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Acts 17:17, 26-27 & Total Depravity

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  • Acts 17:17, 26-27 & Total Depravity

    Act 17:17 So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.

  • #2
    Got the verse.

    What was the question?

    Comment


    • #3
      Well I just checked it to see what posted and a 15 minute post ended up being only the verse... Need a minute to retype the thoughts...

      Thanks!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by AtlGatekeeper View Post
        Well I just checked it to see what posted and a 15 minute post ended up being only the verse... Need a minute to retype the thoughts...

        Thanks!
        Argh!!!! I can identify. I hate it when that happens.
        Take your time. Compose your thoughts. Answer when you are ready. We'll be here.

        In Christ,
        Jen

        Comment


        • #5
          Ok, let's try again...
          Act 17:17 So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.

          In considering the doctrine of Total Depravity as I have been taught it. I am having a hard time seeing how the Gentiles at Athens can be considered "God-fearing." It appears to me that for them to be "God-Fearing" while also unregenerate, they must have an internal sense of the holiness of God through creation bearing witness to their heart that they need to revere, honor, respect and worship God though they were not saved and still lost in their sin. THOUGHTS?

          Act 17:26 -27 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

          Here it appears that God, through His Sovereign plans uses international crises in order to draw the hearts of men to himself. God expects the movement of international boundaries to cause men to seek Him and grope for Him. It seems to me, for men to seek God because of the issues of turmoil and crisis, it must be that they have an internal imprint that causes them to grope for God when they are made aware that they are subject to His ultimate leadership and guidance. It does not appear that the issue is grace upon their heart but rather the internal recognition of need, still intact through original design.

          God moves the boundary lines of nations in order to cause men to grope for Him. Nothing is mentioned of the activities of irresistible grace or the impossibility of men to seek God, but rather the expectation appears to be that men will seek God, even grope and grasp for Him during times of crisis.

          This would point to the concept of the eternal being stamped upon the heart and not irreparably destroyed through sin.

          I'd love to hear thoughts/feedback on this!
          Thanks!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by AtlGatekeeper View Post
            Ok, let's try again...
            Act 17:17 So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.

            In considering the doctrine of Total Depravity as I have been taught it. I am having a hard time seeing how the Gentiles at Athens can be considered "God-fearing." It appears to me that for them to be "God-Fearing" while also unregenerate, they must have an internal sense of the holiness of God through creation bearing witness to their heart that they need to revere, honor, respect and worship God though they were not saved and still lost in their sin. THOUGHTS?

            Act 17:26 -27 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

            Here it appears that God, through His Sovereign plans uses international crises in order to draw the hearts of men to himself. God expects the movement of international boundaries to cause men to seek Him and grope for Him. It seems to me, for men to seek God because of the issues of turmoil and crisis, it must be that they have an internal imprint that causes them to grope for God when they are made aware that they are subject to His ultimate leadership and guidance. It does not appear that the issue is grace upon their heart but rather the internal recognition of need, still intact through original design.

            God moves the boundary lines of nations in order to cause men to grope for Him. Nothing is mentioned of the activities of irresistible grace or the impossibility of men to seek God, but rather the expectation appears to be that men will seek God, even grope and grasp for Him during times of crisis.

            This would point to the concept of the eternal being stamped upon the heart and not irreparably destroyed through sin.

            I'd love to hear thoughts/feedback on this!
            Thanks!
            All I can say is that I agree with everything you said. I have nothing to add. At least not at the moment.

            Comment


            • #7
              "God-fearer" (Gey) is a standard Hebraic label for Gentiles who believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob but had not been 'ritually converted' to the Judaism of that time (made Jews). Those seeking God through the witness of the creation and found knowledge of Him through their Jewish contemporaries were given that label. Their knowledge of God was mostly rubbed off from Jews living in diaspora (and many Jews were Hellenized). "God-fearers" were quite prevalent and a growing group, especially since the Alexandrian captivity and the publishing of the Septuagint. The label doesn't identify them as righteous any more than "Christian" identifies someone as righteous. It's just a term. If they lived in depravity it was most likely from plain ignorance. This actually was a huge problem around the Temple during the Roman occupation and circa 65 BC was addressed by the "18 measures"(gezerot) established by bet Shammai voters, who (some say by murder) outnumbered bet Hillel voters in the Great Assembly.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by AtlGatekeeper View Post
                Ok, let's try again...
                Act 17:17 So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.

                In considering the doctrine of Total Depravity as I have been taught it. I am having a hard time seeing how the Gentiles at Athens can be considered "God-fearing." It appears to me that for them to be "God-Fearing" while also unregenerate, they must have an internal sense of the holiness of God through creation bearing witness to their heart that they need to revere, honor, respect and worship God though they were not saved and still lost in their sin. THOUGHTS?

                Act 17:26 -27 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

                Here it appears that God, through His Sovereign plans uses international crises in order to draw the hearts of men to himself. God expects the movement of international boundaries to cause men to seek Him and grope for Him. It seems to me, for men to seek God because of the issues of turmoil and crisis, it must be that they have an internal imprint that causes them to grope for God when they are made aware that they are subject to His ultimate leadership and guidance. It does not appear that the issue is grace upon their heart but rather the internal recognition of need, still intact through original design.

