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Cyberseeker
Oct 11th 2008, 10:44 AM
The atonement is universal. Yes?

So, does this keep Calvies (and Minnies) happy?


http://5loaves2fishes.net/files/images/justification.gif


Cyberseeker

Sold Out
Oct 11th 2008, 12:54 PM
I love this!!!!!!!!!

RogerW
Oct 11th 2008, 01:14 PM
The atonement is universal. Yes?
Cyberseeker

When you say that atonement is universal, do you mean that every man will be saved? This is how I understand universal atonement.

Many Blessings,
RW

theBelovedDisciple
Oct 11th 2008, 02:20 PM
When you say that atonement is universal, do you mean that every man will be saved? This is how I understand universal atonement.

Many Blessings,
RW

I have the same question as Roger.... I'm curious as to what you consider 'universal atonement'.....

Redeemed by Grace
Oct 11th 2008, 02:28 PM
I have the same question as Roger.... I'm curious as to what you consider 'universal atonement'.....


Ditto... And I also have a problem with the "7 steps...'' Making salvation like a diet or personal improvement plan... :lol:

9Marksfan
Oct 11th 2008, 03:52 PM
Ditto... And I also have a problem with the "7 steps...'' Making salvation like a diet or personal improvement plan... :lol:

Er, it's 6, isn't it? ;)

But they're all gloriously true - for EVERY believer! In that sense, yes - I agree - the atonement IS universal - for EVERY believer in EVERY time!!!!!!

Cyberseeker
Oct 11th 2008, 06:16 PM
When you say that atonement is universal, do you mean that every man will be saved? This is how I understand universal atonement.

Many Blessings,
RW

By universal I mean ...

And He is the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins, and not for ours alone but also for [the sins of] the whole world.
(1 John 2:2 amp)

... but will every man will be saved? Good question. Hence the steps.

Cyberseeker
Oct 11th 2008, 06:30 PM
... like a diet or personal improvement plan... :lol:

Have another look. They are all Gods steps except #5

But if you want to run up and down as well, you'll be an eighteen year-old in the resurrection. ;)

Cyber

RogerW
Oct 11th 2008, 07:35 PM
By universal I mean ...

And He is the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins, and not for ours alone but also for [the sins of] the whole world.
(1 John 2:2 amp)

... but will every man will be saved? Good question. Hence the steps.

Greetings Cyberseeker,

I'm not sure you answered my question by posting 1Jo 2:2. This is an interesting verse. In saying Christ's death atones for the sins of the whole world, do you believe "whole world" means every single human? If "whole world" does mean every human, then of course every single human ever born would be saved. Is this what you mean, and what you believe 1Jo 2:2 tells us?

Many Blessings,
RW

Redeemed by Grace
Oct 11th 2008, 07:40 PM
Er, it's 6, isn't it? ;)

But they're all gloriously true - for EVERY believer! In that sense, yes - I agree - the atonement IS universal - for EVERY believer in EVERY time!!!!!!

Your are right... Brain saw 6, finger typed 7... :)

Redeemed by Grace
Oct 11th 2008, 07:44 PM
Have another look. They are all Gods steps except #5

But if you want to run up and down as well, you'll be an eighteen year-old in the resurrection. ;)

Cyber


Faith comes from God... so to the steps in point - all steps are from God... I guess my question is as with Roger, are you calling this universal atonement to all men ever created?


Scripture is clear that it is not every man though.

theBelovedDisciple
Oct 11th 2008, 08:58 PM
but will every man will be saved? Good question. Hence the steps.
----------------------------------------------------------------

I believe Jesus answered those words with these teachings......


Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,

Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will
seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

For many are called, but few [are] chosen.


When God saves you : He starts it
and He finishes it...

Vhayes
Oct 11th 2008, 11:11 PM
Greetings Cyberseeker,

I'm not sure you answered my question by posting 1Jo 2:2. This is an interesting verse. In saying Christ's death atones for the sins of the whole world, do you believe "whole world" means every single human? If "whole world" does mean every human, then of course every single human ever born would be saved. Is this what you mean, and what you believe 1Jo 2:2 tells us?

Many Blessings,
RW
I'm not Cyberseeker but I believe Jesus paid the debt for ALL the sins of ALL mankind with His death. Whether we accept that payment or not is our choice.

I Timothy 4
10 - For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.


II Peter 3
9 - The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Cyberseeker
Oct 12th 2008, 03:04 AM
I believe Jesus paid the debt for ALL the sins of ALL mankind with His death. Whether we accept that payment or not is our choice.

Exactly VH!

Misunderstanding exists in Calvinist logic relating to 'limited atonement' and this is what the diagram explains.

Explaining away New (and old) Testament scripture teaching that Messiah would bring universal atonement to the World, Calvinists ask the question, "Does that mean all people will be saved?" I have heard the charge many times that Arminians are inconsistent – that there are only two possible positions. Either 1John 2:2 doesn’t mean what it says (the Calvinist position) or all people will eventually be saved. (Universalism)

But it is consistent to say atonement is universal yet only those who appropriate it actually receive.

My diagram shows how atonement works. Here it is using 'steps' to illustrate:


Christ is the atoning sacrifice
My guilt is imputed to him
God is propitiated <<< This is Universal
Justice is satisfied
We have faith in his blood
His righteousness is credited to me <<< This is Individual


Diagram again:
http://5loaves2fishes.net/node/163

SW28fan
Oct 12th 2008, 04:01 AM
I learned it this way: Christ's atonement was Sufficient for all but efficient for only those who believe (the elect).


Two Seminary students were discussing a passage of Scripture after hearing the first fellow's take on it the second asks: "Are you by chance a Calvinist?" The first one gets a shocked expression and replies:
"By Chance!!!!!":)

Chimon
Oct 12th 2008, 08:04 AM
I have the same question as Roger.... I'm curious as to what you consider 'universal atonement'.....


A lot of times Arminians and Calvinists have such trouble arguing because they define terms like 'universal atonement' 'freedom' and 'responsibility' differently. Universal Atonement is generally contrasted with Limited Atonement. Limited Atonement is the idea that Christ only came to earth and died for some people (the elect) not everyone. Universal Atonement states that Christ died for all people. This does not necessarily mean that everyone is saved without trusting in Christ, although that is the interpretation some take. Others would say that it is merely Universal in the sense that Christ died for everyone, and extends his offer of grace to all, for them to reject or accept.

Some people get around this issue by saying that Christ's atonement was universal in that it could have saved everyone, but limited in that it does save only those who believe in him,

9Marksfan
Oct 12th 2008, 09:46 PM
I learned it this way: Christ's atonement was Sufficient for all but efficient for only those who believe (the elect).


Two Seminary students were discussing a passage of Scripture after hearing the first fellow's take on it the second asks: "Are you by chance a Calvinist?" The first one gets a shocked expression and replies:
"By Chance!!!!!":)

:rofl::rofl::rofl:

That's what I would have said too!!!!!

9Marksfan
Oct 12th 2008, 09:49 PM
A lot of times Arminians and Calvinists have such trouble arguing because they define terms like 'universal atonement' 'freedom' and 'responsibility' differently. Universal Atonement is generally contrasted with Limited Atonement. Limited Atonement is the idea that Christ only came to earth and died for some people (the elect) not everyone. Universal Atonement states that Christ died for all people. This does not necessarily mean that everyone is saved without trusting in Christ, although that is the interpretation some take. Others would say that it is merely Universal in the sense that Christ died for everyone, and extends his offer of grace to all, for them to reject or accept.

Some people get around this issue by saying that Christ's atonement was universal in that it could have saved everyone, but limited in that it does save only those who believe in him,

But that is surely the truth? The problem with the universal atonement theory is that it teaches that Christ's death actually saved NO ONE - it only made salvation POSSIBLE. Therefore we save ourselves by atoning for the one sin not covered that will damn us - our unbelief - we atone for it by believing - this is actually salvation by our own "work" of faith.

BroRog
Oct 12th 2008, 10:19 PM
The debate about Limited Atonement assumes an economic model of atonement in which Jesus satisfied our debt to justice. If one does not adopt this model, the problem is solved. I think a re-examination of the scriptures will reveal that the debt-payment model is not the Biblical model.

Calvinists adopted the Limited atonement doctrine in response to St. Anselm's Satisfaction theory of the atonement. If St. Anselm was right, that Christ's death on the cross was punitive, satisfying our debt to justice, then by all rights, God would owe everyone salvation. Since this is an absurd conclusion to St. Anselm's model, theologians adopted the doctrine of limited atonement, which concluded that if Christ's death was a satisfactory punitive substitute for our sins, it must only apply to those whom God has actually forgiven, not everybody who ever lived.

What theologians should have done, in my opinion, was to reject St. Anselm's model and find a new one, rather than attempt to patch it.

Cyberseeker
Oct 12th 2008, 11:41 PM
Has 2000 years gone by and the Church still trying to figure out what atonement means?

What model of atonement would you recommend Rog?

BroRog
Oct 13th 2008, 12:35 AM
Has 2000 years gone by and the Church still trying to figure out what atonement means?

What model of atonement would you recommend Rog?

Arbitration, I think.

In some systems of justice it is appropriate for a Judge to arbitrate between two parties to see what conditions would satisfy the damaged party. Arbitration offers the advantage that some third party beside the defendant can offer something of value to the plaintiff. If the plaintiff accepts the offering, the defendant is freed from his or her obligation to the plaintiff.

I think the activity of arbitration is the best fit for the exchange that actually took place between God the Father and God the son. The son offered his life in exchange for something God wanted, which was to demonstrate his justice, as Paul says. Romans 3:23-26

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

As the third party, Jesus volunteered to allow God to make a public demonstration of his righteousness. After that, God is willing to forgive those who repent and accept as fact that what Jesus got on the cross is what we deserved.

Something like that.

9Marksfan
Oct 15th 2008, 10:10 PM
Arbitration, I think.

In some systems of justice it is appropriate for a Judge to arbitrate between two parties to see what conditions would satisfy the damaged party. Arbitration offers the advantage that some third party beside the defendant can offer something of value to the plaintiff. If the plaintiff accepts the offering, the defendant is freed from his or her obligation to the plaintiff.

I think the activity of arbitration is the best fit for the exchange that actually took place between God the Father and God the son. The son offered his life in exchange for something God wanted, which was to demonstrate his justice, as Paul says. Romans 3:23-26

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

As the third party, Jesus volunteered to allow God to make a public demonstration of his righteousness. After that, God is willing to forgive those who repent and accept as fact that what Jesus got on the cross is what we deserved.

Something like that.

Isn't that pretty much the same as penal substitution? How do you deal with the Father sending the Son under your theory?

drew
Oct 15th 2008, 10:16 PM
I see no evidence at all in the Scriptures that Christ's righteousness is imputed to the believer. We get a status of righteousness, but it is not Christ's righteousness. We simply get the status of righteousness that the acquitted person gets in a lawcourt. And that is not some other person's righteousness.

theBelovedDisciple
Oct 15th 2008, 10:33 PM
I see no evidence at all in the Scriptures that Christ's righteousness is imputed to the believer. We get a status of righteousness, but it is not Christ's righteousness. We simply get the status of righteousness that the acquitted person gets in a lawcourt. And that is not some other person's righteousness.
------------------------------------------------------------------

When you recieve a gift that is wrapped up whether it be for your birthday or some holiday.. do you take the whole gift or do you just accept the nice wrapping that it came in and not accept the gift.....:confused

Listen to Pauls words:

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.)

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.

9Marksfan
Oct 15th 2008, 10:40 PM
I see no evidence at all in the Scriptures that Christ's righteousness is imputed to the believer. We get a status of righteousness, but it is not Christ's righteousness.

Whose righteousness is it, then?


We simply get the status of righteousness that the acquitted person gets in a lawcourt. And that is not some other person's righteousness.

But justification does not mean "declared not guilty" - that is a person's status in a law court - it goes beyond that and means "declared righteous". Since we are UNrighteous, how can God declare us to be righteous? By giving us Christ's righteousness so that we are accepted in HIM! :pp

Without it, we would be naked before God - and could not be accepted - like Adam and Eve - we need a covering - Christ's perfect righteousness - the righteousness that is by faith. The only other "righteousness" is our own - which is as filty rags in God's sight......

What do you think Zech 3 is prefiguring, if not Christ taking our sin away and giving us the robe of His righteousness?

Why do you think Yahweh is called in Jeremiah "The LORD our Righteousness"?

BroRog
Oct 15th 2008, 11:49 PM
Isn't that pretty much the same as penal substitution? How do you deal with the Father sending the Son under your theory?

Here is the Cliff Notes version. :)

Penal substitution assumes that the victim is being punished in the place of another, and that his punishment satisfies the moral debt of the entire world, in the case of unlimited atonement, or just the elect in the case of limited atonement.

Penal substitution is wrong for philosophical, theological, and Biblical reasons. First, to punish an innocent man for the crimes of another is immoral. Secondly, it violates the character of God. And Finally, God prohibits Israel from holding the sons responsible for the sins of the fathers.

I'm not sure how to answer your other question. Can you reword it, or answer it yourself so I can understand it better?

