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  • #16
    Originally posted by markedward View Post
    The best analogy to be given is a puppeteer with puppets. If the Puppeteer has complete control over the actions of the two
    puppets. He makes on puppet talk and say "I'll do whatever you want, Puppeteer." He makes the other puppet say "I'll never
    do whatever you want, Puppeteer." But then the Puppeteer is still controlling both of them, would it seem a little odd for the
    Puppeteer to throw the 'bad' puppet into the trash can for 'disobeying' Him, if it was He who made the puppet disobey to
    begin with?

    Hi markedward, I truly enjoyed that analagy. That was priceless. Too bad some still won't get it.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by markedward View Post
      I don't think it was being said that God has to save any of us.

      But total predestination (i.e., no free will) begs the question: If salvation of the individual is entirely up to God and not the individual, and people who become saved only do so because God made them become saved... why doesn't He just make everyone become saved?

      The best analogy to be given is a Puppeteer with puppets. The Puppeteer has complete control over the actions of the two puppets. He makes one puppet talk and say "I'll do whatever you want, Puppeteer." He makes the other puppet say "I'll never do whatever you want, Puppeteer." But then the Puppeteer is still controlling both of them. Would it seem a little odd for the Puppeteer to throw the 'bad' puppet into the trash can for 'disobeying' Him, if it was He who made the puppet disobey to begin with?

      The idea of total predestination necessarily causes the questioning of God's justice, if total predestination means it was God who caused all people to sin and yet He only chooses some to redeem from that sin. (Not to mention that: predestination means, in essence, God was the cause of sin, rather than just having the foreknowledge of it.)
      No doubt there are some who think that predestination involves the cancellation of freewill, but not respectable (for want of a better word) Calvinists.

      Both Calvin and Luther believed in free will, but it was a free will in bondage. They agreed that we had the free will to sin. What they argued was that our free will is so in bondage that without the working of the grace of God no man would ever come to Christ. but that when God did work by His grace such a person would inevitably come to Christ.

      And of course God predetermines those on whom His active saving grace will work. Thus some men are predestined to salvation. But they are not predetermined for damnation. They choose that of their own free will.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by markedward View Post
        I don't think it was being said that God has to save any of us.

        But total predestination (i.e., no free will) begs the question: If salvation of the individual is entirely up to God and not the individual, and people who become saved only do so because God made them become saved... why doesn't He just make everyone become saved?
        Greetings markedward,

        Can you explain how one who is in bondage (a prisoner) to sin and death through the power of Satan is free to choose freedom from this bondage? Isn't that a bit like the guard over the prisoner saying I'll give the prisoner the keys to his cell so he can have freedom?

        We must accept that man's freewill (so-called) is free only in the sense that he can choose that which he is bound by. In other words man in unbelief, cannot choose to make himself free. He can only be made free by someone greater than the power that holds the man in bondage to sin and death.

        It's a mistake to argue we have freewill to come to Christ for freedom and life, when in FACT we are prisoners of Satan before we become saved. Satan holds us in bondage through fear to both sin and death, and will not of our own freewill allow us to have freedom and life in Christ. We are only free to choose that which our fallen nature, under the power of Satan allows...which always leads to sin and death. How is this having freedom or freewill? In fact I would argue that unless the Lord gives us freedom and life we remain in bondage to sin and death; i.e. prisoners of Satan our whole lives.

        Originally posted by markedward View Post
        The best analogy to be given is a Puppeteer with puppets. The Puppeteer has complete control over the actions of the two puppets. He makes one puppet talk and say "I'll do whatever you want, Puppeteer." He makes the other puppet say "I'll never do whatever you want, Puppeteer." But then the Puppeteer is still controlling both of them. Would it seem a little odd for the Puppeteer to throw the 'bad' puppet into the trash can for 'disobeying' Him, if it was He who made the puppet disobey to begin with?
        Since we are not free, as you suppose, prior to being given life and freedom through Christ, we are, and will remain puppets of another, that is Satan. Satan is our puppet master prior to salvation, and he keeps us in bondage to sin and death, separated from Christ. Satan does indeed pull all the strings, making us do whatever he, our puppet master desires. And he will not let go of the strings or allow us to cut the strings ourself. Someone more powerful than this puppet master MUST cut the strings with which Satan binds us. Of course we both know the only one stronger, and more powerful, whose is able to cut us free is Christ.

