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Dolly_Dagger
May 15th 2007, 03:25 AM
I had a question regarding romans 9 particularly 16-19. any help is appreciated especially regarding calvanism and arminianism

SemperReformanda
May 15th 2007, 03:41 AM
Here comes a can of worms. Before you read any responses in this thread, pray, read it again, in it's context, and pray some more.

Psalms 119:18

EDIT: Oh, and ask away.

Dolly_Dagger
May 15th 2007, 03:52 AM
i particularly didn't get that it says God is merciful, yet a couple verses down it says He hardens the hearts of those He wants and is merciful to who He wants

Mograce2U
May 15th 2007, 04:02 AM
i particularly didn't get that it says God is merciful, yet a couple verses down it says He hardens the hearts of those He wants and is merciful to who He wantsYet God is not arbitrary in His judgment, rather He judges perfectly with whatever the measure is that He uses. He is not hardening the heart of otherwise "good" people...

premio53
May 15th 2007, 05:02 AM
I had a question regarding romans 9 particularly 16-19. any help is appreciated especially regarding calvanism and arminianism
This is from another post I gave.

Rom 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

Rom 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

This is the same illustration given in Jeremiah 18:6-10. As someone has pointed out, the illustration is that of Pharaoh as a piece of clay (which did not exist "before the foundation of the world") after it is on the table, not before it is dug out of the hill!

Notice in Jeremiah 18:8-10 that if the "clay pot" repents, its destination is changed!

There isn't a man on this forum who wasn't at one time a vessel "fitted to destruction!"

Staying in the same chapter of Romans, Paul says:

Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth

Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

The question is, why did God hate (used in a relative sense - see Luke 14:26) Easu? The Bible very clearly gives the answer. God hated Easu because he was a "fornicator and profane person" who found no place for repentance! - Hebrews 16:16,17

God chose Jacob before Easu because of His foreknowledge!

As far as God "hardening Pharaoh's heart," it has been said that "the same sun that hardens the clay softens the wax!"

Notice how this passage ties in with the parable of the Sower and the Seed in Matthew 13. Some seed fell on stony ground and some on good ground. Pharaoah's heart was stony ground. Instead of melting Pharaoh's heart, the plagues hardened it. Many hearts today are hardened when the Son shines upon them with the gospel.

SemperReformanda
May 15th 2007, 05:55 AM
Yet God is not arbitrary in His judgment, rather He judges perfectly with whatever the measure is that He uses. He is not hardening the heart of otherwise "good" people...
Amen to that.


I have a question for premio53: what do you mean by foreknowledge?

SemperReformanda
May 15th 2007, 05:57 AM
i particularly didn't get that it says God is merciful, yet a couple verses down it says He hardens the hearts of those He wants and is merciful to who He wants
OK, here's a question then. Does God have a boundless free will? Can anything God sets out to do be stopped?

Braves27
May 15th 2007, 06:13 AM
Amen to that.


I have a question for premio53: what do you mean by foreknowledge?
Meaning God already knows what is going to happen, and how people are going to turn out. Which could help understanding this whole subject.

Soj
May 15th 2007, 10:53 AM
Amen to that.Amen to premio53's post above too. :pp

Toolman
May 15th 2007, 01:50 PM
This is from another post I gave.

Rom 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

Rom 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

This is the same illustration given in Jeremiah 18:6-10. As someone has pointed out, the illustration is that of Pharaoh as a piece of clay (which did not exist "before the foundation of the world") after it is on the table, not before it is dug out of the hill!

Notice in Jeremiah 18:8-10 that if the "clay pot" repents, its destination is changed!

There isn't a man on this forum who wasn't at one time a vessel "fitted to destruction!"

Staying in the same chapter of Romans, Paul says:

Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth

Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

The question is, why did God hate (used in a relative sense - see Luke 14:26) Easu? The Bible very clearly gives the answer. God hated Easu because he was a "fornicator and profane person" who found no place for repentance! - Hebrews 16:16,17

God chose Jacob before Easu because of His foreknowledge!

As far as God "hardening Pharaoh's heart," it has been said that "the same sun that hardens the clay softens the wax!"

Notice how this passage ties in with the parable of the Sower and the Seed in Matthew 13. Some seed fell on stony ground and some on good ground. Pharaoah's heart was stony ground. Instead of melting Pharaoh's heart, the plagues hardened it. Many hearts today are hardened when the Son shines upon them with the gospel.

Premio,

While I'm not neccessarily trying to defend reformed calvinism I do want to point out where I think you use your doctrine is coming into play outside of the particular exegesis of the text.

Observe:

Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth

But you say:

God chose Jacob before Easu because of His foreknowledge!

But verse 11 clearly refutes that idea in that it says God elected Jacob not based on works (repentance, doing good/eschewing evil). So the idea that God chose Jacob because He saw his future works does not fit properly within the context of what Paul is saying.

Just what I observed in your post. I do like how you went to Jeremiah though and you made some very good points there.

JesusisGod
May 15th 2007, 01:52 PM
Hi Dolly.
It's always a good idea to begin interpreting from the onset of what the subject is. If you try to understand Romans 9 beginning at verse 16, you will probably come away with a wrong meaning.

In Romans 9, Paul establishes that Gods grace is attained by faith:

"...the children of the promise are counted for the seed." (Ro.9:8)

Pauls teaching is that election is based on faith in Gods word. When God says, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy..." (Ro.9:15), it is understood that mercy is given to those who believe God.

God didn't harden Pharaohs heart in the sense that Pharaoh couldn't believe. Pharaohs heart was hardened because he wouldn't believe.

The hearts of those who disbelieve God become hard:

"Because they sought it not by faith..." (Ro.9:32).

Read the chapter with the understaning that faith garners mercy and the text will become clear.

Toolman
May 15th 2007, 01:53 PM
i particularly didn't get that it says God is merciful, yet a couple verses down it says He hardens the hearts of those He wants and is merciful to who He wants

Romans 9, 10 and 11 must be read and exegeted as a whole. Paul concludes his thoughts here in Romans 11 in this manner:

Romans 11:32-33 - For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

That's what I call good news!

Silent Wings
May 15th 2007, 02:22 PM
He is not hardening the heart of otherwise "good" people...


…who are good people?

Souled Out
May 15th 2007, 03:00 PM
Romans 9, 10 and 11 must be read and exegeted as a whole. Paul concludes his thoughts here in Romans 11 in this manner:

Romans 11:32-33 - For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

That's what I call good news!

Amen, Toolman. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things.

premio53
May 15th 2007, 04:47 PM
Premio,

While I'm not neccessarily trying to defend reformed calvinism I do want to point out where I think you use your doctrine is coming into play outside of the particular exegesis of the text.

Observe:

Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth

But you say:

God chose Jacob before Easu because of His foreknowledge!

But verse 11 clearly refutes that idea in that it says God elected Jacob not based on works (repentance, doing good/eschewing evil). So the idea that God chose Jacob because He saw hfis future works does not fit properly within the context of what Paul is saying.

Just what I observed in your post. I do like how you went to Jeremiah though and you made some very good points there.
My friend, "Unconditional Election" in the T.U.L.I.P. means that nothing foreseen by God conditioned our election.

According to 1 Pet. 1:2; 2Thess. 2:13 and Eph. 1:4, our Election is conditioned on (1.) God's foreknowledge (2.) Sanctification of the Spirit 3. Our obedience (4.) The sprinkling of Jesus' Blood (5.) Belief of the truth (6.)Our being "IN CHRIST."

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Calvinists use this as a proof text that all men are predestinated to either go to heaven or hell.

1. No man is "in Christ" until he is born again (Ephesians 1:13).

2. Every man was "in Adam" when Adam died (1 Cor 15:22; Rom 5:12).

3. The "elect" were not "in Christ"; they were "aliens," "alone in the world," "children of wrath," dead in tresspasses and sins," "without God," and "unknown" (Galations 4:7-9; Ephesians 2:1,3,12).

4. The believers was chosen "from" the beginning (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

5. If election is eternal, how were you sanctified in eternity (1 Peter 1:2) when Ephesians 2:12-13 states you weren't?

6. In Matthew 22:14 the call precedes the election.

If you were "in Christ" before the foundation of the world, you fell "out of Christ" in Genesis 2 and got into Adam; you then fell out of Adam at your conversion and got back in "in Christ." Why not fall out again?

Toolman
May 15th 2007, 04:51 PM
My friend, "Unconditional Election" in the T.U.L.I.P. means that nothing foreseen by God conditioned our election.

Which is specifically what Paul states in Romans 9:11. That was my exact point.



According to 1 Pet. 1:2; 2Thess. 2:13 and Eph. 1:4, our Election is conditioned on (1.) God's foreknowledge (2.) Sanctification of the Spirit 3. Our obedience (4.) The sprinkling of Jesus' Blood (5.) Belief of the truth (6.)Our being "IN CHRIST."

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Calvinists use this as a proof text that all men are predestinated to either go to heaven or hell.

1. No man is "in Christ" until he is born again (Ephesians 1:13).

2. Every man was "in Adam" when Adam died (1 Cor 15:22; Rom 5:12).

3. The "elect" were not "in Christ"; they were "aliens," "alone in the world," "children of wrath," dead in tresspasses and sins," "without God," and "unknown" (Galations 4:7-9; Ephesians 2:1,3,12).

4. The believers was chosen "from" the beginning (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

5. If election is eternal, how were you sanctified in eternity (1 Peter 1:2) when Ephesians 2:12-13 states you weren't?

6. In Matthew 22:14 the call precedes the election.

If you were "in Christ" before the foundation of the world, you fell "out of Christ" in Genesis 2 and got into Adam; you then fell out of Adam at your conversion and got back in "in Christ." Why not fall out again?

I am fully aware of reformed soteriology (as well as arminian). My only point was that your doctrine was interjecting and in contradiction with the specific verse you were exegeting (or attempting to).

I'm wasn't stating whether reformed (or arminian) soteriology was correct or not but was pointing something out that you might want to consider when you are exegeting that particular passage.

FWIW.

premio53
May 15th 2007, 05:11 PM
Which is specifically what Paul states in Romans 9:11. That was my exact point.



I am fully aware of reformed soteriology (as well as arminian). My only point was that your doctrine was interjecting and in contradiction with the specific verse you were exegeting (or attempting to).

I'm wasn't stating whether reformed (or arminian) soteriology was correct or not but was pointing something out that you might want to consider when you are exegeting that particular passage.

FWIW.
Yes but verse 12 shows what the election was for. "...The elder shall serve the younger."

"This revelation expressing God’s purpose had been given to Rebekah while the twins were struggling in her womb (Genesis 25:22-23), and she undoubtedly transmitted this word to Isaac, but the latter nevertheless continued to favor Esau over Jacob until God overruled him in traumatic fashion (see notes on Genesis 25–27). It is noteworthy that, in the line of the promised seed, God often chose a younger son, over-riding the natural human tendency to choose the elder (e.g., Seth over Cain, Shem over Japheth, Isaac over Ishmael, Judah over Reuben, Pharez over Er, David over Eliab). Of all in the line of promise whose brothers’ names are given, only Abraham and Jesus Himself were firstborn sons." - The New Defender's Study Bible

Just as one can't take a single passage as a proof text for a particular doctrine ignoring all other scripture, so is the case concerning the doctrine of election. It becomes clear when putting passages of scripture together. Regards.

Toolman
May 15th 2007, 05:16 PM
Yes but verse 12 shows what the election was for. "...The elder shall serve the younger."

But Paul is using this passage in regards to Israel's salvation, which is the topic which he is discussing throughout chapters 9-11.

And Paul's exact point is that election is not based on works or what we do but upon God's purpose.

Now, we can discuss what that purpose is (I think Romans 10-11 spell it out clearly but that is a seperate issue to a degree) but nonetheless election is NOT based upon anything we do but simply upon the purpose of God.

Just as it was with Jacob and Esau.

Dolly_Dagger
May 16th 2007, 04:50 AM
OK, here's a question then. Does God have a boundless free will? Can anything God sets out to do be stopped?

well can God put an unstoppable force and a immovable object together? to our minds i don't think He can. thanks for all the great replies still reading through them all

Mograce2U
May 16th 2007, 06:31 PM
…who are good people?Nobody I know!

trailertomeetpostrequirements

Soj
May 16th 2007, 10:16 PM
OK, here's a question then. Does God have a boundless free will? Can anything God sets out to do be stopped?Sure God has a free will, and he made man in his image with a free will. But the key to answering your question is that God is bound by his word, so whatever he has said he will do he will do!

And if we can't take God at his word then our faith is in vain.

RogerW
May 17th 2007, 12:39 AM
Paul here stresses that there are several reasons why God must elect, sanctify, and call a people unto Himself or none would be saved!

All men are unregenerate and dead in Adam.

Ro 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Ro 5:17 For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
Ro 5:18 Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
Ro 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Natural man cannot love God.

Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Joh 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

Ro 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

The things of God are foolishness to the natural man.

1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Scripture tells us that salvation is not of the will of men but according to the will and purpose of God.

Joh 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

There is nothing, no effort, no activity of the flesh, or human will whereby men might be saved. Salvation is accomplished by the work of God’s Spirit and Word in the heart.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Jas 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
1Co 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Pharaoh’s birth, power, and station in life were all by God’s providence to accomplish His will toward Israel.

Ac 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

Ac 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
Ac 4:28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

Ro 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

Even the wrath of men will praise the Lord.

Ps 76:10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.

God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy.

Mt 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
Mt 11:26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.

God’s mercy cannot be exercised at the expense of His justice.

Ro 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Ro 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Since God has the right and power to show mercy to whom He will, He has no less authority to harden whom He will. The Bible says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart, but it also says that God hardened his heart.

Ex 9:34 And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants.
Ex 9:35 And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go: as the LORD had spoken by Moses.

Ex 10:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his serants, that I might shew these my signs before him:

In the say way God says He creates darkness and evil, by leaving men to their own way, and evil desires.

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

If light is not given by God, darkness will reign. If grace is not given, evil will abound. The same Word (Jesus Christ) that gives life and mercy to the elect becomes a stumbling stone and greater condemnation to those who perish.

2Co 2:15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
2Co 2:16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

The objections Paul lays out are (1) since most of Israel perishes, it seems the purpose and promise of God have failed. (2) God is unjust to choose some and pass by others. (3) If God shows mercy to some and none can resist His sovereign will, then why does He still find fault with sinners? Why blame the sinner since God holds the wrath of men under His control to serve His purpose?

Paul responds by asking, “O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” Who are we to question God’s providence in the affairs of man? The answer to why God does what He does is found in Himself, not in our natural wisdom. God exercises His power in a way that is consistent with His righteousness and glory. The chief end of man is to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever. God will do whatever He does to best serve His glory.

RW

Silent Wings
May 17th 2007, 01:43 AM
Nobody I know!

Me either…except for those who are clothed with His righteousness.

premio53
May 17th 2007, 03:59 AM
Paul here stresses that there are several reasons why God must elect, sanctify, and call a people unto Himself or none would be saved!

All men are unregenerate and dead in Adam.

Natural man cannot love God.

Scripture tells us that salvation is not of the will of men but according to the will and purpose of God.
There is nothing, no effort, no activity of the flesh, or human will whereby men might be saved. Salvation is accomplished by the work of God’s Spirit and Word in the heart.

Ro 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

Even the wrath of men will praise the Lord.

Ps 76:10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.

God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy.

Since God has the right and power to show mercy to whom He will, He has no less authority to harden whom He will. The Bible says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart, but it also says that God hardened his heart.

The objections Paul lays out are (1) since most of Israel perishes, it seems the purpose and promise of God have failed. (2) God is unjust to choose some and pass by others. (3) If God shows mercy to some and none can resist His sovereign will, then why does He still find fault with sinners? Why blame the sinner since God holds the wrath of men under His control to serve His purpose?

Paul responds by asking, “O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” Who are we to question God’s providence in the affairs of man? The answer to why God does what He does is found in Himself, not in our natural wisdom. God exercises His power in a way that is consistent with His righteousness and glory. The chief end of man is to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever. God will do whatever He does to best serve His glory.

RW
My friend, you have given the standard line of the deadly doctrine of "Total Depravity" found in the T.U.L.I.P. As you may know, there are no "tulips" found in the word of God. Shall we see what the lovely "rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys" has to say about this doctrine?

. . . And you hath he quickened, who were DEAD in trespasses and sins . . . and were by nature the CHILDREN OF WRATH, even as others. -- Eph. 2:1-3

. . . the soul that sinneth, it shall die. -- Ezek. 18:4 (20)

When Jesus saw him lie . . . saith unto him, WILT thou be made whole? -- John 5:6

It is not a question of whether or not a sinner is dead or not. God quickens the sinner or not (for He does), but the question is how God quickens the sinner and when. All unsaved sinners are dead "in trespasses and sins" (dead spiritually) and are totally the "CHILDREN OF WRATH." All sinners, without exception either are or were once the CHILDREN OF WRATH. They would all have gone to hell and experienced God’s wrath, except that they had repented and believed on Christ. While it is true that mankind is universally "dead in trespasses and sins" (spiritually dead), equally true—each unsaved sinner is NOT totally dead.

Only the spirit of a sinner is totally dead. The soul is not dead; the will is not dead; the mind is not dead; the body is not dead. Each sinner is in need of having his dead spirit quickened, but his living soul, will, mind, and body are in need of being MADE WHOLE. Each and every unsaved person has the ability, given to him by God, to desire to be made whole, to be interested in self preservation, and to respond to gospel words, to the Spirit of God, and to the genuine offer of grace, with a "Yes!" or "No!". (This implies no inherent goodness or spark of goodness that is deserving of salvation. There is none good but God.)

There are some that would misapply the Lazarus analogy of physical death of the body, to illustrate the total deadness of a sinner. But can they be addressing a sinner's body? Unlike Lazarus, does it not move, sense, act, sin, and die? Can they be addressing the sinner's soul? Does it not think, sense, desire, sin, and die? If it be argued that the soul is unconscious, it can be argued that the soul is not conscious or aware of sin and, therefore, not responsible for sin. It could be further argued that God must make that dead soul irresistibly sin, without an act of its own free will. Total Robotivity!

While the universal, total depravity of humanity is a valid assessment, it is also true that one hundred percent total depravity does not exist in each unsaved human being. No unsaved sinner is as sinful and depraved as he can be, hence, no unsaved sinner is one hundred percent totally depraved. In order to get a proper perspective of the extent of a sinner's depravity, we must examine a dead sinner in the scriptures in order to establish how much ability, life, and free will that a sinner really does have. A perfect example of this would be Cornelius, the Italian. Cornelius proves that there is no such thing in an individual as "TOTAL" depravity, death, inability, nor robotivity, according to the scriptures.

All Dead Sinners Are Capable of Being Devout, Fearing God, and Prayer

There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A DEVOUT man, and one that FEARED God with all his houses, which gave much alms to the people, and PRAYED to God alway. -- Acts 10:1,2

And said, Cornelius, THY PRAYER IS HEARD, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. -- Acts 10:31

Here, we find a depraved sinner, dead in trespasses and sins, who is capable of being "devout" and able to "fear" God. He is also capable of "prayer" and of having his prayer "heard" by God. Oh, but what about the objection that God heareth not sinners?

Who says things like that? Self righteous Pharisees? Find a spiritually ignorant sinner, who is devout, who fears God, who tries to pray, who follows the light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world, and you have found a sinner, who is not far from the kingdom of God. Spiritually ignorant? Yes! (Acts 10:25) Spiritually dead? Yes! Totally dead? No! Depraved? Yes! Totally depraved? No! Unable to "will" God's mercy? Yes! Unable to "will" to accept God's offer of mercy? No! Total inability? No! Lost? Yes! Total robotivity? No?

All Dead Sinners Capable of Good Report, Being Just, Working Righteousness

And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a JUST man, and one that FEARETH God, and of GOOD REPORT among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee. -- Acts 10:22

But in every nation he that FEARETH him, and WORKETH RIGHTEOUSNESS [repent and believe], is accepted with him. -- Acts 10:35

Cornelius, was an unregenerated, depraved, spiritually dead, ignorant, honest, moral, just, of good report, religious CHILD OF WRATH! He was capable as are other dead, depraved Gentile children of wrath of "working righteousness" without works by repenting and believing. His future destiny was not yet etched in stone, for he WAS WARNED of God to escape the wrath to come. But he was not a robot.

All Dead Sinners Are Granted Repentance Unto Life

When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles [all of them] GRANTED REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE.
-- Acts 11:18

All depraved, dead sinners are granted light, grace, and repentance unto life. Whether they accept it and act on it or not is another matter. Cornelius was one, who did accept that which was granted and offered. He heeded God's WARNING! But he was not a robot.

All Dead Sinners Are Able to be Saved and to Receive the Remission of Sins

Who shall tell thee WORDS [that will save], whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. -- Acts 11:14

Simon a tanner . . . he shall tell thee what thou oughtest TO DO. -- Acts 10:6

To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name WHOSOVER BELIEVETH in him shall receive remission of sins. -- Acts 10:43

"The word is NIGH THEE, even in thy mouth, and IN THY HEART: that is, the WORD OF FAITH, which we preach [not the word of election].” -- Romans 10:8

Regardless of how devout, regardless of how much he feared God, regardless of how much he prayed, regardless of his prayers and alms going up to God (for a remembrance), regardless of how religious, regardless of how moral and just, regardless of how good a report he had, regardless of the repentance unto life, which had been granted to him, Cornelius, was a CHILD OF wrath still had to personally receive the remission of his sins and salvation. The only way that he could be saved was to hear gospel words and to respond to them affirmatively, by repenting and believing. Total robotivity? No! Good news! Yes!

Toolman
May 17th 2007, 02:33 PM
God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy.

Mt 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
Mt 11:26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.

God’s mercy cannot be exercised at the expense of His justice.

Ro 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Ro 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.



Roger,

Very nice lay out of biblical truth but I would also like to point out that Paul's thoughts on this matter do not conclude in chapter 9 but continue through to chapter 11 where Paul tells us:

Romans 11:32 - For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

God has determined by His sovereign will, plan and purpose to show mercy to all. This is the progressive plan of mercy as laid out in Romans 11.

Good news :)


The objections Paul lays out are (1) since most of Israel perishes, it seems the purpose and promise of God have failed. (2) God is unjust to choose some and pass by others. (3) If God shows mercy to some and none can resist His sovereign will, then why does He still find fault with sinners? Why blame the sinner since God holds the wrath of men under His control to serve His purpose?

Paul responds by asking, “O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” Who are we to question God’s providence in the affairs of man? The answer to why God does what He does is found in Himself, not in our natural wisdom. God exercises His power in a way that is consistent with His righteousness and glory. The chief end of man is to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever. God will do whatever He does to best serve His glory.

RW

God's glory is not like the glory of earthly kings. His glory is revealed in selflessness and not self-centeredness. His glory is revealed in weakness (theology of the cross as Luther spoke of it). He is glorified in loving His enemies and He is glorified in showing mercy to sinners.

Let us not forget Paul's doxology in Romans 11 after he speaks of the all inclusive and all encompassing mercy of God:

Romans 11:33-36 - Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

"For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?"
"Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?"

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

RogerW
May 17th 2007, 05:23 PM
Roger,

Very nice lay out of biblical truth but I would also like to point out that Paul's thoughts on this matter do not conclude in chapter 9 but continue through to chapter 11 where Paul tells us:

Romans 11:32 - For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

God has determined by His sovereign will, plan and purpose to show mercy to all. This is the progressive plan of mercy as laid out in Romans 11.

Good news :)

God's glory is not like the glory of earthly kings. His glory is revealed in selflessness and not self-centeredness. His glory is revealed in weakness (theology of the cross as Luther spoke of it). He is glorified in loving His enemies and He is glorified in showing mercy to sinners.

Let us not forget Paul's doxology in Romans 11 after he speaks of the all inclusive and all encompassing mercy of God:

Romans 11:33-36 - Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

"For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?"
"Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?"

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Ro 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Ro 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
Ro 11:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I take away their sins.
Ro 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
Ro 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
Ro 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Ro 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
Ro 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Who are the all here? It is not all without distinction, but all Israel. When we read in context we find God bringing the Deliverer out of Zion to turn away ungodliness from Jacob. God’s Covenant unto them was to take away their sins. Concerning the gospel they rejected they are therefore enemies for the sake of the Gentiles. But the election is beloved for the fathers’ sakes. God has not rejected His people He foreknew (Ro. 11:2). Remember this is the Israel that has been blinded until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. The Gentiles then are grafted into the natural olive tree, and so all Israel is not only the elect from the natural tree, but also includes the Gentiles who have come in through the gospel.

Ga 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avileth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
Ga 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

So the all that will be shown mercy, is not all humanity without distinction, but the Israel of God, all Israel that shall be saved are the recipients of God’s mercy.

RW

Toolman
May 17th 2007, 05:48 PM
Ro 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Ro 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
Ro 11:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I take away their sins.
Ro 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
Ro 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
Ro 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Ro 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
Ro 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Who are the all here? It is not all without distinction, but all Israel. When we read in context we find God bringing the Deliverer out of Zion to turn away ungodliness from Jacob. God’s Covenant unto them was to take away their sins. Concerning the gospel they rejected they are therefore enemies for the sake of the Gentiles. But the election is beloved for the fathers’ sakes. God has not rejected His people He foreknew (Ro. 11:2). Remember this is the Israel that has been blinded until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. The Gentiles then are grafted into the natural olive tree, and so all Israel is not only the elect from the natural tree, but also includes the Gentiles who have come in through the gospel.

Ga 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avileth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
Ga 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

Romans 11 exegesis:

Paul starts by showing there is an elect:

Romans 11:4-5 But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

A remnant of Israel according to election.

He then states:

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

He then makes a clear distinction and contrast between 2 seperate groups. "the elect" and "the rest".

The elect have obtained righteousness/salvation and the rest are blinded.

2 clear distinct groups.

Romans 11:11 - I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.

Paul now states concerning "the rest" that they have not stumbled that they should fall, but their stumbling is for a divine purpose (to provoke jealousy in themselves and bring salvation to the gentiles).

Romans 11:25-26 - For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

Paul, then says that he does not want us to be ignorant of the mystery. Blindness has happened in part to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come and then all Israel will be saved.

This is clearly speaking of physical Israel, which has been Paul's topic since Romans 9 and through 10 and 11.

Romans 11:28 - Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.

The they in the above passage are "the rest", those who have been blinded in Israel and who are not "the elect".

Romans 11:29 - For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

God is soveriegn, we both agree here so don't think there is much to discuss regarding that passage.

Romans 11:30 - For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience,

The "their", once again, is "the rest", the blinded ones of Israel who are seperate from "the elect".
We gentiles obtained mercy through their disobedience/unbelief.

Romans 11:31 - even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy.

Once again, "the rest", those who are currently blinded and not a part of "the elect" will be shown mercy because of the mercy shown gentiles, who were also shown mercy in our disobedience/unbelief.

Romans 11:32 - For God has committed all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

The mystery, of which we are not to be ignorant of. God has committed all to disobedience/unbelief that He might have mercy on all.

This mystery/revelation makes Paul break into his doxology:

Romans 11:33-36 - Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
“ For who has known the mind of the LORD?
Or who has become His counselor?”
“ Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?”
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.


So the all that will be shown mercy, is not all humanity without distinction, but the Israel of God, all Israel that shall be saved are the recipients of God’s mercy.

RW

Actually the text is quite clear that God has committed ALL (jews and gentiles, those in Adam) to disobedience that He might have mercy on the same exact all.

That is why Paul launches into his doxology, because of the greaterness of Christ's redeeming work over that which fell in Adam.

RogerW
May 17th 2007, 06:52 PM
My friend, you have given the standard line of the deadly doctrine of "Total Depravity" found in the T.U.L.I.P. As you may know, there are no "tulips" found in the word of God. Shall we see what the lovely "rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys" has to say about this doctrine?

You don't believe the Bible teaches total depravity?

Not that all unsaved people are as wicked as thy could possibly be in all areas of belief and practice. However, sin has so fully and deeply affected the lives of unsaved man that spiritually speaking they are in a totally hopeless condition, unable to do anything to get themselves out of this fallen state. The fallen state prevents them from being able to respond by their own strength to the call of the gospel message, yet this does not remove their guilt before God. They choose to follow their naturally depraved hearts because when left to ourselves that is all we want to do. That is robotic, i.e. slaves of sin, and unable to change it.

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Joh 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

De 32:18 Of the Rock that begat thee thou are unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.

Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Joh 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.



Only the spirit of a sinner is totally dead. The soul is not dead; the will is not dead; the mind is not dead; the body is not dead. Each sinner is in need of having his dead spirit quickened, but his living soul, will, mind, and body are in need of being MADE WHOLE. Each and every unsaved person has the ability, given to him by God, to desire to be made whole, to be interested in self preservation, and to respond to gospel words, to the Spirit of God, and to the genuine offer of grace, with a "Yes!" or "No!". (This implies no inherent goodness or spark of goodness that is deserving of salvation. There is none good but God.)

Flesh and blood are of no profit because flesh and blood cannot reveal the things of the Spirit to us.

Mt 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

There is nothing good in our flesh. How can we while still in the flesh respond with yes or no to the gospel of grace? Our only response can be no because the flesh knows not good!

Ro 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.



There are some that would misapply the Lazarus analogy of physical death of the body, to illustrate the total deadness of a sinner. But can they be addressing a sinner's body? Unlike Lazarus, does it not move, sense, act, sin, and die? Can they be addressing the sinner's soul? Does it not think, sense, desire, sin, and die? If it be argued that the soul is unconscious, it can be argued that the soul is not conscious or aware of sin and, therefore, not responsible for sin. It could be further argued that God must make that dead soul irresistibly sin, without an act of its own free will. Total Robotivity!

Yes the unbeliever has a physical body, physical life, but as I have already shown, physical life is of no value in obtaining spiritual life. The physical death of Lazarus symbolizes the state of spiritual death. Like Lazarus, who was unable to bring himself to physical life again, it took Christ to awaken him from physical death to physical life, so too only Christ can make us spiritually alive. Unless we are given spiritual ears to hear His voice then we will remain spiritually dead, and unable to be saved. What does Christ mean when He says, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"? Christ MUST CALL and CHRIST MUST LEAD!

Joh 10:2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
Joh 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.



