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DeafPosttrib
Jun 22nd 2012, 06:58 PM
I ask you a simple question for you. Why should God allow you into heaven?

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!

John 8:32
Jun 22nd 2012, 07:08 PM
I ask you a simple question for you. Why should God allow you into heaven?

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!

Don't worry, He won't...

Joh 7:34 Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.

Joh 8:21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.

Joh 13:33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.

We are not going there, He is coming here...

Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Luk 19:12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.

Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

John146
Jun 22nd 2012, 07:15 PM
I ask you a simple question for you. Why should God allow you into heaven?

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!Can you clarify your question? I'm not exactly sure what you are asking despite it being what you called "a simple question". Are you asking what is it about me that should make God allow me into heaven or are you asking what am I required to do in order for God to allow me into heaven?

DeafPosttrib
Jun 22nd 2012, 07:21 PM
I would like to hear from reformers' respond on this question.

nzyr
Jun 22nd 2012, 10:01 PM
Don't worry, He won't...

Joh 7:34 Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.

Joh 8:21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.

Joh 13:33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.

We are not going there, He is coming here...

Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Luk 19:12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.

Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
What church or churches teaches that Christians won't go to heaven? I'm just curious.

Colight
Jun 24th 2012, 06:09 PM
I ask you a simple question for you. Why should God allow you into heaven?

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!

He can not deny him self.
We have his righteousness imputed to us at salvation.
For God to deny us, would be to deny him self, this he can not do ... therefore we are not to be denied.

Ta-An
Jun 24th 2012, 07:51 PM
I ask you a simple question for you. Why should God allow you into heaven?

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!Because of what Jesus did for me..

BroRog
Jun 24th 2012, 07:53 PM
I ask you a simple question for you. Why should God allow you into heaven?

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!We can examine this question from either one of two sides. The Bible says that we don't merit God's blessing and yet, at the same time, the Bible talks about the qualities of a person whom he will bless, which are not shared by all human beings.

Mark F
Jun 24th 2012, 08:26 PM
We really won't be in "heaven" per se, we will be where ever Christ is, if we have trusted Him for salvation.

But in response to the OP, He shouldn't, but Jesus has paid my debt to God, and when He looks upon me God sees the righteousness of His Son, I am a joint heir with Christ.

DeafPosttrib
Jun 25th 2012, 10:08 PM
Thank everyone for the comments. I would like to discuss on three groups- 1. People never go to church and like sinning 2. Devoted religion people 3. Christians claim 'I am already saved' and still sinning.

I am focus on two groups- devoted religion people, and of course Christian claim, 'I am already saved', still sinning. First, start with devote religion people. I want to discuss on Matt. 7:21-23. Christ said: "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesised in thy name? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

My understanding there are two reasons why, they are not all genuinely saved. Many devote religion people know Jesus, they did many wonderful works for God or Jesus, they are doing their own good works for earn salvation, to enter into heaven. But, they are not saved in the first place. Because, they did not ask Jesus to save, and did not born again. Many devote religion people will be shock in the Judgement Day, that they will be end up in the lake of fire. Now, I am discuss on second group-Christians claim, 'I am already saved' still practice sin. Lot of Christians in America, believe in eternal unconditional security- so called, 'Once Saved Always Saved'(OSAS), or 'Perservance of the Saints' of Calvinism's fifth point of TULIP. Christians were taught by pastors, bible colleges, books, links, etc. that they say, "You are now already saved, because Christ already paid all our sins -past, present, and future at Calvary, no worry about our salvation, long as we are secured in Christ, our sins would not effect our salvation. Also, you can lose reward in the heaven, but you still always saved.".

I believe the teaching of unconditional security salvation is danger. Because, this doctrine gives them the false hope, and it is still okay to continue sinning while still saved. Christ tells us very clear- "You CANNOT serve two masters at same time"- Matt. 6:24. His point was, we cannot serve Christ, while serve sins at same time. In 1 John 3:9 tells us, a truly born again believer CANNOT sin. Of course, God knows we as genuine Christians do sin daily-1 John 1:9. 1 John 3:9 points out that we as truly born again Christian do NOT continue practice sinning as habitually daily.

Sadly, many truly saved Christians do continue sinning as habitually everyday for long time, because they thought they are already saved at once, because of what their pastors told them so. They are being brainwashed for believing the false hope of false doctrines.

In Matt. 7:23, Christ will say to them, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work INIQUITY." I want to discuss on two words- 'knew', and 'iniquity'. First, focus on 'knew'. 'Knew' speaks of having relationship. There are lot of "know" in first epistle of John, not the gospel of John, I mean three epistles of John prior Jude and Revelation. 'Know' speaks of having relationship with God throughout our Christian life, and in our walk in the light as daily life. Many Christians claim, 'I know Jesus', but they still practical sinning life, therefore, they are lack of having relationship with God. Same likewise as God do not know them, because of no relationship. If they continue walk in the dark, and have no light in them, therefore, Christ is NOT in them.

Many Christians who hold eternal security doctrine, will be shock in the Judgment Day, thought they are already saved, and their names were already wrote in the Book of Life, will be end up in the lake of fire. The reason why, God will not allow people into His Kingdom-1. never ask Jesus to be saved as never born again 2. did asked Christ to saved, did repented of sin, but afterward, back to sinning for long time. I have seen many Christians claim, they did attend church daily, did serve the Lord, but they love the world at the same time. Therefore, God will NOT allow Christians to enter the Kingdom, because of continue sinning life without repent all the way to death(Phyiscal) or Lord comes.

I fear that 90% of devote religion people and Christians who hold eternal security doctrine, will be shock at the Judgment Day, will be end up in the lake of fire.

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!

Colight
Jun 26th 2012, 01:59 AM
Thank everyone for the comments. I would like to discuss on three groups- 1. People never go to church and like sinning 2. Devoted religion people 3. Christians claim 'I am already saved' and still sinning.

I am focus on two groups- devoted religion people, and of course Christian claim, 'I am already saved', still sinning. First, start with devote religion people. I want to discuss on Matt. 7:21-23. Christ said: "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesised in thy name? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

My understanding there are two reasons why, they are not all genuinely saved. Many devote religion people know Jesus, they did many wonderful works for God or Jesus, they are doing their own good works for earn salvation, to enter into heaven. But, they are not saved in the first place. Because, they did not ask Jesus to save, and did not born again. Many devote religion people will be shock in the Judgement Day, that they will be end up in the lake of fire. Now, I am discuss on second group-Christians claim, 'I am already saved' still practice sin. Lot of Christians in America, believe in eternal unconditional security- so called, 'Once Saved Always Saved'(OSAS), or 'Perservance of the Saints' of Calvinism's fifth point of TULIP. Christians were taught by pastors, bible colleges, books, links, etc. that they say, "You are now already saved, because Christ already paid all our sins -past, present, and future at Calvary, no worry about our salvation, long as we are secured in Christ, our sins would not effect our salvation. Also, you can lose reward in the heaven, but you still always saved.".

I believe the teaching of unconditional security salvation is danger. Because, this doctrine gives them the false hope, and it is still okay to continue sinning while still saved. Christ tells us very clear- "You CANNOT serve two masters at same time"- Matt. 6:24. His point was, we cannot serve Christ, while serve sins at same time. In 1 John 3:9 tells us, a truly born again believer CANNOT sin. Of course, God knows we as genuine Christians do sin daily-1 John 1:9. 1 John 3:9 points out that we as truly born again Christian do NOT continue practice sinning as habitually daily.

Sadly, many truly saved Christians do continue sinning as habitually everyday for long time, because they thought they are already saved at once, because of what their pastors told them so. They are being brainwashed for believing the false hope of false doctrines.

In Matt. 7:23, Christ will say to them, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work INIQUITY." I want to discuss on two words- 'knew', and 'iniquity'. First, focus on 'knew'. 'Knew' speaks of having relationship. There are lot of "know" in first epistle of John, not the gospel of John, I mean three epistles of John prior Jude and Revelation. 'Know' speaks of having relationship with God throughout our Christian life, and in our walk in the light as daily life. Many Christians claim, 'I know Jesus', but they still practical sinning life, therefore, they are lack of having relationship with God. Same likewise as God do not know them, because of no relationship. If they continue walk in the dark, and have no light in them, therefore, Christ is NOT in them.

Many Christians who hold eternal security doctrine, will be shock in the Judgment Day, thought they are already saved, and their names were already wrote in the Book of Life, will be end up in the lake of fire. The reason why, God will not allow people into His Kingdom-1. never ask Jesus to be saved as never born again 2. did asked Christ to saved, did repented of sin, but afterward, back to sinning for long time. I have seen many Christians claim, they did attend church daily, did serve the Lord, but they love the world at the same time. Therefore, God will NOT allow Christians to enter the Kingdom, because of continue sinning life without repent all the way to death(Phyiscal) or Lord comes.

I fear that 90% of devote religion people and Christians who hold eternal security doctrine, will be shock at the Judgment Day, will be end up in the lake of fire.

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!

That is all nice..

Before one states it can be lost..
Perhaps it should be defined.

What is salvation?
What occurs at salvation.....
What exactly can we lose..
Who owns salvation and did the labor for it?
Who payed the price for salvation?
What God came up with the concept of salvation, was he aware sin was on the earth.. or did sin take him by total surprise?
How does the spirit fit into all this?

I would love to see a in depth analysis from a NOSAS crusader on what exactly is salvation.

Noonzie
Jun 26th 2012, 02:22 AM
I ask you a simple question for you. Why should God allow you into heaven?

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!


Because He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy.

Reynolds357
Jun 26th 2012, 02:25 AM
I ask you a simple question for you. Why should God allow you into heaven?

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!

His grace. My faith.
If you start making lists of what you have done that make you worthy, you have missed the mark entirely.

mailmandan
Jun 26th 2012, 11:52 AM
His grace. My faith.
If you start making lists of what you have done that make you worthy, you have missed the mark entirely.

Amen! Jesus Christ lived a sinless perfect life, died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day to provide for us eternal life. Either we are completely trusting in Him for salvation or else we are not.

Gadgeteer
Jun 26th 2012, 08:49 PM
Because He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy.
What's that mean, Noonzie? Is it all God's choice? Does God say:


"These few I LOVE and created them to be righteous and saved, but all these others I HATE and I created them to be hated and to be sinful and to perish (and there's nothing either can do about it)"?

Is that God's attitude?

Noonzie
Jun 26th 2012, 09:12 PM
What's that mean, Noonzie? Is it all God's choice? Does God say:


"These few I LOVE and created them to be righteous and saved, but all these others I HATE and I created them to be hated and to be sinful and to perish (and there's nothing either can do about it)"?

Is that God's attitude?

14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”[f]
16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”[g] 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”[h] 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

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

Romans 9:14-24

Gadgeteer
Jun 27th 2012, 12:36 AM
Thank everyone for the comments. I would like to discuss on three groups- 1. People never go to church and like sinning 2. Devoted religion people 3. Christians claim 'I am already saved' and still sinning.

I am focusing on two groups- devoted religion people, and of course Christians claim, 'I am already saved', still sinning. First, start with devoted religion people. I want to discuss on Matt. 7:21-23. Christ said: "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

My understanding (is that) there are two reasons why they are not all genuinely saved. Many devoted religion people know Jesus, they did many wonderful works for God or Jesus, they are doing their own good works to earn salvation, to enter into heaven. But they are not saved in the first place. Because they did not ask Jesus to save, and did not (become) born again. Many devoted religion people will be shocked in the Judgment Day, that they will be end up in the lake of fire.Indeed. Revelation3:14-22 also applies; those who have become "lukewarm", they think they're rich but don't know they're poor blind miserable wretched and naked. How can they be those things but not know it?

But they did...
Now, I am discussing on second group-Christians claim, 'I am already saved' (but they) still practice sin. Lots of Christians in America believe in eternal unconditional security- so called, 'Once Saved Always Saved'(OSAS), or 'Perservance of the Saints' of Calvinism's fifth point of TULIP.Well, there are three distinct views of OSAS, only one is "Calvinism/Tulip" (and in that, there are five-pointers, four-pointers, three-pointers, etcetera).

The first OSAS position views salvation as more of a "mental assent" --- it's properly called "Antinomianism", a subset of Gnosticism. They think that the SOUL can be saved even while the FLESH walks in sin. Passages like 1Cor6:9-11, Eph5:5-6, Gal5:19-21 all oppose "sinning-but-saved" (or "backslidden-but-saved" as many like to call it).

The second OSAS view is "Eternal Security" --- they perceive that anyone can be saved (unlimited atonement, as opposed to the "L" in Tulip limited atonement), but once "in" either a person is too changed to leave, or God dynamically interferes to keep a person saved. Sometimes God will even end one's life so that he supposedly "remains saved".

The third view is of course Calvinism/Reformed-Theology/Predestined-salvation. Tulip. Although the "T", standing for "total depravity" goes much farther and really means "total inability". The crime is that the belief casts God as causal to sin and depravity, even if only by sovereign neglect to their irresistible sin! If God ordains a FEW to be saved ("limited atonement"), then by definition He also ordains most to be sinful and to perish.
Christians were taught by pastors, bible colleges, books, links, etc. that they say, "You are now already saved, because Christ already paid all our sins -past, present, and future at Calvary, no worry about our salvation, long as we are secured in Christ, our sins would not effect our salvation. Also, you can lose reward in the heaven, but you still always saved.".Yeah, that reeks of the First Lie, told to Eve:


"You won't really die."

The weave of that lie has several variants:

"Don't worry, you'll ALWAYS have time to repent before you die; there's plenty of time."
"Oh a few sins aren't going to keep you out of Heaven; God knows you can't be sinless."
"It's GOD'S job to keep you; so don't sweat it --- have fun, God will take care of you!"


I believe the teaching of unconditional security salvation is danger. Because this doctrine gives them the false hope, and it is still okay to continue sinning while still saved. Christ tells us very clear- "You CANNOT serve two masters at same time"- Matt. 6:24. His point was, we cannot serve Christ, while serve sins at same time.VERY well said. Jesus said "He who is not for Me is against Me; he who does not gather, scatters." That's the issue --- we belong to Him body heart and soul COMPLETELY, or we don't belong at all.
In 1 John 3:9 tells us, a truly born again believer CANNOT sin. Of course, God knows we as genuine Christians do sin daily-1 John 1:9. 1 John 3:9 points out that we as truly born again Christian do NOT continue practice sinning as habitually daily. And that's a problem --- how is it that a "born-again" person CANNOT sin, but we CAN sin? Only one answer --- "born-again" must be fallible!

And that's the message in Heb12:7-9; if we are in submission to God's discipline then we shall live --- but if we REFUSE His discipline, then we're no longer sons but illegitimate.

Sadly, many truly saved Christians do continue sinning as habitually everyday for long time, because they thought they are already saved at once, because of what their pastors told them so. They are being brainwashed for believing the false hope of false doctrines. What a tragedy. The essence of "salvation" is union between creature (you and me), and Creator; as such, if we were to sin, Jesus would participate in that sin. So any sin is a "turning-away-from-God"; what matters after we sin is if we turn BACK to Him, throwing ourselves at His feet in regret and shame and begging forgiveness (NOT taking for granted His promise in Jn1:9), or if we keep sinning.

So it's never the SIN that condemns us, but the "again".

In Matt. 7:23, Christ will say to them, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work INIQUITY." I want to discuss on two words- 'knew', and 'iniquity'. First, focus on 'knew'. 'Knew' speaks of having relationship. There are lot of "know" in first epistle of John, not the gospel of John, I mean three epistles of John prior Jude and Revelation. 'Know' speaks of having relationship with God throughout our Christian life, and in our walk in the light as daily life. Many Christians claim, 'I know Jesus', but they still practicing (a) sinning life, therefore, they are lacking of having relationship with God. Same likewise as God do not know them, because of no relationship. If they continue walk in the dark, and have no light in them, therefore, Christ is NOT in them. You cheated --- you read 1Jn1! :-)

Exactly right. But much more than "relationship", the word "fellowship" (1Jn1:1-3) describes salvation. We are indwelt by the Spirit and by Jesus such that Gal2:20 becomes true:


"I am CRUCIFIED with Christ, and it is no longer I that lives, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the One who loved me and delivered Himself up for me."

This embodies total submission to Christ, embracing His OWNERSHIP of us --- for we are not our own, we are bought with a price! Therefore we glorify God in our hearts and our bodies! (1Cor6:19-20.)

Many Christians who hold eternal security doctrine, will be shock in the Judgment Day, thought they are already saved, and their names were already wrote in the Book of Life, will end up in the lake of fire. The reason why, God will not allow people into His Kingdom-1. never ask Jesus to be saved as never born again 2. did ask Christ to saved, did repent of sin, but afterward, back to sinning for long time. I have seen many Christians claim, they did attend church daily, did serve the Lord, but they love the world at the same time. Therefore, God will NOT allow Christians to enter the Kingdom, because of continue sinning life without repent all the way to death (physical) or Lord comes. This is a really really excellent post, DPT. But rather than slide down into some kind of "works-salvation", the answer is clearly to "draw near to God that He draws near to us". He has already overcome the world (Jn16:33); as we grow in Him, His triumph becomes ours, as His heart becomes ours.

I fear that 90% of devoted religion people and Christians who hold eternal security doctrine, will be shocked at the Judgment Day, will be end up in the lake of fire. And that's a serious motivation to encourage people to re-evaluate their doctrine. Doesn't matter if we come to complete agreement --- as long as we draw near to God and grow strong in Christ (and He in us). For then we shall be together as family, and everyone wins!

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!Very commendable post; we see your heart, and it is a heart that loves people enough to want them as friends and family forever. A heart that belongs to Christ; you are a blessing!

:-)

John146
Jun 27th 2012, 02:42 PM
14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”[f]
16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”[g] 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”[h] 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

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

Romans 9:14-24Please tell us how you interpret that passage and how you interpret this passage:

Romans 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Gadgeteer
Jun 27th 2012, 03:32 PM
14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”[f]
16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”[g] 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.Noonzie, you didn't answer my question. Does God harden men to unbelief and perishing? Does He cause sin? God, in whom there is no sin (1Jn3:5), who can have nothing to do with evil else His house is divided (Matt12:25-29) --- God causes/ordains/decrees sin in those who perish?

Really?

19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” Who can resist God's BOULEMA-DECREED-will? But where does God decree anyone to perish? Not in 2Pet3:9, where God does not decree (boulemai!) any to perish but patiently waits for ALL to repent!

20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”[h] 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?So you take "atimia" as COMMON here (verse 21, "time-honor" and "atimia-common" are both saved), therefore there is a THIRD lump of clay that has not submitted itself to His Potter's Wheel (Rm9:22) --- that clay becomes vessels which prepared themselves for destruction by their willful sin (Rm2:5!!!). I am appalled that some people think God SCULPTED sin into the hearts of many!

I will be pleased if you agree with what I just said, about "three vessels", and "prepared themselves".

22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory — 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? So this passage is "also Gentiles" --- and clearly asserts "If God wants to also save Gentiles, who are YOU to OBJECT?!"

Please tell us how you interpret that passage and how you interpret this passage:

Romans 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.What if John's right, Noonzie? What if God has mercy on ALL MEN, what if God really has arranged for all to be able to seek and find Him, though He's not far from anyone? (Acts17:26-27) What if God really does command ALL MEN EVERYWHERE to repent? (Acts17:30)

Consider the "Semitic View" --- Exodus 10:1 God hardened Pharaoh's heart; but did He really cause sin? Two verses earlier (9:34) Pharaoh hardened his OWN heart. So God didn't do it at all, it's a literary device ascribing to God what men do themselves.
Both verses mean the SAME:
God hardened Pharaoh's heart
Pharaoh hardened his OWN heart

See the principle? So when "God allots to each man a measure of faith" (Rm12:3), and when "God hardens whom He will and has mercy on whom He will" (Rm9:18) and when God "grants repentance" (2Tim2:25) it's really SEMITIC VIEW (also called "Anthropomorphism"), isn't it? They really come to their OWN senses and repent (2Tim2:26), even as the Prodigal Son came to his own senses and repented (Lk15:17). Don't they? THAT is why all heaven rejoices IF a sinner repents (Lk15:7), which they would not do if it was all God's decision. If it was God's decision they would just say "Oh, yeah, of course he repented, God decided it. (Yawn.)"

If GOD decides each man's faith (or not), then how can He run a judgment? How can WE be judged for what WE do in Rom2:6-8? He cannot; we are judged for our own decision to believe, or not. Says so in Jn3:18, and 1Jn5:10. Rather than passive recipients of God's sovereign decision, verses like Jn3:20-21 say that we decide what we want; God's righteousness, or sin. And THAT is the basis of our judgment! God's kindness LEADS us to repentance, BUT stubborn unrepentant hearts store up wrath for ourselves. How can God lead to repentance those who will not repent? Where is the "sovereign ordained destiny"?

Does God have mercy on all, or only on a FEW? Does God decide who WILL be sinful (and there's not a blessed thing they can do about it!) --- and who will be righteous and eternal? In Matt9:12-14 --- did Jesus come for SINNERS, who then can repent and be healed? Or did Jesus come for the RIGHTEOUS (who therefore don't need Him) and for sinners who can never receive Him?

Who did Jesus come for, Noonzie? Only if sinners can CHOOSE to repent and believe, can it be said that "Jesus came for sinners". If repentance and regeneration are monergistic, then Jesus' coming for sinners is worthless, isn't it? Repentance and regeneration must therefore have some connection to His coming; and the only connection is "belief".

Jesus came that WHOSOEVER BELIEVES (that is, whosoever WILL believe, Jn7:17, Rev22:17) may not perish but have eternal life.

What do you think about this, Noonzie? We look forward to your thoughts with great anticipation.

:-)

Hawkins
Jun 27th 2012, 03:39 PM
Please tell us how you interpret that passage and how you interpret this passage:

Romans 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Romans 11:30-32
New King James Version (NKJV)

30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

God's mercy through Jesus Christ is meant for all. The Covenant is open for all. If on the other His mercy is only for the belief, the unbelief will not be asked to believe. If however some choose to reject His mercy through Christ, they will be the condemned.

salesman
Jun 27th 2012, 04:15 PM
I find it interesting that very few think about the ramifications of what Christ preached. He said specifically that He was here to preach the kingdom of God. That was His theme on earth. Anything He called "gospel" or "good news" was the Kingdom of God. Salvation is rarely mentioned and "born again" is only mentioned once in a one-on-one conversation with Niccodemus. Even then you must be born again in order to do something- see the KINGDOM OF GOD! Jesus did not come to earth to save us. Salvation is the means to accomplishing His stated purpose- to bring forth the kingdom of God. He came to establish His Father's kingdom. Salvation is extended as a free gift, but once you accept salvation you accept the rules of the kingdom. You must produce fruit.

Jesus said in Luke that the reason He was hear was to preach the Kingdom. He said the kingdom would be given to those who produce fruit.
Matthew 21:
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
“‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’[h]?
43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.

John the Baptist said in Matthew 3:
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

John 15:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

If I immigrate to America I must pay a fee to become a citizen. It is expensive to gain citizenship in this country. The cost of citizenship to God's Kingdom can never be paid by human effort, so Christ paid it in full. If I was given a free citizenship to the US it does not mean I can ignore all its laws. If I came from a country that allowed polygamy I cannot take three wives if I agree to be a citizen here where that is illegal. A citizen must follow the laws of His kingdom. Once I become a citizen of the Kingdom of God I must still follow His laws. A free gift of entrance to the Kingdom of God does not release me from all obligations of citizenship in His kingdom. The Bible in Jesus own words says fruit is the test of your citizenship status. (Matt. 7/ Luke 6/John 15)

Do you have to believe? Yes.
Do you have to be born again? Yes.
Do you need to repent of your sins? Yes.
Do you need to live a fruitful life? Yes.

Saying you MUST bear fruit is completely Biblical and does not contradict any scripture. It is much easier to accept the verses at face value then it is to try to explain them away. I heard a radio preacher relating the parable of the talents. The one who did not bear any fruit with what He was given was cast out of the household where there was weeping and gnashing of teeth. He quickly had to state "of course they won't really be thrown out", they will just lose their rewards. Huh? Jesus keeps inconveniently stating no fruit equals cut down, burned, cast out. Don't explain away Christ- believe HIM!

John146
Jun 27th 2012, 04:33 PM
Romans 11:30-32
New King James Version (NKJV)

30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

God's mercy through Jesus Christ is meant for all. The Covenant is open for all. If on the other His mercy is only for the belief, the unbelief will not be asked to believe. If however some choose to reject His mercy through Christ, they will be the condemned.I couldn't agree more. Thanks for your input.

mailmandan
Jun 27th 2012, 05:14 PM
I fear that 90% of devote religion people and Christians who hold eternal security doctrine, will be shock at the Judgment Day, will be end up in the lake of fire.

Hello DeafPosttrib,

Do you believe that 90% of "genuine born again Christians" who hold to eternal security will end up in the lake of fire or are you focusing on "religious" people who think they are Christians but are not and hold to eternal security? There are people who may walk the isle at church, recite the sinners prayer (yet don't genuinely place their faith in Christ for salvation) then go on to believe they are saved simply because they went forward at church and recited a prayer. Do you believe that eternal security of the believer is false? Do you believe that we can have assurance of salvation? Do you believe that continuing to believe/have faith in Christ for salvation is an extremely difficult burden that most of us will surely fail to do and God will just so easily sit back and allow us to slip through His fingers?

John146
Jun 27th 2012, 05:41 PM
How much sinning? We all still sin (are you sinless and perfect?), but John says that no one who is born of God do practices sin. 1 John 3:9 - No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. Should we all be terrified that any sin at all equates to practicing sin? I don't know about you, but I don't claim to be sinless and perfect. Should we expect Jesus to cancel our salvation if we sin at all even though we are believers? If repent of sin means never sin again, then how many of us have repented?Maybe you need to read his post again because he said something similar to what you said here. I guessed you missed where he said this:


In 1 John 3:9 tells us, a truly born again believer CANNOT sin. Of course, God knows we as genuine Christians do sin daily-1 John 1:9. 1 John 3:9 points out that we as truly born again Christian do NOT continue practice sinning as habitually daily. Clearly, he does not believe he is sinless and perfect and he was speaking in the sense of born again believers not practicing sin rather than born again believers being sinless.

mailmandan
Jun 27th 2012, 07:11 PM
Maybe you need to read his post again because he said something similar to what you said here. I guessed you missed where he said this:

Clearly, he does not believe he is sinless and perfect and he was speaking in the sense of born again believers not practicing sin rather than born again believers being sinless.

Hello John146,

Thank you for pointing that out. I guess I did miss that part. I must still be snow blind from reading and responding to Gadgeteer's long post on the "OSAS Question" thread. LOL!

Allow me to review that part. - DeafPosttrib said - "1 John 3:9 tells us, a truly born again believer CANNOT sin. Of course, God knows we as genuine Christians do sin daily-1 John 1:9. 1 John 3:9 points out that we as truly born again Christian do NOT continue practice sinning as habitually daily. Then he went on to say - Sadly, many truly saved Christians do continue sinning as habitually everyday for long time, because they thought they are already saved at once, because of what their pastors told them so. I'm a little bit confused here. So which is it? Sounds like a contradiction.

Colight
Jun 27th 2012, 07:15 PM
I believe the teaching of unconditional security salvation is danger. Because, this doctrine gives them the false hope, and it is still okay to continue sinning while still saved. Christ tells us very clear- "You CANNOT serve two masters at same time"- Matt. 6:24. His point was, we cannot serve Christ, while serve sins at same time. In 1 John 3:9 tells us, a truly born again believer CANNOT sin.



Perhaps it is not saying that..
After all it is addressing FALSE TEACHING..


What is sin in this passage? ἁμαρτία -hamartia - to miss the mark or that which is done wrong.

When we are born of God that is the correct way for righteousness.

1 John 3:9 supports secure salvation..
7 Little children, let no one lead you astray; he who is doing the righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous, ( what is doing the righteous? Belief on Christ is doing the righteous)

8 he who is doing the( missing the mark on being righteous ), of the devil he is, because from the beginning the devil doth ( missing the mark on being righteous ); for this was the Son of God manifested, that he may break up the works of the devil; ( the Devil is always about human effort to produce some form of false righteousness thru works.. The NOSAS mind set is one that is based on works... therefore it is not doctrine of God.)

9 every one who hath been begotten of God, ( missing the mark on being righteous ) he doth not, because his ( GODS) seed in him doth remain ( therefore he is righteous ), and he is not able to (to miss the mark on righteousness), because of God he hath been begotten ( we have the same righteousness that God has ).

10 In this manifest are the children of God, and the children of the devil; every one who is not doing righteousness ( because we have been born into the righteousness of God we are able to do righteous), is not of God, and he who is not loving his brother,


If one is not born of God then they are not righteous..they have missed the mark, they have done it wrong.

To state this means Christians can not sin, is to really just read a translation rather than to dig into the verse and its doctrine.
To use this as a excuse to support in-secure salvation, is danger.

Side note.. not sinning is a incorrect way for salvation or to keep salvation... salvation is never gained or made perfect thru the flesh.

Galatians 3
3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?


Salvation is thru the spirit, it is never gained or KEPT thru effort of the flesh.

Paul calls such a mind set of 'perfection thru the flesh ' as thoughtless.. or foolish.

John146
Jun 27th 2012, 08:52 PM
Hello John146,

Thank you for pointing that out. I guess I did miss that part. I must still be snow blind from reading and responding to Gadgeteer's long post on the "OSAS Question" thread. LOL!

Allow me to review that part. - DeafPosttrib said - "1 John 3:9 tells us, a truly born again believer CANNOT sin. Of course, God knows we as genuine Christians do sin daily-1 John 1:9. 1 John 3:9 points out that we as truly born again Christian do NOT continue practice sinning as habitually daily. Then he went on to say - Sadly, many truly saved Christians do continue sinning as habitually everyday for long time, because they thought they are already saved at once, because of what their pastors told them so. I'm a little bit confused here. So which is it? Sounds like a contradiction.When you read it as a whole I think it's clear that, despite what he said at first, he was saying that while a born again Christian does sin he or she does not continue practicing sin as they did before becoming a born again Christian.

mailmandan
Jun 27th 2012, 09:06 PM
When you read it as a whole I think it's clear that, despite what he said at first, he was saying that while a born again Christian does sin he or she does not continue practicing sin as they did before becoming a born again Christian.

Thank you for paraphrasing it for me. I agree with your statement here.

Gadgeteer
Jun 28th 2012, 12:43 AM
I find it interesting that very few think about the ramifications of what Christ preached. He said specifically that He was here to preach the kingdom of God. That was His theme on earth. Anything He called "gospel" or "good news" was the Kingdom of God. Salvation is rarely mentioned and "born again" is only mentioned once in a one-on-one conversation with Niccodemus. Even then you must be born again in order to do something- see the KINGDOM OF GOD!Hi, Salesman. What do you think Jesus meant by "see", in Jn3:3? The root is "eido" --- but in at least two forms, it means two very different things. "Oida" conveys "know/perceive", while "idein" means "behold/look-at". So when Jesus said "idein" in John3:3, it repeats verse 5 --- "unless you're born-again you cannot BEHOLD the kingdom", is the same message as "unless you are ...born of the Spirit you cannot ENTER the kingdom".

Both mean "get-there".
Jesus did not come to earth to save us. Salvation is the means to accomplishing His stated purpose- to bring forth the kingdom of God. He came to establish His Father's kingdom. Salvation is extended as a free gift, but once you accept salvation you accept the rules of the kingdom.John3:16 is the quintessential passage; the Son came not to condemn the world but to save it. (Okay, that was verse 17.)
You must produce fruit. No. Fruit is the consequence of "Christ-in-you"; we draw near to God through Jesus, and God draws near to us. The Spirit regenerates the heart, and fruit (irresistibly) flows from the indwelt heart.

Jesus said in Luke that the reason He was here was to preach the Kingdom. He said the kingdom would be given to those who produce fruit. Huh-uh; the kingdom is given to those who believe and receive Him. Fruit is therefore the consequence.

Matthew 21:
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
“‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’[h]?
43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. "Producing fruit" is the evidence of being a good tree (Matt7:16-18), being a good tree is the consequence of belonging to Jesus.

The whole thing is a union, an indwelt fellowship of love.

John the Baptist said in Matthew 3:
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

John 15:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.But we don't focus on producing fruit; we focus on drawing near to God, that fruit becomes good. Make sense?

If I immigrate to America I must pay a fee to become a citizen. It is expensive to gain citizenship in this country. The cost of citizenship to God's Kingdom can never be paid by human effort, so Christ paid it in full. If I was given a free citizenship to the US it does not mean I can ignore all its laws. If I came from a country that allowed polygamy I cannot take three wives if I agree to be a citizen here where that is illegal. A citizen must follow the laws of His kingdom. Once I become a citizen of the Kingdom of God I must still follow His laws. A free gift of entrance to the Kingdom of God does not release me from all obligations of citizenship in His kingdom. The Bible in Jesus own words says fruit is the test of your citizenship status. (Matt. 7/ Luke 6/John 15) There are two differences between "religion", and "Christianity". All religions assert that salvation/nirvana/whatever is by GOOD DEEDS, and that Jesus isn't God. Christianity professes Jesus is God, and salvation is a gift of grace, not works.

He paid the price; if it was by works, then we would pay the price.
Do you have to believe? Yes. Believe what? Please see James2:19.

Do you have to be born again? Yes. Exactly how do we do this? (Hint --- Romans6.)

Do you need to repent of your sins? Yes. What does "repent" mean?

Do you need to live a fruitful life? Yes.How?

Saying you MUST bear fruit is completely Biblical and does not contradict any scripture. It is much easier to accept the verses at face value then it is to try to explain them away. I heard a radio preacher relating the parable of the talents. The one who did not bear any fruit with what He was given was cast out of the household where there was weeping and gnashing of teeth. He quickly had to state "of course they won't really be thrown out", they will just lose their rewards. Huh? Jesus keeps inconveniently stating no fruit equals cut down, burned, cast out. Don't explain away Christ- believe HIM!You're right, he'll be cast out. But what is our focus? Doing good deeds? No! Our focus is on CHRIST, because:


"Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is GOD who is at work IN you, both to will and to work according to His good purpose." Philip2:12-13.

In 2Pet1:5-11 Peter admonishes us to make our calling and salvation (election) firm/steadfast; how do we do that? We measure ourselves by our deeds, and if we are like the man who has FORGOTTEN purification from former sins, we draw near to Jesus that we become moral, godly, self-controlled, persevering, kind and loving.

That's the focus --- drawing near to Him. James4:6-10!

The veil tore, the moment Jesus died --- why? Because through Jesus, you're invited BEHIND the veil, into the very presence of Almighty God. Why does God invite you there? God, who can stand no sin --- invites YOU --- washed clean by Jesus' blood -- because God DELIGHTS in you. Enjoys your fellowship. His thoughts of you outnumber the grains of sand!


"Father, eternal life is knowing You, and knowing (Me)." Jn17:3.

That's it; it's not WHAT we know, but WHO we know --- and Who knows us.

:-)

Gadgeteer
Jun 28th 2012, 12:49 AM
Hello John146,

Thank you for pointing that out. I guess I did miss that part. I must still be snow blind from reading and responding to Gadgeteer's long post on the "OSAS Question" thread. LOL! Huh??? Me make long posts? Surely you jest!!!

(May I call you "Shirley"???)


Allow me to review that part. - DeafPosttrib said - "1 John 3:9 tells us, a truly born again believer CANNOT sin. Of course, God knows we as genuine Christians do sin daily-1 John 1:9. 1 John 3:9 points out that we as truly born again Christian do NOT continue practice sinning as habitually daily. Then he went on to say - Sadly, many truly saved Christians do continue sinning as habitually everyday for long time, because they thought they are already saved at once, because of what their pastors told them so. I'm a little bit confused here. So which is it? Sounds like a contradiction.Saved people do not practice sin. That the saved do (occasionally sin), is clear in 1Jn1:8, and 1Cor10:12-13. But we don't keep sinning.

Nevertheless, there must be some way to accommodate 1Jn3 ("those born-again CANNOT sin"), with 1Jn1 ("if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves").

The only way I can fit those two together is to recognize that "born-again", must be fallible. Because we CAN sin, we therefore can cease being born-again, if sin becomes a practice. And that's the clear message I see in Heb10:26-29 --- if WE continue sinning willfully after having been saved, Jesus' sacrifice no longer covers us.

(Warning --- SHORT POST!!!) :-D

Dani H
Jun 28th 2012, 12:52 AM
I ask you a simple question for you. Why should God allow you into heaven?

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!

Because I can't live without Him, don't want to live without Him. Not on earth, not anywhere. If I can't be with Him, then I don't want to be anywhere.

Colight
Jun 28th 2012, 03:52 AM
Nevertheless, there must be some way to accommodate 1Jn3 ("those born-again CANNOT sin"),


Perhaps it is not saying that..
After all it is addressing FALSE TEACHING on righteousness..


What is sin in this passage? ἁμαρτία -hamartia - to miss the mark or that which is done wrong.

When we are born of God... that is the correct way for righteousness.

1 John 3:9 supports secure salvation..
7 Little children, let no one lead you astray; he who is doing the righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous, ( what is doing the righteous? Belief on Christ is doing the righteous)

8 he who is doing the( missing the mark on being righteous ), of the devil he is, because from the beginning the devil doth ( missing the mark on being righteous ); for this was the Son of God manifested, that he may break up the works of the devil; ( the Devil is always about human effort to produce some form of false righteousness thru works.. The NOSAS mind set is one that is based on works... therefore it is not doctrine of God.)

9 every one who hath been begotten of God, ( missing the mark on being righteous ) he doth not, because his ( GODS) seed in him doth remain ( therefore he is righteous ), and he is not able to (to miss the mark on righteousness), because of God he hath been begotten ( we have the same righteousness that God has ).

10 In this manifest are the children of God, and the children of the devil; every one who is not doing righteousness ( because we have been born into the righteousness of God we are able to do righteous), is not of God, and he who is not loving his brother,


If one is not born of God then they are not righteous..they have missed the mark, they have done it wrong.

To state this means Christians can not sin, is to really just read a translation rather than to dig into the verse and its doctrine.

To use this as a excuse to support in-secure salvation, is danger.

Side note.. not sinning is a incorrect way for salvation or to keep salvation... salvation is never gained or made perfect thru the flesh. Why is it when there is a verse like that the first thing Christians do is turn to the Flesh and works to keep salvation rather than the spirit and Christ?

Galatians 3
3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?


Salvation is thru the spirit, it is never gained or KEPT thru effort of the flesh.

Paul calls such a mind set of 'perfection thru the flesh ' as thoughtless.. or foolish.








The only way I can fit those two together is to recognize that "born-again", must be fallible. Because we CAN sin, we therefore can cease being born-again, if sin becomes a practice. And that's the clear message I see in Heb10:26-29 --- if WE continue sinning willfully after having been saved, Jesus' sacrifice no longer covers us.

(Warning --- SHORT POST!!!) :-D

It states nothing in this passage about salvation or THE LOSS THERE OF!!.


Hebrews 10
26 For we--wilfully sinning after the receiving the full knowledge of the truth--no more for sins doth there remain a sacrifice,
27 but a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery zeal, about to devour the opposers;


For in Verse Heb 10:14 Salvation is ETERNALLY secure.
14 for by one offering he hath perfected to the end those sanctified;


Perfected to the end= OSAS( there is NOTHING they can do to undo that perfection).

We are told in Heb 10:10 salvation is a ONE TIME ACTION...
10 in the which will we are having been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE ,


Now in verses 26 the key of that verse is "receiving the full knowledge of the truth" aka bible Doctrine

sinning = ἁμαρτάνω - hamartanō = to err or be mistaken.

Heb 10
26 For we -- willfully ( miss or wander from the path of uprightness after being given Bible Doctrine ) no more for ( missing this mark ) doth there remain a sacrifice,

27 but a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery zeal, about to devour the opposers;( when one rejects Bible Doctrine they are a adversary to God)

28 any one who did set at nought a law of Moses, apart from mercies, by two or three witnesses, doth die, ( People faced judgement on the flesh for violation of the law of Moses. This is a reference to death of the body.. not loss of salvation)

29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?


( Here is the real danger... by rejecting the truth of Bible Doctrine more will be done to the body than what was done to those who violated the law of Moses in other words life will be real hell on earth for that believer)


N-OSAS is a insult to the spirit of Grace it reguards the blood of the covenant as unclean .. for it turns to works of the flesh for perfection.... for working to not sin is legalism and works of the flesh..
A unbeliever can follow a no sin check list, so any thing the spiritually dead can do is not part of the living.
Are they Still saved?.. yes as stated in Heb 10:14, but under discipline even the discipline to death.

To live the Christian life by emotion rather than FULL KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH is missing the mark and sets one to be in opposition to God.. the same as the Jews following the laws of Moses for salvation and spiritual growth.
Are they Still saved?.. yes as stated in Heb 10:14, but under discipline even the discipline to death.

mailmandan
Jun 28th 2012, 11:13 AM
Huh??? Me make long posts? Surely you jest!!! (May I call you "Shirley"???)

I thought you might like that one! :D


Saved people do not practice sin. That the saved do (occasionally sin), is clear in 1Jn1:8, and 1Cor10:12-13. But we don't keep sinning.

Amen! In regards to do not practice sin, the idea is to perform repeatedly or habitually and thus describes repetition or continuous action. I don't believe that this has to do with the person who is struggling with an area in his or her life and agonizes over the defeat. This would be deliberate, no agonizing, no repentance just bring it on!


Nevertheless, there must be some way to accommodate 1Jn3 ("those born-again CANNOT sin"), with 1Jn1 ("if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves").

Isn't John saying in 1 John 1:8 that if we say that we we have no personal guilt, no principle of sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us? Isn't this what some of the Gnostics held, since matter was evil and the soul was not contaminated by the sinful flesh? Such a person would not have a settled recognition and ongoing acknowledgment that they are a sinner in need of cleansing and forgiveness (1 John 1:9). Verse 10 goes on to say, "If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." So denial of any specific acts of sin and denial of the principle of sin would not come from a heart that is saved. If the truth is not in us and His word is not in us, then we would not be saved.


The only way I can fit those two together is to recognize that "born-again", must be fallible. Because we CAN sin, we therefore can cease being born-again, if sin becomes a practice. And that's the clear message I see in Heb10:26-29 --- if WE continue sinning willfully after having been saved, Jesus' sacrifice no longer covers us.

Yet John clearly said, No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. You are saying someone who is born of God CAN practice sin, even though His seed abides in him; he CAN sin, regardless if he is born of God. Hebrews 10:26 says, For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, (not after having been saved) there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins. Just receiving the knowledge of the truth is not enough to save us if there is no heart submission to the truth. If someone draws back to perdition and does not believe to the saving of the soul, then how could they be saved? (vs. 39). To "sin willfully" in the Greek carries the idea of deliberate intention that is habitual, which stems from rejecting Christ deliberately. This is CONTINUOUS ACTION - A MATTER OF PRACTICE. Now we don't walk along our daily life and accidently fall into a pit called sin. We exercise our will but, the use of the participle clearly shows a CONTINUOUS ACTION. The unrighteous practice sin - 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21 not the righteous, who have been born of God - 1 Corinthians 6:11; 1 John 3:9. To say that "those who are born of God can lose their salvation if they practice sin" and "no one who is born of God practices sin" would be a contradiction.


(Warning --- SHORT POST!!!)

Like I never makes any long posts. :lol:

Redeemed by Grace
Jun 28th 2012, 12:36 PM
I ask you a simple question for you. Why should God allow you into heaven?

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!

If I may... God allowing someone into heaven puts my mind to say it places man's works above God's grace and glory, which is what salvation is all about, God's grace.

For His Glory,

RbG

John146
Jun 28th 2012, 04:04 PM
If I may... God allowing someone into heaven puts my mind to say it places man's works above God's grace and glory, which is what salvation is all about, God's grace.It is about God's grace and man's responsibility to respond favorably to His grace by repenting of his sins and placing his faith and trust in Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. God's grace alone does not save someone. It also requires personal faith in Christ. God's grace can be resisted. The following scriptures back up what I am saying:

Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

2 Cor 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Heb 10:28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

salesman
Jun 28th 2012, 06:02 PM
Hi, Salesman. What do you think Jesus meant by "see", in Jn3:3? The root is "eido" --- but in at least two forms, it means two very different things. "Oida" conveys "know/perceive", while "idein" means "behold/look-at". So when Jesus said "idein" in John3:3, it repeats verse 5 --- "unless you're born-again you cannot BEHOLD the kingdom", is the same message as "unless you are ...born of the Spirit you cannot ENTER the kingdom".

Both mean "get-there". John3:16 is the quintessential passage; the Son came not to condemn the world but to save it. (Okay, that was verse 17.) No. Fruit is the consequence of "Christ-in-you"; we draw near to God through Jesus, and God draws near to us. The Spirit regenerates the heart, and fruit (irresistibly) flows from the indwelt heart.
Huh-uh; the kingdom is given to those who believe and receive Him. Fruit is therefore the consequence.
"Producing fruit" is the evidence of being a good tree (Matt7:16-18), being a good tree is the consequence of belonging to Jesus.

The whole thing is a union, an indwelt fellowship of love.
But we don't focus on producing fruit; we focus on drawing near to God, that fruit becomes good. Make sense?
There are two differences between "religion", and "Christianity". All religions assert that salvation/nirvana/whatever is by GOOD DEEDS, and that Jesus isn't God. Christianity professes Jesus is God, and salvation is a gift of grace, not works.

He paid the price; if it was by works, then we would pay the price. Believe what? Please see James2:19.
Exactly how do we do this? (Hint --- Romans6.)
What does "repent" mean?
How?
You're right, he'll be cast out. But what is our focus? Doing good deeds? No! Our focus is on CHRIST, because:


"Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is GOD who is at work IN you, both to will and to work according to His good purpose." Philip2:12-13.

In 2Pet1:5-11 Peter admonishes us to make our calling and salvation (election) firm/steadfast; how do we do that? We measure ourselves by our deeds, and if we are like the man who has FORGOTTEN purification from former sins, we draw near to Jesus that we become moral, godly, self-controlled, persevering, kind and loving.

That's the focus --- drawing near to Him. James4:6-10!

The veil tore, the moment Jesus died --- why? Because through Jesus, you're invited BEHIND the veil, into the very presence of Almighty God. Why does God invite you there? God, who can stand no sin --- invites YOU --- washed clean by Jesus' blood -- because God DELIGHTS in you. Enjoys your fellowship. His thoughts of you outnumber the grains of sand!


"Father, eternal life is knowing You, and knowing (Me)." Jn17:3.

That's it; it's not WHAT we know, but WHO we know --- and Who knows us.

:-)

Your post kind of confused me. I believe salvation is necessary. You must believe, you must repent of your sins, you must be baptized. In other words every step that Jesus tells us we must take. Salvation is a gift freely given. I THINK both of us agree on that. I do not ever state that works can save you.

What I do say and i can show MANY verses that agree with this is that you must follow the laws of God and that you will be defined by the fruit you produce.

John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

the thought continues in verse 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

And again in verse 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Again, if you look at the topic addressed in the chapter he is talking about entering the gate, bearing fruit and avoiding false teaching. Then he says in
Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Again, what I was saying is that salvation is a gate to enter the kingdom. Salvation is necessary, but salvation is not the end purpose. Jesus states very clearly that the Kingdom is His purpose for being here on earth, not individual freedom from sin. We have taken God's divine plan and made it all about us. We are commanded to continue to do His good work and bear fruit. Not just get saved by dropping a prayer of belief and repentance to God.

Noonzie
Jun 28th 2012, 10:57 PM
Please tell us how you interpret that passage and how you interpret this passage:

Romans 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

based on the fact that Paul is talking about the nation of Israel, he is saying that God's mercy is not exclusive to Israel and is being revealed to all nations.

Noonzie
Jun 28th 2012, 11:58 PM
Noonzie, you didn't answer my question. Does God harden men to unbelief and perishing? Does He cause sin? God, in whom there is no sin (1Jn3:5), who can have nothing to do with evil else His house is divided (Matt12:25-29) --- God causes/ordains/decrees sin in those who perish?

You make an interesting assumption here. Why would that scripture bring you to think that I would assume that God causes man to sin? Man is already in sin, God doesn't make them do that.
And why would you say God would have nothing to do with sin? He was made sin, who had no sin. If He had nothing to do with sin, then how could He show us mercy since the objects of His mercy are utterly sinful?



Really?
Who can resist God's BOULEMA-DECREED-will? But where does God decree anyone to perish? Not in 2Pet3:9, where God does not decree (boulemai!) any to perish but patiently waits for ALL to repent!
So you take "atimia" as COMMON here (verse 21, "time-honor" and "atimia-common" are both saved), therefore there is a THIRD lump of clay that has not submitted itself to His Potter's Wheel (Rm9:22) --- that clay becomes vessels which prepared themselves for destruction by their willful sin (Rm2:5!!!). I am appalled that some people think God SCULPTED sin into the hearts of many!
Again.. we are certainly in sin, no one is assuming that God sculpted sin in someone.



I will be pleased if you agree with what I just said, about "three vessels", and "prepared themselves".
So this passage is "also Gentiles" --- and clearly asserts "If God wants to also save Gentiles, who are YOU to OBJECT?!"
What if John's right, Noonzie? What if God has mercy on ALL MEN, what if God really has arranged for all to be able to seek and find Him, though He's not far from anyone? (Acts17:26-27) What if God really does command ALL MEN EVERYWHERE to repent? (Acts17:30)
Paul and John are right. God shows His mercy to all, but we are so wicked that we will never choose Him of our own flesh. Paul talks about this and how God shows those He chooses, His glory.
I understand that the total sovereignty of God is a hard truth, but this truth should lead to worship of His sovereignty.



Consider the "Semitic View" --- Exodus 10:1 God hardened Pharaoh's heart; but did He really cause sin? Two verses earlier (9:34) Pharaoh hardened his OWN heart. So God didn't do it at all, it's a literary device ascribing to God what men do themselves.
Both verses mean the SAME:
God hardened Pharaoh's heart
Pharaoh hardened his OWN heart

Again, it is only by God's sovereign will that He did not soften the heart of Pharaoh. Not sure why there is such an issue with God choosing the objects of His creation. He chose Israel as His people. He chose humans to be the objects of His mercy. He did not offer the fallen angels mercy by giving His Son to them as a savior. Certainly the angels could worship him in a more holy way than us lowly weak creatures. Shall the angels protest God's lack of fairness in this manner?



See the principle? So when "God allots to each man a measure of faith" (Rm12:3), and when "God hardens whom He will and has mercy on whom He will" (Rm9:18) and when God "grants repentance" (2Tim2:25) it's really SEMITIC VIEW (also called "Anthropomorphism"), isn't it? They really come to their OWN senses and repent (2Tim2:26), even as the Prodigal Son came to his own senses and repented (Lk15:17). Don't they? THAT is why all heaven rejoices IF a sinner repents (Lk15:7), which they would not do if it was all God's decision. If it was God's decision they would just say "Oh, yeah, of course he repented, God decided it. (Yawn.)"
by this you lift the sovereignty of man above the sovereignty of God. Why is it the angels rejoice? It for the very reason that they and we exist. So that His name may be glorified. If a man chooses based on his own effort, then he shares in his own salvation and then takes some of that glory unto himself. God shares glory with no man. "I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols." - Isaiah 42:8



If GOD decides each man's faith (or not), then how can He run a judgment? How can WE be judged for what WE do in Rom2:6-8? He cannot; we are judged for our own decision to believe, or not. Says so in Jn3:18, and 1Jn5:10. Rather than passive recipients of God's sovereign decision, verses like Jn3:20-21 say that we decide what we want; God's righteousness, or sin. And THAT is the basis of our judgment! God's kindness LEADS us to repentance, BUT stubborn unrepentant hearts store up wrath for ourselves. How can God lead to repentance those who will not repent? Where is the "sovereign ordained destiny"?

"Can an Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard its spots?
Neither can you do goodwho are accustomed to doing evil" - Jer 13:23

"For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot." - Romans 8:7

"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." - Psalm 51:5

"That which is born of the flesh is flesh" - John 3:6

Who is going to save us from this condition we are in? Ourselves???? How could I possibly trust in myself to make a decision to choose a holy God? God tells us what we are, he knows we are incapable of choosing Him. With that which is flesh choose spirit? How could we?

The fact that God has chosen man, and has chosen to save some should lead us all to worship. It should also lead us to go out and share this great Gospel that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.



Jesus came that WHOSOEVER BELIEVES (that is, whosoever WILL believe, Jn7:17, Rev22:17) may not perish but have eternal life.

Yes He Did!!! All glory be to the Lamb that was slain, the Lion of Judah.



What do you think about this, Noonzie? We look forward to your thoughts with great anticipation.


i appreciate your questions, and although I don't write quite as fine as you do, I pray God would be glorified through this response.

Gadgeteer
Jun 29th 2012, 03:37 AM
Perhaps it is not saying that..
After all it is addressing FALSE TEACHING on righteousness..

What is sin in this passage? ἁμαρτία -hamartia - to miss the mark or that which is done wrong.It's the same word in 1Jn1:8, and 9.

When we are born of God... that is the correct way for righteousness.

1 John 3:9 supports secure salvation..
7 Little children, let no one lead you astray; he who is doing the righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous, ( what is doing the righteous? Belief on Christ is doing the righteous)"Let no one lead you astray"? Is being led astray possible? Is it still saved? (Yes possible, no not still saved.)

8 he who is doing the( missing the mark on being righteous ), of the devil he is, because from the beginning the devil doth ( missing the mark on being righteous ); for this was the Son of God manifested, that he may break up the works of the devil; ( the Devil is always about human effort to produce some form of false righteousness thru works.. The NOSAS mind set is one that is based on works... therefore it is not doctrine of God.)The "osnas" doctrine called "Responsible Grace", is not based on works; it's based on God's grace through faith, works being the consequence of the indwelling Son and Spirit. But all founds on faith, and faith must be both BEGINNING and ENDING --- Rom1:17. That's why all the verses say "if you CONTINUE".

9 every one who hath been begotten of God, ( missing the mark on being righteous ) he doth not, because his ( GODS) seed in him doth remain ( therefore he is righteous ), and he is not able to (to miss the mark on righteousness), because of God he hath been begotten ( we have the same righteousness that God has )."Sin" is missing the mark; and it's any transgression against God. It includes "do not murder, do not steal, do not commit adultery", etcetera.


10 In this manifest are the children of God, and the children of the devil; every one who is not doing righteousness ( because we have been born into the righteousness of God we are able to do righteous), is not of God, and he who is not loving his brother,
So those born/begotten of God cannot sin; but if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves.

Sin ruins "begottenness". Tell me --- in Rom14:15 and 1Cor8:11, what does "destroy a brother for whom Christ died" mean? Somehow "destroy" becomes "not REALLY destroy"?

If one is not born of God then they are not righteous..they have missed the mark, they have done it wrong.And if one TURNS AWAY from righteousness, he is NO LONGER saved. Please read Ezk18:24.

To state this means Christians cannot sin, is to really just read a translation rather than to dig into the verse and its doctrine.The fact that Christians can sin (1Cor10:12-13), screams that our position is "fallible".

To use this as a excuse to support insecure salvation, is danger.There are all sorts of verses that speak of "fallible salvation"; see James5:19-20, Gal5:4, Heb4:11 for instance. That's why Peter warns us to "make our calling and election/salvation firm/steadfast".

Side note.. not sinning is an incorrect way for salvation or to keep salvation... salvation is never gained or made perfect thru the flesh.That's right; else it would be "works-salvation".
Why is it when there is a verse like that the first thing Christians do is turn to the Flesh and works to keep salvation rather than the spirit and Christ?Ever hear me say "keep salvation by works"? Ever hear anyone else on this board? You say "...keep salvation rather than the Spirit and Christ" --- what does Jude20-21 mean to you?


"Build yourselves in holy faith, keep yourselves in the love of God"


Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
In context --- begun in the Spirit (3:3), running well and obeying the truth (5:7), KNOWN by God but now turning back to weak worthless things (works!) to be enslaved all over again (4:9); they become severed from Christ and fallen from grace.

But "fallen-from-grace" does not really mean "fallen-from-grace". Please explain how?

Salvation is thru the spirit, it is never gained or KEPT thru effort of the flesh.I look forward to your thoughts on what I just asked of Jude20-21. Please also consider 2Tim1:12-14, where we guard eternal life by the power of the Spirit, and Rom8:12-14 where we put to death the flesh by the power of the Spirit.

The Spirit's power --- but whose decision?