BroRog
Oct 15th 2008, 11:56 PM
Whose righteousness is it, then?



But justification does not mean "declared not guilty" - that is a person's status in a law court - it goes beyond that and means "declared righteous". Since we are UNrighteous, how can God declare us to be righteous? By giving us Christ's righteousness so that we are accepted in HIM! :pp

Without it, we would be naked before God - and could not be accepted - like Adam and Eve - we need a covering - Christ's perfect righteousness - the righteousness that is by faith. The only other "righteousness" is our own - which is as filty rags in God's sight......

What do you think Zech 3 is prefiguring, if not Christ taking our sin away and giving us the robe of His righteousness?

Why do you think Yahweh is called in Jeremiah "The LORD our Righteousness"?

Yes, justification is not the declaration that we are "not guilty"; we are certainly guilty. But neither is it a declaration of "you are moral." Justification is God's declaration that we are "in the right" with him.

But remember, his forgiveness is not based on our wearing the righteousness of Christ. Forgiveness is an act of grace and has no other basis than the kindness and mercy of God.

drew
Oct 16th 2008, 02:48 AM
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.)

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.
This text does not suggest imputation of Christ's righteousness to the believer.

If you don't mind, I will address the NASB version:

17For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
18So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.

Where does this say that we get Christ's righteousness? It says we received righteousness, but Paul does not say we received Christ's righteousness. And it says that Christ's righteous actions resulted in our justification, but this is not a statement that we are given Christ's own righteousness.

Let's say that Fred pays my fine in order to "justify" me in the eyes of the court. Would one say that Fred's righteousness is deemed to have been accorded to me? Of course not. I am justified through Fred's righteous actions, but the court does not say "Drew (me) is thereby recognized as possessing the righteousness of Fred.

The righteousness that we get is the simple status of righteousness that anyone gets when they are "justifed" in a court of law, that is, found to in the right. When someone is justified in a court of law, the reporters do not ask them "Whose righteousness did you get?"

drew
Oct 16th 2008, 02:50 AM
Whose righteousness is it, then?
It is nobody's righteousness. We are simply being declared to be "in the right" as BroRog has stated.

drew
Oct 16th 2008, 02:55 AM
Why do you think Yahweh is called in Jeremiah "The LORD our Righteousness"?

God is being called this not because we "get" His righteousness but rather because God is faithful to His covenant - He is acting "rightly" in respect to the covenantal promises He has made. This is seen when the context is provided - here we are told that God will be faithful to the covenant promise of return from exile.

I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the LORD.

5 "The days are coming," declares the LORD,
"when I will raise up to David [a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=30&chapter=23&version=31#fen-NIV-19490a)] a righteous Branch,
a King who will reign wisely
and do what is just and right in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved
and Israel will live in safety.
This is the name by which he will be called:
The LORD Our Righteousness

9Marksfan
Oct 16th 2008, 04:20 PM
Here is the Cliff Notes version. :)

Penal substitution assumes that the victim is being punished in the place of another, and that his punishment satisfies the moral debt of the entire world, in the case of unlimited atonement, or just the elect in the case of limited atonement.

Correct so far.


Penal substitution is wrong for philosophical, theological, and Biblical reasons.

I disagree with all three objections.


First, to punish an innocent man for the crimes of another is immoral.

Why? What if the innocent man willingly accepts the punishment? What if the Father and the Son agree that this is the ONLY way in which God the Father can both be just and the justifier of the ungodly?


Secondly, it violates the character of God.

You don't say how.

"Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him. He has ut Him to grief" Is 53:10 NKJV


And Finally, God prohibits Israel from holding the sons responsible for the sins of the fathers.

That's because they are sinful themselves - "no man can redeem the life of another" - because all men are inherently sinful - except Christ. He alone was qualified to redeem us, because He was sinless. Is 53:10 is the classic verse (and Is 53 the classic chapter) that teaches that penal substitution is eminently biblical.


I'm not sure how to answer your other question. Can you reword it, or answer it yourself so I can understand it better?

What I meant was that, since the Father clearly sent the Son and gave Him
for the sins of the world - how does that fit in with the arbitration theory? The arbiter would then decide on the "alternative" payment - and ask Christ if He were wiling to pay it - the idea would not have originated with Christ to "solve" the problem.

9Marksfan
Oct 16th 2008, 04:27 PM
Yes, justification is not the declaration that we are "not guilty"; we are certainly guilty. But neither is it a declaration of "you are moral."

I didn't say that - clearly we are NOT moral - we are declared righteous - that is what dikaioo means.




Well, if you'd rather say it that way, OK.

[quote]But remember, his forgiveness is not based on our wearing the righteousness of Christ.

No, but our acceptance is.


Forgiveness is an act of grace and has no other basis than the kindness and mercy of God.

No, no - a MILLION times no!!! - were that the case, Christ would not have had to die!

In Him we have redemption THROUGH HIS BLOOD, the forgiveness of sins... Eph 1:7 NKJV

...without shedding of blood, there is NO remission. Heb 9:27b NKJV

9Marksfan
Oct 16th 2008, 04:30 PM
It is nobody's righteousness. We are simply being declared to be "in the right" as BroRog has stated.

So why does 2 Cor 5:21 say that we become the righteousness of God IN HIM? According to your view, those last two words are not only superfluous but wrong!

drew
Oct 16th 2008, 04:33 PM
Penal substitution is wrong for philosophical, theological, and Biblical reasons. First, to punish an innocent man for the crimes of another is immoral. Secondly, it violates the character of God. And Finally, God prohibits Israel from holding the sons responsible for the sins of the fathers.
You are correct. The penal substitution position, as widely held, is undermined by Romans 8:3 where Paul declares that it is sin, not Jesus that is condemned on the cross:

For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,...

drew
Oct 16th 2008, 04:37 PM
So why does 2 Cor 5:21 say that we become the righteousness of God IN HIM? According to your view, those last two words are not only superfluous but wrong!
Because, as has been argued in detail elsewhere on this board, the context shows that Paul is talking about our roles as ambassadors - as the foot soldiers who actually implement what is fundamentally God's own covenant faithfulness - His "acting rightly" in accordance with His covenant promises.

Paul never intended this text to imply that we are somehow determined to possess God's or Christ's righteousness.

As always, one can read all sorts of things into individual snippets of text if proper consideration of context is not brought to bear.

9Marksfan
Oct 16th 2008, 04:45 PM
You are correct. The penal substitution position, as widely held, is undermined by Romans 8:3 where Paul declares that it is sin, not Jesus that is condemned on the cross:

For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,...




The NIV is a very bad translation here - in fact the phrase is rendered meaningless - what does "condemned sin in sinful man" mean in the context? That Christ was sinful? That man was going to be condemned for his sin (true, of course, but meaningless in the context of "and so")? The word sarx means many things but it frequently means the human body - and that is the most fitting meaning here - God condemned sin in Christ's body. It also ties in with 1 Pet 2:24 "who himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree".

9Marksfan
Oct 16th 2008, 04:47 PM
Because, as has been argued in detail elsewhere on this board, the context shows that Paul is talking about our roles as ambassadors - as the foot soldiers who actually implement what is fundamentally God's own covenant faithfulness - His "acting rightly" in accordance with His covenant promises.

Paul never intended this text to imply that we are somehow determined to possess God's or Christ's righteousness.

As always, one can read all sorts of things into individual snippets of text if proper consideration of context is not brought to bear.

What does "accepted IN the beloved" mean to you, then?

theBelovedDisciple
Oct 16th 2008, 05:30 PM
When I go into Spiritual Warfare....I'm certainly not 'trusting' in my 'own' Righteousness .. especially when dealing with the powers of darkness and the accuser of the brethern... a person does not stand a chance... especially when Satan is accusing the 'saints' day and night...

Paul teaches in Ephesians as to having 'on'the breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS... is this my own?.... I think not...... If we Don't have Christ's Righteousness.. then whose is it?

and ............ How can one have 'on' the breastplate of Righteoussness .....when the belief is we 'don't have His Righteousness..... or its not given to His Children..... that does not make one bit of sense....

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having 'on the breastplate of righteousness';

drew
Oct 16th 2008, 07:07 PM
The NIV is a very bad translation here - in fact the phrase is rendered meaningless - what does "condemned sin in sinful man" mean in the context? That Christ was sinful? That man was going to be condemned for his sin (true, of course, but meaningless in the context of "and so")? The word sarx means many things but it frequently means the human body - and that is the most fitting meaning here - God condemned sin in Christ's body. It also ties in with 1 Pet 2:24 "who himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree".
The point is that it is sin - not Jesus - that is the target of God's condemnation on the cross. So the commonly held view that "God punished Jesus instead of us" is actually not quite accurate. God wanted to condemn sin, not Jesus - and this is exactly what Romans 8:3 says He did. Jesus dies, of course, but not because God "needs to punish someone". God needs to punish and condemn sin.

Here are other translations. They all agree - it is sin that is the target of God's wrath and fury, not Jesus:

For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh...

for what the law was not able to do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, His own Son having sent in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, did condemn the sin in the flesh...

For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,...

drew
Oct 16th 2008, 07:09 PM
What does "accepted IN the beloved" mean to you, then?
Where are you getting this phrase from?

drew
Oct 16th 2008, 07:13 PM
.. If we Don't have Christ's Righteousness.. then whose is it?
Why do you assume that if we are declared to be righteous, we must "get" some other person's righteous.

When a doctor declares you to be healthy, do you get some other person's health?

When the lawcourt acquits a defendant - effectively declaring him to be "in the right" - will the reporters ask him: "Whose righteousness did you get?".

Of course not.

We are given a status of righteousness - the status of being "in the right" with God. We are not being God's (or Christ's) own righteousness.

threebigrocks
Oct 17th 2008, 01:20 AM
Why do you assume that if we are declared to be righteous, we must "get" some other person's righteous.

When a doctor declares you to be healthy, do you get some other person's health?

When the lawcourt acquits a defendant - effectively declaring him to be "in the right" - will the reporters ask him: "Whose righteousness did you get?".

Of course not.

We are given a status of righteousness - the status of being "in the right" with God. We are not being God's (or Christ's) own righteousness.


Thing is - until the doctor judges one healthy, and until the judge passes final judgement you don't actually have anything, right? Until you get a clean bill of health, you assume you are still sick. Until you are judged, you don't know if you are a prisoner or free.

You are correct, both of you. Until we are judged we don't have our own righteousness but Christ's. ONCE we are judged then we gain our own. Not before then.

apothanein kerdos
Oct 17th 2008, 01:34 AM
What did the sacrifice in the Old Testament represent? More importantly, what did Yom Kippur represent?

Fact is, Christ came as a willing sacrifice. Now the Ransom Theory, Satisfaction Theory, and some others are all true...but so is Penal Substitution. I simply don't see propitiation in the other theories - but it does exist in penal substitution.

Legally we are in trouble with God and justice must be served. For God not to exact justice would mean God is not just. That justice, however, is fulfilled on the cross. This doesn't show a mean God - it shows a God who loves us so much that He is willing to sacrifice Himself in our place. Of course, I believe you need the other theories, but you also need penal substitution, otherwise God's justice is called into question.

Cyberseeker
Oct 17th 2008, 04:20 AM
The cross had to SATISFY God's justice. God's law isn't just rules to be broken! Sin is an offense against God himself and carries an automatic penalty. And what is that penalty? (Ezekiel 18: 4)

Furthermore, God will not cheapen justice by "turning a blind eye" or just "letting off" those who sin. (Job 34:11-12, Psalm 7:11) God never passes over sin! Yet 2 Corinthians 5: 19 says,

"that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them."How can God do this (on what legal grounds?) without compromising his own justice?

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.In other words, the cross satisfied God's justice by punishing our sins in Christ, who died for us. Romans 3: 25 says,

"God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement. (a propitiation)"Why did God do this?

"He did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."

Cyber

Chimon
Oct 17th 2008, 11:27 AM
I don't feel like this addresses enough of the arguement between Calvinists and Arminians. That is, this isn't enough of what they are arguing about, as I see it. For example, we don't have anythign here about predestination versus free will, enternal security, total depravity, election and irrestible grace, etc.

That is, I think this basically sidesteps the argument.

drew
Oct 17th 2008, 04:52 PM
Of course, I believe you need the other theories, but you also need penal substitution, otherwise God's justice is called into question.
Hello:

Can you explain precisely what you understand "penal substitution to consist in? I understand the this term to mean essentially the following: "Someone has to be punished in order for sins to be forgiven; Jesus is the one who is punished to spare us from being punished"

I do not think this view of penal substitution is true to the Scriptures. I will echo the words of Paul yet again - it is sin, not Jesus, who is condemned on the cross. Jesus is not being punished on the Cross. He dies, but as a result of the condemnation that God directs at the sin that He bears "in his flesh".

Cyberseeker
Oct 17th 2008, 05:34 PM
I don't feel like this addresses enough of the arguement between Calvinists and Arminians. That is, this isn't enough of what they are arguing about, as I see it. For example, we don't have anythign here about predestination versus free will, enternal security, total depravity, election and irrestible grace, etc.

That is, I think this basically sidesteps the argument.