                God moves the boundary lines of nations in order to cause men to grope for Him. Nothing is mentioned of the activities of irresistible grace or the impossibility of men to seek God, but rather the expectation appears to be that men will seek God, even grope and grasp for Him during times of crisis.

                This would point to the concept of the eternal being stamped upon the heart and not irreparably destroyed through sin.

                I'd love to hear thoughts/feedback on this!
                Thanks!
                I don't see the evidence that the God-fearers were unregenerate.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by AtlGatekeeper View Post
                  Ok, let's try again...
                  Act 17:17 So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.

                  In considering the doctrine of Total Depravity as I have been taught it. I am having a hard time seeing how the Gentiles at Athens can be considered "God-fearing." It appears to me that for them to be "God-Fearing" while also unregenerate, they must have an internal sense of the holiness of God through creation bearing witness to their heart that they need to revere, honor, respect and worship God though they were not saved and still lost in their sin. THOUGHTS?
                  Through the fall all men received the knowledge of good and evil. Man can distinguish right from wrong. Jesus is the Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. I do not agree that these were God-fearing but were religious or devout persons. They did not have a right knowledge of who God is. These were some of the philosophers the thinkers of the city. They were curious of anything new to stimulate their thought. Total depravity describes ones inability to save oneself not to decern the need to be saved.
                  Act 17:26 -27 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

                  Here it appears that God, through His Sovereign plans uses international crises in order to draw the hearts of men to himself. God expects the movement of international boundaries to cause men to seek Him and grope for Him. It seems to me, for men to seek God because of the issues of turmoil and crisis, it must be that they have an internal imprint that causes them to grope for God when they are made aware that they are subject to His ultimate leadership and guidance. It does not appear that the issue is grace upon their heart but rather the internal recognition of need, still intact through original design.

                  God moves the boundary lines of nations in order to cause men to grope for Him. Nothing is mentioned of the activities of irresistible grace or the impossibility of men to seek God, but rather the expectation appears to be that men will seek God, even grope and grasp for Him during times of crisis.

                  This would point to the concept of the eternal being stamped upon the heart and not irreparably destroyed through sin.

                  I'd love to hear thoughts/feedback on this!
                  Thanks!
                  Men are hopelessly religious. If God did not exist man would have to invent Him. Paul in Romans writes that God hath concluded them all in unbelief that He might have mercy on all. All men are lost in sin. All men need Jesus Christ as their Savior. It is again written in John that this is the condemnation that light has come into the world but men would not come to the light because they loved darkness because their deeds were evil. Men grope in darkness when God reveals Himself to these men they will either receive or reject Him.

                  For the cause of Christ
                  Roger

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AtlGatekeeper View Post
                    Ok, let's try again...
                    Act 17:17 So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.

                    In considering the doctrine of Total Depravity as I have been taught it. I am having a hard time seeing how the Gentiles at Athens can be considered "God-fearing." It appears to me that for them to be "God-Fearing" while also unregenerate, they must have an internal sense of the holiness of God through creation bearing witness to their heart that they need to revere, honor, respect and worship God though they were not saved and still lost in their sin. THOUGHTS?

                    Act 17:26 -27 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

                    Here it appears that God, through His Sovereign plans uses international crises in order to draw the hearts of men to himself. God expects the movement of international boundaries to cause men to seek Him and grope for Him. It seems to me, for men to seek God because of the issues of turmoil and crisis, it must be that they have an internal imprint that causes them to grope for God when they are made aware that they are subject to His ultimate leadership and guidance. It does not appear that the issue is grace upon their heart but rather the internal recognition of need, still intact through original design.

                    God moves the boundary lines of nations in order to cause men to grope for Him. Nothing is mentioned of the activities of irresistible grace or the impossibility of men to seek God, but rather the expectation appears to be that men will seek God, even grope and grasp for Him during times of crisis.

                    This would point to the concept of the eternal being stamped upon the heart and not irreparably destroyed through sin.

                    I'd love to hear thoughts/feedback on this!
                    Thanks!
                    If you are speaking of Total Depravity in the Calvinistic sense then I don't think you will ifnd it. All men can seek God because Christ draws every man.

                    John 12:32 ( KJV )
                    And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.


                    John 1:5-9 ( KJV )
                    And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
                    There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
                    The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
                    He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
                    That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

                    The idea of "irrisistible grace" does not hold up in light of Scripture.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by notuptome View Post
                      Through the fall all men received the knowledge of good and evil. Man can distinguish right from wrong. Jesus is the Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. I do not agree that these were God-fearing but were religious or devout persons. They did not have a right knowledge of who God is. These were some of the philosophers the thinkers of the city. They were curious of anything new to stimulate their thought. Total depravity describes ones inability to save oneself not to decern the need to be saved.

