The Highway
Posted By: lacknothing Predestination - Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:26 PM
I need some clarification on this subject. I am a member of a Southern Baptist Church and have mainly been Southern Baptist my whole life. For some reason I just can't get my heart to agree with the whole Predestination Theology. Is there a definitive verse or chapter in the Bible where It says that God chooses who goes to Heaven or Hell. I know it says that no man seeks after God. But it also says that "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" 2 Peter 3:9. Now that verse tells me that God wants and longs for ALL to come to repentance not just the ones he has chosen.

Ok now lets think logically, say I am an inventor and I have invented two wonderful machines that do similar things, lets just say one cleans my house and the other grooms my yard. Now do you think in your right mind that I would actually create one to fail? That I would say ok while the machine is cleaning my bathroom I want it to burst in to flames and burn all the way to dust. No! Of course not. The same goes for God. Why would God create human beings for ONE purpose and then send one half to Hell and the other half to Heaven? Why would he do that? Why wouldn't he give all of the humans time to repent and turn to Him so that they can live with him forever? Oh wait he is doing that 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that.

If the Predestination Theology is correct then that would me that if a friend and I both come to Biblical repentance and give our lives to God. And follow Christ's example and live for the glory of almighty God as the Bible tells us to. So far we have done EVERYTHING required of us to be "born again", so by the teachings of the Holy word of God we are destined for Glory (Heaven). But by the Predestination Theology I and my friend still have just as much chance of going to Hell then me did before we repented and put our faith in Jesus.

So basically it is my understanding that by the Predestination Theology there is salvation but no guarantee of it. So I can be Biblically saved and destined to go to Heaven but still go to Hell. Right?

I'm not trying to attack this theology I am just trying to figure it out. Because it seems to me that if our soul purpose on this Earth is to Glorify God and to strive to be like him so that we can spend eternity with him the Predestination Theology tells me that I will not know of my salvation until I die and it is not in my hands, so I can pretty much do what I want drink, do drugs, cheat on my wife, murder someone, rob a bank because I have no control over my salvation and God has chosen for me. So I can do all of those things and not change my ways and still end up in Heaven. Right?

Edited: Removed duplicated section.
Posted By: J_Edwards Re: Predestination - Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:17 PM
Welcome to the forum Uhmm, I believe all this is answered here, however,

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lacknothing said,

I need some clarification on this subject. I am a member of a Southern Baptist Church and have mainly been Southern Baptist my whole life. For some reason I just can't get my heart to agree with the whole Predestination Theology. Is there a definitive verse or chapter in the Bible where It says that God chooses who goes to Heaven or Hell. I know it says that no man seeks after God. But it also says that "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" 2 Peter 3:9. Now that verse tells me that God wants and longs for ALL to come to repentance not just the ones he has chosen.
You have taken 2 Peter 3:9 out of its proper context which states Peter’s intended audience:

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2 Peter 3:8-9 But forget not this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Peter was NOT making a “general” statement concerning “all” flesh, but rather a rather “limited” statement concerning the invisible church – the beloved.

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lacknothing said,

Ok now lets think logically, say I am an inventor and I have invented two wonderful machines that do similar things, lets just say one cleans my house and the other grooms my yard. Now do you think in your right mind that I would actually create one to fail? That I would say ok while the machine is cleaning my bathroom I want it to burst in to flames and burn all the way to dust. No! Of course not. The same goes for God. Why would God create human beings for ONE purpose and then send one half to Hell and the other half to Heaven? Why would he do that? Why wouldn't he give all of the humans time to repent and turn to Him so that they can live with him forever? Oh wait he is doing that 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that.
Uhmm, God is not an inventor, He is the Creator. As Creator, He could have created a man that was incapable of falling -- but He didn't: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33). Paul anticipated your question in Romans 9 when he states,

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Romans 9:20-23 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why didst thou make me thus? Or hath not the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor? What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction: and that he might make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy, which he afore prepared unto glory,
Why you are still replying against the very word of God. As God, God has certain rights. Why do you object to God acting according to His holy nature?

Could it be, God desired us to more fully know Him and His love, holiness, and justice? If so, one could NEVER fully know God’s love, if He did not die for His elect, as the scripture states, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Thus, for the fullness and glory of God’s love to be fully manifested someone had to die. Oh, but death means sin must enter into the world. Therefore, sin must needs come into the world to accomplish God’s very purpose.

Was God clueless, or did He have an ordered plan? Paul writes, “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love: having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, … in whom also we were made a heritage, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will; to the end that we should be unto the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ (Eph. 1:4-5, 11-12). If it were not for election/predestination then NONE could have been saved as God would have been obligated by His very nature to judge “all” (without exception) and send “all” to Hell. However, God, before creation, choose whom He willed so He could show forth His mercy, love, and grace on one hand and reveal His justice on the other.

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lacknothing said,

If the Predestination Theology is correct then that would me that if a friend and I both come to Biblical repentance and give our lives to God. And follow Christ's example and live for the glory of almighty God as the Bible tells us to. So far we have done EVERYTHING required of us to be "born again", so by the teachings of the Holy word of God we are destined for Glory (Heaven). But by the Predestination Theology I and my friend still have just as much chance of going to Hell then me did before we repented and put our faith in Jesus.
Uhmm, lacknothing, lacks something. Paul says, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). Who is the one that keeps His elect? This is why GRACE is so important. In “biblical” repentance, one does not save himself,

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Ephesians 2:8-9 for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory.

Romans 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that hath mercy.
As John says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13). I am secure in that God: (1) began the work (John 15:16), (2) continues His work (Phil. 1:6), and (3) will accomplish His work (Rom. 8:33-39).

In actually, truly elected people have NO POSSIBILTY of Hell. God has spoken it, He will also bring it to pass; He has purposed it, and He will also do it" (Isa. 46:11). “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:1) and the only ones going to hell are, not the elect, but, those “who were before of old ordained to this condemnation” (Jude 1:4), as “he hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth” (Rom. 9:18), as He has “power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonor” (Rom. 9:21). Without the doctrine of predestination one could have no assurance at all, for then he must trust in himself alone – and we know the self always fails (Rom. 8:3, 5-7, etc.). If you read 1 John you will see that one indeed may have assurance of salvation. The elect are eternally secure and His elect may know this eternal truth. Of course, Paul sort of encourages us in the truth and seems rather sure when he says,

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Romans 8:33-39 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Hopefully you will have this same sort of assurance?
Posted By: lacknothing Re: Predestination - Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:43 PM
I do have the same kind of assurance but it is through my repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. Not because I was chosen and didn't have a choice. I was drawn by the Holy Spirit to be saved by the Blood of Jesus but I still had a choice, a free will. Just as Adam had a free will to eat of the Tree of Life. So your saying that God chose for Adam to disobey him and eat of the Tree? He Chose for Adam to fail.

And actually God is an inventor, seeing how an inventor and a creator are pretty much one in the same. They both created (invent) something new.

I believe that God has the foreknowledge but I can't grasp why he would allow things to happen the way they do if our destiny is already lined out for us. Why would God allow suffering on Earth for his "Elect" if we are "untouchable" as you make them out to be?

Why would Jesus have to die? If God defines our destiny for us then why did Jesus have to die? If predestination is true then why did God give us Laws? Why? How do you explain things in the Bible like the requirement of blood shed for the forgiveness of sins? Why must there be blood shed for sins if God is just going to pick who goes?

Please give me your definition of the "Church", which is who Paul was talking to in pretty much all of his books.

Foreknowledge is true but I'm not sure about Predestination.
Posted By: J_Edwards Re: Predestination - Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:49 PM
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lacknothing said,
I do have the same kind of assurance but it is through my repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. Not because I was chosen and didn't have a choice. I was drawn by the Holy Spirit to be saved by the Blood of Jesus but I still had a choice, a free will. Just as Adam had a free will to eat of the Tree of Life. So your saying that God chose for Adam to disobey him and eat of the Tree? He Chose for Adam to fail.
How unfortunate for you: only “some kind” of assurance. Too bad that your assurance only lies in “your” repentance and faith. Does it ever falter? Does it ever slip? Whoops there goes that salvation. Oh, that you would have a faith and repentance that was grounded in the Word of God, in the death, life, and resurrection of Christ himself. If only it could be sure? But, at las its not since it is ONLY grounded in “your” faith and repentance – i.e. thus your very obedience. You still lack something, lacknothing. As Paul says, Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his (2 Tim. 2:19).

Even God does not have free will – i.e. He cannot not sin. Since humankind was created in the image of God you do NOT have free will. Before salvation, a person is dead in trespasses and sin (Eph. 2:1). Dead men don’t choose anything. A man, even God himself, will according to their very nature. Thus, regeneration (at God’s choosing) comes first to enable a person to accept Christ.

No, God did not choose Adam to disobey Him -- as to author sin, however He created Adam knowing that He would fall. Adam chose to sin. God is not the author of sin.

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lacknothing said,

And actually God is an inventor, seeing how an inventor and a creator are pretty much one in the same. They both created (invent) something new.
Creating from nothing is different than inventing from something. Mankind may only create from something previously in existence. God is not bounded by such finite limitations.

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lacknothing said,
I believe that God has the foreknowledge but I can't grasp why he would allow things to happen the way they do if our destiny is already lined out for us. Why would God allow suffering on Earth for his "Elect" if we are "untouchable" as you make them out to be?
Peter said, “For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing” (1 Pet. 3:17). Of course, there is also the small matter of our own sin causing us pain -- the wages of sin is still death!! This doesn’t seem to be God’s fault. Then there is the fact that we do not live in a perfect world, but God made it perfect (Gen. 1:31) – oh ya, man messed that up too. And could it be that God allows suffering so we may increase our faith (without tribulation there would be no evidence of faith), increase our compassion for others, or be better able to encourage and help other hurting people (2 Cor. 1:3-5)? Why is it you see God’s methodology as so evil – “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Cor. 12:9).

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lacknothing said,

Why would Jesus have to die? If God defines our destiny for us then why did Jesus have to die? If predestination is true then why did God give us Laws? Why? How do you explain things in the Bible like the requirement of blood shed for the forgiveness of sins? Why must there be blood shed for sins if God is just going to pick who goes?
You kind of answered your own question. Because without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins (Heb. 9:22). Jesus dies because this was God’s plan in eternity (Gen. 3:15; Rom. 5:12 ff). As Luke says, “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:23). Do note here God’s predestination of His son (determinate counsel and foreknowledge) and yet how moral accountability (wicked hands) is still assigned to Jesus’ murderers.

God’s laws are an expression of His very nature and express how we may have communion and a relationship with the One who created us. They are part and parcel of His covenant with His chosen people.

What you fail to see is that God uses secondary causes in carrying out the totality of His will.

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I. God the great Creator of all things doth uphold,[1] direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things,[2] from the greatest even to the least,[3] by his most wise and holy providence,[4] according to his infallible foreknowledge,[5] and the free and immutable counsel of his own will,[6] to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.[7]

1. Neh. 9:6; Psa. 145:14-16; Heb. 1:3
2. Dan. 4:34-35; Psa. 135:6; Acts 17:25-28; Job 34:1-41:34
3. Matt. 6:26-32; 10:29-31
4. Prov. 15:3; I Chr. 16:9; Psa. 104:24; 145;17
5. Acts 15:18; Isa. 42:9; Ezek. 11:5
6. Eph. 1:11; Psa. 33:10-11
7. Isa. 63:14; Eph. 3:10; Rom. 917; Gen. 45:7; Psa. 145:7

II. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly;[8] yet, by the same providence, he ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.[9]

8. Acts 2:23; see Isa. 14:24, 27
9. Gen 8:22; Jer. 31:35; Isa. 10:6,7; see Exod. 21:13 and Deut. 19:5; I Kings 22:28-34

III. God, in his ordinary providence, maketh use of means,[10] yet is free to work without,[11] above,[12] and against them, at his pleasure.[13]

10. Acts 27:24, 31, 44; Isa. 55:10-11
11. Hosea 1:7; Matt. 4:4; Job 34:20
12. Rom. 4:19-21
13. II Kings 6:6; Dan. 3:27

IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in his providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men;[14] and that not by a bare permission,[15] but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding,[16] and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends;[17] yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.[18]

14. Isa. 45:7; Rom. 11:32-34; II Sam. 16:10; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28; see II Sam. 24:1 and I Chr. 21:1; I Kings 22:22-23; I Chr. 10:4, 13-14
15. John 12:40; II Thess. 2:11
16. Psa. 76:10; II Kings 19:28
17. Gen. 50:20; Isa. 10:6-7,12-15 (particularly v.12)
18. James 1:13-14, 17; I John 2:16; Psa. 50:21

V. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave, for a season, his own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled;[19] and, to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends.[20]

19. II Chr. 32:25-26, 31; Deut. 8:2-3, 5; Luke 22:31-32; see II Sam. 24:1, 25
20. II Cor. 12:7-9; see Psa. 73:1-28; 77:1-12; Mark 14: 66-72; John 21:15-19

VI. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous Judge, for former sins, doth blind and harden,[21] from them he not only withholdeth his grace whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts;[22] but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had,[23] and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasions of sin;[24] and, withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan,[25] whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, even under those means which God useth for the softening of others.[26]

21. Rom. 1:24, 26, 28; 11:7-8
22. Deut. 29:4; Mark 4:11-12
23. Matt. 13:12; 25:29; see Acts 13:10-11
24. Gen. 4:4; II Kings 8:12-13; see Matt. 26:14-16
25. Psa. 109:6; Luke 22:3; II Thess. 2:10-12
26. Exod. 7:3, 8:15, 32; II Cor. 2:15-16; Isa. 6:9-10, 8:14; I Pet 2:7-8; Acts 28:26-27

VII. As the providence of God doth, in general, reach to all creatures; so, after a most special manner, it taketh care of his church, and disposeth all things to the good thereof.[27]

27. I Tim. 4:10; Amos 9:8-9; Matt. 16:18; Rom. 4:28; Isa. 43:3-5, 14

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lacknothing said,
Please give me your definition of the "Church", which is who Paul was talking to in pretty much all of his books.
The visible church and the invisible church differ. The visible church contains members that may or may not be saved and some general statements are made to them in Scripture. However, at other times Paul and others refer to the invisible church – the elect throughout all the ages. A proper understanding of a pericope’s context will reveal which church the author speaks about.

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lacknothing said,

Foreknowledge is true but I'm not sure about Predestination.
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rofl.gif" alt="" /> If God has foreknowledge of everything and does not change it is he not in fact predestining it?

I don't have anymore free time today, but I am sure someone is just waiting to raise the staff (Exod. 17). Enjoy <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/hello.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Theo Re: Predestination - Tue Sep 11, 2007 5:39 PM
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lacknothing said:
I believe that God has the foreknowledge but I can't grasp why he would allow things to happen the way they do if our destiny is already lined out for us. Why would God allow suffering on Earth for his "Elect" if we are "untouchable" as you make them out to be?...

Foreknowledge is true but I'm not sure about Predestination.

Friend,

Permit me to quote J.I Packer on the first of your paragraphs that I have listed:

...all these experiences are part of [God's] curriculum for us in the school of holiness, which is His spiritual gymnasium for our reshaping and rebuilding in the moral likeness of Jesus Christ.”

All things work together for good in our lives if we love God, but some of those things may not seem so good to us at the time. But suffering, etc. IS used by God in the development of our moral character, and the moral character of others as well.

And concerning what you wrote about foreknowledge being true: my question (and I do relate to you because I struggled with this for years) to you is this: how can God HAVE foreknowledge without predestination? If He is not totally sovereign and His will does not extend to every corner of the world, if one event occurs outside His will, how could He foreknow that event? And perhaps more importantly, if one event occurs outside His will, how could He be sovereign over all things?

Theo
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Predestination - Tue Sep 11, 2007 6:02 PM
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lacknothing said:
I do have the same kind of assurance but it is through my repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. Not because I was chosen and didn't have a choice. I was drawn by the Holy Spirit to be saved by the Blood of Jesus but I still had a choice, a free will. Just as Adam had a free will to eat of the Tree of Life. So your saying that God chose for Adam to disobey him and eat of the Tree? He Chose for Adam to fail.
As J_Edwards pointed out to you, your assurance is rather frail and unfortunately tentative since it is grounded in you (with God's help?). I was going to respond to your first post which started this thread but here is going to work out fine I think. At this point I must say that your problem is NOT with the doctrine of Predestination, although undoubtedly you think it is. The problem you are having is rather with the biblical doctrine of "Total Depravity"; you only THINK it is with Predestination. And why have I come to that conclusion? Because you mention in several places including the statement above, this thing called "free-will" and how it was YOUR choice which evidently saved you and now is the basis of your assurance. You further expand on that by saying it was the Holy Spirit who drew you but: "I still had a choice, free will." And lastly, you then state that this ability to choose is the same as that which Adam possessed.

Okay.... let's work backward, using your last idea first. If/since you believe that you are no different than Adam in regard to your ability to choose, then of necessity you are saying that there was basically no significance difference between Adam before the Fall and Adam and his progeny, of which we all are, after the Fall. But Scripture would testify something entirely different. The Bible over and over again describes fallen mankind as being dead in trespasses and sins, incapable of seeking God, having a corrupt heart, where every imagination of the thoughts of his heart are only evil continually, whose understanding is darkened and whose hearts are hardened, et al. (Eph 2:1-3; Rom 3:11; Jer 17:9; Gen 6:5; 8:21; Eph 4:17, 18) All these descriptions of fallen mankind and myriad more are examples of that "death" which was promised to Adam should he chose to disobey God and eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Gen 2:16, 17) Thus, from the very moment Adam ate of that "forbidden fruit", he died; he and all that came from him. (cf. Rom 5:12-18; 1Cor 15:21, 22)

What this means that man's very nature changed from being upright; i.e., desiring to love God and to do all that He commanded in loving obedience to being depraved, corrupt; i.e., desiring self and hating God and only able and thus willing to do that which is sinful. One can only do that which is according to one's nature. If one has a godly heart, then he will love God and desire to do good. If one has an evil heart, a corrupt nature, then he will hate God and desire to do evil. (cf. Matt 7:17, 18; 12:33-35). One cannot even desire to be made good never mind make himself good. This is what the Lord Christ taught Nicodemus, i.e., it is of necessity that you be born from above (again) before you can even see the kingdom of God. And how is this new birth brought about? According to the incarnate Christ it is by a secret (invisible) and sovereign work of the Holy Spirit, such as the movement of the wind of which no man knows from where it comes nor where it goes, but only seeing the effects of it after it has come.

