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Brother Mark
Feb 28th 2008, 02:34 PM
I am sure this thread will get going. I doubt I make it to the end. :D

Anyway, one thing that has always troubled me about both sides of the free will vs God's sovereignty argument is how both seem to get in ditches. Shoot, by taking aim at both sides, I may just get all shot up in this thread. :P

First, let me deal with the free will folks. Man never has had a totally free will. By that I mean, that if I will myself to fly, and jump off a building, I am still going "splat". Just because I will something to be so, does not make it so. My will is limited. When Israel went into Babylonian captivity, they were going to serve for 70 years regardless of their will to do otherwise. Man cannot come to God without the Father drawing him. He cannot do anything at all towards God without God enabling him to do so. I'll quote one verse, if you want more, I will throw some other verses out there.

John 6:65
65 And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father."
NASB

Outside of a divine act from God, we are all doomed. Having said all that, I do not discount other scriptures that offer to man to repent and turn to God. For Jesus said that "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me". So the qualification of my previous thoughts are, that God enables all men to be saved, but not all come. It is not true that a man can simply get saved "at any time". If God is not wooing him, he simply won't respond to God at all. As God said "My Spirit will not always strive with man". Paul said "Now is the time for salvation". One must respond to God when he is calling and enabling or risk going to hell. It is a lie to think "I can repent later". God may not enable you to repent later.

Now for the sovereignty thing. Much doctrine is built upon the sovereignty of God. Unfortunately, I think it goes so far as to misunderstand the character and nature and sovereignty of God. The ditch is that everything that happens must be the will of God because he is sovereign and because he is sovereign, he wills everything that happens. Jesus told us that from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. All we have to do is listen to what God says to know what is in his heart and what he desires. He told Adam and Eve "Do not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil". It was not his will for them to do so. Yet, they ate anyway. When one makes sovereignty so controlling, that only those things that are God's will happen, one makes God the author of sin. Because now we have God willing and sovereignly controlling Adam's actions in the garden. This God will not do, for he hates sin and is not the author of sin. We know from the overview of the entire scripture, that many things happen that God did not will to happen.

There it is folks. Fire away. ;)

ProjectPeter
Feb 28th 2008, 03:51 PM
I am sure this thread will get going. I doubt I make it to the end. :D

Anyway, one thing that has always troubled me about both sides of the free will vs God's sovereignty argument is how both seem to get in ditches. Shoot, by taking aim at both sides, I may just get all shot up in this thread. :P

First, let me deal with the free will folks. Man never has had a totally free will. By that I mean, that if I will myself to fly, and jump off a building, I am still going "splat". Just because I will something to be so, does not make it so. My will is limited. When Israel went into Babylonian captivity, they were going to serve for 70 years regardless of their will to do otherwise. Man cannot come to God without the Father drawing him. He cannot do anything at all towards God without God enabling him to do so. I'll quote one verse, if you want more, I will throw some other verses out there.

John 6:65
65 And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father."
NASB

Outside of a divine act from God, we are all doomed. Having said all that, I do not discount other scriptures that offer to man to repent and turn to God. For Jesus said that "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me". So the qualification of my previous thoughts are, that God enables all men to be saved, but not all come. It is not true that a man can simply get saved "at any time". If God is not wooing him, he simply won't respond to God at all. As God said "My Spirit will not always strive with man". Paul said "Now is the time for salvation". One must respond to God when he is calling and enabling or risk going to hell. It is a lie to think "I can repent later". God may not enable you to repent later.

Now for the sovereignty thing. Much doctrine is built upon the sovereignty of God. Unfortunately, I think it goes so far as to misunderstand the character and nature and sovereignty of God. The ditch is that everything that happens must be the will of God because he is sovereign and because he is sovereign, he wills everything that happens. Jesus told us that from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. All we have to do is listen to what God says to know what is in his heart and what he desires. He told Adam and Eve "Do not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil". It was not his will for them to do so. Yet, they ate anyway. When one makes sovereignty so controlling, that only those things that are God's will happen, one makes God the author of sin. Because now we have God willing and sovereignly controlling Adam's actions in the garden. This God will not do, for he hates sin and is not the author of sin. We know from the overview of the entire scripture, that many things happen that God did not will to happen.

There it is folks. Fire away. ;)
Coin a different term... I agree that free will is not the best. I call it "free moral agency" myself.

Brother Mark
Feb 28th 2008, 04:06 PM
Coin a different term... I agree that free will is not the best. I call it "free moral agency" myself.

I like that term better. But even that has it's limits. Outside of God or some other external pressure, man is in bondage to sin and cannot act morally. Jer. says our heart is desperately wicked and no man can know it. Remove societal influences, or government and watch how wicked man turns. One major difference between God and other external influences, God changes the heart. Society, family and government can only deal with behavioral modification. In other words, society can make non-comformity so painful, that man's behavior changes even if his heart doesn't.

But I do agree, it is a better term. I am not sure what term I would use to describe it. Man is free to respond to God when God enables him. God also provided government, family, and society as a means to control man's inner wickedness.

We both agree on this... all can be saved. Nor does everything that happen fall under God's will, though he will govern everything that does happen and nothing happens without his allowing it to happen, which is a better view of his sovereignty than is often offered. He is not a puppet master. ;)

ProjectPeter
Feb 28th 2008, 04:14 PM
Ponder on this... and check out the whole passage and into the 3rd chapter as well.

Romans 2:14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

Mograce2U
Feb 28th 2008, 04:14 PM
God is no doubt sovereign in His creation and His will alone is free to do what pleases Him. But He shares both of these attributes with the man He has created by giving him dominion in the earth and a mind to know wisdom that he might rule it well - in concert with Him. Man is responsible to seek after God because God has made His existence known to him.

In another thread you mentioned Moses delivering the people from Egypt. If Moses had not been God's man chosen to do His great works thru him, would the people have learned anything about this God who was delivering them? I am thinking specifically of the plagues upon Pharoah. These works which Israel witnessed were intended to bring them to faith and trust in the God they were to serve.

This is the thing that becomes unbalanced in these dicussions, IMO. That God must reveal Himself to man AND point them to see He is the one at work, is the job of the prophet of God who brings this light to bear. Had God done the same things without the light of telling Moses what He was doing - who would have known it?

This is how the God who is sovereign in His creation has chosen to work His will in our world - to bring men to faith and the knowlege of Him. If He were wholly silent on what He requires then we would have a valid excuse to walk in our own ways. But in speaking from Mt. Sinai, the people responded with exactly what He desired - requesting that they be given a Mediator. And this is exactly what it was His will to do!

And the gospel has gone out into the world ever since, so that men could hear and know and believe the wonderful works of God and serve HIM by faith.

Brother Mark
Feb 28th 2008, 04:22 PM
Ponder on this... and check out the whole passage and into the 3rd chapter as well.

Romans 2:14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

I know what you are getting at. I agree to a point. For instance, not all men murder. We instinctively know right and wrong. Yet, we also know, according to Romans 7, that knowing right and wrong and living rightly and wrongly are two different things! So, with societies help, with family, and with the eternity and law that God has place in all men, we are able to overcome some evil. But in the end, lost people are still slaves to sin. There are simply things they cannot stop doing of their own will, even though they know to do them is wrong. Yet, a believer, with God's help can actually have his heart changed. The unbeliever, while maybe overcoming alcohol, will always be an alcoholic. His heart doesn't change, just his actions.

So, lost people can make some choices about morality, but as Paul wrote in Romans 7, even those choices are limited until God moves in.

Brother Mark
Feb 28th 2008, 04:25 PM
God is no doubt sovereign in His creation and His will alone is free to do what pleases Him. But He shares both of these attributes with the man He has created by giving him dominion in the earth and a mind to know wisdom that he might rule it well - in concert with Him. Man is responsible to seek after God because God has made His existence known to him.

In another thread you mentioned Moses delivering the people from Egypt. If Moses had not been God's man chosen to do His great works thru him, would the people have learned anything about this God who was delivering them? I am thinking specifically of the plagues upon Pharoah. These works which Israel witnessed were intended to bring them to faith and trust in the God they were to serve.

This is the thing that becomes unbalanced in these dicussions, IMO. That God must reveal Himself to man AND point them to see He is the one at work, is the job of the prophet of God who brings this light to bear. Had God done the same things without the light of telling Moses what He was doing - who would have known it?

This is how the God who is sovereign in His creation has chosen to work His will in our world - to bring men to faith and the knowlege of Him. If He were wholly silent on what He requires then we would have a valid excuse to walk in our own ways. But in speaking from Mt. Sinai, the people responded with exactly what He desired - requesting that they be given a Mediator. And this is exactly what it was His will to do!

And the gospel has gone out into the world ever since, so that men could hear and know and believe the wonderful works of God and serve HIM by faith.

Right. Man's will and God's will work together to accomplish God's plan. Whether man's will be evil or good, God will use it to further his purposes. Without God's word going out, man would not be able to have faith, for faith comes from hearing. It is always God that moves first when it comes to redemption.

Mograce2U
Feb 28th 2008, 04:29 PM
I know what you are getting at. I agree to a point. For instance, not all men murder. We instinctively know right and wrong. Yet, we also know, according to Romans 7, that knowing right and wrong and living rightly and wrongly are two different things! So, with societies help, with family, and with the eternity and law that God has place in all men, we are able to overcome some evil. But in the end, lost people are still slaves to sin. There are simply things they cannot stop doing of their own will, even though they know to do them is wrong. Yet, a believer, with God's help can actually have his heart changed. The unbeliever, while maybe overcoming alcohol, will always be an alcoholic. His heart doesn't change, just his actions.

So, lost people can make some choices about morality, but as Paul wrote in Romans 7, even those choices are limited until God moves in.The alcoholism analogy doesn't really work though. If one ceases to do what he did in the past, why should that still define him? The man who doesn't drink is not an alcoholic, nor is the man who stops stealing a thief. The repentance that must come into the heart by faith is not just about the acts of sin we do, but our heart attitude about God. The unbelieving world ceases from doing harmful acts all the time, but their heart towards God remains unchanged.

Toolman
Feb 28th 2008, 04:46 PM
For Jesus said that "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me". So the qualification of my previous thoughts are, that God enables all men to be saved, but not all come.

Here is the rub you will always and consistently run into when taking that position.

Bill and Ted both have both been "enabled" to be saved by God and Bill places faith in Christ and Ted does not.

Now, what was the difference between the 2 men that Bill came to faith and Ted did not? Was Bill more humble, broken, smarter, wiser?
What was it within Bill that caused him to come to Christ? What was this good thing that Ted lacked?

And what was lacking in the enabling that God gave in Ted that was not lacking in the enabling of Bill?

Toolman
Feb 28th 2008, 04:50 PM
Ponder on this... and check out the whole passage and into the 3rd chapter as well.

Romans 2:14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

Romans 3:

10 As it is written:

“ There is none righteous, no, not one;
11 There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
13 “ Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;

“ The poison of asps is under their lips”;
14 “ Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “ Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;
17 And the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “ There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Ain't nobody going to be justified by the Law, including gentiles who have the law engraved on their heart. That "whole world" actually means the whole world :)

This may be a rabbit trail to the OP but its important within the context of chapter 2.

Mograce2U
Feb 28th 2008, 04:52 PM
Here is the rub you will always and consistently run into when taking that position.

Bill and Ted both have both been "enabled" to be saved by God and Bill places faith in Christ and Ted does not.

Now, what was the difference between the 2 men that Bill came to faith and Ted did not? Was Bill more humble, broken, smarter, wiser?
What was it within Bill that caused him to come to Christ? What was this good thing that Ted lacked?

And what was lacking in the enabling that God gave in Ted that was not lacking in the enabling of Bill?Which are always going to be the kind of questions that men come up with, when it is faith that pleases God is what we are told is the answer.

ProjectPeter
Feb 28th 2008, 04:54 PM
Romans 3:

10 As it is written:

“ There is none righteous, no, not one;
11 There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
13 “ Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;

“ The poison of asps is under their lips”;
14 “ Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “ Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;
17 And the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “ There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Ain't nobody going to be justified by the Law, including gentiles who have the law engraved on their heart. That "whole world" actually means the whole world :)

This may be a rabbit trail to the OP but its important within the context of chapter 2.By the Law... absolutely. But then in context with the 1 and 2nd chapter... they will be judged by their "morality" (for lack of a better word to describe free moral agency). :)

Toolman
Feb 28th 2008, 04:55 PM
Which are always going to be the kind of questions that men come up with, when it is faith that pleases God is what we are told is the answer.

I wouldn't disagree, faith is the answer.

Obviously Bill had it and Ted did not. Since faith is a gift given by God then obviously Ted was not given it (at least not yet).

Toolman
Feb 28th 2008, 04:57 PM
By the Law... absolutely. But then in context with the 1 and 2nd chapter... they will be judged by their "morality" (for lack of a better word to describe free moral agency). :)

Where does Chapter 1 and 2 speak of being judged by their "morality" and that morality being seperate from the Law. There morality will be judged by the Law and come up short, which is Paul's point in chapter 3.

Their morality will not justify them before God but condemn them.

Brother Mark
Feb 28th 2008, 05:05 PM
Here is the rub you will always and consistently run into when taking that position.

Bill and Ted both have both been "enabled" to be saved by God and Bill places faith in Christ and Ted does not.

Now, what was the difference between the 2 men that Bill came to faith and Ted did not? Was Bill more humble, broken, smarter, wiser?
What was it within Bill that caused him to come to Christ? What was this good thing that Ted lacked?

And what was lacking in the enabling that God gave in Ted that was not lacking in the enabling of Bill?

For me, none of those questions are a rub. Why does one respond and not another? I don't know. But we do know that no one gets saved apart from God's grace and that no one can save themselves through their works.

We know that Jesus said "Had these works been done in Sodom that were done in you, they would have repented". God knows why some repent and some don't. But I certainly don't know. I just know some do and some don't. Is humility in those that do. Oh yea. "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God". I could go on and on. What about the rich? It's hard for them. But the point remains... none of those questions really change anything.

Brother Mark
Feb 28th 2008, 05:08 PM
By the Law... absolutely. But then in context with the 1 and 2nd chapter... they will be judged by their "morality" (for lack of a better word to describe free moral agency). :)

But we know that man is blinded by the god of this world. He can't just will himself to see. Still, God will judge him for his blindness if he never comes to be able to see. But in his blindness, he will continue to sin and continue in his immorality. The point? Unless God opens his eyes, he will continue in his sin. He can't change himself.

God put out laws that man cannot keep outside of Jesus. That's the purpose of the law. When man breaks them, God will judge him for it. The answer? Come to Jesus. Without Jesus, man can't possibly hope to keep the law and is therefor, not free in his moral agency.

Toolman
Feb 28th 2008, 05:10 PM
For me, none of those questions are a rub. Why does one respond and not another? I don't know. But we do know that no one gets saved apart from God's grace and that no one can save themselves through their works.

We know that Jesus said "Had these works been done in Sodom that were done in you, they would have repented". God knows why some repent and some don't. But I certainly don't know. I just know some do and some don't. Is humility in those that do. Oh yea. "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God". I could go on and on. What about the rich? It's hard for them. But the point remains... none of those questions really change anything.

They may not change anything but they might certainly point to what is the difference between Bill and Ted.

Free moral agency or God.

If the answer is free moral agency then Bill had something within himself that Ted did not.

If it was God then God has enabled Bill at this point and has not enabled Ted.

The answer to the question either points us to something within man or points us to God's sovereign work of redemption.

Brother Mark
Feb 28th 2008, 05:11 PM
I wouldn't disagree, faith is the answer.

Obviously Bill had it and Ted did not. Since faith is a gift given by God then obviously Ted was not given it (at least not yet).

Not really. Man can have faith and yet, not exorcise it. God has placed eternity in the heart of man. Each man has faith, it is the object of the faith that matters. When one hears God, a measure of faith is given for faith comes by hearing. At that time, man can choose to repent or not to repent.

9Marksfan
Feb 28th 2008, 05:12 PM
By the Law... absolutely. But then in context with the 1 and 2nd chapter... they will be judged by their "morality" (for lack of a better word to describe free moral agency). :)

Yet none is righteous, no not ONE.........

ProjectPeter
Feb 28th 2008, 05:13 PM
Where does Chapter 1 and 2 speak of being judged by their "morality" and that morality being seperate from the Law. There morality will be judged by the Law and come up short, which is Paul's point in chapter 3.

Their morality will not justify them before God but condemn them.
actually... it will condemn them or defend them. The entire discourse is about that TM. Starting in that 1st chapter.

Romans 1:18 ¶For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
24 ¶Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them.
25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 ¶For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,
27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
28 ¶And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;
32 and, although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Then Paul goes on.

Romans 2:1 Therefore you are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment, for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
2 And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.
3 And do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment upon those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?
4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
6 who WILL RENDER TO EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS:
7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;
8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.
9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,
10 but glory and honor and peace to every man who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
11 For there is no partiality with God.
12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law; and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;
13 for not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.
14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

Now Paul isn't talking about the "don't mix a mothers milk with the kid when you boil it." Nor the mixing of fabric and burned offerings, days, feast, etc. God don't put that in the heart of man. Nor when you read in chapter one things such as that.

Keep in mind too... Paul isn't talking about the folks turned over to a reprobate mind. He is talking of the folks who chose to acknowledge God as God and drawing out the point to come... don't matter if you are Jew or Gentile in that regard. Those turned over to a reprobate mind are pretty much done... cast away... rejected (know you don't believe that but that's part of my conclusion here so need to add it) be them Jew or Gentile.

Toolman
Feb 28th 2008, 05:14 PM
Not really. Man can have faith and yet, not exorcise it. God has placed eternity in the heart of man. Each man has faith, it is the object of the faith that matters. When one hears God, a measure of faith is given for faith comes by hearing. At that time, man can choose to repent or not to repent.

I can't find a single instance of scripture that defines unbelief as faith.

Every instance of saving faith in scripture is trust in Jesus Christ.

Faith is not defined, in the bible, as something that one can put in any old thing. That would be defined in the bible as unbelief.

Faith IS trusting in God. Anything else is not faith but unbelief.

If one has faith then they have it. If they don't have faith then they are unbelievers.

ProjectPeter
Feb 28th 2008, 05:17 PM
Yet none is righteous, no not ONE.........
Not until they follow God... no doubt.

Toolman
Feb 28th 2008, 05:18 PM
actually... it will condemn them or defend them. The entire discourse is about that TM. Starting in that 1st chapter.

Now Paul isn't talking about the "don't mix a mothers milk with the kid when you boil it." Nor the mixing of fabric and burned offerings, days, feast, etc. God don't put that in the heart of man. Nor when you read in chapter one things such as that.

Keep in mind too... Paul isn't talking about the folks turned over to a reprobate mind. He is talking of the folks who chose to acknowledge God as God and drawing out the point to come... don't matter if you are Jew or Gentile in that regard. Those turned over to a reprobate mind are pretty much done... cast away... rejected (know you don't believe that but that's part of my conclusion here so need to add it) be them Jew or Gentile.

It will not defend them but condemn them and that is Paul's concluding point in Chapter 3 when he declares that all are guilty before God and that no flesh shall be justified by the Law (morality).

Their good deeds will not defend them because they will fall short.

ProjectPeter
Feb 28th 2008, 05:19 PM
I can't find a single instance of scripture that defines unbelief as faith.

Every instance of saving faith in scripture is trust in Jesus Christ.

Faith is not defined, in the bible, as something that one can put in any old thing. That would be defined in the bible as unbelief.

Faith IS trusting in God. Anything else is not faith but unbelief.

If one has faith then they have it. If they don't have faith then they are unbelievers.
There we agree.

Athanasius
Feb 28th 2008, 05:20 PM
Personally, I'm in agreement with J.P. Moreland's definition:

"Finally, there is freedom of moral and rational responsibility - that freedom, whatever it turns out to be, that is part of human action and agency, in which the human being acts as an agent who is in some sense the originator of one's own actions, and in this sense, is in control of one's own action. This type of freedom serves as a necessary condition for moral, and some would say, intellectual responsibility. This third sense of freedom will be the major view in this chapter, and when we talk about freedom or free will, this is what will be meant unless otherwise indicated."

Moreland, JP and Craig, William Lane Philosophical Foundationms for a Christian Worldview
InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Il. 2003 p.268

9Marksfan
Feb 28th 2008, 05:20 PM
Now for the sovereignty thing. Much doctrine is built upon the sovereignty of God. Unfortunately, I think it goes so far as to misunderstand the character and nature and sovereignty of God. The ditch is that everything that happens must be the will of God because he is sovereign and because he is sovereign, he wills everything that happens. Jesus told us that from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. All we have to do is listen to what God says to know what is in his heart and what he desires. He told Adam and Eve "Do not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil". It was not his will for them to do so.

It was not His preceptive will (ie His command) but it was His perfect will (what He purposed to happen). We HAVE to get it into our heads that it is NOT evil for God to will that which is sinful. Was the crucifixion of the Son of God by wicked men a sinful thing? Of course! Nothing couls have been MORE evil! Yet it was "by the predeterminate counsel and will of God" that it happened!


Yet, they ate anyway.

God knew they would, Gid could have stopped it, but He didn't. Now, what does that tell you about His purpose, if He is indeed sovereign?


When one makes sovereignty so controlling, that only those things that are God's will happen, one makes God the author of sin.

Not so. That's where free moral agency comes in!


Because now we have God willing and sovereignly controlling Adam's actions in the garden.

So did Adam frustrate God's will? Did He have to think up Plan B at that stage?


This God will not do, for he hates sin and is not the author of sin.

The second part is correct - yet we forget that even the activities of Satan (Job 1) are under His sovereign purposes and control. It is a profound mystery but I'm so relieved to know that God controls even Satan's tempting of me - or I would be overcome.......


We know from the overview of the entire scripture, that many things happen that God did not will to happen.

Examples? And I don't mean "wish" or "command".

{quote]There it is folks. Fire away. ;)[/quote]

BANG! BANG! BANG! :lol:

ProjectPeter
Feb 28th 2008, 05:26 PM
It will not defend them but condemn them and that is Paul's concluding point in Chapter 3 when he declares that all are guilty before God and that no flesh shall be justified by the Law (morality).

Their good deeds will not defend them because they will fall short.Then Paul makes no sense here.

Romans 2:12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law; and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;
13 for not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.
14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

I was going to go elsewhere but I think I'll stop here because what I would say would likely be misunderstood by some and freak them out... plus it would be unfair because it would lead you where you couldn't go in this section.

ProjectPeter
Feb 28th 2008, 05:28 PM
Personally, I'm in agreement with J.P. Moreland's definition:

"Finally, there is freedom of moral and rational responsibility - that freedom, whatever it turns out to be, that is part of human action and agency, in which the human being acts as an agent who is in some sense the originator of one's own actions, and in this sense, is in control of one's own action. This type of freedom serves as a necessary condition for moral, and some would say, intellectual responsibility. This third sense of freedom will be the major view in this chapter, and when we talk about freedom or free will, this is what will be meant unless otherwise indicated."

Moreland, JP and Craig, William Lane Philosophical Foundationms for a Christian Worldview
InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Il. 2003 p.268
I would agree with that as well for the most part.

Brother Mark
Feb 28th 2008, 05:29 PM
They may not change anything but they might certainly point to what is the difference between Bill and Ted.

Free moral agency or God.

If the answer is free moral agency then Bill had something within himself that Ted did not.

If it was God then God has enabled Bill at this point and has not enabled Ted.

The answer to the question either points us to something within man or points us to God's sovereign work of redemption.

But what does scripture say to those questions? It doesn't. So we can search and look and try and find but scripture doesn't speak about the difference except in two areas... humility and faith. Neither of which are really moral or immoral. It is that without one, man won't respond to God. Without the other, he can't respond to God.

Why does Bill get saved and Bob doesn't? Shoot, who knows. Doesn't change what scripture says about man's responsibility or God's part in the whole thing.

One thing my Calvinist friends often overlook is what God said about Sodom. Had the works done in Jesus time been done in Sodom, they would have repented. What was in Sodom that was not in Israel during Jesus day? I don't know because the bible doesn't say.

Toolman
Feb 28th 2008, 05:33 PM
Then Paul makes no sense here.

Romans 2:12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law; and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;
13 for not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.
14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.


I'll drop it here then also by stating that Paul says that it will either accuse or defend them. He doesn't state that it will absolutely defend them and then he goes on to show how it will absolutely not defend them, because the whole world is guilty.

Paul's argument is progressive and when I take into account his conclusions in chapter 3 (none righteous, all guilty before God, Law (morality) will justify no one) then it becomes clear that is building a progressive case that there are none righteous by their morality (Law) but the only way to be righteous is through the atoning work of Christ.

His statements in chapter 2 do not contradict that but support it. There ain't no doers of the Law to be justified by it.

Brother Mark
Feb 28th 2008, 05:39 PM
It was not His preceptive will (ie His command) but it was His perfect will (what He purposed to happen). We HAVE to get it into our heads that it is NOT evil for God to will that which is sinful. Was the crucifixion of the Son of God by wicked men a sinful thing? Of course! Nothing couls have been MORE evil! Yet it was "by the predeterminate counsel and will of God" that it happened!

If God willed Adam to eat after telling Adam not to, then God is in conflict and not perfect peace. He does use evil for his purposes. But he does not author evil. Redemption is only the beginning of God's plan. His plan didn't change when Adam sinned, except that redemption now became a part of it. But that's another thread. God doesn't will sin to occur. He doesn't cause it. He is not the author of it nor does he tempt man to do evil.


God knew they would, Gid could have stopped it, but He didn't. Now, what does that tell you about His purpose, if He is indeed sovereign?

Not sure what your point is here or what answer your looking for. God allowed Adam to pick because that was part of his plan for man. He was going to work the cross of self denial in Adam. Once Adam ate, that didn't change God's plan. He still is going to work the cross in us. But now we have to be redeemed first.


Not so. That's where free moral agency comes in!

Exactly! Therefor God's sovereignty is not such that he wills SIN to occur. But he does use it.


So did Adam frustrate God's will? Did He have to think up Plan B at that stage?

Already addressed that. People think redemption is the all end all but it's not. It only became necessary after Adam sinned. But as I said, that's another thread.


The second part is correct - yet we forget that even the activities of Satan (Job 1) are under His sovereign purposes and control. It is a profound mystery but I'm so relieved to know that God controls even Satan's tempting of me - or I would be overcome.......

Right. That is proper perspective of sovereignty. God allows many things to occur. But that does not mean he endorses or wills for them to occur.


Examples? And I don't mean "wish" or "command".

An example that happened that was not God's will.... the eating of the fruit when Adam sinned. From his heart, he spoke his will. For from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. God said "Don't eat this fruit". That was his will. Adam did it anyway. Now, if God wanted to FORCE his will upon Adam he could have. But he didn't.



BANG! BANG! BANG! :lol:


OUCH! That hurt. :P

ProjectPeter
Feb 28th 2008, 05:39 PM
Well there really wasn't anything to progress on this part of Chapter 2. It was pretty much Paul stating a fact.

Romans 2:5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
6 who WILL RENDER TO EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS:
7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;
8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.
9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,
10 but glory and honor and peace to every man who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
11 For there is no partiality with God.


Paul doesn't later explain that away in some sort of progressive tearing apart of his own words and warning to these guys.

Toolman
Feb 28th 2008, 05:40 PM
But what does scripture say to those questions? It doesn't. So we can search and look and try and find but scripture doesn't speak about the difference except in two areas... humility and faith. Neither of which are really moral or immoral. It is that without one, man won't respond to God. Without the other, he can't respond to God.


I think scripture does give us answers there. Faith is a gift from God. If God gave both Bill and Ted faith then both would believe the Gospel because that is what faith is.

Obviously Ted does not have faith yet, therefore God has not enabled him to believe (yet).


Why does Bill get saved and Bob doesn't? Shoot, who knows. Doesn't change what scripture says about man's responsibility or God's part in the whole thing.

One thing my Calvinist friends often overlook is what God said about Sodom. Had the works done in Jesus time been done in Sodom, they would have repented. What was in Sodom that was not in Israel during Jesus day? I don't know because the bible doesn't say.

I believe it does say:

Romans 11:7-9 - What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Just as it is written:

“God has given them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes that they should not see
And ears that they should not hear,
To this very day.”

And David says:

“ Let their table become a snare and a trap,
A stumbling block and a recompense to them.
10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see,
And bow down their back always.”

Brother Mark
Feb 28th 2008, 05:43 PM
I think scripture does give us answers there. Faith is a gift from God. If God gave both Bill and Ted faith then both would believe the Gospel because that is what faith is.

Obviously Ted does not have faith yet, therefore God has not enabled him to believe (yet).

I think we will disagree here. One can have faith in God but not exercise that faith. The Pharisees knew who Jesus was but rejected him anyway. The demons believe and tremble. It is quiet possible that both Bill and Bob have faith but one rejects and the other receives.


I believe it does say:

Romans 11:7-9 - What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Just as it is written:

“God has given them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes that they should not see
And ears that they should not hear,
To this very day.”

And David says:

“ Let their table become a snare and a trap,
A stumbling block and a recompense to them.
10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see,
And bow down their back always.”

But this tells us what Israel lacked but not what Sodom had. That was the point. Why would Sodom have repented but not Israel? Scripture doesn't say what the difference in the two is, as far as I know.

Toolman
Feb 28th 2008, 05:50 PM
I think we will disagree here. One can have faith in God but not exercise that faith.

I can't find anywhere in scripture where faith is defined as unbelief.

If you have faith in God then you do. If you don't you don't. It's not something you can have and not exercise. That would be unbelief not faith.


The Pharisees knew who Jesus was but rejected him anyway.

Right, and the bible defines them as unbelievers not as those who had faith.


The demons believe and tremble. It is quiet possible that both Bill and Bob have faith but one rejects and the other receives.

There is a chasm of difference between knowing and acknowledging the existence of God and placing your trust in Him. One is faith, the other is not.

Faith, by its very definition, is trusting in Christ. You either do or you don't.

If you don't then you DO NOT have faith.


But this tells us what Israel lacked but not what Sodom had. That was the point. Why would Sodom have repented but not Israel? Scripture doesn't say what the difference in the two is, as far as I know.

Sodom would have had what Israel lacked. Eyes that were not blinded by God.

It is always God who opens the eyes.

Brother Mark
Feb 28th 2008, 05:59 PM
I can't find anywhere in scripture where faith is defined as unbelief.

If you have faith in God then you do. If you don't you don't. It's not something you can have and not exercise. That would be unbelief not faith.

...

Right, and the bible defines them as unbelievers not as those who had faith.

When Jesus was preaching to the chief priest and elders, and they were challenging him. They wanted to know by what authority he could say such things.

Matt 21:23

23 And when He had come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him as He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?"
NASB

He goes on to give 2 parables.

Matt 21:28-32

28 "But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go work today in the vineyard.' 29 "And he answered and said, 'I will, sir'; and he did not go. 30 "And he came to the second and said the same thing. But he answered and said, 'I will not'; yet he afterward regretted it and went. 31 "Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The latter." Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you that the tax-gatherers and harlots will get into the kingdom of God before you. 32 "For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax-gatherers and harlots did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.
NASB

Two sons one was obedient and one was disobedient. This sets the stage for the next parable. Both knew what to do and knew the will of the father, yet one obeyed and one did not. The one that obeyed was called a believer the one that did not obey was called an unbeliever. Demons can have faith and yet tremble. Man can have faith and still be an unbeliever because he does not obey. It's called dead faith.

The next parable is even more revealing.

Matt 21:33-42

33 "Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard and put a wall around it and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey. 34 "And when the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce. 35 "And the vine-growers took his slaves and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third. 36 "Again he sent another group of slaves larger than the first; and they did the same thing to them. 37 "But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' 38 "But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and seize his inheritance.' 39 "And they took him, and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 "Therefore when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?" 41 They said to Him, "He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers, who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons."
NASB

Knowing who the heir was, they killed him anyway. One can know in his mind who God is and yet reject him. It is the trusting of God that saves. Often believing and faith have lost some meaning in todays world. It is not simple mental agreement. But rather a surrender to God. Both sons knew and heard the will of their Father. But only one obeyed and he was called a believer.