Paul calls such a mind set of 'perfection thru the flesh ' as thoughtless.. or foolish. No, actually, he's rebuking them for turning BACK to law/works, forsaking Jesus' gospel.




The only way I can fit those two together is to recognize that "born-again", must be fallible. Because we CAN sin, we therefore can cease being born-again, if sin becomes a practice. And that's the clear message I see in Heb10:26-29 --- if WE continue sinning willfully after having been saved, Jesus' sacrifice no longer covers us.It states nothing in this passage about salvation or THE LOSS THEREOF!!Of course it does. WE --- including the author, saved --- but by turning back to sin Jesus' sacrifice no longer saves us. Note well the bad example in verse 29 was sanctified by Jesus' blood (saved!), but now scorns that blood and tramples Jesus and insults the Spirit (saved no more!).

That man is US, if we do not heed the warning of 26.

Hebrews 10
26 For we--willfully sinning after the receiving the full knowledge of the truth--no more for sins doth there remain a sacrifice,
27 but a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery zeal, about to devour the opposers;


For in Verse Heb 10:14 Salvation is ETERNALLY secure.
14 for by one offering he hath perfected to the end those sanctified;Those who are sanctified! The Greek (http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Hbr&c=10&v=1&t=kjv#conc/14) for "hagiazō" is present passive PARTICIPLE --- those who ARE BEING sanctified.

Are CONTINUING to be sanctified.

The man in 10:29 was sanctified by Jesus' blood, but now he's NOT. He's not CONTINUING.

Can you deny this?


Perfected to the end= OSAS( there is NOTHING they can do to undo that perfection).The man in 10:29 sure undid it, when he STOPPED BEING sanctified!


We are told in Heb 10:10 salvation is a ONE TIME ACTION...
10 in the which will we are having been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE ,
Huh-uh; we ARE (present indicative) BEING SANCTIFIED (perfect passive participle). Look it up, link above. Click on "tense". For verse 10, click on the "C" box for the Greek.

Are being --- it's an abiding-thing, which is the whole basis of "osnas"!!!


Now in verses 26 the key of that verse is "receiving the full knowledge of the truth" aka bible DoctrineHuh-uh; "epignosis" is conveying experiential knowledge --- he's saying "SAVED".


sinning = ἁμαρτάνω - hamartanō = to err or be mistaken.

Heb 10
26 For we -- willfully ( miss or wander from the path of uprightness after being given Bible Doctrine ) no more for ( missing this mark ) doth there remain a sacrifice,

27 but a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery zeal, about to devour the opposers;( when one rejects Bible Doctrine they are a adversary to God)

28 any one who did set at nought a law of Moses, apart from mercies, by two or three witnesses, doth die, ( People faced judgement on the flesh for violation of the law of Moses. This is a reference to death of the body.. not loss of salvation)

29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

All views of OSAS struggle to deny "movement" --- from saved, to unsaved. But that very movement is clear in the text. Read verse 25:

"Much less shall WE escape who turn away from God".

( Here is the real danger... by rejecting the truth of Bible Doctrine more will be done to the body than what was done to those who violated the law of Moses in other words life will be real hell on earth for that believer)


N-OSAS is an insult to the spirit of Grace--- it regards the blood of the covenant as unclean .. for it turns to works of the flesh for perfection.... for working to not sin is legalism and works of the flesh.. None of that. "Responsible Grace" (the real "osnas", not the "works-salvation" that you and I both reject) is pure Scripture.

An unbeliever can follow a no sin check list, so any thing the spiritually dead can do is not part of the living.
Are they Still saved?.. yes as stated in Heb 10:14, but under discipline even the discipline to death.Excuse me, if there is such a thing as "discipline-to-DEATH-one-who-falls-into-sin", then he dies in his sin, not in salvation!


To live the Christian life by emotion rather than FULL KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH is missing the mark and sets one to be in opposition to God.. the same as the Jews following the laws of Moses for salvation and spiritual growth.
Are they Still saved?.. yes as stated in Heb 10:14, but under discipline even the discipline to death.I really hope you consider this post, and engage the verses cited. OSAS continues because people will not engage the verses that conflict osas, and will not respond to what cannot be answered. I will consider it an honor if you respond to the precise Scriptures and exegesis here.

:-)

Gadgeteer
Jun 29th 2012, 03:51 AM
I thought you might like that one! :Dhttp://www.clicksmilies.com/s1106/aktion/action-smiley-068.gif

Amen! In regards to do not practice sin, the idea is to perform repeatedly or habitually and thus describes repetition or continuous action. I don't believe that this has to do with the person who is struggling with an area in his or her life and agonizes over the defeat. This would be deliberate, no agonizing, no repentance just bring it on!Well, the word "repent" is more of "turnaround"; suppose the Prodigal had agonized over his carousing and drinking and harlotting, but did not return. Is there "repentance" without "turning"?

Isn't John saying in 1 John 1:8 that if we say that we we have no personal guilt, no principle of sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us? Isn't this what some of the Gnostics held, since matter was evil and the soul was not contaminated by the sinful flesh?Touche'! 1Jn was written to counter Gnosticism; but the principle of "sinningly-saved" is at issue, and John says "NO".
Such a person would not have a settled recognition and ongoing acknowledgment that they are a sinner in need of cleansing and forgiveness (1 John 1:9). Verse 10 goes on to say, "If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." So denial of any specific acts of sin and denial of the principle of sin would not come from a heart that is saved. If the truth is not in us and His word is not in us, then we would not be saved. I think it's more akin to Romans6-8. When we're born-again, we're still rebuked to not submit our bodies to sin, but submit ourselves to God as spiritually alive and dead to sin. The fight in chapter 7 is resolved in chapter 8; we put to death our flesh (and sin!) by the power of the Spirit.

It's all "abide in Him"...

Yet John clearly said, No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. You are saying someone who is born of God CAN practice sin, even though His seed abides in him; he CAN sin, regardless if he is born of God. Hebrews 10:26 says, For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, (not after having been saved) there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins. Just receiving the knowledge of the truth is not enough to save us if there is no heart submission to the truth.Recognize that when he says "receive knowledge of the truth", he's conveying SAVED knowledge. "Epignosis" in this context is eperiential.
Knowledge (epignwsin). "Full knowledge," as in Romans 6:4


If someone draws back to perdition and does not believe to the saving of the soul, then how could they be saved? (vs. 39).They cannot. But they WERE...
To "sin willfully" in the Greek carries the idea of deliberate intention that is habitual, which stems from rejecting Christ deliberately. This is CONTINUOUS ACTION - A MATTER OF PRACTICE. Now we don't walk along our daily life and accidentally fall into a pit called sin. We exercise our will but, the use of the participle clearly shows a CONTINUOUS ACTION.And look at how that becomes a danger to us --- in Heb3:6-14 we can harden our hearts, by not guarding against deceitful sin which can cause us to fall away from God!
The unrighteous practice sin - 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21 not the righteous, who have been born of God - 1 Corinthians 6:11; 1 John 3:9. To say that "those who are born of God can lose their salvation if they practice sin" and "no one who is born of God practices sin" would be a contradiction. That's right --- and the only way to resolve it is to recognize that one who is "born-of-God" (in Heb10:29 "sanctified by Jesus' blood"), can become unsanctified/unborn...

Like I never make any long posts. :lol:Heh heh heh.

:-)

Gadgeteer
Jun 29th 2012, 03:55 AM
If I may... God allowing someone into heaven puts my mind to say it places man's works above God's grace and glory, which is what salvation is all about, God's grace.

For His Glory,

RbGRbG, in Romans2:4-8 God's patience and kindness LEADS to repentance; but who decides the stubborn unrepentance and stores up wrath for themselves?

Do you perceive that as "God does NOT really lead them to repentance"?

Gadgeteer
Jun 29th 2012, 04:05 AM
Your post kind of confused me. I believe salvation is necessary. You must believe, you must repent of your sins, you must be baptized."Waterbaptized"? Water is not part of salvation. Please connect Matt3:11 with Acts1:5 and Acts11:16 --- immersion-into-the-Spirit has nothing to do with water (in Acts1:5 they were already dipped, and weren't going to be dipped again).

THEREFORE, because "immersion-into-Christ" is the same event as "immersion-into-the-Spirit", Rom6:4-6 (and Eph4:5) have nothing to do with water. Don't mean for us to get sidetracked, but it can be an important issue.
In other words every step that Jesus tells us we must take. Salvation is a gift freely given. I THINK both of us agree on that. I do not ever state that works can save you. Then we agree; salvation is a free gift, and "if by works then grace is no longer grace" (Rom11:6); but he who IS saved, will be waterbaptized, and will have good works.

What I do say and I can show MANY verses that agree with this is that you must follow the laws of God and that you will be defined by the fruit you produce.It's all a "focus" thing --- we follow God's laws BECAUSE we believe (and are saved), not to BE saved. I bet we agree.

John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

the thought continues in verse 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

And again in verse 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Because you and I agree that we are not saved by works, works are the consequence of "Christ-in-you".

Now --- please read 2Cor13:5 and tell me that "Christ-in-you" cannot become forfeited. "Adokimos" was a coin word; coins would be gathered and examined to see if they still bore the image impressed on them. If the image had faded, they would be "adokimos-rejected/disqualified/castaway".

...the same word as in 1Cor9:27 where Paul himself could be disqualified.

Again, if you look at the topic addressed in the chapter he is talking about entering the gate, bearing fruit and avoiding false teaching. Then he says in
Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”In that case, "DOES My words", is "believe savingly".

When we are judged by our deeds (Rm2:6-8, Rev20:13), deeds never save nor condemn; but they expose a heart that WAS saved, or not.


Again, what I was saying is that salvation is a gate to enter the kingdom. Salvation is necessary, but salvation is not the end purpose. Jesus states very clearly that the Kingdom is His purpose for being here on earth, not individual freedom from sin. We have taken God's divine plan and made it all about us. We are commanded to continue to do His good work and bear fruit. Not just get saved by dropping a prayer of belief and repentance to God.Well, God sent His only begotten Son that WHOSOEVER believes should not perish but have eternal life. As such, the kingdom of God is LIKE a wedding feast that everyone is invited to, those who come (and change clothes) become the "chosen".

"MANY (everyone in view!) are called, but FEW (those who came & put on clean clothes) are chosen/elected/saved". Matt22:2-14.

Colight
Jun 29th 2012, 09:14 AM
The "osnas" doctrine called "Responsible Grace", is not based on works; it's based on God's grace through faith, works being the consequence of the indwelling Son and Spirit. But all founds on faith, and faith must be both BEGINNING and ENDING --- Rom1:17. That's why all the verses say "if you CONTINUE".

Responsible Grace? Sounds like Legalism to me...

Just to be clear.. we are not discussing Romans 1:17.. it is off topic.

We are in 1 John 3....Lets focus there first before we play musical verses.



Lets review again.. with out all the Romans stuff and defining sin as ONLY stuff that shocks us.

1 John 3
8 he who is doing the( missing the mark on being righteous ),
of the devil he is, because from the beginning the devil doth ( missing the mark on being righteous );
for this was the Son of God manifested, that he may break up the works of the devil;

( the Devil is always about human effort to produce some form of false righteousness thru works..
The NOSAS mind set is one that is based on works. or effort of the flesh.. therefore it is not doctrine of God.)




Sin ruins "begottenness".

Does not state that, in essence you are in doctrinal untruth when you state that.
...Verse 9 States...

9 every one who hath been begotten of God, ( missing the mark on being righteous( vs 7 )) he doth not, because his ( GODS) seed in him doth remain ( therefore he is righteous ),
and he is not able to (to miss the mark on righteousness),
because of God he hath been begotten ( we have the same righteousness that God has ).



Gods seed REMAINS in HIM.. PERIOD!!
Why Because he is begotten of GOD!!!.. PERIOD!!!
This is why he CAN not miss the mark on Being Righteous to God.

What can lead a believer Astray?


7 Little children, let no one lead you astray; he who is doing the righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous,
( what is doing the righteous? Belief on Christ is doing the righteous)

Leading astray would be things like saying we need to stop sinning to be saved..
It takes the focus off the righteous ( aka Christs work ) and puts it on HUMAN motivation and works.
NOSAS leads people astray.. it takes the focus OFF Christ.


Rom14:15 and 1Cor8:11 out of Context.
The Passage in Review is 1 John 3, focus man focus...

Now lets get back to what I posted with OUT Musical verses..
AKA On 1 John 3... No Ezekiel..
No other passages.
the focus is here.,

From verse 9
If one is not born of God then they are not righteous..they have missed the mark, they have done it wrong.

To state this means Christians cannot sin, is to really just read a translation rather than to dig into the verse and its doctrine.

To use this as a excuse to support insecure salvation, is danger.
( Again the FOCUS is ONLY 1 John 3... Not 1 Cor or James5:19-20 or Gal5:4 or Heb4:11 )




Why is it when there is a verse like that the first thing Christians do is turn to the Flesh and works to keep salvation rather than the spirit and Christ? ... )

Ever hear me say "keep salvation by works"? Ever hear anyone else on this board? You say "...keep salvation rather than the Spirit and Christ" -
No it is called some thing euphoric name like.."Responsible Grace"

Also we need from you,Gadgeteer, is definition of salvation.

Since you seem to be so sure as to who gets it and who does not..
Perhaps we should go into what it is we get.
You have never defined salvation.... only how we can lose it.

Colight
Jun 29th 2012, 02:10 PM
Of course it does. WE --- including the author, saved --- but by turning back to sin

Jesus' sacrifice no longer saves us. Note well the bad example in verse 29 was sanctified

by Jesus' blood (saved!), but now scorns that blood and tramples Jesus and insults the

Spirit (saved no more!).

Yet.. This missing the mark here is tied with "full knowledge of the truth"..
This is not about shocking sins of the hell raiser.. this is about the self righteousness
of the Christian..

When given correct truth they still follow a lie.





Those who are sanctified! The Greek for "hagiazō" is present passive PARTICIPLE --- those

who ARE BEING sanctified.

Are CONTINUING to be sanctified.

The man in 10:29 was sanctified by Jesus' blood, but now he's NOT. He's not CONTINUING.

Can you deny this?

Ok the verse once more..
14 for by one offering he hath perfected to the end those sanctified;

They are perfect to the END..and keep on being purified thru the offering Christ did

ONCE!!
There is no need for another offering..
There is nothing about abiding for this to occur.
The offering Christ did is still active and continues to be active it never ceases.

The focus is Forever... 'eis diēnekēs'

Christ has Perfected thru his offering ..
10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ
once for all.

Once and for ALL we are and keep on being purified by the offering Christ Gave.
IT occurs to us from the moment of salvation. it will never stop.
For it is done ONCE AND FOR ALL and continues to be done once and for all..



Huh-uh; "epignosis" is conveying experiential knowledge --- he's saying "SAVED".

You are out of context.

why would he bring Israel into this?
Remember he is writing to the JEWS.
Jews who are using the LAW as salvation.
Now they have been given true Doctrine, the doctrine of Christ
This is not about salvation of losing it.. it is about.. what will you follow.

Jews used the LAW... those in NOSAS is use Legalism in the same manner... as the Jews used the Law.
Both systems ignore Christ and grace..
Both are about man and what man can do to keep saved.
The LAW and LEGALISM can only condemn, neither are methods to gain or keep salvation...

Verses 26-29 again..
Heb 10
26 For we -- willfully ( miss or wander from the path of uprightness after being given Bible Doctrine ) no more for ( missing this mark ) doth there remain a sacrifice,

27 but a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery zeal, about to devour the opposers;( when one rejects Bible Doctrine they are a adversary to God)

28 any one who did set at nought a law of Moses, apart from mercies, by two or three witnesses, doth die, ( People faced judgement on the flesh for violation of the law of Moses. This is a reference to death of the body.. not loss of salvation)

29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot
the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was
sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

It is a ..warning
that there will be great punishment for rejection of this Grace from Christ.

It is not a passage over loss of salvation!!
Rather it is a warning to keep to the truth or face the whip...

NOSAS regards the blood of Christ as unclean and incomplete, instead it is the effort of man to not sin is what makes one pure..( The NOSAS define it as habitual sinning, so they can get away with a few sins. Unknown how many sins one must do to be called habitual. Scripture states ONE sin condemned ALL MEN and it was not a HABITUAL sin)

What Christ has completed.. NOSAS says is incomplete.

To NOSAS man is made pure by the act of man...
not by the offering of Christ for in NOSAS Christs offering is not complete...( In conflict with verse 14 )

rather it takes man not sinning to complete it. ( Conflict verse 10 )

NOSAS is the worship of man over Christ.. there fore it conflicts with solid doctrine and this warning in Hebrews very much so applies to those who promote NOSAS.

John146
Jun 29th 2012, 05:06 PM
based on the fact that Paul is talking about the nation of Israel, he is saying that God's mercy is not exclusive to Israel and is being revealed to all nations.No, Paul was saying that God concluded all people in unbelief so that He might have mercy upon all people. He was saying that God wished to have mercy upon all unbelievers, including the Gentiles who "in times past have not believed God" (Rom 11:30) and the Israeliltes who had "also now not believed". That goes right along with other scripture that says God wants all people to repent (Eze 18:23, Acts 17:30-31, 2 Peter 3:9) and to be saved (John 3:16-17, 1 Tim 2:3-6, 1 John 2:1-2).

John146
Jun 29th 2012, 05:52 PM
Why is it the angels rejoice? It for the very reason that they and we exist. So that His name may be glorified.You didn't really address his point, though. Why do they rejoice in reaction to someone who was lost being saved if everything is already a done deal, so to speak? It seems to me their reaction is more in line with how one would react when the outcome is not guaranteed.


If a man chooses based on his own effort, then he shares in his own salvation and then takes some of that glory unto himself.That's man-made doctrine which is not taught anywhere in scripture. Tell me, was Joshua attempting to take some of God's glory to Himself when he said this:

Josh 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Were the Israelites Joshua was speaking to trying to take some of God's glory unto themselves when they said this:

Josh 24:21 And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the Lord. 22 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the Lord, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.

The answer to each question is clearly no, right? So, this shows that what you're saying is false. If someone humbles themselves and chooses to surrender their lives to the Lord how can that be seen as an effort to glorify oneself? No, it's just the opposite!

Assume for the sake of argument that the publican in the following parable chose in his own volition to repent of his sins:

Luke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

How exactly would the publican, by choosing to humble himself before God, have been taking some of God's glory for his justification upon himself? He humbled himself so how could it be said that he was instead trying to exalt himself? You are speaking from the perspective of someone purposely trying to earn their salvation by showing how righteous they are. No one here would try to say it's possible to earn your salvation by your own righteousness. But why can't it be possible for someone to recognize their sinful and lost condition and then choose to humble themselves and ask God for mercy and to save them from their lost state and forgive them of their sins? A person is not saved and justified by proving that they are righteous, they are saved and justified by humbling themselves and acknowledging that they are sinners and not righteous. Nowhere does scripture say that unbelievers are not capable of recognizing their condition and then choosing to respond with repentance and faith so that they can be delivered from their lost, sinful state. Jesus calls sinners to repentance. He wouldn't call sinners to repentance if He did not fully expect sinners to be able to recognize and acknowledge their need for a Savior.


"Can an Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard its spots?
Neither can you do goodwho are accustomed to doing evil" - Jer 13:23Let's look at the context of this verse.

Jer 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. 24 Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness.25 This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me, saith the Lord; because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood.

Did they have no choice but to become accustomed to doing evil? Did they have no choice but to forget the Lord and trust in falsehood instead? Of course they did. They had the choice to either remember the Lord and trust in Him or to forget Him and trust in falsehood. Because they trusted in falsehood instead they were punished. If they couldn't help but trust in falsehood rather than in the Lord then why would the Lord punish them? Doesn't the Lord punish people for not doing things that He required and expected them to do (or for doing things that He required and expected them not to do)?


"For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot." - Romans 8:7

"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." - Psalm 51:5

"That which is born of the flesh is flesh" - John 3:6None of these say anything about man not having the ability to choose what is right instead of what is wrong.


Who is going to save us from this condition we are in? Ourselves????Jesus did the hard work to provide for our salvation but we are responsible to respond to what He did in the way God requires, which is to repent of our sins and put our faith and trust in Jesus as our Lord and Savior.


How could I possibly trust in myself to make a decision to choose a holy God?Do you trust in yourself to make any decisions at all? If so, how is that different from making the decision of whether or not to repent of your sins and put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ? God gives everyone the ability to reason and make decisions. We are not puppets or robots.


God tells us what we are, he knows we are incapable of choosing Him.If the wicked are wicked because God made them that way and/or wants them to be that way then why are the wicked punished? And if He wants them to be that way then wouldn't He take pleasure in their death? But He doesn't take pleasure in their death and instead wants them to repent.

Eze 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?


The fact that God has chosen man, and has chosen to save some should lead us all to worship.Not if that means He chose some to be condemned with no chance at salvation. That is not the God I serve.

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


It should also lead us to go out and share this great Gospel that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.What sinners did Christ not die for? Scripture teaches repeatedly that He died for all sinners.

Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Since Christ died for all people and God wants all people to be saved then the only way a person can end up not being saved is because of their choice not to do what God requires people to do to be saved, which is to repent and put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

Gadgeteer
Jul 1st 2012, 06:37 PM
If I may... God allowing someone into heaven puts my mind to say it places man's works above God's grace and glory, which is what salvation is all about, God's grace.

For His Glory,

RbGIt is not "all about God's grace and glory" --- it is about God's grace through faith. Noted Greek expert and Bible commentator A.T.Robertson said on Eph2:8, "Grace is God's part, faith is ours".

Salvation is eternal life; Jesus said "Father, eternal life is knowing You, and knowing (Me)". Jn17:3.

Faith is our choice, from "beginning faith to ending faith" (Rm1:17). If faith was God's choice/decision FOR us, then there would be no basis for judging us. But we are judged for our own decision --- Rom2:6-8. Jesus said those WHO desire righteousness come to Jesus, but those WHO desire sin turn away. Jn3:20-21.

Voluntary and personally-chosen faith is not "man's works"; it is choosing to "work the work of God" (Jn6:25-29). When Jesus said "Do not WORK for food that perishes, but work for food that endures to eternal life", that only fits the idea that each person makes a fully conscious choice.

See if anyone can deny the validity and Scriptural soundness of the previous statement.

Gadgeteer
Jul 1st 2012, 07:21 PM
Responsible Grace? Sounds like Legalism to me...Because you are like those who operate in a narrow field that views anything of "volition" as "Pelagianism" or "works-salvation". The truth is in Jesus' words in John6:25-29; our believing and being saved is God's work --- but it is God's work that WE (decide to) work. In no way would Jesus say "Do not work for food that perishes, but WORK for food that endures to eternal life" if we did not consciously decide for ourselves to receive salvation or not.

If God decides for us, then He is a false Judge, a fraud and a hypocrite. Per Rom2:4-8, Rev20:13, and many others.

Just to be clear.. we are not discussing Romans 1:17.. it is off topic.With respect and meaning no offense, any verse which opposes your position is "off topic and will not be considered".

We are in 1 John 3....Let's focus there first before we play musical verses."ALL Scripture is God-breathed, and suitable for reproof, correction, training in righteousness." 2Tim3:15.

All. Not just "a few verses either of us is willing to consider".

Let's review again.. without all the Romans stuff and defining sin as ONLY stuff that shocks us.

1 John 3
8 he who is doing the( missing the mark on being righteous ),
of the devil he is, because from the beginning the devil doth ( missing the mark on being righteous );
for this was the Son of God manifested, that he may break up the works of the devil;

( the Devil is always about human effort to produce some form of false righteousness thru works..
The NOSAS mind set is one that is based on works. or effort of the flesh.. therefore it is not doctrine of God.)

See? Anything that suggests "osnas", or "fallible salvation", is WORKS. No one has preached "works-salvation", it is the definition of "straw man".


Sin ruins "begottenness".Does not state that, in essence you are in doctrinal untruth when you state that.It is clear in corroborating passages like Heb10:26-29 and 12:7-9. But you'll just say "That's off-topic, musical verses, not going down your rabbit trails" and refuse to discuss them.

...Verse 9 States...

9 every one who hath been begotten of God, ( missing the mark on being righteous( vs 7 )) he doth not, because his ( GODS) seed in him doth remain ( therefore he is righteous ),
and he is not able to (to miss the mark on righteousness),
because of God he hath been begotten ( we have the same righteousness that God has ).
Somehow you've found a way to isolate "sin" from 1Cor10:12-13? May we discuss James1:14-16?

God's seed REMAINS in HIM.. PERIOD!!Only if he CONTINUES --- "Behold then the kindness and severity of God --- to those who fell, severity; to you God's kindness if you CONTINUE in His kindness else you also will be CUT OFF!" Rom11:22.

More "off-topic" verses, huh?

Why Because he is begotten of GOD!!!.. PERIOD!!!Unless he turns away from God. Heb12:7-9, 25.

This is why he CAN not miss the mark on Being Righteous to God.Then he cannot sin at all. A "saved person", now lives perfect and sinlessly.

Right?

What can lead a believer Astray?

7 Little children, let no one lead you astray; he who is doing the righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous,
( what is doing the righteous? Belief on Christ is doing the righteous)

Leading astray would be things like saying we need to stop sinning to be saved..
It takes the focus off the righteous ( aka Christs work ) and puts it on HUMAN motivation and works.So Scripture says "don't be led astray", and you say "no truly saved person can be led astray".

NOSAS leads people astray.. it takes the focus OFF Christ.OSNAS is clear in verses like 1Tim4:16. Speaking of "led astray" --- what is the danger in Col2:6-8? In 2Pet3:17?

What is the risk with the devil in 2Cor11:3 and 1Pet5:8? No risk? No danger?

No problem?

Just empty words?


Rom14:15 and 1Cor8:11 out of Context. That's right, "Out of context, yes it SAYS ruin/destroy a brother for whom Christ died but that's off topic and musical verses and we're not going to discuss them".

Sigh.

The Passage in Review is 1 John 3, focus man focus...ALL Scripture is God-breathed, and suitable for correction/reproof/training --- wait, didn't I already quote that?

Now let's get back to what I posted with OUT Musical verses..
AKA On 1 John 3... No Ezekiel..
No other passages.
the focus is here.,Throw out the rest of Scripture? What's the point of that?

From verse 9
If one is not born of God then they are not righteous..they have missed the mark, they have done it wrong.

To state this means Christians cannot sin, is to really just read a translation rather than to dig into the verse and its doctrine.

To use this as a excuse to support insecure salvation, is danger.
( Again the FOCUS is ONLY 1 John 3... Not 1 Cor or James5:19-20 or Gal5:4 or Heb4:11 )So we'll just pick out pieces of Scripture that FIT your doctrine, and throw the rest away. Are you comfortable with that?


Why is it when there is a verse like that the first thing Christians do is turn to the Flesh and works to keep salvation rather than the spirit and Christ? ... )
[quote=Gadget]Ever hear me say "keep salvation by works"? Ever hear anyone else on this board? No it is called some thing euphoric name like.."Responsible Grace"Which is clear in verses like 1Tim4:16 --- against which your only defense is to dismiss the verse as "off-topic" and "musical".

Also we need from you, Gadgeteer, is definition of salvation.A person is saved when he suffers conviction (a choice!) and believes in Jesus; that belief then receives the Son bodily, and receives the Spirit --- both indwell the believer (Eph5:18, Gal2:20). Through the indwelling Spirit, he becomes an adopted/begotten son (Rm8:15) and becomes a new creation (2Cor5:17); he abides in Christ and Christ in him (1Jn4:16), by the Spirit's power (2Tim1:12-14). He walks not after the flesh, but draws near to God and God draws near to him (Rm8:12-14, Eph4:17-20, James4:6-10). He is united to Christ, his old sinful self dies (Rom6:1-17) by willful diligence (2Pet1:5-11).

Since you seem to be so sure as to who gets it and who does not..
Perhaps we should go into what it is we get.
You have never defined salvation.... only how we can lose it.Yes I have; but you dismiss all the verses as "off-topic/musical/rabbit-trails".

esper88
Jul 1st 2012, 09:13 PM
I ask you a simple question for you. Why should God allow you into heaven?

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!

The way this is worded is a bit presumptuous. I'm in no position to lobby for my place in Heaven. If it is in his will, I will go.

I personally believe that given the idea that "repetition is the essence of hell", heaven may be very different from how it is popularized. If we simply meet the dead and lounge around in paradise for infinite years, will that not get repetitious? I believe that we will experience infinite lifetimes, each of which is diverse and interesting enough to keep us happy for the rest of eternity.

This is my personal belief, but I believe this follows the image of God's creation. A generation does not die and give birth to a new generation once, but endlessly. In the same way, I believe when we die we will go to a new "heaven" where it is also an eventuality that we will die. In this way Isaiah's words will be realized:

"That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes. For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." - Isaiah 65:16-17

I believe that in the next life our eyes will be opened to the infinite nature of existence, and how it is possible to have a world without end. I believe that in the next life we will accept this new world as our Earth, and look forward to another heaven, another lifetime to come after that one. I believe God has given us a clue to this in the way we dream, in the way we cannot perceive of the true reality until we have awaken from that dream, and in the way dreams are quickly forgotten, just as Isaiah states. We will see so much after we die, and be awakened to the infinite nature of God.

This is all my personal reasoning and does not have definitive scriptural reference, and I realize this. I'm expressing my subjective viewpoint.

DiscipleDave777
Jul 2nd 2012, 12:15 AM
I ask you a simple question for you. Why should God allow you into heaven?

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!

Only those who LOVE ONE ANOTHER will be allowed into Heaven. If you hate anyone at all, you will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, no matter what you claim with your mouth. Only those who Keep His Commandments will enter into Heaven, and according to I John 3:22-24 His commandments are to believe on Jesus Christ and to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Anyone who does not LOVE one another, will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

In His Holy and Precious Name, Jesus Christ

EarlyCall
Jul 2nd 2012, 12:24 AM
I ask you a simple question for you. Why should God allow you into heaven?

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!

In some manner comes down to perspective I suppose. From the perspective at the foot of the cross, God should not allow them into Heaven. But thank God, from the One that hung upon the cross, that perspective overcame the one from the foot of the cross.

Gadgeteer
Jul 2nd 2012, 10:13 PM
You make an interesting assumption here. Why would that scripture bring you to think that I would assume that God causes man to sin? Man is already in sin, God doesn't make them do that.'Hi, Noonzie. There are two views of "predestination" --- one is "Double-Predestination", the thought that God physically writes sin into men's hearts. One passage thought to support is Acts4:27-28:


"For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,
to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. "

The problem with "double predestination" is that it violates Matt12:25-30, "divided house"; it violates 1Jn3:5, "in Him there is no sin". It would make God the ultimate hypocrite and fraudulent judge, condemning MEN for what He actually SCULPTED into their hearts. (Rm9:21-22 is also thought to propose only TWO vessels, one "atimia/dishonor/wrath-prepared-for-destruction" --- that God SCULPTED them into sin and prepared them before time for Hell).

But what about the other view of "predestination", to which you seem to hold? The idea that "Men are reprobate/sinful/degenerate and God sovereignly NEGLECTS them to their unavoidable sinfulness, passing over them in His Sovereign election of the OTHERS"?

It makes no difference if God is DIRECTLY CAUSAL to men's sin, or if He ordains men to be sinful by their unavoidable propensity (and His sovereign choice to neglect them to what they cannot avoid) --- both views ultimately have God making the choice for men to perish, therefore He is causal and His judgment fraudulent.

I've always said "there is no predestination but double-predestination".

And why would you say God would have nothing to do with sin? He was made sin, who had no sin.He took on our sin; He did not sin, He did not cause sin in others.
If He had nothing to do with sin, then how could He show us mercy since the objects of His mercy are utterly sinful?His mercy offers forgiveness to everyone. Please read Acts10:34-35:


"Opening his mouth, Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality,
but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.

Recognize that God receives those WHO revere Him and desire righteousness (mirroring Jn3:20-21), the opposite of which (God sovereignly electing/welcoming those who do NOT revere/seek) is partiality/unjustness/bias that God is NOT.

Again.. we are certainly in sin, no one is assuming that God sculpted sin in someone. Even if He ordains for someone to be a sinner and perish, and neglects them to their inescapable destruction, He still ordains their sin and therefore is "causal", if only indirectly-causal.

God's real attitude is in places like Ezekiel 18:23 and 18:31-32 (where in context a righteous/saved man can turn from his righteousness, become wicked and die):


""Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked," declares the Lord GOD, " rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?


Paul and John are right. God shows His mercy to all, but we are so wicked that we will never choose Him of our own flesh. Paul talks about this and how God shows those He chooses, His glory.Please find in Scripture the principle that "the wicked cannot choose God". If all men are truly drawn to where they CAN believe (even as Deut30:11-20, Rom10:6-10, and Acts17:26-31 clearly say), then unregenerate men can believe. Please see Luke6:33 where "sinners can do good". Note that 1Cor2:14 does not assert "unregenerates cannot believe and be saved".

I understand that the total sovereignty of God is a hard truth, but this truth should lead to worship of His sovereignty.With respect, "sovereign election" violates Acts10:34-35 (as we just discussed), violates Rom2:4-8, and violates the rest of Scripture. It casts God as hypocritical and a fraudulent judge, and gives those who perish an excellent excuse.

Again, it is only by God's sovereign will that He did not soften the heart of Pharaoh. Not sure why there is such an issue with God choosing the objects of His creation.Please re-read Rom2:4-8, and tell us how God's kindness LEADS to repentance, but stubborn unrepentance stores up wrath for themselves. How can those God leads to repentance, refuse and store wrath for themselves?
He chose Israel as His people.Please read Isaiah5;1-7, and 65:2-7 and 65:12, and tell us who made the choice for Israel to rebel against God.
He chose humans to be the objects of His mercy. He did not offer the fallen angels mercy by giving His Son to them as a savior. Certainly the angels could worship him in a more holy way than us lowly weak creatures. Shall the angels protest God's lack of fairness in this manner?Angels have been judged already; we are given redemption through Christ. Apples and oranges.

Speaking of angels --- at what risk are we from bad-angels, in 1Tim4:1 and 2Cor11:3?

by this you lift the sovereignty of man above the sovereignty of God. Why is it the angels rejoice? It for the very reason that they and we exist. So that His name may be glorified. If a man chooses based on his own effort, then he shares in his own salvation and then takes some of that glory unto himself. God shares glory with no man. "I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols." - Isaiah 42:8
You didn't really address his point, though. Why do they rejoice in reaction to someone who was lost being saved if everything is already a done deal, so to speak? It seems to me their reaction is more in line with how one would react when the outcome is not guaranteed.I look forward to your thoughts on John's excellent post. The Prodigal's father said the son was LOST and DEAD --- he reflected an "unsaved" person. Therefore Heaven rejoices IF he repents; that repentance is not a "given", else they would not rejoice.

"Can an Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard its spots?
Neither can you do goodwho are accustomed to doing evil" - Jer 13:23I don't know what translation you are using; I looked on blueletterbible.org, and it reads:


"Can the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good Who are accustomed to doing evil.

yakol does mean "be able to" --- not "cannot do". The people make a choice to be an Ethiopian or leopard; but they can change. Context condemns them for their own choice.

"For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot." - Romans 8:7And who "sets our own minds"? We do! Col3!

"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." - Psalm 51:5Sinners can do good; we just read that in Lk6:33.

"That which is born of the flesh is flesh" - John 3:6And we can either walk after the flesh, or by the Spirit's power put to death the flesh. Rm8:12-14.

Who is going to save us from this condition we are in? Ourselves????Uhmmm, yes. In 1Tim4:16 "SAVE YOURSELVES" is absolutely written; but we accomplish this by abiding in our teachings, by abiding in Christ.

We just read Ezk18:23; please now read 31-32, where we "cast away from ourselves all our sins, and make for ourselves a new heart and a new spirit". Obviously we don't actually make our hearts new, God does; but participation is asserted, we have control.
How could I possibly trust in myself to make a decision to choose a holy God?Then what did Jesus mean in Jn3:20-21?


"For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
"But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."

Who is causal in Jesus' words?

God tells us what we are, he knows we are incapable of choosing Him.What verse?
With that which is flesh choose spirit? How could we?Jesus berates Nicodemus for NOT already knowing about "being born of flesh, and being born of the Spirit".

The fact that God has chosen man, and has chosen to save some should lead us all to worship.Then for whom did Jesus come, Matt9:12-13? In fact, why did Jesus die on the Cross at ALL, if God already ordained who would be saved and CAUSED belief in the saved?

No, God sent the Son that WHOSOEVER believes be saved and have eternal life. Do you see God's choice in John7:17?
It should also lead us to go out and share this great Gospel that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Why? If God already decided everything, then what's the point? We would be preaching the Gospel to the unelected who can NEVER respond, and also to those God already elected who therefore don't NEED us.

And if you believe that God uses preachers in salvation (Rom10:14!!!), then what's wrong with His sovereignty? Not sovereign enough?

Yes He Did!!! All glory be to the Lamb that was slain, the Lion of Judah.Have you considered the idea of "believe-because-of-seeing"? It's what Jesus told Thomas in Jn20:29, it's what He said in Jn10:38, and it is the rebuke of Matt11:21-24; how do these things fit the idea that "God-decides-salvation"? Why did Jesus rebuke Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum?

i appreciate your questions, and although I don't write quite as fine as you do, I pray God would be glorified through this response.You have a loving and honorable spirit; and you write just fine. I know God is glorified, and you do make Him smile.

:-)

Gadgeteer
Jul 2nd 2012, 10:21 PM
The way this is worded is a bit presumptuous. I'm in no position to lobby for my place in Heaven. If it is in his will, I will go.Why would it not be in His will? God's will is that all who see Jesus and believe, be saved. Jn6:40!

I personally believe that given the idea that "repetition is the essence of hell", heaven may be very different from how it is popularized. If we simply meet the dead and lounge around in paradise for infinite years, will that not get repetitious? I believe that we will experience infinite lifetimes, each of which is diverse and interesting enough to keep us happy for the rest of eternity.

This is my personal belief, but I believe this follows the image of God's creation. A generation does not die and give birth to a new generation once, but endlessly. In the same way, I believe when we die we will go to a new "heaven" where it is also an eventuality that we will die.Heb9:27 says "it is appointed ONCE for a man to die". Not twice, not infinite. Rebirth/reincarnation is not what Jesus taught.
In this way Isaiah's words will be realized:

"That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes. For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." - Isaiah 65:16-17He is not teaching what you think he's teaching.

I believe that in the next life our eyes will be opened to the infinite nature of existence, and how it is possible to have a world without end.Then it will have to have a sun made out of something other than hydrogen; 'cause eventually all suns run outta gas.
I believe that in the next life we will accept this new world as our Earth, and look forward to another heaven, another lifetime to come after that one. I believe God has given us a clue to this in the way we dream, in the way we cannot perceive of the true reality until we have awaken from that dream, and in the way dreams are quickly forgotten, just as Isaiah states. We will see so much after we die, and be awakened to the infinite nature of God."Esper", do you believe Scripture? Is the Bible the inspired word of God for you?

Is Jesus one person of the one God (who exists as three persons) --- do you believe He's the only salvation? Acts4:12! Was there ever a time "before Jesus"?


This is all my personal reasoning and does not have definitive scriptural reference, and I realize this. I'm expressing my subjective viewpoint.Yes, you are; so how then do you regard Scripture? Is it wrong and you can dismiss what you disagree with ? Or is Scripture inspired by God (2Tim3:15) and our personal opinions become subject to what they wrote?

BroRog
Jul 3rd 2012, 04:04 AM
Hi, Noonzie. There are two views of "predestination" --- one is "Double-Predestination", the thought that God physically writes sin into men's hearts.Actually double predestination simply refers to the fact that God sets the destiny of both the elect and the non-elect, thus the adjective "double" as opposed to "single", which indicates the idea that God sets the destiny of only the elect.

Gadgeteer
Jul 3rd 2012, 04:47 AM
Actually double predestination simply refers to the fact that God sets the destiny of both the elect and the non-elect, thus the adjective "double" as opposed to "single", which indicates the idea that God sets the destiny of only the elect.But if all men are condemned, and God ordains a FEW to be saved, any way He does NOT ordain the rest to perish?

I'd love it if you could help me understand how you perceive Scriptures. For whom did Jesus come in Matt9:12-13? He came for sick/sinners --- unregenerate? How does "regeneration" connect to Jesus' "coming for men"?

If God decides men's destinies, then why did Jesus come at all? What was the purpose of the Cross, if it's already decided and accomplished by sovereign predestination and monergistic regeneration and not by the Cross?

If we were "elect from the beginning" (as Eph1:4 says "chosen ...before the foundation of the world"), then how does Paul say "You were children of WRATH (Hell) even as the rest" (Eph2:3)?

What about all the warnings to "keep ourselves in the love of God" (Jude21), to "abide in Jesus" and "guard ourselves against deceivers" (1Jn2:26-28, Col2:6-8, 2Jn1:7-9, Heb13:9, 2Pet3:17 etcetera); to "abide in Jesus' teachings and save ourselves" (1Tim4:16) --- are all these "empty hyperbole, effective means by which God KEEPS us saved"? If "yes-effective-means", then why does God NEED these effective means? Isn't He sovereign enough to keep us solely by monergistic regeneration? (And how does Eph4:20-22 fit into "monergistic regeneration"?)

These are some of the things I don't understand about "Reformed Theology"; if you'll allow me to look through your eyes and help me understand how these verses are perceived, I'll be very grateful!

:-)

BroRog
Jul 3rd 2012, 05:21 PM
But if all men are condemned, and God ordains a FEW to be saved, any way He does NOT ordain the rest to perish?Yes, he does. If God predestines whom he will forgive, then he also predestines whom he will destroy.


I'd love it if you could help me understand how you perceive Scriptures. For whom did Jesus come in Matt9:12-13? He came for sick/sinners --- unregenerate?Sick doesn't mean unregenerate. The Holy Spirit has opened the eyes of the regenerate, which is why they can see that they need a physician. It doesn't mean they aren't sick; it simply means they know they need a physician.


If God decides men's destinies, then why did Jesus come at all? What was the purpose of the Cross, if it's already decided and accomplished by sovereign predestination and monergistic regeneration and not by the Cross?Your question assumes that Jesus' death on the cross had some kind of utilitarian purpose. If we stay in Matthew 9:12-13 for the moment. You seem to assume that the cross has some kind of utility value like say, medicine would for a patient. But Jesus and the apostles indicate that his death was not utilitarian, but as a demonstration of God's righteousness. Some Christians think that the cross had some kind of practical value as if God needed some means or method to achieve forgiveness and that without such means, he couldn't do anything for humanity. But that's NOT the picture we get from the New Testament. Jesus didn't have to die in order to serve some utilitarian purpose in the same way that a person needs medicine to get better. Jesus' death was simply a public demonstration of something that God needed to say.

The cross presents each human being with an existential challenge and how each human being, personally and individually, responds and reacts to that challenge marks them as a believer or not a believer. If, for instance, I can personally say that my sin deserves the kind of punishment that Jesus suffered, then I agree with God and my heart is right with him. If I am unwilling to admit that my sin deserves punishment, then my heart is not right with God. This is true no matter how my heart eventually came to accept the fact, either synergistic or otherwise. The question of whether my salvation is God's gift alone or whether I somehow cooperate in it is a completely different question. And in fact, I don't know anyone who experiences it in any other way except as a synergistic, cooperative effort.

Having said that, when pressed hard to admit reality, many of us know that salvation is ultimately monergistic for various reasons, chief among them is the seemingly supernatural constancy found in genuine believers that have suffered and undergone extreme hardship and tests of faith. Loving one's enemy, for instance, seems pretty straightforward until one runs into actual enemies that have no second thoughts about doing you harm.


If we were "elect from the beginning" (as Eph1:4 says "chosen ...before the foundation of the world"), then how does Paul say "You were children of WRATH (Hell) even as the rest" (Eph2:3)?
Paul says that we were children of wrath "by nature", but not necessarily "by destiny." He will go on to say that we are a work of God, and that we find unity in our having access to God via the Holy Spirit.


What about all the warnings to "keep ourselves in the love of God" (Jude21), to "abide in Jesus" and "guard ourselves against deceivers" (1Jn2:26-28, Col2:6-8, 2Jn1:7-9, Heb13:9, 2Pet3:17 etcetera); to "abide in Jesus' teachings and save ourselves" (1Tim4:16) --- are all these "empty hyperbole, effective means by which God KEEPS us saved"? If "yes-effective-means", then why does God NEED these effective means? Isn't He sovereign enough to keep us solely by monergistic regeneration? (And how does Eph4:20-22 fit into "monergistic regeneration"?)
I never understood where people get the idea that a synergistic salvation would look any different than a monergistic one. Think in terms of the narrative sense of everyday life. History isn't simply a string of random events; but history, our personal histories, are explicable in terms of our personal motives, values, preferences, likes, dislikes, fears, hopes, sense of justice, sense of meaning, sense of duty, sense of honor and etc. And so, during the course of our life, if we have the choice, we direct the course of our lives based on all of these things and more. But we lack knowledge, we lack wisdom, and we lack training that comes with experience. And so, we need to be warned, and encouraged, and exhorted and motivated. In general, we tend to cooperate with God, even if we don't believe in God because he has given human beings an innate sense of justice, morality, fairness, goodness, and etc.

The miracle of salvation deals with an aspect of our humanity that we don't seem to be able to control. Human beings generally believe in both mercy and justice, forgiveness and fairness, love and discipline. However, it is a fact of human existence that we don't use balanced scales. That is, when it comes to mercy and justice, we typically want mercy when we hurt others, but we want justice when someone else hurts us. We typically want forgiveness when we make a mistake, but we want apology when others make a mistake. Our memory of the injustice others commit is long, our memory of our own injustice is short.

In the long view, we understand that without a set of balanced scales, we have no hope of seeing the world the way God sees it. And without the activity of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we will never use a set of balanced scales. We need a set of eyes that can see our own sin, our own injustice toward others, our own frailties, our own limitations, our own frustrations, resentments, and hatred. If you think that a person is capable of coming to that state of existence apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, then you will affirm that salvation is synergistic; but if you understand that a man needs his eyes opened and he needs to be given a set of balanced scales and the willingness to use them and if you understand how such an infirmity needs a physician, then you must conclude as I have done that salvation is ultimately monergistic.

In my estimation, monergism isn't simply God supernaturally implanting a fully formed righteous character into me. For me, the term monergism identifies the miracle God performs in me to allow me to get over myself. Without this miracle, I would never see myself as he sees me, always giving myself the benefit of the doubt, and perhaps not even acknowledging that there is doubt. But the miracle of salvation doesn't take place outside and apart from my own personal history. The warnings, the encouragement, the exhortations all make sense in terms of the narrative of my own personal history. God will present me with tests of my character or my faith and my natural tendency will be to protect myself and imagine myself as the "good-guy" in each situation. Then, when the time comes, he will interact with me and help me get over myself and to see the world and myself the way it really is. If you want to call this "cooperative" then I have no problem with it, except to classify it as a phenomenological concept useful to describe my subjective experience, but not necessarily how God looks at it from his perspective. I know that cooperation wouldn't be possible if not for his supernatural work inside of me.

Colight
Jul 3rd 2012, 05:28 PM
A person is saved when he suffers conviction (a choice!) and believes in Jesus; that belief then receives the Son bodily, and receives the Spirit --- both indwell the believer (Eph5:18, Gal2:20). Through the indwelling Spirit, he becomes an adopted/begotten son (Rm8:15) and becomes a new creation (2Cor5:17); he abides in Christ and Christ in him (1Jn4:16), by the Spirit's power (2Tim1:12-14). He walks not after the flesh, but draws near to God and God draws near to him (Rm8:12-14, Eph4:17-20, James4:6-10). He is united to Christ, his old sinful self dies (Rom6:1-17) by willful diligence (2Pet1:5-11).
Yes I have; but you dismiss all the verses as "off-topic/musical/rabbit-trails".

But what IS salvation?
You are making a case on how to get it and you are making a case on how to loose it.
What is it?

esper88
Jul 3rd 2012, 10:23 PM
Why would it not be in His will? God's will is that all who see Jesus and believe, be saved. Jn6:40!
I'm confident I will be saved and experience eternal life in heaven- I am merely saying that it is not my place to say 'why' I should go. It is God's decision, and I cannot possibly understand his plan. It is quite possible that despite my confidence, God will require me to go to hell as part of his plan.

"For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth." - Hebrews 9:17


Heb9:27 says "it is appointed ONCE for a man to die". Not twice, not infinite. Rebirth/reincarnation is not what Jesus taught. He is not teaching what you think he's teaching.

"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." - Revelation 20:14

Again, I'm not trying to change anyone's mind- Just expressing the possibility that what I think may be valid by some stretch of imagination, however long.

We see here that while men die once, once death is cast down there is a second death in the lake of fire. If there is a second death for the unrighteous, who is to say that there will not be more tests of righteousness in the afterlife? If a man transgresses in heaven, shall he be free to remain in heaven? We do not know, but we do know there is at least a second death, so is it so far off to believe it is infinite? If it is indeed infinite, the only death which has any power is the first one- Perhaps this is what Hebrews 9:27 speaks of. After the first death, we will not look upon death as death, but as a new birth.

We do not know the grand scale of God's creation, and we cannot presume to know that the afterlife is a single eternal lifespan. Indeed the accepted interpretation of his word is that there is a single heaven, but I'd like to see if it's possible that it's more complicated than that.


Then it will have to have a sun made out of something other than hydrogen; 'cause eventually all suns run outta gas. "Esper", do you believe Scripture? Is the Bible the inspired word of God for you?

"They shall fear thee [God] as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations." - Psalm 72:5

God himself will be the sun for those who believe. Whereas the hydrogen will dissipate, God cannot.

Of course the bible is the inspired word of God to me- I merely challenge myself to look deeply into HIS word. I'm not trying to get anyone to agree with me. As I've said, all I said is subjective. I am trying to look deeper into the word of God and in the clues he has given us in his creation to uncover his great mystery.


Is Jesus one person of the one God (who exists as three persons) --- do you believe He's the only salvation? Acts4:12! Was there ever a time "before Jesus"?

There was a time "before Jesus"- an unenlightened time of chaos. He came to give us the knowledge of his holy word.

Who is to say that he will not have so much more to say to us when we die and see his face. If he graces us with the privilege of seeing his face. This lifetime will look like an age of chaos after he instills us with his divine wisdom and shows us the nature of HIS universe.


Yes, you are; so how then do you regard Scripture? Is it wrong and you can dismiss what you disagree with ? Or is Scripture inspired by God (2Tim3:15) and our personal opinions become subject to what they wrote?

I do not dismiss the word of God. I believe that what the word speaks to me is what is speaks to me, however different that may be from what is accepted. The word of God speaks to each of us in its own way. To dismiss what it says to me personally is to dismiss my faith. I WILL be proven wrong in the future, and my faith will grow in this way. But I must understand things for myself, as to do anything less is to dishonor my faith.

Perhaps you are the one who will change my mind, and I'd really like to hear more on the subject. Biblical citations are usually what change my mind the most. I enjoy talking about faith very much and growing at my own pace.

"For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth." - Proverbs 3:12

Again, this is only my subjective interpretation of the word. I do not seek to change anyone's mind.

Gadgeteer
Jul 9th 2012, 06:29 AM
Yes, he does. If God predestines whom he will forgive, then he also predestines whom he will destroy. Thank you --- that is a founding principle; all people are predestined (if any are), meaning God created most people to BE sinful and to perish. Doesn't matter if God directly writes sin into men's hearts, or sovereignly neglects them to their unavoidable wickedness and perishing; it's still His sovereign will. Problem is that opposes Scripture. Notably:

•·God desires all men to be saved (1Tim2:4)
•·God takes NO pleasure in the death of anyone, so repent and live (Ezk18:23, 31-32)
•·God commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts17:30)
•·proof to all men (Acts17:31)
•·determined (all men's) positions and times so they CAN seek and perhaps find God, He's NOT FAR (Acts17:26-27)

Further, God's justice and justification responds to faith, Rm3:26. God's patience and kindness LEADS to repentance, but stubborn unrepentance stores up wrath for THEMSELVES --- Rm2:4-8.

These verses won't go away; and they don't fit any kind of "predestined salvation".
Sick doesn't mean unregenerate.Yes it does --- "sick" are "sinners" are "unrighteous" are "unregenerate".
The Holy Spirit has opened the eyes of the regenerate, which is why they can see that they need a physician. It doesn't mean they aren't sick; it simply means they know they need a physician. No, if the Holy Spirit has already regenerated them, then they don't need Jesus!

Your question assumes that Jesus' death on the cross had some kind of utilitarian purpose. If we stay in Matthew 9:12-13 for the moment. You seem to assume that the cross has some kind of utility value like say, medicine would for a patient. But Jesus and the apostles indicate that his death was not utilitarian, but as a demonstration of God's righteousness.And that's the problem. "Predestined-Salvation" reduces the Cross to pageantry --- "demonstrative" and not "effective".
Some Christians think that the cross had some kind of practical value as if God needed some means or method to achieve forgiveness and that without such means, he couldn't do anything for humanity. But that's NOT the picture we get from the New Testament. Jesus didn't have to die in order to serve some utilitarian purpose in the same way that a person needs medicine to get better. Jesus' death was simply a public demonstration of something that God needed to say. The Cross is central to salvation; it was on the Cross that our certificate of debt was nailed (Col2:14), it is on the Cross that Jesus propitiated the sins of all who WILL believe (1Jn2:2).


"What the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin..." Rm8:3

Recognize the word "effective", means to EFFECT --- cause. The Cross is effective, for all who believe. "Predestined-salvation" denies that the Cross is effective, but rather merely demonstrative, as you fully acknowledged. Under "Predestined-Salvation", it is God's sovereign election and monergistic regeneration that actually saves, the Cross has nothing to do with it; the Cross merely demonstrates what God already ordained and wrought. And that is why I cited Matt9:12-13, because (under "predestined-salvation") Jesus didn't come for anyone, there is no connection between "Jesus-coming", and "regeneration".

The truth is that Jesus came for the UNREGENERATE, who --- through belief receive the Spirit and become regenerate!

The cross presents each human being with an existential challenge and how each human being, personally and individually, responds and reacts to that challenge marks them as a believer or not a believer.Exactly --- it demonstrates God's sovereign choice, if they're "elect" then they BELIEVE, if not sovereignly chosen then they CANNOT believe. God then runs this cosmic fraud of a Judgment, judging men for what He really sovereignly ordained.
If, for instance, I can personally say that my sin deserves the kind of punishment that Jesus suffered, then I agree with God and my heart is right with him. If I am unwilling to admit that my sin deserves punishment, then my heart is not right with God. This is true no matter how my heart eventually came to accept the fact, either synergistic or otherwise. The question of whether my salvation is God's gift alone or whether I somehow cooperate in it is a completely different question.No it's not --- it's central. Accommodate Romans5:12-19 in your doctrine --- you can't. Justification came to all men, in the same way (and quantity) as condemnation came (18); to BE condemned, men must sin --- verse 12 says all men met that condition. But to BE justified/saved, men just receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness (17). Fits Jn1:12 perfectly, the right to become children of God is granted to those WHO believe.
And in fact, I don't know anyone who experiences it in any other way except as a synergistic, cooperative effort. Huh-uh; "monergistic regeneration" is more akin to a lobotomy, the recipients have no more choice in their actions than sinners have to choose sin and Hell (and each is therefore judged over what He has no CHOICE).

Ultimate fraudulent judgment.

Having said that, when pressed hard to admit reality, many of us know that salvation is ultimately monergistic for various reasons, chief among them is the seemingly supernatural constancy found in genuine believers that have suffered and undergone extreme hardship and tests of faith. Loving one's enemy, for instance, seems pretty straightforward until one runs into actual enemies that have no second thoughts about doing you harm. The essence of that is Christ-in-you; as we draw near to God (James4:8), His heart becomes our heart, and His ability to love people (even His MURDERERS at the very moment they were KILLING Him!) becomes ours.

Paul says that we were children of wrath "by nature", but not necessarily "by destiny."Please answer how "children-of-Hell-by-nature" can really be "predestined-sheep-of-God". Predestined-salvation claims "sheep" are sheep from before CREATION --- how then can they be "children-of-Hell-GOD'S-SHEEP"?

Please include 1Cor6:11 in your answer; hope you will answer and not just dismiss this.
He will go on to say that we are a work of God, and that we find unity in our having access to God via the Holy Spirit.The Spirit is received by voluntary faith.