There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A DEVOUT man, and one that FEARED God with all his houses, which gave much alms to the people, and PRAYED to God alway. -- Acts 10:1,2

And said, Cornelius, THY PRAYER IS HEARD, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. -- Acts 10:31

Here, we find a depraved sinner, dead in trespasses and sins, who is capable of being "devout" and able to "fear" God. He is also capable of "prayer" and of having his prayer "heard" by God. Oh, but what about the objection that God heareth not sinners?

Who says things like that? Self righteous Pharisees? Find a spiritually ignorant sinner, who is devout, who fears God, who tries to pray, who follows the light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world, and you have found a sinner, who is not far from the kingdom of God. Spiritually ignorant? Yes! (Acts 10:25) Spiritually dead? Yes! Totally dead? No! Depraved? Yes! Totally depraved? No! Unable to "will" God's mercy? Yes! Unable to "will" to accept God's offer of mercy? No! Total inability? No! Lost? Yes! Total robotivity? No?

Peter expounded unto Cornelius and his household the gospel of Christ. It was after hearing the gospel the Holy Ghost fell on them that heard, and they began to speak with tongues, and magnify God. After they had received the Holy Ghost, and spoken with tongues, signifying salvation, then they were baptized. Cornelius, though devout and fearing God was not born again because of His own efforts, but through the hearing of the gospel (faith cometh by hearing, hearing by the WORD). When Cornelius heard, the Holy Spirit opened his ears and heart to receive the message, and he was saved. None of his devout, God fearing life was accounted as righteousness unto him.

Ac 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on them which heard the word.
Ac 10:45 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.
Ac 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
Ac 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
Ac 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

All of our righteousness is but filthy rags before God.

Isa 64:6 ¶ But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.



Regardless of how devout, regardless of how much he feared God, regardless of how much he prayed, regardless of his prayers and alms going up to God (for a remembrance), regardless of how religious, regardless of how moral and just, regardless of how good a report he had, regardless of the repentance unto life, which had been granted to him, Cornelius, was a CHILD OF wrath still had to personally receive the remission of his sins and salvation. The only way that he could be saved was to hear gospel words and to respond to them affirmatively, by repenting and believing. Total robotivity? No! Good news! Yes!

Cornelius did not become saved because he received remission of his sins and salvation. Cornelius was saved when Peter proclaimed the gospel of Christ. Cornelius heard because he had been given ears to hear, and only Christ's sheep can hear His voice. When Cornelius heard he received the Holy Spirit, there was no response from Cornelius, the receiving of the Spirit was supernatural, and totally out of his ability to accept or reject it. A robot??? A robot blindly follows, Cornelius was given light and life, his nature was now that of Christ. Now he is the servant of Christ, and delights in doing the will of the Father. This is not robotic, this is supernatural grace, and deliverance from bondage to sin and death.

Ac 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on them which heard the word.

RW

RogerW
May 17th 2007, 10:04 PM
Romans 11 exegesis:
Paul starts by showing there is an elect:

Romans 11:4-5 But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

A remnant of Israel according to election.

He then states:

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

He then makes a clear distinction and contrast between 2 seperate groups. "the elect" and "the rest".

The elect have obtained righteousness/salvation and the rest are blinded.

2 clear distinct groups.

Romans 11:11 - I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.

Paul now states concerning "the rest" that they have not stumbled that they should fall, but their stumbling is for a divine purpose (to provoke jealousy in themselves and bring salvation to the gentiles).

Romans 11:25-26 - For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

Paul, then says that he does not want us to be ignorant of the mystery. Blindness has happened in part to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come and then all Israel will be saved.

You are right, Paul is addressing both the elect remnant of Israel, and the rest who remain in unbelief. Who do you believe is "all Israel that will be saved"? The blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles come in. And then all Israel will be saved.

When the fullness of Gentiles come in, it will be too late for anyone coming in. Ultimately, Christ is the Israel of the promise. Isaiah chapter 49:1-3 speaks of He who has made a sword as His mouth and is named Israel. That is Christ. And unless we are in Christ, we are not in the "Israel of God." Which is why Romans 9 said that "For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel." Because there is an external covenant Israel, and an eternal Covenant Israel.



This is clearly speaking of physical Israel, which has been Paul's topic since Romans 9 and through 10 and 11.

Romans 11:28 - Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.

The they in the above passage are "the rest", those who have been blinded in Israel and who are not "the elect".

Romans 11:29 - For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

God is soveriegn, we both agree here so don't think there is much to discuss regarding that passage.

Romans 11:30 - For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience,

The "their", once again, is "the rest", the blinded ones of Israel who are seperate from "the elect".
We gentiles obtained mercy through their disobedience/unbelief.

Romans 11:31 - even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy.

Once again, "the rest", those who are currently blinded and not a part of "the elect" will be shown mercy because of the mercy shown gentiles, who were also shown mercy in our disobedience/unbelief.

Romans 11:32 - For God has committed all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

The mystery, of which we are not to be ignorant of. God has committed all to disobedience/unbelief that He might have mercy on all.

Not all of Israel will receive God's mercy. It is only the true Israel, or the Israel of God. Remember not all Israel is Israel.

Not all men as in every single man on earth, or the nation as a whole, but all nations, all tongues (languages), all tribes, and all peoples. By Israel's fall, the gospel of Christ went out to all nations that all men are saved. So God has allowed both the Gentile and the Jew successively to remain under unbelief and disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all people of the world. The Gentiles in unbelief first (the Jews in belief first) and then the Jews in unbelief (the Gentiles in belief). We find the same language in:

1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

When the fullness of Gentiles be come into the Covenant, so, in this way all of Israel will be saved. Not the nation, but the Israel of God consisting of elect Jews and Gentiles. The Israel of God!

RW

Toolman
May 17th 2007, 10:31 PM
You are right, Paul is addressing both the elect remnant of Israel, and the rest who remain in unbelief.

That is correct. Paul makes a clear distinction between the elect and the rest.

They are 2 seperate groups. He specifically says "elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded" making a distinction between the elect and the rest.


Not all of Israel will receive God's mercy. It is only the true Israel, or the Israel of God. Remember not all Israel is Israel.

The text of Romans 11 clearly says that all have been consigned to disobedience (that is all mankind) will be shown mercy. Nowhere does it say that mercy is limited but in fact scripture is clear that mercy is given to all.


Not all men as in every single man on earth, or the nation as a whole, but all nations, all tongues (languages), all tribes, and all peoples. By Israel's fall, the gospel of Christ went out to all nations that all men are saved. So God has allowed both the Gentile and the Jew successively to remain under unbelief and disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all people of the world. The Gentiles in unbelief first (the Jews in belief first) and then the Jews in unbelief (the Gentiles in belief). We find the same language in:

1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

I have no disagreeements with the above and believe that is God's will. That all men (not just types but all) be saved. All those under disobedience are given mercy.

That sounds like good news huh?


When the fullness of Gentiles be come into the Covenant, so, in this way all of Israel will be saved. Not the nation, but the Israel of God consisting of elect Jews and Gentiles. The Israel of God!

RW

As I said, Paul makes a clear distinction between the elect and "the rest". So mercy is shown for all. The elect working to bring about jealousy in the "rest".

What a great plan of redemption!

RogerW
May 17th 2007, 10:38 PM
The text of Romans 11 clearly says that all have been consigned to disobedience (that is all mankind) will be shown mercy. Nowhere does it say that mercy is limited but in fact scripture is clear that mercy is given to all.

I have no disagreeements with the above and believe that is God's will. That all men (not just types but all) be saved. All those under disobedience are given mercy.

What a great plan of redemption!

I want to make sure I am understanding you. You believe in universal salvation? All men will be saved?

RW

Toolman
May 17th 2007, 10:45 PM
I want to make sure I am understanding you. You believe in universal salvation? All men will be saved?

RW

That question, unfortunately, will move the thread to the controversial forum, so let me suffice it to say that I am simply pointing out that Paul's concluding thoughts in his Romans 9-11 discussion of the nation of Israel is that all (and I mean all) will be shown mercy.

Even an arminian would take the same stance, so UR is not required to believe that Romans 11 speaks of mercy for all men not just all types of men.

DSK
May 17th 2007, 11:52 PM
God has determined by His sovereign will, plan and purpose to show mercy to all.

I agree, but would then ask, do all people take equal advantage of the mercy they are shown, or do some ignore or toss it aside to their own disadvantage?

Toolman
May 17th 2007, 11:55 PM
I agree, but would then ask, do all people take equal advantage of the mercy they are shown, or do some ignore or toss it aside to their own disadvantage?

All at some point "toss it aside" (those committed to disobedience).

If they were not in need of mercy then of course, it would not be mercy. The reason they (we) need mercy is because of disobedience.

Diolectic
May 18th 2007, 01:44 AM
I had a question regarding romans 9 particularly 16-19. any help is appreciated especially regarding calvanism and arminianismRomans 9:18 Pharaoh first chose to hardened his own heart to the point where God, then, hardens it.
Then some might think, "how would Pharaoh repent then?"
In fact, it was to late for Pharaoh to repent after that, For who hath resisted HIS will after God hardening Pharaoh 's heart?

Pharaoh could have relented and gave moses what God wanted and it would have shown God's power in him. Eather way God could have shown power in him, but Pharaoh chose to harden his own heart first.

This chapter is mainly about Israel.
God chose Israel(Loved Jacob) because he could have chosen two people(hated Esou)

melted
May 18th 2007, 02:35 PM
Hello Dolly_Dagger,

I think the passage you've asked about is one of the most hard to accept passages in the Bible. It's hard to accept for many because it does not fit the popular (and wrong, IMO) notions about man's free will and God's lack of sovereign and total control over His creation.

A common excuse to beg out of clear biblical teaching is that Pharaoh first hardened his own heart and God reacted by further hardening it. This concept is not found in the Bible. Rather, God purposed very clearly WHAT would happen and WHY it would happen, in regard to Pharaoh. The WHAT: "I will harden [Pharaoh's] heart so that he will not let the people go" (Exo. 4:21). The WHY: That the LORD might "make a mockery of the Egyptians...that you may know that I am the LORD" (Exo. 10:2).

These excusers will point to the passages in which it is said that Pharaoh hardened his heart (e.g. Exo 8:15). What we must ask is, which came first? Which is the preeminent action? Does God's action come first and cause all others, or do the creature's actions cause God's? Romans 9 helps us to answer that with a resounding, "God's purpose and causation is always first!" Notice that for the very purpose of displaying His own mighty power, God raised up Pharaoh. God's purpose was not fulfilled by having Pharaoh relent after the first miracle. It was that Pharaoh's heart would be hardened over and over again to display the wonderous works of the Almighty and All Powerful Sovereign God by plagues and destruction upon Egypt. This glorious plan hung NECESSARILY upon Pharaoh's sinfullness toward God and his hard heart. Did God merely hope that Pharaoh would play along? Or, did God expressly design and cause the circumstances? Of course we must conclude the latter.

Notice that "He hardens whom He desires". He does not harden he whom hardens himself first. No, He hardens whomever He wants for whatever reasons He wants, such as to show His magnificent power. The verb in this sentence is in the active voice, indicating that the subject (God) is the one who performs the action. God actively and purposefully hardens whom He desires.

I believe that the anticipated objection in verse 19 is a key point in unlocking the meaning of this series of passages. Examine it closely and prayerfully, with an eye toward Paul's answer in the following verse.

One of the ways that we argue against other people is that we sometimes assume their position is correct and then attempt to show how it becomes absurd at some point if we take this assumption. It is called reductiones ad absurdum (reduction to the absurd) -- "a disproof of a proposition by showing that it leads to absurd or untenable conclusions", and is a form of ad-hominem attack. This concept works well sometimes, and Paul uses this tactic of argumentation himself at times. Probably the best example of this method being used properly is Paul in 1 Cor. 15:13-19. He takes the idea that if there is no resurrection from the dead, then Christ was not raised and neither will we be, and in believing in Christ we would be of all men most pitiful. Paul obviously does not believe that there is no resurrection from the dead, but he assumes this position momentarily in order to show how absurd it is and how, if taken to its conclusion, it ends up being flawed.

That said, this is the same tactic that the hypothetical objector in our passage is using. He does not believe that God could be the causing force of men's hard/sinful hearts, but he's going to assume that it is true for a moment in order to raise a reductiones ad absurdum argument against Paul. If God really does harden hearts, then why does He still find fault, for who resists His will? His tactic is to show that if God did really cause hard hearts, then He would have no ground on which to find fault with these hearts. It sounds like a reasonable argument. We could apply this to something more modern. "If my boss made me stay home, then he cannot dock my pay for staying home". That also sounds like a wonderful argument to the one making it. On the surface it seems as if Paul's objector may have some ground to stand on. He has stepped into Paul's teaching that God causes hard hearts and has said, well if this is the case, then He cannot also punish for the sin which results! How many today would agree with this notion? How many would affirm the idea that it is absurd for God to punish a man for something that God Himself has caused (see Eze. 14:9 for a great counter to this)? Has the objector successfully reduced Paul's argument into an absurdity?

We need only to continue reading the letter for the answer. The objector has in no way reduced Paul's argument to absurdity; instead he has wickedly questioned God's actions because of some flawed idea that God cannot do whatever He so pleases with whomever He so pleases. If this includes causing us to sin for His glory, for "by our lie the truth of God abounds to His glory" (Rom 3:7), then so be it and glory to God for it. "On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God?" If we would only bask in God's absolute and complete sovereignty, many of the supposed problems in Scripture would cease to exist. The easiest answer to any question is, "Because God wills it". Why did my husband die? "Because God wills it". Why did that hurricane destroy my home? "Because God wills it". Why did I sin to my destruction? "Because God wills it". Such a simple concept that even a small child can learn it.

Notice that Paul soundly rebukes the objector, but never corrects him for saying "who resists His will?" The implication is clear, God finds fault for things which He wills -- this is made more obvious when we supply the implied pieces -- "for who resists His will that they sin", or maybe, "for who resists His will that they do something which He will fault them for". Paul does not answer, "you are wrong, God does not will the things for which He finds fault". He does ask who this man is who takes it upon himself to answer back to God though. Clearly the assumptions made by the objector are true. Remember that he stepped into Paul's argument to show it absurd, and in doing so took on some notions which he believed were untrue. In reality, he actually takes on the correct position though, which Paul has no problem with. His problem is with this objector complaining about a true thing that God does. "Who are you, O man?" Do you not realize that God is the potter and we the clay? He does very much have the right to do as He wills including bringing the vessel fitted for destruction to hell by sin (Prov. 16:4; Rom 9:22; 2 Pet. 2:9; Rom 9:11-13; 1 Pet. 2:8; Jude 4). He can find fault in man for the sin that He wills man to have. He is GOD!

Glory to God alone.

Toolman
May 21st 2007, 02:47 PM
This glorious plan hung NECESSARILY upon Pharaoh's sinfullness toward God and his hard heart. Did God merely hope that Pharaoh would play along? Or, did God expressly design and cause the circumstances? Of course we must conclude the latter.

Notice that "He hardens whom He desires". He does not harden he whom hardens himself first. No, He hardens whomever He wants for whatever reasons He wants, such as to show His magnificent power. The verb in this sentence is in the active voice, indicating that the subject (God) is the one who performs the action. God actively and purposefully hardens whom He desires.

If this includes causing us to sin for His glory, for "by our lie the truth of God abounds to His glory" (Rom 3:7), then so be it and glory to God for it.


Melted,

Good to see ya :)

I want to bring this out a bit more and get you input here.

Is it your position that God actually causes man to sin. He does not simply allow man to follow man's own will but he actually, supernaturally, causes man to sin?

Does God harden by simply "removing His hand" or does God harden by directly effecting man's will to sin (in the same manner He effects man to His grace)?

There is quite a difference and I would like a clarification here as to if that is what you are proclaiming?

For an example let's say that a man brutally sodomizes a young child (2 year old for our example) and then murders the child thru a series of brutal tortures ending with impaling the child on a stick.

Would your position be that God actually caused this sin to happen or that God simply allowed the man to follow his own sinful will?

Of course in either situation God has foreknowledge of what will occur. I understand that and I understand the difficulty we (mankind) often have with that. But there is a difference there between foreknowing something and causing something and I'd be interested in your clarifying that (which I think you already did but just want to double check).



If this includes causing us to sin for His glory, for "by our lie the truth of God abounds to His glory" (Rom 3:7), then so be it and glory to God for it. "On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God?" If we would only bask in God's absolute and complete sovereignty, many of the supposed problems in Scripture would cease to exist. The easiest answer to any question is, "Because God wills it". Why did my husband die? "Because God wills it". Why did that hurricane destroy my home? "Because God wills it". Why did I sin to my destruction? "Because God wills it". Such a simple concept that even a small child can learn it.

I would like to make a comment here on the general tone of "God's glory" as often understood and presented by those who hold to reformed theology.

One of the major problems I have with this line of thought of "God's glory" is God is presented as a self-centered, prideful, egotistic being who only cares for Himself.

I think this understanding of "God's glory" is extremely unbalanced from a whole of biblical revelation.

If we consider the ultimate and final revelation of God to the world, which is the person of Jesus Christ, what we find is not a God who is consumed with only Himself and His pride but we find a God who is humble, who is "weak" (1 Corinthians 1:25-27).

A God who was not born to royalty but to common folk (what many would probably consider "trailer trash" today), He was not born in a palace of slaves and gold and finery but was born in a barn among animal dung. God chose this manner of revealing Himself to the world.

He did not seek to save His life but freely died for those He loves. He did this because of His love for His creation. He gave!

This revelation of God (i.e. Jesus) tells us much about God and should be our starting point for understanding the person and character and nature of our Heavenly Father.

We learn that God is humble, God is kind, God is selfless, God woos, God desires, God weeps, God loves!

When we start with Jesus Christ as the revelation of who God is we understand more about "God's glory" than the often presented picture we see in reformed theology of a Being who is only out for Himself and no one else.

RSiscoe
May 21st 2007, 03:08 PM
I had a question regarding romans 9 particularly 16-19. any help is appreciated especially regarding calvanism and arminianism

In my opinion, God "hardens someone heart" by withdrawing from the person. He doesn't actually harden it in a positive way because He doesn't need to; He hardens it in a negative way by withdrawing that which would keep it from being hard. It would be like saying that a person darkened the room by turning out the light. They did not send forth darkness, but rather eliminated that which made it light.

Just as darkness is the absense of light, so too our harts are hard unless God helps us to soften them. If he withdraws from us, our hearts return to their normal condition.

In my opinion, when a person ignores the inspirations of God long enough, God will eventually withdraw from the person, which will then result in the person's heart resorting to its normal condition, which is hard. Thus, God is said to "harden the heart" by withdrawing that which softens it - His grace.

Mograce2U
May 21st 2007, 05:46 PM
(Heb 3:7-19 KJV) Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
{8} Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
{9} When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
{10} Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.
{11} So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
{12} Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
{13} But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
{14} For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
{15} While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
{16} For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.
{17} But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
{18} And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
{19} So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

This passage also applies to Pharoah, who in the face of many miracles, refused to submit to God. Pride causes this which is at the root of all sin that in turn causes unbelief and disobedience. Whereas repentance, extending mercy and obedience work to soften and humble the heart hardened by sin.

(Prov 1:7 KJV) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

melted
May 21st 2007, 05:56 PM
Hi Toolman :)

The "remove the hand" concept seems nice for some who want to apologize for the Bible, but I don't take that position. There are simply too many doctrinal statements and specific examples otherwise if one is to examine the Bible with this question in mind. If you have the time and inclination, and I don't presume that you do, I have written up some of my understanding on this topic in a 20some page paper. Since you asked for more of my position, I'll link it here (http://www.bornfromabove.com/GodCausesAllThings.pdf) just in case. Feel free to skim it or dismiss it as you desire.

The short of it is that I believe God is fully sovereign over all of the actions of creation and that there is no freedom of the will in man, whether to do good or bad.

You say that, "there is a difference there between foreknowing something and causing something". I do not believe that you have concluded this from an examination of biblical truth. Instead, I find such things as:
Pro 3:19-20 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens. (20) By His knowledge the deeps were broken up And the skies drip with dew.

Jer 10:12 It is He who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom; And by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens.

Isa 46:11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.
The biblical message seems to be that God's knowledge is the acting force in the world. A non-controlling "foreknowledge" implies some freedom of the creature, which is a concept foreign to Scripture, at least in my examination.

Concerning God's glory. God does many things people might think are "unfair" in order to display His glory. One of these I cited earlier -- His hardening of Pharaoh's heart, "that I may make a mockery of the Egyptians...that they may know that I am the LORD". Is this God wanting to be "kind" to the Egyptians in order to "woo" them unto salvation? Of course not. He is showing His great power and FEARFUL SEVERITY that His name may be proclaimed with awe, reverence and fear throughout the whole earth (Rom 9:17). Toolman, I know that we have very different ideas of what God's purpose is for mankind. I see the biblical message to be one of God's choice of men, some unto destruction and some unto salvation. The wrath of God to those reprobates will glorify Him (Rom 9:22) just as the mercy and grace bestowed on the elect will glorify Him. Who can find fault with this?

Toolman
May 21st 2007, 06:06 PM
Hi Toolman :)

Thanks melted. That is what I initially thought but did not want to assume to much without some clarification and I appreciate your response here. I will gladly look over your document as I am interested in understanding this position.

Can you tell me of any reformed leaders, past or present, who you understand to hold the same position as you in regards "there is no freedom of the will in man, whether to do good or bad"? This might help me in my study also.

Thanks K.

melted
May 21st 2007, 06:18 PM
Hey Toolman,

If I had the chance to recommend one book on this topic from a respected reformed theologian, it would be Predestination by Gordon Clark (Presbyterian). You can find his books here: www.trinityfoundation.org.

DSK
May 21st 2007, 08:00 PM
there is no freedom of the will in man, whether to do good or bad.




Excuse me for barging in on your conversation. If you don't mind I would like to ask you a question or two concerning the above statement you made.

As humans can we either choose to resist tempatation and not sin, or choose to cave in under the temptation and sin? Do we have a choice? Is it God's will that we sin, or that we not sin? And when we sin, and go against God's designed will, haven't we freely made a choice to do bad?

melted
May 21st 2007, 08:16 PM
Excuse me for barging in on your conversation. If you don't mind I would like to ask you a question or two concerning the above statement you made.

As humans can we either choose to resist tempatation and not sin, or choose to cave in under the temptation and not sin? Do we have a choice? Is it God's will that we sin, or that we not sin? And when we sin, and go against God's designed will, haven't we freely made a choice to do bad?
Hello DSK,

We can choose to do many things. The question at hand is why we make the choices we do, and whether these choices are made free from God's control.

I see a distinction between God's will/purpose and His commandments. God commands men not to murder yet He predestined the Lord Jesus Christ's murder from before the foundation of the world (Act 2:23; 4:28). Only by separating God's will and His commandments am I able to make sense of that. Your idea then, that God's designed will can be thwarted, is foreign to me.

Christian Holzman
May 21st 2007, 09:16 PM
Romans 9, 10 and 11 must be read and exegeted as a whole. Paul concludes his thoughts here in Romans 11 in this manner:

Romans 11:32-33 - For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

That's what I call good news!

amen! Toolman

premio53
May 21st 2007, 09:45 PM
Hi Toolman :)

The "remove the hand" concept seems nice for some who want to apologize for the Bible, but I don't take that position. There are simply too many doctrinal statements and specific examples otherwise if one is to examine the Bible with this question in mind. If you have the time and inclination, and I don't presume that you do, I have written up some of my understanding on this topic in a 20some page paper. Since you asked for more of my position, I'll link it here (http://www.bornfromabove.com/GodCausesAllThings.pdf) just in case. Feel free to skim it or dismiss it as you desire.

The short of it is that I believe God is fully sovereign over all of the actions of creation and that there is no freedom of the will in man, whether to do good or bad.

You say that, "there is a difference there between foreknowing something and causing something". I do not believe that you have concluded this from an examination of biblical truth. Instead, I find such things as:
Pro 3:19-20 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens. (20) By His knowledge the deeps were broken up And the skies drip with dew.

Jer 10:12 It is He who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom; And by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens.

Isa 46:11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.
The biblical message seems to be that God's knowledge is the acting force in the world. A non-controlling "foreknowledge" implies some freedom of the creature, which is a concept foreign to Scripture, at least in my examination.

Concerning God's glory. God does many things people might think are "unfair" in order to display His glory. One of these I cited earlier -- His hardening of Pharaoh's heart, "that I may make a mockery of the Egyptians...that they may know that I am the LORD". Is this God wanting to be "kind" to the Egyptians in order to "woo" them unto salvation? Of course not. He is showing His great power and FEARFUL SEVERITY that His name may be proclaimed with awe, reverence and fear throughout the whole earth (Rom 9:17). Toolman, I know that we have very different ideas of what God's purpose is for mankind. I see the biblical message to be one of God's choice of men, some unto destruction and some unto salvation. The wrath of God to those reprobates will glorify Him (Rom 9:22) just as the mercy and grace bestowed on the elect will glorify Him. Who can find fault with this?
Calvinism is a philosophy not a Bible doctrine. The two different kinds of reasoning that we find in Scripture are as follows:

Reasoning from the Scriptures


Act 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,

Reasoning among themselves

Act 17:18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.
(Identify those on this thread with these characteristics.)

Luk 20:14 But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.

Luk 20:5 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not?

Mar 11:31 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? Mar 8:16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread.

Mar 2:8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

Mat 21:25 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?

Mat 16:7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. -- Col. 2:8


It is very obvious that the philosophical reasoning from Calvin's Institutes and Reformed Books is preferred over reasoning from the scriptures.

DSK
May 21st 2007, 09:57 PM
Hello DSK,

We can choose to do many things. The question at hand is why we make the choices we do, and whether these choices are made free from God's control.

I see a distinction between God's will/purpose and His commandments. God commands men not to murder yet He predestined the Lord Jesus Christ's murder from before the foundation of the world (Act 2:23; 4:28). Only by separating God's will and His commandments am I able to make sense of that. Your idea then, that God's designed will can be thwarted, is foreign to me.

Maybe if I make my question more personal for you it will help me gain a better understanding of your POV

Questions"
1. Do you ever sin?
2. If yes, did God cause you to sin?
3. Could you have chosen to not sin?

Dolly_Dagger
May 22nd 2007, 06:02 AM
wow. thats all i can say. the immense amount of knowledge on this forum is amazing. ive been really busy with school AP tests finals etc, getting a job, so i just now read all the amazing replies. i want to say thanks. regarding the older serving the younger could it be a reference to the Jews and Christians? just kind of something i was thinking about, not sure though, what do you guys/gals think about it?

Toolman
May 22nd 2007, 12:34 PM
regarding the older serving the younger could it be a reference to the Jews and Christians? just kind of something i was thinking about, not sure though, what do you guys/gals think about it?

Absolutely, and many believe that is exactly what it is pointing to especially as one continues on thru chapter 11 and how:

11Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!

The stumbling of the nation of Israel (except the remnant) has brought salvation to the Gentiles.

ProjectPeter
May 22nd 2007, 12:42 PM
Let me toss this out at this point so we can carry on this discussion with little fuss or muss!

I am not Calvinist nor do I subscribe to TULIP in any fashion. I disagree with it bigtime and often times loudly. Melted, RbG, etc can all attest to that fact as we have been here and done it once or twice over the years. :) That being said... Refute the doctrines of TULIP/Calvinism and we're cool and these guys will try and refute you back. That's a good old fashioned debate that can get the juices flowing and done rightly... it can be fun as well as informative. But I don't want to see "lies of Calvinism", "doctrine of demons" and all that sort of stuff that has a habit of following these threads. If you make a post with words like that (ANY SUCH SORT OF WORDING... DOESN'T HAVE TO BE EXACT) then your post will be deleted. I don't care if it is a 10,000 word post with one comment that is in line with something like this... the whole post will be deleted and not edited for content.

So far... it's going along pretty good and I enjoy seeing that. Have fun... refute passionately... be nice.

Commercial over and now an official HELLO melted. Long time no see! :)

melted
May 22nd 2007, 02:03 PM
Hey PP :) Thanks for the appropriate and appreciated interuption!

DSK, I hope these satisfy your query. I've also provided Scripture to justify my answers.

1. Do you ever sin? Of course.
1Jo 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
2. If yes, did God cause you to sin? Yes, He has planned it and is the cause of all things.
Eph 1:11 who works all things after the counsel of His will

Isa 63:17 Why, O LORD, do You cause us to stray from Your ways And harden our heart from fearing You?

Rom 8:28 we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God

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

Jer 10:23 I know, O LORD, that a man's way is not in himself, Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.
3. Could you have chosen to not sin? No, I will choose in the way that God has ordained.
Job 23:13 -14 "But He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does. (14) "For He performs what is appointed for me, And many such decrees are with Him.

Job 42:2 "I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

Psa 33:10 The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples.

Psa 115:3 But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.

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

Isa 46:11 Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.

Dan 4:35 "All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, 'What have You done?'

DSK
May 22nd 2007, 03:16 PM
Hey PP :) Thanks for the appropriate and appreciated interuption!

DSK, I hope these satisfy your query. I've also provided Scripture to justify my answers.


1. Do you ever sin? Of course.
1Jo 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

2. If yes, did God cause you to sin? Yes, He has planned it and is the cause of all things.
Eph 1:11 who works all things after the counsel of His will



Isa 63:17 Why, O LORD, do You cause us to stray from Your ways And harden our heart from fearing You?



Rom 8:28 we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God



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



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

3. Could you have chosen to not sin? No, I will choose in the way that God has ordained.
Job 23:13 -14 "But He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does. (14) "For He performs what is appointed for me, And many such decrees are with Him.



Job 42:2 "I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.



Psa 33:10 The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples.



Psa 115:3 But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.



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



Isa 46:11 Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.



Dan 4:35 "All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, 'What have You done?'


God causes you to sin, and then punishes you for the sin He caused you to commit.
Sounds like hyper-Calvinism to me!

Toolman
May 22nd 2007, 03:39 PM
God causes you to sin, and then punishes you for the sin He caused you to commit.
Sounds like hyper-Calvinism to me!

Which, for me, once again comes back to the final and ultimate revelation of God to us, which is His Son, Jesus Christ.

Now, Jesus taught us, like no other Prophet before, that God was a Father.

Now, if God is a Father (and Christ taught that He is) and God is a better Father than earthly (evil) fathers (Matt. 7:11) then what would we think of an earthly father who caused his son to do something evil and then punished that son (by burning him alive no less) for what he had caused him to do?