Matt 21:43-46

43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it. 44 "And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust." 45 And when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them. 46 And when they sought to seize Him, they feared the multitudes, because they held Him to be a prophet.
NASB

They knew who Jesus was and killed him anyway. It's not simple mental knowledge but a surrender in the heart, a trusting of God.


There is a chasm of difference between knowing and acknowledging the existence of God and placing your trust in Him. One is faith, the other is not.

Faith, by its very definition, is trusting in Christ. You either do or you don't.

If you don't then you DO NOT have faith.

I agree to an extent. One faith is alive and one is dead.


Sodom would have had what Israel lacked. Eyes that were not blinded by God.

It is always God who opens the eyes.

But they still rejected God. They rejected the witness of Lot. Still, they would have repented if they had seen the miracles that Jesus did. They had ample opportunity to believe but didn't. Israel's eyes did not start out blinded. They were blinded because of the hardness of their hearts.

Toolman
Feb 28th 2008, 06:01 PM
Well there really wasn't anything to progress on this part of Chapter 2. It was pretty much Paul stating a fact.

Romans 2:5 6 who WILL RENDER TO EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS:
7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;
8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.
9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,
10 but glory and honor and peace to every man who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

11 For there is no partiality with God.

Paul doesn't later explain that away in some sort of progressive tearing apart of his own words and warning to these guys.

Paul states in 2:10 above:
"glory and honor and peace will be given to every man who does good"

Lets see what he states in 3:12:
"There is none who does good, no, not one.”

He states in 2:7:
"to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;"

In 3:11:
"There is none who seeks after God."

So, we can determine that he is most definitely setting up the fact that not one person is going to be justified because of their personal morality (the Law), because there is no one who does what he describes in chapter 2. None who do good, none who seek to perservere in doing good.

Its a progressive argument to show that no one will be justified by morality (Law) and to progressively show how a person actually will be justified before God (chapter 4), which is faith in the atoning work of Christ alone.

Paul's statements about people being justified by the Law are not untrue. If someone kept the Law they would be justified. The problem is that none have and therefore will not be justified by their personal morality.

9Marksfan
Feb 28th 2008, 06:04 PM
If God willed Adam to eat after telling Adam not to, then God is in conflict and not perfect peace.

But God knew it would happen and did not prevent it - so either the fact that it happened was God's will or Adam frustrated God's will - which is it?


He does use evil for his purposes.

Exactly - to accomplish His will!


But he does not author evil.

Also true - but NOT a paradox!


Redemption is only the beginning of God's plan.

:confused Huh? What's the rest of it?


His plan didn't change when Adam sinned, except that redemption now became a part of it.

No - redemption was His plan from the beginning because the Lamb of God was slain from before the foundation of the world. God had planned and purposed salvation and, in His mind accomplished it too - all before the world was made.


But that's another thread. God doesn't will sin to occur.

So how do you reconcile that with the fact that it was God's will from before the foundation of the world that His Son would be the Lamb of God, if sin wasn't the necessary starting point of man's need for a redeemer?


He doesn't cause it. He is not the author of it nor does he tempt man to do evil.

All true - yet He had to include it in His will or there would have been no need for Jesus to be sacrificed. Think about it.


He was going to work the cross of self denial in Adam.

Sorry, just don't understand that term at all - please explain.


Once Adam ate, that didn't change God's plan. He still is going to work the cross in us.

Sorry, again, please explain.


But now we have to be redeemed first.

As I said, it was His plan to redeem us even before we were made.


Exactly! Therefor God's sovereignty is not such that he wills SIN to occur. But he does use it.

He uses man's free moral agency and therefore all that comes to pass through that is His will - agreed?


Already addressed that. People think redemption is the all end all but it's not.

What more is there? Scriptures please.


It only became necessary after Adam sinned. But as I said, that's another thread.

Think one of us should start it - do you want to or will I?!?


Right. That is proper perspective of sovereignty. God allows many things to occur. But that does not mean he endorses or wills for them to occur.

Sure, He doesn't endorse them - but what is the difference between allowing them and willing them? Aren't they the same thing, in the final analysis?


An example that happened that was not God's will.... the eating of the fruit when Adam sinned. From his heart, he spoke his will. For from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. God said "Don't eat this fruit". That was his will.

Again, you have to distinguish between God's commands (His preceptive will, which is what you are talking about) and His perfect (or, if you like, His permissive) will - the two are not the same, otherwise (as you say) God would be the author of sin.


Adam did it anyway. Now, if God wanted to FORCE his will upon Adam he could have. But he didn't.

But was Adam's disobedience not part of God's overall plan? Or was it outside of it?


OUCH! That hurt. :P

Sorry, I'll let someone else "have a shot"! ;)

obeytheword
Feb 28th 2008, 06:06 PM
To get your hands around this you simply have to step back and believe that ALL scripture is absolutely true first (I would hope we are all there)

But the fun thing is you cannot read 5 different verses - list the 5 different things they say down and then say those 5 things are each independently true. You must form a construct by which ALL those 5 things are all true at the same time.

What do I mean by that?

2 Peter 3
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, [B]not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

We all agree that Gods will is supreme, and cannot be countermanded by Man. (I hope anyway)

How can Gods will be that all come to repentance and obviously not all do?

There are 2 ways to get past this issue that I can see.

1 - It is NOT REALLY Gods will for all (as in everyone) to come to repentance
or
2 - There is some other will of Gods that gets in the way


#1 depends on explaining that when it says God wills ALL - he does not really mean ALL people, but just all of his elect. I personally think the text does not justify this in any way.

#2 It is not MANS will that "interferes" - but Gods will TO GIVE MAN CHOICE that "interferes".

It is my belief that God wants BOTH all to come to repentance and ALSO wants man to do so voluntarily. This harmonizes with scripture rather well IMHO


There are examples in scripture where God says he will save who he wants to, etc. This is ALSO true - and does not necessitate that he does not give man choice - but rather that he - being God - can over-ride that choice whenever he wants to.

Also - one must look at HOW the elect are chosen.

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.


They are chosen by the foreknowledge of God. So - again, what does that mean?

It would be rather silly for this to mean "God knew who he would choose, and thats how he chose them"

However, it makes rather good sense to interpret this such that God knew what would happen before it happened, and by knowing what would happen God chose them.

If it is ONLY his will in question with no other interference then it simply makes no sense for scripture to say that the elect were chosen by the FOREKNOWLEDGE of God.

This again, points to the second interpretation above.


None of this negates the obvious truth that none of us come to God other than by the work of the Holy Spirit within us.

Be Blessed!

Toolman
Feb 28th 2008, 06:13 PM
They knew who Jesus was and killed him anyway. It's not simple mental knowledge but a surrender in the heart, a trusting of God.

That is my exact point Mark, faith is not just acknowledging God but actually trusting in Him.

So, if someone does not trust in God then we (and the bible) cannot say that they have saving faith. They do not.

So, Bill had saving faith (a gift from God) and Ted did not have saving faith, otherwise he would have been trusting in Christ also.


I agree to an extent. One faith is alive and one is dead.

Dead faith (unbelief) is not saving faith and that is my point.

If God gives someone saving faith then what will be the result? They will be trusting on Christ. If they do not trust on Christ then they do not have saving faith.


But they still rejected God. They rejected the witness of Lot. Still, they would have repented if they had seen the miracles that Jesus did. They had ample opportunity to believe but didn't. Israel's eyes did not start out blinded. They were blinded because of the hardness of their hearts.

Blindness and hardness are synonymous in Romans 9-11. I see no evidence to claim that God blinded Israel because they first hardened their hearts.

God blinded Israel's eyes by sovereign choice to fulfill His full plan of redemption.

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 28th 2008, 06:27 PM
Not really. Man can have faith and yet, not exorcise it. God has placed eternity in the heart of man. Each man has faith, it is the object of the faith that matters. When one hears God, a measure of faith is given for faith comes by hearing. At that time, man can choose to repent or not to repent.

Can you biblically elaborate?

And do you really mean exorcise or exercise?

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 28th 2008, 06:28 PM
Not until they follow God... no doubt.

So how do they start following God if they don't seek Him?

Brother Mark
Feb 28th 2008, 06:30 PM
But God knew it would happen and did not prevent it - so either the fact that it happened was God's will or Adam frustrated God's will - which is it?

It's neither. Let me explain further. What is God's will for man? That his children become like Jesus. We know Jesus had the cross in him before the foundations of the earth. He has always been slain because the cross was always in him. God's will was for man to learn about the cross the same way Jesus illustrated it. He grew in grace. Adam too was to grow in grace. His first test was to say no to eating the fruit. How? By first eating of the tree of life. Jesus ate the words of the Father and overcame the test. The second Adam did what the first Adam could not. So the ultimate purpose of God was to work the cross in the first Adam through a series of test just as he did the second Adam.

Yet, Adam felled the first test. The cross, by it's very nature has to be voluntary. Once Adam failed the test, redemption entered the picture. But God's will, his plan still goes forward. The cross is still being worked in his children. He will still test us, but now, because of the curse of sin, death comes with that testing.

God's will is that man embrace the cross. He has purposed things he will do. He does not purpose that man sin, but he can still use man's sin for his purpose.


:confused Huh? What's the rest of it?

Getting out of Egypt is only the first feast of God. There are many more feast that occur after salvation/passover. Redemption is salvation but that is just the beginning. Becoming like Jesus is the ultimate purpose God has for us.

For instance, Enoch was 7th from Adam. 7 often means mature or complete. He was the mature Adam and God took him. I think God was showing us with Enoch what he intends for all his people. Adam could have passed each test until the cross was in him and then God would have taken him too. We know from Corinthians that God sowed in the flesh that he might reap in the spirit. We were always meant to be spiritual beings. But, as I said before, when Adam sinned, redemption entered in. God's ultimate purpose didn't change. His children are still to be like Jesus and are still to conquer their own Canaan (heart).


No - redemption was His plan from the beginning because the Lamb of God was slain from before the foundation of the world. God had planned and purposed salvation and, in His mind accomplished it too - all before the world was made.

Already addressed that. I call it the inwrought cross.


So how do you reconcile that with the fact that it was God's will from before the foundation of the world that His Son would be the Lamb of God, if sin wasn't the necessary starting point of man's need for a redeemer?

The cross was in Jesus before redemption was ever necessary. It is in his character. I think I addressed that above.



All true - yet He had to include it in His will or there would have been no need for Jesus to be sacrificed. Think about it.

Again, the cross was in Christ whether a sacrifice was needed or not. It is WHO he is.


Sorry, again, please explain.

Hopefully did that above. No need for a new thread now. We can just talk about it here. But maybe one day I will lay this out in another thread because it is interesting stuff.


He uses man's free moral agency and therefore all that comes to pass through that is His will - agreed?

Yes and no. He does use man's moral agency. He raised up the Chaldean's to punish Israel. Then he punished the Chaldeans for what they did. You might not like my choice of words here, but it is God's will that man have some limited choice in things. But what they choose to do, does not always line up with his will.


What more is there? Scriptures please.

What about sanctification? What about spiritual maturity? What about moving from Egypt, to the wilderness, and finally into Canaan? What of the crown of life? and many other things? Salvation is just the beginning. It never was intended to be the destination.


Think one of us should start it - do you want to or will I?!?

LOL! Let's just do it here. It is related but good enough to be it's on thread too. Unfortunately, it will get hidden amongst the other things here. But that's OK for now.


Sure, He doesn't endorse them - but what is the difference between allowing them and willing them? Aren't they the same thing, in the final analysis?

Not to my way of thinking. For instance, he waited until the Canaanites iniquity had filled up before he led Israel to conquer them. God is patient and he waits, willing for man to have a choice, until they get so evil, that he then is moved to justice. We see it throughout the old testament. So he sovereignly rules, giving his law. All the while knowing there will be lawbreakers. Eventually, he moves out and enforces his law on people. So he wills to give man a choice, but even if they don't respond to his wooing, he will send justice upon them.


Again, you have to distinguish between God's commands (His preceptive will, which is what you are talking about) and His perfect (or, if you like, His permissive) will - the two are not the same, otherwise (as you say) God would be the author of sin.

Scripture doesn't make the distinction between God's preceptive will or permissive will. Our doctrine does. I believe we make sovereignty such a big issue that we make God the author of sin. When we know this to not be the case, we start looking for ways to hold onto our view of sovereignty so as to not make him the author. I know about the passage in Romans that speaks of how we are to know the will of God. But as I have mentioned before, I think part of the will of God is that man can be a moral agent, or have the ability to respond to God.


But was Adam's disobedience not part of God's overall plan? Or was it outside of it?

Well, we get into opinion here because God doesn't really say does he? What he does say about his eternal plan is that we are to all be like Jesus. God knew Adam would sin, and that redemption would be necessary. But could Adam have not sinned? Sure! God provided a way out for Adam just as he provides a way out for all of us. But we do it anyway sometimes don't we. ;) Is God's offer for us to overcome temptation real? Or are we doomed to sin because it is his will?


Sorry, I'll let someone else "have a shot"! ;)


Might was well go ahead and finish me off. I'm still kicking a little. :lol:

drew
Feb 28th 2008, 06:32 PM
It will not defend them but condemn them and that is Paul's concluding point in Chapter 3 when he declares that all are guilty before God and that no flesh shall be justified by the Law (morality).
I think that Paul is saying something much more particular - that no flesh will be justified by doing the works of Torah. He is not making a statement against justification by "good works". Note the context from verse 2 of chapter 3:

Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.

Even though the verse 11 to 18 block addresses the universality of human sin, this does not justify that we take the word "law" in verses 19 and 20 and substitute "morality" or "good works". Paul refers to law here and he means Torah. In verse 19, we have:

19Now we know that whatever the law says,...

Do you really think he intends us to understand this as "the dictates of morality" rather than Torah? To take such a position denies entire sense of chapter 3. If the "law" means "morality" or "good works" in a general sense, it becomes puzzling as to why Paul writes this at the end of chapter 3:

28For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. 29Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too...

This block does not make sense if Paul is using "law" to refer to morality. Why? Because it is not good works that marks the Jew from the Gentile, it is the works of Torah.

Besides, if he were teaching against justification by "good works", he would be contradicting clear statements in Romans 2 to the effect that we are indeed justified by the works our lives exhibit.

Toolman - If I am not mistaken, we have been at loggerheads on this before, but always in a charitable spirit!

Brother Mark
Feb 28th 2008, 06:38 PM
That is my exact point Mark, faith is not just acknowledging God but actually trusting in Him.

So, if someone does not trust in God then we (and the bible) cannot say that they have saving faith. They do not.

So, Bill had saving faith (a gift from God) and Ted did not have saving faith, otherwise he would have been trusting in Christ also.

Here's the problem I have with that line of thinking. Paul preached to Agrippa and

Acts 26:24-29

24 And while Paul was saying this in his defense, Festus said in a loud voice, "Paul, you are out of your mind! Your great learning is driving you mad." 25 But Paul said, "I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I utter words of sober truth. 26 "For the king knows about these matters, and I speak to him also with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a corner. 27 "King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you do." 28 And Agrippa replied to Paul, "In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian." 29 And Paul said, "I would to God, that whether in a short or long time, not only you, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these chains."
NASB

King Agrippa believed but was not saved. Where does faith come from?

Rom 10:16-18
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
NASB

Was Paul preaching the word of Christ to Agrippa? He was. God was offering faith to Agrippa but Agrippa didn't accept it. Faith comes by hearing but Agrippa rejected what he heard. We harden our hearts when God speaks to us or we obey. One of the two happens. Hebrews 3 mentions this.


Dead faith (unbelief) is not saving faith and that is my point.

If God gives someone saving faith then what will be the result? They will be trusting on Christ. If they do not trust on Christ then they do not have saving faith.

See my King Agrippa note above.


Blindness and hardness are synonymous in Romans 9-11. I see no evidence to claim that God blinded Israel because they first hardened their hearts.

God blinded Israel's eyes by sovereign choice to fulfill His full plan of redemption.

Hebrews 3 speaks of how our hearts get hardened.

Heb 3:7-8
7 Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says,

"Today if you hear His voice,
8 Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me,
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
NASB

Heb 3:12-19

12 Take care, brethren, lest there should be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end; 15 while it is said,

"Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me."

16 For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.
NASB

It was 400 years from Malachi until Jesus came and because they had hardened their hearts, they had a famine of the word of God. By the time Christ came on the scene, they were pretty hard already.

ProjectPeter
Feb 28th 2008, 06:39 PM
Paul states in 2:10 above:
"glory and honor and peace will be given to every man who does good"

Lets see what he states in 3:12:
"There is none who does good, no, not one.”

He states in 2:7:
"to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;"

In 3:11:
"There is none who seeks after God."

So, we can determine that he is most definitely setting up the fact that not one person is going to be justified because of their personal morality (the Law), because there is no one who does what he describes in chapter 2. None who do good, none who seek to perservere in doing good.

Its a progressive argument to show that no one will be justified by morality (Law) and to progressively show how a person actually will be justified before God (chapter 4), which is faith in the atoning work of Christ alone.

Paul's statements about people being justified by the Law are not untrue. If someone kept the Law they would be justified. The problem is that none have and therefore will not be justified by their personal morality.He is not talking about those that follow after God. He is talking about those that follow after the Law as if it is the Law that saves them.

Romans 3:1 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision?
2 Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God.
3 What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?
4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, "THAT THOU MIGHTEST BE JUSTIFIED IN THY WORDS, AND MIGHTEST PREVAIL WHEN THOU ART JUDGED."
5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.)
6 May it never be! For otherwise how will God judge the world?
7 But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner?
8 And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say), "Let us do evil that good may come"? Their condemnation is just.
9 ¶What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;
10 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."
13 "THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING," "THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS";
14 "WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS";
15 "THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD,
16 DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS,
17 AND THE PATH OF PEACE HAVE THEY NOT KNOWN."
18 "THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES."
19 ¶Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may become accountable to God;
20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.



He's not talking about unrighteousness or evil being a non-issue here... he makes it clear that it certainly is. What he is speaking of is following the Law... being a Jew over a Gentile. All men are sinners... we're born into it just as he goes on later to explain when speaking of Adam. No way around that fact. Our redemption is in Christ.

Now... does all that nullify what Paul said in the 2nd chapter? No. Does it justify unrighteousness? No nor is that what Paul ever does. He goes as far as to say that immorality is contrary to the gospel when he writes Timothy. So to say that immorality is not something we will be judged and condemned for is flat contrary to the gospel that Paul preached... the gospel of God. Sin leads to death. Always has and always will.

Toolman
Feb 28th 2008, 06:39 PM
Scripture doesn't make the distinction between God's preceptive will or permissive will. Our doctrine does. I believe we make sovereignty such a big issue that we make God the author of sin.

We do the same with man's will (free or free moral agent) when our doctrine makes man the responsible party for his salvation.

We make man's will (choice) such a big issue that we make man the sovereign of salvation.

Brother Mark
Feb 28th 2008, 06:42 PM
We do the same with man's will (free or free moral agent) when our doctrine makes man the responsible party for his salvation.

We make man's will (choice) such a big issue that we make man the sovereign of salvation.

It's both TM. Scripture speaks of both and that is one reason I started this thread. I think there are ditches on both sides. I have already addressed the whole free will, free agent thing earlier on. Man cannot choose God outside a work from God.

Brother Mark
Feb 28th 2008, 06:44 PM
Can you biblically elaborate?

And do you really mean exorcise or exercise?

Yea, my spelling isn't that good is it? :D
Check out some of my post to TM and Mark9fan. I elaborated more with them. Both are doing a fine job with their point of view though.

ProjectPeter
Feb 28th 2008, 06:46 PM
So how do they start following God if they don't seek Him?Because when Christ was lifted up... He drew all men to him. If they believe in Him they should never perish but have eternal life.

Romans 3:21 ¶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;
26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Toolman
Feb 28th 2008, 06:48 PM
It's both TM. Scripture speaks of both and that is one reason I started this thread. I think there are ditches on both sides. I have already addressed the whole free will, free agent thing earlier on. Man cannot choose God outside a work from God.

But when you take the position of man using his will to either reject or accept the Gospel then you have leaped into that ditch of "free will".

There is no arminian believer who would disagree that God must do a work first before man can choose. Otherwise they would be pelagian.

But nonetheless, it is man who becomes the sovereign over salvation because it is left to his will (not God's) as to whether he will be saved or not.

Toolman
Feb 28th 2008, 06:50 PM
Toolman - If I am not mistaken, we have been at loggerheads on this before, but always in a charitable spirit!

We have, fairly extensivesly about these particular chapters, so I'll let that side note go so as to not muddy up Bro Mark's thread here.

Let's just say I find N.T. Wright's "new perspective" extremely lacking in this regard.

Brother Mark
Feb 28th 2008, 07:03 PM
But when you take the position of man using his will to either reject or accept the Gospel then you have leaped into that ditch of "free will".

Well, not the ditch as I would define it. ;) There are those that believe a man can believe at any time. I don't think this is scriptural. However, when God is drawing a man, he is enabling that man and gifting him with the ability to believe. This is done through preaching. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. And how shall they hear except a preacher go and how shall he go unless he is sent.

I think there is a great mystery here. God works in a man's heart. It is such a great mystery that even the angels look into it and wonder. They are wondering the same thing we are wondering "how does all this work".

1 Peter 1:12
12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven — things into which angels long to look.
NASB


There is no arminian believer who would disagree that God must do a work first before man can choose. Otherwise they would be pelagian.

But some think that simple preaching or reading of the word is all that is necessary. At the chance of contradicting myself, unless God himself speaks to a man during the preaching, that man won't be saved. Why did I start this thread? Because I believe there are two ditches and I am not convinced God completely explains the whole thing in scripture. I do think there is a mystery there.


But nonetheless, it is man who becomes the sovereign over salvation because it is left to his will (not God's) as to whether he will be saved or not.

Not really. God is still sovereign in offering the choice and the rules of the engagement. When one is standing before a judge and the judge offers the choice of a or b to the one on trial, no one questions who is sovereign in the court room.

Toolman
Feb 28th 2008, 07:17 PM
Well, not the ditch as I would define it. ;)

Of course not :). Just as those who hold to God's sovereignty would not agree with you about the ditch you described earlier but would defend their position biblically.


There are those that believe a man can believe at any time.

That is usually called pelagianism and there are very few evangelicals or protestants who would fall into that category. Perhaps the unlearned but I doubt anyone with a bit of biblical training would state such.

All arminians believe as you describe below, God does some type of work (both internally and externally) and then man must make a choice. That is arminianism.


But some think that simple preaching or reading of the word is all that is necessary. At the chance of contradicting myself, unless God himself speaks to a man during the preaching, that man won't be saved. Why did I start this thread? Because I believe there are two ditches and I am not convinced God completely explains the whole thing in scripture. I do think there is a mystery there.

I won't disagree with the mystery and actually my theology has a great resolution to the issue but as you know I can only share so much.


Not really. God is still sovereign in offering the choice and the rules of the engagement. When one is standing before a judge and the judge offers the choice of a or b to the one on trial, no one questions who is sovereign in the court room.

It still puts man in the driver's seat. If the judge were sovereign he would say you get A.

If he makes a choice available then he has put the man in charge of the outcome and the judge is not in charge of the outcome.

But this will always be the tension between reformed and arminian soteriology.

Brother Mark
Feb 28th 2008, 07:31 PM
Of course not :). Just as those who hold to God's sovereignty would not agree with you about the ditch you described earlier but would defend their position biblically.

Touche. Hmm. Did I even spell that right? :D


That is usually called pelagianism and there are very few evangelicals or protestants who would fall into that category. Perhaps the unlearned but I doubt anyone with a bit of biblical training would state such.Maybe. But I see it pop up in polls on here occasionally. Like "Can a man repent on his death bed". But then again, polls are simplistic in nature and because of that, can be misleading.


All arminians believe as you describe below, God does some type of work (both internally and externally) and then man must make a choice. That is arminianism.OK. But I get the impression that sometimes people think that if they preach loud enough, or make a good enough logical statement, they can convince someone to believe. I see that on this board quiet a bit.


I won't disagree with the mystery and actually my theology has a great resolution to the issue but as you know I can only share so much.Yea. I know. It never dawned on me how much of a calvinist slant you view might have till I started reading your responses. Then slowly, the light came on. ;)


It still puts man in the driver's seat. If the judge were sovereign he would say you get A.

If he makes a choice available then he has put the man in charge of the outcome and the judge is not in charge of the outcome.

But this will always be the tension between reformed and arminian soteriology.This is where I disagree with your definition of sovereignty. One doesn't lose control if one gives another a choice. The sovereignty doesn't disappear. The judge is still ruler and still ruling over the one on trial. Offering him a choice does not negate his position of sovereignty. That's the whole point I am making in this thread. If Adam didn't have a choice, then God made him sin.

Toolman
Feb 28th 2008, 07:53 PM
OK. But I get the impression that sometimes people think that if they preach loud enough, or make a good enough logical statement, they can convince someone to believe. I see that on this board quiet a bit.

Yeah, I would call that the unlearned for sure. Faith is not just an intellectual agreement with some facts but is an actual spiritual gift given to someone that causes a change of the heart.


Yea. I know. It never dawned on me how much of a calvinist slant you view might have till I started reading your responses. Then slowly, the light came on. ;)

I definitely lean more towards a reformed view but my position allows both man's will to be viable and God's sovereign plan of redemption to remain fully intact.


This is where I disagree with your definition of sovereignty. One doesn't lose control if one gives another a choice. The sovereignty doesn't disappear. The judge is still ruler and still ruling over the one on trial. Offering him a choice does not negate his position of sovereignty. That's the whole point I am making in this thread. If Adam didn't have a choice, then God made him sin.

When God allows man to choose, of his own will, man will always choose evil (just as Adam did, we are no better).

God must change a man's will to desire His Son instead of desiring sin.

Nevertheless, in Arminian soteriology, man is the final deciding factor on salvaiton and not God. God, in this position, is not in control of who will be saved. The man is the one in control of that.

Brother Mark
Feb 28th 2008, 08:07 PM
When God allows man to choose, of his own will, man will always choose evil (just as Adam did, we are no better).

I would think Adam had more free will than a lost man did. But that might be another thread too.


God must change a man's will to desire His Son instead of desiring sin.

Agree.


Nevertheless, in Arminian soteriology, man is the final deciding factor on salvaiton and not God. God, in this position, is not in control of who will be saved. The man is the one in control of that.


I hear you but, again, I differ if ever so slightly. Man will or won't follow God's rules as he layed them out. For instance, Israel was blinded. Why? Because they rejected righteousness through faith.

Rom 11:19-23
19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." 20 Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; 21 for if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you. 22 Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.
NASB

Here's another example...

Rom 9:30-33

30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 just as it is written,

"Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense,
And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed."
NASB

Salvation was offered to Israel, but they rejected it. God was still sovereign. As Judge, he is following the law and not giving up control. But he is offering a choice to mankind. What will we do with that offer?

Now, in your view, I know the answer. But for the calvinist who states some will be lost forever, the offer appears then to not be genuine. For God then made an offer that could not be taken.

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 28th 2008, 08:36 PM
I would think Adam had more free will than a lost man did. But that might be another thread too.

I don't see Adam having a free will, for God gave him restrictions.

Genesis 2:16,17
16 The 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, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."

Brother Mark
Feb 28th 2008, 08:40 PM
I don't see Adam having a free will, for God gave him restrictions.

Genesis 2:16,17
16 The 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, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."

I've already addressed the idea of the fallacy of free will in earlier post. Of course his will wasn't entirely free. No human's will is entirely free. But Adam could have chosen not to sin. That was the way I should have worded it. ;)

Souled Out
Feb 29th 2008, 02:58 PM
I don't see Adam having a free will, for God gave him restrictions.

And this is the definition of man's will and the extent of his moral agency. We can choose from all that God has put before us. Those trees are in front of us all day, everyday.

God gave man authority and stewardship on the earth, but He alone has sovereignty and ownership over all things on earth and in heaven.

Just because man has authority over what God has given him doesn't mean he's all powerful (the serpent's lie), although I know many reject the notion of man's free will based on this misunderstanding.

Gen. 3:22 "Then the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil;"

Being able to make choices is all a part of being in His image. We are responsible for our actions but God is responsible for us.

9Marksfan
Feb 29th 2008, 03:52 PM
Apologies for the delay - didn't have a "window" to respond to your post until now.


It's neither. Let me explain further. What is God's will for man? That his children become like Jesus.

OK - with you so far. That is His ultimate purpose, yes, but we need to see how He starts that process first - by redeeming a people for Himself (these are His children).


We know Jesus had the cross in him

OK, OK - slow down a minute - where do we read ANYWHERE in Scripture of Jesus, Adam or ANYONE having the cross IN them? Chapter and verse, please - I'm looking in particular for the word "in" to be included.


before the foundations of the earth. He has always been slain because the cross was always in him.

What is that supposed to mean?


God's will was for man to learn about the cross the same way Jesus illustrated it. He grew in grace. Adam too was to grow in grace. His first test was to say no to eating the fruit. How? By first eating of the tree of life.

Er, where do you see that in Gen 2 or 3?


Jesus ate the words of the Father and overcame the test. The second Adam did what the first Adam could not. So the ultimate purpose of God was to work the cross in the first Adam through a series of test just as he did the second Adam.

Work the cross?!?!? Can I ask if you have derived these ideas from a particular author or your own church? I've never heard of them.


Yet, Adam felled the first test. The cross, by it's very nature has to be voluntary. Once Adam failed the test, redemption entered the picture.

But why then does revelation say that Christ was slain from before the foundation of the world? Redemption was planned and (in God's mind) accomplished before the worlds were even formed!


But God's will, his plan still goes forward. The cross is still being worked in his children. He will still test us, but now, because of the curse of sin, death comes with that testing.

I really don't follow this - the cross is how we are reconciled to God, how our sins are dealt with - Christ dying for us, in our place as our substitute, bearing the curse of the law and redeeming us from sin - do you believe this?


God's will is that man embrace the cross.

I agree, but I don't think in the way that you are thinking.


He has purposed things he will do. He does not purpose that man sin, but he can still use man's sin for his purpose.

Well at least we're agreed on THAT! :)


Getting out of Egypt is only the first feast of God. There are many more feast that occur after salvation/passover.

Such as?


Redemption is salvation but that is just the beginning. Becoming like Jesus is the ultimate purpose God has for us.

But isn't salvation completed with "the redemption of our bodies" (Rom 8:23)?


For instance, Enoch was 7th from Adam. 7 often means mature or complete. He was the mature Adam and God took him.

Are you saying Enoch was sinless? That he had redeemed himself?


I think God was showing us with Enoch what he intends for all his people.

OK - how many people apart from Elijah have gone into Heaven without dying?


Adam could have passed each test until the cross was in him

What does that phrase mean?


and then God would have taken him too. We know from Corinthians that God sowed in the flesh that he might reap in the spirit. We were always meant to be spiritual beings. But, as I said before, when Adam sinned, redemption entered in. God's ultimate purpose didn't change. His children are still to be like Jesus and are still to conquer their own Canaan (heart).

As above, I would be grateful if you could point me to any author who teaches in this way.


Already addressed that. I call it the inwrought cross.

Does anyone else call it that?


The cross was in Jesus before redemption was ever necessary. It is in his character. I think I addressed that above.

The cross was a place of execution and curse. How was that "in Jesus before redemption was ever necessary"?


Again, the cross was in Christ whether a sacrifice was needed or not. It is WHO he is.

The cross is ALL about sacrifice!


Hopefully did that above. No need for a new thread now. We can just talk about it here. But maybe one day I will lay this out in another thread because it is interesting stuff.