So, the bottom line is that fallen men are hardly like Adam pre-Fall. They are all born spiritually dead and are thus totally incapable of even desiring God, never mind repenting and believing if given the choice. The are also born guilty before God and are under His just condemnation for their part in Adam's sin, who was the Federal Head of the human race, i.e., whatever Adam chose to do the result would affect all. Fallen men, sinners, are bound by their corrupt natures and are free to choose that which that corrupt nature dictates/allows, which is sin. (Jh 5:40; 6:44)) See also here: Free-will - A Slave.

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lacknothing said:
I believe that God has the foreknowledge but I can't grasp why he would allow things to happen the way they do if our destiny is already lined out for us. Why would God allow suffering on Earth for his "Elect" if we are "untouchable" as you make them out to be?
I'll be very brief on this one since I think it can be answered by saying your definition of "foreknowledge" is not the one Scripture gives. Foreknowledge is decidedly NOT "a looking into the future to see what will occur". God's foreknowledge is most always used in Scripture to mean, "fore-loved", e.g., Rom 8:29. And foreknowledge follows foreordination (decree), not before it, e.g., Acts 2:23. God [fore]knows BECAUSE He has decreed whatsoever will come to pass. I can say I [fore]know I will be at such and such a place tomorrow because I have [pre]determined that it is what I plan to do. If I looked back upon my arrival at that place, I then cannot rightly call it [before]knowledge but [after]knowledge, of which you will not find in Scripture. For more, see here: The Foreknowledge of God.

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lacknothing said:
Why would Jesus have to die? If God defines our destiny for us then why did Jesus have to die? If predestination is true then why did God give us Laws? Why? How do you explain things in the Bible like the requirement of blood shed for the forgiveness of sins? Why must there be blood shed for sins if God is just going to pick who goes?
Whoa there big fella... too many questions. I'll deal with the first only here. God has ordained the means as well as the end of all things. Jesus had to die to pay for the penalty owed to those fallen in Adam. God's holy law had been transgressed and the penalty for that transgression was death. Thus, only through the shedding of blood is the remission of sins. God surely chose those who He desired to save for His own glory. But that salvation includes their forgiveness of sins through the payment of death and a perfect righteousness which comes by God's imputing Christ's righteousness to those who believe. Both are necessary; 1) eternal death and 2) perfect righteousness. In short, God simply can't pick someone and accept them as they are. He is of purer eyes to behold sin (Hab 1:13) and doesn't look the other way, as it were but rather He must exercise justice in punishing sinners for their rebellion and guilt.

Perhaps you might benefit from reading this little comparison too: Do You REALLY Believe that Salvation is by Grace Alone?

In His grace,
Posted By: Jimbo Re: Predestination - Tue Sep 11, 2007 6:41 PM
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I need some clarification on this subject. I am a member of a Southern Baptist Church and have mainly been Southern Baptist my whole life. For some reason I just can't get my heart to agree with the whole Predestination Theology. Is there a definitive verse or chapter in the Bible where It says that God chooses who goes to Heaven or Hell. I know it says that no man seeks after God. But it also says that "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" 2 Peter 3:9. Now that verse tells me that God wants and longs for ALL to come to repentance not just the ones he has chosen.

Southern Baptists have been either Arminian or Calvinistic in their soteriology. Now when you speak of 'predestination theology' I'm assuming you mean calvinists view of predestination. The truth is Arminians believe in predestination, too. The difference is the basis upon which one is predestined unto salvation. For the Calvinist, of which I am one, predestination of peoples unto salvation has its basis on the will of God alone. For the Arminian it is based on some forseen faith in the believer, or foreknowledge. Your reference to 2 Peter 3:9 was adequately answered, so I won't repeat it.

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Ok now lets think logically, say I am an inventor and I have invented two wonderful machines that do similar things, lets just say one cleans my house and the other grooms my yard. Now do you think in your right mind that I would actually create one to fail? That I would say ok while the machine is cleaning my bathroom I want it to burst in to flames and burn all the way to dust. No! Of course not. The same goes for God. Why would God create human beings for ONE purpose and then send one half to Hell and the other half to Heaven? Why would he do that? Why wouldn't he give all of the humans time to repent and turn to Him so that they can live with him forever? Oh wait he is doing that 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that.

You've got your questions a bit backwards, or more accurately they are missing some other facts. It is true that all human beings were created for one ultimate purpose, ie. to glorify God. But it is important to remember that all human beings are sinners and deserve eternal damnation as payment for their willful rebellion against God. The fact that God chooses to save one guilty person over another guilty person doesn't make Him unjust. An example, a governor grants clemency to someone on death row. Is he/she then obligated to grant clemency to someone else on death row? Not at all. All human beings are on death row unless God chooses to remove them from that state.

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If the Predestination Theology is correct then that would me that if a friend and I both come to Biblical repentance and give our lives to God. And follow Christ's example and live for the glory of almighty God as the Bible tells us to. So far we have done EVERYTHING required of us to be "born again", so by the teachings of the Holy word of God we are destined for Glory (Heaven). But by the Predestination Theology I and my friend still have just as much chance of going to Hell then me did before we repented and put our faith in Jesus.

Your sentences are choppy here, but I think I get the gist of it. First of all, no one does anything to be born again. That is a completely God centered action. Regeneration is an act of God alone and precedes faith and repentance. The unregenerate heart will never ever turn to faith and repentance. It is not in his nature. The unregenerate freely choose to reject God each and every moment they remain unregenerate. They are not coerced by God into this choice. It's like a fish. A fish is free to choose to get out of the water and walk on dry land, but it is not in its nature to do so. It will freely choose every time to swim in the water. So it is with unregenerate man. They will always freely choose to rebel against their Creator and will not believe the gospel.

Also, if a person goes to hell, they never repented. Ever. Those who truly repent will always be saved because God promised salvation to all who repent and believed. Any that do repent and believe were predestined by God to do so. Every person predestined unto eternal life will be saved. Every person not predestined to eternal life will never truly repent or believe and will face eternal damnation for their sins. Predestination is a doctrine that does help assure me of my salvation.

Hope this helps a little.
Posted By: lacknothing Re: Predestination - Tue Sep 11, 2007 7:41 PM
Ok guys since my salvation is not as a concrete assurance as yours (so you say) Let me ask you a question:

Do you consider yourself to be a good person?

if so let's take a little test to see if that is true:

1)Have you ever told a lie?
2)Have you ever stolen something regardless of its value?
3)Have you ever commited adultry? (and by this I mean have you ever lusted)
4)Have you ever taken the Lord's name in vain?
5)Have you ever hated someone?

If you have answered yes to even one of these then you my friends cannot and will not go to Heaven, or shall I say you are not in the "elect" unless YOU REPENT and put YOUR FAITH in Jesus. If this is so then how can you go to Heaven then?

If you are apart of the "elect" and you have broken God's laws then you have to go to Hell. God has no other choice then to send you to Hell.

I know that you have answered yes to probably most of these and if you haven't then you have problems because only one man can answer no to all of these and that is Jesus. So how do you explain this?
Posted By: J_Edwards Re: Predestination - Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:26 PM
Salvation is NOT by works. Jacob was elect, and yet both a liar and a thief. David was elect and an adulterer. Paul hated and consented to the death of Christians, but was elect. Even after their salvation, Paul and Peter argued (see the Jerusalem Council). John Mark, Barnabas, and Paul did not always get along (Acts 15). Then let us cap this off and say that there was still sin in the church (Corinth, the church in Revelation, the letters of Paul and others written to counter a false gospel, et. al.). Thus, your premise is false. NOTHING can keep the elect from heaven (Rom. 9:33-39; Phil. 1:6, etc.).

It is because of the decree of election that God could punish the sins of the elect in Christ upon the cross; otherwise He would have to judge our sin accordingly. If the election plan had not been in place then we ALL would have gone to Hell for God is HOLY and MUST JUDGE sin. In addition, Christ’s death does not make the salvation of the elect a mere possibly, but a genuine reality (Luke 2:11; 19:10; John 3:17; 6:39)! As Packer so eloquently puts it, “Christ did not win a hypothetical salvation for hypothetical believers, a mere possibility of salvation for any who might possibly believe, but a real salvation for His own chosen people. His precious blood really does "save us all;" the intended effects of His self-offering do in fact follow, just because the Cross was what it was. Its saving power does not depend on faith being added to it; its saving power is such that faith flows from it. The Cross secured the full salvation of all for whom Christ died. "God forbid," therefore, "that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." As Murray says, “The word of the angel to Joseph, "Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins" (Matt. 1:21) implies the certitude of salvation and not mere possibility.” And “when Paul says that "Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it" (Eph. 5:25), he is alluding to Christ's sacrificial offering. But he also states the design: "that he might sanctify and cleanse it . . . that he might present it to himself a glorious church" (vss. 26, 27).”

1 Thessalonians 1:4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

Back to work.
Posted By: John_C Re: Predestination - Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:45 PM
We may be talking past one another on some points. Calvinists do affirm that we are saved by grace via faith and repentance. When we talk about the Elect, we are not bypassing that Christians (the Elect) do exercise faith and repent of our sins. Calvinists affirm that salvation is 100% grace, not 99.99... grace and 0.0000+ works. Ephesians 2:8-9 is a biggie with us.

It appears that you are separating The Elect with 'faith and repentance'. They cannot be separated.
Posted By: Joe k Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 1:15 AM
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lacknothing said:
Ok guys since my salvation is not as a concrete assurance as yours (so you say) Let me ask you a question:

Do you consider yourself to be a good person?

if so let's take a little test to see if that is true:

1)Have you ever told a lie?
2)Have you ever stolen something regardless of its value?
3)Have you ever commited adultry? (and by this I mean have you ever lusted)
4)Have you ever taken the Lord's name in vain?
5)Have you ever hated someone?

If you have answered yes to even one of these then you my friends cannot and will not go to Heaven, or shall I say you are not in the "elect" unless YOU REPENT and put YOUR FAITH in Jesus. If this is so then how can you go to Heaven then?

If you are apart of the "elect" and you have broken God's laws then you have to go to Hell. God has no other choice then to send you to Hell.

I know that you have answered yes to probably most of these and if you haven't then you have problems because only one man can answer no to all of these and that is Jesus. So how do you explain this?

You are very Roman Catholic in your understanding of repentance/faith/pardon. According to your logic, the best time for you to die, as well with any RC is imediately after receiving absolution from the priest and saying your penance.

If you could be struck down in the moment you recite your last "Glory Be" This is the only way you can be assured of being with Christ.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 2:18 AM
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If you have answered yes to even one of these then you my friends cannot and will not go to Heaven, or shall I say you are not in the "elect" unless YOU REPENT and put YOUR FAITH in Jesus. If this is so then how can you go to Heaven then?

If you are apart of the "elect" and you have broken God's laws then you have to go to Hell. God has no other choice then to send you to Hell.

I know that you have answered yes to probably most of these and if you haven't then you have problems because only one man can answer no to all of these and that is Jesus. So how do you explain this?

Elementary, my friend; the elect will believe and repent and be sanctified by God:

"When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed" (Acts 13:48). "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified" (Rom. 8:29-30). "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them" (Eph. 2:10). "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus" (Phil. 1:6).
Posted By: lacknothing Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:38 PM
So in actuality "the elect" are people who have "chosen" to repent and put their faith in Jesus. Your just saying that God chose you to be "elect" but it still had to take some effort on your part to become "elect".

And to rebutt the Roman Catholic Guy no I don't believe that the best time for a person to die is following his repentance because if one tuely repents and puts his faith in Jesus he can live another Thousand years and still be saved.

So basically to be an "elect" you have to practice repentance and faith so their are some "works" involved.
Posted By: Robin Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 1:02 PM
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lacknothing said:
...say I am an inventor and I have invented two wonderful machines that do similar things, lets just say one cleans my house and the other grooms my yard. Now do you think in your right mind that I would actually create one to fail?

I believe the analogy in Romans 9 of the Potter is more applicable than an "inventor." One creation (or device, if you will) serves a noble purpose - a wine goblet, or a device to groom the yard. Another serves a common purpose - a toilet, a garbage can. Both serve the inventor.

Fallen men deserve only God's justice. Those who receive His justice do so to the glory of His justice and holiness. Those who receive mercy receive it to the glory of His love and kindness. But both groups glorify God, serving His intended purpose for them.

Murder, we know, is against God's moral will. Ant we are told that from before time began God predetermineded the murder of His only begotten Son!

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this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death (Acts 2:23 NASB, emphasis mine).

Why would a God who opposes murder decree such a thing? Is it based entirely on "foreknowledge?"

Not exactly. It must be a choice, since God could have prevented it. Question:

If Almighty God foreknows that something terrible is about to happen, is there any chance that it won't?

If the answer is Yes, then either His foreknowledge is wrong or He is powerless to prevent the foreseen tragedy. Either way, that doesn't describe Almighty God! If the answer is No, then the tragedy must be His predetermined choice.

And if God chooses to show mercy to some and justice to the rest of fallen mankind, who are we to say to the Potter, "why have you made me this way?" The answer is, "for My glory." The choice of whether the clay is molded to the glory of His justice or to the glory of His mercy is up to the Potter, not the clay. Both uses serve the Potter's desire.

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lacknothing said: If the Predestination Theology is correct then that would me that if a friend and I both come to Biblical repentance and give our lives to God. And follow Christ's example and live for the glory of almighty God as the Bible tells us to. So far we have done EVERYTHING required of us to be "born again", so by the teachings of the Holy word of God we are destined for Glory (emphasis mine).

If a lump of clay has been fashioned into an ash tray, is there any way for it to become a wine goblet? Nope. It is what it's creator has made it to be.

Now I bolded something in the quote above which particularly strikes me. You suggested above that people can do something in order to be born again. What did you do in order to be born from your mother's womb? Did you have to qualify somehow? Was there some work you had to do or words you had to say or some faith on your part in order to qualify you for birth into this world? Of course not! Being born again is no different! The new birth is from Above, not from within. What helps me to see this alot more clearly is this little piece of news:

Regeneration (new birth) precedes conversion. It does not follow conversion. Why? Because "a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised (1st Corinthians 2:14)." Because we were dead in trespasses and sins - not sick, not weakened, but dead. The unregenerate can no more "do something to be born again" than the dead can do something to raise themselves to life. Another must act UPON the dead to revive them.

Here is the picture of predestination that I want you to have:

When I was a lad, I ran away from home. I was gone for a couple of days. My father sought me all over the city, driving down every street and calling my name.

He wasn't searching for just any boy who might want to come live in his home. He was looking for me. No one else would do. I was his beloved son.

We are "lost" until our Father calls us from death and regenerates our soul (the new birth), enabling us to come to Him. That is clearly a choice - not merely a "foreknown" happenstance.

-Robin
Posted By: Robin Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 1:16 PM
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lacknothing said:
...you are not in the "elect" unless YOU REPENT and put YOUR FAITH in Jesus.

This is salvation by works! The work of repentance. And you wrote "YOUR" faith. The unregenerate have no faith. Nor do they have "free will." They are slaves to sin and not able to anything but sin.

Only Christians have free will. Because only Christians are able to not sin. We who have life from Above are free. We are no longer slaves to sin. Thus only we have free will. The unregenerate do not.

And faith, like the new birth, is the gift of God, not of works:

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Ephesians 2:8 says :

For by grace are ye saved by faith, and that ("that" referring to FAITH) not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.

"YOUR faith?" HIS faith is the more appropriate term. Only those who have been given faith from Above can trust in Him. Only those who have been born again can even see the kingdom. Only those who have been freed from sin can choose to obey Christ.

-R
Posted By: John_C Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 1:36 PM
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lacknothing said:
So in actuality "the elect" are people who have "chosen" to repent and put their faith in Jesus. Your just saying that God chose you to be "elect" but it still had to take some effort on your part to become "elect".

And to rebutt the Roman Catholic Guy no I don't believe that the best time for a person to die is following his repentance because if one tuely repents and puts his faith in Jesus he can live another Thousand years and still be saved.

So basically to be an "elect" you have to practice repentance and faith so their are some "works" involved.


No, no, no. Our salvation comes 100% from God, it is Nothing we can do to earn it. The Elect will repent and display faith, and only the Elect. However, our faith comes from God not from within. IOW, Christian = the Elect.

I only commented because I thought you were misunderstanding Calvinists in saying that the Elect did not received God via repentence and faith. We are saying that it is only the Elect who will repent and have faith.
Posted By: Wes Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 1:40 PM
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CovenantInBlood quoted the following texts:

"When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed" (Acts 13:48). "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified" (Rom. 8:29-30). "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them" (Eph. 2:10). "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus" (Phil. 1:6).

Those are excellent verses that attribute to God alone what He has predetermined to do. I also believe John 10 is helpful in this regard. This is that familiar passage about the Great Shepherd. In verses 22-30 we read that those who hear the voice of the Shepherd are His sheep. Conversely those who do not hear are not His sheep. It seems clear in this passage that the ability to hear is only given to those who the Father has given to Him.

The Shepherd Knows His Sheep

John 10: 22-30

22 Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.[27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”

It is impossible to believe apart from God's electing grace.


Wes
Posted By: lacknothing Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 2:43 PM
But YOU still have to REPENT to be an "elect".
Posted By: lacknothing Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 2:48 PM
huh?
Posted By: lacknothing Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 2:49 PM
So why was there a Great Commission? Why did Jesus instruct his Disciples to "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Mat 28:19"? Or did I take that of context to?

Why would Jesus tell his Disciples to go out to ALL nations if he was going to chose. Jesus didn't say Go ye therefore, and teach all nations that my father hath chosen, he said "Go ye therefore, and teach ALL nations."