        Does Christ ask our permission (assuming we have freewill) to be cut free from the puppet master, Satan, who holds us in bondage to sin and death? That wouldn't make a whole lot of sense, since we are prisoners, so obtaining our permission (freewill) cannot save us, because we don't pull the strings, the puppet master, Satan does. It would also make no sense for Christ to ask permission of our puppet master, Satan to let us go. After all He doesn't need to because He is more powerful than Satan, and can therefore take for Himself whosoever He desires, setting them free from the bondage whereby Satan held them.

        The sad state of every man born in Adam, is that we are all (every single one of us) born with a fallen nature in bondage to Satan, sin and death. But, God desires to have a people for Himself. Knowing that every man is, and will remain a slave to their puppet master, Satan, apart from His saving some, He in His great love, and mercy predestines some to be set free, and gives them eternal life through Christ. He does not merely offer them eternal life, He gives them eternal life. We don't choose Christ for salvation, He chooses His own, and these are written in the Lamb's Book of Life before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blame before Him in love.

        Once we are made free through Christ, and no longer slaves of the old puppet master, Satan, sin and death, do we have so-called freewill? I would argue, not really. Why? Because now we have a new Master, and we have become servants of righteousness through Him. Our old natures, that delighted in sin has been put to death, and our new natures in Christ desire to do the new Master's will. We willingly become puppets in the hand of our new Puppet Master, because He has graciously changed our wills to conform to His will. Do we do the will of the Lord perfectly in this life? Never! But, now we have the ability to choose to do that which delights our Lord, and brings glory and honor to God. So in reality we are not free in the sense that we have freewill to reject Christ after He has made us free...we are in fact puppets of Christ, made to do His will. And the more we grow in sanctification under our new Master, Christ, the greater the servanthood to our new Master.

        Make me a puppet for Christ any day, for I delight to do His will, and be His servant as opposed to being a puppet, and slave in the hands of the old puppet master, Satan, sin and death.

        Originally posted by markedward View Post
        The idea of total predestination necessarily causes the questioning of God's justice, if total predestination means it was God who caused all people to sin and yet He only chooses some to redeem from that sin. (Not to mention that: predestination means, in essence, God was the cause of sin, rather than just having the foreknowledge of it.)
        If God does not predestine some men to be saved, then no man can be saved. God causes no man to sin, however knowing that every man would be born with the fallen nature in Adam, and in bondage to Satan, sin and death, He chose before the foundation of the world to have mercy on some, and to leave the rest.

        This is very hard for some to accept. Man feels the need to have some measure of control of their salvation. They find it very hard to believe that God would not give the opportunity for every man to be saved. Consider our example, the nation of Israel. God chose one small nation to call His own, showering them alone with love, and compassion. He clearly tells us He did not choose them because they first chose Him, but simply chose them, out of all the peoples of the world, to manifest His glory unto all men. The same is true of all who have been predestined to eternal life. We are given life to be salt and light to a dying world. It is through His elect that His grace and mercy is declared throughout the world. God chooses based on His Sovereign good pleasure alone, for He says, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."

        Many Blessings,
        RW

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by petepet View Post
          The question has been debated for at least 1700 years (since Augustine of Hippo if not before) so you are not likely to get your problem solved here :-))))
          Rhyfelwr, I agree with petepet... you are not likely to get your problem solved here. Augustine is indeed the original thinker on this issue, and he blended Scripture with Platonism. If you go back to Augustine's writings and try to sort out which is which, you might begin to see that truth and error has been so blended as to have no valid answers to this question.

          I believe it is the wrong question. I encourage anyone who is struggling with this doctrinal puzzle to abandon the Augustinian/Lutheran/Calvinist/Pelagian/Arminian party. Go into the Word of God and seek to know Him. As you spend time knowing God and drawing near to Him, these arguments will dissolve into nothingness.
          Blessings,

          Road Warrior


          Proverbs 4:23
          23 Guard your heart above all else,
          for it determines the course of your life.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Rhyfelwr View Post
            Just noticed you're a fellow Scotsman marksfan. And to think you thought I was Welsh! I suppose its my own fault for using the Brythonic word for 'infantry' as my username.

