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#39301 - Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:50 PM Re: "Love your enemies" and "Does God love all" [Re: Pilgrim]  
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I agree with john and with Pilgrim's comment on William's comment

Although after reading John MacArthur'sThe Love of God, I like john would not have a problem calling it "love." I would say that God both loves and hates the unregenerate. And yes, I would say that the love God has always had for the elect is a different kind of love.


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
#39302 - Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:01 PM Re: "Love your enemies" and "Does God love all" [Re: William]  
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William,

How would you interpret Romans 2:4-5?

4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
#39303 - Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:52 PM Re: "Love your enemies" and "Does God love all" [Re: Pilgrim]  
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First, let me clarify, I'm talking about a subjective and an objective love. God is love, if He did not show His love to the entire world, then He would cease to be God. That "love" was available to all mankind. Would all mankind accept His love? Of course not, we all would have turned away from it apart from God's grace. I see no problem with this, because God is not like man. I believe his hatred is as perfect as His love. For Jacob and Esau, the one would receive His blessings the other wouldn't. Jacob would be the recipient of the covenant promises. Isn't that the same as the elect and the non-elect?

My comment about our being chosen not being a greater love is because you are seeing it differently than I. I see it as His love applied where you see it as a different type or degree of love. I believe the sum total of God's love was revealed in Christ. Electing love isn't a greater love but different in that it is made subjective.

I don't see how you jumped from a universal "objective" love to the subjective love implying universal salvation. I never said that nor do I believe that. Apart from God making the application, nobody would be saved, we would spurn His love. This love is the same in type and degree, and it is offered to all, but only the elect experience it subjectively, the elect are recipients of the spiritual blessings.

I mentioned the potter and the clay to show that if He chooses some to apply the merits of His love and not others, it does not make Him any less a God of love. It is who He is, we are not worthy of the least of His electing (applicatory) love. He bestows His grace on whoever He would choose for His purposes, not because He loved us more.

I am not trying to be difficult or stubborn. It is my belief that God IS love, and His love was revealed from heaven in the person of Jesus Christ to ALL men. Apart from his own good pleasure we would all be hated as Esau. Praise be to God, though, some of us have been loved as Jacob has been loved. He chose us before the foundation of the world to apply His love through election, to experience all the spiritual blessings provided by the objective love seen in the person of Jesus Christ.

My view of the love of God does not make Him any less God, not infringe on any of His attributes. We can bounce around scripture all day, but never come to agreement. As I mentioned earlier, I previously held the same view as you, but now see it in a different light.


Hisalone
Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. KJV
#39304 - Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:03 PM Re: "Love your enemies" and "Does God love all" [Re: hisalone]  
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hisalone

Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think you dealt with what Pilgrim said about love. Particularly the following part.
Quote
I believe that "I" was the one who brought to the fore Titus 3:4 and thought I clearly explained that the word "love" which appears in several translations is misleading, I believe due to the universalism which currently exists among Evangelicals and others. The word in the Greek is philanthropia, which is where our word philanthropy originates. The Bible uses two other specific words for "love" however; phileo and agape, the latter having different meanings determined by its immediate context. That is why in Titus 3:4 the word should be correctly translated as "benevolence" rather than "love".

Do you deny what Pilgrim said about the Greek word philanthropia?

Tom

#39305 - Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:26 PM Re: "Love your enemies" and "Does God love all" [Re: hisalone]  
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Quote
hisalone said:
First, let me clarify, I'm talking about a subjective and an objective love. God is love, if He did not show His love to the entire world, then He would cease to be God. That "love" was available to all mankind. Would all mankind accept His love? Of course not, we all would have turned away from it apart from God's grace. I see no problem with this, because God is not like man. I believe his hatred is as perfect as His love. For Jacob and Esau, the one would receive His blessings the other wouldn't. Jacob would be the recipient of the covenant promises. Isn't that the same as the elect and the non-elect?

hisalone,

1) Where did you get this distinction between "a subjective and an objective love"? I agree that God is love as I also would affirm that God is holy, jealous, righteous, etc., as to His attributes. But I would also affirm that the attribute of love is NOT supreme. All His attributes are equal. However, if there was one attribute which overshadowed all others it would have to be "holiness". God's love is holy but it cannot be said that God's holiness is love.

2) Re: "God's love is available to all mankind". Contrariwise, God's love is not "available" but rather "displayed in Christ as the one and only Saviour. The Scripture nowhere teaches that God's love is up for grabs according to some decision of a sinner's choice. Even if not one single individual believed on Christ, God's love in sending Christ would not be diminished one iota. However, God's purpose in sending Christ was to "save His people from their sins", i.e., there is a particular and specific number of sinners for whom Christ came and for whom He died in order to secure their salvation through His atoning sacrifice. God's love is not sentimentalism but rather it is a determined action which accomplishes that which was purposed. Thus, if God loved ALL (indiscriminately) and without distinction, then de facto, ALL would be saved.