Am I missing something here?
Posted By: Joe k Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 2:56 PM
lack nothing: This quote says it all so well..:

Bishop William Beveridge: 'I cannot pray but I sin... My repentance needs to be repented of, and not only the worst of my sins but even the best of my duties, but even my most religious performances... I cannot hear or even preach a sermon but I sin. Nay, I cannot so much as confess my sins but my very confessions are still aggravations of them. My repentance needs to he repented of, my tears want washing, and the very washing of my tears needs still to be washed over again with the blood of my Redeemer. Thus not only the worst of my sins but even the best of my duties, speak me as a child of Adam.'
Posted By: Jimbo Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 3:17 PM
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But YOU still have to REPENT to be an "elect"

This is not correct at all. One does not become elect by repenting. You either are or aren't elect before the foundation of the world...see Ephesians 1. There is no question that one has to have faith and repent. But Ephesians 2:8,9 inform us that even our faith is a gift from God. He doesn't coerce us into believing; He gives us a new heart (regeneration) so that we then can and actually do truly believe and repent. That person who truly comes faith and repents did so because that person already was elect before the foundation of the world according the good pleasure of His will.
Posted By: lacknothing Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 3:59 PM
In Ephesians 1 I assume you are pretaining to this passage : According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, Eph 1:4-5.

Let me give you a commentary from John Wesley on this : Eph 1:4 - As he hath chosen us - Both Jews and gentiles, whom he foreknew as believing in Christ, Eph 1:5 - Having predestinated us to the adoption of sons - Having foreordained that all who afterwards believed should enjoy the dignity of being sons of God, and joint - heirs with Christ. According to the good pleasure of his will - According to his free, fixed, unalterable purpose to confer this blessing on all those who should believe in Christ, and those only.

With this statement Paul is making I agree with Wesley in the fact that God has Predestines us to be his sons AFTER we have believed.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 4:06 PM
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lacknothing said:
So why was there a Great Commission? Why did Jesus instruct his Disciples to "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Mat 28:19"? Or did I take that of context to?

Why would Jesus tell his Disciples to go out to ALL nations if he was going to chose. Jesus didn't say Go ye therefore, and teach all nations that my father hath chosen, he said "Go ye therefore, and teach ALL nations."

Am I missing something here?
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/yep.gif" alt="" /> that you are, and not just someTHING but whole bunch of things. That's why in my first reply I tried to bring you back to "Square 1". When one, by the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration, comes to understand just how sinful they are and how helpless they are to do anything about it, they will be just like Martin Luther who is quoted as saying, "I'd believe in Unconditional Election even if it wasn't in the Bible". The truth is, because all are conceived in sin, are guilty before God inherently and are born spiritually dead, if it wasn't for Unconditional Election, no one could be saved.

Now.. as others have pointed out, one does not become elect. One is chosen by God (elected) from eternity. In God's perfect and appointed time the Holy Spirit comes and regenerates (new birth) the elect, creating spiritual life within them with a new disposition that is inclined toward God and all that is holy and good, draws them through conviction of sin and opening their eyes to the sufficiency of Christ's atoning work and His irresistible loveliness. Thus, they are infallibly saved by grace through faith in Christ.

So, this plan of God, from creation to the New Heaven and New Earth whereby He has chosen to save for Himself a remnant of Adam's fallen race to His own glory, is from eternity but executed in time. God not only decreed the end but the means to that end. Thus, it is the Holy Spirit working in and through the preaching of the Gospel that sinners are called to repentance and faith, which the Holy Spirit makes possible in regeneration. All is of God... all is of grace. You would do well to pick up this book, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, by J.I. Packer. And The Highway has quite a number of good articles and books you can freely access and read here: Evangelism

This might interest you: God's Indisputable Sovereignty.

And also as others have already mentioned, there is a nice selection of articles here: Articles on Predestination and Q&A items also.

In His grace,
Posted By: Jimbo Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 4:21 PM
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Let me give you a commentary from John Wesley on this : Eph 1:4 - As he hath chosen us - Both Jews and gentiles, whom he foreknew as believing in Christ, Eph 1:5 - Having predestinated us to the adoption of sons - Having foreordained that all who afterwards believed should enjoy the dignity of being sons of God, and joint - heirs with Christ. According to the good pleasure of his will - According to his free, fixed, unalterable purpose to confer this blessing on all those who should believe in Christ, and those only.

Wesley is wrong on foreknowledge. Can you show me any indication in the text itself (and you can use ALL of Ephesians 1 in this) where the word "foreknowledge" is used in any form or even hinted at?

However, even in what Wesley said, election came prior to the foundation of the world. He just got the basis of that election wronger than 2+2=5.
Posted By: Tom Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 4:50 PM
I would like to recommend a DVD called 'Amazing Grace the History and Theology of Calvinism'. This DVD did something for a friend of mine that I was unable to do.
I had been trying to explain Calvinism to him for quite some time and it was clear that he just did not understand. I remembered the DVD that I had, so we sat down together and watched it. To make a long story short, the DVD did what I was unable to do and he now has embraced the truth of Calvinism.

Here is the link to the DVD.
http://www.amazinggracedvd.com/

Tom
Posted By: lacknothing Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 4:51 PM
Why would Jesus instruct his disciples to Go ye therefore, and teach ALL nations if there is Predestiantion? What would be the point?
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 4:52 PM
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lacknothing said:
Let me give you a commentary from John Wesley on this : Eph 1:4 - As he hath chosen us - Both Jews and gentiles, whom he foreknew as believing in Christ, Eph 1:5 - Having predestinated us to the adoption of sons - Having foreordained that all who afterward believed should enjoy the dignity of being sons of God, and joint - heirs with Christ. According to the good pleasure of his will - According to his free, fixed, unalterable purpose to confer this blessing on all those who should believe in Christ, and those only.

With this statement Paul is making I agree with Wesley in the fact that God has Predestines us to be his sons AFTER we have believed.
lacknothing,

With all due respect Wesley, and you by being in agreement with him, have wrested the Scriptures to your own destruction. It is imperative that we do NOT add to nor take away from what God by His Holy Spirit has written by inspiration for us. What Bible are you using where the highlighted section appears? I've checked every English translation I own, of which there are many, as well as checking the Greek text, both TR and NA and this section is noticeably absent.

Let's also look at another passage with which some have also wrested in order to avoid the indisputable truth that God predestinates men to salvation based upon His own good pleasure and without any reference to man whatsoever.


Romans 8:29-30 (KJV) "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."


Wesley and all semi-Pelagians/Arminians want to define "foreknow" as "knowing beforehand on the basis of peering into the annals of history and perceiving what would occur". In this case, as in the passage in Eph. 1 which you believe one can justify adding to it "foreknowing who would believe in Christ". But let's see how that works out by inserting that definition in the passage so it would then read:

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For whom he did foresee as having faith, he also did predestinate . . . and whom he did predestinate, them he also called (to have faith), and to those who (had faith), them he also justified . . ."
Do you see the problem here? How can it be that God in eternity foresaw those who already had faith and yet call them to have faith; believe? It simply doesn't make any sense. There is of course, a much more serious problem with this type of understanding. How can God who is Omniscient, He knows all things, be said to "look into the future" to see what will occur and on the basis of what He sees, determine what shall be? First of all, this means that there are things which exist which God did not create. For if He created them and determined all things as the Scripture undeniably says He did, then what could possibly exist that He was not aware of, He being the Creator of all things? Secondly, this view denies God is Omnipotent, i.e., He has all power and authority over all things. If it is true that God only determines what already exists, then He is simply conforming Himself to something outside and apart from Himself. In other words, what he allegedly "saw" determines what He agrees will be. And lastly, it also denies that God is Omnipresent. For how could there possibly be something that is unknown to God in a place called, "the future" where He is not present?

Again, in my first reply, I not only provided a link to an article by A.W. Pink on Foreknowledge, but I explained that in Scripture, where foreknowledge has reference to the elect, it always means, "fore-loved". And thus in this text it is justified in understanding it as saying, "For whom He fore-loved, them He predestinated . . .". And this is in perfect harmony with the actual text in Ephesians 1, "Ephesians 1:4 (KJV) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: . . ."

Lastly, IF what you are proposing is true, then the word "predestination" would be meaningless, since by the most basic definition it means to determine BEFOREHAND. In truth, what should be written according to your and Wesley's definition is "postdestination", to determine AFTERWARD, i.e., to determine what was discovered by perception after the fact. The Bible nowhere speaks of such a thing. It is something fabricated by the will of man in order to escape the incontrovertible truth that God is sovereign in all things including the salvation of sinners.


Isaiah 44:7 (ASV) "And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I established the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and that shall come to pass, let them declare."

Isaiah 46:9-10 (ASV) "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; [I am] God, and there is none like me; declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not [yet] done; saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure;"

Psalms 135:6 (ASV) "Whatsoever Jehovah pleased, that hath he done, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps;"

Daniel 4:35 (ASV) "And 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?"


In His grace,
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:03 PM
Quote
lacknothing said:
Why would Jesus instruct his disciples to Go ye therefore, and teach ALL nations if there is Predestiantion? What would be the point?
I would hope it would be obvious! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> It is through the means of preaching the Gospel that God calls His elect to faith, e.g.,

Quote
Acts 13:48 (KJV) "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: <span style="background-color:yellow">and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed</span>."

Romans 1:16 (ASV) "For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

Romans 10:14-17 (ASV) "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent? even as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of good things! But they did not all hearken to the glad tidings. For Isaiah saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So belief [cometh] of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ."
In His grace,
Posted By: lacknothing Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:22 PM
Why? If someone is "elect" why would they have to hear the preaching of the Gospel? Is that some kind of prerequisite?
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:53 PM
Quote
lacknothing said:
Why? If someone is "elect" why would they have to hear the preaching of the Gospel? Is that some kind of prerequisite?
And what does Scripture say? I provided several passages which show the absolute necessity of one hearing (reading) the Gospel in order to be saved. It is God's ordained means of calling sinners to Christ unto salvation. As Paul wrote, "it [the Gospel] is the power of God unto salvation" (Rom 1:16).

ALL human beings are under the judgment and wrath of God. All human beings are guilty before God having had Adam's guilt imputed to them. All human beings are born with a corrupt nature. Thus, through the hearing/reading of the Gospel, the means God has chosen to use to save sinners, the Holy Spirit works regeneration in the hearts of those predestinated making the able to hear the truth, repent and believe upon Christ.

Quote
Acts 16:14 (ASV) "And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple of the city of Thyatira, one that worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened to give heed unto the things which were spoken by Paul."

Acts 18:8-11 (ASV) "And Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. And the Lord said unto Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak and hold not thy peace: for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to harm thee: for I have much people in this city. And he dwelt [there] a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them."
What God has foreordained in eternity must come to pass in time. The Lord Christ was ordained to walk this earth and die for all those for whom the Father gave him. But His coming and death didn't come to pass in eternity but in time when the "fullness of time had come".

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Galatians 4:3-5 (ASV) "So we also, when we were children, were held in bondage under the rudiments of the world: but when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."

Ephesians 1:9-12 (KJV) "Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; [even] in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ."
In His grace,
Posted By: Paul_S Re: Predestination - Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:46 PM
Quote
lacknothing asks:
Why? If someone is "elect" why would they have to hear the preaching of the Gospel? Is that some kind of prerequisite?

lacknothing,

In order to make a point, allow me to shift gears here for a minute and move from God's control over the sphere of Salvation to his control over the sphere of Creation.

Without knowing anything about you, I can confidently state that there was a moment in time, probably several decades ago now, before which you did not exist and after which you did exist.

I am sure you would agree.

Let's call that moment in time "Point X".

I can also confidently state that prior to Point X you--being non-existent--did not exercise any ability to choose at all, but since Point X you have indeed exercised your ability to make choices, according to your nature, among the options open to you.

I am sure you will agree with that as well.

Now my question for you to at least ponder, and hopefully respond to here as well, is:

Lacknothing, do you now exist because, prior to Point X, you chose to exist?

If you answer in the negative--as I am sure you will--here are 2 follow-ups:

Did God choose for you to exist?

and

Was it proper for God to have used human agents--your parents--to bring about his sovereign choice for you to exist?
Posted By: jaf Re: Predestination - Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:55 PM
Lacknothing, You are correct in saying that FAITH & REPENTANCE are necessary for SALVATION. Where you do err is in "placing the cart before the horse". Where re-generation occurs, the resurrection of the "Dead in the trespasses and sins" man (Ephesians 2:1 and following) FAITH and REPENTANCE always follows. Not only is saving FAITH the gift of God as has been shown in numerous posts on this subject but, REPENTANCE is also the gift of God (II Tim.2:25;Acts 5:31). If God does not grant it, no one would TRULY REPENT. Salvation is of the Lord from beginning to end,man does not contribute anything.
Posted By: lacknothing Re: Predestination - Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:11 PM
This is not salvation by works. Repenting does not save just as a phone call to 911 doesn't save you during an emergency, the Abulance or EMTs do. Just as the call to God (repentance) doesn't save you God does.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Predestination - Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:18 PM
Quote
lacknothing said:
This is not salvation by works. Repenting does not save just as a phone call to 911 doesn't save you during an emergency, the Abulance or EMTs do. Just as the call to God (repentance) doesn't save you God does.

Can you call 911 when you're dead?
Posted By: lacknothing Re: Predestination - Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:53 PM
But how does the act of making the call save you?
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Predestination - Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:40 PM
Quote
lacknothing said:
But how does the act of making the call save you?

You're the one who thinks salvation is given based on our act of repentance and faith. Why don't you tell us?

Now, understand we don't think that repentance and faith are unnecessary-in fact, until one exercises faith and repentance, he cannot be saved. But it's another thing entirely to say that salvation is based in any way on our own efforts.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Predestination - Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:55 PM
Quote
lacknothing said:
But how does the act of making the call save you?
Why have you chosen to avoid CovenantInBlood's question, which is actually the basic issue here as I have tried to impress upon you several times and without any reply from you.

Quote
CovenantInBlood asks:
Can you call 911 when you're dead?
We here believe God's infallible Word which teaches that repentance and faith are the RESULT OF regeneration, which leads infallibly to salvation in Christ. If repentance and faith precede regeneration, then they are not of God but rather something which originates in man and thus they are a work. Kabish?

See here: There Are Only Two Religions in the Whole World, by John Reisinger. PLEASE read this!! I think it will bring the clarification you originally asked for. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,
Posted By: J_Edwards Ordo Salutis - Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:57 PM
This may help:

In the Reformed camp, the ordo salutis is 1) election, 2) predestination, 3) gospel call 4) inward call 5) regeneration, 6) conversion (faith & repentance), 7) justification, 8) sanctification, and 9) glorification. (Rom 8:29-30)

Note the ORDER.
Posted By: lacknothing Re: Predestination - Fri Sep 14, 2007 5:02 PM
Salvation is a gift form God that is free to us but we have to accept this frees gift. It is not just given to us without our accepting it.

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Rev 3:20.

Jesus stands at the the door and knocks (offering himself) and if any man hear my voice (have faith) and open the door (Repent) I will come in to him.

Jesus doens't say here that I stand at the door and knock and when you hear my voice and my Father opens the door then I will come in to him, NO he say IF any man HEAR my voice and OPEN the door. The infamous big little word "if" is there because there is a choice involved in this. And also you might see the word "any" there pretaining to the following word "man" and when you put these together you get "any man" meaning any person. So by this Jesus is saying that I will knock and ANYBODY who hears me and opens the door I will come in to them.
Posted By: Tom Re: Predestination - Fri Sep 14, 2007 5:18 PM
Lacknothing
I would like you to exegete the following Bible verse for us, taking into account the context of the reason Jesus said it.
John 6:37 "All that the Father giveth to me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast you out."
You might also want to read the whole of chapter 6 and pay close attention to verses like 65.


Tom
Posted By: J_Edwards Re: Predestination - Fri Sep 14, 2007 5:23 PM
Quote
lacknothing said:
Salvation is a gift form God that is free to us but we have to accept this frees gift. It is not just given to us without our accepting it.

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Rev 3:20.

Jesus stands at the the door and knocks (offering himself) and if any man hear my voice (have faith) and open the door (Repent) I will come in to him.

Jesus doens't say here that I stand at the door and knock and when you hear my voice and my Father opens the door then I will come in to him, NO he say IF any man HEAR my voice and OPEN the door. The infamous big little word "if" is there because there is a choice involved in this. And also you might see the word "any" there pretaining to the following word "man" and when you put these together you get "any man" meaning any person. So by this Jesus is saying that I will knock and ANYBODY who hears me and opens the door I will come in to them.
Rev. 3:20 does not speak about salvation. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/nono.gif" alt="" />

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Rev 3:19-20 As many as I love, I reprove and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
This is an invitation not for the readers to be converted but to renew themselves in a relationship with Christ that has already begun. Verse 22 says, He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches ... Note whom the Spirit is addressing -- the churches. Compare "reprove and chasten" to Hebrews 12.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Predestination - Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:30 PM
Quote
lacknothing said:
Salvation is a gift form God that is free to us but we have to accept this frees gift. It is not just given to us without our accepting it.

In other words, God offers salvation to us, but we have to do the rest in order to get it.

Quote
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Rev 3:20.

Jesus stands at the the door and knocks (offering himself) and if any man hear my voice (have faith) and open the door (Repent) I will come in to him.

This verse is not about salvation. It is a rebuke to the CHURCH in Laodicea.

Quote
Jesus doens't say here that I stand at the door and knock and when you hear my voice and my Father opens the door then I will come in to him, NO he say IF any man HEAR my voice and OPEN the door. The infamous big little word "if" is there because there is a choice involved in this. And also you might see the word "any" there pretaining to the following word "man" and when you put these together you get "any man" meaning any person. So by this Jesus is saying that I will knock and ANYBODY who hears me and opens the door I will come in to them.

Dead men do not hear and do not open doors, lacknothing.
Posted By: Paul_S Re: Predestination - Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:47 PM
Lacknothing,

A little reminder that you opened this thread by stating:
Quote
I need some clarification on this subject.

but since that time you seem to have been quick to criticize the excellent material offered by several here to help you achieve exactly what you asked for; giving instead your own interpretation of passages and not answering several questions put to you. Heed the Scriptures:
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If one gives an answer before he hears,
it is his folly and shame. (Provebs 18:13, ESV)

I have no ability to draw an answer from you to the questions I asked several days ago, but if you are at all open to the necessary truth of the Word of God concerning God's sole action in bringing dead sinners to life in Christ, please consider the following extension of the analogy comparing physical birth to spiritual birth:

A baby is conceived and later delivered into the world.

While in the womb, the baby has a nature of its own and even the ability to choose within a limited, but growing, number of options.