            Anyway, should we presume God has total sovereignty over our fates? Because he did gift us with free will. Although in a sense we have lost that since we are born as slaves to sin.



            From my understanding, God does not predestine any to hell (although I'm new to studying these tough issues so correct me if I'm wrong). Because, there are two kinds of people when considering predestination:

            1. Those with the potential to follow God
            2. Those who would never accept Him

            While God does foresee the damnation of those in the second category, He does not actively ensure that its what they get. They reject Him, and they are allowed to do this, through free will.

            However, He does predestine those in category one to Heaven. Because it is possible or even likely that without God's guidance those in category one might never accept Him in a lifetime on this earth. However, God works in the lives of these people to ensure that they do accept Him, therefore they are predestined for Heaven.

            Or am I creating an issue with God's sovereignty, especially in the second paragraph above? Although God was sovereign in granting humanity free will, it was a gift from him.
            Greetings Rhyfelwr,

            A bit late, but welcome to the community.

            While I agree with you here, I would simply ask clarity of so-called free will? I mean prior to salvation we are not free to choose Christ, that we might have life. And after salvation we are not free to reject Christ, Who has given us eternal life. So are we morally free to choose eternal life or death in any sense?

            Many Blessings,
            RW

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by RoadWarrior View Post
              Rhyfelwr, I agree with petepet... you are not likely to get your problem solved here. Augustine is indeed the original thinker on this issue, and he blended Scripture with Platonism. If you go back to Augustine's writings and try to sort out which is which, you might begin to see that truth and error has been so blended as to have no valid answers to this question.

              I believe it is the wrong question. I encourage anyone who is struggling with this doctrinal puzzle to abandon the Augustinian/Lutheran/Calvinist/Pelagian/Arminian party. Go into the Word of God and seek to know Him. As you spend time knowing God and drawing near to Him, these arguments will dissolve into nothingness.
              Yes lets go to Scripture to find Christ, and His Apostles teach the doctrines of predestination and election. Let the Bible alone speak without any outside influence, for Scripture does indeed teach that God in eternity past chose a people for Himself to be holy and blameless before Him in love. And we can also find that Christ did not die on the cross to merely offer salvation, His death actually accomplished salvation for all who were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, predestined to receive eternal life, and of all whom He chose He will lose nothing! These doctrines don't originate with Augustine, they originate with God before the world began when Christ became the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world!

              Blessings,
              RW

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by RogerW View Post
                Yes lets go to Scripture to find Christ, and His Apostles teach the doctrines of predestination and election. Let the Bible alone speak without any outside influence, for Scripture does indeed teach that God in eternity past chose a people for Himself to be holy and blameless before Him in love. And we can also find that Christ did not die on the cross to merely offer salvation, His death actually accomplished salvation for all who were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, predestined to receive eternal life, and of all whom He chose He will lose nothing! These doctrines don't originate with Augustine, they originate with God before the world began when Christ became the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world!

                Blessings,
                RW
                John Calvin was not completely wrong. Salvation is of God. However, we have the responsibility to accept, or reject it. John Calvin's God who created men specifically to throw into eternal punishment does not exist. This is a God of hatred and murder. A God who punishes with no chance of repentance or forgiveness. The fire of eternal punishment was created for the devil and his angels, not for man. I will not attempt to argue against the Calvinist doctrine. As with many doctrines, it has many verses that seem to back it up. Also as with all false doctrines, there are many verses that contradict it.


                Matt 25:41
                41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
                KJV


                Heb 2:3
                3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation ; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
                KJV


                Deut 30:19
                19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
                KJV


                Matt 23:37
                37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
                KJV


                John 1:6-13
                6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
                7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
                8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
                9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
                10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
                11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
                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:
                13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
                KJV


                John 1:29
                29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
                KJV






                John 3:18-21
                18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
                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.
                20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
                21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
                KJV


                John 6:51
                51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
                KJV


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


                Acts 7:51
                51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
                KJV


                Rom 10:11-13
                11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
                12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
                13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved .
                KJV


                Mark 16:16
                16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved ; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
                KJV


                Titus 2:11
                11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men ,
                KJV


                1 Tim 2:5-6
                5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
                6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
                KJV

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by RogerW View Post
                  Greetings Rhyfelwr,

                  A bit late, but welcome to the community.