3) Re: Jacob and Esau. The text in Romans is taken from Malachi 1:3. If one consults the original text, it is clearly noted that God's hatred of Esau was not just one of holding back covenant promises but rather a concerted animosity toward him and his descendants whereby all their efforts to advance in life would be thwarted by God.

4) The fact that I have provided not just one but several passages which express God's divine hatred against certain individuals and/or groups disproves any notion that God loves all, without distinction and that there is a difference in how God deals with sinners. Eph 1:4 shows that God loved the elect in Christ and no other way. For indeed, God's holiness prohibits Him from loving any UNLESS they are "in Christ" Who is the reconciliation and propitiation for sinners. Outside of Christ, God simply CANNOT and WILL NOT love anyone. (cf. Hab 1:13)

Quote
hisalone said:
I mentioned the potter and the clay to show that if He chooses some to apply the merits of His love and not others, it does not make Him any less a God of love. It is who He is, we are not worthy of the least of His electing (applicatory) love. He bestows His grace on whoever He would choose for His purposes, not because He loved us more.

Let's consider a few passages and see how your view holds up, shall we?


Psalms 1:6 (ASV) "For Jehovah knoweth the way of the righteous; But the way of the wicked shall perish." - The word "know" here cannot refer to God's "factual knowledge" for He is Omniscient. He knows ALL about the righteous and the wicked for He created them and providentially directs even their very thoughts. The reference to "know" here is actually a synonym for "love". The Bible often uses this phraseology in this manner, e.g., Genesis 4:1 where "Adam knew his wife . . ." It isn't that Adam knew some facts about Eve that resulted in her getting pregnant.

Matthew 7:22-23 (ASV) "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Again, Jesus Christ, being God incarnate was intimately familiar with those who professed to do His works. Yet, He says He never knew them. The word know, once again, isn't referring to "knowledge about" but rather "love for". His love is only for the elect, i.e., His love is akin to salvation.

Romans 8:29-30 (ASV) "For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren: and whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." In this passage the word "foreknew" is a synonym for "foreloved" (cf. Eph 1:4). What is important to notice here is that God's "forelove" RESULTS in salvation to all who were predestinated. Love = election --> predestination = salvation. In short, the love of God in Scripture most always refers to God saving the object of His love.


Thus, to assert that God loves ALL men indiscriminately and in the same way is indefensible. If you think it is, then please supply a biblical defense. I too am not trying to be difficult but rather to set forth biblical teaching concerning God's infinite love, aka: grace. From a personal point of view, I cannot fathom that God loved all those in Hell in the same way, in the exact proportion as those who are elected by grace to be reconciled to Him in Christ. It denigrates the entire concept of sovereign love/grace. The hymn "Amazing Grace" would be inappropriate and senseless. One of the most loved hymns of those who have been saved by the power and grace of God is "And Can it be that I Should Gain?". Do pay particular attention to the lyrics for they express the biblical truth that God's incomprehensible love is particular and efficacious, not objective nor subjective.

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

’Tis mystery all: th’Immortal dies:
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
Let angel minds inquire no more.

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Still the small inward voice I hear,
That whispers all my sins forgiven;
Still the atoning blood is near,
That quenched the wrath of hostile Heaven.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

In His grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

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#39306 - Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:59 PM Re: "Love your enemies" and "Does God love all" [Re: Tom]  
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I don't deny that the word is philanthropia, but it is more than just plain benevolence. Look to see what philos means, then anthropia. Even if you stick with it meaning only His benevolence, it doesn't change my overall point. I don't see why it is so hard to understand the difference between His objective love and subjective love. What's the difficulty? Where does it contradict the doctrine of God? If anything it is a clearer interpretation than all the links I was directed to earlier. Try to think through what has been said, hold the view up to scripture, and you will see it makes more sense than the previous propositions. My intent isn't to convince anyone of what I'm saying but I think if you follow the thought that it reveals who God is more clearly, perfect in love, not just love to the elect. I know this requires you to change what you have always been taught, so I can understand the hesitancy to change your way of thinking.


Hisalone
Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. KJV
#39307 - Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:16 PM Re: "Love your enemies" and "Does God love all" [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Pilgrim, you replied when I was replying to Tom. You did mention something that I want to mention about, you said God's love is displayed in Christ, that is what I'm trying to say, "objective" love. It is "available" to all, just that the "all" would not respond to it. Throughout scripture we are told to turn to Him or come to Him etc.

As for His hatred, He hates because as you pointed out, He hates anything that goes against His holiness. Again, we see the incomprehensible God. He loves and hates at the same time, and yet is perfect in both.