However, while in the womb, the baby has nothing in its nature, and therefore no desire and no ability, to choose any of the following:

    [*]the decision of its parents to have the baby,
    [*]action taken by its parents to cause it to exist,
    [*]the fact of its existence (it already exists),
    [*]the details of its existence (its family, nationality, and myriad other elements making it who it is),
    [*]the time and place of its deliverance from its mother; and finally,
    [*]it can neither choose, nor act upon the choice, to breathe and nurse--essential to its continued life--UNTIL IT HAS ACTUALLY BEEN BORN
    [/LIST]
    When we are brought to life from death by the Spirit of God, we are no more able--or willing--to choose the following than the baby is in its corresponding state:

      [*]the decision of God to save us,
      [*]action taken by God to cause us to be saved,
      [*]the fact of our being saved,
      [*]the details of our being saved,
      [*]the time and place of our deliverance from death; and
      [*]we can neither choose, nor act upon the choice, to repent and believe--essential to our continued life--UNTIL WE HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN BORN AGAIN! The response of repentance and faith are inevitable in one with the new nature created by God.
      [/LIST]

      The system you advocate, which cannot be reconciled with the Scriptures, gets everything backwards; you prefer a God who commands us to nurse and breathe inside the womb; he stands impotently at the foot of the bed to see if we obey or not; we make him really happy when we do what he says and decide to come out, but we make him really sad and angry when we decide to stay in the womb, because then he can't do anything about it.

      Lacknothing, I need a Savior whose arm is not too short to deliver. Do you; or does he need you?
Posted By: jaf Re: Predestination - Sat Sep 15, 2007 2:23 AM
Lacknothing,
Have you received the clarification you were seeking? I have read all the posts on this thread. If you still can't see the TRUTH it's because you have no desire for it. I somehow cannot help but think the whole problem lies in the third sentence of your original post. There you stated "For some reason I can't get my heart to accept the predestination theology". When you figure out the reason why your heart can't accept this Blessed Truth I think you will be well on your way toward the clarification you seek. We all need to set aside human pride and have a teachable spirit. Have you read the article Pilgrim suggested?
Posted By: Robin Re: Predestination - Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:21 AM
I believe that Pilgrim was spot on with his first response in this thread: That the objection to predestination is much more about the doctrine of total depravity than of election.

A dead person cannot "hear" nor "open the door" nor "call 9-1-1." Another must revive him first, enabling him to hear and respond with repentance and faith.

But we simply don't want to believe that the natural man is dead in sin, a slave to sin, and helpless to anything about it. He must first be raised, freed, and enabled. Then he will inevitably hear the inward call, choose to follow a new Master, and able to obey with faith provided by his new Master.

The truth about the nature of unregenerate Man is so ugly that we don't want to accept it - let alone actually include this information in our witnessing. How offensive to tell someone that he or she is rotten to the core and captive to corruption! Nobody wants to hear that. And certainly no self-respecting, upstanding citizen is going to stand for that - let alone accept and embrace it. What do we expect people to do when they hear such a horrific evaluation of their desperate condition? Actually agree with it? Ha! It would take a miracle.

Exactly right. That miracle we call Regeneration, or the New Birth. Without it, the gospel is foolishness.
Posted By: jaf Re: Predestination - Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:47 PM
lacknothing,

I misquoted you in my last post. I'm sorry, I should have said "I paraphrase", Please accept my apology. jaf
Posted By: Tom Re: Predestination - Sun Sep 16, 2007 1:33 AM
Lacknothing

As has already been stated, Rev.3:20 is not about salvation.
Funny thing is, I learned that years ago from a sermon I heard years ago at an Arminian Church.

Tom
Posted By: Clint Re: Predestination - Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:13 AM
I am neither armeniast or reformed so I feel I have a place to speak here.. I understand where lacknothing is comeing from. Seeing as how I am not a reformed christian. I too struggle with the idea of election yet for an entirely different reason.. Foreknowledge if you look it up in the webster dictionary says...."to know beforehand"..
So based on our English dictionary, we could assume that God knew beforehand what would happen and who would be taken to Heaven... The question I have with the elect is with this word Forknew/forknowledge.. God could not be God without knowing all things, if He was.... Well I wouldnt want to follow Him.. But did he choose us just because we were every 33 person he created? If I understand the process of the elect, God did not choose me over someone else for any specific reason, it was just because? Anyway, or did He choose us because He knew that when we lived, we would be willing to live for Him? I may define my words a little bit different than most, but is choice a work?? It definitely an action but are all actions works? Is repentance a work? Maybe someone here can offer some definitions for me?
Posted By: Robin Re: Predestination - Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:08 AM
The basis of God's choice is a complete mystery to us. The only "hints" we have from Scripture is that the elect are

Quote
not many wise, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish to shame the wise, the weak to shame the strong, and the base, and the despised God has chosen; the nobodies that He nullify the somebodies, so that no man may boast before God (1st Corinthians 1:26-28, paraphrased).

And we know from Scripture that their number is greater than the number of stars (because He said so to Abraham) in the sky and grains of sand on every beach. Yet from among the fallen race of Adam, only a fraction. We also know that His choice was not based on any foreseen faithfulness or obedience in those elected, since they could not have been faithful or obedient until and unless He first acted [/i]upon[/i] them, giving them the ability to believe and to obey.

Would Saul of Tarsus have turned out differently if God had not interrupted him, blinded him, and "forcibly" turned him around? Not likely. And why doesn't God strike everybody blind if that's what it takes to turn them around? What about Saul's "free will?" Saul wouldn't have chosen to become one of the people he had been hunting down to imprison. No, God first acted upon Saul of Tarsus - by a sovereign choice rather than "foreseen" righteousness on Paul's part.

The only faithfulness and obedience forming the basis of our salvation is Christ's obedience and faithfulness, not ours!

We are the foolish, the weak, the base, the despised, the nobodies. God has not chosen those best qualified for Christianity, but those least deserving. And if God can transform us lowlifes into the image of His own Son, then He is certainly powerful to save everyone He wants to save, despite themselves. Those who are left to His justice rather than His mercy do not receive justice rather than mercy because God failed somehow to accomplish what He wanted. He is not thwarted by puny human willfulness.

Those who receive His mercy do not qualify for it in any way at any time. They do not cooperate and get rewarded for it. They are acted upon by a God who rerscues them from sin, gives them a new supernatural nature that is uniquely free to believe and obey the gospel.
Posted By: Machaira Re: Predestination - Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:48 AM
Quote
C.M.H said:
I too struggle with the idea of election yet for an entirely different reason.. Foreknowledge if you look it up in the webster dictionary says...."to know beforehand"..

When we're talikng about salvation, "foreknowledge" cannot mean that God knows you will choose Him if given the opportunity. Here's what God would see if he looked down the corridor of time to see what you would do if left to yourself:

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Rom 3:11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.

If we look at a verse such as Romans 8:29 we are taught that God "foreknows" the individuals whom He predestines to salvation, not facts about them or their actions, (although that is true as well.)

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Rom 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

In other words, God's "knowledge" of an "elect" individual is actually God's "love unto salvation." We have an example of this here:

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Mat 7:22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'
Mat 7:23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'

It certainly can't be said that Christ didn't know about these individuals, because surely He did. He didn't "know" them in the sense that He never "loved" them unto salvation. BTW, the words "foreknow" and "know" are cognates of the same Greek word. When it cames to salvation God's "foreknowledge" is God's love for His elect from before the foundation of the world.

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Eph 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
Posted By: Clint Re: Predestination - Sat Sep 29, 2007 7:34 AM
Again I say that maybe my questions were not asked correctly... When I say that God COULD have foreseen my act of obedience I did not mean it to sound like I chose God because I just went looking for Him.. I would have still been under the guidelines that He would use a vessel(another Christian or maybe even a non-Christian) to bring His love and desire of my life to my attention.. And it would be my REACTION to this that God would have foreseen. He still acted first and it was in my Reaction that He found favor with me.. As in my thread "Gods Character".. I am saying that telling me God did not or does not know my every action or reaction is like telling me that He is not all mighty.. Who are we to say He did not know my Reaction?
Posted By: Machaira Re: Predestination - Sat Sep 29, 2007 3:08 PM
Hi C.M.H,

Your questions are certainly clear and reasonable. I think I just need to fine tune my previous answer a bit.

If God were to present Himself to you without first "working in you" (regeneration/born again), you would never accept Him.

Quote
Joh 3:3 Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Tit 3:5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit . . .

Php 2:12 . . . work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
Php 2:13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Act 16:14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.

Act 18:27 (speaking of Apollos) . . . When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed . . .

Even faith and repentance are given to the elect by God's grace This was true even in the Old Testament.

Quote
Deu 29:4 But to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear.

Deu 30:6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.

Act 11:18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, "Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life."

Php 1:29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake . . .

2Ti 2:24 And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,
2Ti 2:25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth . . .


I think if we're willing to let Scripture speak to us, we can see that it is God's work alone to open our hearts, give us eyes to see and ears to hear, faith to believe and even repentance. Since it is God who grants these things *monergistically, none of them can be seen as a good work on our part. I hope this helps.

*Monergism in Christian theology is the theory that the Holy Spirit alone can act to bring about the conversion of people. - Wikipedia
Posted By: Clint Re: Predestination - Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:30 AM
I understand """Php 1:29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake""" A little bit differently.. It appears as if you, OR I, have taken the scripture backwards... I read this and it appears to me as though the author was saying that what was granted to me was the SUFFERING for Him. In essence what I felt this passage to say was that I already believed in Him BUT for HIS NAMES SAKE I would [b]ALSO suffer.. My suffering would be for His names sake.. Does that make sense? Again, I have never been taught the proper order that sentences in Greek and Hebrew were organized yet I know Spanish is organized differently and I may be taking something out of place?? I have some other scriptures that I would like to ask about but I am sort of absent minded and can not recall right off the top of my head what they are and my notebook is downstairs and its midnight here and therefore do not wish to go looking for it.. However, I do have a simple question.. I hope its simple anyway.... Assuming that the reformed theology is correct, why are there still commands to us in the Bible?? If God is really in control of each action of my heart, mind, and soul... Would He not "make" me love my neighbors as myself?? Would He not make each one of His people show the same love to others as we were shown? For one of the scriptures I do remember is 1 John 3:16-24 16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. There are commands given here that we should lay our lives down just as His was laid down for us. For if we cannot find compassion and pity for our brothers, how can God be in us? I know non-christians who find pity on others.. They will help those in need not looking for a reward and not looking for recognition but because they understand that there is another human being in need and they have the means to help.. Is this not the same thing spoken of in 1 John?? If they have the love for others that is spoken of, could they not experience the love of God?? Maybe down the road these people will turn to Christ, maybe not. But it seems that I know more people than not who would give money, clothes, food, and their time and effort to help others because they feel compassion towards them than I do people that would not.. And not all of these people are Christian.
Posted By: Machaira Re: Predestination - Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:00 PM
Quote
C.M.H said:
I understand """Php 1:29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake""" A little bit differently.. It appears as if you, OR I, have taken the scripture backwards... I read this and it appears to me as though the author was saying that what was granted to me was the SUFFERING for Him. In essence what I felt this passage to say was that I already believed in Him BUT for HIS NAMES SAKE I would ALSO suffer.. My suffering would be for His names sake.. Does that make sense? Again, I have never been taught the proper order that sentences in Greek and Hebrew were organized yet I know Spanish is organized differently and I may be taking something out of place??

Here is Youngs Literal Translation which follows the Greek very closely. Pay close attention to the words "not only" and "but also." You will see that "granted" refers to both "believe" and "suffer."

Phi 1:29 because to you it was granted, on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in him, but also on behalf of him to suffer . . .


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C.M.H said:
Assuming that the reformed theology is correct, why are there still commands to us in the Bible?? If God is really in control of each action of my heart, mind, and soul... Would He not "make" me love my neighbors as myself??

While it is true that there are Biblical examples of God's intervention directly into the heart of man, (the hardening of pharoah's heart for instance), generally speaking, God's elect are not forced to do anything. A good passage to keep in mind in this regard is -

Phi 2:12 work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
Phi 2:13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

God works in us in our struggle against sin, but He doesn't force us to do everything right.


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C.M.H said:
There are commands given here that we should lay our lives down just as His was laid down for us. For if we cannot find compassion and pity for our brothers, how can God be in us? I know non-christians who find pity on others.. They will help those in need not looking for a reward and not looking for recognition but because they understand that there is another human being in need and they have the means to help.. Is this not the same thing spoken of in 1 John?? If they have the love for others that is spoken of, could they not experience the love of God??

Maybe down the road these people will turn to Christ, maybe not. But it seems that I know more people than not who would give money, clothes, food, and their time and effort to help others because they feel compassion towards them than I do people that would not.. And not all of these people are Christian.

There are many unregenerate people who do good things, but this won't help them if they reject God's provision for salvation. Do they believe in Christ or do they reject Him?

I would like to expand on all of this a little more but I have to get to work. Just let me know if what I've said thus far is helpful or not.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Predestination - Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:34 PM
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C.M.H said:
I am neither armeniast or reformed so I feel I have a place to speak here.. I understand where lacknothing is comeing from. Seeing as how I am not a reformed christian. I too struggle with the idea of election yet for an entirely different reason.. Foreknowledge if you look it up in the webster dictionary says...."to know beforehand"..
1. If you are neither an Arminian or a Calvinist, then you of necessity remove yourself outside the the general definition of biblical Christianity at worst or indefensibly inconsistent and illogical.

2. To come to a proper and accurate definition of 'foreknowledge', one doesn't consult Webster's Dictionary but rather one uses "The Analogy of Faith"; i.e., comparing Scripture with Scripture, respecting context (near and far), etc. Arthur W. Pink has probably the best example of using the analogy of faith, allowing Scripture to interpret itself in his well-known article: Foreknowledge.

In its most basic form, 'foreknowledge'; God knows beforehand, exists because He has foreordained all things. God knows because He has determined what shall be. If this were not so then there would be existence of matter and events which exist apart from Him and His eternal counsel, making God subject to those things; i.e., God would have need to gain knowledge of things or events which He previously was not aware of. The result of such a view would be, of course, that God would not be Omniscient, an essential attribute of deity. I don't think you want to go there. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/giggle.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,
Posted By: Clint Re: Predestination - Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:49 PM
Everything I read here is helpful.. So I do appreciate it all. I still have so many questions though.. However, my only feeling is that much of what I am told here seems so round-a-bout.. I read questions from myself and other posters on this forum and all of the answers to them say xyz but for xyz you have to agree with your(reformed) views.. I really do wish I could remember in where in Hebrews I read it.. But I had many questions with some of the content in Hebrews..

There are many unregenerate people who do good things, but this won't help them if they reject God's provision for salvation. Do they believe in Christ or do they reject Him?

With your quote from above.. you still sound as if those people have the choice to accept or decline His grace.. Just an FYI...
Posted By: Tom Re: Predestination - Tue Oct 02, 2007 6:30 AM
CHM

Can you exegete a Scripture verse for me that I believe should help you somewhat on this matter?
In John 6:37, what is Jesus getting at? Pay close attention to both the context and the rest of the chapter.

Tom
Posted By: Clint Re: Predestination - Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:20 AM
I ask very intrigued here, what do you see this as saying? I try to come to scripture from an unbiased perspective so that I may not see it and jump to OH MEN HAVE FREE WILL!! or visa versa, OH HOW WE WERE ALL CHOSEN!!! type of attitude and I see a little of both in this set of scripture.. I downloaded VIA e-sword the LITERAL TRANSLATION and so that is what I am reading, (in hopes of not getting a poor translation)..

Starting in verse 37 of John 6 I would see a reformed view.. Who ever the FATHER GIVES will come and in no way be cast out.. I see that much so I would assume that is what you meant for me to get? and then into verse 38 I see that Jesus is saying that he came out of heaven NOT FOR HIS WILL but for the will of HIS FATHER whom sent Him. and then He continues to say that the will of the Father is that all He was given will not be lost but raised up on the last day..

So far I see a reformed theme here.. God is giving Christ the people, and of these people NONE shall be lost and in fact the will of God is not only to keep from losing any, but to raise them up.. Verse 40 is kinda where I start to see the other side, (I would never call myself or my view of Armenian true Armenian because I do not believe that I could or anyone could lose there salvation)... Between verse 40 and 43 Jesus is talking to the crowd at His home town and they ask in a very con deciding way, is this not the same boy who grew up here who now tells us He is God?? They are mocking Him.

Yet verse 44 gets thick.. No one is able to come to Christ unless God draws them, and they will be raised on the last day. Verse 45 however quotes Isa. 54:13 saying ,"It has been written in the Prophets, They "shall" all "be taught of God." So then everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to Me;

So EVERYONE will be taught OF God but not all will learn from Him or in other words, believe in Him. I see that much as well.. Yet it still sounds like they were all given equal opportunity. They were all taught OF God and therefore were able to believe or not to believe..

Because I am not real familiar with this book, I was a little lost through some of the next verses but I understand the connection made to Numbers 20ish.. About the Land that was promised being seen, and then denied because 10 of the 12 scouts said it couldn't be done and so they wandered the wilderness eating mana for 40 years.. I caught that.. But I was lost with some other stuff.. Beyond the point, back to where I sort of find understanding..

Verse 64.. But there are some of you who are not believing. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were, the ones not believing, and who was the one betraying Him. And he said, "Because of this, I have told you that no one is able to come to Me except it is given to him from My Father."

Here it seems as if Jesus said Because He knew from the beginning who was going to betray or believe, that He told them that no one was able to come to Him except that which was given by the Father.

Towards the end it seems as if there was a more equal choice for everyone who was taught OF God, and because there was a foreknowledge of who would believe or betray, that Gods choice was made.. I understand that Calvinists definition of foreknew or knew is different than most.. And I feel that from this definition comes the affirmation of my belief.. Foreknow or Know in the Bible refers to the knowing of a person and not "actions" so to speak, yet if you know someone, do you not also know their actions? I have a 2 year old sister that I know.. I love her and interact with her, and I could tell you her actions in certain situations BECAUSE I know her.. I could not walk down the street to a random house, look at their 2 year old child and tell them what their kid would do in ANY situation because I DO NOT know that child.. Am I wrong in this assumption??

