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Re: Edwards on "Seek the Lord" [Re: J_Edwards] #25355
Thu May 26, 2005 4:05 PM
Thu May 26, 2005 4:05 PM

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J_Edwards said:
Speratus, first you didn’t answer my question. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/spin.gif" alt="" />

Second you stated, “The prayers of the unregenerate are useless because God does not hear them” and now follow it up with;

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Do you believe that God actually heard the prayers of all the unregenerate people of Nineveh? Or, did God spare Niveveh, as He did Ahab, purely due to outward acts of humiliation and that not a single person in that city was actually regenerate?

Instead of opinion let us see what the Word of God says about God and His capability. However, first, what about dear ‘ol Ahab? Was Ahab ever converted? He did nothing to repudiate Jezebel or to reduce her evil influence in the kingdom. He took no action to restore Naboth’s vineyard to his heirs or next of kin. He did not break with his idols and when he and Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, decided to go to war against the Syrians, Ahab consulted with four hundred false prophets (1 Kings 22:6). Ahab did not express true repentance and salvation, rather his actions (prayer, etc) were all induced by fear of judgment—not by true sorrow for sin. Ahab knew Elijah extremely well and understood that whatever Elijah said would most certainly come true, and thus he was distraught because God’s judgment was hanging over him and he could not escape it. But, yet "a" prayer of his was answered <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Ponder.gif" alt="" />


The preacher's task is to preach the word that God has given him. In the case of Ahab and Nineveh, it was a word of condemnation. These preachers were not instructed to promise earthly or eternal benefits in exchange for a false repentance.

In both cases, there were outward signs of true repentance followed by God's mercy as evidenced by delaying evil/life extension. Yes, Ahab committed gross sins after the preaching of Elijah but so did David after the preaching of Nathan. Why do we say David's repentance was real and Ahab's was false?

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J Edwards opines
So yes, God is not deaf and hears all! Don’t you believe in a sovereign God that “bringeth the counsel of the nations to nought” and that “maketh the thoughts of the peoples to be of no effect” (Psa 33:10)? Is your God the One that said, “See now that I, even I, am he, And there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; And there is none that can deliver out of my hand” (Deut 32:39)? Do you not believe in an all powerful God that though there “are many devices in a man's heart” it is “the counsel of Jehovah, that shall stand” (Prov 19:21)? “Who hath made man's mouth? Or who maketh a man dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind?” Is it not Jehovah? (Exod 4:11). Do you serve a God in which “all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” (Dan 4:35). Since, “our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever he pleased” (Psa 115:3) can He not also get the unregenerate to pray according to His will to accomplish His purposes in His time? Job answers, “I know that thou canst do all things, And that no purpose of thine can be restrained” (Job 42:2). Since, God can get the mouth of an ass to speak can He not get the unregenerate to pray, to change their minds, to …? Is it not God who in the end time will “put in their hearts to do his mind, and to come to one mind, and to give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God should be accomplished” (Rev 17:17)?

Will not sinners do God’s decretive will? Joseph thinks so saying, “And as for you, ye meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive (Gen 50:21)! God's sovereign will ordains that even a sinful act comes to pass. Edwards says;

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The crucifying of Christ was a great sin; and as man committed it, it was exceedingly hateful and highly provoking to God. Yet upon many great considerations it was the will of God that it should be done.

Then he refers to Acts 4:27-28, "for of a truth in this city against thy holy Servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, were gathered together, to do whatsoever thy hand and thy council foreordained to come to pass." Edwards ponders that someone might say that only the sufferings of Christ were planned by God, not the sins against him, to which he responds;

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I answer, [the sufferings] could not come to pass but by sin. For contempt and disgrace was one thing he was to suffer. [Therefore] even the free actions of men are subject to God's disposal.

Proverbs 20:24 says, “A man's goings are of Jehovah; How then can man understand his way?” Oh, “there are many devices in a man's heart; But the counsel of Jehovah, that shall stand” (Prov 19:21). Have you not heard, that “The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will” (Prov 21:1) or as Jeremiah resounds, “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jer 10:23). Therefore I conclude with Jonathan Edwards, "God decrees all things, even all sins," though God is not the author of sin. Or, as Paul says in Ephesians 1:11, "He works all things after the counsel of His will." If He can do this, He can get the unregenerate to pray-as proved in Ahab's case and even in Nineveh's!


