by God and it was Judas who it was written about 100's of years before he betrade our Lord- yet Judas' heart was also hardened on his own. Do you think Judas knew the scriptures? I'd say he was probably blinded not to see that it was he who was the betrayer of Jesus....

I agree, God makes it clear in scripture that He directs our steps.

He also made it vividly clear to me one day about 10 years ago. So much so that I was frozen, unable to move, struck by the knowledge that He knew whether I would step to the left or to the right, and I didnt even know yet!

And, just to drive the point home, He gave me a vision of something that would occur just a little later that afternoon as I drove back to work. I tried to keep it from happening in 2 ways. First, I tried to make an "unplanned" stop on the way (of course God knew already that I would), and then I tried to take an alternate route. The alternate route was blocked and I was forced to go the only other way... to where the event would and did occur, exactly as I had been shown. I have no doubt that God has ordained every step, just as scripture states.


Same with Pharaoh, same with Saul, and on the positive side, God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise.

1 Corinthians 1:19-31
19 For it is written,
"I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE,
AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE."
20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom;
23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,
24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.


25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;


27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,
28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,
29 so that no man may boast before God.


30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
31 so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."


For His glory...

Who has more reason to boast? The man that says I thank you Lord that you have chosen me and clothed me in Righteousness, or the man, who only knows by his own guilty conscience, that He is sinful (the same guilty conscience Adam had) and cries out to God for mercy and a hope of Righteousness?

Please believe me RbG, I think you're every bit as grateful for Gods grace and mercy as I am, and that you don't feel you have anymore to boast about than I do, which is to only boast in Christ! That said, I can't help but see what appears to me to be a dangerous parallel in the doctrine of election, and an idea that could easily cause one to boast in themselves- thinking their must be something special about them that made God choose them among others He didnt choose.

I do believe God enables us to believe based on our choice at His prompting for us to "choose Life."

Again, I have to ask...

Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

If it's God choice alone, and only those He chooses by His own choice to enable to believe can believe, then is the free gift really available for all as condemnation was for all? And wouldn't that put God's righteousness into question if it's not?

I agree this is a hard subject. I probably wouldn't even continue to discuss it, but I just love the study it encourages. Loved reading through some of Exodous again last night and of the parting of the Red Sea for the zillionth time. He parted the sea and they walked on dry land. Didn't even get their feet wet! I wonder if they felt a cooling mist from the waters on each side of them as they walked through that morning. I needed to read that again last night.

God bless.

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 14th 2008, 12:14 PM
Morning SK!


Good morning RbG, :)



Ok, but man's steps are ordained by the Lord based on what - His choosing us, or our choice? Both maybe? What else does the scripture say?

I side with both myself, but base it on perspectives.... what I have been given by God and then of course God's overriding perspective... As the verse shares, there are two perspectives, but God's is the stronger of the two



It says God knew Abimelech's heart and that was the reason He didn't allow Abimelech to touch Sarah. He then goes on to say that Abemilech can choose life or not...

Gen 20:7 Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.

I'm with you here, but as with Proverbs 16:9, the underlying reasoning is because of God working within His heart.... Genesis 20:3, God is the initiator, and BTW, Abimelech was not a believer in God, but God was intervening to protect Sarah... Verse 6... "For I also withheld..."






I don't disagree with any of that. I've said before in another thread where we were discussing this that I believe, according to John 3, that we believe because we are already regenerated and enabled to. That regeneration is a spiritual thing and therefore something that occurs outside of time.

Amen!



This is the reason Nicodemus came in "darkness" toward the light of Jesus, and why Jesus told him that only those born of the spirit can see the Kingdom of God (who is Jesus, and who Nicodemus had just professed to be of God!). Nicodemus didn't quite understand yet, but Jesus explained and eventually he would come to believe.

Anyway, I'm with you on the above. :pp

Amen!



I think its evident that Pharaoh had chosen unrighteousness long before, when he decided to try and kill every newborn male of Israel, and again when he (considering himself a god as Pharaohs did) stated that he didn't know the God of Israel, and why should he obey him.

SK, I believe that there are more than one Pharaohs within the bible and we need to make sure that we are speaking of the same one.... Which verses are you referencing so that I can be sure we are referencing the same one?



God was working in accord with Pharaohs choice for unrighteousness.





I agree, God makes it clear in scripture that He directs our steps.

He also made it vividly clear to me one day about 10 years ago. So much so that I was frozen, unable to move, struck by the knowledge that He knew whether I would step to the left or to the right, and I didnt even know yet!