<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Machaira Re: Predestination - Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:53 AM
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C.M.H said:
"It has been written in the Prophets, They "shall" all "be taught of God." So then everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to Me;

So EVERYONE will be taught OF God but not all will learn from Him or in other words, believe in Him. I see that much as well.. Yet it still sounds like they were all given equal opportunity. They were all taught OF God and therefore were able to believe or not to believe..

Good morning C.M.H,

I can see by your use of "caps" that you make a classic Arminian mistake regarding the extent of words like "everyone" and "all." Please don't think I'm trying to insult you, I just don't know a softer way to say it.

This mistake leads to a contradiction. For example, Jesus says, "everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to Me." Notice, there is nothing "tenative" about what Jesus pronounces. He doesn't say that those who hear and learn from the Father might come. No, He says that those who hear and learn from the Father come.

You conclude, "So EVERYONE will be taught OF God but not all will learn from Him or in other words, believe in Him." I hope you can see the contradiction between what Jesus actually says and your concluding remark.

Lastly, words such as "everyone" and "all" are always qualified or limited by the context in which they are found. You rightly pointed out that Jesus is quoting Isaiah 54:13.

Isa 54:13 All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.

If you compare Isaiah 53:1 with Galatians 4:26,27 you will find that God is speaking the words of Isa. 53:13 to true believers represented as "Jerusalem from above." The phrase "all your children" in Isa. 53:13 refers to "heavenly" Jerusalem, not everyone in the world universally.


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C.M.H said:Verse 64.. But there are some of you who are not believing. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were, the ones not believing, and who was the one betraying Him. And he said, "Because of this, I have told you that no one is able to come to Me except it is given to him from My Father."

Here it seems as if Jesus said Because He knew from the beginning who was going to betray or believe, that He told them that no one was able to come to Him except that which was given by the Father.

Towards the end it seems as if there was a more equal choice for everyone who was taught OF God, and because there was a foreknowledge of who would believe or betray, that Gods choice was made..

Again, the problem with the Arminian concept of "foreknowledge," which is really "prescience," is easy to see. We've seen so far in John 6 that it is impossible for anyone to come to Christ unless they are "drawn" by God, "taught" by God and "given" the ability to come by God. So, if we assume, for a moment, the Arminian view of "foreknowledge," what exactly did God see when He looked down the corridor of time?

Rom 3:11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.

The Arminian view of "foreknowledge" creates a glaring and irreconcilable contradiction. Based on Scripture, the only thing God sees when He looks down the corridor of time is that no one would come to Him if left to their own devices.

Have a good day.
Posted By: J_Edwards Re: Predestination - Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:02 PM
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CMH states,

I ask very intrigued here, what do you see this as saying? I try to come to scripture from an unbiased perspective so that I may not see it and jump to OH MEN HAVE FREE WILL!! or visa versa, OH HOW WE WERE ALL CHOSEN!!! type of attitude and I see a little of both in this set of scripture.. I downloaded VIA e-sword the LITERAL TRANSLATION and so that is what I am reading, (in hopes of not getting a poor translation)..
It is “impossible” to come to scripture from an unbiased perspective. No one has a tabla rasa [blank slate] approach. Thus, our presupposition(s) need to be scriptural, not personal.

PS: Stick with the ASV and you will have a better translation.

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CMH states,

Starting in verse 37 of John 6 I would see a reformed view.. Who ever the FATHER GIVES will come and in no way be cast out.. I see that much so I would assume that is what you meant for me to get? and then into verse 38 I see that Jesus is saying that he came out of heaven NOT FOR HIS WILL but for the will of HIS FATHER whom sent Him. and then He continues to say that the will of the Father is that all He was given will not be lost but raised up on the last day..
God is not like Sybil, is not schizophrenic, and does not have multiple personalities that in one area He speaks Reformed and other Arminian. Since Arminianism and Reformed theology are opposing systems one must be a lie. Thus, if God embraced BOTH, then God would not be God since He would be embracing a lie.

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CMH states,

So far I see a reformed theme here.. God is giving Christ the people, and of these people NONE shall be lost and in fact the will of God is not only to keep from losing any, but to raise them up.. Verse 40 is kinda where I start to see the other side, (I would never call myself or my view of Armenian true Armenian because I do not believe that I could or anyone could lose there salvation)... Between verse 40 and 43 Jesus is talking to the crowd at His home town and they ask in a very con deciding way, is this not the same boy who grew up here who now tells us He is God?? They are mocking Him.

Yet verse 44 gets thick.. No one is able to come to Christ unless God draws them, and they will be raised on the last day. Verse 45 however quotes Isa. 54:13 saying ,"It has been written in the Prophets, They "shall" all "be taught of God." So then everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to Me;

So EVERYONE will be taught OF God but not all will learn from Him or in other words, believe in Him. I see that much as well.. Yet it still sounds like they were all given equal opportunity. They were all taught OF God and therefore were able to believe or not to believe..
No. EVERYONE will not be taught of God. This is just your presupposition. This is NOT what these scriptures teach. What you espouse is a salvation by works – a salvation by mere intelligence (taught of God). What of being born again of the Spirit?

This scripture is merely saying that in the Messianic age all the citizens of the true Israel (the invisible church) would be taught of God. Compare: Isa. 54:13; 60:2- 3; Jer. 31:33-34; Mic. 4:2; Zeph. 3:9; and Mal. 1:11. As Hendriksen states,

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Here again the divine and the human activities in the work of salvation are juxtaposed, for immediately after “And they shall all be taught of God” there follows, Everyone who listens to the Father and learns of him will come to me. In this connection, however, it should be emphasized that in showing how sinners are saved Scripture never merely places side by side the divine and the human factors, predestination and responsibility, God’s teaching and man’s listening. On the contrary, it is always definitely indicated that it is God who takes the initiative and who is in control from start to finish. It is God who draws before man comes; it is he that teaches before man can listen and learn. Unless the Father draws, no one can come. That is the negative side. The positive is: everyone who listens to the Father and learns of him will come. Grace always conquers; it does what it sets out to do. In that sense, it is irresistible. The absolute character of the cooperation between Father and Son, which, in turn, is based upon unity of essence, is stressed once more as in so many other passages in this Gospel: he who listens to the Father (not merely in the outward sense but so that he actually learns of him) comes to the Son, “will come to me.” Such a person will embrace Christ by a true and living faith. This listening and learning, however, does not indicate that any human being would ever be able to comprehend God (or to have an immediate knowledge of him apart from his revelation in Christ). Such fullness of knowledge is the prerogative of the Son. Hence, we read: Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who comes from God, he has seen the Father.

William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, vol. 1-2, New Testament Commentary: Exposition of the Gospel According to John. New Testament Commentary, 1:240 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001).
What your view conveniently (not taught of God) overlooks is,

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Matthew 13:13-17 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
Clearly, the ONLY ones taught of God are the ones enabled to hear God. Clearly, it is God who acts first to heal spiritual ears that His voice may be heard. Clearly, God is not Arminian.

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CMH states,

Because I am not real familiar with this book, I was a little lost …
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/comfort.gif" alt="" />

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CMH states,

Verse 64.. But there are some of you who are not believing. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were, the ones not believing, and who was the one betraying Him. And he said, "Because of this, I have told you that no one is able to come to Me except it is given to him from My Father."

Here it seems as if Jesus said Because He knew from the beginning who was going to betray or believe, that He told them that no one was able to come to Him except that which was given by the Father.

Towards the end it seems as if there was a more equal choice for everyone who was taught OF God, and because there was a foreknowledge of who would believe or betray, that Gods choice was made.. I understand that Calvinists definition of foreknew or knew is different than most.. ??
When the Bible speaks of God’s foreknowledge by definition, it also speaks of His foreordination. How can you have foreknowledge on God’s part with foreordination or how can you have foreordination without foreknowledge? These are flip-sides of the same coin when speaking of God’s character. You can’t have one without the other.

Using your philosophical approach God could be run off His throne. Carried out to its natural ends, you state that God ordains what man thinks and desires. If mankind thought that God should no longer be God and lose all power, then by your definition He could be run off His throne. However, the tower of Babel (Gen. 11) reveals that God does not do what man thinks and desires (Prov. 14:12), but does what He desires (Isa. 14:27; Dan. 4:35). If God did what man desired then hell would await us all, for every imagination of the thoughts of [man’s] heart is only evil continually (Gen. 6:5).

In addition, your presupposition that EVERYONE is taught of God continues to lead to faulty interpretation(s). Only the ones that God gave to Jesus, come to Jesus (6:37). No man can come to Jesus except the Father draw him (6:44). God draws and gives and He does not draw and teach all for Christ, for He hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil (Prov. 16:4). Thus, verses 64ff echo what have been said in verses 37 and 44. None can come to Christ in faith, but those that are persuaded and enabled to do so by the Spirit; but all these will come, drawn by the irresistible grace of heavenly love, and none who come is rejected. Furthermore, the unbelief, though inexcusable, was to be expected, for faith is a gift of God, and it is not given to all men (Eph. 2:8-10).

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CMH states,

I have a 2 year old sister that I know.. I love her and interact with her, and I could tell you her actions in certain situations BECAUSE I know her.. I could not walk down the street to a random house, look at their 2 year old child and tell them what their kid would do in ANY situation because I DO NOT know that child.. Am I wrong in this assumption?
Once again, you speak of your assumptions as opposed to what you stated at the beginning – “I try to come to scripture from an unbiased perspective.” Which is it? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" />

Once again, your assumption is incorrect. What you are saying is that God knows some people (my sister), but He does not know others (other 2 year olds) – in others words God is not omniscient, that God is still learning, God does not foreordain, God does not have knowledge or foreknowledge. Are you an open theist?. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/igiveup.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Clint Re: Predestination - Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:41 PM
I would like to start out saying this; I TRY to come to the scripture unbiased.. I never said I SUCCEED at coming unbiased.. I would have hoped that one who is so quick to rebuke one who is just trying to learn would have seen that.

Secondly, why do you say ASV is better than any other translation? I posted a quote from scripture the other day and I was informed that the Literal Translation was supposed to be just what it says, LITERALLY translated.. Not the translators opinion of how the scripture was written.. I ask only because I have access to the ALT, ASV, KJV, LITV, NIV, and maybe another one or so and because I cannot read Greek or Hebrew, I do not know which of these stands closest to the original text.

Thirdly, I again say that I would have hoped that one so quick to rebuke me would have read more into my question/statement rather than the wording I used.. When I said that I can sort of see both Armenian and Reformed views, I did not mean to suggest that I believe both are present.. This ties into my ATTEMPT at an unbiased approach and it seemed to make sense both ways I looked at it. J_edwards, I hope that you do not feel threatened by this, but I feel that you were in an argument mode where the entire point of your post was to argue me.

"Clearly, the ONLY ones taught of God are the ones enabled to hear God. Clearly, it is God who acts first to heal spiritual ears that His voice may be heard. Clearly, God is not Arminian"

I never said that God did not act first.. Again, YOU make assumptions into my questions/statements that were not intended by me. My question is probably better asked, and I say this now because I have inadvertently while reading some scripture today found my own answer; the original question was; Of the men who would be taught of God, do THOSE men still have a choice? I asked this because of the scripture pointing out Judas who would betray Christ was always with Him and being taught of God. Did Judas choose to give up Jesus to the guards, or did God "make" him? I have since my last post read about Grace always winning and therefore found my answer to "could they still choose no".. My question still remains though, did God "make" Judas give up Christ or did Judas choose it? I say "make" because in another post someone made the comment that God uses your circumstances and such things to "direct" the steps of men.. I feel that the only gain Judas had for giving Christ up was money, and in that way did God foreordain those men to offer him money, or did He allow Satan to use those men? I guess my real question is this, how does Satan play into our world if God has put everything into its place? Is Satan not then doing what he was made to do? If all this is true then how can we call this "evil vs good" battle a "war" as the Bible makes it out to be?

The Bible makes perfect relevance of this in talking about the armor of God.. To fight.... But fight what? What God has made to happen?

Please do not treat me like an idiot or get huffy puffy about my posts and ASSUME that I hold all I post here as truth.. I do not.. I am merely asking so that I may understand HOW and WHY a reformed follower would rebuke this line of thought.. Most of my family and friends would consider themselves Armenian and these are questions I am asked all the time.. To tell you the truth I lean more towards Reformed than anything else.. I just have doubts because I seem to be in a minority especially around my family and friends.

I have 2 more things real quick before I end this post..

J_edwards.. You assume a definition that I did not state about foreknowledge.. You did not even quote my whole statement into your own post.. I stated in my post that I understand that a Reformed definition of foreknow or to know is strictly speaking of PERSONS and NOT their actions.. I was merely asking if your definition also included the idea that if you really know a PERSON and their HEARTS and MINDS, do you not also know their actions?

and lastly..again, another assumption made by J_edwards..My question about knowing my sister and not knowing another 2 year old was just a way of trying to explain my thought.. God "knows" everyone.. He created them, I would surely hope that He "knows" them.. I never meant for it to come off as He would have to learn about that person.. My use of KNOW was supposed to show an INTIMATE knowing.. Because unless I am mistaken, that is what separates me from a, what do you call them.. an unregenerate person? I am able to intimately know God and speak with Him.. others who have not turned to Christ cannot do the same.. My other point was that God already knows us, our most intimate thoughts to ourselves, our deepest darkest secrets and everything about us and so my question from here came as this.. Would He NOT ALSO know the actions of the thing He created?
Posted By: Adopted Re: Predestination - Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:58 AM
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C.M.H. said:
I would have hoped that one who is so quick to rebuke one who is just trying to learn would have seen that.

and:

Thirdly, I again say that I would have hoped that one so quick to rebuke me....

J. Edwards and others in this forum have taken the time to answer your questions directly, scripturally and compassionately. It appears to me that the only "rebuke" being offered anywhere here is your own to J Edwards for not being more "sensitive". You claim that you are "learning" and "ignorant" in certain matters but at the same time you are refusing their teaching and counsel. Do you believe that on this Reformed Website you will not be criticized for the illogic of attempting to hold any portion of the Arminian as opposed to the Calvinist view of God's predestinating sovereignty at the same time?

The simple fact is that the Arminian or semi-Pelagian assertion from outside of the Scripture, always eventually leads to the anthropocentric and upside-down Gospel of the "free will" of men. J Edwards and others are not rebuking you but out of concern, simply offering you the truth of Scripture. From what I can see in your posts is a continuing refusal to even acknowledge the truth in the sound and orthodox biblical perspective of their replies and answers to your questions.

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There is a way which seems right to a man but its end is the way of death. [Prov. 14:12, NASB]

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
Posted By: J_Edwards Re: Predestination - Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:06 PM
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CMH stated,

Secondly, why do you say ASV is better than any other translation? I posted a quote from scripture the other day and I was informed that the Literal Translation was supposed to be just what it says, LITERALLY translated.. Not the translators opinion of how the scripture was written.. I ask only because I have access to the ALT, ASV, KJV, LITV, NIV, and maybe another one or so and because I cannot read Greek or Hebrew, I do not know which of these stands closest to the original text.
Literal translations (and there are MANY) are made by authors. Translations use words. Words have different meanings in different contexts and thus choices have to be made in translation. Authors have presuppositions. Thus, presuppositions come into play. The authors with presuppositions closest to Scripture (thus far) are those that translated the Bible into the ASV. ASV is closest to the original text. It is available here. BTW, the church (as far as we know) does not have the “original” text, only copies – and thus I use the phrase accordingly – ah, translation.

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CMH stated,
Thirdly, I again say that I would have hoped that one so quick to rebuke me
Quick? To date there have been 62 replies available to read in this thread! There have been numerous articles mentioned. You do not understand how patient we have been. Some are not even responding to you now (Matt. 10:14-15; Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5; 10:10-12; Acts 13:50-51) because you have displayed and continue to display your unwillingness to learn (Rom. 16:17).

Rebuke is biblical! We learn from it. We grow by it. Faint not the writer of Hebrews says (Heb. 12:4-13).

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<font size="4">Proverbs 13:1 A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

Proverbs 27:5 Open rebuke is better than secret love.

Proverbs 28:23 He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.

Ecclesiastes 7:5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.

1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent</font>.
I will not “secretly love” you, but I will rebuke you “openly” that you may hear “your Father’s instruction.” I will not flatter your lies with acceptance, so you may wallow in the “song of fools.” When you embrace Arminianism you embrace a lie – a sin – and as Paul said to Timothy, “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” When we preach “the Word” we “reprove and rebuke,” because we openly love and embrace the truth. The essence of our loving rebuke is that you “might be sound in the faith” and not be a protector and a promoter of lies. Christ loves you and thus He uses secondary causes – like us here at the Highway and many others – to rebuke and chasten “with all authority.” This is biblical: grow, learn, listen, and believe.

BTW, when we respond to “your words” we are not condemning you as a person, but correcting and challenging “your position.” I can hate your words and doctrine (Rev. 2:6) and still love you. You and your position are different entities. Being a former homicide detective, if I desired to hate your person, I could be much more imaginative. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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CMH stated,

would have read more into my question/statement rather than the wording I used.. When I said that I can sort of see both Armenian and Reformed views, I did not mean to suggest that I believe both are present..
This is good. However, be advised we are not mind readers – we try, but …. Thus, you need to write what you mean and mean what you write. Explain yourself. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. After you have been here for a while we will begin to understand you more, but for the time being, explain EXACTLY what you mean. Be specific with your wording, because all we have to evaluate you with is your words – or lack and misuse of them.

Every time you post you are either teaching the truth or a lie. We take this seriously.Thus, clarification will always be sought and correction and understanding made accordingly.

Quote
CMH stated,

My question is probably better asked, and I say this now because I have inadvertently while reading some scripture today found my own answer; the original question was; Of the men who would be taught of God, do THOSE men still have a choice? I asked this because of the scripture pointing out Judas who would betray Christ was always with Him and being taught of God. Did Judas choose to give up Jesus to the guards, or did God "make" him? I have since my last post read about Grace always winning and therefore found my answer to "could they still choose no".. My question still remains though, did God "make" Judas give up Christ or did Judas choose it? I say "make" because in another post someone made the comment that God uses your circumstances and such things to "direct" the steps of men.. I feel that the only gain Judas had for giving Christ up was money, and in that way did God foreordain those men to offer him money, or did He allow Satan to use those men? I guess my real question is this, how does Satan play into our world if God has put everything into its place? Is Satan not then doing what he was made to do? If all this is true then how can we call this "evil vs good" battle a "war" as the Bible makes it out to be?
There is a difference in being taught outwardly by God and inwardly by God (1 Cor. 1:17-31; 2:14). Judas was never taught inwardly by the Spirit of God – he only heard the outward call of the Gospel – nothing more. What Judas did receive was “common grace” (Matt. 5:45).

