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RollTide21
Jun 3rd 2011, 02:29 PM
I just started my own personal study of Ephesians last night. Chapter 1 (what a GREAT opening chapter, by the way) speaks of being chosen in Him before creation and also mentions being predistined to Him.

My question: Why is it that Paul isn't referring SPECIFICALLY to the Apostles? Or the Apostles and Disciples charged with spreading the Gospel?

Ephesians 1:1-14

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To God’s holy people in Ephesus,[a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%201&version=NIV#fen-NIV-29208a)] the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love
5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship[c (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%201&version=NIV#fen-NIV-29212c)] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—
6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,
9 he[d (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%201&version=NIV#fen-NIV-29216d)] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,
10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen,[[B]e (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%201&version=NIV#fen-NIV-29218e)] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,
12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

I would assume this interpretation has been discussed. Question:

Are verses 4-6 and 11-12 speaking of the same group? One could make the argument that 4-6 is speaking of all Believers and 11-12 refers to only the first to Believe. However, could it be read that Paul's idea of predestination in Ephesians 1 refers only to those whom God predestined to Spread His Gospel? "The first to hope in Christ?" Verses 13-14 seem to disconnect from verses 11-12. Paul speaks of "us" through verse 12 and, in verse 13, he transitions to "you". Later in the chapter, he transitions back to "us" after he has brought in those who have believed the Word.

It seems that Paul could be saying "We (the apostles) were predestined to believe in the Hope of Christ so that we could give this message to all who would believe."

I haven't cross-referenced this idea with other Scriptural passages mentioning predestination, by the way.

Whatcha think?

janitor
Jun 3rd 2011, 04:00 PM
Hello RollTide21.
When Paul says "we" and "us", he means the Jews. When he says "you", he means the gentiles. God bless your study.

RollTide21
Jun 3rd 2011, 04:14 PM
Hello RollTide21.
When Paul says "we" and "us", he means the Jews. When he says "you", he means the gentiles. God bless your study.Paul is referring to Jews when he states that God "predestined us to sonship through Jesus Christ"? The Nation of Israel was His predestined people? I can follow that train of thought only until he says that "we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ...". Would you contend that the Jews placed their hope in Christ before His appearance? In other words, the Jews had hope in Messiah from the prophecies?

BroRog
Jun 3rd 2011, 04:26 PM
I just started my own personal study of Ephesians last night. Chapter 1 (what a GREAT opening chapter, by the way) speaks of being chosen in Him before creation and also mentions being predistined to Him.

My question: Why is it that Paul isn't referring SPECIFICALLY to the Apostles? Or the Apostles and Disciples charged with spreading the Gospel?I too am studying Ephesians right now and that is a really good question in my opinion -- a really good question. I think we are justified in asking this question because of verse 8, which might lead us to think that Paul is talking about the apostles.

However, verse 7 talks about redemption and being forgiven, which are not unique to the Apostles but apply to everyone in "the assembly". Also, in verse 10 Paul talks about the unity of the entire body of Christ (all things) under Christ. Therefore, I believe that Paul is listing the blessings of the full compliment of the entire body of Christ.

His transition from 12 to 13 is not intended to be exclusive but inclusive. All those in the body of Christ were chosen and predestined, both those who were first to hope in Christ and later those who believed after having heard the message of truth.

Bandit
Jun 3rd 2011, 06:18 PM
...

I would assume this interpretation has been discussed. Question:

Are verses 4-6 and 11-12 speaking of the same group? One could make the argument that 4-6 is speaking of all Believers and 11-12 refers to only the first to Believe. ...

Whatcha think?

I would tend to think more along these kind of lines. All believers were predestined through Christ (a single corporate election though, rather than multiple individial elections). And, yes, some believed before others; and many who believed first brought the message to those who believed later.

david
Jun 3rd 2011, 08:04 PM
I just started my own personal study of Ephesians last night. Chapter 1 (what a GREAT opening chapter, by the way) speaks of being chosen in Him before creation and also mentions being predistined to Him.

My question: Why is it that Paul isn't referring SPECIFICALLY to the Apostles? Or the Apostles and Disciples charged with spreading the Gospel?

Ephesians 1:1-14

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To God’s holy people in Ephesus,[a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%201&version=NIV#fen-NIV-29208a)] the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love
5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship[c (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%201&version=NIV#fen-NIV-29212c)] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—
6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,
9 he[d (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%201&version=NIV#fen-NIV-29216d)] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,
10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen,[[B]e (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%201&version=NIV#fen-NIV-29218e)] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,
12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

I would assume this interpretation has been discussed. Question:

Are verses 4-6 and 11-12 speaking of the same group? One could make the argument that 4-6 is speaking of all Believers and 11-12 refers to only the first to Believe. However, could it be read that Paul's idea of predestination in Ephesians 1 refers only to those whom God predestined to Spread His Gospel? "The first to hope in Christ?" Verses 13-14 seem to disconnect from verses 11-12. Paul speaks of "us" through verse 12 and, in verse 13, he transitions to "you". Later in the chapter, he transitions back to "us" after he has brought in those who have believed the Word.

It seems that Paul could be saying "We (the apostles) were predestined to believe in the Hope of Christ so that we could give this message to all who would believe."

I haven't cross-referenced this idea with other Scriptural passages mentioning predestination, by the way.

Whatcha think?
verses 11-12 say that we obtained an inheritance to the praise of his glory, but on 13-14 it says you also obtained an inheritance to the praise of his glory. So they are all one in Christ Jesus. Remember the oneness of the saints: there is one flock, one shepherd (jn 10.16), and we were made one man between the jews and the gentiles (Ephesians 2:15), so in fact there are no such thing as jews or gentiles, but only saints.

God choosing us before the foundation of the world is not just here, but also in Matthew 25:34.

"“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Matthew 25:31-34 "

shepherdsword
Jun 3rd 2011, 09:49 PM
What is stated here is that whoever is found in him will be predestined to be holy and blameless before him in love. The action of justification is what is predestined,not any particular individual.

janitor
Jun 3rd 2011, 10:54 PM
Originally posted by RollTide21
Paul is referring to Jews when he states that God "predestined us to sonship through Jesus Christ"?
Yes.

"Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ....Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh....aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.....For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.....Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens....For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles..."2:5,11,12,14,19,3:1


The Nation of Israel was His predestined people?
Israel still is Gods people. Ephesians says both Jews and gentiles are being formed into the holy temple of God.

"....built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord. In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Eph.2:20-22

This is the place where God will dwell and is in the New Jerusalem which also consists of Jews and gentiles.


I can follow that train of thought only until he says that "we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ...". Would you contend that the Jews placed their hope in Christ before His appearance? In other words, the Jews had hope in Messiah from the prophecies?
Absolutely.

"For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them...." Heb.4:2

BroRog
Jun 4th 2011, 01:20 AM
What is stated here is that whoever is found in him will be predestined to be holy and blameless before him in love. The action of justification is what is predestined,not any particular individual.That might fit with Ephesians chapter 1, but it won't fit with Ephesians chapter 4, which is one reason I beleive Paul is talking about individual election.

janitor
Jun 4th 2011, 01:54 AM
Originally posted by shepherdsword
What is stated here is that whoever is found in him will be predestined to be holy and blameless before him in love. The action of justification is what is predestined,not any particular individual.
You are right. "In Him" is the key to predestination.


Originally posted by BroRog
That might fit with Ephesians chapter 1, but it won't fit with Ephesians chapter 4, which is one reason I beleive Paul is talking about individual election.
Why not?

shepherdsword
Jun 4th 2011, 02:06 AM
That might fit with Ephesians chapter 1, but it won't fit with Ephesians chapter 4, which is one reason I beleive Paul is talking about individual election.

The only possible reference I see in chapter 4 is "sealed unto the day of redemption"Is that what you are referring to or am I missing something ?

percho
Jun 4th 2011, 02:41 AM
Why is God just taking out of the Gentiles instead of taking all of them? Is he taking just the predestained of the Gentiles? See Acts 15:14

BroRog
Jun 4th 2011, 06:15 AM
You are right. "In Him" is the key to predestination.


Why not?

Beside the fact that it makes no sense to "choose" a category, in Ephesians 4 Paul teaches us that God has given the elect to his son to be his inheritance. The image Paul uses to make this point is of a king who takes prisoners, which runs contrary to the idea that it was our idea to be in the body of Christ. We talk as if we volunteered or chose to be in the body of Christ, but in fact, we were taken prisoner. Paul begins the chapter by admitting that he, himself, is a prisoner of Jesus Christ. When Jesus ascended on high, he says, "he led captive a host of captives." If it was our choice to be in the body of Christ, then how is it he says we are his captives? It wasn't our choice. It was his choice. We are called "the elect" not because we chose him, but because he chose us. We are his prisoners.

shepherdsword
Jun 4th 2011, 10:08 AM
Beside the fact that it makes no sense to "choose" a category, in Ephesians 4 Paul teaches us that God has given the elect to his son to be his inheritance. The image Paul uses to make this point is of a king who takes prisoners, which runs contrary to the idea that it was our idea to be in the body of Christ. We talk as if we volunteered or chose to be in the body of Christ, but in fact, we were taken prisoner. Paul begins the chapter by admitting that he, himself, is a prisoner of Jesus Christ. When Jesus ascended on high, he says, "he led captive a host of captives." If it was our choice to be in the body of Christ, then how is it he says we are his captives? It wasn't our choice. It was his choice. We are called "the elect" not because we chose him, but because he chose us. We are his prisoners.
"He gave some" Is referring to Jesus himself distributing his "doma" for the building of the temple of living stones. Paul teaches them back in chapter 2 that they are a habitation of God through the Spirit. He is now elaborating and telling them how this is done. The "doma" referred to here is nothing more than scaffolding to see the completion of this. What are they here for? "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"

There isn't a single passage in the chapter that deal with a specific individual being chosen for salvation.

BroRog
Jun 4th 2011, 10:23 PM
"He gave some" Is referring to Jesus himself distributing his "doma" for the building of the temple of living stones. Paul teaches them back in chapter 2 that they are a habitation of God through the Spirit. He is now elaborating and telling them how this is done. The "doma" referred to here is nothing more than scaffolding to see the completion of this. What are they here for? "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"

There isn't a single passage in the chapter that deal with a specific individual being chosen for salvation.I look at it differently. The "he" in "he gave some" is God giving Jesus people to edify those in the church. Are you not able to find the parts that talk about being taken captive?

shepherdsword
Jun 4th 2011, 11:01 PM
I look at it differently. The "he" in "he gave some" is God giving Jesus people to edify those in the church. Are you not able to find the parts that talk about being taken captive?

I see that as his descending into paradise and taking those righteous ones who died before the cross into the heavenlies. Of course I admit I admit I could be wrong.There is are a couple of obscure verses in Matthew that actually said that some of those that died rose with Christ:

YLT Mt 27:52 and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who have fallen asleep, arose,
and having come forth out of the tombs after his rising, they went into the holy city, and appeared to many.
I have always just assumed that the "captivity he led captive" were those OT saints. Maybe we are both stretching here. Please see my PM.

Butch5
Jun 4th 2011, 11:53 PM
I just started my own personal study of Ephesians last night. Chapter 1 (what a GREAT opening chapter, by the way) speaks of being chosen in Him before creation and also mentions being predistined to Him.

My question: Why is it that Paul isn't referring SPECIFICALLY to the Apostles? Or the Apostles and Disciples charged with spreading the Gospel?

Ephesians 1:1-14

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To God’s holy people in Ephesus,[a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%201&version=NIV#fen-NIV-29208a)] the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love
5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship[c (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%201&version=NIV#fen-NIV-29212c)] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—
6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,
9 he[d (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%201&version=NIV#fen-NIV-29216d)] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,
10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen,[[B]e (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%201&version=NIV#fen-NIV-29218e)] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,
12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

I would assume this interpretation has been discussed. Question:

Are verses 4-6 and 11-12 speaking of the same group? One could make the argument that 4-6 is speaking of all Believers and 11-12 refers to only the first to Believe. However, could it be read that Paul's idea of predestination in Ephesians 1 refers only to those whom God predestined to Spread His Gospel? "The first to hope in Christ?" Verses 13-14 seem to disconnect from verses 11-12. Paul speaks of "us" through verse 12 and, in verse 13, he transitions to "you". Later in the chapter, he transitions back to "us" after he has brought in those who have believed the Word.

It seems that Paul could be saying "We (the apostles) were predestined to believe in the Hope of Christ so that we could give this message to all who would believe."

I haven't cross-referenced this idea with other Scriptural passages mentioning predestination, by the way.

Whatcha think?

Hi Tide,

Actually, Paul is referring to the Jews in verses 3-12. In the original language verses 3-12 are one sentence, it's what's known as a Hebraism Paul is giving praise to God for what He has done for Israel. Your are correct to notice that he is speaking of two different groups of people. Of the first group he uses first person plural pronouns and of the other group he uses second person plural pronouns. Paul includes himself in the first group, the ones who "before hoped" in the Christ. It was the Jews who had before hoped in the Christ. In verse 13 he begins to address the Gentiles when he says,

Ephesians 1:13(KJV)
13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

He goes on in chapter two to tell them how they were brought into Christ.

Butch5
Jun 4th 2011, 11:57 PM
Paul is referring to Jews when he states that God "predestined us to sonship through Jesus Christ"? The Nation of Israel was His predestined people? I can follow that train of thought only until he says that "we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ...". Would you contend that the Jews placed their hope in Christ before His appearance? In other words, the Jews had hope in Messiah from the prophecies?

Yes, the Jews had the prophecies of the coming Messiah in their Scriptures.

Butch5
Jun 5th 2011, 12:05 AM
Beside the fact that it makes no sense to "choose" a category, in Ephesians 4 Paul teaches us that God has given the elect to his son to be his inheritance. The image Paul uses to make this point is of a king who takes prisoners, which runs contrary to the idea that it was our idea to be in the body of Christ. We talk as if we volunteered or chose to be in the body of Christ, but in fact, we were taken prisoner. Paul begins the chapter by admitting that he, himself, is a prisoner of Jesus Christ. When Jesus ascended on high, he says, "he led captive a host of captives." If it was our choice to be in the body of Christ, then how is it he says we are his captives? It wasn't our choice. It was his choice. We are called "the elect" not because we chose him, but because he chose us. We are his prisoners.

It says He led captivity captive, all mankind was held captive by Satan. Universalism?

janitor
Jun 5th 2011, 01:31 AM
Originally posted by BroRog
Beside the fact that it makes no sense to "choose" a category, in Ephesians 4 Paul teaches us that God has given the elect to his son to be his inheritance.
By "catagories" do you mean apostles, pastors, etc? Giving people gifts to teach or prophesy doesn't mean people can't choose to be what they want to be.

"....and they chose Stephen...." Acts 6:5 Although the post that Stephen and others
were called to was a lesser role in the church, the disciples chose them.


The image Paul uses to make this point is of a king who takes prisoners, which runs contrary to the idea that it was our idea to be in the body of Christ. We talk as if we volunteered or chose to be in the body of Christ, but in fact, we were taken prisoner. Paul begins the chapter by admitting that he, himself, is a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
Many theologians believe that at the time of this letter, Paul was in prison (literally). He gave up everything willingly to know Jesus.

"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ..." Phlip.3:8


When Jesus ascended on high, he says, "he led captive a host of captives." If it was our choice to be in the body of Christ, then how is it he says we are his captives?
I don't believe it does say that. I think it's a poor translation. I think "he led captivity captive" means death was now his prisoner.


It wasn't our choice. It was his choice. We are called "the elect" not because we chose him, but because he chose us. We are his prisoners.
Then I'm not sure being "elect" is synonymous with being saved. In fact, it can't be.

BroRog
Jun 5th 2011, 04:10 AM
By "catagories" do you mean apostles, pastors, etc? Giving people gifts to teach or prophesy doesn't mean people can't choose to be what they want to be.No, I was responding, albeit clumsily, to the theory of "election", which posits that God elected or chose to save "believers" as a category rather than individual people. It's a question of how much man contributes to his salvation and how much God contributes. Those who hold to a very high view of God's soverienty, will typically believe that man contributes nothing at all to his salvation. Others will believe that God goes a long way to save a person, but man must make the final choice whether he wants to be saved or not.

Accordingly then, those who hold such a position would interprete the beginning of Ephesians in light of that. Notice how one might read it this way,

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.

The theory understands the phrase "in him" to be the category God "chose". God decided at the inception of the world that all those who made a freewill choice to place themselves "in him" should be given certain blessings and among these blessings will be the state of being holy and blameless. In this view, God doesn't actually pick out or select a person for salvation. Rather, he decides the course of action or the final status of those who themselves chose to place themselves into Christ.

I was trying to say that this theory has never made sense to me, because it supposes that God's choice was the best or most appropriate alternative given other viable alternatives. These folks would never put it this way, but the clear implication of the idea that God made a choice is the correlative possiblity that he could have chosen otherwise. To state this more clearly and directly, if one supposes that "election" is defined as a choice God made to save believers, he could have chosen the alternative, i.e. to save unbelievers. If we define "election" as God's decision to save those who love God, love believers, love Jesus, trust in God's word and etc. he could have chosen the viable alternative to save those who hate God, hate believers, hate Jesus, distrust God's word and the like. In my mind, the choice to save believers isn't a real choice because the alternative isn't a real possiblity. Only mathameticians would accept that as a real choice.



Many theologians believe that at the time of this letter, Paul was in prison (literally). He gave up everything willingly to know Jesus.I considered that possiblity, but I concluded that his physical imprisonment would cause him to be a prisoner of Rome, not a prisoner of Christ.


I don't believe it does say that. I think it's a poor translation. I think "he led captivity captive" means death was now his prisoner.
You would need to flesh this out a little more. I am not sure what it would mean to take an intangible idea like "death" prisoner.


Then I'm not sure being "elect" is synonymous with being saved. In fact, it can't be.No, the idea of election isn't directly synonomous with being saved. It all depends on what I am being chosen for, or what purpose the chooser had in mind for the chosen.

janitor
Jun 5th 2011, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by BroRog
No, I was responding, albeit clumsily, to the theory of "election", which posits that God elected or chose to save "believers" as a category rather than individual people.
You were not clumsy. Sometimes I just need for someone to hit me in the head with a bat before I get it, but I'm in the category camp.


Originally posted by BroRog
Those who hold to a very high view of God's soverienty, will typically believe that man contributes nothing at all to his salvation.
I'm in the category camp, yet don't believe saying yes to Jesus is in any sense a contribution. Thinking of what salvation cost our Lord, what did I contribute? I didn't come up with the plan. I didn't leave heaven. I didn't go the cross for sinners. That I choose to believe God doesn't mean I conrtibute anything to salvation.


Originally posted by BroRog
The theory understands the phrase "in him" to be the category God "chose" Even if "in him" was left out, it would have to be understood that way, otherwise the longsuffering of God would be meaningless.


Originally posted by BroRog
In my mind, the choice to save believers isn't a real choice because the alternative isn't a real possiblity.
The alternative is the only possibility there is, because we were all unbelievers to begin with.


Originally posted by BroRog
I considered that possiblity, but I concluded that his physical imprisonment would cause him to be a prisoner of Rome, not a prisoner of Christ.
Paul related everything in his life to Christ.

"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus..." Col.3:17


Originally posted by BroRog
You would need to flesh this out a little more. I am not sure what it would mean to take an intangible idea like "death" prisoner.
Death is personified as a person riding on a horse and being thrown into the lof. Jesus is said to have the keys to hell and death. They held him captive for 3 days and now he owns them.


Originally posted by BroRog
No, the idea of election isn't directly synonomous with being saved.
What do you mean by that?

(I just edited your posts for space. I have read everything.)

LookingUp
Jun 5th 2011, 05:46 PM
No, I was responding, albeit clumsily, to the theory of "election", which posits that God elected or chose to save "believers" as a category rather than individual people. It's a question of how much man contributes to his salvation and how much God contributes. Those who hold to a very high view of God's soverienty, will typically believe that man contributes nothing at all to his salvation. Others will believe that God goes a long way to save a person, but man must make the final choice whether he wants to be saved or not.

Accordingly then, those who hold such a position would interprete the beginning of Ephesians in light of that. Notice how one might read it this way,

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.

The theory understands the phrase "in him" to be the category God "chose". God decided at the inception of the world that all those who made a freewill choice to place themselves "in him" should be given certain blessings and among these blessings will be the state of being holy and blameless. In this view, God doesn't actually pick out or select a person for salvation. Rather, he decides the course of action or the final status of those who themselves chose to place themselves into Christ.

I was trying to say that this theory has never made sense to me, because it supposes that God's choice was the best or most appropriate alternative given other viable alternatives. These folks would never put it this way, but the clear implication of the idea that God made a choice is the correlative possiblity that he could have chosen otherwise. To state this more clearly and directly, if one supposes that "election" is defined as a choice God made to save believers, he could have chosen the alternative, i.e. to save unbelievers. If we define "election" as God's decision to save those who love God, love believers, love Jesus, trust in God's word and etc. he could have chosen the viable alternative to save those who hate God, hate believers, hate Jesus, distrust God's word and the like. In my mind, the choice to save believers isn't a real choice because the alternative isn't a real possiblity. Only mathameticians would accept that as a real choice.I thought it was a choice to save anyone at all or no one.

BroRog
Jun 6th 2011, 01:54 AM
I thought it was a choice to save anyone at all or no one.Not sure I understand.

LookingUp
Jun 6th 2011, 02:11 AM
Not sure I understand.I could be misunderstanding your point. You said that the “category” theory (isn't it called corporate election?) doesn’t make sense to you, because the only two options would be God chooses to save believers or God chooses to save unbelievers. Since the alternative to save unbelievers isn’t a real possibility, the choice to save believers isn’t a real choice. But I never thought of one option being to save believers and the alternative to save unbelievers. The alternative is to not save those who put their faith in Christ. That was a real possibility, wasn’t it? God didn’t have to choose to save anyone, did He? Since the alternative to not save believers is a real possibility, the choice to save believers is a real choice.

BroRog
Jun 6th 2011, 02:42 AM
I could be misunderstanding your point. You said that the “category” theory (isn't it called corporate election?) doesn’t make sense to you, because the only two options would be God chooses to save believers or God chooses to save unbelievers. Since the alternative to save unbelievers isn’t a real possibility, the choice to save believers isn’t a real choice. But I never thought of one option being to save believers and the alternative to save unbelievers. The alternative is to not save those who put their faith in Christ. That was a real possibility, wasn’t it? God didn’t have to choose to save anyone, did He? Since the alternative to not save believers is a real possibility, the choice to save believers is a real choice.Yes, God wasn't required to save anyone at all, but had he not saved anyone at all, this wouldn't be called "election". A non-choice isn't a choice.

By analogy, when I vote for president I chose which person from among the viable candiates I want to be president. If person A and Person B are on the ballot the "election" involves a choice between A or B. If for some reason I decide not to vote that year, I don't say that I voted or elected someone. If the question is, "who shall be president? and if I decide not to vote, this itself is a decision, but it isn't a choice or a vote; it's a non-choice or a non-vote with respect to the question at hand.

Going back to the text, he says, "He chose us in him from the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him in love . . ." Here it's a question of whom God will chose to make holy and blameless etc. To not chose anyone is to not make anyone holy and blameless. But with regard to the question at hand, those who believe in corporate election understand Paul to be saying that God decided to bless the corporation with blamelessness and holiness, regardless of who might be a member of the corporation. We chose whether or not to place ourselves as members of the corporation or not, and if we choose to become members of the body of Christ, God will bless us with these blessings and more.