Well it is your thread, I guess, so you can turn it whichever way you want! But I'm totally in the dark about the cross being "in Jesus" or "in us" :giveup:


Yes and no. He does use man's moral agency. He raised up the Chaldean's to punish Israel. Then he punished the Chaldeans for what they did. You might not like my choice of words here, but it is God's will that man have some limited choice in things. But what they choose to do, does not always line up with his will.

Have no problem with that wording!


What about sanctification? What about spiritual maturity? What about moving from Egypt, to the wilderness, and finally into Canaan? What of the crown of life? and many other things? Salvation is just the beginning. It never was intended to be the destination.

It depends on how you define salvation - I believe that salvation encompasses all these things - there are the three stages to it - justification, sanctification, glorification! I have been saved, I am being saved, I will be saved!


Not to my way of thinking. For instance, he waited until the Canaanites iniquity had filled up before he led Israel to conquer them. God is patient and he waits, willing for man to have a choice, until they get so evil, that he then is moved to justice. We see it throughout the old testament. So he sovereignly rules, giving his law. All the while knowing there will be lawbreakers. Eventually, he moves out and enforces his law on people. So he wills to give man a choice, but even if they don't respond to his wooing, he will send justice upon them.

But do ANY make a choice to follow Him without Him giving them a new heart first?


Scripture doesn't make the distinction between God's preceptive will or permissive will.

If you look more closely, I think you'll see it does!


Our doctrine does. I believe we make sovereignty such a big issue that we make God the author of sin.

Well that's certainly not my intention.


When we know this to not be the case, we start looking for ways to hold onto our view of sovereignty so as to not make him the author. I know about the passage in Romans that speaks of how we are to know the will of God. But as I have mentioned before, I think part of the will of God is that man can be a moral agent, or have the ability to respond to God.

The two are not the same - man is still a moral agent, but he is dead in his trespasses and sins, therefore he is incapable of responding to God.


Well, we get into opinion here because God doesn't really say does he?

Er, He does!


What he does say about his eternal plan is that we are to all be like Jesus.

That is only part of it - we must first BELIEVE in Jesus - no one can start to become like Jesus unless and until they have been born again by the Spirit, cleansed by His blood and justified by faith!


God knew Adam would sin, and that redemption would be necessary. But could Adam have not sinned? Sure! God provided a way out for Adam just as he provides a way out for all of us. But we do it anyway sometimes don't we.

Er, not just sometimes - ALL the time!


;) Is God's offer for us to overcome temptation real? Or are we doomed to sin because it is his will?

It's not just about overcoming temptation - it's being put right with a holy God by the only redeemer, Jesus Christ - otherwise, God's wrath remains upon us........


Might was well go ahead and finish me off. I'm still kicking a little. :lol:

"This is a Magnum 38. It's got one bullet left in it. What you have to ask yourself is - do I feel lucky? Well, do you......?"

Mograce2U
Feb 29th 2008, 04:43 PM
Toolman, #54 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1555434&postcount=54)

All arminians believe as you describe below, God does some type of work (both internally and externally) and then man must make a choice. That is arminianism.Yet having a real choice is the point.

Until a choice is presented and made known, the man has no option but to continue on as though no choice were available because he knows of no other course that he might take. His sin is upon him and he is headed for death, judgment and hell unless some other option is given to him.

God alone has made this other option possible by the cross and delivers the news to the man via the preaching of the gospel. Now the man has a clear choice presented to him and must respond - will he believe what God has done or not? This is not done in a vacuum, there is testimony to consider and evidence to offer from eyewitnesses that these things are true. It is the mind which must accept or reject truth when it is presented.

The way of salvation is wholly the work of God, man's only option is to believe it because he can have it no other way. The hearing of truth is the only way for the grace of God to enter into his mind so as to change it - if the man actually wills to consider it and respond to it appropriately.

The news of his salvation available in Christ makes his choice a viable one. And in a sense his response does make the man "sovereign" over his own salvation, for now he can avail himself of it or not, whereas before he could do nothing to attain it. He must be the one who believes the righteousness of Christ when he hears about it. God is not going to do that for him. Here is the way, walk ye in it; now choose Life. When the way to life is made known, only a fool would continue to reject it. A fool who does not want God to rule over him, and for that man there is no other grace to be found which can be given to him. And that man remains unchanged by the truth that would have set him free and his course continues to be the one he was already on.

Grace has not failed because salvation is still here. But the sovereignty of the man's will has thus been granted to him by the choice he has made. This is the dominion God has given to men. And it takes nothing away from God whose will it was to save the man and offered him what he needed to hear and know and believe by faith.

What more would you have God do for that man? No man can be forced to believe. Yet God provides everything else that is needed to help the man choose right AND gives him many opportunities to do so. He has also filled the world with other men who know the truth and uses them to draw the man with cords of human kindness. In this country alone there is a church on practically every corner. The evidence that the truth can be known is everywhere. But if the man chooses to remain blind, he is certainly free to do so; but when he does he is without excuse nonetheless, for the evidence is everywhere.


It still puts man in the driver's seat. If the judge were sovereign he would say you get A.

If he makes a choice available then he has put the man in charge of the outcome and the judge is not in charge of the outcome.

But this will always be the tension between reformed and arminian soteriology.The courtroom is for AFTER the crime has been committed. The breaking of the law is what brings the man into his judgment - not to determine his guilt (for this he knows), but to determine his sentence. The man who claims himself "Not guilty" as well as the man who admits his guilt and seeks the court's mercy, will both face the same Judge. But one will get the penalty the law requires while the other will hear that his fine has been paid and he will be set free. And why is that? Because the man who believed the Judge was merciful acted on that news when he heard it, while the other thought he could fool the Judge.

Knowing and believing God is merciful makes all the difference in the world. Since both men's lives were always in His hands. The just Judge however has determined beforehand that only those who believe in His grace and mercy extended through His Son will share in His glory.

If that was what Arminius believed, perhaps we should consider it.

Brother Mark
Feb 29th 2008, 11:02 PM
Apologies for the delay - didn't have a "window" to respond to your post until now.

No problem. You're one of those folks that are worth the wait. ;)


OK - with you so far. That is His ultimate purpose, yes, but we need to see how He starts that process first - by redeeming a people for Himself (these are His children).Correct. Redemption is just the start. Before Adam fell, redemption wasn't needed to start the process. After he fell, redemption was needed.


OK, OK - slow down a minute - where do we read ANYWHERE in Scripture of Jesus, Adam or ANYONE having the cross IN them? Chapter and verse, please - I'm looking in particular for the word "in" to be included.I am referring to the concept of death to self.

Gal 2:20
20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.
NASB

Paul said he had been crucified with Christ and he was no longer alive. We see in other passages that he died daily. In yet other passages, he offered himself as a living sacrifice. I call it the work of the cross. Not the curse part but the death part. Paul went on to preach about the power of the cross. It was this realization of power in death that led Paul to write this...

Phil 3:8-11
8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
NASB

We are being conformed to His death. What kind of death did he die? A death on the cross. He told us each to "take up your cross and follow me". We must embrace the cross. This is God's ultimate plan for us because this is who Jesus is. He IS the Lamb slain before the foundations of the world. His whole life was lived unto the Father. He demonstrated this more completely when he actually died on the cross. But the work of the cross, dead to himself and alive unto the Father was in him before the earth was made.


What is that supposed to mean?I hope I answered that above.


Er, where do you see that in Gen 2 or 3?Not in Genesis but in the NT. Jesus told us to take up our cross. The greatest OT commands were to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. This love is described in 1 Cor. 13. Love does not seek it's own. It seeks God! We also know from the NT and the OT that God will test us. He put the tree in the garden to test Adam. Adam failed the test. Just as we grow in grace, so could he have grown in grace.

Here's a passage that explains it better than I can. First, grace comes by faith. So, to access grace, one must have faith. How does God purify our faith? How do we get it? First, he speaks to us. He spoke to Adam and told him what to do so Adam, by hearing God would have faith. Then he tested Adam.

1 Peter 1:6-8
6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
NASB

God's plan hasn't changed. He has always intended, Adam included, to test his children. Even Jesus was tested.

Luke 4:1-2

4 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led about by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days; and when they had ended, He became hungry.
NASB

Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit and there he was tempted. God didn't tempt him because we know from James that God can't tempt anyone. But God did test him. Often, where God leads us to test us is the desert. And there, the enemy offers us an easy out. He tempts us to leave the test. Notice that Jesus was full of the Spirit before the test. But notice what happened after he passed the test.

Luke 4:13-15

13 And when the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.

14 And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit; and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. 15 And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.
NASB

Woo-hoo! He came out in the POWER of the Spirit! When he passed the test and denied himself and refused to sin, he embraced his cross. He took up his cross that day, and was crucified in the wilderness! And by doing so, he was empowered.

For this reason Paul wrote...

1 Cor 1:18-19

18 For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
NASB

We get power when we take up our cross daily! For when we die to the lust of the flesh, the boastful pride of life, and the lust of the eye, God can entrust his power to us. For then he knows we won't use it on ourselves, but instead on the kingdom.


Work the cross?!?!? Can I ask if you have derived these ideas from a particular author or your own church? I've never heard of them.All of the above. I have heard it preached. I have read books by Deverne Fromke on the issue. And I have studied it for myself.


But why then does revelation say that Christ was slain from before the foundation of the world? Redemption was planned and (in God's mind) accomplished before the worlds were even formed!Because death to self was ALWAYS a part of the plan even before redemption ever was. For instance, unless a seed dies, it cannot bear fruit. Yet, in the garden of Eden, God created "seeds" to plant. That seed had to die before it would bear fruit and it was before sin. Death to self was demonstrated in the garden to Adam. Adam was put into a deep sleep, a type of death and from that came Eve. Just as Jesus died, and from Him came the Church. But I am sidetracked. Death to self has always been in God's plan. Even before Adam sinned, selflessness was going to happen. That's why God put the tree to not eat in the garden. He was teaching Adam to say no to his desires.


I really don't follow this - the cross is how we are reconciled to God, how our sins are dealt with - Christ dying for us, in our place as our substitute, bearing the curse of the law and redeeming us from sin - do you believe this?Oh yes. I believe it! It is very necessary. Yet, Jesus told us to take up our own cross. We are not just saved through the cross, but sanctified as well. I am speaking of taking up your cross and following Christ. It is the work of sanctification in us and the act of being crucified with Him. This is not a one time occurance. The cross is more than just salvation. It is sanctification too. Each day, we pick up our cross and die. Like Paul, we die daily.


Well at least we're agreed on THAT! :) Hey, we agree on a lot more! Our spirits soar at truth!


Such as?I can't remember them all. But the first feast is the feast of Passover. The next, I think is the feast of unlevened bread. (This is the idea of getting sin i.e. leaven out of our lives.) Then there is the feast of first fruits, Pentacost, feast of trumpets, day of atonement, and finally the feast of Tabernacles. There are seven in all. Personally, I believe those feast are fulfilled in history, in the church, and in the lives of the individual believers. Passover is salvation when the death angel passes over us.


But isn't salvation completed with "the redemption of our bodies" (Rom 8:23)?As far as I can tell yes. But sanctification doesn't stop while on earth does it? He continues to work in us even while we are here.


Are you saying Enoch was sinless? That he had redeemed himself?He saw Christ and was saved. Jude talks about him seeing the future. Melchisadech was his boy and his name means "When he dies, it will come". Enoch knew the flood was coming. After his boy was born, he heard the warning and began walking with God. He was saved through faith just as we all are. I am simply saying that God put in scripture that Enoch was 7th from Adam. He was a type of the mature Adam. I believe had Adam not sinned, we would have been taken like Enoch was and translated when the process of sanctification was completed.


OK - how many people apart from Elijah have gone into Heaven without dying?Technically, I don't think Elijah went to heaven. ;) I think he went to paradise first and then heaven after Jesus rose again. But to answer your question, Elijah and Enoch are the only two I know about so far.


What does that phrase mean? I hope I explained that above. Each test, I think, would have taught Adam more and more about love and death to himself. He would have grown in grace through eating the tree of life and listening to God. Until death to self was formed in him. He would have to each day, take up his cross and follow God. That's what I mean by the phrase "the cross was worked in him". The cross, i.e. death to self because we are offering our bodies as a living sacrifice unto God, not unto ourselves.


As above, I would be grateful if you could point me to any author who teaches in this way.Devern Fromke is one author. But I am sure there are more. He wrote a book that radically changed my life but at first it choked me. The name is "The Ultimate Intention". I choked because I was wanting my religion to be about me, but he moved me more to a God centered way of thinking. Though I still struggle with it. I am, by grace, learning to walk and take up my cross every day. My pastor, Terry Bryant also teaches this way.


Does anyone else call it that?Yes. The men I mentioned above. Have you seen the thread "The Next Step" in Maturing in Christ Forum? It talks more about the practical side of what I am speaking about.


The cross was a place of execution and curse. How was that "in Jesus before redemption was ever necessary"?OK. The curse was not in Christ. Redemption was that he became sin for us. Without that, we could not continue in sanctification. Once sin happened, redemption was necessary. What was in Christ before redemption was necessary was death to his desires but life to God's the Father's desires. That's what I mean when I say the cross was in him. Not the curse, but the concept of offering himself as a sacrifice to God has always been in his character.


The cross is ALL about sacrifice!Right! That is what was in Christ since forever. It has always been in Jesus to live unto the Father. What I should have wrote was that the cross was in Christ whether a sacrifice for sin was needed or not. He was still going to offer himself as a burnt offering to God. You know, there are a lot of offerings that are not sin offerings. That's what I am getting at. The idea of offering ourselves as a sacrifice to God. The cross we take up daily... we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice. Not for sin, but for God's pleasure! That is the cross I am referring to. I say cross because Jesus told us to take it up. The concept I am referring to is the idea of living not for ourselves, but as a sacrifice unto God.


Well it is your thread, I guess, so you can turn it whichever way you want! But I'm totally in the dark about the cross being "in Jesus" or "in us" :giveup:Sorry about that. I hope I explained it better this time.


It depends on how you define salvation - I believe that salvation encompasses all these things - there are the three stages to it - justification, sanctification, glorification! I have been saved, I am being saved, I will be saved!OK. I can live with that.


But do ANY make a choice to follow Him without Him giving them a new heart first?Yes. They get a new heart after salvation not before. But now we are back into how salvation works again. He speaks, from hearing his word comes faith, from faith comes grace and grace saves and gives a new heart. It all starts with him, goes through Him, back unto Him. But that doesn't mean man doesn't respond. We can't ignore the response verses any more than we can ignore the verses that speak about God's part. They are both necessary.


If you look more closely, I think you'll see it does!You'll have to spell it out for me. I know the scripture in Romans that many refer to. I also do believe there are things that God will absolutely do and will accomplish. Then there are things that he wills to happen but doesn't force to happen. Salvation is not always one of those things he forces.


Well that's certainly not my intention. I know. But some will say God willed to the point he forced Adam to sin. That Adam really did what God made him do. Not so. If Adam really didn't have the ability to not sin, then God did not provide a way of escape for him as he said he always did in the NT. Adam had to have a way of escape. If he had a way of escape, then he had a choice.


The two are not the same - man is still a moral agent, but he is dead in his trespasses and sins, therefore he is incapable of responding to God.Agree. Until God speaks to him and woos him. Then, he can have a choice. He often asked "What would have you me do for you?" To which came the reply "Open my eyes that I might see". No need for the eyes to be opened for the request to be made.


That is only part of it - we must first BELIEVE in Jesus - no one can start to become like Jesus unless and until they have been born again by the Spirit, cleansed by His blood and justified by faith!Let me clarify. My plan is to go to California. First, I've got to get in my car and drive. I can't get to California if I don't get in my car. I still say God's ultimate plan is to make us like Christ. But to get started, we must be saved first. In other words, making disciples is God's plan. Getting saved is necessary for that to occur.


Er, not just sometimes - ALL the time!Nah. We don't sin always! Sometimes you take the way out and avoid the sin. I know you do because I have read your post here for too long. Sometimes, like Adam, we rebel and eat. But sometimes, like Jesus, we eat from the Tree of Life and overcome and escape. The idea is the more we walk with God, the more we become like the 2nd Adam than the first Adam in our behavior and our heart.


It's not just about overcoming temptation - it's being put right with a holy God by the only redeemer, Jesus Christ - otherwise, God's wrath remains upon us........Of course! Without salvation, we are hopeless. One must first get saved, experience the passover, know Jesus, before one can ever leave the grips of Pharaoh and conquer Canaan.


"This is a Magnum 38. It's got one bullet left in it. What you have to ask yourself is - do I feel lucky? Well, do you......?"LOL! Go ahead punk, make my day. ;)

RoadWarrior
Mar 1st 2008, 12:17 AM
Brother Mark, I like how you are explaining thoughts in this thread. Well done.

9Marksfan
Mar 1st 2008, 12:45 AM
Brother Mark, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts so fully and so graciously - I am going to have to get into Herr Fromke's work!

You have helped me to understand where you are coming from - thank you for that. It is late here now (00.45) so I do not have the opportunity to reply - but I wanted to let you know that I appreciate the time you have taken to reply so fully. And you're right - we DO agree on plenty! And I agree with plenty of what you posted - epsecially the cross-centred life of dying to self, that we may live to God - I got some fresh insights into that tonight! Thanks, Bro'!

Brother Mark
Mar 1st 2008, 02:02 AM
Brother Mark, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts so fully and so graciously - I am going to have to get into Herr Fromke's work!

You have helped me to understand where you are coming from - thank you for that. It is late here now (00.45) so I do not have the opportunity to reply - but I wanted to let you know that I appreciate the time you have taken to reply so fully. And you're right - we DO agree on plenty! And I agree with plenty of what you posted - epsecially the cross-centred life of dying to self, that we may live to God - I got some fresh insights into that tonight! Thanks, Bro'!

I look forward to hearing more of what you have to say on the subject. Perhaps you will see something I have not!

Brother Mark
Mar 1st 2008, 02:02 AM
Brother Mark, I like how you are explaining thoughts in this thread. Well done.

Thank you my dear sister. :hug:

Toolman
Mar 1st 2008, 02:21 PM
If that was what Arminius believed, perhaps we should consider it.

Mo g,

I hope I'm not being misunderstood here. I absolutely believe 100% that man always has a choice before Him to follow God or reject His way.

I also believe 100% that if God had not done a work within me, both internally and externally by the Law and the Gospel, to actively change my will that my free will would have continued, as it had always done, to reject God's path.

But God, by His grace, actively changed my will so that I would desire His Son and turn from sin. This was done by His grace and mercy. He did not leave me to my own sinful, foolish will but reached in and formed the clay as He pleased.

I thank God that He rescued me from my own worst enemy... Myself.

Mograce2U
Mar 1st 2008, 05:54 PM
Mo g,

I hope I'm not being misunderstood here. I absolutely believe 100% that man always has a choice before Him to follow God or reject His way.

I also believe 100% that if God had not done a work within me, both internally and externally by the Law and the Gospel, to actively change my will that my free will would have continued, as it had always done, to reject God's path.

But God, by His grace, actively changed my will so that I would desire His Son and turn from sin. This was done by His grace and mercy. He did not leave me to my own sinful, foolish will but reached in and formed the clay as He pleased.

I thank God that He rescued me from my own worst enemy... Myself.Yet it is only hindsight that gives you this perspective. When I look back to those days before the light went on, I see that there were things which God was doing and which I responded to - according to His word about them as He worked my cooperation in me. None of which was ever against my will, but the shaping of it, as He was revealing Himself to me. Sooo many things, which now I can see clearly as to how He did it. All of which began only after I called upon the Lord to help me according to His word of promise which a friend had given me from 1 Cor 10:13. It was that glimmer of hope that I laid hold of that started the ball rolling. But it was 7 years before I heard the gospel and believed - which was when my faith in Christ was birthed.

No doubt the Lord was working my circumstances even before that day I called upon Him, but I have no clue as to what or how either then or now. But in answer to prayer, I have seen His hand at work. And he who calls upon Him must believe that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Which I only did because I had heard that I could!

Brother Mark
Mar 1st 2008, 06:02 PM
Yet it is only hindsight that gives you this perspective. When I look back to those days before the light went on, I see that there were things which God was doing and which I responded to - according to His word about them as He worked my cooperation in me. None of which was ever against my will, but the shaping of it, as He was revealing Himself to me. Sooo many things, which now I can see clearly as to how He did it. All of which began only after I called upon the Lord to help me according to His word of promise which a friend had given me from 1 Cor 10:13. It was that glimmer of hope that I laid hold of that started the ball rolling. But it was 7 years before I heard the gospel and believed - which was when my faith in Christ was birthed.

No doubt the Lord was working my circumstances even before that day I called upon Him, but I have no clue as to what or how either then or now. But in answer to prayer, I have seen His hand at work. And he who calls upon Him must believe that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Which I only did because I had heard that I could!

Very similar for me too. Only one verse gave me life the rest I didn't even believe. I was under conviction from his hand but had no faith. After reading the verse and him speaking to me about it, I began to ask him for help. Over a 6 month period, he continued to woo and speak until I was finally saved, by faith and through grace. Not one time did he force me but he did mold.

Chachynga
Mar 1st 2008, 09:26 PM
Just one step at a time.

Apply the laws and you will see more clearly.

Toolman
Mar 2nd 2008, 12:40 AM
Not one time did he force me but he did mold.

Very similiar for me also. Ten years of conviction by the Law and multiple experiences that were driving me to place faith in Him.

And He definitely did not "force" me to follow Him but changed my heart (giving me a new desire) by His grace and mercy. I have no doubt whatsoever that if He had not done a work in my heart (Ezekiel 36:26) I would have continued down my own path (which lead to destruction).

He rescued me from my own sinful, prideful, stubborn will and gave me a new heart with new desires that went along with it.

All glory to Him!

John146
Mar 2nd 2008, 03:41 AM
For Jesus said that "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me". So the qualification of my previous thoughts are, that God enables all men to be saved, but not all come.
Here is the rub you will always and consistently run into when taking that position.

Bill and Ted both have both been "enabled" to be saved by God and Bill places faith in Christ and Ted does not.

Now, what was the difference between the 2 men that Bill came to faith and Ted did not?

Bill chose to humble himself and put his faith in Christ and Ted did not.



Was Bill more humble, broken, smarter, wiser?

More humble and broken, by choice.




What was it within Bill that caused him to come to Christ? What was this good thing that Ted lacked?

First question: The Spirit speaking to His conscience to convict him of his sins and need for a Savior.

Second question: Ted didn't lack anything. He may have chosen to allow his conscience to be seared with a hot iron as a result of believing seducing spirits and doctrines of devils (1 Tim 4:1-2) or just chose to ignore his conscience and chose to resist the Spirit (Acts 7:51).



And what was lacking in the enabling that God gave in Ted that was not lacking in the enabling of Bill?

Nothing

ClayJar
Mar 2nd 2008, 05:54 AM
Hi all

I chanced on this thread and it's the Very topic my bible study group was engaging in last week! I am going to borrow Evangelism and The Sovereignty of God by J I Packer very soon. Brother Mark, is there any particular book that you have read that you'd like to recommend?

I am most inclined to Toolman's responses here so I guess I'm more Calvinist than Arminian - but I'm not entirely well read on either and I don't want to label myself firmly in either camp. I think 2 things will always hinder us on this free will issue: (1) Semantics? What is the real meaning of 'God's WILL' - even if we can define 'will', we'll never fully Know how God's mind really works. It is God's Desire for all to be saved, yet He also Clearly states many times in Scripture that it IS His Will that some will not be enabled to choose Him. I don't see this as God being the author of sin.

Which leads to the 2nd hinderance: (2) Time. We keep talking about Choice and the Changing of heart - from our point of view, because we are limited by time, our brains cannot think out of it. Choice and Change all imply the element of time. I know I'm inviting arrows shot at me for this ("Does this mean that there is no Real choice??") - but we have to remember that God exists out of time (He created it!) so from His point of view, this 'choice'/'change' is not the way we see it.

Personally, I guess it still doesn't change how we are to live - I don't know who the Elect is, and it's not my place to know - We are just called to be a witness and a testimony, a light to ALL in the world of darkness. And we are to be so, expecting blindness from man, putting our trust only in God. When I remind myself of that, I feel even more comforted to know that ALL things will be revealed on the day of Christ's return. On that day, I believe that the correct theological view is that, for those who have accepted Christ, Christ will get 100% of the credit; and for those who have rejected Christ, they will get 100% of the blame. (I feel arrows docked and aimed at me already!) It's not easy for my prideful heart to accept things I don't fully understand, but such 'mysteries' makes me trust even more in God, who understands all things that my little brain never will.

Tanya~
Mar 2nd 2008, 07:51 AM
Hi Clay Jar,


It is God's Desire for all to be saved, yet He also Clearly states many times in Scripture that it IS His Will that some will not be enabled to choose Him.

Do you happen to have some Biblical references for your second point above (highligted)? I can think of several passage that speak to the first point, but none for the second.


I believe that the correct theological view is that, for those who have accepted Christ, Christ will get 100% of the credit; and for those who have rejected Christ, they will get 100% of the blame.

It really isn't about credit and blame. That's just a red herring, as far as I'm concerned. Of course God gets all glory, that is without question. And by the same token, if man rejects God it is his own fault, because God has revealed Himself and provided the means of salvation to each person. For a person to freely and of his own will receive what God has freely, of his own will, offered is no credit to the person who received the free gift. A child who is offered a present and who happily accepts it isn't commended for accepting a gift, is he? But a child who rejects a perfectly good gift and then complains about it later certainly would be blamed if they didn't accept what could have been theirs.

ClayJar
Mar 2nd 2008, 01:45 PM
Hi Tanya

God Wants for everyone to be saved. But it is clear that He Has Chosen some and not others.


He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him." - John 6:65

"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day." - John 6:44

(I've been reading the book of John during QT last week :))


For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. - Eph 1:4-6

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. - Eph 1:11

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. - Rom 8:28-30

I love the whole of Romans 9... here's a bit of it:
Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God's purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, "The older will serve the younger." Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses,
"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' " Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? As he says in Hosea:
"I will call them 'my people' who are not my people;
and I will call her 'my loved one' who is not my loved one," and,
"It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them,
'You are not my people,'
they will be called 'sons of the living God.'
- Romans 9:10-26

Oh and while we're quoting from the bible, I found a couple that may help on God and evil:

I form the light and create darkness,
I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the LORD, do all these things. - Isaiah 45:7


The whole of Lamentations 3 should be read so as not to take this out of context:
Who can speak and have it happen
if the Lord has not decreed it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that both calamities and good things come? - Lam 3:37-38


Let me read J I Packer's book - I am not as well-read as everyone contributing here. Before I get bashed for being some 'uber'-Calvinist (which I'm not), I'm not saying that we are saved through some sort of 'compulsion', or that human responsibility has no part to play or that God is 'taking away' human will to freely accept Him. The choice is still ours to make, yes. But it is God who Enables us, humbles us, to make that choice. Without this enabling, we will always choose to reject Him. I believe that God invites all. But spiritual blindness is more than just a human choice, it is also God's will for that condition to remain or to be lifted - to deny this is to deny his Sovereignty. The whole of salvation hinges on God's Absolute will. We are called to align our wills to God's Will - but what makes us WANT to do that? The Holy Spirit's enabling. All this makes me trust God MORE - that His ways are not our ways, that He is totally sovereign. And I'm glad that He is!!

Tanya~
Mar 2nd 2008, 08:09 PM
Hi Tanya

God Wants for everyone to be saved. But it is clear that He Has Chosen some and not others.

This is true and I agree, and the question has to do with the basis for God's choice. If it is true that God desires that all should repent and be saved, then it cannot be true that He does not desire that all should repent and be saved. Logically, both cannot be true. They are mutually exclusive.

Therefore, His choosing people for salvation is not based on His will for all to repent and come to salvation. His basis for choosing must be something else.


He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him." - John 6:65

"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day." - John 6:44

(I've been reading the book of John during QT last week :))

:) The question is why does God enable a person? Why does God draw a person? Let's take these passages in order. John 6:44 comes first, and let's consider the verse with the one immediately following:


John 6:44-45
44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.
NKJV

Who comes to Jesus? Those who are drawn by the Father -- those who have heard and learned from the Father.

God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Yet not everyone comes to repentance. When they hear, they do not learn. They do not repent. So they do not come to Jesus. It's like this:


Luke 7:29-30

29 And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.
NKJV

John came to prepare the way for the Lord. God was speaking through him, calling people to repent. Those who heard and repented are those who heard and learned of the Father. Then when Jesus came, they were prepared to receive Him. Those who rejected John's message though, were not prepared for the Lord and rejected Him. They rejected God's will for themselves.


John 6:63-65
63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."
NKJV

One cannot come to Jesus if they do not believe. God doesn't grant salvation to those who do not believe. Those who do believe, are granted salvation. This passage doesn't make the point that it is God's will that certain people would not repent. The people who refuse to believe and refuse to repent are in rebellion to God's will for them. That's the reason why it is not given to them to come to Jesus.


The rest also do not translate to your statement: "it IS His Will that some will not be enabled to choose Him." There's a lot there and it would not be reasonable to try to treat all of these passages in one post.

Romans 9, 10 and 11 belong together as a unit and what Paul is saying in the passage you quoted should be considered in the context of the rest of that passage, including the end, to avoid coming to the wrong conclusion, namely, that it is God's will that not everyone should come to repentance.


The whole of salvation hinges on God's Absolute will. We are called to align our wills to God's Will - but what makes us WANT to do that? The Holy Spirit's enabling.

I don't think the Scripture has it that way. Here's how John puts it:


John 3:18-21
"He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."
NKJV

The person is not under condemnation because God has refused to enable him to repent. He is under condemnation because he refuses to believe, because he wants to continue in evil.

Brother Mark
Mar 2nd 2008, 08:20 PM
Hi all

I chanced on this thread and it's the Very topic my bible study group was engaging in last week! I am going to borrow Evangelism and The Sovereignty of God by J I Packer very soon. Brother Mark, is there any particular book that you have read that you'd like to recommend?

Not from the Arminian side. But I think Martin Luther's book, "Bondage of the Will" is a decent read. It's too analytical for me but he makes some decent points.


I am most inclined to Toolman's responses here so I guess I'm more Calvinist than Arminian - but I'm not entirely well read on either and I don't want to label myself firmly in either camp. I think 2 things will always hinder us on this free will issue: (1) Semantics? What is the real meaning of 'God's WILL' - even if we can define 'will', we'll never fully Know how God's mind really works. It is God's Desire for all to be saved, yet He also Clearly states many times in Scripture that it IS His Will that some will not be enabled to choose Him. I don't see this as God being the author of sin.

Hmm. I agree with Tanya. That he doesn't really state that it is his will that some don't accept him. But I do agree that "free will" is not the best term to use. Having said that, did Adam have a choice? I already addressed that. God always provides a way of escape from temptation. He provided Adam one too but Adam didn't take it. If a way of escape was provided, then Adam had a choice.


Which leads to the 2nd hinderance: (2) Time. We keep talking about Choice and the Changing of heart - from our point of view, because we are limited by time, our brains cannot think out of it. Choice and Change all imply the element of time. I know I'm inviting arrows shot at me for this ("Does this mean that there is no Real choice??") - but we have to remember that God exists out of time (He created it!) so from His point of view, this 'choice'/'change' is not the way we see it.

Personally, I guess it still doesn't change how we are to live - I don't know who the Elect is, and it's not my place to know - We are just called to be a witness and a testimony, a light to ALL in the world of darkness. And we are to be so, expecting blindness from man, putting our trust only in God. When I remind myself of that, I feel even more comforted to know that ALL things will be revealed on the day of Christ's return. On that day, I believe that the correct theological view is that, for those who have accepted Christ, Christ will get 100% of the credit; and for those who have rejected Christ, they will get 100% of the blame. (I feel arrows docked and aimed at me already!) It's not easy for my prideful heart to accept things I don't fully understand, but such 'mysteries' makes me trust even more in God, who understands all things that my little brain never will.