As for all your passages, it doesn't negate what I'm saying, the love is there in the person of Jesus Christ. Again, it is the incomprehensibleness of God.

I'm glad you aren't being difficult, because believe me,that isn't my intent either. Even what I am saying does not detract anything from who God is and His relationship to man other than to understand that He did in fact love all. I think that is the hiccup, it is hard to grasp that point, but remember, it isn't the same experience of the love the elect have.


Hisalone
Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. KJV
#39308 - Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:21 PM Re: "Love your enemies" and "Does God love all" [Re: MarieP]  
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Hello Marie,

I am just a ignorant an unlearned fisherman who failed English 101 but I do see that in the end both sides (big love, little love guys) are forced to pose the ultimate question - Does God have a well meant desire (though fleeting) to save everyone? Which usually ends up in the preaching of gospel with the saying that "Christ died for you" when addressing the whole congregation. In my opinion this is not reformed but arminian. Also the scriptures which support this theory of God's love for the reprobate are minimal and are usually the same verses used to support common grace.

As for Romans 2:4-5 and I am not very good at this but this supposed goodness of God to the reprobate certainly does not produce the desired results does it and God still renders Man inexcusable and condemned.

[color:"0000FF"]Romans 2:1 ¶ Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. 3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;[/color]

Love in Christ,
William <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/uhoh.gif" alt="" />



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#39309 - Sat Apr 12, 2008 2:39 AM Re: "Love your enemies" and "Does God love all" [Re: hisalone]  
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hisalone said:
I know this requires you to change what you have always been taught, so I can understand the hesitancy to change your way of thinking.


hisalone, Pilgrim asked you to come up with Scriptural evidence for your position which I also think you didn't do. But what you also now say is that historically the reformed view on this matter is wrong or at least off the line! Here is Article 6 of the First Head of the Doctrine from the Canons of Dordt"

Quote
That some receive the gift of faith from God and others do not receive it proceeds from God's eternal decree, for "known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world" (Acts 15:18). "Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Eph. 1:11). According to which decree, He graciously softens the hearts of the elect, however obstinate, and inclines them to believe, while He leaves the non-elect in His just judgment to their own wickedness and obduracy. And herein is especially displayed the profound, the merciful, and at the same time the righteous discrimination between men, equally involved in ruin; or that decree of election and reprobation revealed in the Word of God, which though men of perverse, impure and unstable minds wrest to their own destruction, yet to holy and pious souls affords unspeakable consolation.


How do you reconcile what you say with "while He leaves the non-elect in His just judgement to their own wickedness and obduracy"? It seems to me that your position cannot support such a statement.

Johan

#39310 - Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:19 AM Re: "Love your enemies" and "Does God love all" [Re: Johan]  
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Huh?? That's a pretty big jump, dude. Saving faith is a gift, sovereignly bestowed by God upon His elect. The rest are left with only human belief with is not by any means the same thing, nor is it effective in the salvation of their soul.

#39311 - Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:43 AM Re: "Love your enemies" and "Does God love all" [Re: Johan]  
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I know I'm not going to change anyone's way of seeing things. That is what is different. It doesn't contradict the quote from the cannon of Dordt, though I don't hold anything outside the Bible as inspired. As I mentioned, all scripture references to love support what I'm saying.

The entire book of 1st John

De. 10:15 God "SET" his affection on them

Titus 3:4 which was already spoken on

John 3:16 this verse has been beaten to death so I see no reason to pursue it further

I am at a roadblock, it comes down to whether you can understand what I'm saying or not. It is like when you talk to someone about election, they will never grasp it by back and forth banter. Spiritual truths are revealed through His Spirit. What I'm saying isn't something new, it is just seeing God's love in a different way. I can't change your thinking but if you allow yourself to breakaway from the traditional way of seeing God's love, you'll see God in a more Holy and marvelous light. Remember, for all you who are reformed, myself included, we didn't understand the doctrine of election because we were wiser or smarter, but only because God chose to reveal another aspect of the mystery to us.

I have not had to change any of my other theological positions by taking this new view of God's love. I'm still reformed and I still believe in election etc. It isn't dangerous or heretical thinking, it is just breaking away from what you have been traditionally taught.


Hisalone
Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. KJV
#39312 - Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:50 AM Re: "Love your enemies" and "Does God love all" [Re: Robin]  
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Robin,

hisalone claims a subjective and objective love of God for all mankind. Pilgrim asked him to provide Scriptural evidence for what he says but he didn't provide it yet. He then says that we have been taught something different and that it is therefore understandable that we hesitate to change our way of thinking about this matter to his.