Those who teach this perspective, Dr. Norman Geisler for instance, understand the term "chose" as "decided" rather than "elected." God didn't "elect" individuals, he "decided" to bless the body of Christ. But I have yet to find an example in the scriptures where the Greek word "eklegomai" means anything other than "select". Paul isn't saying that God decided to bless us; he is saying that God selected us to be blessed.

LookingUp
Jun 6th 2011, 03:03 AM
Yes, God wasn't required to save anyone at all, but had he not saved anyone at all, this wouldn't be called "election". A non-choice isn't a choice.

By analogy, when I vote for president I chose which person from among the viable candiates I want to be president. If person A and Person B are on the ballot the "election" involves a choice between A or B. If for some reason I decide not to vote that year, I don't say that I voted or elected someone. If the question is, "who shall be president? and if I decide not to vote, this itself is a decision, but it isn't a choice or a vote; it's a non-choice or a non-vote with respect to the question at hand.

Going back to the text, he says, "He chose us in him from the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him in love . . ." Here it's a question of whom God will chose to make holy and blameless etc. To not chose anyone is to not make anyone holy and blameless. But with regard to the question at hand, those who believe in corporate election understand Paul to be saying that God decided to bless the corporation with blamelessness and holiness, regardless of who might be a member of the corporation. We chose whether or not to place ourselves as members of the corporation or not, and if we choose to become members of the body of Christ, God will bless us with these blessings and more.

Those who teach this perspective, Dr. Norman Geisler for instance, understand the term "chose" as "decided" rather than "elected." God didn't "elect" individuals, he "decided" to bless the body of Christ. But I have yet to find an example in the scriptures where the Greek word "eklegomai" means anything other than "select". Paul isn't saying that God decided to bless us; he is saying that God selected us to be blessed.I see. Interesting. I'll give this more thought.

Bandit
Jun 6th 2011, 05:20 PM
Hello RollTide21.
When Paul says "we" and "us", he means the Jews. When he says "you", he means the gentiles. God bless your study.

I would say that when Paul says "we" and "us", we should generally understand him to mean the church universal (all believers) unless the local context clearly indicates otherwise. When Paul says "you", we should generally understand him to be addressing a particular group (usually the recipients of the particular letter in question).

In Eph. 1, I would suggest the the "we" and "us" most often speaks of all believers; "you" would mean those in the Ephesian church (which is a subset of the "we/us").

Bandit
Jun 6th 2011, 05:25 PM
What is stated here is that whoever is found in him will be predestined to be holy and blameless before him in love. The action of justification is what is predestined,not any particular individual.

Yes, I would agree that the action of justification was predestined, and not towards any individual, but to any and all who would have faith in God.

Bandit
Jun 6th 2011, 05:33 PM
That might fit with Ephesians chapter 1, but it won't fit with Ephesians chapter 4, which is one reason I beleive Paul is talking about individual election.

Hello BroRog,

So what is it that you see in chapter 4, that you take as indicating individual elelction to salvation? I see election to individual offices of service and gifts, but this is not the same (IMO) as election to salvation. So, in my mind, shepherdsword's take on Eph. 1 also fits with Eph 4.

Bandit
Jun 6th 2011, 05:47 PM
Beside the fact that it makes no sense to "choose" a category, in Ephesians 4 Paul teaches us that God has given the elect to his son to be his inheritance. The image Paul uses to make this point is of a king who takes prisoners, which runs contrary to the idea that it was our idea to be in the body of Christ. We talk as if we volunteered or chose to be in the body of Christ, but in fact, we were taken prisoner. Paul begins the chapter by admitting that he, himself, is a prisoner of Jesus Christ. When Jesus ascended on high, he says, "he led captive a host of captives." If it was our choice to be in the body of Christ, then how is it he says we are his captives? It wasn't our choice. It was his choice. We are called "the elect" not because we chose him, but because he chose us. We are his prisoners.

This is not quite accurate in my book. Paul says that Christ lead captivity captive. But are we the "captivity", or is sin and death the "captivity"? Did Christ not conquer sin and death? It would seem that you are implying He conquered us, and that does not seem to fit. I don't think that is what was meant. Also, Paul calls himself a bond-servant elsewhere; does that not indicate his willingness to submit to God? I suggest that you are not reading Eph. 4 quite right, and that you are then importing this reading into Eph. 1.

Bandit
Jun 6th 2011, 05:49 PM
...

There isn't a single passage in the chapter that deal with a specific individual being chosen for salvation.

I quite agree.

Bandit

Bandit
Jun 6th 2011, 06:02 PM
No, I was responding, albeit clumsily, to the theory of "election", which posits that God elected or chose to save "believers" as a category rather than individual people. It's a question of how much man contributes to his salvation and how much God contributes.

No, it is rather a question of how God chooses.



Those who hold to a very high view of God's soverienty, will typically believe that man contributes nothing at all to his salvation.
...


No, those who hold to a "very high view of God's soverienty" believe that God chooses the mannor of His choosing. (In other words, you can't assume individual election is the "high view".) The mode of salvation is God's choice.

Bandit
Jun 6th 2011, 06:06 PM
...
I was trying to say that this theory [of corporate election] has never made sense to me, because it supposes that God's choice was the best or most appropriate alternative given other viable alternatives. These folks would never put it this way, but the clear implication of the idea that God made a choice is the correlative possiblity that he could have chosen otherwise. To state this more clearly and directly, if one supposes that "election" is defined as a choice God made to save believers, he could have chosen the alternative, i.e. to save unbelievers. If we define "election" as God's decision to save those who love God, love believers, love Jesus, trust in God's word and etc. he could have chosen the viable alternative to save those who hate God, hate believers, hate Jesus, distrust God's word and the like. In my mind, the choice to save believers isn't a real choice because the alternative isn't a real possiblity. Only mathameticians would accept that as a real choice.
...

You are a prisoner of your own logic here.

Bandit
Jun 6th 2011, 06:19 PM
Yes, God wasn't required to save anyone at all, but had he not saved anyone at all, this wouldn't be called "election". A non-choice isn't a choice.

...

Oh, I would have to disagree with you there. (But I would agree that because of His nature - God is love - that He had to act.) But still, to take no action during a situation is to have still made a choice (the choice of not to react).

LookingUp
Jun 6th 2011, 06:25 PM
Oh, I would have to disagree with you there. (But I would agree that because of His nature (God is love) that He had to act.) But still, to take no action during a situation is to have still made a choice (the choice of not to react).That's what I thought. I'd like to hear how BroRog would respond to that. Thanks, Bandit.

Bandit
Jun 6th 2011, 06:34 PM
Going back to the text [of Eph. 1], he says, "He chose us in him from the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him in love . . ." Here it's a question of whom God will chose to make holy and blameless etc. To not chose anyone is to not make anyone holy and blameless.

But God did choose; He chose "us in (through) Him". Your refusal to call this a choice does not disqualify it from being one.



But with regard to the question at hand, those who believe in corporate election understand Paul to be saying that God decided to bless the corporation with blamelessness and holiness, regardless of who might be a member of the corporation.

I guess I'm not getting your objection; what part of "in Him" do you not understand? (Paul's phrase "in Him" would seem to negate your use of the term "regardless".)



Those who teach this perspective, Dr. Norman Geisler for instance, ...

I am no big fan of Norman Geisler, and from what I have read, I would say that he doesn't understand corporate election. In my opinion he is trying to fit free-will into individual election. My limited readings of his writing indicate to me that he really doesn't understand corporate election, so I do not consider him a good example of one who believes in corporate election.

BroRog
Jun 6th 2011, 08:05 PM
Hello BroRog,

So what is it that you see in chapter 4, that you take as indicating individual elelction to salvation? I see election to individual offices of service and gifts, but this is not the same (IMO) as election to salvation. So, in my mind, shepherdsword's take on Eph. 1 also fits with Eph 4.This would be a longer discussion for me to argue the point, but for now, let me summarize the conclusion and then we can go back through these four chapters and flesh out the details of how Paul gets where he is going.

The overall picture Paul describes is God's plan to display the glory of his grace in a grand scheme to gather together under one Lord the subjects of a kingdom of righteousness. God himself is going to rule over this kingdom through the human man Jesus -- God incarnate, the son of God. He devised this plan before the foundation of the world and chose various people among humanity to be citizens of this kingdom. Accordingly, all of these folks are gathered together under Jesus Christ to be his inheritance.

In chapter 4, Paul describes this gathering together in terms of a triumphant king riding into his city bringing his captives. Each person in this kingdom is a captive of God, whom he will give to his son as his inheritance to serve and obey his son in a kingdom of righteousness. This picture is not consistent with the picture we get from certain systematic theologies in which it is said that each member of the church came voluntarily, placing themselves into the kingdom. Paul's picture in Ephesians chapter one through four is more consistent with the idea that each member has been selected by God to be in this kingdom and that they come into the kingdom as the prisoners of Jesus Christ. Chapter one and chapter three have a heavy emphasis on God's plans and purposes in which God is orchestrating history the way he wants it to go, in which God orchestrates his plans to bring about a kingdom of saints and to place the entire assembly under Jesus Christ as the head of all.

BroRog
Jun 6th 2011, 08:13 PM
This is not quite accurate in my book. Paul says that Christ lead captivity captive. But are we the "captivity", or is sin and death the "captivity"?We are the captives. Sin and death aren't the subjects of the chapter. Chapter four, which describes in detail our place and role in the body of Christ, comes at the end of a longer discussion about how God is gathering all the saints into one body to be the inheritance of Christ. (1:11, 1:18)

BroRog
Jun 6th 2011, 08:15 PM
You are a prisoner of your own logic here.Sledgehammer logic is hard to refute, eh? :)

janitor
Jun 6th 2011, 09:07 PM
Originally posted by Bandit
I would say that when Paul says "we" and "us", we should generally understand him to mean the church universal (all believers) unless the local context clearly indicates otherwise. When Paul says "you", we should generally understand him to be addressing a particular group (usually the recipients of the particular letter in question).

In Eph. 1, I would suggest the the "we" and "us" most often speaks of all believers; "you" would mean those in the Ephesian church (which is a subset of the "we/us").
Hello Bandit. It is apparent as the letter goes on that Paul is addressing the Ephesian believers as gentiles. When Paul says...

"That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ." (1:12)

...he means the Jews and when he says...

"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth..." (1:13)

...he means gentiles.

Chapters 2 & 3 make it clear.

percho
Jun 7th 2011, 08:18 PM
I would like to suggest that the New Testament shows, the and how the, fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies are carried out. Just what is stated to happen in the OT, that began in the NT and is currently being carried out in the world and what is the conclusion of it all? A closer reading of the Old will help with the New.

percho
Jun 7th 2011, 08:23 PM
Hello Bandit. It is apparent as the letter goes on that Paul is addressing the Ephesian believers as gentiles. When Paul says...

"That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ." (1:12)

...he means the Jews and when he says...

"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth..." (1:13)

...he means gentiles.

Chapters 2 & 3 make it clear.

Not just gentiles but these specific Gentiles. Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

Who are these people he is taking out of the gentiles?

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

παρεπίδημος one who comes from a foreign country into a city or land to reside there by the side of the natives. sojourning in a strange place, a foreigner
AV (http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3927&t=KJV#) — pilgrim (http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=pilgrim*+G3927) 2, stranger (http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=%20stranger*+G3927) 1

janitor
Jun 8th 2011, 03:58 AM
Originally posted by percho
Not just gentiles but these specific Gentiles. Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

Who are these people he is taking out of the gentiles?

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

παρεπίδημος one who comes from a foreign country into a city or land to reside there by the side of the natives. sojourning in a strange place, a foreigner
AV — pilgrim 2, stranger 1
The gentiles God is taking as a people for His name include people from every country from every age. In ways, Ephesians more than any other letter or book of the Bible shows that there is no difference in Gods eyes between Jew and gentile. No special promise, no need to argue over a geographical area in the middle east, etc.

percho
Jun 8th 2011, 05:30 AM
The gentiles God is taking as a people for His name include people from every country from every age. In ways, Ephesians more than any other letter or book of the Bible shows that there is no difference in Gods eyes between Jew and gentile. No special promise, no need to argue over a geographical area in the middle east, etc.

Trick question.

Would you say, a people for his name would basically have the same meaning as not for your sake but for my name's sake?

RollTide21
Jun 8th 2011, 02:45 PM
The gentiles God is taking as a people for His name include people from every country from every age. In ways, Ephesians more than any other letter or book of the Bible shows that there is no difference in Gods eyes between Jew and gentile. No special promise, no need to argue over a geographical area in the middle east, etc.This is certainly true of these verses in Ephesians 2:

11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)—
12 remember 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.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace,
16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household,
20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.
22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Rufus
Jun 8th 2011, 06:45 PM
What is stated here is that whoever is found in him will be predestined to be holy and blameless before him in love. The action of justification is what is predestined,not any particular individual.

I don't see that in this passage. I definitely see individual election:

Eph 1:4-5
4 just as He chose US in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined US to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will
NASB

For starters, v.4 isn't saying that "just as he chose that we should be holy and blameless...". What the verse is saying is that he chose people -- he chose us (personal pronoun) IN HIM. (In other words he chose "us" to be in Him.) Verse 5 is just as compelling because it is God who adopts us. (Moreover, it logically follows what Paul just got finished saying.) We do not adopt him! Therefore, "He predestined US to adoption as sons..." And what motivated him to predestine his people to become his adopted sons and daughters was his love. And scripture clearly teaches elsewhere that God loved us before we ever loved him. He loved us first.

Rufus

Rufus
Jun 8th 2011, 07:12 PM
"He gave some" Is referring to Jesus himself distributing his "doma" for the building of the temple of living stones. Paul teaches them back in chapter 2 that they are a habitation of God through the Spirit. He is now elaborating and telling them how this is done. The "doma" referred to here is nothing more than scaffolding to see the completion of this. What are they here for? "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"

There isn't a single passage in the chapter that deal with a specific individual being chosen for salvation.

Really? Did the apostles choose Christ or did Christ choose the apostles? Did Abraham choose God or did God choose Abraham? Did God choose Ishmael or Issac to be heirs of the Abrahamic promises? Likewise, did God choose Jacob or Esau to be heirs of the promise? Did the Hebrews choose God in the wilderness or did God choose the nation of Israel to bring them into a covenant relationship with him? In fact, we can go back way before Abraham to see election or predestination. We can go back to the Garden right after the Fall! Did God make his covenant with Adam and Eve or with just Eve through the Serpent (Gen 3:15)? Unconditional Election is everywhere in the bible.

Rufus

Rufus
Jun 8th 2011, 07:27 PM
Yes, I would agree that the action of justification was predestined, and not towards any individual, but to any and all who would have faith in God.

Can you support your theory from scripture?

Rufus

LookingUp
Jun 8th 2011, 07:51 PM
(In other words he chose "us" to be in Him.)Umm...no, there is no "other" words. "Be" is simply not there. This in no way says he chose us to "be" in him.

Rufus
Jun 8th 2011, 08:41 PM
Umm...no, there is no "other" words. "Be" is simply not there. This in no way says he chose us to "be" in him.

I was simply making a point. It's not in any of my translations either. And my point is valid. He chose us in Him Eternity. And what God decrees in eternity is certain to come to pass in time. In TIME, all his elect come "to be" in him. In Time, his chosen ones come to believe the gospel and repent of their sins because we were predestined, by his grace, to do so in eternity.

Rufus

janitor
Jun 8th 2011, 09:36 PM
Originally posted by percho
Trick question.

Would you say, a people for his name would basically have the same meaning as not for your sake but for my name's sake?
Of course.


"....by revelation he made known unto me...Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge....Which in other ages was not made known....That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body..." Eph.3:3-6

LookingUp
Jun 8th 2011, 10:51 PM
I was simply making a point. It's not in any of my translations either. And my point is valid. He chose us in Him Eternity. And what God decrees in eternity is certain to come to pass in time. In TIME, all his elect come "to be" in him. In Time, his chosen ones come to believe the gospel and repent of their sins because we were predestined, by his grace, to do so in eternity.

RufusI thought Judas was "chosen"?

janitor
Jun 9th 2011, 12:00 AM
Originally posted by Rufus
For starters, v.4 isn't saying that "just as he chose that we should be holy and blameless...".
True. It says He chose us in Jesus that we should be holy and blameless. Only those in Christ are adjudged holy and blameless.


Originally posted by Rufus
......(In other words he chose "us" to be in Him.)
An utter distortion of the truth. God chooses people who have faith in and love Him.

"....Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?" Ja.2:4


Originally posted by Rufus
Verse 5 is just as compelling because it is God who adopts us.
"For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites....to whom pertaineth the adoption...." Ro.9:3-4

Why should Paul wish he was damned for the Israelites sake when the adoption is theirs?

originally posted by Rufus
And scripture clearly teaches elsewhere that God loved us before we ever loved him. He loved us first.
And who were we before coming to faith in Jesus?

"...how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings..." Mt.23:37

Doesn't Jesus know God the Father didn't choose those people?

"....and you are unwilling to come to Me...." Jn.5:40

Doesn't Jesus know these people have no will of themselves to come to God?

“Why was there no man when I came? When I called, why was there none to answer?" Is.50:2

Does God have alzheimers? Doesn't He know people can't answer when He calls unless He lets them?


Originally posted by Rufus
Really? Did the apostles choose Christ or did Christ choose the apostles?
The apostles chose to follow Christ.

Rufus
Jun 9th 2011, 12:04 AM
I thought Judas was "chosen"?

He was; but have you not read:

Luke 22:21-22
21 "But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Me on the table. 22 "For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!"
NASB

And did not Jesus say elsewhere?

Mark 14:21
21 "For the Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born."
NASB

So, in eternity the Father decreed that Judas be born into this world (even though it would have been Good if he had never been born) and betray his Son on the one hand; yet, on the other Jesus pronounces a "woe" (condemnation)upon Judas, who he chose to follow him and for doing the very thing the Father decreed. But you should not marvel at this. Judas wasn't alone; for it's also written:

Acts 4:27-28
27 "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur.
NASB

Yet, did not Jesus also tell Pilate:

John 19:11-12
11 Jesus answered, "You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me up to you has the greater sin."
NASB

Everyone is guilty for doing the very things the Father predestined them to do in eternity.

What sayest thou to such profound and perplexing truth -- to the Tension Extraordinaire between the Sovereign Decrees of God and Man's Moral Responsibility?

Meanwhile, back to my original point: Jesus did choose the 12. They did not choose him. Everyone is chosen -- many unto salvation, most unto reprobation. God loved and chose Jacob to be an heir of the promise, whereas he "hated" Esau and excluded him from being an heir covenant promises before the twins did anything good or bad. Likewise, God raised up Pharaoh to be a reprobate for the sole purpose of glorifying Him, etc.

Rufus

LookingUp
Jun 9th 2011, 12:08 AM
...Meanwhile, back to my original point: Jesus did choose the 12. They did not choose him. Everyone is chosen -- many unto salvation, most unto reprobation. God loved and chose Jacob to be an heir of the promise, whereas he "hated" Esau and excluded him from being an heir covenant promises before the twins did anything good or bad. Likewise, God raised up Pharaoh to be a reprobate for the sole purpose of glorifying Him, etc.

RufusAnd was King Saul chosen?

edit to say: I just want to clarify why I'm asking about these "chosen" people. It is clear that sometimes a "chosen" person is not saved.

janitor
Jun 9th 2011, 12:09 AM
Yikes(15 characters)

Butch5
Jun 9th 2011, 12:25 AM
I was simply making a point. It's not in any of my translations either. And my point is valid. He chose us in Him Eternity. And what God decrees in eternity is certain to come to pass in time. In TIME, all his elect come "to be" in him. In Time, his chosen ones come to believe the gospel and repent of their sins because we were predestined, by his grace, to do so in eternity.

Rufus

The "Us" that Paul is referring to is the Jews. Verses 3-12 are a Hebraism. It is a praise for what God has done for Israel. Paul is praising God for what He has done for the Jews, he draws a distinction between the Jews and the Gentiles. Notice verses 12 and 13, we who first trusted in Christ and then he says, and you also, after you believed. In chapter 2 he will show how the Gentiles have been brought into the promises through faith in Christ.

LookingUp
Jun 9th 2011, 12:27 AM
Guys, all this confusion about choosing and who does it. God can choose someone for the purpose of service, vocation, or any other purpose. He chose King Saul for a purpose. He chose Judas for a purpose. He chose Paul for a purpose. None of this choosing has to do with salvation.

God can also choose individuals for eternal life. How does God do that and still allow us to choose? Because God knows what’s in a man’s heart, He knows that when presented with the Gospel whether that man will choose Jesus or not. The man whose heart is ready to receive Jesus is the man the Father gives to the Son. It’s that simple. None of this requires an interpretation that God chose individuals for eternal life before the foundation of the world.

God also chose the nation of Israel BEFORE they were ever conceived. This does not mean that God chose who and who would not be a citizen of Israel. God also chose the Body of Christ, the Church, before they were ever conceived (i.e. before the foundation of the world). This does not mean that God chose who and who would not be a member of the Body of Christ, the Church.

BroRog
Jun 9th 2011, 01:04 AM
The "Us" that Paul is referring to is the Jews. Verses 3-12 are a Hebraism. It is a praise for what God has done for Israel. Paul is praising God for what He has done for the Jews, he draws a distinction between the Jews and the Gentiles. Notice verses 12 and 13, we who first trusted in Christ and then he says, and you also, after you believed. In chapter 2 he will show how the Gentiles have been brought into the promises through faith in Christ.I was wonder what took you so long to get here. Were you stuck in traffic? By the way, I can't see how to make sense of your theory grammatically.

Paul initially establishes the antecedant to the pronouns at the beginning of the letter. The "us" refers to Paul and the Ephesians.

janitor
Jun 9th 2011, 01:04 AM
Originally posted by LookingUp
Guys, all this confusion about choosing and who does it. God can choose someone for the purpose of service, vocation, or any other purpose. He chose King Saul for a purpose. He chose Judas for a purpose.
That's true, but to say,


Originally posted by Rufus
So, in eternity the Father decreed that Judas be born into this world.....and betray his Son...

is not true. God never "decreed" that Judas should betray Jesus. Judas did that all by himself. Knowing something will happen and causing it to happen are worlds apart. To say God made or ordained for someone commit sin is so disgusting I don't know what say. I better get out of this thread before I say something I'll regret.

LookingUp
Jun 9th 2011, 02:02 AM
That's true, but to say,

is not true. God never "decreed" that Judas should betray Jesus. Judas did that all by himself. Knowing something will happen and causing it to happen are worlds apart.Yes, there may be a reasonable way to explain that. But even if one doesn’t accept it, when the text says that Jesus knew who would betray him, there’s nothing in there that says he knew that from the foundation of the world. God knew the heart of Judas and He knew his thoughts. God knew every part of Judas intimately from his conception to that point. Of course God knew that Judas would betray him!


To say God made or ordained for someone commit sin is so disgusting I don't know what say. I better get out of this thread before I say something I'll regret.It used to get me heated to. Don’t let it. God can take care of His own reputation.

Rufus
Jun 9th 2011, 02:08 AM
That's true, but to say,

is not true. God never "decreed" that Judas should betray Jesus. Judas did that all by himself. Knowing something will happen and causing it to happen are worlds apart. To say God made or ordained for someone commit sin is so disgusting I don't know what say. I better get out of this thread before I say something I'll regret.