I think reason would clearly say that such a father was not good in any sense of the word.

Now, on the other hand, if that father allowed his son to follow his own will so that the son could learn that the father's path (way, will) was actually a much more peaceful, satisfying, enjoyable path in the long run than the son's path, then we would determine that that father was working towards the good of that son, even though he allowed him to experience pain and suffering for a period.

Now reason must always bow to scripture, but in determining theology and doctrine we do not toss reason out as part of what we use to determine doctrine, realizing that we may have interpreted some texts incorrectly.

melted
May 22nd 2007, 03:39 PM
God causes you to sin, and then punishes you for the sin He caused you to commit.
Sounds like hyper-Calvinism to me!
Is this an objection? Paul handles this VERY objection, providentially (thank God for that!):

Rom 9:19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?"

I am sure you know what follows, Oh man. :)

DSK
May 22nd 2007, 04:05 PM
Which, for me, once again comes back to the final and ultimate revelation of God to us, which is His Son, Jesus Christ.

Now, Jesus taught us, like no other Prophet before, that God was a Father.

Now, if God is a Father (and Christ taught that He is) and God is a better Father than earthly (evil) fathers (Matt. 7:11) then what would we think of an earthly father who caused his son to do something evil and then punished that son (by burning him alive no less) for what he had caused him to do?

I think reason would clearly say that such a father was not good in any sense of the word.

Now, on the other hand, if that father allowed his son to follow his own will so that the son could learn that the father's path (way, will) was actually a much more peaceful, satisfying, enjoyable path in the long run than the son's path, then we would determine that that father was working towards the good of that son, even though he allowed him to experience pain and suffering for a period.

Now reason must always bow to scripture, but in determining theology and doctrine we do not toss reason out as part of what we use to determine doctrine, realizing that we may have interpreted some texts incorrectly.

Amen Toolman ............

DSK
May 22nd 2007, 04:17 PM
Is this an objection? Paul handles this VERY objection, providentially (thank God for that!):

Rom 9:19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?"

I am sure you know what follows, Oh man. :)


If God causes us to sin, as you suggest then the following Scriptures seem senseless, and the commands to not sin are pointless.

John 5:14 Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing befall thee.

John 8:11 And Jesus said, Neither do I judge you. Go, and sin no more.

John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no excuse for their sin.

Rom 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof:

Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? God forbid.

Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye present yourselves as servants unto obedience, his servants ye are whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

1 Cor 15:34 Awake to soberness righteously, and sin not;

Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more a sacrifice for sins,

Heb 12:1 Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

James 4:17 To him therefore that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you that ye may not sin.

1 John 3:8 he that doeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. To this end was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

Lev 5:17 And if any one sin, and do any of the things which Jehovah hath commanded not to be done; though he knew it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity.

melted
May 22nd 2007, 05:03 PM
"Seeming" senseless or pointless is of no matter. Biblically, God does certainly punish for things He has caused. The command to not sin and God's purpose that we sin are certainly compatible, feelings and seemings aside.

I believe the most important example of the Lord Jesus Christ's death was offered previously, but I will reiterate it one more time for your benefit. God commands that men do not murder, yet He predestined the murder of His Son. This does not fit into your seemings and feelings, but it is revealed as truth in God's word. Paul has answered your objection. God does find fault with the things that He wills. Who are you to question this?

Other examples:

God hardens Pharaoh's heart, causing him to pursue the Israelites and then punishes him for doing so (Exo. 10:1-2; 14:8,17,28; Psa. 105:25). God causes the prophets to prophecy falsely and then punishes them for it (Eze. 14:9). God hardened Sihon's heart in order to bring destruction upon him (Deut. 2:30). God brought about the Hivites destruction by hardening their hearts (Josh 11:20). God sends Nebuchadnezzar against Israel, and then punishes him for this very act (Jer. 25:9; 50:17-18,25; 51:7)

And the most railed against of all, God has cause the reprobate to not believe in Him to the utter and eternal destruction of the reprobate (John 12:37-40; Rom 11:7-8) and the Lord Jesus even THANKS God for doing this and that this is PLEASING in God's eyes (Matt 11:25-26). God sends a deluding influence that they believe what is false. Why? "In order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth" (2 Thes 2:11-12) because to this doom they are appointed (1 Pet. 2:8).

Why object with the very objection that Paul handles in Romans 9? Why would God find fault with what He has willed? Because He's God, and He can.

RSiscoe
May 22nd 2007, 05:30 PM
Is this an objection? Paul handles this VERY objection, providentially (thank God for that!):

Rom 9:19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?"

I am sure you know what follows, Oh man. :)


Melted,

I have two quick questions for you.

1.) Do you believe that "God wills all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth"?

2.) Do you believe in universal salvation?

Redeemed by Grace
May 22nd 2007, 05:42 PM
Melted,

I have two quick questions for you.

1.) Do you believe that "God wills all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth"?

2.) Do you believe in universal salvation?


I'm note melted, but believe he would answer no to both, for which I would also agree with his answers...

To your point #1, the quote is stated wrong...for it should be stated:

1 Timothy 2:4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

God's desire and God's will can be two differing things.

And point #2... well this can be stated many ways why this is not the case, but for me, the simple answer is then Christ didn't have to come and die if all are universally saved...


My 2cents...sorry melted is I misspoke for you, but believe I'm not... :lol:

Toolman
May 22nd 2007, 05:42 PM
Melted,

I have two quick questions for you.

1.) Do you believe that "God wills all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth"?

2.) Do you believe in universal salvation?

RS,

While I think your line of questioning has merit I do want to point out that it is somewhat "baited" and could lead to the thread being moved to a forum unaccessible by the OP.

II. Additionally, unorthodox teachings of ANY of these religions will be moved to the "World Religions" Forum:

1. Seventh Day Adventist (SDA)
2. Jehovah's Witnesses (JW)
3. Latter Day Saints (LDS)
4. ANY non-Christian religion, such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Wicca, etc.
5. UR/Universalism of any sort -- This is the teaching that all humans who ever lived will eventually be in heaven.
6. Roman Catholicism.
http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=70064


Perhaps a new thread in WR or Contro would be appropriate. Whatever the mods may decide there would be fine but just want to point this out.

Toolman
May 22nd 2007, 05:46 PM
And point #2... well this can be stated many ways why this is not the case, but for me, the simple answer is then Christ didn't have to come and die if all are universally saved...

RBG,

I would like to point out that those who do hold to an unlimited atonement (and I mean unlimited :)) would hold to the orthodox view that sin had to be atoned for. Whether that atonement atoned for the sin of a few, many or all is a valid concern but the question of it being for some or all does not negate the fact that an atonement HAD to be made.

melted
May 22nd 2007, 05:57 PM
Hey RbG :)

RSiscoe,

I believe that God has purposed some to salvation and some to damnation, and is working out this plan in time. I do not believe in Universal Atonement, but what might be termed Particular Redemption, which is the effectual work of the Lord Jesus Christ in saving only those "given Him by the Father" by His perfectly sinless person and propitiatory work in His incarnation, death and resurrection.

As Toolman said though, let's avoid that topic so we can keep this from going to the other forum. :)

RSiscoe
May 22nd 2007, 06:27 PM
RS,

While I think your line of questioning has merit I do want to point out that it is somewhat "baited" and could lead to the thread being moved to a forum unaccessible by the OP.

II. Additionally, unorthodox teachings of ANY of these religions will be moved to the "World Religions" Forum:

1. Seventh Day Adventist (SDA)
2. Jehovah's Witnesses (JW)
3. Latter Day Saints (LDS)
4. ANY non-Christian religion, such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Wicca, etc.
5. UR/Universalism of any sort -- This is the teaching that all humans who ever lived will eventually be in heaven.
6. Roman Catholicism.
http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=70064


Perhaps a new thread in WR or Contro would be appropriate. Whatever the mods may decide there would be fine but just want to point this out.

Thanks TM, but I am about positive that my line of thought won't violate any rules, but instead will fit in perfectly with what is being discussed. If you see that I am going in a wrong direction, let me know, but at this point I can't see how my questions will violate the rules.

RSiscoe
May 22nd 2007, 06:33 PM
I'm note melted, but believe he would answer no to both, for which I would also agree with his answers...

To your point #1, the quote is stated wrong...for it should be stated:

1 Timothy 2:4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

RBG,

The word is translated as "will" in most Bibles. The reason, in my opinion, is that "desire" and "will" have virtually the same meaning. To say someone wills something, and desires something, means that they "want something".

The words have basically the same meaning.


God's desire and God's will can be two differing things.

Wouldn't this show a disorder within God? How can God's desire contradict His will? If you or I desire something contary to the will of God, wouldn't this show a disorder within us? How, then, can God desire what He does not will?

Toolman
May 22nd 2007, 06:37 PM
RBG,

The word is translated as "will" in most Bibles. The reason, in my opinion, is that "desire" and "will" have virtually the same meaning. To say someone wills something, and desires something, means that they "want something".

The words have basically the same meaning.


That is correct, the greek word used there is Thelo (http://bible1.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=2309&version=nas) and it is the same exact word that is used in the text we are discussing:

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

It is the same word used by the apostles when they would state that "if it is God's will (thelo)" indicating that if God willed something it would come to pass (Acts 18:21, 1 Cor. 4:19, James 4:15, etc.).

RSiscoe
May 22nd 2007, 07:18 PM
That is correct, the greek word used there is Thelo (http://bible1.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=2309&version=nas) and it is the same exact word that is used in the text we are discussing:

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

It is the same word used by the apostles when they would state that "if it is God's will (thelo)" indicating that if God willed something it would come to pass (Acts 18:21, 1 Cor. 4:19, James 4:15, etc.).

Wow Toolman, that is a handy website you linked to.

Melted,

With Toolman's clarification in mind, do you believe that "God wills all men to be saved"?


You have said you "believe that God has purposed some to salvation and some to damnation" How do you reconcile that with the verse I quoted above?

How can you believe that "God will all men to be saved", yet has "purposed some to damnation", which is contrary to His will? How can you believe both?

Redeemed by Grace
May 22nd 2007, 07:40 PM
RBG,

I would like to point out that those who do hold to an unlimited atonement (and I mean unlimited :)) would hold to the orthodox view that sin had to be atoned for. Whether that atonement atoned for the sin of a few, many or all is a valid concern but the question of it being for some or all does not negate the fact that an atonement HAD to be made.

Hi TM,

Equally, those who hold to the Reformed perspective would see that 1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9 speaks towards God’s revealed will – i.e. telling us what we should do -- and not his hidden will – i.e. His eternal plans for what will happen. These verses simply tell us that God invited and commands every person to repent and come to Christ for salvation, but they do not tell us anything about God’s secret decrees regarding who will be saved.

Again to reformed theology - the weight in God’s will is towards God’s glory than saving everyone, and that according to Romans 9, God’s glory is also furthered by the fact that some are not saved…. So the reformed doctrinal pivot-point -- Roman’s 9 is to say God’s highest value is His own glory, and that He wills or desire all to be saved, yet we should know that all are not saved for Romans 9: 22 confirms among others that this is so…



Thus the basis for my previous post...


For God’s Glory…

Toolman
May 22nd 2007, 07:48 PM
Hi TM,

Equally, those who hold to the Reformed perspective would see that 1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9 speaks towards God’s revealed will – i.e. telling us what we should do -- and not his hidden will – i.e. His eternal plans for what will happen. These verses simply tell us that God invited and commands every person to repent and come to Christ for salvation, but they do not tell us anything about God’s secret decrees regarding who will be saved.

Again to reformed theology - the weight in God’s will is towards God’s glory than saving everyone, and that according to Romans 9, God’s glory is also furthered by the fact that some are not saved…. So the reformed doctrinal pivot-point -- Roman’s 9 is to say God’s highest value is His own glory, and that He wills or desire all to be saved, yet we should know that all are not saved for Romans 9: 22 confirms among others that this is so…


This I can fully understand as the view that God has multiple wills (revealed and secret) and I understand how one could arrive at such a position within their theology.

My specific point was in regards to the statement of "then Christ didn't have to come and die if all are universally saved".

One can hold to reformed soteriology fully embracing T, U, I, P and reject L and yet still hold to the orthodox belief that an atonement had to be made for sin.

Whether for the sin of only the elect or for all does not negate the position that Christ would still have to die regardless of the specific number of who He atoned for. He would STILL have to come and die even if all are saved.

My point was only to show that whether Christ atoned for some or all the fact would still remain that He had to come and die to make atonement. I hope I am communicating that clearly.

That was my only point and really had nothing to do with the position of God having multiple wills (or the other position of all referring to "all types").

melted
May 22nd 2007, 07:50 PM
Luk 6:26 "Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.

Joh 11:48 "If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."

Act 21:28 crying out, "Men of Israel, come to our aid! This is the man who preaches to all men everywhere against our people and the Law and this place; and besides he has even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place."

1Co 9:22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.

1Co 10:33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved.

2Co 3:2 You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men;

So, I think you get the point by now, which is that "all men" does not mean "every soul to have ever been and will ever be" -- to conclude this blindly is not biblical. Even so, specific to the text you cited, let's see:

1Ti 2:1-4 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, (2) for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. (3) This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, (4) who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

So, if "all men" means every soul to have ever been or will ever be, Paul is instructing Timothy to pray for:

1) The dead
2) The antichrist
3) Judas Iscariot
4) People not yet even born
5) etc

Surely you do not think this was Paul's instruction? I don't. All men, in this context, refers to all types of men including kings and those in authority.

Redeemed by Grace
May 22nd 2007, 07:56 PM
This I can fully understand as the view that God has multiple wills (revealed and secret) and I understand how one could arrive at such a position within their theology.

My specific point was in regards to the statement of "then Christ didn't have to come and die if all are universally saved".

One can hold to reformed soteriology fully embracing T, U, I, P and reject L and yet still hold to the orthodox belief that an atonement had to be made for sin.

Whether for the sin of only the elect or for all does not negate the position that Christ would still have to die regardless of the specific number of who He atoned for. He would STILL have to come and die even if all are saved.

My point was only to show that whether Christ atoned for some or all the fact would still remain that He had to come and die to make atonement. I hope I am communicating that clearly.

That was my only point and really had nothing to do with the position of God having multiple wills (or the other position of all referring to "all types").


Thanks for the clarification...

ProjectPeter
May 22nd 2007, 08:57 PM
Thanks TM, but I am about positive that my line of thought won't violate any rules, but instead will fit in perfectly with what is being discussed. If you see that I am going in a wrong direction, let me know, but at this point I can't see how my questions will violate the rules.It isn't your question that would violate the rules. It is the answers to your question that would. Melted is not Universalism in any shape or form... guarantee you that. There are some that are though and that discussion is limited to the World Religions forum and Toolman as well as others are trying to avoid that from happening because the original poster doesn't have access to that forum nor do many others. Hence the reason he tossed that out to you as such.

RSiscoe
May 22nd 2007, 09:17 PM
It isn't your question that would violate the rules. It is the answers to your question that would. Melted is not Universalism in any shape or form... guarantee you that. There are some that are though and that discussion is limited to the World Religions forum and Toolman as well as others are trying to avoid that from happening because the original poster doesn't have access to that forum nor do many others. Hence the reason he tossed that out to you as such.

Oh. I didn't know anyone here believed in unversal salvation (when did that start?). I used it as an absurd example to make a point, which was: If God wills all men to be saved, and since everyone knows that all men are not saved, it shows that all that happens is not the positive will of God. I won't use that point again.

Whispering Grace
May 22nd 2007, 09:19 PM
Commercial over and now an official HELLO melted. Long time no see! :)

MELTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How did I miss that you were back? My heart skipped a beat when I saw you had posted!



And now that I got that out of my system, girlie dance and all.......carry on. :cool:

Pilgrimtozion
May 22nd 2007, 09:37 PM
What I wonder with Limited Atonement is why John would then call Jesus "The Lamb of God that washes away the sins of the world" in John 1. I mean, obviously some people remain in their sin - but to argue that this is because Jesus didn't die for the sins of all mankind seems to directly contradict this verse. Unless, of course, you would like to redefine 'world'.

RSiscoe
May 22nd 2007, 09:51 PM
What I wonder with Limited Atonement is why John would then call Jesus "The Lamb of God that washes away the sins of the world" in John 1. I mean, obviously some people remain in their sin - but to argue that this is because Jesus didn't die for the sins of all mankind seems to directly contradict this verse. Unless, of course, you would like to redefine 'world'.

Not to mention the fact that the Bible explicitly tells us that Jesus died for all - "Jesus Christ: who gave Himself a redemption for all..." (1 Tim 2:6)

Toolman
May 22nd 2007, 09:59 PM
What I wonder with Limited Atonement is why John would then call Jesus "The Lamb of God that washes away the sins of the world" in John 1. I mean, obviously some people remain in their sin -

PZ,

The obvious question there would be that if John called Jesus the "Lamb who TAKES AWAY the sins of the world" then how is it that some remain in sin if He actually takes away their sin?

This is why reformed who hold to limited atonement (and URists who hold to unlimited atonement) believe this text teaches that Christ actually did take away the sin of "the world". Of course the limited atonement side believes world to speak of the elect in the world and the unlimited believe it speaks of all people but nevertheless both groups believe that Christ actually does take away the sin of "the world".

Whereas those who hold to a free-will/arminian position do not believe that Christ actually takes away the sin of "the world". They redefine "takes away" to me something else like "makes a way for it to be taken away" or something along those lines.

Toolman
May 22nd 2007, 10:08 PM
Oh. I didn't know anyone here believed in unversal salvation (when did that start?).

Oh, how quickly they forget :)

http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1214095&postcount=91
http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1214476&postcount=96
http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1214953&postcount=107
http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1220571&postcount=166

Pilgrimtozion
May 22nd 2007, 10:18 PM
So we take theological liberty in defining 'world'? Should we then also limit the group of people spoken of when Paul calls Satan the 'god of this world'? I see no reason to let the verse say something else than it says: Jesus takes away the sins of the world. And he does! But does the Bible not show us that a choice needs to be made? Luke 7:30 - which I have brought up before - shows us that God has a purpose for the Pharisees which they rejected. How could they reject God's purposes if what God wants is always accomplished?

I understand what you are saying, Toolman. But such an interpretation is not justified by the verse nor supported by the rest of Scripture. Of course we can find verses that emphasize the sovereignty of God. But we can also find many verses that emphasize the fact that man still has a choice! Why, it all started with a choice in the Garden of Eden, didn't it? Or should we argue that it was God's will for Eve to be deceived and Adam to not take his responsibility but eat of the fruit that Eve gave him instead?

Does the Bible not say that Christ died for the ungodly? Or did He die only for some of the ungodly? Did He only carry the punishment for those He preselected? Were Ananias and Sapphira destined to sin against the Holy Spirit? Was Demas destined to go back to 'this present world' (however we define that, though I will stick to what I consider to be the most natural definition of the word)?

Where is individual responsibility if Christ has never given everybody the option of getting saved in the first place (after all, that is what Limited Atonement comes down to)? How I can be held responsible for not choosing something I never had the option of choosing in the first place?

And if Christ only died for some...why on earth did He do something like that? I mean, if everybody He chooses is going to come to Him anyway - if they cannot reject His purposes - why not choose everybody?!? Why create some to burn in hell for all eternity? Of course God's ways are higher than ours, but that is a bridge too far as far as I'm concerned.

The Pharisees rejected His purposes for them...and sadly, many do today as well. Why? Because they have a choice.

Redeemed by Grace
May 22nd 2007, 10:18 PM
Not to mention the fact that the Bible explicitly tells us that Jesus died for all - "Jesus Christ: who gave Himself a redemption for all..." (1 Tim 2:6)


If all means all, then how does one explain Revelation 14 9-11?

9 Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,
10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
11 "And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."


By theses verses, doesn’t God poor out his wrath on folks who worship the beast? If so, what happens to all?

Teke
May 22nd 2007, 10:24 PM
What I wonder with Limited Atonement is why John would then call Jesus "The Lamb of God that washes away the sins of the world" in John 1. I mean, obviously some people remain in their sin - but to argue that this is because Jesus didn't die for the sins of all mankind seems to directly contradict this verse. Unless, of course, you would like to redefine 'world'.

Likely has something to do with this.


Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Whispering Grace
May 22nd 2007, 10:28 PM
Why create some to burn in hell for all eternity?

PTZ....whether Arminian or Calvinist, both sides have to acknowledge that God foreknows and creates people every day who are going to go to hell.

Couldn't I ask you "Why create some knowing they will reject Him and go to hell for eternity?"

The theology is different, but the end result is the same. God creates people every day knowing that their ultimate fate is eternity in hell.

melted
May 22nd 2007, 10:39 PM
MELTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You are much too kind WG. I saw this wonderful topic and figured I could not keep from opening my mouth -- Romans 9 is my favorite chapter in the Bible. ;)

Toolman
May 22nd 2007, 10:45 PM
So we take theological liberty in defining 'world'? Should we then also limit the group of people spoken of when Paul calls Satan the 'god of this world'? I see no reason to let the verse say something else than it says: Jesus takes away the sins of the world. And he does! But does the Bible not show us that a choice needs to be made?

And now we have taken "theological liberty" with "takes away". I see no reason also to let the verse say something else than what it says but each theological school works with various "difficult" passages (to their theology) and interprets those passages within a grid of theology. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Each theological group does this (calv, arm, uni).


I understand what you are saying, Toolman. But such an interpretation is not justified by the verse nor supported by the rest of Scripture. Of course we can find verses that emphasize the sovereignty of God. But we can also find many verses that emphasize the fact that man still has a choice! Why, it all started with a choice in the Garden of Eden, didn't it? Or should we argue that it was God's will for Eve to be deceived and Adam to not take his responsibility but eat of the fruit that Eve gave him instead?

Does the Bible not say that Christ died for the ungodly? Or did He die only for some of the ungodly? Did He only carry the punishment for those He preselected? Were Ananias and Sapphira destined to sin against the Holy Spirit? Was Demas destined to go back to 'this present world' (however we define that, though I will stick to what I consider to be the most natural definition of the word)?

Where is individual responsibility if Christ has never given everybody the option of getting saved in the first place (after all, that is what Limited Atonement comes down to)? How I can be held responsible for not choosing something I never had the option of choosing in the first place?

And if Christ only died for some...why on earth did He do something like that? I mean, if everybody He chooses is going to come to Him anyway - if they cannot reject His purposes - why not choose everybody?!? Why create some to burn in hell for all eternity? Of course God's ways are higher than ours, but that is a bridge too far as far as I'm concerned.

The Pharisees rejected His purposes for them...and sadly, many do today as well. Why? Because they have a choice.

Of course each group has there proof texts. And proof texts are important. I don't disagree.

But each group also has a theological "grid" that they work from. When they encounter passages that, on face value, seem to contradict their "grid" they must interpret those passages to fit within the grid.

And I'm not saying that is wrong. It must be done. But it is still a fact that all do it.

I have shown the 3 presuppositions before that reveal this.

1) It is God's will (His TRUE desire) that all men be saved from damnation.
2) God's will (His TRUE desires) will be accomplished and cannot be thwarted.
3) Some persons will not be saved and will be eternally punished (or destroyed completely).

Now, it is impossible to hold all 3 of these presuppositions as true. But all 3 presuppositions can be proved using scripture.

Reformed/Calvinists (who hold limited atonement) hold to 2 and 3 being true and deny 1 believing that God does not truly will the salvation of all.

Arminian/Free-will (who hold to limited salvation) hold to 1 and 3 being true and deny 2 believing that God's will can be thwarted.

Universal reconciliationists hold to 1 and 2 being true and deny 3 believing that punishment is not eternal but limited in time.

Now, what we do is we have to determine which of these schools of theology best fits within the whole of scripture regarding the character and nature of God, the nature of man and God's redemptive plan of salvation. Which is most in line with the God we find revealed in the whole of scripture and His plan of redemption?

Toolman
May 22nd 2007, 10:48 PM
PTZ....whether Arminian or Calvinist, both sides have to acknowledge that God foreknows and creates people every day who are going to go to hell.

Couldn't I ask you "Why create some knowing they will reject Him and go to hell for eternity?"

The theology is different, but the end result is the same. God creates people every day knowing that their ultimate fate is eternity in hell.

Exactly what I was thinking.

Why would God create certain people He foreknows will be eternally tormented? Why not just not create them?

And I do think these philisophical/reasoning questions are important as we work towards which theological grid we believe the biblical narrative falls within, just as the proof texts are.

I'm not discouraging these (I hope that is clear) but just trying to show that all sides must answer some "tough questions".

RSiscoe
May 22nd 2007, 10:48 PM
If all means all,

If all means all? Very interesting. I have a better question if all doesn't mean all, what does all mean?

Interesting how far people will go in an attempt to explain away the verses they don't like. The fact of the matter is that "God will all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth".

First you try to say that the word "will" actually means something else. Now you claim that all doesn't mean all. It's the same word! How can all means something other than all?

Redeemed by Grace
May 22nd 2007, 10:52 PM
If all means all? Very interesting. I have a better question if all doesn't mean all, what does all mean?

Interesting how far people will go in an attempt to explain away the verses they don't like. The fact of the matter is that "God will all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth".

First you try to say that the word "will" actually means something else. Now you claim that all doesn't mean all. It's the same word! How can all means something other than all?

Let's say your definition of all it the most right one, then who are those whom God pours out His anger on - Rev 14:10?

RSiscoe
May 22nd 2007, 10:52 PM
Oh, how quickly they forget :)

http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1214095&postcount=91
http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1214476&postcount=96
http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1214953&postcount=107
http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1220571&postcount=166

I remembered that discussion, but I was thinking the subject was the annihilation of the soul, rather than universal salvation. Maybe I was getting that confused with something else.

watchinginawe
May 22nd 2007, 10:57 PM
PTZ....whether Arminian or Calvinist, both sides have to acknowledge that God foreknows and creates people every day who are going to go to hell. Is God still creating? What I mean is for example your children. Did God create them like He created Adam? Or are your children the product of pro-creation, a mechanism that God created? I think it would be more correct to say God allows in these instances, kind of like the children of the Sons of God and the daughters of men. What do you think?

God Bless!

RSiscoe
May 22nd 2007, 11:03 PM
Let's say your definition of all it the most right one, then who are those whom God pours out His anger on - Rev 14:10?


Rev 14:9-11]9 Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,
10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
11 "And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."

The word all isn't used there, but if it was it would refer to all who worship the beast and his image. Not just some of the people who worship the beast and him image, but all of them.

In this case all would refer to all that fall into the group mentioned. For example, if I said that all of the players on the team were over 300 pounds, the word "all" would refer to the members of the team.

If I said that all men were over 300 pounds (without limiting it to the team members), then "all" would not be limited to just the team, but would apply to all men.

Redeemed by Grace
May 22nd 2007, 11:06 PM
If all means all? Very interesting. I have a better question if all doesn't mean all, what does all mean?

Interesting how far people will go in an attempt to explain away the verses they don't like. The fact of the matter is that "God will all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth".

First you try to say that the word "will" actually means something else. Now you claim that all doesn't mean all. It's the same word! How can all means something other than all?

Also... what is wrong with these two sentences"

I will go to sleep tonight...

I will be President of the United States.

Are they both self-directed? Will both have the same probability of occurring? Can they also mean desire? Are both able to be thwarted?


My point is will can have various meanings and it depends on context, intent, and purpose.... God can will that all men be saved and thus by context of scripture, this is will means desire, just like your desire may be to go on vacation, but you might get sick and cannot.... thus to the many wills within Scripture.

Whispering Grace
May 22nd 2007, 11:06 PM
Is God still creating? What I mean is for example your children. Did God create them like He created Adam? Or are your children the product of pro-creation, a mechanism that God created? I think it would be more correct to say God allows in these instances, kind of like the children of the Sons of God and the daughters of men. What do you think?

God Bless!

Hi WIA. :)

The Bible says God formed me in the womb. (Psalm 139)

There was nothing passive about it.

Redeemed by Grace
May 22nd 2007, 11:12 PM
The word all isn't used there, but if it was it would refer to all who worship the beast and his image. Not just some of the people who worship the beast and him image, but all of them.

In this case all would refer to all that fall into the group mentioned. For example, if I said that all of the players on the team were over 300 pounds, the word "all" would refer to the members of the team.

If I said that all men were over 300 pounds (without limiting it to the team members), then "all" would not be limited to just the team, but would apply to all men.


Try not to be so literal... If we look at 1 Timothy 2:4

who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

For which I hear you saying all men means all men, then if all men are saved, who are the folks within Revelation 14:10?

Would they not be part of the all men within 1 Timothy 2:4 then?


So if you see my point, then all does not necessarily = all, does it not?

DSK
May 22nd 2007, 11:18 PM
Now, what we do is we have to determine which of these schools of theology best fits within the whole of scripture regarding the character and nature of God, the nature of man and God's redemptive plan of salvation. Which is most in line with the God we find revealed in the whole of scripture and His plan of redemption?

FWIW. Each of those schools has their warts. It's only once you get away from denominationalism that the truth of Scripture begins to shine.

Whispering Grace
May 22nd 2007, 11:18 PM
One of the major problems I have with this line of thought of "God's glory" is God is presented as a self-centered, prideful, egotistic being who only cares for Himself.

Something I've been pondering, TM......who do you think God loves more, us or Himself?

watchinginawe
May 22nd 2007, 11:21 PM
Hi WIA. :)

The Bible says God formed me in the womb. (Psalm 139)

There was nothing passive about it.How? Special creation? or pro-creation as God ordained?

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:


Genesis 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

God Bless!

RSiscoe
May 22nd 2007, 11:34 PM
Also... what is wrong with these two sentences"

I will go to sleep tonight...

I will be President of the United States.

Are they both self-directed? Will both have the same probability of occurring? Can they also mean desire? Are both able to be thwarted?

I will answer what defects could be present in the two statements. Firstly, we have to realize that the person who made them is a mere man, and does not know the future. Therefore, since these are predictions of the future, there is no guarantee that they will come to pass.

The first statement is extremely probable, since the person is likely to live to the next day, and they probably sleep every night. However, since the person is not all-knowing, there can be no way of knowing if the statement will come true.

The second statement, if made by an adult who is not mentally ill, is rash and will probably not come to pass, unless there are circumstances that would lead a rational person to believe that they will probably be President. For example, if during the 2000 Presidential fight between Bush and Gore, if Bush knew that the courts would not overturn the election, he could have made the statement and been realtively sure that he was right. In this case, it would not have been a rash statement and would probably come to pass. But since no man knows the future, he can never say for certain than anything will happen.