God had already announced the destruction of Ahab and Nineveh. Why would God repent of this and reward their hypocracy and false repentance? Why would God answer prayers that He doesn't hear? It doesn't make any sense.

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Did Edwards preach to the unregenerate that they should seek God in order to obtain earthly rewards and lessor degrees of punishment on earth and in hell?
When Edwards, I, or any other preacher of God’s Word preaches he preaches to see people seek God “rightly.” However, since God is sovereign and directs all the affairs of heaven, earth, and of man's soul some of the seed accomplishes different things. It all depends on God’s decretive will. Edwards said;

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[God's] will of decree [or sovereign will] is not his will in the same sense as his will of command [or moral will] is. Therefore it is not difficult at all to suppose that the one may be otherwise than the other: his will in both senses is his inclination. But when we say he wills virtue, or loves virtue or the happiness of his creature; thereby is intended that virtue or the creature's happiness, absolutely and simply considered, is agreeable to the inclination of his nature. His will of decree is his inclination to a thing not as to that thing absolutely and simply, but with reference to the universality of things. So God, though he hates a things as it is simply, may incline to it with reference to the universality of things.


In other words, no? I'm glad Edwards did not urge the unregenerate to seek God in order to receive earthly and eternal rewards. That is not a proper use of the law.

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Tell us Speartus, if a man stops raping women because he "now," after hearing the word of God preached, believes it is wrong, but is still not converted, did something positive still happen?


Yes, the law checks to some extent coarse outbursts of sin and helps to keep order in the world. 1 Tim. 1:9.

Last edited by speratus; Thu May 26, 2005 5:01 PM.
Re: Edwards on "Seek the Lord" #25356
Thu May 26, 2005 6:21 PM
Thu May 26, 2005 6:21 PM
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The preacher's task is to preach the word that God has given him. In the case of Ahab and Nineveh, it was a word of condemnation. These preachers were not instructed to offer extension of life in exchange for a false repentance.

In both cases, there were outward signs of true repentance followed by God's mercy as evidenced by life extension. Yes, Ahab committed gross sins after the preaching of Elijah but so did David after the preaching of Nathan. Why do we say David's repentance was real and Ahab's was false?

God had already announced the destruction of Ahab and Nineveh. Why would God repent of this and reward their hypocracy and false repentance? Why would God answer prayers that He doesn't hear? It doesn't make any sense.

So you think Nineveh and Ahab were both fully saved? Of course, you provided not one Scripture reference? What of that exegesis, that is missing to? And in the process you deny that God is sovereign and cannot work through a reprobate!

Do you understand the different uses of repentance in Scripture? Your post “assumes” that ALL repentance means “repentance unto salvation,” but that is not the context of its use in either text. I have already proven this from Scripture for the case of Nineveh and Ahab (who was forcibly humbled, not repentant, I shall discuss this later).

The Bible assures us that David, in spite of his sins, was in the covenant, however we are not given the same assurances concerning Ahab. The fact that he was prophesized against after his “alleged” conversion—1 Kings 22:1-38, is rather telling. In addition, remember Ahab and the deceiving spirit within the 400 prophets telling him to attack Ramoth-Gilead? When we compare this to the people in 2 Thess who received a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie (2 Thess 2:11), who received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved (2 Thess 2:10), but believed not the truth [and] had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thess 2:12) the answer is crystal clear who Ahab is—a reprobate! Simon J. DeVries makes this interesting point;

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Together with Omri’s eleven years and Ahab’s sons’ one and eleven years, this makes forty-four years for the entire Omride dynasty, the longest to remain in power in Israel up until this time. This was a rich, powerful, and influential dynasty, giving its name permanently to the country. It was also the most corrupt and apostate dynasty to date, one that provoked the rise of northern prophecy and that earned the most violent reproof on the part of Dtr. The latter can hardly find language harsh enough to express his disdain. Ahab does evil “beyond all who preceded him” (v 30); “Ahab excelled in doing things to enrage Yahweh … more than all the kings who preceded him” (33). Ahab is even worse than his father Omri (cf. v 25). Dtr is explicit, accusing Ahab of four heretofore unthinkable sins: (1) marrying the baalist daughter of a baalist king, (2) worshiping Baal and bowing down to him, (3) building a Baal temple in Samaria with its public altar, and (4) making an image of the Earth-Mother, Asherah.