God did not force Judas into His position. Satan did not play a Flip-Wilson (“the devil made me do it”) and make Judas do anything. Satan tempts us. Satan tempted Judas. Judas fell to the temptation because it was in his sinful nature to do so. All men “naturally” hate God (Rom. 3:10-18, etc.). This is our character – this is our disposition – no matter how much outward teaching we ever receive, without grace we would NEVER change.

God MUST judge all sin or He would not be holy God. Without election all would be condemned – and rightfully so. However, election allows God to operate in a life differently than in a person that is not elected (I say “allow” because otherwise God would be acting against His nature – He must judge sin in the sinner – and in the elect Jesus takes the judgment, et. al.). Because of what God predestined by His grace alone, elect man, when changed by the Spirit of God, will choose Christ “naturally” because he is a “new creature in Christ Jesus” (2 Cor. 5:17). The choice of Christ is a genuine choice by a new creation. It is a irresistible choice in that the new creation genuinely desires God – as opposed to his old nature that hated God (Rom. 1:30).

Just because God predestined Judas to do what He did, does not mean that God forced Judas to do what He did. While this is difficult to understand for our finite minds (this is for all of us, not just you), the best, yet not perfect example, is that of someone writing a play and then it being acted out. The Playwright (God) writes the script. Everything is written, as He desires it to be. It is a perfect script. In it, He writes of two types of people – elect and non-elect. He writes all the secondary causes – including Satan and his host. Each actor acts out his part “according to his nature.” The actors desire to act out their respective part. They each desire the part they are playing. The Playwright does not have to force the actors into anything – they do what comes naturally to them. Thus, the Playwright has written a perfect play that is being acted out by actors that desire their parts. The Playwright did not force a single actor to act out a part that was against their nature, but still wrote the script. Each actor acted out his part of the Playwright’s script willingly. Thus, we have predestination and the human will in the same play. (as with any example it cannot be taken too far …).

Another example I do not like as well still may help. A semi-auto pistol is made of several parts. It has a frame, a slide, a barrel, a safety, an ejector, an extractor, etc. All the parts are perfectly made – to exact specifications (God’s part). Now, I know that when I assemble a weapons’ parts together that they will all function a particular way (predestination) – God’s part. Now, though I assemble the weapon in a particular way, I do not force the parts to function against their nature – I merely make the weapon (draft the redemptive story) – God’s part (Eph. 1:11). All the parts function according to their own nature – the frame holds the magazine and trigger, the slide steadies the barrel and helps in the shell ejection, the ejector ejects the spent shell, etc. Now, I have manufactured a perfect gun, and though I have placed all the parts in a particular place, so they will function in a particular way, I have forced none of the parts to do anything against their nature – I did not say to the barrel to act as a slide, etc. I have placed each part perfectly. It is a prefect design. Adam pulled the trigger on God’s creation and everything was fine until he put some corrupt ammo in the gun, and then …. he and his descendants have continually missed the target every since. The gun now misfires, does not always extract spent shells, its aim is off, etc. …. The weapon was manufactured to function in a particular way and when “the way” was corrupted it followed yet another predetermined path of mis-function. Predestination and the will can co-exist. (remember, no finite example of that which is infinite is perfect).

Quote
CMH stated,

I just have doubts because I seem to be in a minority especially around my family and friends.
Those who hold to “the truth” will normally always be in the minority. How large was the group that desired Christ not to be crucified? Many, like Festus will think your mad (Acts 36:24) and hate you without a cause (Luke 21:17; John 15:19; 17:14). You will finally be in the majority when you reach heaven.

BTW, if I think your stupid or an idiot, I will tell you directly. Don’t assume it otherwise. Again, you need to learn how to distinguish between what is “you” and what is “your position.” I never called your position stupid or idiotic -- just unbiblical.

Quote
CMH stated,

Would He NOT ALSO know the actions of the thing He created?
God not only knows what actions you will take, but every action you would have taken if ……….. (fill in the blank). However, God’s predestination is not based upon what He knows will happen, rather His predestination is, or will be, reality -and this without violating another's will. He knows because He predestined and predestined because He knows. Remember that if God desired to change ANYTHING He could have (as long as it did not violate His nature) – He is God. However, the mere fact that He did not shows what – that He desired it “this way” and not another way, as He “worketh all things after the counsel of his will” (Eph. 1:11).

Now, I apologize if made you sorry with my previous post, however, I do not regret it,

Quote
2 Corinthains 7:8-10 For though I made you sorry with my epistle, I do not regret it: though I did regret it (for I see that that epistle made you sorry, though but for a season), I now rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye were made sorry unto repentance; for ye were made sorry after a godly sort, that ye might suffer loss by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation, a repentance which bringeth no regret: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
Posted By: Johan Re: Predestination - Thu Oct 04, 2007 5:49 PM
C.M.H,


Quote
C.M.H said:

Secondly, why do you say ASV is better than any other translation? I posted a quote from scripture the other day and I was informed that the Literal Translation was supposed to be just what it says, LITERALLY translated.. Not the translators opinion of how the scripture was written.. I ask only because I have access to the ALT, ASV, KJV, LITV, NIV, and maybe another one or so and because I cannot read Greek or Hebrew, I do not know which of these stands closest to the original text.

In MHO you can perhaps read Leland Ryken's article on Bible translation. Go to http://www.gnpcb.org/product/1581347308 and download the pdf file. Or you can get hold of the little book: Translating Truth with chapters by Grudem, Ryken, Collins, Poythress, and Winter.

Am not sure what Ryken's standing is among those on this forum but I think his article is good and gives some valid reasons for using an essentially literal translation like eg. the ASV, NASB, and the ESV.

Johan
Posted By: Tom Re: Predestination - Thu Oct 04, 2007 8:04 PM
C.M.H

Sorry I took a while to respond to you.
But I am actually glad I did, because of the other posters who were able to respond to you.
I have to admit that at first I was quite sympathetic to you with the way J_Edwards responded to you. However, given the fact that there are so many posts in this thread already I definitely can understand where he is coming from.

I will not boar you with replying directly with your attempt to exegete John chapter 6, which has already been done. But I will say that if I had done so, it would have been very similar to Machaira's response.

I do not know you and I can only assume you are serious about learning the truth about this matter. But take my advice and read and pray over the responses you have received on this thread. Then if you have any questions, please ask away. But do so in a manner that shows you want to learn.

In Christ
Tom
Posted By: Clint Re: Predestination - Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:02 AM
I did not wish to start an argument over whether I felt J_edwards was being "sensitive" or not.. I do not care about the sensitivity that I may or may not be shown.. I know that I myself if put in his situation would have probably been even more harsh. I was merely trying to explain that he made assumptions as to what I was asking..

I thank him for telling me that he was not sure exactly what I meant, and because of his most recent post I am now aware that at least for a while, I need to write my EXACT thoughts.. I am too used to being around people who know me so well that they can pick out what I mean even in an unclear example.

I wish everyone would stop telling me however that I am not learning or refusing to learn.. I am actually learning a lot.. As I have tried to say in previous posts, yet it seems to have been in vain, I am more of a Reformist than Arminius.. and I would never label myself "Armenian" because I do not agree with all their theological points.. I have always found myself somewhere in the middle until I came here in which case I lean much more heavily towards the reformed.. I believe it was in my most previous post to this that I mentioned that not everything I ask or state here "I" think or hold to be truth.. Many of my questions are ones that I hear from family and friends and so I ask them in an attempt to find an explanation. I never explicitly say, "well my mom and dad, or My friend Bob or Joe want to know," because I feel that answers coming from you guys here on the site will not be the same as if I were asking it personally.. So I ask the question as best I can for them.. I talk to my wife nightly about the things I read here on this site.

I am not going to lie, Reformed theology is a hard thing to swallow especially growing up in a home and church that would oppose it as far as to try and kick a Reformed follower out..(unfortunately this has happened at my old church.. A student professed his belief in Reformed theology and the pastor tried to get him out of the youth group by setting age requirements for EVERYTHING and in doing so made it impossible to attend)

As much as I hate to admit it because until I found this site, I was always trying to find flaws in the Reformed faith in an attempt to make myself feel better for not agreeing.. While I still wont call myself a "Calvinist" (I feel that by calling myself that I am saying that I am a follower of Calvin, and not God), I will however agree that I mostly agree with Reformed theology..

I still have questions of my own that I want/need answered before I would really call myself Reformed however.. I will try to keep them as simple and clear as possible as to keep confusion out of this..

Prayer: What is the purpose of prayer? If all has been planned out, and my mom were supposed to die in the hospital after an auto accident, and I were to be praying for her safety would not matter. I ask this because until I had even heard of Reformed theology, every time I passed an accident on the freeway or highway I would say a little prayer for those affected by it.. Those IN the accident would be safe and recover physically and emotionally, and that their families would be able to handle all that was happening.. Yet now I feel as if my prayers mean absolutely nothing because they will have no affect on the outcome.. Yet I remember as a kid being told that a group that comes together to pray will definitely be heard.. And I see and hear of countless books that talk about the power of prayer.. yet I still feel as if it means nothing...

I will have more later.. It is time for me to leave for a dinner reservation but I hope that I have cleared up some of the "junk" that has created what seems like a small ruckus here on what should be a fun and friendly site.. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/cheers2.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: J_Edwards Re: Predestination - Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:00 AM
CMH, your latest post is most refreshing and it is good to see the Lord at work in your life. The extra explanation helped out immensely in seeing where you are coming from.

Quote
CMH stated,

Prayer: What is the purpose of prayer? If all has been planned out, and my mom were supposed to die in the hospital after an auto accident, and I were to be praying for her safety would not matter. I ask this because until I had even heard of Reformed theology, every time I passed an accident on the freeway or highway I would say a little prayer for those affected by it.. Those IN the accident would be safe and recover physically and emotionally, and that their families would be able to handle all that was happening.. Yet now I feel as if my prayers mean absolutely nothing because they will have no affect on the outcome.. Yet I remember as a kid being told that a group that comes together to pray will definitely be heard.. And I see and hear of countless books that talk about the power of prayer.. yet I still feel as if it means nothing...
Prayers are powerful. Don’t ever stop praying and NEVER discount that prayer works. God ORDAINS everything – even our prayers. Let’s put this into an “accident example,” since this is the context of your post. God ordained car A and car B to be in an accident. God did this without sin. People in both cars are injured – one badly. God also ordained that as you passed by that you would pray. Now, if you did not pray, one of the people would not have made it. However, God knew the compassion of your heart toward accident victims (because He put it there), God ordained that you would pass by an accident at a particular place and time. God ordained that you would pray – and since He ordained it, it would be done. God ordained that the person would make it – and He did. See, God ordains not only the final result, but the secondary causes that lead up to the final event as well. God answered your prayer. Without prayer the person would not have made it. Prayer is precious. Prayer is ordained. Prayer has cause and effect, because God makes it so. Please note that God always answers pray, but the answer is not always yes …. God is also allowed to work outside of out prayer desires -- He knows what is best.

The WCF, On Providence states, (look at part II and III especially)

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I. God the great Creator of all things doth uphold,[1] direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things,[2] from the greatest even to the least,[3] by his most wise and holy providence,[4] according to his infallible foreknowledge,[5] and the free and immutable counsel of his own will,[6] to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.[7]

1. Neh. 9:6; Psa. 145:14-16; Heb. 1:3
2. Dan. 4:34-35; Psa. 135:6; Acts 17:25-28; Job 34:1-41:34
3. Matt. 6:26-32; 10:29-31
4. Prov. 15:3; I Chr. 16:9; Psa. 104:24; 145;17
5. Acts 15:18; Isa. 42:9; Ezek. 11:5
6. Eph. 1:11; Psa. 33:10-11
7. Isa. 63:14; Eph. 3:10; Rom. 917; Gen. 45:7; Psa. 145:7

II. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly;[8] yet, by the same providence, he ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.[9]

8. Acts 2:23; see Isa. 14:24, 27
9. Gen 8:22; Jer. 31:35; Isa. 10:6,7; see Exod. 21:13 and Deut. 19:5; I Kings 22:28-34

III. God, in his ordinary providence, maketh use of means,[10] yet is free to work without,[11] above,[12] and against them, at his pleasure.[13]

10. Acts 27:24, 31, 44; Isa. 55:10-11
11. Hosea 1:7; Matt. 4:4; Job 34:20
12. Rom. 4:19-21
13. II Kings 6:6; Dan. 3:27

IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in his providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men;[14] and that not by a bare permission,[15] but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding,[16] and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends;[17] yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.[18]

14. Isa. 45:7; Rom. 11:32-34; II Sam. 16:10; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28; see II Sam. 24:1 and I Chr. 21:1; I Kings 22:22-23; I Chr. 10:4, 13-14
15. John 12:40; II Thess. 2:11
16. Psa. 76:10; II Kings 19:28
17. Gen. 50:20; Isa. 10:6-7,12-15 (particularly v.12)
18. James 1:13-14, 17; I John 2:16; Psa. 50:21

V. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave, for a season, his own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled;[19] and, to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends.[20]

19. II Chr. 32:25-26, 31; Deut. 8:2-3, 5; Luke 22:31-32; see II Sam. 24:1, 25
20. II Cor. 12:7-9; see Psa. 73:1-28; 77:1-12; Mark 14: 66-72; John 21:15-19

VI. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous Judge, for former sins, doth blind and harden,[21] from them he not only withholdeth his grace whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts;[22] but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had,[23] and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasions of sin;[24] and, withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan,[25] whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, even under those means which God useth for the softening of others.[26]

21. Rom. 1:24, 26, 28; 11:7-8
22. Deut. 29:4; Mark 4:11-12
23. Matt. 13:12; 25:29; see Acts 13:10-11
24. Gen. 4:4; II Kings 8:12-13; see Matt. 26:14-16
25. Psa. 109:6; Luke 22:3; II Thess. 2:10-12
26. Exod. 7:3, 8:15, 32; II Cor. 2:15-16; Isa. 6:9-10, 8:14; I Pet 2:7-8; Acts 28:26-27

VII. As the providence of God doth, in general, reach to all creatures; so, after a most special manner, it taketh care of his church, and disposeth all things to the good thereof.[27]

27. I Tim. 4:10; Amos 9:8-9; Matt. 16:18; Rom. 4:28; Isa. 43:3-5, 14
Posted By: Adopted Re: Predestination - Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:01 AM
Thank you for your consolatory reply.

Quote
C.M.H. said:
I am not going to lie, Reformed theology is a hard thing to swallow especially growing up in a home and church that would oppose it as far as to try and kick a Reformed follower out..

Indeed Reformed theology is hard to swallow as it tells us the not very pretty truth about our depraved condition and the truth of our absolute need of God's grace and the perfect work of His Son in our salvation. The natural man will not and cannot believe that he plays no meritorious part in God's sure and predestined plan of salvation.

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As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. [John 6:66, NASB]


Without exception, no unregenerate man wants to hear that the God of Scripture is All and All.

Quote
C.M.H. said:
While I still wont call myself a "Calvinist" (I feel that by calling myself that I am saying that I am a follower of Calvin, and not God)

I don't particularly appreciate this name either and I much prefer "Reformed", but it's a name that was given to us by the enemies of the doctines of grace. These are enemies who always attack and kill the man when it is really his (among many others, such as Luther) biblical message that they despise. It is my belief that Calvin himself would fly into a rage if he knew that his love for the God of the inspired Scripture was being called "Calvinism".

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
Posted By: Machaira Re: Predestination - Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:14 AM
Quote
C.M.H said:
Prayer: What is the purpose of prayer? If all has been planned out . . .

Yet now I feel as if my prayers mean absolutely nothing because they will have no affect on the outcome . . .

Good morning C.M.H, <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/coffee2.gif" alt="" />

The first thing to consider is the fact that God commands us to pray in His word. That is to say, we can rest assured that if God commands it, then is certainly has a purpose. Second, we can observe in Scripture how God is pleased to use so-called "secondary causes" to accomplish His purpose. Lets apply your question to praeching. Why preach to anyone if God has chosen His elect from before the foundation of the world? Number one, it's a command. Two, the Apostle Paul tells us:

. . . it was God's good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save them that believe.

Could God draw His elect some other way if He wanted to do so? Sure, but He has determined to use a secondary cause like "the foolishness of preaching" to do the job. In the same way, God is pleased to use our prayers. For example, Abraham's prayers were used to save Lot and his family when God was about to destroy Sodom, (Gen. 18:22-33). Job's friends were told by God that Job will pray for them and He will accept his prayer on their behalf.

Job 42:8 Now therefore, take unto you seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt-offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you; for him will I accept, that I deal not with you after your folly; for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.

In every situation God ordains the "means" as well as the "ends." For us to insist that this just isn't logical is to exalt our wisdom over God's, (I know you're not doing this, I'm just trying to make a point).

I'm sure more could be said on this topic, but it's time for work.
Posted By: Clint Re: Predestination - Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:43 PM
Okay.. I can and do understand that God would ordain my prayers to fulfill a purpose He set them out to fulfill.. (the accident victim being saved because of it).. But what about the times I forget to?? I am not going to lie and say that EVERY time I pass an accident anymore that I pray.. I know I at least think to myself that I should, but I end up thinking about why should I pray, (especially recently with the thought of predestination and what not), what should I pray for, and so on and on; and so I know that I should and still dont.. if God ordained me to pray, or not to pray, why not make it more clear to me?? I seem so confused all the time because I have a habit of trying to figure out why certain things are/happen the way that they do.. If all that I experience is ordained, why am I always confused?

On a brighter note.. I am happy to hear that my most recent post before this one has helped clear up some of the confusion.. I hope no one has any hard feelings for as I said before.. I never meant to "pick a fight"..
Posted By: Adopted Re: Predestination - Sat Oct 06, 2007 1:17 AM
Quote
C.M.H. asked:
I seem so confused all the time because I have a habit of trying to figure out why certain things are/happen the way that they do.. If all that I experience is ordained, why am I always confused?