                  While I agree with you here, I would simply ask clarity of so-called free will? I mean prior to salvation we are not free to choose Christ, that we might have life. And after salvation we are not free to reject Christ, Who has given us eternal life. So are we morally free to choose eternal life or death in any sense?

                  Many Blessings,
                  RW
                  Could it be the case that God gives his grace to those who would accept Him *if* they had free will? In a fallen world, we do not have the ability to do this as we are born as slaves to sin, and so it is purely by God's grace that we are freed from Satan's chains and may come to accept God?

                  So those who will never accept God are not predestined by Him to suffer in Hell, although God has foreknowledge of their fate nonetheless. These people serve Satan as we all do before we are shown God's grace, but God does not give them his grace knowing that they would reject it, regardless of Satan's power over them.

                  Being sovereing God could bring these sinners to Himself, but to do this would be abusing the free will which He granted to humanity. He does not distribute His grace based on decisions people take as puppets of Himself or Satan, but rather on his knowledge of who would accept Him if they exercised their free will.

                  Originally posted by RoadWarrior View Post
                  Rhyfelwr, I agree with petepet... you are not likely to get your problem solved here. Augustine is indeed the original thinker on this issue, and he blended Scripture with Platonism. If you go back to Augustine's writings and try to sort out which is which, you might begin to see that truth and error has been so blended as to have no valid answers to this question.

                  I believe it is the wrong question. I encourage anyone who is struggling with this doctrinal puzzle to abandon the Augustinian/Lutheran/Calvinist/Pelagian/Arminian party. Go into the Word of God and seek to know Him. As you spend time knowing God and drawing near to Him, these arguments will dissolve into nothingness.
                  I suppose you are right. I just feel as I read the Bible that God is giving me guidance through the scripture, and so I want to be able to understand what He is telling me by understanding the scriptures. After all, they are His divinely inspired word, and since he chose to grant the scripture to us I think he wishes us to understand it.

                  I feel that learnings scripture coincides with my relationship with God. One gives me understanding of the other. Although you are right the latter is much more important.
                  "I could not but smile out to God in praises,
                  in assurance of victory,
                  because God would by things that are not,
                  bring to naught things that are.
                  Of which I had great assurance, and God did it"
                  - Oliver Cromwell

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by livingword26 View Post
                    John Calvin was not completely wrong. Salvation is of God. However, we have the responsibility to accept, or reject it. John Calvin's God who created men specifically to throw into eternal punishment does not exist. This is a God of hatred and murder. A God who punishes with no chance of repentance or forgiveness. The fire of eternal punishment was created for the devil and his angels, not for man. I will not attempt to argue against the Calvinist doctrine. As with many doctrines, it has many verses that seem to back it up. Also as with all false doctrines, there are many verses that contradict it.
                    Greetings livingword,

                    God created human very good! He says so Himself (Gn 1:31). But what happened to human after he fell in the garden, after he disobeyed God? The good human that God had created has become in bondage to Satan, and therefore sin and death. Now all men, born in Adam are born with a fallen nature in bondage to Satan, sin and death, not by the choice or will of God, but through disobedience of the one man Adam. For through the sin of Adam, death came upon all men (Ro 5:12).

                    You are right. God did not create man specifically to throw into eternal punishment. He created man very good, but Adam transgressed, and plunged all of his progeny into bondage to Satan, sin and death. Every man would remain under this bondage unless Christ makes them free, giving them eternal life in Him. No man is able to break the bondage of Satan through free will. If we could why did Christ have to die to save us?

                    Yes, the everlasting fire is prepared for the devil and his angels. Angels simply means messengers. We are either a messenger of Satan, or we are a messenger of the Lord. Whosoever is not found in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire.