Heck Chimon,

Have you ever seen how convoluted the arguments get when all 5 points are going at the same time? :( On one board I was on the Calvies used to throw entire volumes of Charles Spurgeon, Mr Pink and John C atcha. It was a nightmare.

Cyber

RoadWarrior
Oct 17th 2008, 08:30 PM
I don't feel like this addresses enough of the arguement between Calvinists and Arminians. That is, this isn't enough of what they are arguing about, as I see it. For example, we don't have anythign here about predestination versus free will, enternal security, total depravity, election and irrestible grace, etc.

That is, I think this basically sidesteps the argument.

Which, actually, is probably a really good thing!

BroRog
Oct 17th 2008, 11:21 PM
Fact is, Christ came as a willing sacrifice.

A sacrifice, yes. Voluntary, yes. Punishment, no.


I simply don't see propitiation in the other theories - but it does exist in penal substitution.

Propitiation is simply the appeasement of God's wrath. Punishment is not the only thing that will appease God. That is, punishment is not a necessary condition of propitiation.


Legally we are in trouble with God and justice must be served.


I question that premise. Why must justice be served? Why can't mercy prevail?


For God not to exact justice would mean God is not just.


Punishment is not a necessary or essential response to injustice. It merely stands as one option among many including: remediation, redress, mercy, ransom, fine, and etc.


That justice, however, is fulfilled on the cross.


Fulfilled or demonstrated? (Romans 3)

apothanein kerdos
Oct 17th 2008, 11:59 PM
Okay, I get it. God isn't just.

That solves everything. Thanks :)

legoman
Oct 18th 2008, 12:15 AM
What does it mean exactly for God to be just?

Legoman

apothanein kerdos
Oct 18th 2008, 01:00 AM
What does it mean exactly for God to be just?

Legoman

That He doesn't let offenses go without due reward. That is what justice is. Yes, there is mercy, but it makes no sense to say that one of God's attributes cancels out His other attributes. God can't cancel Himself out.

drew
Oct 18th 2008, 01:21 AM
That He doesn't let offenses go without due reward. That is what justice is. Yes, there is mercy, but it makes no sense to say that one of God's attributes cancels out His other attributes. God can't cancel Himself out.
For those of you who ascribe to the notion that justice requires punishment, can you ground that in the Scriptures and / or provide some other grounding for this notion. I just don't see it, frankly (I think I share BroRog's take on this matter).

Cyberseeker
Oct 18th 2008, 02:21 AM
Of course propitiation is based on law. We cannot separate Gods mercy from his law because they are two sides of the same coin. That is why we are given the Old Testament law is it not? But Christ redeemed us from the law. He did not simply let people off with a pardon flicked casually to anyone who asked. What kind of judge would do that? Instead our punishment was borne by Christ and pardon is granted on the basis of law satisfied.

For according to the deeds of a man God will [exactly] proportion his pay, and He will cause every man to find [recompense] according to his ways. Truly God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert justice.
(Job 34:11-12 amp)

God is a righteous Judge, yes, a God Who is indignant every day.
I will give to the Lord the thanks due to His rightness and justice, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.
(Psalm 7:11,17 amp)

drew
Oct 18th 2008, 02:27 AM
Instead our punishment was borne by Christ.
I honestly know of no texts that clearly show that Jesus is specifically punished. I have no idea where this notion comes from. My Bible tells me in Romans 8:3 that God condemned sin, not Jesus, on the cross.

There is an important, although perhaps subtle distinction between the following:

1. Jesus is punished in place of us;
2. Jesus is the place-holder for sin and it is sin that is the target of God's wrath, not Jesus.

I see the scriptures as teaching position 2 as contrasted with 1.

Cyberseeker
Oct 18th 2008, 02:47 AM
I honestly know of no texts that clearly show that Jesus is specifically punished. I have no idea where this notion comes from. My Bible tells me in Romans 8:3 that God condemned sin, not Jesus, on the cross.


The answer is staring you in the face. 2 Cor 5:21

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." And from the Old Testament (Isaiah 53:5)

"He was wounded for our transgressions."And heaps more texts if you care to look.

Propitiation is rooted in Gods law.

Veretax
Oct 18th 2008, 05:13 PM
hrms... I don't know if it will stop the arguments, but I grew up in a Calvinist church. (Presbyterian Church in America). I no longer consider myself Calvinist, because I feel there is much more to the scripture then what Calvin was trying to say, and many times the 5 points (TULIP), are used as an excuse and license to ignore the great commission. I'm not saying all Calvinists do this mind you, but the circle I was apart off seemed content in them and their families being saved, beleived in sending missionaries a broad, yet didn't do much localy to reach the lost. I don't particularly care to get into all the reasons I disagree with TULIP, because I feel a few of the teachings of Calvinist (at least how they were taught me) are actually mis interpretations of clear scripture (particularly with predestination.) Anyhow.. not time to say more than that though. ITs a good graphic though :D

BroRog
Oct 18th 2008, 05:46 PM
Okay, I get it. God isn't just.

That solves everything. Thanks :)

AK, you want to be a philosopher so I tend to challenge you more. :)

In David's prayer to God after Nathan outed him, what did David say regarding his murder? Did David sin against man or God?

BroRog
Oct 18th 2008, 05:49 PM
That He doesn't let offenses go without due reward. That is what justice is. Yes, there is mercy, but it makes no sense to say that one of God's attributes cancels out His other attributes. God can't cancel Himself out.

Doesn't Paul, at the end of Romans 5, argue that mercy trumps justice?

RoadWarrior
Oct 18th 2008, 05:56 PM
That He doesn't let offenses go without due reward. That is what justice is. Yes, there is mercy, but it makes no sense to say that one of God's attributes cancels out His other attributes. God can't cancel Himself out.

You are right. God does not cancel himself out. He does balance things.

The book of Revelation tells us of God's ultimate justice.

RoadWarrior
Oct 18th 2008, 06:09 PM
I had posted the following thoughts on another thread, which is closed. I am curious as to whether others find it helpful to understand the history of this issue. Thanks for your thoughts!
....
When I struggled with this issue, I used the encyclopedia to help me gain some understanding of the history. It goes back to the "church fathers" who debated the issue. Then Palagius stepped onto the scene. Augustine, being his contemporary, disputed with him.


Quote:


Pelagius (ca. 354 – ca. 420/440) was an ascetic monk who denied the doctrine of original sin, later developed by Augustine of Hippo, and was declared a heretic by the Council of Carthage. His interpretation of a doctrine of free will became known as Pelagianism. He was well educated, fluent in both Greek and Latin, and learned in theology. He spent time as an ascetic, focusing on practical asceticism, which his teachings clearly reflect. He was not, however, a cleric. He was certainly well known in Rome, both for the harsh asceticism of his public life as well as the power and persuasiveness of his speech. His reputation in Rome earned him praise early in his career even from such pillars of the Church as Augustine, who referred to him as a "saintly man." However, he was later accused of lying about his own teachings in order to avoid public condemnation. Most of his later life was spent defending himself against other theologians and the Catholic Church.
Quote:

Pelagianism was opposed by Augustine of Hippo, who taught that a person's salvation comes solely through a free gift, the efficacious grace of God, and that no person could save himself by his works. This led to Pelagianism's condemnation as a heresy at several local synods, including the Council of Diospolis[2]. It was condemned in 416 and 418 at the Councils of Carthage.[3] These condemnations were summarily ratified at the Council of Ephesus in 431, although it was not considered a major act of that council. Its strict moral teachings were influential in southern Italy and Sicily, where Pelagianism was openly preached until the death of its follower Julian of Eclanum in 455.[4] As a movement, Pelagianism ceased to exist after the 6th century although its ideas continued to cause disputes.[5]
Augustine (354-430) was a contemporary of Pelagius. Augustine's writings became foundational to western Christian theology, and it is in his writings that we take our understanding of both predestination and free will. However, modern theology does not understand the two concepts in balance, as Augustine did.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) leaned heavily on Augustine's writings for much of his theology. Zwingli did also, but Luther and Zwingli (who were contemporaries) disagreed with each other on some key issues, bringing about the split between the Reformation (Luther) and the Reformed (Zwingli).

Calvin (1509-1564) is a second-generation follower of the Reformed. He also leaned heavily on Augustine, but split the thinking yet again.


Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609)
Quote:


was a Dutch pastor and theologian in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. He was taught by Theodore Beza, Calvin's hand-picked successor, but he rejected his teacher's theology that it is God who unconditionally elects some for salvation. Instead Arminius proposed that the election of God was of believers, thereby making it conditional on faith. Arminius's views were challenged by the Dutch Calvinists, especially Franciscus Gomarus, but Arminius died before a national synod could occur.
Sorry for all the Wikipedia quotes, but I want to put the structure out there for people to understand how this came to be. A serious student will spend much more time than I have in tracing the history. However, I hope that this is sufficient for some honest examination of the issues.

For me it is important to realize that the dispute is one between men who were trying to understand doctrines of God. We are each limited in our knowledge, intellect and ability to understand the deep things. So also were these men. None of them are perfect human beings. But their stance affected the lives of thousands, of those who have followed them.

If this was helpful at all, please let me know.

RogerW
Oct 18th 2008, 06:20 PM
I had posted the following thoughts on another thread, which is closed. I am curious as to whether others find it helpful to understand the history of this issue. Thanks for your thoughts!
....
When I struggled with this issue, I used the encyclopedia to help me gain some understanding of the history. It goes back to the "church fathers" who debated the issue. Then Palagius stepped onto the scene. Augustine, being his contemporary, disputed with him.


Quote:
Quote:

Augustine (354-430) was a contemporary of Pelagius. Augustine's writings became foundational to western Christian theology, and it is in his writings that we take our understanding of both predestination and free will. However, modern theology does not understand the two concepts in balance, as Augustine did.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) leaned heavily on Augustine's writings for much of his theology. Zwingli did also, but Luther and Zwingli (who were contemporaries) disagreed with each other on some key issues, bringing about the split between the Reformation (Luther) and the Reformed (Zwingli).

Calvin (1509-1564) is a second-generation follower of the Reformed. He also leaned heavily on Augustine, but split the thinking yet again.


Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609)
Quote:

For me it is important to realize that the dispute is one between men who were trying to understand doctrines of God. We are each limited in our knowledge, intellect and ability to understand the deep things. So also were these men. None of them are perfect human beings. But their stance affected the lives of thousands, of those who have followed them.

If this was helpful at all, please let me know.

Greetings Roadwarrior,

If you build your doctrine upon the teachings of fallible men, then you have good reason to be concerned about the knowledge, intellect, and ability to understand the deep things of God coming from the men you follow.

However, you are very much mistaken in your belief that those who follow Reformed Doctrine of Sovereign Grace are following the teachings of any man. We hold to these doctrines, not because we have learned them from other men, (although some of those you mention certainly follow the same doctrine as we, having learned them the same way as we) but because we have searched the Scriptures and find Reformed, so-called Calvinistic Doctrine aligns perfectly with all of Scripture. This cannot be said of those who cling to the doctrines of Jacob Arminius. Sadly this doctrine (called free will, Arminian, Pelagian, or semi-pelagian) forces so many contradictions unto the Word of God, that one is left wondering whether the Bible is truly the Word of God.

Many Blessings,
RW

apothanein kerdos
Oct 18th 2008, 06:30 PM
In David's prayer to God after Nathan outed him, what did David say regarding his murder? Did David sin against man or God?

To be honest, I don't really see how it's relevant.


Doesn't Paul, at the end of Romans 5, argue that mercy trumps justice?

Neither. It argues that justification covers the offenses we have committed against God. His justice was met by putting Christ on the cross. His mercy is shown in the same manner - Christ on the cross shows both God's justice being fulfilled and His mercy being shown.

Again, to say that God's mercy overrides and cancels out his justice we HAVE to say that God is nullifying Himself.


For those of you who ascribe to the notion that justice requires punishment, can you ground that in the Scriptures and / or provide some other grounding for this notion.

Mostly in Genesis Moses chooses to equate God's wrath with "punishment." Thus, when God's wrath is poured out upon humans, it is the equivalent to punishment. Thus, when we see in Isaiah 53 that Jesus bore our transgressions, it means He took the legal punishment for our sins.

Look, I'm not saying the other views are wrong. In fact, I believe that one HAS to accept Ransom Theory and Satisfaction theory...but one must do so while accepting Penal Substitution along with those other theories.

RoadWarrior
Oct 18th 2008, 06:38 PM
Greetings Roadwarrior,

If you build your doctrine upon the teachings of fallible men, then you have good reason to be concerned about the knowledge, intellect, and ability to understand the deep things of God coming from the men you follow.

However, you are very much mistaken in your belief that those who follow Reformed Doctrine of Sovereign Grace are following the teachings of any man. We hold to these doctrines, not because we have learned them from other men, (although some of those you mention certainly follow the same doctrine as we, having learned them the same way as we) but because we have searched the Scriptures and find Reformed, so-called Calvinistic Doctrine aligns perfectly with all of Scripture. This cannot be said of those who cling to the doctrines of Jacob Arminius. Sadly this doctrine (called free will, Arminian, Pelagian, or semi-pelagian) forces so many contradictions unto the Word of God, that one is left wondering whether the Bible is truly the Word of God.