I have no issue with mysteries. I do have issues with each camp though. For instance, the Calvinist camp dances around verses that suggest God wants to save all. One of my favorites "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotton Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish". Or in 1 John where he is the propitiation for our sins but not for ours only but for the sins of the whole world. My Calvinist brothers will say world doesn't mean world. But given the context in 1 John, that doesn't seem to fit. On the other hand, I do believe some folks are predestined to salvation. However, I can't find any scripture that states someone was predestined for hell.

ClayJar
Mar 2nd 2008, 11:46 PM
Hi Tanya

Thank you, I understand what you're saying.


If it is true that God desires that all should repent and be saved, then it cannot be true that He does not desire that all should repent and be saved. Logically, both cannot be true. They are mutually exclusive.

Therefore, His choosing people for salvation is not based on His will for all to repent and come to salvation. His basis for choosing must be something else.

...


Luke 7:29-30
29 And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.
NKJV
...Romans 9, 10 and 11 belong together as a unit and what Paul is saying in the passage you quoted should be considered in the context of the rest of that passage, including the end, to avoid coming to the wrong conclusion, namely, that it is God's will that not everyone should come to repentance.

Maybe this really is semantics...

God's "will":
Does "will" in the bible mean God's desire, what he wants? If so, Tanya you're correct. God can't Want the whole world to be saved and yet Want some people to remain in spiritual blindness.
Or does "will" in the bible mean God's divine plan, what He has determined, for the world? If so, it IS correct to say that God's will is that some people will not be enabled by the Holy Spirit to choose to accept Him.
I think the latter is more accurate. I note that the NIV version of the above verse has 'the purpose of God' rather than 'the will of God':

(All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus' words, acknowledged that God's way was right, because they had been baptized by John. But the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God's purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.) - Luke 7:29-30

I know this begs the question, Why is what God wants Different to what He has determined for the world? - I don't think any human can really have an answer for this. But it makes me trust God more, not less, to know that Only He knows the answer to this.


Just another note on translation, I notice that for the John 6 verses, the NKJV uses the 'drawing' of the Father but the NIV uses 'enabling'... I think the NIV is more accurate.



I don't think the Scripture has it that way. Here's how John puts it:


John 3:18-21
"He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."
NKJVThe person is not under condemnation because God has refused to enable him to repent. He is under condemnation because he refuses to believe, because he wants to continue in evil.
The Reason why someone will be condemned is that person's rejection of God - This I agree.

Another reflection on the passage: the word 'already' (I've highlighted it) resonates every time I read verse 18 because it emphasises that our default position is in condemnation - I know we agree this, and that God is the one that calls/invites - but it just seems to take away from His complete sovereignty if we say that the ability to take up His invitation is something that is not enabled by the Holy Spirit. I don't see this in conflict with our making that choice - we don't know the future, so of course we Are actively Making a choice. But whatever choice we make, we have to accept that it was firstly God's will (the latter definition of 'will' as expressed above) that we made that choice.

Anyhow, before I 'debate' further, let me read further. I'm starting on Packer soon, and Brother Mark, thank you for that suggestion. I'll pop by the Christian bookshop this lunchtime to find it. :) Thanks all for your time and views!

RoadWarrior
Mar 3rd 2008, 01:14 AM
....Anyhow, before I 'debate' further, let me read further. I'm starting on Packer soon, and Brother Mark, thank you for that suggestion. I'll pop by the Christian bookshop this lunchtime to find it. :) Thanks all for your time and views!

Hi ClayJar! Good to see you!

I wish I had a really good book to recommend on this subject, but I don't know of one. I will share with you some of my own thoughts.

First, I think it is extremely challenging to find truth with this subject, It has been debated so long with so many words, that whenever it comes up a person feels that they have to choose one side or another. Are you Calvinist, or Arminian, is how the question usually is formed. I am neither. I am a Christian. There is truth in both camps, and there is error in both camps. So I don't join either one.

There is a great difficulty with the Calvinist preaching of today (as I have heard it). How would you use that doctrine to preach the gospel to an unbeliever?

I love a quote by Einstein, "God is subtle, but He is not malicious." If you want to know God's truths, you have to be willing to look at subtleties, and not try to make everything fit into some kind of box.

I am in a group study right now in which we are using a Kay Arthur book, "Lord I want to Know You." This study focuses on the names of God and the meanings inherent in His names. You might find it worthwhile, as she does a good job of drawing out what it means, that God is sovreign.

Tanya~
Mar 3rd 2008, 01:33 AM
Or does "will" in the bible mean God's divine plan, what He has determined, for the world? If so, it IS correct to say that God's will is that some people will not be enabled by the Holy Spirit to choose to accept Him.

In the divine plan, it is God's will that those who believe will be saved. That's clear from the teaching of Scripture. He has predetermined that all who are in Christ will be saved. Therefore, those who are not in Christ will not be saved, and that also is consistent with God's will.

Where I think your statement above goes wrong is in saying that people are not saved because God chose not to enable them. That is the same thing as saying that for certain people, it is not God's will for them to repent and be saved. That creates an irreconcilable contradiction. Is it, or is it not, God's will that all should come to repentance? Is it, or is it not, God's will that some would perish? They cannot both be true.


(All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus' words, acknowledged that God's way was right, because they had been baptized by John. But the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God's purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.) - Luke 7:29-30

I know this begs the question, Why is what God wants Different to what He has determined for the world? - I don't think any human can really have an answer for this. But it makes me trust God more, not less, to know that Only He knows the answer to this.

I don't think it's a difficult question. God is not willing for any to perish, but that all should come to repentance. But at the same time, God has determined the terms for salvation. Repent, turn to God, believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. Those are the terms, and those are the conditions a person must meet in order to be saved. It is His will that everyone should do this, but not everyone does, and this is why not everyone will be saved. It is not because God chose to not enable them. The Scripture doesn't say that. He has done all that was necessary to reconcile the entire world to Himself. Each person has to come to God on His terms in order to be saved.


2 Cor 5:18-21
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
NKJV


Just another note on translation, I notice that for the John 6 verses, the NKJV uses the 'drawing' of the Father but the NIV uses 'enabling'... I think the NIV is more accurate.

Why do you think 'enable' is a more accurate translation? What lexicons do you use? From my sources (Strong, Thayer, Vine) the word means to draw, as a fisherman would draw in a net full of fish. Those fish which are caught in the net are then drawn or dragged into the boat by the fisherman. The person who hears and receives is like the fish caught into the net. Such a person will be drawn to Christ. The person who rejects what they hear is like the fish that did not get caught in the net. They will not be drawn to Christ.

It is just the same as the Pharisees. They didn't believe God in the first place, which is why they didn't accept John's baptism, and thus they were not prepared to receive the Lord Jesus either.


Another reflection on the passage: the word 'already' (I've highlighted it) resonates every time I read verse 18 because it emphasises that our default position is in condemnation - I know we agree this, and that God is the one that calls/invites - but it just seems to take away from His complete sovereignty if we say that the ability to take up His invitation is something that is not enabled by the Holy Spirit.

I don't really agree with your interpretation. They are already (even now) condemned, because they don't believe. There is a direct cause and effect. They are not condemned by default, but because they don't believe. When a person hears, they either believe, or they do not believe. Those who do not believe are condemned already -- the judgment is future, but they are already under condemnation because of their unbelief. Yet if they do not continue in unbelief, they will not be under condemnation any longer, because in Christ, we are not under condemnation. Any person who is unbelieving is condemned. They can be saved if they will believe.


But whatever choice we make, we have to accept that it was firstly God's will (the latter definition of 'will' as expressed above) that we made that choice.

I don't think Scripture bears this out. It is not God's will or purpose that a particular individual would not repent. It is God's will that all who are in Christ would be saved, and that only those who are in Christ would be saved. You are interpreting everything from the assumption that God is the one who makes a person decide for or against Christ, but this isn't how the Scripture presents it.


Matt 22:1-4
And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: 2 "The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.
NKJV

John 5:38-40
38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
NKJV

It is not about God refusing/neglecting/not planning to enable them. It is their rejection of God's word and their own resulting unwillingness to come to Christ. Throughout the Scriptures, it is about God looking for people who will believe Him, who will trust Him on faith. This is utterly meaningless if God makes the person believe, and doesn't make the others believe.


2 Chron 16:9
9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.
NKJV

Toolman
Mar 3rd 2008, 03:27 PM
I have no issue with mysteries. I do have issues with each camp though. For instance, the Calvinist camp dances around verses that suggest God wants to save all. One of my favorites "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotton Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish". Or in 1 John where he is the propitiation for our sins but not for ours only but for the sins of the whole world. My Calvinist brothers will say world doesn't mean world. But given the context in 1 John, that doesn't seem to fit. On the other hand, I do believe some folks are predestined to salvation. However, I can't find any scripture that states someone was predestined for hell.

Bro Mark,

All theological "camps" have verses that they must "dance around" (works within their theological framework) within their theology. Whether calvinist, arminian or universalist.

I've shared this before but in case you haven't seen it I'll share it here and get your thoughts.

There are 3 presuppositions to consider.

1) God will/desires for all men to be saved. (2 Peter 3:9, I Timothy 2:4, Romans 11:32, Ezekiel 33:11)
2) God's will/desire will ultimately be accomplished. (Ephesians 1:11, Job 42:2, Psalm 115:3, Isaiah 46:10-11, Daniel 4:35)
3) Some will not be saved and will suffer eternal torment. (Matthew 25:46, II Thessalonians 1:9, Revelation 14:10)

Now, there are 3 groups of Christians:

1) Reformed/Calvinists - This group holds to presuppositions #2 and #3. They reject #1 and say that God does not desire to save all men.

2) Free-will/Arminian - This group holds to presuppositions #1 and #3. They reject #2 and say that man can thwart God's will/desire.

3) Universalists - This group holds to presuppositions #1 and #2. They reject #3 and say that God will not eternally torment people but punishment is limited to an age(s) and all will be redeemed in Christ in due time.

Now, my point is to show that each of these groups "works within their theology" to justify why they reject what the other group holds to be essential truth.

Each side does the same exact thing of "working within their theology" to fit the verses into their theology.

Reformed do it with the verses pertaing to #1. Free-will do it with the verses pertaining to #2. UR do it with verses pertaining to #3.

Your thoughts?

Brother Mark
Mar 3rd 2008, 03:33 PM
Your thoughts?

Preach each verse as it is presented and let the Lord sort it out. I know that sounds trite, but I mean it. Ever notice I don't get bogged down in one camp or the other? All the scripture is true whether I can reconcile it or not. So why try to make an exception? Why try to explain it away? We are willing to accept the Trinity with all it's difficulty but not this issue? Why?

Toolman
Mar 3rd 2008, 03:46 PM
Preach each verse as it is presented and let the Lord sort it out. I know that sounds trite, but I mean it. Ever notice I don't get bogged down in one camp or the other? All the scripture is true whether I can reconcile it or not. So why try to make an exception? Why try to explain it away? We are willing to accept the Trinity with all it's difficulty but not this issue? Why?

Well, the Trinity certainly puts to rest "preaching" any verses that would present God in modal form (Oneness theology) or any verses that would present Christ as a created being (Arianism) or any verses that would be used to support 3 gods (Tritheism).

So, while we accept the Trinity we reject other doctrines which can also be defended with scripture (I can provide the scriptures that are used by each group if you are interested).

We adhere to the Trinity because of a theology that considers the WHOLE of scripture and not just some verses. That is also what each group (arms, cals, unis) tries to also do with soteriology. To have a consistent soteriology when considering the whole of scripture.

As soon as you make comments about the scripture (like "God is not a puppet master" or "Nor does everything that happen fall under God's will") then you have stepped out of "preaching each verse as it is presented and let the Lord sort it out" and now you are making theological statements that will fall into certain "camps", so I'm not sure about your statement here.

BTW - I'm also good with mystery and I have no problem saying, this is what I believe the scripture says, as a whole, and defending that position but also stating that I reserve the right to be wrong :)

9Marksfan
Mar 3rd 2008, 03:50 PM
1) Reformed/Calvinists - This group holds to presuppositions #2 and #3. They reject #1 and say that God does not desire to save all men

I'd beg to differ, Toolman - but I accept that for quite a while I went along with the "all men" in 1 Tim2 and "any" in 2 Pet 3 to be restricted to the elect. But I recently heard a message on Romans 2 from the Doctor (no, not the Time Lord - Martyn Lloyd-Jones to those who do not know his work) where he was speaking about what God wants and what God wills not being the same thing - and there being great mystery in this. Having thought it through, I had to agree - and I think that there are other passages to back this up.

So I would say that THIS Calvinist/Reformed believer adheres to #1, #2 and #3! And I don't think I'm alone either!

Brother Mark
Mar 3rd 2008, 03:58 PM
As soon as you make comments about the scripture (like "God is not a puppet master" or "Nor does everything that happen fall under God's will") then you have stepped out of "preaching each verse as it is presented and let the Lord sort it out" and now you are making theological statements that will fall into certain "camps", so I'm not sure about your statement here.

OK, fair enough. I understand what you are asking now. One problem is we take scriptures and try to apply them to everything! In other words, a single lone verse cannot be applied globally without considering the other verses to temper it. It's akin to taking one sentence from a speech and saying developing an agenda by the speaker. Sometimes it takes years to get a handle on various scripture meanings. We make mistakes by coming to conclusions too quickly at times. Your example for the trinity is excellent. There are verses out there, but the totality of scripture backs up what we believe.

So, does the Lord accomplish his purposes? Oh yes. They are all accomplished. But that doesn't mean that everything that happens is his will. Does he elect folks? Yes. Scripture says so. How do all these things work together? I am not sure. Yet. So while we can go around and around on the issues, we can't ignore the other passages. As for number 2, I don't believe man can thwart God's ultimate purpose. Part of God's will is for man to make a decision. Yet, in the end, he will use every decision man makes to bring his big picture to pass. I think that is spelled out rather well in much of the OT.


BTW - I'm also good with mystery also and I have no problem saying, this is what I believe the scripture says, as a whole, and defending that position but also stating that I reserve the right to be wrong :)


Hey, we all need to reserve the right to be wrong. ;) And just so you know, I enjoy your questions and comments.

Toolman
Mar 3rd 2008, 03:59 PM
I'd beg to differ, Toolman - but I accept that for quite a while I went along with the "all men" in 1 Tim2 and "any" in 2 Pet 3 to be restricted to the elect. But I recently heard a message on Romans 2 from the Doctor (no, not the Time Lord - Martyn Lloyd-Jones to those who do not know his work) where he was speaking about what God wants and what God wills not being the same thing - and there being great mystery in this. Having thought it through, I had to agree - and I think that there are other passages to back this up.

So I would say that THIS Calvinist/Reformed believer adheres to #1, #2 and #3! And I don't think I'm alone either!

9Marksfan,

I have had some reformed misunderstand the presuppositions and try to state that they hold to #1, 2 and 3.

The case of the presuppositions is that is impossible.

Reformed often state either 1 of 2 things to address presupposition #1. Either that "all" does not mean "all" or that God's "will" in the stated verses is not the same "will" that is spoken of in presupposition #2.

But for our case, the "will" spoken of in presup #1 and #2 are the exact same.

Presupposition #1 is not speaking of something God simply wishes was true but the "will" spoken of in presupposition #1 is actually what God really desires and wills to happen. This is what arminians and universalists both believe about God's will as spoken in the given verses for #1.

So let me ask plainly. Do you believe that God truly wills (what He actually wants to occur with all His heart and will) that every single human being be saved? That His ordained will is that every person be saved?

Brother Mark
Mar 3rd 2008, 04:03 PM
I'd beg to differ, Toolman - but I accept that for quite a while I went along with the "all men" in 1 Tim2 and "any" in 2 Pet 3 to be restricted to the elect. But I recently heard a message on Romans 2 from the Doctor (no, not the Time Lord - Martyn Lloyd-Jones to those who do not know his work) where he was speaking about what God wants and what God wills not being the same thing - and there being great mystery in this. Having thought it through, I had to agree - and I think that there are other passages to back this up.

So I would say that THIS Calvinist/Reformed believer adheres to #1, #2 and #3! And I don't think I'm alone either!

I have two main issues with pure calvinist doctrine and a couple of lesser ones. 1. That God's offer of salvation to the world is not genuine. 2. Jesus death was only for the elect. 3. That if Adam did not have a real choice, then God willed him to sin, thus making God sinful. 4. That God nor Jesus love the world.

I could come up with more but those are a decent starting point. For me, much of cavlinism is built around an idea of sovereignty that I don't see taught in scripture, i.e. only what God wills happens.

Toolman
Mar 3rd 2008, 04:06 PM
As for number 2, I don't believe man can thwart God's ultimate purpose. Part of God's will is for man to make a decision. Yet, in the end, he will use every decision man makes to bring his big picture to pass. I think that is spelled out rather well in much of the OT.

:)

Wish I could do more than smile but limited here to just that but I'll just say I absolutely agree with the position above.

God uses man's decisions to bring about His plan of redemption.

But anyhoo, good thoughts all the way around.


Hey, we all need to reserve the right to be wrong. ;) And just so you know, I enjoy your questions and comments.

Thanks man... this has been a really enjoyable thread!

Toolman
Mar 3rd 2008, 04:18 PM
I have two main issues with pure calvinist doctrine and a couple of lesser ones. 1. That God's offer of salvation to the world is not genuine. 2. Jesus death was only for the elect. 3. That if Adam did not have a real choice, then God willed him to sin, thus making God sinful. 4. That God nor Jesus love the world.


Mark,

To be fair here and just for discussion I will share some of my issues with arminianism:

1) Jesus' atoning death and resurreciotn was insufficient to save those who go to hell eternally.
2) God (who is Love) will torment eternally those whom He loves.
3) God's will to save all men fails.
4) Christ's mission to seek and save the lost fails.

Not trying to be a jerk here (hope that is clear) but just for the honesty of discussion.

9Marksfan
Mar 3rd 2008, 04:25 PM
9Marksfan,

I have had some reformed misunderstand the presuppositions and try to state that they hold to #1, 2 and 3.

The case of the presuppositions is that is impossible.

Reformed often state either 1 of 2 things to address presupposition #1. Either that "all" does not mean "all" or that God's "will" in the stated verses is not the same "will" that is spoken of in presupposition #2.

But for our case, the "will" spoken of in presup #1 and #2 are the exact same.

Presupposition #1 is not speaking of something God simply wishes was true but the "will" spoken of in presupposition #1 is actually what God really desires and wills to happen. This is what arminians and universalists both believe about God's will as spoken in the given verses for #1.

So let me ask plainly. Do you believe that God truly wills (what He actually wants to occur with all His heart and will) that every single human being be saved? That His ordained will is that every person be saved?

The crucial thing surely is whether the "wants" or "wills" in 1 Tim 2 and "willing" in 2 Pet 3 MEANS what you are saying. I will need to do a word study but I understand it does not. If I am right, then there is no contradiction between God wishing/desiring that men be saved but not PURPOSING that and bringing it about.

I am afraid your question is a little unfair because what God purposes with all His heart (and therefore beings about) does NOT encompass all he WISHES or DESIRES. That is a huge mystery, but I believe that is what the Scriptures teach.

Brother Mark
Mar 3rd 2008, 04:26 PM
Mark,

To be fair here and just for discussion I will share some of my issues with arminianism:

1) Jesus' atoning death and resurreciotn was insufficient to save those who go to hell.
2) God (who is Love) will torment eternally those whom He loves.
3) God's will to save all men fails.
4) Christ's mission to seek and save the lost fails.

Not trying to be a jerk here (hope that is clear) but just for the honesty of discussion.

No problem. 1 in, my opinion isn't that hard to handle. It's sufficient to save all. Just not all will respond. Has nothing to do with the sufficiency.

2. He is not only love, but he is just, holy, etc. If we get so far into his justice, we miss his mercy and love, we get into a ditch. If we get so far into his love we miss his justice and judgment, we get into a ditch.

3. God's purpose never fails. I think I mentioned earlier, he purposed to save through faith. He will save all that come to him through faith. Yet, he doesn't force the issue on all. For this reason he says "Choose you this day whom you will serve". So the purpose is not thwarted. Yet, he earnestly desires all to be saved. This question has enabled me to understand better what Marksfan was referring to when he spoke of God's will and his desire. There are things he has purposed to accomplish. I don't think salvation for all men falls under that purpose that he will make sure happens, though I wonder if he didn't purpose to save some and others came through faith.

4. I think he would have came to seek and to save the lost even if all had rejected him. Again, it goes back to how does the seeking and saving occur? He draws men to him. Then they, believe. The mission is accomplished even if they reject. Thus God's purpose is still accomplished even if man refuses to believe.

All that being said, there is always mystery. We see through a glass darkly. It is the ditches that we can clearly say are wrong.

Brother Mark
Mar 3rd 2008, 04:30 PM
The crucial thing surely is whether the "wants" or "wills" in 1 Tim 2 and "willing" in 2 Pet 3 MEANS what you are saying. I will need to do a word study but I understand it does not. If I am right, then there is no contradiction between God wishing/desiring that men be saved but not PURPOSING that and bringing it about.

I am afraid your question is a little unfair because what God purposes with all His heart (and therefore beings about) does NOT encompass all he WISHES or DESIRES. That is a huge mystery, but I believe that is what the Scriptures teach.

I can go along with mystery. I just think Calvinist go too far before seeing the mystery. The one about Adam having a choice is very difficult to get around. Did God purpose with all his heart for Adam to sin? It is a problem that deserves though. Is the offer to save all men real or not? See, we can take it to the point that we leave out part of scripture. That's what I want to avoid. Did God really die for the sins of the whole world? Did he really pay for our sins and not only ours but the sins of the whole world? (Toolman loves that verse.)

I have no problem with some of Calvinist teaching. It is the pushing it to the limits to the point of eliminating other scriptures that seems to be a problem for me.

9Marksfan
Mar 3rd 2008, 04:32 PM
I have two main issues with pure calvinist doctrine

Hi Brother Mark - it depends on what you mean by "pure" - there are many schools of thought within the Reformwed tradition.


and a couple of lesser ones.

I'm guessing the lesser ones are 3. and 4.?


1. That God's offer of salvation to the world is not genuine.

It is - it's generally only Hypercalvinists that don't think it is.


2. Jesus death was only for the elect.

Jesus' death was sufficient to save every man, but is efficient only for those who believe - don't you believe that too?


3. That if Adam did not have a real choice, then God willed him to sin, thus making God sinful.

No - Adam very much had a real choice - with real consequences.


4. That God nor Jesus love the world.

I'm guessing there's a "neither" that should go before "God"? That's not true either - apart from Jn 3:16 and other similar verses, one of the key verses is the rich young ruler that we are told Jesus "loved" - yet he walked away and we never hear of him again - and must assume that he was never saved.


I could come up with more but those are a decent starting point. For me, much of cavlinism is built around an idea of sovereignty that I don't see taught in scripture, i.e. only what God wills happens.

So what do you think is outwith His sovereign will and purpose, as taught in Scripture (please cite verses that you feel teach this)?

Brother Mark
Mar 3rd 2008, 04:41 PM
Hi Brother Mark - it depends on what you mean by "pure" - there are many schools of thought within the Reformwed tradition.

Yes, I know. There are 5 point calvanist, 3 point calvinist, etc.


I'm guessing the lesser ones are 3. and 4.?

Yea. But I reserve the right to modify the list. ;) Shoot, when I think about one it might go up or down.


It is - it's generally only Hypercalvinists that don't think it is. What is a hypercalvinist? If the offer is genuine, then can a nonelect be saved? If he can't be saved, then how can it be a genuine offer. It's like offering a man to get pregnant. Is that a real offer if it can never happen?


Jesus' death was sufficient to save every man, but is efficient only for those who believe - don't you believe that too?

Yes. But a lot of Calvinist don't. I am not sure I would use the word efficient but I certainly get your drift. Limited atonement is not one of my favorite doctrines and I think it fails the scripture test. Shoot, scripture says he died for the ungodly and that describes every person in hell.


No - Adam very much had a real choice - with real consequences.

Right. But much of the teaching of God's sovereignty eliminates that choice. It is why I push the issue. I think some Calvinist focus so much on God's sovereignty that they create a definition that makes him the will behind sin.


I'm guessing there's a "neither" that should go before "God"? That's not true either - apart from Jn 3:16 and other similar verses, one of the key verses is the rich young ruler that we are told Jesus "loved" - yet he walked away and we never hear of him again - and must assume that he was never saved.

Right. But some Calvinist will teach that Jesus loves the world with a different kind of love. It's not a love that will save. I can't find scripture for it. But it is taught in Calvinist circles.


So what do you think is outwith His sovereign will and purpose, as taught in Scripture (please cite verses that you feel teach this)?

Not sure I understand your question. Could you rephrase it for me?

Thanks. Oh, I am enjoying the conversation with you too.

Toolman
Mar 3rd 2008, 04:42 PM
I am afraid your question is a little unfair because what God purposes with all His heart (and therefore beings about) does NOT encompass all he WISHES or DESIRES. That is a huge mystery, but I believe that is what the Scriptures teach.

I understand. And this is what I mean by reformed must "work within their theology" to fit those verses into their theology. As I said, all the groups do with certain verses.

Arminians and Universalists would state that it is absolutely 100% what God ACTUALLY wills to happen that all men be saved. Reformed would not agree with that statement and say God might desire it but He desires something else more.

I'm not saying you reject the verses I'm just saying that you must interpret them differently than an arminian or a universalist would interpret them at their face value and actually accept that God really does (and I mean truly) will that all men be saved.
The reformed believer does NOT believe that God really does (and I mean truly) will that all men be saved. Romans 9 is the favored passage to prove exactly that.


The crucial thing surely is whether the "wants" or "wills" in 1 Tim 2 and "willing" in 2 Pet 3 MEANS what you are saying. I will need to do a word study but I understand it does not. If I am right, then there is no contradiction between God wishing/desiring that men be saved but not PURPOSING that and bringing it about.

Well let me share this for your study.

The greek word used in 1 Tim. 2:3-4 (For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.) is "thelo".

It is the exact same greek word that is used in Romans 9:18 (Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.)

Here is something I posted a while back on this issue (forgive the length):

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

When one examines God the Father's "thelo" (translated will or desire in english) one will find no where in scripture where God's "thelo" can ultimately be thwarted by man (* see below).

It is God's will that men not sin and that sin be completely done away with.
Within God's progressive plan of redemption God allows certain things to bring about His ultimate plan of redemption. Part of that is that men sin.

But God's will regarding sin will be accomplished when His plan of redemption is complete. Men will no longer sin and sin will be completely and utterly done away with and man can do nothing to thwart God's plan, desire and will.

God's Thelo

God the Father's will (thelo) in scripture is described as something that will come to pass and man can do nothing to thwart it.

The apostle's view of God's thelo

The apostles viewed God's will in this manner. Let's observe:

Acts 18:21 - but taking leave of them and saying, "I will return to you again if God wills(thelo)," he set sail from Ephesus.

1 Corinthians 4:19 - But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills(thelo), and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant, but their power.

James 4:15 - Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills (thelo), we shall live and also do this or that."

1Peter 3:17 - For it is better, if God should will(thelo) it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.

Romans 9:18 - So then He has mercy on whom He desires(thelo), and He hardens whom He desires(thelo).

Ephesians 1:11 - In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his own will(thelo),

The apostle's obviously believed that God's "thelo" would be accomplished and man was subject to God's will.

Old Testament prophets view of God's thelo

Job 42:2 - "I know that you can do all things;
no plan of yours can be thwarted.

Psalm 115:3 Our God is in heaven;
he does whatever pleases him.

Isaiah 46:10-11 - I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say: My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.
From the east I summon a bird of prey;
from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that will I bring about;
what I have planned, that will I do.

Daniel 4:17,35 - This decision is by the decree of the watchers,
And the sentence by the word of the holy ones,
In order that the living may know
That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,
Gives it to whomever He will,
And sets over it the lowest of men.

All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
He does according to His will in the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can restrain His hand
Or say to Him, “What have You done?”

The Old Testament prophets were adamant that God's "thelo" would be accomplished and there was no power in man to ultimately thwart God's plan.

But Jesus was God and His "thelo" was thwarted

The argument has been put forth that Christ's "thelo" was thwarted therefore God the Father's "thelo" can be thwarted.
The verses used to support this are:

Mark 7:24 - From there He arose and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered a house and wanted no one to know it, but He could not be hidden.

Matthew 23:37 - “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!

The 2 problems with this support are as follows:

1) Jesus Christ was fully human and as human He humbled Himself to desires that, as a human, could be thwarted.

Jesus Christ, being fully human, in a humbled state was subject to the same exact things we as humans experience which is that our desires and will are not always accomplished.

The statement has been made that this takes away Christ's deity. His will could not possibly be different that God's because that would make Him not God.

I propose the following support that Christ most assuredly could have desires that would not be fulfilled (Mark 7:24) and yet still remain fully God and fully human.

a) Christ was tempted (Matthew 4:1
,Hebrews 4:15) and it is impossible for God to be tempted (James 1:13)
If it is impossible for God to be tempted and Christ was tempted then how can He be God? Because He is also fully human and humbled Himself to temptation.

b) Christ declares Himself that, as a human, He is tempted with a desire that is different from God's:
Luke 22:42 - Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will (Thelo), but thine, be done.

2) Specifically regarding Christ's desire for Jerusalem this desire will come to pass and man can do nothing to ultimately thwart that desire. Just like God's ultimate desire concerning sin or salvation cannot be thwarted once the fullness of His plan for redemption is fullfilled.

So God's will (thelo) will be done on earth, as it is in heaven, when His plan of redemption is complete and the cosmos are set right.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

Toolman
Mar 3rd 2008, 05:08 PM
No problem. 1 in, my opinion isn't that hard to handle. It's sufficient to save all. Just not all will respond. Has nothing to do with the sufficiency.

If His atoning work were sufficient then they would be saved. The fact of the Arminian position (and the calvinist) is that Adam's universal work of condemnation is greater and more effective than Christ's atoning work of redemption. The 1st Adam's work is greater than the 2nd Adam's.

Even though scripture declares (IMO):

Romans 5:18-19 - Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

1 Corinthians 15:22 - For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.


2. He is not only love, but he is just, holy, etc. If we get so far into his justice, we miss his mercy and love, we get into a ditch. If we get so far into his love we miss his justice and judgment, we get into a ditch.

I do not see His attributes in opposition to one another but working together to bring about His ultimate will and plan of redemption.

His justice and holiness are not in opposition to His love but work together in harmony. This is a problem I have with the western view of God's attributes. Western theology places God's attributes at war and opposition with one another.

God is holy. It is absolutely impossible for Him to do anything that is unholy.

God is just. It is absolutely impossible for Him to do anything that is unjust.

In the same manner.

God is love. It is absolutely impossible for Him to do anything that is unloving.

To be consistent regarding God's character and His attributes we must see them as being in harmony not as being in opposition.

So, with that position, I can see God's judgement, discipline, wrath, and punishments as flowing from His love, justice and holiness bringing about the end result... change within the creature whom He loves.


3. God's purpose never fails. I think I mentioned earlier, he purposed to save through faith. He will save all that come to him through faith. Yet, he doesn't force the issue on all. For this reason he says "Choose you this day whom you will serve". So the purpose is not thwarted. Yet, he earnestly desires all to be saved. This question has enabled me to understand better what Marksfan was referring to when he spoke of God's will and his desire. There are things he has purposed to accomplish. I don't think salvation for all men falls under that purpose that he will make sure happens, though I wonder if he didn't purpose to save some and others came through faith.

Reference my post to 9Marksfan regarding God's "thelo".