I never understood where people get the idea that a synergistic salvation would look any different than a monergistic one.Cause-and-effect. Do we have faith because God said so? Or do we CHOOSE faith and He RESPONDS to faith? The latter is Scripture.
Think in terms of the narrative sense of everyday life. History isn't simply a string of random events; but history, our personal histories, are explicable in terms of our personal motives, values, preferences, likes, dislikes, fears, hopes, sense of justice, sense of meaning, sense of duty, sense of honor and etc. And so, during the course of our life, if we have the choice, we direct the course of our lives based on all of these things and more.There is no choice under "predestined-salvation"; all is ordained by God, and saving-belief is no more resistible than sin and death (whichever way God decides for the helpless people He either created to LOVE, or sovereign God-of-love created to HATE.

Please think about what I just said --- 1Jn4:16 says "God is love" --- but under your doctrine, He is NOT love for the vast majority, He is HATE and unavoidable sin and perishing!
But we lack knowledge, we lack wisdom, and we lack training that comes with experience. And so, we need to be warned, and encouraged, and exhorted and motivated.Why? Isn't God sovereign enough to pull off the whole thing monergistically?
In general, we tend to cooperate with God, even if we don't believe in God because he has given human beings an innate sense of justice, morality, fairness, goodness, and etc. What you're saying makes sense if it applies to ALL MEN --- but that opposes "predestined-salvation", doesn't it?

The miracle of salvation deals with an aspect of our humanity that we don't seem to be able to control. Human beings generally believe in both mercy and justice, forgiveness and fairness, love and discipline. However, it is a fact of human existence that we don't use balanced scales. That is, when it comes to mercy and justice, we typically want mercy when we hurt others, but we want justice when someone else hurts us. We typically want forgiveness when we make a mistake, but we want apology when others make a mistake. Our memory of the injustice others commit is long, our memory of our own injustice is short. Please explain what kind of justice it is for a man to be born under God's HATE (without His love), with no hope for avoiding sin or the fires of Hell? At his judgment, he'll say "God! I had no other choice!"

And God willl say what? "Tough toenails"?

In the long view, we understand that without a set of balanced scales, we have no hope of seeing the world the way God sees it. And without the activity of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we will never use a set of balanced scales. We need a set of eyes that can see our own sin, our own injustice toward others, our own frailties, our own limitations, our own frustrations, resentments, and hatred. If you think that a person is capable of coming to that state of existence apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, then you will affirm that salvation is synergistic;Please re-read Deuteronomy30:11-20, the connected passage of Romans10:6-10, and Acts17:26-31 --- and tell me that God does not make SURE that ALL MEN have the sincere chance at salvation. You can dismiss those passages and decline to interact with them; but you can't fit them to your doctrine.
but if you understand that a man needs his eyes opened and he needs to be given a set of balanced scales and the willingness to use them and if you understand how such an infirmity needs a physician, then you must conclude as I have done that salvation is ultimately monergistic. Deut30;11-20, Rm10:6-10, and Acts17:26-31 fully assert that God overcomes our sinfulness enough that each CAN believe. In no way can "God determined men's times and boundaries that they should seek God and perhaps find Him, though He is not far from ANYONE" --- no way can that be made into "God predestines MOST to disbelieve and PERISH".

Tell me how?

Deut30:12 all by itself is a foundational refutation of "monergistic regeneration"; there is no defense.

In my estimation, monergism isn't simply God supernaturally implanting a fully formed righteous character into me. For me, the term monergism identifies the miracle God performs in me to allow me to get over myself.Actually, that miracle is not regeneration, it's something God does when all men are drawn (Jn12:32). Deut30:11-20, Rm10:6-10, and Acts17:26-31 are clear. Engage these verses and fit them to your doctrine; or ignore them and continue with what you thought was true.
Without this miracle, I would never see myself as he sees me, always giving myself the benefit of the doubt, and perhaps not even acknowledging that there is doubt. But the miracle of salvation doesn't take place outside and apart from my own personal history. The warnings, the encouragement, the exhortations all make sense in terms of the narrative of my own personal history.Warnings and exhortations and rebukes make no sense, if monergism is sovereignly ordained and unilaterally wrought.
God will present me with tests of my character or my faith and my natural tendency will be to protect myself and imagine myself as the "good-guy" in each situation. Then, when the time comes, he will interact with me and help me get over myself and to see the world and myself the way it really is.So why isn't He sovereign enough to regenerate you completely?
If you want to call this "cooperative" then I have no problem with it, except to classify it as a phenomenological concept useful to describe my subjective experience, but not necessarily how God looks at it from his perspective. I know that cooperation wouldn't be possible if not for his supernatural work inside of me.No one ever says "without the supernatural power of the Spirit"; but look at Rom8:12-14, 2Tim1:12-14, and many other passages that teach the Spirit's power works THROUGH our faith.

Have you ever considered before the verses we've discussed? What do you think as you read them?

Gadgeteer
Jul 9th 2012, 06:56 AM
But what IS salvation?
You are making a case on how to get it and you are making a case on how to loose it.
What is it?Salvation is union with Christ. 1Jn1:1-3, Jn17:3. "Crucified/buried/died/immersed/UNITED" in Rom6:4-6. We are saved from the consequence of sin, death (Rm6:23); we are given immortality through and with Jesus.

Salvation is the outcome of our voluntary faith. 1Pet1:9.

Gadgeteer
Jul 9th 2012, 03:35 PM
I'm confident I will be saved and experience eternal life in heaven- I am merely saying that it is not my place to say 'why' I should go. It is God's decision, and I cannot possibly understand his plan.Hi, "Esper". It is your place, and it is your understanding to say "why", and "THAT" you have eternal life. Scripture says so.


"He who has the Son has the life; he who has not the Son of God has not the life. I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may KNOW you have eternal life." 1Jn5:12-13.


It is quite possible that despite my confidence, God will require me to go to hell as part of his plan.Nope --- it's a promise, a certainty. Now, the world views such assurance as "arrogant". Because the world perceives "salvation by personal goodness and works", it is arrogant to claim we're good enough. But Christianity does not claim that; we are saved by a gift of love, the works are the consequence of Him in our hearts and the change Jesus and the Spirit bring.

"For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth." - Hebrews 9:17Look at verse 15 --- the covenant is the PROMISE of the eternal inheritance. Not the possibility, not the smokey-unsure-hope, but the promise and certainty for all who belong to Jesus.


Heb9:27 says "it is appointed ONCE for a man to die". Not twice, not infinite. Rebirth/reincarnation is not what Jesus taught. He is not teaching what you think he's teaching."And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." - Revelation 20:14Before death and Hell are cast in, all those whose names are not written in the Lamb's Book of Life are cast in.

Again, I'm not trying to change anyone's mind- Just expressing the possibility that what I think may be valid by some stretch of imagination, however long. As you and I study Scripture, we'll both come to better understanding of what they wanted to teach.

We see here that while men die once, once death is cast down there is a second death in the lake of fire. If there is a second death for the unrighteous, who is to say that there will not be more tests of righteousness in the afterlife? If a man transgresses in heaven, shall he be free to remain in heaven? We do not know, but we do know there is at least a second death, so is it so far off to believe it is infinite? If it is indeed infinite, the only death which has any power is the first one- Perhaps this is what Hebrews 9:27 speaks of. After the first death, we will not look upon death as death, but as a new birth.There is no postmortem redemption. I perceive that when we receive immortality, we will be made perfect, and will be able to not sin.

We do not know the grand scale of God's creation, and we cannot presume to know that the afterlife is a single eternal lifespan. Indeed the accepted interpretation of his word is that there is a single heaven, but I'd like to see if it's possible that it's more complicated than that."Eternal life" is always called "the kingdom of God"; it is to be in the presence of Jesus, forever.

"They shall fear thee [God] as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations." - Psalm 72:5That's for living people; the sun and the moon are not eternal.

God himself will be the sun for those who believe. Whereas the hydrogen will dissipate, God cannot. I think you're right.

Of course the bible is the inspired word of God to me- I merely challenge myself to look deeply into HIS word. I'm not trying to get anyone to agree with me. As I've said, all I said is subjective. I am trying to look deeper into the word of God and in the clues he has given us in his creation to uncover his great mystery.The more you and I read of Scripture, the more connections we uncover, and the clearer it becomes what they wanted to teach. And they're all consistent; I've found the same teaching in all books.

There was a time "before Jesus"- an unenlightened time of chaos. He came to give us the knowledge of his holy word. What I was after, is to recognize that Jesus is eternal --- in both directions. Look at John8:56-59 --- Jesus claimed to have walked with Abraham. The Jews said, paraphrased, "No way, You're not old enough". To which Jesus replied:

"Before Abraham was born, I AM (I am God)".

And the Jews wanted to kill Him for claiming to be God. See Jn10:33.

Who is to say that he will not have so much more to say to us when we die and see his face. If he graces us with the privilege of seeing his face. This lifetime will look like an age of chaos after he instills us with his divine wisdom and shows us the nature of HIS universe.He will -- it's a promise.

I do not dismiss the word of God. I believe that what the word speaks to me is what is speaks to me, however different that may be from what is accepted. The word of God speaks to each of us in its own way. To dismiss what it says to me personally is to dismiss my faith. I WILL be proven wrong in the future, and my faith will grow in this way. But I must understand things for myself, as to do anything less is to dishonor my faith.We all grow, if our motivation is to seek His truth.

Perhaps you are the one who will change my mind, and I'd really like to hear more on the subject. Biblical citations are usually what change my mind the most. I enjoy talking about faith very much and growing at my own pace.If I persuade anyone of anything, it will not be because I'm more clever than someone else, but that I have been led by God. Those who teach will be judged more harshly and held to a much higher standard; but those who teach well, in accord with Scripture and the Spirit, will rejoice more. The greatest reward I can receive is to win more people as brothers and sisters, friends and family forever.

"For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth." - Proverbs 3:12 Yes. Now please see how that fits Heb12:7-9. It's the same thing about "fathers correcting their children", and plainly stating we can DECLINE to submit to His discipline and not (no longer) be children but illegitimate. Verse 25 says "much less shall WE escape who turn away from God".

Again, this is only my subjective interpretation of the word. I do not seek to change anyone's mind.There is no harm in changing someone's mind, if our doctrine is pure and aligned with Scripture; if our spirit and attitude is LOVE and construction, not hurt and destruction.


"...holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, in order that the opponent may be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us." Titus1:9, 2:7-8.

BroRog
Jul 9th 2012, 11:37 PM
Thank you --- that is a founding principle; all people are predestined (if any are), meaning God created most people to BE sinful and to perish. Doesn't matter if God directly writes sin into men's hearts, or sovereignly neglects them to their unavoidable wickedness and perishing; it's still His sovereign will. Problem is that opposes Scripture. Notably:

•·God desires all men to be saved (1Tim2:4)Not each and every man literally. His point is, God will save leaders and people in authority as well as everyone else, which is why we should pray for them.


•·God takes NO pleasure in the death of anyone, so repent and live (Ezk18:23, 31-32)Of course not. God creates people whom he will ultimately destroy, but it doesn't mean he likes it. The fact that he takes no pleasure in the destruction of those whom he created to be destroyed, doesn't mean he didn't create them to be destroyed.


•·God commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts17:30)Sure, and again, the fact that he commands them to repent doesn't mean that he didn't make them not repent.


•·proof to all men (Acts17:31)Again, the fact that God gives proof of himself to all men doesn't mean he didn't create some of them to be destroyed.


•·determined (all men's) positions and times so they CAN seek and perhaps find God, He's NOT FAR (Acts17:26-27)Okay, and again, the fact that he makes himself available to all men doesn't mean that he didn't plan which men he would destroy in the end.


Further, God's justice and justification responds to faith, Rm3:26.Where do you get response from that text? Paul isn't saying that God is responding to faith in that passage.


God's patience and kindness LEADS to repentance, but stubborn unrepentance stores up wrath for THEMSELVES --- Rm2:4-8.Sure, again, God is directing a narrative history in which everything follows logically from everything else. For instance, the ones whom he will ultimately destroy are the ones whom he caused to be stubborn. The alternative would be that God would destroy those whom he caused to repent, which would be weird to say the least.


These verses won't go away; and they don't fit any kind of "predestined salvation".The verses talking explicitly about a predestined salvation don't go away either. The problem we face is that we seem to have two pictures being painted in the Bible, one picture has people responding to the gospel as a matter of free will, the other picture has God's intent superimposed over man's will such that Joseph, for instance, can say to his brothers, what you intended for evil, God intended for good. One action, two opposite intents. We can shine this on or we can attempt to understand a unified, coherent picture of our existence as the Bible presents it.


Yes it does --- "sick" are "sinners" are "unrighteous" are "unregenerate".Not in Matthew 9, in my opinion. At least in the Old Testament being unregenerate is described as a fatal wound, not an illness.


No, if the Holy Spirit has already regenerated them, then they don't need Jesus!How do you figure?


And that's the problem. "Predestined-Salvation" reduces the Cross to pageantry --- "demonstrative" and not "effective".That's not a problem; that's exactly what it was. It was demonstrative: refer to Romans 3:25. If it was effective, as you suggest, then universal salvation would be true. In Romans


The Cross is central to salvation; it was on the Cross that our certificate of debt was nailed (Col2:14), it is on the Cross that Jesus propitiated the sins of all who WILL believe (1Jn2:2). These are all metaphors. The Cross isn't effective as such. What is being described is God's forgiveness in light of the fact that a person has repented after hearing the gospel. Through the cross, God announces to the world, "My son has just demonstrated to you that unless you come to me for forgiveness, you also will be forsaken just as my son was forsaken. Because of your sin, you deserve to be forsaken, not favored. But if you repent and confess your sins and ask Jesus to plead for you, then you can be saved."


The truth is that Jesus came for the UNREGENERATE, who --- through belief receive the Spirit and become regenerate!What you need to do is simply find a verse or two that says this.


Exactly --- it demonstrates God's sovereign choice, if they're "elect" then they BELIEVE, if not sovereignly chosen then they CANNOT believe. God then runs this cosmic fraud of a Judgment, judging men for what He really sovereignly ordained.
How is that a fraud? God is much more intimately involved in his creation than you give him credit for. Your view can't imagine how it can be the case that God causes our freewill choices. But in my view, God causes my freewill choices and they remain my freewill choices.


No it's not --- it's central. Accommodate Romans5:12-19 in your doctrine --- you can't. Justification came to all men, in the same way (and quantity) as condemnation came (18); to BE condemned, men must sin --- verse 12 says all men met that condition. But to BE justified/saved, men just receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness (17). Fits Jn1:12 perfectly, the right to become children of God is granted to those WHO believe.
You seem to continually trip over the phrase "all men." If Justification literally came to each and every man, i.e. all men, then Universalism is true. But we know this isn't the case. So we must allow Paul to use his language to say what HE wants to say and not assume anything about it. When he talks about justification for all men, he means justification for both Jews and Gentiles, rather than exclusively for Jews. Thus he takes us back to Adam, who didn't have any other distinction except that he walked in the Garden of Eden with God. He isn't a Jew, he isn't a Gentile, he has no father other than God, he had no status or authority or class or race or any other way we distinguish ourselves from each other. That's why Paul uses him; since he was the first, and we all came from him, he represents everybody. And in that paragraph, Paul's point is to compare and contrast the sin of mankind with the mercy of God through Jesus Christ.


Huh-uh; "monergistic regeneration" is more akin to a lobotomy, the recipients have no more choice in their actions than sinners have to choose sin and Hell (and each is therefore judged over what He has no CHOICE).
Ultimate fraudulent judgment.You argue from a mistaken assumption that if God creates our choices they are not freewill choices. This mistaken assumption is based on a mistaken view of God, which understands God to be a bigger one of us, more powerful, more knowledgeable, certainly. But whatever God creates he leaves alone to follow prescribed laws of our reality. But this is not the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible creates everything that exists, from the heart beat of a child to the flip of a dolphin's flipper. As John says in his Gospel, there isn't anything that exists that hasn't been created by him. If God is creating everything that exists, he is creating my freewill choices. If he isn't creating my freewill choices then he isn't creating everything.


The essence of that is Christ-in-you; as we draw near to God (James4:8), His heart becomes our heart, and His ability to love people (even His MURDERERS at the very moment they were KILLING Him!) becomes ours.
Please answer how "children-of-Hell-by-nature" can really be "predestined-sheep-of-God". Predestined-salvation claims "sheep" are sheep from before CREATION --- how then can they be "children-of-Hell-GOD'S-SHEEP"?
I have no idea who teaches this. I certainly didn't say that sheep are sheep from before the creation. I believe in the narrative flow of history and sheep aren't sheep until they become sheep. No wonder you are having trouble with this. You think Predestination, deciding the destiny of someone in advance, necessarily means that the outcome will not logically follow from preceding events. This idea is far from the truth. If God predestines a person to exist in the kingdom of his son, then he also orchestrates their personal history so that such people will believe God's word, persevere in faith, seek first the kingdom of God, love God, fear God, repent of sin, persevere under trial, worship Jesus, obey God, become a disciple of Jesus, and remain humble and contrite. If God predetermines the outcome, which he does, he also orchestrates the events, moments, motivations, and decisions that lead up to that outcome. Your argument is with fatalism, not divine determinism.


Please include 1Cor6:11 in your answer; hope you will answer and not just dismiss this.Don't you find it curious that Paul mentions being washed and regenerated before being justified? Just sayin'


The Spirit is received by voluntary faith.Here again, you assert that idea that the Spirit is "received", rather than imparted as Jesus tells Nicodemus.


Cause-and-effect. Do we have faith because God said so? Or do we CHOOSE faith and He RESPONDS to faith? The latter is Scripture.First of all, we don't choose faith. We either have faith or we don't. Faith is like knowledge, you either know something or you don't know it. But you mentioned cause and effect, which is part of the problem. In the reality in which we live, we rightly expect and anticipate cause and effect. And it is a mistake of our Christian philosophy and apologetics to say that God is the first cause, as if God set up a bunch of dominoes to start the process by pushing over the first one. The Bible doesn't present God as cause, it presents him as creator. God is outside of the sphere of cause and effect. He doesn't cause anything per se; rather he creates it. God isn't causing me to make the choice to believe him; he is creating me making the choice to believe him. Big difference. Christians need to adjust their philosophy to match Biblical revelation.


There is no choice under "predestined-salvation"; all is ordained by God, and saving-belief is no more resistible than sin and death (whichever way God decides for the helpless people He either created to LOVE, or sovereign God-of-love created to HATE.Again, your argument is with fatalism, the doctrine that says the outcome does not follow logically from the events that preceded it. The God of the Bible orchestrates history such that everything that happens follows logically from the preceding event. If I respond to the gospel in faith, it is because that someone has preached the gospel to me in order that I might respond to the gospel. Terms like resistible or irresistible only make sense inside this creation, this reality, but have no bearing on a transcendent creator who creates everything. I can understand why you don't think predestination makes sense as you continue to think in terms of the reality in which we live as finite creatures.


Please think about what I just said --- 1Jn4:16 says "God is love" --- but under your doctrine, He is NOT love for the vast majority, He is HATE and unavoidable sin and perishing! Why? Isn't God sovereign enough to pull off the whole thing monergistically? What you're saying makes sense if it applies to ALL MEN --- but that opposes "predestined-salvation", doesn't it? Please explain what kind of justice it is for a man to be born under God's HATE (without His love), with no hope for avoiding sin or the fires of Hell? At his judgment, he'll say "God! I had no other choice!" And God will say what? "Tough toenails"?Again, your argument is with fatalism, in which choices have no bearing on the outcome. But putting that aside for the moment, remember that in terms of a transcendent creator, the final outcome isn't a matter of judgment, its a matter of narrative. In Paul's example of the potter, the potter makes a toilet because he wants a toilet. But let's suppose we modify Paul's analogy of the potter this way. Suppose the potter makes a pot that cracks in the kiln during the time that it is being fired. And suppose the potter decides to break the pot and start over? Now, this isn't something God would do because his creations always turn out the way he wants them.

But for the sake of argument, let's consider the cracked pot. If the potter decides to toss away the pot, doesn't he have the right to do so? Will the pot say, "hey, why are you judging me so harshly?" The potter is going to say, "I'm not judging you. I am not destroying you because of something you did, but because of something you are. You are a broken pot that is useless to me."

Returning to Paul's analogy, he says that the potter has the right to make a vase or a toilet from the same lump of clay. And he says that God, as the creator, makes some to be destroyed and others on whom he will show mercy. The creator isn't passing sentence on the pot, the final outcome of the pot was a significant aspect of why the pot was created in the first place. When God destroys people in the final judgment, he is simply destroying people he created to be destroyed. This is not passing sentence on the person for moral crimes that were done. This is simply using the pot for the purpose for which it was created.


Please re-read Deuteronomy30:11-20, the connected passage of Romans10:6-10, and Acts17:26-31 --- and tell me that God does not make SURE that ALL MEN have the sincere chance at salvation. You can dismiss those passages and decline to interact with them; but you can't fit them to your doctrine. Deut30;11-20, Rm10:6-10, and Acts17:26-31 fully assert that God overcomes our sinfulness enough that each CAN believe. In no way can "God determined men's times and boundaries that they should seek God and perhaps find Him, though He is not far from ANYONE" --- no way can that be made into "God predestines MOST to disbelieve and PERISH".Tell me how?

Deut30:12 all by itself is a foundational refutation of "monergistic regeneration"; there is no defense.I can not defend the idea that God provides each and every man with the sincere chance at salvation. For a creator, nothing is left to chance. But even in Deuteronomy we come to understand that Israel will fail to obey God and always remain stubborn until God circumcises their hearts. This can not be true if salvation was simply a matter of a free, autonomous choice. God could never promise Israel that each and every one of them would come to faith, if it was left up to human volition. All we need to do is visit the previous chapter in Deuteronomy, chapter 29, to see God make a trans-generational promise that won't come about for thousands of years, when God will circumcise their hearts, which is fulfilled in Deut. 30:1-6. If we understand the scope and the magnitude of what God is about to accomplish in Israel, then we can't come to any other conclusion but that our salvation is in the hands of God who opens eyes, and soften hearts, and guarantees that an entire nation of people will come to believe and have faith in God. If that ain't a miracle then I don't know what is.

John146
Jul 10th 2012, 06:28 PM
Not each and every man literally. His point is, God will save leaders and people in authority as well as everyone else, which is why we should pray for them.How do you interpret the following verse:

1 Tim 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

This verse divides "all men" into "those that believe" and those that do not believe so that would include literally all people since all people either believe or they do not. I don't know why the "all men" of 1 Tim 2:3-4 wouldn't also include all people. What verses like these mean is that only God can save people and give them eternal life and He wants to do that for all people. But He doesn't want to force people to do what He wants. He gives everyone the choice. Faith and love can't be forced.


Of course not. God creates people whom he will ultimately destroy, but it doesn't mean he likes it. The fact that he takes no pleasure in the destruction of those whom he created to be destroyed, doesn't mean he didn't create them to be destroyed. I think you need to read the verse again.

Ezekiel 18:23 Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?

What you didn't address in your comments is the fact that not only does God not take any pleasure in the death of the wicked but He would rather that a wicked man "turn from his ways and live" than die in his wickedness. What you said here does not line up with that because you're trying to say that God purposely creates some "people whom he will ultimately destroy" to be wicked with no chance of ever repenting of their ways. But this verse says he wants the wicked to repent before they die. Your doctrine says that He doesn't want the wicked to ever repent before they die. Scripture says that He commands all people everywhere to repent, so how does your doctrine line up with that?

Acts 17:30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.(AW) 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” (NIV)


Sure, and again, the fact that he commands them to repent doesn't mean that he didn't make them not repent. Why would He command people to repent and at the same time make it so that they can't? That makes no sense whatsoever.


Again, the fact that God gives proof of himself to all men doesn't mean he didn't create some of them to be destroyed. Scripture doesn't attribute man's condemnation and destruction as being God's doing. It indicates that it is man's own doing as can be seen here:

Acts 13:44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

It wasn't God who purposely created those particular unbelieving Jews to be unworthy of everlasting life, they judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life by willingly rejecting the gospel when it was preached to them.


You seem to continually trip over the phrase "all men."You continually misunderstand what "all men" means. It doesn't mean "some men" as you try to claim.


If Justification literally came to each and every man, i.e. all men, then Universalism is true.The opportunity for justification came to each and every person. That is what scripture clearly teaches. No one has any excuse for rejecting God's offer of salvation and justification. Read Matt 22:1-14 and you should see that being part of the bride of Christ involves an invitation that is given out to all people with each person having the choice of whether to accept it or not.


Here again, you assert that idea that the Spirit is "received", rather than imparted as Jesus tells Nicodemus. He asserts that because that is very clearly taught in scripture.

John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Gal 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Gal 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?


First of all, we don't choose faith. We either have faith or we don't.We don't choose to either put our faith and trust in Christ and to serve Him or to put our faith and trust in someone or something else? Is that what Joshua taught?

Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.


Faith is like knowledge, you either know something or you don't know it.If we're talking about the faith that is required for salvation then it is more than just knowledge. The faith that results in salvation has to do with trusting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior (Rom 10:9-13).

BroRog
Jul 10th 2012, 10:11 PM
How do you interpret the following verse:

1 Tim 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

This verse divides "all men" into "those that believe" and those that do not believe so that would include literally all people since all people either believe or they do not. I don't know why the "all men" of 1 Tim 2:3-4 wouldn't also include all people.
The last time I checked and unless you changed your mind recently, I don't think you believe in universalism or the theological doctrine that all people will eventually be saved. But I don't know what else you might mean by "literally all people." I don't think Paul is saying that all people will eventually be saved, even those who do not believe. The alternative has to be that Paul's use of the term "all men" is intended to say, "God does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, economic status, class, gender, age, slave or free, or any other way we classify ourselves."


What verses like these mean is that only God can save people and give them eternal life and He wants to do that for all people. But He doesn't want to force people to do what He wants. He gives everyone the choice. Faith and love can't be forced.Who said anything about force?


I think you need to read the verse again.

Ezekiel 18:23 Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?

What you didn't address in your comments is the fact that not only does God not take any pleasure in the death of the wicked but He would rather that a wicked man "turn from his ways and live" than die in his wickedness. What you said here does not line up with that because you're trying to say that God purposely creates some "people whom he will ultimately destroy" to be wicked with no chance of ever repenting of their ways. But this verse says he wants the wicked to repent before they die. Your doctrine says that He doesn't want the wicked to ever repent before they die. Scripture says that He commands all people everywhere to repent, so how does your doctrine line up with that?

Acts 17:30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.(AW) 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” (NIV)
Just so you know Eric, these verses don't present a problem for me and fit quite nicely in my view of God, because the Biblical view of God is that he is a transcendent creator God who happened to also reveal himself through his interaction with his people Israel. For me, it is quite understandable that God would state his preference that people didn't perish, while at the same time create them as those who will perish. It is perfectly logical that a creator God would make an appeal to a nation of people, some of whom he knows he destined for destruction. This isn't a problem for me. It isn't a problem for me that God states his displeasure in the death of the wicked even as he knows he predestined them to destruction.


Why would He command people to repent and at the same time make it so that they can't? That makes no sense whatsoever.Of course, stated that way it doesn't make any sense. But God's predestination does not require him to prevent anyone from making a decision they want to make. We need to be careful, when we formulate our Biblical philosophy, that we don't make God out to be a creature like one of us. As the creator, God does not deal in cause and effect the way we do. God doesn't cause people to believe and he doesn't cause people not to believe. Rather, what he creates is what exists. And what exists makes rational sense. So then, if God needs to have a person believe in him, he creates a person believing him. He doesn't start with a person as he exists and make a believer out of him by persuasion, coercion, or courtship. That's how creatures interact with each other. Rather, God creates a believer out of nothing. The same God who speaks light into existence is the same God who speaks believers into existence.


Scripture doesn't attribute man's condemnation and destruction as being God's doing. It indicates that it is man's own doing as can be seen here:

Acts 13:44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. It wasn't God who purposely created those particular unbelieving Jews to be unworthy of everlasting life, they judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life by willingly rejecting the gospel when it was preached to them.What you are reading is how Paul interacted with other human beings, not how the transcendent creator interacted with them.

In Romans 9, Paul clearly says that God creates, according to a prior plan, one person on whom he will have mercy and another person whom he will destroy. And, he argues, the basis of whether God has mercy on a person or destroys them is NOT a man's decision or his actions.


You continually misunderstand what "all men" means. It doesn't mean "some men" as you try to claim.Really, isn't this a little silly? If you want to claim that "all men" means, "each and every man", then I think our Christians sisters will have a problem with that. I don't know anyone who teaches that salvation is only for the males among our species.


The opportunity for justification came to each and every person. That is what scripture clearly teaches.In order to understand a phrase like "all men" we need to see it in context. I think you are adding the concept of "opportunity", but I can't tell without knowing which particular passage you have in mind.


No one has any excuse for rejecting God's offer of salvation and justification. Read Matt 22:1-14 and you should see that being part of the bride of Christ involves an invitation that is given out to all people with each person having the choice of whether to accept it or not.
Of course, I never said otherwise.


We don't choose to either put our faith and trust in Christ and to serve Him or to put our faith and trust in someone or something else? Is that what Joshua taught?Believing something and putting faith in something and someone are two different things.


If we're talking about the faith that is required for salvation then it is more than just knowledge. The faith that results in salvation has to do with trusting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior (Rom 10:9-13).Again, faith and trust are two different things. The faith that is required for salvation is simply the acknowledgment of what is true. What we have been taught is that faith is the ONLY mark of those who belong to God, which isn't true. And we know it isn't true, which is why we pack all these other concepts, such as "trust" for instance, into our definition of faith. But strictly speaking, the original definition of "faith", the definition that Jesus and Paul used, is simply the acknowledgment of what is true. When Jesus says, "ye of little faith", he means "ye who haven't yet affirmed all that needs to be affirmed."

Gadgeteer
Jul 11th 2012, 10:10 PM
Not each and every man literally.Hi, Roger. :wave:
First, I commend you --- you took considerable time in writing a reply, I appreciate your enthusiasm. :-)

I believe Paul meant "each and every man literally"; by saying "kings and ALL authority", he really is encouraging us to pray for all kings and all leaders, though not all authorities will be saved. That we're praying for ALL leaders, proves we're not just s'posed to be praying that "they might be elect" (a futile prayer anyway, we can't pray that God would CHANGE His sovereign ordination!). No, we're to pray that ALL our authorities BECOME saved, SO THAT our lives will be peaceful.
His point is, God will save leaders and people in authority as well as everyone else, which is why we should pray for them.What are we praying for? That God would change His mind that He set before creation? We're praying for them to CHANGE, which does not fit "predestination".

Of course not. God creates people whom he will ultimately destroy, but it doesn't mean he likes it. The fact that he takes no pleasure in the destruction of those whom he created to be destroyed, doesn't mean he didn't create them to be destroyed. He's admonishing them to REPENT --- to change. "Why would you die? Repent and LIVE!" Would God say that to someone He's ordained to PERISH?
(Neither would He say that to someone He's ordained to LIVE!)


Sure, and again, the fact that he commands them to repent doesn't mean that he didn't make them not repent. First, context --- He's made it so that ALL MEN can repent and believe and be saved; that's the context of "all men repent". To perceive that God commands everyone to repent even though He knows He's ordained and KEPT most from repenting, would make God insincere, hypocritical, and (per Rom2:6-8) a fraudulent judge.

Again, the fact that God gives proof of himself to all men doesn't mean he didn't create some of them to be destroyed.
Yes, it does; in context all men can seek and perhaps find God, He's not far from ANYONE. How far is God from those He's ordained to perish? Infinitely far, isn't He?

How is the doctrine of "predestined-salvation" fitting these verses?

Okay, and again, the fact that he makes himself available to all men doesn't mean that he didn't plan which men he would destroy in the end. And again, how far away is He from those He's ordained to disbelieve and perish? Infinitely far. The "not-far" concept is in Acts17, Rm10, and Deut30. Please tell us how Deut30:12 is not a foundational refutation of "monergism".

Gadgeteer
Jul 11th 2012, 10:12 PM
Where do you get response from that text? Paul isn't saying that God is responding to faith in that passage. He is justifier of those WHO believe --- that's a "response". In Heb11:6, those who COME to God must believe He is (must come by faith), and that He rewards those WHO seek Him --- God responds to faith. It's the same in Acts10:34-35, where if God welcomed/ordained/elected those who do NOT come to Him through faith, Peter says that would make God "partial/biased/fraudulent".


God's patience and kindness LEADS to repentance, but stubborn unrepentance stores up wrath for THEMSELVES --- Rm2:4-8. Sure, again, God is directing a narrative history in which everything follows logically from everything else. For instance, the ones whom he will ultimately destroy are the ones whom he caused to be stubborn. The alternative would be that God would destroy those whom he caused to repent, which would be weird to say the least. Please tell us how "lead-to-repentance", applies to "those-He-CAUSED-not-to-repent"? How isn't Paul rebuking unrepentant people TOWARDS repentance?

The verses talking explicitly about a predestined salvation don't go away either.What verses? Not Eph1:4-5 or 1:11, not Rom9:11-21, not Rom8:29-35. Not Acts13:48, not 1Cor2:14, not 2Cor4:3-4, not Jer13:23 (or 10:9), not Prov16:4, not Ezk36:26-27, and not a couple dozen other similar verses. What verses do you think "explicitly talk about predestined salvation"?
The problem we face is that we seem to have two pictures being painted in the Bible, one picture has people responding to the gospel as a matter of free will, the other picture has God's intent superimposed over man's will such that Joseph, for instance, can say to his brothers, what you intended for evil, God intended for good. One action, two opposite intents. We can shine this on or we can attempt to understand a unified, coherent picture of our existence as the Bible presents it. Did God WRITE the brothers' actions into their hearts? Take Acts4:27-28 -- do you believe God WROTE the sin of murdering Jesus into their hearts?

Gadgeteer
Jul 11th 2012, 10:13 PM
Yes it does --- "sick" are "sinners" are "unrighteous" are "unregenerate". Not in Matthew 9, in my opinion."Sick" and "sinners" are not synonymous with "unregenerate"? How are they not?
At least in the Old Testament being unregenerate is described as a fatal wound, not an illness. "Sinners" then; implied is unrepentance, which is antithetical with "repentant/saved".


No, if the Holy Spirit has already regenerated them, then they don't need Jesus!How do you figure? Did you see my quote from Spurgeon? A "regenerated" person is righteous; he has live (is made alive). So what purpose would a righteous/spiritually-alive person have with Jesus? As Spurgeon said, "He is righteous already --- this is bringing the medicine to the already cured, it is preaching Christ to the righteous!

That's not a problem; that's exactly what it was. It was demonstrative: refer to Romans 3:25. If it was effective, as you suggest, then universal salvation would be true. In Romans Jesus dying on the Cross is far more than demonstrative. It's no more "universal salvation" than is 1Tin4:10, where "Savior of all men" is provision, and "malista/above-all believers" is fulfillment.

Read again Romans5, where condemnation came to all men, and in the exact same way and measure justification came to all men. In no way can "all men" or "the many" be made to be "few", or "some", for either condemnation or justification. "Justification CAME to all" is the provision, and verse 7 asserts the condition for the provision to fulfill --- those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness.

Gadgeteer
Jul 11th 2012, 10:13 PM
These are all metaphors. The Cross isn't effective as such.The Cross is effective, period. It is salvation for all who will believe. Can you tell me what connection there is between Matt9:12-13 (Jesus coming for sinners), and regeneration? At what point do those He came for, get regenerated? How does it connect with the two verses?
What is being described is God's forgiveness in light of the fact that a person has repented after hearing the gospel. Through the cross, God announces to the world, "My son has just demonstrated to you that unless you come to me for forgiveness, you also will be forsaken just as my son was forsaken. Because of your sin, you deserve to be forsaken, not favored. But if you repent and confess your sins and ask Jesus to plead for you, then you can be saved." So whose choice is repentance?

What you need to do is simply find a verse or two that says this. If you'll agree that "regeneration" coexists with "have-life/made-alive" (that is, no one can be regenerated without being made-alive, nor can anyone have-life without being regenerated) --- then please tell us how regeneration comes BEFORE belief in Jn20:31, or 5:40.



Exactly --- it demonstrates God's sovereign choice, if they're "elect" then they BELIEVE, if not sovereignly chosen then they CANNOT believe. God then runs this cosmic fraud of a Judgment, judging men for what He really sovereignly ordained.How is that a fraud? God is much more intimately involved in his creation than you give him credit for.The dictionary definition of "responsible", is "accountable as CAUSE for something within one's power or control". Is it in our power and control to repent from sin? Do we make the choice? Or does God ultimately choose for us?
Your view can't imagine how it can be the case that God causes our freewill choices.No, I can't; for what God CAUSES (soveriegnly ordains), is no longer our choice. Suppose I jump out of an airplane --- do I choose to fall? Can I choose anything else?

So if God ordains our salvation without our volition, then He cannot judge us for belief or unbelief, we cannot be admonished to "SAVE OURSELVES by our own perseverance" (1Tim4:16), we cannot even interfere in the salvation of OTHERS (Jude23 interfere-for-good, Rm14:15 and Matt23:23-25 interfere for bad).
But in my view, God causes my freewill choices and they remain my freewill choices. Some day I'd like to understand how God violates the essence of love ("love does not demand its own way" 1Cor13:5), and CHOOSE our "freewill choices".

What kind of free will is it that doesn't have but one choice?

Gadgeteer
Jul 11th 2012, 10:14 PM
You seem to continually trip over the phrase "all men." If Justification literally came to each and every man, i.e. all men, then Universalism is true. But we know this isn't the case. So we must allow Paul to use his language to say what HE wants to say and not assume anything about it. When he talks about justification for all men, he means justification for both Jews and Gentiles, rather than exclusively for Jews.Can't be --- he makes an exact equality:
SO THEN condemnation to all, EVEN SO justification to all".

"Justification" is available to the exact same number as condemnation was available to. Condemnation came conditionally; to BE condemned, we must sin --- in Rom5:12 everyone meets the condition.

Justification likewise came conditionally; but unlike "everyone-meets", verse 17 says those WHO receive the abundance of grace and (who receive) the gift of righteousness reign with Jesus (become justified).

Why does he make a point about "those-who-receive", if it's really all God's choice?

Thus he takes us back to Adam, who didn't have any other distinction except that he walked in the Garden of Eden with God. He isn't a Jew, he isn't a Gentile, he has no father other than God, he had no status or authority or class or race or any other way we distinguish ourselves from each other. That's why Paul uses him; since he was the first, and we all came from him, he represents everybody. And in that paragraph, Paul's point is to compare and contrast the sin of mankind with the mercy of God through Jesus Christ. And through one man came sin to ALL, in the same way through another man came justification to ALL. Justification came to the same people as condemnation came to.

You argue from a mistaken assumption that if God creates our choices they are not freewill choices.No, not if God CREATES our choices, but rather if God makes our choices for us. God does not create sin; but he creates an ESCAPE for temptation (1Cor10:12-13), and permits US to choose the sin, or the escape. (this passage alone destroys "predestined-salvation".)
This mistaken assumption is based on a mistaken view of God, which understands God to be a bigger one of us, more powerful, more knowledgeable, certainly. But whatever God creates he leaves alone to follow prescribed laws of our reality. But this is not the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible creates everything that exists, from the heart beat of a child to the flip of a dolphin's flipper.Sin exists, God does not create sin. God has nothing to do with sin!
As John says in his Gospel, there isn't anything that exists that hasn't been created by him. If God is creating everything that exists, he is creating my freewill choices.What are your "freewill choices" in 1Cor10:12-13?
If he isn't creating my freewill choices then he isn't creating everything. Please read 1Sam23:12. David had two choices --- stay and be captured, or leave and escape. Who made the choice?

I have no idea who teaches this. I certainly didn't say that sheep are sheep from before the creation. I believe in the narrative flow of history and sheep aren't sheep until they become sheep.A lot of Reformed people do.
No wonder you are having trouble with this. You think Predestination, deciding the destiny of someone in advance, necessarily means that the outcome will not logically follow from preceding events.Many RT people read John10:26-28, and think that God's (predestined) sheep COME to Him. Your statement of "they are not sheep until the become sheep" fits Jn10:9, and how I perceive it.
This idea is far from the truth. If God predestines a person to exist in the kingdom of his son, then he also orchestrates their personal history so that such people will believe God's word, persevere in faith, seek first the kingdom of God, love God, fear God, repent of sin, persevere under trial, worship Jesus, obey God, become a disciple of Jesus, and remain humble and contrite.Two things --- how does Acts17:26-31 NOT say that "God determines men's places and times so they MAY seek Him", and how did Jesus NOT ordain all twelve disciples to "bear fruit that remains"? Jn15:16 (I chose you to be disciples and ordained you to bear fruit that remains), Jn6:70 (I chose you the twelve).
If God predetermines the outcome, which he does, he also orchestrates the events, moments, motivations, and decisions that lead up to that outcome. Your argument is with fatalism, not divine determinism. That's the thing; I see little difference between "divine determinism" and "fatalism".

Jude23 says "SAVE others, snatching them from the fire". How does this become:
"SAVE others if they're predestined (and saving is unavoidable), not-really snatching them from the fire 'cause they were predestined and never in DANGER of fire"?


Don't you find it curious that Paul mentions being washed and regenerated before being justified? Just sayin'There is no separation between "washed/regenerated" and "sanctified" and "justified", in 1Cor6:11.


Here again, you assert that idea that the Spirit is "received", rather than imparted as Jesus tells Nicodemus. The words "received" and "gifted" and "poured" are written and interchangeable in Acts10:45-47.

First of all, we don't choose faith. We either have faith or we don't.Then why did Jesus say those who DO His words (believe) are wise, those who DO NOT do His words are foolish --- Matt7:24-27?

What makes the difference between those who study Scripture and believe in 2Tim3:15, and those who study but WILL NOT believe in Jn5:39-47
Faith is like knowledge, you either know something or you don't know it. But you mentioned cause and effect, which is part of the problem.In Heb11:6 it's portrayed as a decision.
In the reality in which we live, we rightly expect and anticipate cause and effect. And it is a mistake of our Christian philosophy and apologetics to say that God is the first cause, as if God set up a bunch of dominoes to start the process by pushing over the first one.But (Rm2) God leads men to faith and repentance, but stubborn refusal stores up wrath for themselves.
The Bible doesn't present God as cause, it presents him as creator. God is outside of the sphere of cause and effect. He doesn't cause anything per se; rather he creates it. God isn't causing me to make the choice to believe him; he is creating me making the choice to believe him. Big difference. Christians need to adjust their philosophy to match Biblical revelation. If He ordains belief in SOME, and ordains unbelief in OTHERS, then He is "prime cause".

Again, your argument is with fatalism, the doctrine that says the outcome does not follow logically from the events that preceded it. The God of the Bible orchestrates history such that everything that happens follows logically from the preceding event. If I respond to the gospel in faith, it is because that someone has preached the gospel to me in order that I might respond to the gospel. Terms like resistible or irresistible only make sense inside this creation, this reality, but have no bearing on a transcendent creator who creates everything. I can understand why you don't think predestination makes sense as you continue to think in terms of the reality in which we live as finite creatures. I continue to think in terms of Scripture, Roger. And I mean no offense, you also think you do; but too many "don't-be-deceived-away-from-God-and-Jesus" verses exist to ignore. Col2:6-8, 1Jn1:26-28, 2Jn1:7-9, 2Pet3:17, Heb3:6-14, 2Cor11:3, and dozens like these.


Again, your argument is with fatalism, in which choices have no bearing on the outcome. But putting that aside for the moment, remember that in terms of a transcendent creator, the final outcome isn't a matter of judgment, its a matter of narrative. In Paul's example of the potter, the potter makes a toilet because he wants a toilet.Have we agreed on what Paul meant by "time" and "atimia"? Do you perceive that "atimia" are unsaved?
But let's suppose we modify Paul's analogy of the potter this way. Suppose the potter makes a pot that cracks in the kiln during the time that it is being fired. And suppose the potter decides to break the pot and start over? Now, this isn't something God would do because his creations always turn out the way he wants them.

But for the sake of argument, let's consider the cracked pot.Do you know any crack-pots??? :-P
If the potter decides to toss away the pot, doesn't he have the right to do so? Will the pot say, "hey, why are you judging me so harshly?" The potter is going to say, "I'm not judging you. I am not destroying you because of something you did, but because of something you are. You are a broken pot that is useless to me." As you said, that would be because the CREATOR, made a FLAW. We don't believe God makes mistakes.

Returning to Paul's analogy, he says that the potter has the right to make a vase or a toilet from the same lump of clay. And he says that God, as the creator, makes some to be destroyed and others on whom he will show mercy. Let's come to agreement on whether there are TWO pots in Romans9 ("time-honor" saved, and "atimia-dishonor-vessels-of-wrath-prepared-for-destruction") --- or THREE pots (the wrath-vessels are NOT the "atimia-common" vessels). Which do you perceive?
The creator isn't passing sentence on the pot, the final outcome of the pot was a significant aspect of why the pot was created in the first place. When God destroys people in the final judgment, he is simply destroying people (whom) he created to be destroyed. Did He create sin?
This is not passing sentence on the person for moral crimes that were done. This is simply using the pot for the purpose for which it was created. Who made the decision that men commit moral crimes?

I can not defend the idea that God provides each and every man with the sincere chance at salvation.I can. Deut30:11-20, Rm10:6-10, Acts17:26-31 are clear. Deut says "I have set before you life and death ...so CHOOSE life, by loving God, by obeying His voice and by holding fast to Him."
For a creator, nothing is left to chance. But even in Deuteronomy we come to understand that Israel will fail to obey God and always remain stubborn until God circumcises their hearts. This can not be true if salvation was simply a matter of a free, autonomous choice. God could never promise Israel that each and every one of them would come to faith, if it was left up to human volition. All we need to do is visit the previous chapter in Deuteronomy, chapter 29, to see God make a trans-generational promise that won't come about for thousands of years, when God will circumcise their hearts, which is fulfilled in Deut. 30:1-6. If we understand the scope and the magnitude of what God is about to accomplish in Israel, then we can't come to any other conclusion but that our salvation is in the hands of God who opens eyes, and soften hearts, and guarantees that an entire nation of people will come to believe and have faith in God. If that ain't a miracle then I don't know what is.Not all men have faith; faith is causal, not consequential. Those who perish do so because of unbelief, Jn3:18, 1Jn5:10. Those WHO desire righteousness come to Jesus, but those WHO desire sin stay in the darkness; God does not decide.

BroRog
Jul 12th 2012, 01:04 AM
Hi, Roger. :wave:
First, I commend you --- you took considerable time in writing a reply, I appreciate your enthusiasm. :-)

I believe Paul meant "each and every man literally"; by saying "kings and ALL authority", he really is encouraging us to pray for all kings and all leaders, though not all authorities will be saved. That we're praying for ALL leaders, proves we're not just s'posed to be praying that "they might be elect" (a futile prayer anyway, we can't pray that God would CHANGE His sovereign ordination!). No, we're to pray that ALL our authorities BECOME saved, SO THAT our lives will be peaceful.I don't see this as a problem for my view. Both of us agree that just because God desires that all men be saved, doesn't mean that all men WILL be saved. We both agree on that. Where we disagree is over the reason why they don't get saved. I assume you think the reason why all men won't get saved is because God leaves it up to each man to make his own decision about the matter.

We know from other scriptures that he does NOT leave it up to each man to decide for himself. Therefore I conclude that while God desires that all men be saved, he also desires to bring about his plans, which involves planning whom to save and whom to destroy in the end. To me, this simply means that God's emotional states are as complex as mine, maybe more and that just as I have conflicting desires, so does he.


What are we praying for? That God would change His mind that He set before creation? We're praying for them to CHANGE, which does not fit "predestination".I don't see why not. Again, if God is creating everything, then it makes sense that he would create me praying for every leader to come to belief and have some come to faith and others not come to faith. It's a perfectly rational scenario.


He's admonishing them to REPENT --- to change. "Why would you die? Repent and LIVE!" [color=red]Would God say that to someone He's ordained to PERISH?I don't see why not. If God wants to create a scenario in which he admonishes everyone to repent, and then he creates some to perish and others to survive and he did this in order to make history go according to his script, then it makes rational sense from the point of view of a creator.


First, context --- He's made it so that ALL MEN can repent and believe and be saved; that's the context of "all men repent". To perceive that God commands everyone to repent even though He knows He's ordained and KEPT most from repenting, would make God insincere, hypocritical, and (per Rom2:6-8) a fraudulent judge.
You speak as if God isn't the creator, but something lessor. As a creature, yes, it would be hypocritical for me to ask you to act when I know you can't act or I prevent your action. But God isn't a creature like you and me. He doesn't need to cause me to do something, he simply creates me doing it.


Yes, it does; in context all men can seek and perhaps find God, He's not far from ANYONE. How far is God from those He's ordained to perish? Infinitely far, isn't He?Very close. In fact, since he creates them seeking him, he is infinitely more intimate with them, than if he was a creature who simply tried to persuade, beg, argue, and etc. with them.

BroRog
Jul 12th 2012, 01:27 AM
He is justifier of those WHO believe --- that's a "response".Not necessarily. You ascribe cause and effect to a passage where none is explicitly stated. Just because the rooster crows when the sun comes up, it doesn't mean that the rooster caused the sun to come up.


In Heb11:6, those who COME to God must believe He is (must come by faith), and that He rewards those WHO seek Him --- God responds to faith.Same answer as above. Correlation doesn't mean cause and effect.


It's the same in Acts10:34-35, where if God welcomed/ordained/elected those who do NOT come to Him through faith, Peter says that would make God "partial/biased/fraudulent".Again, it makes total sense for God to 1) create a Peter to announce that salvation is open to all who seek him and 2) create some who seek him and others who don't, all according to his script for history.


Please tell us how "lead-to-repentance", applies to "those-He-CAUSED-not-to-repent"?As I say, God doesn't cause things to happen; he creates them happening. Your argument boils down to one major objection: it is absurd to think that God would send out a general call for repentance if he knew he was going to keep some from repenting. But this argument is based on an incorrect premise that God causes things to happen rather than creating them happening. If we accept John's word that God creates everything and without him nothing has come into being that has come into being and if we accept Paul's perspective that God creates pots for his own purposes, then your premise that God simply waits for things to happen, e.g. a man repents when he feels like it, is mistaken.

If we reject that premise, then it is not absurd that the creator of all that exists would create himself giving a general call to repent and then create some who do repent and others who do not repent. Seen from the perspective of a creator, the objection is answered.

BroRog
Jul 12th 2012, 05:08 AM
"Sick" and "sinners" are not synonymous with "unregenerate"? How are they not?We have regenerate sinners, righteous sinners if you will.

Did you see my quote from Spurgeon?No. I tend to ignore things like that.


A "regenerated" person is righteous; he has live (is made alive). So what purpose would a righteous/spiritually-alive person have with Jesus? As Spurgeon said, "He is righteous already --- this is bringing the medicine to the already cured, it is preaching Christ to the righteous!
Spurgeon has probably forgot about Zacharias and Elizabeth.


Jesus dying on the Cross is far more than demonstrative.Yes, you said that. I showed you the passage from Romans. Perhaps you missed it.


Read again Romans5, where condemnation came to all men, and in the exact same way and measure justification came to all men.Funny, but Paul is actually arguing the opposite. Contrary to it being given "in the exact same way and measure" he argues that God's grace superabounds.


In no way can "all men" or "the many" be made to be "few", or "some", for either condemnation or justification.You have yet to show why your view isn't universalism.

BroRog
Jul 12th 2012, 06:28 AM
Can't be --- he makes an exact equality:
SO THEN condemnation to all, EVEN SO justification to all".

"Justification" is available to the exact same number as condemnation was available to. Condemnation came conditionally; to BE condemned, we must sin --- in Rom5:12 everyone meets the condition.

Justification likewise came conditionally; but unlike "everyone-meets", verse 17 says those WHO receive the abundance of grace and (who receive) the gift of righteousness reign with Jesus (become justified).Then justification didn't come to all men. If justification is only being given to those who meet some kind of condition, then it isn't being given to all men, but only some of the men. This really is simple logic. All we need to is ask, "was anyone left out or denied justification? If the answer comes back yes, then we understand that not everyone was granted justification.


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


"Many" doesn't mean "all" in my dictionary.


Why does he make a point about "those-who-receive", if it's really all God's choice?I don't see the problem here. Remember, Paul is talking about grace, not merit. The beneficence begins in the hands of the giver, who decides whom to bless. It is a weird quirk of Christian doctrine to suppose that the receiver is making the choice.


No, not if God CREATES our choices, but rather if God makes our choices for us.But God doesn't make our choices for us, he creates us making our free-will choices. God is the creator of all that exists and apart from him nothing has come into being that came into being, as John says.


God does not create sin . . .


John 1:3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.


If sin came into being, then God brought into being. "Apart from him", John says, "nothing came into being", including sin, "that has come into being." (It would seem Christians spend too much time on verse 1 and not enough time on verse 3. :) )


Who made the choice?God created David making a choice.


A lot of Reformed people do.Sure, and a lot of Reformed people do bad philosophy, which is why Arminians continue to blast their socks off in debates. But we must maintain the distinction between God's written script, which he planned beforehand from before the foundation of the world and the script as it works its way out in history. Those who criticize the doctrine of God's election couch their argument as if Calvinists are saying that a person's salvation has no antecedent in their personal history. God just decides a man's fate and it doesn't matter what the man does. But Calvinists aren't fatalists. Just because they can't articulate their position very well, doesn't mean they don't understand the New Testament and neither do they think it doesn't matter what we do. It DOES matter what we do. There is always some thing or event that logically precedes the moment of being born again. And there remains an antecedent to that moment. If salvation is inevitable for the elect, then each and every event that leads up to conversion makes logical sense and each and every event that comes after conversion makes logical sense of that conversion and if God promises to save the elect, then he promises that he is able to direct and orchestrate all events that lead up to salvation.

The point I'm making is simple. Whether God is simply a watchmaker who has made a watch that continually runs down according to natural laws, or God is a creator who creates everything that happens as it happens, the phenomena will look the same. We can't argue that since it appears that we live in a mechanical deterministic universe in which God has taken his hands off of the reigns, that our observations would be different if God was creating the universe ex-nihilo on a moment-by-moment basis.


That's the thing; I see little difference between "divine determinism" and "fatalism".The difference is in the narrative flow of history. Fatalists tend to think to themselves, "If everything has been predetermined, then why should I get out of bed today?" What an odd way to look at things. If every event is inevitable, then whether you get up or stay in bed is inevitable too. Even fatalists can't help believing that they have local control over their own choices. Everything might be inevitable "out-there" so I guess I will decide to stay in bed as if things aren't just as inevitable in my bedroom. he he, isn't that funny. :)

Divine determinism is the doctrine that God is the transcendent creator who creates everything and that apart from him, nothing came into being that has come into being. And since God is rational and logical, the history he creates flows logically moment-by-moment unless he decides to do something different, which we call a "miracle." But we don't experience our reality this way. We observe that each event becomes the antecedent of subsequent events and that history flows logically forward as we make our choices and take action as free-will agents.


Jude23 says "SAVE others, snatching them from the fire". How does this become:
"SAVE others if they're predestined (and saving is unavoidable), not-really snatching them from the fire 'cause they were predestined and never in DANGER of fire"?
Hopefully by now you can guess how I would answer this because I am getting bored. You press the issue of what you consider to be the absurdity of divine determinism, which is that according to the doctrine of predestination, salvation does not logically fit into a person's history, it does not logically flow from antecedent events, which is far from the truth. If salvation is inevitable, it does not necessarily follow that a predestined salvation will lack any or all of the antecedent events and actions of others, such as giving warnings, giving alter calls, persuading someone to think twice or any number of other logically antecedent events. Of course, if God will make someone's salvation inevitable, he will make his hearing the gospel inevitable, he will make it inevitable that a preacher come to town, he will make it inevitable that he will believe the preacher, he will make it inevitable . . . It's all or nothing. God creates history, and if he intends to save a man, then that man's history will logically and inevitably lead up to his salvation.


If He ordains belief in SOME, and ordains unbelief in OTHERS, then He is "prime cause".No. A philosophical, theological mistake. We make a mistake to think in terms of cause and effect. God is not the "prime cause", he is the creator.


I continue to think in terms of Scripture, Roger.We both do, but it would seem that you are hamstrung by a mistaken assumption about God's nature as creator.


