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Bro Berryl
Oct 25th 2013, 03:08 AM
The apostle John records for us the account of a discussion between Jesus and a Pharisee by the name of Nicodemus. In that conversation Jesus declares that a man must be born again in order to see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus misunderstands what being in the kingdom is all about prompting Jesus to explain to him that which is born of the Spirit is spirit and that which is born of the flesh.

Being a master of the Law Nicodemus should have understood what Jesus was saying but he didn't. He could not understand that Jesus was talking about a transformation from within that would be noticeable to those without. Hence the illustration of the wind blowing, not knowing from where it comes or where it's going yet the effects are seen.

When I read the different threads concerning being saved I see that there are a lot of folks that believe the Holy Spirit operates directly in a person's life to bring them to a place where they are righteous before God. The baptism of the Holy Ghost according to many happens when a person becomes a Christian but I don't see that in the scriptures. Let me explain what I believe happens by looking at it from a different angle.

Our heart can either be open to the gospel or hardened to the message of the gospel but that is not because of anything to do with the Holy Ghost.

Question: the bible says God hardened Pharaoh's heart (Exodus 10:20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go) just how did he do it?

He did it by having his servant Moses deliver His word, every time he refused to obey his heart hardened. The same principle is applied to those whose heart the Lord opens.

Acts 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

In this instance the apostle Paul delivered the commands that the Lord wanted those desiring to be saved to hear, rather than refusing to obey Lydia attended unto the things spoken, by doing so the Lord opened her heart.

The message of the gospel is power of God unto salvation, when a person hears the word they are receiving the word of faith, it's up to them to open their heart or harden it.

Walls
Oct 25th 2013, 06:58 AM
The apostle John records for us the account of a discussion between Jesus and a Pharisee by the name of Nicodemus. In that conversation Jesus declares that a man must be born again in order to see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus misunderstands what being in the kingdom is all about prompting Jesus to explain to him that which is born of the Spirit is spirit and that which is born of the flesh.

Being a master of the Law Nicodemus should have understood what Jesus was saying but he didn't. He could not understand that Jesus was talking about a transformation from within that would be noticeable to those without. Hence the illustration of the wind blowing, not knowing from where it comes or where it's going yet the effects are seen.

When I read the different threads concerning being saved I see that there are a lot of folks that believe the Holy Spirit operates directly in a person's life to bring them to a place where they are righteous before God. The baptism of the Holy Ghost according to many happens when a person becomes a Christian but I don't see that in the scriptures. Let me explain what I believe happens by looking at it from a different angle.

Our heart can either be open to the gospel or hardened to the message of the gospel but that is not because of anything to do with the Holy Ghost.

Question: the bible says God hardened Pharaoh's heart (Exodus 10:20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go) just how did he do it?

He did it by having his servant Moses deliver His word, every time he refused to obey his heart hardened. The same principle is applied to those whose heart the Lord opens.

Acts 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

In this instance the apostle Paul delivered the commands that the Lord wanted those desiring to be saved to hear, rather than refusing to obey Lydia attended unto the things spoken, by doing so the Lord opened her heart.

The message of the gospel is power of God unto salvation, when a person hears the word they are receiving the word of faith, it's up to them to open their heart or harden it.

I am aware that some statements in the bible produce difficulty. Eternity is one, the Triune God is another, and who hardened Pharoah's heart is another. But a language is to communicate an idea. That is why each language has such stringent rules. If the rules are broken, the idea is distorted and is misrepresented and leads to a false application. Now, when scripture says in plain language that God hardened Pharoah's heart, we would do well to take it exactly as it says, for it has transmitted an idea that is not open to interpretation, it being a direct statement. If it produces a difficulty, then we must, within the rules of language, find a solution, NOT conclude that the statement means something else. This is not warranted nor allowed.

And surely there is an explanation. Pharoah's heart was hard towards his subjects, especially the prolific and prosperous son's of Jacob. So when Moses made demands on their behalf, Pharaoh's heart hardened even further. But by, say, the sixth plague, he was starting to wilt. But God's purpose was (i) to avenge the slaughter of infants at Moses' time, and (ii) to remove the heirs of the Egyptian kingdom. So, because He could not afford human frailty on Pharaoh's part to thwart this purpose, He hardens Pharaoh's heart until the completion of His purpose. Thus, no absurdity is provoked by saying in one sentence; "Pharaoh hardened his heart but the Lord hardened his heart." Those who would attribute unrighteousness to God for hardening Pharaoh's heart have no case. Pharaoh was leader of the enemies of God, and these enemies had (i) enslaved God's people, (ii) treated them unrighteously, and (iii) murdered thousand of infants. This needed judgement by a righteous God. Shall not the vanquisher use all power at His disposal to bring justice?

If the Holy Spirit says that; "... whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul", then it was so. We are not permitted to attribute another meaning to it. If we do, we overthrow the rules of language and the confusion is complete - for anything can then mean something else. And if we do this in the bible, why, then ALL the direct statements of God can mean something else. In the case of Lydia, the action, its reason, and it effect are all given in plain language, and no contrary statement is made. We have no option but to believe it as it stands.