I quote for him something from the Canons of Dordt. I simply ask him how he reconcile his view of "love for all" with "while He leaves the non-elect in His just judgement to their own wickedness and obduracy". If God also loved the non-elect why would He leave them to their own wickedness? For me that is not a sign of love, whether objective or subjective as hisalone claims. Hisalone effectively claims that what Pilgrim has been taught about this matter is not correct. And as far as I know Pilgrim stands by the Canons of Dordt and therefore hisalone implies that the Canons of Dordt is in error.

I therefore don't understand your reaction.


Johan

Last edited by Johan; Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:50 AM.
#39313 - Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:31 PM Re: "Love your enemies" and "Does God love all" [Re: hisalone]  
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hisalone,

I can appreciate that you think what you have discovered is different and thus at odds with historic Calvinism; on this particular subject. However, I must bring up the following:

  1. The fact that it is at odds with historic Calvinism places the onus on you to PROVE from Scripture that your view is correct. This, admittedly, is an ominous task since those who have held to the historic view over the centuries come from various theological distinctives, e.g., Presbyterian, Congregational, Baptist, etc. The fact that all these groups who differ on several non-essential elements agree on this subject has to say something, yes? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratchchin.gif" alt="" />
  2. I cannot reconcile your view that God loves ALL, without distinction and in the same manner with the incontrovertible truth that out of the entire human race, God has chosen some, a remnant to be saved by grace in Christ through faith and the vast majority have been consigned by divine decree to eternal punishment. It seems only logical that IF God loved ALL without distinction, then ALL would benefit from that love in the exact same manner. Can you explain how it can be said and also shown biblically, that those in Hell are "loved of God" in the exact same manner as those destined to glory?
  3. Since the attributes of God are inherent and thus eternal in His being and therefore do not and cannot change due to anything outside of Himself, God's decree to elect some out His eternal love (cf. Eph 1:4; Jh 6:39; 17:9, 11, 24; Heb 2:10-13; et al), being one and the same, i.e., God's love results in election in Christ how can it be said that God loved the reprobate in His eternal decree to consign them to perdition?
  4. You have stated that this view of God's love of which you now hold does not contradict nor has it changed any of the other doctrines of the Reformed Faith. Yet, I cannot reconcile this statement from biblical teaching nor logic. For since the Father and the Son are one (Jh 10:30), then the love which belongs to the Father likewise belongs to the Son. Therefore, those whom Jesus loved are one and the same as those who are loved by the Father. Again, redemption is inextricably bound to the love of God. Being loved of God always and immutably results in salvation. It here that I have to conclude that logically, IF God loves all without exception and equally, so does the Son love and thus gave Himself for ALL without exception.
  5. I could offer more, but let me finish by iterating that which I have already in other replies written concerning the biblical usage of the word "hate" (Gk: miseo). God's hatred is not only of sin but of sinners, for without sinners, the angelic host included, there would be no sin. Sin is the RESULT of someone transgressing the law of God. And for someone to transgress the law of God there must be a prior dispensation/inclination to do so. That is why the Scripture everywhere speaks of the "heart" of man being evil, the mind being corrupt, etc. It is out of the heart of man that sin comes. (Matt 15:19; Gen 6:5; 8:21; Jer 17:7; et al) For a thorough defense of this biblical truth, see here: Does God Love the Sinner and Hate Only His Sin?, by Dr. John H. Gerstner.

In His grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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#39314 - Sat Apr 12, 2008 3:18 PM Re: "Love your enemies" and "Does God love all" [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Thanks for your input Pilgrim, it is nice to be able to discuss without brow beating, your words as well as everyone else's in this discussion have been very gracious. It is refreshing.
I don't think we are "far" apart in our views, you see God's love as being His benevolent love, where I see God's love as His objective love. The view of the benevolent love of God is kindness toward man, but I personally believe His love transcends just His expression of kindness to all men. It is a higher and more perfect love if you will. That is the fork in the road in what we believe. My thoughts are that God's love is eternal and unchanging, that it is as present as the air we breathe. Again, spinning the same wheels, the difference is the application of that love. The issue takes us much deeper than just the view of God's love. It speaks of who God is in relation to man. The purpose of man and the purpose of God. It doesn't change anything, just our view of things. I will answer about Hell and other issues you brought up but I want to spend more time on it before giving quick replies. I fear I keep hashing the same things so I want to spend more time formulating a reply that will present my thoughts more clearly. It isn't important to me whether I'm agreed with or not, it is just how I see God's love. If nothing else is accomplished, it has been a blessing to think on these things.


Hisalone
Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. KJV
#39315 - Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:38 PM Re: "Love your enemies" and "Does God love all" [Re: William]  
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William,

I guess I don't see how a belief in the well-meant offer would man that a preacher indiscriminately says "Christ died for you." Normally, I think they would say (at least my pastor does) that Christ died for sinners and that there is no sinner who comes to Christ that He will not receive. To me, this does not contradict particular redemption nor effectual calling nor total inability.


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
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