Have we agreed on what Paul meant by "time" and "atimia"? Do you perceive that "atimia" are unsaved? Do you know any crack-pots??? :-P As you said, that would be because the CREATOR, made a FLAW. We don't believe God makes mistakes.
Let's come to agreement on whether there are TWO pots in Romans9 ("time-honor" saved, and "atimia-dishonor-vessels-of-wrath-prepared-for-destruction") --- or THREE pots (the wrath-vessels are NOT the "atimia-common" vessels).
Sorry, just two vessels.

Hawkins
Jul 12th 2012, 08:22 PM
How do you interpret the following verse:

1 Tim 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.


The Gentiles (and those before Noah) are expected to obey the Law in Heart, if they truly do so, all men will be saved. Alternatively speaking, if all men don't know God but they choose to obey the Law in their hearts, they will still be saved. God will still be their savior. So God is the savior of all men, specially those who believed.

Moreover, God also desires us (all men) not to sin, He also takes no pressure in bearing with our sin. However He chose to allow us to sin in whatever way we want and promised Noah to bear with our sin when we are still on planet earth.

John146
Jul 12th 2012, 09:28 PM
The last time I checked and unless you changed your mind recently, I don't think you believe in universalism or the theological doctrine that all people will eventually be saved.That is correct.


But I don't know what else you might mean by "literally all people."Let me make it simple for you then. I believe verses like 1 Tim 2:3-4 and 1 Tim 4:10 mean that God wants all people to be saved and gives all people the opportunity to be saved but people have to choose whether or not to believe in order to be saved. That is why 1 Tim 4:10 says that He is especially the Savior of those who believe because only those who believe actually become saved and enter into a personal relationship with God.


I don't think Paul is saying that all people will eventually be saved, even those who do not believe.Neither do I.


The alternative has to be that Paul's use of the term "all men" is intended to say, "God does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, economic status, class, gender, age, slave or free, or any other way we classify ourselves."That is not the only alternative. The alternative I explained above is the one that I hold to.


Who said anything about force?Is it not your view that people won't believe unless God basically makes them believe? Do you believe that people must believe in God and love God on their own volition? Do you believe that God calls people to salvation but then makes people responsible to choose whether or not to answer His call?


Just so you know Eric, these verses don't present a problem for me and fit quite nicely in my view of God, because the Biblical view of God is that he is a transcendent creator God who happened to also reveal himself through his interaction with his people Israel. For me, it is quite understandable that God would state his preference that people didn't perish, while at the same time create them as those who will perish.How does that line up with verses like Ezekiel 18:23? Be specific. Do you not interpret that verse to be saying that God wants the wicked to repent rather than die in their wickedness? Would it make sense for Him to want someone to repent who He knows (supposedly) does not even have the ability to do so?


It is perfectly logical that a creator God would make an appeal to a nation of people, some of whom he knows he destined for destruction. This isn't a problem for me. It isn't a problem for me that God states his displeasure in the death of the wicked even as he knows he predestined them to destruction.Why isn't that a problem for you? Also, you still aren't addressing the other part of Ezekiel 18:23. Not only does He not take pleasure in the death of the wicked, He instead wants them to repent before they die. How does that line up with your view? It appears to me that you believe God doesn't want some people to repent because He purposely made it so that they could not. Is that not an accurate portrayal of your view? If it is accurate then I don't see how our view lines up with verses like Ezekiel 18:23, Acts 17:30-31 and 2 Peter 3:9.


Of course, stated that way it doesn't make any sense. But God's predestination does not require him to prevent anyone from making a decision they want to make. We need to be careful, when we formulate our Biblical philosophy, that we don't make God out to be a creature like one of us. As the creator, God does not deal in cause and effect the way we do. God doesn't cause people to believe and he doesn't cause people not to believe. Rather, what he creates is what exists. And what exists makes rational sense. So then, if God needs to have a person believe in him, he creates a person believing him.Where is that taught in scripture?


He doesn't start with a person as he exists and make a believer out of him by persuasion, coercion, or courtship.You need to start backing up your claims with scripture. How does what you're saying here line up with this:

Acts 17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: 2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, 3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. 4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

If what you said was true then wouldn't it have been a waste of time for Paul to spend 3 sabbath days reasoning with the people out of the scriptures? Then there is this passage:

Acts 18:1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; 2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. 3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. 4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. 5 And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. 6 And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean; from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.

You say that persuasion, coercion and courtship are not part of the means by which someone becomes a believer and yet this says Paul "persuaded the Jews and the Greeks" to believe "that Jesus was Christ". Then to those who didn't believe he said "Your blood be upon your own heads". He was clearly laying all of the claim for their unbelief on them. If God made them so they couldn't believe wouldn't that be God's fault? Clearly, passages like these indicate that man must choose and whether to believe or not and solid reasoning from scripture can play a part in persuading people to choose to believe.


That's how creatures interact with each other. Rather, God creates a believer out of nothing. The same God who speaks light into existence is the same God who speaks believers into existence. That is simply not taught anywhere in scripture.


In Romans 9, Paul clearly says that God creates, according to a prior plan, one person on whom he will have mercy and another person whom he will destroy. And, he argues, the basis of whether God has mercy on a person or destroys them is NOT a man's decision or his actions. That is not at all what Paul was saying in Romans 9. You need to take the time to dig deeper to see the context. Even with the mention of Jacob and Esau the context is not regarding the individuals Jacob and Esau but rather on the nations that descended from them (See Gen 25:23). If you consider scripture as a whole it should be clear that God destroys people in reaction to their wickedness. It make no sense whatsoever to try to say that God doesn't destroy someone based on their actions. Why did He destroy everyone but Noah and His family? Just as something to do? Of course not. He destroyed those who rebelled against Him and spared those who didn't just as was the case in other scenarios. God makes man responsible to make decisions. That is readily apparent throughout scripture. If that wasn't the case what basis would there be for punishment? None!


Really, isn't this a little silly?Not at all. You're just making it silly just because I said "all men" instead of "all people". I'm sure you knew I meant all people since I have repeatedly said I believe God wants all people to be saved and that all people have that opportunity.


If you want to claim that "all men" means, "each and every man", then I think our Christians sisters will have a problem with that.[quote]Again, you know what I meant. Why act as if you don't? I'm saying it means "all people" and it is translated as "all people" in other translations.

[quote]In order to understand a phrase like "all men" we need to see it in context. I think you are adding the concept of "opportunity", but I can't tell without knowing which particular passage you have in mind.I have many passages in mind. Read John 3:16-18, 1 Timothy 2:3-6, Hebrews 2:9, 1 John 2:1-2, 1 Timothy 4:10, Acts 7:51, Acts 13:44-46, Rom 5:18-19, and Matt 22:1-14 for starters. A number of passages teach that God wants literally all people to repent, wants all people to be saved and that Jesus died for the sins of literally all people. Scripture also clearly does not teach universalism (everyone being saved eventually) so it shouldn't be hard to discern that the reason that not everyone is saved despite God wanting everyone to be saved is that He made man responsible to choose whether or not to believe. That God makes man responsible to choose is clear throughout scripture. If man had no responsibility then there would be no reason for God to reward or punish anyone for their actions. Yet we know that God does reward and punish people for their actions since He has done it many times already. It defies all reason to think that God would punish someone for doing something that they couldn't help but doing. It only follows that He punishes people for not doing what He expected and required them to do. If someone does not do what He requires them to do then it is completely their fault for choosing not to obey Him. It isn't that they were unable, it is that they were unwilling. God doesn't create people to be unwilling to obey. Everyone has that choice to obey or not. Everyone has the choice of how to respond to the gospel. If you read Matt 22:1-14 you should see that some did not except the invitation to become part of the kingdom of heaven because they were not willing (Matt 22:3) rather than because they were unable to accept the invitation.


Of course, I never said otherwise. You didn't need to say otherwise. It's implied in your belief unless I'm not understanding your belief correctly. Do you not claim that there are some who God purposely makes so that they cannot ever believe? If that was the case wouldn't that be a good excuse for not believing?


Believing something and putting faith in something and someone are two different things.Of course. That's what I'm trying to say. What is required for salvation is putting your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Just believing that He exists will not save you. Plenty of people believe He exists but do not submit to Him as their Lord. Those people are not saved.


Again, faith and trust are two different things.That is not true. There are different kinds of faith. One kind involves only head knowledge and has nothing to do with the heart. Another kind of faith involves both head knowledge and trust from the heart. There is no basis for acting as if faith and trust can't mean the same thing. When it comes to salvation, trust is required. Even the demons can have mere head knowledge but what good does that do (James 2:19)?


The faith that is required for salvation is simply the acknowledgment of what is true.Then are even demons saved? They acknowledge Jesus but don't believe in Him in their heart. No, scripture does not support what you are saying. Read Romans 10:9-13. You must believe from the heart and you must believe that Jesus is Lord. That is well beyond just acknowledging that He exists.


What we have been taught is that faith is the ONLY mark of those who belong to God, which isn't true. And we know it isn't true, which is why we pack all these other concepts, such as "trust" for instance, into our definition of faith. But strictly speaking, the original definition of "faith", the definition that Jesus and Paul used, is simply the acknowledgment of what is true. When Jesus says, "ye of little faith", he means "ye who haven't yet affirmed all that needs to be affirmed."I couldn't disagree with you more. Do you not know that Jesus Himself said that anyone who is not willing to take up their cross and follow Him is not worthy of Him? If you are not submitted to Him and if you do not trust in Him in your heart then you do not belong to Him. That is what scripture teaches.

John146
Jul 12th 2012, 09:36 PM
Then justification didn't come to all men. If justification is only being given to those who meet some kind of condition, then it isn't being given to all men, but only some of the men. This really is simple logic. All we need to is ask, "was anyone left out or denied justification? If the answer comes back yes, then we understand that not everyone was granted justification.


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


"Many" doesn't mean "all" in my dictionary.Many can be a word to describe the number of all. It does not have to mean "some, but not all". In Daniel 12:2 it says many will be resurrected from the dead. In John 5:28 Jesus said all will be resurrected from the dead. Both are correct. The number of the "all" who will be resurrected is "many" (a multitude). You are simply not recognizing that verses like Rom 5:15 are speaking of which people Christ's death provides the opportunity for justification, which is clearly all people. How do you interpret the following passage:

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

When he said "ours" who was he referring to and who does "the whole world" refer to?

Gadgeteer
Jul 13th 2012, 12:48 AM
I don't see this as a problem for my view. Both of us agree that just because God desires that all men be saved, doesn't mean that all men WILL be saved. We both agree on that. Where we disagree is over the reason why they don't get saved. I assume you think the reason why all men won't get saved is because God leaves it up to each man to make his own decision about the matter.I don't think that --- passages like Deut30:11-20, Rom10:6-10, and Acts17:26-31 plainly teach that. The "word of faith" is IN the hearts and mouths of both those who "confess and believe and are saved" (Rm10:9-10), and those who "turn away disobey and perish" (Deut30:17).

We know from other scriptures that he does NOT leave it up to each man to decide for himself.Yes He does; what verses do you think oppose?
Therefore I conclude that while God desires that all men be saved, he also desires to bring about his plans, which involves planning whom to save and whom to destroy in the end.Please help me understand how God plans to destroy someone, creates someone to BE sinful and perish, and then JUDGES that person for what God Himself wrought?
To me, this simply means that God's emotional states are as complex as mine, maybe more and that just as I have conflicting desires, so does he.Conflicting desires? I'm looking forward to your helping me understand how God desires/plans for someone to be sinful and to perish without their having any choice.

I don't see why not. Again, if God is creating everything, then it makes sense that he would create me praying for every leader to come to belief and have some come to faith and others not come to faith. It's a perfectly rational scenario. Why? In your doctrine God has already decided whom He will save and whom He inescapably burn; so what are we to pray for? To change God's mind? Or to make a completely useless prayer? What's the point???

I don't see why not. If God wants to create a scenario in which he admonishes everyone to repent, and then he creates some to perish and others to survive and he did this in order to make history go according to his script, then it makes rational sense from the point of view of a creator. "Cause and effect" is the issue. In Mk1:15 one of the first things Jesus says is "repent and believe"; He rebukes people for NOT repenting in places like Matt11:21-24, and Lk13:3 (5). What's the point of Him rebuking people to repent, if He really makes the decision?

Who is actually causing the repentance?


First, context --- He's made it so that ALL MEN can repent and believe and be saved; that's the context of "all men repent". To perceive that God commands everyone to repent even though He knows He's ordained and KEPT most from repenting, would make God insincere, hypocritical, and (per Rom2:6-8) a fraudulent judge. You speak as if God isn't the creator, but something lessor. As a creature, yes, it would be hypocritical for me to ask you to act when I know you can't act or I prevent your action. But God isn't a creature like you and me. He doesn't need to cause me to do something, he simply creates me doing it. What do you think about where Genesis says "we are created in His image"? The essence of God is love (1Jn4:16); God is love, and love cannot demand its own way (1Cor13:5). Please tell me what you think about God's command to love Him (Matt22:37), and how that could BE "love" if everything's really decided by God?

Very close. In fact, since he creates them seeking him, he is infinitely more intimate with them, than if he was a creature who simply tried to persuade, beg, argue, and etc. with them.In Matt7:7, "seek and you shall find"; this is salvational, verse 14 "few are those who find (salvation) by seeking". The Greek is "heurisko", find-by-seeking. What sense does that make if God really makes the decision, rather than a person deciding to SEEK?

I look forward to your thoughts especially on how "love" fits into the idea of "sovereign predestination". A crass analogy, but does illustrate the problem, goes: "God don't want no robots."

Gadgeteer
Jul 13th 2012, 01:07 AM
Not necessarily. You ascribe cause and effect to a passage where none is explicitly stated. Just because the rooster crows when the sun comes up, it doesn't mean that the rooster caused the sun to come up. Paul said God is justifier of those WHO believe --- why didn't he say "God causes belief in whom He justifies"?



In Heb11:6, those who COME to God must believe He is (must come by faith), and that He rewards those WHO seek Him --- God responds to faith. Same answer as above. Correlation doesn't mean cause and effect. The wording seems important; why would Paul say "Those who come must believe He IS, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him", instead of "Those God elects seek Him and believe"?

What is Paul saying about cause-and-effect?
Again, it makes total sense for God to 1) create a Peter to announce that salvation is open to all who seek him and 2) create some who seek him and others who don't, all according to his script for history. Why make such an issue about "who seeks", if it's all really God's choice? Parallel to that, why rebuke those who WILL not believe, again if it's really God's choice? John5:39-47, Matt11:21-24, Luke13, and many other places have men being rebuked for unbelief/unrepentance.

Why?

As I say, God doesn't cause things to happen; he creates them happening.Tomato, tomahto; whether He "causes events", or "creates events already occurring", He would be causal.
Your argument boils down to one major objection: it is absurd to think that God would send out a general call for repentance if he knew he was going to keep some from repenting. But this argument is based on an incorrect premise that God causes things to happen rather than creating them happening.Actually it's deeper than that; why does He judge men?

That's an important question --- why does He judge men? (Jn3:18-21, 1Jn5:10 --- that is cause, and what is effect?)
If we accept John's word that God creates everything and without him nothing has come into being that has come into being and if we accept Paul's perspective that God creates pots for his own purposes, then your premise that God simply waits for things to happen, e.g. a man repents when he feels like it, is mistaken. What do you think of 2Pet3:9? It's my understanding that "thelema" conveys desire-will, while "boulema" conveys decree-will. In Jn6:40, God wills/DESIRES that all who see* Jesus and believe be saved. So in 2Pet3:9, God does not decree anyone to perish, but patiently waits for all to repent. How do you understand that?

If we reject that premise, then it is not absurd that the Creator of all that exists would create himself giving a general call to repent and then create some who do repent and others who do not repent. Seen from the perspective of a creator, the objection is answered.If He makes a "general call" to repent, which He knows most cannot do, then it's not sincere. I don't perceive God as being insincere...


* Footnote:
The concept of "believe-because-SEEING" is well established, and fully opposes "predestined-belief". Jesus tells Thomas that though Thomas believed because of seeing, it's better to believe without seeing. Jn20:29.

Jn10:38 says one can believe just by seeing what He did. This meshes with the rebuke of Matt11:21-24, where "If the ANCIENT cities had seen what YOU have seen, they would have BELIEVED! It will go better for THEM in the Judgment, than for you!" In no way can men be condemned for being more willfully unbelieving in the face of Jesus' miracles, if belief is all decided by God.

Make all these verses fit "predestined-belief/salvation" --- can you?

Gadgeteer
Jul 13th 2012, 01:15 AM
We have regenerate sinners, righteous sinners if you will. How can one be "righteous", and a "sinner"? We are through Jesus the righteousness of God (2Cor5:21). We sin occasionally, but that does not allow us to be called "sinners"; one who walks in sin is unrighteous, and is a sinner.


Did you see my quote from Spurgeon?"No. I tend to ignore things like that. Too bad; Spurgeon is one of the "founders" of Calvinism --- and there are his words recognizing some of the conflicts.

Yes, you said that. I showed you the passage from Romans. Perhaps you missed it.I disagreed; Jesus said God loved the WORLD that the Son was sent not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

The world. Not "a few".

Funny, but Paul is actually arguing the opposite. Contrary to it being given "in the exact same way and measure" he argues that God's grace superabounds.No, he uses "all" and "many" to indicate everyone; first condemnation, then justification.

You have yet to show why your view isn't universalism.As I said, only those who RECEIVE the abundance of grace and (who receive) the gift of righteousness reign with Christ --- become justified. Just as Rom3:26 says; he who believes and receives Christ, gains the right to become adopted children of God. Jn1:12

BroRog
Jul 13th 2012, 02:00 AM
Let me make it simple for you then. I believe verses like 1 Tim 2:3-4 and 1 Tim 4:10 mean that God wants all people to be saved and gives all people the opportunity to be saved but people have to choose whether or not to believe in order to be saved. That is why 1 Tim 4:10 says that He is especially the Savior of those who believe because only those who believe actually become saved and enter into a personal relationship with God.Why pray for them then? Does it make sense for me or you to pray for someone to be saved if God can't or won't? If all God does is give people and opportunity to be saved, then it doesn't do any good to pray for them. What can God do about it in your view?


Is it not your view that people won't believe unless God basically makes them believe? Do you believe that people must believe in God and love God on their own volition? Do you believe that God calls people to salvation but then makes people responsible to choose whether or not to answer His call?I believe what Jesus said when he said, "many are called but few are chosen." Do you think he actually said, "many are called but few make the choice?" These seem like completely different ideas to me.


How does that line up with verses like Ezekiel 18:23? Be specific. Do you not interpret that verse to be saying that God wants the wicked to repent rather than die in their wickedness? Would it make sense for Him to want someone to repent who He knows (supposedly) does not even have the ability to do so?Yes, it makes perfect sense to me. It makes perfect sense for God, who directs the narrative flow of history, to express his desire that all repent even while he knows that he will create some repenting and others not repenting. God is telling a story and in his story he makes it known that he wants all men to repent and then he creates some who repent and others who don't in order to serve his narrative purpose, which as I can tell is to bring glory to his name.


Why isn't that a problem for you?It isn't a problem because the Bible describes God as a creator and as such, he is directing history to tell a story. It makes perfect sense for the author of a story to have the call go out for all to repent and then have some repent and others not repent as it suits his narrative purpose.


Also, you still aren't addressing the other part of Ezekiel 18:23. Not only does He not take pleasure in the death of the wicked, He instead wants them to repent before they die. How does that line up with your view? It appears to me that you believe God doesn't want some people to repent because He purposely made it so that they could not. Is that not an accurate portrayal of your view?No, as I say, God is not making or causing people to do stuff. He is not making it so people can't do things. He is not a cause he is a creator. The difference is profound.


Where is that taught in scripture?Here are two examples. I would need time to find the others.

John 1:3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

and

Hebrews 1:1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the ages.

According to John God makes everything which would include my free-will choices. According to Paul, God made the ages, that is, he directs history the way he wants it to go and this includes my personal history and your personal history.


If what you said was true then wouldn't it have been a waste of time for Paul to spend 3 sabbath days reasoning with the people out of the scriptures?
Not at all. The Bible doesn't teach the doctrine of fatalism as if what we do doesn't matter.


You say that persuasion, coercion and courtship are not part of the means by which someone becomes a believer and yet this says Paul "persuaded the Jews and the Greeks" to believe "that Jesus was Christ". Then to those who didn't believe he said "Your blood be upon your own heads". He was clearly laying all of the claim for their unbelief on them. If God made them so they couldn't believe wouldn't that be God's fault? Clearly, passages like these indicate that man must choose and whether to believe or not and solid reasoning from scripture can play a part in persuading people to choose to believe.I didn't say that persuasion wasn't a part of the process of coming to belief. I said that God doesn't use it. From God's perspective, he is creating people using persuasion and he is creating people hearing the gospel and he is creating some who respond and others who don't. God is the creator, not the persuader.


That is not at all what Paul was saying in Romans 9. You need to take the time to dig deeper to see the context. Even with the mention of Jacob and Esau the context is not regarding the individuals Jacob and Esau but rather on the nations that descended from them (See Gen 25:23). If you consider scripture as a whole it should be clear that God destroys people in reaction to their wickedness. It make no sense whatsoever to try to say that God doesn't destroy someone based on their actions. Why did He destroy everyone but Noah and His family? Just as something to do? Of course not. He destroyed those who rebelled against Him and spared those who didn't just as was the case in other scenarios. God makes man responsible to make decisions. That is readily apparent throughout scripture. If that wasn't the case what basis would there be for punishment? None!I didn't say it wasn't based on their actions. As I say, the Bible doesn't teach fatalism in which our actions don't matter. They do matter.

But as for Romans 9, Paul is indeed saying that God creates some to bless and others to destroy.

Not at all. You're just making it silly just because I said "all men" instead of "all people". I'm sure you knew I meant all people since I have repeatedly said I believe God wants all people to be saved and that all people have that opportunity.


You didn't need to say otherwise. It's implied in your belief unless I'm not understanding your belief correctly. Do you not claim that there are some who God purposely makes so that they cannot ever believe? If that was the case wouldn't that be a good excuse for not believing?
No, that is not what I believe. As creatures and not the creator, that's how we would do it. If we didn't want someone to believe we would need to make it so they couldn't believe. In fact, that's how Satan does it. He uses manipulation and exploits weaknesses in our understanding, he plays on our fears, he tempts us to hate, he seduces us to believe the lie. But God is not a creature; he is the creator. If he needs a believer, he creates one.

Of course. That's what I'm trying to say. What is required for salvation is putting your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Just believing that He exists will not save you. Plenty of people believe He exists but do not submit to Him as their Lord. Those people are not saved.

That is not true. There are different kinds of faith. One kind involves only head knowledge and has nothing to do with the heart. Another kind of faith involves both head knowledge and trust from the heart. There is no basis for acting as if faith and trust can't mean the same thing. When it comes to salvation, trust is required. Even the demons can have mere head knowledge but what good does that do (James 2:19)?


Then are even demons saved? They acknowledge Jesus but don't believe in Him in their heart. No, scripture does not support what you are saying. Read Romans 10:9-13. You must believe from the heart and you must believe that Jesus is Lord. That is well beyond just acknowledging that He exists.I affirm that truth also.


I couldn't disagree with you more. Do you not know that Jesus Himself said that anyone who is not willing to take up their cross and follow Him is not worthy of Him? If you are not submitted to Him and if you do not trust in Him in your heart then you do not belong to Him. That is what scripture teaches.Maybe you misunderstood me, I don't know. But I said that belief is not the ONLY mark of those who belong to God. Taking up our cross and following him would be another one as you rightly point out. Not only is belief a mark of those who belong to God, so is repentance, humility, confession, trust, love of God, fear of God, seeking the kingdom first, obedience, love of the truth, perseverance under trial, and being a disciple of Jesus. All of these are marks of those who belong to God.

Gadgeteer
Jul 13th 2012, 02:05 AM
Then justification didn't come to all men. If justification is only being given to those who meet some kind of condition, then it isn't being given to all men, but only some of the men.The condition is RECEIVING it. When's your birthday? Suppose I make you a jewel-box. I cut and carve the wood, glue it together; sand it smooth, stain it and varnish it. I hand it to you --- do you have the ability to either RECEIVE my gift, or to refuse it? Salvation is the same; the greatest gift of all.
This really is simple logic. All we need to is ask, "was anyone left out or denied justification? If the answer comes back yes, then we understand that not everyone was granted justification.NO one was left out --- but many REFUSED. Look at the "cause-and-effect" in Jn3:20-21 -- those WHO desire righteousness come to Jesus, but those WHO desire sin stay in darkness. Look at Matt22:2-14 --- who got invited? "Everyone they could find". Who was NOT invited? No one. But those who came and put on clean clothes, became the "chosen".


"Many are called, but few are chosen."

"Many" is everyone-in-view, "few" are those who came; the king decided nothing.



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


"Many" doesn't mean "all" in my dictionary.What quantity of mankind died, because of sin?

Every last person? (Yup.)


I don't see the problem here. Remember, Paul is talking about grace, not merit. The beneficence begins in the hands of the giver, who decides whom to bless. It is a weird quirk of Christian doctrine to suppose that the receiver is making the choice. The very existence of "those WHO ____", declares we have a choice. Those WHO desire righteousness come to the light, those WHO prefer sin avoid it. Those WHO receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness reign with Christ.

Those WHO ____ --- not "those whom God chose/decided".


But God doesn't make our choices for us, he creates us making our free-will choices.Tomato tomahto; who is ultimate cause?
God is the creator of all that exists and apart from him nothing has come into being that came into being, as John says. Does God cause sin? In Him there is no sin; He does not cause it, but permits it. 1Cor10:12-13.

God does not permit anything under "sovereign predestination".


John 1:3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
Did God plan or cause Adam to eat of the fruit? Did He give Adam a choice?

If sin came into being, then God brought (it) into being. "Apart from him", John says, "nothing came into being", including sin, "that has come into being." (It would seem Christians spend too much time on verse 1 and not enough time on verse 3.)In Matt12:25-31, Jesus condemns the Pharisees for blaspheming, saying that God collaborates with the devil. Is there a difference between Matt12, and the idea that "God caused/brought-into-being sin, intentionally"? How could God intentionally bring sin into being, if "in Him there is no sin"? (1Jn3:5)

God created David making a choice. No, God saw two futures, and let him decide. Please tell me how "God-created-us-to-make-one-choice", fits 1Cor10:13?


"No temptation has overtaken you but such is common to man; God is faithful and will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to endure, but with the temptation will provide a means of escape that you may stand."

Is there a choice in that verse? Very definitely.

I have no idea who teaches this. I certainly didn't say that sheep are sheep from before the creation. I believe in the narrative flow of history and sheep aren't sheep until they become sheep.
A lot of Reformed people do. Sure, and a lot of Reformed people do bad philosophy, which is why Arminians continue to blast their socks off in debates. But we must maintain the distinction between God's written script, which He planned beforehand from before the foundation of the world and the script as it works its way out in history. Those who criticize the doctrine of God's election couch their argument as if Calvinists are saying that a person's salvation has no antecedent in their personal history.Recognize that "election", is used interchangeable with "salvation". (And Matt24:24 plainly says the elect can be deceived...)
God just decides a man's fate and it doesn't matter what the man does.Then the "Judgment", is false and fraudulent. Don't mean that to offend, but it's the only answer.
But Calvinists aren't fatalists.They are, just don't admit it. ;-)
Just because they can't articulate their position very well, doesn't mean they don't understand the New Testament and neither do they think it doesn't matter what we do. It DOES matter what we do.But is there any choice? A horse that runs between two narrow walls, with no branches or intersections, cannot be said to "have chosen its path".
There is always some thing or event that logically precedes the moment of being born again.Have you considered the event of "persuasion"? See Acts26:28-29. There can be no persuasion if all is God-decided. How is it that we "save others, snatching them from the fire"? Were they at risk FROM the fire? (Jude23)
And there remains an antecedent to that moment. If salvation is inevitable for the elect, then each and every event that leads up to conversion makes logical sense and each and every event that comes after conversion makes logical sense of that conversion and if God promises to save the elect, then he promises that he is able to direct and orchestrate all events that lead up to salvation.Let's discuss "persuasion", and "believe BECAUSE of seeing".


The point I'm making is simple. Whether God is simply a watchmaker who has made a watch that continually runs down according to natural laws, or God is a creator who creates everything that happens as it happens, the phenomena will look the same. We can't argue that since it appears that we live in a mechanical deterministic universe in which God has taken his hands off of the reigns, that our observations would be different if God was creating the universe ex-nihilo on a moment-by-moment basis. God can have nothing to do with sin; can't ordain it, can't be causally involved (even indirectly); and God is LOVE, so He cannot make belief decisions for men. These are absolutes.

The difference is in the narrative flow of history. Fatalists tend to think to themselves, "If everything has been predetermined, then why should I get out of bed today?" What an odd way to look at things. If every event is inevitable, then whether you get up or stay in bed is inevitable too. Even fatalists can't help believing that they have local control over their own choices. Everything might be inevitable "out-there" so I guess I will decide to stay in bed as if things aren't just as inevitable in my bedroom. he he, isn't that funny. Why are we told to "SAVE others, snatching them from the fire"? Why are we told not to DESTROY our brother for whom Christ died? (Rm14:15, 1Cor8:11.)

Divine determinism is the doctrine that God is the transcendent creator who creates everything and that apart from him, nothing came into being that has come into being.And thus God is causally involved in sin, impugning His character.
And since God is rational and logical, the history he creates flows logically moment-by-moment unless he decides to do something different, which we call a "miracle." But we don't experience our reality this way. We observe that each event becomes the antecedent of subsequent events and that history flows logically forward as we make our choices and take action as free-will agents. I look forward to your thoughts on 1Cor10:13, which violates the idea that "God determines everything". Paul plainly said God PERMITS us to sin, or to choose His gracious escape.

Hopefully by now you can guess how I would answer this because I am getting bored. You press the issue of what you consider to be the absurdity of divine determinism, which is that according to the doctrine of predestination, salvation does not logically fit into a person's history, it does not logically flow from antecedent events, which is far from the truth. If salvation is inevitable, it does not necessarily follow that a predestined salvation will lack any or all of the antecedent events and actions of others, such as giving warnings, giving alter calls, persuading someone to think twice or any number of other logically antecedent events. Of course, if God will make someone's salvation inevitable, he will make his hearing the gospel inevitable, he will make it inevitable that a preacher come to town, he will make it inevitable that he will believe the preacher, he will make it inevitable . . .Okay --- take Rom10:14 ("How shall they believe in whom they have not heard, how shall they hear without a preacher?") --- and tell me what God's will was for Indians, Eskimos, and Aborigines before missionaries came? Somehow He conveniently did NOT predestine them?


It's all or nothing. God creates history, and if he intends to save a man, then that man's history will logically and inevitably lead up to his salvation. Yes, that is the doctrine; as we've discussed, I don't find it in Scripture.


No. A philosophical, theological mistake. We make a mistake to think in terms of cause and effect. God is not the "prime cause", he is the creator. Creator, cause; tomato tomahto.

We both do, but it would seem that you are hamstrung by a mistaken assumption about God's nature as creator. I am "hamstrung" by what I've read from Scripture; if I'm wrong, I look forward to you pointing it out, with the conspicuous verses.

Sorry, just two vessels.And that's a major problem --- for with only two vessels, that has God taking blank innocent clay and SCULPTING one into sinful decadent rebellious "children-of-Hell". That flies in the face of all of Scripture; in God there is no sin, He sent the Son to DESTROY the works of the devil.

It also runs afoul of rebukes like Matt23:13-15 --- the Pharisees took one who WAS ENTERING eternity, and STOPPED him, shutting off the kingdom of God! How can the kingdom be shut off from someone to whom it was never OPENED? How can someone to whom eternity was opened, be stopped/shut off? No, the Pharisees are DECEIVERS who lead a SAVED person into being twice a child of Hell as THEY were!!!

What's the "Reformed" answer to that?

BroRog
Jul 13th 2012, 02:07 AM
Many can be a word to describe the number of all. It does not have to mean "some, but not all". In Daniel 12:2 it says many will be resurrected from the dead. In John 5:28 Jesus said all will be resurrected from the dead. Both are correct. The number of the "all" who will be resurrected is "many" (a multitude). You are simply not recognizing that verses like Rom 5:15 are speaking of which people Christ's death provides the opportunity for justification, which is clearly all people. How do you interpret the following passage:

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

When he said "ours" who was he referring to and who does "the whole world" refer to?The part I highlighted above is where we disagree. I don't see the concept "provides the opportunity" in Romans 5:15.

With regard to the 1John passage, John means the whole world. I don't believe in limited atonement. The act of atonement was made for all human beings. If the atonement is limited, it is only limited by the fact that not everyone wants to be forgiven. Some don't repent; some don't see the need to repent or confess.

BroRog
Jul 13th 2012, 02:30 AM
I don't think that --- passages like Deut30:11-20, Rom10:6-10, and Acts17:26-31 plainly teach that.We disagree on what those passages say then.


The "word of faith" is IN the hearts and mouths of both those who "confess and believe and are saved" (Rm10:9-10), and those who "turn away disobey and perish" (Deut30:17).Sure, but how and when does the word of faith enter into a man's heart? Go back to Deuteronomy 29 to find the answer. It is God who circumcises the hearts.


Yes He does; what verses do you think oppose?As I pointed out above, God is the one who circumcises the hearts.


Please help me understand how God plans to destroy someone, creates someone to BE sinful and perish, and then JUDGES that person for what God Himself wrought?What seems to be your problem with that idea?


Conflicting desires? I'm looking forward to your helping me understand how God desires/plans for someone to be sinful and to perish without their having any choice.I didn't say they didn't have a choice. I would appreciate it if you had a dialog with me, not with some philosophy you assume I hold. I think I said this several times before, but I'll say it again. We make free-will choices and God is creating us making free-will choices. Both are true at the same time.


Why? In your doctrine God has already decided whom He will save and whom He inescapably burn; so what are we to pray for? To change God's mind? Or to make a completely useless prayer? What's the point???
Back at you. Why pray for someone to be saved if God can't or won't comply? If free-will is sacrosanct, then why pray to God to violate that which you believe he has decided not to violate? But no, Paul asks us to pray for the salvation of our leaders because he believes that God, indeed, might violate the free-will of another person and actually bring that person to salvation.


"Cause and effect" is the issue. In Mk1:15 one of the first things Jesus says is "repent and believe"; He rebukes people for NOT repenting in places like Matt11:21-24, and Lk13:3 (5). What's the point of Him rebuking people to repent, if He really makes the decision?You ask, "what's the point?" The answer as to purpose can be found in the idea that God is directing history to bring glory to his name. Hebrews 1:3 When I say that cause and effect are not the issue, I am speaking of God as creator. God is not the causer of belief or unbelief. From our point of view we hear the gospel message and we respond to it. We hear the call to repent and we repent. But looking at the same event from God's point of view we understand that God is creating someone calling people to repentance and he is creating people responding to the call. It all depends on whether we are talking about the event from the perspective of the creature or from the perspective of being the creator.


Who is actually causing the repentance?I don't think repentance is something that is caused. A man hears the call to repent and he either repents or he doesn't.


What do you think about where Genesis says "we are created in His image"? The essence of God is love (1Jn4:16); God is love, and love cannot demand its own way (1Cor13:5). Please tell me what you think about God's command to love Him (Matt22:37), and how that could BE "love" if everything's really decided by God?Again, can you be more specific about what you find objectionable about this idea? I don't find it absurd that both are true, that I am freely loving God of my own volition and he is creating me freely loving him from my own volition. Both are true at the same time.


I look forward to your thoughts especially on how "love" fits into the idea of "sovereign predestination". A crass analogy, but does illustrate the problem, goes: "God don't want no robots."We imagine robots because that is how we creatures would do it. But God is not a creature, he is a creator. Once we understand that God is like an author writing a book then we can come to understand how it makes sense that when an author has a character love someone of their own free-will, it is both true that the character is loving someone of his own free-will and the author is writing them loving someone of their own free will. Both are true at the same time.

BroRog
Jul 13th 2012, 04:13 AM
Paul said God is justifier of those WHO believe --- why didn't he say "God causes belief in whom He justifies"?Because election isn't the issue in that passage.


The wording seems important; why would Paul say "Those who come must believe He IS, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him", instead of "Those God elects seek Him and believe"? What is Paul saying about cause-and-effect? Same answer as above. The passage isn't dealing with the issue of election so the vocabulary isn't there.


Why make such an issue about "who seeks", if it's all really God's choice?Again, my answer is the same as it was many posts ago. God, as creator, is going to cause history to flow as a logical progression. It makes total sense for him to have people seek him first and then to reward them. How do you think a creator would do it? I don't think a creator who is telling a story using the events of history would simply reward people for no apparent reason. Of course he would have people seek him and then he would reward them.


Parallel to that, why rebuke those who WILL not believe, again if it's really God's choice?Same answer as above. What is the alternative? Would a righteous and wise creator judge people apart from their actions and choices? I don't think so. Why wouldn't the creator create some people who refuse to believe and then rebuke them for not believing? If God wants to demonstrate how he thinks about things, this would be the perfect way to accomplish it.


John5:39-47, Matt11:21-24, Luke13, and many other places have men being rebuked for unbelief/unrepentance.


Why?
Tomato, tomahto; whether He "causes events", or "creates events already occurring", He would be causal.
The distinction is profound, I think, even if my vocabulary is cumbersome. Christians have come to believe in a God that is subject to the material world and needs to make stuff from the things he finds here. But the Biblical picture is that God simply speaks things into existence. The process of cause and effect takes place within this created order and as creatures we are subject to cause and effect. But God, in a sense, is his own "cause." He creates everything and he does it by simply speaking it into existence. Whatever our theory of salvation is, it has to account for the Biblical picture of the creator.

Gadgeteer
Jul 13th 2012, 05:40 AM
We disagree on what those passages say then. Why are you certain of that? Take Deut30:12 --- do you believe in "monergism", after reading that verse?

Sure, but how and when does the word of faith enter into a man's heart? Go back to Deuteronomy 29 to find the answer. It is God who circumcises the hearts. Let's make this a bit of a long post; let's go through some verses from Deut29.


29:4 "Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear."

So God has to CHANGE their hearts SO THAT they can see/hear/understand/know/believe. Right? Can't be:


29:9-12 "So keep the words of this covenant to do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.
...that you may enter into the covenant with the LORD your God, and into His oath which the LORD your God is making with you today..."

14-15 "Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath,
...but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the LORD our God and with those who are not with us here today"

18 "so that there will not be among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the LORD our God,

19-20 "It shall be when he hears the words of this curse, that he will boast, saying, 'I have peace though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart in order to destroy the watered land with the dry.'
"The LORD shall never be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the LORD and His jealousy will burn against that man, and every curse which is written in this book will rest on him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under heaven.

24-27 "'Why has the LORD done thus to this land? Why this great outburst of anger?'
"Because they forsook the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.
'They went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they have not known and whom He had not allotted to them.
'Therefore, the anger of the LORD burned against that land, to bring upon it every curse which is written in this book; "

THAT is the context of the following chapter, which says:


"The word of faith is in your heart and mouth that you MAY observe it; it is not far nor too difficult.
"See, I have set before you today life ...and death; in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments...
"But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them,
I declare to you today that you shall surely perish.

BOTH chapters are plainly saying "KEEP His commandments, LOVE God and HOLD FAST to Him" --- and the Israelites who chose NOT to, receive God's wrath because of their rebellion.


"that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life...
...by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him..."

Tell us how to make that into "God decides everything"?

As I pointed out above, God is the one who circumcises the hearts. Not before or apart from belief. Read Ezk36:26-27 --- now read Ezk11:18-21, and recognize verse 18 says they turn to God and away from abominations and THEN He gives them new hearts (and 21 says those who WILL not turn, are in trouble). Now read Ezk18:31, "make for YOURSELVES a new heart and a new spirit"!!!

The new hearts and new spirits, they "make for themselves", when they choose to turn to God and THEN He makes their hearts new!


What seems to be your problem with that idea?God circumcises the hearts in RESPONSE to belief. We just proved that together with the cited verses.


Conflicting desires? I'm looking forward to your helping me understand how God desires/plans for someone to be sinful and to perish without their having any choice. I didn't say they didn't have a choice. I would appreciate it if you had a dialog with me, not with some philosophy you assume I hold.Okay, I'll state it differently --- I don't understand how God makes it so that they can ONLY choose sin and destruction.
I think I said this several times before, but I'll say it again. We make free-will choices and God is creating us making free-will choices. Both are true at the same time. Define "free will choice" --- if a horse is running between two high and narrowly-spaced walls, and there are no intersections or side-roads, is the horse making a choice? The definition of "sophistry" is seemingly reasonable but fallacious reasoning. The dissenting judges used it in the recent "obamacare" bill --- to call the bill a PENALTY for the purposes of avoiding tax prohibitions, but then call it a TAX for the purposes of passage, is sophistry. It is equally sophistry to say that "men have free will, but can only make the one choice that God ORDAINED". If there's only one choice, then it's not "free".


Why? In your doctrine God has already decided whom He will save and whom He inescapably burn; so what are we to pray for? To change God's mind? Or to make a completely useless prayer? What's the point??? Back at you. Why pray for someone to be saved if God can't or won't comply? If free-will is sacrosanct, then why pray to God to violate that which you believe he has decided not to violate? But no, Paul asks us to pray for the salvation of our leaders because he believes that God, indeed, might violate the free-will of another person and actually bring that person to salvation. You avoided the question, didn't answer; are we to pray for salvation for those whom God has PREDESTINED and therefore our prayers won't accomplish ANYTHING? Or are we to pray for those destined to HELL and our prayers also won't accomplish anything?

Why pray, if God's already decided long ago? It would be better to pray:
"God, save them if You've predestined them, but ignore this prayer if you've not, well ignore it in any case, nevermind."

No, we're admonished to pray for them to CHANGE them. "Change" is clear in Jude23 (positive), and NEGATIVE in Rom14:15 and Matt23:13-15.

You ask, "what's the point?" The answer as to purpose can be found in the idea that God is directing history to bring glory to his name.The prayer is to change the result; therefore the result can be changed, it's not "ordained before time". See verses cited in previous paragraph.
Hebrews 1:3 When I say that cause and effect are not the issue, I am speaking of God as creator. God is not the causer of belief or unbeliefExcuse me? Reformed Theology posits that a heart is monergistically changed ("first cause") and THEN faith flows IRRESISTIBLY from that new heart ("second cause").
From our point of view we hear the gospel message and we respond to it. We hear the call to repent and we repent.Then why does Jesus tell people TO repent? Mk1:15, Lk13:5!
But looking at the same event from God's point of view we understand that God is creating someone calling people to repentance and he is creating people responding to the call. It all depends on whether we are talking about the event from the perspective of the creature or from the perspective of being the creator. No, we're still arguing about "cause". First or second doesn't matter --- the definition of "responsible", is being cause of something within our power and control.

What do we have power and control over? In 1Tim4:16, does Paul write as though we have control over "saving-ourselves"?

I don't think repentance is something that is caused. A man hears the call to repent and he either repents or he doesn't. Who ultimately makes the decision?

Again, can you be more specific about what you find objectionable about this idea? I don't find it absurd that both are true, that I am freely loving God of my own volition and he is creating me freely loving him from my own volition.A horse running in a narrow lane between two walls is not freely making a choice of his path. Are we the same? Do we run in narrow boundaries that God ordains? Your doctrine proposes "YES" --- how do you still call it "free will", and how can it BE "love"?
Both are true at the same time. No way; a will that can only make ONE CHOICE, is not "free" --- it is BOUND, operating between narrow boundaries.

We imagine robots because that is how we creatures would do it. But God is not a creature, he is a creator. Once we understand that God is like an author writing a book then we can come to understand how it makes sense that when an author has a character love someone of their own free-will, it is both true that the character is loving someone of his own free-will and the author is writing them loving someone of their own free will. Both are true at the same time.Look at what I just posted over on the "OSAS" thread:

what is your understanding of 2Cor11:3? Are we under the same risk of deception as Eve was? And is that deception "away from Christ"? No. They NEVER cease from sin, they REVEL in their defilements. They make no pretense at "Christian", whatsoever. Peter is fully against the concept of "unfallible salvation". His second letter, all three chapters, warns of "falling-from-salvation". Especially verses 1:5-11, 2:20-22, and 3:14 & 17. I refer to 2:20-22 because the TRULY escaped are enticed back INTO defilements by the false/never-saved --- having KNOWN the way of righteousness, the truly-escaped turned away from it. No way to make that into "never-were-saved", or "never-really-fell".

The point in 2:2:1 is that Jesus' sacrifice was for the false teachers TOO. Not only did those who WERE saved fall from salvation (2:20-22 uses the exact same words "escaped defilements/corruptions through the EPIGNOSIS-TRUE knowledge of the LORD and SAVIOR Jesus as 2:1:1-4) --- not only did the saved FALL, but the unsaved COULD have been saved. Those in chapter 1 are "of the same faith as us" --- saved. In no way can the same Greek words refer to UNSAVED in chapter 2.

The point is that Jesus' sacrifice is not exclusive; those reprobates in 2Pet2 were not pretending, they were delighting in their depravity, and enticing the truly-escaped back into defilements.

Try to find anywhere in Scripture that anyone is excluded from the possibility of salvation; it's not there. Deut30:11-20, with Rom10:6-10, and Acts17:26-31 should make it painfully clear; the word of faith is in EVERYONE'S heart and mouth, both those who can confess and believe and be saved, and in those who turn away and perish; it's not far from ANYONE, and per Reformed Theology that word-of-faith is INFINITELY far from those God created but hates and wants to perish.

"I have set before you life and death, ...the blessing and the curse; so CHOOSE LIFE by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice and walking in His statutes and holding fast to Him."

To whom is this addressed? The PREDESTINED, who don't need to hear this (it's a "done deal already")? Or the UNPREDESTINED for whom they can never hear/understand such a warning?

That's the thing --- take all the warnings against falling-from-salvation, the rebukes of unbelievers TO believe, and the admonishments to maturity --- where is this a "done deal"? The only response I've heard is a flimsy claim "Oh these are just the effective MEANS by which God KEEPS us saved". As if His sovereignty is so limited that He has to use additional WRITTEN means to accomplish what His sovereignty was too weak to DO!

No, if we're "sovereignly and monergistically regenerated, and THEN irresistibly believe", we don't need the warnings that Scripture asserts. Look at Peter --- in 2:1:5-11 be diligent to make your SALVATION steadfast, that you're admitted into the kingdom. 3:14-17 warns us to be diligent to be FOUND blameless at Jesus' return, guard yourselves from DECEIVERS lest you FALL from your own steadfastness!!! It takes a bunch of work to try to accommodate all these verses into any "osas" position, including "Reformed Theology".Can you answer any of this? Will you try?

Gadgeteer
Jul 13th 2012, 05:55 AM
Because election isn't the issue in that passage. Only because of how you perceive "election". The word is interchangeable with salvation. Note the usage in Matt24:24 --- the false will deceive even the elect/saved, if they CAN.

"If-they-can" is the only meaning for "ei-dunatos", proven via Acts20:16:
"Paul hurried to be in Jerusalem for the Pentecost, if he could".

Same answer as above. The passage isn't dealing with the issue of election so the vocabulary isn't there. The passage is dealing with "election/salvation". Recognize the dynamic of "seeking"; please see Matt7:7-14 --- salvation is found by those who seek. "Heurisko" in the Greek.

Again, my answer is the same as it was many posts ago. God, as creator, is going to cause history to flow as a logical progression. It makes total sense for him to have people seek him first and then to reward them.But He doesn't decide who will seek Him and who will not. "Seek and you shall find" --- not "God says who seeks and finds". Jesus' words are "You! DO this" The same in many verses; see Matt7:24-27.
How do you think a creator would do it? I don't think a creator who is telling a story using the events of history would simply reward people for no apparent reason. Of course he would have people seek him and then he would reward them. Please look at Acts10:34-35 --- do you acknowledge that "welcomes", is the same as "elects" in your doctrine? Clearly God welcomes those WHO revere Him and seek righteousness; for Him to welcome/sovereignly-elect those who do NOT revere Him or seek righteousness, is bias/partiality/unjustness that God is NOT! How do you perceive that?



Parallel to that, why rebuke those who WILL not believe, again if it's really God's choice?
Same answer as above. What is the alternative? Would a righteous and wise creator judge people apart from their actions and choices? I don't think so.Do you find His rebukes EMPTY? Or is He really admonishing CHANGE?
Why wouldn't the creator create some people who refuse to believe and then rebuke them for not believing?Why teach a pig to dance? You "accomplish nothing, and annoy the pig". Why rebuke someone to do something that you know it's impossible for them TO do? Hypocrisy of the worst kind; made even worse for judging and condemning them for FAILING to do what God knows they COULD NEVER do.
If God wants to demonstrate how he thinks about things, this would be the perfect way to accomplish it. I really don't understand how such an idea is credible. Do you find my part of the discussion invalid?

John5:39-47, Matt11:21-24, Luke13, and many other places have men being rebuked for unbelief/unrepentance.Do you see "rhetorical" speech there? Or is He trying to persuade them to CHANGE?

I see "challenge-to-change". Keep in mind Jesus' other words, like "believe-BECAUSE-see" (Jn20:29, and "unseen-belief better"); Jn10:38 also teaches "believe-because-see".

The distinction is profound, I think, even if my vocabulary is cumbersome. Christians have come to believe in a God that is subject to the material world and needs to make stuff from the things he finds here. But the Biblical picture is that God simply speaks things into existence. The process of cause and effect takes place within this created order and as creatures we are subject to cause and effect. But God, in a sense, is his own "cause." He creates everything and he does it by simply speaking it into existence. Whatever our theory of salvation is, it has to account for the Biblical picture of the creator.This is the same type of thing that they wrote about in "obamacare". To call it "God is not causal because He creates a Universe where there is no other choice, but He does not CAUSE their sin and unbelief", is sophistry.

If it's a penalty, it's not a tax; therefore unconstitutional. If it's a tax (under "commerce clause"), then Congress cannot levy a tax before a purchase/commerce is made, they've overstepped their bounds severely and it's not constitutional. If God creates things such that each person only has ONE CHOICE, then each does not have free will, but have only one choice.

John146
Jul 13th 2012, 08:38 PM
Why pray for them then?Because you love them and want them to be saved.


Does it make sense for me or you to pray for someone to be saved if God can't or won't?You are speaking from your own perspective here. Don't expect me to look at things the way you do. I don't look at it as if God can't or won't save someone, I look at it from the perspective that God gives everyone the opportunity to choose to repent and put their faith in Christ (and be saved as a result) or not. So, I don't pray that God will save someone even if they have given no indication that they want to repent and put their faith in Chirst, I pray that He gives people more opportunities to repent and put their faith in Christ. There are examples in scripture where people's prayers affected God's actions. Scripture is clear that our prayers can "availeth much".


If all God does is give people and opportunity to be saved, then it doesn't do any good to pray for them.Comments like this show that you clearly don't understand my view and I'm not sure if I can explain it to you in a way that you can understand. But I'll try. You can pray that God will give a person more opportunities to hear the gospel and that they will hear it preached clearly so that they know the choice God is expecting them to make (to repent and put their faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior or not). You can pray that God will provide the opportunity for someone to have some time alone to contemplate their spiritual status. We know that prayer makes a difference because scripture says that "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16). It's strange to me that you would ask me what good it would do to pray when it seems that in your view prayer is basically useless because God just does whatever He wants regardless of anything man does.


I believe what Jesus said when he said, "many are called but few are chosen." Do you think he actually said, "many are called but few make the choice?"I believe what Jesus said as well. But we obviously understand what He said differently. The question you need to answer is how does God choose? What are His criteria? I've already shared my view on that so what say you? How do you interpret Matt 22:1-14? Do people reject God's invitation to the kingdom of heaven because they are unable to accept it or because they are unwilling to accept it? If the latter (as I believe) then what makes them unwilling to accept it?


Yes, it makes perfect sense to me. It makes perfect sense for God, who directs the narrative flow of history, to express his desire that all repent even while he knows that he will create some repenting and others not repenting. God is telling a story and in his story he makes it known that he wants all men to repent and then he creates some who repent and others who don't in order to serve his narrative purpose, which as I can tell is to bring glory to his name. What would you think if I told you that I wanted you to win a million dollars and proceeded to make it so that you could not possibly win a million dollars (just assume that I somehow had that ability)? Wouldn't that come across as me being insincere about my desire for you to win a million dollars? I don't see how it can possibly make sense for God to sincerely want someone to repent and then proceed to make it so that they can't. If He made it so that they can't it seems clear to me that would mean He did not want them to repent.


It isn't a problem because the Bible describes God as a creator and as such, he is directing history to tell a story. It makes perfect sense for the author of a story to have the call go out for all to repent and then have some repent and others not repent as it suits his narrative purpose. It's a problem because God is not someone whose actions contradict His desires. For Him to desire for everyone to repent and then purposely make it so that some can't is a contradiction and makes Him out to be dishonest. I'm amazed that would think that makes any sense.


No, as I say, God is not making or causing people to do stuff. He is not making it so people can't do things. He is not a cause he is a creator. The difference is profound. Then explain the difference. So far you have not done so in an understandable way at all.


Here are two examples. I would need time to find the others.

John 1:3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.This only indicates that Jesus, the Word, created all things. In on way, shape or form does this say that He creates some to believe and some not to believe.


and

Hebrews 1:1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the ages.

According to John God makes everything which would include my free-will choices.That is not at all what John was saying. Not even close. This is one of the biggest cases of someone taking something out of a passage that isn't even remotely there that I can ever recall. All that verse is saying is that the Word (Jesus) created all things. It says nothing whatsoever about Him determining people's choices for them.


According to Paul, God made the ages, that is, he directs history the way he wants it to go and this includes my personal history and your personal history. Again, you are taking something out of a verse that is not even remotely there. In no way, shape or form does that verse say that God determines everything that occurs in our lives without us having any of our own choices that He doesn't determine for us. All verses like those indicate is that God created all things through Jesus and that Jesus has authority over all things. It says nothing about how He determines what to do with that kind of authority. I believe He determined that He would give all people the freedom to choose whether or not to put their faith in Him rather than creating (making, forcing) them to believe in Him. Faith and love have to involve choice on both sides. You can't have faith in Christ and love God without making the choice to do so. God wants people to surrender and submit to Him willingly. We are not puppets.


Not at all. The Bible doesn't teach the doctrine of fatalism as if what we do doesn't matter. Some of your comments make it seem as if you believe that so I don't know if I'll ever understand your view. It seems rather convoluted, frankly.


I didn't say that persuasion wasn't a part of the process of coming to belief.Your comments came across that way. I'm afraid that your way of communicating is just too hard for me to follow.


I said that God doesn't use it. From God's perspective, he is creating people using persuasion and he is creating people hearing the gospel and he is creating some who respond and others who don't. God is the creator, not the persuader. When Paul preached was he not preaching with the power of the Holy Spirit working through him? And he said he was persuading people to believe. That means God, using Paul, was persuading people to believe. Of course, some weren't persuaded and instead of believing the gospel he preached they tried to have Paul killed instead.


I didn't say it wasn't based on their actions. As I say, the Bible doesn't teach fatalism in which our actions don't matter. They do matter. How much do they matter? Do they matter at all when it comes to salvation? If so, in what way?


But as for Romans 9, Paul is indeed saying that God creates some to bless and others to destroy.No, that is not what Paul is teaching there. Romans 9 required very diligent study to understand. Without that it would be easy to think that he was speaking of the eternal destinies of the individuals Jacob and Esau when in reality he was speaking of the two nations that would descend from those two.

Gen 25:23 And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

Compare to:

Romans 9:10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth ) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

If you didn't take the time to see the true context of this passage would you ever know that it was actually speaking of the nations of Israel and Edom rather than the individuals Jacob and Esau? No, you would not. I wouldn't doubt that you think the passage above is saying that God created the individual Jacob to bless and the individual Esau to destroy. Am I right? But we can see from the context that is not the case. What the passage relates to is the fact that salvation would come through Jacob's line and not Esau's. Some might say that's unfair.

Rom 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.

Yes, there are some things that are completely up to God and He can do what He wants. He wanted to bring salvation through the nation of Israel rather than Edom or any other nation. He had that right. No one cay that was unfair. But what scripture never teaches is that God purposely creates some people to be saved and some to be condemned. Yet that is what you seem to be claiming.