                      Men are hopelessly religious. If God did not exist man would have to invent Him. Paul in Romans writes that God hath concluded them all in unbelief that He might have mercy on all. All men are lost in sin. All men need Jesus Christ as their Savior. It is again written in John that this is the condemnation that light has come into the world but men would not come to the light because they loved darkness because their deeds were evil. Men grope in darkness when God reveals Himself to these men they will either receive or reject Him.

                      For the cause of Christ
                      Roger

                      Good post.. couldn't of put it any better.. Thank you...
                      Many appear Righteous and Just because they say 'yes' to Jesus Christ , yet they don't do His Will.
                      ------------------------------------------------
                      Verily I say unto thee, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the Kingdom of Heaven before you do.
                      ------------------------------------------------
                      The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying. YEA, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with LOVINGKINDESS have I DRAWN THEE.
                      Jeremiah 31:3

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BroRog View Post
                        I don't see the evidence that the God-fearers were unregenerate.
                        It think its implied in the text since they are grouped with the Jews in the synagogue with whom Paul was reasoning. He was reasoning with them undoubtedly about Jesus and the scriptures as He did in Thesalonica, Acts 17:2.

                        In Thessalonica as in Athens there were Jews and God-fearing Greeks. These were unsaved people with whom Paul was sharing the Gospel.

                        Just to be clear, do you think that they were regenerate, as in born-again?

                        As far as what I have understood RE: total depravity and it's explanation from Rom 3:18, it is impossible for one who is Totally Depraved to fear God. Yet it seems obvious these were unregenerate God-fearers.

                        My Point is that if they were unregenerate, yet God-fearing, then it doesn't seem to jive with my understanding of Total Depravity and the inability of the lost to fear and seek God.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by notuptome View Post
                          Through the fall all men received the knowledge of good and evil. Man can distinguish right from wrong. Jesus is the Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. I do not agree that these were God-fearing but were religious or devout persons. They did not have a right knowledge of who God is. These were some of the philosophers the thinkers of the city. They were curious of anything new to stimulate their thought. Total depravity describes ones inability to save oneself not to decern the need to be saved.

                          Men are hopelessly religious. If God did not exist man would have to invent Him. Paul in Romans writes that God hath concluded them all in unbelief that He might have mercy on all. All men are lost in sin. All men need Jesus Christ as their Savior. It is again written in John that this is the condemnation that light has come into the world but men would not come to the light because they loved darkness because their deeds were evil. Men grope in darkness when God reveals Himself to these men they will either receive or reject Him.

                          For the cause of Christ
                          Roger
                          So... Total Depravity in the Calvinist sense does not mean, "there is no fear of God before their eyes" as Rom 3:18 says? Romans 3 has always been one of the starting points for me when trying to understand Calvinism.

                          Regarding men groping in darkness when God reveals Himself to them, the text actually says, that He determines the boundaries of their habitation, so that they would seek God. In other words He moves the boundary lines of nations, so that men will seek Him. It doesn't say that He reveals Himself to them and then they will grope for Him. It says He determines the appointed seasons for their nations (how long they will exist) and their boundary lines (their borders) so that they will seek Him. It appears that its not the revelation of God that then causes them to seek God, but rather the international crisis that causes them to turn toward God. This would say to me that He must be drawing on their internal sense through design of their necessity for God and thus seeking Him.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            First, I don't believe you can separate out Total depravity as a doctrine and exclude everything else.

                            Although this is so easily done with this particular idea.
                            Simply because there are so many places in the Bible that teach that man does not seek God.
                            Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.

                            Sin passed through Adam to us. It's called Federal Headship, although you will get a stout argument from many on this board that this is not so.

                            Adam represents the human race.

                            Romans 3:10-12 says,
                            s it is written, THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.



                            Because of this condition

                            Romans 3:18:
                            "THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES." They don't fear the holiness or Justice of God.

                            Prior to regeneration we are DEAD in our sins, Unrighteous and not seeking God.
                            Ephesians 2:1-6
                            And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,"

                            Corinthians says
                            1 Corinthians 2:14-15 says: "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one."

                            Romans 8:7-9 says: "The mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him."

                            This is basically the "doctrine" of Total Depravity.


                            God Bless.

                            tt1106

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tt1106 View Post
                              First, I don't believe you can separate out Total depravity as a doctrine and exclude everything else.

                              Although this is so easily done with this particular idea.
                              Simply because there are so many places in the Bible that teach that man does not seek God.
                              Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.

                              Sin passed through Adam to us. It's called Federal Headship, although you will get a stout argument from many on this board that this is not so.

                              Adam represents the human race.

                              Romans 3:10-12 says, s it is written, THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.



                              Because of this condition

                              Romans 3:18:"THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES." They don't fear the holiness or Justice of God.

                              Prior to regeneration we are DEAD in our sins, Unrighteous and not seeking God.
                              Ephesians 2:1-6 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,"

                              Corinthians says
                              1 Corinthians 2:14-15 says: "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one."

                              Romans 8:7-9 says: "The mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him."

                              This is basically the "doctrine" of Total Depravity.


                              God Bless.

                              tt1106

                              tt106---Romans 3:10-12 says, s it is written, THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.
                              What are they like that?

                              Comment

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