If God works all things according to His "thelo" (Ephesians) and He has mercy on who He "thelos" (Romans 9) and He "thelos" that all men be saved (1 Tim 2) then there appears to be some "dancing" going on around terms like "purpose" and "earnestly desires".


4. I think he would have came to seek and to save the lost even if all had rejected him. Again, it goes back to how does the seeking and saving occur? He draws men to him. Then they, believe. The mission is accomplished even if they reject. Thus God's purpose is still accomplished even if man refuses to believe.

Nevertheless, He said He came to seek and to save that which was lost.

If that which was lost is not saved then what He came to do was not successful. There's just no way around that.

What Christ came to do is not accomplished. The seeking maybe, but the saving is not.

I personally have a theological problem with that and do not believe that Christ's mission for which He came will not be successful.

John 6:39 - This is the will (thelo :)) of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.


All that being said, there is always mystery. We see through a glass darkly. It is the ditches that we can clearly say are wrong.

Well, these are my issues with arminianism and why I reject it as the correct biblical soteriology. I've heard the responses before but I personally have found them wanting (I use to hold to them) and so I shared that in the same spirit as your reasons for calvinism falling short in your opinion.

Not confrontationally but just for discussion :)

Brother Mark
Mar 3rd 2008, 05:23 PM
If His atoning work were sufficient then they would be saved. The fact of the Arminian position (and the calvinist) is that Adam's universal work of condemnation is greater and more effective than Christ's atoning work of redemption. The 1st Adam's work is greater than the 2nd Adam's.

That's an interesting choice of words. In Adam all were condemned. All in Christ will be saved. Effectiveness has nothing to do with it Toolman. Soap is very effective for cleaning but only for those that submit to it's washing. It all goes back to the totality of Scripture. If none were saved, God's greatness nor his work nor his sufficiency would be lessened. While ALL are from Adam, not ALL are in Christ.


I do not see His attributes in opposition to one another but working together to bring about His ultimate will and plan of redemption.

His justice and holiness are not in opposition to His love but work together in harmony. This is a problem I have with the western view of God's attributes. Western theology places God's attributes at war and opposition with one another.

God is holy. It is absolutely impossible for Him to do anything that is unholy.

God is just. It is absolutely impossible for Him to do anything that is unjust.

In the same manner.

God is love. It is absolutely impossible for Him to do anything that is unloving.

To be consistent regarding God's character and His attributes we must see them as being in harmony not as being in opposition.

So, with that position, I can see God's judgement, discipline, wrath, and punishments as flowing from His love, justice and holiness bringing about the end result... change within the creature whom He loves.I don't see them in opposition. But neither do I see them overruling one another. They are there. Also, this is sometimes where mystery enters back into it. It was for this reason I said earlier, I don't always have to understand or explain each verse. I just believe it, as long as it lines up with the totality of scripture. Scripture says people will burn in hell. It says the elect will be saved. It says the offer of salvation is made to all men but not all men will accept it. I can try all I want to make it all make sense to my way of thinking. But I am not convinced I can do an adequate job of answering all the questions.



Reference my post to 9Marksfan regarding God's "thelo".

If God works all things according to His "thelo" (Ephesians) and He has mercy on who He "thelos" (Romans 9) and He "thelos" that all men be saved (1 Tim 2) then there appears to be some "dancing" going on around terms like "purpose" and "earnestly desires". And whom does he choose to have mercy on according to Romans 9?


Rom 9:30-32

30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone,
NASB

Those that believe. Of course, we can go round and round on this one too.


Nevertheless, He said He came to seek and to save that which was lost.

If that which was lost is not saved then what He came to do was not successful. There's just no way around that.

What Christ came to do is not accomplished. The seeking maybe, but the saving is not.

I personally have a theological problem with that and do not believe that Christ's mission for which He came is not successful.

John 6:39 - This is the will (thelo :)) of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.This is where I think the ditch begins again. As mentioned above, he will save by faith. In the OT we see where God is seeking someone whom he can show himself mighty in behalf of. His promises are often conditional. Jesus did come to seek and to save those who are lost. God also speaks of man making a decision and teaches that man who rejects him will go to hell. If you think that means Jesus failed, I suppose you can hold to that. But that doesn't seem to fit the overreaching arch of scripture. As I said, it goes back to desiring his will to be more than it is. It is also seems to somehow find weakness or fault in God where there is none. The tension is there. It is only when we ignore a base of scripture that we get into error.


Well, these are my issues with arminianism and why I reject it as the correct biblical soteriology. I've heard the responses before but I personally have found them wanting (I use to hold to them) and so I shared that in the same spirit as your reasons for calvinism falling short in your opinion.

Not confrontationally but just for discussion :)
Of course. If it means anything, I am not fully arminian either as I stated in the beginning. There are ditches there too. I have no issues with keeping the tension and mystery (from my perspective) in the scripture. Shoot, even the angels look at salvation and wonder.

Toolman
Mar 3rd 2008, 05:57 PM
That's an interesting choice of words. In Adam all were condemned. All in Christ will be saved. Effectiveness has nothing to do with it Toolman. Soap is very effective for cleaning but only for those that submit to it's washing. It all goes back to the totality of Scripture. If none were saved, God's greatness nor his work nor his sufficiency would be lessened.

I guess it goes back to one's understanding of atonement.

If I make an atonement for a wrong that you did then the atonement has been made. The debt has been paid. There is nothing lacking.

Let's say you stole $100 from somebody and I make atonement for what you stole. Then the debt has been paid. There is nothing left to pay for.

If you end up having to pay also then my atonement for what you did was not enough.

If Christ truly was the atonement for sin and He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world then sin has been paid for.

Leviticus 4:20 - And he shall do with the bull as he did with the bull as a sin offering; thus he shall do with it. So the priest shall make atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them.

Leviticus 4:26 - And he shall burn all its fat on the altar, like the fat of the sacrifice of the peace offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him

Leviticus 4:31 - He shall remove all its fat, as fat is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offering; and the priest shall burn it on the altar for a sweet aroma to the LORD. So the priest shall make atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him.

Leviticus 4:35 - He shall remove all its fat, as the fat of the lamb is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offering. Then the priest shall burn it on the altar, according to the offerings made by fire to the LORD. So the priest shall make atonement for his sin that he has committed, and it shall be forgiven him.

Leviticus 5:10 - And he shall offer the second as a burnt offering according to the prescribed manner. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his sin which he has committed, and it shall be forgiven him.

Leviticus 5:13 - The priest shall make atonement for him, for his sin that he has committed in any of these matters; and it shall be forgiven him. The rest shall be the priest’s as a grain offering.’”

Leviticus 5:16 - And he shall make restitution for the harm that he has done in regard to the holy thing, and shall add one-fifth to it and give it to the priest. So the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him.

Leviticus 6:7 - So the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD, and he shall be forgiven for any one of these things that he may have done in which he trespasses.”


From what I see regarding the atonement, when atonement is made then sin is forgiven.

2 Cor. 5:18-19 18 - All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

Hebrews 10:1-4 - The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have been guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.



While ALL are from Adam, not ALL are in Christ.

That is one position :)


I don't see them in opposition. But neither do I see them overruling one another. They are there. Also, this is sometimes where mystery enters back into it. It was for this reason I said earlier, I don't always have to understand or explain each verse. I just believe it, as long as it lines up with the totality of scripture.

I believe seeing God's attributes working in harmony towards his plan of redemption is more in line with the totality of scripture than the position that his justice is in opposition with his love.


Scripture says people will burn in hell. It says the elect will be saved. It says the offer of salvation is made to all men but not all men will accept it.

I understand that that is your position on what scripture teaches. Of course I disagree with that is what scripture states is the final plan of God's redemptive plan. But we would have to move the thread to fully discuss that and I'm sure you would rather not do that.


I can try all I want to make it all make sense to my way of thinking. But I am not convinced I can do an adequate job of answering all the questions.

I don't disagree. We each do the best we can with the leading of the Spirit to understand God's person and His plan to the best of our ability.


And whom does he choose to have mercy on according to Romans 9?


Rom 9:30-32

30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone,
NASB

Those that believe. Of course, we can go round and round on this one too.

Sure we can :)

Romans 11:32 - For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on all men.



This is where I think the ditch begins again. As mentioned above, he will save by faith.

I just want to be clear on one thing here in case I haven't. I absolutely do not believe that any person will be saved and redeemed outside of placing their full trust and faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.

Just for the record :)


In the OT we see where God is seeking someone whom he can show himself mighty in behalf of. His promises are often conditional. Jesus did come to seek and to save those who are lost. God also speaks of man making a decision and teaches that man who rejects him will go to hell. If you think that means Jesus failed, I suppose you can hold to that. But that doesn't seem to fit the overreaching arch of scripture. As I said, it goes back to desiring his will to be more than it is. It is also seems to somehow find weakness or fault in God where there is none. The tension is there. It is only when we ignore a base of scripture that we get into error.


I personally, within my understanding of scripture, do not find God failing at all. I actually believe He will accomplish that which He desires and wills so I don't see Him failing at that at all. He is actually able to accomplish what He truly desires and wills. I believe that to the core.

I simply observe that it is those who proclaim that God wills that all men be saved and that this will of God will not be accomplished. I see that as a ditch and an error within that system of understanding.

When the claim is made that some of whom Christ has been given will be lost (in direct contradiction to His words) then I see that as an error within that understanding.

So when He states that it is His purpose to redeem creation I believe He is actually able to accomplish that which He has purposed.

Similiar to the claim of an error you see within calvinist system to overempasize the sovereignty of God.

John 3:35, 6:37-39: - "The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day."

Acts 3:21 - He must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of ALL things, as God promised long ago through the prophets

Colossians 1:19-20 - For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.



Of course. If it means anything, I am not fully arminian either as I stated in the beginning. There are ditches there too. I have no issues with keeping the tension and mystery (from my perspective) in the scripture. Shoot, even the angels look at salvation and wonder.

What ditches do you see within arminian soteriology? I might have missed that post in all the excitement :lol:

John146
Mar 3rd 2008, 06:46 PM
9Marksfan,

I have had some reformed misunderstand the presuppositions and try to state that they hold to #1, 2 and 3.

The case of the presuppositions is that is impossible.

Reformed often state either 1 of 2 things to address presupposition #1. Either that "all" does not mean "all" or that God's "will" in the stated verses is not the same "will" that is spoken of in presupposition #2.

But for our case, the "will" spoken of in presup #1 and #2 are the exact same.

Presupposition #1 is not speaking of something God simply wishes was true but the "will" spoken of in presupposition #1 is actually what God really desires and wills to happen. This is what arminians and universalists both believe about God's will as spoken in the given verses for #1.

So let me ask plainly. Do you believe that God truly wills (what He actually wants to occur with all His heart and will) that every single human being be saved? That His ordained will is that every person be saved?

It is my view that He desires all to use their ability that He gave them to choose to repent and believe the gospel so that they will be saved. Obviously, not all do this. Does this mean there is a contradiction in Scripture that basically says God's will cannot be thwarted? No. We have to differentiate between God's will that He predetermines and which cannot be thwarted no matter what anyone does or says. And then there is God's desire of what He wants to happen, but because He gives man choices, it won't necessarily happen. Here is an example of that:

37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! - Matthew 23:37

Does that verse not show that Jesus would "have gathered thy children together" if only they would? But, they would NOT! Why? Because that's what God wanted? No. Obviously not, because Jesus said what He would have done if only they would have accepted Him instead of rejected Him. They "would not" because they willingly chose to reject Him.

Eric

John146
Mar 3rd 2008, 07:28 PM
Nevertheless, He said He came to seek and to save that which was lost.

If that which was lost is not saved then what He came to do was not successful. There's just no way around that.

What Christ came to do is not accomplished. The seeking maybe, but the saving is not.

I personally have a theological problem with that and do not believe that Christ's mission for which He came will not be successful.

Do you think it's possible that you have misunderstood exactly what the Scripture means when it says He came to seek and to save the lost? Is it really saying that He came to literally save everyone who is lost? Or is it saying that He came to make salvation available to all who are lost? Shouldn't we look at Scripture as a whole to determine this instead of drawing a conclusion from one or two verses that SEEM to say a certain thing?

Let's dig a little deeper to find just what exactly Christ came to do.

32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
39He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
40He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. - Matthew 10:32-40

What did Jesus teach in this passage? He came to save the world and therefore the world, eventually, will all be saved? Not at all. He came to set people against each other. What?! Yes. Why? He said Himself that whoever is not with Him is against Him(Matt 12:30). The one who chooses Him is the enemy of the one who rejects Him and vice versa. Jesus implies in this passage that people have to make a choice of whether to love their families more than Him or Him more than their families (or anyone or anything else). We have to choose to either receive (accept and embrace) Him or not.

So far we can see that Jesus came to not bring peace, but a sword of division between those who are His and those who are not. Not because He wanted people to be against each other, but He know that not everyone would choose to accept Him and therefore a son who chose to accept Christ would become an enemy of His father who chose to reject Him.

What else did He come to do?

16And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
17When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. - Mark 2:16-17

He came to call sinners to repentance. Pretty clear. All sinners or just a select few chosen ones?

29Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
30And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: - Acts 17:29-30

This passage is clear. Christ came to call all sinners in the world to repentance. Yet, obviously, not all repent.

So, now we know that Christ came to bring division between those who receive or accept Him and those who do not and He also came to call all sinners in the world to repentance.

35And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
36But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
37All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
38For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39And 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.
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. - John 6:35-40

Now we see that He came to do His Father's will and not His own. And this was the Father's will: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him would have everlasting life and will be raised up on the last day. Is "everyone" limited to just a certain special chosen few? Does everyone have a chance to be part of the group who believes in Him? Of course. John 3:16 says that "whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.".

It seems to me that Jesus taught that not all would be saved and that He came to call sinners to repentance and belief in Him, but that they had to choose to repent and believe. It was God's will to send His Son to be the Savior of the world. This means that the whole world will be saved, right? No. Conditions are clearly defined that people must meet in order to be saved. If one chooses to repent, call on the name of the Lord and put their faith and trust in Christ then they will be saved. If not, they will not be saved. At the judgment, the saved are separated from the lost and remain separated forever.

Finally, let's examine the context around the verse where Jesus says He came to save the world and see if it means He literally came to save the world (and has therefore failed miserably so far) or to make salvation available to "whosoever" in the world believes in Him.

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 12:46-48

This verse indicates that some would believe Him and receive Him and some would reject Him. Those who reject Him will be judged in the last day and cast into the lake of fire, which is a place of everlasting fire (Matt 25:41), everlasting destruction (2 Thess 1:9) and everlasting punishment (Matt 25:46). Whether you believe in literal everlasting punishment and torment or annihilation doesn't make a difference as far as the fact that these people are lost forever at that point. They will be "punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord" (2 Thess 1:9). The very idea that some accept Him and some reject Him implies that a free will (or free moral agency) choice must be made to either receive/accept Him or reject Him. Christ came to make salvation available to all who would choose to believe in Him. He did not come to condemn the world. Unbelievers condemn themselves by choosing not to believe in Christ.

Eric

Toolman
Mar 3rd 2008, 07:40 PM
Do you think it's possible that you have misunderstood exactly what the Scripture means when it says He came to seek and to save the lost? Is it really saying that He came to literally save everyone who is lost? Or is it saying that He came to make salvation available to all who are lost?

Eric,

I appreciate your post and believe me this is not something that I have looked at lightlly.

None of the verses that you posted in any way effect where I stand on scripture. I am limited in what I can say in this forum, because I adhere to the position that God is able and willing to bring all men to repentance and faith in Him, so I am not allowed to go into any detail as to that position but suffice it to say that absolutely none of the verses you posted in any way discount where I personally stand.

That said, I believe that Christ will actually accomplish that which he stated He came for, which was not to "make salvation available" but to save.

RogerW
Mar 3rd 2008, 08:23 PM
Bro Mark,

All theological "camps" have verses that they must "dance around" (works within their theological framework) within their theology. Whether calvinist, arminian or universalist.

I've shared this before but in case you haven't seen it I'll share it here and get your thoughts.

There are 3 presuppositions to consider.

1) God will/desires for all men to be saved. (2 Peter 3:9, I Timothy 2:4, Romans 11:32, Ezekiel 33:11)
2) God's will/desire will ultimately be accomplished. (Ephesians 1:11, Job 42:2, Psalm 115:3, Isaiah 46:10-11, Daniel 4:35)
3) Some will not be saved and will suffer eternal torment. (Matthew 25:46, II Thessalonians 1:9, Revelation 14:10)

Now, there are 3 groups of Christians:

1) Reformed/Calvinists - This group holds to presuppositions #2 and #3. They reject #1 and say that God does not desire to save all men.

2) Free-will/Arminian - This group holds to presuppositions #1 and #3. They reject #2 and say that man can thwart God's will/desire.

3) Universalists - This group holds to presuppositions #1 and #2. They reject #3 and say that God will not eternally torment people but punishment is limited to an age(s) and all will be redeemed in Christ in due time.

Now, my point is to show that each of these groups "works within their theology" to justify why they reject what the other group holds to be essential truth.

Each side does the same exact thing of "working within their theology" to fit the verses into their theology.

Reformed do it with the verses pertaing to #1. Free-will do it with the verses pertaining to #2. UR do it with verses pertaining to #3.

Your thoughts?

Greetings TM,

There is another way to consider these apparent universal passages. We've had this discussion before. An apparent universal passage: 1Tim 2:4- 6 “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”

It is the purpose of God, His desire, His will to save humanity, i.e. “all men” through giving them a knowledge of the truth, i.e. the gospel of salvation (faith comes by hearing the Word Ro 10:17). Christ is the only Mediator between God, and humanity, i.e. men. It is the will of God to preserve humanity through His Son, a ransom for humanity, i.e. “all.”

Those who were given the Son by the Father were chosen from the foundation of the world, and these are supernaturally drawn (Jo 6:44) by the Father, and given the free gift of salvation. These hear the universal gospel, offered to all humanity, and the Holy Spirit applies the message to their hearts giving them ears to hear and be converted. The gospel is offered, salvation is given!

All men = all humanity, but does not mean all people are saved. Rather, it is the will of God that humanity will be redeemed through the grace of Christ alone, and by none other, and God‘s will, will be done.

It is God's will to save humankind, and all humankind that are saved are saved through the will of God. God does not desire, nor will He save all people. If He doesn't will to save all of mankind that will be saved, then no man will be saved. Salvation is of God alone, and none other, and were it not His desire (will) to save the human race, then the human race would all perish. Praise be to God alone that He wills to save all who will be saved!

In the Reformed view there are two schools of thought, that I am aware of (1) When Scripture says that God wills or desires the salvation of all men, it is making a distinction between Jews and Gentiles. Since salvation was to the Jew first, and at one time one would have been born a Jew, or convert to Judaism to be included as God‘s covenant people, the “all men” means “every nation of men.” So under the New Covenant the apostle must be clear to show that salvation has now gone unto all mankind, not exclusively Jews only, but to people from all nations, tribes, and tongues i.e. “all men.” (2) The other view is that it is God’s will, or desire to redeem humankind, and through Christ all men who are predestined to receive eternal life will be saved. Therefore all men, meaning humanity will be redeemed, not all people but all humanity destined from the foundation of the world to be saved. Humanity will be preserved through Christ’ atoning sacrifice.

Reformed Theology is NOT bracketed. Of a certainty it is incorrectly stated by those who don't like it. Understanding Jo 3:16 for what it really teaches is crucial in understanding the Sovereignty of God over human will. So perhaps this is the verse to focuse on.

If I accept Jo 3:16 as the love of God for every human without exception, then I must also accept the fact that many whom God loves will be cast into the lake of fire at the Judgment. How can I find comfort in being loved by God when many, if not most, of those He supposedly loves will one day be forever cast away from Him to endure eternal death? What kind of love is this?

Seeing the logic, some will say, "no, God casts no one away, they cast themselves away by rejecting His love." Where is the love of God for them? Are we not all in the same spiritual state, without spiritual life, and without ability to receive His love for us? Yet not all are left without spiritual life, for some do respond in faith, and turn to Him in love. What kind of love enables only some of those whom He supposedly loves to respond in faith and love? How can this so-called love of God for every man without exception leave so many to eternal damnation? It makes more sense to say He forces some to be His robot rather than consider the horror of the alternative. But God doesn't have to force His love on His people, for God Himself makes His people willing to receive His eternal love.
So how does Reformed Theology understand verses like Jo 3:16? We understand, and accept it for EXACTLY what it says. "For God so loved the world that He gave"... For God so; meaning in this way; in this manner...loved the world; meaning His whole kosmos; orderly arrangement, decoration; everything inhabiting His creation (kosmos). Another way to state Jo. 3:16 “In this manner God shows His love for His entire creation, He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

If Jo 3:16 were saying for God so loved every human being in His created order, why would He then limit this love eternally to only those who believe, and then withhold from some men the ability to believe?

It’s not that I don’t accept the plain teaching of verses that appear to say Christ is the Savior of all men. I attempt to understand the meaning of “all” in a manner that finds harmony with “all” of Scripture. I cannot justify ignoring verses in favor of others because they seem to fit my theology. So how am I to understand or reconcile various verses that appear to be contradictory?

When I look for understanding of the word “all” I find that it is sometimes used to define, not all inclusively, but all in a limited sense. When John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordan the text plainly states “all” Judaea, and “all” the region round about Jordan were baptized, confessing their sins. I know from the abundance of Scripture that not “all” meaning every single person there was baptized by John. So clearly “all” here does not mean every single person.

Mt 3:5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all [pas] Judaea, and all [pas] the region round about Jordan,
Mt 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

This verse in Mt 4:24 is interesting because “all” is defined from two separate Greek words. Holos is a primary word meaning; "whole" or "all", i.e. complete (in extent, amount, time or degree), especially (neuter) as noun or adverb:--all, altogether, every whit, + throughout, whole.

Pas including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole:--all (manner of, means), alway(-s), any (one), X daily, + ever, every (one, way), as many as, + no(-thing), X thoroughly, whatsoever, whole, whosoever.

Through the usage of the word “all” [holos] in the following passage we definitely could say that the fame of Christ was known completely, throughout all or the whole of Syria. But through the usage of the word “all” [pas] could we say that “all” meaning every single diseased and tormented person, possessed with devils, and lunatics, those with palsy were healed by Him? Or would we say that “all” the sick people who were brought to Him were healed? Not that every sick person in “all” [holos] Syria were healed, but most certainly “all” [pas] that were brought to Him for healing were miraculously healed by Him, He left none of “all” who were brought to Him for healing without healing.

Mt 4:24 And his fame went throughout all [holos] Syria: and they brought unto him all [pas] sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.

In the following verse pas has been translated “all manner.” Knowing that pas is sometimes translated thus, I find reason to question the translation of 1Ti 2:4; 4:10. Should these verses also read “all manner” of men? I’m not saying they absolutely should, I am simply pointing out the problem I find with a literal, wooden interpretation of “all.” There are several verses of Scripture that use the words “all” or “every” that merely represent “all” or “every” in view of the context of the passage. Though it is the same Greek word translated “all” it does not always mean every single person.

Mt 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner [pas] of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

CV - Mt. 5:11 Happy are you whenever they should be reproaching an persecuting you and saying every [pas] wicked thing against you, falsifying on My account.

1Ti 2:4 Who will have all [pas; all manner] men to be saved [made whole], and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

What makes me look at the passage in 1Ti 2:4 and doubt the plain language “all men” will be saved? I’ve found that “all” does not necessarily mean all inclusive, as every single person, but on the other hand I’ve also found that “many” never means “all.” Yet I find verses that plainly state that the Son of man gave His life to ransom “many” and not “all.”

If Christ truly were going to redeem every man, how could passages such as this one (and many others) plainly say otherwise? How does one reconcile apparent contradiction forced upon Scripture through viewing “all” in a literal sense to mean every single person?

Mt 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Many Blessings,
RW

Toolman
Mar 3rd 2008, 08:42 PM
It’s not that I don’t accept the plain teaching of verses that appear to say Christ is the Savior of all men. I attempt to understand the meaning of “all” in a manner that finds harmony with “all” of Scripture. I cannot justify ignoring verses in favor of others because they seem to fit my theology. So how am I to understand or reconcile various verses that appear to be contradictory?

Roger,

Thanks for the excellent example. And yes this is exactly my point. Each group (whether arminian, calvinist, universalist or whatever) must try to have a cohesive, reconciling theology by examining the whole of scripture and understanding certain verses, that might be "tough" for their position, to fit somehow into their position by interpreting those verses within their theology.

Reformed do it with the "all", "the world", etc. verses, as you have demonstrated here with your fine post.

Arminians do it with the sovereignty of God verses, as demonstrated by others in this thread.

Universalists do it with the eternal torment verses (as we've discussed before).

All of the groups do the same thing, they just do it with different verses because of their different theological positions. Each group runs into verses that at face value seem to contradict their theological position. They must therefore not take the face value but logically find another way of interpreting.


When I look for understanding of the word “all” I find that it is sometimes used to define, not all inclusively, but all in a limited sense. When John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordan the text plainly states “all” Judaea, and “all” the region round about Jordan were baptized, confessing their sins. I know from the abundance of Scripture that not “all” meaning every single person there was baptized by John. So clearly “all” here does not mean every single person.

Mt 3:5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all [pas] Judaea, and all [pas] the region round about Jordan,
Mt 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

This verse in Mt 4:24 is interesting because “all” is defined from two separate Greek words. Holos is a primary word meaning; "whole" or "all", i.e. complete (in extent, amount, time or degree), especially (neuter) as noun or adverb:--all, altogether, every whit, + throughout, whole.

Pas including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole:--all (manner of, means), alway(-s), any (one), X daily, + ever, every (one, way), as many as, + no(-thing), X thoroughly, whatsoever, whole, whosoever.

Through the usage of the word “all” [holos] in the following passage we definitely could say that the fame of Christ was known completely, throughout all or the whole of Syria. But through the usage of the word “all” [pas] could we say that “all” meaning every single diseased and tormented person, possessed with devils, and lunatics, those with palsy were healed by Him? Or would we say that “all” the sick people who were brought to Him were healed? Not that every sick person in “all” [holos] Syria were healed, but most certainly “all” [pas] that were brought to Him for healing were miraculously healed by Him, He left none of “all” who were brought to Him for healing without healing.

Mt 4:24 And his fame went throughout all [holos] Syria: and they brought unto him all [pas] sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.

In the following verse pas has been translated “all manner.” Knowing that pas is sometimes translated thus, I find reason to question the translation of 1Ti 2:4; 4:10. Should these verses also read “all manner” of men? I’m not saying they absolutely should, I am simply pointing out the problem I find with a literal, wooden interpretation of “all.” There are several verses of Scripture that use the words “all” or “every” that merely represent “all” or “every” in view of the context of the passage. Though it is the same Greek word translated “all” it does not always mean every single person.

Mt 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner [pas] of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

CV - Mt. 5:11 Happy are you whenever they should be reproaching an persecuting you and saying every [pas] wicked thing against you, falsifying on My account.

1Ti 2:4 Who will have all [pas; all manner] men to be saved [made whole], and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

What makes me look at the passage in 1Ti 2:4 and doubt the plain language “all men” will be saved? I’ve found that “all” does not necessarily mean all inclusive, as every single person,

Yeah, I wish I could discuss that in some depth but forum rules don't allow it, so I'll just have to let it stay at that.


but on the other hand I’ve also found that “many” never means “all.” Yet I find verses that plainly state that the Son of man gave His life to ransom “many” and not “all.”

If Christ truly were going to redeem every man, how could passages such as this one (and many others) plainly say otherwise? How does one reconcile apparent contradiction forced upon Scripture through viewing “all” in a literal sense to mean every single person?

Mt 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Many Blessings,
RW

http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1355641&postcount=265

Very few would discount that "many" definitely means all of mankind in the first part of the following verse:

Romans 5:19- For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

RogerW
Mar 3rd 2008, 08:58 PM
It is my view that He desires all to use their ability that He gave them to choose to repent and believe the gospel so that they will be saved. Obviously, not all do this. Does this mean there is a contradiction in Scripture that basically says God's will cannot be thwarted? No. We have to differentiate between God's will that He predetermines and which cannot be thwarted no matter what anyone does or says. And then there is God's desire of what He wants to happen, but because He gives man choices, it won't necessarily happen. Here is an example of that:

37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! - Matthew 23:37

Does that verse not show that Jesus would "have gathered thy children together" if only they would? But, they would NOT! Why? Because that's what God wanted? No. Obviously not, because Jesus said what He would have done if only they would have accepted Him instead of rejected Him. They "would not" because they willingly chose to reject Him.

Eric

Greetings Eric,

But why did they willingly choose to reject Him? Could they have chosen Him if they had wanted to? Look at the corresponding passage in Luke, and compare it to the words of John.

Lu 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
Lu 19:42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
Lu 19:43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
Lu 19:44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

It's too late! Though Christ shows great compassion, and weeps over the wickedness of the city, the wickedness is too great; the cup is full; mercy is exhausted; and Jerusalem, with all her pride and splendour, the glow of her temple, and the pomp of her service, must perish! Now the way of peace is hidden from their eyes. God has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts that they cannot see with their eyes, nor understand and be converted. It is through their rejection of Christ that salvation has come to the Gentiles.

Joh 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
Joh 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Joh 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

Joh 12:40 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.

Is that what God wanted? Just consider this; if the nation had not been rebellious and hard-hearted would salvation have gone unto all the world?

Many Blessings,
RW

Toolman
Mar 3rd 2008, 09:13 PM
Greetings Eric,

But why did they willingly choose to reject Him? Could they have chosen Him if they had wanted to? Look at the corresponding passage in Luke, and compare it to the words of John.

Lu 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
Lu 19:42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
Lu 19:43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
Lu 19:44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

It's too late! Though Christ shows great compassion, and weeps over the wickedness of the city, the wickedness is too great; the cup is full; mercy is exhausted; and Jerusalem, with all her pride and splendour, the glow of her temple, and the pomp of her service, must perish! Now the way of peace is hidden from their eyes. God has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts that they cannot see with their eyes, nor understand and be converted. It is through their rejection of Christ that salvation has come to the Gentiles.

Joh 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
Joh 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Joh 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

Joh 12:40 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.

Is that what God wanted? Just consider this; if the nation had not been rebellious and hard-hearted would salvation have gone unto all the world?

Many Blessings,
RW

Is it too late? Is mercy truly exhausted? For the answer I submit Romans 11:

Exegesis of Romans 11 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=880364&postcount=34)

Mograce2U
Mar 3rd 2008, 09:23 PM
If God does all that pleases Him and it pleases Him to save men who believe in His Son, then we must believe that it pleased Him to bruise Jesus in order to bring salvation to men (Isa 53:10). And He states that the death of the wicked does not please Him either (Ezek 33:11), yet we see it still must occur. In fact all men will die, else the world would be filled only with evil otherwise. So we see that death was necessary to bring the evil that men do in this world to its end.

God's purpose is to bring all such wickedness to a complete end - like He did in Noah's day, only this time by fire. With the flood as our example, how can we say that God's "absolute" will is to save ALL men, when it is clear He has not done so in the past? Is He not the same yesterday, today and forever? God does not change. If it is His will now to save everybody who ever lived, then it was His will in Noah's day too. But He only saved Noah and his family.

So if we are to believe that ALL men are to be saved, it will have to happen after death. But after death is the judgment - when it is too late to repent, for that is when the sentence is meted out for how one lived this life. And that sentence will include the lake of fire for some, whose names are not found in the book of life. Which means their names were removed sometime BEFORE they arrived there.

However we must juggle these truths scripture reveals, it is clear that God does in fact do all that pleases Him - and even some things which do not. Personally, I don't see that means He must predestine men to heaven or hell before they are even born, nor zap them all into repentance after death to keep His word. But keep His word, that I know He will do! And apparently, He will do so whether we know it or understand it or not...