My point is will can have various meanings and it depends on context, intent, and purpose.... God can will that all men be saved and thus by context of scripture, this is will means desire, just like your desire may be to go on vacation, but you might get sick and cannot.... thus to the many wills within Scripture.

But since God is all-knowing, so he is not subject to unknown future events.

I think I know what you are trying to say, and I'm not sure if I disagree with you, but I don't think the examples you used work.

My point in posing the question was to show that God does not "want" anyone to go to hell. He allows it to happen, but it is not what he wants.

Everything that happens in this life is according to the will of God. There are passages in the Old Testament that say this. The verse I have in mind says something like "nothing happens without God willing it". And, although it may seem to contradict what I wrote a moment ago, those who go to hell are not contradicting God's will.

The way this seeming contradiction is reconciled is by distinguishing between the Antecedent will of God (which is what God "wants"), and His consequent will (which is what God want to permit).

The Antecedent will of God (what God wants) is that all men be saved, yet His consequent will (what he allows) is that some are damned.

I don't know if you and I agree, and were just having a problem with semantics, or if we differ theologically.

Redeemed by Grace
May 22nd 2007, 11:41 PM
I will answer what defects could be present in the two statements. Firstly, we have to realize that the person who made them is a mere man, and does not know the future. Therefore, since these are predictions of the future, there is no guarantee that they will come to pass.

The first statement is extremely probable, since the person is likely to live to the next day, and they probably sleep every night. However, since the person is not all-knowing, there can be no way of knowing if the statement will come true.

The second statement, if made by an adult who is not mentally ill, is rash and will probably not come to pass, unless there are circumstances that would lead a rational person to believe that they will probably be President. For example, if during the 2000 Presidential fight between Bush and Gore, if Bush knew that the courts would not overturn the election, he could have made the statement and been realtively sure that he was right. In this case, it would not have been a rash statement and would probably come to pass. But since no man knows the future, he can never say for certain than anything will happen.



But since God is all-knowing, so he is not subject to unknown future events.

I think I know what you are trying to say, and I'm not sure if I disagree with you, but I don't think the examples you used work.

My point in posing the question was to show that God does not "want" anyone to go to hell. He allows it to happen, but it is not what he wants.

Everything that happens in this life is according to the will of God. There are passages in the Old Testament that say this. The verse I have in mind says something like "nothing happens without God willing it". And, although it may seem to contradict what I wrote a moment ago, those who go to hell are not contradicting God's will.

The way this seeming contradiction is reconciled is by distinguishing between the Antecedent will of God (which is what God "wants"), and His consequent will (which is what God want to permit).

The Antecedent will of God (what God wants) is that all men be saved, yet His consequent will (what he allows) is that some are damned.

I don't know if you and I agree, and were just having a problem with semantics, or if we differ theologically.

Would you also say that God is also providential?

[And your last comments do give me a pause to say we are closer than I 1st thought... :saint:... hopefully when we say them together they mean the same thing:rofl:]

RSiscoe
May 22nd 2007, 11:45 PM
Try not to be so literal... If we look at 1 Timothy 2:4

who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

For which I hear you saying all men means all men, then if all men are saved, who are the folks within Revelation 14:10?

Would they not be part of the all men within 1 Timothy 2:4 then?


So if you see my point, then all does not necessarily = all, does it not?

All always means all, but it can be limited to all of a certain group if that is what is specified. Like I said earlier, if you say "all those on the team are wearing shorts", the word all is limited to the group it is referring to. But if a certain group is not specified, there are no limits.

So, you could argue that when the Bible says "God wills all men to be saved" that the statement only applies to men, and not women, but I don't think that is what he meant.

RSiscoe
May 22nd 2007, 11:48 PM
Would you also say that God is also providential?

If your asking if I believe in Divine Providence, the answer is yes. If you want a more thorough answer you will need to define what you mean by "God being providential". I think I know, but it might be best if you defined it.

Redeemed by Grace
May 22nd 2007, 11:58 PM
RSiscoe,

I guess my point that I want to make is that words need to be judged by context, usage, position, grammar, tense, etc. and of course, historical significance...

The words ALL and WILL can have various degrees of intention and meaning, and it's very valuable to reconcile scripture with scripture to come to the best understanding...

I've used this before and will use this again... in my day, something that was good or enjoyable we'd say it was cool. Today my kids would say it is sick or ill... Now if I wrote "that car was ill or cool, 100-200 years from now the reader may not know what that means, unless the words maintain their meaning and/or they knew the context for which it was written.

So to with all and will... As a sentence standing alone, it may convey a very literal understanding, but when you surround it with context, add a little history, compare it to other usages with the word to find if it's comparable, then compare it to potentially contradictory statements within the word, then the best exegesis or understanding comes out. Many times a literal understanding is the intent, but sometimes it's figurative, sometimes scripture can be allegorical... good study can better bring this out... and a good biblical teacher can help accelerate this.

So my original comments are that will as used within 1 Timothy 2 doesn't mean it will come about, but is God's desire; and ALL doesn't mean every person will be saved....

That is a bit of background for my position...

For God's Glory...

Redeemed by Grace
May 23rd 2007, 12:01 AM
If your asking if I believe in Divine Providence, the answer is yes. If you want a more thorough answer you will need to define what you mean by "God being providential". I think I know, but it might be best if you defined it.

Does God control and even plan the next second...and the second after the that, and so on?


The wind, the rain, the days, the nights, your life, my life... is God the planner and director --- or provident in all?

Toolman
May 23rd 2007, 12:01 AM
Interesting how far people will go in an attempt to explain away the verses they don't like. The fact of the matter is that "God will all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth".

Rsiscoe,

To be fair let's put that shoe on the other foot:

Ephesians 1:11
11In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

Job 42:2
2"I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

Psalm 115:3
3Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases.

Isaiah 46:10-11
10declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, 'My counsel shall stand,
and I WILL accomplish all my purpose,'
11calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.

Now, these verses clearly teach, at face value, that God works all things according to His will and that NOTHING He has purposed, planned and willed will be thwarted. His plan and purpose and desire will be accomplished.

Now, take that with the text that it is God's will for all to be saved and you have 2 options.

1) Believe that God will save all men.
2) "Explain away the verses" (your term above) as to what they mean to fit within your theology.

So, I think the "explain away" is once again a case of pot and kettle, glass houses/stones type of thing.

Toolman
May 23rd 2007, 12:09 AM
FWIW. Each of those schools has their warts. It's only once you get away from denominationalism that the truth of Scripture begins to shine.

Well, these "schools" represent the thoughts of godly men/women, througout Church history, who have wrestled with the biblical text in an attempt to understand the fullness of our God and His redemptive plan of salvation for His creation.

So, I am not quite ready to just slap "denominationalism" on everything ,except what I believe, to somehow dismiss these thoughts and ideas that have been tackled throughout the Church.

The scripture, without doubt, has the truth. It is us, peering through glass darkly, that sometimes have trouble seeing that truth. Whether that be at the denominational level or individual is IMO irrelevant.

Our own understanding of scripture has it warts also and to think otherwise can, IMO, cause us to miss the truth of scripture. I am positive you agree there DSK, just knowing you a little bit from your postings.

Toolman
May 23rd 2007, 12:17 AM
Something I've been pondering, TM......who do you think God loves more, us or Himself?

That is a great question WG and one I would probably answer within a framework of an understanding of what love is.

Since I believe love (agape to be specific) is at its very core selfless (not self centered) then I would say that God loves us more than Himself.

Now, I am not taking into the equation degrees of love within the Trinity, i.e. the love between the Father, Son and Spirit. I am strictly speaking from a position of the Father's love towards His beloved.

1 Cor. 13:4-8 - Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.

RSiscoe
May 23rd 2007, 12:23 AM
Does God control and even plan the next second...and the second after the that, and so on?

The wind, the rain, the days, the nights, your life, my life... is God the planner and director --- or provident in all?

My answer will have to be from two perspectives: from the perspective of time and from the perspective of eternity.

From time: I believe that man has free will, and that God allows him to excersize it. That does not mean that God cannot intervene when He choses, but normally God will allow man to use his will to do what he wants. That being said, I don't think that God forces man to act or not act, and I certainly don't think God is the cause of man's sin.

From the perspective of Eternity: God knows all things. He knows in advance what choices I will make and what I will do. If God didn't know this, he would not be all-knowing. But saying that God knows what I will do is different than saying God is forcing me to do what I will do. For example, let's say that you have watched a movie three times. Just because you know how the movie will end does not mean that you yourself have forced the ending. You just know the ending because you already possess that knowledge.

The same is true with God (kind of). He knows all things, and therefore knows what choices we will make and what our final end will be.

Our human minds are limited, and when we get into the area of eternity we are nearing the boundaries of our minds ability to comprehend. I believe this is why people often get confused over predestination and end by drawing false conclusion - conclusions that really don't make sense.

In my opinion, one of these false conclusions is that, since God knows all things, it means he controls everyone's actions and thus is the cause of sin.

Moral and physical Evil: There is also the distinction between natural evil (physical disasters) and moral evil (sin). I do believe that God is the cause of natural disasters, but not of moral evil.

If we claim that God is the cause if sin (moral evil) it means God is the cause of that which is contrary to His law. That would be a contradiction. God cannot be the cause of what he forbids. God is the cause of "physical evil" such as natural disasters, but even these are for His glory, since they serve to punish sin and warn the sinner.

Did that answer your question?

RSiscoe
May 23rd 2007, 12:34 AM
Rsiscoe,

To be fair let's put that shoe on the other foot:

Your going to give me a work out, aren't you. I'll give it my best shot.


Ephesians 1:11
11In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

That means nothing happens to either the Antecedent or Consequent will of god. In other words, nothing happenes without God positively wanting it to happen (antecendent will), or allowing it to happen (consequent will).


Job 42:2
2"I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

God can do all things, which includes overriding the free will of man, by either forcing him to do the good that God wants done, or forbidding him from doing the evil God does not want to allow. But he rarely hinders man's free will.


Psalm 115:3
3Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases.

Same answer as above, but I would add that it usually pleases God to allow man to excersize his will as he choses.


Isaiah 46:10-11
10declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, 'My counsel shall stand,
and I WILL accomplish all my purpose,'
11calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.

That which God has known from all eternity will comes to pass, and nothing will prevent it.


Now, these verses clearly teach, at face value, that God works all things according to His will and that NOTHING He has purposed, planned and willed will be thwarted. His plan and purpose and desire will be accomplished.

Now, take that with the text that it is God's will for all to be saved and you have 2 options.

1) Believe that God will save all men.
2) "Explain away the verses" (your term above) as to what they mean to fit within your theology.

So, I think the "explain away" is once again a case of pot and kettle, glass houses/stones type of thing.

Not at all. My explanation is that God's antecendent will is indeed for all men to be saved, but his consequent will (what he allows) is that those who reject Him are not saved. He wills the later of the two as an act of justice, and these unfortunate ones will indeed glorify the justice of God for all eternity, whereas the former will glorify His mercy for all eternity.

Redeemed by Grace
May 23rd 2007, 12:45 AM
My answer will have to be from two perspectives: from the perspective of time and from the perspective of eternity.

From time: I believe that man has free will, and that God allows him to excersize it. That does not mean that God cannot intervene when He choses, but normally God will allow man to use his will to do what he wants. That being said, I don't think that God forces man to act or not act, and I certainly don't think God is the cause of man's sin.

From the perspective of Eternity: God knows all things. He knows in advance what choices I will make and what I will do. If God didn't know this, he would not be all-knowing. But saying that God knows what I will do is different than saying God is forcing me to do what I will do. For example, let's say that you have watched a movie three times. Just because you know how the movie will end does not mean that you yourself have forced the ending. You just know the ending because you already possess that knowledge.

The same is true with God (kind of). He knows all things, and therefore knows what choices we will make and what our final end will be.

Our human minds are limited, and when we get into the area of eternity, we are nearing the boundaries of our minds ability to comprehend. I believe this is why people often get confused over predestination and end by drawing false conclusion - conclusions that really don't make sense.

In my opinion, one of these false conclusions is that, since God knows all things, it means he controls everyone's actions and thus is the cause of sin.

Moral and physical Evil: There is also the distinction between natural evil (physical disasters) and moral evil (sin). I do believe that God is the cause of natural disasters, but not of moral evil.

If we claim that God is the cause if sin (moral evil) it means God is the cause of that which is contrary to His law. That would be a contradiction. God cannot be the cause of what he forbids. God is the cause of "physical evil" such as natural disasters, but even these are for His glory, since they serve to punish sin and warn the sinner.

Did that answer your question?


For now, instead of offering scripture to point out that He directs the wind and rain, that He controls the date of your birth, the walk of your days, and the time of death... I'll ask a few questions that hopefully will point out your thoughts....

Do you...
1) pray when you travel far from home? For Safety? Protection? Return?
2) do you pray for the salvation of another?
3) do you pray for your or another's health?

The point of these questions are: God's in control, is He not?

When the winds blow hard, or the earth shakes hard, when the waters rise to the windows, or when the heat of fire is on the horizon, do we not pray for God's control? When mom or dad lie in bed with cancer, when your little boy has a fever of 101, when you worry that you just ran out of money for the rent or mortgage, do we not pray for God to help?

So set aside your thoughts about free will for now, for God does give us a mind to respond, but let's look to how we wre taught to pray... For God's will to be done, for Him to give us our daily needs, to keep us from temptation and sinning, to help us to repent and to come closer to Him... all for His Glory!


So is it just knowing what will happen or is He also in control? For if He were not in control, then why do we pray to Him thinking He is?


I see scripture pointing to God's sovereignty, providence, omnipotence, etc... but ask from a practical aspect first, just to see if you do what I do... that is to pray that God's will be done -- and that I submit to His Lordship as 'I plan my ways, but He directs my path....' Proverbs 16:9

Toolman
May 23rd 2007, 12:56 AM
Your going to give me a work out, aren't you. I'll give it my best shot.

That means nothing happens to either the Antecedent or Consequent will of god. In other words, nothing happenes without God positively wanting it to happen (antecendent will), or allowing it to happen (consequent will).

God can do all things, which includes overriding the free will of man, by either forcing him to do the good that God wants done, or forbidding him from doing The evil God does not want to allow. But he rarely hinders man's free will.

Same answer as above, but I would add that it usually pleases God to allow man to excersize his will as he choses.

That which God has known from all eternity will comes to pass, and nothing will prevent it.

Not at all. My explanation is that God's antecendent will is indeed for all men to be saved, but his consequent will (what he allows) is that those who reject Him are not saved. He wills the later of the two as an act of justice, and these unfortunate ones will indeed glorify the justice of God for all eternity, whereas the former will glorify His mercy for all eternity.

Please don't misunderstand me RS. I completely understand that all of scripture is workable into a school of theology.

My point is that ALL schools (and individuals) do exactly that. So the statement you made of "others explaining away verses they don't like", IMO, is exactly what you have done with the verses above, though I hope you understand I don't like the term "explaining away" and I my attempt here is to show that it is not so much that as trying to understand the biblical text within a theological framework or grid. You do it as well as anyone else :)

For instance, the idea of God having 2 wills (antecedent and consequent) is a theological term that is attempting to interpret two seemingly contradictory texts, one which says God's "thelo" (will) is that all men be saved and other texts which say that God's "thelo" (will) will ultimately be accomplished.

Or for instance your interpretation of the Isaiah text which, at face value, says:

That God WILL accomplish all His purpose, what He has spoken He will bring it to pass and what He has purposed He will do it.

You interpret this verse to say:

That what God has known (not purposed) from all eternity will comes to pass, and nothing will prevent it.

Whereas the verse clearly does not even mention God's foreknowledge but strictly speaks of His purpose and plan, not His foreknowledge. Your theology obviously stepping in here and helping you "explain away a text you don't like" :)

I hope that makes sense and my only purpose here is to show that every school (and individual) works within a framework/grid of theology to answer passages which seemingly contradict what that particular theology believes is the overall message of the bible.

RSiscoe
May 23rd 2007, 01:02 AM
For now, instead of offering scripture to point out that He direst the wind and rain, that He controls the date of your birth, the walk of your days, and the time of death... I'll ask a few questions that hopefully will point out your thoughts....

Do you...
1) pray when you travel far from home? For Safety? Protection? Return?
2) do you pray for the salvation of another?
3) do you pray for your or another's health?

The point of these questions is God's control, is it not?

But if all was predetermined, why would anyone pray? After all, some claim that God predetermined in advance all that was to happen. If that is what you believe why would you pray to God to change what has already been determined. If you think your prayers will can effect the future, then you must not believe that it has been predetermined by God.

I pray to God for all those things and many more because I know that God can do all things, and therefore I ask Him for His help. I don't think that all has been predetermined or else I would bother asking God for His help. After all, would my prayers be able to change what was already determined to occur?


When the winds blow hard, or the earth shakes hard, when the waters rise to the windows, or when the heat of fire is on the horizon, do we not pray for God's control?

I do, but why would anyone who thinks that the future is already set in stone?


When mom or dad lie in bed with cancer, when your little boy has a fever of 101, when your worry that you just ran out of money for the rent or mortgage, do we not pray to God to help?

Not if we believe all has been predetermined in advance and set in stone. For in that case prayer would not change anything.


So set aside your thoughts about will, for God does give us a mind to respond, let look to how we pray... God's will be done, Give us our daily needs, keep us from sinning, help us to repent to come closer to Him... all for His Glory!

So is it just knowing what will happen or is He also in control? For if He were not in control, then why do we pray to Him thinking He is?

It is both. God knows what will happen and He is in control. If we pray He will answer our prayers, and if we don't pray he won't. Whichever the case may be, God knew it from all eternity.

There is an old saying that goes like this: "God governs the world, but prayer governs God". I like that saying. But at the same time, God has always known the eventual outcome and all details in between. If we pray and he answers, he always knew it would happen. If we don't pray, he always knew that would happen as well.

At the same time it is true that God is in control and answers our prayers, and that God knows all things.

I don't think we are disagree with each other here. I'm pretty sure we both believe the same way, but are not looking at it from the same angle.

ProjectPeter
May 23rd 2007, 01:31 AM
Exactly what I was thinking.

Why would God create certain people He foreknows will be eternally tormented? Why not just not create them?

And I do think these philisophical/reasoning questions are important as we work towards which theological grid we believe the biblical narrative falls within, just as the proof texts are.

I'm not discouraging these (I hope that is clear) but just trying to show that all sides must answer some "tough questions".
Unless you follow Boyd's line of thinking that God can know but chooses not to know etc. Brain has put what is called in the clink although I know what it is... HELP.... ME!!!! :lol:

RSiscoe
May 23rd 2007, 01:32 AM
Please don't misunderstand me RS. I completely understand that all of scripture is workable into a school of theology.

My point is that ALL schools (and individuals) do exactly that. So the statement you made of "others explaining away verses they don't like", IMO, is exactly what you have done with the verses above, though I hope you understand I don't like the term "explaining away" and I my attempt here is to show that it is not so much that as trying to understand the biblical text within a theological framework or grid. You do it as well as anyone else :)

Theology is the science for understanding Christian docrine. And I was using theology in an attempt to explain the verses you quoted (also keep in mind that I did it on the spur of the moment without taking any time to look at the context).

Using theology to explain a verse, and explaining away a verse are, in my opinion, quite different.

I used theology to explain the verses and did not attempt to redefine a common word, such as "all" or "will". In an earlier post (which I never responded to) someone attempted to show that "all men" didn't mean all men. To me, that is not being honest and simply an attempt to explain it away.

If he would have given a theological answer, or even just an opinion, as to what the verse meant, I would not have accused him of attempting to explain it away. I might have disagreed with him, but I wouldn't have claimed he was trying to explain it away.


For instance, the idea of God having 2 wills (antecedent and consequent) is a theological term that is attempting to interpret two seemingly contradictory texts, one which says God's "thelo" (will) is that all men be saved and other texts which say that God's "thelo" (will) will ultimately be accomplished.

But that distinction between the two levels of God's will does not "explain away" the verse, it explains the verse. The difference is, I think, that I did not try reject what the verse said, but rather gave an explanation of it. I think there is a difference. In the one case an attempt is made to say that the verse does not mean what it says; in the other case the meaning is accepted and an explanation of the meaning is given.


Or for instance your interpretation of the Isaiah text which, at face value, says:

That God WILL accomplish all His purpose, what He has spoken He will bring it to pass and what He has purposed He will do it.

You interpret this verse to say:

That what God has known (not purposed) from all eternity will comes to pass, and nothing will prevent it.

Whereas the verse clearly does not even mention God's foreknowledge but strictly speaks of His purpose and plan, not His foreknowledge. Your theology obviously stepping in here and helping you "explain away a text you don't like" :)

I knew that anwer wasn't the best, but I gave it on the spur of the moment. There are some hard things in the Bible to explain, and you probably chose the hardest one you could think of for that post. I did not try to explain away the verses, I just tried to give the best explanation I could at a moments notice without studying the verse or giving it much thought.


I hope that makes sense and my only purpose here is to show that every school (and individual) works within a framework/grid of theology to answer passages which seemingly contradict what that particular theology believes is the overall message of the bible.

I understand what you are saying, and I agree to an extent. But I also think there is a difference between trying to explain using theology, and explaining away a verse because it is contrary to a person's theology. I do think there is a difference between the two. Let me try to give an example:

Let's say a JW asked you to explain the verse where Jesus says the Father is greater than He is.

A person could either say "Jesus did not really say the Father was greater than him. The word "greater" in that context really means of an equal status."

That, in my opinion, would be attempting to explain it away because it is contrary to what the person's theology. Another way to explain it would be as follows:

[i]"There are several ways that one can be greater than another. It can be on the level of "ontological level" (the level of the being), or on the "economical level" (the level of authority). "For example, the Father is the head of the house. Therefore he is "greater" than the wife on the economical level, but is the same as the wife of the level of being. So too, Jesus is the same as God the Father on the level of being, but lesser on the level of authority"

The first example would be an attempt to explain away the verse, whereas the second would be an attempt to explain the verse. Do you see the difference?

Redeemed by Grace
May 23rd 2007, 01:44 AM
But if all was predetermined, why would anyone pray? After all, some claim that God predetermined in advance all that was to happen. If that is what you believe why would you pray to God to change what has already been determined. If you think your prayers will can effect the future, then you must not believe that it has been predetermined by God.

Far from it.... Just because I don't know what tomorrow brings doesn't mean that I don't have confidence that God will do His will. He causes me to pray for you and for others, for His glory and for your benefit... My perspective - I plan my ways, but know that He directs my path.... What comfort, what joy... to even know that He for some reason allows for sin, that he uses it within His divine purpose. Is He the author of sin? No. Does he use it... Yes.



I pray to God for all those things and many more because I know that God can do all things, and therefore I ask Him for His help.

And so do I... Do you think He could or would intervene within my will based on your prayer? Meaning, if I were not saved, but you were praying for my salvation, would you be asking God to interrupt my will and bring about the opportunity for me to hear the gospel, give me the heart to understand the gospel, and then to respond in repentive faith? If you would agree, then God has intervened within my free will, has He not?



I don't think that all has been predetermined or else I would bother asking God for His help. After all, would my prayers be able to change what was already determined to occur?

How do you know that it wasn't God's will for you to pray in such a manner. For example, Paul prayed for all Israel to be saved... As of today, this prayer has not been answered, but within Romans Paul also stated that it will happen.... Here God gives Paul both the passion for his fellow Jew and the declaration that it will come about...so his prayer will be answered.... based on his heart AND based on God predetermined plan.




I do, but why would anyone who thinks that the future is already set in stone?

What are your thoughts regarding biblical prophecy? Does it not only foretell the future but also plan for it.... Look into Isaiah and Nehemiah to see the prophecy of Cyrus the king and the rebuilding of the temple... Isaiah names names and yet Cyrus was yet to be born!




Not if we believe all has been predetermined in advance and set in stone. For in that case prayer would not change anything.



It is both. God knows what will happen and He is in control. If we pray He will answer our prayers, and if we don't pray he won't. Whichever the case may be, God knew it from all eternity.

There is an old saying that goes like this: "God governs the world, but prayer governs God". I like that saying.

Prayer governs God... wow... are you sure you want to claim this? ;)

Who is God's equal, who can teach God... pray is not a controller but a submitter, in that we breath in God's word and we exhale it back to Him through prayer. Prayer is relationship, not a controller, not a wish mechanism... Prayer, done according to His will... will be done... James 5:16b states that the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.



But at the same time, God has always known the eventual outcome and all details in between. If we pray and he answers, he always knew it would happen. If we don't pray, he always knew that would happen as well.

But to my point, if He answers could it effect someone else's will in the process?


At the same time it is true that God is in control and answers our prayers, and that God knows all things.

I don't think we are disagree with each other here. I'm pretty sure we both believe the same way, but are not looking at it from the same angle.


In horseshoes, we'd be close... but there is still a gap right now that's bigger than the leaner? :lol:

Lord willing I pray that He'd help us see His word better together. :)


Gotta sign off for tonight...

Been great sharing with you...

Toolman
May 23rd 2007, 02:26 AM
Theology is the science for understanding Christian docrine. And I was using theology in an attempt to explain the verses you quoted (also keep in mind that I did it on the spur of the moment without taking any time to look at the context).

Using theology to explain a verse, and explaining away a verse are, in my opinion, quite different.

I used theology to explain the verses and did not attempt to redefine a common word, such as "all" or "will". In an earlier post (which I never responded to) someone attempted to show that "all men" didn't mean all men. To me, that is not being honest and simply an attempt to explain it away.

Actually you did attempt to redefine a common word, "will", by saying that it means 1 thing (antecedent) in some verses and another thing (consequent) in other verses. This does not take the plain face meaning but interprets the meaning within the verse, context and within a theological framework.

I see this no different than what Melted did or RBG did (which is who you were responding to when you used the term "explaining away verses we don't like", post 85 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1269187&postcount=85))

For review here is what Melted posted to answer the question of whether "all men" always means "all men".


Luk 6:26 "Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.

Joh 11:48 "If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."

Act 21:28 crying out, "Men of Israel, come to our aid! This is the man who preaches to all men everywhere against our people and the Law and this place; and besides he has even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place."

1Co 9:22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.

1Co 10:33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved.

2Co 3:2 You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men;

So, I think you get the point by now, which is that "all men" does not mean "every soul to have ever been and will ever be" -- to conclude this blindly is not biblical. Even so, specific to the text you cited, let's see:

1Ti 2:1-4 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, (2) for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. (3) This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, (4) who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

So, if "all men" means every soul to have ever been or will ever be, Paul is instructing Timothy to pray for:

1) The dead
2) The antichrist
3) Judas Iscariot
4) People not yet even born
5) etc

Surely you do not think this was Paul's instruction? I don't. All men, in this context, refers to all types of men including kings and those in authority.

http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1268942&postcount=69


Now, here Melted used scripture to clearly show that "all men" does not always mean "all men" and showed immediate context of the verse to say why he believed, theologically, that all men does not neccessarily mean every human being within the verse.

Now, is that an example of "explaining away" or using theology to explain a verse?

Let's now turn to RBG's example which he used to question whether "all men" meant every single human being in the verse you quoted:

First you said:

Not to mention the fact that the Bible explicitly tells us that Jesus died for all - "Jesus Christ: who gave Himself a redemption for all..." (1 Tim 2:6)
http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1269114&postcount=75

To which RBG replied:


If all means all, then how does one explain Revelation 14 9-11?

9 Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,
10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
11 "And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."

By theses verses, doesn’t God poor out his wrath on folks who worship the beast? If so, what happens to all?

RBG's point here being that if Christ died as a redemption for all then why are some not redeemed? His point being that those who worship the beast are not redeemed.. they are lost and damned.

Now, is that a case of "explaining away" a verse or using theology to explain a verse?

Your response here (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1269187&postcount=85) to RBG's post above was that he had "explained away" the verse.

Now, you may have been a bit hasty. I can understand that. But I think it worth reviewing and seeing if you see some difference between the way these 2 men handled the texts theologically and the way you handled the texts theologically. If you cannot point to a difference then I think you must admit that you are in the same boat as they, be that "explaining away" or using theology to interpret verses.

BTW - This does not mean I agree completely with the theological grid that either of them (or you) work within. But I do recognize that we ALL work from within one and to cast accusations of "explaining away" verses, if true, can be cast on any and all of us. But I do truly believe that the people in this thread are trying to understand the bible theologically.


If he would have given a theological answer, or even just an opinion, as to what the verse meant, I would not have accused him of attempting to explain it away. I might have disagreed with him, but I wouldn't have claimed he was trying to explain it away.

Can you show me where RBG did that in post in post #79 which is what you were responding to when you made the comment (post #85, which you also speak of "will" not meaning "will" which you yourself agree with :confused).


But that distinction between the two levels of God's will does not "explain away" the verse, it explains the verse.

The difference is, I think, that I did not try reject what the verse said, but rather gave an explanation of it. I think there is a difference. In the one case an attempt is made to say that the verse does not mean what it says; in the other case the meaning is accepted and an explanation of the meaning is given.


Semantics my friend. Show me the difference between what you did and what RBG and Melted did. The only difference I see is different conclusions, not methods (though you did a bit more theological eisegesis but I know you were shooting from the cuff).


I knew that anwer wasn't the best, but I gave it on the spur of the moment. There are some hard things in the Bible to explain, and you probably chose the hardest one you could think of for that post. I did not try to explain away the verses, I just tried to give the best explanation I could at a moments notice without studying the verse or giving it much thought.

I understand. I do hope it gives some thought later on in your study.


I understand what you are saying, and I agree to an extent. But I also think there is a difference between trying to explain using theology, and explaining away a verse because it is contrary to a person's theology. I do think there is a difference between the two. Let me try to give an example:

If you could give me an example from this thread, specifically RBG who you made the comment to, then that would be a big help.

I understand your example but I don't see it in this thread. Can you show me an example from here?

Thanks for the consideration of all this Rsiscoe. I know I'm harping on it but I think it important to do so to move these conversations down the road.

That's what I see anyway.