Sorry you feel that way. On the other hand, I realize that there is the milk and meat of God's word, and some people aren't yet able to feed on the latter. Having said this, however, don't infer by this that I fully grasp how these things can be so, for I do not. But nonetheless that is precisely what is being taught in Lk 22:22 -- and for that matter in Act 4:28. But our inability to grasp the deep things of God is not a valid reason to not accept them at face value by faith. Do we understand how God created ex nihilo? Or which one of us has a good handle on what is meant by eternity? Or who among us has the best grasp on the miraculous acts of God? Yet, a true child of God accepts these things with humility and child-like faith. Likewise, whenever a Divine Decree intersects with Human Responsibility (and there are numerous such examples in scripture), I would suggest that we can no more understand how a thrice holy God can be accounted as blameless while the person be held blameworthy. In these situations, too, we must humbly acknowledge our finite limitations and believe what God has revealed. For is it not written four times:

"Abraham believed God and it was reckoned unto him as righteousness" (Gen 15:6; Rom 4:3; Gal 3;6; Jas 2:23).

I think God is trying to tell us something.

Take care,
Rufus

Rufus
Jun 9th 2011, 02:25 AM
Guys, all this confusion about choosing and who does it. God can choose someone for the purpose of service, vocation, or any other purpose. He chose King Saul for a purpose. He chose Judas for a purpose. He chose Paul for a purpose. None of this choosing has to do with salvation.

God can also choose individuals for eternal life. How does God do that and still allow us to choose? Because God knows what’s in a man’s heart, He knows that when presented with the Gospel whether that man will choose Jesus or not. The man whose heart is ready to receive Jesus is the man the Father gives to the Son. It’s that simple. None of this requires an interpretation that God chose individuals for eternal life before the foundation of the world.

Not so sure about that. God chooses based on his omniscience -- his "foreknowledge" -- his prescience? I take it that you have chapter and verse, please?

Furthermore, if God chooses by "prescience" where is prescience taught in the post Fall account of Genesis? God clearly elected Eve unto salvation but Adam he excluded from the Evenic Covenant -- and that was most certainly by decree! God's determinative will is clearly in view in Gen 3:15.

And why would the Father have to give a "ready heart" to the Son? Since the heart is ready and all set to give itself over to the Son, who needs the Father? The "ready heart" is the one giving himself to the Son, after all is said and done, right? The Father cannot act until after the "ready heart" makes its choice. And once that choice is made, why is divine interverntion needed?

And how are the Dead ready to do anything? Does scripture teach that man is spiritually crippled, lame, injured or dead? Did God not choose his metaphors very carefully?

Rufus

LookingUp
Jun 9th 2011, 02:39 AM
Sorry you feel that way. On the other hand, I realize that there is the milk and meat of God's word, and some people aren't yet able to feed on the latter. Having said this, however, don't infer by this that I fully grasp how these things can be so, for I do not. But nonetheless that is precisely what is being taught in Lk 22:22Where does Luke 22:22 mention that this betrayal was determined before the foundation of the world?


-- and for that matter in Act 4:28.God’s predetermined plan was that Jesus would be killed. This passage tells us that Herod, Pilate, the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel carried out God’s predetermined plan. It doesn’t say they were individually predestined to carry out God’s plan. Who would kill Jesus was not predetermined.


But our inability to grasp the deep things of God is not a valid reason to not accept them at face value by faith.The face value certainly doesn’t say that God predetermined people to act wickedly.

LookingUp
Jun 9th 2011, 02:57 AM
Not so sure about that. God chooses based on his omniscience -- his "foreknowledge" -- his prescience? I take it that you have chapter and verse, please?

Furthermore, if God chooses by "prescience" where is prescience taught in the post Fall account of Genesis? God clearly elected Eve unto salvation but Adam he excluded from the Evenic Covenant -- and that was most certainly by decree! God's determinative will is clearly in view in Gen 3:15. I didn’t say God chooses someone for salvation based on His foreknowledge of the future. I said God chooses based on what He sees in a person heart, whether it is contrite and humble, seeking God in faith.


And why would the Father have to give a "ready heart" to the Son?“My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart” (Psalm 7:10).

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17).

“But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isa. 66:2).


Since the heart is ready and all set to give itself over to the Son, who needs the Father? The "ready heart" is the one giving himself to the Son, after all is said and done, right? The Father cannot act until after the "ready heart" makes its choice. And once that choice is made, why is divine interverntion needed?Because even a heart that’s primed cannot receive Jesus until the Father grants it (John 6:44). The heart isn’t making a “choice” for Jesus. The primed heart is one that is broken, contrite, humble and upright.


And how are the Dead ready to do anything? Does scripture teach that man is spiritually crippled, lame, injured or dead? Did God not choose his metaphors very carefully?After Adam & Eve died spiritually (which I believe is when moral depravity set in), there’s nothing in Scripture that would make one believe they were unable to continue to pray and seek God’s forgiveness.

Rufus
Jun 9th 2011, 03:47 AM
I didn’t say God chooses someone for salvation based on His foreknowledge of the future. I said God chooses based on what He sees in a person heart, whether it is contrite and humble, seeking God in faith.

Same thing isn't it? God peers into his cosmic crystal ball, in a manner of speaking, and looks into people's hearts? How does that materially differ from viewing a person's actions? Again, do you have chapter and verse to support this theory of salvation?


“My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart” (Psalm 7:10).

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17).

“But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isa. 66:2).

The above is all true, but so are these passages equally as true:

Job 14:4
4 "Who can make the clean out of the unclean?
No one!
NAS

Job 15:14-16
14 "What is man, that he should be pure,
Or he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
15 "Behold, He puts no trust in His holy ones,
And the heavens are not pure in His sight;
16 How much less one who is detestable and corrupt,
Man, who drinks iniquity like water!
NASB

Ps 14:3
3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one.
NAS

Ps 53:1-3
53:1 For the choir director; according to Mahalath.
A Maskil of David.

The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God,"
They are corrupt, and have committed abominable injustice;
There is no one who does good.
2 God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men,
To see if there is anyone who understands,
Who seeks after God.
3 Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one.
NASB

Ps 58:3-4
3 The wicked are estranged from the womb;
These who speak lies go astray from birth.
4 They have venom like the venom of a serpent;
Like a deaf cobra that stops up its ear,
NASB

Isa 1:5-6
5 Where will you be stricken again,
As you continue in your rebellion?
The whole head is sick,
And the whole heart is faint.
6 From the sole of the foot even to the head
There is nothing sound in it,
Only bruises, welts, and raw wounds,
Not pressed out or bandaged,
Nor softened with oil.
NAS

Jer 13:23
23[/i] "Can the Ethiopian change his skin
Or the leopard his spots?
Then you also can do good
Who are accustomed to doing evil.[/i]
NAS

Jer 17:9
9 "The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
NAS

So, tell me, please, how does inherently evil Man comes by a humble, contrite, broken, upright heart? The passages you quote, while being true in and of themselves, beg the question. You need to show how a person can acquire that kind of spiritual disposition, most especially when all men come into the world at enmity with God (Gen 3:15) and are evil by nature. I especially would like to know how one comes by an "upright" heart since there is no one righteous, not even one (Rom 3:10).


Because even a heart that’s primed cannot receive Jesus until the Father grants it (John 6:44). The heart isn’t making a “choice” for Jesus. The primed heart is one that is broken, contrite, humble and upright.

Hmm...are you suggesting, then, that this broken, contrite, humble and "upright" heart that is still spiritually dead is raised to life (regenerated) so that it can make a "choice for Jesus"? Is this why the Father is needed?


After Adam & Eve died spiritually (which I believe is when moral depravity set in), there’s nothing in Scripture that would make one believe they were unable to continue to pray and seek God’s forgiveness.

So, you think the fall just spiritually crippled our first parents?

I would also suggest that there are plenty of scriptures that would easily refute your theory. (But more on this later.) But the biggest problem of all for Adam, was that he was excluded from the redemptive covenant God made with Eve. Where is Adam in Gen 3:15? Since God did not decree enmity between him and the "serpent", this can mean only on thing: Adam was of the "serpent's seed". There are no third options here. God surely redeemed Eve with the covenant he made with her and her seed through the serpent, but not Adam.

Rufus

percho
Jun 9th 2011, 04:00 AM
Of course.


"....by revelation he made known unto me...Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge....Which in other ages was not made known....That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body..." Eph.3:3-6

OK

Eze 36:17,19 Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: And I scattered them among the heathen, (Is there any reason we could not translate heathen gentiles?) Hosea 11:12 Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit: but Judah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the saints. (This was at about the time he began to scatter them) (And God scattered them) Hosea 9:17 My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations. (Could nations be translated gentiles?) Hosea 8:8 Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein [is] no pleasure. Eze 36:22-24 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not [this] for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I [am] the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen,(Gentiles?) and gather you out of all countries Jer 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. (He divorced Israel and scattered her but kept Judah see Hosea 1 also) Jer. 3:14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: (Is Zion the church?) Acts 15:14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

From the time they left Egypt and actually even before there was no love lost between the house of Judah and the house of Israel. Now Why do you think the circumcision, Judah, Benjamin and Levi
the house of Judah in the land at the time of Jesus began calling someone Uncircumcision (Foreskins) Was it because they had been cast away by God and Judah thought themselves better. Does reconcile not imply to have intimately known one before but been separated thus reconciliation?

percho
Jun 9th 2011, 04:08 AM
Guys, all this confusion about choosing and who does it. God can choose someone for the purpose of service, vocation, or any other purpose. He chose King Saul for a purpose. He chose Judas for a purpose. He chose Paul for a purpose. None of this choosing has to do with salvation.

God can also choose individuals for eternal life. How does God do that and still allow us to choose? Because God knows what’s in a man’s heart, He knows that when presented with the Gospel whether that man will choose Jesus or not. The man whose heart is ready to receive Jesus is the man the Father gives to the Son. It’s that simple. None of this requires an interpretation that God chose individuals for eternal life before the foundation of the world.

God also chose the nation of Israel BEFORE they were ever conceived. This does not mean that God chose who and who would not be a citizen of Israel. God also chose the Body of Christ, the Church, before they were ever conceived (i.e. before the foundation of the world). This does not mean that God chose who and who would not be a member of the Body of Christ, the Church.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

He also is the One who does that in bold. Just who did God know before that the world and even a part of the tribes of Israel thought were long gone like a prodigal son?

Rufus
Jun 9th 2011, 05:02 AM
Where does Luke 22:22 mention that this betrayal was determined before the foundation of the world?

Then you tell me who determined it. And the one little thing you should notice carefully in this text is the little three letter word "but". Jesus is striking a contrast between who determined and the condemnation of Judas for his actions.


God’s predetermined plan was that Jesus would be killed. This passage tells us that Herod, Pilate, the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel carried out God’s predetermined plan. It doesn’t say they were individually predestined to carry out God’s plan. Who would kill Jesus was not predetermined.And Herod and Pilate weren't individuals? And what you overlook is that God's hand and purpose were involved in their activities. In fact, let's look carefully at the wording of the text again:

Acts 4:27-28
27 "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur.
NASB

Whoever is praying here (probably Peter) is saying very clearly that Herod and Pontius Pilate (two named individuals) DID whatever God's hand and purpose predestined to occur. This makes perfectly good sense in light of all the Messianic prophecies surrounding Christ's trial, crucifixion, burial, etc. All the prophecies came true because they were decreed in eternity. Therefore, they were certain to come to pass in time.


The face value certainly doesn’t say that God predetermined people to act wickedly.But what we should take at face value is this:

Jer 10:23
23 I know, O Lord, that a man's way is not in himself;
Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.
NASB

Lam 3:37-38
37 Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass,
Unless the Lord has commanded it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That both good and ill go forth?
NAS

Prov 16:9
9 The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.
NASB

Prov 19:21
21 Many are the plans in a man's heart,
But the counsel of the Lord, it will stand.
NASB

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

You think man's destiny is in his own hands? You are sadly mistaken. The Bard (who ironically was not a particularly religious man) had it 100% right when he penned these words:

"All the world's a stage
and all the men and women merely players
they have their exits and their entrances
and one man in his time plays many parts...

What's implicit in his words is that "someone else" (who is not "merely a player") is actually calling all the shots on the world's stage. Another thing that should be implicitly understood is that the "players" play their parts willingly. And right here is the crux of the tension. God decrees -- he ordains man's ways (as per the above passages, as well), yet man willingly plays his part(s) and is, therefore, held accountable to his Creator.

The Almighty, with whom we all have to do, declares the End from the Beginning -- everything (Isa 46:10). Not even a sparrow falls to the ground apart from the Father's will (Mat 10:29).

So, if you try to reason your way through this with your finite mind, you will fall short because it's impossible to understand how the Divine Decrees can interact with Man's actions (steps), and yet Man still be judged with a righteous judgment for those actions. But this is what holy writ teaches, whether we like it or not.

Rufus

LookingUp
Jun 9th 2011, 06:05 AM
Same thing isn't it? God peers into his cosmic crystal ball, in a manner of speaking,I’m not saying God looks into the future (i.e. a crystal ball).


and looks into people's hearts?Do you deny that God can see into our hearts and read our thoughts?


How does that materially differ from viewing a person's actions?It’s not an action. It’s a state of the heart.


Again, do you have chapter and verse to support this theory of salvation?I already gave them to you in the last post.


The above is all true, but so are these passages equally as true:

Job 14:4
4 "Who can make the clean out of the unclean?
No one!
NASMan is not clean until he is covered with Christ’s blood. That doesn't mean he is incapable of repenting. Repentance doesn't mean he's clean and it doesn't make him clean.


Job 15:14-16
14 "What is man, that he should be pure,
Or he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
15 "Behold, He puts no trust in His holy ones,
And the heavens are not pure in His sight;
16 How much less one who is detestable and corrupt,
Man, who drinks iniquity like water!
NASBAll have sinned and are unable to maintain righteousness. But man can exhibit righteousness. "...even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves," declares the Lord GOD.


Ps 14:3
3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one.
NASThe Psalmist who wrote this was seeking God at the time of this writing, so this couldn’t be about ALL people. Verse 1 tells us who the “they” are that became corrupt—the fool who has said there is no God. And take note that it says that these foolish people BECAME corrupt. But still, no one would seek God without His intervention.


Ps 53:1-3
53:1 For the choir director; according to Mahalath.
A Maskil of David.

The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God,"
They are corrupt, and have committed abominable injustice;
There is no one who does good.
2 God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men,
To see if there is anyone who understands,
Who seeks after God.
3 Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one.
NASBVerse 1 tells us who the “they” are who are corrupt—the fool who has said in his heart there is no God.


Ps 58:3-4
3 The wicked are estranged from the womb;
These who speak lies go astray from birth.
4 They have venom like the venom of a serpent;
Like a deaf cobra that stops up its ear,
NASBThey are estranged from the womb just as much as they can verbally speak lies from birth. I don’t know any infant who can speak words let alone lies. This is clearly hyperbole.


Isa 1:5-6
5 Where will you be stricken again,
As you continue in your rebellion?
The whole head is sick,
And the whole heart is faint.
6 From the sole of the foot even to the head
There is nothing sound in it,
Only bruises, welts, and raw wounds,
Not pressed out or bandaged,
Nor softened with oil.
NASThis not about man in general; it’s about a sinful nation (Isa. 5:4).


Jer 13:23
23[/i] "Can the Ethiopian change his skin
Or the leopard his spots?
Then you also can do good
Who are accustomed to doing evil.[/i]
NASThis is not about man in general; it’s about a nation who at one time did do good, but they had forgotten their God (Jer. 13:25).


Jer 17:9
9 "The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
NASBeing wicked doesn’t mean you don’t know you’re wicked. Even desperately wicked hearts can repent.

“Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you” (Acts 8:22).

“Again, when a wicked man turns away from his wickedness which he has committed and practices justice and righteousness, he will save his life” (Ezek. 18:27).


So, tell me, please, how does inherently evil Man comes by a humble, contrite, broken, upright heart?While I believe that a child born into the world will eventually sin, I don’t believe it’s because he is born evil. And when a young person sins and "spiritually dies" (separates himself from God), I don't see any reason to believe that person becomes incapable of repenting.


The passages you quote, while being true in and of themselves, beg the question. You need to show how a person can acquire that kind of spiritual disposition, most especially when all men come into the world at enmity with God (Gen 3:15) and are evil by nature.Scripture shows that man sins, is evil, wicked and an enemy of God. But even wicked men know they’re wicked. Even a wicked man can break down in contriteness. That doesn’t change their wickedness—they’re still a sinner (i.e.wicked).


I especially would like to know how one comes by an "upright" heart since there is no one righteous, not even one (Rom 3:10).When I say upright, I mean honesty. In a moment of true brokenness, a sinner experiences a moment of being honest with who they are.


Hmm...are you suggesting, then, that this broken, contrite, humble and "upright" heart that is still spiritually dead is raised to life (regenerated) so that it can make a "choice for Jesus"? Is this why the Father is needed?No. God draws all men (John 12:32), but only those with a contrite heart will respond to his drawing. The Father will open the hearts of these individuals so they can respond to the Gospel (Acts 16:14). If I had to give it a sequence it would look like this:

1. Son draws (initial drawing, can be resisted)
2. Contrite & humble heart receives drawing (still morally depraved/spiritually dead)
3. Hears message
4. Father opens heart to hear (final drawing, will not be resisted)
5. Responds in faith
6. Spirit regenerates (spiritually born again)


So, you think the fall just spiritually crippled our first parents?No. We all will sin at some point and at this point is when morally depravity sets in (“spiritual death”)


I would also suggest that there are plenty of scriptures that would easily refute your theory. (But more on this later.) But the biggest problem of all for Adam, was that he was excluded from the redemptive covenant God made with Eve. Where is Adam in Gen 3:15? Since God did not decree enmity between him and the "serpent", this can mean only on thing: Adam was of the "serpent's seed". There are no third options here. God surely redeemed Eve with the covenant he made with her and her seed through the serpent, but not Adam.

RufusNo one is excluded from redemption. And redemption isn’t finalized until the resurrection.

Rufus
Jun 9th 2011, 08:34 PM
I’m not saying God looks into the future (i.e. a crystal ball).

Do you deny that God can see into our hearts and read our thoughts?

It’s not an action. It’s a state of the heart.

I already gave them to you in the last post.

No, I don't deny it. But you have contradicted yourself, for whenever God looks into people's hearts, he's exercising his omniscience (prescience) which is what you denied earlier that he would be doing.


Man is not clean until he is covered with Christ’s blood. That doesn't mean he is incapable of repenting. Repentance doesn't mean he's clean and it doesn't make him clean.So, again, I'll ask: With your theory Man is not spiritually dead, but merely spiritually lame?


All have sinned and are unable to maintain righteousness. But man can exhibit righteousness. "...even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves," declares the Lord GOD.There is none righteous, no not one! (Rom 3:10). Do we have a contradiction here? I think not. The only righteousness the three above had was God's! It was imputed to them just like it was imputed to Abraham.


The Psalmist who wrote this was seeking God at the time of this writing, so this couldn’t be about ALL people. Verse 1 tells us who the “they” are that became corrupt—the fool who has said there is no God. And take note that it says that these foolish people BECAME corrupt. But still, no one would seek God without His intervention.No, but it was about all unbelievers. He was describing the spiritual state of all unbelievers. So, what is your point, exactly?


They are estranged from the womb just as much as they can verbally speak lies from birth. I don’t know any infant who can speak words let alone lies. This is clearly hyperbole.Yes, it is, but to drive home what truth? Is it not that Man is inherently evil? That man is born with a sin nature. Do you believe this? Do you believe Man is inherently evil? Can a man born of a woman be clean? This is a rhetorical question that demands only one answer? No! In and of himself a man cannot be clean because his own righteousness is as filthy rags, and his every thought and intentions of his heart are evil continually and his mind and soul are hostile towards God.


This not about man in general; it’s about a sinful nation (Isa. 5:4).

This is not about man in general; it’s about a nation who at one time did do good, but they had forgotten their God (Jer. 13:25).But if the covenant nation (made up of individuals) -- the chosen ones of God were so wicked, then how much more so those peoples or nations who were not privileged with receiving and keeping the oracles of God?


Being wicked doesn’t mean you don’t know you’re wicked. Even desperately wicked hearts can repent.

“Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you” (Acts 8:22). The commands in the bible do not presume moral/spiritual ability, only moral obligation. Spiritually dead people have no ability to do good. Those in the flesh (all unbelievers) cannot please God (Rom 8:8).


While I believe that a child born into the world will eventually sin, I don’t believe it’s because he is born evil. And when a young person sins and "spiritually dies" (separates himself from God), I don't see any reason to believe that person becomes incapable of repenting.Then explain to me why the child will eventually sin. Also, you obviously have never read:

Mark 10:18
18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.
NASB

If only God is good, what does this say about fallen Man? Does it not imply that all mankind is inherently evil? Has Man changed since the Flood when it was written of mankind:

Gen 6:5
5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
NAS

"Man" as in man in the generic sense! Has the spiritual state of mankind improved since the Flood?

Another huge problem that is insurmountable is that those who believe man can come to faith and repent before regeneration, must also believe that man is capable of doing something that God himself cannot even do: Deny his Nature! Man can no more deny what he is (i.e. act contrary to himself) than the Ethiopian can deny his nature by changing the color of his skin, or anymore than the leopard can deny his nature by changing his spots. Neither can God deny himself, i.e. what he is.


Scripture shows that man sins, is evil, wicked and an enemy of God. But even wicked men know they’re wicked. Even a wicked man can break down in contriteness. That doesn’t change their wickedness—they’re still a sinner (i.e.wicked).And they're still dead -- until such time the Holy Spirit raises them from the dead! Dead men have no moral/spiritual ability. This is why the Lord used the metaphor "death" to describe every human being's spiritual state.


When I say upright, I mean honesty. In a moment of true brokenness, a sinner experiences a moment of being honest with who they are.Haven't you read that all men are liars (Ps 116:11)?


No. God draws all men (John 12:32), but only those with a contrite heart will respond to his drawing.Nope. I'm going to pull a limited sense with the term "all" on you, just as you did with me. :) But mine is even more legitimate. What about the billions of people who have died and have never even heard the gospel? Where was this universal drawing? Or how did Christ draw all men in Asia to himself when the Holy Spirit prohibited Paul from preaching the word there (Act 16:6)? The term "all" here is better understood to mean Jews and Gentiles -- that would be "all" men because to a Jewish mind there were only two kinds of people in the world. Therefore, Jews and Gentiles would comprise "all men".

Also, Christ did not come into the world to call everyone. He came to call [/b]only[/b] sinners (Mat 2:17). Therefore, he does not draw all men to himself in the universal sense.


The Father will open the hearts of these individuals so they can respond to the Gospel (Acts 16:14). If I had to give it a sequence it would look like this:

1. Son draws (initial drawing, can be resisted)
2. Contrite & humble heart receives drawing (still morally depraved/spiritually dead)
3. Hears message
4. Father opens heart to hear (final drawing, will not be resisted)
5. Responds in faith
6. Spirit regenerates (spiritually born again)You have it all backwards. God must raise the dead before they can see (perceive, understand) the kingdom of God (Jn 3:3) or even hear (understand) the gospel (Jn 8:43). Only Christ's sheep can hear his voice (Jn 10;27). Conversely, those who are not His sheep cannot hear (Jn 10:26) When the Father gives his elect to his Son, it's not on the basis of anything meritorious in that person, otherwise salvation would be earned. God would be rewarding the "contrite, humble, upright, broken-hearted" for their superior spiritual condition by giving such to Christ. Salvation would no longer be on the basis of his sovereign grace. Speaking of which...

John 5:21
21 "For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.
NASB

The gift of eternal life does not depend on the will of man who chooses to have a contrite, broken, humble, upright heart.