Many Blessings,
RW

So I take it this was not helpful to you.

RogerW
Oct 18th 2008, 06:51 PM
So I take it this was not helpful to you.

In all honesty RoadWarrior I find it to be a distraction. This is often the tactic taken by some when they cannot refute arguments presented from the Word of God. Since it is not wise to argue against Scripture, the only recourse is to try to prove that the argument does not come from the pages of Holy Writ, but rather from the minds of fallible men. You need simply label a brother or sister as .......... you fill in the blank, that way instead of dealing with the Scripture presented, you can simply claim, oh he/she is following the doctrine of whoever. What you have done in this is to keep others from seriously looking at the arguments presented...so as I said it is a distraction that can lead some weaker Christians away from the truth.

So, in all humility I would encourage you to deal with the arguments presented from Scripture, and if you can show how the Scripture has been improperly defined, then do so through the Bible, not through labeling others.

Many Blessings,
RW

RoadWarrior
Oct 18th 2008, 07:03 PM
I see this was not helpful to one person. Is it helpful to anyone else?

Cyberseeker
Oct 18th 2008, 07:28 PM
Doesn't Paul, at the end of Romans 5, argue that mercy trumps justice?

I wouldn't say 'trump' Bro. You make it sound as if justice is inferior to mercy. It isn't. They are equally important to God and the issue of propitiation is that God forgives yet without compromising justice.

Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
(Psalm 85:10)
God has never let anyone off their sin - no one! But the cross satisfied God's justice by punishing our sins in Christ. That is what propitiation means,

God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement. ( a propitiation - Rom 3:25)

turtledove
Oct 18th 2008, 07:37 PM
Road Warrior, I appreciated your post because:

We cannot readily dismiss the influence early church leaders and writers have had on history which is not to say that all they wrote was right nor scriptually based. We must also remember that the times in which they wrote were not times as we know them now so we cannot impose our culture, opportunities, and way of thinking on another time. That was then, not now. But going over the history of what has happened always makes good sense since we learn from what has been before so as not to make the same mistakes over again.

These writers, especially Augustine, were very influencial on the thinking of many especially when you consider that there was no printing press nor did people have access to the scriptures as we do today. So their letters and writings were used extensively in the education of priests and bishops. Some of them were also influencial in fighting off the many heretics of their times like the gnostics who believed the same kind of thinking we see revived in New Age thinking today. We can't put our heads under a bucket as far as the past goes; nor can we nor should we go back to how it was in another people's time. Men(and women) were influencial then just as they are today.

We should be aware that in the early church and especially the middle ages only clergy usually were educated and able to read and write. Village churches had their bible manuscipts (again, remember, no printing presses even invented yet) which had been copied from older ones and were actually chained to pulpits for only the priest to use. Peasants and serfs did not read.

It is very important to study what has gone before so that we can learn not to go there again. What a privilege it is now to have our own bibles in our own homes as well as the guidance and help of the Holy Spirit who works not only in us as we study the Word of God; but in others including church leaders of our own time who preach it and teach it.

I won't go into how this may or may not have led to Calvinistic thinking. I will just state I think history is not to be so easily dismissed. So I did benefit from your post. Hope this post isn't going too off topic. You know how I hate that! ;)

Thanks for sharing. :hug:

wiseoldowl

BroRog
Oct 18th 2008, 08:30 PM
To be honest, I don't really see how it's relevant.

David voices the idea that his murder of Uriah was a "sin against the Lord." (2Sam. 12:13) And David classifies his murder as a sin against God and God alone. (Psalm 51:4) Granting that David is speaking the truth, we accept it as given that God is the plaintiff in this situation.

In that same prayer, David petitions God for two things: mercy and an inner transformation of the heart and spirit. He expects that the mercy will come in the form of forgiveness, not justice, as he says here,

"Hide Your face from my sins . . ."

To hide the face requires that the sins be ignored and go unpunished. David wishes that God would not demand equity or parity but an unbalanced response to his sin. The basis of his appeal rests in the fact that God, as the plaintiff, has the option to seek redress, punishment, some kind of restitution, or appeasement on the one hand. On the other hand, as the plaintiff, he has the option to grant mercy.

David also voices the kind of sacrifice God expects from those who seek mercy. Later in the same Psalm we read,

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

In this exchange, God is willing to forgive sins, hide his face from them, in exchange for a broken spirit and a contrite heart. His willingness to accept a contrite heart as "the sacrifice" indicates the basis for God's appeasement. The plaintiff is allowed to set the compensation at whatever value he desires. If God gets what he wants, justice has been served even as he has granted mercy.


Neither. It argues that justification covers the offenses we have committed against God. His justice was met by putting Christ on the cross.

I think a review of his argument at the end of Romans 5 will reveal that mercy has trumped justice as it pertains to God and man. We understand that mercy trumps justice in Paul's unbalanced comparison between the two. For instance here he says it,

But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.

The phrase "much more" indicates that the exchange was not equitable, not a matter of parity, but tilted on the side of mercy. The equitable requisite of the transgression was death. But the grace of God abounded "much more" to the many.

In other words, if it is true that the transgression brought the verdict of death, it is much more true that a free gift brought the grace of God. If death is the certain result of the transgression, then the grace is much more certain as the result of the free gift.

In the penal substitution theory, the grace of the one man Jesus, i.e. paying our dept to justice on the cross, satisfies God's demand for justice. Nonetheless, this model does not share elements in common with Paul's statement that the grace of God abounded to the many. For in the penal substitution model, God was not granting mercy but inflicting punishment on Jesus.

Then if Jesus was punished in our place, God is obligated to give us life whether we repent or not. Unlike David's picture in which God is granting forgiveness to those who have a contrite heart, the penal substitution theory pictures God's granting of life based on the fact that justice has been served. Mercy has nothing to do with it. If the wages of sin is death, it matters not if we pay the wage or if Jesus pays the wage. What matters is that compensation has been exchanged.

Nevertheless, Paul argues earlier that the logic of wages is different than the logic of grace. In Romans 4, Paul argues that God has granted justification to Abraham, not based on works but based on faith. If it were based on works, then God would not be acting out of favor, but merely giving Abraham what he deserved.

Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness (justifiedness) . . .

The logic of employment is different than the logic of gift giving. If a man works for compensation, his employer is obligated to pay him his wages. But if a man does not work, then what God gives him is an act of grace according to his favor.

Likewise, if God punished Jesus on the cross for our sins, then Jesus has paid the wage our sins demanded, which by the logic of the wage, satisfies our debt obligation to sin. And since the exchange has a work/wage logic, it can not be classified as gift/favor. Regardless of the fact that Jesus is acting in mercy and grace to pay my wage to sin, the fact that God demands payment places this into the work/wage category.

By contrast, Paul says that both God and Jesus are acting in grace, whereas the penal substitution theory has Jesus acting in grace but God demanding justice.


Again, to say that God's mercy overrides and cancels out his justice we HAVE to say that God is nullifying Himself.


I don't think that follows. Even as human beings we find ourselves acting mercifully at times and demanding justice at other times as various and different circumstances require. To determine which is the best course requires wisdom. Now if human beings are able to act according to wisdom, then God even more since his wisdom is from above. A choice to be merciful or just is an act of judgment. And if one should choose mercy over justice this does not render him immoral.

BroRog
Oct 18th 2008, 08:39 PM
I wouldn't say 'trump' Bro. You make it sound as if justice is inferior to mercy. It isn't. They are equally important to God and the issue of propitiation is that God forgives yet without compromising justice.

Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
(Psalm 85:10)
God has never let anyone off their sin - no one! But the cross satisfied God's justice by punishing our sins in Christ. That is what propitiation means,
God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement. ( a propitiation - Rom 3:25)


Yes, justice and mercy are equally important to God. But justice and mercy are mutually exclusive to each other. Either God grants mercy or he demands justice. He doesn't do both at the same time. (Matthew 18:21-35)

Veretax
Oct 18th 2008, 09:12 PM
Roadwarrior, I come from a Calvinist background, but am not currently calvinist. I don't claim to be Arminian either, but I'm curious could you illustrate some of the perceived contradictions that you believe are seen where Free Will is introduced? I'd like to know a bit more about where you see a conflict so i can understand your point of view better.

RoadWarrior
Oct 18th 2008, 09:26 PM
Roadwarrior, I come from a Calvinist background, but am not currently calvinist. I don't claim to be Arminian either, but I'm curious could you illustrate some of the perceived contradictions that you believe are seen where Free Will is introduced? I'd like to know a bit more about where you see a conflict so i can understand your point of view better.

Hi Veretax, and thank you for asking. I also am neither a Calvinist nor an Arminian. I do not think it is necessary to choose either camp. In fact, I think it neutralizes the effectiveness of a Christian to do so.

Free will is not a Biblical expression. Augustine developed the theology of Free Will from his Platonist philosophical background, very late in his life and career. In a way, he was forced to come up with it, because people were questioning him on his theology of predestination. So you might say that Augustine is the one who developed the theology of both free will and predestination, as it has been followed and developed since his day.

Both of the positions which he developed (invented, as Dr. Philip Carey says) are rooted in his philosophical training under the neo-Platonist school of thought.

RogerW
Oct 18th 2008, 10:37 PM
Roadwarrior, I come from a Calvinist background, but am not currently calvinist. I don't claim to be Arminian either, but I'm curious could you illustrate some of the perceived contradictions that you believe are seen where Free Will is introduced? I'd like to know a bit more about where you see a conflict so i can understand your point of view better.

Greetings Veretax,

Since I asserted that free will causes contradictions upon Scripture, I will point out the most obvious contradiction first; i.e. man has freedom of will to come to Christ for eternal life while in a state of spiritual death.

Free will asserts the human will makes the ultimate choice of spiritual life or spiritual death. They argue the will is altogether free to choose eternal life offered in Jesus Christ or to reject it. Where do we find Scripture telling us that salvation is offered? Is it not repeatedly stated from Christ that eternal life is GIVEN not offered.

There can be no question that receiving Jesus Christ is an act of the human will. This is done by "faith." Yet faith itself is a gift of God, not of our works, lest any man should boast. How do men come to willingly receive the Lord? It is usually answered, "Out of the power of their own free will." But how can that be? Jesus is a prophet. To receive him means to believe all that he says. In John 8:41-45 Jesus made it clear that you were born of Satan. This evil father hates the truth and imparted the same bias into your heart by nature. Hence said Jesus, "Because I tell you the truth, you do not believe me." How does the human will jump out of man to choose to believe what the human mind hates and denies?

To receive Jesus further means to embrace him as a priest—that is, to employ, and depend on him to sue out peace with God by sacrifice and intercession. Paul tells us that the mind with which we were born is hostile to God (Rom. 8:7). How can the will escape the influence of human nature which was born with a violent enmity to God? It would be insane for the will to choose peace when every bone and drop of blood cries out for rebellion.


Then too, receiving Jesus means to welcome him as a king. It means choosing to obey his every command, to confess his right of rule, and to worship before his throne. But the human mind, emotions, and desires all cry out, "We will not have this man to reign over us" (Luke 19:14). If my whole being hates his truth, hates his rule, and hates peace with God, how can my will be responsible for receiving Jesus? How can such a sinner have faith?


It is not man's will but God's grace that must be thanked for giving a sinner a new heart. Unless God changes the heart, creates a new spirit of peace, truthfulness, and submission, man will not choose to receive Jesus Christ and eternal life in Him. A new heart must be given before a man will believe, or else the human will is hopelessly enslaved to evil human nature—even in the matter of conversion. Jesus said, "Marvel not that I said to you, you must be born again" (John 3:7). Unless you are, you will never see or enter his kingdom.

Read John 1:12 & 13. It says that those who believe on Jesus have been "born, not of the will of man, but of God." As your will is not responsible for your coming into this world, it is not responsible for the new birth. It is your Creator who must be thanked for your life, and if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation (II Cor. 5:17). Who ever chose to be created? When Lazarus rose from the dead, he chose to answer the call of Christ, but he did not choose to come to life. So Paul said in Ephesians 2:4 & 5, "When we were dead in sins God has quickened us with Christ (by grace you are saved)." Faith is the first act of a will made new by the Holy Spirit. Receiving Christ is an act of man just as breathing is, but God must first give life.

Many Blessings,
RW (not roadwarrior) RogerW

drew
Oct 18th 2008, 10:54 PM
The answer is staring you in the face. 2 Cor 5:21
All right, lets look at 2 Cor 5:21 and see if it really says that Jesus was punished. Given what Paul says in Romans 8:3, I can say with confidence that the answer will be "no"

God made him who had no sin to be sin[a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Corinthians%205:21;&version=31;#fen-NIV-28883a)] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God

This text no where says that Jesus was punished. It says that he was "made sin". There is no implication that Jesus was punished. If we take Romans 8:3 as it reads, we know what was punished - sin.

It is entirely reasonable to read 2 Cor 5:21 as saying "Jesus was the 'vessel' into which sin was poursed and then condemned.