Ahab never repented unto salvation. His execution was merely delayed, in the sovereign scheme of God’s eternal plan. As matter a fact you injected the term "repented" in place of the Hebrew term "kana" which means "be humbled, subdued, brought down, low, under, brought into subjection." According to the TWOT the term is a verb that "occurs thirty-six times, It denotes bringing a proud and recalcitrant people or spirit into subjection." The term means "forcible humiliation," not repentance.

Where is your proof that God does not hear the lost? God talked to Adam and Eve when they were lost? He talks to the Devil—<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/threaddevil.gif" alt="" /> and I think we are safe to say he is lost (or do you have problems here as well?).


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Re: Edwards on "Seek the Lord" [Re: J_Edwards] #25357
Thu May 26, 2005 11:57 PM
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So you think Nineveh and Ahab were both fully saved?


There is no such thing as partial salvation. Either the people of Nineveh and Ahab were declared righteous in Christ through the preaching of Jonah and Elijah or they were hypocrites. If they were hypocrites, why did God reward their hypocracy?

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And in the process you deny that God is sovereign and cannot work through a reprobate!


God is sovereign. He works repentance in those you call reprobate when and where it pleases Him

Quote
.Where is your proof that God does not hear the lost?


John 9:31.

Last edited by speratus; Fri May 27, 2005 12:01 AM.
Re: Edwards on "Seek the Lord" #25358
Fri May 27, 2005 9:33 AM
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There is no such thing as partial salvation. Either the people of Nineveh and Ahab were declared righteous in Christ through the preaching of Jonah and Elijah or they were hypocrites. If they were hypocrites, why did God reward their hypocracy?

Who said anything of a partial salvation? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratch1.gif" alt="" /> However, YOU have yet to prove ANY were even saved at all. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/broke.gif" alt="" />

These were scared of the immediate forthcoming judgment and thus submitted “temporarily” just like a child does to escape punishment. Their humility was not hypocritical, but genuine as it could be without the Spirit of God changing their hearts. However, you have failed to note that Nineveh was later destroyed (612 BC, and Jonah preached somewhere between 786-746 BC) and Ahab was killed (2 Kings 22)—God’s judgment still came. God in His sovereign will though delayed judgment, according to His eternal will and purpose.

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John 9:31.

First, I would like to thank you for all your hard work in exegeting this passage for us. The “.” You put at the end of the verse was so illuminating. Thanks for all your hard work. i.e. Speartus, PLEASE exegete.

Second, Adam and Eve were sinners, but God HEARD them, or do you deny the original fall as well (Gen 3)? There are several other examples in Scripture where this fact is revealed as well, thus the meaning of the text you selected must be looked at more closely and “in context.” What does the text say?

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John 9:31-34 We know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and do his will, him he heareth. Since the world began it was never heard that any one opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.

First, it should be noted that this text of Scripture is speaking specifically of Christ. Second, verse 31, like other texts, should not be divorced from its overall context (even greater than the abbreviated form I have above). Taken absolutely, these words are not true. Did not God hear the cry of “baby” (unconverted) Ishmael (whose name means, “God hears him” <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Eeeeeek.gif" alt="" />);

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Genesis 21:17 And God heard the voice of the lad. And the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? Fear not. For God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.

We need to read John “in context” of the rest of Scripture. The Pharisees had said of Christ that they knew He was a sinner (vs 24). Now, the former blind man says we know God does not hear sinners (vs 31). Thus, the former blind man, speaking specifically of Christ, was turning the words of the Pharisees against them. He was revealing their contradictory statements, as good apologists do! If Christ was an impostor as they claimed, then why did God bless Him? Conclusion Christ is NOT a sinner, but then who is He?