In the case of Pharaoh it does not say God created him from birth to show His power in him. No. Pharaoh became evil on his own volition. God, if He so chooses, can take someone who has already chosen their path and do with that person as He pleases. Scripture teaches that not only did God harden Pharaoh's heart but that Pharaoh hardened his own heart as well. It's not as if God just picked Pharaoh randomly. He picked Pharaoh to be the one through whom He would display His power because of Pharaoh's position of power and his choice to harden his own heart. Do you think God would have hardened the heart of someone who was faithful to Him? Of course not. It never says that God determines people's eternal destinies from birth. You will not find any scripture which teaches that. Yet that is what you apparently believe (though I guess I can't ever be sure what it is you actually believe).


No, that is not what I believe. As creatures and not the creator, that's how we would do it. If we didn't want someone to believe we would need to make it so they couldn't believe. In fact, that's how Satan does it. He uses manipulation and exploits weaknesses in our understanding, he plays on our fears, he tempts us to hate, he seduces us to believe the lie. But God is not a creature; he is the creator. If he needs a believer, he creates one.That is completely unbiblical. People aren't born believing. If they were then there would be no reason to preach the gospel. People become believers and are not created as believers. There are numerous examples of people becoming believers at a point in time in their lives in scripture. Why would that be if people are created as believers?


I affirm that truth also.You do? That's not how your comments came across to me. Please explain to me exactly what you believe must occur in order for someone to become saved.


Maybe you misunderstood me, I don't know.Please don't take offense, but I think it's quite easy for someone to misunderstand you. I don't think you are very good at making your view clear to others.


But I said that belief is not the ONLY mark of those who belong to God. Taking up our cross and following him would be another one as you rightly point out. Not only is belief a mark of those who belong to God, so is repentance, humility, confession, trust, love of God, fear of God, seeking the kingdom first, obedience, love of the truth, perseverance under trial, and being a disciple of Jesus. All of these are marks of those who belong to God.So, how does someone humble themselves and repent? How do they take up their cross and follow Jesus? Does God create people that way or do people need to choose whether or not to humble themselves and follow Jesus? At this point I have no understanding of your view of how these things work.

BroRog
Jul 14th 2012, 01:14 AM
Because you love them and want them to be saved.The point is, if free-will is sacrosanct and God will not violate a person's free will, then praying to God for them isn't going to do any good. The logic of this is inescapable. Paul wants us to pray for people because he expects that, indeed, God might violate a person's free-will and save them.


I believe what Jesus said as well. But we obviously understand what He said differently.Jesus says many are called. This calling is the general call that goes out to the whole world, "Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins." He also says that few are chosen. This choosing is NOT being done by the one who believes the gospel, but God is doing the choosing.


What would you think if I told you that I wanted you to win a million dollars and proceeded to make it so that you could not possibly win a million dollars (just assume that I somehow had that ability)? Wouldn't that come across as me being insincere about my desire for you to win a million dollars? I don't see how it can possibly make sense for God to sincerely want someone to repent and then proceed to make it so that they can't. If He made it so that they can't it seems clear to me that would mean He did not want them to repent.Yes it would seem insincere if you did that. However, you are not God. In order to understand the Biblical view of predestination, we need to understand the Biblical view of God, especially the fact that God is the creator. And in order to understand our world as it relates to God, we need to understand that God is creating a narrative. As such, it makes perfect sense for God to make the call for repentance and then create some repenting and others not repenting because it suits his narrative purpose.


It's a problem because God is not someone whose actions contradict His desires. For Him to desire for everyone to repent and then purposely make it so that some can't is a contradiction and makes Him out to be dishonest. I'm amazed that would think that makes any sense.
It is not a contradiction since God plays a role in his narrative. It makes perfect sense for him to desire that all be saved while at the same create some being saved and others not being saved.


Then explain the difference. So far you have not done so in an understandable way at all.What I have in mind is many verses that speak about God and how he creates the world. The most obvious place to look is in Genesis where it depicts God speaking creation into existence. Now, we must decide from four different views of God as creator: 1) God as craftsman, 2) God as wizard, 3) God as progenitor, 4) God as author. If God was a craftsman, then he would not speak things into existence, he would cause things to be made from stuff that already exists. Just as a carpenter makes cabinets from wood and screws, God makes a universe from material stuff that he finds laying around. But this is not the Biblical picture of God as creator. He isn't a carpenter, he is an author. Everything he makes he speaks into existence and it appears.


This only indicates that Jesus, the Word, created all things. In on way, shape or form does this say that He creates some to believe and some not to believe.
For me to prove my point from scripture, I am showing you the scriptures. If you simply say, "that's not what it says." Then I can't do any more. If it says that apart from him nothing as come into being that has come into being, this must include bringing believers into existence or it means nothing at all.


That is not at all what John was saying. Not even close. This is one of the biggest cases of someone taking something out of a passage that isn't even remotely there that I can ever recall. All that verse is saying is that the Word (Jesus) created all things. It says nothing whatsoever about Him determining people's choices for them.You skipped over Hebrews 1:3 where Paul asserts that God orchestrates history. This should really shake your view. :)


Again, you are taking something out of a verse that is not even remotely there. In no way, shape or form does that verse say that God determines everything that occurs in our lives without us having any of our own choices that He doesn't determine for us. All verses like those indicate is that God created all things through Jesus and that Jesus has authority over all things.You asked for scriptures I am giving you scriptures.


I believe He determined that He would give all people the freedom to choose whether or not to put their faith in Him rather than creating (making, forcing) them to believe in Him.Is your view of God as creator the progenitor or the craftsman model? Is this why you think about God in terms of "force" or "persuasion"? If God was simply the progenitor of creation, like the grand watchmaker, building a universe and then letting it run its course, then I can understand why you think God would need to use force in order to predestine people to believe in him. But if God is an author, speaking things into existence, then all he need do is speak a believer into existence.


Faith and love have to involve choice on both sides. You can't have faith in Christ and love God without making the choice to do so. God wants people to surrender and submit to Him willingly. We are not puppets.Of course not. If God were simply a craftsmen, or a progenitor then of course he might treat us as puppets.


Some of your comments make it seem as if you believe that so I don't know if I'll ever understand your view. It seems rather convoluted, frankly.

Your comments came across that way. I'm afraid that your way of communicating is just too hard for me to follow.Sorry, I think this medium is hard to present a comprehensive thesis on a subject.


When Paul preached was he not preaching with the power of the Holy Spirit working through him? And he said he was persuading people to believe. That means God, using Paul, was persuading people to believe. Of course, some weren't persuaded and instead of believing the gospel he preached they tried to have Paul killed instead.
Again, looking at the situation from the point of view of someone speaking things into existence, the creator is speaking Paul persuading people and he is speaking people believing him or not believing him as the case may be.


How much do they matter? Do they matter at all when it comes to salvation? If so, in what way?Yes, it matters to the story God is telling. Just imagine what it would look like if God simply spoke believers into existence apart from any kind of narrative. First we have no believers and then -- poof -- we see believers. This is certainly possible, but it would make no sense in history. Rather what we see is God speaking the preacher coming, we see him speaking people listening, we see him speaking some listeners into exist and etc. The point is, it matters to the logical narrative of the story God is telling.


No, that is not what Paul is teaching there. Romans 9 required very diligent study to understand. Without that it would be easy to think that he was speaking of the eternal destinies of the individuals Jacob and Esau when in reality he was speaking of the two nations that would descend from those two. I know about the two nations. However, what some people fail to understand is that Paul is talking about God's blessing Jacob and not blessing Esau. When the passage says, "Jacob I loved" it means "the nation that came from Jacob I blessed, helped, guided, and other positive things." And when it says, "Esau I hated", it means "the nation that came from Esau I cursed and worked against and other negative things." But remember, this blessing and cursing was done in the context of the respective inheritances of each man taken as an individual. Jacob's personal inheritance was that God would bless him and his children. Esau had no personal inheritance and his children were cursed of God.

Now, Paul points out that God decided to bless Jacob and curse Esau BEFORE the boys were born. And Paul uses this event in Jacob's life to prove that the blessings of God, including the blessing of Abraham, which is eternal life, do NOT depend on the man who wills or the man who runs but on God who has mercy.


But what scripture never teaches is that God purposely creates some people to be saved and some to be condemned. Yet that is what you seem to be claiming.That comes later in the passage where Paul explains why God is not unjust. In that section Paul says that God creates some to on whom to have mercy and he creates some to be destroyed.


In the case of Pharaoh it does not say God created him from birth to show His power in him. No. Pharaoh became evil on his own volition. God, if He so chooses, can take someone who has already chosen their path and do with that person as He pleases. Scripture teaches that not only did God harden Pharaoh's heart but that Pharaoh hardened his own heart as well. It's not as if God just picked Pharaoh randomly. He picked Pharaoh to be the one through whom He would display His power because of Pharaoh's position of power and his choice to harden his own heart. Do you think God would have hardened the heart of someone who was faithful to Him? Of course not. It never says that God determines people's eternal destinies from birth. You will not find any scripture which teaches that. Yet that is what you apparently believe (though I guess I can't ever be sure what it is you actually believe).Don't forget, God not only said that he would harden Pharaoh's heart for his own purposes, but he also says that he raised Pharaoh up for his own purposes. What does it mean "I have raised you up . . ." if it doesn't mean, "I'm the reason why you are the Pharaoh in the first place"?


That is completely unbiblical. People aren't born believing. If they were then there would be no reason to preach the gospel. People become believers and are not created as believers. There are numerous examples of people becoming believers at a point in time in their lives in scripture. Why would that be if people are created as believers?I didn't say that people are born believers. If God is creating everything, then he is creating EVERYTHING. Let me use Romans 10:13-15 for example.


13 for "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." 14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent?


Let's put that down as a logical flow of events.

1. A preacher is sent.
2. People listen to the preacher's message.
3. Some people believe the preacher's message, and others don't.

That's how we experience it. But how does God create it?

1. God is creating a preacher being sent.
2. God is creating people listening to the preacher's message.
3. God is creating people believing the message.

You see, everything flows logically from the antecedent events that came before.

BroRog
Jul 14th 2012, 01:45 AM
Why are you certain of that? Take Deut30:12 --- do you believe in "monergism", after reading that verse?I believe in "monergism" not because of Deut 10:12, but because of one chapter earlier Deut. 29.



Let's make this a bit of a long post; let's go through some verses from Deut29.


29:4 "Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear."

So God has to CHANGE their hearts SO THAT they can see/hear/understand/know/believe. Right?
Right.


BOTH chapters are plainly saying "KEEP His commandments, LOVE God and HOLD FAST to Him" --- and the Israelites who chose NOT to, receive God's wrath because of their rebellion.Sure, but don't forget two important aspects you seem to have left out. First, Moses comes right out and says they won't keep the covenant, and second, a subsequent generation many thousands of years later, the nation WILL keep the covenant and the difference between the first generation and the final generation will be the inescapable fact that God must circumcised their hearts.


The new hearts and new spirits, they "make for themselves", when they choose to turn to God and THEN He makes their hearts new!Again, you see cause and effect where none exists and you tend to hear the command to circumcise your hearts and ignore the promise that God will do it for them. According to your logic,
God circumcises the hearts only after they circumcise their own hearts. But all we need to do is ask any little boy who performed the briss, and then wonder to ourselves whether it is possible to circumcise a baby once the baby has already been circumcised. If the nation of Israel removes the foreskin, the foreskin has been removed and as such, it would make no sense for God to say that he was going to remove it. Right?


Okay, I'll state it differently --- I don't understand how God makes it so that they can ONLY choose sin and destruction. Define "free will choice" --- Freewill is the term we use to indicate when a man makes a meaningful choice, which arises from his own personal motives, values, preferences and the like. A Freewill choice is not forced or coerced or a matter of Zugzwang (German for "compulsion to move"). However, given all of this, we say that we are free to act according to what we want, but our choices are not autonomous choices with respect to the creator God. God creates me making my free-will choices.


You avoided the question, didn't answer; are we to pray for salvation for those whom God has PREDESTINED and therefore our prayers won't accomplish ANYTHING? Or are we to pray for those destined to HELL and our prayers also won't accomplish anything?I put the question back to you because I was hoping beyond hope that you would see that your view has the same problem. If Paul asks us to pray for someone's salvation, what is his expectation? Does he really think that asking God for someone's salvation will bring about that person's salvation? If not, then why pray for them? This is a problem with your position also.


No, we're admonished to pray for them to CHANGE them. "Change" is clear in Jude23 (positive), and NEGATIVE in Rom14:15 and Matt23:13-15.
The prayer is to change the result; therefore the result can be changed, it's not "ordained before time".
How do you know that your praying for them was not also ordained before time?


See verses cited in previous paragraph.Excuse me? Reformed Theology posits that a heart is monergistically changed ("first cause") and THEN faith flows IRRESISTIBLY from that new heart ("second cause").
Maybe so, but didn't I say Reformed theologians are bad philosophers? I think I said that earlier.

Chris C
Jul 14th 2012, 04:15 AM
I ask you a simple question for you. Why should God allow you into heaven?

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!

Now I didn't read all these pages of responses so I don't know if it was said or not.

My answer to this question is God shouldn't let us into Heaven but He will because of His grace and mercy. He will let us in because our punishment has been paid in full by the death and Ressurection of Jesus Christ. He will let us in because God came to us and suffered for us. He will let us in because God loves us even though we don't deserve His love, His Grace or His Mercy.

Gadgeteer
Jul 14th 2012, 03:00 PM
I believe in "monergism" not because of Deut 10:12,"Monergism" asserts that the word of faith is IN Heaven, and (because of "total inability") God must reach down and GIVE it to (a few of) men to MAKE them hear it so that they may observe it. And there is Dueteronomy 30:12 saying it's NOT in Heaven that someone must go GET it and GIVE it to men, to make them hear it that they may observe it. "Monergism" cannot continue after Deut30:12.

Further --- that word-of-faith is in EVERYONE'S heart and mouth, each can EITHER confess/believe/be-saved, OR can disobey and perish.
but because of one chapter earlier Deut. 29.Nope --- we proved that in chapter 29 they forsook God all by themselves and THEREFORE bore His wrath. "Lest there shall be among you a man or woman ...whose heart turns away from God", is the same idea as in 30:17 "but if your heart turns away and you WILL NOT obey, you will perish".

It's a choice --- life or death; so choose life by loving God and holding fast to Him. It's rock-solid; can't continue in any OSAS view, let alone "monergism/predestination".


Deut29:4 "Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear."

So God has to CHANGE their hearts SO THAT they can see/hear/understand/know/believe. Right?Right. And that is why it completely ruins "monergism". The "word-of-faith" is in EVERYONE'S heart and mouth, both those who believe and those who turn away! "It is not too difficult, nor is it out of reach"!

Monergism claims it's forever out of reach unless God REACHES down and sovereignly GIVES it to the few! Complete and total refutation; what defense is there?

Deut29:4 is "Semitic View", same as Ex9:34 & 10:1; God does not harden ANYONE towards sin and unbelief.

Sure, but don't forget two important aspects you seem to have left out. First, Moses comes right out and says they won't keep the covenant, and second, a subsequent generation many thousands of years later, the nation WILL keep the covenant and the difference between the first generation and the final generation will be the inescapable fact that God must circumcised their hearts. The problem is that nowhere in Scripture does God change hearts BEFORE belief and turning to Him. Read Ezk36:26-27 --- now the mirror passage Ezk11:18-21, we see in 18 they turn to God and away from abominations BEFORE He gives them new hearts (and 21 those who WILL not turn are in trouble). Read 2Cor4:3-4 --- now read 2Cor3:16 and they turn to God BEFORE the veil is removed from their eyes!

So nowhere is "sovereign-heart-change-before-belief". Monergism is gone.

Again, you see cause and effect where none exists and you tend to hear the command to circumcise your hearts and ignore the promise that God will do it for them.No, it's clear that men turn to God by faith and THEN (through that faith) He renews their hearts. Contrast Eph1:4 ("He chose us in Him before the foundation"), with 2Thess2:13 ("chosen from the beginning ...THROUGH BELIEF") --- how does one get "chosen-through-belief", before he believes?
According to your logic, God circumcises the hearts only after they circumcise their own hearts.No, only after they turn to Him. Can any of these verses we've just read be understood differently?
But all we need to do is ask any little boy who performed the briss, and then wonder to ourselves whether it is possible to circumcise a baby once the baby has already been circumcised. If the nation of Israel removes the foreskin, the foreskin has been removed and as such, it would make no sense for God to say that he was going to remove it. Right?An eight-day-old infant does not make a choice for physical circumcision; an adult believer does make a conscious choice for spiritual circumcision.


Freewill is the term we use to indicate when a man makes a meaningful choice, which arises from his own personal motives, values, preferences and the like. A Freewill choice is not forced or coerced or a matter of Zugzwang (German for "compulsion to move"). However, given all of this, we say that we are free to act according to what we want, but our choices are not autonomous choices with respect to the creator God. God creates me making my free-will choices. Then He DETERMINES what choices you make, and they are not free. Please read Jn7:17 and tell me where "God-determination" is.


You avoided the question, didn't answer; are we to pray for salvation for those whom God has PREDESTINED and therefore our prayers won't accomplish ANYTHING? Or are we to pray for those destined to HELL and our prayers also won't accomplish anything?
I put the question back to you because I was hoping beyond hope that you would see that your view has the same problem. If Paul asks us to pray for someone's salvation, what is his expectation? Does he really think that asking God for someone's salvation will bring about that person's salvation?Yes!!! One can believe because of seeing (Jn20:29, Jn10:38), and one can be PERSUADED (Acts26:28-29). Read Jn20:31 and tell me pure volitional persuasion is not crystal clear.
If not, then why pray for them? This is a problem with your position also. No, it's not --- recognize we can affect others' salvation --- positively in Jude23, negatively in Rm14:15. Often the result of our prayers is that God change US, into whatever is needed to reach THEM.

How do you know that your praying for them was not also ordained before time?Sigh. Why didn't God predestine any American Indians, Eskimos, Incas/Aztecs, Anastasis, African Bushmen, Aborigines, etcetera, before missionaries? "HOW shall they believe in whom they have not heard, and how shall they hear without a preacher?"

We cannot affect who believes and who doesn't, if all is predestined. Look at Matt23:13-15 and tell me that "those who ARE ENTERING" are not really being saved (therefore "predestined" in your doctrine), but then become "stopped/shut-off" (therefore NOT predestined in your doctrine!). What's the resolution?

The point is, if free-will is sacrosanct and God will not violate a person's free will, then praying to God for them isn't going to do any good. The logic of this is inescapable. Paul wants us to pray for people because he expects that, indeed, God might violate a person's free-will and save them.He can increase their EXPOSURE, send more preachers to PERSUADE them. And often when we pray for others, we're praying for ourselves, that God changes US into what we need to be.

Jesus says many are called. This calling is the general call that goes out to the whole world, "Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins." He also says that few are chosen. This choosing is NOT being done by the one who believes the gospel, but God is doing the choosing. How can you possibly say that? In Matt22:2-14, are there TWO CALLINGS? No.
Is anyone NOT called? No.
Who becomes the "chosen"? Those who ACCEPT the invitation and change clothes.
Who becomes the "rejected"? Those who prefer farming/business/dirty-clothes/other-things.
Which of the invitees are solely decided by the KING? NONE!!!

"For MANY (everyone-you-meet!) are called, but FEW (those-who-choose-to-accept!) are chosen."

You skipped over Hebrews 1:3 where Paul asserts that God orchestrates history. This should really shake your view.Hebrews is a poor choice to try to support OSAS. The entire letter is warning against falling.
2:1-3, "we won't escape if we forsake our salvation and drift away"
3:6 "we're Christ's house IF we hold fast
3:8 "do not harden your hearts"
3:12-13 "take care lest you be hardened by deceitful sin to falling away from God!"
3:14 "we are partners in Christ (3:1, 6:4) IF we hold fast"
4:1 "be careful that you do not fall"
4:11 (with 3:18-19) "don't fall and fail to enter God's rest by IMITATING their disobedience and unbelief"
6:4-6 "those who WERE saved but now ARE FALLING away, unable to restore them to repentance because of willful sin"
6:11-12 "you need diligence SO THAT you ...imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises"
10:26-29 "if WE continue sinning willfully after having been saved, Jesus' sacrifice no longer covers us"
10:29 the man who WAS SANCTIFIED by Jesus' blood (saved) but now is fallen, is US if we ignore the warning
10:35 "do not throw away your confidence" (with 10:19 & 6:19, don't throw away JESUS)
12:7-8 "if we refuse God's discipline, then we are NOT (no longer) sons but illegitimate"
12:9 "SHALL we not much rather BE in submission to God, AND LIVE?"
12:15 "be careful that bitterness does not cause you to FALL"
12:25 "much less shall we escape who turn away from God"
13:9 "don't be taken captive by strange teachings"

I know about the two nations. However, what some people fail to understand is that Paul is talking about God's blessing Jacob and not blessing Esau. When the passage says, "Jacob I loved" it means "the nation that came from Jacob I blessed, helped, guided, and other positive things." And when it says, "Esau I hated", it means "the nation that came from Esau I cursed and worked against and other negative things."Do you know about Galatians4:21-32? They are mirror passages. One allegorizing the "two covenants" (Law, and Grace) with Isaac and Ishmael, the other with Jacob and Esau. Rom9:8 is identical to Gal3:29.

Now, Paul points out that God decided to bless Jacob and curse Esau BEFORE the boys were born. And Paul uses this event in Jacob's life to prove that the blessings of God, including the blessing of Abraham, which is eternal life, do NOT depend on the man who wills or the man who runs but on God who has mercy.Nope --- two covenants/nations. Obviously Paul was thinking of Genesis 25:23.

Don't forget, God not only said that he would harden Pharaoh's heart for his own purposesGod does not actually harden ANYONE'S heart or cause ANY sin. It is "Semitic/Anthropomorphic" view. Same principle in Deut29:4; God does not close anyone's eyes or ears.

Gadgeteer
Jul 14th 2012, 03:42 PM
Now I didn't read all these pages of responses so I don't know if it was said or not.

My answer to this question is God shouldn't let us into Heaven but He will because of His grace and mercy. He will let us in because our punishment has been paid in full by the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. He will let us in because God came to us and suffered for us. He will let us in because God loves us even though we don't deserve His love, His Grace or His Mercy.
Very good post. And welcome to the boards!

:-)

BroRog
Jul 16th 2012, 06:03 AM
"Monergism" asserts that the word of faith is IN Heaven, and (because of "total inability") . . .

Okay, but where did I ever assert the doctrine of inability? Where did I ever say that men were incapable of making decisions? As I said earlier, you are arguing against the bad philosophy of some people, not discussing this with me personally, it would seem.


It's a choice --- life or death; so choose life by loving God and holding fast to Him. It's rock-solid; can't continue in any OSAS view, let alone "monergism/predestination".


Again, I think I have already asserted several times in this thread, and perhaps you didn't see it, that free-will is compatible with divine determinism if we properly understand each one.


Complete and total refutation; what defense is there?

The defense is simple. If what you said were true, then there would have been NO need for another covenant -- a covenant marked by the outpouring of the Spirit, the circumcision of the heart, the removal of the old heart of stone and the giving of the new heart of flesh and etc. But a new covenant WAS needed for the very reason that indeed, while the word of faith was available to the people, the hearts were not prepared to believe and practice such a faith. This fact alone proves the doctrine of "monergism." People need help believing and trusting God.



Deut29:4 is "Semitic View", same as Ex9:34 & 10:1; God does not harden ANYONE towards sin and unbelief.I don't know how you know that. But regardless, the fact remains that God hardens hearts for whatever reason suits him, which means that freewill is NOT sacrosanct. God feels free to violate the freewill of anyone he wants if it suits his purpose.


The problem is that nowhere in Scripture does God change hearts BEFORE belief and turning to Him.If turning from selfish ambition to a seeking glory and honor from God does NOT indicate a changed heart, I don't know what would.


No, it's clear that men [b]turn to God by faith and THEN (through that faith) He renews their hearts.

If a man already had faith in God, he wouldn't need a renewed heart. This fact is very obvious in Psalm 32.


. . .how does one get "chosen-through-belief", before he believes?Perhaps you misread that passage. Here it is again.


13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.


If salvation is a matter of a man's choice to believe, then how is salvation a matter of God's choice? Look, you need to interpret verse 13 in light of verse 11 and 12.


11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

The contrast is between what God does to those who do not believe the truth and what God does to those who do believe the truth. In the first instance, God sends on them a deluding influence and in the second case, God sends on them sanctification of spirit. Now, I think we get the wrong idea if we misunderstand Paul to say, "God is looking down from heaven and by inspection he finds two groups of people: those who hate the truth and those who love the truth. And he is going to reward those who hate the truth with a deluding spirit and those who love the truth he is going to reward with salvation. The problem with this interpretation is the fact that Paul says God made his decision "from the beginning", not during the lifetime of the individual but earlier, i.e. from the beginning. Since God chooses a man for salvation from the beginning, then we know that he doesn't choose them for salvation at the time they demonstrate their love for the truth. Rather, the reason why they love the truth is because God has already sanctified them by giving them a sanctified spirit.

Again, I go back to Psalms 32 in which David reflects on the fact that God is willing to forgive those who are willing to confess their sins, and that confession is a clear signal of an honest and good heard in which there is no deceit. In other words, the heart condition was there prior to the moment when a man confesses his sin, not after.

Paul isn't saying that a man gets chosen through belief. He is thanking God that some of his readers were chosen for salvation before the great apostasy and that God is going to guarantee them the ability to avoid the apostasy in that he will set them apart with a sanctified spirit that will believe the truth.


No, only after they turn to Him. Can any of these verses we've just read be understood differently? An eight-day-old infant does not make a choice for physical circumcision; an adult believer does make a conscious choice for spiritual circumcision. The command to circumcise their own hearts was given. But the expectation is certain. No man can circumcise his own heart.


Then He DETERMINES what choices you make, and they are not free.They are both determined and free. God hardened Pharaoh's heart and Pharaoh hardened his heart. Both were true at the same time. God is the author of his story in which he is creating a Pharaoh making a free will choice to harden his heart and he is hardening his heart because God is hardening his heart. Both are true. The idea that determined choices are not free choices is bad philosophy based on the assumption that God is NOT a creator but simply a watcher and a persuader.


Why didn't God predestine any American Indians, Eskimos, Incas/Aztecs, Anastasis, African Bushmen, Aborigines, etcetera, before missionaries?How do you know he didn't?


We cannot affect who believes and who doesn't, if all is predestined.Sure we can. You simply postulate two contradictory conditions. You postulate that God is allowing those who petition the Lord to make a free/autonomous choice to pray, but not allowing a person to make an autonomous choice to be saved. If you postulate that all is predestined, then even the petitions of those who pray for them are also predestined. Either all actions are predestined or none of them are. And so, we have two views of reality 1) all decisions are autonomous from God, including prayers for the lost and decisions to trust God. or 2) all decisions are predestined including prayers for the lost and decisions to trust God. Of course, if we mix or confuse number 1) with number 2), we will not make any sense of things.


He can increase their EXPOSURE, send more preachers to PERSUADE them. And often when we pray for others, we're praying for ourselves, that God changes US into what we need to be.Really, that's all he can do? You really think Paul wanted people to pray for their leaders because he wants us to ask God to send them more preachers, when God could do that himself if he honestly desired that none should perish. Give me a break. How far are you willing to go with this? We pray to God for people because we think God can actually do something to cause them to be saved. This is a real problem for your view. God doesn't need us to ask him to send preachers. He already sent preachers.


How can you possibly say that? In Matt22:2-14, are there TWO CALLINGS? No.
Is anyone NOT called? No.
Who becomes the "chosen"? Those who ACCEPT the invitation and change clothes.
This doesn't work. If Jesus believed your view, the few wouldn't be "the chosen", they would be "the choosing."


Do you know about Galatians4:21-32? They are mirror passages. One allegorizing the "two covenants" (Law, and Grace) with Isaac and Ishmael, the other with Jacob and Esau. Rom9:8 is identical to Gal3:29.I don't think they are identical because Romans 9 is making a different point than Galatians 3. The general question is the same: who stands to inherit the promise God made to Abraham? In Galatians 3, the opposition claims that a man must keep the law of Moses and get circumcised thus entering into the people of God. In Romans 9, the opposition claims that God made a promise to his covenant people Israel, which Paul's gospel seems to deny. In Galatians 3 and 4, Paul seeks to explain why a person does not need to be circumcised and follow Moses in order to be qualified to receive the inheritance. In Romans 9-11, Paul is answering the objection to his gospel which claims, "well Paul, even if you deny that a person must enter the people of God via Moses, at least you can't deny that God promised the inheritance to Israel as a people. The fact that God is NOT saving each and every person in Israel is a real problem for your Gospel Paul." No self respecting prophet of God would deny a clear promise God made through Jeremiah. So Paul has a lot of explaining to do.



Nope --- two covenants/nations. Obviously Paul was thinking of Genesis 25:23.
God does not actually harden ANYONE'S heart or cause ANY sin. It is "Semitic/Anthropomorphic" view. Same principle in Deut29:4; God does not close anyone's eyes or ears.I really can't defend your point of view. Paul clearly used the fact that God hardened Pharaoh's heart as prima facia evidence that God hardens whomever he wants.

18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

Gadgeteer
Jul 16th 2012, 11:00 PM
Okay, but where did I ever assert the doctrine of inability? Where did I ever say that men were incapable of making decisions? As I said earlier, you are arguing against the bad philosophy of some people, not discussing this with me personally, it would seem. Hi, Roger. The very foundation of "Reformed Theology" is that men are not just drowning in a sea of sin, they are spiritual corpses; and can no more turn to God than can a rotting corpse in the ocean grab a life-ring that is thrown to him. Thus, God must born-him-again, making him alive so that he then irresistibly turns to God and believes. "Regeneration precedes belief" is the base. If you believe that all men have (or are given) the ability to turn and believe, that is "unlimited atonement", against the "L" in the Reformed's "TULIP".

(Limited Atonement.)

Again, I think I have already asserted several times in this thread, and perhaps you didn't see it, that free-will is compatible with divine determinism if we properly understand each one. I can argue against "compatibilism" if you wish; but the essence is that if a man can make only one choice (restricted by God --- either irresistibly believing because of sovereign election, or irresistibly reprobate because of sovereign UN-election), that is not a "free will". Such an argument is tantamount to contending that a lobotomy recipient has the free choice of becoming a nice person. He does not. It is the only direction he goes after surgery.

The defense is simple. If what you said were true, then there would have been NO need for another covenant -- a covenant marked by the outpouring of the Spirit, the circumcision of the heart, the removal of the old heart of stone and the giving of the new heart of flesh and etc.The base question is "what is the sequence? New-heart and THEN turning-to-God? Or turning-to-God and THEN new-heart? The first is "total inability" and "sovereign election", the second is "unlimited atonement and personal responsibility".

...and yes I realize that "Compatibilism" asserts we ARE responsible, even though the choice is made ultimately by God" (refusal to acknowledge the definition of "free will").
But a new covenant WAS needed for the very reason that indeed, while the word of faith was available to the people, the hearts were not prepared to believe and practice such a faith. This fact alone proves the doctrine of "monergism." People need help believing and trusting God.Please review Deut30:12 --- this, in conjunction with Rom10:6-10, proves that all men are given the "word-of-faith". "It is NOT in Heaven that one must go GET it and GIVE it to us, that we may observe it" --- and monergistic regeneration asserts the word-of-faith IS in Heaven and God must REACH down and GIVE it to a few, that they may (will!) observe it.

100% refutation.


Deut29:4 is "Semitic View", same as Ex9:34 & 10:1; God does not harden ANYONE towards sin and unbelief. I don't know how you know that.Because in Him there is no sin (1Jn3:5), and the rebuke of Matt12:25-31 --- God can have nothing to do with evil, else His house is divided.
But regardless, the fact remains that God hardens hearts for whatever reason suits him, which means that freewill is NOT sacrosanct. God feels free to violate the freewill of anyone he wants if it suits his purpose.That violates "love", which is God's essence (1Jn4:16); love cannot demand its own way (1Cor13:5), or it isn't "love".

To assert that God hardens hearts AGAINST belief and eternal life, is to violate Ezk18:23 & 31-32, and the "all men" verses like 1Tim2:4, 1Tim4:10, 1Jn2:2, Rom5:17-19, Jn4:42, etcetera. In no way can all these verses be restricted to a FEW --- they are written as "all, ESPECIALLY believers".


The problem is that nowhere in Scripture does God change hearts BEFORE belief and turning to Him. If turning from selfish ambition to a seeking glory and honor from God does NOT indicate a changed heart, I don't know what would. You're not acknowledging sequence; God does not change hearts BEFORE a person turns to Him and believes. You see "turning to God as EVIDENCE of election", when election is the consequence of one's TURNING.

If a man already had faith in God, he wouldn't need a renewed heart. This fact is very obvious in Psalm 32. What verse? I read verse 10, "he WHO trusts in the Lord..." --- please read Eph4:22-24 and deny that renewed hearts are not a daily choice.

Perhaps you misread that passage. Here it is again.


13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.

It's a dual-subject; chosen-through-sanctification, and chosen-through-faith.

If salvation is a matter of a man's choice to believe, then how is salvation a matter of God's choice? Look, you need to interpret verse 13 in light of verse 11 and 12.


11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
Several points:
1. This is a different age, "Tribulation" -- not "grace". Different rules may apply.
2. It is unclear whether "God-sending" is active, or another "Semitic View".
3. Even if it is active (per different age), they first refused to believe, before the delusion sent.


The contrast is between what God does to those who do not believe the truth and what God does to those who do believe the truth. In the first instance, God sends on them a deluding influence and in the second case, God sends on them sanctification of spirit. Now, I think we get the wrong idea if we misunderstand Paul to say, "God is looking down from heaven and by inspection he finds two groups of people: those who hate the truth and those who love the truth.Please fit Jesus' words in that, John3:20-21 --- is belief GOD'S choice there, or does each person choose righteousness or sin?

Please also relate to the rebuke of John5:39-47; they studied Scripture but were UNWILLING to believe/come to have life. Why? Because they sought their own glory, because they refused to believe Moses, but under all that because they did not love God.

The command to love God is issued as if everyone can obey. Matt22:37.
And he is going to reward those who hate the truth with a deluding spirit and those who love the truth he is going to reward with salvation. The problem with this interpretation is the fact that Paul says God made his decision "from the beginning", not during the lifetime of the individual but earlier, i.e. from the beginning.And that's the same issue with Eph1:4-5 and 11; recognize that JESUS was predestined from the beginning (1Pet1:20-21), not eternal-life-for-a-few; in Eph1 it's "according to God's kind purpose, which was bestowed on us in the Beloved". God's kind purpose is spelled out in Jn6:40, that all who see Jesus and believe be saved.
Since God chooses a man for salvation from the beginning,(you have not proven that with Scripture yet)
then we know that he doesn't choose them for salvation at the time they demonstrate their love for the truth. Rather, the reason why they love the truth is because God has already sanctified them by giving them a sanctified spirit. Please re-read Jn1:12-13 --- in verse 13 the begottenness is all of God and nothing of men; but in verse 12 becoming begotten is not granted before believing and receiving Jesus.

Again, I go back to Psalms 32 in which David reflects on the fact that God is willing to forgive those who are willing to confess their sins, and that confession is a clear signal of an honest and good heard in which there is no deceit. In other words, the heart condition was there prior to the moment when a man confesses his sin, not after. Verse 5? You are imposing an external concept; "confessing-sin" is turning-to-God --- but you impose "it is the EVIDENCE of a heart that GOD changed". Zero support for that.

Recognize the "Semitic View" of 2Tim2:25, about "God granting them forgiveness"; it's 100% "Semitic/Anthropomorphism", because the next verse speaks of them "coming to their senses" --- that does not reflect God coming to THEM, but rather them becoming convicted and turning to GOD. It's exactly what happened with the Prodigal in Luke15:17-19; his father did not come to him, he came to his senses and TURNED to his father!

Paul isn't saying that a man gets chosen through belief. He is thanking God that some of his readers were chosen for salvation before the great apostasy and that God is going to guarantee them the ability to avoid the apostasy in that he will set them apart with a sanctified spirit that will believe the truth. What do you think the "apostasy" is? How do you relate it to 1Tim4:1?


"The Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons."

Do you think some will fall away from the faith that they never had?


The command to circumcise their own hearts was given. But the expectation is certain. No man can circumcise his own heart. And no one can "save himself"; but there are Paul's words in 1Tim4:16, and Ezekiel's words in 18:31-32.


They are both determined and free. God hardened Pharaoh's heart and Pharaoh hardened his heart.Can't be both; if one did it the other did not.
Both were true at the same time. God is the author of his story in which he is creating a Pharaoh making a free will choice to harden his heart and he is hardening his heart because God is hardening his heart. Both are true. The idea that determined choices are not free choices is bad philosophy based on the assumption that God is NOT a creator but simply a watcher and a persuader. Then, as I said on the other thread, God is wicked. He who causes sin and wickedness in another, is wicked.


Why didn't God predestine any American Indians, Eskimos, Incas/Aztecs, Anastasis, African Bushmen, Aborigines, etcetera, before missionaries?How do you know he didn't?Christianity has swept entire populations, after the appearance of missionaries. Do you reject Paul's words, "How can they believe in whom they have not heard?"


We cannot affect who believes and who doesn't, if all is predestined. Sure we can.No, we can't. The essence of "Reformed Theology", aligns with Once Saved Always Saved; RT's object to the term, preferring instead: "One who is TRULY elect and therefore saved, God will PRESERVE." But all three views of OSAS assert that "a truly saved person cannot become unsaved" --- iow, no movement from righteous (the only way to be righteous is to belong to God), to unrighteous. Ezekiel 18:24 flat disagrees; and so does the NT, see Rm14:15, 1Cor8:11, Matt23:13-15, etcetera.
You simply postulate two contradictory conditions. You postulate that God is allowing those who petition the Lord to make a free/autonomous choice to pray, but not allowing a person to make an autonomous choice to be saved. If you postulate that all is predestined, then even the petitions of those who pray for them are also predestined. Either all actions are predestined or none of them are. And so, we have two views of reality 1) all decisions are autonomous from God, including prayers for the lost and decisions to trust God. or 2) all decisions are predestined including prayers for the lost and decisions to trust God. Of course, if we mix or confuse number 1) with number 2), we will not make any sense of things. God is love; love does not demand its own way. The very essence of salvation MUST be a sentient, conscious choice, else it cannot be "love".


Really, that's all he can do? You really think Paul wanted people to pray for their leaders because he wants us to ask God to send them more preachers, when God could do that himself if he honestly desired that none should perish. Give me a break.Give me an explanation --- why are we to pray for leaders that we may lead peaceful lives, if it's not a prayer to save all leaders?
How far are you willing to go with this? We pray to God for people because we think God can actually do something to cause them to be saved. This is a real problem for your view.Quite the opposite; we AFFECT who is saved, and who is not --- we can "save others", and we can "DESTROY brothers".
God doesn't need us to ask him to send preachers. He already sent preachers. Praying for the salvation of others has many facets; sometimes it's binding the darkness that they more clearly hear the Spirit.


How can you possibly say that? In Matt22:2-14, are there TWO CALLINGS? No.
Is anyone NOT called? No.
Who becomes the "chosen"? Those who ACCEPT the invitation and change clothes. This doesn't work. If Jesus believed your view, the few wouldn't be "the chosen", they would be "the choosing."Interact with the passage --- you evaded it. Recognize that the Greek for chosen ("eklektos"), is synonymous with "saved".

(Recognize also that the "elect" can be led astray, Matt24:24!)

I don't think they are identical because Romans 9 is making a different point than Galatians 3.
Gal 3:29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise.

Rom 9:8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.

You don't think they're identical in concept?
The general question is the same: who stands to inherit the promise God made to Abraham? In Galatians 3, the opposition claims that a man must keep the law of Moses and get circumcised thus entering into the people of God.No, all of Galatians is a rebuke against those turning AWAY from Christ BACK to Law/works.
In Romans 9, the opposition claims that God made a promise to his covenant people Israel, which Paul's gospel seems to deny. In Galatians 3 and 4, Paul seeks to explain why a person does not need to be circumcised and follow Moses in order to be qualified to receive the inheritance. In Romans 9-11, Paul is answering the objection to his gospel which claims, "well Paul, even if you deny that a person must enter the people of God via Moses, at least you can't deny that God promised the inheritance to Israel as a people. The fact that God is NOT saving each and every person in Israel is a real problem for your Gospel Paul." No self respecting prophet of God would deny a clear promise God made through Jeremiah. So Paul has a lot of explaining to do.Paul very plainly teaches against "OSAS", which includes Reformed Theology. He salutes Deut30:11-20 with Rom10:6-10, saying it's the SAME word of faith now, as then, and that it's IN everyone's heart and mouth; those who confess and believe are saved, but those who don't perish.

I really can't defend your point of view.You can't deny it, either. ;-)
Paul clearly used the fact that God hardened Pharaoh's heart as prima facia evidence that God hardens whomever he wants.

18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and [B]He hardens whom He desires.If God CAUSES SIN, then God is wicked; His Judgment is false, and (per Acts10:34-35) His selection of His FAVORITES is bias/partiality/unjustness.

God must respond to faith, else the Cross is mere symbolic, pageantry.

Speaking of which --- did you ever answer my question on Matt9:12-13? For whom did Jesus come? Under Reformed Theolgy, He could not come for the unregenerated because they cannot respond; but He also could not have come for the regenerated, because they are righteous already and no longer "sick/sinners in need of Jesus the Physician".

So what's the connection between Jesus coming, and people being healed?

================

Sorry this post is long; but I can't be charged with "not considering everything". :-)

John146
Jul 17th 2012, 08:30 PM
The point is, if free-will is sacrosanct and God will not violate a person's free will, then praying to God for them isn't going to do any good. The logic of this is inescapable. Paul wants us to pray for people because he expects that, indeed, God might violate a person's free-will and save them. I completely disagree and I don't see that anywhere in Paul's teachings. It's one thing to ask God to give someone more opportunities to repent but there is no scripture to support the idea that you can pray that God will go against someone's free will and force them to believe and be saved.


Jesus says many are called. This calling is the general call that goes out to the whole world, "Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins." He also says that few are chosen. This choosing is NOT being done by the one who believes the gospel, but God is doing the choosing. It doesn't make any sense to call people who can't answer the call. Scripture is clear that those who don't answer the call do so entirely because of their own choice. Scripture is clear that God expects them to answer the call but they choose not to. In Matt 22:1-14 it makes it clear that people rejected the invitation because they were unwilling to accept it, not because they were unable to accept it. God calls everyone and requires everyone to answer with a response of repentance and faith. No one has any excuse for not doing so. No one can say they just weren't able to do so because God didn't create them to do so. No, that is not taught anywhere in scripture. People will be held responsible for not answering the call because they could have answered the call but chose not to instead. I believe the following passage clearly supports what I'm saying:

Isa 66:2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. 3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. 4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

Notice that God punishes those who "have chosen their own ways" and "chose that in which I delighted not". It would make absolutely not sense whatsoever for God to punish people for choosing their own ways if He determined their ways for them. For one thing it wouldn't be correct to say they chose their own ways in that case because it would be God choosing their ways instead. But this makes it clear that people choose their own ways rather than being created a certain way by God that they have no power over.


Yes it would seem insincere if you did that. However, you are not God. In order to understand the Biblical view of predestination, we need to understand the Biblical view of God, especially the fact that God is the creator.That's the crux of the matter. I believe you do not understand God in some ways and you believe that about me. I'm trying to use scripture as much as possible to support my view but I'm not really seeing that from you. I see a lot of human philosophy coming from you, but not much scriptural support being offered for your views.


And in order to understand our world as it relates to God, we need to understand that God is creating a narrative. As such, it makes perfect sense for God to make the call for repentance and then create some repenting and others not repenting because it suits his narrative purpose.His purpose is to create an illusion that He wants all people to repent even though that isn't really what He wants (if it was true that He creates some not to repent)?


It is not a contradiction since God plays a role in his narrative. It makes perfect sense for him to desire that all be saved while at the same create some being saved and others not being saved. Explain in detail how that makes any sense.


What I have in mind is many verses that speak about God and how he creates the world. The most obvious place to look is in Genesis where it depicts God speaking creation into existence. Now, we must decide from four different views of God as creator: 1) God as craftsman, 2) God as wizard, 3) God as progenitor, 4) God as author. If God was a craftsman, then he would not speak things into existence, he would cause things to be made from stuff that already exists. Just as a carpenter makes cabinets from wood and screws, God makes a universe from material stuff that he finds laying around. But this is not the Biblical picture of God as creator. He isn't a carpenter, he is an author. Everything he makes he speaks into existence and it appears. This does nothing to help me understand your view. Sorry. These are things that everyone here already knows, but I don't see how you can take this and then conclude that God must also speak our repentance and faith into existence as well (I think that's what you're saying, isn't it?).


For me to prove my point from scripture, I am showing you the scriptures.You are not showing many scriptures at all. I wish you would. Less you and more scripture, please.


If you simply say, "that's not what it says." Then I can't do any more. If it says that apart from him nothing as come into being that has come into being, this must include bringing believers into existence or it means nothing at all. That's the conclusion you draw but I don't believe it's meant to be taken a literally as that. We could then take that view and suggest that He also brings all rapes and murders into existence. Do you want to go that far with your literalistic view?


You skipped over Hebrews 1:3 where Paul asserts that God orchestrates history. This should really shake your view. :) I don't skip anything and I don't see things the way you do at all, so that verse doesn't shake my view at all. In case you didn't notice I interpret almost everything differently than you so it's silly for you to think that your interpretation of a verse would shake my view. You should know that I'm not likely to agree with your interpretation of any given verse. That's just the way it is.


You asked for scriptures I am giving you scriptures.Not much at all and not any that support your view.


But if God is an author, speaking things into existence, then all he need do is speak a believer into existence. There's one major problem with this view. It's not taught anywhere in scripture. Instead, scripture says that people hear the word and then respond with belief. Believers are not created from birth. People choose to believe the gospel or not when they hear it.


Of course not. If God were simply a craftsmen, or a progenitor then of course he might treat us as puppets. Let me ask you a few questions to try to get more clarity as to what you actually believe. How much freedom of choice do you believe people have? What can people choose to do on their own volition without God determining their choice for them? Does that include the choice of whether or not to repent and believe in Jesus Christ? If not, why not?


Sorry, I think this medium is hard to present a comprehensive thesis on a subject. It would be helpful if you used more scripture to support your view so I could see what you are basing your views on.


Again, looking at the situation from the point of view of someone speaking things into existence, the creator is speaking Paul persuading people and he is speaking people believing him or not believing him as the case may be. Sorry, but I can't make any sense out of that at all.


Yes, it matters to the story God is telling. Just imagine what it would look like if God simply spoke believers into existence apart from any kind of narrative. First we have no believers and then -- poof -- we see believers. This is certainly possible, but it would make no sense in history. Rather what we see is God speaking the preacher coming, we see him speaking people listening, we see him speaking some listeners into exist and etc. The point is, it matters to the logical narrative of the story God is telling. Tell me again how it can be that you don't see us as being like puppets? You definitely give the impression that God is the puppet master and then He puts us where He wants and has us do what He wants in His puppet show. That is the impression I get from your comments.


I know about the two nations. However, what some people fail to understand is that Paul is talking about God's blessing Jacob and not blessing Esau. When the passage says, "Jacob I loved" it means "the nation that came from Jacob I blessed, helped, guided, and other positive things." And when it says, "Esau I hated", it means "the nation that came from Esau I cursed and worked against and other negative things." But remember, this blessing and cursing was done in the context of the respective inheritances of each man taken as an individual. Jacob's personal inheritance was that God would bless him and his children. Esau had no personal inheritance and his children were cursed of God.Nope, you're still missing it. It's not about Jacob and Esau the individuals. Genesis 25:23 makes that clear. Yet you are still trying to make it about them as individuals. No, it's about the nations that would descend from them, Israel and Edom. If you read Gen 32:9 and Genesis 36 you should see that God blessed Esau the individual with many possessions and a large family.


Now, Paul points out that God decided to bless Jacob and curse Esau BEFORE the boys were born. And Paul uses this event in Jacob's life to prove that the blessings of God, including the blessing of Abraham, which is eternal life, do NOT depend on the man who wills or the man who runs but on God who has mercy. It wasn't man's decision to provide the opportunity of eternal life through Jesus Christ, that was the Father's decision alone. And God does not randomly have mercy and some and not the rest. The following says He concluded them all in unbelief so that He might have mercy upon them all. He wants everyone to repent and to be saved so He is willing to have mercy on everyone who does so.

Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

God wanted to have mercy even on the Jews who He cut off and blinded in Paul's day. The Gentiles "obtained mercy through their unbelief". In turn those cut off unbelieving Jews could "obtain mercy" through the mercy of the Gentiles. By seeing that God brought salvation even to the Gentiles the hope was that it would make them jealous and make them too want to obtain mercy and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. The following passage supports what I just said here:

Rom 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? 13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: 14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

See how Paul had the hope that some of those who were cut off and blinded would be saved? It seems in your view they wouldn't even have the opporunity to be saved because you would see them as being among those who were supposedly created to not repent and believe.


That comes later in the passage where Paul explains why God is not unjust. In that section Paul says that God creates some to on whom to have mercy and he creates some to be destroyed. It's not saying He creates them that way from birth. You are completely misinterpreting the text if that's what you think it's saying. Other scripture makes it clear that people choose their own ways and then God can choose to use people who have already hardened their own hearts for His own purpose if He wishes. But to say that He created them with hardened hearts cannot be supported by scripture. Look at the following passage:

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Now, if you read this carefully you should notice that it says that no one has any excuse at all for not knowing God and "his eternal power and Godhead" and for not glorifying Him as God and not being thankful to Him. So, it can't be the case that people are created with a heart that can't glorify God as God. No, people are not created that way. Notice that it says they "became vain in their imaginations" and "they became fools". Your doctrine (as I understand it) says they are created as fools who are vain in their imaginations. But scripture says they become that way (make themselves that way). How? By choosing to become that way rather than choosing to embrace what God has made known to them. Their hearts become hardened by their own bad choice to reject God. At that point God can give "them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts". He can harden their already hardened hearts for His purposes if He so chooses. But that doesn't mean they never had the opportunity to repent and believe before their hearts were darkened.


Don't forget, God not only said that he would harden Pharaoh's heart for his own purposes, but he also says that he raised Pharaoh up for his own purposes. What does it mean "I have raised you up . . ." if it doesn't mean, "I'm the reason why you are the Pharaoh in the first place"?But God did not create him to be that way, He just had to find an evil person to take that position so that He could make an example out of him. There's nothing to suggest that person was created to be the Pharoah and therefore created to be evil and to never have the opportunity to repent and believe.


I didn't say that people are born believers. If God is creating everything, then he is creating EVERYTHING.You're being way too literal here. Does he create rapes and murders and other atrocities that He condemns? Of course not! How far do you want to go with this "He is creating EVERYTHING" thing? As far as hyper-Calvinists take it?


Let me use Romans 10:13-15 for example.
13 for "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." 14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent?


Let's put that down as a logical flow of events.

1. A preacher is sent.
2. People listen to the preacher's message.
3. Some people believe the preacher's message, and others don't.

That's how we experience it. But how does God create it?

1. God is creating a preacher being sent.
2. God is creating people listening to the preacher's message.
3. God is creating people believing the message.It's not taught anywhere in scripture that God creates people believing the message. That certainly isn't taught in Romans 10. Instead, scripture says that people respond to the message by either believing it or not. That's a choice that everyone must make.


You see, everything flows logically from the antecedent events that came before.Your interpretation doesn't flow logically at all to me. How you get from people listening to the preacher's message to God creating people believing the message is beyond me. You're leaving out the fact that people are responsible to make their own choice of how to respond to the message. People are condemned for not believing the message (John 3:18) so it must be the reason for that is because God makes people responsible to choose to either believe it or not. If He creates people not to believe it then what reason would there be to condemn people for not believing? If they can't help but not believe there is no cause for their condemnation. God does not just condemn people for no reason.

John146
Jul 17th 2012, 08:45 PM
I really can't defend your point of view. Paul clearly used the fact that God hardened Pharaoh's heart as prima facia evidence that God hardens whomever he wants.

18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.Of course He does and no one here would try to say otherwise. The question is whether or not there is a basis for who God desires to harden or does He just harden people's hearts arbitrarily? Scripture indicates that God hardens the hearts who already have hardened their own hearts. I showed you this in my previous post by alluding to Romans 1:18-32 which indicates that God hardens those who have decided not to glorify Him as God despite the evidence all around them (everything He made) that they should. The following passage also illustrates this concept:

2 Thess 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Notice that God sends these unbelievers strong delusion only after they have already rejected the truth. He didn't create them to reject the truth. It doesn't teach that anywhere. But if they reject it then He has every right to not give them any more opportunities to repent and give them over to their wickedness. Just because He hardens them doesn't mean He never gave them the opportunity to repent and believe. He gives everyone that opportunity and everyone the choice of whether to do so or not and He makes everyone responsible to do so. That wouldn't be the case if He created some to not do so. Your view, which is quite similar to Calvinism, takes man's responsibility away and makes God solely responsible for whether or not a person is saved. Which means that if someone is condemned to the lake of fire for eternity then God is completely responsible for that. No, scripture makes it quite clear that people are responsible for their own choices.

BroRog
Jul 17th 2012, 10:45 PM
Of course He does and no one here would try to say otherwise. The question is whether or not there is a basis for who God desires to harden or does He just harden people's hearts arbitrarily?If by arbitrarily you mean to say that God does not base his mercy on what a man does, even hardening his own heart, then Paul says yes, God hardens whomever he wants to harden and mercy does NOT depend on the man who wills or the man who runs.


Notice that God sends these unbelievers strong delusion only after they have already rejected the truth. He didn't create them to reject the truth. It doesn't teach that anywhere. But if they reject it then He has every right to not give them any more opportunities to repent and give them over to their wickedness. Just because He hardens them doesn't mean He never gave them the opportunity to repent and believe. I don't get why 2Thess. 2:11 doesn't bother you. If, for you, free will is sacrosanct and if, according to you, God is giving everyone every opportunity to be saved, then why doesn't it bother you that he will send a deluding influence? I thought Paul said that they were storing up wrath for themselves for "a day of wrath" i.e. the final judgment. If they hate the truth, why doesn't God just wait until then? Surely, someone who was not willing that any should perish, wouldn't keep someone from coming to the truth would he?

Noonzie
Jul 17th 2012, 10:54 PM
Of course He does and no one here would try to say otherwise. The question is whether or not there is a basis for who God desires to harden or does He just harden people's hearts arbitrarily? Scripture indicates that God hardens the hearts who already have hardened their own hearts. I showed you this in my previous post by alluding to Romans 1:18-32 which indicates that God hardens those who have decided not to glorify Him as God despite the evidence all around them (everything He made) that they should. The following passage also illustrates this concept:

2 Thess 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Notice that God sends these unbelievers strong delusion only after they have already rejected the truth. He didn't create them to reject the truth. It doesn't teach that anywhere. But if they reject it then He has every right to not give them any more opportunities to repent and give them over to their wickedness. Just because He hardens them doesn't mean He never gave them the opportunity to repent and believe. He gives everyone that opportunity and everyone the choice of whether to do so or not and He makes everyone responsible to do so. That wouldn't be the case if He created some to not do so. Your view, which is quite similar to Calvinism, takes man's responsibility away and makes God solely responsible for whether or not a person is saved. Which means that if someone is condemned to the lake of fire for eternity then God is completely responsible for that. No, scripture makes it quite clear that people are responsible for their own choices.

The problem I have with your position is that you feel that man comes from a position of being good and then choosing to reject God. Where Brorog and myself come from a position that man is evil by nature and will not choose God. Man is still responsible because they are sinful. Bringing forth your own righteousness and choice to do good is a repulsive payment to earn salvation. You would say it is a free gift that is given by the grace of God, but the righteousness we bring to make such decisions to follow him is unacceptable. God makes sovereign choices and if He has regenerated you, then you love His sovereignty. That is an attribute I love of Him, but unless He regenerates me, I could never love such an attribute. So because God chose to leave Pharoah in his unregenerate condition is no fault of God. He did so to bring glory to Himself.

BroRog
Jul 18th 2012, 01:08 AM
I completely disagree and I don't see that anywhere in Paul's teachings. It's one thing to ask God to give someone more opportunities to repent but there is no scripture to support the idea that you can pray that God will go against someone's free will and force them to believe and be saved.Who said anything about force? Besides, you didn't really deal with the passage. Paul is asking us to pray for our leaders because God is not willing that any should perish. But why? In your view, God really can't do much. Sure, he can send more prophets, he can send more preachers, he can wait a little bit longer, but that seems to be the extent of his power. But if God was not willing that any should perish, don't you think he would send more prophets and send more preachers without me asking him? You really think Paul is being that trivial?