You also posted Isaiah 53 - he was wounded for our transgressions. Again, this does not logically imply punishment. You are reading that in

Cyberseeker
Oct 19th 2008, 01:59 AM
I honestly know of no texts that clearly show that Jesus is specifically punished.
… Jesus is the place-holder for sin and it is sin that is the target of God's wrath, not Jesus.


God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

It is you who said that “sin that is the target of God's wrath.” It is St.Paul who said that Christ became sin for us. So put 2 and 2 together and what do we get? Christ was punished for our transgressions!

As for the Rom 8:3 sin offering, you may wish to tell one of the lambs who prefigured Christ that they were not being punished. They would say baaa to your theology Drew.

Cyberseeker

drew
Oct 19th 2008, 10:11 PM
However, you are very much mistaken in your belief that those who follow Reformed Doctrine of Sovereign Grace are following the teachings of any man. We hold to these doctrines, not because we have learned them from other men, (although some of those you mention certainly follow the same doctrine as we, having learned them the same way as we) but because we have searched the Scriptures and find Reformed, so-called Calvinistic Doctrine aligns perfectly with all of Scripture.
This is really not a fair statement. The Bible is a book. Men read it. Men interpret it. So the "Calvinist" view on the content of the Scriptures is no more or no less a "man-generated" view than the Arminian view.

drew
Oct 19th 2008, 10:26 PM
Yet faith itself is a gift of God, not of our works, lest any man should boast.
If you are referring to this text, you are misinterpreting what Paul means when he uses the term "works":

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast

With all due respect, it is clear that the works here must be the works of the Torah, not the general category of "good works". And therefore, this text in no way rules out a "free will" act of acceptance of the gift of salvation as the Calvinist will have you believe.

It really is beyond doubt that Paul is talking about Torah here. That this is the case is established by what Paul immediately writes after the above:

Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.

What is it that divides the Jew from the Gentile? Good works? No. It is the Torah and its practices that divide the Jew from the Gentile.

So please do not over-rule Paul. The only reason that the Calvinist take has any purchase at all in respect to the famous Ephesians 2:8-9 text is that people do not do their homework and read what follows next.

If you read what Paul says in verses 11 and following, it becomes clear that Paul is not denying any human participation in the receipt of faith. He is instead denying that this faith is for Jews and Jews alone.

I am frankly mystified how anyong could read verses 11 and following and not conclude that it is the works (the practices) of the Torah that are in view in verses 8 and 9.

And people basically ignore Paul and force their own interpretation on the text. No wonder we can never reach a common understanding.

BrckBrln
Oct 19th 2008, 10:35 PM
This is really not a fair statement. The Bible is a book. Men read it. Men interpret it. So the "Calvinist" view on the content of the Scriptures is no more or no less a "man-generated" view than the Arminian view.

It sounds like you are saying we can't know the whole truth or something. If your theology comes straight from the scriptures then it's not a man generated view. As Spurgeon said, 'Calvinism is the Gospel'.

9Marksfan
Oct 19th 2008, 10:38 PM
If you are referring to this text, you are misinterpreting what Paul means when he uses the term "works":

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast

With all due respect, it is clear that the works here must be the works of the Torah, not the general category of "good works".

No WAY! It doesn't say "works of the law" - and the church in Ephesus was predominantly GENTILE!!!!


It really is beyond doubt that Paul is talking about Torah here. That this is the case is established by what Paul immediately writes after the above:

Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.

What is it that divides the Jew from the Gentile? Good works? No. It is the Torah and its practices that divide the Jew from the Gentile.

So please do not over-rule Paul. The only reason that the Calvinist take has any purchase at all in respect to the famous Ephesians 2:8-9 text is that people do not do their homework and read what follows next.

If you read what Paul says in verses 11 and following, it becomes clear that Paul is not denying any human participation in the receipt of faith. He is instead denying that this faith is for Jews and Jews alone.

I am frankly mystified how anyong could read verses 11 and following and not conclude that it is the works (the practices) of the Torah that are in view in verses 8 and 9.

You really are OBSESSED with NT Wright's views! You IMPOSE them whenever you see the word "works" - these predominantly Gentile believers had not previously been Jews, relying on their Jewish ethnicity to be right with God - so to warn them of relying on being Jews would have been utterly pointless! You seem to be discounting the inherent desire in man to justify himself by the works of his hands - from Cain onwards! THIS is what Paul was warning his readers against!


And people basically ignore Paul and force their own interpretation on the text. No wonder we can never reach a common understanding.

It is YOU who are ignoring Paul's (and the Bible's) clear teaching and at least 1600 years of evangelical thought (from Augustine onwards) and are forcing your own interpretation on the text by thinking that everyone has got it wrong until NT Wright came along with NPP - within the last ten years! PLEEEASE!!!!!!!!!!

Veretax
Oct 20th 2008, 12:02 AM
I am inclined to agree. Works to me has always meant something that you beleive you can do to "get right with God". A quick expository on the first few chapters of James shows that works have no part in saving a person, but they do show as fruit. In today's society, how often do you hear people say, well if I do enough good things and it balances out the bad then oh I go to heaven.

Unfortunately that is just not scriptural, particularly since God is a Holy and Just God and finds all sin detestable. Plus if you break even one commandment you are guilty of it all. The entire point of the Law was to show that man cannot earn his way into heaven. Btw, the sins listed in the FIrst five books of the bible are surely not the only ones, although there are quite a number mentioned.

IN romans we read that we are justified by faith through grace, and I'm also inclined to agree Ephesus was a gentile church, were they not Greeks as well? So their understanding of Good and evil would be defined in their culture of the time as well.

drew
Oct 20th 2008, 12:45 AM
It sounds like you are saying we can't know the whole truth or something. If your theology comes straight from the scriptures then it's not a man generated view. As Spurgeon said, 'Calvinism is the Gospel'.
This is simply not true and frankly the church needs to politely but firmly rebuke this misleading statement.

The facts are these:

1. The Scriptures are a book;
2. This book is read by people;
3. These people read words, string them together, and deduce the intent of the authors;
4. There is no view about what the Scriptures teach that is not the view of some person or persons.

Please do not try and claim that the "Calvinist" position is less of a "man's view" than the Arminian one.

They are both the views of men.

drew
Oct 20th 2008, 12:53 AM
No WAY! It doesn't say "works of the law" - and the church in Ephesus was predominantly GENTILE!!!!
Yes way. Paul is talking about the works of Torah. You claim it doesn't say "works of the Law". Well it never says good works, either. So we have to let context answer the question. And context shows that Paul must be talking about Torah. If you want, we can go verse by verse. I do not think you will like where that will take us.

And your assertion about the audience being Gentiles in no way undermines my point. In fact, it supports it. The Ephesian Gentiles need to be told that covenant membership is not for Jews only. This is why Paul writes this:

Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

So the fact that the audience are predominantly Gentiles actually harmonizes perfectly well with the interpretation I am defending.


You really are OBSESSED with NT Wright's views!
And you seem attached to your own views, or whoever else has influenced you.

BrckBrln
Oct 20th 2008, 01:10 AM
This is simply not true and frankly the church needs to politely but firmly rebuke this misleading statement.

The facts are these:

1. The Scriptures are a book;
2. This book is read by people;
3. These people read words, string them together, and deduce the intent of the authors;
4. There is no view about what the Scriptures teach that is not the view of some person or persons.

Please do not try and claim that the "Calvinist" position is less of a "man's view" than the Arminian one.

They are both the views of men.

The scriptures teach Jesus was God, right? Calvin believed Jesus was God, right? So Jesus being God is a man made doctrine, right? :hmm:

drew
Oct 20th 2008, 01:19 AM
The scriptures teach Jesus was God, right? Calvin believed Jesus was God, right? So Jesus being God is a man made doctrine, right? :hmm:
Am I the only one who recognizes the obvious fact that any doctrine - any belief about the nature of God and the world - is the product of the action of the human mind as, hopefully, influenced by the Spirit? Did your friend Calvin come to his beliefs by some other magical means?

All beliefs live in human minds. Beliefs cannot live anywhere else (unless dogs and cats have beliefs).

When I state the obvious fact that all doctrines are "man-made", I am simply acknowledging a manifestly obvious fact about the world. Beliefs are constructed by human minds, perhaps as aided by the Spirit, and live in human minds. They are not "floating around" in the air.

And lets not live in the fantasy world where we make claims that Calvin came up with his ideas by having them beamed directly into his mind by God, bypassing his intellect.

And please be fair to me here. You are implying that just because I accept that all beliefs are "man-made", that I also believe that they are not objectively true. I never said this nor implied this.

BrckBrln
Oct 20th 2008, 01:24 AM
Am I the only one who recognizes the obvious fact that any doctrine - any belief about the nature of God and the world - is the product of the action of the human mind as, hopefully, influenced by the Spirit? Did your friend Calvin come to his beliefs by some other magical means?

All beliefs live in human minds. Beliefs cannot live anywhere else (unless dogs and cats have beliefs).

When I state the obvious fact that all doctrines are "man-made", I am simply acknowledging a manifestly obvious fact about the world. Beliefs are constructed by human minds, perhaps as aided by the Spirit, and live in human minds. They are not "floating around" in the air.

And lets not live in the fantasy world where we make claims that Calvin came up with his ideas by having them beamed directly into his mind by God, bypassing his intellect.

And please be fair to me here. You are implying that just because I accept that all beliefs are "man-made", that I also believe that they are not objectively true. I never said this nor implied this.

Do you believe the Bible is God's word? Is what's written in the Bible man made beliefs?

drew
Oct 20th 2008, 01:40 AM
Do you believe the Bible is God's word? Is what's written in the Bible man made beliefs?
I really think this a non-issue. Yes, I believe that the Bible is God's word. But the very nature of the medium - the written word - necessitates that the intended meaning of the authors is discerned by the reader engaging in acts of interpretation.

Every belief is someone's belief. Beliefs do not exist without human beings to hold them. What follows may sound patronizing but I am trying to make things as clear as possible.

The Bible is a collection of pages with funny marks on it. These marks are letters of the English alphabet. Entities called "words" are formed by collections of letters. And collections of words form sentences. Human beings then look at the pages. Their brains interpret the marks on the page and their brains recognize the words and map them to conventions held in their culture. Thus the marks "d...o...g" cause the brain to think of the furry creature that chases cats. And the process goes on at higher and higher levels.

In short - the reader constructs beliefs though this process. There is no magic, no short-cut. The idea that the truths of Scriptures are beamed into our minds without use of our mental faculties in astonishingly naive.

So our set of beliefs are unquestionably the product of our minds acting on the marks on the pages of the Bible. If we are open, the Spirit will guide our understanding. And we consult with others as well to develop our beliefs.

The beliefs that we have about what the Bible is saying may or may not be correct. But I do believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the writers of scripture to make marks on the page that would be interpreted by readers who would then construct beliefs that indeed reflect what God wants us to know.

But please, let no one insult our intelligences with this "Calvinist beliefs are not man-made while Arminian ones are" nonsense.

All human beliefs are "man-made".

Veretax
Oct 20th 2008, 01:44 AM
Do you believe the Bible is God's word? Is what's written in the Bible man made beliefs?

All Scripture is Given by Inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction

I looked upo the Strongs Number for works.

Strong's Number: 2041 Browse Lexicon (http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/browse.cgi?number=2041&version=kjv) Original WordWord Origin e[rgonfrom a primary (but obsolete) ergo (to work) Transliterated WordTDNT (http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=2041&version=kjv#Legend) Entry Ergon2:635,251 Phonetic SpellingParts of Speech er'-gon http://bible.crosswalk.com/images/audio.gif (http://bible.crosswalk.com/cgi-bin/lexicon.pl?id=2041g) Noun Neuter Definition

business, employment, that which any one is occupied

that which one undertakes to do, enterprise, undertaking


any product whatever, any thing accomplished by hand, art, industry, or mind
an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasised in opp. to that which is less than work

King James Word Usage - Total: 176 work 152, deed 22, doing 1, labour 1

Its the same won used in Eph 2:10 where the qualifier of Good is used.

(thanks again to crosswalk.com)

2 Tim 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Scripture is inspired by God. The NIV says it is God Breathed, literally the words of the bible are Gods. Our interpretations however, are not always necessarily of God. Remember, Demons know Jesus, and Tremble, that doesn't mean they use God's word for Good, and it doesn't mean they are saved either.

To say that Calvin's interpretations are all correct is in essence to say anyone that disagrees is then false. Calvin was a very very smart man. He wrote a lot of things that most of the world never hears about. That doesn't mean his interpretations are 100% right, it also doesn't mean that in some areas he might have lacked understanding himself either.

Each of us has to interpret scripture by scripture. If you base your faith upon the views of one man, how then can you give a reason for the hope in you when the time comes? You have to know what you personally believe, and be able to back it up or it is vain to rest your faith upon one man's teachings concerning the scriptures.

Does that make more sense?

BrckBrln
Oct 20th 2008, 01:44 AM
Beliefs do not exist without human beings to hold them.

So God would not exist if there were no humans to hold to that belief?


All human beliefs are "man-made".

Just because a thought goes through the brain does not mean it's a man made belief. Man made means that man made that belief. Man did not make God, God made man. Belief in God is a God made belief.