John 5:25
25 "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live.
NASB

Jesus is speaking of two resurrections here -- the physical ("an hour is coming") and the spiritual ("now is"). When the spiritually dead "hear that voice" and are raised up from their spiritual tombs. Then they'll believe the gospel and repent of their sins -- both faith and repentance being gifts of God which he sovereignly grants to his people.


No one is excluded from redemption. And redemption isn’t finalized until the resurrection.You're quite wrong. Adam was excluded. Pharaoh was excluded. Ishamael and Esau were both excluded. The Gentile Nations were excluded, notwithstanding the exceptions' provision for Gentiles under the Mosaic Covenant. Judas we excluded, as was Herod and Pontius Pilate, unless you're so inclined to argue from silence.

Upon physical death everything is finalized! It is appointed for man to die once, then the judgment (Heb 9:27). For believers, however, our bodies won't be redeemed until the general resurrection on the Day of the Lord.

Rufus

LookingUp
Jun 10th 2011, 12:51 AM
Then you tell me who determined it.The Son of Man is going as it has been determined by God. The plan before the foundation of the world was that the Word would become flesh and die for the sin of the world.


And the one little thing you should notice carefully in this text is the little three letter word "but". Jesus is striking a contrast between who determined and the condemnation of Judas for his actions.God determined the plan long before that Christ would die but woe to the man by whom Christ is betrayed. So? Even though God planned for Christ to die, God didn’t choose who would be involved in that plan from the foundation of the world. You don’t think God could have known the time to send the Son into the world that would lead to his death by the hands of sinners? God doesn’t have to choose or even know who was going to kill Jesus, He just had to know the political climate and the hearts of the people that were living at that time.


And Herod and Pilate weren't individuals? And what you overlook is that God's hand and purpose were involved in their activities. In fact, let's look carefully at the wording of the text again:

Acts 4:27-28
27 "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur.
NASB

Whoever is praying here (probably Peter) is saying very clearly that Herod and Pontius Pilate (two named individuals) DID whatever God's hand and purpose predestined to occur. This makes perfectly good sense in light of all the Messianic prophecies surrounding Christ's trial, crucifixion, burial, etc. All the prophecies came true because they were decreed in eternity. Therefore, they were certain to come to pass in time.Yes, they ended up doing (killing Christ) whatever His hand predestined to occur (Christ dying for the sin of the world). God had to send Jesus into the world at a time He knew His plan would unfold. This doesn’t mean He picked who would kill Jesus. I believe God is smart enough to figure this out. Do you think God is capable of doing that? Is God capable of knowing circumstances and individual hearts well enough to know how they’d react under the clash of wills and purpose He was about to create with the ministry of Jesus?


But what we should take at face value is this:

Lam 3:37-38
37 Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass,
Unless the Lord has commanded it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That both good and ill go forth?
NASThis doesn’t show that God predetermines people to act wickedly. This passage is about prophecy. Both good and bad prophecies (blessing & disaster) come from the Lord. But God does not willingly afflict anyone (Lam. 3:33)


Jer 10:23
23 I know, O Lord, that a man's way is not in himself;
Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.
NASB

Prov 16:9
9 The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.
NASB

Prov 19:21
21 Many are the plans in a man's heart,
But the counsel of the Lord, it will stand.
NASB

Prov 20:24
24 Man's steps are ordained by the Lord,
How then can man understand his way?
NASBNone of the above shows that God predetermines people to act wickedly. We can make our own plans, but the Lord directs how those plans get worked out. God steers our paths in ways that best fit His sovereign purposes.


You think man's destiny is in his own hands?Man still makes plans and makes choices. God will steer their chosen paths in a direction that is best.


The Almighty, with whom we all have to do, declares the End from the Beginning -- everything (Isa 46:10).It doesn't say He declares everything (as in every detail). Read the rest of the verse. "My purpose will be established and I will accomplish all My good pleasure." God will bring His purpose to pass by controlling the flow of history.


Not even a sparrow falls to the ground apart from the Father's will (Mat 10:29).The verse says it doesn’t happen apart from the Father. In other words, He is aware of everything, even a sparrow. We are more valuable--the hairs on our heads are numbered, so He will give us what we need, even when faced with death.

janitor
Jun 10th 2011, 02:54 AM
Originally posted by Rufus
Sorry you feel that way.
Don't be sorry for the way I feel Rufus, because I have perfect understanding of this subject. I'm only sorry that you completely ignored the scripture I provided that shows Gods true character.

Originally posted by Rufus
....don't infer by this that I fully grasp how these things can be so, for I do not.
Rufus, you haven't a clue as to "how these things can be." If you want me to teach it to you, I will. If you don't, then stay ignorant.

janitor
Jun 10th 2011, 02:58 AM
Originally posted by LookingUp
God can take care of His own reputation.
You're right. Thank you for those very wise words.

LookingUp
Jun 10th 2011, 03:10 AM
No, I don't deny it. But you have contradicted yourself, for whenever God looks into people's hearts, he's exercising his omniscience (prescience) which is what you denied earlier that he would be doing.I’ll paste what I wrote:
I didn’t say God chooses someone for salvation based on His foreknowledge of the future. I said God chooses based on what He sees in a person heart, whether it is contrite and humble, seeking God in faith.There is a difference between looking into the settled future to know how someone will respond and using this foreknowledge to determine salvation and looking into a person’s heart to know how someone will respond and using this present knowledge to determine salvation. In one example, God is looking into the future, and in the other example, God is looking at the present (heart condition and present thoughts).


So, again, I'll ask: With your theory Man is not spiritually dead, but merely spiritually lame?Neither. Physical life is about relationships. We can do without many things in this life but not relationships. When one physically dies, that is lost. A dead person cannot have communion with his loved ones. Spiritual life is about a relationship. When one spiritually dies, communion with God is lost.


There is none righteous, no not one! (Rom 3:10). Do we have a contradiction here? I think not. The only righteousness the three above had was God's! It was imputed to them just like it was imputed to Abraham.That’s not what it says. And finish the verse. They have turned aside and have BECOME useless/corrupt. Those who BECOME didn’t begin that way. You don’t begin corrupt and then become corrupt.


No, but it was about all unbelievers. He was describing the spiritual state of all unbelievers. So, what is your point, exactly?It doesn’t say they BEGAN (were born) corrupt; it says they BECAME corrupt. So even if you want to say this is about ALL unbelievers, it still doesn’t support that they were born that way.


Yes, it is, but to drive home what truth? Is it not that Man is inherently evil?If you mean born evil, then no.


That man is born with a sin nature. Do you believe this? Do you believe Man is inherently evil?We have a human nature which means we are born with the ability to sin.


Can a man born of a woman be clean?No, a MAN is a sinner and is unclean.


This is a rhetorical question that demands only one answer? No! In and of himself a man cannot be clean because his own righteousness is as filthy rags,So you agree a corrupt man can exhibit righteousness?


and his every thought and intentions of his heart are evil continually and his mind and soul are hostile towards God.You’re taking this verse out of context. It is very clear that God was looking at man who was currently on the earth when He said this. “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great ON THE EARTH and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” These same men, God blotted out from the face of the earth because of THEIR continual wickedness.


But if the covenant nation (made up of individuals) -- the chosen ones of God were so wicked, then how much more so those peoples or nations who were not privileged with receiving and keeping the oracles of God?I’m not sure what your point is. This nation had previously been right with God and had gone astray. These passages do not support that God chooses who and who not to save before the foundation of the world. These passages do not support that God predetermines people to act wickedly.


The commands in the bible do not presume moral/spiritual ability, only moral obligation. Spiritually dead people have no ability to do good. Those in the flesh (all unbelievers) cannot please God (Rom 8:8).Spiritually dead, unsaved Cornelius was not pleasing to the Lord (Acts 10)? “…a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish people and prayed to God continually.” Seems this spiritually dead, unsaved man feared God and prayed to Him continually (i.e. had faith) .

“They said, ‘Cornelius, a centurion, a righteous and God-fearing man…'”. “…he had seen the angel …saying, '…Peter…will speak words to you be which you will be saved..'" This proves Cornelius was NOT saved prior to having faith in the God of Abraham.


Then explain to me why the child will eventually sin.Because we live in a sin filled world where temptations are great.


Also, you obviously have never read:Is that necessary?


Mark 10:18
18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.
NASB Surely you don’t believe that unsaved people do no good whatsoever in the world? Obviously, that’s not what Jesus is talking about. God is the only one who is truly good and without defect. He is perfectly good and can do no wrong.


If only God is good, what does this say about fallen Man? Does it not imply that all mankind is inherently evil? Has Man changed since the Flood when it was written of mankind:

Gen 6:5
5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
NAS

"Man" as in man in the generic sense! Has the spiritual state of mankind improved since the Flood?This is not a statement about man in general. Keep it in context.


Another huge problem that is insurmountable is that those who believe man can come to faith and repent before regeneration, must also believe that man is capable of doing something that God himself cannot even do: Deny his Nature! Man can no more deny what he is (i.e. act contrary to himself) than the Ethiopian can deny his nature by changing the color of his skin, or anymore than the leopard can deny his nature by changing his spots. Neither can God deny himself, i.e. what he is.You still have not proven that man’s nature is sin.


Haven't you read that all men are liars (Ps 116:11)?The Psalmist is talking about himself. But even if he wasn’t, when you murder someone, you are called a murderer. That doesn’t mean you’re in a constant state of murdering. So, even if a man is a liar, it doesn’t mean he never tells the truth.


Nope. I'm going to pull a limited sense with the term "all" on you, just as you did with me. :) But mine is even more legitimate. What about the billions of people who have died and have never even heard the gospel? Where was this universal drawing? Or how did Christ draw all men in Asia to himself when the Holy Spirit prohibited Paul from preaching the word there (Act 16:6)?...Those who never heard the gospel (specific revelation) have the universal drawing from general revelation. God reveals Himself through creation and reveals Himself within humans (Romans 1:19-20).


Also, Christ did not come into the world to call everyone. He came to call [/b]only[/b] sinners (Mat 2:17). Therefore, he does not draw all men to himself in the universal sense.Huh? If he calls all sinners, doesn’t that mean he calls everyone. Isn’t that your point here—all men are sinners? You’ve confused me on this one.

Just like as soon as you lie, you are a liar; as soon as you sin, you are a sinner. All men are sinners.


You have it all backwards. God must raise the dead before they can see (perceive, understand) the kingdom of God (Jn 3:3)John 3:4 tells us the “seeing” is about “entering.” You can’t be a member until you’re born again.


or even hear (understand) the gospel (Jn 8:43).Yes. Their hearts were not humble and contrite so the Father would not open their hearts to hear/understand the gospel.


Only Christ's sheep can hear his voice (Jn 10;27).Exactly. The sheep hear his voice because they are chosen to hear his voice. The Father looked into their hearts and saw that they were ready. So, God opened their hearts to hear Jesus and respond in faith.


Conversely, those who are not His sheep cannot hear (Jn 10:26)Exactly. They weren’t sheep (those with ready hearts/those ready to follow). So, the Father didn’t open their hearts to hear.


When the Father gives his elect to his Son, it's not on the basis of anything meritorious in that person, otherwise salvation would be earned.There’s nothing noble about coming to the end of yourself and realizing you’re a lost, miserable, wretched sinner.


God would be rewarding the "contrite, humble, upright, broken-hearted" for their superior spiritual condition by giving such to Christ. Salvation would no longer be on the basis of his sovereign grace.Superior spiritual condition? What’s spiritually superior in realizing you’re a lost cause? It’s not about rewarding at all. It’s when one gives up on his own strength and ability that God is able to intervene with grace.


Speaking of which...

John 5:21
21 "For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.
NASB

The gift of eternal life does not depend on the will of man who chooses to have a contrite, broken, humble, upright heart.The Son wishes to give life to those who were given to him by the Father.


John 5:25
25 "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live.
NASB

Jesus is speaking of two resurrections here -- the physical ("an hour is coming") and the spiritual ("now is"). When the spiritually dead "hear that voice" and are raised up from their spiritual tombs. Then they'll believe the gospel and repent of their sins -- both faith and repentance being gifts of God which he sovereignly grants to his people.Yes, the Father opens the heart of the spiritually dead to hear the gospel and respond in faith, and the Spirit regenerates them. When the spiritually dead (separated from God through sin) who are humble and contrite hear that voice, the Father opens their heart to hear the gospel, respond in faith and they will be regenerated.


You're quite wrong. Adam was excluded.Adam went to hell?


…The Gentile Nations were excluded,Rahab, Ruth?

LookingUp
Jun 10th 2011, 03:21 AM
You're right. Thank you for those very wise words.:hug: And you know what, I'd hug Rufus too. It'll all work out. You know, I was thinking... I don't think I'd study Scripture to this extent if there weren't people like Rufus who hold these other doctrines. It really forces me to dig into Scripture and I have to admit, I love it! I don't always have time, but when I do, it's great.

Rufus
Jun 10th 2011, 05:36 AM
The Son of Man is going as it has been determined by God. The plan before the foundation of the world was that the Word would become flesh and die for the sin of the world.

But this "big redemption plan" isn't in view in the immediate context of the passage. Only the betrayal is! Again, here is the passage:

Luke 22:21-23
21 "But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Me on the table. 22 "For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been DETERMINED; BUT woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!" 23 And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing.
NASB

Nothing but the specific act of betrayal is in view in this passage. Question: Who determined that the betrayal take place? In Jesus' mind it was the Father, which is the reason for the "but". He's making a contrast between his Father's determinative will (divine decree made in eternity) and Judas' actions.

And why would Jesus elsewhere say that it would have been good if Judas had never been born? Who ordained Judas' birth? Or was that merely a fortuitous event? Why would the Father decree the birth of Jesus' betrayer and even murderer (for he aided and abetted)? What kind of loving earthly father would facilitate the actions of someone he knew wanted to murder his only child? The Father could have nipped that in the bud and spared Jesus' life by not decreeing Judas' birth! But instead, he ordained that this very evil person be brought into this world.

In Matthew are we not told that this act of betrayal was written, i.e. prophesied.

Matt 26:24
24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.
KJV

And to what OT passage was he alluding? Was it not in this Psalm?

Ps 41:9
9 Even my close friend, in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me.
NASB

How could God given this prophecy to David if he had not determined (ordained) it from the very beginning?


God determined the plan long before that Christ would die but woe to the man by whom Christ is betrayed. So? Even though God planned for Christ to die, God didn’t choose who would be involved in that plan from the foundation of the world.

Of course, he did. Plus Christ certainly chose Judas, didn't he!? Are you suggesting that Christ did not know what he was doing when he chose Judas to be one of the 12?


You don’t think God could have known the time to send the Son into the world that would lead to his death by the hands of sinners? God doesn’t have to choose or even know who was going to kill Jesus, He just had to know the political climate and the hearts of the people that were living at that time.

That's your foreknowledge theory, but foreknowledge isn't in view in Acts or in Luke or in Matthew. But what is very clearly in view in those passages is God's determinative will, his hand and his purpose what he predestined to occur. God's hand was in everything! God just wasn't merely standing on the sidelines in the heavens watching this all unfolded. Quite the contrary. It all unfolded because he decreed it -- every single detail.

Did not Jesus even correct Pilate when he boasted of his authority over him? What did Jesus tell him?

John 19:11
11 Jesus answered, "You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me up to you has the greater sin."
NASB

Everyone is morally culpable, even though Pilate was installed in power by God himself! And have you not read how God handles rulers? And just who handed Jesus over to Pilate? Was it not Herod!?

Dan 2:21
21 "And it is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings;
NAS

And isn't also written?

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

And many such decrees are with the Most High:

Job 23:13-14
13 "But He is unique and who can turn Him?
And what His soul desires, that He does.
14 "For He performs what is appointed for me,
And many such decrees are with Him.
NASB


Yes, they ended up doing (killing Christ) whatever His hand predestined to occur (Christ dying for the sin of the world). God had to send Jesus into the world at a time He knew His plan would unfold. This doesn’t mean He picked who would kill Jesus.

He names names, doesn't he? Judas, Pilate, Herod? He did indeed decree every single detail, including the people involved. Every single detail was predestined in eternity. You're merely assuming God was crystal ball gazing. There's not a thing in those texts to prove that.


This doesn’t show that God predetermines people to act wickedly. This passage is about prophecy. Both good and bad prophecies (blessing & disaster) come from the Lord. But God does not willingly afflict anyone (Lam. 3:33).

Really? That's all? How do you explain Job? Or Pharaoh? Or Esau? Lam 3:33 has God's moral will in view. Not his determinative will. Two very different things.

Also, what you failed to see in in my Lam 3:37-38 passage was this next verse:

Lam 3:39
39 Why should any living mortal, or any man,
Offer complaint in view of his sins?
NASB

This is not so much a prophecy (foretelling) as it is moral instruction (forthtelling). Jeremiah's question is very revealing because the text before says that from God's mouth both Good and Evil go forth! Yes, in the NASB, "rah" is rendered "ill", but it's also the same word as for "evil". And he asks this question on the basis of the "calamity" or "ill" or "evil" that goes forth from the Lord. No one should complain of the evil because everyone is a sinner! In fact, Job expressed the very same sentiments when he was being tested with fire:

Job 2:10a
10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?
KJV

Same Hebrew word is used here "rah".

Lastly, even if it were a prophecy, so what? Does 2Tim 3:16 exclude the class of scripture known as "prophecy"?


None of the above show that God predetermines people to act wickedly.

When Joseph was sold as a slave to the Egyptians by his wicked brothers, what saith the scripture?

Gen 50:20
20 "And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
NASB

Again, the brothers did what God's hand and purpose predestined to occur! While they meant it for evil, little did they know that God was using them to accomplish his purposes for Good!

And for what ultimate purpose did God raise up Pharaoh and even harden his heart to boot? Is it not written?

Ex 14:4
4 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord." And they did so.
ESV

Why cannot God withhold grace and grant it as he sees fit in order to accomplish his good pleasure? I would think that this "hardening" of Pharaoh's heart probably had quite a bit to do with God withdrawing grace from Pharaoh, which stiffened the king's evil resolve against the Lord. Why can't God rightfully do this? In fact, in hell, will anyone experience any of God's grace? Isn't it God's common grace in the world currently that is restraining evil? What do you think this world would be like if God withdrew every last vestige of his grace from it?


We can make our own plans, but the Lord directs how those plans get worked out. God steers our paths in ways that best fit His sovereign purposes.

Man still makes plans and makes choices. God will steer their chosen paths in a direction that is best.

And what if the plans of a man's heart don't get worked out!? That's the very thrust of those passages! What if God has something very different planned? It's not merely a question of how a man's plans get worked out, although that certainly could be the case. A missionary might decide he wants to minister in Honduras, but God instead sends him to China. Okay...but what if God doesn't even want the person to even be in the mission field -- to be a missionary? What if God completely derails those plans? Now, it's not so much "how" but WHAT God wants him doing. And no one can frustrate God's plans or purposes, btw! No one!

Isa 14:24,27
24 The Lord of hosts has sworn saying, "Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand...27 "For the Lord of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?"
NASB

Even the wicked Pharisee Gamaliel understood this:

Acts 5:39
but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God. "
NAS

And best for whom? Very Important question: Best for whom? When God stuck his satanic bull dog on Job, do you think Job thought that his trials, tribulations, sufferings, losses and pain were the greatest thing since sliced bread? Or did God have his own purpose for bringing such evil upon Job? Did God even give Job an explanation for his great sufferings? Did he ever explain to Job the reason behind it all?

Yes, men make choices okay, but trust me on this: They're not "free will" choices -- not by a long shot -- certainly not in any libertarian sense. The will of man, just as the will of God, is limited by Nature. Man's will is governed by a very biased nature -- an evil sin nature. Further, Man is subject to an external influence, as well -- usually referred to as Nurture.


It doesn't say He declares everything (as in every detail). Read the rest of the verse. "My purpose will be established and I will accomplish all My good pleasure." God will bring His purpose to pass by controlling the flow of history.

And he controls the very walk or steps of Man as well! There is not a thing in this universe that God does not control, including the little sparrows who fall to the ground! So, yes, God rules over nations as well as individuals.


The verse says it doesn’t happen apart from the Father. In other words, He is aware of everything, even a sparrow. We are more valuable--the hairs on our heads are numbered, so He will give us what we need, even when faced with death.

Simply being aware of something doesn't make the Father instrumental in the fall of the sparrow. It doesn't make him a PART of it. But his determinative will does! His determinative will makes him a PART of the incident, not his mere awareness. I like the NIV rendering, for it captures the essence of what Jesus is saying:

Matt 10:29-31
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
NIV

It's cold comfort to tell people that the Father is merely aware of your situation, rather than telling them that he's intimately and personally involved in it! I think they would have plenty to be afraid of if their God was only aware of their temporal circumstances.

Rufus

Rufus
Jun 10th 2011, 07:39 AM
I’ll paste what I wrote:There is a difference between looking into the settled future to know how someone will respond and using this foreknowledge to determine salvation and looking into a person’s heart to know how someone will respond and using this [B]present knowledge to determine salvation. In one example, God is looking into the future, and in the other example, God is looking at the present (heart condition and present thoughts).

Oh...you're getting sloppy. Be careful Mr. Perfect Understanding. :)

First off, I stated that you were using God's omniscience or prescience. So, what you just wrote above doesn't contradict what I stated. Jesus knew all men's heart's, correct? That's his omniscience.

But look carefully at what you just wrote above. You're saying that God doesn't use foreknowledge (future gazing), but instead looks into the present state of a person's heart. Correct? If so, how can God look only into the present state and yet know how a person will respond 10 seconds from now, 10 minutes from now, 10 hours from now or 1 day from now? Here's what you just wrote:


and looking into a person’s heart to know how someone will respond and using this present knowledge to determine salvation. In one example, God is looking into the future, and in the other example, God is looking at the present (heart condition and present thoughts).So, please explain to me how God only looking into the Present state can know how someone will respond (your words) at some Future point in time?

Moreover, since we both agree (I think) that God is omniscient and knows all people's hearts, please explain what Jesus meant in this passage:

Matt 7:22-23
22 "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'
NASB

Can you tell me, please, what it was that Christ didn't know?

Me:

So, again, I'll ask: With your theory Man is not spiritually dead, but merely spiritually lame?
Neither. Physical life is about relationships. We can do without many things in this life but not relationships. When one physically dies, that is lost. A dead person cannot have communion with his loved ones. Spiritual life is about a relationship. When one spiritually dies, communion with God is lost. I don't get your answer "neither" to my above question. The loss of physical life is more than a loss of relationships. In fact, Death is all about separation. At Death, the Soul leaves the Body. In Spiritual Death, there is Separation from of the soul (life) from it's Source of Life, it's Creator. As you have rightfully said, communion with God is lost. As in physical death, one has no ability to will himself back to life or to restore lost relationships in this world. Likewise, in Spiritual Death, one has no ability to will himself back to life or to restore the lost relationship to God. This is precisely why God chose to use the metaphor "death". Death = 100% total, complete, entire helplessness or inability, spiritually. Just as the Rich Man could not cross over to Lazarus who was resting in Abraham's bosom in Hades, likewise spiritually dead people, who come into this world hating God, have no means to bridge the gap. This is why God must breathe life into his people's souls to restore them unto himself. Ezekiel 37 is a very graphic depiction of this.

That’s not what it says. And finish the verse. They have turned aside and have BECOME useless/corrupt. Those who BECOME didn’t begin that way. You don’t begin corrupt and then become corrupt.