Toolman
May 23rd 2007, 02:28 AM
Unless you follow Boyd's line of thinking that God can know but chooses not to know etc. Brain has put what is called in the clink although I know what it is... HELP.... ME!!!! :lol:

Open Theism :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Theism

RSiscoe
May 23rd 2007, 03:02 AM
If he would have given a theological answer, or even just an opinion, as to what the verse meant, I would not have accused him of attempting to explain it away. I might have disagreed with him, but I wouldn't have claimed he was trying to explain it away.


Can you show me where RBG did that in post in post #79 which is what you were responding to when you made the comment (post #85, which you also speak of "will" not meaning "will" which you yourself agree with :confused).

In post #79, RBG began with the question "If all means all" what happens to the people in Rev 14?"

I asked "How can all not mean all? Her question was "how can it be that Jesus died for the redemption of all, yet some are damned".

By asking how all can mean all seemed to me as an attempt to explain away what the verse said. I quoted a verse that clearly says Jesus died for all, and the response was "how can all mean all".

Maybe she didn't mean it that way. Maybe she just wanted to see if I could explain it how it could be that Jesus died for all, yet all were not saved. If that was the case, then I shouldn't have accused her of explaining the verse away (BTW, is RBG a female?). If that was what she meant, I misunderstood her.

But if her asking how all can mean all was intended to imply that the verse does not mean what it says, then I think that would be a case of "explaining away" the passage.

Anyway, that is what I thought she (or he) was doing. I thought she was trying to claim that the word all didn't really mean all. If that is not what she meant, then, in my opinion, she would not have been guilty of attempting to explain away the verse.

I don't want to criticize RBG here. I'm sure she is just trying to understand difficult things as clearly as possible. And based on my later discussions with her it does seem like she is being honest and not attempting to explain anything away.

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2007, 03:14 AM
That is a great question WG and one I would probably answer within a framework of an understanding of what love is.

Since I believe love (agape to be specific) is at its very core selfless (not self centered) then I would say that God loves us more than Himself.

Now, I am not taking into the equation degrees of love within the Trinity, i.e. the love between the Father, Son and Spirit. I am strictly speaking from a position of the Father's love towards His beloved.

1 Cor. 13:4-8 - Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.

Don't we have to consider the love within the Trinity though?

My contention is that God loves Himself first and foremost. But I see nothing "egotistical, prideful, or self-centered" about it.

Toolman
May 23rd 2007, 03:33 AM
Don't we have to consider the love within the Trinity though?

My contention is that God loves Himself first and foremost. But I see nothing "egotistical, prideful, or self-centered" about it.

And my position would be that God's love is extended to us foremost and that He humbles Himself, gives of Himself, becomes a human for us, dies for us, becomes "weak" for us... IOW God demonstrates His love in selflessness not in self-centeredness (loving Himself).

But, you there is more to it I am sure, as you correctly point out there is a love and pre-eminence within the Trinity, where we are taught that the creation was made by Christ and FOR Christ. This does indicate that the creation is for God's pleasure and purpose.

That said, I do see within scripture, an overwhelming consensus of God demonstrating and revealing His love for us.

But, from my theological position, these 2 do not thwart one another but compliment, enhance and empower one another. God's love for Himself, within the Trinity and God's love for us work together for His redemptive plan and purpose.

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2007, 04:00 AM
And my position would be that God's love is extended to us foremost and that He humbles Himself, gives of Himself, becomes a human for us, dies for us, becomes "weak" for us... IOW God demonstrates His love in selflessness not in self-centeredness (loving Himself).

John 17 says that Jesus Christ came to earth to glorify the Father.

God didn't have to allow the Fall to happen, but He did. If love for us instead of Himself is what fuels His motivations, why would He allow the Fall and resulting effects of that?

The Bible says there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. Could it be that Jesus Christ dying for us was the best way for God to express and for us to understand His supreme love?

I believe God has worked out creation in such a way that we can best know who He is. I believe that was His primary motivation in creation, throughout the history of mankind, and through the redemptive work of Christ. I think it would be impossible for us to know who God is without Him demonstrating His attributes to us.

To me, a God who loves His creation more than Himself would be a weak God. If we are supposed to love God more than the creation, why wouldn't God love God more than the creation?

Son_kissed
May 23rd 2007, 06:53 AM
John 17 says that Jesus Christ came to earth to glorify the Father.
The Bible says there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. Could it be that Jesus Christ dying for us was the best way for God to express and for us to understand His supreme love?
Hi WG. I can't answer for Toolman, but I think that's exactly how God is glorified: in giving Himself for us. His love is demonstrated for all of creation to see and behold, and it's very essence is grace and unselfishness and goodness.

I believe God has worked out creation in such a way that we can best know who He is. I believe that was His primary motivation in creation, throughout the history of mankind, and through the redemptive work of Christ. I think it would be impossible for us to know who God is without Him demonstrating His attributes to us.
I agree wholeheartedly, but not just that. It wasn't just to show us the nature of His love, it was because of the nature of His love that He we were created, inspite of knowing that we would rebel, and providing of Himself the means by which we could be reconciled to Him.

To me, a God who loves His creation more than Himself would be a weak God. If we are supposed to love God more than the creation, why wouldn't God love God more than the creation?
Here's is where I lose you. I don't remember reading anything in Scripture which might suggest that God loves Himself more than His creation (that is not to say that He loves Himself less than His creation either). Nor would that make me think of Him as weak. My personal feelings (not that they matter, but I'll share anyway ;)) would be that anyone who loved himself more than others (eg. a father loving himself more than his children) would just seem prideful and self-centered to me (what is it that they loved about themselves so much more than their offspring). There is a difference between love and authority of course. We should also consider that we are made in God's image and likeness...:hmm: And of being one in Him through Christ: John 17:23 - I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. The whole context of chapter 17 speaks more to this.

If the union and love of a man and woman are an example, then would it be weak for the man not to love himself more than the woman. Should he only be willing to give his life for her because God says love her as Christ loved the Church, or does God desire for a man to have a genuine love for her that is at least as great as the love the man has for himself?

I may be misunderstanding you. Let me know if I am. (And we're getting off topic I think. But this is an important subject in itself, and I have no interest in the original discussion. :P Just kidding. Carry on...)

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2007, 12:07 PM
My personal feelings (not that they matter, but I'll share anyway ;)) would be that anyone who loved himself more than others (eg. a father loving himself more than his children) would just seem prideful and self-centered to me (what is it that they loved about themselves so much more than their offspring).

It may seem prideful and self-centered to our finite human minds, but then again, we're not God.

And what is it that God loved about Himself more than us? EVERYTHING! He is the most incredible, glorious, wonderful, perfect, beautiful, righteous, lovely Being there is. What's not to love?

It would be prideful for us fallible, fallen creatures to have a self love that exceeds our love for others because we are just that....fallible, fallen creatures. We are not the Lord of the Universe.

God was around long before He ever created us. His love of and for Himself is infinite and eternal. It is WHO He is.


There is a difference between love and authority of course. We should also consider that we are made in God's image and likeness...:hmm:

Yes, we were made in His image and likeness, but we are not God. God is holy. He is completely unique and distinct from anything in His creation.


And of being one in Him through Christ: John 17:23 - I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. The whole context of chapter 17 speaks more to this.

Chapter 17 also says that the purpose of eternal life is that we KNOW God (John 17:3). Note it doesn't say the purpose of eternal life is for God to love us. The purpose is for us to KNOW GOD. In other words, for His glory and His honor and ultimately His worship.



If the union and love of a man and woman are an example, then would it be weak for the man not to love himself more than the woman. Should he only be willing to give his life for her because God says love her as Christ loved the Church, or does God desire for a man to have a genuine love for her that is at least as great as the love the man has for himself?


The relationship between fallible man and fallible woman is going to be different than the relationship between fallible man and a holy, pure, perfect God.


I may be misunderstanding you. Let me know if I am. (And we're getting off topic I think. But this is an important subject in itself, and I have no interest in the original discussion. :P Just kidding. Carry on...)

No, I don't think you are misunderstanding me. I believe (always have) that we are here for God's glory. The creation was for His glory. The Fall was for His glory. Jesus Christ came to the earth for His glory, and on and on. And I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. God SHOULD be glorified because He is incredible. :)

Redeemed by Grace
May 23rd 2007, 12:09 PM
First off… in the deepest most masculine typewritten text I can muster, I be a he… just for the record. :P

Second, you stated:


“By asking how all can mean all seemed to me as an attempt to explain away what the verse said. I quoted a verse that clearly says Jesus died for all, and the response was "how can all mean all".

Maybe she didn't mean it that way. Maybe she just wanted to see if I could explain it how it could be that Jesus died for all, yet all were not saved. If that was the case, then I shouldn't have accused her of explaining the verse away (BTW, is RBG a female?). If that was what she meant, I misunderstood her.



How does this explain away the verse? Really - is all inclusive of everyone, or is all limited, based on context, based on audience, based on context of other scriptures? So yes, you then did misunderstand me and my point , both my question and my gender. :)

But then, you go back:


“But if her asking how all can mean all was intended to imply that the verse does not mean what it says, then I think that would be a case of "explaining away" the passage.”

I addressed this earlier and repeat in reply:



RSiscoe,

I guess my point that I want to make is that words need to be judged by context, usage, position, grammar, tense, etc. and of course, historical significance...

The words ALL and WILL can have various degrees of intention and meaning, and it's very valuable to reconcile scripture with scripture to come to the best understanding...

I've used this before and will use this again... in my day, something that was good or enjoyable we'd say it was cool. Today my kids would say it is sick or ill... Now if I wrote "that car was ill or cool, 100-200 years from now the reader may not know what that means, unless the words maintain their meaning and/or they knew the context for which it was written.

So to with all and will... As a sentence standing alone, it may convey a very literal understanding, but when you surround it with context, add a little history, compare it to other usages with the word to find if it's comparable, then compare it to potentially contradictory statements within the word, then the best exegesis or understanding comes out. Many times a literal understanding is the intent, but sometimes it's figurative, sometimes scripture can be allegorical... good study can better bring this out... and a good biblical teacher can help accelerate this.

So my original comments are that will as used within 1 Timothy 2 doesn't mean it will come about, but is God's desire; and ALL doesn't mean every person will be saved....

That is a bit of background for my position...

For God's Glory...



Anyway, that is what I thought she (or he) was doing. I thought she was trying to claim that the word all didn't really mean all. If that is not what she meant, then, in my opinion, she would not have been guilty of attempting to explain away the verse.

I don't want to criticize RBG here. I'm sure she is just trying to understand difficult things as clearly as possible. And based on my later discussions with her it does seem like she is being honest and not attempting to explain anything away.


By the way, I am claiming that all does not mean all… or the whole world… or all the world… or every person born…. My statement has been and is that

1 Timothy 2: 4 ‘who desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth

is misunderstood to say that this is evidence for universal salvation, that God purposes [wills] all [every] man and woman to be saved… The best understanding would be:

who desires mankind to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth…

For we can see other scripture that states that some will not be saved and if so, cannot be a universal ALL…so all cannot and does not equal all, or every…. But something less. Has too…

Then there is the audience and context for which it was written, but leave that alone for now.


For God's Glory...

ProjectPeter
May 23rd 2007, 12:21 PM
Open Theism :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_TheismAh yes! That is the one. Gracias senor

melted
May 23rd 2007, 12:43 PM
I don't have the time at the moment to respond to some things I would like to, but I wanted to quickly thank Toolman for his work in bringing about an honest look at some of the things being said. I see him cultivating the desire to understand what another person has said more fully before quickly dismissing the argument, and I appreciate that.

Thanks, that's all. :)

RSiscoe
May 23rd 2007, 12:44 PM
First off… in the deepest most masculine typewritten text I can muster, I be a he… just for the record. :P



RBG, so sorry about that. I have really enjoyed this discussion, and look forward to continuing. I may be somewhat limited in my post today (we'll see).

I'll start by answering you question.


"How does this explain away the verse? Really - is all inclusive of everyone, or is all limited, based on context, based on audience, based on context of other scriptures? So yes, you then did misunderstand me and my point , both my question and my gender.

OK, are you asking this: If "Jesus gave Himself a redemption for all" (1 Tim 2:6), how can it be that all are not saved?

The answer is that Jesus died for all men, but only some of them benefit because our salvation is also conditioned upon our believing and obeying him. Since we have free will, it is possible for us to resist both, and therefore not be saved.

Hopefully I am not misunderstanding your point.



all [every] man and woman to be saved… The best understanding would be:

who desires mankind to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth…

For we can see other scripture that states that some will not be saved and if so, cannot be a universal ALL…so all cannot and does not equal all, or every…. But something less. Has too…

Unless God's willing our salvation does not always result in our salvation. I believe that God really does will for all to be saved, but requires that we believe and obey him to be saved. And since I believe he has given us a free will, I think he allows us to make our own choice - either to believe and obey him and thus be saved (which is what he wants) or to reject him and be damned (which is not what he wants, but what he allows).

melted
May 23rd 2007, 01:16 PM
Hey WG, good stuff! Here's a good one I like:

Isa 43:7 Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made."

Another cool one:

Eze 36:22 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. [and goes on to describe salvation by regeneration of the heart]

I agree that all of creation was planned by God in order to raise up our Lord Jesus Christ in glory and majesty! This plan included redemption from sin and all of the things that entails. If God was only desiring our personal comfort over His glorification, I probably would not be trudging through this valley of death, but thank God that I am!

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

RSisco said, "I believe that God really does will for all to be saved, but requires that we believe and obey him to be saved."

Don't you find this a little strange? If God wanted all to be saved, as you state, why would He require anything at all? Why not just wave His omnipotent hand and say, ALL ARE SAVED! Surely He could do such a thing, yet He does not (ignoring UR for the moment). What you are really saing is that God really does will for all to be saved as long as they meet His conditions, and if they don't meet His conditions, then He does not will for them to be saved. So, in other words, He does not will for all men to be saved because not all men will meet His conditions, right? (As an aside: I think conditional salvation is incorrect, even so I have stepped into your theology for a moment).

Tell me this, also. If God willed the salvation of every man, and He willed that they would accomplish this by believing in Him. We would then conclude that God willed that every man will believe in Him, right? How then do you explain very plain teaching such as:

Joh 12:37-40 But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him. (38) This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: "LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT? AND TO WHOM HAS THE ARM OF THE LORD BEEN REVEALED?" (39) For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, (40) "HE HAS BLINDED THEIR EYES AND HE HARDENED THEIR HEART, SO THAT THEY WOULD NOT SEE WITH THEIR EYES AND PERCEIVE WITH THEIR HEART, AND BE CONVERTED AND I HEAL THEM."

God has blinded the eyes of those that He supposedly wants to savingly believe? Is He schizophrenic? How about this one:

Rom 11:7-8 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; (8) just as it is written, "GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY."

God wills them to be saved, and wills them to believe, yet He sovereignly causes them to be unable to believe? It simply makes no sense. It makes much more sense to admit that there is a group of persons that God does NOT will to be saved. Vessels of wrath fitted for destruction in order that they might glorify God's power. Exactly what Paul discusses at length in Romans 9.

Teke
May 23rd 2007, 01:42 PM
But Paul is using this passage in regards to Israel's salvation, which is the topic which he is discussing throughout chapters 9-11.

And Paul's exact point is that election is not based on works or what we do but upon God's purpose.

Now, we can discuss what that purpose is (I think Romans 10-11 spell it out clearly but that is a seperate issue to a degree) but nonetheless election is NOT based upon anything we do but simply upon the purpose of God.

Just as it was with Jacob and Esau.

Plain and simple answer.:agree:

So why is this thread so long? I saw no one refute this answer. But I did make myself cross eyed reading all the extra posts after this one. :D
And they all seemed to be speaking over the head of the original poster.

IMHO, if your scriptural theology doesn't agree with Toolman's explanation, then it's wrong.:P

Toolman
May 23rd 2007, 02:18 PM
John 17 says that Jesus Christ came to earth to glorify the Father.

God didn't have to allow the Fall to happen, but He did. If love for us instead of Himself is what fuels His motivations, why would He allow the Fall and resulting effects of that?

I believe the Fall was the result of God's love and did not motivate out of anything less (I believe this about all things).

We suffer because of God's love, not apart from it. I believe God is allowing us to suffer for a greater good and for a joy set before us. This plan of revelation is based upon His character, which is love.

I discipline my kids and allow them to make mistakes and suffer because I love them and want them to mature into responsible adults. And I'm an evil father. My point is that love is not always flowers and sunshine but often allows suffering to occur to produce a greater good.


The Bible says there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. Could it be that Jesus Christ dying for us was the best way for God to express and for us to understand His supreme love?

Absolutely. I would not disagree with that at all. It shows God's selflessness. He was willing to be born in humble circumstances and die for His enemies.


I believe God has worked out creation in such a way that we can best know who He is. I believe that was His primary motivation in creation, throughout the history of mankind, and through the redemptive work of Christ. I think it would be impossible for us to know who God is without Him demonstrating His attributes to us.

Agreed.


To me, a God who loves His creation more than Himself would be a weak God. If we are supposed to love God more than the creation, why wouldn't God love God more than the creation?

I was thinking alot about this question last night before going to sleep (I told you it was a good question).

I do believe, once again, it comes back to biblical balance.

The question was does God love Himself more or us more. I think perhaps the question is He loves Himself and us equally but in different respects.

For instance, as I read the sermon on the mount my understanding of the jist of what Christ is saying is that here is what it is to be like God. I don't see Christ giving a bunch of "rules" to follow that God has imposed on humans and is immune from Himself but I see Christ explains "Hey this is what God is like and to be like Him you must imitate Him."

So, when we read that God loves His enemies, prays for those who despitefully use Him, blesses those who curse Him (which Christ also did in His earthly ministry) and Christ says if you only love those who love you, you are no better than a tax collector.

Or I see Christ teaching that if someone asks for your coat give them your shirt also, what I see is a picture of God who loves and thinks of others needs before Himself.

I also read 1 Cor. 13 which has a clear definition of what agape love is and I see the utter selflessness of that love and I know it is supernatural and that it is God. That love is not natural to fallen man.

I hear Christ's new command where He says "love others as I have loved you", which was a sacrificial, giving love of selflessness.

I know Christ called God our Father and I know beyond a doubt that I love my kids beyond myself (I do love myself) and would lay down my life without hesitation for them.

I see the foundation of God's Law which says that we must love others as we love ourselves, i.e. that we love all equally as much as we love ourselves.1

Which brings us back to a balance because we are to love ourselves in a proper context. And I think this strikes home that we are to love ourselves as we love others. Both sides fit. It is impossible to love others without first loving ourselves (in a healthy, godly way).

I believe the same is true of God. God does love Himself (in a healthy, godly way) and therefore He loves us in a selfless, humble, "weak"2 way that reveals Himself to His beloved creation.

So, in conclusion, I believe God loves Himself and He loves us. Can you even measure love? I'm not sure you can.


1: Much of this stems from the fact that I believe God's moral Laws flow from God's character and who God is. I don't believe God gives us these commands as some arbitrary test or boundary but I believe it is to reveal who He is. God calls us not to lie because He is truth. God calls us not to steal because He is provider. His moral Law reveals His character and nature.

2: When I say "weak" I mean in the same sense that Luther meant in His "Theology of the Cross" where God reveals Himself to mankind by being "weak", i.e. human, loving, caring, dying. God chose this manner to reveal His character and nature to man. As the apostle Paul expounds on in 1 Cor. 1 that God's weakness is stronger than man's power.
Ancients would have said that a God who loves is weak, a god who dies is weak, a god who actually cares about humans is weak.
God's kingdom is not of the natural world and is most often opposite of what we imagine.

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2007, 03:00 PM
I believe the Fall was the result of God's love and did not motivate out of anything less (I believe this about all things).

I believe the Fall was primarily for us to know God's mercy, wrath, and perfect justice.

Without our fallenness, we could never have known some of God's incredible attributes. But through our imperfection, we are better able to understand God's supremacy and perfection.




We suffer because of God's love, not apart from it. I believe God is allowing us to suffer for a greater good and for a joy set before us. This plan of revelation is based upon His character, which is love.


I believe God is love, but I believe He is holy before He is love. It is His ultimate distinction. We as humans can love, but we are not holy. We share love with the Father, but we don't share His holiness. The angels cry night and day not about God's love, but His holiness.

Through His receiving glory, we come to know the Lord better. We know He is not like us. He is unqualifiably unique. It is not His love that makes Him different. It is His holiness.


discipline my kids and allow them to make mistakes and suffer because I love them and want them to mature into responsible adults. And I'm an evil father. My point is that love is not always flowers and sunshine but often allows suffering to occur to produce a greater good.

I don't disagree with this. But what of those for whom God is not Father? The Bible makes it clear we are not all God's children.

I fully agree God loves His redeemed with a fatherly, doting, passionate love. But....what about those who are not His? Does He love the unredeemed in the same way He loves His own children? Do you love the neighbor kid down the street the same way you love your own children?



Absolutely. I would not disagree with that at all. It shows God's selflessness. He was willing to be born in humble circumstances and die for His enemies.


I don't believe God is selfless. I don't think He CAN be selfless. He is the embodiment of all that is. How can He act outside of Himself?

Toolman
May 23rd 2007, 03:26 PM
I believe the Fall was primarily for us to know God's mercy, wrath, and perfect justice.

Without our fallenness, we could never have known some of God's incredible attributes. But through our imperfection, we are better able to understand God's supremacy and perfection.

I believe God is love, but I believe He is holy before He is love. It is His ultimate distinction. We as humans can love, but we are not holy. We share love with the Father, but we don't share His holiness. The angels cry night and day not about God's love, but His holiness.

Through His receiving glory, we come to know the Lord better. We know He is not like us. He is unqualifiably unique. It is not His love that makes Him different. It is His holiness.

This is where we will disagee WG. I do not believe His attributes are contradictory to one another but flow from one another and are inseperable.

So when we say God is Holy, He is holy because of His love.

Humans are called to love as God loves and be holy as God is holy, so the distinction you make there that we can love but not be holy does not stand biblically IMO.

His holiness does not exclude his love but includes it and when the angels worship they recognize this.

His justice does not contradict His love but flows from His love, for that is what God is. His holiness does not contradict His love because that is what He is.

So I don't make a duality or dichotomy of God's attributes. I understand the concept of it, it is a very western thought. I just don't agree with it.


I don't disagree with this. But what of those for whom God is not Father? The Bible makes it clear we are not all God's children.

Some points to make is that all humans are God's offspring (Acts 17:28-29)

All people were at some point not God's children (we were children of wrath - Ephesians 2:3).

We become God's children through Christ (1 John 3:2, Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:5, Ephesians 1:5)

God loves His enemies (Matt 5, Romans 5:8-10)

His love and discipline is large enough to cover enemies and children and to change enemies into children.



I fully agree God loves His redeemed with a fatherly, doting, passionate love. But....what about those who are not His? Does He love the unredeemed in the same way He loves His own children? Do you love the neighbor kid down the street the same way you love your own children?

God commands me to love the neighbor kid down the street in the same exact way I love my own children and myself.

That is why His love is Holy. It is not natural and cannot be worked up by man in the flesh. God loves His enemies and demonstrates this love by dying in their place. Doesn't get much more selfless than that!

If God only loves those who love Him isn't He no greater than a tax collector, as Jesus taught in Matt. 5? That kind of love would not be holy (otherworldly, supernatural).


I don't believe God is selfless. I don't think He CAN be selfless. He is the embodiment of all that is. How can He act outside of Himself?

I have provided the scriptural reasons for why I believe God reveals Himself as humble, selfless and "weak". I can't do much more than that.

But I appreciate that you view God differently than I do :)

Mograce2U
May 23rd 2007, 03:30 PM
Q. Why do elephants paint their toenails red? (I am showing my age here)
A. So they can hide in cherry trees.

A silly example to illustrate that we love riddles - even as children. What is it about human nature that is intrigued to search out the answer to a puzzle? Could it be because it is the nature of the One who created us?

The human condition is such that life which ought to go on forever, yet ends in death, is the greatest puzzle of all to us. What purpose does death serve? And if our destiny is worm-food, why bother to be good? It has occupied the thoughts of men since the beginning to find the deeper meaning of this life that is all too short. There must be a reason, therefore there must be an all powerful God who made us this way, else life itself makes no sense. The puzzle itself points us to look to God, who is invisible.

The key to finding the answer to this puzzle is love. Which is a concept our self-centered egos find difficult to grasp. Sure we want love, but are we willing to give love? For love to be pure it must be self-sacrificial; anything less is merely covetousness fueled by self-seeking motives.

Yet our God who is eternal and need not ever know death for Himself, chose this way to teach us about love and reveal Himself to us that we might know Him; by becoming like us in order to deliver us from death by going thru it Himself.

This is an unbelievable concept to the natural man and incomprehensible to those who have not discovered nor considered the love of God. Death is the way to live forever - talk about a puzzle! And dying to self is the way to discover the pure love of God that we need to find if we are to live forever with Him. Which was His plan from the beginning when He created us. We are not like the angels who see the face of God. No we are creatures who will know and love Him by faith by looking to the One whom He sent to die for us.

God puts forth the puzzle and gives us the Answer and it is marvelous in our eyes. Therefore we have hope, even though we die.

humbled
May 23rd 2007, 03:37 PM
Which, for me, once again comes back to the final and ultimate revelation of God to us, which is His Son, Jesus Christ.

Now, Jesus taught us, like no other Prophet before, that God was a Father.

Now, if God is a Father (and Christ taught that He is) and God is a better Father than earthly (evil) fathers (Matt. 7:11) then what would we think of an earthly father who caused his son to do something evil and then punished that son (by burning him alive no less) for what he had caused him to do?

I think reason would clearly say that such a father was not good in any sense of the word.

Now, on the other hand, if that father allowed his son to follow his own will so that the son could learn that the father's path (way, will) was actually a much more peaceful, satisfying, enjoyable path in the long run than the son's path, then we would determine that that father was working towards the good of that son, even though he allowed him to experience pain and suffering for a period.

Now reason must always bow to scripture, but in determining theology and doctrine we do not toss reason out as part of what we use to determine doctrine, realizing that we may have interpreted some texts incorrectly.Hello :)

I'm sorta reading this thread and catching things as I go ...

Who are God's children? Who are Christ's "relatives"?


Matt 12:48 But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" 49 And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, "Behold My mother and My brothers! 50 "For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother."

And what is the will of His Father?

John 6:40 "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."

Jesus says that His relatives, spiritually speaking, are those who do the will of His Father. Jesus also says (the only time He says it, in fact) that THE WILL of His Father is that everyone who beholds the Son and BELIEVES will have eternal life.

I add to this the observation from Jesus also that some are NOT God's children:

John 8:42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.

Since they did not love Jesus, God is NOT their Father. In v44, we find that their father is the devil, because they do the will of the devil.

Paul furthers this truth by saying that we (the elect, believers, what have you) are ADOPTED into the kingdom (Rom 8:15). Who would adopt someone who is already a child of theirs?

I believe that nobody is a child of God until He MAKES them a child of God.

Redeemed by Grace
May 23rd 2007, 03:50 PM
TM and WG,

Been following your side conversation regarding God’s glory and would like to offer my thoughts as you explore:

My take on God’s Glory…

I know very little…. The problem I see is trying to explain heavenly things with human terms… If I stated as God has stated through His prophets - that He is a jealous God, can we and should we - apply our understandings as to what jealousy means to God? Totally the same or does it have a different application and understanding towards God?

So I believe the word jealousy - when applied to God has a completely different meaning than when applied to you or I… [I also see the word anger having a holy purpose that mankind doesn’t comprehend.]

For God is love, agreed, but He is also a consuming fire. God is merciful, agreed, but He’s also demands holiness.

The net-net, I for one would be hesitant to say that God has any degree of one thing over another… that saying He love’s His people more than Himself, or that He prefers this over that… or that we truly know His undeclared purposes --- well God is God… and defining Him is well… impossible at best…

However His glory is an over arching theme He shares with us - as seen all throughout His word and as folks have recently began to present – and His glory needs to be sought after, in my opinion, for He is worthy of our praise and dependence. It sometimes baffles me to think that a Holy, infinite God -- who created all things -- desires to hear my prayers of praise and worship, and that I can’t even do it outside of Himself, through Christ His Son’s redemptive work for me and now within me and me in Him to do it.

There is an aspect for a human perspective to enjoy Christ that He has given to us, and there is also another aspect that we are to be enjoyed by Christ as a love gift from the Father… So is one over arching than another? I tend to lean that there are no measures that determine one over another, for as God is both day and night, yesterday and tomorrow, Just and Justifier, we cannot begin to fathom the wondrous Glory that is His, and will be ours as well through and in Christ Jesus. Wow……

And hopefully as always, I share this for the Glory of God...

humbled
May 23rd 2007, 03:55 PM
RBG,

The word is translated as "will" in most Bibles. The reason, in my opinion, is that "desire" and "will" have virtually the same meaning. To say someone wills something, and desires something, means that they "want something".

The words have basically the same meaning.



Wouldn't this show a disorder within God? How can God's desire contradict His will? If you or I desire something contary to the will of God, wouldn't this show a disorder within us? How, then, can God desire what He does not will?Job 23:13
"But He is unique and who can turn Him?And what His soul desires, that He does.

If God desires that ALL MEN are saved, then are they?

1 John 5:14-15
14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.

John tells us to pray according to His will, and we can KNOW that we have that request, if it is indeed according to His will.

Some things to consider.

melted
May 23rd 2007, 04:04 PM
Hey Toolman, we've gone around on this a few times if I recall correctly, but let me approach from a different angle.

There is such a thing in formal logic as a "distributed term". Per Wikipedia, "A categorical term is said to be distributed, if all individual members of that category are accounted for." This is generally expressed formally by putting an ALL or NO in front of the term, such as with this example:

birds are animals

Here, we have a distributed term, "birds" and an undistributed term, "animals" (ie: all birds are accounted for in this statement, but not all animals). We might re-write this as "ALL birds are animals". Notice that we cannot say that "ALL birds are ALL animals". We also cannot turn this statement around to say that "animals are birds", or re-written "ALL animals are birds". Obviously, all animals are not birds.

To further develop this, we can say "birds are animals", "cats are animals", etc. Now, apply this to our problem of the primary attribute of God. Which attribute is distributed when talking about two separate attributes of God? Let's use three examples: love, hate, holiness. We must agree biblically that these are all three attributes of God. I would say the following:

Love is holiness.
Hate is holiness.

What would you say?

Holiness is love.
Hate is love.

Do you see the problem I'm trying to express? I would also be interested in your interpretation of God's saying He is jealous in comparison to the description of love in 1 Cor. 13.