BrckBrln
Oct 20th 2008, 01:48 AM
All Scripture is Given by Inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction

I looked upo the Strongs Number for works.

Strong's Number: 2041 Browse Lexicon (http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/browse.cgi?number=2041&version=kjv) Original WordWord Origin e[rgonfrom a primary (but obsolete) ergo (to work) Transliterated WordTDNT (http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=2041&version=kjv#Legend) Entry Ergon2:635,251 Phonetic SpellingParts of Speech er'-gon http://bible.crosswalk.com/images/audio.gif (http://bible.crosswalk.com/cgi-bin/lexicon.pl?id=2041g) Noun Neuter Definition


business, employment, that which any one is occupied

that which one undertakes to do, enterprise, undertaking


any product whatever, any thing accomplished by hand, art, industry, or mind
an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasised in opp. to that which is less than work

King James Word Usage - Total: 176 work 152, deed 22, doing 1, labour 1

Its the same won used in Eph 2:10 where the qualifier of Good is used.

(thanks again to crosswalk.com)

2 Tim 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Scripture is inspired by God. The NIV says it is God Breathed, literally the words of the bible are Gods. Our interpretations however, are not always necessarily of God. Remember, Demons know Jesus, and Tremble, that doesn't mean they use God's word for Good, and it doesn't mean they are saved either.

To say that Calvin's interpretations are all correct is in essence to say anyone that disagrees is then false. Calvin was a very very smart man. He wrote a lot of things that most of the world never hears about. That doesn't mean his interpretations are 100% right, it also doesn't mean that in some areas he might have lacked understanding himself either.

Each of us has to interpret scripture by scripture. If you base your faith upon the views of one man, how then can you give a reason for the hope in you when the time comes? You have to know what you personally believe, and be able to back it up or it is vain to rest your faith upon one man's teachings concerning the scriptures.

Does that make more sense?

I really wish people would stop thinking that just because I label myself a 'Calvinist' (because I believe in the five points) that I somehow follow the beliefs of John Calvin, whom I have never read.

You say Calvin could be wrong, but couldn't he also be right? My own personal interpretation of the scriptures just happens to be the one of Calvin, Spurgeon, and Pink.

drew
Oct 20th 2008, 01:58 AM
So God would not exist if there were no humans to hold to that belief?
Aaaaaaargh!!! Ye have caused me to rend my garment!!! :D

I have never said anything of the sort.

Human beliefs about God have no effect on the objective reality of God. So my answer is "yes, God exists independent of human beliefs.


Just because a thought goes through the brain does not mean it's a man made belief. Man made means that man made that belief. Man did not make God, God made man. Belief in God is a God made belief.
Men "make" all beliefs they have. That's the way the world is.

I think the distinction you want to draw is this:

1. Beliefs that reflect objective reality; versus
2. Beliefs that do net reflect objective reality.

BrckBrln
Oct 20th 2008, 02:00 AM
Human beliefs about God have no effect on the objective reality of God. So my answer is "yes, God exists independent of human beliefs.

Exactly. So belief in God is not man made.


Men "make" all beliefs they have. That's the way the world is.

I think the distinction you want to draw is this:

1. Beliefs that reflect objective reality; versus
2. Beliefs that do net reflect objective reality.

I think you are defining man made as any thought that is is ones head. I define man made as something that man made up.

drew
Oct 20th 2008, 02:08 AM
Exactly. So belief in God is not man made.



I think you are defining man made as any thought that is is ones head. I define man made as something that man made up.
I think we are not going to make any more progress on this. So I'll leave you the last word. I do not think this is an important issue.

RoadWarrior
Oct 20th 2008, 02:11 AM
I really wish people would stop thinking that just because I label myself a 'Calvinist' (because I believe in the five points) that I somehow follow the beliefs of John Calvin, whom I have never read.

You say Calvin could be wrong, but couldn't he also be right? My own personal interpretation of the scriptures just happens to be the one of Calvin, Spurgeon, and Pink.

Believing in Calvin's five points, makes you a Calvinist. You do not have to have read Calvin yourself. You have listened to others who have taught you the five points, which originated with Calvin.

The five points are Calvin's doctrine. They are his beliefs.

BrckBrln
Oct 20th 2008, 02:14 AM
Believing in Calvin's five points, makes you a Calvinist. You do not have to have read Calvin yourself. You have listened to others who have taught you the five points, which originated with Calvin.

The five points are Calvin's doctrine. They are his beliefs.

I know I am a Calvinist (which is just a nickname). But the five points didn't originate with Calvin; he didn't invent them. He may have been the first to gather them into five points but they came from and are found in the Bible.

Cyberseeker
Oct 20th 2008, 08:01 AM
Yes, justice and mercy are equally important to God. But justice and mercy are mutually exclusive to each other. Either God grants mercy or he demands justice. He doesn't do both at the same time. (Matthew 18:21-35)

I don't believe they are exclusive at all. Propitiation is a legal term encompassing both mercy and justice.

Definition: Propitiation is that which appeases for an outrage enabling a legal basis for mercy, yet satisfying the demands of divine justice without compromising law.
As I understand it, God does not simply let people off with a pardon flicked to anyone who asks. What kind of judge would do that? Instead our punishment was borne by Christ and pardon granted on the basis of law satisfied. (to those that believe)

Hope that makes sense.

9Marksfan
Oct 20th 2008, 01:26 PM
Yes way. Paul is talking about the works of Torah. You claim it doesn't say "works of the Law". Well it never says good works, either.

It says "works" - by saying "works of the law" you are adding to Scripture - this is a phrase Paul used all the time in his letter to the (largely Gentile) church at Rome. He could just as easily have used it again when he wrote Ephesians. But he didn't. Check out Veratax's helpful definition in post #87.


So we have to let context answer the question. And context shows that Paul must be talking about Torah.

No - the context is grace -v- works.


If you want, we can go verse by verse. I do not think you will like where that will take us.

Well you've already taken me through thje following verses, which I shall address below.


And your assertion about the audience being Gentiles in no way undermines my point. In fact, it supports it. The Ephesian Gentiles need to be told that covenant membership is not for Jews only. This is why Paul writes this:

Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

So the fact that the audience are predominantly Gentiles actually harmonizes perfectly well with the interpretation I am defending.

Actually I think the context teaches the opposite - it's hard to tell what problems there were at that time in Ephesus but it appears that the Gentile believers there were becoming a bit proud and were perhaps relying on their good works for salvation - so Paul had to teach them they were saved by grace and not works - and that actually they are HUGELY privileged to receive salvation, because they did not have any of the privileges the Jews had - the Gentile believers needed to "remember" that fact - not to be "told" it - they weren't feeling unworthy to be partakers of the covenant - they were more likely to be taking their blessings for granted!



And you seem attached to your own views, or whoever else has influenced you.

My mind is held captive to the word of God - many have influenced me but I will happily reject their influence if I find it contradicts Scripture - and in fact I have rejected former influences on many occasions for this reason. You on the other hand seem to be an ambassador for NT Wright with every single post on these Forums!

drew
Oct 20th 2008, 03:13 PM
It says "works" - by saying "works of the law" you are adding to Scripture - this is a phrase Paul used all the time in his letter to the (largely Gentile) church at Rome.
This same argument can be applied to your position. Paul says "works". He does not say "works of Torah", he does not say "good works". So you are in the exact position I am in - subject to the critique that when you take the word "works" and make it means "good works", that you are adding to the Scriptures.

In many cases in Romans, when Paul says "works" he is intending the reader to understand that he is talking about the works of the Law of Moses - the Torah. In the case of Ephesian 2:8-9, this is clearly seen by an analysis of the context.

drew
Oct 20th 2008, 03:23 PM
My mind is held captive to the word of God - many have influenced me but I will happily reject their influence if I find it contradicts Scripture - and in fact I have rejected former influences on many occasions for this reason. You on the other hand seem to be an ambassador for NT Wright with every single post on these Forums!
This is a deeply misleading statement. You are essentially assuming that your interpretation of the Scriptures is the one that is in tune with God's truth and that others are the ones that are mistaken. This kind of thinking obviously begs the very question at issue. And you are, intentionally or otherwise, sewing the notion that I am NT Wright's "boy" and therefore have an agenda that deviates from seeking the truth of the Scriptures. Well, I could say the same thing about you and Calvin, or other reformed writers.

Do you really think that I and other readers are going to simply say "well, since Marksfan says his mind is captive to the word of God, drew and NT Wriight must be wrong since they disagree with what God wants us to understand since, after all, 9Marksfan, has priveleged knowledge of the truth".

I really wish people would stop using this strategy. It is really quite patronizing.

And, since it appears that we need to get into the actual of context of Ephesians 2, so be it.....

drew
Oct 20th 2008, 03:27 PM
The material that follows 2:8-10 makes no sense if "good works" are in view in 2:8-10. More specifically, if the justification value of "good works" is being denied, why does Paul use a "therefore" transitional in verse 11 to conclude that the Gentile now has access to the covenant promises (including, of course, final justification) specifically because a dividing line between Jew and Gentile has been dissolved? After all, the dividing line is, of course, not the “good works” line, it is the “works of Torah” line.

There is indeed a sense in which the standard reformed reading of this could be salvaged (although this ultimately does not work as we will shortly see). If Paul says “no one is justified by good works, therefore remember that the Jew-Gentile barrier has been destroyed”, he could mean that there is some difference between the Jew and the Gentile in respect to doing good works, but this difference is irrelevant since good works do not justify.

In other words, he could be saying: "Listen you Gentiles, you need not do the good works that the Jews are doing to be saved since good works do not save anyway, therefore...you are not foreigners to the covenants of the promise, etc., etc.)”

But, of course, Paul does not believe this - he believes that Jew and Gentile alike are in sin. So it makes no sense for Paul, if he has really asserted that "good works" do not save, to then say "therefore you Gentiles now have hope since the barrier between Jew and Gentile has been destroyed, etc. etc." Why does this not make sense? Obviously, because Jew and Gentile are on equal footing in respect to "good works" - neither does enough good works to save.

Paul is therefore obviously talking about the works of Torah in 2:8-10. Then the "therefore" stuff makes sense since Torah is indeed the thing that divides Jew from Gentile and is the basis for the Gentile believing that he is on the outside in respect to the covenant promises.

9Marksfan
Oct 20th 2008, 09:00 PM
This same argument can be applied to your position. Paul says "works". He does not say "works of Torah", he does not say "good works". So you are in the exact position I am in - subject to the critique that when you take the word "works" and make it means "good works", that you are adding to the Scriptures.

What do you think of Veratax's definition of "works"? It doesn't seem to allow for your definition at all, but good works is a recognised definition from its use in other passages.


In many cases in Romans, when Paul says "works" he is intending the reader to understand that he is talking about the works of the Law of Moses - the Torah.

Well at least we're agreed on that.


In the case of Ephesian 2:8-9, this is clearly seen by an analysis of the context.

Not at all. The whole context is that salvation is by grace - not of ourselves and not of works (ie human effort).

9Marksfan
Oct 20th 2008, 09:12 PM
This is a deeply misleading statement. You are essentially assuming that your interpretation of the Scriptures is the one that is in tune with God's truth and that others are the ones that are mistaken.

No - I was rebutting your assertion that I am simply regurgitating my various influences. I was asserting instead that I sift all views and influences against Scripture - in fact there is no one influence that I would agree with 100% on all matters. I think that is a healthy thing and would hope that many on these Forums could say the same.


This kind of thinking obviously begs the very question at issue. And you are, intentionally or otherwise, sewing the notion that I am NT Wright's "boy" and therefore have an agenda that deviates from seeking the truth of the Scriptures.

Just about every single post of yours I have read could actually have been posted by NT Wright, you are so obviously an acolyte of his.


Well, I could say the same thing about you and Calvin, or other reformed writers.

I hold many views that John Calvin did not hold to. And that Reformers did not hold to.


Do you really think that I and other readers are going to simply say "well, since Marksfan says his mind is captive to the word of God, drew and NT Wriight must be wrong since they disagree with what God wants us to understand since, after all, 9Marksfan, has priveleged knowledge of the truth".

Of course not. But we should all be about examining our beliefs in light of Scripture, not theologians' views alone. I believe that NT Wright's views are unbiblical and present a distorted view of Scripture in general and Paul's teachings in particular. I trust that all my beliefs are thoroughly Scriptural, as that is what I intend them to be, regardless of what any theologian might say - whether I agree with their general position or not. For example, I believe Calvin and the Reformers were radically wrong in their understanding of the subjects of baptism.


I really wish people would stop using this strategy. It is really quite patronizing.

And your slavish adherence to NT Wright's theology, happily dismissing over 1600 years of Christian thought, ISN'T?!?


And, since it appears that we need to get into the actual of context of Ephesians 2, so be it.....

I'll address your next post.

drew
Oct 20th 2008, 09:20 PM
In the case of Ephesian 2:8-9, this is clearly seen by an analysis of the context.

Not at all. The whole context is that salvation is by grae - not of ourselves and not of works (ie human effort).
This is simply not correct. You read "human effort in general" into this statement although what Paul goes on to say shows that it is works of Torah that are on his mind.