Toolman
Mar 3rd 2008, 10:04 PM
God's purpose is to bring all such wickedness to a complete end - like He did in Noah's day, only this time by fire.

Mark 9:49 - For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.

Fire is for refining and burning dross off of that which is to be redeemed.


With the flood as our example, how can we say that God's "absolute" will is to save ALL men, when it is clear He has not done so in the past? Is He not the same yesterday, today and forever? God does not change. If it is His will now to save everybody who ever lived, then it was His will in Noah's day too. But He only saved Noah and his family.

God's example of Noah is that there is only a singular means of salvation, Christ. God's consistent example is that it is His desire to save the many through the few. MacDonald does a fantastic job of biblically supporting this view in his book. Its a bit extensive to share here in a post.


So if we are to believe that ALL men are to be saved, it will have to happen after death. But after death is the judgment - when it is too late to repent, for that is when the sentence is meted out for how one lived this life.

Isaiah 26:9 - When your judgments come upon the earth,
the people of the world learn righteousness

Lamentations 3:31-33- For men are not cast off
by the Lord forever.
Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to the children of men.


And that sentence will include the lake of fire for some, whose names are not found in the book of life. Which means their names were removed sometime BEFORE they arrived there.

Exegetical evidence for redemption from the Lake of Fire (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1324766&postcount=50)


However we must juggle these truths scripture reveals, it is clear that God does in fact do all that pleases Him - and even some things which do not. Personally, I don't see that means He must predestine men to heaven or hell before they are even born, nor zap them all into repentance after death to keep His word.

Just for the record I do not hold that God "zaps" men to repentance but as He always does He brings men to repentance by conviction and grace.


But keep His word, that I know He will do! And apparently, He will do so whether we know it or understand it or not...

Amen!

obeytheword
Mar 3rd 2008, 10:05 PM
Greetings TM,

There is another way to consider these apparent universal passages. We've had this discussion before. An apparent universal passage: 1Tim 2:4- 6 “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”

It is the purpose of God, His desire, His will to save humanity, i.e. “all men” through giving them a knowledge of the truth, i.e. the gospel of salvation (faith comes by hearing the Word Ro 10:17). Christ is the only Mediator between God, and humanity, i.e. men. It is the will of God to preserve humanity through His Son, a ransom for humanity, i.e. “all.”

Those who were given the Son by the Father were chosen from the foundation of the world, and these are supernaturally drawn (Jo 6:44) by the Father, and given the free gift of salvation. These hear the universal gospel, offered to all humanity, and the Holy Spirit applies the message to their hearts giving them ears to hear and be converted. The gospel is offered, salvation is given!

All men = all humanity, but does not mean all people are saved. Rather, it is the will of God that humanity will be redeemed through the grace of Christ alone, and by none other, and God‘s will, will be done.

It is God's will to save humankind, and all humankind that are saved are saved through the will of God. God does not desire, nor will He save all people. If He doesn't will to save all of mankind that will be saved, then no man will be saved. Salvation is of God alone, and none other, and were it not His desire (will) to save the human race, then the human race would all perish. Praise be to God alone that He wills to save all who will be saved!

In the Reformed view there are two schools of thought, that I am aware of (1) When Scripture says that God wills or desires the salvation of all men, it is making a distinction between Jews and Gentiles. Since salvation was to the Jew first, and at one time one would have been born a Jew, or convert to Judaism to be included as God‘s covenant people, the “all men” means “every nation of men.” So under the New Covenant the apostle must be clear to show that salvation has now gone unto all mankind, not exclusively Jews only, but to people from all nations, tribes, and tongues i.e. “all men.” (2) The other view is that it is God’s will, or desire to redeem humankind, and through Christ all men who are predestined to receive eternal life will be saved. Therefore all men, meaning humanity will be redeemed, not all people but all humanity destined from the foundation of the world to be saved. Humanity will be preserved through Christ’ atoning sacrifice.

Reformed Theology is NOT bracketed. Of a certainty it is incorrectly stated by those who don't like it. Understanding Jo 3:16 for what it really teaches is crucial in understanding the Sovereignty of God over human will. So perhaps this is the verse to focuse on.

If I accept Jo 3:16 as the love of God for every human without exception, then I must also accept the fact that many whom God loves will be cast into the lake of fire at the Judgment. How can I find comfort in being loved by God when many, if not most, of those He supposedly loves will one day be forever cast away from Him to endure eternal death? What kind of love is this?

Seeing the logic, some will say, "no, God casts no one away, they cast themselves away by rejecting His love." Where is the love of God for them? Are we not all in the same spiritual state, without spiritual life, and without ability to receive His love for us? Yet not all are left without spiritual life, for some do respond in faith, and turn to Him in love. What kind of love enables only some of those whom He supposedly loves to respond in faith and love? How can this so-called love of God for every man without exception leave so many to eternal damnation? It makes more sense to say He forces some to be His robot rather than consider the horror of the alternative. But God doesn't have to force His love on His people, for God Himself makes His people willing to receive His eternal love.
So how does Reformed Theology understand verses like Jo 3:16? We understand, and accept it for EXACTLY what it says. "For God so loved the world that He gave"... For God so; meaning in this way; in this manner...loved the world; meaning His whole kosmos; orderly arrangement, decoration; everything inhabiting His creation (kosmos). Another way to state Jo. 3:16 “In this manner God shows His love for His entire creation, He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

If Jo 3:16 were saying for God so loved every human being in His created order, why would He then limit this love eternally to only those who believe, and then withhold from some men the ability to believe?

It’s not that I don’t accept the plain teaching of verses that appear to say Christ is the Savior of all men. I attempt to understand the meaning of “all” in a manner that finds harmony with “all” of Scripture. I cannot justify ignoring verses in favor of others because they seem to fit my theology. So how am I to understand or reconcile various verses that appear to be contradictory?

When I look for understanding of the word “all” I find that it is sometimes used to define, not all inclusively, but all in a limited sense. When John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordan the text plainly states “all” Judaea, and “all” the region round about Jordan were baptized, confessing their sins. I know from the abundance of Scripture that not “all” meaning every single person there was baptized by John. So clearly “all” here does not mean every single person.

Mt 3:5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all [pas] Judaea, and all [pas] the region round about Jordan,
Mt 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

This verse in Mt 4:24 is interesting because “all” is defined from two separate Greek words. Holos is a primary word meaning; "whole" or "all", i.e. complete (in extent, amount, time or degree), especially (neuter) as noun or adverb:--all, altogether, every whit, + throughout, whole.

Pas including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole:--all (manner of, means), alway(-s), any (one), X daily, + ever, every (one, way), as many as, + no(-thing), X thoroughly, whatsoever, whole, whosoever.

Through the usage of the word “all” [holos] in the following passage we definitely could say that the fame of Christ was known completely, throughout all or the whole of Syria. But through the usage of the word “all” [pas] could we say that “all” meaning every single diseased and tormented person, possessed with devils, and lunatics, those with palsy were healed by Him? Or would we say that “all” the sick people who were brought to Him were healed? Not that every sick person in “all” [holos] Syria were healed, but most certainly “all” [pas] that were brought to Him for healing were miraculously healed by Him, He left none of “all” who were brought to Him for healing without healing.

Mt 4:24 And his fame went throughout all [holos] Syria: and they brought unto him all [pas] sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.

In the following verse pas has been translated “all manner.” Knowing that pas is sometimes translated thus, I find reason to question the translation of 1Ti 2:4; 4:10. Should these verses also read “all manner” of men? I’m not saying they absolutely should, I am simply pointing out the problem I find with a literal, wooden interpretation of “all.” There are several verses of Scripture that use the words “all” or “every” that merely represent “all” or “every” in view of the context of the passage. Though it is the same Greek word translated “all” it does not always mean every single person.

Mt 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner [pas] of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

CV - Mt. 5:11 Happy are you whenever they should be reproaching an persecuting you and saying every [pas] wicked thing against you, falsifying on My account.

1Ti 2:4 Who will have all [pas; all manner] men to be saved [made whole], and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

What makes me look at the passage in 1Ti 2:4 and doubt the plain language “all men” will be saved? I’ve found that “all” does not necessarily mean all inclusive, as every single person, but on the other hand I’ve also found that “many” never means “all.” Yet I find verses that plainly state that the Son of man gave His life to ransom “many” and not “all.”

If Christ truly were going to redeem every man, how could passages such as this one (and many others) plainly say otherwise? How does one reconcile apparent contradiction forced upon Scripture through viewing “all” in a literal sense to mean every single person?

Mt 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Many Blessings,
RW

Hello RW!

You have re-interpreted many scriptures - and I respect the diligent way you have done so. You have not been callous and have not dis-regarded from all appearances others who hold different positions.

I do have a question however. Does scripture teach that it is NOT Gods will to offer salvation to man and man has a responsibility to choose?

I will offer that God is ultimately in control. Not many would disagree with that. (I hope not anyway)

2 Peter 3
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, [B]not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance

On face value this certainly seems to indicate that The Lord wants all of us to come to repentance. So, since it is also rather apparent, not all DO come to repentance, what does this mean?

A - God doesn't really want everyone to come to repentance, he does not mean all to be inclusive.

B - There is some other will OF GODS that interferes with this. It obviously cannot be the will of Man that gets in the way - saying that is a straw man argument.

You will argue that all does not mean all. I will argue that God has 2 different wills that are at work here. His will that all come to repentance and his will that man choose him. This mirrors the idea of Gods different attributes. Love, Mercy, Justice, etc. Gods Mercy gets in the way of his Judgement. Otherwise none of us would be headed anywhere else besides Hell. Thats the idea I am trying to get across by saying he has 2 different wills.


I will agree that there are many examples in scripture where God says he will save who he wants to. I will agree this is totally true. God is in control, and can over-ride the will of man at any time to achieve his purposes.


I believe it would be helpful to take a look at how the "elect" are chosen.

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.

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:



God chooses the elect based on his foreknowledge! What does that mean?

Does it mean he knew what he wanted to do, and what he had purposed to do, so he used his foreknowledge of his own intentions and thus chose the elect? This honestly does not make sense, but it is the only way I can think of to interpret the passage from your viewpoint. Perhaps you could help with this?

I believe it clearly teaches that he KNOWS what will happen before it does. He KNOWS what we will choose before we even exist. He knew thousands of years ago that we would be having this discussion today. That is the basis of how the elect are chosen.


There are many verses in the bible where we are asked to choose. God DRAWS us, and we choose. It is that drawing that enables us to make a choice for God. We can either do as many of the pharisees did and harden our hearts, or we can humble ourselves and come to him. This was apparent throughout the OT - When Israel turned from him, he sends a prophet to draw them back - they have the choice to come back or not. We see examples of the bad things that came over them when they did this, and also the blessings they got when they DID come back to him. Scripture indicates they had choice!

Regardless of intent, it is my belief that grace is in and of itself cheapened by taking our choice out of it. I can look back at my life when I professed to be an atheist and see how even then God was drawing me to him. I had the gospel preached to me more than once during that time, but I had a hard heart and refused to let him in. God made the ultimate sacrifice to atone for the sins of those who would in many cases STILL reject him, even knowing their fate, and the riches of his mercy.

The entire plan of salvation, the need for salvation and EVERYTHING simply does not flow with the idea that God decided all of our actions beforehand. If God would only choose some, then why bother with 90% of what he created? Why Satan? Why the Fall? Why the need for Jesus and the cross?

Our choice answers all these questions easily, and I believe flow much more closely with scripture itself. I can say with all assurance I do not hold to any "position" such as Armenian, Reformed, etc for the sake of the position, I just go to the scripture and see what it says, and form my understanding from there.

Be Blessed!

RogerW
Mar 3rd 2008, 10:09 PM
Very few would discount that "many" definitely means all of mankind in the first part of the following verse:

Romans 5:19- For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

Hey TM,

Only if "many" is read out of context.

Ro 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Ro 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

Ro 5:16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
Ro 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.
Ro 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.

Ro 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Sin entered the world through Adam, so death by sin came upon all men. Why does vs. 15 say “through the offence of one many be dead”? Since death through one by sin comes upon all men, for all have sinned, does it not stand to reason that through the offense of one “all” be made dead? Yet the passage says “many” be dead, not “all” …why?

Because the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ has abounded unto “many”. How could the text read “through the offence of one “all” be dead” since the gift by grace has abounded to “many”?

Certainly since grace has come to many, the offense of one cannot make all dead. The free gift is of “many” offenses unto justification, not “all” offenses. By one man’s offense death reigns for all not belonging to the many who receive the gift of righteousness in life by one, Jesus Christ.
Just as the offense comes upon all men to condemnation, even so the free gift comes upon all men unto justification of life. Therefore all men remaining in the offense of Adam will be condemned, and all men receiving the righteousness of Christ justification of life.

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.

Through the disobedience of one man, Adam, “many” not “all” were made sinners, so by the obedience of Christ the same “many” not “all” shall be made righteous. All men are made sinners by nature, why does the passage say "many" are made sinners? But the passage in question is not speaking of “all” men, but “many”. If we read this without the statement following, we would be left to believe that only many men are made sinners through the disobedience of the one man, Adam. But the passage tells us who the many are… “so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” The many who are made righteous are the same many who were made sinners, for in Christ we are without sin.

1Jo 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

1Jo 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

Adam’s sin leads to judgment and condemnation to all whom he represents. So too one man’s (Christ’s) obedience and sacrifice brings justification, redemption and life to all whom He represents. This is how we define the many and the all.

Many Blessings,
RW

John146
Mar 3rd 2008, 10:27 PM
Eric,

I appreciate your post and believe me this is not something that I have looked at lightlly.

None of the verses that you posted in any way effect where I stand on scripture. I am limited in what I can say in this forum, because I adhere to the position that God is able and willing to bring all men to repentance and faith in Him, so I am not allowed to go into any detail as to that position but suffice it to say that absolutely none of the verses you posted in any way discount where I personally stand.

That said, I believe that Christ will actually accomplish that which he stated He came for, which was not to "make salvation available" but to save.

I believe that I showed that He came to make salvation available to everyone and did not come to save everyone. If He came to save everyone then why did He say He did not come to bring peace, but a sword? If you are correct that He came to save the world and He will eventually do so then you would need to show me the Scripture that says people can be saved after being cast into the lake of fire. But there is no such Scripture. I understand you're limited in what you can say, so I'll just leave it at that.

John146
Mar 3rd 2008, 10:39 PM
Greetings Eric,

But why did they willingly choose to reject Him? Could they have chosen Him if they had wanted to? Look at the corresponding passage in Luke, and compare it to the words of John.

Lu 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
Lu 19:42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
Lu 19:43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
Lu 19:44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

It's too late! Though Christ shows great compassion, and weeps over the wickedness of the city, the wickedness is too great; the cup is full; mercy is exhausted; and Jerusalem, with all her pride and splendour, the glow of her temple, and the pomp of her service, must perish! Now the way of peace is hidden from their eyes. God has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts that they cannot see with their eyes, nor understand and be converted. It is through their rejection of Christ that salvation has come to the Gentiles.

Why did you choose to not bold the part that says "If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace!"? People with your view always miss the conditional parts of Scripture passages like that one. It is only because they foolishly did not recognize the time of their visitation that God blinded their eyes.



Joh 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
Joh 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Joh 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

Joh 12:40 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.

Is that what God wanted? Just consider this; if the nation had not been rebellious and hard-hearted would salvation have gone unto all the world?

Again, God blinded them because of their unbelief. In Scripture, we can find several examples of God blinding people, hardening people's hearts or giving them over to their sins. But He only does this after they already have blinded themselves or hardened their own hearts. He hardens their hearts to the point of being reprobate for His purposes. This does NOT mean that they never had a chance to repent and believe. But because He will only contend with people for so long, He will give some people over to their sins to serve a purpose. God desires all people everywhere to repent and all to be saved. The answer to your question is yes. Salvation would have gone out into all the world no matter what.

Eric

John146
Mar 3rd 2008, 10:55 PM
Greetings TM,

There is another way to consider these apparent universal passages. We've had this discussion before. An apparent universal passage: 1Tim 2:4- 6 “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”

It is the purpose of God, His desire, His will to save humanity, i.e. “all men” through giving them a knowledge of the truth, i.e. the gospel of salvation (faith comes by hearing the Word Ro 10:17). Christ is the only Mediator between God, and humanity, i.e. men. It is the will of God to preserve humanity through His Son, a ransom for humanity, i.e. “all.”

Those who were given the Son by the Father were chosen from the foundation of the world, and these are supernaturally drawn (Jo 6:44) by the Father, and given the free gift of salvation. These hear the universal gospel, offered to all humanity, and the Holy Spirit applies the message to their hearts giving them ears to hear and be converted. The gospel is offered, salvation is given!

All men = all humanity, but does not mean all people are saved. Rather, it is the will of God that humanity will be redeemed through the grace of Christ alone, and by none other, and God‘s will, will be done.

It is God's will to save humankind, and all humankind that are saved are saved through the will of God. God does not desire, nor will He save all people. If He doesn't will to save all of mankind that will be saved, then no man will be saved. Salvation is of God alone, and none other, and were it not His desire (will) to save the human race, then the human race would all perish. Praise be to God alone that He wills to save all who will be saved!

In the Reformed view there are two schools of thought, that I am aware of (1) When Scripture says that God wills or desires the salvation of all men, it is making a distinction between Jews and Gentiles. Since salvation was to the Jew first, and at one time one would have been born a Jew, or convert to Judaism to be included as God‘s covenant people, the “all men” means “every nation of men.” So under the New Covenant the apostle must be clear to show that salvation has now gone unto all mankind, not exclusively Jews only, but to people from all nations, tribes, and tongues i.e. “all men.” (2) The other view is that it is God’s will, or desire to redeem humankind, and through Christ all men who are predestined to receive eternal life will be saved. Therefore all men, meaning humanity will be redeemed, not all people but all humanity destined from the foundation of the world to be saved. Humanity will be preserved through Christ’ atoning sacrifice.

Reformed Theology is NOT bracketed. Of a certainty it is incorrectly stated by those who don't like it. Understanding Jo 3:16 for what it really teaches is crucial in understanding the Sovereignty of God over human will. So perhaps this is the verse to focuse on.

If I accept Jo 3:16 as the love of God for every human without exception, then I must also accept the fact that many whom God loves will be cast into the lake of fire at the Judgment. How can I find comfort in being loved by God when many, if not most, of those He supposedly loves will one day be forever cast away from Him to endure eternal death? What kind of love is this?

Seeing the logic, some will say, "no, God casts no one away, they cast themselves away by rejecting His love." Where is the love of God for them? Are we not all in the same spiritual state, without spiritual life, and without ability to receive His love for us? Yet not all are left without spiritual life, for some do respond in faith, and turn to Him in love. What kind of love enables only some of those whom He supposedly loves to respond in faith and love? How can this so-called love of God for every man without exception leave so many to eternal damnation? It makes more sense to say He forces some to be His robot rather than consider the horror of the alternative. But God doesn't have to force His love on His people, for God Himself makes His people willing to receive His eternal love.
So how does Reformed Theology understand verses like Jo 3:16? We understand, and accept it for EXACTLY what it says. "For God so loved the world that He gave"... For God so; meaning in this way; in this manner...loved the world; meaning His whole kosmos; orderly arrangement, decoration; everything inhabiting His creation (kosmos). Another way to state Jo. 3:16 “In this manner God shows His love for His entire creation, He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

If Jo 3:16 were saying for God so loved every human being in His created order, why would He then limit this love eternally to only those who believe, and then withhold from some men the ability to believe?

It’s not that I don’t accept the plain teaching of verses that appear to say Christ is the Savior of all men. I attempt to understand the meaning of “all” in a manner that finds harmony with “all” of Scripture. I cannot justify ignoring verses in favor of others because they seem to fit my theology. So how am I to understand or reconcile various verses that appear to be contradictory?

When I look for understanding of the word “all” I find that it is sometimes used to define, not all inclusively, but all in a limited sense. When John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordan the text plainly states “all” Judaea, and “all” the region round about Jordan were baptized, confessing their sins. I know from the abundance of Scripture that not “all” meaning every single person there was baptized by John. So clearly “all” here does not mean every single person.

Mt 3:5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all [pas] Judaea, and all [pas] the region round about Jordan,
Mt 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

This verse in Mt 4:24 is interesting because “all” is defined from two separate Greek words. Holos is a primary word meaning; "whole" or "all", i.e. complete (in extent, amount, time or degree), especially (neuter) as noun or adverb:--all, altogether, every whit, + throughout, whole.

Pas including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole:--all (manner of, means), alway(-s), any (one), X daily, + ever, every (one, way), as many as, + no(-thing), X thoroughly, whatsoever, whole, whosoever.

Through the usage of the word “all” [holos] in the following passage we definitely could say that the fame of Christ was known completely, throughout all or the whole of Syria. But through the usage of the word “all” [pas] could we say that “all” meaning every single diseased and tormented person, possessed with devils, and lunatics, those with palsy were healed by Him? Or would we say that “all” the sick people who were brought to Him were healed? Not that every sick person in “all” [holos] Syria were healed, but most certainly “all” [pas] that were brought to Him for healing were miraculously healed by Him, He left none of “all” who were brought to Him for healing without healing.

Mt 4:24 And his fame went throughout all [holos] Syria: and they brought unto him all [pas] sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.

In the following verse pas has been translated “all manner.” Knowing that pas is sometimes translated thus, I find reason to question the translation of 1Ti 2:4; 4:10. Should these verses also read “all manner” of men? I’m not saying they absolutely should, I am simply pointing out the problem I find with a literal, wooden interpretation of “all.” There are several verses of Scripture that use the words “all” or “every” that merely represent “all” or “every” in view of the context of the passage. Though it is the same Greek word translated “all” it does not always mean every single person.

Mt 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner [pas] of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

CV - Mt. 5:11 Happy are you whenever they should be reproaching an persecuting you and saying every [pas] wicked thing against you, falsifying on My account.

1Ti 2:4 Who will have all [pas; all manner] men to be saved [made whole], and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

What makes me look at the passage in 1Ti 2:4 and doubt the plain language “all men” will be saved? I’ve found that “all” does not necessarily mean all inclusive, as every single person, but on the other hand I’ve also found that “many” never means “all.” Yet I find verses that plainly state that the Son of man gave His life to ransom “many” and not “all.”

If Christ truly were going to redeem every man, how could passages such as this one (and many others) plainly say otherwise? How does one reconcile apparent contradiction forced upon Scripture through viewing “all” in a literal sense to mean every single person?

Mt 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Many Blessings,
RW

Roger,

Many can mean all. For example, Daniel 12:2. Would you agree that verse is speaking of the same resurrection of the dead as John 5:28-29? In Daniel 12, it says many will be resurrected at the same time and John 5:28-29 says all will be resurrected at the same time. Can't all people be many people and many people be all people? Of course. It should not be assumed that many cannot mean all. It also should not be assumed that because He gave Himself as a ransom for all people that that automatically means all people will be saved. Salvation is conditional upon the requirement for people to repent, call on the name of the Lord and believe the gospel. While He did indeed give Himself as a ransom for all people, the story doesn't end there, as universalists believe.

Eric

RogerW
Mar 3rd 2008, 11:26 PM
Hello RW!
You have re-interpreted many scriptures - and I respect the diligent way you have done so. You have not been callous and have not dis-regarded from all appearances others who hold different positions.

I do have a question however. Does scripture teach that it is NOT Gods will to offer salvation to man and man has a responsibility to choose?

Hello Obey,

Do you really believe that salvation is only an offer to be accepted or rejected? I don't believe Scripture teaches this. I believe Scripture teaches us that Christ literally accomplished salvation for all who will be saved. Making salvation an offer instead of a free gift given places the work of salvation upon fallen man. If that be true, who can be saved?

What is our choice upon hearing the gospel of salvation? Do we have some responsibility? Absolutely! When we believe and turn in repentance and faith to Him, do we choose to do this supernaturally, or through the deeds of our flesh?



I will offer that God is ultimately in control. Not many would disagree with that. (I hope not anyway)

I certainly would not!



2 Peter 3
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, [B]not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance

On face value this certainly seems to indicate that The Lord wants all of us to come to repentance. So, since it is also rather apparent, not all DO come to repentance, what does this mean?

A - God doesn't really want everyone to come to repentance, he does not mean all to be inclusive.

B - There is some other will OF GODS that interferes with this. It obviously cannot be the will of Man that gets in the way - saying that is a straw man argument.

You will argue that all does not mean all. I will argue that God has 2 different wills that are at work here. His will that all come to repentance and his will that man choose him. This mirrors the idea of Gods different attributes. Love, Mercy, Justice, etc. Gods Mercy gets in the way of his Judgement. Otherwise none of us would be headed anywhere else besides Hell. Thats the idea I am trying to get across by saying he has 2 different wills.

I will argue that this passage is speaking of God's long-suffering to all who will become saved. He is not willing that any of them should perish, and therefore He will wait until the very last of His children come into the Kingdom before He comes again in the fullness of time. Who are the us-ward in the passage? Is it not the same beloved from the previous verse. Who are His beloved us-ward? Does this define all man, or those who are saved?

2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.



I will agree that there are many examples in scripture where God says he will save who he wants to. I will agree this is totally true. God is in control, and can over-ride the will of man at any time to achieve his purposes.

I believe it would be helpful to take a look at how the "elect" are chosen.

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.

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:

God chooses the elect based on his foreknowledge! What does that mean?

Does it mean he knew what he wanted to do, and what he had purposed to do, so he used his foreknowledge of his own intentions and thus chose the elect? This honestly does not make sense, but it is the only way I can think of to interpret the passage from your viewpoint. Perhaps you could help with this?


What does it mean to be elect according to the foreknowledge of God? Those chosen by God have been ordained to bring forth fruit. It was not that God saw they would bear fruit themselves, but they were chosen (elect) and ordained (appointed; set forth) to bring forth fruit.

Joh 15:16 Ye 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.

Again, God did not see some would be holy and without blame before Him, but some He has chosen (elected) before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before Him in love.

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

God did not see through His foreknowledge that some would believe the truth and become saved of their own free will. Rather God chose (elected) some for salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.

2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

The chosen (elect) are called out of darkness into His marvellous light. It was not that God foreknew they would choose through their free will to turn from darkness unto His marvellous light.

1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:



I believe it clearly teaches that he KNOWS what will happen before it does. He KNOWS what we will choose before we even exist. He knew thousands of years ago that we would be having this discussion today. That is the basis of how the elect are chosen.

I have given you a few verses that indicate that God does not choose who will be saved based upon what we will choose. There is also the passage regarding the choosing of Jacob and rejection of Esau not based upon anything they have done whether good or evil. I will agree that God knows all that will come to pass before it does, but I don't find Scripture that speaks of God's choosing based upon our free will choices. If it were true that God chooses us based upon His foreknowledge that we would respond in faith through our free will to His gospel, isn't that still saying we are saved by grace plus our own good works? If God chooses based upon His foreknowing we would choose for Him, then our salvation is dependent upon our free will choice. How is it salvation by grace if it depends upon the free will choices of fallen man?



There are many verses in the bible where we are asked to choose. God DRAWS us, and we choose. It is that drawing that enables us to make a choice for God. We can either do as many of the pharisees did and harden our hearts, or we can humble ourselves and come to him. This was apparent throughout the OT - When Israel turned from him, he sends a prophet to draw them back - they have the choice to come back or not. We see examples of the bad things that came over them when they did this, and also the blessings they got when they DID come back to him. Scripture indicates they had choice!

I have no disagreement with any of this. Other than adding we can only choose through His drawing because He enables us supernaturally. If He does not give us ability to turn to Him, then we would all be exactly like the pharisees who harden our hearts and refuse to come to Him that we might have life.



Regardless of intent, it is my belief that grace is in and of itself cheapened by taking our choice out of it. I can look back at my life when I professed to be an atheist and see how even then God was drawing me to him. I had the gospel preached to me more than once during that time, but I had a hard heart and refused to let him in. God made the ultimate sacrifice to atone for the sins of those who would in many cases STILL reject him, even knowing their fate, and the riches of his mercy.

But how is His atonement applied to those who reject Him? Is it applied in saving faith and salvation, or applied in the fullness of time at the Judgment Throne of God? Not only does God draw His own, He also gives them ears to hear, and faith to respond. Salvation is all of Christ...none of man. That does not negate the responsibility we have been given to live to Him after we become saved.



The entire plan of salvation, the need for salvation and EVERYTHING simply does not flow with the idea that God decided all of our actions beforehand. If God would only choose some, then why bother with 90% of what he created? Why Satan? Why the Fall? Why the need for Jesus and the cross?

The short answer...for His glory!



Our choice answers all these questions easily, and I believe flow much more closely with scripture itself. I can say with all assurance I do not hold to any "position" such as Armenian, Reformed, etc for the sake of the position, I just go to the scripture and see what it says, and form my understanding from there.

Be Blessed!

What choice does the spiritually dead, fallen sinner have before salvation? If salvation is dependent upon my free will choosing, then there is no hope for me, because fallen, spiritually dead men do not seek the Lord, and will not come to Him for eternal life. I too dislike being labeled, I also go to the Scripture for understanding. I find many would rather place a label on us rather then trying to deal with contradiction an unbiblical doctrine might impose upon the text. Attack is a favorite approach when we cannot refute "thus sayeth the Word."

Many Blessings to you as well!
RW

9Marksfan
Mar 4th 2008, 12:25 AM
I understand. And this is what I mean by reformed must "work within their theology" to fit those verses into their theology. As I said, all the groups do with certain verses.

Arminians and Universalists would state that it is absolutely 100% what God ACTUALLY wills to happen that all men be saved. Reformed would not agree with that statement and say God might desire it but He desires something else more.

I'm not saying you reject the verses I'm just saying that you must interpret them differently than an arminian or a universalist would interpret them at their face value and actually accept that God really does (and I mean truly) will that all men be saved.
The reformed believer does NOT believe that God really does (and I mean truly) will that all men be saved. Romans 9 is the favored passage to prove exactly that.



Well let me share this for your study.

The greek word used in 1 Tim. 2:3-4 (For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.) is "thelo".

It is the exact same greek word that is used in Romans 9:18 (Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.)

Here is something I posted a while back on this issue (forgive the length):

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

When one examines God the Father's "thelo" (translated will or desire in english) one will find no where in scripture where God's "thelo" can ultimately be thwarted by man (* see below).

It is God's will that men not sin and that sin be completely done away with.
Within God's progressive plan of redemption God allows certain things to bring about His ultimate plan of redemption. Part of that is that men sin.

But God's will regarding sin will be accomplished when His plan of redemption is complete. Men will no longer sin and sin will be completely and utterly done away with and man can do nothing to thwart God's plan, desire and will.

God's Thelo

God the Father's will (thelo) in scripture is described as something that will come to pass and man can do nothing to thwart it.

The apostle's view of God's thelo

The apostles viewed God's will in this manner. Let's observe:

Acts 18:21 - but taking leave of them and saying, "I will return to you again if God wills(thelo)," he set sail from Ephesus.

1 Corinthians 4:19 - But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills(thelo), and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant, but their power.

James 4:15 - Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills (thelo), we shall live and also do this or that."

1Peter 3:17 - For it is better, if God should will(thelo) it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.

Romans 9:18 - So then He has mercy on whom He desires(thelo), and He hardens whom He desires(thelo).

Ephesians 1:11 - In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his own will(thelo),

The apostle's obviously believed that God's "thelo" would be accomplished and man was subject to God's will.

Old Testament prophets view of God's thelo

Job 42:2 - "I know that you can do all things;
no plan of yours can be thwarted.

Psalm 115:3 Our God is in heaven;
he does whatever pleases him.

Isaiah 46:10-11 - I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say: My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.
From the east I summon a bird of prey;
from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that will I bring about;
what I have planned, that will I do.

Daniel 4:17,35 - This decision is by the decree of the watchers,
And the sentence by the word of the holy ones,
In order that the living may know
That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,
Gives it to whomever He will,
And sets over it the lowest of men.