Redeemed by Grace
May 23rd 2007, 04:13 PM
Hey Toolman, we've gone around on this a few times if I recall correctly, but let me approach from a different angle.

There is such a thing in formal logic as a "distributed term". Per Wikipedia, "A categorical term is said to be distributed, if all individual members of that category are accounted for." This is generally expressed formally by putting an ALL or NO in front of the term, such as with this example:

birds are animals

Here, we have a distributed term, "birds" and an undistributed term, "animals" (ie: all birds are accounted for in this statement, but not all animals). We might re-write this as "ALL birds are animals". Notice that we cannot say that "ALL birds are ALL animals". We also cannot turn this statement around to say that "animals are birds", or re-written "ALL animals are birds". Obviously, all animals are not birds.

To further develop this, we can say "birds are animals", "cats are animals", etc. Now, apply this to our problem of the primary attribute of God. Which attribute is distributed when talking about two separate attributes of God? Let's use three examples: love, hate, holiness. We must agree biblically that these are all three attributes of God. I would say the following:

Love is holiness.
Hate is holiness.

What would you say?

Holiness is love.
Hate is love.

Do you see the problem I'm trying to express? I would also be interested in your interpretation of God's saying He is jealous in comparison to the description of love in 1 Cor. 13.

Nice piece of writing, melted...

Toolman
May 23rd 2007, 04:18 PM
Hey Toolman, we've gone around on this a few times if I recall correctly, but let me approach from a different angle.

There is such a thing in formal logic as a "distributed term". Per Wikipedia, "A categorical term is said to be distributed, if all individual members of that category are accounted for." This is generally expressed formally by putting an ALL or NO in front of the term, such as with this example:

birds are animals

Here, we have a distributed term, "birds" and an undistributed term, "animals" (ie: all birds are accounted for in this statement, but not all animals). We might re-write this as "ALL birds are animals". Notice that we cannot say that "ALL birds are ALL animals". We also cannot turn this statement around to say that "animals are birds", or re-written "ALL animals are birds". Obviously, all animals are not birds.

To further develop this, we can say "birds are animals", "cats are animals", etc. Now, apply this to our problem of the primary attribute of God. Which attribute is distributed when talking about two separate attributes of God? Let's use three examples: love, hate, holiness. We must agree biblically that these are all three attributes of God. I would say the following:

Love is holiness.
Hate is holiness.

What would you say?

Holiness is love.
Hate is love.

Do you see the problem I'm trying to express?

I do M.. my first observation is I do see scripturally that God is Holy.. I also see that God is Love... I do not see support for God is Hate.

My second would be a solid definition of hate. Just as "love" clearly means different things in the greek (actually 3 diff words) than what our english word often means I believe the same is true of "hate" and scripture shows this (as I know you have often seen with the example of hating mother, father, etc.)


I would also be interested in your interpretation of God's saying He is jealous in comparison to the description of love in 1 Cor. 13.

As RBG very aptly pointed out in his last post, we cannot think of jealousy in human terms here.

It is a "holy" jealousy so I can see that jealousy flowing from a desire for the best for the object of jealousy (us)... unlike my jealousy which is about me and what I want for myself.

Now, much of this thinking of mine goes back to my understanding of God's kingdom and how I believe that scripture reveals that it is in opposition to the kingdoms of this world. It loves its enemies, it elevates the poor, it lifts up the downtrodden, it humbles the rich, its glory is revealed in weakness, etc. So I have a theological reasoning for understanding words about God's jealousy, His glory, etc.
You may not agree with my view of the kingdom but I hope it is clear why I view such things as I do.

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2007, 04:36 PM
This is where we will disagee WG. I do not believe His attributes are contradictory to one another but flow from one another and are inseperable.

You misunderstand me, I think. I don't think God's attributes are contrary to one another. But I do think they are distinct.


So when we say God is Holy, He is holy because of His love.

Can you explain how God is holy because of His love? I believe God is holy because He is.....holy. What of His love makes Him holy?



Humans are called to love as God loves and be holy as God is holy, so the distinction you make there that we can love but not be holy does not stand biblically IMO.


Perhaps we need to define holy in the context of God and of ourselves.

You will not get an argument from me that we are called to a life of holiness. I have been. But.....what is holiness we are called to? Can we be utterly separate and unique as God is? Are there any like God? I would answer an resounding NO. I think we are called to a life of separation from the world, but it is not in our very natures to be HOLY. Only God is holy....perfectly separate and distinct. Divine. We are not.



His holiness does not exclude his love but includes it and when the angels worship they recognize this.

His justice does not contradict His love but flows from His love, for that is what God is. His holiness does not contradict His love because that is what He is.


Is God's fierce wrath and anger born out of love? Or it is born out of His holiness?



Some points to make is that all humans are God's offspring (Acts 17:28-29)


God created all, however all are not His children.



God loves His enemies (Matt 5, Romans 5:8-10)


Romans 5 would set us back to the question of whom Christ died for. ;)

And just pondering here.....but does God have the right to tell us to love our enemies while not loving them Himself? I say yes. (Not saying one way or the other whether God loves His enemies. I'm just saying He has every right to require us to love our enemies while not loving them Himself.)




His love and discipline is large enough to cover enemies and children and to change enemies into children.


True. But He already knows from before the foundation of the world who are His. What of those who are not His children and never will be?



That is why His love is Holy. It is not natural and cannot be worked up by man in the flesh. God loves His enemies and demonstrates this love by dying in their place. Doesn't get much more selfless than that!


Again, I don't think God can be selfless. Do you not believe God has any purpose or motivation for Himself in the death of His Son?

And once more....this goes back to the question of who Jesus Christ died for. ;)



If God only loves those who love Him isn't He no greater than a tax collector, as Jesus taught in Matt. 5? That kind of love would not be holy (otherworldly, supernatural).


I don't believe God only loves those who love Him. He had His eyes on me long before I ever loved Him back. :)

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2007, 04:57 PM
I believe that nobody is a child of God until He MAKES them a child of God.

I agree.

John 1:
11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Romans 9:
8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.

1 John 3:
1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

1 John 3:
10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.

Ephesians 1:
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2007, 04:59 PM
However His glory is an over arching theme He shares with us - as seen all throughout His word and as folks have recently began to present – and His glory needs to be sought after, in my opinion, for He is worthy of our praise and dependence. It sometimes baffles me to think that a Holy, infinite God -- who created all things -- desires to hear my prayers of praise and worship, and that I can’t even do it outside of Himself, through Christ His Son’s redemptive work for me and now within me and me in Him to do it.

Perhaps a discussion of God's glory might be applicable here. What is it? Why is it important? Whom does it serve? What is its purpose? Why does God seek His own glory? What does that tell us about Him?

Toolman
May 23rd 2007, 05:26 PM
You misunderstand me, I think. I don't think God's attributes are contrary to one another. But I do think they are distinct.

Ok.


Can you explain how God is holy because of His love? I believe God is holy because He is.....holy. What of His love makes Him holy?

I'll answer this in the next section about holiness.


Perhaps we need to define holy in the context of God and of ourselves.

You will not get an argument from me that we are called to a life of holiness. I have been. But.....what is holiness we are called to? Can we be utterly separate and unique as God is? Are there any like God? I would answer an resounding NO. I think we are called to a life of separation from the world, but it is not in our very natures to be HOLY. Only God is holy....perfectly separate and distinct. Divine. We are not.

The exact same things that are said above about God's holiness can and should be said about His love.

Can we utterly love as God does? Is there anyone who loves as God loves? Is it in our very nature to love as God loves?

That is how love is holy. They are not seperate from one another or contradictory to one another.


Is God's fierce wrath and anger born out of love? Or it is born out of His holiness?

Love. :)


God created all, however all are not His children.

None are His salvifically His children until they are in Christ but Christ taught men to relate to God as their Father.


Romans 5 would set us back to the question of whom Christ died for. ;)

Ok.


And just pondering here.....but does God have the right to tell us to love our enemies while not loving them Himself? I say yes. (Not saying one way or the other whether God loves His enemies. I'm just saying He has every right to require us to love our enemies while not loving them Himself.)

God can do whatever He wants to do.

But, in my theological understanding, God gives us His moral commands as a reflection of His character. He does not just give us the command because it is His right but because He desire us to conform to His image (which is for our good).

Jesus says this very exact thing in Matthew 5 regarding us loving our enemies because that is what God does, He loves His enemies.

That's called being Holy. It is not earthly or human to love one's enemies. It is divine.


True. But He already knows from before the foundation of the world who are His. What of those who are not His children and never will be?

:cool: I'll bypass that one for now.


Again, I don't think God can be selfless. Do you not believe God has any purpose or motivation for Himself in the death of His Son?

That is a whole thread in and of itself.

I have tried to present a balance of what I mean by selfless and understanding of God's love for us and Himself.
Not sure what more there is to say there. I may not have communicated it very well but repeating it probably won't help much.


And once more....this goes back to the question of who Jesus Christ died for. ;)

Of course :)

Scripture says He died for His enemies and children of wrath. I'm good with that for now.


I don't believe God only loves those who love Him. He had His eyes on me long before I ever loved Him back. :)

Excellent. We agree :lol:

Theophilus
May 23rd 2007, 05:28 PM
You will not get an argument from me that we are called to a life of holiness. I have been. But.....what is holiness we are called to? Can we be utterly separate and unique as God is? Are there any like God? I would answer an resounding NO. I think we are called to a life of separation from the world, but it is not in our very natures to be HOLY. Only God is holy....perfectly separate and distinct. Divine. We are not.

For I [am] the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I [am] holy. Leviticus 11:45

Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God [am] holy. Leviticus 19:2

Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I [am] the LORD your God. Leviticus 20:7

And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD [am] holy, and have severed you from [other] people, that ye should be mine. Leviticus 20:26

But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:15-16

In the Old Testament, God uses the word holy (qadowsh - http://www.blueletterbible.org/bg/hs371.gifhttp://www.blueletterbible.org/bg/hs345.gifhttp://www.blueletterbible.org/bg/hs343.gifhttp://www.blueletterbible.org/bg/hs367.gif - saint, holy one, set apart) as both a descriptor for Himself, and as what we are to be. There's no difference in the word.

In the New Testament, same story (although it's the Greek word hagios -
http://www.blueletterbible.org/bg/gs141.gifhttp://www.blueletterbible.org/bg/gs147.gifhttp://www.blueletterbible.org/bg/gs151.gifhttp://www.blueletterbible.org/bg/gs157.gifhttp://www.blueletterbible.org/bg/gs042.gif - meaning most holy thing, a saint).

Holy doesn't imply divinity, as near as I can tell...nor does it imply perfection. He doesn't tell us to be divine, though, nor does He tell us to be perfect (except in the sense of completeness).

God does tell us to be holy, though...and God wouldn't tell us to be something we couldn't achieve. What does being a saint imply?

I think a good comparison is found when looking at John 17:17...Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.

Sanctify is from the Greek hagiazo - http://www.blueletterbible.org/bg/gs141.gifhttp://www.blueletterbible.org/bg/gs147.gifhttp://www.blueletterbible.org/bg/gs151.gifhttp://www.blueletterbible.org/bg/gs141.gifhttp://www.blueletterbible.org/bg/gs172.gifhttp://www.blueletterbible.org/bg/gs167.gif - which is from the root word aforementioned "hagios". Hagiazo means "to separate from profane things, and dedicate to God". By inference, we are to separate from the things that are defiled and ungodly, even as God is separated from things that are defiled and ungodly.

Not trying to quibble, and do with this what you will...

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2007, 05:42 PM
God does tell us to be holy, though...and God wouldn't tell us to be something we couldn't achieve.

He tells us not to sin.

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2007, 05:51 PM
In the Old Testament, God uses the word holy (qadowsh - http://www.blueletterbible.org/bg/hs371.gifhttp://www.blueletterbible.org/bg/hs345.gifhttp://www.blueletterbible.org/bg/hs343.gifhttp://www.blueletterbible.org/bg/hs367.gif - saint, holy one, set apart) as both a descriptor for Himself, and as what we are to be. There's no difference in the word.

Are the angels going to be gathered around us crying "Holy! Holy! Holy!"?

Toolman
May 23rd 2007, 05:55 PM
Are the angels going to be gathered around us crying "Holy! Holy! Holy!"?

1 John 3:2 - Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

I don't want to take this to far out there, because John says it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but I do think there is a biblical indication that we will be something special (because of God). Paul said do you not know you will judge angels.

The rabbit trails are plentiful today :)

Just call me little bunny foofoo!

Teke
May 23rd 2007, 06:28 PM
That's called being Holy. It is not earthly or human to love one's enemies. It is divine.


:amen: The Christian charity.:pray:
:agree::agree::thumbsup::pp:pp:pp:pp:pp:pp:pp:pp :agree: :agree:
The Toolman cheer team on this subject

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2007, 06:30 PM
1 John 3:2 - Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

I don't want to take this to far out there, because John says it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but I do think there is a biblical indication that we will be something special (because of God). Paul said do you not know you will judge angels.

The rabbit trails are plentiful today :)

Just call me little bunny foofoo!

*hop hop hop* :cool:

I am of the humble opinion that in heaven God alone will be exalted and honored and it's going to all be about HIM HIM HIM!!

Our special-ness, in my opinion, is being given the unbelievable privilege of bowing before His throne and pouring ourselves out to Him in worship.

I know people say they hope heaven's like this and that, wondering what we will do, what rewards we might get, what we will be like......I JUST WANT JESUS CHRIST! Who cares about anything else?!?!

(that last paragraph is my own personal diatribe directed at no one in particular, so feel free to disregard it)

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2007, 06:33 PM
TM, I am not ignoring post #140. I am just trying to work out some points and wording. But right now I'm going to go take a nap. :D

melted
May 23rd 2007, 06:34 PM
Rabbit trails indeed! It's like a reunion of old and stale topics between old friends. I kind of like it! ;)

Hey TM, remind me again how you handle the "imprecatory" Psalms? Most/All of the Psalms are to be considered as if the Lord Jesus has spoken them. Here are some highlights:

Psa 94:1-2 O LORD, God of vengeance, God of vengeance, shine forth! (2) Rise up, O Judge of the earth, Render recompense to the proud.

Psa 94:23 He has brought back their wickedness upon them And will destroy them in their evil; The LORD our God will destroy them.

Psa 58:6-11 O God, shatter their teeth in their mouth; Break out the fangs of the young lions, O LORD. (7) Let them flow away like water that runs off; When he aims his arrows, let them be as headless shafts. (8) Let them be as a snail which melts away as it goes along, Like the miscarriages of a woman which never see the sun. (9) Before your pots can feel the fire of thorns He will sweep them away with a whirlwind, the green and the burning alike. (10) The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; He will wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. (11) And men will say, "Surely there is a reward for the righteous; Surely there is a God who judges on earth!"

(notice especially the clear contrast between those God hates and those He loves here)
Psa 5:5-7 The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. (6) You destroy those who speak falsehood; The LORD abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit. (7) But as for me, by Your abundant lovingkindness I will enter Your house, At Your holy temple I will bow in reverence for You.

Psa 11:4-7 The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD'S throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. (5) The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates. (6) Upon the wicked He will rain snares; Fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup. (7) For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face.

Do you see these lining up with 1 Cor 13? Can you fit these into love? I cannot. Asking for some to be made as if they were miscarriages that never saw the light of day? Asking for recompense to be made with vengeance? Are these the Psalmist flying off the rocker, or are they pictures of how God views the reprobate?


Getting back to our text of Romans 9, one of the distinct things about the chapter is that two sides are being drawn. One side is that of God's mercy, and the other is that of God's severity. God has mercy on whom He will, and hardens whom He will. There are two resulting vessels from the clay -- one made for dishonorable and one for honorable use. The one vessel being used to display God's wrath, and the other to display mercy.

TM, you say that hate does not really mean hate in Romans 9? What of the severe contrast painted here:

Rom 9:13-15 Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED." (14) What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! (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."

Some important observations:

1) God's hatred of one and love of another is EXPECTED to illicit the response of "God is unjust". This only makes sense if we understand this to be Paul's declaration of God's differing policies toward people of His own choice. If God had a single policy of love toward every man, then one could never accuse Him of being unjust. Only by God dealing with different people in different, and contrasting ways is there a chance for one to say God is unjust.

2) The answer to the question of whether God is unjust is not that "God really loves both", but it is that God can have mercy on whomever he chooses. There is a clear choice here, not a universal policy of love toward both in view. As we read onward, this contrast is made only more clear in the example of Pharaoh and, again, the vessels of obviously differing fate.

Redeemed by Grace
May 23rd 2007, 06:42 PM
Perhaps a discussion of God's glory might be applicable here. What is it? Why is it important? Whom does it serve? What is its purpose? Why does God seek His own glory? What does that tell us about Him?


With all these questions, you sound a bit like me? :rofl:


Here's a start down another trail....

God's glory....

Exodus 24:16,17
16 The glory of the LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud.
17 And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the mountain top.


Exodus 33:17-23
17 The LORD said to Moses, "I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name."
18 Then Moses said, "I pray You, show me Your glory!"
19 And He said, "I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion."
20 But He said, "You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!"
21 Then the LORD said, "Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock;
22 and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.
23 "Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen."

To a time when God's glory was shown on earth in a very visible way.... Oh when it will be again some day... :saint:

Theophilus
May 23rd 2007, 06:56 PM
He tells us not to sin.

Yes, He does...and?

Theophilus
May 23rd 2007, 06:59 PM
Are the angels going to be gathered around us crying "Holy! Holy! Holy!"?

I don't know, WG...but whether they do or not, it doesn't negate what He told us...and again, He's not telling us to be divine, or to become God...He's telling us to be holy, as He is.

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2007, 06:59 PM
Yes, He does...and?


If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2007, 07:01 PM
With all these questions, you sound a bit like me? :rofl:

I learned from the master. :saint:

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2007, 07:02 PM
I don't know, WG...but whether they do or not, it doesn't negate what He told us...and again, He's not telling us to be divine, or to become God...He's telling us to be holy, as He is.

I'm going to have to shelve this with post #140. I am trying my best to explain something and am having trouble making it clear.

And wasn't I supposed to be taking a nap? :hmm:

melted
May 23rd 2007, 07:06 PM
Yes, He does...and?
Her point is in response to you saying, "God wouldn't tell us to be something we couldn't achieve."

God does tell us to do things that we cannot achieve, including not to sin. We are unable to obey this command, unless one of us is perfect? To put this in special light, here is another similar command:

Mat 5:48 "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Who on earth can claim to be able to achieve this? I should hope you would not, nor would I. There is nothing within a command which implies that the command is achievable. God can and does command things of us which are are not able to do. Why? Because this law acts as a tutor to Christ. When we realize that we cannot achieve the necessary righteousness that God so clearly commands, we may only look to the person and work of the Lord Jesus to fulfill these requirements.

Please do reconsider your believe that God would not command and require things of us which we cannot achieve.

ProjectPeter
May 23rd 2007, 07:41 PM
Hey WG, good stuff! Here's a good one I like:

Isa 43:7 Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made."

Another cool one:

Eze 36:22 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. [and goes on to describe salvation by regeneration of the heart]

I agree that all of creation was planned by God in order to raise up our Lord Jesus Christ in glory and majesty! This plan included redemption from sin and all of the things that entails. If God was only desiring our personal comfort over His glorification, I probably would not be trudging through this valley of death, but thank God that I am!

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

RSisco said, "I believe that God really does will for all to be saved, but requires that we believe and obey him to be saved."

Don't you find this a little strange? If God wanted all to be saved, as you state, why would He require anything at all? Why not just wave His omnipotent hand and say, ALL ARE SAVED! Surely He could do such a thing, yet He does not (ignoring UR for the moment). What you are really saing is that God really does will for all to be saved as long as they meet His conditions, and if they don't meet His conditions, then He does not will for them to be saved. So, in other words, He does not will for all men to be saved because not all men will meet His conditions, right? (As an aside: I think conditional salvation is incorrect, even so I have stepped into your theology for a moment).

Tell me this, also. If God willed the salvation of every man, and He willed that they would accomplish this by believing in Him. We would then conclude that God willed that every man will believe in Him, right? How then do you explain very plain teaching such as:

Joh 12:37-40 But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him. (38) This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: "LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT? AND TO WHOM HAS THE ARM OF THE LORD BEEN REVEALED?" (39) For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, (40) "HE HAS BLINDED THEIR EYES AND HE HARDENED THEIR HEART, SO THAT THEY WOULD NOT SEE WITH THEIR EYES AND PERCEIVE WITH THEIR HEART, AND BE CONVERTED AND I HEAL THEM."

God has blinded the eyes of those that He supposedly wants to savingly believe? Is He schizophrenic? How about this one:

Rom 11:7-8 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; (8) just as it is written, "GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY."

God wills them to be saved, and wills them to believe, yet He sovereignly causes them to be unable to believe? It simply makes no sense. It makes much more sense to admit that there is a group of persons that God does NOT will to be saved. Vessels of wrath fitted for destruction in order that they might glorify God's power. Exactly what Paul discusses at length in Romans 9.
But isn't that exactly what God said in that whole Deuteronomy "blessings" if you do __________ and curses if you do otherwise" passage? Or when Israel was told to "choose life or choose death?" We can get into all of that "God waving the omnipotent hand thing until the cows come home but just a simple reading of Scripture lets us know that God doesn't work that way... never did.

Toolman
May 23rd 2007, 07:51 PM
Rabbit trails indeed! It's like a reunion of old and stale topics between old friends. I kind of like it! ;)

Ain't it though :)


Hey TM, remind me again how you handle the "imprecatory" Psalms? Most/All of the Psalms are to be considered as if the Lord Jesus has spoken them. Here are some highlights:

Psa 94:1-2 O LORD, God of vengeance, God of vengeance, shine forth! (2) Rise up, O Judge of the earth, Render recompense to the proud.

Psa 94:23 He has brought back their wickedness upon them And will destroy them in their evil; The LORD our God will destroy them.

Psa 58:6-11 O God, shatter their teeth in their mouth; Break out the fangs of the young lions, O LORD. (7) Let them flow away like water that runs off; When he aims his arrows, let them be as headless shafts. (8) Let them be as a snail which melts away as it goes along, Like the miscarriages of a woman which never see the sun. (9) Before your pots can feel the fire of thorns He will sweep them away with a whirlwind, the green and the burning alike. (10) The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; He will wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. (11) And men will say, "Surely there is a reward for the righteous; Surely there is a God who judges on earth!"

(notice especially the clear contrast between those God hates and those He loves here)
Psa 5:5-7 The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. (6) You destroy those who speak falsehood; The LORD abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit. (7) But as for me, by Your abundant lovingkindness I will enter Your house, At Your holy temple I will bow in reverence for You.

Psa 11:4-7 The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD'S throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. (5) The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates. (6) Upon the wicked He will rain snares; Fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup. (7) For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face.

Do you see these lining up with 1 Cor 13? Can you fit these into love? I cannot. Asking for some to be made as if they were miscarriages that never saw the light of day? Asking for recompense to be made with vengeance? Are these the Psalmist flying off the rocker, or are they pictures of how God views the reprobate?

I can because of the Christ-centeredness of my theology.

The wrath of God was poured out upon Jesus Christ, you agree here I know (Sorry Teke, just making a point so don't get to flustered :)).

So, God's justice was fully demonstrated against sin. His justice was satisfied by the death of Christ. So that act of righteouness takes care of God's wrath for sin for all who are in Christ. God's justice and God's mercy simultaneously revealed in the one person of Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection.

Now, to an extent which I am unable at this time to fully comprehend, those who are in Christ also experience, in some manner at least spiritually, the justice and mercy of God by sharing in Christ's death and His resurrection.

I think it was CIM who once termed it as our vessel of destruction is destroyed in His death and our vessel of mercy is glorified in His resurrection.


Getting back to our text of Romans 9, one of the distinct things about the chapter is that two sides are being drawn. One side is that of God's mercy, and the other is that of God's severity. God has mercy on whom He will, and hardens whom He will. There are two resulting vessels from the clay -- one made for dishonorable and one for honorable use. The one vessel being used to display God's wrath, and the other to display mercy.

I agree but, as you know, there are various ways of interpreting Romans 9 than an individualistic manner of 1 person being a vessel of wrath and another person a vessel of mercy.

There is a nationalistic view, which I think should not be overlooked, as well as the view of a single person (the same lump v.21) who is changed from vessel of wrath to vessel of mercy.



TM, you say that hate does not really mean hate in Romans 9? What of the severe contrast painted here:

Rom 9:13-15 Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED." (14) What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! (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."

Some important observations:

1) God's hatred of one and love of another is EXPECTED to illicit the response of "God is unjust". This only makes sense if we understand this to be Paul's declaration of God's differing policies toward people of His own choice. If God had a single policy of love toward every man, then one could never accuse Him of being unjust. Only by God dealing with different people in different, and contrasting ways is there a chance for one to say God is unjust.

2) The answer to the question of whether God is unjust is not that "God really loves both", but it is that God can have mercy on whomever he chooses. There is a clear choice here, not a universal policy of love toward both in view. As we read onward, this contrast is made only more clear in the example of Pharaoh and, again, the vessels of obviously differing fate.

I would say differing purpose and not differing fate as Romans 11 goes on to show. The elect serve a purpose, in my theology, of bringing "the rest" into a place of mercy, from a place of blindness and wrath.

I can dig up some old posts of mine that go more into depth there if that is not satisfactory enough. Just let me know.

Son_kissed
May 23rd 2007, 07:59 PM
It may seem prideful and self-centered to our finite human minds, but then again, we're not God.

And what is it that God loved about Himself more than us? EVERYTHING! He is the most incredible, glorious, wonderful, perfect, beautiful, righteous, lovely Being there is. What's not to love?

It would be prideful for us fallible, fallen creatures to have a self love that exceeds our love for others because we are just that....fallible, fallen creatures. We are not the Lord of the Universe.
God was around long before He ever created us. His love of and for Himself is infinite and eternal. It is WHO He is.

I agree completely with all of that, except that He loves everything about Himself more than us. And God is certainly worthy and deserving of all love and we in our sinful state are deserving of none! But if our character resembles that of God, and our hearts can be filled with a love for our children and even the most repulsive of men that would go beyond thinking of ourselves, then I still have a hard time concluding that God himself, from Whom that love comes to us (John 17:26), loves Himself more than us.


Yes, we were made in His image and likeness, but we are not God. God is holy. He is completely unique and distinct from anything in His creation.

No, we are not God, and I was not suggesting that we are. Just pondering what it means for God in terms of glory if that which is made by His hands and in His image and likeness isn‘t as loved by Him as He is. That is not to say that we are worthy of His love at all in our fallen state. We are not, and it may be more of a matter of God seeing our potential- who we will become by His Holy Spirit through Christ. John 17 says something of of holiness, too: 17 Make them holy by the true word: your word is the true word. 18 Even as you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for them I make myself holy, so that they may be made truly holy.


Chapter 17 also says that the purpose of eternal life is that we KNOW God (John 17:3). Note it doesn't say the purpose of eternal life is for God to love us. The purpose is for us to KNOW GOD. In other words, for His glory and His honor and ultimately His worship.

It doesn’t say the purpose of eternal life is to know God. It says that knowing God is eternal life. In other words, there is no eternal life for us if we don't know God.

I agree that everything is for God’s glory and honor and we do and will eternally worship Him because He is worthy of all honor and glory and praise.

What we seem to disagree on is how it is that God was glorified in Christ‘s coming. The prayer of Jesus in John 17 as I understand it, tells us the purpose of his coming was to make the Father known to us and that He and the Father are one, and that the love he has for us is the same love that the Father has for the Son. To know God is to know that He loves us just as He loves the Son who is Himself.

God was glorified in Christ’s obedience (v. 4). Christ is glorified, being one with the Father (v. 5) and we are glorified, being one with him (v 22). His prayer is that we will all be one in him, loving one another, so that all men will see and come to faith knowing the Father and that He has loved us as He loves the Son (vs 21-23).


The relationship between fallible man and fallible woman is going to be different than the relationship between fallible man and a holy, pure, perfect God.


Yes it will, but the point is that our relationships are to be a model of God’s love for us, and God said for a man to love his wife as Christ loves the Church. How can we know what it is for a man to love his wife as Christ loves the Church if we don’t understand how it is that Christ loves the Church? His love for the Church was/is genuine. Jesus didn’t sacrifice Himself just to demonstrate that He posesses some love for us, but because of His genuine unselfish love for us- the same love that the Father has for the Son.



No, I don't think you are misunderstanding me. I believe (always have) that we are here for God's glory. The creation was for His glory. The Fall was for His glory. Jesus Christ came to the earth for His glory, and on and on. And I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. God SHOULD be glorified because He is incredible.


I completely agree!

Teke
May 23rd 2007, 07:59 PM
Here's a start down another trail....

God's glory....

Exodus 24:16,17
16 The glory of the LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud.
17 And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the mountain top.

RBG, I believe you answered Melted's post (148) before this one, with that verse.
The River of Fire never changes. We are changed. ;)

Theophilus
May 23rd 2007, 07:59 PM
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8


Well, scripture doesn't contradict itself, so we have a quandary. I say God doesn't tell us to do something we can't, and you remind us that God says "Don't sin"...and here is a verse that seems to show we're going to...and since God is omniscient, He must know that...so He has, in effect, told us to do something we're incapable of.

...and yet, I'd like to look at more of that passage...

5This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

6If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Contextually, and this is after looking at several translations (and a Greek lexicon), I believe this is saying we cannot deny sin when we commit it, and must ask for forgiveness, to return to full fellowship. That doesn't say we have to commit it, though.

If God has told us not to sin, His expectation is that we don't. We have an avenue to return to fellowship if we do...but His desire is for us not to. It may fly in the face of convention, but that tells me we can live sinlessly. We may not be able to keep from sinning indefinitely, but we don't have to sin in "word, thought, or deed" every day, either.

As we mature in our spiritual walk, I would think we should get farther and farther from sinning, even if we do occasionally "blow it."

Did Paul ever sin after his conversion? Timothy? Titus? James? Peter? Jude? John? I don't know...but if they did, I bet it was a rare event. I believe they grew in their faith, and in their fellowship with Him...and likely went long stretches without sinning.

Who knows what we might be capable of, if we are surrendered to the Holy Spirit? Impossible to be sinless?

I know I'm not there yet...but I know what His expectation is.