Let's go though it in grisly detail to see what Paul actually says and not what various traditions have him saying.

There is really little doubt that in Ephesians 2, the works that are described in verse 9 are the works of Torah, not the cateobry of "good works" generally. We need to let Paul tell us what he wants to say, not apply our own systems on him. Here is the relevant text with my comments:

9not by works

{***ok, so if we are being objective we entertain both possibilities - that Paul is talking about "good works" in the general sense, or the activities or works of Torah - we then let Paul show us which one he is talking about.}

so that no one can boast. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works

{***Here by "good works" Paul indeed means "good works" but this does not logically force us to conclude that he means "good work" in verse 9 - do I really need to demonstrate this?},

which God prepared in advance for us to do.11Therefore,

{****Paul uses the "therefore" to show us that he is now going to fill out the implications of what he has just said. This is important because the corollory of this is that what follows will help disambiguate what Paul means by "works" in verse 9}

remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

{****Paul is clearly now talking about the Jew-Gentile divide, and how the actions of Jesus have brought Jew and Gentile together. Now lets remember the "therefore" from verse 11 - Paul is telling us the implications of his verse 9 statement that none are saved by "works". Now here it becomes clear that these are the works of Torah since, obviously, it is by doing the works of Torah, being "under Torah" as it were, that the Jew could say "I am part of God's covenant people" or I am a member of "Israel". What marks out the nation Israel from the Gentile? Possession and doing of Torah, of course! This is an exceedingly powerful argument - Paul here is obviously talking about the basis on which the Gentiles were excluded from membership in the covenant family - and that basis is obviously the possession of Torah and doing its works}

14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations

{***How much more clear could Paul be - he is talking about Torah - why people refuse to see this, I really do not know. What has divided the Jew from the Gentile and been the barrier? Good works? Obviously not, both Jew and Gentile are in Adam. It is doing the works of Torah, of course, that is the very thing that the Jew might otherwise boast in and which is now being declared to not be salvific}


We need to treat Paul holistically and let him dictate the terms of his arguments to us. We cannot approach a text like Ephesians 2:8-9, having already committed to the view that "works" means "good works" and then say, "aha! Paul is indeed denying that good works" justify", all the while ignoring what Paul says in verses 11 and following - material that does not cohere with such an interpretation but which obviously makes perfect sense if we understand the "works" in verse 9 as the works of Torah, and not "good works" in the more general sense.

9Marksfan
Oct 20th 2008, 09:23 PM
The material that follows 2:8-10 makes no sense if "good works" are in view in 2:8-10.

Why not look at the verses that precede vv8-10?


More specifically, if the justification value of "good works" is being denied, why does Paul use a "therefore" transitional in verse 11 to conclude that the Gentile now has access to the covenant promises (including, of course, final justification) specifically because a dividing line between Jew and Gentile has been dissolved? After all, the dividing line is, of course, not the “good works” line, it is the “works of Torah” line.

No - the reason why the Gentile now has access is because he - like the believing Jew - has been saved by grace!


There is indeed a sense in which the standard reformed reading of this could be salvaged (although this ultimately does not work as we will shortly see). If Paul says “no one is justified by good works, therefore remember that the Jew-Gentile barrier has been destroyed”, he could mean that there is some difference between the Jew and the Gentile in respect to doing good works, but this difference is irrelevant since good works do not justify.

In other words, he could be saying: "Listen you Gentiles, you need not do the good works that the Jews are doing to be saved since good works do not save anyway, therefore...you are not foreigners to the covenants of the promise, etc., etc.)”

But, of course, Paul does not believe this - he believes that Jew and Gentile alike are in sin.

Agreed. But what he is saying is that Jew and Gentile alike are saved by grace - not works.


So it makes no sense for Paul, if he has really asserted that "good works" do not save, to then say "therefore you Gentiles now have hope since the barrier between Jew and Gentile has been destroyed, etc. etc." Why does this not make sense? Obviously, because Jew and Gentile are on equal footing in respect to "good works" - neither does enough good works to save.

You are fundamentally missing the point of Paul's argument - three times in the preceding verses, Paul stresses God's grace in salvation. In v11 he stresses that the Gentiles should REMEMBER what they once were: "Therefore remember...".


Paul is therefore obviously talking about the works of Torah in 2:8-10. Then the "therefore" stuff makes sense since Torah is indeed the thing that divides Jew from Gentile and is the basis for the Gentile believing that he is on the outside in respect to the covenant promises.

No - it was the fact that the Jews were God's covenant people and the Gentiles weren't - the "middle wall of separation" referred to the temple precincts, beyond which Gentiles were not allowed. In fact, now under the New Covenant, believing Jew and believing Gentile are one in Christ and have been brought near to God (and one another) by His blood.

Veretax
Oct 20th 2008, 11:56 PM
I realize you are arguing about the text in Ephesian, but I wonder if injecting a passage from Titus might help:

Titus 3: 4-8
"4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men."

This passage seems to emphasize that we are justified by grace, not by works of righteousness, which might be more in tune with the (and someone please explain to me why you keep inserting "Torah" in there along with works.) I had forgotten this passage, where paul also reminds that we must reaffirm and be careful we who believe to maintain good works. In this case righteousness would seem to qualify what kind of works Paul is speaking about. (Granted this is a different passage too)

BroRog
Oct 20th 2008, 11:58 PM
I know I am a Calvinist (which is just a nickname). But the five points didn't originate with Calvin; he didn't invent them. He may have been the first to gather them into five points but they came from and are found in the Bible.

I don't think you will find Limited Atonement in the Bible. :)

RogerW
Oct 21st 2008, 12:13 AM
I don't think you will find Limited Atonement in the Bible. :)

Then do you believe all mankind will be saved? Either limited atonement is found in Scripture, or every man will be saved.

Blessings,
RW

drew
Oct 21st 2008, 12:15 AM
In Ephesians 2:8-9, Paul declares that we are saved by grace not "works". Does he mean "good works" or does he mean the "works of Torah", those practices that set the Jew apart from the Gentile?

The correct answer, if we are faithful to Paul's argument, is the second of these options - he denies that the Torah is salvific. He does not deny that good works are.

How do we know this? We know this because of the lengthy "therefore" text starting in verse 11. The "therefore" is critical. By using a "therefore" we can be confident that what follows in verse 11 and onward is some kind of amplification or explanation of what he has just said in 8 and 9.

And we will see that his "explanation" fits much better with the assertion that he is denying salvation by works of Torah. Let's go chunk by chunk:

11Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

Paul is saying the Gentiles felt themselves to be outside the covenant not a part of Israel. And what is that marks out the Jew from the Gentile ? Torah, of course.

So what Paul is saying here is the perfect answer to a Gentile who asks "I thought I was excluded from the covenant since I am not under Torah" No, Paul says in 8 and 9 - salvation is not achieved by doing the works of Torah. So you too, Mr. Gentile are part of the family of God.

What about the "good works" denial that Marksfan supports? How does what Paul say in 11-13 expand on that denial? It does not. The Gentile is in exactly the same position as the Jew in respect to good works, so there simply is no issue of the Gentile achieving the same status as the Jew. We know this from Romans 3. So if Paul is indeed denying salvation by good works, then of what relevance is the 11 - 13 material which is about how the Gentile is now on par with the Jew. Answer: It is of no relevance.

Already we see that Paul's therefore explanation is more consistent with a denial of salvation by Torah than with a denial of salvation by good works.

More in the next post.....

drew
Oct 21st 2008, 12:30 AM
14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

Who are the "two"? By context, clearly the Jews and the Gentiles. What is the "barrier", what is it that would be seen as marking the Jew out from the Gentile? Of course it is the Torah. And what has God done in Christ? To use Paul's own words, he has abolished the Torah - it no longer functions to distinguish the Jew from the Gentile. And who is that is "far away" (verse 17)? Obviously the Gentile. It is the Jew who is "near" having been the chosen people of God all along.

Again, this is the perfect answer to the Gentile who would believe that God has left him out in the cold, cut off and far away from membership in the family of God - those under Torah. Paul assures him that the Torah and has been abolished - the Gentiles are no longer on the outside looking in. The Gentile was far and has been brought near.

In other words, Mr. Gentile, you are not saved by doing the works of Torah - God has done away with that. No, you are saved by grace.

Now how does what Paul say here in 14 to 18 work with Marksfan's view that Paul is denying salvation by good works. It seems entirely irrelevent. After all, the Gentile is no "further" from the standard of achieving good works than the Jew. We know this from the first bit of Romans 3. And what does the abolition of the Torah and as the divider between Jew and Gentile have to do with a denial of salvation by doing good works? Nothing. Paul's case here is that the Torah functions to mark out two ethnic groups. What does "making Jew and Gentile into one man" have to do with a denial of salvation by good works? Nothing.

But, of course, it has everything to do with a denial of salvation by the works of Torah. For if Torah is now no longer the standard for who is in God's family and who is not, the Jew and the Gentile are indeed on equal footing - which is precisely what Paul is saying here.

And Paul completes the thought:

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household,

The Gentile is now a co-citizen with the Jew. This is, yet again, the perfect way to deny the claim that the Jews - those who do the worlks of Torah - are God's special exclusive family. That is, it is the perfect to say "you are not saved by works of Torah".

I trust this explanation makes the point. If we pay careful attention to Paul, we see that, in verses 11 and following, he makes the same point over and over: Mr. Gentile, you are a part of God's family too. This is, of course, another way of saying......"you are not saved by being Jewish and doing the works (practices) that mark out the Jew, namely the practices of Torah.

BroRog
Oct 21st 2008, 12:35 AM
This passage seems to emphasize that we are justified by grace, not by works of righteousness, which might be more in tune with the (and someone please explain to me why you keep inserting "Torah" in there along with works.)

Remember that in Israel's history, God sent the nation into exile in Babylon because they failed to allow the land to go fallow every seven years. During their time in Babylon, many among the people didn't keep the Mosaic Law. After the exile, when the people were allowed to return, Ezra had to instruct the people in how to keep the law again. Between that time and the first coming of Jesus, some men organized a group, much like the Promise Keepers, dedicated to keeping the of Moses, studying the scriptures, and holding each other accountable. This group is known as the Pharisees.

The Pharisees taught that since God sent the nation into exile for not keeping the law, they must dedicate themselves to keeping the law in order to gain and maintain God's favor. In addition to that, the Pharisees believed that if the entire nation could keep the Mosaic Law for a single day, the Messiah would come.

Another group, known to the New Testament as the "party of the circumcision" taught that a man must put himself under the covenant and keep the Mosaic Law in order to find favor with God.

Within this cultural context, Paul wrote his letter to the Romans to explain that God's favor is granted as a gift to those who repent and accept Jesus to be the Messiah, and not by keeping the Mosaic Law. And since God was granting his favor in view of a man's faith, he did not need to place himself under the covenant or keep the Mosaic Law.

Fast forward to the Reformation.

During the time of Luther, the Catholic Church was selling indulgences as an effort to raise money for building projects. Selling indulgences dove-tailed with the Catholic doctrine of purgatory, in which a person suffered in a transient state until they paid for their sins. The price of the indulgence was to purchase less time in purgatory for a dead loved one or for one's self.

Penance is a another Catholic doctrine in which the penitent desired to seek God's forgiveness and atone for sins through physical suffering. I was during Luther's time of penance that he had time to think about the book of Romans and Paul's declaration that a man is not justified by his works but by his faith.

Paul's point actually related to the ritual aspects of his own religion, but Luther extrapolated Paul's teaching to his own religious experience to discover that the mortification of the flesh or the purchase of indulgences or any other religious ritual practice did nothing to bring God's favor, forgiveness, atonement, or grace.

The slogan we inherited from Luther's protest movement was "salvation by faith alone."

Ever since the Reformation, Christians have been trying to sort out exactly what that means, especially in light of other passages of scripture which commend various actions that must be done in order for a person to claim to have faith. Part of this sorting out process is to return to Romans to see what Paul actually said and why it was an issue for him. And to remind ourselves of what issues were on the minds of the Reformers.

At the minimum, we discover that the issue is a little more complex than our slogan can handle.

Hopefully this is helpful :)

Cyberseeker
Oct 21st 2008, 12:57 AM
Then do you believe all mankind will be saved? Either limited atonement is found in Scripture, or every man will be saved.

Blessings,
RW

Have a look at the opening post again. What the diagram attempts to explain is that propitiation is unlimited but the imputation of righteousness is to those that believe.

The old argument that you either have to believe in 'limited atonement' or 'everyone saved' is not valid.

Cyber

BroRog
Oct 21st 2008, 01:10 AM
Then do you believe all mankind will be saved? Either limited atonement is found in Scripture, or every man will be saved.

Blessings,
RW

Thus the conundrum of the Satisfaction Theory of St. Anselm. If Christ paid for the sins of the entire world, then God is obligated to save the entire world. The doctrine of Limited atonement solves the difficulty inherent in the theory by asserting that Christ's death was only efficacious for the elect.

Rather than accepting St. Anselm's view, and consequently the doctrine of Limited Atonement, I reject St. Anselm's view of the atonement and problem solved.