It doesn't make any sense to call people who can't answer the call.The call is a general call that goes out to all human beings. It's like radio. The radio station broadcasts on a particular frequency, transmitting out into the airwaves for anyone to receive. Some people have radios and some of them are tuned to that frequency. Not everyone owns a radio and not everyone has a radio tuned the right frequency. Some people are listening to other stations and not paying attention to God's "station" or God's "broadcast."


Scripture is clear that those who don't answer the call do so entirely because of their own choice. Scripture is clear that God expects them to answer the call but they choose not to.Of course it's their choice. Why wouldn't it be?


In Matt 22:1-14 it makes it clear that people rejected the invitation because they were unwilling to accept it, not because they were unable to accept it.Of course they were unwilling and of course they were able. Who said they weren't?


God calls everyone and requires everyone to answer with a response of repentance and faith.Of course.


No one has any excuse for not doing so.Of course.


No one can say they just weren't able to do so because God didn't create them to do so.That's right. In Paul's analogy he says that the pot will not say, "why did you make me thus?" The pot wouldn't say that. And neither will those who reject the message say, "I wanted to accept the message but you made it so I couldn't."


No, that is not taught anywhere in scripture. People will be held responsible for not answering the call because they could have answered the call but chose not to instead.Of course, but I don't remember saying that people were incapable of answering the call.


But this makes it clear that people choose their own ways rather than being created a certain way by God that they have no power over.I think you misunderstand what I am saying and no wonder, I am not very good at communicating this idea through this medium.


That's the crux of the matter. I believe you do not understand God in some ways and you believe that about me. I'm trying to use scripture as much as possible to support my view but I'm not really seeing that from you. I see a lot of human philosophy coming from you, but not much scriptural support being offered for your views.I think you are using philosophy just as much as I am. In my answer to you, I pointed out that Christians tend to hold one of four views of God as creator: 1)craftsman, 2)sorcerer, 3)progenitor, or 4)author. You haven't yet said which picture you hold. I hold that God is author based on several passages of scripture the most notable is found at the beginning of Genesis where we see God speaking things into existence. Just like an author of a book uses words to create his novel, God uses words to make the creation we both see.


His purpose is to create an illusion that He wants all people to repent even though that isn't really what He wants (if it was true that He creates some not to repent)?It's not an illusion; it's just as real as we are. If God says, "let there be light", the light is real. If God says, "let there be a man who repents at the hearing of the gospel, that man is as real as the light.

But maybe you don't think God is an author. Perhaps God is simply a progenitor, a person who makes everything at the beginning of time, but has let things run their course. But you tell me, what kind of creator is God?


Explain in detail how that makes any sense.
I'm not sure, other than repeating myself using different wording, how to explain how it makes sense. I think you might find an underlying, hidden, and unexamined assumption behind your objection. So let's put your objection in the form of a syllogism.

a. God desires that none should perish.
b. God controls people's desires.
c. Some people perish.

Since the conclusion does not follow from the premises, either one or both of the premises must be wrong. Either God does desire that none should perish or God does not control mens desires. This is basically your rebuttal. And it's a good rebuttal because it is very logical and reasonable. Your rebuttal would look like this.

a. God desires that none should perish.
b. Some people perish.
c. Therefore God does NOT decide who will perish and who won't.

Again, very logical and very reasonable. No problem. But the hidden assumption in your first premise is that God has but one single desire: that none should perish. It does not allow for the idea that God might have more than one desire and that he, just like us, sets priorities according to our goals. I desire to eat potato chips, but I also desire to live longer. And since my doctor wants me to avoid salt, and I set my priorities according to my goals, I decide NOT to eat potato chips even though I desire to eat them. If God has more than one desire, then our syllogism doesn't work.

a. God desires that none should perish.
b. Some people perish.
c. Therefore ?

To answer this question we look elsewhere in scripture.


This does nothing to help me understand your view. Sorry. These are things that everyone here already knows, but I don't see how you can take this and then conclude that God must also speak our repentance and faith into existence as well (I think that's what you're saying, isn't it?).
Yes, we know this from other scriptures as I say. As I pointed out above, God speaks things into existence. Another place to look is found at the beginning of John's gospel where John says that the world was made according to a script. In the beginning was the word . . ." and outside of Christian theology the term "logos" simply means "word, account, logical proof, and etc." And John says that nothing was made apart from this "word" or this "script" if you will. And he says, "All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." Taking this statement to its logical conclusion, we can say that apart from him no person has repented, apart from his speaking it into existence, no person has come to have faith in Jesus. And etc. Nothing came into existence apart from God speaking it into existence.

We could venture closer to the end of the New Testament and review the opening lines of Hebrews in which Paul says that God orchestrated history, creating the "ages" if you will.


That's the conclusion you draw but I don't believe it's meant to be taken a literally as that.Okay, but now we are talking philosophy because it is your judgment that it should be taken less literally. This isn't simply a matter of reading the scriptures; its also a matter of using our judgment as to how literally to take them.


We could then take that view and suggest that He also brings all rapes and murders into existence. Do you want to go that far with your literalistic view?How can I avoid it?


I don't skip anything and I don't see things the way you do at all, so that verse doesn't shake my view at all. In case you didn't notice I interpret almost everything differently than you so it's silly for you to think that your interpretation of a verse would shake my view. You should know that I'm not likely to agree with your interpretation of any given verse. That's just the way it is.I get that. But when I say something "should" shake your view, I'm not saying that it "does" shake your view. I'm just expressing my surprise that it doesn't. But can you explain to me how God can orchestrate history without having control over the choices of men?


There's one major problem with this view. It's not taught anywhere in scripture. Instead, scripture says that people hear the word and then respond with belief. Believers are not created from birth. People choose to believe the gospel or not when they hear it.I didn't say that people were created from birth did I? If I did, that isn't what I meant. As I pointed out above, God creates things by speaking them into existence. People aren't believers from birth, people are believers because they have heard the truth and they acknowledge what they hear to be the truth. As you point out, they hear the word and respond with belief. That's how it works. I get that. But we find verses in the Bible that paint a slightly more complicated picture. For instance, I'm sure you are familiar with Jesus' statement that a man can not come to Jesus unless the Father draw him. People argue over what this "draw" looks like, but the fact that we argue means that the issue isn't as straightforward as all that. Why, for instance, didn't Jesus simply say, "a man will not come to me unless he wants to come", placing the emphasis on what the man wants? Why place the emphasis on what the father wants instead?


Let me ask you a few questions to try to get more clarity as to what you actually believe. How much freedom of choice do you believe people have?They have all the freedom they think they have.


What can people choose to do on their own volition without God determining their choice for them?It depends on what you mean. Even if I believed in freedom unconstrained by divine determinism, I couldn't deny that God has determined which of my choices are the most significant to my existence. God has decided that I will continue to exist if I make the right choice with regard to the identity of his son. If my choices were truly free, I would be able to decide for myself which of my choices were significant and which were not. I might decide that answering "no" on a Bible quiz whether Jesus is the Christ should not be the most significant choice of mine as it pertains to my personal existence. Why should it? But we both know that it is because God says it is. He is the one, not me, who has decided that my answer to the question warrants my being able to survive death or not. I don't really have as much freedom as all that.

But as for divine determinism, the Bible has a few words to say about that. As John says, apart from him, nothing has come into existence that has come into existence.


Does that include the choice of whether or not to repent and believe in Jesus Christ? If not, why not?Sure. If a man hears the gospel and believes what he hears and he obeys the gospel, he is a child of God. And if we are talking about the subject of God as creator, we know that the man hearing the gospel and believing what he hears and obeying the gospel wouldn't exist apart from God creating this taking place.


Sorry, but I can't make any sense out of that at all.Can you make sense of an author writing a novel?


Tell me again how it can be that you don't see us as being like puppets?Puppets are inanimate objects which we manipulate to simulate reality. The creator doesn't manipulate objects, he brings them into existence by speaking them into existence.


You definitely give the impression that God is the puppet master and then He puts us where He wants and has us do what He wants in His puppet show. That is the impression I get from your comments.Are you sure. I was working very hard not to leave that impression.


Nope, you're still missing it. It's not about Jacob and Esau the individuals. Genesis 25:23 makes that clear. Yet you are still trying to make it about them as individuals. No, it's about the nations that would descend from them, Israel and Edom. If you read Gen 32:9 and Genesis 36 you should see that God blessed Esau the individual with many possessions and a large family.
While what you say is truly found in Genesis, Paul's point relies on God's blessing of Jacob the individual. His argument doesn't work otherwise. Notice the contrast in his statement here, ". . . so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works . . . " He is attempting to prove that God's blessing does not depend on what a man does; it does not depend on a man's works he says. The contrast is between what God wants and what a man (Jacob in this case) wants. Jacob wanted the blessing, yes. And Jacob worked and connived and cheated to get the blessing. Yes. But Paul is looking beyond Jacob's decisions to a time before Jacob was born to see that God chose to bless Jacob before Jacob had a chance to do good or bad (and Jacob did both actually.) This idea flies squarely in the face of those who claim that being blessed is the result of a man's wish to be blessed and his choice to accept God's terms on which he blesses people.


It wasn't man's decision to provide the opportunity of eternal life through Jesus Christ, that was the Father's decision alone. And God does not randomly have mercy and some and not the rest. The following says He concluded them all in unbelief so that He might have mercy upon them all. He wants everyone to repent and to be saved so He is willing to have mercy on everyone who does so.I don't have a problem with that, simply because you are right. But I don't think I ever claimed that God's decisions were random. Did I? If I did, I misspoke.


Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

God wanted to have mercy even on the Jews who He cut off and blinded in Paul's day.Let's back up a bit. How are you taking the phrase "concluded them all?"


It's not saying He creates them that way from birth. You are completely misinterpreting the text if that's what you think it's saying.No. Paul is saying that God creates people to have a particular purpose. And God plans which purpose a particular individual will have BEFORE he creates them. Paul uses the analogy of a potter, and as you know a potter makes pots according to his need and desire. One might get the picture, rather, of God as a buyer of pots. He looks out over all the pots in the store and he finds those pots he likes and takes them home. This analogy illustrates the concepts of analysis, evaluation, comparison and selection, which is compatible with the idea that God elects those who elect him first. If God elects those who hear his gospel and believe it, using belief and faith as the criteria by which to select a person, this is like the housewife who goes to the store to find a pot she likes. But Paul's analogy illustrates God's creativity, not his selectivity. If God wants a person on which to show his mercy, he makes one. And if God wants a person on whom to show his wrath, he makes one.


Now, if you read this carefully you should notice that it says that no one has any excuse at all for not knowing God and "his eternal power and Godhead" and for not glorifying Him as God and not being thankful to Him. So, it can't be the case that people are created with a heart that can't glorify God as God. No, people are not created that way.I suppose, again, this would depend on what kind of creator God actually is. Is he simply the God who originated everything we see, or is he the author of everything that exists, speaking it into existence? Your argument goes something like this:

a. A man can not be held accountable for actions beyond his control
b. God holds a man responsible for his idolatry
c. Therefore, idolatry is within a man's ability to control.

I agree with this. However you are also making another argument.

a. Freewill choices must be free from all constraint.
b. Divine determinism is a constraint.
c. Therefore a man's choices are not divinely determined.

I don't agree with this for the following reason, which is illustrated this way.

a. everything is divinely determined (John 1:3)
b. human choice is something.
c. therefore human choice is divinely determined.

Or to put it another way using Hebrews.

a. all events are divinely determined (Hebrews 1:2 . . . he made the ages.)
b. human choice is an event.
c. therefore, human choices are divinely determined.

So then, seeing that I agree with your earlier conclusion that God is holding man responsible for his free-will choices, given that our choices are divinely determined, and in order to avoid contradiction I conclude that both must be true at the same time but not in the same way. It is both true that I am making free choices and that is holding me responsible for those choices, and it is also true that my choices are divinely determined and so I have concluded that God has the ability to create me making free-will choices. Looking at the evidence from my POV in reality, I am making my own choices. But interpreting my experience in light of God's revelation, it is also true that God is creating me making my own choices.


Notice that it says they "became vain in their imaginations" and "they became fools". Your doctrine (as I understand it) says they are created as fools who are vain in their imaginations. But scripture says they become that way (make themselves that way). How? By choosing to become that way rather than choosing to embrace what God has made known to them. Their hearts become hardened by their own bad choice to reject God. At that point God can give "them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts". He can harden their already hardened hearts for His purposes if He so chooses. But that doesn't mean they never had the opportunity to repent and believe before their hearts were darkened.Of course. But I wouldn't say that anyone is born a certain way. Or if they are born a certain way it isn't possible for them to change their minds etc. The scriptures do say they became that way, but they don't say how they became that way except to say that they suppressed the truth in unrighteousness. I agree with all of that, but I also agree with John's view of God that he is the creator who speaks everything into existence and that without him, nothing has come to exist that has come into existence. So I must conclude that a man causes himself to deny God at the very same time that God is creating a man causing himself to deny God. Both are true if it is true that God speaks things into existence.


But God did not create him to be that way, He just had to find an evil person to take that position so that He could make an example out of him. There's nothing to suggest that person was created to be the Pharoah and therefore created to be evil and to never have the opportunity to repent and believe.And how are you taking the statement "I raised you up . . ."?


You're being way too literal here. Does he create rapes and murders and other atrocities that He condemns? Of course not!If not, then I would conclude that some things do come into existence apart from him.


How far do you want to go with this "He is creating EVERYTHING" thing? As far as hyper-Calvinists take it?
I don't know. I'm just making sense of the passages and arguments which indicate and express God as author of creation.

Hopefully you understand better where I am coming from. If you don't agree with me, that's fine. I'm not here to change your mind or push an agenda. Hopefully the dialog will remain open.

Gadgeteer
Jul 18th 2012, 04:21 AM
If by arbitrarily you mean to say that God does not base his mercy on what a man does,If "mercy is to all", but if "election" is based on what a man does, then that fits Scripture perfectly. Romans11:32, Romans2:4-8. Where is Scripture that asserts "selective mercy", or "God does not respond to what a man does"?

One verse Reformed Theology touts is Jeremiah17:9, thought to promote the idea that "men are too corrupt for God to EVER respond to men". But the very next verse has God responding to men, in SPITE of their wickedness!

Remember, WHEN we were dead in our sins God saved us ...by grace THROUGH FAITH. Eph2:5-8. Dead (spiritually) men can believe!

even hardening his own heart, then Paul says yes, God hardens whomever he wants to harden and mercy does NOT depend on the man who wills or the man who runs.Let's pretend, Roger. Let's imagine we're spectators at someone's judgment.

God: "You are condemned to the fire for your sin and depravity." (Gavel bangs.)
Man:"Wait, I didn't have any other choice! You WITHHELD my only chance!"
God: "Yeah? So what? You chose to sin, didn't you?"
Man: "I had no other choice! I was born fallen, and too weak to resist sin; You consciously ordained me to perish!"
God: "Gee that's tough, isn't it? Hey, ignorance is no excuse."
Man: "Of course it's an excuse! The only way out of ignorance was through YOU, and You chose to ignore me!"
God: "What's your point?"
Man: "The point is You are judging ME, when YOU made all the choices! That's not a valid judgment!"
God: "Insulting Me, you'll get another twenty years for that!"
Man: "Come on, God, I'm already getting sentenced to ETERNITY."
God: "Heh heh, wondered if you'd pick up on that."
Man: "Look, if You're judging ME for what YOU ordained and caused, that's evil!"
God: "Don't you call Me evil; I can do anything I want, and because I'm God it's ALL GOOD."
Man: "So there's no such thing as absolute good and evil?"
God: "As far as you're concerned, yes; but I get to harden people to sin and then condemn them for it."
Man: "Yeah, that's evil."
God: "Not if I say it's not. Depart from Me, you who practiced the only thing I ordained you to."

You think that conversation is actually gonna happen?

I don't get why 2Thess. 2:11 doesn't bother you. If, for you, free will is sacrosanct and if, according to you, God is giving everyone every opportunity to be saved, then why doesn't it bother you that he will send a deluding influence?That's during the Tribulation --- those who WOULD not believe (Jn5:39-47!) are sent a deluding influence; we are now in the "Age of Grace".
I thought Paul said that they were storing up wrath for themselves for "a day of wrath" i.e. the final judgment.Who are "they"? They whom God LED TO REPENTANCE!!!
If they hate the truth, why doesn't God just wait until then? Surely, someone who was not willing that any should perish, wouldn't keep someone from coming to the truth would he?If men are predestined, why aren't they saved almost from BIRTH? Why would God want people to languish for so many years in sin, reaping the horrible consequences?


How about a verse that you may not have considered before?

"...hold fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may have cause to glory because I did not run in vain or toil in vain." Philip2:16

How is Paul not judging his OWN success, in terms of how his followers persevered in salvation?

BroRog
Jul 18th 2012, 04:55 AM
Hi, Roger. The very foundation of "Reformed Theology" is that men are not just drowning in a sea of sin, they are spiritual corpses; and can no more turn to God than can a rotting corpse in the ocean grab a life-ring that is thrown to him. Thus, God must born-him-again, making him alive so that he then irresistibly turns to God and believes. "Regeneration precedes belief" is the base. If you believe that all men have (or are given) the ability to turn and believe, that is "unlimited atonement", against the "L" in the Reformed's "TULIP". Okay, but as I say, this is based on bad philosophy and frankly doesn't match with our experience. Of course I have the ability to choose or not to choose. Of course each and every person, without some kind of brain malfunction, can understand the question put to him and respond as he wants. I know Reformed Theologians talk about the "noetic" effects of sin, and they teach that mankind is dead, i.e. incapable of making an informed choice. But I don't accept this as the Biblical view. This has all kinds of philosophical problems the least of which is the idea that a man's choices are determined by his nature. To say that I can't choose otherwise because of my nature is like saying I'm no more responsible for my choices than a bear who eats a camper. Why did the bear eat the camper? He was following his nature. Why does a man reject God, he follows his nature. As I say, bad philosophy.


I can argue against "compatibilism" if you wish; but the essence is that if a man can make only one choice (restricted by God --- either irresistibly believing because of sovereign election, or irresistibly reprobate because of sovereign UN-election), that is not a "free will".
Again, bad philosophy. The Biblical view is not that a man can only make one choice or that his choice is restricted by God or that our belief is due to irresistible grace. Again, this view understands our world as a mechanism and God as a master craftsmen who made such a fantastic mechanism that the basis of our choices is our nature and that salvation is simply a matter of God tweaking our nature.


The base question is "what is the sequence? New-heart and THEN turning-to-God? Or turning-to-God and THEN new-heart? The first is "total inability" and "sovereign election", the second is "unlimited atonement and personal responsibility".In my view, getting a new heart is the same thing as turning to God, that is, each phrase describes and points to the same event. It isn't as if getting a new heart is one event, and that turning to God is the resultant second event. The idea of turning to God and getting a new heart are simply two different ways of saying the same thing. Your second choice is empty and meaningless since the heart that was unwilling to turn to him, which the Bible describes as a heart of stone, would never turn to him. Only when a person becomes willing to turn to God (by whatever means that transformation takes place) does a person, in fact, turn to God.

But whatever we conclude about the "ordo salutis" we do Jesus an injustice if we suggest that being born from above is not being born from above. A person doesn't birth themselves and if the new birth comes from above, then it can't be the result of what the man does or what he wants. Otherwise it wouldn't be "from above" it would be "from the man." And let us not forget that Jesus ascribes the birthing process to the Spirit of God, who we can not see or control.


You're not acknowledging sequence; God does not change hearts BEFORE a person turns to Him and believes.As I say, the concepts of "changing the heart" and "turning to him" are two different ways of saying the same thing. These aren't two things, they are one thing.


You see "turning to God as EVIDENCE of election", when election is the consequence of one's TURNING.Yes, this is because the Biblical view of "election" isn't "selection" but "creation." I see turning to God as evidence of election because I think turning to God is what a person does when they change their minds or they repent. And repentance is clearly the mark of a child of God. What I see are two intentions in the actions of men: that of the man and that of God. And I think we see this in the Bible if we pay attention. For instance, in Acts we read,


16 `But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; 17 rescuing you from the people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.'


We can read this from the point of view of what God is doing and from the point of view of what people are doing. Is God opening their eyes or is Paul opening their eyes? Does a man turn himself from darkness to light or does God turn him from darkness to light? Does a man escape from the dominion of Satan or is he rescued from his dominion?

Here is the same idea but now the emphasis is on what God is doing,


Colossians 1:13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Paul clearly puts the emphasis on what God is doing rather than on what man is doing. God is the one who rescues us from the domain of darkness. We don't escape the domain of darkness as if we come out of darkness under our own power; he rescues us instead.


What verse? I read verse 10, "he WHO trusts in the Lord..."Only verse 10!? The Psalm has more than one verse.


It's a dual-subject; chosen-through-sanctification, and chosen-through-faith.I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. The operative word is that God has chosen, not that we have chosen. Notice how Paul says it?


13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.


We need to bear in mind that when the Bible talks about love, and especially being loved by God, it speaks about the beneficence of God in terms of what he does for the beloved. Paul is saying that God has expressed his love inasmuch as he has chosen to save them. He isn't rewarding them for good behavior. He is loving them by doing something for their benefit. God's love is unconditional and his beneficence is freely given. When Paul says that God loved you and chosen you for salvation, the emphasis is on what God is doing to love us, not on the reward we might merit for what we do.


What do you think the "apostasy" is? How do you relate it to 1Tim4:1?


"The Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons."

Do you think some will fall away from the faith that they never had? Before you state your conclusion, perhaps you might set it up first. I have no idea how this relates to anything that I have said so far. I exegete a passage for you and then you jump to a new passage in order to refute it without ever showing me where my exegesis was in error. This makes is sound as if your project is to get one scripture to disagree with another one. That seems to be your strategy. I explicate a passage and you aren't comfortable with what the passage says so your argument is basically, "That can't be right because this other passage says differently, which assumes 1) that you and I would agree on your interpretation of the rebuttal passage and 2) you have the correct interpretation of the rebuttal passage. What you have is a bunch of verses you have strung together like a pearl necklace and your arguments are like listening to a psychiatry patient engaged in free association.


Can't be both; if one did it the other did not.Okay. Let's work with that.

a. God said he would harden Pharaoh's heart.
b. Pharaoh hardened his heart.
c. Both can't be true so the author of Genesis contradicted himself?

Of course both are true. The author of Genesis didn't contradict himself because when God hardens a man's heart the man hardens his heart since God authors a man's choices just as he authors everything that happens.


Then, as I said on the other thread, God is wicked. He who causes sin and wickedness in another, is wicked.But you refuse to allow me to make the points I want to make and follow along with me. God is the author of sin because he is the author of everything. And when he author's something, he isn't causing it, he is creating it. And when he author's sin, the alternative isn't a lack of sin, its a non-existence of sin. Just as a human writer author's a character in a book to do evil, God author's a character in his creation to do evil. Do we hold an author accountable for the evil choices of his character? No. So we don't say that God is wicked when he authors evil into his narrative.


Christianity has swept entire populations, after the appearance of missionaries. Do you reject Paul's words, "How can they believe in whom they have not heard?"
You didn't answer the question. But let me ask you this, do you reject Paul's view that God grants his salvation to a man who simply acknowledges God's existence and is the rewarder of those who seek him?


No, we can't. The essence of "Reformed Theology", aligns with Once Saved Always Saved;Which Reformed Theologians affirm OSAS?


RT's object to the term, preferring instead: "One who is TRULY elect and therefore saved, God will PRESERVE." But all three views of OSAS assert that "a truly saved person cannot become unsaved" --- iow, no movement from righteous (the only way to be righteous is to belong to God), to unrighteous.
Again, I don't know which RT Theologians you read. The fact that you think each version is the same makes me a little suspicious. I think a closer examination of the facts would reveal that RT theologians speak of the preservation of the saints but not in the absence of faith or apart from faith. For some reason you seem to confuse the RT doctrine of inevitability of salvation with the current OSAS teacher's fatalism of "the decision." OSAS doctrine affirms that a single, one-time confession of faith is what saves us and that we can not unsave ourselves after that. On the other hand, the NOSAS people come at the question with the same assumption, i.e. salvation comes after the initial decision to believe the gospel. Each side accepts the same presupposition about how salvation works and the argument is over the question of security. What happens when a person stops believing? Does that man lose his salvation at that moment or has God guaranteed a confession of faith will automatically result in eternal life?

The doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints, I don't think, shares that same presupposition. I don't think my TULIP friends would say that a man is saved as soon as he confesses. That may be their theology, perhaps. But in everyday life, my TULIP friends are counting on the promise God made to not test them beyond their endurance and will keep them from falling away, not in order to claim invincibility and not in order to presume on their election, but as a people who are really trying to obey the gospel with every ounce of their might, taking comfort in God's promise to preserve them to the end.


Give me an explanation --- why are we to pray for leaders that we may lead peaceful lives, if it's not a prayer to save all leaders?I asked you first. You are the one who believes that a man's will is sacrosanct and that God will not violate it to save his soul. So why pray to God for him to do something that you say he is unwilling to do?


Quite the opposite; we AFFECT who is saved, and who is not --- we can "save others", and we can "DESTROY brothers". Whoa. I think I should stop here. I can't believe you answered the question, "why do we pray to God" with "we can save others."


Praying for the salvation of others has many facets; sometimes it's binding the darkness that they more clearly hear the Spirit.Perhaps, but why wouldn't God do this anyway?


Interact with the passage --- you evaded it. Recognize that the Greek for chosen ("eklektos"), is synonymous with "saved".You missed the point, I think. Jesus says few are "chosen", that is, one who is the object of choice. You read him saying, "many are called but few are choosing" as if the called are picking from the best of two or more alternatives.

Jesus is saying, "My call goes out to everyone, but few among them are the object of the Father's choice."




Gal 3:29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise.

Rom 9:8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.

You don't think they're identical in concept?They speak about the same thing but the statement in Galatians is the conclusion to an argument whereas the statement in Romans is the premise for another argument. The passage in Galatians makes a different point than the passage in Romans.


No, all of Galatians is a rebuke against those turning AWAY from Christ BACK to Law/works. Paul very plainly teaches against "OSAS", which includes Reformed Theology.I don't see how Paul can teach against a doctrine that didn't appear until early in the 20th century. Rather, OSAS comes from a misapplication and misinterpretation of Romans 10:9-10


He salutes Deut30:11-20 with Rom10:6-10, saying it's the SAME word of faith now, as then, and that it's IN everyone's heart and mouth; those who confess and believe are saved, but those who don't perish.
I think you have misunderstood what Paul was saying in Romans 10:6-10. He says that the word of faith was near them, in their mouths and in their hearts, but he also argues that Israel, as a nation did not believe the report. Sure, the word was in their hearts and mouths, but NOT everyone's heart and mouth otherwise the entire nation would have believed Isaiah. The salvation of an entire nation all at once would require that the entire nation all at once have the word of faith in the heart and in the mouth. But since Isaiah's time, not everyone believed his report. Some did and some didn't.


You can't deny it, either. ;-) If God CAUSES SIN, then God is wicked; His Judgment is false, and (per Acts10:34-35) His selection of His FAVORITES is bias/partiality/unjustness.Where are you getting this from? I never said that God causes sin and neither did Paul. Nonetheless you can't argue with Paul's assertion that 1) the basis of God's mercy is NOT a man's decision, and 2) God creates some on whom to have mercy and others to destroy.


God must respond to faith, else the Cross is mere symbolic, pageantry.I don't see the connection. How does one follow from the other?


Speaking of which --- did you ever answer my question on Matt9:12-13? For whom did Jesus come? Under Reformed Theolgy, He could not come for the [b]unregenerated because they cannot respond; but He also could not have come for the regenerated, because they are righteous already and no longer "sick/sinners in need of Jesus the Physician".No, I thought the answer was obvious. And besides, you seemed to be asking leading questions, which is a form of manipulation. I just wasn't in the mood.


So what's the connection between Jesus coming, and people being healed?Does Jesus make the connection between being sick and regeneration or the lack thereof? Maybe he didn't.

BroRog
Jul 18th 2012, 05:22 AM
If "mercy is to all", but if "election" is based on what a man does, then that fits Scripture perfectly. Where is Scripture that asserts "selective mercy", or "God does not respond to what a man does"?There you go again, jumping to a different passage in order to refute the first passage. Don't you think that the guy who wrote Romans 11 also wrote Romans 9? Paul clearly says, in Romans 9, that the basis for God's mercy is not found in the man. Period. Let's deal with that before we jump around, flying from verse to verse like a pin ball. Romans11:32, Romans2:4-8.


One verse Reformed Theology touts is Jeremiah17:9, thought to promote the idea that "men are too corrupt for God to EVER respond to men". But the very next verse has God responding to men, in SPITE of their wickedness!For some reason you haven't gotten the message that 1) Reformed theologians have bad philosophy, though they know the scriptures very well, and 2) I don't affirm Reformed Theology and don't really care what they think, unless of course, they agree with Jesus and the Apostles.


Remember, WHEN we were dead in our sins God saved us ...by grace THROUGH FAITH.And what does "through" mean in that context?


You think that conversation is actually gonna happen?No, not really. But you aren't following the discussion since you appear to keep pressing your same points as if I didn't understand them the first time.


That's during the Tribulation --- those who WOULD not believe (Jn5:39-47!) are sent a deluding influence; we are now in the "Age of Grace".Huh? What does it matter to you when God does it? I'm asking why it doesn't bother you that God is going to cause people to believe what is not true. Why should it matter when he does it?


If men are predestined, why aren't they saved almost from BIRTH? Why would God want people to languish for so many years in sin, reaping the horrible consequences?God is telling a story via human history in order to bring glory to his name. We judge God's actions in terms of the story he is telling. Just because God preordains the ending of the story doesn't mean he won't direct the story through each act. Just because God knows how the last chapter will end, doesn't mean he shouldn't write all the other chapters in between.


How about a verse that you may not have considered before?

"...hold fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may have cause to glory because I did not run in vain or toil in vain." Philip2:16

How is Paul not judging his OWN success, in terms of how his followers persevered in salvation?He is. And?

Gadgeteer
Jul 18th 2012, 08:13 PM
Okay, but as I say, this is based on bad philosophy and frankly doesn't match with our experience. Of course I have the ability to choose or not to choose. Of course each and every person, without some kind of brain malfunction, can understand the question put to him and respond as he wants.Yes --- but --- are his wants fully determined by whether God has changed his heart (therefore he WANTS to receive Jesus), or has left him in his sin (therefore he WANTS only to follow sin)?

When you read Ezk18:24, how can a man be righteous apart from salvation, and then how can such a righteous man become wicked? What do you think when you read that?
I know Reformed Theologians talk about the "noetic" effects of sin, and they teach that mankind is dead, i.e. incapable of making an informed choice. But I don't accept this as the Biblical view. This has all kinds of philosophical problems the least of which is the idea that a man's choices are determined by his nature. To say that I can't choose otherwise because of my nature is like saying I'm no more responsible for my choices than a bear who eats a camper. Why did the bear eat the camper? He was following his nature. Why does a man reject God, he follows his nature. As I say, bad philosophy. I'm not understanding. Do you hold to some or all of "TULIP"? Or is atonement unlimited?

Again, bad philosophy. The Biblical view is not that a man can only make one choice or that his choice is restricted by God or that our belief is due to irresistible grace. Again, this view understands our world as a mechanism and God as a master craftsmen who made such a fantastic mechanism that the basis of our choices is our nature and that salvation is simply a matter of God tweaking our nature. Exactly. Now, the word "RESPONSIBLE", means "accountable as CAUSE for something within one's power and control" --- is it in everyone's power and control to believe? I've always understood "predestination" to hold that only the SOVEREIGNLY-ELECT have the power and (irresistible) inclination to believe.

In my view, getting a new heart is the same thing as turning to God, that is, each phrase describes and points to the same event.But who ultimately makes the decision?
It isn't as if getting a new heart is one event, and that turning to God is the resultant second event.I see them as two events; we turn to God by faith ("dead men!"), and THROUGH that belief we receive the Spirit and He makes our hearts new.

Do you acknowledge that "spiritually-dead men can believe"?
The idea of turning to God and getting a new heart are simply two different ways of saying the same thing. Your second choice is empty and meaningless since the heart that was unwilling to turn to him, which the Bible describes as a heart of stone, would never turn to him. Only when a person becomes willing to turn to God (by whatever means that transformation takes place) does a person, in fact, turn to God. Sequence is always critical; that's why when we read 2Cor4:3-4 (and maybe think that a veil lies over men's hearts preventing them from turning to God and believing) --- we must read 2:3:16 and realize WHEN a men TURNS to God, (then!) the veil is removed.

But whatever we conclude about the "ordo salutis" we do Jesus an injustice if we suggest that being born from above is not being born from above.No one suggests that; but though Jn1:13 says the begottenness is all of God and nothing of us, verse 12 says that becoming begotten is only granted to those WHO believe and receive Jesus.
A person doesn't birth themselves and if the new birth comes from above, then it can't be the result of what the man does or what he wants.Right, and wrong; we absolutely "make for ourselves a new heart and new spirit", Ezk18:31-32. We also "save ourselves" 1Tim4:16. The act of being saved and making-hearts-new is solely by God, but our participation (through voluntary faith) is the only thing that fits those verses.
Otherwise it wouldn't be "from above" it would be "from the man." And let us not forget that Jesus ascribes the birthing process to the Spirit of God, who we can not see or control. Our "control" is the choice of faith. Faith is causal to salvation, and is something each person decides; it is the basis if the Judgment.

Gadgeteer
Jul 18th 2012, 08:14 PM
As I say, the concepts of "changing the heart" and "turning to him" are two different ways of saying the same thing. These aren't two things, they are one thing. They are two things; in Ezk11:18 men TURN to God, away from abominations; in 20-21 they THEN get new hearts. In 2Cor3:16 they TURN to God and THEN the veil over their hearts is removed (they get new hearts!).

Yes, this is because the Biblical view of "election" isn't "selection" but "creation." I see turning to God as evidence of election because I think turning to God is what a person does when they change their minds or they repent. And repentance is clearly the mark of a child of God. What I see are two intentions in the actions of men: that of the man and that of God.What Scriptures can you cite to support "God elects, and THEN men turn to Him" (evidence)? If "made-alive/have-life" coexists with "regeneration" (which is new-hearts), then Jn20:31 is yet another verse that asserts "belief before new-hearts".
And I think we see this in the Bible if we pay attention. For instance, in Acts we read,


16 `But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; 17 rescuing you from the people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.'
I see persuasion, not predestination.

We can read this from the point of view of what God is doing and from the point of view of what people are doing. Is God opening their eyes or is Paul opening their eyes?It's asserting persuasion. Fully aligns with Jn20:31.
Does a man turn himself from darkness to light or does God turn him from darkness to light?Turns himself. No other way to perceive Jn3:20-21.
Does a man escape from the dominion of Satan or is he rescued from his dominion? Please read 2Tim2:26, they "come to their senses and escape the snare of satan".

Come-to-their-senses -- same thing as the Prodigal in Lk15:17-19.


Here is the same idea but now the emphasis is on what God is doing,


Colossians 1:13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Paul clearly puts the emphasis on what God is doing rather than on what man is doing. God is the one who rescues us from the domain of darkness. We don't escape the domain of darkness as if we come out of darkness under our own power; he rescues us instead. The thing is --- there is ONE Savior, we don't actually save anyone, not even ourselves; yet there is Jude23 "SAVE OTHERS", and 1Tim4:16 "save yourselves". At issue is whether God RESPONDS to voluntary faith (no one is predestined to eternal life), or if God does something that CAUSES certain persons to believe (predestined-to-eternal-life).


Only verse 10!? The Psalm has more than one verse. Verse 10 addressed the issue. Often context (especially in the same chapter) proves the intent; Jeremiah17:9 for instance, can NOT mean "too wicked for God to ever respond to", because the very next verse has God doing exactly that!


I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. The operative word is that God has chosen, not that we have chosen. Notice how Paul says it?


13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.

Clearly stated is "chosen-through-faith". The Greek "en" is properly translated "through"; conceptually "because of".

We need to bear in mind that when the Bible talks about love, and especially being loved by God, it speaks about the beneficence of God in terms of what he does for the beloved. Paul is saying that God has expressed his love inasmuch as he has chosen to save them.But Scripture says God loved the WORLD that WHOSOEVER believes may be saved. I don't see "exclusivity" in His choosing anywhere.
He isn't rewarding them for good behavior.Then what does Col3:24 mean? "The reward of the inheritance." What did Paul mean?
He is loving them by doing something for their benefit. God's love is unconditional and his beneficence is freely given.To whom? To ALL? Or to only a FEW?
When Paul says that God loved you and chosen you for salvation, the emphasis is on what God is doing to love us, not on the reward we might merit for what we do.That's true --- but at issue is still the scope. All, or a few?

Gadgeteer
Jul 18th 2012, 08:14 PM
Before you state your conclusion, perhaps you might set it up first. I have no idea how this relates to anything that I have said so far. I exegete a passage for you and then you jump to a new passage in order to refute it without ever showing me where my exegesis was in error. This makes is sound as if your project is to get one scripture to disagree with another one. That seems to be your strategy. I explicate a passage and you aren't comfortable with what the passage says so your argument is basically, "That can't be right because this other passage says differently, which assumes 1) that you and I would agree on your interpretation of the rebuttal passage and 2) you have the correct interpretation of the rebuttal passage. What you have is a bunch of verses you have strung together like a pearl necklace and your arguments are like listening to a psychiatry patient engaged in free association. If a second passage violates the perception of a first passage, then clearly the perception was wrong. Like we just discussed on 2Cor4:3-4 --- it cannot mean that God has to uncover their hearts before they turn to Him, because 2:3:16 says the opposite.

Okay. Let's work with that.

a. God said he would harden Pharaoh's heart.
b. Pharaoh hardened his heart.
c. Both can't be true so the author of Genesis contradicted himself?

Of course both are true. The author of Genesis didn't contradict himself because when God hardens a man's heart the man hardens his heart since God authors a man's choices just as he authors everything that happens. No, actually, God didn't harden his heart at ALL. It's a literary device, when PHARAOH hardened his OWN heart, it can be written as "God-did-it". No one in the First Century really thought that God caused sin. The recognized the device ("Semitic View", or "Anthropomorphism").


But you refuse to allow me to make the points I want to make and follow along with me. God is the author of sin because he is the author of everything.And that's a fundamental violation of all of Scripture, notably Matt12:25-31; God cannot have anything to do with sin. (1Jn3:5.)
And when he authors something, he isn't causing it, he is creating it.Tomato tomahto; same thing.
And when he authors sin, the alternative isn't a lack of sin, its a non-existence of sin. Just as a human writer author's a character in a book to do evil, God author's a character in his creation to do evil. Do we hold an author accountable for the evil choices of his character? No. So we don't say that God is wicked when he authors evil into his narrative. If we perceive that Romans9 speaks of only two vessels, therefore the "atimia" vessels are the same as the "vessels of wrath prepared for destruction", then that absolutely means God --- who cannot stand the stench of sin --- puts blank innocent clay on His Potter's wheel and SCULPTS sin into them. How does a potter sculpt SIN, without getting His hands STAINED? He cannot!

No, New American Standard renders it correctly; "time" is HONOR vessels (saved), "atimia" is COMMON vessels (saved), and "skeuos orgē katartizō eis apōleia" (vessels-of-wrath-prepared-for-destruction") fits Rom2:8, they stored wrath for THEMSELVES (were prepared by their own sin).

You didn't answer the question. But let me ask you this, do you reject Paul's view that God grants his salvation to a man who simply acknowledges God's existence and is the rewarder of those who seek him? Depends --- if that SEEKING causes the UNION spoken of in Rom6, then it's more than "mere acknowledgment" (1Jn2:19), and it absolutely IS the reward of those WHO SEEK. Matt7:14.

Which Reformed Theologians affirm OSAS? They don't like the term, but it does apply. They prefer "preservation of the saints".

Again, I don't know which RT Theologians you read. Spurgeon, Sproul, MacArthur, Piper, Pink, White and Purple. (Teasing about the "purple".)
The fact that you think each version is the same makes me a little suspicious. I think a closer examination of the facts would reveal that RT theologians speak of the preservation of the saints but not in the absence of faith or apart from faith.They do sophistry; they CALL it "free will", though each can ONLY will according to his nature; sin if neglected, salvation if sovereignly regenerated.
For some reason you seem to confuse the RT doctrine of inevitability of salvation with the current OSAS teacher's fatalism of "the decision."Not "confuse" --- accurately assess.
OSAS doctrine affirms that a single, one-time confession of faith is what saves us and that we can not unsave ourselves after that.No, there are three views of OSAS --- your statement aligns more with Antinomianism.
On the other hand, the NOSAS people come at the question with the same assumption, i.e. salvation comes after the initial decision to believe the gospel. Each side accepts the same presupposition about how salvation works and the argument is over the question of security. What happens when a person stops believing? Does that man lose his salvation at that moment or has God guaranteed a confession of faith will automatically result in eternal life? We have to confine our perceptions to Scripture. By Rom11:18-23, Heb4:11 and 6:12-13 and many similar verses, we can cease to believe and be cut off.


The doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints, I don't think, shares that same presupposition. I don't think my TULIP friends would say that a man is saved as soon as he confesses. That may be their theology, perhaps. But in everyday life, my TULIP friends are counting on the promise God made to not test them beyond their endurance and will keep them from falling away, not in order to claim invincibility and not in order to presume on their election, but as a people who are really trying to obey the gospel with every ounce of their might, taking comfort in God's promise to preserve them to the end. That's a misunderstanding of 1Cor10:12-13. What do you think "FALL" means in verse 12?

Gadgeteer
Jul 18th 2012, 08:15 PM
Give me an explanation --- why are we to pray for leaders that we may lead peaceful lives, if it's not a prayer to save all leaders?I asked you first. You are the one who believes that a man's will is sacrosanct and that God will not violate it to save his soul. So why pray to God for him to do something that you say he is unwilling to do? Praying moves the Spirit, and increases the chances of salvation. Have you not read, "whatever you bind on Earth...."?


Whoa. I think I should stop here. I can't believe you answered the question, "why do we pray to God" with "we can save others." It's the only thing Jude23 means. And we can RUIN saved people, Rm14:15, 1Cor8:11, 1Tim6:19-20, Matt23:13-15, and many others.



Praying for the salvation of others has many facets; sometimes it's binding the darkness that they more clearly hear the Spirit. Perhaps, but why wouldn't God do this anyway?Why doesn't God cause people to be SAVED, from infancy? Why does He want them to live in SIN for much of their lives? (No RT person has ever credibly answered this for me.)


You missed the point, I think. Jesus says few are "chosen", that is, one who is the object of choice. You read him saying, "many are called but few are choosing" as if the called are picking from the best of two or more alternatives.Context --- as John146 eloquently said, EVERYONE got called, but those who DID NOT prefer business/farming/dirty-clothes/whatever DECIDED to become chosen.

The KING decided nothing.


Jesus is saying, "My call goes out to everyone, but few among them are the object of the Father's choice." Few are those who FIND-BY-SEEKING. Look up the Greek on Matt7:14.

They speak about the same thing but the statement in Galatians is the conclusion to an argument whereas the statement in Romans is the premise for another argument. The passage in Galatians makes a different point than the passage in Romans. Both passages are making an allegory about two covenants.

I don't see how Paul can teach against a doctrine that didn't appear until early in the 20th century. Rather, OSAS comes from a misapplication and misinterpretation of Romans 10:9-10Actually, "Reformed Theology" was solidified in the 1500's.

I think you have misunderstood what Paul was saying in Romans 10:6-10. He says that the word of faith was near them, in their mouths and in their hearts, but he also argues that Israel, as a nation did not believe the report. Sure, the word was in their hearts and mouths, but NOT everyone's heart and mouth otherwise the entire nation would have believed Isaiah.yes, everyone; each made their own choice. See Deut30:11-20 (especially 12-17).
The salvation of an entire nation all at once would require that the entire nation all at once have the word of faith in the heart and in the mouth. But since Isaiah's time, not everyone believed his report. Some did and some didn't. It's not HAVING the word of faith in one's heart and mouth, it's CONFESSING AND BELIEVING. Rom10:9-10.



You can't deny it, either. ;-) If God CAUSES SIN, then God is wicked; His Judgment is false, and (per Acts10:34-35) His selection of His FAVORITES is bias/partiality/unjustness. Where are you getting this from? I never said that God causes sin and neither did Paul.How many vessels are there in Romans9? Two? Or three?
Nonetheless you can't argue with Paul's assertion that 1) the basis of God's mercy is NOT a man's decision, and 2) God creates some on whom to have mercy and others to destroy. No --- Romans9 does NOT say "God has mercy on SOME, but creates the rest to DESTROY". Yes it's His decision, but He does NOT create/build/sculpt sinfulness to be destroyed.


I don't see the connection. How does one follow from the other? Jn6:40 says "those WHO see Jesus AND believe be saved" --- you're proposing that the decision is predestined long ago, "those WHO God chose/sovereignly-ordained look and believe but the decision was made by GOD long ago".

Zero "responsibility", zero "accountable as CAUSE of something within one's power and control".


No, I thought the answer was obvious. And besides, you seemed to be asking leading questions, which is a form of manipulation. I just wasn't in the mood. The answer is obvious; Jesus came for the unregenerate, who then can believe and become regenerated. The connection is "belief".

Does Jesus make the connection between being sick and regeneration or the lack thereof? Maybe he didn't.Who did He come for? not the regenerated-righteous, and not the unregenerate UNABLE-to-believe.

He came for the unregenerate-ABLE-to-believe". It's the only thing that fits.

Gadgeteer
Jul 18th 2012, 08:32 PM
There you go again, jumping to a different passage in order to refute the first passage. Don't you think that the guy who wrote Romans 11 also wrote Romans 9? Paul clearly says, in Romans 9, that the basis for God's mercy is not found in the man. Period. Let's deal with that before we jump around, flying from verse to verse like a pin ball. Romans11:32, Romans2:4-8. Okay, then we'll JUMP to John1:12-13 --- verse 13 affirms that begottenness (being the subject of God's mercy) does not depend on our will, or our flesh; but verse 12 says the right to BECOME begotten is given to those WHO believe and receive Jesus.

The fact that God's mercy is not based on men does not forbid Him to have mercy on all who will believe.


For some reason you haven't gotten the message that 1) Reformed theologians have bad philosophy, though they know the scriptures very well, and 2) I don't affirm Reformed Theology and don't really care what they think, unless of course, they agree with Jesus and the Apostles. I've not conversed with anyone who believes in "sovereign predestination" but not "Reformed Theology". The very fact of God sovereignly ordaining some TO eternal life, requires many founding principles of Reformed Theology.

And what does "through" mean in that context?By-means-of.


You think that conversation is actually gonna happen? No, not really. But you aren't following the discussion since you appear to keep pressing your same points as if I didn't understand them the first time. Can you please tell me how that conversation will NOT happen, if there is such a thing as "sovereign predestination by God for a few, to eternal life"?

Huh? What does it matter to you when God does it? I'm asking why it doesn't bother you that God is going to cause people to believe what is not true. Why should it matter when he does it? The "delusion" is a response to conscious unbelief. And different rules apply to different ages. Two of the ages with which we're familiar, are "Law", and "Grace". The next age (most believe to be only seven years) is "Tribulation".

The mark of the beast is in the Tribulation, and is eternally fatal. :eek:


God is telling a story via human history in order to bring glory to his name. We judge God's actions in terms of the story he is telling. Just because God preordains the ending of the story doesn't mean he won't direct the story through each act. Just because God knows how the last chapter will end, doesn't mean he shouldn't write all the other chapters in between. If God hates sin, why does He predestine His chosen people to be IN sin for so long? Why aren't they saved from childhood?


How is Paul not judging his OWN success, in terms of how his followers persevered in salvation? He is. And?Because you just unwittingly agreed that no one is predestined!

Paul: "Persevere in your salvation, as I taught you, or I've labored for NOTHING!"

That does not fit any part of "sovereign predestination".

John146
Jul 18th 2012, 09:29 PM
If by arbitrarily you mean to say that God does not base his mercy on what a man does, even hardening his own heart, then Paul says yes, God hardens whomever he wants to harden and mercy does NOT depend on the man who wills or the man who runs.You need to take all of scripture into account and make sure your interpretation of Romans 9 agrees with the rest of scripture. Does it? I don't believe so. What Paul was saying in Romans 9 is that God is not obligated to have mercy on anyone and it's completely His choice of whether or not to have mercy on someone and who to have mercy on rather than it being man's choice of who God should have mercy on and who He should harden. However, other scripture tells us that there is certain criteria that God uses in order to determine who He will have mercy on and here are some examples:

Psalm 32:10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.

Psalm 33:18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; 19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. 20 Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. 22 Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

Psalm 86:5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

Psalm 103:11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

Prov 14:22 Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.

Prov 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Matt 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Passages like these show that God has mercy on those who trust in Him, fear Him, hope in Him, call upon Him, "devise good", confess and forsake their sins and those who are merciful. So, his mercy is not arbitrary as you are trying to claim. The fact that He is merciful in the first place is not based on what man does but when it comes to who He has mercy on and who He will harden He has criteria for that which are clearly indicated in scripture.


I don't get why 2Thess. 2:11 doesn't bother you.No scripture bothers me. Why should that verse bothers me? It goes right along with what I believe, which is that God hardens the hearts of those who harden their own hearts.


If, for you, free will is sacrosanct and if, according to you, God is giving everyone every opportunity to be saved, then why doesn't it bother you that he will send a deluding influence?Because I believe He will have previously given them plenty of opportunities to repent before that. You, on the other hand, don't believe He gives them any opportunity to repent at all and creates them to be rebellious. That is what I have a problem with, not 2 Thess 2:11.


I thought Paul said that they were storing up wrath for themselves for "a day of wrath" i.e. the final judgment. If they hate the truth, why doesn't God just wait until then?Why does He have to? As in the case of Pharaoh He may want to display His power through them.


Surely, someone who was not willing that any should perish, wouldn't keep someone from coming to the truth would he?He hardens those who already have hardened themselves. They kept themselves from coming to the truth, as 2 Thess 2:10 indicates.

BroRog
Jul 19th 2012, 03:28 AM
You need to take all of scripture into account and make sure your interpretation of Romans 9 agrees with the rest of scripture. Does it? I don't believe so. . . .So, his mercy is not arbitrary as you are trying to claim.I guess Paul was wrong then? It DOES depend on the man who wills and the man who runs?


He hardens those who already have hardened themselves. Really? Does this work with other things like bread or bricks? Do you believe that I can harden bricks that you have already hardened? Can I bake bread that is already baked? Can a man make a woman pregnant who is already pregnant?

John146
Jul 19th 2012, 06:38 PM
The problem I have with your position is that you feel that man comes from a position of being good and then choosing to reject God. Where Brorog and myself come from a position that man is evil by nature and will not choose God.No, you are misrepresenting my view. No one is good and everyone is a sinner, as Paul points out in Romans 3, and I've never said otherwise. What I'm saying is that even though man is a sinner by nature he also by nature has a knowledge of God, as Paul indicated in Romans 1:18-32. Because man naturally has the knowledge of God he is then expected to glorify God as God and has no excuse for not doing so, as Paul indicated in Romans 1:18-20. With that being the case the only explanation for man not glorifying God is that he chooses not to do so. If it wasn't man's choice then it wouldn't make sense that he does not have any excuse for rebelling against God. The fact that man has no excuse for rebelling against God shows that everyone has the ability to repent and surrender to God and must make the choice to do so. Your doctrine gives man an excuse for not repenting and believing because your doctrine says some men are unable to repent and believe and that only God can give someone that ability or not. Your doctrine makes God solely responsible for whether or not a person repents and believes but that does not line up with scripture which repeatedly indicates that God holds man responsible for his own beliefs and actions.


Man is still responsible because they are sinful.Why is man responsible if he has no choice of whether to repent and believe or not? What exactly do you believe man is responsible for? Be specific. In other words, what does God require of man that involves man's choice?


Bringing forth your own righteousness and choice to do good is a repulsive payment to earn salvation.Once again you are misrepresenting my view. I do not claim that people can be saved by their own righteousness. Quite the opposite. I claim that people are required to humble themselves before God and acknowledge that they are unrighteous sinners.


You would say it is a free gift that is given by the grace of God, but the righteousness we bring to make such decisions to follow him is unacceptable.I've never said anything about bringing our own righteousness to God. We can't do that because we are sinners. You need to pay closer attention to what others actually believe instead of making assumptions. You are arguing with a straw man.


God makes sovereign choices and if He has regenerated you, then you love His sovereignty. That is an attribute I love of Him, but unless He regenerates me, I could never love such an attribute. So because God chose to leave Pharoah in his unregenerate condition is no fault of God. He did so to bring glory to Himself.Whose fault was it for Pharaoh being an evil person who rebelled against God in the first place?

John146
Jul 19th 2012, 07:09 PM
I guess Paul was wrong then?Why would you ask such a ridiculous question? None of us believe Paul was wrong but we obviously don't all interpret his words the same.


It DOES depend on the man who wills and the man who runs?Did you not read what I already said? I said "What Paul was saying in Romans 9 is that God is not obligated to have mercy on anyone and it's completely His choice of whether or not to have mercy on someone and who to have mercy on rather than it being man's choice of who God should have mercy on and who He should harden. However, other scripture tells us that there is certain criteria that God uses in order to determine who He will have mercy on".

I then listed several verses showing that God has mercy on those "who trust in Him, fear Him, hope in Him, call upon Him, "devise good", confess and forsake their sins and those who are merciful". Do you have nothing to say in response to that?


Really? Does this work with other things like bread or bricks? Do you believe that I can harden bricks that you have already hardened? Can I bake bread that is already baked? Can a man make a woman pregnant who is already pregnant?Roger, your analogies don't line up with what we're talking about. It's quite easy for me to prove that Pharaoh hardened his own heart and that God hardened Pharaoh's heart as well. It's plain as day in scripture so why are you missing it?

Exodus 8:15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.

Exodus 8:31 And the Lord did according to the word of Moses; and he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; there remained not one. 32 And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.

Exodus 9:12 And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had spoken unto Moses.

With your logic it's not possible that Pharaoh could harden his own heart with God hardening Pharaoh's heart after that. Yet, that is exactly what happened. Should we accept that or should we think there must be some kind of mistake here? We know that scripture is never mistaken so it must be that a hardened heart can be hardened. So, how do we make sense of that? Easy. A hardened heart can start to soften so then after that it can be hardened again. If you read Exodus 7-14 you can see that Pharaoh hardened his own heart and that God hardened Pharaoh's heart several times. You're acting as if a heart can only be hardened once and then that's it. That's clearly not the case since Pharaoh's heart was hardened several times.

John146
Jul 19th 2012, 08:49 PM
Who said anything about force?Your doctrine implies it. You say that God creates people either to believe or not so I'm using the word "force" as a synonym for "create" or "make". Do you not believe that it is completely up to God as to whether someone repents and believes or not? If so then it is God who forces/makes someone repent and believe.


Besides, you didn't really deal with the passage.Come on. I have dealt with that passage many times.


Paul is asking us to pray for our leaders because God is not willing that any should perish. But why? In your view, God really can't do much.That is completely untrue. I'm getting pretty tired of you misrepresenting my view.


Sure, he can send more prophets, he can send more preachers, he can wait a little bit longer, but that seems to be the extent of his power.There is no limit to His power but He requires man to respond to His call on his own volition so He's not going to repent and believe for man. This has nothing to do with the extent of God's power, as if I'm saying it is limited.


But if God was not willing that any should perish, don't you think he would send more prophets and send more preachers without me asking him? You really think Paul is being that trivial?You lost me here. Do you believe that our prayers can "availeth much" (James 5:16)? If so, what exactly do you think is the purpose of prayer and how much effect do you think our prayers can have? Why would Paul even write about praying for people if God is going to do whatever He wants to do regardless of our prayers?


The call is a general call that goes out to all human beings.And it's a call that God expects all human beings to answer. The only way we can make sense of God being angry with people and condemning them for not believing in His Son (John 3:18) is that He expects them to believe in His Son and it displeases Him whenever anyone doesn't. Since He commands "all people everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30-31) then it's clear that all people everywhere have the ability to repent. Otherwise, He wouldn't command everyone to do so. If some couldn't repent then why in the world would He punish them for not repenting?