The Pharisees had said they were from Moses (vs 28) and the once blind man does them one better and says, never since the world began was it heard that any one opened the eyes of a man born blind. Among ALL the miracles that Moses did (or the prophets) never was a blind man healed, that had been blind from birth! But, Christ was BEFORE Moses and Christ healed the blind man. I think the words, "before Abraham was, I Am,” (John 8:58) are illustrated “somewhat” here. The former blind man’s argument is ingenious, first he calls the man who healed him, “Jesus” (vs 11), then he calls him “a prophet” (vs 17), and now he declares Christ as “a man of God.” Do you see it? Jesus is God! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wow1.gif" alt="" />

This text, nor any other, says that God does not hear sinners. God is not deaf! God knows all. He doesn’t always like what He hears (or for that fact what He sees posted), however He hears and sees none the less. God to accomplish His purpose can move according to His will in the regenerate or unregenerate person’s heart or an ass’ mouth (2 Peter 2:16; cf. Num 22:28). And just who was Balaam (2 Pet 2:15)?

BTW in case you haven’t noticed Jesus is God and He listened to sinners who were never converted and answered them during His earthly ministry. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/hello.gif" alt="" />


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Re: Edwards on "Seek the Lord" [Re: J_Edwards] #25359
Fri May 27, 2005 8:02 PM
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These were scared of the immediate forthcoming judgment and thus submitted “temporarily” just like a child does to escape punishment (2 Cor 7:8-10). Their humility was not hypocritical, but genuine as it could be without the Spirit of God changing their hearts.


But, according to you, their sorrow was not to repentance but the sorrow of the world that works death. If the Spirit of God had not changed their hearts, their humility can be nothing more that an attempt to propitiate God with the filthy rags of their own righteousness. If anything, the execution of condemnation should have been hastened by their attempt to saved themselves with their own corrupt works.

Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Yet, you say, God was so pleased with their faithless performance that He changed His decree in order to reward them.

Quote
This text, nor any other, says that God does not hear sinners. God is not deaf! God knows all. He doesn't always like what He hears (or for that fact what He sees posted), however He hears and sees nonetheless. God to accomplish His purpose can move according to His will in the regenerate or unregenerate person’s heart or an ass’ mouth (2 Peter 2:16; cf. Num 22:28).


When scripture says God does not hear sinners, it is not speaking in a bare sense. God knows everything the unregenerate say before the thought enters their mind.

When scripture says God does not hear sinners, it is referring to a communicate relationship that was severed in the Fall. Fallen man is a subject of the devil's dominion. He cannot expect any response from God to any request, plea, or prayer (much less reward!). Only when man is regenerate may he speak to God as a child speaks to his dear father.

Re: Edwards on "Seek the Lord" #25360
Fri May 27, 2005 9:12 PM
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But, according to you, their sorrow was not to repentance but the sorrow of the world that works death. If the Spirit of God had not changed their hearts, their humility can be nothing more that an attempt to propitiate God with the filthy rags of their own righteousness. If anything, the execution of condemnation should have been hastened by their attempt to saved themselves with their own corrupt works.

And they did DIE later as proved here, however it was delayed. Cannot the Spirit of God change a person's heart, but not change it to the point of salvation (Heb 6, etc.)? Cannot God change a person’s heart temporarily (Pharaoh) and be destroyed later (Rom 2:4)? You are failing to LOOK at ALL Scripture before you make an examination of a theological truth. Moreover, you are forgetting that God is sovereign and works out His plan according to His eternal purpose.

Remember when Isaiah approached Hezekiah with the word of the Lord saying, “Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live” (Isa 38:1). Hezekiah then prayed and God added another fifteen years to his life (Isa 38:2-5). Now did God actually change His mind? There are several factors here to understand.

  • 1. Here Hezekiah repented (but was still in his sin when spoken to) and God acted in response ...
  • 2. Three years after Hezekiah was given this fifteen year extension to his life he had a son—Manasseh (2 Kings 21:1).
  • 3. Hezekiah and Manasseh both were in the lineage of Christ (Mat 1:9-10):
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Matthew 1:9-10 And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias ; And Ezekias begat Manasses ; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;

  • 4. But, Christ was foreordained and predestined to be born before the foundation of the world (1 Pet 1:19-20):
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1 Peter 1:19-20 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
  • 5. Thus, since Christ had to be born, so did Manasseh (Greek—Manassess), thus God did not change His mind, but rather moved circumstances still consistent with His Being to a place where Hezekiah would change his mind. God is consistent with His character.
In ALL these cases God is talking prophetically to people present in sin and moving circumstances to be consistent with His eternal plan and yet not violate man's will! Pretty impressive if you ask me!