                    Re 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

                    Many Blessings,
                    RW

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Rhyfelwr View Post
                      Could it be the case that God gives his grace to those who would accept Him *if* they had free will? In a fallen world, we do not have the ability to do this as we are born as slaves to sin, and so it is purely by God's grace that we are freed from Satan's chains and may come to accept God?
                      Since we are all dead in sins and iniquity we have no ability to accept or reject Christ through free will. Does Christ merely offer salvation to His elect, leaving the decision to them to accept or reject His so-called offer? Or does Christ "give" salvation to His elect? This is an important distinction. If we have been freed from Satan's bondage, then we have already been given salvation. What is there to accept or reject through free will? Either we are free from bondage to Satan, sin and death, or we are not. There is no choice for us in either.

                      We did not choose to be born fallen in Adam, in bondage, nor do we choose to be born again in Christ. Christ came to seek and to save that which is lost. He calls His own by name, and they hear Him, and respond. Can we choose not to hear the Master, since we are predestined to receive eternal life?

                      Originally posted by Rhyfelwr View Post
                      So those who will never accept God are not predestined by Him to suffer in Hell, although God has foreknowledge of their fate nonetheless. These people serve Satan as we all do before we are shown God's grace, but God does not give them his grace knowing that they would reject it, regardless of Satan's power over them.
                      Very true! Every man born in Adam is born in the same fate. Unless God makes you alive in Christ, then none will be saved. God does not leave some because He knows they will reject Him. God saves some because He knows all men, left to their free will, will not come to Him that they might have life. God sees from heaven the hearts of every man, there is none righteous, no not one, not one will seek Him.

                      Originally posted by Rhyfelwr View Post
                      Being sovereing God could bring these sinners to Himself, but to do this would be abusing the free will which He granted to humanity. He does not distribute His grace based on decisions people take as puppets of Himself or Satan, but rather on his knowledge of who would accept Him if they exercised their free will.
                      How is man's will free when he is in bondage to Satan, sin and death apart from Christ? If God chooses some men knowing they will accept Him through free will, how is God Sovereign in salvation? His grace is not based on His decision to save a people for Himself, but rather on the free will choice of man. Man is ultimately the sovereign over God, because God chooses because they first choose Him.


                      Originally posted by Rhyfelwr View Post
                      I suppose you are right. I just feel as I read the Bible that God is giving me guidance through the scripture, and so I want to be able to understand what He is telling me by understanding the scriptures. After all, they are His divinely inspired word, and since he chose to grant the scripture to us I think he wishes us to understand it.
                      Roadwarrior is NOT right! The doctrine of predestination and election are found in Scripture, taught by Christ, and His Apostles. Some cannot stomach the doctrines of Sovereign Grace. Instead of searching the Scriptures to see if these things be so, they attempt to make these difficult truths the teachings of man rather than God. You keep searching the inspired Word of God for God tells us, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

                      Many Rich Blessings,
                      RW

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by RogerW View Post
                        The doctrine of predestination and election are found in Scripture, taught by Christ, and His Apostles.
                        All right, my old friend, I'll bite. What text would you like to put forward as supporting pre-destination?

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by RogerW View Post
                          ..

                          Roadwarrior is NOT right! The doctrine of predestination and election are found in Scripture, taught by Christ, and His Apostles. Some cannot stomach the doctrines of Sovereign Grace. Instead of searching the Scriptures to see if these things be so, they attempt to make these difficult truths the teachings of man rather than God. You keep searching the inspired Word of God for God tells us, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

                          Many Rich Blessings,
                          RW
                          Roger, we will continue to disagree. I believe that all truth is found in the Bible, not only the truths of God's sovreignty and grace. I encourage new believers and those young in the faith to seek to know God in His fullness. If God has predestined us either to salvation or to damnation, what is there that we can do about that? Nothing at all.

                          So therefore, I suggest to anyone seeking to know their own next step in God, not to fret over things which are beyond our ability to change. I strongly encourage all Christians to get to know God more fully, more completely.

                          Surely that is not offensive to you, that we should know God more fully?
                          Blessings,

                          Road Warrior


                          Proverbs 4:23
                          23 Guard your heart above all else,
                          for it determines the course of your life.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by drew View Post
                            I know that this is a contentious and complex issue. I have come to believe that the doctrine of pre-destination, in the sense that God fully and sufficiently causes some to be saved and some to be lost, is not supported by the Scriptures. Of course there are many texts that seem to support that position. And I submit that each can be refuted, although this requires a complex argument in most, if not all, cases.