It's like radio. The radio station broadcasts on a particular frequency, transmitting out into the airwaves for anyone to receive. Some people have radios and some of them are tuned to that frequency. Not everyone owns a radio and not everyone has a radio tuned the right frequency. Some people are listening to other stations and not paying attention to God's "station" or God's "broadcast." Once again you are using a poor analogy. Your analogy does not portray the scenario that scripture portrays. You should try learning from Christ's analogies (parables) instead of creating your own. His are much better. In the parable He told in Matt 22:1-14, the call to salvation is likened to being invited to a wedding (Matt 22:1-14). It does not portray people not accepting the invitation because they didn't receive it (or didn't have their radio tuned to the right channel as your analogy suggests), it portrays them as receiving the invitation (being on the right station) and rejecting it (rejecting the message they heard being broadcast on that station). Everyone that God calls is expected to respond with repentance and faith. If they don't they get punished for not doing what God expected them to do. What other reason would they get punished? That's always the reason that God punishes people. But in your view you have God punishing people for things they couldn't control. That doesn't make any sense.


Of course it's their choice. Why wouldn't it be?

Of course they were unwilling and of course they were able. Who said they weren't?

Of course.

Of course.I give up. These responses indicate that you agree with me that all people are called to salvation and they all are responsible to make the choice of whether to answer the call or not and that they all are able to answer the call but some choose not to instead. Yet other comments you make do not give the impression that is what you believe. So, I just can't tell what exactly it is you believe because you are a poor communicator through this medium, which you acknowledged before and again here:


I think you misunderstand what I am saying and no wonder, I am not very good at communicating this idea through this medium. And that's okay. You're trying and I give you credit for that but to me you say contradictory things. That just leaves me confused as to what exactly you believe.


I think you are using philosophy just as much as I am. In my answer to you, I pointed out that Christians tend to hold one of four views of God as creator: 1)craftsman, 2)sorcerer, 3)progenitor, or 4)author. You haven't yet said which picture you hold. You're trying to force me to look at things in your terms. I don't need to do that. I've explained my view in great detail so if you still don't know what my view is then I can't help you. I'll let you decide which category my view falls in based on the many, many comments I've made to you regarding my view.


I hold that God is author based on several passages of scripture the most notable is found at the beginning of Genesis where we see God speaking things into existence. Just like an author of a book uses words to create his novel, God uses words to make the creation we both see.

It's not an illusion; it's just as real as we are. If God says, "let there be light", the light is real. If God says, "let there be a man who repents at the hearing of the gospel, that man is as real as the light.

But maybe you don't think God is an author. Perhaps God is simply a progenitor, a person who makes everything at the beginning of time, but has let things run their course. But you tell me, what kind of creator is God?He does let some things run their course and then He intervenes in other things. You want everything to be only one way (He controls everything or nothing), but I don't see it that way.


I'm not sure, other than repeating myself using different wording, how to explain how it makes sense. I think you might find an underlying, hidden, and unexamined assumption behind your objection. So let's put your objection in the form of a syllogism.

a. God desires that none should perish.
b. God controls people's desires.
c. Some people perish.

Since the conclusion does not follow from the premises, either one or both of the premises must be wrong. Either God does desire that none should perish or God does not control mens desires. This is basically your rebuttal. And it's a good rebuttal because it is very logical and reasonable. Your rebuttal would look like this.

a. God desires that none should perish.
b. Some people perish.
c. Therefore God does NOT decide who will perish and who won't.

Again, very logical and very reasonable. No problem. But the hidden assumption in your first premise is that God has but one single desire: that none should perish. It does not allow for the idea that God might have more than one desire and that he, just like us, sets priorities according to our goals.What desire does God have that trumps His desire that none should perish? Other than forcing people to repent and believe what more could He have done to make salvation possible for everyone? Could He have somehow done more than send His Son to die on the cross for our sins? Was that not the ultimate sacrifice?


I desire to eat potato chips, but I also desire to live longer.The problem with what you're saying is that scripture never indicates that God has any desires that take priority over His desire that none should perish. Scripture clearly says that Christ died for the sins of all people so God clearly did not allow anything to take precedence over that. Because of what Christ did, God's desires are now possible but He also desires for man to choose whether or not to repent. Neither of those desires trump the other, they go hand in hand. God proved that He truly does desire for everyone to be saved by having His Son die for the sins of all people. But He also desires for people to repent and believe willingly by their own choice.


And since my doctor wants me to avoid salt, and I set my priorities according to my goals, I decide NOT to eat potato chips even though I desire to eat them. If God has more than one desire, then our syllogism doesn't work.

a. God desires that none should perish.
b. Some people perish.
c. Therefore ?

To answer this question we look elsewhere in scripture. We shouldn't look elsewhere in scripture for verses that trump His desire that none should perish. Either He truly desires that or not. If He purposely created some people to not ever repent then it simply wouldn't be true that He desired for all people to repent.


Yes, we know this from other scriptures as I say. As I pointed out above, God speaks things into existence. Another place to look is found at the beginning of John's gospel where John says that the world was made according to a script. In the beginning was the word . . ." and outside of Christian theology the term "logos" simply means "word, account, logical proof, and etc." And John says that nothing was made apart from this "word" or this "script" if you will. And he says, "All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." Taking this statement to its logical conclusion, we can say that apart from him no person has repented, apart from his speaking it into existence, no person has come to have faith in Jesus. And etc. Nothing came into existence apart from God speaking it into existence. That's not the logical conclusion at all. That's taken the meaning of the text way beyond where it is intended. Yes, God creates all of us but that doesn't mean God determines everything that occurs in our lives. Do we choose anything in our own volition without just acting out God's script or not? Some of your comments would suggest that you don't believe so and others would suggest that you do believe so. So, please clarify your view on this.


We could venture closer to the end of the New Testament and review the opening lines of Hebrews in which Paul says that God orchestrated history, creating the "ages" if you will.

Okay, but now we are talking philosophy because it is your judgment that it should be taken less literally. This isn't simply a matter of reading the scriptures; its also a matter of using our judgment as to how literally to take them. Of course. And I obviously believe you are taking them more literally than you should.


How can I avoid it? You can't with your doctrine but would that not mean that all rapes, murders and other atrocities are things that God willed to occur? How could that be possible? Why would God punish people for those things and other wicked behavior if they were His idea?


I get that. But when I say something "should" shake your view, I'm not saying that it "does" shake your view. I'm just expressing my surprise that it doesn't. But can you explain to me how God can orchestrate history without having control over the choices of men? He doesn't orchestrate every last thing that happens. You sometimes come across to me as being similar to a hyper-Calvinist. But then you tell me that you believe God wants all people to repent and that all people have to choose to do so. I don't get it. It's almost like you're trying to agree with both sides of the Arminian vs. Calvinist debate despite the fact that isn't possible.


I didn't say that people were created from birth did I? If I did, that isn't what I meant.Dude, it's almost impossible to ever tell for sure what you mean. ;)


As I pointed out above, God creates things by speaking them into existence. People aren't believers from birth, people are believers because they have heard the truth and they acknowledge what they hear to be the truth.Please answer the following questions as straightforwardly as you possibly can. Who determines whether someone believes the gospel or not? How did you come to believe the gospel?


As you point out, they hear the word and respond with belief. That's how it works. I get that. But we find verses in the Bible that paint a slightly more complicated picture. I think you make it more complicated rather than scripture making it more complicated.


For instance, I'm sure you are familiar with Jesus' statement that a man can not come to Jesus unless the Father draw him. People argue over what this "draw" looks like, but the fact that we argue means that the issue isn't as straightforward as all that. Why, for instance, didn't Jesus simply say, "a man will not come to me unless he wants to come", placing the emphasis on what the man wants? Why place the emphasis on what the father wants instead? Because we have to understand that no one would be saved if it wasn't for God being so loving and gracious. Jesus said He would draw all people to Himself (John 12:32) but that doesn't mean that no one can resist His drawing. Plenty of people resist it. But they can only blame themselves for that. They can't try to say that God didn't call them to salvation.


It depends on what you mean. Even if I believed in freedom unconstrained by divine determinism, I couldn't deny that God has determined which of my choices are the most significant to my existence. God has decided that I will continue to exist if I make the right choice with regard to the identity of his son. If my choices were truly free, I would be able to decide for myself which of my choices were significant and which were not. I might decide that answering "no" on a Bible quiz whether Jesus is the Christ should not be the most significant choice of mine as it pertains to my personal existence. Why should it? But we both know that it is because God says it is. He is the one, not me, who has decided that my answer to the question warrants my being able to survive death or not. I don't really have as much freedom as all that.

But as for divine determinism, the Bible has a few words to say about that. As John says, apart from him, nothing has come into existence that has come into existence.

Sure. If a man hears the gospel and believes what he hears and he obeys the gospel, he is a child of God. And if we are talking about the subject of God as creator, we know that the man hearing the gospel and believing what he hears and obeying the gospel wouldn't exist apart from God creating this taking place.

Can you make sense of an author writing a novel?

Puppets are inanimate objects which we manipulate to simulate reality. The creator doesn't manipulate objects, he brings them into existence by speaking them into existence.

[quote]Are you sure. I was working very hard not to leave that impression. Are you? How are you working very hard not to leave the impression that God is a puppet master when you indicate that you believe everything that happens is scripted by God? Maybe instead of a puppet master you see God more as a robot programmer? You don't see it that He pulls people's strings as time goes on (so to speak) but He has programmed people's lives beforehand and then lets them go within the confines of what He has programmed? Is that an accurate portrayal of what you believe?


While what you say is truly found in Genesis, Paul's point relies on God's blessing of Jacob the individual. His argument doesn't work otherwise. Notice the contrast in his statement here, ". . . so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works . . . " He is attempting to prove that God's blessing does not depend on what a man does; it does not depend on a man's works he says. The contrast is between what God wants and what a man (Jacob in this case) wants. Jacob wanted the blessing, yes. And Jacob worked and connived and cheated to get the blessing. Yes. But Paul is looking beyond Jacob's decisions to a time before Jacob was born to see that God chose to bless Jacob before Jacob had a chance to do good or bad (and Jacob did both actually.) This idea flies squarely in the face of those who claim that being blessed is the result of a man's wish to be blessed and his choice to accept God's terms on which he blesses people. What you don't seem to understand is that there are situations in which whether or not God blesses someone is entirely up to Him without basing it on man's actions but there are other instances where God blesses someone because of their faithful actions. It depends on the situation. You always want it to be one way or another but that's not how it works. God controls some things but not everything. He makes man responsible to make his own choices in some things and in other things God makes the choices. When it comes to salvation God made the choice to send His Son to die for the sins of the world and He also chose to make man responsible to choose whether or not to repent and believe in Christ unto salvation.


I don't have a problem with that, simply because you are right. But I don't think I ever claimed that God's decisions were random. Did I? If I did, I misspoke. You give that impression at times. So, what do you believe God's decisions are based on then?


Let's back up a bit. How are you taking the phrase "concluded them all?" When Romans 11:32 says He concluded them all in unbelief it means He gave them all over to their unbelief rather than trying to persuade them to repent and believe. It does along with where it speaks of Him having blinded them and cut them off. But that was only for a short time so that the gospel could then go to the Gentiles. In turn, God wanted the Gentiles to be a witness to those unbelieving Jews so that they would be jealous and want to be saved as well. In that way God made it so that all people, Jew or Gentile, would have the opportunity to be saved. It's all there in Romans 11.


No. Paul is saying that God creates people to have a particular purpose. And God plans which purpose a particular individual will have BEFORE he creates them. Paul uses the analogy of a potter, and as you know a potter makes pots according to his need and desire. One might get the picture, rather, of God as a buyer of pots. He looks out over all the pots in the store and he finds those pots he likes and takes them home. This analogy illustrates the concepts of analysis, evaluation, comparison and selection, which is compatible with the idea that God elects those who elect him first. If God elects those who hear his gospel and believe it, using belief and faith as the criteria by which to select a person, this is like the housewife who goes to the store to find a pot she likes. But Paul's analogy illustrates God's creativity, not his selectivity. If God wants a person on which to show his mercy, he makes one. And if God wants a person on whom to show his wrath, he makes one. But God will not show mercy on someone who is rebelling against Him nor will He show His wrath on someone who is humbling themselves before Him. He doesn't create a person to be evil so that He will show His wrath through that person nor does He create a person to be faithful and humble before Him so that He can show His mercy on them. No, He will take an already evil person and use that person to show His wrath as He did with Pharaoh. Pharaoh made his own choice to be evil and rebellious against God. God then has the right to use a person like that for His own purposes if He wants to. That doesn't mean that God didn't ever want him to repent before that but since he didn't then he became a candidate for God to use for His purposes.


I suppose, again, this would depend on what kind of creator God actually is. Is he simply the God who originated everything we see, or is he the author of everything that exists, speaking it into existence? Your argument goes something like this:

a. A man can not be held accountable for actions beyond his control
b. God holds a man responsible for his idolatry
c. Therefore, idolatry is within a man's ability to control.Yes, I think that's quite clear and there are many examples of this in scripture.


I agree with this.Good. Glad we can agree on something.


However you are also making another argument.

a. Freewill choices must be free from all constraint.How can I be arguing this when I don't even know exactly what this means? What do you mean by this exactly?


b. Divine determinism is a constraint.What do you mean by this exactly?


c. Therefore a man's choices are not divinely determined. I'm not saying that is the case with literally everything a man does. I'm saying his choice of whether or not to repent and believe in Christ is not divinely determined.


I don't agree with this for the following reason, which is illustrated this way.

a. everything is divinely determined (John 1:3) Not literally everything including all of man's choices. That is not at all what that verse says and not at all what is taught in scripture as a whole.


Or to put it another way using Hebrews.

a. all events are divinely determined (Hebrews 1:2 . . . he made the ages.) I have no idea how you make the huge leap from Him making the ages to Him divinely determining all events. How exactly do you conclude that man makes any of his own choices if literally everything is divinely determined? This is why I can't make any sense of your view.


b. human choice is an event.
c. therefore, human choices are divinely determined.Sorry, but I find your logic to be quite flawed. You are stretching the text quite a bit.


So then, seeing that I agree with your earlier conclusion that God is holding man responsible for his free-will choices, given that our choices are divinely determined, and in order to avoid contradiction I conclude that both must be true at the same time but not in the same way.LOL. That is possibly one of the most nonsensical things I've ever seen anyone say. I don't mean to offend you by saying that, but you're making my head spin here. Do you actually expect me to make sense out of what you're saying?


It is both true that I am making free choices and that is holding me responsible for those choices, and it is also true that my choices are divinely determined and so I have concluded that God has the ability to create me making free-will choices.Define "choice". How do you have any choices if they are divinely determined? Doesn't that make your supposed choices actually God's choices that He divinely determined?


Looking at the evidence from my POV in reality, I am making my own choices. But interpreting my experience in light of God's revelation, it is also true that God is creating me making my own choices. That means in true reality (regardless of your flawed perception of reality) God makes your choices for you, including the choice to repent and believe in Christ. And I completely disagree with that.


Of course. But I wouldn't say that anyone is born a certain way. Or if they are born a certain way it isn't possible for them to change their minds etc. The scriptures do say they became that way, but they don't say how they became that way except to say that they suppressed the truth in unrighteousness. I agree with all of that, but I also agree with John's view of God that he is the creator who speaks everything into existence and that without him, nothing has come to exist that has come into existence. So I must conclude that a man causes himself to deny God at the very same time that God is creating a man causing himself to deny God. Both are true if it is true that God speaks things into existence.He doesn't speak the denial or acceptance of Himself into existence. That simply is not taught anywhere in scripture. If He did then there would be no basis for judgment. He would have to judge Himself in that case rather than the people He created.


And how are you taking the statement "I raised you up . . ."?Let's go to the original text to see the context.

Exodus 9:13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me, 14 for at this time I will send all My plagues to your very heart, and on your servants and on your people, that you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth. 15 Now if I had stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, then you would have been cut off from the earth. 16 But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. (NKJV)

Notice that God said He could have struck Pharaoh and His people with pestilence and killed them all. But instead He kept Pharaoh and his people alive despite all the plagues that He sent upon them so that He could show His power in Pharaoh. He showed that He had the power and He was in control and not Pharaoh. It's not saying God had a plan in the beginning to raise Pharaoh up to be evil, it's saying God kept him alive to show His power through him. He could have easily just destroyed him right then and there but instead he sent plagues upon them and didn't destroy them right away.


If not, then I would conclude that some things do come into existence apart from him. No physical things came into existence apart from Him but some things do happen that go against His desires. That should be obvious since scripture says He desires for everyone to repent and to be saved yet not everyone repents and not everyone is saved. Why not? Because God leaves some things up to man to decide without deciding for him.


I don't know. I'm just making sense of the passages and arguments which indicate and express God as author of creation.

Hopefully you understand better where I am coming from. If you don't agree with me, that's fine. I'm not here to change your mind or push an agenda. Hopefully the dialog will remain open.I guess I understand it better somewhat but your view is still quite confusing to me and comes across as being contradictory at times. I do appreciate the time you are taking to respond, though. It sure has taken a good amount of time on my part to respond to your posts. Maybe we should make them shorter? :)

BroRog
Jul 20th 2012, 12:12 AM
Why would you ask such a ridiculous question? None of us believe Paul was wrong but we obviously don't all interpret his words the same.Sorry, Eric. But the fact remains, your interpretation disagrees with what Paul explicitly says. I don't think it IS a ridiculous question. I realize it offends you when I put it this way, but what else would you do any differently? Your rebuttal to me was a list of scriptures in which you believe proves that God's mercy depends on what a man does, and yet, Paul says it does NOT depend on the man. You disagree with Paul. Simple as that.


Did you not read what I already said? I said "What Paul was saying in Romans 9 is that God is not obligated to have mercy on anyone and it's completely His choice of whether or not to have mercy on someone and who to have mercy on rather than it being man's choice of who God should have mercy on and who He should harden. However, other scripture tells us that there is certain criteria that God uses in order to determine who He will have mercy on". I then listed several verses showing that God has mercy on those "who trust in Him, fear Him, hope in Him, call upon Him, "devise good", confess and forsake their sins and those who are merciful". Do you have nothing to say in response to that?
That's right. That's what you said. And whether you want to admit it or not, what you said contradicts what Paul said. Paul said that God is not using criteria associated with what a man does. You say that God grants mercy to those who love God, fear God, and etc. and that God is using this as his criteria for whom to bless. But Paul disagrees with your view. It does NOT depend on the man. Period. My response to you is to point out that your view is not the same as Paul's view.


Roger, your analogies don't line up with what we're talking about. It's quite easy for me to prove that Pharaoh hardened his own heart and that God hardened Pharaoh's heart as well. It's plain as day in scripture so why are you missing it?I'm not missing anything. I am not challenging the fact that Pharaoh hardened his heart. I disagree, not with your facts, but with your interpretation of the facts. In order to support your theology, your interpretation of the facts must understand a causal relationship between Exodus 8:15 and Exodus 9:12 such that it was Pharaoh's hardening of his own heart that caused God to subsequently harden Pharaoh's heart.


With your logic it's not possible that Pharaoh could harden his own heart with God hardening Pharaoh's heart after that. Yet, that is exactly what happened. Should we accept that or should we think there must be some kind of mistake here? We know that scripture is never mistaken so it must be that a hardened heart can be hardened.I gave the illustration of bread in order to show you that the concept of hardening something that is already hardened is an empty, meaningless concept. I followed that example with the woman who was already pregnant in order to help you see why. Once a woman gets pregnant, she can't get any more pregnant. Once the bread is baked, it can't get anymore baked. And once a heart is hardened, it can't get any more hardened.

When God says to Moses that he is going to harden Pharaoh's heart for the purpose of bringing himself glory, we accept that God is trying to tell Moses something meaningful about himself as the agent or the cause of Pharaoh's heart being hardened. That is, in order for God to claim glory from his hardening of Pharaoh's heart his action must be the cause without which the hardening wouldn't have occurred. Without God being the first and primary cause, then his act to harden wouldn't bring him glory. The Exodus Event brings God glory because Pharaoh didn't let the people go until God was finished demonstrating his power and control over nature and other supposed reality shaping forces and other gods. God was NOT going to allow Pharaoh to let the people go until he was finished. And so, when Paul says that God can harden whomever he wants, he means that God can be the first and primary cause of hardening anyone at anytime and for his own purposes.

Noonzie
Jul 20th 2012, 12:37 AM
No, you are misrepresenting my view. No one is good and everyone is a sinner, as Paul points out in Romans 3, and I've never said otherwise. What I'm saying is that even though man is a sinner by nature he also by nature has a knowledge of God, as Paul indicated in Romans 1:18-32. Because man naturally has the knowledge of God he is then expected to glorify God as God and has no excuse for not doing so, as Paul indicated in Romans 1:18-20. With that being the case the only explanation for man not glorifying God is that he chooses not to do so. If it wasn't man's choice then it wouldn't make sense that he does not have any excuse for rebelling against God. The fact that man has no excuse for rebelling against God shows that everyone has the ability to repent and surrender to God and must make the choice to do so. Your doctrine gives man an excuse for not repenting and believing because your doctrine says some men are unable to repent and believe and that only God can give someone that ability or not. Your doctrine makes God solely responsible for whether or not a person repents and believes but that does not line up with scripture which repeatedly indicates that God holds man responsible for his own beliefs and actions.

You're right. No one is good and everyone is a sinner. You are also right that Paul points out there is no excuse because God has made himself know. This is not a saving knowledge of God though. However, he is not expected to glorify God. God does not rely on us to glorify Him, He glorifies Himself through His work and not our choosing.

16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you” (John 15:16).

30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).
We must understand that we cannot even boast in believing in Christ. God's sovereignty is even in this act. He chooses us before we choose Him.

65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father” (John 6:65).
This is a sovereign choice of the Father.



Why is man responsible if he has no choice of whether to repent and believe or not? What exactly do you believe man is responsible for? Be specific. In other words, what does God require of man that involves man's choice?

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” 9 And He said, “Go, and tell this people ‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.’ 10 Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, and their eyes dim, Lest they see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed” (Isaiah 6:8-10).
God is making a sovereign choice here. He commands that they not see, hear, or understand. Are these that He chose not to allow repentance going to come to God at judgement say, "you didn't let me repent, so you cannot hold me responsible". God has chosen their fate and any argument they bring will not save them.

8 And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain” (Revelation 13:3-8).
God has written the names of those in the book of life from the very foundation of the world. They will not perish, and cannot be snatched from His hand.

Men exercise faith out of the heart God has given them to believe.
6 “Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live” (Deuteronomy 30:6).



Once again you are misrepresenting my view. I do not claim that people can be saved by their own righteousness. Quite the opposite. I claim that people are required to humble themselves before God and acknowledge that they are unrighteous sinners.
We know that man cannot humble themselves and acknowledge that they are unrighteous sinners without God first regenerating them. Any claim they make outside of the work of the Holy Spirit in changing their heart is false and is not true repentance.
5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).



I've never said anything about bringing our own righteousness to God. We can't do that because we are sinners. You need to pay closer attention to what others actually believe instead of making assumptions. You are arguing with a straw man.

If we put our act of choosing God, before He changes us, then we do not come with a heart that can come before God in true repentance. I am not saying that someone isn't saved because they don't understand the sovereign work of God that leads them to repentance. Some may, but I know I did not understand this sovereignty of God when He saved me. He continues to reveal Himself to me and how glorious His work is and how glorious the work of Christ is.



Whose fault was it for Pharaoh being an evil person who rebelled against God in the first place?
It is Pharaoh's fault.
Men go to hell not only because God decreed it, but because they deserve it.
(Revelation 16:4-7)

BroRog
Jul 20th 2012, 01:51 AM
I guess I understand it better somewhat but your view is still quite confusing to me and comes across as being contradictory at times. I do appreciate the time you are taking to respond, though. It sure has taken a good amount of time on my part to respond to your posts. Maybe we should make them shorter? :)Okay, so to review. John says


John 1:3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.


I begin as a person who does not believe the Gospel. When I finally believe the Gospel that is a believer coming into being and that apart from God, my transformation from nonbeliever to believer wouldn't have come into being. The author of Hebrews says,


Hebrews 1:2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world (literally "ages".)

God orchestrates history; he makes "the ages" it says. Well, my confession of faith is an event in history and so God made that too.

In Genesis it is written,


3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.


When God makes something he speaks into existence, which is very similar to what an author or a playwright does.

Gadgeteer
Jul 20th 2012, 03:20 AM
Okay, so to review. John says


John 1:3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.


I begin as a person who does not believe the Gospel. When I finally believe the Gospel that is a believer coming into being and that apart from God, my transformation from nonbeliever to believer wouldn't have come into being. The author of Hebrews says,


Hebrews 1:2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world (literally "ages".)

God orchestrates history; he makes "the ages" it says. Well, my confession of faith is an event in history and so God made that too.

In Genesis it is written,


3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.


When God makes something he speaks into existence, which is very similar to what an author or a playwright does.The person comes into being through God, but what the person decides God does not ordain.

Carry this thought too far, and you'll be arguing that "God created SIN". :eek:

That would impugn God's character and nature...

nikolai_42
Jul 20th 2012, 04:59 AM
Sadly, many truly saved Christians do continue sinning as habitually everyday for long time, because they thought they are already saved at once, because of what their pastors told them so. They are being brainwashed for believing the false hope of false doctrines.



Just a quick question...how do you know this? Specifically, how do you know they are saved to begin with?

John146
Jul 20th 2012, 03:12 PM
Sorry, Eric. But the fact remains, your interpretation disagrees with what Paul explicitly says.That's only your opinion. Sorry, Roger, but statements like this do nothing to back up your view. My interpretation disagrees with your interpretation. You have no authority to tell someone else they are disagreeing with Paul.


I don't think it IS a ridiculous question. I realize it offends you when I put it this way, but what else would you do any differently? Your rebuttal to me was a list of scriptures in which you believe proves that God's mercy depends on what a man does, and yet, Paul says it does NOT depend on the man. You disagree with Paul. Simple as that. No, it is not as simple as that. Why will you not comment on what I said about those other scriptures? How do you interpret scriptures that say God shows mercy on those who trust in Him and hope in Him and so on? You need to look at scripture as a whole and makes sure your doctrine lines up with all scripture. You can't draw a conclusion from Romans 9 that doesn't agree with other scripture that speaks of God's mercy. Why are you so willing to do that?


That's right. That's what you said. And whether you want to admit it or not, what you said contradicts what Paul said.All I need to admit is that what I said contradicts (disagrees with) what you said and I'm perfectly fine with that.


Paul said that God is not using criteria associated with what a man does.That has to do with Him having mercy on man at all. He doesn't need to have mercy on anyone. That's His choice and not man's. But I showed you the criteria He uses to actually give mercy to people and you apparently aren't interested in responding to that for some reason.


You say that God grants mercy to those who love God, fear God, and etc. and that God is using this as his criteria for whom to bless.Is that not what the scriptures I quoted indicate? If not then tell me your interpretation of them.


But Paul disagrees with your view.He doesn't disagree with the scriptures I quoted so why don't you take the time to tell me how to reconcile his comments with those?


It does NOT depend on the man. Period. My response to you is to point out that your view is not the same as Paul's view.Show me why. Tell me how you interpret the verses I quoted that speak of God giving mercy in response to people putting their hope and trust in Him. How do you interpret those? You're not going to get anywhere with your argument unless you are willing to take into consideration what scripture as a whole has to say about God's mercy. You're always wanting to isolate verses or passages and draw conclusions from them without taking the rest of scripture into account. That is not wise, IMO.


I'm not missing anything. I am not challenging the fact that Pharaoh hardened his heart. I disagree, not with your facts, but with your interpretation of the facts. In order to support your theology, your interpretation of the facts must understand a causal relationship between Exodus 8:15 and Exodus 9:12 such that it was Pharaoh's hardening of his own heart that caused God to subsequently harden Pharaoh's heart.Were you not arguing, using your analogies, that a hardened heart cannot be hardened? I showed otherwise. That's all I intended to do. Can you acknowledge that your analogies were poor and not valid comparisons to the hardening of someone's heart?


I gave the illustration of bread in order to show you that the concept of hardening something that is already hardened is an empty, meaningless concept.Then how do you explain Pharaoh hardening his heart multiple times as well as God hardening Pharaoh's heart multiple times? Didn't it only need to be hardened once, according to what you're saying here?


I followed that example with the woman who was already pregnant in order to help you see why. Once a woman gets pregnant, she can't get any more pregnant. Once the bread is baked, it can't get anymore baked. And once a heart is hardened, it can't get any more hardened.So, why does Exodus 7-14 speak of Pharaoh's heart being hardened several times? Why are you not offering any explanation for that? Your analogies certainly don't fit with that. There are only two possible options here as I see it. Either Pharaoh's heart softened some after being hardened and then was hardened again or each time that it was hardened it was hardened more than before. You're trying to say that once it was hardened it was hardened and that was it but if you would read Exodus 7-14 you can see that it wasn't just hardened once but was hardened a number of times. In your view it seems like it would have been unnecessary to harden his heart more than once. Am I missing something in what you're trying to say?


When God says to Moses that he is going to harden Pharaoh's heart for the purpose of bringing himself glory, we accept that God is trying to tell Moses something meaningful about himself as the agent or the cause of Pharaoh's heart being hardened. That is, in order for God to claim glory from his hardening of Pharaoh's heart his action must be the cause without which the hardening wouldn't have occurred. Without God being the first and primary cause, then his act to harden wouldn't bring him glory. The Exodus Event brings God glory because Pharaoh didn't let the people go until God was finished demonstrating his power and control over nature and other supposed reality shaping forces and other gods. God was NOT going to allow Pharaoh to let the people go until he was finished. And so, when Paul says that God can harden whomever he wants, he means that God can be the first and primary cause of hardening anyone at anytime and for his own purposes.It would go against God's character to just harden "anyone at any time" with no real basis for it except that He can do what He wants because if He hardened someone without first giving them a chance to repent and be saved then that would contradict the fact that God wants all people to repent and to be saved. Your view simply doesn't align with what scripture as a whole teaches about the character of God.

John146
Jul 20th 2012, 04:01 PM
You're right. No one is good and everyone is a sinner. You are also right that Paul points out there is no excuse because God has made himself know. This is not a saving knowledge of God though. However, he is not expected to glorify God.Yes, he is. Please read the following carefully:

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Notice that it says God's wrath is against "men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness". The truth it's referring to is "that which may be known of God". Then it says "they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful;". How can you say man is not expected to glorify God in light of what this passage says? This passage makes it clear that the reason God's wrath is against them is because they do not glorify Him and are not thankful despite Him making Himself known to them. How can it be that they are without excuse for not glorifying God if it's all up to God as whether or not people glorify Him as God? If God determines whether a person glorifies Him or not then a person who does not glorify God would have an excuse for not doing so ("God didn't make me that way so I had no choice but to rebel.").


God does not rely on us to glorify Him, He glorifies Himself through His work and not our choosing.

16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you” (John 15:16).You are taking this verse out of context. This was addressed specifically to the apostles and He was not speaking in terms of choosing them for salvation but rather having chosen them to be His closest disciples. Even Judas Iscariot was chosen in that sense.

John 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? 71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.


30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).
We must understand that we cannot even boast in believing in Christ. God's sovereignty is even in this act. He chooses us before we choose Him.There is no cause for boasting after humbling oneself and surrendering their lives to Christ. Why would someone boast after having humbled themselves? You can't earn your salvation by your own righteousness. God requires us to humble ourselves and acknowledge that we are not righteous and are sinners in need of His forgiveness.


65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father” (John 6:65).
This is a sovereign choice of the Father.But what is His choice based on? Read Matt 22:1-14 where Jesus indicates that all people are called to salvation but only those who willingly answer the call are chosen. Also, Jesus said He would draw all people to Himself (John 12:32). What Calvinists like yourself miss is that the calling and drawing can be resisted.

Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.


8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” 9 And He said, “Go, and tell this people ‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.’ 10 Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, and their eyes dim, Lest they see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed” (Isaiah 6:8-10).
God is making a sovereign choice here. He commands that they not see, hear, or understand. Are these that He chose not to allow repentance going to come to God at judgement say, "you didn't let me repent, so you cannot hold me responsible". God has chosen their fate and any argument they bring will not save them.You are leaving out some important details here. God doesn't just randomly blind people. Look at this:

Matt 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Notice this says that they closed their own (spiritual) eyes. God didn't make it so that they never had the chance to see the truth. They blinded themselves so God made their blindness permanent. He can do that if He decides that He has given someone enough opportunities to repent and doesn't want to give them any more opportunities. That's up to Him. But He wants all people to repent (Eze 18:23, Acts 17:30-31, 2 Peter 3:9) so you can't try to say that He makes it so that some people never even have that opportunity.


8 And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain” (Revelation 13:3-8).
God has written the names of those in the book of life from the very foundation of the world. They will not perish, and cannot be snatched from His hand.What translation is that? I think this translation of the verse is better:

Rev 13:8And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (KJV)

It is Jesus who was slain from the foundation of the world. Now, what that means is not that He was literally slain when the world began but that the plan for Him to be slain was in place from the foundation of the world because God knew that man would sin. This verse does not say that people's names were written in the book of life from the foundation of the world. How could people's names be written in there before they are even conceived? Also, the following indicates that people's names can be blotted out of the book of life so that means it's a book that continually has names written in it and blotted out as time goes on:

Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

This implies that anyone who does not overcome will have their name blotted out of the book of life. It's not a book that was set in stone from the foundation of the world as you seem to think.


Men exercise faith out of the heart God has given them to believe.
6 “Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live” (Deuteronomy 30:6).This does not say that God gives people faith. God circumcises people's hearts after they choose in their hearts to turn to Him. The circumcision of our hearts allows us to overcome our flesh or sinful nature so that we can do what we want (love and obey God) instead of what we hate (sin). Read Romans 7-8 and you should be able to see the effect that the Holy Spirit can have on us if we submit to Him, which is to allow us to do what we want to do instead of giving in to the flesh and doing what we hate. God doesn't force anyone to believe. We must choose to believe. If we do then God will give us the power to love and serve Him the way we want (by way of the Holy Spirit) without our flesh getting the best of us.


We know that man cannot humble themselves and acknowledge that they are unrighteous sinners without God first regenerating them.If that was the case then it couldn't be said that man humbled himself. It would be God humbling him in that case. But scripture says that man must humble himself. That's his responsibility. God does not do that for us, though He will do things to lead us to repentance. But we choose how to respond to God's call to repentance. Some respond by acknowledging their sins and asking for mercy and forgiveness and some resist it and want to continue doing their own thing without having to answer to anyone.


Any claim they make outside of the work of the Holy Spirit in changing their heart is false and is not true repentance.
5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).To humble yourself before God is not a deed "done in righteousness". It's just the opposite. It's not a case of trying to show God how righteous we are, it's a case of admitting to God how unrighteous we are and how we need Him to cleanse us and make us righteous in His sight.


If we put our act of choosing God, before He changes us, then we do not come with a heart that can come before God in true repentance.That isn't taught anywhere in scripture. God commands all people everywhere to repent. Jesus called sinners to repentance. It's clear that everyone has the ability to repent but it's their choice of whether to do so or not. God calls us to to it and does things to lead us to it but it's still our choice of whether to do it or not.


It is Pharaoh's fault.
Men go to hell not only because God decreed it, but because they deserve it.
(Revelation 16:4-7)If God decreed it then why do they deserve it? If it is entirely God's choice of whether or not they repent and believe then what is the basis for their punishment? Doesn't God punish people for not doing what He expected and required them to do? Does He expect and require people to do things that they cannot do?

John146
Jul 20th 2012, 04:04 PM
Okay, so to review. John says


John 1:3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.


I begin as a person who does not believe the Gospel. When I finally believe the Gospel that is a believer coming into being and that apart from God, my transformation from nonbeliever to believer wouldn't have come into being. The author of Hebrews says,


Hebrews 1:2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world (literally "ages".)

God orchestrates history; he makes "the ages" it says. Well, my confession of faith is an event in history and so God made that too.

In Genesis it is written,


3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.


When God makes something he speaks into existence, which is very similar to what an author or a playwright does.I've already covered all of this and I don't have anything to add to what I've already said about it.

Gadgeteer
Jul 20th 2012, 08:15 PM
No, it is not as simple as that. Why will you not comment on what I said about those other scriptures? How do you interpret scriptures that say God shows mercy on those who trust in Him and hope in Him and so on? You need to look at scripture as a whole and makes sure your doctrine lines up with all scripture. You can't draw a conclusion from Romans 9 that doesn't agree with other scripture that speaks of God's mercy. Why are you so willing to do that?Where in Scripture is the idea that "God doesn't have (or want to have) mercy on anyone"?

Show me why. Tell me how you interpret the verses I quoted that speak of God giving mercy in response to people putting their hope and trust in Him. How do you interpret those? You're not going to get anywhere with your argument unless you are willing to take into consideration what scripture as a whole has to say about God's mercy. Nowhere in Scripture is the idea of "limited atonement"; God is the Savior of all men, malista/specially/above-all believers (1Tim4:10). All --- provision, believers --- fulfillment.

It would go against God's character to just harden "anyone at any time" with no real basis for it except that He can do what He wants because if He hardened someone without first giving them a chance to repent and be saved then that would contradict the fact that God wants all people to repent and to be saved. Your view simply doesn't align with what scripture as a whole teaches about the character of God.This leads to a much more profound issue. In 1Jn4:16, he writes "God is LOVE." Jesus said, "God loved the WORLD that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes should not perish but have eternal life; for God did not send the Son to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him."

God is love --- but under "sovereign predestined-salvation", what is God to most of mankind? Certainly not "love"! How can Reformed Theology persist without a major rewrite of Scripture?

God is love. Love does not demand its own way. Men are condemned because they would not believe the testimony; one who does not believe has made (considers) God a liar. (1Cor13:5, 1Jn5:10)

How can God-who-is-love, who created all mankind, hate so many of His own creation and have MADE them to be disbelieving, sinful, and to perish?

Don't make no sense now, does it???

Noonzie
Jul 20th 2012, 08:32 PM
Where in Scripture is the idea that "God doesn't have (or want to have) mercy on anyone"?
Nowhere in Scripture is the idea of "limited atonement"; God is the Savior of all men, malista/specially/above-all believers (1Tim4:10). All --- provision, believers --- fulfillment.
This leads to a much more profound issue. In 1Jn4:16, he writes "God is LOVE." Jesus said, "God loved the WORLD that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes should not perish but have eternal life; for God did not send the Son to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him."

God is love --- but under "sovereign predestined-salvation", what is God to most of mankind? Certainly not "love"! How can Reformed Theology persist without a major rewrite of Scripture?

God is love. Love does not demand its own way. Men are condemned because they would not believe the testimony; one who does not believe has made (considers) God a liar. (1Cor13:5, 1Jn5:10)

How can God-who-is-love, who created all mankind, hate so many of His own creation and have MADE them to be disbelieving, sinful, and to perish?

Don't make no sense now, does it???

Read this
http://bible.org/seriespage/sovereignty-god-salvation-romans-91-24

I think it will be very helpful.

John146
Jul 20th 2012, 09:29 PM
Read this
http://bible.org/seriespage/sovereignty-god-salvation-romans-91-24

I think it will be very helpful.It's not helpful to anyone at all. It's full of errors. For example, he quoted Charles Spurgeon in support of his view. Spurgeon said "We are not saved as the result of anything that we do". That is clearly false, as the following passages show:

Acts 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. 28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

We have to make the choice to put our faith in Christ or not. God does not do that for us. Scripture repeatedly teaches that man has responsibility when it comes to salvation. We aren't saved by our own righteousness, we're saved by acknowledging our unrighteousness and that only the righteousness of Christ can save us by way of His shed blood and His resurrection. When the jailer asked what he had to do to be saved, Paul and Silas didn't tell him that he didn't have to do anything to be saved. They said he had to put his faith in Christ. When men asked Jesus what they had to do to fulfill the works/requirements of God in order to obtain eternal life He didn't say there was nothing they had to do, He said they had to put their faith in the One who the Father sent (Him).

HisWill
Jul 20th 2012, 09:31 PM
Good question. Love it and got me thinking.
The simple answer is: 'cos He said He would.

BroRog
Jul 20th 2012, 11:51 PM
I've already covered all of this and I don't have anything to add to what I've already said about it.I know. Thanks for discussing it with me. You asked for scriptures and these three are the key scriptures, in my opinion, that define what it means for God to create. Hebrews, for instance, says that God made the ages, which is simply another way to say "history". And so, if God creates history and he speaks things into existence, then he speaks history into existence as it happens. This is really simply but very profound and really hard for some to accept. For us Westerners, the full impact of this truth is really hard to understand and once understood, very hard to accept. As I understand it, however, this view of God was common in the first century world, which is probably why the Apostles don't spend much time explaining or defending it. They simply state the fact as given and move forward from that point.

Gadgeteer
Jul 21st 2012, 12:16 AM
Read this
http://bible.org/seriespage/sovereignty-god-salvation-romans-91-24

I think it will be very helpful.Noonzie, if we discuss what's on that page, will you participate?

“Again, the grace of God is sovereign. By that we mean that God has an absolute right to give that grace where He chooses and to withhold it when He pleases. He is not bound to give it to any man, much less to all men; if He chooses to give it to one man and not to another, His answer is, ‘Is thine eye evil because mine eye is good? Can I not do as I will with mine own? I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.’”60

Scripture says the same thing, just as clearly and emphatically:

44 “No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day (John 6:44).So that's an assertion of "sovereign election". Except --- it is in response to the Jews' complaint, paraphrased:
"We saw this kid grow UP, who does He think He IS?!?!"

So there is zero of "exclusive-sovereign-drawing", but rather "those who come to Me are drawn by God, they are AUTHORIZED --- I am authorized by God, that's who I am!"

In no way does this conflict with "I will draw all men to Myself" (using the same "helkuo-draw/drag-forcibly".

65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father” (John 6:65).Again, asserting His authority. We cannot make a passage of "I-AM-AUTHORIZED", into "you are predestined".


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 (Acts 13:48).In no way can this mean "sovereignly-ordained-by-God"; in the second place it does not say "ordained-by-God" (see Rom13:1). In the first place, if he had MEANT "ordained-by-God", he wouldn't have said two verses earlier "the Jews unelected themselves" (considered themselves unworthy).

14 And a certain woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul (Acts 16:14).Consider --- was Lydia a wicked disbelieving reprobate sinner, and she was CHANGED to godliness when her heart was opened to belief in Jesus? No --- she was a WORSHIPER of God, and THROUGH her belief her heart was opened to Jesus.

John17:6 applies: "Father, those You gave Me out of the world --- they were Yours, and You gave them to Me."

They belonged to God, they believed and loved (and worshiped!) Him, then THROUGH that belief they are given to Jesus.

2 Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).Hebrews chapter 12 is a lousy passage to use in support of "sovereign predestination". Actually, the whole letter is, but chapter 12 is the worst.

1. The second verse uses "archegos-prince/leader", and "teleiotes-chief-example" of faith; not sovereign machinator.

2. Then in verses 7-9 is asserted the reality of moving from "born-again", to "no LONGER born-again but ILLEGITIMATE".

3. It's summed up with a question, "SHALL we not BE in submission (continue to be!) ...AND LIVE?"

4. The admonishments continue --- through verse 25, "Much less shall WE escape [b]who turn away from (God)".


The other side of the equation is also true. Those who are eternally lost are lost because God has not chosen them for salvation:

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” 9 And He said, “Go, and tell this people ‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.’ 10 Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, and their eyes dim, Lest they see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed” (Isaiah 6:8-10).So God creates men (most men!) TO BE sinful, and TO perish. God is love --- [b]but not for the majority!!!!! He is hard and cold, mean and unyielding, consciously judging them for what He indifferently decided! How could God's character and person be impugned more?

Focus on the word I used, "indifferently". The opposite of love is not hate, it's INDIFFERENCE! That's as big of a slight as can get. If I was God, it would make me really angry. :eek:

They also perish because God has not chosen to rescue them from their sin and rebellion. In the simplest terms, men go to hell not only because God decreed it, but because they deserve it (see Revelation 16:4-7).61So God callously ordains them to Hell, and arranges for them to have NO chance and NO opportunity to know Him and become righteous. Then He sits at His bench running a [b]false judgment, because it's all really HIS decision to begin with! I was wrong; the "slight" and "impugning of God's character" just got worse.

Many texts like those cited above clearly reflect that salvation is not our work but God’s, and that we contribute nothing to it which He has not already given to us by His grace. So now we have to start erasing passages from our copy of the Bible. Gone is 1Tim4:16 (as YOU persevere you will SAVE yourselves), 2Pet1:5-11 (be diligent to make your calling and election FIRM --- that the gates of Heaven will BE ...provided to you!); gone is 1Pet1:9 (receive as the outcome of YOUR FAITH salvation) --- because we contribute nothing to our being saved, we are helpless pawns and flotsam and jetsam in the hands of a (fatalistic) all-ordaining sovereign God.

Noonzie --- do you really embrace this doctrine?

This is just the start of Bob Deffinbaugh's tirade. I could continue with a very lengthy and in-depth response; but everyone gets the point.
Those who are saved are saved because God has chosen them for salvation.Right --- and He also chose MOST for PERISHING. He's not the "God-of-Love" that the Bible paints, is He?"
The Holy Spirit has given life to a dead spirit and understanding to a mind blinded by sin and by Satan.Before belief? Where? Not in Ezk36:26-27. Not in 2Cor4:3-4. Not in Eph2:5-8. What verse???
Those who are saved may be said to choose God, but only after God has first chosen them for salvation:

16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you” (John 15:16).Context --- "I chose you TO BE THE TWELVE DISCIPLES and ordained you bear fruit that REMAINED"!

Yup, He chose the TWELVE (Jn6:70), and ordained even JUDAS to bear fruit. What happened with Judas? And why is Judas held out to Peter (Jn6:67-70) as proof that apostasy is POSSIBLE?

This could be much longer; does anyone of "Predestined-Salvation" bent care to respond?

BroRog
Jul 22nd 2012, 10:39 PM
The person comes into being through God, but what the person decides God does not ordain.Do you draw your conclusion from scripture or are you basing your conclusion on your personal philosophy?


Carry this thought too far, and you'll be arguing that "God created SIN". :eek:
And what is left out of "everything?"



That would impugn God's character and nature...Why?

BroRog
Jul 22nd 2012, 11:18 PM
That's only your opinion. Sorry, Roger, but statements like this do nothing to back up your view. My interpretation disagrees with your interpretation. You have no authority to tell someone else they are disagreeing with Paul.You're joking right? Of course not. But surely you aren't going to say that you are entitled to hold an incorrect interpretation of Paul. Right? I think anyone has the right to tell you that your interpretation is wrong if indeed it is wrong.


No, it is not as simple as that. Why will you not comment on what I said about those other scriptures? How do you interpret scriptures that say God shows mercy on those who trust in Him and hope in Him and so on? You need to look at scripture as a whole and makes sure your doctrine lines up with all scripture. You can't draw a conclusion from Romans 9 that doesn't agree with other scripture that speaks of God's mercy. Why are you so willing to do that?But I AM basing my conclusion on all of scripture. It is my contention that your view ignores Romans 9 based on your presupposition that in order for God's mercy to not be arbitrary, it must be the case that God is granting his mercy based on an evaluation of a person's commendable actions or thoughts. For instance, when the scriptures say, God has mercy on those who show mercy, you seem to hear, "God finds those who have mercy on others and based on this commendable act, he rewards the merciful with his mercy." But this view flies in the face of Romans 9:16 in which Paul explicitly points out that God's mercy does NOT depend on the man. If you want to take all of scripture into view, and apparently you do, then you must question your presupposition that God's mercy is based on merit. If Paul says that God's mercy is not merit based, and we read that God grants mercy to those who are merciful, then we must conclude that the correlation between our mercy and God's mercy is not cause and effect. Since Paul says that God's mercy is not merit based, then we conclude that our fear/love of God is not the justification for God's being merciful on us, but must have some other, perhaps higher reason. The scriptures clearly associate and correlate our love of God with his granting us mercy, but our conclusion that such a correlation expresses causation is an assumption we bring to the text.


That is not wise, IMO.I have good reason for attempting to understand passages of scripture on their own terms. The practice of all those who interpret the scriptures with discipline is to avoid superimposing one text over another text at the expense of the author's intended meaning. If, for instance, I can't seem to make sense out of text 'A' I might study text 'B' to find clues as to it's meaning. But as I do so, I must be very careful how I proceed since my interpretation of text 'B' might be in error. I may end up in a worse position than at the first if I attempt to superimpose my incorrect interpretation of text 'B' onto text 'A'. And many interpreters would recognize the wisdom in what I am saying.


Were you not arguing, using your analogies, that a hardened heart cannot be hardened? I showed otherwise.I think what you showed was the fact that human beings are complex and can have hardened hearts with regard to one thing and soft hearts with regard to other things and that the scriptures give examples of multiple hardenings for a single individual. But I wouldn't interpret this as God harding a heart that was already hardened with regard to a particular set of values. I think that when God said that he was going to harden Pharaoh's heart, he meant that with regard to letting his people go, God would make sure that Pharaoh didn't let the people go until God was done proving that Egypt's gods were ineffective and powerless in the presence of the living God.


Then how do you explain Pharaoh hardening his heart multiple times as well as God hardening Pharaoh's heart multiple times? Didn't it only need to be hardened once, according to what you're saying here?It is my contention that when Pharaoh hardened his heart, it was God hardening his heart. We learned from Genesis that in any given situation, there can be two intents as Joseph said to his brothers. What his brother intended for evil, God intended for good. In order for both to be true, the will of the brothers and the will of God were being expressed through human action. And the fact that the brothers were intending to do evil while God was intending to do good shows that God was somehow able to direct the evil actions of men to suit his purposes. So when he says that he was going to harden Pharaoh's heart, we would expect that when God was hardening Pharaoh's heart according to God's will, Pharaoh was hardening his heart according to his will and both were true at the same time for the fact that God's will works through the will of men to superimpose his purposes on history.


It would go against God's character to just harden "anyone at any time" with no real basis for it except that He can do what He wants because if He hardened someone without first giving them a chance to repent and be saved then that would contradict the fact that God wants all people to repent and to be saved. Your view simply doesn't align with what scripture as a whole teaches about the character of God.I agree. But I don't think God's actions have no basis in reason or purpose. In order to understand all of the scriptures, I think, we need to understand our own actions based on our own motivations and will, in terms of God's will to superintend my personal history to come out the way he wants it to go based on his plans for me and everyone else. Divine determinism and free will are happening at the exact same time and they are both compatible with each other. We are told they are contradictory but this is only an assumption we make based on our experience as human beings. We don't know what it is like to be a creator God except what God reveals about himself in passages like the Exodus passage.

Gadgeteer
Jul 23rd 2012, 04:15 AM
The person comes into being through God, but what the person decides God does not ordain.Do you draw your conclusion from scripture or are you basing your conclusion on your personal philosophy? Scripture. Man has causal involvement in eternal life --- at the beginning (John3:20-21, John6:4 w/ Jn10:38 and Jn 20:29 [Matt11:21-24]), and at the end (Rom1:17, 1Tim4:16, Lk21:19, 1Pet1:9). And causal involvement in PERISHING (Lk13:3,5; Jn3:18, 1Jn5:10). Romans2:4-8 is both; and it's God in His kindness LEADING men to repentance and salvation, but stubborn unrepentance stores up wrath for themselves.

We can be causal in OTHERS' salvation (Jude23) and perishing (Rom14:15, Matt23:13-15, 2Tim2:18). Others cause their own falling (1Tim6:10 & 20-21). There are dozens of verses like these.

The begottenness is all of God and nothing of men (Jn1:13), but becoming begotten is our full decision (Jn1:12; Rm10:13).

The entire Bible is all about man's conscious decision, and the consequence (judgment!) thereof. John3:20-21, and 1Cor10:34-35 simply cannot be made to fit the idea that "God-decides-everything" (sovereign predestination --- 1Cor10:34-35 plainly assets that the predestination-view would be BIAS/PARTIALITY that God is not!). The parable of Matt22:2-14 fits nothing of "sovereign predestination". There (and in the rest of Scripture) are NOT "two calls", only one call; each person decides for himself to answer or not.

There are also all of the "warnings-to-persevere", which OSAS people I've discoursed with have said things like "they are effective means by which God keeps us saved". As if His sovereignly isn't enough to KEEP us saved (or to change us enough, so that we wouldn't need the additional prodding).



Carry this thought too far, and you'll be arguing that "God created SIN".And what is left out of "everything?" God is ultimate good, and cannot sin, cannot have anything to do with sin. See the "divided house" discussion in Matt12:25-31, and 1Jn3:5. God is love; any form of "sovereign predestination" by definition has God being HATE to most people, whom He predestines to perish (which is the same as to say "He does not predestine to eternal life").

Scripture just doesn't say "God is love to a FEW, but not to MOST".


That would impugn God's character and nature..Why?If there are only two vessels in Romans9:21-22, then God takes one blank innocent lump of clay and sculpts two vessels, one He sculpts sin and foulness INTO violating His perfect and perfectly-good nature. That idea also violates Romans2:5. But if there are three vessels, two "saved" (honor-vessels, and common-vessels as the New American Standard translates), the third vessels have prepared themselves for wrath by their own sin, it all fits perfectly.

Roger, the very word "JUST", means giving to someone the consequence of their own CHOICE. So we can't embrace a view that perceives it's all GOD'S choice. God's justness responds to men's faith, even as Romans3:26 says. One of many contradictions in the doctrine is how God could sit there at His bench, judging MEN for their deeds, when it really was all HIS sovereign ordained choice (whether they were righteous, or sinful). Judgment must be in response to what the accused did; or it's not a judgment. Words mean things; and we can't make them mean opposite things* when we want them to.


Matt24:24 for instance has to be read "they will deceive even the ELECT if they can", because the exact same words "ei-dunatos" appear in Acts20:16 "Paul hurried to be in Jerusalem for the Pentecost if he could". "Ei-dunatos" cannot reverse meaning just because we want Matt24:24 to mean "it's not possible to deceive the ELECT". Both occurrences have to mean the same.

BroRog
Jul 23rd 2012, 04:46 PM
Scripture. Man has causal involvement in eternal life --- But you haven't yet shown, from scripture, that God does not ordain the choices of men. I guess you think you have, since you think that when a man makes a freewill choice, by definition it can't be ordained by God also. But this aspect of your belief doesn't come from the Bible. That is, your belief that man's freewill and God's divine determinism are mutually exclusive is NOT taught in the Bible but remains an untested assumption on your part. You can cite as many verses as you want concerning the freewill choices of men, but I doubt you will find a passage indicating that when a man makes a freewill choice, it means that God is not also ordaining his freewill choice. However, I can find a passage of scripture in which it is stated without rebuttal from God that a single human act can have two intentions: the evil intent of a man and the good intent of God. Both are true at the same time, and both involve a single act.


God is ultimate good, and cannot sin, cannot have anything to do with sin.I contend that you are basing your view, not on the scripture, but on your internalized picture of God. Of course God cannot sin. If he did, he wouldn't be God. But you add that God can not have anything to do with sin, which is not true since it denies the Biblical teaching that apart from him nothing has come into being that has come into being. John makes God the creator of everything, including sin.


Scripture just doesn't say "God is love to a FEW, but not to MOST".
If there are only two vessels in Romans9:21-22, then God takes one blank innocent lump of clay and sculpts two vessels, one He sculpts sin and foulness INTO violating His perfect and perfectly-good nature. That idea also violates Romans2:5. But if there are three vessels, two "saved" (honor-vessels, and common-vessels as the New American Standard translates), the third vessels have prepared themselves for wrath by their own sin, it all fits perfectly.How you get three vessels from two vessels I can not understand. And if you insist on such things, I have no hope of dialog.


So we can't embrace a view that perceives it's all GOD'S choice.If you have been reading my posts all these many weeks, and I don't think you have, then you would know my answer to this. So I will simply repeat what I said above. Yes we make freewill choices. No my freewill choices are not autonomous choices, but God creates me making my freewill choices as they come into being. For apart from him, nothing has come into being that has come into being.

John146
Jul 23rd 2012, 06:08 PM
I know. Thanks for discussing it with me. You asked for scriptures and these three are the key scriptures, in my opinion, that define what it means for God to create. Hebrews, for instance, says that God made the ages, which is simply another way to say "history". And so, if God creates history and he speaks things into existence, then he speaks history into existence as it happens. This is really simply but very profound and really hard for some to accept.It's not hard for me to not accept your interpretation of scripture, which is all you are talking about here rather than any facts that people must be willing to accept. To take that passage and turn it into God speaking literally everything that happens into existence is a huge stretch. That would mean He even speaks rapes and murders and other things that He condemns into existence, which makes no sense at all. I don't see much difference in your view and hyper-Calvinism. Both views make God responsible for literally everything that happens because both views have God being the One who determines literally everything that happens. But if that was the case then there would be no cause for judgment unless God wanted to try to judge Himself.