It doesn’t say they BEGAN (were born) corrupt; it says they BECAME corrupt. So even if you want to say this is about ALL unbelievers, it still doesn’t support that they were born that way.The passage per se isn't dealing with the sin nature, but rather describing the rather dismal spiritual state of ALL men? So what is your point? Here's the entire passage:

Rom 3:10-18
10 as it is written,

"There is none righteous, not even one;
11 There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one."
13 "Their throat is an open grave,
With their tongues they keep deceiving,"
"The poison of asps is under their lips";
14 "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness";
15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood,
16 Destruction and misery are in their paths,
17 And the path of peace have they not known."
18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
NASB

This is the universal spiritual state of all mankind! Notice all the present tense verbs, btw.


If you mean born evil, then no.

We have a human nature which means we are born with the ability to sin.So, if it's not in our nature to sin, why does everyone sin? Explain the above condemning passage to me? I don't wish to sound rude here, but your denial of a man's sin nature -- this is analogous to saying that if we were to toss into a lions' den heads of lettuce and juicy chunks of raw red meat and every single time, every single lion tore into the meat and ignored the lettuce that their attraction to meat had nothing to do with the nature of the beast. To even suggest that Man comes into this world in some morally/spiritually neutral state defies reason and logic. Ask any parent when the last time it was that that they had to consciously teach their kids to do wrong!


No, a MAN is a sinner and is unclean.

So you agree a corrupt man can exhibit righteousness?A child of the living God is not corrupt -- by his grace.

But you haven't answered the rhetorical question: "Can a man born of a woman be clean?" Can he? If not, why not? But if you want to go against the flow of this rhetorical question, then please explain how a man in and of himself can be clean.


You’re taking this verse out of context. It is very clear that God was looking at man who was currently on the earth when He said this. “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great ON THE EARTH and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” These same men, God blotted out from the face of the earth because of THEIR continual wickedness.Just as God will blot out the wicked from the earth on the last day. They will have no place on the restored Earth. So, tell me: Are you saying that man has improved morally over the centuries? Paul in Romans 3 above would disagree with you. Man hasn't changed one iota! Therefore, unless you can show that man has improved spiritually and morally since the Flood, I'd say the Genesis commentary is just as valid today as it was back then. You might also want to read Rom 1:18ff in case you're still in doubt.

I’m not sure what your point is. This nation had previously been right with God and had gone astray. These passages do not support that God chooses who and who not to save before the foundation of the world. These passages do not support that God predetermines people to act wickedly.


Spiritually dead, unsaved Cornelius was not pleasing to the Lord (Acts 10)? “…a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish people and prayed to God continually.” Seems this spiritually dead, unsaved man feared God and prayed to Him continually (i.e. had faith) .Why would you assume he was unsaved? Since when has any God-fearing person in the bible not been considered to be one of God's very own? Can you point to any precedent in scripture?

Did not Jesus who, was born under Law, teach that he who believes HAS eternal life (present tense), cf. Jn 3:36, 5:24; 6:47, etc. Jesus never taught that eternal life in this age was something future to believing. If there was no work of regeneration during his ministry (and quite possibly prior to his Advent as well), then how could he have used the present tense in these passages and others? And did not Jesus chide Nicodemus in John 3 for not understanding what it meant to be born again? How could Jesus have done this, if the work of regeneration was not already a reality? And why would the work of regeneration have to be the same operation as baptism in the Holy Spirit?


“They said, ‘Cornelius, a centurion, a righteous and God-fearing man…'”. “…he had seen the angel …saying, '…Peter…will speak words to you be which you will be saved..'" This proves Cornelius was NOT saved prior to having faith in the God of Abraham.Really? May I ask from what translation you are using that the angel spoke such words to Cornelius? I own 16 translations, and none of them say that the angel spoke those words.


Because we live in a sin filled world where temptations are great.Kinda begs the question, doesn't it? The world makes us sin? So, what makes the world filled with sin? And I take it that you disagree with Jesus about the source of sin -- from the heart of man? From within man? Yet, you blame every person's sin on the world without?

It's getting real late. I'll pick the rest of this up tomorrow -- Lord willin' and the crik doesn't rise.

Rufus

Rufus
Jun 10th 2011, 07:49 PM
BF Re: "Predestination" in Ephesians 1 - #79

My time is limited, so I'm going to hit on what I think are the really important points, if you don't mind. I have a lot on my platter the next couple of days.


Surely you don’t believe that unsaved people do no good whatsoever in the world? Obviously, that’s not what Jesus is talking about. God is the only one who is truly good and without defect. He is perfectly good and can do no wrong.

So, then by your own admission the "good" that the wicked do is inferior to and relative to the absolute Good of God, correct? And then the question needs to be asked: Does even the this inferior good find its source in the wicked's heart? Can a bad tree bear good fruit? Or should the credit for the good that the wicked do go to Him who restrains evil in this dark, forlorn world? Would this world not literally be a living hell, a nightmare beyond description, if God removed his Holy Spirit from the world and all common grace with him?


This is not a statement about man in general. Keep it in context.

Oh, but it is about man in general. This is to be implicitly understood Let's look at that context:

Luke 18:18-19
18 And a certain ruler questioned Him, saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 19 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.
NASB

So, here we have a scene in which a man runs up to another man (Jesus) and calls him "good teacher". This ruler certainly did not know who Jesus really was. He did not know that Jesus was the Son of God, the Promised Messiah of the Jewish scriptures. He had no clue. He thought he was just a good man, and thus called him "good teacher". But Jesus corrected his presumptuousness, since this man had no idea who it was he was addressing. Jesus was really asking him, why do you presume to call another man "good"? Or any man good? On what basis? On what grounds? Does any man have any justification for thinking that he or anyone else on this planet is good, as God defines good?

If the guy thought he was justified for thinking another man is inherently good in God's eyes, Jesus immediately killed that thought in the bud by stating that only God alone is good. Not only is God pure Goodness, but God is the source of all good in the universe. What Jesus was doing was trying to get this man to quit thinking in relative terms, which is what you appear to be doing, and start thinking only in absolute terms -- from a divine perspective, instead of a human one -- from a vertical perspective instead of a horizontal one. Jesus certainly knew his OT didn't he? He no doubt had in mind such texts as Ps 53:1 and Eccl 7:20.

David was not at all presumptuous when it came to knowing who and what was good. David neither thought that he was inherently good or that any other man was either when he wrote:

Ps 16:2
2 I said to the Lord, "Thou art my Lord;
I have no good besides Thee."
NASB

The farthest thing from Jesus' mind was the relative and markedly inferior brand of humanistic "good that the wicked do. That kind of "good" that the unsaved perform each and every day comes cheap. It's a dime a dozen, and in the end has no value -- certainly no saving value. Did not Jesus teach:?

Luke 6:32-35
32 "And if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 "And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 "And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, in order to receive back the same amount.
NASB

So, do sinners perform "good"? You bet! But of what value is it to them? This is precisely how Paul could write that "No one does good, there's not even one"! No one is inherently good. No one has any good within them to perform genuine good; for God alone is good. And the source of all Good resides in Him. Therefore, it logically follows that Man is inherently evil. There is no escaping the force of this passage in Luke 18! There is no such thing as a morally neutral human being. You're either Good or Evil. Wicked or Righteous. Godly or Ungodly. Saved or Damned. Seed of the Woman or Seed of the Serpent, etc. There are only two kinds of people in this world. And for those of us who fall, by the grace of our God, on the right[eous] side of this ledger, whatever righteousness or good we own is still not ours! What thing of value can we mere sinful mortals give to our Creator?

Job 35:7
7 "If you are righteous, what do you give to Him?
Or what does He receive from your hand?
NASB

And Again,

Acts 17:25
25 neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things;
NASB


You still have not proven that man’s nature is sin.

Au contraire! Since Jesus taught that only God alone IS good, then this immediately implies that Man IS Evil!

And I have already quoted these passages:

Ps 51:5
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
NASB

Ps 58:3
3 The wicked are estranged from the womb;
These who speak lies go astray from birth.
NASB

And do not all come into this world as children of wrath by nature?

Eph 2:3
3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
NASB


The Psalmist is talking about himself. But even if he wasn’t, when you murder someone, you are called a murderer. That doesn’t mean you’re in a constant state of murdering. So, even if a man is a liar, it doesn’t mean he never tells the truth.

Nor is the text teaching that men lie 24/7, so what is your point? And have you not read?

Rom 3:4
4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written,
NASB

Or again,

Prov 20:6
6 Many a man proclaims his own loyalty,
But who can find a trustworthy man?
NASB

Or again,

Jer 17:5
5 Thus says the Lord,

"Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
NASB


And did not the same prophet teach?

Jer 17:9
9 "The heart is more DECEITFUL than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
NASB

Can you understand this? Maybe you can. After all, you have tried in vain to answer the same kind of rhetorical question in Prov 20:24, so I wouldn't be surprised if you took a shot at this one, too.

But do you really want to go down this road of lies, lying, deceitfulness and trustworthiness? I could present an airtight, irrefutable argument from Natural Revelation (God's Creation or Reality as we all know it) that would demolish a couple of your major premises in terms of man's nature and man's moral ability. We would see that Natural Revelation harmonizes quite nicely with Special Revelation (God's Word).

Gotta run. Will try to finish this up later.

Rufus

RollTide21
Jun 10th 2011, 09:36 PM
I didn’t say God chooses someone for salvation based on His foreknowledge of the future. I said God chooses based on what He sees in a person heart, whether it is contrite and humble, seeking God in faith.

“My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart” (Psalm 7:10).

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17).

“But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isa. 66:2).

Because even a heart that’s primed cannot receive Jesus until the Father grants it (John 6:44). The heart isn’t making a “choice” for Jesus. The primed heart is one that is broken, contrite, humble and upright.

After Adam & Eve died spiritually (which I believe is when moral depravity set in), there’s nothing in Scripture that would make one believe they were unable to continue to pray and seek God’s forgiveness.I tend to agree with you, here, LU.

Aside from the Scriptural discussion, I think it naturally speaks to why people find Christ in the midst of horrible circumstances. It is during those times of utter brokenness that they can hear God's Voice.

RollTide21
Jun 10th 2011, 09:39 PM
Same thing isn't it? God peers into his cosmic crystal ball, in a manner of speaking, and looks into people's hearts? How does that materially differ from viewing a person's actions? Again, do you have chapter and verse to support this theory of salvation?



The above is all true, but so are these passages equally as true:

Job 14:4
4 "Who can make the clean out of the unclean?
No one!
NAS

Job 15:14-16
14 "What is man, that he should be pure,
Or he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
15 "Behold, He puts no trust in His holy ones,
And the heavens are not pure in His sight;
16 How much less one who is detestable and corrupt,
Man, who drinks iniquity like water!
NASB

Ps 14:3
3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one.
NAS

Ps 53:1-3
53:1 For the choir director; according to Mahalath.
A Maskil of David.

The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God,"
They are corrupt, and have committed abominable injustice;
There is no one who does good.
2 God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men,
To see if there is anyone who understands,
Who seeks after God.
3 Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one.
NASB

Ps 58:3-4
3 The wicked are estranged from the womb;
These who speak lies go astray from birth.
4 They have venom like the venom of a serpent;
Like a deaf cobra that stops up its ear,
NASB

Isa 1:5-6
5 Where will you be stricken again,
As you continue in your rebellion?
The whole head is sick,
And the whole heart is faint.
6 From the sole of the foot even to the head
There is nothing sound in it,
Only bruises, welts, and raw wounds,
Not pressed out or bandaged,
Nor softened with oil.
NAS

Jer 13:23
23[/i] "Can the Ethiopian change his skin
Or the leopard his spots?
Then you also can do good
Who are accustomed to doing evil.[/i]
NAS

Jer 17:9
9 "The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
NAS

So, tell me, please, how does inherently evil Man comes by a humble, contrite, broken, upright heart? The passages you quote, while being true in and of themselves, beg the question. You need to show how a person can acquire that kind of spiritual disposition, most especially when all men come into the world at enmity with God (Gen 3:15) and are evil by nature. I especially would like to know how one comes by an "upright" heart since there is no one righteous, not even one (Rom 3:10).



Hmm...are you suggesting, then, that this broken, contrite, humble and "upright" heart that is still spiritually dead is raised to life (regenerated) so that it can make a "choice for Jesus"? Is this why the Father is needed?



So, you think the fall just spiritually crippled our first parents?

I would also suggest that there are plenty of scriptures that would easily refute your theory. (But more on this later.) But the biggest problem of all for Adam, was that he was excluded from the redemptive covenant God made with Eve. Where is Adam in Gen 3:15? Since God did not decree enmity between him and the "serpent", this can mean only on thing: Adam was of the "serpent's seed". There are no third options here. God surely redeemed Eve with the covenant he made with her and her seed through the serpent, but not Adam.

RufusRufus...must we equate a contrite Spirit who is open to the Grace of God to not needing Christ?

LookingUp
Jun 10th 2011, 10:17 PM
But this "big redemption plan" isn't in view in the immediate context of the passage. Only the betrayal is! Again, here is the passage:You could be right. That still doesn’t mean Judas was chosen to do the betraying before the foundation of the world or even at Judas’ birth.


(divine decree made in eternity)In eternity? Where does it say that? How do you know it wasn’t predetermined at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry?


In Matthew are we not told that this act of betrayal was written, i.e. prophesied.

Matt 26:24
24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.
KJVEven if you think the “goeth as it is written” is speaking specifically of the betrayal and not the death of Jesus in general, there’s no reason to believe that Judas had to be the who did the betraying. We read about Judas because by virtue of his own wickedness he put himself in this position. He fit the bill. God can choose to harden the heart of one who is wicked and determine their destiny at some point during their life but it’s due to their own wickedness (Romans 2:24-27).


And to what OT passage was he alluding? Was it not in this Psalm?

Ps 41:9
9 Even my close friend, in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me.
NASB
How could God given this prophecy to David if he had not determined (ordained) it from the very beginning?This is David writing about his friend and trusted counselor, Ahithophel, who betrayed him by siding with Absalom. This is an event that had already taken place. I don’t deny this is a prophecy but it wasn’t necessarily a prediction of what was to take place in the future. I don’t equate most of the NT prophecies with crystal ball kinds of predictions. Ancient Jews would often say that a current event “fulfilled” some particular Scripture when they believed this event paralleled the particular Scripture, as long as the event illustrated in a superlative way the principle found in that Scripture. This was a form of midrash that helped the Jews interpret current events in light of Scripture. But again, if you think this was written specifically about the betrayal of Jesus, Judas did not have to be the one to do it. In every generation, there are men wicked enough to betray their friends.


Of course, he did.Really? You still haven’t shown me where it says He determined who would betray Jesus from the foundation of the world.


Plus Christ certainly chose Judas, didn't he!? Are you suggesting that Christ did not know what he was doing when he chose Judas to be one of the 12?Of course he did. He knew from the beginning of his ministry who would betray him (John 6:64).


That's your foreknowledge theory, but foreknowledge isn't in view in Acts or in Luke or in Matthew. But what is very clearly in view in those passages is God's determinative will, his hand and his purpose what he predestined to occur. God's hand was in everything! God just wasn't merely standing on the sidelines in the heavens watching this all unfolded. Quite the contrary. It all unfolded because he decreed it -- every single detail.

Did not Jesus even correct Pilate when he boasted of his authority over him? What did Jesus tell him?

John 19:11
11 Jesus answered, "You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me up to you has the greater sin."
NASB

Everyone is morally culpable, even though Pilate was installed in power by God himself! And have you not read how God handles rulers? And just who handed Jesus over to Pilate? Was it not Herod!? I never said God wasn’t involved. I think God was more involved in this time in history than any other in order to bring His purpose to pass. Like I said, God can harden any wicked man He wants to in order to bring His purpose to pass. God simply had to know the political climate and the hearts of the people living at the time, as well as intervene where needed. None of this means God had to predetermine every detail before the foundation of the world to accomplish His plans.


Dan 2:21
21 "And it is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings;
NAS

And isn't also written?

Prov 21:1
1 The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord;
He turns it wherever He wishes.
NASBGod is sovereign over kings, but this doesn’t mean He controls everything they do. First of all, we can’t read this as an absolute universal law. If we did, we’d have to consider this as absolute as well:
“No harm happens to the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble” ((Proverbs 12:21).
As a general principle, though, righteous living helps one avoid harm. The author is simply stating the principle in absolute terms to emphasize its importance.

Second of all, just because God turns the heart of the king doesn’t mean He determined the nature of the heart He turned. Even when they set themselves against God, He can direct their steps to further His purposes.


And many such decrees are with the Most High:

Job 23:13-14
13 "But He is unique and who can turn Him?
And what His soul desires, that He does.
14 "For He performs what is appointed for me,
And many such decrees are with Him.
NASBThe Lord can do whatever He pleases, and certainly He could control every detail of everything if it pleased Him to do so. This doesn’t mean it pleases Him to meticulously control every detail.


He names names, doesn't he? Judas, Pilate, Herod? He did indeed decree every single detail, including the people involved. Every single detail was predestined in eternity. You're merely assuming God was crystal ball gazing. There's not a thing in those texts to prove that.You’re assuming this was predestined in eternity. Some things were (the death of Jesus). Some things were determined during the writing of certain Scriptures (possibly the betrayal). Some things were determined during Christ’s ministry (who would betray him).


Really? That's all? How do you explain Job?What about Job? God allowed Satan to attack him. God didn’t attack him. There’s no reason to believe this is representative of how God always acts.


Or Pharaoh?God hardened the heart of a wicked man.


Or Esau?What about him? He acted foolishly. God also blessed him. Of course, God chose to show no mercy to Edom due to their wickedness.


Lam 3:33 has God's moral will in view. Not his determinative will. Two very different things.Are you saying that since God felt sorry for causing “evil” it’s OK that He did caused evil?


Also, what you failed to see in in my Lam 3:37-38 passage was this next verse:

Lam 3:39
39 Why should any living mortal, or any man,
Offer complaint in view of his sins?
NASB

This is not so much a prophecy (foretelling) as it is moral instruction (forthtelling). Jeremiah's question is very revealing because the text before says that from God's mouth both Good and Evil go forth! Yes, in the NASB, "rah" is rendered "ill", but it's also the same word as for "evil". And he asks this question on the basis of the "calamity" or "ill" or "evil" that goes forth from the Lord. No one should complain of the evil because everyone is a sinner!No one should complain God is evil because we are too? I don’t think you have it right. This is about prophecy that brings blessing or disaster. No one should complain about the disaster their own evil brings on. They reap what they sow.


In fact, Job expressed the very same sentiments when he was being tested with fire:

Job 2:10a
10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?
KJV
Same Hebrew word is used here "rah".It doesn’t matter if it’s the same word—it still needs to be understood within its context. And Job was just as mistaken in his theology as his friends were. Evil does not come from the hand of God. He is attributing what Satan did to God. God takes responsibility for it only to the extent that He allowed it. God took responsibility for all evil when His Son died on the cross.


Lastly, even if it were a prophecy, so what? Does 2Tim 3:16 exclude the class of scripture known as "prophecy"?I don’t understand your point. Prophecy of judgment that leads to disaster is not the same thing as evil.


When Joseph was sold as a slave to the Egyptians by his wicked brothers, what saith the scripture?

Gen 50:20
20 "And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
NASB

Again, the brothers did what God's hand and purpose predestined to occur! While they meant it for evil, little did they know that God was using them to accomplish his purposes for Good!This doesn’t say God orchestrated their evil actions before the creation of the world. It just suggests that at some point, God decided that it would fit in with His purpose to steer these brothers’ plans in a direction that would bring His purpose to pass.

This doesn’t mean this event is representative of how God always operates. If it is then we also have to accept that the responsibility of evil agents is decreased due to God’s involvement in it, because Joseph says, “Do not be distressed or angry with yourselves for God sent me…” If this is how God always operates, then we can say to the kidnapper or murderer, “don’t be angry with yourself…” We can’t universalize the way God operates in this passage without also universalizing its implication for human responsibility.


And for what ultimate purpose did God raise up Pharaoh and even harden his heart to boot? Is it not written?

Ex 14:4
4 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord." And they did so.
ESVGod can raise up a wicked man to a position and harden his heart to bring His purpose to pass. So? That doesn’t mean it was predetermined before the foundation of the world. And it doesn’t mean God predetermined him to be wicked.


Why cannot God withhold grace and grant it as he sees fit in order to accomplish his good pleasure? I would think that this "hardening" of Pharaoh's heart probably had quite a bit to do with God withdrawing grace from Pharaoh, which stiffened the king's evil resolve against the Lord. Why can't God rightfully do this? In fact, in hell, will anyone experience any of God's grace? Isn't it God's common grace in the world currently that is restraining evil? What do you think this world would be like if God withdrew every last vestige of his grace from it?Yep. God doesn’t have to show mercy to a wicked man. I never said differently.


And what if the plans of a man's heart don't get worked out!? … And no one can frustrate God's plans or purposes, btw! No one!...So? I never said anyone can frustrate His plans.


And he controls the very walk or steps of Man as well! There is not a thing in this universe that God does not control, including the little sparrows who fall to the ground! So, yes, God rules over nations as well as individuals.God controls what pleases Him in order to bring His purpose to pass. That doesn’t mean He controls every detail of everything.


Matt 10:29-31
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
NIVYep. Sounds like NIV.


It's cold comfort to tell people that the Father is merely aware of your situation, rather than telling them that he's intimately and personally involved in it! I think they would have plenty to be afraid of if their God was only aware of their temporal circumstances.Because we are far more valuable than a sparrow, who doesn’t die without God’s knowledge, God is aware and intimately involved with us (knows the hairs on our heads) and will give us what we need when evil comes. It’s certainly no comfort to think, as you think, that just so long as I know the evil comes from God, I can handle it.

Rufus
Jun 10th 2011, 11:45 PM
Those who never heard the gospel (specific revelation) have the universal drawing from general revelation. God reveals Himself through creation and reveals Himself within humans (Romans 1:19-20).

But neither Natural or Intuitive Revelation are sufficient to save. Faith cometh by hearing the Word (Special Revelation).

John 8:24
24 "I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins."
NASB


Huh? If he calls all sinners, doesn’t that mean he calls everyone. Isn’t that your point here—all men are sinners? You’ve confused me on this one.

Have you not answered this yourself when you wrote later?


Yes. Their hearts were not humble and contrite so the Father would not open their hearts to hear/understand the gospel.

Also, many are called (with the outward call) to Christ, but only a FEW are chosen, remember?

Therefore, he neither calls or draws all men to himself. Only those whom the Father has given to Him will come to him.


Just like as soon as you lie, you are a liar; as soon as you sin, you are a sinner. All men are sinners.

But this begs the question. Why are all men sinners? Why are lions carnivores? Why do leopards have spots? Why are vultures carion eaters, etc., etc.?


John 3:4 tells us the “seeing” is about “entering.” You can’t be a member until you’re born again.

But v.3 It's also about "seeing" (understanding or perceiving) and entering the kingodm of God. And this is the logical order. One must first understand before he can enter therein.


Exactly. The sheep hear his voice because they are chosen to hear his voice. The Father looked into their hearts and saw that they were ready. So, God opened their hearts to hear Jesus and respond in faith.

But who made their hearts ready? They did that by themselves?


There’s nothing noble about coming to the end of yourself and realizing you’re a lost, miserable, wretched sinner.

Superior spiritual condition? What’s spiritually superior in realizing you’re a lost cause? It’s not about rewarding at all. It’s when one gives up on his own strength and ability that God is able to intervene with grace.

Oh, yes...there's plenty to boast of if one thinks he came to the end of himself by his own power -- if he or she was the one who pressed all of God's right buttons to get him to act.


Yes, the Father opens the heart of the spiritually dead to hear the gospel and respond in faith, and the Spirit regenerates them. When the spiritually dead (separated from God through sin) who are humble and contrite hear that voice, the Father opens their heart to hear the gospel, respond in faith and they will be regenerated.