You are confused because it is God and not you that ordains events. I highly recommend to you Calvin's opus, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 1, chapter 16 concerning God's providence. The following is an excerpt from 1-16-9

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9. But since our sluggish minds rest far beneath the height of Divine Providence, we must have recourse to a distinction which may assist them in rising. I say then, that though all things are ordered by the counsel and certain arrangement of God, to us, however, they are fortuitous,—not because we imagine that Fortune rules the world and mankind, and turns all things upside down at random (far be such a heartless thought from every Christian breast); but as the order, method, end, and necessity of events, are, for the most part, hidden in the counsel of God, though it is certain that they are produced by the will of God, they have the appearance of being fortuitous, such being the form under which they present themselves to us, whether considered in their own nature, or estimated according to our knowledge and Judgment.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
Posted By: J_Edwards Re: Predestination - Sat Oct 06, 2007 12:48 PM
Quote
CMH states,

But what about the times I forget to?? I am not going to lie and say that EVERY time I pass an accident anymore that I pray.. I know I at least think to myself that I should, but I end up thinking about why should I pray, (especially recently with the thought of predestination and what not), what should I pray for, and so on and on; and so I know that I should and still dont.. if God ordained me to pray, or not to pray, why not make it more clear to me?? I seem so confused all the time because I have a habit of trying to figure out why certain things are/happen the way that they do.. If all that I experience is ordained, why am I always confused?
When you forget? God knows when you will forget – before you forget (it is in His plan). While, you were responsible to pray (and when you didn’t it was sin), fear not, for all things work together for those that love God and are called according to His purpose. Remember, God is free to work “outside” of those secondary causes (i.e. your prayers) that we are responsible to do. God’s plan(s) includes what we do right, what we do wrong, what we do, and what we do not do. It all works together. Nothing catches God by surprise. All the pieces of the puzzle fit perfectly. It could go something like this:

Quote
There is an accident.
CMH prays
God acts

There is another accident 10 miles down the road
CMH is tired and just passes by
however, XYZ prays
God acts

There is another accident 5 miles down the road
CMH says, you have got to be kidding 3 accidents
XYZ says, I just finished praying
God still acts

XYZ gets too close to CMH
CMH skids
Both pray
Angels intervene
CMH and XYZ are ok
God has all the bases covered. Things will still turn out the way God desires. However, though they turn out the way God desires, this does not negate our responsibility to pray. Though Christ was crucified according to God’s plan, He still assigned moral responsibility to those that crucified Him (Acts 2:23).

This should bring us GREAT comfort. Every soul that is elect WILL BE saved – none will overlooked, none will be lost. See the comfort here of a perfect plan that cannot be stopped? God’s will, will be done. It can’t be stopped and it is perfectly just.

Confusion. We are all somewhat confused about “something.” None of us have all the answers. None of us can answer the WHY God of every situation. Notice when you read Paul and the others how many questions they are answering – the church had a lot of questions, confusion, misunderstanding, etc. Thus, this causes God’s church to: (1) realize that we STILL need God, and (2) to live by faith and not by sight, etc. God is molding and forming us. He uses the confusion to make us think things through – thus we begin to understand God, and His ways, better. (renewing our minds, Rom 12:1-2)

However, (what should not be too confusing) it is our responsibility is to always follow God’s Word – no matter what. Now sometimes you have to make a decision which of God’s words to follow – However, in the process we grow in faith.

I have found that it is best not to belabor topics such as predestination, election, etc. too long. We may only go so far in our understanding and after this we fall into dangerous territory. Thus, I change subjects, study something else (systematic theologies are good here as they keep you moving building precept upon precept -- look what Adopted posted -- good stuff), and return later – afresh desiring and more enabled to learn more. In addition, you we never fully understand everything, you will always have questions, … this is good, questions seek answers, thus causing growth ….
Posted By: Jim_M Re: Predestination - Mon Oct 29, 2007 5:59 AM
From the human side of the salvation issue, I believe it is faith alone in Christ that results in the salvation of the lost (Eph. 2:8–9). In effect, Calvinists have confused the biblical truth that God requires a lost person to believe in Jesus Christ (as a condition of salvation) in order for him or her to be saved by God with the unbiblical error that a person can or does make a contribution to his or her salvation and thereby becomes a cosavior with God. It would seem that to avoid the latter error, Calvinists have needlessly denied the former truth. Just because the candidate for salvation has some presalvation responsibility (i.e., to believe in Jesus Christ), does not make him or her even partially a Savior.

ROMANS Chapter 9:
In choosing Jacob and rejecting Esau, God both chose and
rejected with exclusive reference to time, and with no reference
to eternity. As to the final destiny of the children, the choice
and rejection had no known effect upon it. It left each as free to pursue those things which would save him, and to shun those that would condemn him, as though it had never been made. Had each changed place with the other, it would not, in the slightest degree, have altered his prospects for heaven. What men wilfully do, not the divine choice, determines their final doom. God's choice, it is true, rendered the outward, temporal circumstances of Jacob and his posterity far superior to those of Esau and his; but, at the same time, it so increased responsibility as to leave the balances of justice level, and the chances of salvation equal.
The passage in hand has had assigned to it a very notorious conspicuity in theories of election, and, in my judgment, has been greatly abused. It was not penned in the interest of dogmatic Calvinism, and therefore does not countenance its offensive tenets. Interpreted as it should be, it teaches nothing contradictory of other portions of holy Writ, and shocking to our human sense of justice. In it God stands out still in a lovely light, and not as the arbitrary, inexorable Judge, who appoints one man to heaven and another to hell, not only without reason, but in defiance of it, so far as man can see. As I do not feel called upon to hunt up and notice all the various abuses to which the passage has been subjected, I shall leave that task with those who imagine that they can derive any profit from it.
12. The elder shall serve the younger. We have no account of Esau ever having personally served Jacob. The reference then must be to their respective posterities; and with this agree the facts of history. For in 2 Sam. viii: 14 it is distinctly said that "all they of Edom [Esau's posterity] became David's servants." Indeed, the Edomites were long subject to the kings of Israel, the latter often slaying them in great numbers. But the Edomites frequently asserted their independence; and at such times they became most barbarous and cruel. They seem to have taken especial pains to cultivate Esau's ancient hatred of Jacob; and they never let pass an opportunity to display it. About the time Jerusalem was destroyed by Titus, they seem to have disappeared as a separate people. After this we hear no more of them.
13. As it is written: I loved Jacob, but hated Esau. This quotation is from Mal. i: 2, 3- The extent to which God
loved Jacob was shown in preferring him to his brother; and the extent to which be bated Esau, in rejecting him from being one
of the heads of bis chosen people. More than this, the words need not be supposed to mean. Hatred, especially, we may assume to be used in the bold exaggerating sense so common with the prophets. It denotes not so much positive hatred, as not love.

SUMMARY.
Is it not unjust in God to choose one and reject another, as in the case of ( Jacob and Esau? Not at all; for in doing so, he acts according to his own avowed principles of conduct, which must be assumed to be right. Accordingly he says to Moses, I will make my own sense of right my rule in showing mercy. It was on this principle that he set up Pharaoh to be king. But all these choices create mere worldly distinctions. They are not choices to eternal life. But If God makes men what he pleases, why does he still find fault with them? He does not do so. He finds no fault with them for being what he makes them, but only for their own voluntary wrong. Again, in these choices, God's creatures should not presume to question him. They must take for granted that he acts justly. He has the absolute right to do what he does. and as he can do none wrong, he must not be questioned, but we can try to understand.
Posted By: Robin Re: Predestination - Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:39 AM
Again, it seems that the objection to the doctrine of predestination has much more to do with Total Depravity than with predestination.

The wonder is not that holy God should should show mercy to some and justice to the rest, the wonder is that He shows mercy to anyone at all! He is under no obligation to forgive anyone's sins. Nor can the guilty become judges of who should and who shouldn't be pardoned.
Posted By: Jim_M Re: Predestination - Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:42 AM
When Jesus said "how often i would have gathered you under my wings as a hen does her chicks, but you would not" have anything to do with free will?
Posted By: Jim_M Re: Predestination - Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:52 AM
THE DOCTRINE OF ORIGINAL SIN by Jim Denison
Who has proven beyond a shadow of doubt that babies are born totaly depraved???
Ps 51:5 David says “ Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. This verse seems to be the main verse that the generally accepted doctrine of original sin comes from. It is not absolutely clear what David is trying to communicate here.
One of the basic principles of interpreting scripture is that the unclear passages should be interpreted by the more clear passages. The following are scriptures that are much easier to understand concerning this subject, In other words let scripture interpret scripture.
God commanded us to marry, conceive and give birth., Genesis 1:27-28 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number”.

Why then would David say marriage and child bearing is sinful, and that we are born sinful when the whole process is clearly blessed by the Lord?

If children are sinners, why did Jesus say we must become like them to enter into the kingdom of God? Matthew 18:1-3 “unless you become as a little child you cannot enter
The kingdom of God. If children are totally depraved as some say, then Jesus gave a very poor example of how adults must become to enter the kingdom.

Because of the clear meaning of these scriptures could it be that David was simply saying that he was conceived and born into a sinful world? Or was this simply a hyperbolic statement?
This world is made sinful by adults, not babies or God.

Adam and Eve were created with the God given freedom to choose to sin or to choose to trust and obey Him. God knew they would choose to sin but without this freedom love would have been meaningless. Obviously this does not make God the author of sin.

In the same way every child is born with the freedom to choose to sin or to choose not to, and is sure to choose to sin if they live long enough.

This does not mean they are born sinners, any more than Adam and Eve were created sinners.

Original sin simply means that as human beings we are sure to fall into sin if we live long enough just as Adam and Eve did.

Therefore we can see that blaming Adam and Eve for sin and saying we are born sinful is to completely miss the fact that we all become guilty for our own sin the exact same way they did (by disobeying God). This sin is credited to Adam simply because he was first and it is common to all humanity except one, Jesus! Thank God that through Him we have the solution to this problem!
Isaiah 7:16
For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken.
(NAS95)

The bible teaches that the children are punished for the sins of their fathers, to the third & fourth generation, if they are guilty of the same sins, Exodus 20:5 (of those who hate me) and if they do not repent, Numbers 14:18 (forgiving sin and rebellion).This is made very clear in Ezekiel 18, when the Jews accuse God of “sour grapes”. Consequently no one is a sinner just because Adam was a sinner, we all become sinners the same way Adam became a sinner, by sinning and not repenting.
Posted By: Robin Re: Predestination - Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:33 AM
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If children are sinners, why did Jesus say we must become like them to enter into the kingdom of God?

It isn't because of any supposed "innocence" on the part of the children! It is because children are dependent and humble, willing to accept from another what they cannot provide for themselves. And what is it that we sinners cannot provide for ourselves? Forgiveness, deliverance from the power of sin over us, from the world, the flesh, and the devil.

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Adam and Eve were created with the God given freedom to choose to sin or to choose to trust and obey Him. ... In the same way every child is born with the freedom to choose to sin or to choose not to, and is sure to choose to sin if they live long enough.

Adam and Eve, before the Fall, were clearly capable of living out either choice - either innocence or evil. Once they yielded to sin, however, they and all their descendants became enslaved to sin (Romans 7:14-8:2). Free will is not possible for slaves. No matter what they wish, they are not able to live out their own will as long as they are prevented from doing so by their chains. They must first be freed! That is the sense of the doctrine of Total Depravity that we chafe against.
Posted By: Jim_M Re: Predestination - Tue Oct 30, 2007 3:55 PM
What makes it clear that Adam & Eve could have chosen to never sin and been successful at it? In my opinion once God created them with the freedom to choose (which they obviously had)and also created them human, they were sure to sin, just like we do when we grow from children into adults, i think this is why God provided the tree of life (Jesus) right from the start, in the midst of the garden. I think they did eventually learn to eat (trust) in this tree and not to trust (eat) from the tree of knowledge (themselves, the law, thou shall not). The complete and perfect story is right here in the beginning if we just bother to dig it out through prayer, study and living. I think the doctrines of men, although well intentioned and having some good points, tend to lock us into themselves as we grow in our spiritual walk, if we allow them to. We should never allow what other people think be the final authority for what we think.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Predestination - Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:08 PM
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Jim_M said:
What makes it clear that Adam & Eve could have chosen to never sin and been successful at it?

They were created in the image of God.

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I think the doctrines of men, although well intentioned and having some good points, tend to lock us into themselves as we grow in our spiritual walk, if we allow them to. We should never allow what other people think be the final authority for what we think.

Indeed, Scripture should be the final authority.
Posted By: Jim_M Re: Predestination - Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:56 AM
I thought we were created in the image of God also?
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Predestination - Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:41 AM
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Jim_M said:
I thought we were created in the image of God also?

We are, but we enter the world after the Fall, and so the image of God in us is totally distorted. That is why the we need to be conformed to the image of Christ.
Posted By: Jim_M Re: Predestination - Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:47 AM
If Adam had not sinned, but only his children did, then i could believe he was different than me. We all fall the exact same way he did, by choosing to sin, this is when we become distorted and not before.
Posted By: Adopted Re: Predestination - Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:04 PM
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Jim said:
If Adam had not sinned, but only his children did, then i could believe he was different than me. We all fall the exact same way he did, by choosing to sin, this is when we become distorted and not before.

You are missing the point that is absolutely essential in the understanding of our salvation.

When Adam sinned a corrupted nature was imputed to him for his disobedience and this corrupted nature was infused into his being and and as federal head of the human race, into his seed. This is why the Scripture tells us that we, and our children are born into this world already condemned and dead in trespasses and sin.

In Christ, our righteousness is only imputed (credited and promised) to us by grace Alone, faith Alone and by the work of Christ Alone. This is why the words of God command us to repent and do battle against our own sinful flesh. To believe that, at present, righteousness is infused by baptism, or any other means, into our nature or even into the nature of our children is Roman Catholic and/or Arminian heresy and very dangerous "works" religion.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24
Posted By: Robin Re: Predestination - Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:40 PM
Romans 5:12: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Verse 15: "For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one Man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many." Verse 16: "And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgement was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification." Verse 17: "For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." See also verses 18-19 and 1st Corinthians 15:21.

The mere fact that all humans are mortal is proof that the Fall has effected all mankind. Even babies die. They are mortal, though they never sinned in your view. We are all born in Adam's likeness, after his image (as with all living things), inheriting his nature - which was corrupted by his sin.

That human depravity is the center of this debate! See Romans 5:6, 7:18, 8:7Genesis 6:5 and 8:21, and Romans 3:10-12, 7:14-23.

Scripture speaks of three imputations:

Adam's sin and guilt and corruption and death [1]imputed to us.[/i]

Our sin and guilt and corruption imputed to Christ,

Jesus' righteousness and purity imputed to believers.

-Robin
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Predestination - Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:10 PM
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Jim_M said:
If Adam had not sinned, but only his children did, then i could believe he was different than me. We all fall the exact same way he did, by choosing to sin, this is when we become distorted and not before.

Two questions for you:
1) What does circumcision represent?
2) Why were infant descendants of Abraham circumcised?
Posted By: Jim_M Re: Predestination - Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:20 PM
#1 Ge 17:11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.
#2 Certainly not for the forgiveness of sin, any more than baptism has the power to remove sin, they are both a sign that sin will be forgiven if the heart is also right with God. You have assigned yourself the impossible task of proving that babies are guilty of sin. Why?
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Predestination - Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:37 AM
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Jim_M said:
#1 Ge 17:11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.

Good. But there is more:

"So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer" (Deut. 10:16). "Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live" (Deut. 30:6). "Circumcise yourselves to the LORD and remove the foreskins of your heart, men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or else My wrath will go forth like fire and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds" (Jer. 4:4). "But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God" (Rom. 2:29). "He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised" (Rom. 4:11). "In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross" (Col. 2:11-14).

Circumcision was fundamentally about a heart dead in sins that was renewed by God, having the sin cut off, and turned in faith to Him. Why would God have infant boys circumcised on the eighth day if they were sinless?

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#2 Certainly not for the forgiveness of sin, any more than baptism has the power to remove sin, they are both a sign that sin will be forgiven if the heart is also right with God.

Neither circumcision nor baptism has the capacity to take away sin, but you are right that both signify that sin is forgiven when the heart is made right with God. With such a meaning, why would circumcision be applied to 8-day-old infants who have never sinned and are in no need of having any sin forgiven?

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You have assigned yourself the impossible task of proving that babies are guilty of sin. Why?

Because it's biblical truth. Newborn babies are innocent with referrence to other men, but they are not innocent with referrence to God. They are sinners like all of us, in need of having their sin washed away. Why do you find it impossible to believe? David did not, he found himself a sinner from the moment of his conception. David, the man after God's own heart!

And besides all this, even the cutest and sweetest of babies are wracked with infantile anger when they do not have what they demand. Because God is kind, our reaction is one of gentle tolerance toward these "innocent" outbursts. But they are indicative of the sinful nature which the child has inherited from Adam.
Posted By: Robin Re: Predestination - Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:13 AM
Even an uncircumsized baby was "cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant," according to Genesis 17:12-14. An eight-day-old covenant breaker.

Moses was nearly put to death because he had neglected to circumcise his own son (Exodus 4:24-26). Not that circumcision saved Moses' son's soul, but it certainly saved his son's physical life (not to mention Moses' own life) because he would have been "cut off from his people" as a covenant breaker - child or not.

As I said in a previous post here, the mere fact that babies are mortal is proof that they are inherently guilty, since death is part of the curse upon Adam.

Why is this important? Because as others have said, the depravity of humankind is at the center of the debate about predestination.

Why, if mankind's nature has not been inherently corrupted, must God predestinate some to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 5:30) when all are made in God's image already? What happened to the image of God in men that it needs to be "conformed" to anything else?

The depravity of humankind is central to this larger question of predestination (we are still talking about predestination, right? Because there are multiple threads on this other topic).
Posted By: lookn4ward2heavn Re: Predestination - Total Depravity Central? - Thu Nov 01, 2007 5:08 PM
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Robin said:...the depravity of humankind is at the center of the debate about predestination...The depravity of humankind is central to this larger question of predestination...
I would tend to disagree based on the concept of "unconditional election" wherein (if I correctly understand it) the divine choice excludes any consideration of the person's state whatsoever, whether they are "totally depraved" or not.