Smiling.... I don't know if I'm as literal as you here, but yes, He knows everything even the words on our lips as we begin to ask of Him.



And, just to drive the point home, He gave me a vision of something that would occur just a little later that afternoon as I drove back to work. I tried to keep it from happening in 2 ways. First, I tried to make an "unplanned" stop on the way (of course God knew already that I would), and then I tried to take an alternate route. The alternate route was blocked and I was forced to go the only other way... to where the event would and did occur, exactly as I had been shown. I have no doubt that God has ordained every step, just as scripture states.

I'd like to offer another smile, for sometime God does work this way, but that's not always the case, for we shouldn't test God, but sometimes we need to see and He does show.... but to me, this is a practice that I would be cautious about...




Who has more reason to boast? The man that says I thank you Lord that you have chosen me and clothed me in Righteousness, or the man, who only knows by his own guilty conscience, that He is sinful (the same guilty conscience Adam had) and cries out to God for mercy and a hope of Righteousness?

Please believe me RbG, I think you're every bit as grateful for Gods grace and mercy as I am, and that you don't feel you have anymore to boast about than I do, which is to only boast in Christ!

You are so right.... I am such a sinner and I thank God daily for His grace bestowed upon me.... SK, if you only knew how sinful my life was when He found me and opened my heart to His Son.... I cannot boast one ounce nor gram, for God's wisdom is given to me and cleansed me and protects me.... and I need Him every second.... So yes.... my filth has been washed in the blood of the Lamb...and it's now all about Christ and not about me. But I also need to say is that as I walk with Him, He shows more of the hidden sins today than the obvious sins He found me in, and again I praise God for His continued work in my life.



That said, I can't help but see what appears to me to be a dangerous parallel in the doctrine of election, and an idea that could easily cause one to boast in themselves- thinking their must be something special about them that made God choose them among others He didnt choose.

I agree that there are those who see this as a fog. But my testimony is that I am nothing, and my 4 years of posting here has been my human attempt to lift God up on high..... Man's salvation is for God, by God, of God, in God, through God and God alone, and the way to Him is through humility and need and well...

Matthew 5:3-12
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
12 "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


For which faith and repentance are His gift in salvation's call.



I do believe God enables us to believe based on our choice at His prompting for us to "choose Life."

Amen!



Again, I have to ask...

Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

If it's God choice alone, and only those He chooses by His own choice to enable to believe can believe, then is the free gift really available for all as condemnation was for all? And wouldn't that put God's righteousness into question if it's not?

I've been praying for the right words to respond, for there are some here who desire to pounce and try to destroy the wisdom of the word, but looking at just one verse, does this verse then suggest that all men are justified and all men will be saved? I don't believe that all men will.... I see this taking one of two paths to understand.... One path is that all men means not just for the Jews but for representatives of every nation, whereas all men is not mankind, so it limits the population of all to a subset based on context. For in verse 19 it says that many were made righteous.... Then why - if it were to be all as in all mankind, did not Paul write ALL were made righteous....? The other stream that I think is plausible is to those for whom Paul was addressing... his immediate audience, both Jew and gentile, the inclusion beyond Israel - God's chosen nation...




I agree this is a hard subject. I probably wouldn't even continue to discuss it, but I just love the study it encourages. Loved reading through some of Exodous again last night and of the parting of the Red Sea for the zillionth time.

Praise God SK, Praise God.... Dig into the word, ask God for wisdom, and enjoy Him!





He parted the sea and they walked on dry land. Didn't even get their feet wet! I wonder if they felt a cooling mist from the waters on each side of them as they walked through that morning. I needed to read that again last night.

God bless.


Sheila, Thank you.... May God bless you too!

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 14th 2008, 12:25 PM
Hi again SK! :)


I thought I'd also post the following to share in knowing that God is always in control....

Psalm 23:1-6
1 The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Each verse is a sermon unto itself....

What a mighty God we serve!

Redeemed by Grace
Mar 17th 2008, 01:24 PM
I found this quote from Jonathan Edwards on his explanation of God’s foreknowledge as we find within the NT, ie..

Acts 2:23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.

1 Peter 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

1 Peter 1:20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you

Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

Romans 11:2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?





"Whether God has decreed all things that ever come to pass or not, all that own the being of a God, own that He knows all things beforehand. Now it is self-evident that if He knows all things beforehand, He either doth approve of them or doth not approve of them; that is, He either is willing they should be, or He is not willing they should be. But to will that they should be is to decree them."


Jonathan Edwards


For His glory...