Your explanation is analogous to saying that God rolls back the stone to expose the dead heart (therefore the tomb/heart is opened) but the person is still lying there dead because Christ hasn't called him out of the tomb yet! Furthermore, you obviously don't believe that the Father opens everyone's heart. Only a select few, right? Dead people have the ability to do only one thing in and of themselves: Lie motionless and helpless and enslaved to death in either an open or closed tomb! God does far more than open hearts (although certainly he does this for his elect); He also gives them a heart transplant by decree!

Ezek 36:24-27
24 "For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands, and bring you into your own land. 25 "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 "And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
NASB

Notice all those "I wills"? If you doubt this is talking about regeneration, read the next chapter.

Also, on this open heart matter, God opens hearts of those he has appointed (ordained) to believe:

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


Adam went to hell?

That's what the preponderance of biblical evidence (and there's lots of it) leads me conclude. Do you see Adam in Gen 3:15? Think of this verse in terms of God's Friends and Foes, in which he is decreeing enmity (hostility) between the two groups. On the Friends side of the Ledger we have Eve, her seed and "the seed". On the Foes side of the ledger, we have the Serpent and his seed. Since Adam's name isn't found on the Friends' side, I must immediately conclude that he was relegated to the Foes' side. It should be implicitly understood because there ain't no third group (forgive my vernacular).

And it was really going against the cultural grain to talk of a "woman's seed". 99% of the time when "seed" is spoken of, it's MAN's seed. (In fact, I believe there was only one other time in the bible when God referred to a woman's seed -- and for good reason: The woman wasn't married at the time God spoke to her!

Anyhow...you wouldn't find injustice with God if he really has excluded Adam from the covenant and condemned him for his sin, would you?


Rahab, Ruth?

Did I not note the exceptions provision in the Mosaic Covenant?

Me:

You're quite wrong. Adam was excluded. Pharaoh was excluded. Ishamael and Esau were both excluded. The Gentile Nations were excluded, notwithstanding the exceptions' provision for Gentiles under the Mosaic Covenant. Judas we excluded, as was Herod and Pontius Pilate, unless you're so inclined to argue from silence.

But exceptions doth not make the rule, do they?

Rufus

Rufus
Jun 10th 2011, 11:48 PM
Rufus...must we equate a contrite Spirit who is open to the Grace of God to not needing Christ?

But how does an inherently evil person who is an enemy of God come by such a heart?

Rufus

Rufus
Jun 11th 2011, 12:34 AM
:hug: And you know what, I'd hug Rufus too. It'll all work out. You know, I was thinking... I don't think I'd study Scripture to this extent if there weren't people like Rufus who hold these other doctrines. It really forces me to dig into Scripture and I have to admit, I love it! I don't always have time, but when I do, it's great.

Thank you, btw, for the compliment. Sometimes it's easy to overlook these small posts in the "heat" of a discussion. I probably will not convince you of anything. I perceive your mind is already made up. But perhaps there is some lurker here with Berean spirit.

As for me, you might be question whether I would ever be convinced. I doubt it seriously. Early on in my faith, God was extremely gracious to me and not only showed me many profound things in the scriptures, but gave me a dispostion of heart to believe these difficult truths. And they are difficult. No question about this. But on a practical level (and this is precisely where the rubber meets the road), I have to say that the Doctrines of Grace have been the anchor to my soul. Sad to say, my Chrisitan life, has been a roller coaster ride of sorts for seasons of time, but God who loved me first, from before the foundation of the world, never let me slip from his grasp. He has preserved me and because of this, I am persevering in the faith. Praise be to his glorious name!

The Doctrines of Grace have truly instilled the "fear of the Lord" in my heart. God is incomprehenibly huge and awesome but still loves his people with an everlasting love of a Father. Truly nothing is able to separate me from the Love of God!

Anyhow, if nothing else, you, too, keep me on my toes. Iron sharpen iron.

Take care,
Rufus

Rufus
Jun 11th 2011, 04:41 AM
You could be right. That still doesn’t mean Judas was chosen to do the betraying before the foundation of the world or even at Judas’ birth.

In eternity? Where does it say that? How do you know it wasn’t predetermined at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry?

To answer this last question first: Because there is no precedence for your theory of time-bound decrees in scripture. Decrees are always talked about in terms of eternity (Isa 46:10) or before the "foundation of the world".

Secondly, God transcends all his creation, including Time. God is not reliant on or dependent upon on any part of his Creation for his sovereign acts to come to pass. God needs none of us to "cooperate" with him. To the contrary! What occurs in time is caused by what he has decreed in eternity. Now, let's look at the Judas text once again:

Luke 22:22
22 "For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!"
NASB

Several questions are in order:

1. Who determined (decreed)?
2. When was it determined?
3. WHAT precisely was determined?
4. What's the purpose for the contrasting "but" in the sentence that begins the second phrase?

Let's tackle these in order. A wild and crazy guess tells me that it was his Father who decreed. :)

Secondly, I maintain this was an eternal decree because I have plenty of precedents in scripture to support this idea.

The third question is key! What did God decree in this immediate context? Was it not the betrayal? So, let's go with this for now for the sake of this discussion and say that God decreed that his Son be betrayed. But if God decreed that an antagonist to his Son betray him, was there a reason -- a rationale behind this betrayal plan? It doesn't do to say that God decreed something to come to pass, if not every single detail leading up to the event was also decreed, and in many cases also acted as the catalyst for further actions. Let me demonstrate this by way of analogy, and I'm going to borrow this analogy from Vincent Cheung's website, since it is a good one and it will save me some valuable time. (I would post the link, but I think I'm still a newbie here and not allowed.) But I will copy and paste portions of the salient parts.

This leads us to consider the order of the eternal decrees. If the items in God's plan were to be set forth in the order in which he decided them, what would this order be? Of course, God is eternal and omniscient, so that there is not a point in his thinking when he does not know everything or when he has not decided everything; therefore, when we speak of order in the mind of God, we are referring to logical order and not chronological order.

The decree for God to be glorified comes first, and to achieve this, the decree is made that Christ would subdue all things and deliver them to be Father. In order to achieve this, the decree is made that Christ would save a chosen people out of fallen humanity to become his fellow heirs. In order to achieve this, the decree is made that fallen humanity would be divided into the elect and the reprobates. In order to achieve this, the decree is made that humanity would fall into sin. Then, in order to achieve this, the decree is made that God would create humanity. This is the order of purpose and design. The order is reversed in execution, so that it begins with creation and culminates in God's glory.

This is key to understand. When we talk about God's eternal decrees, we're speaking only of logical order; for all knowledge is resident within God at all times, as are his decrees. For example, when the bible talks about God's "plans", it is speaking anthropomorphically because God is not like a mere mortal who has to "plan" anything in any sense of this term. It's also important to understand that what God has purposed in Eternity will be executed in Time in reverse order.
To make sure we all fully grasp this, here is another Cheung analogy in temporal mode.

Suppose my purpose is to arrive at the office. In order to achieve this, the decision is made that I should drive my car toward that location. In order to achieve this, the decision is made that I should get into my car. In order to achieve this, the decision is made that I should get out of my house. In order to achieve this, the decision is made that I should get dressed. In order to achieve this, the decision is made that I should get out of bed. The final purpose comes first in the order of decisions, and the first thing that I must do in order to achieve this purpose comes last in the order. The order is reversed in execution, so that the last item in the order of purpose and design now becomes the first item. Thus I must first get out of bed, and then get dressed, and then get out of my house, and so on. The final result is that I arrive at the office, and my purpose is accomplished.

So, when Jesus said in Luke 22:22, referring specifically to his betrayal, that he was going "as it has been determined", we should not think of this decree of purpose as some vague, generalized, fuzzy, ambiguous plan. If God the Father decreed in eternity an actual betrayal of his Son, then we can be certain that he also decreed everything that would lead to that specific point in time! He would have decreed all events -- everything that would have needed to occur that would have resulted in achieving his divinely appointed end, which in this case is the betrayal upon which we're narrowly focusing. God predestined every single detail. He decreed Judas' birth. He decreed where he would be born. He decreed he would be living at the time of Jesus' ministry. He decreed that Jesus choose him as one of the twelve -- that he be in his Son's "inner circle", as it were. Not a detail was overlooked.

John 6:70-71
70 Jesus answered them, "Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?" 71 Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.
NASB

Was not the Son at the side of the Father in Eternity when these things were ordained!? Can anyone with a straight face claim that Jesus himself wasn't in on the "plan"?

Now we come to the fourth question above and begin to understand the reason for the contrasting "but" between the two phrases in the Lukian text. God decreed all that led to the betrayal, including who it would be that perform this heinous act. Yet, even so...Jesus tells us with his "but" that that man is in a heap of trouble! Woe to him! Words of condemnation for doing what the Father has decreed! Even so, that man is going to be held accountable! Jesus is saying, Yes, it was decreed to come to pass, and now that it it about to, "Woe to that man" who will betray me. It makes absolutely no sense to say that anyone (God or Human) determines for something to occur and at the same time doesn't also determine all the details (means) to assure the desired result. In fact, this is exactly what is taught in Acts 4:27,28! Here it is again:

Acts 4:27-28
27 "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur.
NASB

Jesus was predestined in eternity to go to the cross to die for his Father's people. That was the desired result. In order to achieve that end, God decreed that Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Gentiles and the Jews all play their assigned parts upon HIS world stage. And they all did so willingly! Just as Judas played his role willingly. But...they were playing out their scripted roles -- roles written for them in Eternity. The Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost. Playwright, Director and Producer. These are the three "unseen" personages behind the curtain, as it were. Only the actors show up on the stage to put on the show, and during this particular time in human history, Christ himself took to the stage. God makes all things for his purpose -- for his good pleasure -- even the wicked for the day of evil (Pr 16:4). And everything and everyone in in all Creation -- saint and sinner alike -- have all been predestined to give Glory to God the Father by bowing thier knee to his Son and confessing him as Lord! This is the END GAME! (See Cheung's order of decrees above.)


Even if you think the “goeth as it is written” is speaking specifically of the betrayal and not the death of Jesus in general, there’s no reason to believe that Judas had to be the who did the betraying. We read about Judas because by virtue of his own wickedness he put himself in this position. He fit the bill. God can choose to harden the heart of one who is wicked and determine their destiny at some point during their life but it’s due to their own wickedness (Romans 2:24-27).

Yes, it did have to be Judas. Did not Jesus handpick him himself!? The Son of God himself had his own hand involved in his own betrayal! There is no escaping this fact. Jesus picked his "friend"! Judas did not choose Christ! And did not Jesus always teach that he never acted apart from the Father's will? Didn't Jesus always teach that he was here to do his Father's will, speak the Father's words, etc.? So...since Jesus chose Judas, this, too, had to have been the will of his Father who decreed his very betrayal!


This is David writing about his friend and trusted counselor, Ahithophel, who betrayed him by siding with Absalom. This is an event that had already taken place. I don’t deny this is a prophecy but it wasn’t necessarily a prediction of what was to take place in the future. I don’t equate most of the NT prophecies with crystal ball kinds of predictions. Ancient Jews would often say that a current event “fulfilled” some particular Scripture when they believed this event paralleled the particular Scripture, as long as the event illustrated in a superlative way the principle found in that Scripture. This was a form of midrash that helped the Jews interpret current events in light of Scripture. But again, if you think this was written specifically about the betrayal of Jesus, Judas did not have to be the one to do it. In every generation, there are men wicked enough to betray their friends.

Many prophecies have multiple fulfillments, so it's not surprising this one does, too. I think Mk 14:21, for example, should be understood in its immediate context as to alluding to the betrayal because that is the central point in the passage. It certainly appears Jesus understood it that way, unless there is another prophecy you can come up with regarding Judas.


I never said God wasn’t involved. I think God was more involved in this time in history than any other in order to bring His purpose to pass. Like I said, God can harden any wicked man He wants to in order to bring His purpose to pass. God simply had to know the political climate and the hearts of the people living at the time, as well as intervene where needed. None of this means God had to predetermine every detail before the foundation of the world to accomplish His plans.

God doesn't have to know anything. God's actions or decrees are never contingent on his creatures. God needs NOTHING from us! Never has. Never will. He is truly sovereign. He is truly autonomous. He is truly the King of kings and Lord of lords. We need him. He does not need us.

Getting late again. Will try to finish up tomorrow.

Meanwhile, are you working an answer to my question on Mat 7:23? You place tremendous emphasis on God having to know things in order to decree anything, so I'd like to know what it was that Jesus didn't know in this passage.

Rufus

janitor
Jun 11th 2011, 12:03 PM
Originally posted by percho
OK

Eze 36:17,19 Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: And I scattered them among the heathen, (Is there any reason we could not translate heathen gentiles?)
Knowing what we now know, it is better to translate "heathen" as unbelievers.


Hosea 11:12 Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit: but Judah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the saints. (This was at about the time he began to scatter them) (And God scattered them) Hosea 9:17 My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations. (Could nations be translated gentiles?)
Again, unbelievers is a better fit.


Hosea 8:8 Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein [is] no pleasure. Eze 36:22-24 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not [this] for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I [am] the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen,(Gentiles?) and gather you out of all countries Jer 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. (He divorced Israel and scattered her but kept Judah see Hosea 1 also) Jer. 3:14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: (Is Zion the church?) Acts 15:14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
There is no doubt that Zion will consist of believing Jews and gentiles.


From the time they left Egypt and actually even before there was no love lost between the house of Judah and the house of Israel. Now Why do you think the circumcision, Judah, Benjamin and Levi
the house of Judah in the land at the time of Jesus began calling someone Uncircumcision (Foreskins) Was it because they had been cast away by God and Judah thought themselves better. Does reconcile not imply to have intimately known one before but been separated thus reconciliation?
Uncircumcision is a term Jews used for gentiles. Reconciliation does imply having had a prior relationship.

Rufus
Jun 11th 2011, 06:15 PM
God is sovereign over kings, but this doesn’t mean He controls everything they do. First of all, we can’t read this as an absolute universal law. If we did, we’d have to consider this as absolute as well:
“No harm happens to the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble” ((Proverbs 12:21).
As a general principle, though, righteous living helps one avoid harm. The author is simply stating the principle in absolute terms to emphasize its importance.

Why can't we take Dan 2:21 and Pr 21:1 in the absolute sense? Why exactly? Because you don't like that sense? And then to try to justify the relative sense, you use a passage of scripture that is totally unrelated to the sovereignty of God? At least if you're going to argue for the relative sense of God's sovereignty, I think it would behoove you to appeal to those kinds of passages to make your case. I could do the same thing as you with any of the commands in the bible and argue that we should take those two passages in the absolute sense, for example with this passage:

Mark 12:29-32
29 Jesus answered, "The foremost is, 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' 31 "The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
NASB

However, I won't do this. I will argue from God's Absolute Sovereignty, which is a huge theme in the bible. He is the Creator. And Gen 3:15 is the cornerstone to the entire bible, telling us that God owns all human history, which is soteriological in nature, and that he is directing it to its predetermined end. And that end is that saints and sinners alike will glorify him. He is the Alpha and Omega. He is the Beginning and the End. He has decreed the End from the Beginning and all things have been and are working out to his desired ends. The only way anyone can determine the End is to also determine all the means with which to accomplish it. Otherwise, the terms "decree", "ordain", "predestinate", "determine" are all meaningless.

Job 12:11-25
11 "Does not the ear test words,As the palate tastes its food? 12 "Wisdom is with aged men,With long life is understanding. 13 "With Him are wisdom and might;To Him belong counsel and understanding. 14 "Behold, He tears down, and it cannot be rebuilt;He imprisons a man, and there can be no release. 15 "Behold, He restrains the waters, and they dry up;And He sends them out, and they inundate the earth. 16 "With Him are strength and sound wisdom,The misled and the misleader belong to Him. 17 "He makes counselors walk barefoot,And makes fools of judges. 18 "He loosens the bond of kings,And binds their loins with a girdle. 19 "He makes priests walk barefoot,And overthrows the secure ones. 20 "He deprives the trusted ones of speech,And takes away the discernment of the elders. 21 "He pours contempt on nobles,And loosens the belt of the strong. 22 "He reveals mysteries from the darkness,And brings the deep darkness into light. 23 "He makes the nations great, then destroys them;He enlarges the nations, then leads them away. 24 "He deprives of intelligence the chiefs of the earth's people,And makes them wander in a pathless waste. 25 "They grope in darkness with no light,And He makes them stagger like a drunken man.
NASB

How can we escape the central point to a passage like this: God controls everything. He is the Playwright who has written the script!

1 Sam 2:6-8
6 "The LORD kills and makes alive;
He brings down to Sheol and raises up.
7 "The LORD makes poor and rich;
He brings low, He also exalts.
8 "He raises the poor from the dust,
He lifts the needy from the ash heap
To make them sit with nobles,
And inherit a seat of honor;
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's,
And He set the world on them.
NAS

God is not merely a spectator standing on the sidelines, who may at some "key" points in history decides to interject himself into the affairs of men, as though human history was like the stock market that from time to time needs "correction". This is not the sense at all that we derive from passages that teach us about his sovereignty.

Gen 20:1-6
20 Now Abraham journeyed from there toward the land of the Negev, and settled between Kadesh and Shur; then he sojourned in Gerar. 2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, "She is my sister." So Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. 3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, "Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is married." 4 Now Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, "Lord, wilt Thou slay a nation, even though blameless? 5 "Did he not himself say to me, 'She is my sister'? And she herself said, 'He is my brother.' In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this." 6 Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also kept you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her.
NASB

You tell me who was in control of this situation! Just as God can keep a man from sinning, he can also harden people's hearts so that they will sin! Could Balaam speak any word, except what was put in his mouth (Num 22:35-38)?

And when did Pharaoh harden his own heart? Was it not after God told Moses that he would harden Pharoah's heart?

Ex 4:21-23
21 And the Lord said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the Lord," Israel is My son, My first-born. 23 So I said to you, 'Let My son go, that he may serve Me'; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your first-born."'"
NASB

What will you do? Argue on the basis of "foreknowledge"? God peered into his crystal ball and saw that Pharaoh would harden his own heart, so God decided to take credit for it before Moses was even back in Egypt? I submit to you that Pharaoh indeed hardened his own heart as a result of God's decree!

And again with Sihon:

Deut 2:30-31
30 "But Sihon king of Heshbon was not willing for us to pass through his land; for the Lord your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, in order to deliver him into your hand, as he is today. 31 And the Lord said to me, 'See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his land over to you. Begin to occupy, that you may possess his land.'
NASB

The king was "not willing" BECAUSE God hardened his spirit! This is exactly what happened with Pharaoh!

1 Chron 29:11-12
11 Thine, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Thine is the dominion, O LORD, and Thou dost exalt Thyself as head over all. 12 Both riches and honor come from Thee, and Thou dost rule over all, and in Thy hand is power and might; and it lies in Thy hand to make great, and to strengthen everyone.
NAS

Job 37:10-13
10 "From the breath of God ice is made,
And the expanse of the waters is frozen.
11 "Also with moisture He loads the thick cloud;
He disperses the cloud of His lightning.
12 "And it changes direction, turning around by His guidance,
That it may do whatever He commands it
On the face of the inhabited earth.
13 "Whether for correction, or for His world,
Or for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen.
NASB

The last passage is particularly instructive, for he not only controls the elements but he controls them to accomplish his purposes. This is teaching Divine Providence.

Job 41:10-11
10 "No one is so fierce that he dares to arouse him;
Who then is he that can stand before Me?
11 "Who has given to Me that I should repay him?
Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine.
NASB

Eccl 3:14
14 I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.
NASB

But sadly, how so few do! I speak a truth: Once the absolute sovereignty of God grips someone's soul -- once he apprehends that truth for himself -- then that person will truly know the fear of the Lord!

Ps 82:8
8 Arise, O God, judge the earth!
For it is Thou who dost possess all the nations.
NASB

God is the Landlord. Men are mere tenants occupying HIS earth.

And is it not written everywhere that God has created all things{/b]?

Isa 45:7
7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, [b]and create evil: I the Lord do ALL these things.
KJV

Again, the term used here is "rah" and as you see the KJV renders it as evil. The NAS redners it "calamity". But what is "calamity" or "evil" for that matter? Is is not the absence of Good!? So, are we to quibble over renderings? Is "calamity" a good thing? I would say, generally not. The NIV renders "rah" as "disaster". Is disaster a good thing?


Second of all, just because God turns the heart of the king doesn’t mean He determined the nature of the heart He turned. Even when they set themselves against God, He can direct their steps to further His purposes.

The nature of the heart (man) was determined at birth. Moot point. Natures are inherited.


The Lord can do whatever He pleases, and certainly He could control every detail of everything if it pleased Him to do so. This doesn’t mean it pleases Him to meticulously control every detail.

God is not a part time or complacent King. He does control everything, and this is the only sense that can truly be derived from the above passages.


You’re assuming this was predestined in eternity. Some things were (the death of Jesus). Some things were determined during the writing of certain Scriptures (possibly the betrayal). Some things were determined during Christ’s ministry (who would betray him).

No, as stated in #87, I have plenty of precedents to support my contention, plus the arguments from what it means to actually "determine" or "ordain" or "predestine" or "decree". It is you who is assuming that God determines things in real time. But you'll be very hard-pressed to prove this with even so much as one verse.

Will pick the rest of this up later, as I have to run. We're going to have a lot of fun with Job. :lol:

Rufus

LookingUp
Jun 11th 2011, 08:52 PM
Rufus,

I had a 15 page response to you but I decided not to post it. I wish I had the time to more carefully consider your "short books," but family responsibilities keep me too busy to delve into a mini-study such as the one you’re aiming for. I still have time to look at one or two Scriptures at a time, if you want to present them in that way to make a particular point. But if it takes you two pages to make your point, I just don’t have that kind of time. I’d be surprised if anyone would sit and read the lengthy posts we’ve been posting, so I don’t know that anyone would benefit anyway.

Let me say a few things to try and respond to the main theme of your many posts. When God said, “I declare the end from the beginning,” I don’t think He was saying He declares every detail from the end to the beginning. But I do believe God is very involved with the flow of history and at any point in history can intervene to great degrees. I think we both agree that His purpose will be established. Our difference is in the way we think God accomplishes that. I just don’t believe God needs or chooses to meticulously control every detail to bring His purpose to pass.

As far as an inherent sin nature, Adam and Eve could sin, not because they were created with an inherent sin nature but because they were created with the ability to choose whether or not to give into a temptation that their physical bodies craved. Using your example, just as a lion doesn’t have to eat the meat by which he is tempted in order to live (there are other types of food that can sustain him), a human being does not have to eat the “fruit” by which he is tempted (there are other types of “fruit” which can sustain him). We never have to choose the sinful pleasure; there are plenty of other pleasures from which to choose that are not sinful. But because our flesh is weak, a young person will eventually give into temptation and sin.

Also, I believe you push the concept of “spiritually dead” too far. It is simply broken communion with God. God doesn’t break that communion; the individual does that through sin. Spiritually dead people can and do pray to and seek God. As soon as Adam & Eve “died spiritually” through their sin, they were still able to talk to God. They didn’t find themselves suddenly unable to talk, pray, and communicate with God.