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Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Yet, you say, God was so pleased with their faithless performance that He changed His decree in order to reward them.

They had faith that the wrath of God could be curbed in this situation, but NO mention of repentance and acceptance of God as Saviour is even mentioned! So what if they fasted and prayed, the text in Jonah said the animals joined in as well--can they be saved too?

I NEVER said God changed His will of DECREE, this cannot be changed and was NOT changed as God DID destroy Nineveh/Ahab LATER (and this was His eternal plan all along), however God can move upon man to change his mind temporarily, which God did in these cases. God can also move upon a sinner's heart to accept Christ permanently, however IF we take your position a man would have to be sinless before God could communicate ANYTHING, including salvation, to him. However, we know the Scripture teaches that the Holy Spirit moves UPON depraved sinner's hearts prior to them being all cleaned up ... Your position simply does not make sense.

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Only when man is regenerate may he speak to God as a child speaks to his dear father.

While I agree with you that “Only when man is regenerate may he speak to God as a child speaks to his dear father,” that is NOT the only way God is talked to in Scripture. The Devil speaks to God (think Job), God can speak through the mouth of an ass to Balaam (he was not repentant), and he spoke to Nineveh through Jonah the prophet while they were YET in their sins. Jesus communicated with non-repentant sinners.

If you will not submit to the teaching of Scripture, then what use is there in even discussing this further? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> Your position remains indefensible!


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Re: Edwards on "Seek the Lord" [Re: J_Edwards] #25361
Sat May 28, 2005 7:33 AM
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If you will not submit to the teaching of Scripture, then what use is there in even discussing this further?


I do believe we have reached an impasse but thanks for all your comments on this thread.

I will continue to read and study Edwards on the subject of "Seeking the Lord". From the sermons I have read so far, he uses the law to condemn the unregenerate rather than offer them rewards. International Outreach espouses another viewpoint:

Quote
Secondly, from the perspective of the seeker we must ask the same question: Why should I seek God?...
2) There are certain natural benefits which result from seeking.
a) Those who are honest and diligent in doing right generally receive temporary rewards for it in this life. The diligent person generally has no trouble finding or keeping a job and often prospers economically because of his diligence. Proverbs 13:4 says: "The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the soul of the diligent is made fat."
b) Even if the seeker does not find, his punishment in hell will be greatly diminished as a result of his seeking. There are degrees of punishment in hell. The more sins a man commits, the greater will be his eternal torment. The less sins a man commits, the less will be his torment. Edwards wrote: "Tis not absolutely certain they shall go to heaven, but this is certain, that they shall escape an exceeding intolerable addition to their eternal misery and indeed any degree of that misery is intolerable" and should you go to hell "you would willingly give all the world for the least mitigation of your misery."6 The wicked in hell will forever wish they had sought, even though they had never been granted life.
3) The possibility of finding. Although there are no guarantees that the seeker will find, and seekers are to be constantly reminded of that fact, still there is a possibility that those who seek may find. Contrariwise, there is little possibility that those who do not seek will find.

Re: Edwards on "Seek the Lord" #25362
Sat May 28, 2005 11:20 AM
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speratus said:
I will continue to read and study Edwards on the subject of "Seeking the Lord". From the sermons I have read so far, he uses the law to condemn the unregenerate rather than offer them rewards. International Outreach espouses another viewpoint:

Allow me to give you some advice on this my friend.... What Jonathan Edwards means when he uses the word "seeker" and what "International Outreach" and how most every other organization, church and individual uses the word "seeker" today are light years apart. Mr. Edwards was THOROUGHLY committed to the biblical doctrine of Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Definite Atonement, Irresistible Grace and the final Perseverance/Preservation of the saints. There is absolutely no inconsistency in his teaching concerning "seekers" and any of those doctrines which he so boldly taught and preached during his ministry. If there is a problem, it is with your failure to grasp what this man actually believed and taught and/or error in your own understanding of biblical truth.