...and I know He expects me to be holy, too.

Not Divine. Not God.

Holy. :)

ProjectPeter
May 23rd 2007, 08:00 PM
Absolutely. I would not disagree with that at all. It shows God's selflessness. He was willing to be born in humble circumstances and die for His enemies.
You know... I've spoken of this before and rarely do because it depends on the audience. But I think it a good place here because folks involved here are mature enough to deal with it and I figure folks following along this deep are likely so too.

But think of this because it really is a fascinating thought when speaking of God showing such a sacrifice of love (which is how I see it being).

I am a firm believer that all that God tells us is possible for us to do. I know you know that but just setting things up. I also believe that Christ showed us that He would ask nothing of us that He Himself wouldn't do. He did so perfectly.

I think of the account of Abraham and Isaac.

Genesis 22:1 Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."
2 And He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you."
3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
4 On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance.
5 And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship and return to you."
6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together.
7 And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." And he said, "Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"
8 And Abraham said, "God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." So the two of them walked on together.
9 ¶Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there, and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood.
10 And Abraham stretched out his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11 But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."
12 And he said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."
13 Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son.
14 And Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, "In the mount of the LORD it will be provided."
15 Then the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven,
16 and said, "By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son,
17 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.
18 "And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."

Abraham was willing, out of sheer obedience to God, to sacrifice his most loved son. God, being a God of love, stopped this because it wasn't required. The fact that Abraham was willing was enough for God. For man... God would do nothing less. But because of man... God could not stop this as it was required. Probably not much on topic but still worthy of a ponder. :)

Theophilus
May 23rd 2007, 08:25 PM
Her point is in response to you saying, "God wouldn't tell us to be something we couldn't achieve."

God does tell us to do things that we cannot achieve, including not to sin. We are unable to obey this command, unless one of us is perfect? To put this in special light, here is another similar command:

Mat 5:48 "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Who on earth can claim to be able to achieve this? I should hope you would not, nor would I. There is nothing within a command which implies that the command is achievable. God can and does command things of us which are are not able to do. Why? Because this law acts as a tutor to Christ. When we realize that we cannot achieve the necessary righteousness that God so clearly commands, we may only look to the person and work of the Lord Jesus to fulfill these requirements.

Please do reconsider your believe that God would not command and require things of us which we cannot achieve.

The word perfect here is the Greek word teleios...and it means to be complete, or lacking nothing. The verb "be" is also in the future tense, meaning something to occur in the future.

IOW, you could render this "You are to be complete, even as your Father in heaven is complete."

Let's look at the preceding verses:

43 "You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.

44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

45 so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don't even the tax collectors do the same?

47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don't even the Gentiles do the same?

48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Be complete in your love. If you are a believer, show that there's no lack in your kindness and compassion to all men...not just the ones that you care about, but even the ones who don't love you...just like God does.

...and keep growing in that love, so that you will be like your Father, who loves everyone.

Why wouldn't that be achievable? I certainly believe that it is...in time, and as we grow in Him.:)


I agree, the law was a schoolmaster...however...

24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:24-26)

I'm sorry, but I believe we can achieve what God commands us to...and He said be holy, through Peter, in the New Testament...so I believe that is what He expects us to do.:)

Pilgrimtozion
May 23rd 2007, 08:29 PM
Watchman Nee points out in his excellent book "The Spiritual Man" that living sinlessly, rather than a miracle, is actually a normal experience for a Christian. Continuing to live in sin - that is abnormal! Does Paul not say, "how can we who have died to sin still live in it?" Friends, we have died to sin! How can we still live in it? No, being holy and not sinning is not unattainable. I would rather ask you and myself with Paul: how can we still live in it?!?

Redeemed by Grace
May 23rd 2007, 08:35 PM
I'd also like to open the door to say that God willed and has planned for a few saints to be killed at the hands of the Antichrist....

Revelation 13:7
It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.

Revelation 13:10
If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.

Here - among other verses - we are told that God will give to the Antichrist the ability\power\authority\ permission to make war with the then living saints and that they will die for their faith....

God is indeed a God of love... But He is also a God of justice and wrath and a whole much more.... To those who are alive at this time, they might question their faith, so I see John writing this to say fear not the one who will kill you for me, but know that you have been destined to die for my sake.... so fear God and pray that you are the one called to endure to death and not one called to submit by taking the mark to live. :pray:

Pilgrimtozion
May 23rd 2007, 08:45 PM
Ummmmm...RbG, if some are destined to take the mark and some destined to endure, what difference does praying for it make? Why should I pray to be called to endure? I am predestined to endure or fail anyway, so I do not see what praying would add. Could you explain how you see this?

ProjectPeter
May 23rd 2007, 08:45 PM
when we say God is Holy, He is holy because of His love.

Humans are called to love as God loves and be holy as God is holy, so the distinction you make there that we can love but not be holy does not stand biblically IMO.

His holiness does not exclude his love but includes it and when the angels worship they recognize this.

His justice does not contradict His love but flows from His love, for that is what God is. His holiness does not contradict His love because that is what He is.

So I don't make a duality or dichotomy of God's attributes. I understand the concept of it, it is a very western thought. I just don't agree with it.

By and large I agree with you here. Some passages to ponder and keep in mind the context.

Matthew 5:43 ¶"You have heard that it was said, `YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR, and hate your enemy.´
44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you
45 in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46 "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same?
47 "And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others ? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
48 "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

How do we achieve this? Love.

Matthew 19:16 ¶And behold, one came to Him and said, "Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?"
17 And He said to him, "Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments."
18 He said to Him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER; YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY; YOU SHALL NOT STEAL; YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS;
19 HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER; and YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."
20 The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?"
21 Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."

How did he become complete? Love.

Colossians 3:14 And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

Just as God is perfect... love perfects.

1 Corinthians 12:31 But earnestly desire the greater gifts. ¶And I show you a still more excellent way.

1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part;
10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known.
13 But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

This is THE greatest of all attributes.

1 Corinthians 14:1 Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

I can desire gifts... I am told to pursue this perfecting attribute.

2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;
3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge;
6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness;
7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.
10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;
11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.

The ultimate quality... love (agape). The divine like love of God. All steps lead to love.

So yeah... all of that to say in most ways, I agree with where you take your conclusion. We might argue some finer points but I'll settle for the agreement part with this because I know most don't see this in such a way.

I will add too... I see God's judgment and wrath as an act of love too. It is God's love for His that will bring about His vengeance on those who are His enemy. Vengeance is His because His vengeance will be holy.

Toolman
May 23rd 2007, 08:47 PM
Ummmmm...RbG, if some are destined to take the mark and some destined to endure, what difference does praying for it make? Why should I pray to be called to endure? I am predestined to endure or fail anyway, so I do not see what praying would add. Could you explain how you see this?

This may be of some help:
http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1269372&postcount=112

Teke
May 23rd 2007, 09:00 PM
The wrath of God was poured out upon Jesus Christ, you agree here I know (Sorry Teke, just making a point so don't get to flustered ).


Gave me a good idea for a contro thread.:P:D

Toolman
May 23rd 2007, 09:07 PM
Gave me a good idea for a contro thread.:P:D

That is hilarious.. I know we'll get there someday!

Teke
May 23rd 2007, 09:16 PM
Is Melted a Calvinist? Original old Calvinist or new?
His bringing up the Psalms brought my question.

Redeemed by Grace
May 23rd 2007, 09:16 PM
This may be of some help:
http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1269372&postcount=112


Thanks TM for the assist!

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2007, 09:26 PM
I will add too... I see God's judgment and wrath as an act of love too. It is God's love for His [.......] that will bring about His vengeance on those who are His enemy. Vengeance is His because His vengeance will be holy.

It is God's love for His....what? that will bring about His vengeance?

I just want to clarify what you mean.

humbled
May 23rd 2007, 09:29 PM
It is God's love for His....what? that will bring about His vengeance?

I just want to clarify what you mean.I believe it is God's love for His children.

You could also place justice there, I suppose :)

But I believe God's vengeance comes about because of His HATE for sin and not because of love ... but I could be persuaded away from this view ;)

Redeemed by Grace
May 23rd 2007, 09:40 PM
I believe it is God's love for His children.

You could also place justice there, I suppose :)

But I believe God's vengeance comes about because of His HATE for sin and not because of love ... but I could be persuaded away from this view ;)

His Name... God places a very high value to His Holy Name... so this also plays a role IMO.


So His Glory, His Honor, His Name, His Holiness, His Righteousness, His Mercy, His Grace, His Wrath, His Children, His[fill in the blank and on and on]

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2007, 09:55 PM
Watchman Nee points out in his excellent book "The Spiritual Man" that living sinlessly, rather than a miracle, is actually a normal experience for a Christian. Continuing to live in sin - that is abnormal! Does Paul not say, "how can we who have died to sin still live in it?" Friends, we have died to sin! How can we still live in it? No, being holy and not sinning is not unattainable. I would rather ask you and myself with Paul: how can we still live in it?!?

To me, there is a difference between living in sin and having the occasional slip up.

I have been through times when my sin was few and far between, but I still sinned eventually.

Do I try with everything within me not to sin? Yes. And that's when I tend to do it the most...because I'm relying on my own strength and striving and am forgetting that outside of Christ I can do nothing.

I'll be quite honest here.....I went through the "be a perfect little Christian" phase where I strived and strived to be the most dutiful, sinless, obedient, perfect Christian. And I have never been so empty in my walk with the Lord.

If we are indeed to reach sinless perfection, WE aren't going to have a thing to do with it. I am convinced of it. Just as Christ bought us and saved us, HE will perfect us. Striving on my own accord and trusting in my own ability left me walking in circles. Trusting in Christ and HIS ability has kept me walking the straight and narrow path.


Anyway....that could be yet another topic to discuss. If someone can show me one Christian throughout history who obtained a state of perfect sinlessness this side of heaven, I am willing to rethink my position.

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2007, 11:04 PM
48 "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

How do we achieve this? Love.

How do we achieve love?



The ultimate quality... love (agape). The divine like love of God. All steps lead to love.

Can you explain to me what of God's love sends people to eternal torment in hell?

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2007, 11:11 PM
Ummmmm...RbG, if some are destined to take the mark and some destined to endure, what difference does praying for it make? Why should I pray to be called to endure? I am predestined to endure or fail anyway, so I do not see what praying would add. Could you explain how you see this?

My thoughts from a while back (although it's about my husband, it still fits in with your question about prayers and predestination):



Something I have come to understand about prayer is that God hears our prayers long before we ever pray them.

I believe God knew from before the foundation of the world how desperately I desire that my husband will be saved. I think He saw me down on my knees begging Him to save my husband. I think He knew then how I can't bear the thought of my husband not knowing and loving Him.

I don't for a second think the Lord is surprised by our prayers. I fully believe our prayers have played into His purposes since before the world ever began. I don't believe that God will hear my prayers and suddenly decide one day to save my husband. He heard my prayers before I was ever born, through His foreknowledge and omniscience, and if He is going to save my husband, it has been in His plan from the beginning.

I truly believe that our prayers today impacted God's plans before He ever created the world.

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2007, 11:21 PM
Just putting forth a question......

Is it in our natures to love?

Is it in our natures to be holy?

I know both are from God and can only come from God, but what I am asking is.....is a heathen capable of love apart from the presence of God and Christ working in the person's life? Is the same heathen capable of holiness apart from the presence of God and Christ working in the person's life?

Redeemed by Grace
May 23rd 2007, 11:27 PM
My thoughts from a while back (although it's about my husband, it still fits in with your question about prayers and predestination):



Something I have come to understand about prayer is that God hears our prayers long before we ever pray them.

I believe God knew from before the foundation of the world how desperately I desire that my husband will be saved. I think He saw me down on my knees begging Him to save my husband. I think He knew then how I can't bear the thought of my husband not knowing and loving Him.

I don't for a second think the Lord is surprised by our prayers. I fully believe our prayers have played into His purposes since before the world ever began. I don't believe that God will hear my prayers and suddenly decide one day to save my husband. He heard my prayers before I was ever born, through His foreknowledge and omniscience, and if He is going to save my husband, it has been in His plan from the beginning.

I truly believe that our prayers today impacted God's plans before He ever created the world.

And if I'm allowed to add, maybe even the Lord Himself is placing a burden on your heart [as He has on mine] to pray for your husband's faith in salvation and for your perseverance to always pray for him in petition, believing. God not only having foreknowledge, but also giving determination to pray asking as well. For we are told that we have not because we ask not... and I take this not to be material things per se, but spiritual i.e. the salvation of another.

Again, I cling to Proverb 16:9 among others that a God of both yesterday and tomorrow -- and who is here and there -- and who is merciful and vengeful... all at the same time... could also allow for my thoughts becoming His thoughts given to me through His word in obedience to His will.... meaning that I seek Him because He calls me... I love Him, because He 1st loved me... I pray and praise Him, as He enables... and I pray for others because He burdens my will to do so...ah, but so subtle and gentile, that it's become my desire and honor to do so...

Just a thought.... If I may....


For God's Glory...

Redeemed by Grace
May 23rd 2007, 11:39 PM
Just putting forth a question......

Is it in our natures to love?

Is it in our natures to be holy?

I know both are from God and can only come from God, but what I am asking is.....is a heathen capable of love apart from the presence of God and Christ working in the person's life? Is the same heathen capable of holiness apart from the presence of God and Christ working in the person's life?


I believe God gives His grace to all [to varying degrees], for if not - we all would be dead on the spot because of sin... I even believe it's God's work in a man and a woman who don't know Him as Savior - yet they love and honor each other as husband and wife and never sin in this regard... I believe that it's by God's grace even non-believers are able to know right from wrong, and can confess and repent of their sins to each other.... but for some reason are not able to see salvation's calling to respond in the way God has declared....

So I believe no one today knows how to offer pure love, and no one today knows how to be purely holy -- christian and non-christian alike.... but some of us have been given the understand to know the reasons why, and we tremble with gratitude -- and some have not been given the same understanding nor do they even care to ask why...


My 2cents towards your questions....

For God's Glory...

Whispering Grace
May 23rd 2007, 11:54 PM
RbG.....thanks for your thoughts.

Son_kissed
May 24th 2007, 12:44 AM
Can you explain to me what of God's love sends people to eternal torment in hell?

I think He loves us and respects us enough to allow us the choice to choose evil or Good, heaven or hell- eternal life with Him or eternal existence without Him.

Mograce2U
May 24th 2007, 01:22 AM
Can you explain to me what of God's love sends people to eternal torment in hell?
There is an implication in this statement that no one "deserves" hell, or that God is arbitrarily sending some there yet saving others with His mercy. Yet His justice and mercy are distributed freely upon His creation. Blessings and curses are related to obedience & sin so that sin has consequences (as any loving parent knows). If there were none, anarchy would rule. But do blessings cause mankind to turn and thank God for them? Certainly most are quick to curse or accuse God when things don't go well (Job being the exception). So here you have rather miserable, thankless, self-centered creatures whom God pours His love upon only to be spurned by them when things don't go their way. How much more could God do for them than what He has?

Maybe He could come to earth and die for them so that they don't have to go to hell? Unfortunately, many will spurn even that great display of His love in the end.

Redeemed by Grace
May 24th 2007, 01:23 AM
I think He loves us and respects us enough to allow us the choice to choose evil or Good, heaven or hell- eternal life with Him or eternal existence without Him.

But if this is as the way you describe it...let's say Heaven and Hell are obvious 'choices' as you seem to paint.... then let's say Heaven is worth $1,000,000 to you, and Hell was worth you owing $1,000,000... which would you chose?

Now this is a very bad analogy through to the end, I agree...but as a choice, this offers a similar thought that you are presenting.... in that who would chose hell is like who would chose owing $1M bucks?

There's got to be either something more or something different than just selecting good or heaven, isn't there?

Son_kissed
May 24th 2007, 01:44 AM
They choose to love and serve themselves over God and others (which is what sin is), thereby choosing evil over good, and consequently then, hell over heaven.

He has told us to chose this day whom we will serve.

The promised land is for those who choose to serve and love HIm and one another.

ProjectPeter
May 24th 2007, 01:51 AM
It is God's love for His....what? that will bring about His vengeance?

I just want to clarify what you mean.His people... children. The saints. When you read Revelation for example....

Revelation 6:9 ¶And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;
10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, should be completed also.

It is God's love for His that drives even His vengeance. So in this regard... even God's wrath (and what comes is sure enough God's wrath) is driven out of God's love for His children.

ProjectPeter
May 24th 2007, 01:57 AM
I believe it is God's love for His children.

You could also place justice there, I suppose :)

But I believe God's vengeance comes about because of His HATE for sin and not because of love ... but I could be persuaded away from this view ;)Sure you could. And I posted the passage in Revelation as an example but even go back to many of the passages in the Old Testament. God would chastise Israel by sending a nation against them. But the treatment of His children (whom it is clear that He loved the nation as many of those same books of the Bible tell us) would always drive God to pour out His wrath on the nation that came against them. I don't suppose that it will ever be any different with God. He loves those that are His... He is always faithful. Never will a child of God be mistreated without a day of judgment coming on the one who mistreated them. That is His nature. David understood that and wrote about it the most in the various Psalms.

ProjectPeter
May 24th 2007, 02:06 AM
How do we achieve love? Why most certainly and glad you asked!!! :lol:

Add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness add brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness add love. 2 Peter 1: 1-11.

Look at those and it really does make sense. One cannot have self-control until they first have knowledge of how all this is done. One cannot have perseverance until they first have self-control because it takes that control of self to persevere. One cannot have godliness without all of the traits before it and etc. It takes all of those things to be kind to your brethren and it takes all of those traits before one can ever achieve that divine love called agape. Reachable? I believe so yes. How long will it take? There's the rub! No clue... I'd suppose it would be different for most each individual.

Keep in mind a key point Peter makes here too. The key is one must be increasing in these qualities. For many reasons there will be those that never get that far before they die. But the key is that they were increasing in these traits and thereby their call and election are sure. The flip-side to that coin though... there are many that are not increasing. Some are going backwards... some might be stuck along the way. As Peter says... they are blind having forgotten that they were purified from their FORMER sins. Naturally I had to make that stick out but that would be another discussion! :saint:



Can you explain to me what of God's love sends people to eternal torment in hell?See if the post I made before this one did that. If not holler and I'll give it another good old college try!

ProjectPeter
May 24th 2007, 02:12 AM
Just putting forth a question......

Is it in our natures to love?

Is it in our natures to be holy?

I know both are from God and can only come from God, but what I am asking is.....is a heathen capable of love apart from the presence of God and Christ working in the person's life? Is the same heathen capable of holiness apart from the presence of God and Christ working in the person's life?Sure... a child loves his mom as a mother loves her child. That has been proven even by heathen moms who quickly and without hesitation would and have given their lives for their child... a test of true love.

Is it agape (that divine God love)? No. Can they achieve that? No. That is the thing about love defined... there are many variations. Even in Scripture that is the case. For example you have brotherly love and you have agape. Both are love... yet both are different.

As to holy? No. I don't think so there at all either. As that passage in Peter I quoted earlier makes clear. God equips us with what we need to live a holy life here in this nasty now and now. But only those that are His will have access to that supply source.

ProjectPeter
May 24th 2007, 02:13 AM
His Name... God places a very high value to His Holy Name... so this also plays a role IMO.


So His Glory, His Honor, His Name, His Holiness, His Righteousness, His Mercy, His Grace, His Wrath, His Children, His[fill in the blank and on and on]No doubt that it plays a role. I wouldn't disagree with that.

Whispering Grace
May 24th 2007, 03:16 AM
His people... children. The saints. When you read Revelation for example....

Revelation 6:9 ¶And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;
10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, should be completed also.

It is God's love for His that drives even His vengeance. So in this regard... even God's wrath (and what comes is sure enough God's wrath) is driven out of God's love for His children.

Thanks for clarifying, PP. And those are the verses I was thinking of.

Whispering Grace
May 24th 2007, 03:37 AM
I think He loves us and respects us enough to allow us the choice to choose evil or Good, heaven or hell- eternal life with Him or eternal existence without Him.

I'm curious. Do you know anyone who wants to go to hell? I know a lot of people because of unbelief who don't believe they are going to hell or think there is no such place as hell, but I don't know anyone who wakes up one morning and decides they want to go to hell.

Whispering Grace
May 24th 2007, 03:48 AM
There is an implication in this statement that no one "deserves" hell

No. Actually, I think we ALL deserve hell.


So here you have rather miserable, thankless, self-centered creatures whom God pours His love upon only to be spurned by them when things don't go their way. How much more could God do for them than what He has?

I don't think God owes anyone anything.


Maybe He could come to earth and die for them so that they don't have to go to hell? Unfortunately, many will spurn even that great display of His love in the end.

I agree that many people's hearts are hardened to the beauty and glory and majesty and splendor and absolute wonder of Jesus Christ. I was for most of my life.

What made me fall so deeply in love with Him? What keeps me so passionate about Him? What within me makes me get up every day and want to live for Him and obey Him and serve Him and worship Him?

What do I have within me that my husband does not? We both lived without the Lord throughout our entire relationship. What made me one day fall to my knees and cry out to God? Why didn't my husband?

Whispering Grace
May 24th 2007, 04:00 AM
Why most certainly and glad you asked!!! :lol:

I should have seen that coming a mile away. :rofl:

Souled Out
May 24th 2007, 04:12 AM
I'm curious. Do you know anyone who wants to go to hell? I know a lot of people because of unbelief who don't believe they are going to hell or think there is no such place as hell, but I don't know anyone who wakes up one morning and decides they want to go to hell.

This isn't really an answer but I think it shows another perspective of who or why a person would make such a choice.

I just read a piece by an evangelist/preacher who was talking about how his theology had undergone a drastic change.

One of the turning points came when he preached a service at a local town hall. In attendance was a man, some of whose children had been saved at previous services.

On this particular day the preacher asked the man if he would accept Christ as his savior. The preacher hoped and thought the man would say yes pretty quickly, especially in light of decisions from his children.

Instead, the man lowered his head and thought about it.

With a heaviness in his voice he answered, “If what you preach is right, then one of my boys is in hell right now, and if that is where he is, he needs me and I want to be there."

Is this a rejection of God? Is this love the man has for his son, godly?

Whispering Grace
May 24th 2007, 04:16 AM
With a heaviness in his voice he answered, “If what you preach is right, then one of my boys is in hell right now, and if that is where he is, he needs me and I want to be there."

Is this a rejection of God? Is this love the man has for his son, godly?

I still submit that he has NO IDEA what hell is. If he truly did and knew he was going there, he'd be trembling and quaking and falling over in absolute, sheer, unbridled terror.

Mograce2U
May 24th 2007, 04:58 AM
No. Actually, I think we ALL deserve hell.
...
I agree that many people's hearts are hardened to the beauty and glory and majesty and splendor and absolute wonder of Jesus Christ. I was for most of my life.

What made me fall so deeply in love with Him? What keeps me so passionate about Him? What within me makes me get up every day and want to live for Him and obey Him and serve Him and worship Him?

What do I have within me that my husband does not? We both lived without the Lord throughout our entire relationship. What made me one day fall to my knees and cry out to God? Why didn't my husband?I can't answer your questions for you only for me. For me it was like a light went on when I finally heard the whole gospel. Jesus is God! was a revelation to me. It suddenly made sense. I had 7 years of the Lord drawing me after having called upon Him in a time of need. But though I was not yet a believer, it was a prayer of faith. I had no one else to turn to in my troubles and someone had told me I should pray to Jesus and ask for help, so I did and He helped me. From that point on I began to see that God was working things in my life (a long story). I even came to reject evolution as an impossibility as He showed me things about creation that could only mean a Designer was at work.

God keeps His word (all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved) and if we align ourselves with it, we will receive what He wants to give us. It is hard to say what is holding your husband back, but what you don't see is not a true indication of the work God is doing in his heart. Pray for him and love him is all you need do.

Son_kissed
May 24th 2007, 07:14 AM
I'm curious. Do you know anyone who wants to go to hell?

I think you know the answer is no. I do have a friend who has also used the “If what you say is true, then I have a relative in hell and I love her, and if sending people to Hell is what God calls love, then I would rather join her in hell” argument. But after really getting to know this person, his real problem isn’t what he argues there, its really that He doesn’t want to give control of himself to his very warped idea of who God is. He wants to be the lord of His own life. But perhaps that's because He doesnt yet really understand who God is.


I know a lot of people because of unbelief who don't believe they are going to hell or think there is no such place as hell, but I don't know anyone who wakes up one morning and decides they want to go to hell.

I already answered this in a post to RBG with the promised land example, but I’ll elaborate now:

We have been facing hell since the garden because of our choice to disobey God. But God, by his great love, mercy and grace through Jesus, has given us the opportunity to be reconciled and repent, and given us a choice to serve and love Him and one another, or to serve and love ourselves. If we choose to accept His sacrifice for us, and to love and serve Him and one another, the consequence is eternal life. But, if we choose to love and serve ourselves instead, we remain in sin, and the consequence is Hell- an eternal existence without him. But the choice is ours and He loves and respects us enough to let us make that choice.

Redeemed by Grace
May 24th 2007, 11:43 AM
His people... children. The saints. When you read Revelation for example....

Revelation 6:9 ¶And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;
10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, should be completed also.

It is God's love for His that drives even His vengeance. So in this regard... even God's wrath (and what comes is sure enough God's wrath) is driven out of God's love for His children.

I see this in a slightly different fashion… I believe it’s because of God’s glory that He finally decrees His judgment and wrath, that God kicks S3tan out from Heaven and that S3tan knows his days are coming to an end and that he wages war with God through His people, trying to get to His believers, The preserved remnant 1st [Jews] which is the preserved 144,000 and when they can’t be reached, then her offspring, which are the true Christians. For if S3tan can either get God’s followers to follow him, or kill them, then God’s will would be thwarted, at least in S3tan’s heart….

So although God’s people is a good reason, it’s a by product of God’s glory being challenged, by S3tan and of course by sinful man.

Revelation 15:3, 4
3 And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
"Great and marvelous are Your works,
O Lord God, the Almighty;
Righteous and true are Your ways,
King of the nations!
4 "Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy;
For ALL THE NATIONS WILL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE YOU,
FOR YOUR RIGHTEOUS ACTS HAVE BEEN REVEALED

See, I believe that the subject matter is always for God's Glory and His holy name, and that everything is focused around God and His Majesty and glory.... then the root reasoning as to why, is always goes back to God's Glory.... for He is always the subject and we are His object... At least that's how I see it within His word. AMEN!

Redeemed by Grace
May 24th 2007, 11:57 AM
I think you know the answer is no. I do have a friend who has also used the “If what you say is true, then I have a relative in hell and I love her, and if sending people to Hell is what God calls love, then I would rather join her in hell” argument. But after really getting to know this person, his real problem isn’t what he argues there, its really that He doesn’t want to give control of himself to his very warped idea of who God is. He wants to be the lord of His own life. But perhaps that's because He doesnt yet really understand who God is.



I already answered this in a post to RBG with the promised land example, but I’ll elaborate now:

We have been facing hell since the garden because of our choice to disobey God. But God, by his great love, mercy and grace through Jesus, has given us the opportunity to be reconciled and repent, and given us a choice to serve and love Him and one another, or to serve and love ourselves. If we choose to accept His sacrifice for us, and to love and serve Him and one another, the consequence is eternal life. But, if we choose to love and serve ourselves instead, we remain in sin, and the consequence is Hell- an eternal existence without him. But the choice is ours and He loves and respects us enough to let us make that choice.


Quick question, can this choice come before or after a sinful, self-seeking heart has been changed by God...?

By example, I have two boxes for you to choose:

Box A and Box B... pick one....

Do you know anything about either Box? Do you know if there is a right one or a wrong one? Do you know why you should or should not pick one over another? Do you even care?

But you do have a choice, don't you.... but what does choice mean without understanding. I submit that one needs understanding to choose and believe and that God has to intervene within a person's heart so that they know to respond correctly in 'chosing' -- in as much as I need to explain to you what's in those boxes or if one is preferred over another.

Hopefully this helps tie in to my comments of last night for where my throught were towards your post. :)

Teke
May 24th 2007, 12:36 PM
This isn't really an answer but I think it shows another perspective of who or why a person would make such a choice.

I just read a piece by an evangelist/preacher who was talking about how his theology had undergone a drastic change.

One of the turning points came when he preached a service at a local town hall. In attendance was a man, some of whose children had been saved at previous services.

On this particular day the preacher asked the man if he would accept Christ as his savior. The preacher hoped and thought the man would say yes pretty quickly, especially in light of decisions from his children.

Instead, the man lowered his head and thought about it.

With a heaviness in his voice he answered, “If what you preach is right, then one of my boys is in hell right now, and if that is where he is, he needs me and I want to be there."

Is this a rejection of God? Is this love the man has for his son, godly?

I don't believe it is a rejection of God, and I believe this man is being Christ like, in that he would go so far as to be with his son.

WG's response had me think about this. As she posted on the trembling and fear of hell. But do we not fear God also in this manner.
Personally I feel that way when thinking about the final judgment (makes my knees weak).

So if I thought my children were in hell, then that is where I'd likely have to go for them as well. Because of the responsibility a parent feels. Not because it'd be my choice for them or myself.

Whispering Grace
May 24th 2007, 12:47 PM
So if I thought my children were in hell, then that is where I'd likely have to go for them as well. Because of the responsibility a parent feels. Not because it'd be my choice for them or myself.

What do you think you'd be able to do for your child in hell? There will be no comfort there, not for you OR your child.

Jesus Christ should come before our children. We should do EVERYTHING in this life to show our kids the way to salvation....teaching them about God, praying earnestly for them, studying the Bible with them, etc, but I see absolutely nothing noble about putting anything or anyone before the Lord.

I'm not ashamed to say I love Jesus Christ more than my own children. He is and will always be my first love. That doesn't negate the love I have for my children in any way, but my loyalty is to HIM first, and everything else in my life flows from that.

Teke
May 24th 2007, 12:58 PM
What do you think you'd be able to do for your child in hell? There will be no comfort there, not for you OR your child.

Jesus Christ should come before our children. We should do EVERYTHING in this life to show our kids the way to salvation....teaching them about God, praying earnestly for them, studying the Bible with them, etc, but I see absolutely nothing noble about putting anything or anyone before the Lord.

I'm not ashamed to say I love Jesus Christ more than my own children. He is and will always be my first love. That doesn't negate the love I have for my children in any way, but my loyalty is to HIM first, and everything else in my life flows from that.