The issue regarding predestination is "Unconditional Election", which is (it seems) the heart and soul of Calvinism.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Predestination - Total Depravity Central? - Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:32 PM
Quote
lookn4ward2heavn said:
Quote
Robin said:...the depravity of humankind is at the center of the debate about predestination...The depravity of humankind is central to this larger question of predestination...
I would tend to disagree based on the concept of "unconditional election" wherein (if I correctly understand it) the divine choice excludes any consideration of the person's state whatsoever, whether they are "totally depraved" or not.

The issue regarding predestination is "Unconditional Election", which is (it seems) the heart and soul of Calvinism.

What do you consider to be the purpose of Unconditional Election?
Posted By: Paul_S Re: Predestination - Total Depravity Central? - Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:52 PM
Lookn4ward2heavn,

Quote
You stated:
I would tend to disagree
Quote
(with Robin, who said):
...the depravity of humankind is at the center of the debate about predestination...The depravity of humankind is central to this larger question of predestination...
based on the concept of "unconditional election" wherein (if I correctly understand it) the divine choice excludes any consideration of the person's state whatsoever, whether they are "totally depraved" or not.

Actually it can be--and has been--well argued (linked below) that the rebuttals to Arminius stand or fall as a unit when viewed as a construct. If I may presume to speak for Robin, I think his point is that from the perspective of the unredeemed sinner the fact of one's own utter inability to turn aside the dread wrath of God must be grasped--by God-given faith in Christ--before the remaining 4 points can be true, known, or appreciated. In other words "T" describes our condition; "ULIP" is entirely about the monergistic activity of God in delivering us from that wretched state.

Of course God acts first in "U", thus making that point first in logical order of succession, but the fruit of that election will never known by those who resist the conviction of the Holy Spirit who shows them how "T" they really are (thus the impossibility of being forgiven the sin against the Holy Spirit).

That is why all Christ-exalting evangelism and preaching must never move into the causes ("ULI") or benefits ("P") of salvation without beginning at "T"--our wretched, lost, miserable condition.

Quote
You stated:
The issue regarding predestination is "Unconditional Election", which is (it seems) the heart and soul of Calvinism.


While "U" is probably the most "talked-about" of the 5 points, J.I.Packer makes the brilliant assertion that the heart and soul of Calvinism is not really any of the 5 points alone, but rather the glorious gospel that:

[color:"FFFF00"]God Saves Sinners![/color]

If one's response to that statement is a variant of "of course--everyone knows that", he has not begun to know the depth of his own offensiveness to the thrice-holy Jehovah. If, however, the Holy Spirit has truly convicted one of his sin, after crying out in truth "God be merciful to me a sinner!", and going on his way justified in Christ, he can only ask "why me? why me?", and the knowledge of his unconditional election in eternity past, the particular appointment of redemption to his own wretched person, the emboldening sweetness of grace amazing to his fearful soul, and the certainty that he cannot be snatched from his Father's hand are precious truths which strengthen him as he looks, and walks unashamedly, forward to heaven.
Posted By: lookn4ward2heavn Re: Predestination - Total Depravity Central? - Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:19 PM
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CovenantInBlood said: What do you consider to be the purpose of Unconditional Election?
If I am correct, the purpose of "unconditional election" is to show God's glory God (however, I don't see how this question or my answer is relevant).
Posted By: lookn4ward2heavn Re: Predestination - Total Depravity Central? - Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:01 PM
Hi Paul,

Please note:
(1) “Rebuttals to Arminius” has nothing to do with what is being discussed.
(2) The perspective of the “unredeemed sinner” (is there any other kind?) is irrelevant.
(3) The fact that one is "T" has no relevance (under Calvinism) whether one is chosen for salvation or not: "That some receive the gift of faith from God, and others do not receive it, proceeds from God's eternal decree" (Canons of Dort, Art.6); "Election is the unchangeable purpose of God, whereby, before the foundation of the world, He has out of mere grace, according to the sovereign good pleasure of His own will, chosen from the whole human race, which had fallen through their own fault...a certain number of persons to redemption in Christ..." (ibid., Art.7); "This election was not founded upon foreseen faith and the obedience of faith, holiness, or any other good quality or disposition in man, as the prerequisite, cause, or condition..." (ibid. Art.9).

Some questions to consider:
(1) Why will “the fruit of that election will never known by those who resist the conviction of the Holy Spirit”?
(2) Why do they resist the Holy Spirit?
(3) Why does not the Holy Spirit show them the “T”?
(4) Why is it impossible for them to be forgiven?

Is not the answer found ultimately in that, according to Calvinism, “the decree of God…foreordained [other men] to everlasting death”?

I don’t see where “Christ-exalting evangelism and preaching” is pertinent to the discussion.

As much as I respect Packer, he would quickly go back to TULIP to explain just how God does save sinners.

That God saves sinners is a basic tenet of the Bible, not Calvinism; it is a Bible truth, not a “Calvinistic truth”. The basic and essential tenet of Calvinism is “how” God saves sinners. Saving sinners is the heart and soul of the Bible; “unconditional election” (if not all 5-points) is the heart and soul of Calvinism.

Respectfully...
Posted By: Robin Re: Predestination - Total Depravity Central? - Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:44 PM
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Some questions to consider:

(1) Why will “the fruit of that election never be known by those who resist the conviction of the Holy Spirit”?

Because the fruit of that election is everlasting life in the new heavens and new earth. Those who reject Him will never know eternal life.

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(2) Why do they resist the Holy Spirit?

More accurately, why did God elect some and not all? Regeneration (the work of the Holy Spirit upon the elect) cannot be resisted by those who have been freed from spiritual death. Those who "resist" the outward call of the gospel do so because they cannot do otherwise, being slaves to sin (Romans 6-7).


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(3) Why does not the Holy Spirit show them the “T”?

Even the light of nature shows them "T." But those who are blinded simply cannot see it unless their eyes are supernaturally opened. Why doesn't God open everybody's eyes? The better question is, "Why does He show mercy to anyone at all" rather than "why doesn't He show mercy to everyone." If God was obligated to show mercy to everyone, then it couldn't be called mercy, could it? What we deserve is justice, not mercy. Those who receive His justice have no right to expect anything else.

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(4) Why is it impossible for them to be forgiven?

Not because it is beyond God's ability to forgive them, but because their hearts of stone are unable to repent and turn from sin to humble themselves. It is not that God cannot give forgiveness, but that they cannot accept forgiveness.

The new birth is from Above, not from within. That is the heart and soul of Calvinism.

-Robin
Posted By: Paul_S Re: Predestination - Total Depravity Central? - Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:56 PM
lookn4ward2heavn,

I don't know that I will have time at the moment to answer all your points, but let me at least begin.
Quote
You stated:
(1) “Rebuttals to Arminius” has nothing to do with what is being discussed.
Begging your pardon, but in your prior post you had used the terms "Unconditional Election" and "Totally Depraved" in response to Robin; you seemed to see a vital connection between those terms and what is being discussed. Those 2 terms are of course the headers of 2 of the 5 points intended explicitly to rebut the 5-pointed Remonstrance of the followers of Arminius.
Quote
You stated:
(2) The perspective of the “unredeemed sinner” (is there any other kind?) is irrelevant.
Well yes, there is the "redeemed sinner"..... Paul seems to think so: "The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. (1 Timothy 1:15, ESV)
As far as "relevance", the issue raised by Robin concerned "the debate about predestination". My point is simply that that "debate" cannot be entered objectively by the unredeemed without having come to terms with Total Depravity.

Quote
You stated:
(3) The fact that one is "T" has no relevance (under Calvinism) whether one is chosen for salvation or not:
Actually it has all relevance. If one is not a sinner, one stands in no need of election--one's own work would satisfy the justice of God, one needs no atonement for the same reason, one needs no grace for the same reason, and one needs no keeping for the same reason. "For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham." (Hebrews 2:16, ESV)
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Predestination - Total Depravity Central? - Fri Nov 02, 2007 2:49 AM
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lookn4ward2heavn said:
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CovenantInBlood said: What do you consider to be the purpose of Unconditional Election?
If I am correct, the purpose of "unconditional election" is to show God's glory God (however, I don't see how this question or my answer is relevant).

Well, that's true. Here's Article VII of the First Head of Doctrine of the Canons of Dordt:

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Election is God's unchangeable purpose by which he did the following:

Before the foundation of the world, by sheer grace, according to the free good pleasure of his will, he chose in Christ to salvation a definite number of particular people out of the entire human race, which had fallen by its own fault from its original innocence into sin and ruin. Those chosen were neither better nor more deserving than the others, but lay with them in the common misery. He did this in Christ, whom he also appointed from eternity to be the mediator, the head of all those chosen, and the foundation of their salvation. And so he decided to give the chosen ones to Christ to be saved, and to call and draw them effectively into Christ's fellowship through his Word and Spirit. In other words, he decided to grant them true faith in Christ, to justify them, to sanctify them, and finally, after powerfully preserving them in the fellowship of his Son, to glorify them.

God did all this in order to demonstrate his mercy, to the praise of the riches of his glorious grace.

As Scripture says, God chose us in Christ, before the foundation of the world, so that we should be holy and blameless before him with love; he predestined us whom he adopted as his children through Jesus Christ, in himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, by which he freely made us pleasing to himself in his beloved (Eph. 1:4-6). And elsewhere, Those whom he predestined, he also called; and those whom he called, he also justified; and those whom he justified, he also glorified (Rom. 8:30).

Note what I've emboldened. Unconditional Election has referrence to the fallen human race. It's purpose, with regard to men, is to bring a certain number of them out of bondage to sin and into eternal life through Christ. So, the idea which you propound, that Unconditional Election has no referrence to Total Depravity, is incorrect. The fact of the matter is rather than Unconditional Election hardly makes sense without Total Depravity.
Posted By: lookn4ward2heavn Re: Predestination - Total Depravity Central? - Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:31 PM
Hi Robin,

According to Calvinism, all your answers are peripheral - cloud cover - (actually, as I see it, irrelevant) to the ultimate reasons why, which is, simply because God did not choose them…period (cf. WC III: Of God's Eternal Decree). For all intents and purposes, as far as Calvinism is concerned, the first and ultimate cause of the damnation of the “non-elect” is God’s choice to damn them: “…He (has) not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions”.
Posted By: lookn4ward2heavn Re: Predestination - Total Depravity Central? - Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:11 PM
Hi Paul,

(1) I fail to see (a) where I made a vital connection between "Unconditional Election" and "Totally Depraved" and, (b) what the Remonstrance has to do with the issue or my comments on it.

(2) Who in this debate is “unredeemed”? and, again, how is that relevant to the issue?

(3) “T” has no relevance if the choice was made without any consideration to God foreknowledge or future conditions therein related (cf. WC 3:2).
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Predestination - Total Depravity Central? - Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:57 PM
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lookn4ward2heavn said:
According to Calvinism, all your answers are peripheral - cloud cover - (actually, as I see it, irrelevant) to the ultimate reasons why, which is, simply because God did not choose them…period (cf. WC III: Of God's Eternal Decree). For all intents and purposes, as far as Calvinism is concerned, the first and ultimate cause of the damnation of the “non-elect” is God’s choice to damn them: “…He (has) not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions”.
The view to which you appear to have an objection is called "Supralapsarianism" (without regard to the Fall), which is a view held by a minority of Calvinists. The majority have held to "Infralapsarianism" (with regard to the Fall).

See here:

- Supralapsarianism and Infralapsarianism, by Herman Bavinck

- Double Predestination, by R.C. Sproul.

In His grace,
Posted By: lookn4ward2heavn Re: Predestination - Total Depravity Central? - Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:17 PM
Ooookay...
Posted By: Jim_M Re: Predestination - Sat Nov 03, 2007 1:33 AM

ORIGINAL SIN
The main chapter to consider when looking at the doctrines of original sin and original guilt is Romans 5.12-21. Here Paul makes clear that because Adam sinned death came into the world, a death which has become the lot of every man. However interpretation needs to be made carefully.
The Roman Catholics believe that man is born, not only with a taint of sin but with fully fledged guilt because of Adam’s sin. That because the first man sinned we are all guilty and therefore deserving of punishment regardless of what we have or have not done. They would cite verses 16-18. Of course this then fits into their teaching that every child must be baptised to be cleansed from sin, and gives tremendous power to the church which is thus able to control man’s destiny. There is little backing for this in Scripture. Baptism is never seen in the Bible in such a literalistic way. Indeed Peter specifically states that baptism is ‘not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God’, while baptism is portrayed either as a picture of the pouring out of rain producing spiritual life (by John the Baptiser) or as a picture of dying and rising again in Christ (by Paul - Romans 6.4). The thought of washing is totally absent.
But what does Romans 5.12-21 specifically teach? It certainly seizes on the sin of Adam and the universality of death as connected, but v.12 points out that that is because all men sin. They do not suffer for Adam’s sin but for their own sin (compare Ezekiel 18.19-23). He does not deal with the question of the baby not yet in a position to sin.
He goes on to argue that by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners (v.19) but that is only to argue that man’s disobedience has resulted in disobedient man. Sin now reigns over man with a tendency to selfishness and rebellion against what is good. And this is revealed in his outward life. It is a fact of history.
But can a man be punished for another’s sin? Ezekiel specifically repudiates such a thought. How indeed can someone be guilty of what someone else has done? This assumes a doctrine of the solidarity of the human race, of a sharing in guilt, which is foreign to the idea of freedom and individual responsibility. It is certainly nowhere clearly taught in Scripture. (We speak sometimes of ‘collective guilt’ but this results from the fact that men actually partake in that guilt either because of their actions or because of their failure to act when they should. They are individually guilty. But their babies are not!).
It appears to us that it is dangerous to take Paul’s language, which is using a general illustration (the universality of death and sin) to enable him to move on to a specific point, and press it to something that is beyond logic and reason. Righteousness in Christ is possible, not because He was a righteous man who can somehow pass on credit to us, but because He was the righteous God made man, Who in His manhood bore the judgment of sin, and as God takes us up into Himself. Adam was never this. He was indeed the first individual, but he was never more than an individual.
What Paul is stressing in Romans 5 is that there has now come One Whose impact on the human race can even be greater than that of Adam. The emphasis is on Christ not on Adam.
Another verse often quoted in this regard is Psalm 51.5. but here the Psalmist is using hyperbole, a vivid picture, to bring out his deep awareness of his sin. He is not expounding a doctrine but expressing a feeling of revulsion at his own sinfulness, but it is his specific sin that he has in mind and for which he seeks forgiveness. He is not pleading a doctrinal position. He sees himself as needing forgiveness because he has actively sinned, not because he was born ‘sinful’.
So it would seem to me that the doctrine of original sin is a doctrine based on the historical fact that there is a tendency in all men (Adam included) that inevitably results in sin, and that Adam began it all, rather than a doctrine dealing with the question of why we face final judgment. The latter is because WE sin, not because we are born potential ‘sinners’. The above is a quote from Peter Pett a baptist minister in England, but has been edited by Jim_M

Isaiah 7:16
"For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken.
(NAS95)

We are born with a spiritual nature, a fleshly nature and a freedom to choose which we will serve, which are you choosing today? John 3:6 flesh gives birth to flesh, but the spirit gives birth to spirit. Philippians 3:3 we who worship by the spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh.


We do not fall because Adam fell, we fall the same way he fell, by disobedience and not trusting in God. We all fall, but we fall because of our choices not Adams.

39 'Moreover your little ones and your children, who you say will be victims, who today have no knowledge of good and evil, they shall go in there; to them I will give it, and they shall possess it.
(NKJV)
Posted By: Jim_M Re: Predestination - Sat Nov 03, 2007 1:50 AM
A tidbit from John Calvins Commentary on romans 5:(unedited)
14. Even over them, etc. Though this passage is commonly understood of infants, who being guilty of no actual sin, die through original sin, I yet prefer to regard it as referring to all those who sinned without the law; for this verse is to be connected with the preceding clause, which says, that those who were without the law did not impute sin to themselves. Hence they sinned not after the similitude of Adam’s transgression; for they had not, like him, the will of God made known to them by a certain oracle: for the Lord had forbidden Adam to touch the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; but to them he had given no command besides the testimony of conscience. The Apostle then intended to imply, that it did not happen through the difference between Adam and his posterity that they were exempt from condemnation. Infants are at the same time included in their number.

From the pen of Jim_M
The bible teaches that the children are punished for the sins of their fathers, to the third & fourth generation, if they are guilty of the same sins, Exodus 20:5 (of those who hate me) and if they do not repent, Numbers 14:18 (forgiving sin and rebellion).This is made very clear in Ezekiel 18, when the Jews accuse God of “sour grapes”. Consequently no one is a sinner just because Adam was a sinner, we all become sinners the same way Adam became a sinner, by sinning and not repenting.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Predestination - Sat Nov 03, 2007 8:42 PM
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Jim_M said:

From the pen of Jim_M
The bible teaches that the children are punished for the sins of their fathers, to the third & fourth generation, if they are guilty of the same sins, Exodus 20:5 (of those who hate me) and if they do not repent, Numbers 14:18 (forgiving sin and rebellion).This is made very clear in Ezekiel 18, when the Jews accuse God of “sour grapes”. Consequently no one is a sinner just because Adam was a sinner, we all become sinners the same way Adam became a sinner, by sinning and not repenting.

Jim,

Exodus 20:5 is teaching that the children of "those who hate me" are "visited with the iniquity" of their fathers. This is a general principle in Scripture, and we see it especially in the Books of Kings and Chronicles. How you get from this that men only become sinners upon sinning, I don't know! Now, it is true Adam was not a sinner until he sinned. But all of his children are made sinners because he is their head and father. In like manner, and in an even greater way, all who are sons of God in Christ are made righteous because Christ is their Head and God is their Father. That's the argument of Romans 5.
Posted By: Peter Re: Predestination - Total Depravity Central? - Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:22 AM
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lookn4ward2heavn said:
Ooookay...

I'm sorry are we using too big of words <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/comfort.gif" alt="" />? Okay lets break it down for you. There are two views with regard to the logical progression of how God ordered predestination. What Pilgrim has pointed out was that what you are espousing for all Calvinists was in reality only held by a few. Most Calvinists see election as God's desire to save a definite group of fallen men. That is the majority view, yours the minority.
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