John146
Jul 23rd 2012, 06:59 PM
You're joking right? Of course not.I wasn't joking at all. If I'm joking, I'll make that clear.


But surely you aren't going to say that you are entitled to hold an incorrect interpretation of Paul. Right?Of course not. Should I now ask whether you are joking since you said something that I think is obvious?


I think anyone has the right to tell you that your interpretation is wrong if indeed it is wrong. You have the right to share that opinion and I didn't say otherwise. But you act as if you have 100% proof that I was wrong and that is just not the case. So, I'm saying you don't have the authority to tell me I'm wrong with 100% certainty as if you are infallible because you clearly are not. That's all I was saying.


But I AM basing my conclusion on all of scripture.Well, you're trying to, I guess, but you're missing a lot, IMO. I believe you are basing your conclusions on the scripture that you are familiar with but I think there's a lot of scripture that you are either unfamiliar with or don't understand that you aren't taking into consideration here.


It is my contention that your view ignores Romans 9 based on your presupposition that in order for God's mercy to not be arbitrary, it must be the case that God is granting his mercy based on an evaluation of a person's commendable actions or thoughts.See, the problem here is that you don't "listen" very well to what others are telling you and that leads to you frequently misrepresenting the views of others. The fact that God gives anyone mercy at all is not based on a person's commendable actions or thoughts. I already indicated this before. But since He does show mercy on people, despite not being obligated to do so, there are certain conditions that He uses to determine who He wants to give mercy to and I gave scriptural support for that. How do you interpret passages like the ones that speak of Him giving mercy to those who hope in Him, trust in Him, forsake their sins and so on?


For instance, when the scriptures say, God has mercy on those who show mercy, you seem to hear, "God finds those who have mercy on others and based on this commendable act, he rewards the merciful with his mercy."Yes, that is exactly what I "hear" when I read scriptures like that. I see no other way to interpret those scriptures. How do you interpret this verse:

Matt 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.


But this view flies in the face of Romans 9:16 in which Paul explicitly points out that God's mercy does NOT depend on the man.It does not fly in the fact of that verse when each verse is taken in the proper context. The fact that He is merciful is just part of who He is. And the fact that He can do whatever He wants, including have mercy on who He wants is part of who He is as well. He was merciful and could do whatever He wanted before He even created man so Him being merciful certainly wasn't something that was determined by man. But then the question we have to answer is how does He determine who to have mercy on? Is it arbitrary or does He have conditions for showing mercy or not? Scripture indicates that He gives mercy under certain conditions and not arbitrarily.


If you want to take all of scripture into view, and apparently you do, then you must question your presupposition that God's mercy is based on merit.That is not my presupposition and you are not properly representing my view. I'm trying to clarify it in this post, so hopefully you will now understand it better.


If Paul says that God's mercy is not merit based, and we read that God grants mercy to those who are merciful, then we must conclude that the correlation between our mercy and God's mercy is not cause and effect.If that was the case then what sense is there for scripture to point out that God has mercy on the merciful and those who trust in Him and so on? Can we also say that God has mercy on those who are merciless and those who don't trust in Him? Maybe to some extent He does but eventually He punishes people for being merciless and for not trusting in Him so they don't receive His mercy from an eternal standpoint. I think it's clear that receiving His mercy from an eternal standpoint is conditional.


I have good reason for attempting to understand passages of scripture on their own terms. The practice of all those who interpret the scriptures with discipline is to avoid superimposing one text over another text at the expense of the author's intended meaning. If, for instance, I can't seem to make sense out of text 'A' I might study text 'B' to find clues as to it's meaning. But as I do so, I must be very careful how I proceed since my interpretation of text 'B' might be in error. I may end up in a worse position than at the first if I attempt to superimpose my incorrect interpretation of text 'B' onto text 'A'. And many interpreters would recognize the wisdom in what I am saying. If you are that lacking in confidence in your ability to interpret text 'B' to aid in your understanding of text 'A' then that's something you need to work on. Because most Bible teachers would say that it is indeed wise to interpret scripture with scripture whenever possible. Some passages are more specific and detailed than others. Why not take the passages that contain more details and use those to help interpret the passages with less details about a particular topic?


I think what you showed was the fact that human beings are complex and can have hardened hearts with regard to one thing and soft hearts with regard to other things and that the scriptures give examples of multiple hardenings for a single individual. But I wouldn't interpret this as God harding a heart that was already hardened with regard to a particular set of values. I think that when God said that he was going to harden Pharaoh's heart, he meant that with regard to letting his people go, God would make sure that Pharaoh didn't let the people go until God was done proving that Egypt's gods were ineffective and powerless in the presence of the living God. But it speaks of Pharaoh hardening his own heart to not let the people go as well so what do you make of that?

Exodus 8:32 And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.


It is my contention that when Pharaoh hardened his heart, it was God hardening his heart.I think this is a weak argument. Why would it speak of a few occasions where Pharaoh hardened his own heart if it was actually God hardening it on those occasions? How do you interpret the following verse:

1 Samuel 6:6 Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? when he had wrought wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed?

The first part of the verse is referring to the Philistines. Do you think this is speaking of God hardening the Philistines' hearts or did they harden their own hearts? If they hardened their own hearts then it must be that the Egyptians and Pharaoh also hardened their own hearts because it speaks of the Philistines hardening their hearts "as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts".


We learned from Genesis that in any given situation, there can be two intents as Joseph said to his brothers. What his brother intended for evil, God intended for good. In order for both to be true, the will of the brothers and the will of God were being expressed through human action. And the fact that the brothers were intending to do evil while God was intending to do good shows that God was somehow able to direct the evil actions of men to suit his purposes. So when he says that he was going to harden Pharaoh's heart, we would expect that when God was hardening Pharaoh's heart according to God's will, Pharaoh was hardening his heart according to his will and both were true at the same time for the fact that God's will works through the will of men to superimpose his purposes on history. If the evil actions of men are always directed by God for good then why are they called "evil"? If everything that occurs is through God's direction then it seems to me that everything that happens would be good. But that isn't the case. I don't believe your view has any explanation for the existence of evil or any explanation for God being angry with people and punishing them. In your view it seems that the evil things that God punishes people for were actually directed by God. That means He punishes people for doing things that He directed them to do. That just does not make any sense at all.


I agree. But I don't think God's actions have no basis in reason or purpose. In order to understand all of the scriptures, I think, we need to understand our own actions based on our own motivations and will, in terms of God's will to superintend my personal history to come out the way he wants it to go based on his plans for me and everyone else. Divine determinism and free will are happening at the exact same time and they are both compatible with each other. We are told they are contradictory but this is only an assumption we make based on our experience as human beings. We don't know what it is like to be a creator God except what God reveals about himself in passages like the Exodus passage.And many other passages in scripture. He has revealed enough to show that He truly wants everyone to repent and to be saved, so to conclude that He purposely creates some people to never repent and only do evil things for His purposes completely contradicts the fact that He wants everyone to repent. With your understanding of Pharaoh I don't see how you could claim that God ever wanted him to repent. You don't believe God ever wanted Pharaoh to repent, do you? So, why do you claim that you agree with me that God wants everyone to repent?

John146
Jul 23rd 2012, 07:05 PM
If you have been reading my posts all these many weeks, and I don't think you have, then you would know my answer to this. So I will simply repeat what I said above. Yes we make freewill choices. No my freewill choices are not autonomous choices, but God creates me making my freewill choices as they come into being. For apart from him, nothing has come into being that has come into being.Can you explain this view further? It just doesn't make even a tiny bit of sense to me. How are you defining "freewill choices" here? How are your choices "freewill choices" if God is determining those choices for you? I assume you are saying that God determines our "freewill choices" for us because you said "God creates me making my freewill choices as they come into being". That comes across as though it is really God predetermining your freewill choices for you. But in that case I don't see how they can be called your choices at all. Aren't they really His freewill choices in that case? It seems that even a robot could have "freewill choices" according to how you seem to be defining that term.

John146
Jul 23rd 2012, 07:16 PM
But you haven't yet shown, from scripture, that God does not ordain the choices of men. I guess you think you have, since you think that when a man makes a freewill choice, by definition it can't be ordained by God also. But this aspect of your belief doesn't come from the Bible. That is, your belief that man's freewill and God's divine determinism are mutually exclusive is NOT taught in the Bible but remains an untested assumption on your part. You can cite as many verses as you want concerning the freewill choices of men, but I doubt you will find a passage indicating that when a man makes a freewill choice, it means that God is not also ordaining his freewill choice.Do you think God ordains freewill choices that make Him angry and make Him want to punish people? If so, why? Why would He purposely make Himself angry?

Isa 66:2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. 3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. 4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.5 Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. 6 A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the Lord that rendereth recompence to his enemies.

This indicates that God approves of those who are "poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word" and strongly disapproves of those who "have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations" and who "chose that in which I delighted not". How can you conclude the choices people make to take part in abominations against the Lord are ordained by Him? If they were ordained by Him what reason would there be for Him to be angry at them for making those choices? It seems to me that He would be pleased with the choices that He ordains, not angry.

Gadgeteer
Jul 23rd 2012, 11:10 PM
But you haven't yet shown, from scripture, that God does not ordain the choices of men.Look at this, Roger:


"If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching..." Jn7:17

Who is making the choice there? "Do-His-will", is believe-to-salvation. That is why those WHO do His words (believe!) are wise, but those who do NOT do His words (disbelieve!) are foolish in Matt7:24-27.
I guess you think you have, since you think that when a man makes a freewill choice, by definition it can't be ordained by God also. But this aspect of your belief doesn't come from the Bible. That is, your belief that man's freewill and God's divine determinism are mutually exclusive is NOT taught in the Bible but remains an untested assumption on your part.Here is something I wrote once on "Compatibilism":

"Compatiblism" attempts to harmonize the concepts of "man's free will", with "God's sovereign predestination of everything". Per Calvinism, there is no provision for "God permitting anything" --- all has been decreed. This makes God causally involved in sin; either causing it directly (double predestination), or creating the world such that all men WILL sin, and only God's direct sovereign/monergistic intervention can wrest man from his sinful dedication.

God cannot be causally involved in man's sin at all. The clearest violation this presents is expressed in Matt12:25-26 --- God's house would be divided.

By creating a universe where only one eventuality can happen, God has ordained all actions of all men. Thus all men are ordained reprobate, until God monergistically regenerates the few elect. They may exercise "free will", but only as far as their natures allow them. Man has no choice in his nature, but he "freely" chooses within the boundaries of his nature. Here is a flaming contradiction --- if reprobate men cannot move from sin towards God because of their sin nature, then neither can regenerate men move from God towards sin because of their new spiritual nature; but Christians are very capable of sinning. God's attitude towards man and sin is clearly indicated in 1Cor10:13 --- He always provides an escape for sin, and allows each man to choose the sin or the escape. To argue "this only applies to Christians" denies the reality of "moving from sin towards God" vs "moving from God towards sin".

The argument about why Adam and Eve fell, was "God created a Universe where they WOULD fall". It was recently asked, "Why would God put the Tree of knowledge in the garden, if He didn't want them to sin?" And my response, "Why did He put the tree of life there?"

To carefully construct a universe where billions of people have only one predestined course, exceeds the ability of the universe to accommodate; randomness MUST intrude. This is not against God's sovereignty, "randomness" is an aspect of the universe He created.

The claim that "God does not force" is bogus; there is no difference between "forcing", and the idea of God monergistically changing some natures, where each is therefore constrained by either his "left-alone-degenerate" nature, or by his "sovereignly-regenerate" nature. One may argue that "a lobotomy does not FORCE a man to be non-criminal", but such an argument would be false.

If a man is constrained by his nature, and that nature is outside of his choice, then the man has no free will. Hang the arguments, this is a fact.The rest of the discussion is that God really does want everyone to repent --- as Ezekiel words it (18:24) God has no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies; He would rather them repent and live.
You can cite as many verses as you want concerning the freewill choices of men, but I doubt you will find a passage indicating that when a man makes a freewill choice, it means that God is not also ordaining his freewill choice.Rev22:17 is one.

Now --- please look at this:


1Sa 23:12 Then David said, "Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?" And the LORD said, "They will surrender you."

God saw two futures, and David chose one.

The whole foundation of "choice" is clear in Deut30:11-20; God sets before us life and death, and asks us to choose life by loving God, obeying His voice, and holding fast to Him. I can't imagine an argument against this.

Recognize "love God" is the greatest commandment, and it's a choice. Matt22:37.
However, I can find a passage of scripture in which it is stated without rebuttal from God that a single human act can have two intentions: the evil intent of a man and the good intent of God. Both are true at the same time, and both involve a single act.Speaking of "Joseph", what his brothers MEANT for evil, God turned to God. God did not cause the brothers to sin.

I contend that you are basing your view, not on the scripture, but on your internalized picture of God. Of course God cannot sin. If he did, he wouldn't be God. But you add that God can not have anything to do with sin, which is not true since it denies the Biblical teaching that apart from him nothing has come into being that has come into being. John makes God the creator of everything, including sin. Do you not think "absolute predestination/determinism" fits the rebuke of Matt12:25-31? How is perceiving God as ordaining sin and reprobation, not the same offense as what happened before Jesus? The Jews accused Jesus of "casting out devils by the prince of devils"; which was to accuse the Holy Spirit of doing/working-with evil! How isn't "sovereign predestination/determinism" the same?

How you get three vessels from two vessels I can not understand. And if you insist on such things, I have no hope of dialog. Because God MAKES from one lump of clay --- what? What does He make?

You perceive:
1. Vessels-of-HONOR (time), saved people
2. Vessels of SIN (atimia/dishonor), UNSAVED people

To perceive that "atimia" are the same as the "vessels-of-wrath-prepared-for-destruction, has God PREPARING them so, which violates Romans2:5 "God's kindness LEADS to repentance, but by stubborn unrepentance they store up wrath for THEMSELVES". There is no way to resolve this with "two vessels". New American Standard recognizes this, and translates "atima" into COMMON vessels --- saved. So:

1. Vessels-of-HONOR (time), saved people, sculpted from clay that put itself on His wheel.
2. Vessels-of-COMMON use (atima), saved, sculpted from clay that put itself on His wheel.
3. Vessels-of-wrath-prepared-for-destruction, that did NOT submit to God, never put themselves on His wheel, prepared themselves for destruction by their willful sin.



So we can't embrace a view that perceives it's all GOD'S choice.If you have been reading my posts all these many weeks, and I don't think you have, then you would know my answer to this. So I will simply repeat what I said above. Yes we make freewill choices. No my freewill choices are not autonomous choices, but God creates me making my freewill choices as they come into being. For apart from him, nothing has come into being that has come into being.No thing was made apart from Him that has been made.

Our actions are not "a thing that has been made"; it's an action we do. Was the devil created evil? No; Ezk28:15 is usually thought to indicate the devil:


"You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created Until unrighteousness was found in you.

The devil made a choice; and so can we. It's not what God wanted --- as He said of Israel:


"I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts,
A people who continually provoke Me to My face, Offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on bricks...

"But you who forsake the LORD, Who forget My holy mountain, Who set a table for Fortune, And who fill cups with mixed wine for Destiny,
I will destine you for the sword, And all of you will bow down to the slaughter. Because I called, but you did not answer; I spoke, but you did not hear. And you did evil in My sight And chose that in which I did not delight." Isaiah 65

Do you see them doing what God wanted and ordained? No. He called them, but they turned away. It is as Deuteronomy says --- the "word-of-faith" was in their hearts and mouths, if one confesses and believes he will be saved, but if he turns away and will not obey he will perish.

I continue to look forward to your thoughts, especially on "compatibilism"....

lor4cat
Jul 24th 2012, 03:11 AM
Jesus died on the cross that we can accept him and go to heaven. If we don't believe in Christ and confess you are a sin and accept him in your life you will not go to heaven you will go to hell.
Romans 10:13, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Say, "Father in Heaven, I believe that Jesus died for my sins." And God will impart eternal life to your spirit.
Romans 10:9
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

BroRog
Jul 24th 2012, 03:16 AM
It's not hard for me to not accept your interpretation of scripture, which is all you are talking about here rather than any facts that people must be willing to accept. To take that passage and turn it into God speaking literally everything that happens into existence is a huge stretch.Why?
That would mean He even speaks rapes and murders and other things that He condemns into existence, which makes no sense at all.Why?
I don't see much difference in your view and hyper-Calvinism. Both views make God responsible for literally everything that happens because both views have God being the One who determines literally everything that happens. But if that was the case then there would be no cause for judgment unless God wanted to try to judge Himself.Why do you say there would be no cause for judgment?

God speaks things into existence (Genesis 1:1-11). He is like the author of a book, speaking history (Hebrews 1:2) and people (John1:3) into existence. Suppose Jesus wrote a book. And in his book he has a man rape a woman. And in his book the man is put on trial, convicted of rape and sentenced to spend time in prison. Would Jesus be evil for creating characters who perform sinful acts? Would it be impossible for the judge in the story to send the man to prison? What's the difference between what an author of a book does and what God does as the author of all reality, speaking everything into existence?

When John says that apart from him nothing has come into being that has come into being, I take him at face value. What reason do you have to think this is hyperbolic or symbolic language? When the author of Hebrews says that God created the ages, which is another word for history, I take him at face value. Can you find anything in the text to suggest that the author of Hebrews was being figurative? If someone were to put the question directly to me, I could not defend the position that John 1:3 or Hebrews 1:2 were symbolic, figurative, or hyperbolic language. Nothing in the vocabulary hints at being figurative. Neither of these passages are found in prophetic or apocalyptic works. They don't use key words indicating figurative language, such as "like", "as", "just as", "than", "as if" . No animals are talking; no fabulous creatures are interacting with each other. In fact, John kinda repeats himself when he says, "apart from him nothing has come into being that has come into being" in order to emphatically eliminate the possibility that some other agent has brought something into being apart from God.

I can't deny it. It just says what it says and the only reason why we seem to ignore it is because we don't experience our life as a day-by-day, moment-by-moment creation of God and so the verse just slips by our attention. And the only reason why I highlight the passage now is because this thread concerns itself with our existence as creatures and the nature of God with respect to his creation. What does "omnipotent" mean if it doesn't denote the fact that God is the only being with an autonomous will? God can not create another autonomous being other wise he would be creating another God, which is impossible as there can only be one omnipotent being.

BroRog
Jul 24th 2012, 03:52 AM
So, I'm saying you don't have the authority to tell me I'm wrong with 100% certainty as if you are infallible because you clearly are not. That's all I was saying.I'm not sure why you decided to bring the concept of "authority" into this. Of course I don't have the authority to tell you what to believe or what not to believe. But surely when you tell others what you think, you think you are right. Right? You wouldn't give me your opinion unless you thought it was the truth. I know that. But when I show you what the passage says and what it means and I am using sound reason and sound exegesis, then I can certainly say with confidence that you are wrong and I am right. And it isn't intended to be an insult.


See, the problem here is that you don't "listen" very well to what others are telling you and that leads to you frequently misrepresenting the views of others. The fact that God gives anyone mercy at all is not based on a person's commendable actions or thoughts. I already indicated this before. But since He does show mercy on people, despite not being obligated to do so, there are certain conditions that He uses to determine who He wants to give mercy to and I gave scriptural support for that. How do you interpret passages like the ones that speak of Him giving mercy to those who hope in Him, trust in Him, forsake their sins and so on?I didn't misunderstand you the first time but from my end you want your cake and eat it too. You can't on the one hand claim that God is not obligated to grant mercy to people and yet on the other hand say he has established certain criteria, which if a person should meet such criteria he will show mercy on them. You can't have it both ways. Either God is rewarding people who fit criteria, which obligates him to do so, or he isn't rewarding people who meet certain criteria and he is not obligated to grant mercy. Even if God has obligated himself, he is still obligated to grant mercy on those who exhibit certain criteria according to you, in which case it really isn't mercy at all.

The scriptures you provided don't make the causal connection you want them to make. You think that they prove that God is either obligated or has obligated himself to grant mercy based on an evaluation of a person's behavior or attitudes and grants mercy when he finds such behavior and/or attitudes. But these scriptures don't make that connection. You bring this presupposition to them.


Yes, that is exactly what I "hear" when I read scriptures like that. I see no other way to interpret those scriptures.You don't because you have ignored Paul's other statement that it does NOT depend on the man. Again, you can't have it both ways. Either God has obligated himself to grant mercy to people who exhibit certain behaviors and attitudes, and thus it DOES depend on the man, OR God has NOT obligated himself to grant mercy based on observed behaviors and/or attitudes, because it does NOT depend on the man.


How do you interpret this verse: Matt 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.God is going to show mercy to the merciful. But the verse does not say that God is going to show mercy to the merciful BECAUSE they are merciful. Jesus isn't expressing the duty of God as if God is obligated to bless anyone who happens to be merciful.


It does not fly in the fact of that verse when each verse is taken in the proper context. The fact that He is merciful is just part of who He is. And the fact that He can do whatever He wants, including have mercy on who He wants is part of who He is as well. He was merciful and could do whatever He wanted before He even created man so Him being merciful certainly wasn't something that was determined by man. But then the question we have to answer is how does He determine who to have mercy on? Is it arbitrary or does He have conditions for showing mercy or not? Scripture indicates that He gives mercy under certain conditions and not arbitrarily.
Actually, what you describe is not taking a verse in context, but taking verse out of context in two ways. You take a verse like Matthew 5:7 out of context and superimpose it on Romans 9:15, and then you ignore how Romans 9:15 fits in the discourse of Romans chapters 9 through 11. You seemed to have missed the fact that verse 16 starts with "So then . . ." which is another way of saying "In that case . . .", pointing back to the previous idea.

Since it is the case that God has mercy on whom he has mercy, it is also the case that it does not depend on the man.


I think it's clear that receiving His mercy from an eternal standpoint is conditional.Of course it's conditional. But if it is conditional, God meets the conditions himself in the sense that he brings about a merciful person, as his spirit works in their hearts.


If you are that lacking in confidence in your ability to interpret text 'B' to aid in your understanding of text 'A' then that's something you need to work on. Because most Bible teachers would say that it is indeed wise to interpret scripture with scripture whenever possible.
Yes, I believe most would, which is why most Bible teachers end up with some very odd interpretations.

John146
Jul 24th 2012, 04:37 PM
Why?Because the passage says no such thing. All it says is the same thing other scriptures say, which is that God created the universe through His Son. To take the fact that Jesus created the universe and turn it into Jesus creating every single thing that ever occurs is a huge stretch.


Why?Because He condemns rapes and murders and such. Why would He create those things into existence when He clearly disapproves of those things? That makes no sense whatsoever.


Why do you say there would be no cause for judgment? Because there would only be cause for judgment if a person truly was responsible for making their own choices without anyone else determining their choices for them. But in your view (as far as I can tell) it is God who predetermines or creates man's choices. How can man be responsible for making a "choice" that God predetermined or created for him?


God speaks things into existence (Genesis 1:1-11).Sure, but not literally everything that ever happens. He gave man freedom of choice. Man can even choose to go against God's desires (see Matt 23:37-38 for an example). If I'm understanding your view correctly, that wouldn't be possible in your view.


He is like the author of a book, speaking history (Hebrews 1:2) and people (John1:3) into existence.He creates people and even sometimes determines history but that doesn't mean He speaks literally everything that ever happens into existence. That simply is not taught anywhere in scripture. If He spoke everything into existence then everything that happened would be considered good and there would be no such thing as evil. Think about that. The account of creation indicated that everything He created in the beginning was good. And yet there is clearly the existence of evil in the world. That means God didn't create evil. He doesn't cause evil to occur, He created the freedom of choice for man to either do good by obeying Him or to do evil by disobeying Him.


Suppose Jesus wrote a book. And in his book he has a man rape a woman. And in his book the man is put on trial, convicted of rape and sentenced to spend time in prison. Would Jesus be evil for creating characters who perform sinful acts?If you're saying that Jesus would be the One who determined that the man would rape a woman, then He would be evil because He would be the One who caused it to happen by writing/creating it into existence. If He wrote or created that into existence then He would be responsible for it. Why would He have a man rape a woman when that is clearly an evil act? What kind of Jesus do you believe in to think that He would do something like that? But if He lets man choose what to do and the man chooses to be wicked and rapes a woman then the man alone is responsible and not Jesus.


Would it be impossible for the judge in the story to send the man to prison? What's the difference between what an author of a book does and what God does as the author of all reality, speaking everything into existence? This isn't a valid question from my perspective because I don't believe God is the author of all reality speaking literally everything, including all evil, into existence.


When John says that apart from him nothing has come into being that has come into being, I take him at face value.That's a mistake on your part. You're interpreting that passage in such a way that contradicts a great deal of other scripture. I'm continually amazed at your willingness to do that. Isolating scripture and drawing conclusions from only one verse or passage is never a good idea. That is how cults are formed.


What reason do you have to think this is hyperbolic or symbolic language?The fact that scripture as a whole does not teach that God speaks everythying, including all evil, into existence. I'm not going to draw conclusions from that scripture without taking scripture as a whole into account.


When the author of Hebrews says that God created the ages, which is another word for history, I take him at face value.That is a mistake on your part. That is causing you to have a view that contradicts a great deal of other scripture besides that passage.


Can you find anything in the text to suggest that the author of Hebrews was being figurative?I can't find anything in the text that suggests specifically that the author intended to say that God speaks literally all things, including evil things, into existence.


If someone were to put the question directly to me, I could not defend the position that John 1:3 or Hebrews 1:2 were symbolic, figurative, or hyperbolic language.You can do so by showing what scripture as a whole teaches but I don't think you have a grasp on what scripture as a whole teaches. Your approach is to isolate verses or passages and draw conclusions from them without being concerned about whether or not your conclusions agree with the rest of scripture.


Nothing in the vocabulary hints at being figurative. Neither of these passages are found in prophetic or apocalyptic works. They don't use key words indicating figurative language, such as "like", "as", "just as", "than", "as if" . No animals are talking; no fabulous creatures are interacting with each other. In fact, John kinda repeats himself when he says, "apart from him nothing has come into being that has come into being" in order to emphatically eliminate the possibility that some other agent has brought something into being apart from God.

I can't deny it. It just says what it says and the only reason why we seem to ignore it is because we don't experience our life as a day-by-day, moment-by-moment creation of God and so the verse just slips by our attention. And the only reason why I highlight the passage now is because this thread concerns itself with our existence as creatures and the nature of God with respect to his creation. What does "omnipotent" mean if it doesn't denote the fact that God is the only being with an autonomous will? God can not create another autonomous being other wise he would be creating another God, which is impossible as there can only be one omnipotent being.If you want to believe that God is behind literally all things including the things that He condemns then so be it. But that makes no sense to me whatsoever. You basically believe in a God who gets angry at things that He causes. You believe He writes rapes into existence and then condemns people for committing that sinful act that He caused to be in existence. If you can make sense of that, so be it, but I can't. If He creates even evil things into existence then that would make Him responsible for those things. Why punish people for things that He caused to be?

John146
Jul 24th 2012, 05:09 PM
I'm not sure why you decided to bring the concept of "authority" into this. Of course I don't have the authority to tell you what to believe or what not to believe.Then don't act like it. Don't act as if your opinions are facts. That's how you were coming across so that's why I brought the concept of authority into this.


But surely when you tell others what you think, you think you are right. Right?Of course. But I don't claim that my opinions are facts. You were acting like you were stating proven facts and that was not the case.


You wouldn't give me your opinion unless you thought it was the truth. I know that. But when I show you what the passage says and what it means and I am using sound reason and sound exegesis, then I can certainly say with confidence that you are wrong and I am right. And it isn't intended to be an insult.I have no problem with someone being confident in their opinions. I am confident in mine. Just try to not make it as if you are stating facts when you are stating opinions. That's all. That's just something we all have to remember. Don't take it so personally that I called you out on that. I have to remember that, too. But enough about this and back to the topic.


I didn't misunderstand you the first time but from my end you want your cake and eat it too. You can't on the one hand claim that God is not obligated to grant mercy to people and yet on the other hand say he has established certain criteria, which if a person should meet such criteria he will show mercy on them.Well, yes I can, and I did. And I gave my reasons why. I see scripture that portrays God giving mercy in response to certain attitudes displayed by people towards Him. So, I have a basis for my conclusions whether you agree or not.


You can't have it both ways.Yes, I can. Here you are trying to act like The Ultimate Authority figure again. Stop doing that. Stop trying to tell others what they can or can't do. You don't have that kind of authority.


Either God is rewarding people who fit criteria, which obligates him to do so, or he isn't rewarding people who meet certain criteria and he is not obligated to grant mercy.You are forcing God to meet your own criteria. But He is not obligated to fit into your worldview.


Even if God has obligated himself, he is still obligated to grant mercy on those who exhibit certain criteria according to you, in which case it really isn't mercy at all.Why not? Look at the following parable:

Luke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Here we have someone who obviously was a sinner and then we see that he broke down and humbled himself and asked God for mercy. Since Jesus said "this man went down to his house justified" it's safe to say that God did indeed have mercy on him. So, God had mercy on the man in response to the man humbling himself and asking for mercy. He didn't have to have mercy on him at all if He didn't want to. But it seems clear to me that He decided that He wants to have mercy on all people (Rom 11:30-32) and gives mercy to people who humble themselves before Him. How does this parable line up with your view?


The scriptures you provided don't make the causal connection you want them to make.Why not? Why don't you tell me how you interpret them instead of doing nothing but telling me I'm interpreting them wrongly. Correct me then. Tell me how they should be interpreted. Telling me my interpretation is wrong without giving me what you believe is the correct interpretation doesn't accomplish anything.


You think that they prove that God is either obligated or has obligated himself to grant mercy based on an evaluation of a person's behavior or attitudes and grants mercy when he finds such behavior and/or attitudes. But these scriptures don't make that connection. You bring this presupposition to them.Then tell me how you interpret them.


You don't because you have ignored Paul's other statement that it does NOT depend on the man.I don't ignore anything. I really don't like when people try to tell me I'm ignoring something. I don't ignore any scripture, I interpret it differently than you.


Again, you can't have it both ways.Yes, I can.


Either God has obligated himself to grant mercy to people who exhibit certain behaviors and attitudes, and thus it DOES depend on the man, OR God has NOT obligated himself to grant mercy based on observed behaviors and/or attitudes, because it does NOT depend on the man. It was not man who decided that God should have mercy on those who trust in Him, that was God's decision. He could have decided to not have mercy on anyone no matter what if He wanted to. He had that right and man would not be able to argue with it if He had chosen to do that.


God is going to show mercy to the merciful. But the verse does not say that God is going to show mercy to the merciful BECAUSE they are merciful.Then why point out that He will show mercy to the merciful at all then? What is the point of saying that if being merciful has nothing to do with whether or not God will have mercy on you? Your view seems to make that verse out to be meaningless or something that wasn't worth even mentioning.


Actually, what you describe is not taking a verse in context, but taking verse out of context in two ways. You take a verse like Matthew 5:7 out of context and superimpose it on Romans 9:15, and then you ignore how Romans 9:15 fits in the discourse of Romans chapters 9 through 11. You seemed to have missed the fact that verse 16 starts with "So then . . ." which is another way of saying "In that case . . .", pointing back to the previous idea.

Since it is the case that God has mercy on whom he has mercy, it is also the case that it does not depend on the man. Man can't tell God who to have mercy on. He determined completely on His own that He would have mercy on those who trust in Him, humble themselves, are merciful to others, forsake their sins, and so on.


Of course it's conditional. But if it is conditional, God meets the conditions himself in the sense that he brings about a merciful person, as his spirit works in their hearts.So, the person doesn't really have a choice of their own to be merciful? God has to make someone merciful? Where is that taught in scripture? Do you believe God also brings about an unmerciful person that He intended to be unmerciful even before the person was born? If so, then you should know that is not taught anywhere in scripture.


Yes, I believe most would, which is why most Bible teachers end up with some very odd interpretations.I believe you're much more likely to come up with odd interpretations if you interpret verses or passages in isolation from other scripture.

BroRog
Jul 25th 2012, 06:01 AM
Because the passage says no such thing. All it says is the same thing other scriptures say, which is that God created the universe through His Son. To take the fact that Jesus created the universe and turn it into Jesus creating every single thing that ever occurs is a huge stretch.I'm sorry, but in my dictionary, the term "universe" includes every single thing.


Because He condemns rapes and murders and such. Why would He create those things into existence when He clearly disapproves of those things? That makes no sense whatsoever.You keep saying that it makes no sense even after I made sense of it. What is your difficulty with the concept of God as author?


Because there would only be cause for judgment if a person truly was responsible for making their own choices without anyone else determining their choices for them. But in your view (as far as I can tell) it is God who predetermines or creates man's choices. How can man be responsible for making a "choice" that God predetermined or created for him?As I said before, God is not making the choice for the man. The man is making the choice himself, motivated by his own preferences, personality, and etc.


Sure, but not literally everything that ever happens.Why not?


He gave man freedom of choice.Sure, but he didn't give man autonomous freedom.


Man can even choose to go against God's desires (see Matt 23:37-38 for an example). If I'm understanding your view correctly, that wouldn't be possible in your view.You aren't understanding my view correctly. My view is that God is the author of creation, not the progenitor, craftsman, or wizard who simply transformed stuff into other stuff. An author speaks creation into existence.


He creates people and even sometimes determines history but that doesn't mean He speaks literally everything that ever happens into existence.Sometimes?


If He spoke everything into existence then everything that happened would be considered good and there would be no such thing as evil.How does that follow? Why can't God have evil people in his creation to serve his purpose to glorify his grace, as Paul says in Ephesians? How else would God glorify his grace if he didn't create evil people to forgive?


Think about that. The account of creation indicated that everything He created in the beginning was good. And yet there is clearly the existence of evil in the world. That means God didn't create evil. He doesn't cause evil to occur, He created the freedom of choice for man to either do good by obeying Him or to do evil by disobeying Him.You are confusing "good:functional" with "good:moral". The two are completely different. When God says that everything was good, he wasn't saying everything was morally perfect. He was saying that everything was just as he wanted it.


If you're saying that Jesus would be the One who determined that the man would rape a woman, then He would be evil because He would be the One who caused it to happen by writing/creating it into existence.Really? And what if Jesus also wrote that the man was caught and that he was brought to justice? Doesn't this make Jesus good rather than evil?


If He wrote or created that into existence then He would be responsible for it.Of course he would. But then think about it. An author is responsible for everything that happens in a book, good or bad, and if the author doesn't write it, it will never exist. If God doesn't create a woman being raped, the alternative isn't that she doesn't get raped. The alternative is that she doesn't exist.


Why would He have a man rape a woman when that is clearly an evil act?He might have any number of reasons. He might have a man rape a woman so that he can forgive the man later. He might create a man raping a woman so that he can die on a cross for the man. He might have a man rape a woman as a test of her husband's faith or loyalty.


What kind of Jesus do you believe in to think that He would do something like that?If Jesus is God, and I think he is, then he is the kind of man who would give Satan permission to kill Job's entire family, his sons, his daughters in law, all their children, just to test Job's faith.


But if He lets man choose what to do and the man chooses to be wicked and rapes a woman then the man alone is responsible and not Jesus.
You don't seem to understand the analogy. When a person writes a book, he isn't "causing" events to happen; he is creating them happening. When person writes a story about a court drama, for instance, the person on trial is the accused in the story, not the author himself. Perhaps the author is telling the story of a court case in which a man is being accused of raping a woman. Perhaps the woman was raped by another man, but she falsely accuses this man instead. Perhaps the story continues until the man is found innocent and the real rapist is discovered. Yes, a woman is raped, but without the context of the rape and the subsequent trial, the virtues of truth, justice, diligence, fairness, impartiality, proof, wisdom, faith, and forgiveness, among other things, will never have a place to operate. God doesn't have a man rape a woman for no reason. She may never know the reason, just as Job never knew the reason. But if she is a woman of faith, she rests in the idea that God always has a good purpose and he always resolves everything to serve a good purpose.

If want to understand God as creator, we need to avoid the trap of thinking in terms of causation as if God was subject to the laws of physics or the laws of causation. It isn't even a question of letting a man do something or causing a man to do something because neither one is true. God is the creator, not the causer.


This isn't a valid question from my perspective because I don't believe God is the author of all reality speaking literally everything, including all evil, into existence.Well, I don't know how else Paul and John could have said it any differently to get the point across. If John says that apart from him nothing has come into being that has come into being, I don't think he needs to say "literally everything." It simply goes without saying.


That's a mistake on your part. You're interpreting that passage in such a way that contradicts a great deal of other scripture. I'm continually amazed at your willingness to do that. Isolating scripture and drawing conclusions from only one verse or passage is never a good idea. That is how cults are formed.What it contradicts is your view of God as creator.


The fact that scripture as a whole does not teach that God speaks everythying, including all evil, into existence. I'm not going to draw conclusions from that scripture without taking scripture as a whole into account.Why not? You have to start somewhere. If one were to follow your suggestion to the letter, one would never get anywhere since a person wouldn't be able to draw a conclusion about any passage until he understood the entire Bible, and he couldn't understand the entire Bible until he understood each passage in context. I chose the passages I chose because these particular verses are given in discourses that specifically deal with God as creator. I wouldn't expect to find such verses in passages that dealt with God in his role as judge, or God in his role as law giver, or God in his role as king of Israel. Such passages reveal God in his immanence. In those passages we find God complaining about a stubborn lack of repentance, and/or disobedience, and/or unfaithfulness and etc. But when the Bible speaks of God in his transcendence, then we see him as author, speaking everything into existence. God is both immanent and transcendent. Man makes freewill choices and God divinely dictates the freewill choices of men according to his script as he sees fit. Both are true at the same time. If you don't understand how both can be true at the same time, it doesn't make it not true.


If you want to believe that God is behind literally all things including the things that He condemns then so be it. But that makes no sense to me whatsoever. You basically believe in a God who gets angry at things that He causes.
Yes, he expresses his displeasure when he is acting in his immanent role as judge or lawgiver or husband to Israel, concerning events that he, himself spoke into existence when he is acting as the transcendent creator of everything that exists. Both are true at the same time.


You believe He writes rapes into existence and then condemns people for committing that sinful act that He caused to be in existence.Yes, God writes things into existence as the transcendent creator; he condemns actions as the immanent judge and lawgiver. Both are true at the same time.


If you can make sense of that, so be it, but I can't. If He creates even evil things into existence then that would make Him responsible for those things. Why punish people for things that He caused to be?And if he speaks good into existence, he is responsible for that too. Apart from him, nothing has come into being that has come into being.

John146
Jul 25th 2012, 06:34 PM
I'm sorry, but in my dictionary, the term "universe" includes every single thing. It includes every single thing that has been made but not every single action that occurs. God created human beings but and He created them to have the freedom to make choices. He does not create their choices for them.


You keep saying that it makes no sense even after I made sense of it.You haven't made sense of it as far as I'm concerned.


What is your difficulty with the concept of God as author?He is an author in some respects but He is not the author of evil. If He was then He would be responsible for evil rather than man. He punishes evil. That is proof that He is not the author of it. If He was the author of evil then it would make no sense for Him to punish men for being evil.


As I said before, God is not making the choice for the man. The man is making the choice himself, motivated by his own preferences, personality, and etc. Do you believe God creates man's preferences, personality, etc. in such a way that his preferences, personality, etc. determine the "choice" he will make, including the choice of whether to repent and put his faith in Christ or not? If so then that would mean man's choices are really God's choices. Man would be making the "choices" that God predetermined for him to make (by way of the preferences, personality, etc. that God gave him) in that case.


Why not? Because God does not create sin. Sin is something that goes against God's desires. Why would He purposely create things to go against His own desires? He wouldn't. He created the possibility of people choosing to go against His desires, but He wouldn't purposely create things to go against His desires.


Sure, but he didn't give man autonomous freedom. He gives man enough freedom where man is entirely responsible for his own choices. That's all that matters here. No one has any excuse for not repenting and not believing in Christ. They can't say that they didn't have the capability of doing so just as they have no excuse for not glorifying God as God because He has made Himself known to them through His creation (Rom 1:18-21). Your view creates an excuse for people to not repent and believe because you say God creates them to not repent and believe. If God created me to not repent and believe then I would have a good excuse for not repenting and believing (because God created me not to do so). But no one has any excuse for not repenting and not believing. The fact that people are condemned for not believing in Christ is proof that they had no excuse for not believing in Him. It would make no sense for them to be condemned for something they couldn't do.


You aren't understanding my view correctly. My view is that God is the author of creation, not the progenitor, craftsman, or wizard who simply transformed stuff into other stuff. An author speaks creation into existence. Isn't that obvious? He created the universe out of nothing. I think that's pretty clear from Genesis 1. But that doesn't mean that He speaks every single thing that occurs into existence. Scripture never teaches that. It would be completely nonsensical to think that He speaks a man's unbelief in Christ into existence when unbelief in Christ is something that He condemns and that is against His desires. Your view seems to have God saying "I spoke this person's evil behavior into existence but it makes me angry and I am going to punish him for it". How does that make any sense? Does He enjoy making Himself angry?


Sometimes? Yes, sometimes. For example, He created history by bringing the flood onto the world in Noah's day but He didn't create the evil He was punishing with the flood into existence. He was punishing people for the choices they made that were against His desires for them to obey Him. If he created the whole scenario then that would mean He purposely made Himself grieve and made Himself angry by creating people to rebel against Him. That simply does not make any sense. If people were behaving in the way He created them to behave then what was there for Him to be sad and angry about?


How does that follow?Because God creates things that are good, not evil (see Genesis 1 and 2).


Why can't God have evil people in his creation to serve his purpose to glorify his grace, as Paul says in Ephesians? How else would God glorify his grace if he didn't create evil people to forgive?What about those He doesn't forgive? What would be the purpose of creating people that He doesn't forgive and doesn't want to forgive?


You are confusing "good:functional" with "good:moral". The two are completely different. When God says that everything was good, he wasn't saying everything was morally perfect. He was saying that everything was just as he wanted it. I believe you are the one who is confused. He didn't create anything morally evil. Scripture never teaches that.


Really?Of course, really. I told you that I'd make it clear if I I'm joking about something.


And what if Jesus also wrote that the man was caught and that he was brought to justice? Doesn't this make Jesus good rather than evil? Hello? What about the woman who was raped? Please explain how you forgot to mention anything about her. How does the man being caught help her? It doesn't change what happened. I'm sorry, but I am amazed that you actually think that all rapes, child molestations, murders and other evil things that He condemns and punishes people for are spoken into existence by God. It's as if you think God is just playing some kind of evil game with His creation.


Of course he would. But then think about it. An author is responsible for everything that happens in a book, good or bad, and if the author doesn't write it, it will never exist. If God doesn't create a woman being raped, the alternative isn't that she doesn't get raped. The alternative is that she doesn't exist. God doesn't create a woman being raped. That's where you are in error. Your entire perspective of God and how He works is flawed, IMO. You have Him creating things into existence that scripture says He hates. What kind of God would purposely create things He hates? No, God doesn't do that. People make choices to do things that He hates but that is far different than Him creating those things to happen.


He might have any number of reasons. He might have a man rape a woman so that he can forgive the man later. He might create a man raping a woman so that he can die on a cross for the man. He might have a man rape a woman as a test of her husband's faith or loyalty. I can't believe you're being serious with this. What if the man doesn't ever repent of it (and of his rebellious and evil behavior in general)? What purpose would his action have served in that case?


If Jesus is God, and I think he is, then he is the kind of man who would give Satan permission to kill Job's entire family, his sons, his daughters in law, all their children, just to test Job's faith.God giving permission and allowing evil to occur is much different than Him speaking it into existence. It wasn't God's idea for Satan to kill Job's family but He allowed it for a purpose. If a person kills another person God can bring good out of the situation, but He doesn't let the murderer off the hook for what they did. It's not God's will for people to murder other people. That's what He created a commandment against it. You can't say that He speaks something into existence that He made a command against. That simply goes against all logic and reason.


You don't seem to understand the analogy. When a person writes a book, he isn't "causing" events to happen; he is creating them happening. When person writes a story about a court drama, for instance, the person on trial is the accused in the story, not the author himself. Perhaps the author is telling the story of a court case in which a man is being accused of raping a woman. Perhaps the woman was raped by another man, but she falsely accuses this man instead. Perhaps the story continues until the man is found innocent and the real rapist is discovered. Yes, a woman is raped, but without the context of the rape and the subsequent trial, the virtues of truth, justice, diligence, fairness, impartiality, proof, wisdom, faith, and forgiveness, among other things, will never have a place to operate. God doesn't have a man rape a woman for no reason.God doesn't have a man rape a woman for any reason. Rape is sin and God hates sin. He would not purposely create an event of someone committing a sin. You have no scriptural support for your belief that God speaks things like rape into existence.


Well, I don't know how else Paul and John could have said it any differently to get the point across. If John says that apart from him nothing has come into being that has come into being, I don't think he needs to say "literally everything." It simply goes without saying. No, it does not go without saying. Not even close. You have to understand what he was saying in context. John was speaking in terms of tangible created things like people, animals, angels, trees and so on. He was not at all saying that literally everything that occurs is created by Christ. Just read Genesis 1. That speaks of the things that He made (the heavens and the earth). It says nothing about Him creating literally everything that occurs.


What it contradicts is your view of God as creator. Yes, your interpretations definitely contradict my view of God as Creator. Finally something we can agree on.


Why not? You have to start somewhere.Are you kidding me? You're expecting me to draw conclusions from one passage without taking the rest of scripture into account to see if my interpretation of that passage agrees with the rest of scripture. I can't believe you're being serious here.


If one were to follow your suggestion to the letter, one would never get anywhere since a person wouldn't be able to draw a conclusion about any passage until he understood the entire Bible, and he couldn't understand the entire Bible until he understood each passage in context.It is too much to ask someone to make the effort, to the best of their ability, to consult more than just one passage to find the truth regarding a certain topic? I don't believe so. I'm pretty sure most people have the time to study more than just one passage of scripture.


I chose the passages I chose because these particular verses are given in discourses that specifically deal with God as creator. I wouldn't expect to find such verses in passages that dealt with God in his role as judge, or God in his role as law giver, or God in his role as king of Israel. Such passages reveal God in his immanence. In those passages we find God complaining about a stubborn lack of repentance, and/or disobedience, and/or unfaithfulness and etc. But when the Bible speaks of God in his transcendence, then we see him as author, speaking everything into existence. God is both immanent and transcendent. Man makes freewill choices and God divinely dictates the freewill choices of men according to his script as he sees fit. Both are true at the same time. If you don't understand how both can be true at the same time, it doesn't make it not true.God gave man the ability to reason and to use reason to help determine the truth. Truth is reasonable. What you're saying here is not reasonable at all. If I say that 1+1 = 2 and that 1+2 = 2 and try to say both are true, no one is going to buy that because it defies all logic and reason. You expect me to believe that "man makes freewill choices and God divinely dictates the freewill choices of men". I have to wonder what definition of the term "freewill choices" you are using here. It seems to me that a freewill choice is one that a person can make freely without it being predetermined for him or her. Otherwise, how can it be considered a freewill choice? It's not really a freewill choice at all if it's previously been divinely dictated by God. A freewill choice should involve at least 2 viable options, not one option that has already been divinely dictated. In that case it would be God's choice and not man's choice at all.


Yes, he expresses his displeasure when he is acting in his immanent role as judge or lawgiver or husband to Israel, concerning events that he, himself spoke into existence when he is acting as the transcendent creator of everything that exists. Both are true at the same time. So, He is displeased with "events that he, himself spoke into existence". And this makes sense to you? It definitely doesn't make sense to me.

[quote]Yes, God writes things into existence as the transcendent creator; he condemns actions as the immanent judge and lawgiver. Both are true at the same time. [quote]If both of those things were true at the same time then God's role as judge would contradict His role as creator. But it doesn't make sense to believe in a scenario where God contradicts Himself.

Gadgeteer
Jul 27th 2012, 07:02 PM
It includes every single thing that has been made but not every single action that occurs. God created human beings but and He created them to have the freedom to make choices. He does not create their choices for them.Not only does God give men a choice (1Cor10:12-13), God knows multiple futures and allows us to choose. In 1Sam23:12, God told David if he stayed he'd be captured, if he left he'd escape.


He is an author in some respects but He is not the author of evil. If He was then He would be responsible for evil rather than man. He punishes evil. That is proof that He is not the author of it. If He was the author of evil then it would make no sense for Him to punish men for being evil.Did you see my post on "Compatabilism"? It's an attempt to justify "sovereign ordination of all things" with man's free will; generally asserting that man freely wills, but only as far as his God-determined nature (good OR bad) permits.

Many who believe in "divine determinism" read verses like Heb12:2, and do not realize the Greek is aligned with "archegos-prince/leader" and "teleiotes-chief-example"; not "sovereign machinator". Leader and example fits with the rest of the chapter and the letter. See 12:7-9, 15, 25.

Do you believe God creates man's preferences, personality, etc. in such a way that his preferences, personality, etc. determine the "choice" he will make, including the choice of whether to repent and put his faith in Christ or not? If so then that would mean man's choices are really God's choices. Man would be making the "choices" that God predetermined for him to make (by way of the preferences, personality, etc. that God gave him) in that case.The greatest command set before men is "to love God" (Matt22:37). Why make such a point of commanding men to love God, if it's all decided by God anyway?

That God arranges for ALL men to be able to love and follow Him, is clear in passages like Acts17:26-31, and Deut30:11-20. "I have set before you life and death; so choose life by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice and holding fast to Him". Is that an instruction written to those for whom God's already MADE the choice?

Because God does not create sin. Sin is something that goes against God's desires. Why would He purposely create things to go against His own desires? He wouldn't. He created the possibility of people choosing to go against His desires, but He wouldn't purposely create things to go against His desires.Not only His desires, but His nature. That's what Jesus taught in Matt12:25-31 --- if He had anything to do with evil, His house would be "divided".

He gives man enough freedom where man is entirely responsible for his own choices. That's all that matters here. No one has any excuse for not repenting and not believing in Christ. They can't say that they didn't have the capability of doing so just as they have no excuse for not glorifying God as God because He has made Himself known to them through His creation (Rom 1:18-21).Amen. What a perfect excuse they'll have if they can say, "But God, we didn't have any other CHOICE, You decided everything long ago!"
Your view creates an excuse for people to not repent and believe because you say God creates them to not repent and believe. If God created me to not repent and believe then I would have a good excuse for not repenting and believing (because God created me not to do so). But no one has any excuse for not repenting and not believing. The fact that people are condemned for not believing in Christ is proof that they had no excuse for not believing in Him. It would make no sense for them to be condemned for something they couldn't do.Nor would it make sense to say men are condemned for NOT believing (Jn3:18, 1Jn5:10).

What do men choose? In John3:20-21, men WHO desire righteousness come to Jesus, but men WHO desire sin avoid Him. It's the same in the rebuke of Jn5:39-47; those WHO prefer their own glory rather than pursuing God's, are those who WILL not love God --- these are the ones "unwilling to come to Jesus to have life".

Jesus is far more than an "escape from Hell" -- He is love, joy and happiness. BUT, if people really believed the fiery death they were heading to, they wouldn't be so indifferent to Christ.


Isn't that obvious? He created the universe out of nothing. I think that's pretty clear from Genesis 1. But that doesn't mean that He speaks every single thing that occurs into existence. Scripture never teaches that. It would be completely nonsensical to think that He speaks a man's unbelief in Christ into existence when unbelief in Christ is something that He condemns and that is against His desires. Your view seems to have God saying "I spoke this person's evil behavior into existence but it makes me angry and I am going to punish him for it". How does that make any sense? Does He enjoy making Himself angry?
Excellent. God's true desire is expressed in verses like Ezk18:23; He has no pleasure in anyone's death, but would prefer men to repent and live.

Why would a Creator hate and want to destroy His creation, before they've made any choices? That would be rather insane.

Yes, sometimes. For example, He created history by bringing the flood onto the world in Noah's day but He didn't create the evil He was punishing with the flood into existence. He was punishing people for the choices they made that were against His desires for them to obey Him. If he created the whole scenario then that would mean He purposely made Himself grieve and made Himself angry by creating people to rebel against Him. That simply does not make any sense. If people were behaving in the way He created them to behave then what was there for Him to be sad and angry about?That's never been answered credibly by "Reformed" people.

Because God creates things that are good, not evil (see Genesis 1 and 2).

What about those He doesn't forgive? What would be the purpose of creating people that He doesn't forgive and doesn't want to forgive?And then judging THEM for the evil He actually decided and the sin He created? What would that say about God's character?


God giving permission and allowing evil to occur is much different than Him speaking it into existence. It wasn't God's idea for satan to kill Job's family but He allowed it for a purpose. If a person kills another person God can bring good out of the situation, but He doesn't let the murderer off the hook for what they did. It's not God's will for people to murder other people. That's what He created a commandment against it. You can't say that He speaks something into existence that He made a command against. That simply goes against all logic and reason.Why did Cain kill Abel? Why do bad things happen to good people? What about those in Colorado last week who just wanted to see a movie?

God permits a lot to happen, which fully violates the idea of "sovereign predestination of everything".

God permits us to sin (1Cor10:13), though He graciously gives us an escape. We can take it or leave it.


No, it does not go without saying. Not even close. You have to understand what he was saying in context. John was speaking in terms of tangible created things like people, animals, angels, trees and so on. He was not at all saying that literally everything that occurs is created by Christ. Just read Genesis 1. That speaks of the things that He made (the heavens and the earth). It says nothing about Him creating literally everything that occurs.Amen. What we choose to DO, is not a "thing" that God created. In essence, we (being made in God's image) have the ability to create --- both good, and evil. We don't have His perfect nature (therefore creating sin is a real possibility for us), but the nature of salvation (Him-in-us) means His perfect nature EMPOWERS us against creating sin, through our faith.

How would we be able to overcome sin, "Him-in-us", if He's really a creator of sin?

And that's the dispute we have with "Sovereign Determinism". We are either flotsam and jetsam in the hands of an all-determining-God (Sovereign-Predestination, Divine-Fatalism, double-predestination-God-CAUSES-sin), or we have a hand in our own fate.

Can anyone read verses like 1Tim4:16 and NOT realize we have a hand in our fate?

Why did Paul say "SAVE YOURSELVES"?



]Yes, God writes things into existence as the transcendent creator; he condemns actions as the immanent judge and lawgiver. Both are true at the same time. If both of those things were true at the same time then God's role as judge would contradict His role as creator. But it doesn't make sense to believe in a scenario where God contradicts Himself.It occurs to me that this doctrine runs afoul of Romans2; if those who judge while doing the same things condemn themselves, how could God be any different? If He's judging MEN while he's really DOING their sins, writing their iniquities into their hearts, how is He not condemning Himself?


Roger, I hope you read this post and John's, and consider what we've said and the Scriptures we've cited. Do you still feel secure in the "sovereign predestination" doctrine?

BroRog
Jul 28th 2012, 08:41 PM
Roger, I hope you read this post and John's, and consider what we've said and the Scriptures we've cited. Do you still feel secure in the "sovereign predestination" doctrine?Of course. The Bible teaches it.

Gadgeteer
Jul 30th 2012, 08:17 PM
Of course. The Bible teaches it.You still believe that after reading our posts?

Well, then --- perhaps for now we'll just agree to disagree.

:-)

BroRog
Jul 31st 2012, 03:33 PM
You still believe that after reading our posts?

Well, then --- perhaps for now we'll just agree to disagree.

:-)I would rather you agree to listen and follow my arguments and ask questions rather than trying to win a debate.

GaryMac
Jul 31st 2012, 08:28 PM
That is all nice..

Before one states it can be lost..
Perhaps it should be defined.

What is salvation?
What occurs at salvation.....
What exactly can we lose..
Who owns salvation and did the labor for it?
Who payed the price for salvation?
What God came up with the concept of salvation, was he aware sin was on the earth.. or did sin take him by total surprise?
How does the spirit fit into all this?

I would love to see a in depth analysis from a NOSAS crusader on what exactly is salvation.

This may sound as an over simplification but -- Salvation simply is Gods Spirit manifest in your mortal body. If God is not manifest in you then where is ones salvation? Ill tell you, and contrary to Him, it is by the law and we establish the law. But God establishes His Spirit and it isnt by might, not by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord. Salvation is the reality of Christ in you to perform in you that which He is able. Not because we say we are saved because because the law says that Jesus did it all for us, but because that same Spirit that was in Christ Jesus came and made His abode in you as well. This is salvation that Christ be formed in you.