Yes, the Lord comes first. And I would think He would understand, since He taught us to love one another, and love never fails. :hug:

ProjectPeter
May 24th 2007, 01:16 PM
Yes, the Lord comes first. And I would think He would understand, since He taught us to love one another, and love never fails. :hug:
What would He understand? You've lost me here because it sounds like you are saying that he would understand why you would chose hell... if that is the case then I am figuring you would be wrong there.

melted
May 24th 2007, 01:21 PM
Jesus Christ should come before our children. We should do EVERYTHING in this life to show our kids the way to salvation....teaching them about God, praying earnestly for them, studying the Bible with them, etc, but I see absolutely nothing noble about putting anything or anyone before the Lord.

Amen WG! Why are we even discussing the possible merits of a man who would like to go to hell for any reason? The absurdity of it shows that there is much ignorance concerning the truth of hell. I love my children with a love that is hard to describe, as any parent can attest. However, if I should find out that God has determined for them to go to hell, I will praise God's holy name. He is above all, including them.

Just as in Romans 9, when Paul says that "it is not the children of flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants." I pray for my children of flesh because God has placed their burden on my heart and because I would love very much to see them be saved, but it is God's purpose for them that trumps all. As someone posted already in this thread, all prayers made in God's will are answered. If I pray for the salvation of my children and they are not saved, what does this mean? I must conclude that it was not within God's will that they be saved, and so I am required to THANK God for His perfect plan.

Mograce2U said, "It is hard to say what is holding your husband back, but what you don't see is not a true indication of the work God is doing in his heart."

How do you know this? I can't help but wonder how some who say things like this picture the activity going on. Is God tirelessly trudging through WG's husband's heart. Looking for every possible pathway through which He might be able to get a spark of change ignited; hoping that SOMETHING He does will get through! Maybe, "if I work here and try really hard, he will come around and believe in me!" Do you imagine that God is hopeful during this time? How often does He wonder, "will I be successful in my working in this guy's heart today?"

Instead I see a much different idea about God "working" in a heart. In fact, it does not seem to be a hit or miss type of thing at all -- God takes out the old heart and installs a new one. Period.

Eze 36:26-27 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (27) "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

Here it is in the new covenant:

Heb 8:10 "FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS, AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS. AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.

Does it appear that God is working with the possibility of failure in these texts, or is He doing something that cannot be thwarted? Is He conveying a promise to His children with the assurance of completion, or is He saying that "I WILL give them a new heart, but only maybe, if I work hard enough and they accept my work." I believe the mind of flesh is "not even able" to set itself on God (Rom 8:7) and so it takes a sovereign and powerful act of God to bring about a change of heart.

Souled Out
May 24th 2007, 01:48 PM
Yes, the Lord comes first. And I would think He would understand, since He taught us to love one another, and love never fails. :hug:

Amen. Love is not just a word and it doesn't end with this life. There's not an ounce of self or self preservation in this, Teke. Not many would make such a decision.

Souled Out
May 24th 2007, 01:51 PM
Quick question, can this choice come before or after a sinful, self-seeking heart has been changed by God...?

By example, I have two boxes for you to choose:

Box A and Box B... pick one....

Do you know anything about either Box? Do you know if there is a right one or a wrong one? Do you know why you should or should not pick one over another? Do you even care?

But you do have a choice, don't you.... but what does choice mean without understanding. I submit that one needs understanding to choose and believe and that God has to intervene within a person's heart so that they know to respond correctly in 'chosing' -- in as much as I need to explain to you what's in those boxes or if one is preferred over another.

Hopefully this helps tie in to my comments of last night for where my throught were towards your post. :)

RbG, do you see salvation as a gift or a reward?

Whispering Grace
May 24th 2007, 01:58 PM
Yes, the Lord comes first. And I would think He would understand, since He taught us to love one another, and love never fails.


Amen. Love is not just a word and it doesn't end with this life. There's not an ounce of self or self preservation in this, Teke. Not many would make such a decision.

He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. Matthew 10:37

ProjectPeter
May 24th 2007, 01:59 PM
Amen. Love is not just a word and it doesn't end with this life. There's not an ounce of self or self preservation in this, Teke. Not many would make such a decision.
That really is going where "love" is never intended to go. God doesn't understand why you would choose the route to hell simply because your children make that choice. Simply fact... you HAVE TO love Christ more than you do even your child. If not... then you aren't a disciple of His. Jesus made that right clear I would think. Nothing on this earth... not even your child, is worthy of the love you must have towards Christ. So it doesn't matter if your wife, child, mom, dad, are all on the path to hell. If you follow that same path out of "love" for them... you simply love them more than Christ and you aren't one of His.

Toolman
May 24th 2007, 02:11 PM
Thomas Talbott touched on this concept briefly in an article of his I recently read.

If Christ commands us and enables us to love others as we love ourselves (and he does) and to see others as equals with Jesus Christ (Matt. 25) and to love our enemies (Matt. 5) then, if some end being eternally tortured, our heavenly joy can never be complete because their torment will be equal to us being tormented and to the Lord being tormented.

This is quite a different view than the view of how some reformed interpret the passages of dancing in joy at seeing people be burned alive eternally or gleefully washing our feet in their blood, etc.

So, when someone expresses that they would "go to hell" to be with a loved one, even though they may say this in ignorance to an extent, I would say that the Lord Jesus Christ "went to hell" for me and I'm not sure their response is outside of His example.

Whispering Grace
May 24th 2007, 02:24 PM
So, when someone expresses that they would "go to hell" to be with a loved one, even though they may say this in ignorance to an extent, I'm not sure that the Lord Jesus Christ didn't "go to hell" for me and I'm not sure their response is outside of His example.

Jesus Christ did what He did, first and foremost, out of OBEDIENCE to the Father. That is the ultimate example He set for us. "Not MY will but Your's be done".

If one is not being obedient to the Father, there is nothing of Christ in him. The FIRST commandment is to love the Lord God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Anyone who places the second commandment above the first is obeying neither of them.

Toolman
May 24th 2007, 02:28 PM
Jesus Christ did what He did, first and foremost, out of OBEDIENCE to the Father. That is the ultimate example He set for us. "Not MY will but Your's be done".

If one is not being obedient to the Father, there is nothing of Christ in him. The FIRST commandment is to love the Lord God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Anyone who places the second commandment above the first is obeying neither.

Who said they were placing anything above God?

How does expressing that you view others with love and care for their welfare placing something above the Lord. I submit that it is being obedient to the Lord. Christ taught us the first and second command are similiar.
When you see Christ in others you are obeying the 1st and 2nd command.

ProjectPeter
May 24th 2007, 02:33 PM
Thomas Talbott touched on this concept briefly in an article of his I recently read.

If Christ commands us and enables us to love others as we love ourselves (and he does) and to see others as equals with Jesus Christ (Matt. 25) and to love our enemies (Matt. 5) then, if some end being eternally tortured, our heavenly joy can never be complete because their torment will be equal to us being tormented and to the Lord being tormented.

This is quite a different view than the view of how some reformed interpret the passages of dancing in joy at seeing people be burned alive eternally or gleefully washing our feet in their blood, etc.

So, when someone expresses that they would "go to hell" to be with a loved one, even though they may say this in ignorance to an extent, I would say that the Lord Jesus Christ "went to hell" for me and I'm not sure their response is outside of His example.
If you're going to hell for a child could atone for that childs sin then that would be more in tune with Christ like. Since it cannot then it falls into the same category as Paul's love for the Jewish folk.

Romans 9:1 I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit,
2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart.
3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,
4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,
5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.
6 ¶But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel;
7 neither are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: "THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED."
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.
9 For this is a word of promise: "AT THIS TIME I WILL COME, AND SARAH SHALL HAVE A SON."
10 And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac;
11 for though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God's purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him who calls,

Along that lines Christ makes it clear. Who is my mother, brother, sister... we can even add child and that wouldn't be inappropriate to the point made... those who do the will of my Father.

ProjectPeter
May 24th 2007, 02:34 PM
Who said they were placing anything above God?

How does expressing that you view others with love and care for their welfare placing something above the Lord. I submit that it is being obedient to the Lord. Christ taught us the first and second command are similiar.
When you see Christ in others you are obeying the 1st and 2nd command.
If they are living contrary to the gospel... how does one "see Christ" in them?

Souled Out
May 24th 2007, 02:35 PM
He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. Matthew 10:37

This is not a paradox and it’s not a threat.

34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Matthew 10:34 isn't a paradox, but it can be when we don’t keep in mind the other things Jesus said. Jesus said love never fails and it endures forever. So how does that fit with this passage?

We have to look at more than just a snippet of Scripture because otherwise we could come away with the idea that God is threatening punishment if we love others as ourselves, just as he commanded us to; which would be contrary to one of the laws of love on which all the law hangs.

There was a time when Christianity brought death through persecution. So you have a family whose son becomes a Christian and follows Christ, but the rest of the family belongs to the imperial emperor cult of Rome where worship was for the emperor. So who then are the Christian son’s foes? They are his household, the members of his family.

Those who chose to worship the emperor/follow the cult of Rome and fall away from Christ, loving their family more than Christ, were not worthy of Christ.

That was and still is a reality and Jesus was warning everyone back then and today, including all of us, to be weary and careful of our words and our belief in Him because a time will come when we will face persecution and if we love those who will pull and push us away from Christ more than Him, we are not worthy of Him.

Jesus was warning everyone, "Persecution is coming because of me, I didn't come to send peace on earth, so do not presume I did such."

Toolman
May 24th 2007, 02:36 PM
If your going to hell for a child could atone for that childs sin then that would be more in tune with Christ like. Since it cannot then it falls into the same catagory as Paul's love for the Jewish folk.


Exactly. And while I said they may be saying this in ignorance (i.e. they can't atone for another), I still see an element of what Christ's life and example in this statement. It is an expression of love for another and willing to suffer for them.

Made in ignorance... perhaps.. but we all have one level of ignorance or another.

Whispering Grace
May 24th 2007, 02:42 PM
Exactly. And while I said they may be saying this in ignorance (i.e. they can't atone for another), I still see an element of what Christ's life and example in this statement. It is an expression of love for another and willing to suffer for them.

Made in ignorance... perhaps.. but we all have one level of ignorance or another.

Let's also point out that this "ignorance" would send them to eternal torment in hell, separated from God forever. Let's not glamorize or sugar coat the reality of what you are saying.

Toolman
May 24th 2007, 02:44 PM
Let's also point out that this "ignorance" would send them to eternal torment in hell, separated from God forever. Let's not glamorize or sugar coat the reality of what you are saying.

I completely disagree.

Whispering Grace
May 24th 2007, 02:45 PM
I completely disagree.

Disagree about what?

Please elaborate.

humbled
May 24th 2007, 02:48 PM
If one is not being obedient to the Father, there is nothing of Christ in him. The FIRST commandment is to love the Lord God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Anyone who places the second commandment above the first is obeying neither of them.
1 John 5:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
...
20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.
21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

John placed love of the brethren right up there with love of God. In fact, it would seem that this is how we know who is truly born of God. It is not that we place the love of God in second place, but that our love for God is manifested in our love for the brethren.

If I love my sister in Christ, who I have seen (virtually), then that is evidence that I love God. How else will I "prove" that I love God? Emotion? No ... my ACTIONS toward those who are His is how I love God.

It all comes down to motives, as usual. The love of the brethren comes naturally for a believer. It is not something you have to "do". That is the evidence, and that is why John tells us so. We are generous with the brethren. We give them our time, our property, our money, as seen in the birth of the church in Acts. This is all evidence of a love for God. But it is seen by a love for one another.

Also, if I am disobedient for a time, or a moment, would you say that there is nothing of Christ in me? What if I am struggling with disobedience because of a rebellious upbringing? Could you elaborate on that thought?

God bless

humbled
May 24th 2007, 02:49 PM
Made in ignorance... perhaps.. but we all have one level of ignorance or another.Speak for yourself!

I'm completely ignorant of my ignorance :lol:

Toolman
May 24th 2007, 02:52 PM
Disagree about what?

Please elaborate.

Sure.

A young Christian who has recently come to Christ and whose heart is filled with an incredible love for others could have the thought of "I would rather I be damned than X" or "I would be willing to suffer to bring X comfort".

X = A person's name

Now, he may say this in ignorance (I'm not convinced of that but I'll give it here) but what I see is the same exact expression that Moses stated (blot my name out of your book if you are not going to save Israel) or what Paul stated (I wish I could be accursed instead of Israel) and how Jesus Christ, the ultimate example, took upon God's wrath for Israel and Gentiles.

So, I don't see that as "sugar coating" or "glamorizing". I see it as Christ-likeness and I see it exampled in Moses, Paul and Jesus Christ.

Whispering Grace
May 24th 2007, 02:55 PM
Humbled, I think you are misunderstanding me.

I am talking about rejecting Jesus Christ to "follow a child to hell". If I have rejected eternity with Jesus Christ in favor of eternity with a child, I have obeyed neither command because the second command ALWAYS flows from the first.

Souled Out
May 24th 2007, 03:00 PM
That really is going where "love" is never intended to go. God doesn't understand why you would choose the route to hell simply because your children make that choice. Simply fact... you HAVE TO love Christ more than you do even your child. If not... then you aren't a disciple of His. Jesus made that right clear I would think. Nothing on this earth... not even your child, is worthy of the love you must have towards Christ. So it doesn't matter if your wife, child, mom, dad, are all on the path to hell. If you follow that same path out of "love" for them... you simply love them more than Christ and you aren't one of His.

Where does love draw the line? If God's reasoning had followed the same path then He certainly wouldn't have sent His son to die for us.

Whether the person's reasoning is valid or not, where is the line drawn in the sand for love? Christ certainly could have made the line of demarcation as he looked out at the crowd who had just killed him. Instead He said Father forgive them for they know not what they do. I'm sure folks thought He was crazy. But that kind of love can make you look really nuts.

Real love isn't about self preservation. When we love God first (someone we can't even see) then how difficult would it be to love someone that we can? Then why in the world would God punish such a heart that He himself installed and cultivated?

Whispering Grace
May 24th 2007, 03:10 PM
Sure.

A young Christian who has recently come to Christ and whose heart is filled with an incredible love for others could have the thought of "I would rather I be damned than X" or "I would be willing to suffer to bring X comfort".

X = A person's name

Now, he may say this in ignorance (I'm not convinced of that but I'll give it here) but what I see is the same exact expression that Moses stated (blot my name out of your book if you are not going to save Israel) or what Paul stated (I wish I could be accursed instead of Israel) and how Jesus Christ, the ultimate example, took upon God's wrath for Israel and Gentiles.

So, I don't see that as "sugar coating" or "glamorizing". I see it as Christ-likeness and I see it exampled in Moses, Paul and Jesus Christ.

What if a mother reads your words and decides it would be so very noble and Christ-like of her to reject Christ (how is it Christ-like to reject Christ?) to spend eternity in hell with her unsaved child?

Teke said nothing about atoning for her child. She said if her child were to go to hell, she'd go also to be with him and that "God would understand". There is nothing biblical about that. People aren't in hell because "God understands". They are in hell due to outright rebellion and disobedience against Jesus Christ.

Teke
May 24th 2007, 03:11 PM
Exactly. And while I said they may be saying this in ignorance (i.e. they can't atone for another), I still see an element of what Christ's life and example in this statement. It is an expression of love for another and willing to suffer for them.

Made in ignorance... perhaps.. but we all have one level of ignorance or another.

Who said anything about atoning for their sins? It would be more to comfort them in any way possible.

There are differing views on the subject of hell. And it doesn't seem far fetched that if one can cross the divide to heaven, they could also pass the same divide to hell. And then of course there is scripture to imply such an idea in Ezekial 42 & 44 of the millennial kingdom, where they put of their holy garments (so as not to sanctify the people outside with the garment) to go out to minister to the people.

Toolman
May 24th 2007, 03:15 PM
What if a mother reads your words and decides it would be so very noble and Christ-like of her to reject Christ (how is it Christ-like to reject Christ?) to spend eternity in hell with her unsaved child?

What if that mother read Moses statement? What about Paul's statement? What would she think?

If you can't see the intention in the heart of Moses and Paul in their statements then there is not much I can do there. I'm just relating what I see in those statements by 2 of the most godly men to ever walk the earth and the ultimate example of Jesus Christ who bore God's wrath for us.


Teke said nothing about atoning for her child. She said if her child were to go to hell, she'd go also to be with him and that "God would understand". There is nothing biblical about that. People aren't in hell because "God understands". They are there out of outright rebellion and disobedience against Jesus Christ.

I'll let Teke speak for herself and what is her intent.

Souled Out
May 24th 2007, 03:17 PM
Humbled, I think you are misunderstanding me.

I am talking about rejecting Jesus Christ to "follow a child to hell". If I have rejected eternity with Jesus Christ in favor of eternity with a child, I have obeyed neither command because the second command ALWAYS flows from the first.

In what I'm about to say I understand that I have just put my theological specs on. My view is very different from yours. Salvation is not a gift like a box of chocolates. It's more like the ability to fly. Chocolates I can either accept or leave on the table, but with the ability to fly all I have to do is fly. Act and live like I'm reconciled because I am.

It's not something I asked for, reasoned out, applied for, spoke up for or even deserved. Like the gift of flight I came into the world with it because Christ died just to give it to me. With this in mind, I know that God knows every dark corner of my heart and whatever He decides to do with me at the end of the day is His business.

He will know that I have done at least two things that He called me to do. 1) love Him and 2) love others as myself. This is what He asks of me and it will be on this in which He will judge me.

When a situation calls for true sacrifice, the kind that Jesus demonstrated, what we do at the fork in the road reveals what's really in our hearts.

Toolman
May 24th 2007, 03:19 PM
There are differing views on the subject of hell.

Believe me when I say I know there are but because of the limitations of this forum I am trying to stay within certain boundaries to continue the conversation.

Teke
May 24th 2007, 03:21 PM
Believe me when I say I know there are but because of the limitations of this forum I am trying to stay within certain boundaries to continue the conversation.

I understand. And that is why I didn't elaborate either.;)

humbled
May 24th 2007, 03:22 PM
Humbled, I think you are misunderstanding me.

I am talking about rejecting Jesus Christ to "follow a child to hell". If I have rejected eternity with Jesus Christ in favor of eternity with a child, I have obeyed neither command because the second command ALWAYS flows from the first.
Oh ..

I guess I did misunderstand you

I must've missed part of the conversation. Seen it anywhere? http://www.puritanboard.com/images/smilies/candle.gif

Whispering Grace
May 24th 2007, 03:27 PM
Real love isn't about self preservation.

See....I don't love Jesus Christ out of self preservation. I love Him because He is WORTHY of all of my love....every last ounce of it.

If He cast me into the depths of hell, I'd STILL love Him and worship Him. If He slay me, yet would I love Him. If He stripped me of everything I have and left me naked, alone, battered and bruised, I WOULD STILL LOVE HIM.

Loving the Lord is about HIM, not us. I'm not in this for any perks. I am in this because I love Jesus Christ so much it feels like I am going to die sometimes if this love gets any more intense.

There is nothing of self to preserve when we have given ourselves to Him. My fate is solely in His hands.

Whispering Grace
May 24th 2007, 03:28 PM
Oh ..

I guess I did misunderstand you

I must've missed part of the conversation. Seen it anywhere? http://www.puritanboard.com/images/smilies/candle.gif

Well, it made sense to me in the conversation I was having. I don't think I was talking to myself. :dunno: :lol:

ProjectPeter
May 24th 2007, 03:32 PM
Where does love draw the line? If God's reasoning had followed the same path then He certainly wouldn't have sent His son to die for us.

Whether the person's reasoning is valid or not, where is the line drawn in the sand for love? Christ certainly could have made the line of demarcation as he looked out at the crowd who had just killed him. Instead He said Father forgive them for they know not what they do. I'm sure folks thought He was crazy. But that kind of love can make you look really nuts.

Real love isn't about self preservation. When we love God first (someone we can't even see) then how difficult would it be to love someone that we can? Then why in the world would God punish such a heart that He himself installed and cultivated?Here is the line.

Luke 14:26 "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.
27 "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
28 "For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it?
29 "Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him,
30 saying, `This man began to build and was not able to finish.´
31 "Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and take counsel whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand?
32 "Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks terms of peace.
33 "So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
34 "Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned?
35 "It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

ProjectPeter
May 24th 2007, 03:34 PM
If folks want to continue the discussion with the UR slants (it is getting way to obvious now) then that needs to be done in World Religions.

Toolman
May 24th 2007, 03:36 PM
Here is the line.

Luke 14:26 "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.
27 "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
28 "For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it?
29 "Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him,
30 saying, `This man began to build and was not able to finish.´
31 "Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and take counsel whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand?
32 "Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks terms of peace.
33 "So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
34 "Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned?
35 "It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

So, the question is:

Is going to "hell" an example of loving others more than Christ or is it an example of loving them in the same manner as Christ loves them and loving Him in the process?

I'm not talking about living a life of sin and rejection of Christ to do so. I am talking about the heart of love that expresses such a desire.

Paul and Moses sure seem to express such desires and I seriously doubt they were damned for it.

To me it comes down to the intent and heart in such a statement. And God is able to judge appropriately IMO.

Teke
May 24th 2007, 03:42 PM
If folks want to continue the discussion with the UR slants (it is getting way to obvious now) then that needs to be done in World Religions.

I would think it has more to do with one's liberty in Christ, than UR. And I didn't bring that subject up, but the millennial kingdom.

Souled Out
May 24th 2007, 03:51 PM
See....I don't love Jesus Christ out of self preservation. I love Him because He is WORTHY of all of my love....every last ounce of it.
Amen.



If He cast me into the depths of hell, I'd STILL love Him and worship Him.The love for Him that you describe is what He wants and is what pleases Him. So then why would He do that?



If He slay me, yet would I love Him. If He stripped me of everything I have and left me naked, alone, battered and bruised, I WOULD STILL LOVE HIM.Amen. Such a scene doesn't seem very loving but I know He would have done this for your benefit that would soon be revealed.



Loving the Lord is about HIM, not us. I'm not in this for any perks. I am in this because I love Jesus Christ so much it feels like I am going to die sometimes if this love gets any more intense.I agree but with caveats. We SHOULD be in this for rewards because Scripture is full of admonitions geared specifically for heavenly rewards. We should want rewards stored up in heaven because they will last forever and are rooted in selfless acts that we've done here on earth. Heavenly rewards are good. Any worker that toils and works gets his wage or reward for the work he's done.

Anyone who doesn't put in the work will not get rewarded.



There is nothing of self to preserve when we have given ourselves to Him. My fate is solely in His hands.Amen.

Whispering Grace
May 24th 2007, 03:51 PM
What if that mother read Moses statement? What about Paul's statement? What would she think?

If you can't see the intention in the heart of Moses and Paul in their statements then there is not much I can do there. I'm just relating what I see in those statements by 2 of the most godly men to ever walk the earth and the ultimate example of Jesus Christ who bore God's wrath for us.

I fully understand the heart and intentions of Moses and Paul. Did they reject God? No, they did not.

Toolman
May 24th 2007, 03:54 PM
I fully understand the heart and intentions of Moses and Paul. Did they reject God? No, they did not.

That is correct... yet they expressed a desire to be damned instead of others being damned (Paul) or to be damned along with others (Moses).

You indicated that such statements were ungodly and unChristlike. I strongly disagree.

And do we REALLY understand that heart and intent? I'm hoping we all reach that full understanding, as God wills.

Whispering Grace
May 24th 2007, 03:59 PM
That is correct... yet they expressed a desire to be damned instead of others being damned (Paul) or to be damned along with others (Moses).

You indicated that such statements were ungodly and unChristlike. I strongly disagree.

No, I said purposely rejecting Christ in favor of spending eternity with a child is not Christ-like.

You have been defending Teke's words (or so it seems to me), and she has explicitly said her desire to go to hell would have nothing to do with atoning for the child.

Toolman
May 24th 2007, 04:08 PM
No, I said purposely rejecting Christ in favor of spending eternity with a child is not Christ-like.

Actually you didn't say that. Here is your response to Teke's post:

http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1270741&postcount=202

You said nothing about purposely rejecting Christ but spoke of loving Christ more than you love your kids.

Here is a list of Teke's statements. I also see nothing of her saying to reject Christ so as to be able to be sent to hell:


I don't believe it is a rejection of God, and I believe this man is being Christ like, in that he would go so far as to be with his son.

So if I thought my children were in hell, then that is where I'd likely have to go for them as well. Because of the responsibility a parent feels. Not because it'd be my choice for them or myself.

Yes, the Lord comes first. And I would think He would understand, since He taught us to love one another, and love never fails.

Now, your idea of Hell (fundamentalism) and Teke's (EO) may be causing some of the "wire crossing" that is being experienced. Since you have different concepts of "hell" you may have different concepts at other levels when discussing it. Happens all the time. When people don't agree at the fundamental levels then obviously things that are built on top of that are going to be disagreed on also.


You have been defending Teke's words (or so it seems to me), and she has explicitly said her desire to go to hell would have nothing to do with atoning for the child.

Isn't that what Moses said? He said "If you aren't going to save Israel, then please damn me also". Nothing in there about atoning for Israel.

And I believe that it was God bringing about this heart in Moses (and Paul) to make such statements.

Souled Out
May 24th 2007, 04:08 PM
I fully understand the heart and intentions of Moses and Paul. Did they reject God? No, they did not.

In the Garden God asked Adam where He was. God knew where he was but He wanted Adam to realize where he himself was. God always sees the heart no matter how hard we try to hide from Him.

Moses and Paul revealed their hearts. Not to God because He already knew. I think it was more for their benefit and I wouldn't say that these mortal men had more love for God's people than God Hemself did.

Whispering Grace
May 24th 2007, 04:14 PM
I must say....this thread has taken more twists and turns than just about any thread I have seen. :hmm:

I think I am going to step back and slow down a bit. I think I need focus more on posting out of a desire to grow and understand and not out of knee-jerk reactions to others' posts, because I think much of my intent is not being clearly understood.

Patience. Lord deal with me and teach me patience. Thank You.

Toolman
May 24th 2007, 04:17 PM
I must say....this thread has taken more twists and turns than just about any thread I have seen. :hmm:

I think I am going to step back and slow down a bit. I think I need focus more on posting out of a desire to grow and understand and not out of knee-jerk reactions to others' posts, because I think much of my intent is not being clearly understood.

Patience. Lord deal with me and teach me patience. Thank You.

I was thinking the same thing WG (not about you but the thread).

Time to give it a rest. I think the original intent of the OP has long since been lost (such is often the nature of this type of thread).

Thanks for being honest about yourself here. Good advice for all of us.

Redeemed by Grace
May 24th 2007, 06:44 PM
RbG, do you see salvation as a gift or a reward?
Gift - 100 %

Son_kissed
May 24th 2007, 07:05 PM
Quick question, can this choice come before or after a sinful, self-seeking heart has been changed by God...?

By example, I have two boxes for you to choose:

Box A and Box B... pick one....

Do you know anything about either Box? Do you know if there is a right one or a wrong one? Do you know why you should or should not pick one over another? Do you even care?

But you do have a choice, don't you.... but what does choice mean without understanding. I submit that one needs understanding to choose and believe and that God has to intervene within a person's heart so that they know to respond correctly in 'chosing' -- in as much as I need to explain to you what's in those boxes or if one is preferred over another.

Hopefully this helps tie in to my comments of last night for where my throught were towards your post.

Well, actually I’m still not sure I understand where you‘re going with this. :lol: I can be a little slow sometimes. :dunno: But I’m trying... :)

The original question was what of God’s love sends people to hell and my response is that He loves and respects us enough to give us the choice between eternal life or eternal existence without Him. In other words, He doesn’t send anyone to Hell (whatever our idea of it is) by His choice, but He will allow us to choose Hell- an existence without Him.

And I THINK what you’re getting at is that it would not be loving and fair if we don’t understand the choice or know what the choice is, and that God works in our hearts to help us understand and choose correctly.

I agree.

So, I’m guessing your question would be what of those who’s hearts he didn’t work in to help understand?

I would have to answer and say that He has always given each of us a measure of understanding, enough for us to make an informed decision. Unfortunately many will still choose to serve and love self instead. Adam and Even knew God and He made it clear that they would surely die. I‘m sure they understood that would mean they would be without Him. Yet they still chose to serve their own desires. We’ve been given the same choice down through the centuries and with some measure of understanding. Even if we never hear the name of Jesus we’re guided by our own conscious and make the choice between good (loving and serving others) and evil (loving and serving ourselves) - having “the work of the law written in their hearts” - and will be judged by that choice (Rom 2:14-16). I believe that having the "the works of the law written on their hearts" includes a knowledge of consequences.

If you’re trying to draw this back to Romans 9, I would say that God works in the hearts of everyone, but will also harden the heart of those He knows will not choose Him, and even of those who will choose Him, for a time (such as the people of Israel), in order to work out His good and perfect plans, probably based on His foreknowledge. I really have no better understanding than that . And while the study of it is interesting and often enlightening I think there are some things we will never fully comprehend . But, I KNOW God would not arbitrarily send anyone to Hell. He loves all of His creation passionately and unselfishly and desires that no one should perish, but loves us even enough to let us decide between good or evil and their consequences for ourselves.

And even if my understanding is wrong, I KNOW the love of God and that He is good if I know nothing else, and that if He would die and save a sinner such as I, He has no desire to send anyone to Hell, not even the very worst of sinners.

Blessings,

Sk

Toolman
May 24th 2007, 08:50 PM
And even if my understanding is wrong, I KNOW the love of God and that He is good if I know nothing else, and that if He would die and save a sinner such as I, He has no desire to send anyone to Hell, not even the very worst of sinners.


Well said!........................

Whispering Grace
May 24th 2007, 09:02 PM
But, I KNOW God would not arbitrarily send anyone to Hell. He loves all of His creation passionately and unselfishly and desires that no one should perish, but loves us even enough to let us decide between good or evil and their consequences for ourselves.

Do you believe God would be unjust to arbitrarily send someone to hell?

humbled
May 24th 2007, 09:26 PM
Do you believe God would be unjust to arbitrarily send someone to hell?Yes. I believe that would be unjust.

hmm ... I'd better elaborate.

God does not arbitrarily send anyone to hell. The arbitration comes in salvation, since ALL are on the wide path to begin with.