God did not inflict pain on Christ as retribution for our sinful deeds, suffering the pain for us so that we might go unpunished instead. The exchange is not tit-for-tat, or an eye for an eye. The purpose of the Cross was not to provide equitable retaliation for our offenses.

The Biblical view, is something closer to arbitration in which the damaged party, God in this case, negotiates with the offender to come to a resolution suitable to making peace between them again. Since God is angry with mankind and unapproachable, mankind can not petition for reconciliation without a third party mediator, i.e. Jesus Christ.

In Paul's view, the purpose of the cross was to allow God to demonstrate, i.e. teach about his view of sin.

In Jesus' view, just as Moses required the people to look at the serpent on the pole, the purpose of the cross was to force us to look at our disobedience objectively. Jesus was hung on a cross, which became the public objectification of our disobedience, which God accepted in arbitration for our souls.

I picture it this way. God and man, in their estrangement, were each facing away from the other. Christ's death on the cross got God to turn our direction. But salvation isn't offered unless we are willing to turn toward him. Jesus' death on the cross brought us reconciliation. Repentance brings us salvation.

RogerW
Oct 21st 2008, 01:33 AM
Have a look at the opening post again. What the diagram attempts to explain is that propitiation is unlimited but the imputation of righteousness is to those that believe.

The old argument that you either have to believe in 'limited atonement' or 'everyone saved' is not valid.

Cyber

I would agree that Christ's propitiation is unlimited and that imputation of righteousness is to those who believe. Since propitiation means an expiator of sin, or an appeasement of the wrath of God, as well as atonement, how is it unlimited? Sins are atoned for at the cross, or sins are done away in the lake of fire. Therefore the argument is still valid, because atonement is limited, i.e. every man is not saved. For some will be cast into the lake of fire in their sins. But the wrath of God is still satisfied!

Many Blessings,
RW

drew
Oct 21st 2008, 01:43 AM
I realize you are arguing about the text in Ephesian, but I wonder if injecting a passage from Titus might help:

Titus 3: 4-8
"4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men."

This passage seems to emphasize that we are justified by grace, not by works of righteousness, which might be more in tune with the (and someone please explain to me why you keep inserting "Torah" in there along with works.) I had forgotten this passage, where paul also reminds that we must reaffirm and be careful we who believe to maintain good works. In this case righteousness would seem to qualify what kind of works Paul is speaking about. (Granted this is a different passage too)
Indeed, in the Titus text, Paul does say that we are not saved by "good works that we have done". I have never denied this. But that is not the immediate point. In Ephesians 2:8-9, Paul does not say we are not saved by "good works", he says we are not saved by works.

And an analysis of the context shows that he is talking about the works (or practices) of the Torah - the Law of Moses.

So - and let's be clear here - I am no more "inserting" "of Torah" after "works" into 2:8-9 then you are inserting "good" in front of it.

drew
Oct 21st 2008, 01:47 AM
God did not inflict pain on Christ as retribution for our sinful deeds, suffering the pain for us so that we might go unpunished instead. The exchange is not tit-for-tat, or an eye for an eye. The purpose of the Cross was not to provide equitable retaliation for our offenses.
Agree, although perhaps for not the same reasons you have put forward. I simply appeal to Romans 8:3 where Paul says that is sin, not Jesus, that is condemned on the cross:

For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.[c (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%208;&version=31;#fen-NIV-28105c)] And so he condemned [B]sin in sinful man,...

9Marksfan
Oct 21st 2008, 08:26 AM
I realize you are arguing about the text in Ephesian, but I wonder if injecting a passage from Titus might help:

Titus 3: 4-8
"4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men."

This passage seems to emphasize that we are justified by grace, not by works of righteousness, which might be more in tune with the (and someone please explain to me why you keep inserting "Torah" in there along with works.) I had forgotten this passage, where paul also reminds that we must reaffirm and be careful we who believe to maintain good works. In this case righteousness would seem to qualify what kind of works Paul is speaking about. (Granted this is a different passage too)

Thanks, Veratax - I believe this is a much overlooked passage on justification but is just as significant as Eph 2 and Rom 3-5.

9Marksfan
Oct 21st 2008, 08:33 AM
Indeed, in the Titus text, Paul does say that we are not saved by "good works that we have done". I have never denied this. But that is not the immediate point. In Ephesians 2:8-9, Paul does not say we are not saved by "good works", he says we are not saved by works.

And an analysis of the context shows that he is talking about the works (or practices) of the Torah - the Law of Moses.

So - and let's be clear here - I am no more "inserting" "of Torah" after "works" into 2:8-9 then you are inserting "good" in front of it.

I've been reflecting on this - couldn't it be both? And might that be the reason why Paul just said "works" rather than "good wrorks" or "works of the law" or "works of righteousness"?

drew
Oct 21st 2008, 03:10 PM
I've been reflecting on this - couldn't it be both?
I do not think it can be both. The reason is, as per what I hoped was a sufficiently detailed argument, that what Paul goes on to say in his "therefore" clause really makes no sense if he is denying "salvation by 'good works'". And it makes perfect sense if he is denying salvation by the works of the Torah.

Besides, how could Paul be denying "salvation by good works" when he indeed affirms in Romans 2 that the good works manifest in the life of the believer are the basis according to which eternal life will be granted at the last day:

God "will give to each person according to what he has done."[a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%202&version=31#fen-NIV-27954a)] 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life

We need to look at the broad sweep of Paul's writings to figure out what he really intends us to hear.

But returning to Ephesian 2. If Paul is denying "salvation by works", why does he then say "therefore" and then engage in a lengthy and detailed explanation to the Gentile as to why this means he now gets citizenship in a covenant which hitherto would have been considered exclusive to the Jew? Clearly, Paul is making an argument that this "salvation by grace and not by works" means that the Gentile now gets in on something that the Jew might otherwise claim exclusive rights to.

And this has no connection to the claim that we are saved by grace and not by good works (while it obviously connects to a claim that we are saved by grace and not by the ethnic exclusiveness of the works of Torah).

Please remember, Paul has made it clear in Romans 3 that the Jew and the Gentile are in the same position in respect to doing good works - both have hopelessly failed in this respect:

What shall we conclude then? Are we {***clearly the Jews by context} any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin.

If Paul really were denying salvation by good works in Ephesians 2:8-9, he would be directing his "therefore" statement to both Jews and Gentiles, saying something like this "Therefore......Don't worry, Mr. Jew and Mr. Gentile about what I said in Romans 3 - we are all saved by grace and not by the good works that we do".

But this is not what Paul does. His "therefore" statement is clearly directed at the Gentile, telling him that the meaning of "salvation by grace and not by works" has brought him into the same state as the Jew.

So he really must be denying salvation by the works of Torah.

drew
Oct 21st 2008, 03:17 PM
Hello 9Marksfan:

To be fair to you, I think my preceding post may not have given full and fair consideration to your proposal that he means "both". I hope to clarify shortly. But for now, please consider my preceding post to be provisional.

drew
Oct 21st 2008, 05:25 PM
To be fair to those who think Paul is denying "salvation by good works" in Ephesians 2:8-9, I think my arguments need to be tightened up. I still believe that Paul denies salvation by the works of Torah here, though.

Let me take the position of someone who says that Paul is here denying salvation by "good works". This person would then presumably claim that the "therefore" discourse (verses 11 and following) harmonizes with their position as well. They might argue as follows, bearing in mind that we should all agree that in verses 11 and following, Paul is directing his remarks to the Gentile explaining to him why it is that "salvation by grace and not by 'works'" is specifically good news for him because the Gentile now has the same status the Jew. So here is a possible argument:

"Paul is re-assuring the Gentile that while the Jew does more good works - since he has the Torah to guide him - this does not matter because it is grace and not good works that is the basis for salvation."

This argument has a certain appeal, but it really does not work. The key point is that this argument only works if the Jew indeed does more good works than the Gentile. Only under such conditions would it make sense to argue "well, Mr. Gentile, the Jew's advantage in terms of good works is not relevant to salvation, grace is the key to salvation."

But we know that Paul does not believe that the Jew is in any better position in respect to good works. This is clear from Romans 3:

9What shall we conclude then? Are we {***i.e the Jews} any better? [B]Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10As it is written:
"There is no one righteous, not even one;
11there is no one who understands,
no one who seeks God.

Now perhaps you (the person who takes the standard position that Paul is denying salvation by good works in Eph 2:8-9) may well say:

"Yes, but the Gentiles to whom Paul is writing do not know about Paul said in Romans 3, and they may indeed believe that the Jew has more good works. Therefore, what Paul says in Eph 2:11 and following is entirely consistent with a dential of justification by good works."

Well, a careful analysis of what Paul actually says in verses 11 and following shows that such an objection cannot work.

In verse 11, he contrasts the status of the Gentile by birth (not by good works) to that of the Jew's status as being circumcised. This is not a good works issue - Paul describes a dividing line that is ethnic, and circumcision is the hallmark "work of Torah" - it is not a "good work".

In verse 12, Paul describes the Gentile as not being a citizen and being an outsider of to the covenants. Again, this is not relevant to any claim that the Jew does more good works. It is a claim about the Jew's status as an ethnic group. And it is the Torah that is the charter of the Jews as a people - it is the Torah that marks them out as distinct from the Gentile. So, once again, this is not the kind of argument one should be mounting if a denial of salvation by good works is on the table. And it is precisely the argument to use if a denial of salvation by works of Torah is being argued for.

In verses 14 and 15, Paul talks about how the abolition of Torah has brought the Jew and Gentile together. This is the perfect argument to make if a denial of the salvific effect of doing the works of Torah is on Paul's mind. If the Torah is now "retired", the Jew no longer can do its "works" and claim salvation, to the exclusion of the Gentile, on that basis.

In 15b, Paul tells us what the purpose of the abolition of the Torah is: to dissolve any distinction between Jew and Gentile and make one family. What possible relevance does this have to a denial of salvation by good works? If, as the reformer needs to claim, the Jew's superiority in respect to doing good works is being deconstructed, it could be claimed that its abolition brings the Jew "down" to the level of the Gentile. Fair enough. But it seems rather unlikely that God wants to make one family by "reducing" the good works of the Jew. So we really have no choice but to understand that the Torah is being abolished specifically in respect to those aspects of it that really marked the Jew out as distinct from the Gentile - circumcision, kosher laws, sabbatth, etc. It is by getting rid of these things - these markers - that a family is created. Surely God is not abolishing Torah to eliminate the Jew's advantage in respect to good works as He would have to be doing if the reformer is to make any sense at all of verses 11 and following.

And over and above all this, we know from Romans 2:6-13 that Paul in fact affirms that "good works" will be the basis of our ultimate salvation. Those in the reformed tradition seem to believe that Romans 2:6-13 should be ignored. But, it is part of the scriptures and needs to inform our thinking.

Veretax
Oct 21st 2008, 06:08 PM
I'm going to disagree with your interpretation of that passage of romans. If you start at Verse 1, its clear that paul is rebuking folks for judging.

Romans 2:1-
"1Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. 3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,"

Clearly Paul is rebuking the Romans to not Judge others for sins that they themselves are committing. That if they despise the patience and love and mercy of God, that they will sow the wrath for themselves because of it.

(The passage you cited begins here)
6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: 7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God. 12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified;...


Seems to me Paul is describing for the Romans, just in case they don't know, how exactly God Will judge. Glory, honor, and peace to those that work good, and wrath and indignation, and tribulation and anguish to all who are self seeking and unrighteous. This is very much like the rewards given to those who are Gods people and to those he remained in sin at the end. Their actions have a response or consequence. However, this does not necessarily mean that through works are you saved. (your post at times seem to hint at that, not sure if that's intentional)


Then Paul continues on his discourse and says that Gentiles may do the things in the law even if they don't have it...


14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel."

That would seem to be different from what you saying, (unless I'm getting lost in the words here of what you are trying to say.)

drew
Oct 21st 2008, 06:36 PM
Seems to me Paul is describing for the Romans, just in case they don't know, how exactly God Will judge. Glory, honor, and peace to those that work good, and wrath and indignation, and tribulation and anguish to all who are self seeking and unrighteous. This is very much like the rewards given to those who are Gods people and to those he remained in sin at the end. Their actions have a response or consequence. However, this does not necessarily mean that through works are you saved. (your post at times seem to hint at that, not sure if that's intentional)
It is indeed intentional. Paul clearly states that eternal life is indeed granted according to what we have done. Paul is clear and unambiguous - the "criteria" by which eternal life will be granted are the good works that are manifested in the life of the believer:

God "will give to each person according to what he has done."[a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%202;&version=31;#fen-NIV-27954a)] 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

Now this should not be understand as a claim by me that we get eternal life by "moral self-effort". I never said that and would never say that.

The good works that are indeed the basis for our ultimate justification are produced by the action of the Holy Spirit - Paul explains this in Romans 8.

And we get the Holy Spirit by faith and faith alone.

But Paul means what he says in Romans 2. Eternal life will be granted according to what we ("read the Holy Spirit acting through us") has done. Without the "good works", one gets wrath. That's what Paul says. It's not me saying this, its Paul.

Veretax
Oct 21st 2008, 06:56 PM
okay, thanks for clarifying, I think I see where you are coming from now.