If you want to understand what Edwards REALLY believed and taught on this particular subject, then you could do no better than to pickup a copy of, Jonathan Edwards, Evangelist by John H. Gerstner, who was one of the world's foremost authorities on the writings of Edwards. The book is published by Soli Deo Gloria Publications; ISBN: 1-57358-00606. I would further suggest that if you do read this rather small paperback book of 192 pages, you should read it through at least twice if not more. My guess is that it will take repeated readings to be able to grasp the depth of Edwards' brilliance and the biblical truth which he has so marvelously mined and made available to us mortals. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

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Re: Edwards on "Seek the Lord" [Re: Pilgrim] #25363
Sun May 29, 2005 9:58 AM
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I am probably filtering Edwards through my personal theological system. Is Gerstner objective in his analysis?

If Edwards were a modern preacher, would he say to his congregation, "I have some good news for you. If you are seek God, you will probably prosper in this life, your punishment in hell will be much less, and there is a possibility you may actually find God."

Re: Edwards on "Seek the Lord" #25364
Sun May 29, 2005 11:32 AM
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speratus said:
I am probably filtering Edwards through my personal theological system. Is Gerstner objective in his analysis?

He was objective as anyone could be; far more than any Liberal or Arminian or ??. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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You further asked:
If Edwards were a modern preacher, would he say to his congregation, "I have some good news for you. If you are seek God, you will probably prosper in this life, your punishment in hell will be much less, and there is a possibility you may actually find God."

<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/giggle.gif" alt="" /> Not hardly....!! Again, Jonathan Edwards is someone universally known (how did you escape?) to have preached some if not the most, terrifying sermons concerning a sinners condemnation under God. Likewise his sermons in regard to a sinner's depravity and guilt are equally criticized for being too "harsh", "unloving", "extreme", etc. As has been pointed out to you several times, Edwards urged his listeners to diligently make use of the means open to them in the hope that God would have mercy upon them and bring them to repentance and faith in Christ.

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Re: Edwards on "Seek the Lord" [Re: Pilgrim] #25365
Mon May 30, 2005 5:22 AM
Mon May 30, 2005 5:22 AM

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Pilgrim said:
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speratus said:
I am probably filtering Edwards through my personal theological system. Is Gerstner objective in his analysis?

He was objective as anyone could be; far more than any Liberal or Arminian or ??. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


Waltherian.

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Lecture on Law and Gospel by C. F. Walther
Thesis VI.
In the second place, the Word of God is not rightly divided when the Law is not preached in its full sternness and the Gospel not in its full sweetness, when, on the contrary, Gospel elements are mingled with the Law and Law elements with the Gospel. . .

No Gospel element, then, must be mingled with the Law. Any one expounding the Law shamefully perverts it by injecting into it grace, the grace, lovingkindness, and patience of God, who forgives sin. He acts like a sick-nurse, who fetches sugar to sweeten the bitter medicine, which the patient dislikes. What is the result? Why, the medicine does not take effect, and the patient remains feverish. In order that it might retain its strength the medicine should not have been sweetened. A preacher must proclaim the Law in such a manner that there remains in it nothing pleasant to lost and condemned sinners. Every sweet ingredient injected into the Law is poison; it renders this heavenly medicine ineffective, neutralizes its operation.


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Pilgrim said:
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You further asked:
If Edwards were a modern preacher, would he say to his congregation, "I have some good news for you. If you are seek God, you will probably prosper in this life, your punishment in hell will be much less, and there is a possibility you may actually find God."

<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/giggle.gif" alt="" /> Not hardly....!! Again, Jonathan Edwards is someone universally known (how did you escape?) to have preached some if not the most, terrifying sermons concerning a sinners condemnation under God. Likewise his sermons in regard to a sinner's depravity and guilt are equally criticized for being too "harsh", "unloving", "extreme", etc. As has been pointed out to you several times, Edwards urged his listeners to diligently make use of the means open to them in the hope that God would have mercy upon them and bring them to repentance and faith in Christ.


The unregenerate can not make use of the means of grace. 1 Cor. 2:14. They can only be directed to the means of grace.

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Law and Gospel, C. F. Walther

Thesis IX.

In the fifth place, the Word of God is not rightly divided when sinners who have been struck down and terrified by the Law are directed, not to the Word and Sacraments, but to their own prayers and wrestlings with God in order that they may win their way into a state of grace; in other words, when they are told to keep on praying and struggling until they feel that God has received them into grace.

Thesis XIII.

In the ninth place, the Word of God is not rightly divided when one makes an appeal to believe in a manner as if a person could make himself believe or at least help towards that end, instead of preaching faith into a person's heart by laying the Gospel promises before him.