I think we both agree that God has always revealed Himself to mankind whether it has been through creation, what He has made evident within man (Rom. 1), or some specific revelation (i.e. dream, vision, gospel messge). While you believe only regenerated people can respond to His revelation, I believe “spiritually dead” people can respond to the revelation that has been made known to them or resist it. If they persist in resisting it, God can, if it suits His purposes, choose to harden their hearts and determine their destiny in order to use their wickedness to bring His purpose to pass (i.e. Pharaoh, Judas). For those who don’t resist it, God will open their hearts to hear more (i.e. Lydia). So although I believe that humans have a responsibility to respond to what’s been revealed to them, I also believe that it is only because of God’s grace that we can (i.e. His initial revelation and then His opening our heart to hear more). “For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him” (Mt. 13:12).

Finally, as far as regeneration (rebirth) that leads to eternal physical and spiritual life, I believe that Jesus made that possible through his life, ministry, death and resurrection. I believe Jesus came to restore what had been lost through Adam & Eve’s sin: eternal physical life and spiritual life. This restoration wasn’t available until after Jesus’ accomplishments. But just as God could call Abram “Abraham” (father of many) long before Abram was a father of many, Jesus could say to his followers, “You have eternal life” long before they were regenerated. God can call non-existent things as though they are (Rom. 4:17) because He is confident He can bring His promises to pass.

Hopefully the above will give you a more complete idea of where I’m coming from. If you wish to point to a Scripture or two that you feel clearly disproves any part of my view(s), please do that.

Rufus
Jun 11th 2011, 08:58 PM
]What about Job? God allowed Satan to attack him. God didn’t attack him. There’s no reason to believe this is representative of how God always acts.

Yes, but it is representative of how God can act! And God stuck Satan on him like an attack dog! God not only "allowed" it, he incited Satan!

Job 1:6-12
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. 7 And the Lord said to Satan, "From where do you come?" Then Satan answered the Lord and said, "From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it." 8 And the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil." 9 Then Satan answered the Lord, "Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 "Hast Thou not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 "But put forth Thy hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse Thee to Thy face." 12 Then the Lord said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him." So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord.
NASB

And not only did God incite Satan once, but twice!

Job 2:1-6
2 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Then Satan answered the Lord and said, "From roaming about on the earth, and walking around on it." 3 And the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to ruin him without cause." 4 And Satan answered the Lord and said, "Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. 5 "However, put forth Thy hand, now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse Thee to Thy face." 6 So the Lord said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life."
NASB

I don't know when the last time you read the Book of Job was, but do you recall how much havoc, calamity, disaster or evil God "allowed" to be wreaked upon Job -- upon all that owned -- and upon his innocent family members? How many lives God's vicious attack dog took!? By Satan, who was a murderer from the beginning (Jn 8:44)!?

And then to complicate matters, God blames Satan for the very Evil that resulted from God "putting forth his own hand"! Did you catch that in v.3? God accuses Satan of inciting him! What's going on here? Do we have massive contradictions here in these passages? First, God brings Job to Satan's attention twice. And then after Satan spoke to God, he told God twice to put forth his hand to touch.... If God had not listened to Satan, none of this Evil would have happened, right?

Here's the deal: God was the Primary Cause of Job's problems. Satan was the Secondary Cause. Satan could not have lifted a finger against Job if God had not "put forth his hand", as requested by Satan. Irrefutably, God's hand was in all this! God could have nipped all this in the bud by telling the Evil One to take a hike, but he chose not to! If we were to assess these passages strictly in human terms, we would have to come away making God an accessory to numerous crimes before the fact! And this is precisely the erroneous conclusion the vast majority of proffessing Christians would reach! But let's examine this situation by a human analogy.

I have a neighbor who is very annoying. Has a few teenage kids, rowdy, love to party, loud music, drugs, etc . Really downright irritating. Joe, an unsavory friend of mine, visits me one day at my house and I tell him about by very annoying neighbors. His solutions is that he can "fix" this situation for me. I say, okay...just don't kill them. Whatever you want to do to try to drive them out of their home, that's fine with me. And if you need any moolah to buy anything to aid you in your "project", let me know. I have the money you need.

Joe decides that the best course of action is to burn the house down to the ground. He was very careful to make sure that no one was home, so no one was injured, etc. But time goes on, and the neighbors decide to rebuild, even though the fire department said it looked like arson. This didn't instill the fear of Me in them.

Joe visits me home again and told him that his great "fix" didn't fix anything. Joe says there's only one thing left to do. "Kill 'em all!" This way they won't be around to bother you anymore. I bring Joe down to my basement and unlock my gun safe and tell him to pick the weapon of his choice, but to be sure to ditch it later where no one will ever find it. A few days later, I come home from work to find my neighbor's house surrounded with police cars, ambulances, etc. and learn that the entire family had been snuffed out.

Question: Would I be morally culpable in the arson and murders, even though I didn't have a direct hand in them? Of course, I would! I would be brought up on more charges than one could shake a stick at! After all, if it hadn't been for me, my neighbors would neither have lost their home or their lives. Wasn't it me who stuck Joe on them? But it was his hand that was directly involved, wasn't it?

Was God directly involved in all the evil that came upon Job? Nope, he wasn't. Was Satan directly involved? Yes, much more so than God was even though Satan used humans to accomplish his ends. But would all the evil have occurred if God had not "put forth his hand" twice? NO! It would not have occurred! But do we dare say that God sinned against Job and his family? So, how does God escape condemnation? And how does God escape the charge of inciting Satan against Job?

Recall what I said early on when I joined this site? I said that wherever the Will of God intersects with the Will of Man (or any moral being, for that matter), it is a MYSTERY as to how the Sovereign decrees of God do not absolve Man from being morally accountable. And this is precisely what we have here going on between God and Satan. Satan is the one morally accountable, not God! How does God escape? What saith the word:?

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

MAN as in generic mankind. Man is a moral being. Satan is a moral being. Can we not apply this passage to him, too? But once we try to reason our way through my question, "how does God escape?", we're going to run into heap of problems, wrong conclusions and invariably speak ill of God. Our finite minds cannot reason this out -- certainly not comprehensively! End of story! I might have some ideas as to how God could escape. For example, only God can bring Good from Evil. Since this is the case (biblically!), then one could argue that the Evil Means God uses to accomplish his Good Ends are justified. Also, God's thoughts and ways are not like Man's! They're infinitely greater and higher than our thoughts and our ways (Isa 55:8,9). And I could think of more reasons, too, but time won't permit. But I would submit to you, again, that Job had an excellent grasp of not only who was ultimately responsibly for his woes but of God's justification, even though you wrote this about Job:


It doesn’t matter if it’s the same word—it still needs to be understood within its context. And Job was just as mistaken in his theology as his friends were. Evil does not come from the hand of God. He is attributing what Satan did to God. God takes responsibility for it only to the extent that He allowed it. God took responsibility for all evil when His Son died on the cross.

No, he was not mistaken! Job was dead on the money! Did you not catch the last part of the verse:

Job 2:10
10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
KJV

If Job was mistaken in his assessment by wrongly assigning "blame" to God, would he have not sinned against the Most High by speaking ill of him!?

And have you not read God's own commentary on his servant Job that he gave to Eliphaz at the end of the trial:?

Job 42:7-9
7 And it came about after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has.

8 "Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will accept him so that I may not do with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has." 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job.
NASB

And then I find it odd that you assign responsibility to God for his Son's death. But are you saying that God is morally culpable for his Son's death? I hope not! Did not Jesus tell Pilate that Herod had the greater sin for delivering him up to him (Jn 19:11)? And didn't Jesus pronounce a woe upon Judas for the impending betrayal!? And did not Stephen in his eloquent sermon to the High Priest and Council condemn them as doing the same thing as their wicked fathers did to the prophets (Act 7:51ff)?

The common denominator in these passages and in Lk 22:22, also, is that we see the Will of God intersecting with the Will of Man. This is precisely the reason for the "but" in the above passage. Jesus was contrasting God's determinative will with Judas' moral culpability! Regardless of divine decree, he was morally culpable because he performed his dastardly deed willingly. And we'll never understand how this could be!

In closing, the Book of Job alone utterly destroys the foolish notion of free will in a libertarian sense as it does any objections to the absolute sovereignty of God in the affairs of all men. Every singe man, woman and child is a "player" on the Almighty's world stage, and all play their scripts as written for them and by Him, and they play their parts willingly! "How, then, can man understand his way"?

Rufus

LookingUp
Jun 11th 2011, 09:06 PM
Yes, but it is representative of how God can act! And God stuck Satan on him like an attack dog! God not only "allowed" it, he incited Satan!

Job 1:6-12
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. 7 And the Lord said to Satan, "From where do you come?" Then Satan answered the Lord and said, "From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it." 8 And the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil." 9 Then Satan answered the Lord, "Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 "Hast Thou not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 "But put forth Thy hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse Thee to Thy face." 12 Then the Lord said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him." So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord.
NASB

And not only did God incite Satan once, but twice!

Job 2:1-6
2 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Then Satan answered the Lord and said, "From roaming about on the earth, and walking around on it." 3 And the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to ruin him without cause." 4 And Satan answered the Lord and said, "Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. 5 "However, put forth Thy hand, now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse Thee to Thy face." 6 So the Lord said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life."
NASB

I don't know when the last time you read the Book of Job was, but do you recall how much havoc, calamity, disaster or evil God "allowed" to be wreaked upon Job -- upon all that owned -- and upon his innocent family members? How many lives God's vicious attack dog took!? By Satan, who was a murderer from the beginning (Jn 8:44)!?

And then to complicate matters, God blames Satan for the very Evil that resulted from God "putting forth his own hand"! Did you catch that in v.3? God accuses Satan of inciting him! What's going on here? Do we have massive contradictions here in these passages? First, God brings Job to Satan's attention twice. And then after Satan spoke to God, he told God twice to put forth his hand to touch.... If God had not listened to Satan, none of this Evil would have happened, right?

Here's the deal: God was the Primary Cause of Job's problems. Satan was the Secondary Cause. Satan could not have lifted a finger against Job if God had not "put forth his hand", as requested by Satan. Irrefutably, God's hand was in all this! God could have nipped all this in the bud by telling the Evil One to take a hike, but he chose not to! If we were to assess these passages strictly in human terms, we would have to come away making God an accessory to numerous crimes before the fact! And this is precisely the erroneous conclusion the vast majority of proffessing Christians would reach! But let's examine this situation by a human analogy.

I have a neighbor who is very annoying. Has a few teenage kids, rowdy, love to party, loud music, drugs, etc . Really downright irritating. Joe, an unsavory friend of mine, visits me one day at my house and I tell him about by very annoying neighbors. His solutions is that he can "fix" this situation for me. I say, okay...just don't kill them. Whatever you want to do to try to drive them out of their home, that's fine with me. And if you need any moolah to buy anything to aid you in your "project", let me know. I have the money you need.

Joe decides that the best course of action is to burn the house down to the ground. He was very careful to make sure that no one was home, so no one was injured, etc. But time goes on, and the neighbors decide to rebuild, even though the fire department said it looked like arson. This didn't instill the fear of Me in them.

Joe visits me home again and told him that his great "fix" didn't fix anything. Joe says there's only one thing left to do. "Kill 'em all!" This way they won't be around to bother you anymore. I bring Joe down to my basement and unlock my gun safe and tell him to pick the weapon of his choice, but to be sure to ditch it later where no one will ever find it. A few days later, I come home from work to find my neighbor's house surrounded with police cars, ambulances, etc. and learn that the entire family had been snuffed out.

Question: Would I be morally culpable in the arson and murders, even though I didn't have a direct hand in them? Of course, I would! I would be brought up on more charges than one could shake a stick at! After all, if it hadn't been for me, my neighbors would neither have lost their home or their lives. Wasn't it me who stuck Joe on them? But it was his hand that was directly involved, wasn't it?

Was God directly involved in all the evil that came upon Job? Nope, he wasn't. Was Satan directly involved? Yes, much more so than God was even though Satan used humans to accomplish his ends. But would all the evil have occurred if God had not "put forth his hand" twice? NO! It would not have occurred! But do we dare say that God sinned against Job and his family? So, how does God escape condemnation? And how does God escape the charge of inciting Satan against Job?

Recall what I said early on when I joined this site? I said that wherever the Will of God intersects with the Will of Man (or any moral being, for that matter), it is a MYSTERY as to how the Sovereign decrees of God do not absolve Man from being morally accountable. And this is precisely what we have here going on between God and Satan. Satan is the one morally accountable, not God! How does God escape? What saith the word:?

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

MAN as in generic mankind. Man is a moral being. Satan is a moral being. Can we not apply this passage to him, too? But once we try to reason our way through my question, "how does God escape?", we're going to run into heap of problems, wrong conclusions and invariably speak ill of God. Our finite minds cannot reason this out -- certainly not comprehensively! End of story! I might have some ideas as to how God could escape. For example, only God can bring Good from Evil. Since this is the case (biblically!), then one could argue that the Evil Means God uses to accomplish his Good Ends are justified. Also, God's thoughts and ways are not like Man's! They're infinitely greater and higher than our thoughts and our ways (Isa 55:8,9). And I could think of more reasons, too, but time won't permit. But I would submit to you, again, that Job had an excellent grasp of not only who was ultimately responsibly for his woes but of God's justification, even though you wrote this about Job:



No, he was not mistaken! Job was dead on the money! Did you not catch the last part of the verse:

Job 2:10
10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
KJV

If Job was mistaken in his assessment by wrongly assigning "blame" to God, would he have not sinned against the Most High by speaking ill of him!?

And have you not read God's own commentary on his servant Job that he gave to Eliphaz at the end of the trial:?

Job 42:7-9
7 And it came about after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has.

8 "Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will accept him so that I may not do with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has." 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job.
NASB

And then I find it odd that you assign responsibility to God for his Son's death. But are you saying that God is morally culpable for his Son's death? I hope not! Did not Jesus tell Pilate that Herod had the greater sin for delivering him up to him (Jn 19:11)? And didn't Jesus pronounce a woe upon Judas for the impending betrayal!? And did not Stephen in his eloquent sermon to the High Priest and Council condemn them as doing the same thing as their wicked fathers did to the prophets (Act 7:51ff)?

The common denominator in these passages and in Lk 22:22, also, is that we see the Will of God intersecting with the Will of Man. This is precisely the reason for the "but" in the above passage. Jesus was contrasting God's determinative will with Judas' moral culpability! Regardless of divine decree, he was morally culpable because he performed his dastardly deed willingly. And we'll never understand how this could be!

In closing, the Book of Job alone utterly destroys the foolish notion of free will in a libertarian sense as it does any objections to the absolute sovereignty of God in the affairs of all men. Every singe man, woman and child is a "player" on the Almighty's world stage, and all play their scripts as written for them and by Him, and they play their parts willingly! "How, then, can man understand his way"?

Rufusyou must have missed my post. it's too much, rufus. this thread is all over the place. start a new thread about job if you'd like to.

Rufus
Jun 11th 2011, 10:25 PM
Rufus,

I had a 15 page response to you but I decided not to post it. I wish I had the time to more carefully consider your "short books," but family responsibilities keep me too busy to delve into a mini-study such as the one you’re aiming for. I still have time to look at one or two Scriptures at a time, if you want to present them in that way to make a particular point. But if it takes you two pages to make your point, I just don’t have that kind of time. I’d be surprised if anyone would sit and read the lengthy posts we’ve been posting, so I don’t know that anyone would benefit anyway.

Let me say a few things to try and respond to the main theme of your many posts. When God said, “I declare the end from the beginning,” I don’t think He was saying He declares every detail from the end to the beginning. But I do believe God is very involved with the flow of history and at any point in history can intervene to great degrees. I think we both agree that His purpose will be established. Our difference is in the way we think God accomplishes that. I just don’t believe God needs or chooses to meticulously control every detail to bring His purpose to pass.

As far as an inherent sin nature, Adam and Eve could sin, not because they were created with an inherent sin nature but because they were created with the ability to choose whether or not to give into a temptation that their physical bodies craved. Using your example, just as a lion doesn’t have to eat the meat by which he is tempted in order to live (there are other types of food that can sustain him), a human being does not have to eat the “fruit” by which he is tempted (there are other types of “fruit” which can sustain him). We never have to choose the sinful pleasure; there are plenty of other pleasures from which to choose that are not sinful. But because our flesh is weak, a young person will eventually give into temptation and sin.

Also, I believe you push the concept of “spiritually dead” too far. It is simply broken communion with God. God doesn’t break that communion; the individual does that through sin. Spiritually dead people can and do pray to and seek God. As soon as Adam & Eve “died spiritually” through their sin, they were still able to talk to God. They didn’t find themselves suddenly unable to talk, pray, and communicate with God.

I think we both agree that God has always revealed Himself to mankind whether it has been through creation, what He has made evident within man (Rom. 1), or some specific revelation (i.e. dream, vision, gospel messge). While you believe only regenerated people can respond to His revelation, I believe “spiritually dead” people can respond to the revelation that has been made known to them or resist it. If they persist in resisting it, God can, if it suits His purposes, choose to harden their hearts and determine their destiny in order to use their wickedness to bring His purpose to pass (i.e. Pharaoh, Judas). For those who don’t resist it, God will open their hearts to hear more (i.e. Lydia). So although I believe that humans have a responsibility to respond to what’s been revealed to them, I also believe that it is only because of God’s grace that we can (i.e. His initial revelation and then His opening our heart to hear more). “For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him” (Mt. 13:12).

Finally, as far as regeneration (rebirth) that leads to eternal physical and spiritual life, I believe that Jesus made that possible through his life, ministry, death and resurrection. I believe Jesus came to restore what had been lost through Adam & Eve’s sin: eternal physical life and spiritual life. This restoration wasn’t available until after Jesus’ accomplishments. But just as God could call Abram “Abraham” (father of many) long before Abram was a father of many, Jesus could say to his followers, “You have eternal life” long before they were regenerated. God can call non-existent things as though they are (Rom. 4:17) because He is confident He can bring His promises to pass.

Hopefully the above will give you a more complete idea of where I’m coming from. If you wish to point to a Scripture or two that you feel clearly disproves any part of my view(s), please do that.

I'm going to respond to this more fully later. But really...why do you put the onus on me to disprove your theories? It would be nice for a change if you made a concerted effort to prove your own ideas! And then I could take it from that point. For example, you keep insisting that God doesn't have to do this or have to do that, or doesn't need to do another thing, etc., but you proffer no argument -- just what you believe. I just got done posting my argument for Job, and I supported it from scripture.

Also, it would be helpful to refrain from using staw men in your arguments. For example, I never said Adam and Eve had a sin nature. I agree that they both had the capacity to sin. But the Fall was the game changer for all humanity. After that, everyone comes into the world with a sin nature. Everyone is inclined to sin. Therefore, everyone sins! (No exceptions, except for Christ.) Just as lions are inclined to be carnivores, so too they all eat meat. We are what we are because of our nature. No one is able to deny his nature. Even God cannot deny his! (And I think down the road a piece I will prove this sin nature business conclusively.) (Btw, I will post the "Job Dilemma" on another thread because it's so important to grasp what went on in that book.).

But you're right about the size of these posts, which is why I've been trying to size them down by responding to only chunks of yours at a time.

Take care,
Rufus

Rufus
Jun 11th 2011, 11:57 PM
Hey, Lookin'Up:

I've also copied my Judas post (#87 in this thread) over to the Job Dilemma thread. I explained why over there. There's a common denominator between Job and Judas and God. We really have drifted a long way from the topic of "predestination". :lol:

Rufus

LookingUp
Jun 12th 2011, 12:14 AM
I'm going to respond to this more fully later.OK


But really...why do you put the onus on me to disprove your theories?Don’t. I’m not asking you to. I’m only saying you can if you want to. It seemed you wanted to do that, and that’s OK if you’d like to. I was just trying to help you more efficiently teach me something. With my time constraints, I'm more apt to learn something when someone gives me a few Scriptures at a time to try and illustrate their view or show where mine could be lacking.


It would be nice for a change if you made a concerted effort to prove your own ideas!For a change? I think I do make an effort, but I don’t have the time to write dissertations nor do I think it’s always necessary. To disprove that “spiritually dead” means one has no capacity to pray to and seek God, all we have to do is look at Adam & Eve after they “died spiritually” and see that they still prayed to and sought God. Whether one is born with a sin nature (i.e. is spiritually dead) or not doesn’t really matter since we know spiritually dead people can pray to and seek God.


And then I could take it from that point. For example, you keep insisting that God doesn't have to do this or have to do that, or doesn't need to do another thing, etc., but you proffer no argument -- just what you believe.God’s character answers for Him. To meticulously control every detail is to perform evil. To perform evil is inconsistent with His character. I don’t buy for a second all the twisting of words to somehow say that God can perform evil while not being held liable for it. That’s pure nonsense in order to maintain a desired doctrine.


I just got done posting my argument for Job, and I supported it from scripture.OK


Also, it would be helpful to refrain from using staw men in your arguments. For example, I never said Adam and Eve had a sin nature. I agree that they both had the capacity to sin.I know. But you had asked me that if we don’t have a sin nature, why is it that we sin. I think you can see the answer to that now, right? Adam & Eve did not have a sin nature, yet they sinned because they both had the capacity to sin.


But the Fall was the game changer for all humanity. After that, everyone comes into the world with a sin nature.Which Scripture says that?

Isn’t your point about being born with a sin nature to prove that everyone is spiritually dead and incapable of seeking God? If so, it doesn’t even matter if you can prove that humans are born sinners (which I don’t think can be done), because even spiritually dead Adam & Eve could pray to and communicate with God.


Everyone is inclined to sin. Therefore, everyone sins!...Everyone is inclined or tempted to sin because the flesh is tempted by all physical pleasures, including sinful pleasures. Do I now have to make a concerted effort with a dissertation to prove that man is tempted by sinful pleasures or do you agree? Man isn’t tempted by physical sinful pleasures because he is a sinner; he is tempted because he is physical.


(No exceptions, except for Christ.) Just as lions are inclined to be carnivores, so too they all eat meat. We are what we are because of our nature. No one is able to deny his nature. Even God cannot deny his! (And I think down the road a piece I will prove this sin nature business conclusively.) (Btw, I will post the "Job Dilemma" on another thread because it's so important to grasp what went on in that book.).You can go ahead and try to prove we’re born with a sin nature, but it doesn’t matter since spiritually dead people can pray to and seek God. And if regeneration means we no longer have a sin nature, why do born again Christians sin?

Rufus
Jun 12th 2011, 01:52 AM
Lookin'Up,

I started a new thread about Man's Sin Nature. This is the last topic that I'll move to a new thread. So, if you want to pursue Lk22:22, Man's Sin Nature and the Job Dilemma, please post on the appropriate threads. Lk 22:22 and Job I have combined into one thread because of the common denominator.

Take care,
Rufus

Rufus
Jun 12th 2011, 02:12 AM
OK

For a change? I think I do make an effort, but I don’t have the time to write dissertations nor do I think it’s always necessary. To disprove that “spiritually dead” means one has no capacity to pray to and seek God, all we have to do is look at Adam & Eve after they “died spiritually” and see that they still prayed to and sought God. Whether one is born with a sin nature (i.e. is spiritually dead) or not doesn’t really matter since we know spiritually dead people can pray to and seek God.

I'm just going to very quickly respond to this. Where does it say in scripture that Adam and Eve prayed to God?

And, yes, the world is filled with religious dead! So...? But isn't it written that God does not hear the prayer of sinners? And that the prayers of righteous man availeht much?


God’s character answers for Him. To meticulously control every detail is to perform evil. To perform evil is inconsistent with His character. I don’t buy for a second all the twisting of words to somehow say that God can perform evil while not being held liable for it. That’s pure nonsense in order to maintain a desired doctrine.

No, no, no. Not quite that easy. Plus you'd be making a circular argument. You need to demonstrate that God doesn't create Evil and how by creating it (if he did), that would be inconsistent with his holy character. My bible tells me that God created ALL things.