All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
He does according to His will in the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can restrain His hand
Or say to Him, “What have You done?”

The Old Testament prophets were adamant that God's "thelo" would be accomplished and there was no power in man to ultimately thwart God's plan.

But Jesus was God and His "thelo" was thwarted

The argument has been put forth that Christ's "thelo" was thwarted therefore God the Father's "thelo" can be thwarted.
The verses used to support this are:

Mark 7:24 - From there He arose and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered a house and wanted no one to know it, but He could not be hidden.

Matthew 23:37 - “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!

The 2 problems with this support are as follows:

1) Jesus Christ was fully human and as human He humbled Himself to desires that, as a human, could be thwarted.

Jesus Christ, being fully human, in a humbled state was subject to the same exact things we as humans experience which is that our desires and will are not always accomplished.

The statement has been made that this takes away Christ's deity. His will could not possibly be different that God's because that would make Him not God.

I propose the following support that Christ most assuredly could have desires that would not be fulfilled (Mark 7:24) and yet still remain fully God and fully human.

a) Christ was tempted (Matthew 4:1
,Hebrews 4:15) and it is impossible for God to be tempted (James 1:13)
If it is impossible for God to be tempted and Christ was tempted then how can He be God? Because He is also fully human and humbled Himself to temptation.

b) Christ declares Himself that, as a human, He is tempted with a desire that is different from God's:
Luke 22:42 - Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will (Thelo), but thine, be done.

2) Specifically regarding Christ's desire for Jerusalem this desire will come to pass and man can do nothing to ultimately thwart that desire. Just like God's ultimate desire concerning sin or salvation cannot be thwarted once the fullness of His plan for redemption is fullfilled.

So God's will (thelo) will be done on earth, as it is in heaven, when His plan of redemption is complete and the cosmos are set right.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

But there is also of course boulomai, which means "purposed" - and is used of Christians being born again "of His own will" - lit. "having willed".

There is more than one "will" of God in Scripture.

obeytheword
Mar 4th 2008, 12:43 AM
Hello Obey,

Do you really believe that salvation is only an offer to be accepted or rejected? I don't believe Scripture teaches this. I believe Scripture teaches us that Christ literally accomplished salvation for all who will be saved. Making salvation an offer instead of a free gift given places the work of salvation upon fallen man. If that be true, who can be saved?

Of course Christ accomplished salvation for all who would be saved. It is the basis of this definition of how the list of those who would be saved that causes us to differ in our interpretation.

I believe man has re-interpreted the passage about grace through faith with such a narrow focus that we have missed the whole point.

Eph 2
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

If you offer me a gift and I refuse it, does that negate that you offered the gift? Not at all.

If I accept it, does that mean I worked for what you have gifted me with? Again, no.

Our accepting salvation in no way even vaguely implies it is work on our part that we can boast about! Might as well say you can boast that you are one of the "elect" - you are boasting about the grace and goodness of God! Not saying you worked for it!




What is our choice upon hearing the gospel of salvation? Do we have some responsibility? Absolutely! When we believe and turn in repentance and faith to Him, do we choose to do this supernaturally, or through the deeds of our flesh?
We ARE supernaturally empowered. That is what scripture means about him drawing us. If he did not, we would not choose to accept him. It is the love he shows in drawing us that does.




I will argue that this passage is speaking of God's long-suffering to all who will become saved. He is not willing that any of them should perish, and therefore He will wait until the very last of His children come into the Kingdom before He comes again in the fullness of time. Who are the us-ward in the passage? Is it not the same beloved from the previous verse. Who are His beloved us-ward? Does this define all man, or those who are saved?

2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

So you will contend he is ONLY talking about true believers here? If he is only talking to the elect, then how could they perish? He is obviously talking about us as in mankind. Unless even the elect can perish? I was under the impression the elect could not perish - that would kinda be Gods will not working would it not?






What does it mean to be elect according to the foreknowledge of God? Those chosen by God have been ordained to bring forth fruit. It was not that God saw they would bear fruit themselves, but they were chosen (elect) and ordained (appointed; set forth) to bring forth fruit.

Joh 15:16 Ye 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.

Again, God did not see some would be holy and without blame before Him, but some He has chosen (elected) before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before Him in love.

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

God did not see through His foreknowledge that some would believe the truth and become saved of their own free will. Rather God chose (elected) some for salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.

2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

The chosen (elect) are called out of darkness into His marvellous light. It was not that God foreknew they would choose through their free will to turn from darkness unto His marvellous light.

1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
You did not address how what you have described is Gods foreknowledge. What is it that God is expressing foreknowledge of that allows for a decision for him to make? If it is not our choice, then what is it? You failed to address that specific point.

John 15:16 - he is speaking to his disciples, and he most certainly chose them.

Eph 1:4 - This does not address how he chooses the elect. It just says us before the foundation of the world - and made it such that we will be holy and without blame before him in love.

2 Thes 2:13 - Again, this does not address HOW he chose the elect. It just says God chose us from the beginning for salvation through sanctification and belief.

We were drawn out, but he chose us not on WHOM he would draw, because it is clear he DRAWS all - but rather that he foreknew who would accept the free gift he was offering.




I have given you a few verses that indicate that God does not choose who will be saved based upon what we will choose. There is also the passage regarding the choosing of Jacob and rejection of Esau not based upon anything they have done whether good or evil. I will agree that God knows all that will come to pass before it does, but I don't find Scripture that speaks of God's choosing based upon our free will choices. If it were true that God chooses us based upon His foreknowledge that we would respond in faith through our free will to His gospel, isn't that still saying we are saved by grace plus our own good works? If God chooses based upon His foreknowing we would choose for Him, then our salvation is dependent upon our free will choice. How is it salvation by grace if it depends upon the free will choices of fallen man?
God can choose to over-ride our free will at any point. And why do you say that his choosing of Jacob over Esau is relevant here? I believe he was both doing exactly what I suggest and looking at the end result - choosing Jacob over Esau because Jacob was better suited to fulfill his plan.

Also to give us a clear example that God will choose who he will, and does not follow the same precepts man does. Just like with King David, another good example - choosing the younger for prominence - Obviously David was well suited.




I have no disagreement with any of this. Other than adding we can only choose through His drawing because He enables us supernaturally. If He does not give us ability to turn to Him, then we would all be exactly like the pharisees who harden our hearts and refuse to come to Him that we might have life.
Agreed - he must draw us.




But how is His atonement applied to those who reject Him? Is it applied in saving faith and salvation, or applied in the fullness of time at the Judgment Throne of God? Not only does God draw His own, He also gives them ears to hear, and faith to respond. Salvation is all of Christ...none of man. That does not negate the responsibility we have been given to live to Him after we become saved.
I would say both. I do not hold a simplistic view of salvation, and that is a little bit off topic, so don't want to derail things. Salvation is not a one step thing that is all done within a minute as some teach. It is multi-faceted.




The short answer...for His glory!
I realize that, but it ignores the question. If we had no free will, then why? I realize the ultimate why is not something to really be answered in the here and now, but literally nothing makes sense in all reality if we do not have choice in the matter - and if we do, MUCH is made rather clear.




What choice does the spiritually dead, fallen sinner have before salvation? If salvation is dependent upon my free will choosing, then there is no hope for me, because fallen, spiritually dead men do not seek the Lord, and will not come to Him for eternal life. I too dislike being labeled, I also go to the Scripture for understanding. I find many would rather place a label on us rather then trying to deal with contradiction an unbiblical doctrine might impose upon the text. Attack is a favorite approach when we cannot refute "thus sayeth the Word."

You are raising straw-man arguments that ignore portions of my post. We agree that God draws us. It is this drawing that enables us to make the choice. It is not a forcing however as my understand of your posiiton ultimately leads.



Many Blessings to you as well!
RW
Be Blessed - proabaly the last post today unless I get a chance later tonight! See you tomorrow.

RogerW
Mar 4th 2008, 01:10 AM
Roger,
Many can mean all. For example, Daniel 12:2. Would you agree that verse is speaking of the same resurrection of the dead as John 5:28-29? In Daniel 12, it says many will be resurrected at the same time and John 5:28-29 says all will be resurrected at the same time. Can't all people be many people and many people be all people? Of course. It should not be assumed that many cannot mean all. It also should not be assumed that because He gave Himself as a ransom for all people that that automatically means all people will be saved. Salvation is conditional upon the requirement for people to repent, call on the name of the Lord and believe the gospel. While He did indeed give Himself as a ransom for all people, the story doesn't end there, as universalists believe.

Eric

Well Eric let's look at the definition of many from Dan 12:2.

The Hebrew word defined manyis rab - by contracted from 7231; abundant (in quantity, size, age, number, rank, quality):--(in) abound(-undance, -ant, -antly), captain, elder, enough, exceedingly, full, great(-ly, man, one), increase, long (enough, (time)), (do, have) many(-ifold, things, a time), ((ship-))master, mighty, more, (too, very) much, multiply(-tude), officer, often(-times), plenteous, populous, prince, process (of time), suffice(-lent).

From rabab - a primitive root; properly, to cast together (compare 7241), i.e. increase, especially in number; also (as denominative from 7233) to multiply by the myriad:--increase, be many(-ifold), be more, multiply, ten thousands.

Authorized Version (KJV) Translation Count — Total: 458
AV (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?strongs=07227&t=KJV#) — many (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=many*+H7227) 190, great (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria= great*+H7227) 118, much (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria= much*+H7227) 36, captain (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria= captain*+H7227) 24, more (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria= more*+H7227) 12, long (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria= long*+H7227) 10, enough (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria= enough*+H7227) 9, multitude (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria= multitude*+H7227) 7, mighty (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria= mighty*+H7227) 5, greater (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria= greater*+H7227) 4, greatly (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria= greatly*+H7227) 3, misc (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria= misc*+H7227) 40

As you can see the definition will not allow the many of Dan 12:2 to be interpreted as all. So apparently Dan 12:2 and John 5:28,29 cannot be speaking of the same resurrection of the dead. Reading Daniel 12 in context it appears to be prophesy of the first advent of Christ, not the second coming in Judgment. If this were speaking of resurrection in the fullness of time why would Daniel be told to shut up the words and seal the book even to the end of time? According to Rev 22 the time for unsealing the book was at the first coming of Christ.

Da 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
Da 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Da 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
Da 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

Re 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

Da 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Considering Daniel 12:2 in light of the definition, I believe that "sleep in the dust of the earth" is not referring to those who have died, but rather to those who sleep in the sense of being slack or languid, spiritual slumber. We are not awakened from this spiritual slumber until we are made alive in Christ.

Ro 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

Those who are awakened from spiritual slumber through the message of the gospel are raised to everlasting life, but those who remain in their sins will be raised to shame and everlasting contempt.

In Jo 5:28,29 Christ has come and He is showing us that in the fullness of time all of humanity will be bodily resurrected to life or damnation.

Many Blessings,
RW

Toolman
Mar 4th 2008, 02:13 AM
I believe that I showed that He came to make salvation available to everyone and did not come to save everyone. If He came to save everyone then why did He say He did not come to bring peace, but a sword?

He brings both but peace is the eternal purpose. The sword will come to pass.


If you are correct that He came to save the world and He will eventually do so then you would need to show me the Scripture that says people can be saved after being cast into the lake of fire. But there is no such Scripture.

There is such scripture and I shared that in the link in post #108. I don't know if you have access to that forum which is linked but I did an extensive exegetical posting of the scripture that provides that proof.


I understand you're limited in what you can say, so I'll just leave it at that.

I am and I've probably already overstepped so I think for now I will probably just have to bow out and allow the arminians and calvinists to continue hashing it out and leave the 3rd orthodox position out of the discussion.

RogerW
Mar 4th 2008, 02:46 AM
Of course Christ accomplished salvation for all who would be saved. It is the basis of this definition of how the list of those who would be saved that causes us to differ in our interpretation.

I believe man has re-interpreted the passage about grace through faith with such a narrow focus that we have missed the whole point.

Eph 2
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

If you offer me a gift and I refuse it, does that negate that you offered the gift? Not at all.

If I accept it, does that mean I worked for what you have gifted me with? Again, no.

Our accepting salvation in no way even vaguely implies it is work on our part that we can boast about! Might as well say you can boast that you are one of the "elect" - you are boasting about the grace and goodness of God! Not saying you worked for it!

Where in Eph 2 do you read salvation is offered to be accepted or rejected? Let's start with vs 5: We are dead in sins, but Christ has, not will, but has quickened us, how...by grace we are saved. If salvation were dependent upon my accepting Christ the verse would read, Christ will quicken us together with Christ. There is no mention of faith in this verse, only that we are saved by grace. Certainly grace is not conditioned upon our acceptance of it, according to this verse.

Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Let's move on to verses 8 and 9. We're saved by His grace, now He will show us how...through faith that is not ours, but His gift to us. So it is not our grace, and it is not faith coming from ourselves. You say that when we are offered a gift we must accept it, and then argue that this gift offered is eternal life.

God uses the analogy of physical birth to help us to understand the reality of spiritual re-birth. Were you offered the gift of physical life? No! Could you have refused to be physically born? No! Physical life is given in the same way spiritual re-birth is given. Neither physical life nor spiritual life are merely offered to be accepted or rejected, both are given without any aid whatsoever from the recepient.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.



So you will contend he is ONLY talking about true believers here? If he is only talking to the elect, then how could they perish? He is obviously talking about us as in mankind. Unless even the elect can perish? I was under the impression the elect could not perish - that would kinda be Gods will not working would it not?

God is assuring us that none of His will perish because He is long-suffering, patiently waiting until all of His children come into the Kingdom. We have His blessed promise that none of them will be lost because He will not come again in Judgment until after the very last Gentile becomes saved. That is why we read, "beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." Whether it takes a thousand years or only one day the Lord will not come again until all of His children are safely in His eternal Kingdom.



You did not address how what you have described is Gods foreknowledge. What is it that God is expressing foreknowledge of that allows for a decision for him to make? If it is not our choice, then what is it? You failed to address that specific point.

The Greek word translated foreknowledge is prognosis - from 4267; forethought:--foreknowledge.

The word foreknow does not mean that God foresaw who would believe, but the word (1Pe 1:2) is fore-ordained, fore-appointed by God from all eternity.

Ac 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

There is a sense in which God knows all men, but in eternal love and grace He knows only His sheep.

Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Joh 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Joh 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Mt 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

The foreknowledge of God is that He predestined according to His eternal purpose that all whom He saves will one day be like His Son. We are chosen in Christ the firstborn from the dead. We are not chosen in ourselves, or through choices we make, we have been, in eternity past, chosen in Christ Jesus. All who have been chosen in Him have been predestined to be conformed to His image.

Ro 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.



John 15:16 - he is speaking to his disciples, and he most certainly chose them.

But Scripture tells us that all who are with Christ are called, chosen, and faithful. Certainly God has chosen all who will be with the Lord!

Re 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.



Eph 1:4 - This does not address how he chooses the elect. It just says us before the foundation of the world - and made it such that we will be holy and without blame before him in love.

The verse tells us we are chosen "in Christ" before the foundation of the world. If we have been chosen in Christ before creation, we certainly are not chosen through our own free will. What do you think it means to be in Him before the foundation of the world?



2 Thes 2:13 - Again, this does not address HOW he chose the elect. It just says God chose us from the beginning for salvation through sanctification and belief.

If we have from the beginning been chosen to salvation, clearly salvation was not according to our free will choices, whether good or evil. Remember Jacob and Esau had done neither good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand.

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;)



We were drawn out, but he chose us not on WHOM he would draw, because it is clear he DRAWS all - but rather that he foreknew who would accept the free gift he was offering.

You do greatly err in thinking of salvation as a free gift offered. Christ really did accomplish salvation for all who would be saved. His cross was far more than a mere offer extended to fallen mankind to accept or reject according to their free will.



God can choose to over-ride our free will at any point. And why do you say that his choosing of Jacob over Esau is relevant here? I believe he was both doing exactly what I suggest and looking at the end result - choosing Jacob over Esau because Jacob was better suited to fulfill his plan.

But as I have already shown above God does not base His election on whether or not one child shows himself to be good or evil. God chose Jacob before he was born as proof that His election is not determined on how good His children will be, but His choosing is according to His Sovereign will.



I would say both. I do not hold a simplistic view of salvation, and that is a little bit off topic, so don't want to derail things. Salvation is not a one step thing that is all done within a minute as some teach. It is multi-faceted.

I believe Scripture shows us that salvation is not only a done deal, we have been saved, but it is also a progression, we are being saved, and it will also be completely fulfilled, we will be bodily resurrected in the fullness of time.




I realize that, but it ignores the question. If we had no free will, then why? I realize the ultimate why is not something to really be answered in the here and now, but literally nothing makes sense in all reality if we do not have choice in the matter - and if we do, MUCH is made rather clear.

Let me ask you, if we have free will, and we also acknowledge that there are none who seek God, but we must through our free will seek Him, repent and believe...who can be saved?



You are raising straw-man arguments that ignore portions of my post. We agree that God draws us. It is this drawing that enables us to make the choice. It is not a forcing however as my understand of your posiiton ultimately leads.

I agree God must draw if we shall be saved. God draws us to the hearing of His Word, and through the hearing we receive supernatural faith enabling us to repent and believe. Where is our free will choice in this? God does not have to force His elect to come to Him for life. God changes our hearts, He makes us willing to come through His Word and Spirit. Again, salvation is of the Lord...all of Him, none of men.



Be Blessed - proabaly the last post today unless I get a chance later tonight! See you tomorrow.

You be blessed as well.
RW

Brother Mark
Mar 4th 2008, 03:25 AM
Wow! Lot's of writing since I left the thread. Hey TM, I enjoyed our discussion. Sorry about checking out so soon. I got busy this afternoon. I am going to move the thread so you guys can continue discussing.

Toolman
Mar 4th 2008, 03:34 PM
Wow! Lot's of writing since I left the thread. Hey TM, I enjoyed our discussion. Sorry about checking out so soon. I got busy this afternoon.

I totally understand.. Life gets busy sometimes :)


I am going to move the thread so you guys can continue discussing.

Excellent Mark.. thanks so much.

I will be glad to freely share with anyone who is interested why I believe that Universal reconciliation is, IMO, the correct biblical theology.

I'll start by saying that I absolutely believe that God is not only willing but also able to save every single individual. That He loves all humans and His will for them is that they be saved and not perish. And that He is able to accomplish His will and purpose. He is wise enough, powerful enough and loving enough to accomplish just that.

For any who are truly interested in understanding evangelical universalism there is no other book that I could recommend more than "The Evangelical Universalist" by Gregory MacDonald. It is an in-depth, theological work that fully addresses the issue of universalism and scripture and how this position is both biblical and systematically theological.
There is no way I can do the subject the same type of justice in this type of forum as MacDonald does in the book. Just the sheer depth of his work would not be able to be duplicated.

But I'll be glad to address any questions as best as I can in regards to the thread's topic.

John146
Mar 4th 2008, 04:06 PM
Hello Obey,

Do you really believe that salvation is only an offer to be accepted or rejected? I don't believe Scripture teaches this. I believe Scripture teaches us that Christ literally accomplished salvation for all who will be saved. Making salvation an offer instead of a free gift given places the work of salvation upon fallen man. If that be true, who can be saved?

Roger,

I believe you are looking at this with faulty logic. Are free gifts forcefully given? Don't people have the option of refusing gifts? Scripture is clear that the gift of salvation and eternal life is only given under certain conditions.

37Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. - Acts 2:37-38

18And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
19Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
20But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
21Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
22Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. - Acts 8:18-22

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 22:17

The free gift is not given unless we repent and put our faith in Christ first. The free gift is offered to "whosoever will".



I will argue that this passage is speaking of God's long-suffering to all who will become saved. He is not willing that any of them should perish, and therefore He will wait until the very last of His children come into the Kingdom before He comes again in the fullness of time. Who are the us-ward in the passage? Is it not the same beloved from the previous verse. Who are His beloved us-ward? Does this define all man, or those who are saved?

2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. It is true that Peter was speaking only to his fellow believers in 2nd Peter. However, he did NOT say that God was ONLY longsuffering towards them. You are making that assumption. But I believe if unbelievers happened to be present at the time, he would have said the same thing (except he wouldn't have called them all "beloved"). But, what does the following passage say?

29Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. 30And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
31Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. - Acts 17:29-31

Does "all men everywhere" not mean all of mankind? You'd be hard pressed to convince me otherwise. Notice that it says that on the day of judgment God will judge the world by the man, Jesus Christ, that He ordained. Certainly, the world means all people in the world in that context. So, all men everywhere means all people in the world. So, now we know that God truly desires literally all people to come to repentance.





What does it mean to be elect according to the foreknowledge of God? Those chosen by God have been ordained to bring forth fruit. It was not that God saw they would bear fruit themselves, but they were chosen (elect) and ordained (appointed; set forth) to bring forth fruit.

Joh 15:16 Ye 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.

Again, God did not see some would be holy and without blame before Him, but some He has chosen (elected) before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before Him in love.

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:But why were they chosen?

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

They were chosen because they chose to put their trust and faith in Jesus Christ. God, in His foreknowledge, knew they would do this and so they were chosen.





God did not see through His foreknowledge that some would believe the truth and become saved of their own free will. Rather God chose (elected) some for salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.

2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:Once again, you quote one verse and leave out the context of the chapter you are quoting from. Let's look at some of the preceding verses.

8And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. - 2 Thess 2:8-12

Why did God choose the "brethren beloved of the Lord" and not those who were deceived by Satan? Just because He felt like it and had no discernable reason for doing so? No! Look at the text. He chose the beloved in part because of their "belief of the truth". He did not choose the unbelievers "because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.". He did not choose them because of their willful decisions to reject the truth. That verse implies had they not rejected the truth and instead received it, they would have been saved just like anyone else who receives the truth is saved.



The chosen (elect) are called out of darkness into His marvellous light. It was not that God foreknew they would choose through their free will to turn from darkness unto His marvellous light.

1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

I have given you a few verses that indicate that God does not choose who will be saved based upon what we will choose.1 Peter 2:9 is speaking of Gentile believers in general. God did choose to have mercy on the Gentile nations and have the gospel go out in power to them so that the spiritual darkness that once dominated those nations would be penetrated with the light of the gospel. In no way does that verse say that God only chose some and not others for no discernable reason.



There is also the passage regarding the choosing of Jacob and rejection of Esau not based upon anything they have done whether good or evil. I will agree that God knows all that will come to pass before it does, but I don't find Scripture that speaks of God's choosing based upon our free will choices.The choosing of Jacob and rejection of Esau only had to do with who would the bloodline of Christ would go through. It does NOT have to do with Jacob being chosen to salvation and eternal life and Esau being chosen to damnation and eternal death. If you read up on Esau and his people, the Edomites, you will see that God blessed them for many years before they became disobedient. I believe you are in grievous error if you think God predetermined Esau to eternal damnation before he was even born. As a matter of fact, I think it is more likely that Esau is in heaven now than that he is in hell.



If it were true that God chooses us based upon His foreknowledge that we would respond in faith through our free will to His gospel, isn't that still saying we are saved by grace plus our own good works?Absolutely not. Faith is not a work. If it was then it would not say we are saved by grace through faith and also say we are not saved by works. Instead, it would say we are saved by grace and not by works, which include faith.



If God chooses based upon His foreknowing we would choose for Him, then our salvation is dependent upon our free will choice. How is it salvation by grace if it depends upon the free will choices of fallen man? It is by both. We are saved by God's grace, which He showed through sacrificing His one and only Son on the cross for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2), through believing in Him so that we shall not perish but have everlasting life.



I have no disagreement with any of this. Other than adding we can only choose through His drawing because He enables us supernaturally. If He does not give us ability to turn to Him, then we would all be exactly like the pharisees who harden our hearts and refuse to come to Him that we might have life. Nowhere does it say that the Pharisees never in their lives had the ability to turn to God. And Jesus said that He would draw all men to Himself. But if you read the parable of the sower you will see what happens to some who are drawn to Him. Some are drawn to Him but then fall away for various reasons. Scripture is clear about that.



But how is His atonement applied to those who reject Him? Is it applied in saving faith and salvation, or applied in the fullness of time at the Judgment Throne of God? Not only does God draw His own, He also gives them ears to hear, and faith to respond. Salvation is all of Christ...none of man. That does not negate the responsibility we have been given to live to Him after we become saved. It does too negate that responsibility. If the requirements of salvation are all on God then we have no responsibility. Also, what that then means is that God somehow has failed or decided not to make salvation available to most of mankind. Why would a God of love do such a thing?



What choice does the spiritually dead, fallen sinner have before salvation? If salvation is dependent upon my free will choosing, then there is no hope for me, because fallen, spiritually dead men do not seek the Lord, and will not come to Him for eternal life.That is incorrect.

Look what David says to his son Solomon when he was still spiritually dead:

9And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever. - 1 Chronicles 28:9

Look what God says to the spiritually dead wicked:

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

You miss the many passages in Scripture that speak about there being conditions that must be met in order for one to be saved. Conditions that we must meet by our own choice to accept them. If we choose to reject them then we will not be saved. You say that the spiritually dead cannot seek the Lord, correct? But God tells "the wicked" and "the unrighteous man" to forsake his way and turn to Him and then he will have mercy upon him. But only then. If that wicked and unrighteous man does not seek the LORD while He may be found and does not forsake his way then he will not receive mercy and will not be saved.

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. - Hebrews 11:6-7

Eric

John146
Mar 4th 2008, 04:28 PM
Well Eric let's look at the definition of many from Dan 12:2.

The Hebrew word defined manyis rab - by contracted from 7231; abundant (in quantity, size, age, number, rank, quality):--(in) abound(-undance, -ant, -antly), captain, elder, enough, exceedingly, full, great(-ly, man, one), increase, long (enough, (time)), (do, have) many(-ifold, things, a time), ((ship-))master, mighty, more, (too, very) much, multiply(-tude), officer, often(-times), plenteous, populous, prince, process (of time), suffice(-lent).

From rabab - a primitive root; properly, to cast together (compare 7241), i.e. increase, especially in number; also (as denominative from 7233) to multiply by the myriad:--increase, be many(-ifold), be more, multiply, ten thousands.

Authorized Version (KJV) Translation Count — Total: 458
AV (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?strongs=07227&t=KJV#) — many (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=many*+H7227) 190, great (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=%20great*+H7227) 118, much (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=%20much*+H7227) 36, captain (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=%20captain*+H7227) 24, more (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=%20more*+H7227) 12, long (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=%20long*+H7227) 10, enough (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=%20enough*+H7227) 9, multitude (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=%20multitude*+H7227) 7, mighty (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=%20mighty*+H7227) 5, greater (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=%20greater*+H7227) 4, greatly (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=%20greatly*+H7227) 3, misc (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=%20misc*+H7227) 40

As you can see the definition will not allow the many of Dan 12:2 to be interpreted as all.

No, I'm not seeing that. None of those say "not all".



So apparently Dan 12:2 and John 5:28,29 cannot be speaking of the same resurrection of the dead. Reading Daniel 12 in context it appears to be prophesy of the first advent of Christ, not the second coming in Judgment. If this were speaking of resurrection in the fullness of time why would Daniel be told to shut up the words and seal the book even to the end of time?

This is truly unbelievable to me. Can you show me the Scripture that speaks about the resurrection that already took place where "many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt"? Surely, if this event already took place, it would be mentioned somewhere in the New Testament as having taken place, would it not?



According to Rev 22 the time for unsealing the book was at the first coming of Christ.

Da 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
Da 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Da 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
Da 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

Re 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

Da 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Considering Daniel 12:2 in light of the definition, I believe that "sleep in the dust of the earth" is not referring to those who have died

Amazing. It's truly unbelievable to me that you take this view.



, but rather to those who sleep in the sense of being slack or languid, spiritual slumber. We are not awakened from this spiritual slumber until we are made alive in Christ.

Ro 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

Those who are awakened from spiritual slumber through the message of the gospel are raised to everlasting life, but those who remain in their sins will be raised to shame and everlasting contempt.

If it is saying regarding those who awake to everlasting life that it is speaking of awaking to spiritual life during this lifetime then why wouldn't it also be saying that those who awake to everlasting contempt awake to spiritual contempt during this lifetime, which would make no sense? Where is the consistency in your view?



In Jo 5:28,29 Christ has come and He is showing us that in the fullness of time all of humanity will be bodily resurrected to life or damnation.

That is what Daniel 12:2 teaches as well.

RogerW
Mar 5th 2008, 12:36 AM
No, I'm not seeing that. None of those say "not all".

What we don't find in the definition for the word "many" in Dan 12:2 is the Hebrew word rab ever once being translated "all." Rab has been translated into English 458 times in the AV, and it has never been translated "all." Therefore it is quite a stretch to say that "many" in this passage means "all."



This is truly unbelievable to me. Can you show me the Scripture that speaks about the resurrection that already took place where "many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt"? Surely, if this event already took place, it would be mentioned somewhere in the New Testament as having taken place, would it not?

Amazing. It's truly unbelievable to me that you take this view.

Daniel is speaking of the spiritual resurrection every believer receives when he is born again. This is why Daniel says "many". If he were speaking of the bodily resurrection we would read "all that sleep in the dust of the earth", just as we read in Jo 5:28.

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 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
Joh 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Joh 3:18 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.

Read the whole context of Daniel 12. When does Michael the great prince stand up for the children of thy people? Read Rev 12 and you find this happened at the beginning of the NT church era.

Re 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
Re 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
Re 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Re 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

And when "shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time"? This too occurs during the NT church era.

Mt 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

When are many turned to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever? Throughout the NT church era.

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:

When will many run to and fro, and knowledge be increased? Does this make any sense if Daniel is speaking of the bodily resurrection in the fullness of time? What was Daniel told when he asks, "O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?" "Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end." When does this time of the end come? Again, the whole NT church era is the time of the end. When are many "purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand." Certainly this does not happen after the bodily resurrection in the fullness of time. Daniel's prophesy looks to the first advent, not the second coming.



If it is saying regarding those who awake to everlasting life that it is speaking of awaking to spiritual life during this lifetime then why wouldn't it also be saying that those who awake to everlasting contempt awake to spiritual contempt during this lifetime, which would make no sense? Where is the consistency in your view?

Those who do not believe are already condemned, in this life.

Joh 3:18 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.



That is what Daniel 12:2 teaches as well.

I would agree that Daniel 12:2 encompasses the whole NT era, culminating with the Second Coming and Judgment. But when we read this chapter in context we cannot assume it speaks only of the final bodily resurrection, especially since the text clearly speaks only of "many" being resurrected, and in the final Judgment "all" are resurrected. The OT prophets all looked for the promise of Messiah to come.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Mar 5th 2008, 02:52 PM
Wow! Lot's of writing since I left the thread. Hey TM, I enjoyed our discussion. Sorry about checking out so soon. I got busy this afternoon. I am going to move the thread so you guys can continue discussing.

Greetings Bro Mark,

I really don't understand why this thread was moved to contro issues since the OP is the sovereignty of God and free will. Here the thread all but dies through lack of participation. You moved the thread to allow discussion of universalism which clearly was not the purpose of the OP. If some wish to begin a discussion of universalism then shouldn't they be required to begin a new thread themselves in a board where this is allowed? Free will and God's sovereignty is a far too important discussion to be limited to relatively few participants.

Rw

Toolman
Mar 5th 2008, 03:10 PM
Greetings Bro Mark,

I really don't understand why this thread was moved to contro issues since the OP is the sovereignty of God and free will. Here the thread all but dies through lack of participation. You moved the thread to allow discussion of universalism which clearly was not the purpose of the OP. If some wish to begin a discussion of universalism then shouldn't they be required to begin a new thread themselves in a board where this is allowed? Free will and God's sovereignty is a far too important discussion to be limited to relatively few participants.