Thesis XXIII.

In the nineteenth place, the Word of God is not right divided when an attempt is made by means of the demands or the threats or the promises of the Law to induce the unregenerate to put away their sins and engage in good works and thus become godly; on the other hand, when an endeavor is made, by means of the commands of the Law rather than by the admonition of the Gospel, to urge the regenerate to do good.

Last edited by speratus; Mon May 30, 2005 8:33 AM.
Re: Edwards on "Seek the Lord" #25366
Mon May 30, 2005 12:50 PM
Mon May 30, 2005 12:50 PM
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speratus said:
The unregenerate can not make use of the means of grace. 1 Cor. 2:14. They can only be directed to the means of grace.

Once again, you here exhibit your inability to grasp a fundamental truth concerning man's depravity and the ability of ALL human beings to which are open to them by nature; depraved or regenerate. Excluding physical/mental impairments, ALL are certainly capable of reading the Word, attending the worship of God, involving themselves in Bible study, uttering prayers to God, etc., none of which contribute in any manner to one's regeneration or justification. Men are spiritually dead, not physically dead.

Secondly, the Law is applicable BOTH to justification as well as sanctification. In regard to justification, it is the means by which the Spirit brings conviction of sin to the unregenerate and exalts Christ's perfect active obedience. In regard to sanctification, it is the "rule of life" to which all believers desire to obey by faith, for such obedience is pleasing to God, albeit being imperfect, as it is that which all believers are to be conformed and will eventually be conformed, i.e., the "perfect man". (Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:5-18).

In His Grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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Re: Edwards on "Seek the Lord" [Re: Pilgrim] #25367
Mon May 30, 2005 12:55 PM
Mon May 30, 2005 12:55 PM
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Pilgrim,

I like the way in which Calvin puts this in the Institutes 2-5-11.

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We are in fact often bidden to purge ourselves of all filthiness, even though the Spirit for Himself alone claims the office of sanctifying. It is clear from John's words that what belongs to God is transferred by concession to us. "Whoever is born of God keeps himself" 1 Jn 5:18


I highly recommend the reading of this portion of the Institues (Book 2, Ch. 5) as it so beautifully documents and clarifies the confusion between the sovereignty of God and man's responsibility before Him. This section is also a very good clarification on the "free will" issue.

Denny

Roms 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
Re: Edwards on "Seek the Lord" [Re: Pilgrim] #25368
Mon May 30, 2005 4:39 PM
Mon May 30, 2005 4:39 PM

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Pilgrim said:
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speratus said:
The unregenerate can not make use of the means of grace. 1 Cor. 2:14. They can only be directed to the means of grace.

Once again, you here exhibit your inability to grasp a fundamental truth concerning man's depravity and the ability of ALL human beings to which are open to them by nature; depraved or regenerate. Excluding physical/mental impairments, ALL are certainly capable of reading the Word, attending the worship of God, involving themselves in Bible study, uttering prayers to God, etc., none of which contribute in any manner to one's regeneration or justification. Men are spiritually dead, not physically dead.


Each time a man tries to drive a nail with a hammer he strikes his thumb instead. Is he making use of the hammer?

Re: Edwards on "Seek the Lord" #25369
Mon May 30, 2005 4:57 PM
Mon May 30, 2005 4:57 PM
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speratus said:
Each time a man tries to drive a nail with a hammer he strikes his thumb instead. Is he making use of the hammer?

<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/yep.gif" alt="" /> The use of the hammer has no bearing upon a guaranteed results. A nail will never be driven in without using the appropriate tool (means). Likewise, no man will ever receive the grace of God unto salvation unless he uses the appointed means through which the Spirit of God works. If one is to feel the falling of the rain, staying in the house isn't going to do it for you. Standing outside doesn't guarantee the rains will come, but it is where the rain, should it come, will be found. And so it is with salvation. It is of the Lord Who saves whom He wills and when He wills. And this same Lord has specified the means through which that salvation will come. If you don't use the means, then you cannot expect God to save you, should He determine to do so.

Why is this such a difficult thing for you to comprehend? You sound more like a hyper-Calvinist than one who claims to embrace the teachings of Martin Luther. [Linked Image]

In His Grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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