                            I would like to say something about Romans 9, though. This is a favourite text used to support pre-destination of individuals to salvation or to loss. I suggest it is doing nothing of the sort. In Romans 9, Paul is talking about Israel, and when he talks about "election" and the right of the potter to make vessels fitted for destruction, he is still talking about Israel. And not, directly at least, in relation to matters of eternal life, but in respect to God using Israel as part of his plan of redemption, just like he used Pharoah.
                            Hi drew,

                            I don't see why you are saying the "God is the potter" verses in Romans 9 only apply to Israel. For sure the verses are talking about Israel at the beginning, but this is only an example of how God is the potter.

                            Are you saying God only creates vessels of honor & dishonor within Israel? And does this mean then that only Israel doesn't have free will, but everyone else does? Or perhaps you are meaning God sometimes has a need to create vessels of honor/dishonor to accomplish his plans (ie. like Pharaoh). In these specific cases the "vessels" are predestined, but everyone else still has free will?

                            Just trying to understand your argument here.

                            Cheers,
                            Legoman

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by drew View Post
                              I would like to say something about Romans 9, though. This is a favourite text used to support pre-destination of individuals to salvation or to loss. I suggest it is doing nothing of the sort. In Romans 9, Paul is talking about Israel, and when he talks about "election" and the right of the potter to make vessels fitted for destruction, he is still talking about Israel. And not, directly at least, in relation to matters of eternal life, but in respect to God using Israel as part of his plan of redemption, just like he used Pharoah.
                              Certainly not.

                              Rom Chapter 9, 10 and 11 spoke of the choice of God.

                              God hardens and God softens. God chooses whom He wants.
                              He has tightened up a large part of the Jews and has elected thousands and thousands of gentiles.

                              What is predestined purpose, which is to transform us to his image, but you can not talk purpose without the election.

                              Blessings.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by legoman View Post
                                I don't see why you are saying the "God is the potter" verses in Romans 9 only apply to Israel. For sure the verses are talking about Israel at the beginning, but this is only an example of how God is the potter.
                                Paul is making an argument about Israel. It is questions about the status of Israel and God's treatment of her that are the subject of the chapter 9 to 11 block. We see that Israel is the subject by the very introduction:

                                1I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit— 2I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, 4the people of Israel

                                Paul is making the following argument in the first 2/3 of chapter 9. Just like Pharoah, and just like a potter with his pot, God has hardened Israel to bring about a great act of redemption. Pharoah was hardened to allow God's power to be displayed in the exodus from Egypt, Israel is hardened to allow the in-gathering of the Gentiles (if not for other reasons I will not get into here). How do we know this? Paul tells us in Romans 11:

                                ...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....

                                By context, the "they" is clearly national Israel. Chapters 9 to 11 is an argument about Israel. It is not a treatise on how individuals get saved (or damned).

                                Besides, Paul is leverage a rich Old Testament precedent of the writers of Scripture using the potter image specifically in relation to God's treatment of Israel. Paul knows the Old Testament inside and out. He would have to be a little loose in the noggin to use the potter image without expecting the reader to connect it to its Old Testament origins.

                                Originally posted by legoman View Post
                                Are you saying God only creates vessels of honor & dishonor within Israel? And does this mean then that only Israel doesn't have free will, but everyone else does? Or perhaps you are meaning God sometimes has a need to create vessels of honor/dishonor to accomplish his plans (ie. like Pharaoh). In these specific cases the "vessels" are predestined, but everyone else still has free will?
                                The matter of the eternal destiny of individuals is not even on the table when Paul deploys the potter metaphor. Granted, he later makes statements about vessels being created for glory. But I am prepared to argue that he is talking at the level of "nations and races" here. But not in this post.

                                It is clear that the central concern of Paul in the potter metaphor (and the material which precedes it) is not "what happens to people after they die". Rather, Paul is making a case about God "electing" people and / or nations to specific functions in this world. Surely no one will argue that Paul is making a case about Pharaoh being elected to go to Hell. Paul is making a case that Pharoah is elected or chosen to be hardened to resist the exodus, thereby making God's redemption all the more remarkable.

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