Rw

And to add on there I am perfectly ok with dropping that part of the discussion and allowing the calvinists and arminians to keep discussing the main issue.

I will simply state that universalism, for the record, allows both man's will and God's sovereignty to remain completely intact more than either of those systems IMO.

God is able to bring about His sovereign will of redemption of creation by bringing man to an end of himself. Some take longer than others but God's grace is more than sufficient to bring each man's will in line with God's redemptive purpose.

Tom Talbott describes that here (though I'm personally more reformed in my position he makes some good points):
http://www.willamette.edu/~ttalbott/freewill.html

This post and any others the mods deem neccessary to remove to place the thread back in Bible Chat are fine to remove once those who are currently involved have a chance to read it.

Thanks for letting me get to participate more fully even if just for a short time.

9Marksfan
Mar 5th 2008, 05:31 PM
Yes, I know. There are 5 point calvanist, 3 point calvinist, etc.

Not just that! There are infra-, supra- and sublapsarians! And there are covenant and new covenant theology adherents! And many others.....


What is a hypercalvinist?

Basically a fatalist - they will not preach the gospel top anyone unless they are showing the evidences of a convicting work of the Spirit. They also believe in double predestination/equal ultimacy (ie God deliberately chooses people for Hell in the same way and to the same extent as He chooses people for salvation). It also pretty much negates man's responsibility and makes God the author of sin.


If the offer is genuine, then can a nonelect be saved?

In theory, yes - but will anyone dead in trespasses and sins believe?


If he can't be saved, then how can it be a genuine offer.

But they can! They just have to be willing......


It's like offering a man to get pregnant. Is that a real offer if it can never happen?

No - I'd say it's more like - well, being promised Heaven if you give up everything you have! I mean, no one's going to do that on their own, are they?


Yes. But a lot of Calvinist don't. I am not sure I would use the word efficient but I certainly get your drift. Limited atonement is not one of my favorite doctrines and I think it fails the scripture test. Shoot, scripture says he died for the ungodly and that describes every person in hell.

It also describes all the elect! What word would you use for atonement? Effective? I just wanted something that was assonant with "sufficient"!


Right. But much of the teaching of God's sovereignty eliminates that choice.

Not necessarily.


It is why I push the issue. I think some Calvinist focus so much on God's sovereignty that they create a definition that makes him the will behind sin.

Well look at it this way. Did God give Adam a choice? Yes? Good. Did God know Adam would choose sin? Yes? Good. Could God have prevented Adam from choosing sin? Yes? Good. Did God do that? No. Good. Does that mean that God must have intended Adam to sin, in order that He could show the fulness of His mercy and grace in Christ to countless millions of undeserving sinners down through the centuries? Yes? So God did not force Adam to sin but he did intend that he would, in order that His great salvific purposes would be carried out. But was Adam's choice real? Absolutely! God wasn't forcing him to do anything! But real choices have real consequences.........


Right. But some Calvinist will teach that Jesus loves the world with a different kind of love. It's not a love that will save. I can't find scripture for it. But it is taught in Calvinist circles.

There's some truth in that - common grace -v- special grace is what theologians call it.


ot sure I understand your question. Could you rephrase it for me?

Sorry, I'll need to go back and look at it. The text doesn't show up here!


Thanks. Oh, I am enjoying the conversation with you too.

Good! Me too!

9Marksfan
Mar 5th 2008, 05:34 PM
Brother Mark

Quote:
I could come up with more but those are a decent starting point. For me, much of cavlinism is built around an idea of sovereignty that I don't see taught in scripture, i.e. only what God wills happens.

So what do you think is outwith His sovereign will and purpose, as taught in Scripture (please cite verses that you feel teach this)?

You have said that you think that the concept "only what God wills happens" is an idea of God's sovereignty that is not taught in Scripture. I was asking you what you thought happened that WASN'T God's will - and to give me verses to back it up (btw, I don't mean what God commands "may your will be done" or what God wants - I mean what God decrees/permits to happen).

Brother Mark
Mar 5th 2008, 05:43 PM
Not just that! There are infra-, supra- and sublapsarians! And there are covenant and new covenant theology adherents! And many others.....



Basically a fatalist - they will not preach the gospel top anyone unless they are showing the evidences of a convicting work of the Spirit. They also believe in double predestination/equal ultimacy (ie God deliberately chooses people for Hell in the same way and to the same extent as He chooses people for salvation). It also pretty much negates man's responsibility and makes God the author of sin.

That's one reason I started this thread. To point out that ditch. ;)



In theory, yes - but will anyone dead in trespasses and sins believe?



But they can! They just have to be willing......



No - I'd say it's more like - well, being promised Heaven if you give up everything you have! I mean, no one's going to do that on their own, are they?

Nope. That's why Jesus said he would draw all men to him. All are wooed but all don't respond.



It also describes all the elect! What word would you use for atonement? Effective? I just wanted something that was assonant with "sufficient"!




Not necessarily.

Well, see your first couple of paragraphs. That's what I was getting at.


Well look at it this way. Did God give Adam a choice? Yes? Good. Did God know Adam would choose sin? Yes? Good. Could God have prevented Adam from choosing sin? Yes? Good. Did God do that? No. Good. Does that mean that God must have intended Adam to sin, in order that He could show the fulness of His mercy and grace in Christ to countless millions of undeserving sinners down through the centuries? Yes? So God did not force Adam to sin but he did intend that he would, in order that His great salvific purposes would be carried out. But was Adam's choice real? Absolutely! God wasn't forcing him to do anything! But real choices have real consequences.........

No doubt there are real choices and real consequences. I just differ with the statement that God 'intended' for Adam to sin.


There's some truth in that - common grace -v- special grace is what theologians call it.

I know what they call it but I don't see it in scripture. The word used for love when Jesus loved the rich young ruler is the same word God used in John 3:16. Instead of accepting that God loved the whole world, some Calvinist try to explain away what world means in that verse.


There is a natural tension in all this. For me, the ditch is when we start saying God wants man to sin and that God doesn't love everyone.

obeytheword
Mar 5th 2008, 09:57 PM
Hello RW! - Have been rather busy, and just now getting a chance to respond.


Where in Eph 2 do you read salvation is offered to be accepted or rejected? Let's start with vs 5: We are dead in sins, but Christ has, not will, but has quickened us, how...by grace we are saved. If salvation were dependent upon my accepting Christ the verse would read, Christ will quicken us together with Christ. There is no mention of faith in this verse, only that we are saved by grace. Certainly grace is not conditioned upon our acceptance of it, according to this verse.

Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

I do not believe I stated that I included the Ephesians passage other than to say many have a gross misunderstanding of what a "work" is. Acceptance of a gift is not work. You using the false idea that my acceptance of the free gift offered places the burden of work on man is a rather poorly constructed straw man argument. That was the point of mentioning Eph 2. I would ask that you refrain from mentioning it again unless you wish to insist that my accepting a gift from you means that I have worked for that gift?

Grace is not dependent on my accepting it. As I stated before - if you offer me a gift - my refusal of the gift does not in any way negate the fact you offered it to me. Grace is not negated by my refusal to accept it.




Let's move on to verses 8 and 9. We're saved by His grace, now He will show us how...through faith that is not ours, but His gift to us. So it is not our grace, and it is not faith coming from ourselves. You say that when we are offered a gift we must accept it, and then argue that this gift offered is eternal life.

We agree on this. Faith comes from God. Romans makes this clear.

Romans 12
3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith

God gives each of us a measure of faith. This is speaking to and of believers.


And yes - eternal life IS a gift.

Romans 6
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.




God uses the analogy of physical birth to help us to understand the reality of spiritual re-birth. Were you offered the gift of physical life? No! Could you have refused to be physically born? No! Physical life is given in the same way spiritual re-birth is given. Neither physical life nor spiritual life are merely offered to be accepted or rejected, both are given without any aid whatsoever from the recepient.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.


You are going beyond the word stating that the 2 births are the same in this way. There are analogies, but this is not one of them. It is your opinion that they are the same IN THIS WAY - but it is an opinion only.




God is assuring us that none of His will perish because He is long-suffering, patiently waiting until all of His children come into the Kingdom. We have His blessed promise that none of them will be lost because He will not come again in Judgment until after the very last Gentile becomes saved. That is why we read, "beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." Whether it takes a thousand years or only one day the Lord will not come again until all of His children are safely in His eternal Kingdom.

This involves making all mean something different in several places, and re-defining many passages - making all mean "all the elect"




The Greek word translated foreknowledge is prognosis - from 4267; forethought:--foreknowledge.

The word foreknow does not mean that God foresaw who would believe, but the word (1Pe 1:2) is fore-ordained, fore-appointed by God from all eternity.

Ac 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

Again, you are saying foreknowledge does not really mean what it does. If god CHOOSES based on FOREKNOWLEDGE - what is it he foreknows? You are saying he foreknows what he will do. That is simply not something that the text supports. It says foreknowledge for a reason

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:


NT:4268
pro/gnwsi$
prognosis (prog'-no-sis); from NT:4267; forethought:
KJV - foreknowledge.

NT:4267
proginw/skw
proginosko (prog-in-oce'-ko); from NT:4253 and NT:1097; to know beforehand, i.e. foresee:
KJV - foreknow (ordain), know (before).

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)


Strongs is of course not scripture itself, but it certainly looks like it means to know before. Which while one COULD interpret it how you appear to be doing, that certainly is not the clear interpretation.




There is a sense in which God knows all men, but in eternal love and grace He knows only His sheep.

Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Joh 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Joh 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

This is true, but it is not relevant to the discussion.



Mt 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
If you look a bit further up there is actually some good stuff here (not there is bad stuff in the Word, just good for this discussion:))

Matt 7
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. 13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matt%207;&version=50;#fen-NKJV-23325a)] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

First - it is clear that whomever asks, seeks, and knocks will have the door opened for them. Then it goes on to say (speaking of those who have asked, seeked, and knocked) that you have to be careful of false prophets and their teachings - tells us how to know them - and states at the end that just because someone THINKS they are Gods does not mean they really ARE his - and those that are not really his (exemplified by the bearing of fruit) will be told by the Lord they were never known by him.

I have no problem with this - Verse 23 does not support either of our positions over the other - however the stuff earlier that I highlighted is interesting.



The foreknowledge of God is that He predestined according to His eternal purpose that all whom He saves will one day be like His Son. We are chosen in Christ the firstborn from the dead. We are not chosen in ourselves, or through choices we make, we have been, in eternity past, chosen in Christ Jesus. All who have been chosen in Him have been predestined to be conformed to His image.

Ro 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.

Again, It is the basis that the elect are chosen that is the issue here. Other than that, we will not differ on how this passage is interpreted.




But Scripture tells us that all who are with Christ are called, chosen, and faithful. Certainly God has chosen all who will be with the Lord!

Re 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

The verse tells us we are chosen "in Christ" before the foundation of the world. If we have been chosen in Christ before creation, we certainly are not chosen through our own free will. What do you think it means to be in Him before the foundation of the world?


Yes - we are chosen - but we again do not agree on the basis of the choice.




If we have from the beginning been chosen to salvation, clearly salvation was not according to our free will choices, whether good or evil. Remember Jacob and Esau had done neither good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand.

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;)

I never said it was based on choices they had made up to the point in the womb God made the choice - but rather that the decision was made due to which one God wanted to use, and also as an example to us. God can over-ride us at any point. I believe those decisions are based on the fact that God posesses foreknowledge.




You do greatly err in thinking of salvation as a free gift offered. Christ really did accomplish salvation for all who would be saved. His cross was far more than a mere offer extended to fallen mankind to accept or reject according to their free will.

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

Romans 6
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We have been offered the gift of grace. I just like you can refuse it if I choose to do so. (Not that I am planning that or anything... :))

I will have to say I also believe you err, and in doing so cause many to stumble from unclear and deceptive teaching - regardless of your pure motives.



But as I have already shown above God does not base His election on whether or not one child shows himself to be good or evil. God chose Jacob before he was born as proof that His election is not determined on how good His children will be, but His choosing is according to His Sovereign will.

His choice is His sovereign will.

He also outlines what His will is. That all come to repentance. He also provides a means for all to be saved if they choose to accept it.

None of this is affected by Jacob and Esau.




I believe Scripture shows us that salvation is not only a done deal, we have been saved, but it is also a progression, we are being saved, and it will also be completely fulfilled, we will be bodily resurrected in the fullness of time.

In this we agree




Let me ask you, if we have free will, and we also acknowledge that there are none who seek God, but we must through our free will seek Him, repent and believe...who can be saved?
As we have established - God does the drawing. Scripture says all - you say some.




I agree God must draw if we shall be saved. God draws us to the hearing of His Word, and through the hearing we receive supernatural faith enabling us to repent and believe. Where is our free will choice in this? God does not have to force His elect to come to Him for life. God changes our hearts, He makes us willing to come through His Word and Spirit. Again, salvation is of the Lord...all of Him, none of men.

The short answer is that he draws us - we have a choice at that point to yield and believe, or harder our heart and not believe.

If we believe, we receive a measure of faith just as the scripture in Romans says.




You be blessed as well.
RW

Be Blessed

Brother Mark
Mar 5th 2008, 09:59 PM
You have said that you think that the concept "only what God wills happens" is an idea of God's sovereignty that is not taught in Scripture. I was asking you what you thought happened that WASN'T God's will - and to give me verses to back it up (btw, I don't mean what God commands "may your will be done" or what God wants - I mean what God decrees/permits to happen).


Well, did God decree for Adam to sin?

Toolman
Mar 5th 2008, 10:03 PM
Well, did God decree for Adam to sin?

Bro Mark,

Do you believe that God decreed that certain men should sin by killing Christ?

Brother Mark
Mar 5th 2008, 10:17 PM
Bro Mark,

Do you believe that God decreed that certain men should sin by killing Christ?

No. Any man would have done ok. Didn't have to be a certain one. ;) At that point in time, sin was in the world. Jesus had to die, and God used the wickedness of man to bring that about. But with Adam, sin wasn't in the world. They are different.

Toolman
Mar 5th 2008, 10:25 PM
No. Any man would have done ok. Didn't have to be a certain one. ;) At that point in time, sin was in the world. Jesus had to die, and God used the wickedness of man to bring that about. But with Adam, sin wasn't in the world. They are different.

I understand they may be different but my point is did God decree that certain men (not just any man but the ones who actually did it) would kill Christ?

Did God decree that this sin would be committed by these men specifically?

Brother Mark
Mar 5th 2008, 10:26 PM
I understand they may be different but my point is did God decree that certain men (not just any man but the ones who actually did it) would kill Christ?

Did God decree that this sin would be committed by these men specifically?

Not that I am aware of. Maybe he prophesied it though.

Toolman
Mar 5th 2008, 10:37 PM
Not that I am aware of. Maybe he prophesied it though.

Here is a bit of scripture to chew on that I believe addresses the issue:

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.

Acts 4:24-28 - And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, "O Lord, it is You who MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA, AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM,
who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said,
'WHY DID THE GENTILES RAGE,
AND THE PEOPLES DEVISE FUTILE THINGS?
'THE KINGS OF THE EARTH TOOK THEIR STAND,
AND THE RULERS WERE GATHERED TOGETHER
AGAINST THE LORD AND AGAINST HIS (E)CHRIST.'
"For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,
to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.

Isaiah 53:10 - But the LORD was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.

Brother Mark
Mar 5th 2008, 11:14 PM
Here is a bit of scripture to chew on that I believe addresses the issue:

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.

Acts 4:24-28 - And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, "O Lord, it is You who MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA, AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM,
who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said,
'WHY DID THE GENTILES RAGE,
AND THE PEOPLES DEVISE FUTILE THINGS?
'THE KINGS OF THE EARTH TOOK THEIR STAND,
AND THE RULERS WERE GATHERED TOGETHER
AGAINST THE LORD AND AGAINST HIS (E)CHRIST.'
"For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,
to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.

Isaiah 53:10 - But the LORD was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.

No problems with any of those passages. It was a foreordained event. But you asked me if any one man was predestined to do the job. I don't think he was.

Toolman
Mar 5th 2008, 11:26 PM
No problems with any of those passages. It was a foreordained event. But you asked me if any one man was predestined to do the job. I don't think he was.

So it was a foreordained (decreed) act of sin.

And I did not ask if any "one man" was predestined to do the job but if the specific men who did the job, the actual ones who were involved, were predestined to do the job as described in Acts 4. Did God foreordain that these specific men would put Christ to death (according to scripture)?

Brother Mark
Mar 5th 2008, 11:28 PM
So it was a foreordained (decreed) act of sin.

And I did not ask if any "one man" was predestined to do the job but if the specific men who did the job, the actual ones who were involved, were predestined to do the job as described in Acts 4. Did God foreordain that these specific men would put Christ to death (according to scripture)?

Here again is the issue I have with the difference. My point goes back to Adam and who is the author of sin. It was "before" the world was fallen.

God preordained the sacrifice and the death. The sin however, was what he used to bring it about. For instance, the same point can be made with Babylon or the Chaldeans of the OT. He raised them up to judge Israel. But, he then judged them for what they did. The point? There is a difference between using sin to bring about purpose and willing sin to occur. I chose Adam as an example for a very good reason. ;) It was before sin had entered into the world. No need for God to use it yet. When Adam fell, there were things put in place that changed the issue. God was going to test people but now evil was loosed. Job was going to be tested. Before the fall, the testing would not have had to include death and disease. After the fall, the curse entered and death and disease became part of the experience.

Toolman
Mar 6th 2008, 01:43 AM
Bro Mark,

You did not answer my question just for the record :)

Did God foreordain that these specific men would put Christ to death (according to scripture)?


God preordained the sacrifice and the death. The sin however, was what he used to bring it about.

You cannot preordain a death without having sin being involved.

Seems like quite a bit of use of terms here that I think we need to define before moving forward.

When you use the following terms what do you mean:

1) Author of sin
2) Foreordain
3) Decree


For instance, the same point can be made with Babylon or the Chaldeans of the OT. He raised them up to judge Israel. But, he then judged them for what they did. The point? There is a difference between using sin to bring about purpose and willing sin to occur.

Did God will that these certain men would put Christ to death (according to scripture). Was it His foreordained plan that these specific men, at this specific time in history would kill Christ?


I chose Adam as an example for a very good reason. ;) It was before sin had entered into the world. No need for God to use it yet.

Well, perhaps there is a reason for God to use it but we'll get into that after we determine did God actually ordain that certain men were to sin by killing Christ.

Let's have an analogy to help define some terms.

Let's say there was a king who had the superpower of being able to completely see the future and what events would occur if certain actions were taken.

So, let's say this king could foresee that if he sent one of his knights to another city that that knight would run into one of their enemies in that city and a confrontation would occur and from this confrontation his knight would be killed and a war would be the result of this action.

The king had full foreknowledge that if he took these actions that this would be the result.

If the king then sent the knight to the other city would you perceive that he had foreordained and purposed that the war would occur?

He did not force the knights, against their will, to fight but he set in motion events that he knew beyond a shadow of doubt would result in war beginning.

Is he the author of the war? Did he foreordain it? Did he decree it would happen? Did he take action to make it happen?

Now, when God set history in motion did he have full knowledge that the men who killed Christ would do so? Did He set the world in such a way as to bring about His foreordained purpose by doing so?

RogerW
Mar 6th 2008, 02:46 AM
I do not believe I stated that I included the Ephesians passage other than to say many have a gross misunderstanding of what a "work" is. Acceptance of a gift is not work. You using the false idea that my acceptance of the free gift offered places the burden of work on man is a rather poorly constructed straw man argument. That was the point of mentioning Eph 2. I would ask that you refrain from mentioning it again unless you wish to insist that my accepting a gift from you means that I have worked for that gift?

What free gift OFFERED? Salvation is NOT a free gift merely offered, it is a free gift GIVEN. Christ did not die on the cross, and resurrect from the dead to merely offer salvation. His death and resurrection actually accomplished salvation. That's what Eph 2 is all about. "By grace ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" His grace through faith that does not come from within, but is GIVEN us that we can believe. Where is this free gift of eternal life you say is merely offered, and not given?



Grace is not dependent on my accepting it. As I stated before - if you offer me a gift - my refusal of the gift does not in any way negate the fact you offered it to me. Grace is not negated by my refusal to accept it.

This is my point...grace is not dependent on our accepting or refusing it. Nor is His free gift of salvation dependent upon our accepting or refusing it. Righteousness is imputed (not offered) enabling us to believe God. Saving faith is the work of Christ, Who was promised of God, sent by God, bruised by God, raised by God and seated victoriously on the Father's right hand.

Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

2Th 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
2Th 1:12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ro 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
Ro 4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

Ro 4:11 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:



We agree on this. Faith comes from God. Romans makes this clear.

Romans 12
3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith

God gives each of us a measure of faith. This is speaking to and of believers.

Yes faith is a gift from God. Where do we find this free gift of faith unto salvation is something merely offered? God gives this free gift, and it is not dependent upon our accepting or rejecting it.



And yes - eternal life IS a gift.

Romans 6
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Yes, eternal life is a gift. God has from the beginning chosen those to salvation, and these are called through the gospel to obtain glory. We don't read that God offers salvation to those chosen from the beginning. Salvation is not an offer to be accepted or refused, salvation is GIVEN through the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit. Where do we find this so-called offer you keep insisting we must accept?

2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
2Th 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.



You are going beyond the word stating that the 2 births are the same in this way. There are analogies, but this is not one of them. It is your opinion that they are the same IN THIS WAY - but it is an opinion only.

This discourse between Christ and Nicodemus very clearly equates physical birth with Spiritual birth.

Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Joh 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Joh 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.



Again, you are saying foreknowledge does not really mean what it does. If god CHOOSES based on FOREKNOWLEDGE - what is it he foreknows? You are saying he foreknows what he will do. That is simply not something that the text supports. It says foreknowledge for a reason

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:

What I am saying is that God foreknows His own, whom He has predestined unto eternal life and written their names in the Lambs book of life before the foundation of the world. As I said, in a providential way God knows all people, but He savingly knows only His sheep. Christ knows His sheep, and it is for them that He lays down His life.

Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Joh 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Joh 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Joh 1:48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

Joh 2:24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
Joh 2:25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

Joh 5:42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.



First - it is clear that whomever asks, seeks, and knocks will have the door opened for them. Then it goes on to say (speaking of those who have asked, seeked, and knocked) that you have to be careful of false prophets and their teachings - tells us how to know them - and states at the end that just because someone THINKS they are Gods does not mean they really ARE his - and those that are not really his (exemplified by the bearing of fruit) will be told by the Lord they were never known by him.

Who will ask, seek and knock? There is none righteous, no not one, there is none that understands, there is none that seek God.



I have no problem with this - Verse 23 does not support either of our positions over the other - however the stuff earlier that I highlighted is interesting.

Verse 23 tells us that those who did good works in His name thinking to earn salvation were not savingly known by Christ.



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

Romans 6
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We have been offered the gift of grace. I just like you can refuse it if I choose to do so. (Not that I am planning that or anything... :))

I will have to say I also believe you err, and in doing so cause many to stumble from unclear and deceptive teaching - regardless of your pure motives.

Again, please provide Scripture showing that the free gift of salvation is an offer and not GIVEN. The problem with what you teach is that your makes man sovereign in salvation, where I believe Scripture teaches that God is sovereign in salvation. Once more where do you find salvation is an offer to be accepted or rejected? Salvation is not offered, it is GIVEN!



He also outlines what His will is. That all come to repentance. He also provides a means for all to be saved if they choose to accept it.

Christ came to do the Father's will, which is to lose none whom the Father has given Him. Where do we read it is the Father's will that Christ provide a means for all to be saved if they choose to accept it?

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.



As we have established - God does the drawing. Scripture says all - you say some.

Joh 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

The Lord is not the Savior of the Jews only, but the Savior of the whole world. If this means "all" inclusive of every man then even those who have already died in unbelief will be born again.

Joh 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Joh 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

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.



The short answer is that he draws us - we have a choice at that point to yield and believe, or harder our heart and not believe.

If we believe, we receive a measure of faith just as the scripture in Romans says.

Be Blessed

We can only choose that which is of our nature to choose. Prior to becoming saved we will always choose to reject Christ, and we do not receive faith without His imputation of righteousness.

Many Blessings,
RW

VerticalReality
Mar 6th 2008, 06:43 PM
It was before sin had entered into the world. No need for God to use it yet. When Adam fell, there were things put in place that changed the issue. God was going to test people but now evil was loosed. Job was going to be tested. Before the fall, the testing would not have had to include death and disease. After the fall, the curse entered and death and disease became part of the experience.

Not to interject, but it sounds by this post of yours, Brother Mark, that you believe things weren't predestined until after Adam sinned.

Brother Mark
Mar 6th 2008, 08:09 PM
Bro Mark,

You did not answer my question just for the record :)

Did God foreordain that these specific men would put Christ to death (according to scripture)?

I thought I did.

God foreordained that Jesus would die. He did not foreordain that man would sin in killing him. That's the point. God doesn't cause man to sin. But he will use man's sin to bring about his purpose.

But, because of the scriptures you pose, that is why I go back to the beginning with Adam. God did not WILL Adam to sin nor did he WILL men to crucify Christ.

RoadWarrior
Mar 6th 2008, 08:28 PM
...God foreordained that Jesus would die. He did not foreordain that man would sin in killing him. That's the point. God doesn't cause man to sin. But he will use man's sin to bring about his purpose.

... God did not WILL Adam to sin nor did he WILL men to crucify Christ.

Against my better judgement, I keep reading this thread! But I'm here because I want to support Brother Mark in his position. When I hear and read the Calvinistic viewpoints it seems to me that it is "much ado about nothing". The imagery that keeps coming to my mind in recent days, relative to this particular thread, is that you guys are minutely examining God's fingernails and completely missing that He is a whole complete person.

The problem with setting up a theology (Calvin or Arminian) and trying to make all of scripture fit into the theology, is that you lose the full and wonderful reality of God Himself. It gets you stuck in a rut, and you go round and round, deeper and deeper. The deeper your rut gets, the less you will be able to see the totality of God.

There is more to God than whether or not He has fingernails.

Toolman
Mar 6th 2008, 08:35 PM
I thought I did.

God foreordained that Jesus would die. He did not foreordain that man would sin in killing him.

Mark,

How could God foreordain that Jesus would be killed without foreordaing that someone would do the killing? In fact we see in the Law that the High Priest was the one who put to death the atoning animal. So with Israel (and the high priest) delivering Christ to be crucified.

Also, as I examine the text I do not see justification for this position:

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.

Acts 4:24-28 - "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,
to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.


Where in what the apostles state above do you determine that God foreordained that Christ would be killed but did not foreordain that the specific people mentioned (in Acts 4) would do the killing?

So, I ask again... Did God foreordain that these specific men would put Christ to death (according to this scripture)?

Did God predestine that Christ would be killed by these particular people in the particular way that His hand had purposed?

It seems to me that you are falling into that ditch that you warn others of. You are disregarding what the scripture says here of God's sovereignty regarding the death of Christ.


That's the point. God doesn't cause man to sin. But he will use man's sin to bring about his purpose.

You will notice in my analogy of the king and the knight that the king did not "cause" the knights to fight but he absolutely knew full well that if he put certain events into action what the result would be 100%. He determined to place events in such a way as to "cause" things to occur the way he wanted them to occur.

So to with God's sovereignty. God knew absolutely 100% that when He created the world that these men would kill Christ at exactly the time that they would and this was how God decided to create the world so that it would happen according to exactly how He purposed for it to happen.

We can wrangle over words like "foreordain, decree, causes and uses" but the truth of God's sovereignty stands. God chose to create the world in such a way as to fit His plan and purpose and he decreed (by His action) that this is what would occur.



But, because of the scriptures you pose, that is why I go back to the beginning with Adam. God did not WILL Adam to sin nor did he WILL men to crucify Christ.

Well, I guess we could get into a "Clintonesque" discussion of what the word "will" means but the text clearly states:

"delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God"

and

to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur

What does "your hand and your purpose predestined to occur" mean if not that these men would kill Christ, which is exactly what the context is speaking of.

You can't seperate the decree to being killed from the decree that someone do the killing.

God willed that the world be created in such a way that these men would kill Christ. He predertermined exactly what would occur and created the world is such a way as it would exactly occur as He had predestined it to occur.

The same is true with all of creation including Adam.

I really don't care about wrangling over words like "decree, foreordain, will" etc. Those can mean different things to different people as they choose to define them.

But I do think it important to recognize the sovereignty of God in His control over all of the universe and not watering that down and falling into one of those ditches.

Brother Mark
Mar 6th 2008, 08:46 PM
Mark,

How could God foreordain that Jesus would be killed without foreordaing that someone would do the killing? In fact we see in the Law that the High Priest was the one who put to death the atoning animal. So with Israel (and the high priest) delivering Christ to be crucified.

There's a difference between shadows, prophecy and foreordaining. As I mentioned before, God can foreordain that Jesus die at the hands of sinners, he knows when that generation will be here, delivers Christ and they do what is in their hearts. He doesn't have to WILL that they do it. All he has to do is provide them the opportunity and they will do it.

That's the point of the OT passages when Christ raised up the Chaldeans. He used them to judge those more righteous than they were. They just did what was in their heart and God judged them for it. But he used the evil that was in them to fulfill his purpose. That is far different than causing the evil to occur.


Where in what the apostles state above do you determine that God foreordained that Christ would be killed but did not foreordain that the specific people mentioned (in Acts 4) would do the killing?

I think I explained that above. He rode the evil in man but did not WILL man to sin.


Did God predestine that Christ would be killed by these particular people in the particular way that His hand had purposed?

Should I say it again? ;)



It seems to me that you are falling into that ditch that you warn others of. You are disregarding what the scripture says here of God's sovereignty regarding the death of Christ.

I don't see that. But it's OK if you think it so.

Toolman
Mar 6th 2008, 09:05 PM
There's a difference between shadows, prophecy and foreordaining. As I mentioned before, God can foreordain that Jesus die at the hands of sinners, he knows when that generation will be here, delivers Christ and they do what is in their hearts. He doesn't have to WILL that they do it. All he has to do is provide them the opportunity and they will do it.

They will do what He wants them to do... right? Which is kill Christ.

Did God want these men to kill Christ? Is that what God wanted to happen?

If that is not what He wanted then why did the foreordain that it happen?

Like I said we can wrangle over words like "will" but I find that somewhat fruitless.


That's the point of the OT passages when Christ raised up the Chaldeans. He used them to judge those more righteous than they were. They just did what was in their heart and God judged them for it. But he used the evil that was in them to fulfill his purpose. That is far different than causing the evil to occur.

Well, lets get down to the brass tacks.

My point is not that God somehow entered these men and forced them by His Spirit to kill Christ. That would be outside what scripture declares and would be God causing them to sin.

But my point is that God, with full foreknowledge and purpose created the world in such a way that He absolutely knew this sin would occur and He purposed that it would occur in line with exactly what He planned.
He was sovereign in creating the world in such a way that this sin would absolutely occur and that sin was in absolute accord with what He wanted to happen. His hand predestined that it would occur by His sovereignty over creation.

That is what scripture declares regarding God's sovereignty. He doesn't cause men to sin by possessing them but He wills sin to happen by His sovereignty over creation. He wanted this sin to occur and created the world in such a way as that is exactly what happened to the letter.


I think I explained that above. He rode the evil in man but did not WILL man to sin.

Should I say it again? ;)

Nah... you don't have to say it again... I just see that falling into one of those ditches you spoke of... wrangling over the word "will" IMO.


I don't see that. But it's OK if you think it so.

That's cool. If it gives us both something to meditate on, ponder and seek God over then its a good thing :)

Toolman
Mar 6th 2008, 09:35 PM
And Mark... I just want to say that though we see things a bit differently here I do appreciate you as a brother in Christ and always enjoy your posts and your spirit on this board.

That sometimes gets lost when we discuss certain topics but just wanted to affirm that :)