Furthermore, I think you may be confused about what "evil" is and what "sin" is. Most people equate the two, and that is a serious error. They're not synonymous.
Evil is the absence of Good, just as Darkness is the absence of Light. God created the Darkness, just as he created Evil. So, if God withholds his grace (good) from a person's soul, let's say, then what fills that soul is evil. God's grace (even his common grace) is what impels, even unbelievers in the world, to do what good they do in the world. Since God is not morally obligated to bestow his grace upon anyone, then when he "speaks evil" or creates "evil", that act does not compromise his thrice holy character.

If you want to take this subject up further, you should probably continue this in the Job thread I started. But I just wanted to toss this out to you for food for thought.

Rufus

Rufus
Jun 12th 2011, 03:14 AM
Everyone is inclined or tempted to sin because the flesh is tempted by all physical pleasures, including sinful pleasures. Do I now have to make a concerted effort with a dissertation to prove that man is tempted by sinful pleasures or do you agree? Man isn’t tempted by physical sinful pleasures because he is a sinner; he is tempted because he is physical.

Is anger a physical pleasure? Lying? Hating? And what was Satan's and all the fallen angels excuse for their sin, since they're not made of flesh and bones?


You can go ahead and try to prove we’re born with a sin nature, but it doesn’t matter since spiritually dead people can pray to and seek God. And if regeneration means we no longer have a sin nature, why do born again Christians sin?

Because God did not remove our sin nature. We've become only partakers of the divine nature (2Pet 1:4). We are new creatures in Christ, but we're not sinless -- HOWEVER, we do sin LESS! A lot less; for anyone born of God cannot continue in sin (1Jn 3:9).

Again, as I might have stated earlier, the religious dead do indeed pray, but does God hear the prayer of sinners (Jn 9:31)?

Gotta run. Have a great Lord's Day!

Rufus

Butch5
Jun 12th 2011, 06:31 PM
I was wonder what took you so long to get here. Were you stuck in traffic? By the way, I can't see how to make sense of your theory grammatically.

Paul initially establishes the antecedant to the pronouns at the beginning of the letter. The "us" refers to Paul and the Ephesians.

We've been through this Rog, the context doesn't allow that interpretation.

LookingUp
Jun 12th 2011, 08:02 PM
I'm just going to very quickly respond to this. Where does it say in scripture that Adam and Eve prayed to God?Praying is talking to God. We see them talking to God after they died spiritually. There's no reason to believe they stopped talking to God after they died spiritually.


And, yes, the world is filled with religious dead! So...? But isn't it written that God does not hear the prayer of sinners? And that the prayers of righteous man availeht much?No, God does not say He does not hear the prayer of a sinner. I know that some self-righteous Pharisee who did not know God said that, but I’m not aware that He ever said that through one of His prophets.


No, no, no. Not quite that easy. Plus you'd be making a circular argument. You need to demonstrate that God doesn't create Evil and how by creating it (if he did), that would be inconsistent with his holy character. We both agreed that God is perfectly good. If the opposite of good is evil, then God can’t be evil. My take is that if you perform evil, you are evil or wicked. If you lie, you are a liar. If you sin, you are a sinner.


My bible tells me that God created ALL things.I think you’re pushing that too far. ALL means every single possible thing or it doesn’t. If it does mean every possible thing, ALL would have to include things like love. But God did not create love.


Furthermore, I think you may be confused about what "evil" is and what "sin" is. Most people equate the two, and that is a serious error. They're not synonymous.
Evil is the absence of Good, just as Darkness is the absence of Light. God created the Darkness, just as he created Evil.If evil is simply the absence of good, and God is good, then just by God existing, evil exists (or at least the potential for it).


So, if God withholds his grace (good) from a person's soul, let's say, then what fills that soul is evil. God's grace (even his common grace) is what impels, even unbelievers in the world, to do what good they do in the world. Since God is not morally obligated to bestow his grace upon anyone, then when he "speaks evil" or creates "evil", that act does not compromise his thrice holy character.God doesn’t withhold grace from anyone. He has made Himself evident with in every man (Rom. 1).


If you want to take this subject up further, you should probably continue this in the Job thread I started. But I just wanted to toss this out to you for food for thought.I’ll try to go check it out.

LookingUp
Jun 12th 2011, 08:19 PM
Is anger a physical pleasure? Lying? Hating?Yes, the body experiences an adrenaline rush.


And what was Satan's and all the fallen angels excuse for their sin, since they're not made of flesh and bones?I don’t know what they’re made of. I could speculate. Obviously, they are made of something that allows them to be tempted to sin.

If it is spiritually dead, sinful flesh that makes one sin, you tell me why angels sin? Angels are spiritually dead? They have sinful flesh?


Because God did not remove our sin nature. We've become only partakers of the divine nature (2Pet 1:4). We are new creatures in Christ, but we're not sinless -- HOWEVER, we do sin LESS! A lot less; for anyone born of God cannot continue in sin (1Jn 3:9).So, let me get this right. It is because of our sin nature that we can’t seek God, but later we still have a sin nature and we can seek God. Is that right?


Again, as I might have stated earlier, the religious dead do indeed pray, but does God hear the prayer of sinners (Jn 9:31)?This is the same guy that denied Jesus as the Son of God and you believe him? I don’t.

Rufus
Jun 14th 2011, 12:42 AM
Praying is talking to God. We see them talking to God after they died spiritually. There's no reason to believe they stopped talking to God after they died spiritually.

Prayers consist of petitions, supplications, intercessions, praise or thanksgiving by a person seeking the face of God. I don't see any of these elements in the post-Fall conversations. In fact, Adam and Eve did not seek God after the Fall. He sought them! They would not have talked with him at all, had he not sought them out.

To go even further, both Adam and Eve added to their original sin by insulting and blaspheming God in their post-Fall "prayer". Eve disowned her sin by blaming the Serpent, insulting the intelligence of God. Adam not only blamed Eve for his sin, but God as well! Some prayers.


No, God does not say He does not hear the prayer of a sinner. I know that some self-righteous Pharisee who did not know God said that, but I’m not aware that He ever said that through one of His prophets.

Wrong! The following was not spoken by a Pharisee:

John 9:31
31 "We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing, and does His will, He hears him.
NASB


We both agreed that God is perfectly good. If the opposite of good is evil, then God can’t be evil. My take is that if you perform evil, you are evil or wicked. If you lie, you are a liar. If you sin, you are a sinner.

But the $64. question is: Did Adam and Eve come into the world Good? I say they did not! Therefore, in the absence of the influence of Good within them, the only thing they could have done is sinned!


I think you’re pushing that too far. ALL means every single possible thing or it doesn’t. If it does mean every possible thing, ALL would have to include things like love. But God did not create love.

Again, Evil is the absence of Good. Evil does not = Sin. Don't confuse the two.

Prov 16:4
4 The Lord has made everything for its own purpose,
Even the wicked for the day of evil.
NASB

Isa 45:7
7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.
KJV

Since there is no evil in God, then Evil must have been a created thing. Conversely, God didn't create love because he is Love.


If evil is simply the absence of good, and God is good, then just by God existing, evil exists (or at least the potential for it).

How did Evil exist since there is no evil in God? Evil is a created thing, as is Darkness.


God doesn’t withhold grace from anyone. He has made Himself evident with in every man (Rom. 1).

He does withhold saving grace. If he didn't then all men would be saved. And, yes, he has made himself "evident" but since those in the flesh cannot please God and their minds are continually hostile toward him, they reject what they know. Btw, Paul also said that the WRATH of God is revealed from heaven....not his grace. God is angry toward sinners. Even Jesus taught that the wrath of God abides (presently) upon all who do not believe.

Rufus

Bandit
Jun 14th 2011, 01:13 AM
Can you support your theory from scripture?

Rufus

Hello Rufus,

I am just getting over the wedding of my daughter and will try to start answering posts over the next couple of days. This whole marrage/wedding thing was a lot more work than I expected.

LookingUp
Jun 14th 2011, 05:21 AM
Prayers consist of petitions, supplications, intercessions, praise or thanksgiving by a person seeking the face of God.You missed a bunch. I’m sure I could put up a poll and the majority of believers will say their prayers are talks with God that don’t necessarily include only those things.


I don't see any of these elements in the post-Fall conversations.Like I said, you missed a bunch.


In fact, Adam and Eve did not seek God after the Fall. He sought them! They would not have talked with him at all, had he not sought them out.Prove it.


To go even further, both Adam and Eve added to their original sin by insulting and blaspheming God in their post-Fall "prayer". Eve disowned her sin by blaming the Serpent, insulting the intelligence of God. Adam not only blamed Eve for his sin, but God as well! Some prayers.Yep. In some of our prayers, we are not honest with ourselves or God. Big surprise.


Wrong! The following was not spoken by a Pharisee:Rufus, you’re not being honest. You know perfectly well that the point is hardly whether this man was a Pharisee or not. Do you really want to believe a guy who denied Jesus as the Son of God?


But the $64. question is: Did Adam and Eve come into the world Good?Yes. God said so.


I say they did not!Then you’re disagreeing with what God said.


Therefore, in the absence of the influence of Good within them, the only thing they could have done is sinned!OK. You go ahead and believe that if you want to, but I don’t.


Again, Evil is the absence of Good. Evil does not = Sin. Don't confuse the two.When one sins, he become a sinner (i.e. evil).


Prov 16:4
4 The Lord has made everything for its own purpose,
Even the wicked for the day of evil.
NASBGod is love (1 John 4:8, 16) and loves all people (John 3:16). He does not will their damnation (Ezek. 18:30-32; 33:11; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). So what could Proverbs 16:4 mean? Well, the word “made” can be translated as “works” and the word “purpose” can be translated as “answer.” So, God is saying that He works things out so that the end of the wicked “answers” their wickedness. They will reap what they sow. NO ONE IS CREATED WICKED FOR THE EXPRESSED PURPOSE OF BEING SENT TO HELL.


Isa 45:7
7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.
KJVGod cannot remain all good if He originates evil. So, we must dig deeper than what appears at first glance. In context, we see that God is blessing a nation and judging a nation. The light and darkness refers to liberation and captivity. The peace and evil refer to God’s plans to bless Israel and curse Babylon. God is not creating evil in the way you are suggesting; He is judging a wicked nation.


Since there is no evil in God, then Evil must have been a created thing. Conversely, God didn't create love because he is Love.Why would God have to create evil if it’s simply the absence of love? You are not making sense.


He does withhold saving grace. If he didn't then all men would be saved.There’s all kinds of grace, Rufus.


And, yes, he has made himself "evident" but since those in the flesh cannot please God and their minds are continually hostile toward him, they reject what they know.Some do.


Btw, Paul also said that the WRATH of God is revealed from heaven....not his grace.OK, please, please read this passage. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men WHO SUPPRESS THE TRUTH in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18). Do you see who the wrath is revealed to? It is revealed to those who SUPPRESS THE TRUTH. The only way to suppress truth is if you already know truth. That’s grace! God has made Himself evident to them and that is grace. He did not have to reveal Himself to anyone, but He did.


God is angry toward sinners.So angry He died for them. And for those who resist His revelation, He may choose to harden.


Even Jesus taught that the wrath of God abides (presently) upon all who do not believe.All who DO NOT BELIEVE. All who continue to reject what God has revealed in creation and reject what He has made evident within them, the wrath of God abides. All who continue to reject Christ as the Son of God, the wrath of God abides.

Rufus
Jun 15th 2011, 04:22 AM
You missed a bunch I’m sure I could put up a poll and the majority of believers will say their prayers are talks with God that don’t necessarily include only those things.

Like I said, you missed a bunch.

Actually, I missed one: Confession. I don't see that component either in their little "chat" with God. I'm sure you could poll lots of opinions, but the onus is on you to show that there is a precedent in scripture for someone praying who God sought out and that didn't contain at least of the elements mentioned.


Prove it.Are you serious? Have you never read:

Rom 3:10-11
10 as it is written,

"There is none righteous, not even one;
11 There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
NASB

That's the natural state of man! Adam and Eve would never have sought after God if he hadn't taken the initiative.

Also, read Paul's unflattering commentary on fallen mankind in Rom 1:18ff.


Yep. In some of our prayers, we are not honest with ourselves or God. Big surprise.Then I have a news flash for you:

Prov 15:29
29 The Lord is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous.
NASB

If I had time, this whole prayer issue poses quite a challenge to your theology. You really should do a study on prayer. The blind man had it 100% right: God not hear the prayers of sinners! Hint: The man knew his OT!


Rufus, you’re not being honest. You know perfectly well that the point is hardly whether this man was a Pharisee or not. Do you really want to believe a guy who denied Jesus as the Son of God?Can you show me where he denied Jesus? I don't see that in my bible.


Yes. God said so.Actually, he didn't say every aspect was good! He didn't call the Darkness good on the first day. Nor did he call the "expanse" good on the second day. Nor did he call Adam and Eve "good" on" the 6th day. What God did say, as a summary, is that he saw "all that he made" and it is was "very good". Again, I maintain that all was "very good" because all was made according to God's eternal purposes.

Speaking about which (eternal purposes), you seem to forget that God stuck his devilish bull dog on our first parents, just as he stuck him on Job! So, here's pristine, planet earth -- the Garden of Eden in all its beauty -- that had the BEAST cast down into it -- the "father of lies", who was a "murderer from the beginning" and who was "internally filled with violence". Yet, even with the presence of this dragon, God called everything "very good". Now, if we were to liken Satan to and some evil man unleashed the plague upon an innocent population of a really nice town, do you think that would be a "good" thing, let alone a "very good" thing?

Now, what if God gave Satan dominion over his earth (after all, he is called the "god of this world" and "ruler of this world" and cast him down here for the sole purpose to give Adam and Eve over to Satan's power? After all, how could the evil one really have a human empire to "rule over" if there wasn't a fall? And we know that Satan can only have as much power as God grants to him. (We learned this from Job, remember?). And furthermore, the writer to Hebrews tells us that Satan had the "power of death" (Heb 2:14) -- death in its fullest sense? Death as in physical and spiritual? And Satan could only have that power if it was granted to him! The only way Adam and Eve could have fallen is if God withheld his saving power -- his grace -- his goodness -- the Spirit's influence for Good from our first parents. In this way, He would have put them in the Evil One's power -- pretty much in the same way he put Job into his power!

But why do you think Job persevered under his severe ordeals? You think Job did that "in the flesh"? Under his own steam? Job triumphed because God preserved him with his grace! Saving grace!


Then you’re disagreeing with what God said.No, I"m agreeing with what he said. I just see the "very good" differently than you do. I'm seeing it strictly in terms of God's eternal purposes. Very differently from you and, and I just bolstered my position substantially! In order for a person to be considered righteous by God, he must be tested. God used Satan to test our first parents and he gave them over to Satan's power so that they would fall. If God didn't decree for them to fall, why use Satan at all? Why not just leave the tree and fruit in the midst of the Garden and see what our first parents would do on their own -- without any evil influences? Think about it.


]When one sins, he become a sinner (i.e. evil).First of all, one is a sinner because Adam's sin is imputed to his people, just as Christ's righteousness is imputed to his. Remember: Christ (the Last Adam) is the antitype to Adam -- by contrasts!

No! In a moral world there is Good and there is Evil. No third option. There's nothing in between. Evil is the absence of Good. Evil does not equate with sin. Look it up in you dictionary even.


God is love (1 John 4:8, 16) and loves all people (John 3:16).Yes, God loves mankind in general -- the same unbelieving mankind upon whom God's wrath abides.


He does not will their damnation (Ezek. 18:30-32; 33:11; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). First of all, 2 Pet 3:9 is talking to the "beloved" -- to believers. Peter wasn't talking to the world.

Secondly, there's God's moral will and his determinative will, as discussed previously. Just as God has determined in eternity who his elect would be, likewise he has determined who the reprobates would be, as he did with Adam, as he did with Ishmael, as he did with Esau, Pharaoh and others.

1 Peter 2:8-10
8 and,

"A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense";

for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
NASB

Note carefully the contrast between those appointed for reprobation and those chosen to be God's own possession.


So what could Proverbs 16:4 mean? Well, the word “made” can be translated as “works” and the word “purpose” can be translated as “answer.” So, God is saying that He works things out so that the end of the wicked “answers” their wickedness. They will reap what they sow. NO ONE IS CREATED WICKED FOR THE EXPRESSED PURPOSE OF BEING SENT TO HELL.First of all the text says that God works out all things FOR HIS ENDS -- for HIS purposes. He doesn't work things out for the purposes or ends of the wicked.


God cannot remain all good if He originates evil. So, we must dig deeper than what appears at first glance. In context, we see that God is blessing a nation and judging a nation. The light and darkness refers to liberation and captivity. The peace and evil refer to God’s plans to bless Israel and curse Babylon. God is not creating evil in the way you are suggesting; He is judging a wicked nation.I keep telling you and you're not listening: Evil is the absence of Good. Ask Job. Read Job. Contemplate and meditate on Job 2:10, when you accused Job of getting it wrong. All God has to do is is withhold his power or grace for evil to occur. How do we know this: Because only God alone is good! He is the only source of Good! Also, God can grant power to the devil do evil, as he did with Job.

Also, God can withhold his grace. He's not obligated to give grace to anyone. If God chooses to withhold his power (which grace is, btw), then he's free to do to that. That does not make him the author of sin, even though absent that power, would make sin inevitable for that person.


Why would God have to create evil if it’s simply the absence of love? You are not making sense.Love is not the antithesis to Evil. Good is.

Then you said there's all kinds of grace. Prove it.


Some do.HOW? The text says "CANNOT"! Cannot means cannot, does it not? All unbelievers are in the flesh. Therefore, no unbeliever can please God. And this is precisely why, btw, God doesn't hear the prayers of sinners!


OK, please, please read this passage. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men WHO SUPPRESS THE TRUTH in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18). Do you see who the wrath is revealed to? It is revealed to those who SUPPRESS THE TRUTH. The only way to suppress truth is if you already know truth. That’s grace! God has made Himself evident to them and that is grace. He did not have to reveal Himself to anyone, but He did.But what truth do they have in Special Revelation or Intuitive Revelation? The gospel? These kinds of revelation reveal who the Jesus Christ is? The significance of his work on the cross? The significance of his resurrection? That he's the only name under heaven by which men can be saved, etc, etc.? The gospel is not revealed in these revelations. General truths about God are revealed, but not the gospel. And it's the GOSPEL men must believe in order to be saved. Man comes into this world having "knowledge of God" (just like Adam and Eve had knowledge), but it's not saving knowledge -- because eternal life is having intimate, personal knowledge God (Jn 17:3). Therefore, any man who has saving knowledge of God has eternal life! He's been born again!


So angry He died for them. And for those who resist His revelation, He may choose to harden.No, he laid down his life for his sheep. He did not die for the goats. Show me where he died for the goats.


All who DO NOT BELIEVE. All who continue to reject what God has revealed in creation and reject what He has made evident within them, the wrath of God abides. All who continue to reject Christ as the Son of God, the wrath of God abides.That's right! All who do not believe (present tense!) have God's wrath abiding on them right now (presently)!

Rufus

rejoice44
Jun 15th 2011, 04:38 AM
In closing, the Book of Job alone utterly destroys the foolish notion of free will in a libertarian sense as it does any objections to the absolute sovereignty of God in the affairs of all men. Every singe man, woman and child is a "player" on the Almighty's world stage, and all play their scripts as written for them and by Him, and they play their parts willingly! "How, then, can man understand his way"?

Rufus

Job had a free will and he exercised it when he repented. Job was headed for the pit as stated by Elihu, and would have ended up there if it had not been for the fact that Job repented, and exchanged his own righteousness for God's righteousness.

Rufus
Jun 15th 2011, 07:10 PM
Job had a free will and he exercised it when he repented. Job was headed for the pit as stated by Elihu, and would have ended up there if it had not been for the fact that Job repented, and exchanged his own righteousness for God's righteousness.

Two things: Job perservered through this ordeal because he was a child of God in chapters 1, 2 and 42. And God knows how to preserve his own.

Ps 97:10
10 You who love the Lord, hate evil!
He preserves the souls of His saints;
He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.
NKJV

And,

Ps 31:23-24
23 Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints!
For the Lord preserves the faithful,
And fully repays the proud person.
24 Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.
NKJV

If it weren't fof God's preserving grace, Job would have failed.

Secondly, there is no such animal as "free will" in the libertarian sense. This is a myth. Not even the Almighty has this kind of free will. His will is limited by his Nature. Likewise, Man's will is limited by his Nature (what he is internally) and by Nuture (external influences). Thereforre, Man's will is hardly free from internal and external infludences.

Rufus

notuptome
Jun 15th 2011, 07:36 PM
Job had a free will and he exercised it when he repented. Job was headed for the pit as stated by Elihu, and would have ended up there if it had not been for the fact that Job repented, and exchanged his own righteousness for God's righteousness.
You have a wrong assesment of the situation. God told satan that Job was upright. Job 1:8 Job's religious buddies were way off in their assesment of Job's condition. Through tribulation and testing God refined Job for greater glory. Job did not earn salvation by his enduring tribulation but he glorified God as he suffered without cause. Job received greater reward when he repented of only doing good without knowledge.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

rejoice44
Jun 15th 2011, 09:23 PM
Two things: Job perservered through this ordeal because he was a child of God in chapters 1, 2 and 42. And God knows how to preserve his own.

Job was a servant and not a son, in fact Job declared that he was a hired servant which is much less than a bond servant. A hired servant does not belong to the master, nor could he partake of the Passover Lamb. The New Testament teaches us that when we are saved we go from becoming a servant to a son.


If it weren't for God's preserving grace, Job would have failed.

Not sure what you mean here.


Secondly, there is no such animal as "free will" in the libertarian sense. This is a myth. Not even the Almighty has this kind of free will. His will is limited by his Nature. Likewise, Man's will is limited by his Nature (what he is internally) and by Nuture (external influences). Thereforre, Man's will is hardly free from internal and external infludences.

Rufus

We still make choices, we choose whether to do good, or to do evil. We can't get away with saying the Devil made me do it.

rejoice44
Jun 15th 2011, 10:10 PM
You have a wrong assesment of the situation. God told satan that Job was upright. Job 1:8 Job's religious buddies were way off in their assesment of Job's condition. Through tribulation and testing God refined Job for greater glory. Job did not earn salvation by his enduring tribulation but he glorified God as he suffered without cause. Job received greater reward when he repented of only doing good without knowledge.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

Roger I believe there is a lot of false premises of Job based solely on what is read in the first chapter, and what is read in the last chapter. There are a whole lot of chapters in between.

In the first chapter God says Job was perfect, or blameless, and upright. What does that actually mean? If I had a servant, or an employee, and he attempted to do everything required of him to the best of his ability then I could say he was blameless and upright, but that doesn't make him a family member of mine, nor does it mean he might fail me when put to an extreme test.

In the last chapter God said Job spoke what was right about God, but previous to this God chastised Job for speaking without knowledge. Something obviously changed between chapter 38 and chapter 42. Remember when Job said his heart would not reproach him so long as he lived, and then in chapter 42 Job said he abhorred himself? Something changed in Job's heart. Job had a changed heart. What Job said that was right was that he repented, and accepted God's righteousness in place of his own.

God never states that the three witnesses said the wrong thing about Job. In fact I would challenge anyone to find something they said about God that was wrong. God said they did not say that which is right about God. How do we get saved, don't we confess God is all and we are nothing?

God said Job condemned him, that Job might be righteous. The spirit asked, shall mortal man be more just than God? Elihu stated that Job declared his own righteousness was more than God's. (Job 35:2) Were they all wrong about Job?