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How Is God One?
How Is God One? ^ | 1998? | Various

Posted on 02/07/2006 10:41:24 AM PST by DouglasKC

How Is God One?

"Hear O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!" (Deuteronomy 6:4).


The Bible makes it abundantly clear there is only one God. Jesus quotes Moses in saying, "Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one" (Mark 12:29; compare Deuteronomy 6:4). Paul tells us that "there is no God but one" (1 Corinthians 8:4) and that "there is one God" (1 Timothy 2:5).

The Bible also tells us that all other supposed gods are idols— figments of man's own imagination gone awry. Throughout history man has created many false gods. It is with this contrast in mind that we should approach Deuteronomy 6:4—"the LORD is one."

Many do not fully comprehend how the Bible uses numbers. This factor contributes to considerable confusion about God.

How should we understand the oneness of God? As well as the usual straightforward use of numbering, the concept of complete unity is associated with the Hebrew word translated "one" in Deuteronomy 6:4.

Two become one

Let's go to the first book of the Bible, Genesis. There, after the creation of Adam and Eve, we see the institution of the marriage relationship: "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). A couple becomes "one flesh" in a marital sexual union. But there is another important metaphorical meaning as well. Though two separate and distinct beings, in this context, the two become one.

Some 4,000 years later Jesus repeated this concept when He said, regarding marriage, that "the two shall become one flesh, so that they are no longer two. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate" (Mark 10:8-9). In marriage the two become one when joined in sexual union. But they still remain two separate individuals, still one male and one female—joined together in marriage as one family unit.

Of course, this oneness is not complete or total. Yet in a physical sense that complete oneness is reached at the moment of conception. As one science book put it: "Human life begins in . . . cooperation of the most intimate sort. The two cells wholly merge. They combine their genetic material. Two very different beings become one. The act of making a human being involves . . . cooperation so perfect that the partners' separate identities vanish" (Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, 1992, p. 199).

Even the separate DNA substances of two distinct human beings combine at conception to form a new, unique human being, one different from all other persons.

How wonderful are the things of God! How sublime are His purposes for the human family. Understanding marriage and the family helps us grasp aspects of the Kingdom of God.

One Church but many members

Continuing with our study of the biblical use of numbers, Paul wrote that "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28). There is one Church, said Paul, but composed of many individual members possessing various spiritual gifts and talents.

He further explained to the Corinthian brethren: "There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but the same God who works all in all" (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).

Paul spent considerable effort to get this simple point across. He continues in verse 12: "For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ." Here Paul compares the Church to the human body.

Next he reminds us in principle of what he had previously written in Galatians 3:28 (Galatians was written before 1 Corinthians). "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:13).

The Church is the spiritual body of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:2223). So that we fully understand, Paul then repeats Himself by continuing in 1 Corinthians 12 to compare the Church to the human body, which likewise has many members performing different functions: "For in fact the [human] body is not one member, but many . . . But now indeed there are many members, yet one body" (verses 14, 20).

Finally, in verse 27, he makes this basic point yet again: "Now you are the [one] body of Christ and individually [different] members of it" (verse 27, NRSV). In that sense the divine family is similar: one God and only one God, yet two individual glorified family members now constituting that one God—plus many more potential members among mankind (Romans 8:29).

Paul also wrote in another context, "For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name" (Ephesians 3:14-15, NIV). Although there is only one family, there are many members, called the "firstfruits" (James 1:18). Truly converted Christians, led by God's Spirit, are already counted as members of the family (Romans 8:14; 1 John 3:1-2), even though they have not yet received glorification and immortality in the resurrection to eternal life, which will take place at Christ's return (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

Elsewhere Paul tells us that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 15:50). We must be changed at the time of the resurrection (verses 51-54; Philippians 3:20-21). God will accomplish that in due course—provided we have overcome and developed righteous, godly character (Revelation 2:26; 3:21; 21:7-8).

One Church, one God

In John 17 Jesus prayed to the Father, "And this is eternal life, that they [Christ's disciples] may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent" (verse 3). There is only one God, yet Jesus Christ is a separate Person—distinct from the Father, but at one and in union with Him.

Then, in the course of this incredible prayer spoken shortly before His crucifixion, Christ said, "Holy Father, protect them [Jesus' followers] in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one" (verse 11, NRSV). Earlier He had said, "I and My Father are one" (John 10:30).

You need to grasp this enormously important point. The Church is to be one just as God the Father and Jesus Christ are one. That's quite a tall order! The various members should be unified with each other just as Christ and the Father are in perfect union. Although we have to realistically admit that this has rarely been the case in church history, God expects us to strive for that spiritual unity.

The members of the true Church of God are all to be joined together by the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 12:13)—living by that Spirit. It is every individual's responsibility to seek out the organized fellowship that best represents the biblical model of the New Testament Church. (For further understanding, please request our free booklet The Church Jesus Built.)

We see, then, that the Father and Jesus Christ are one in the same sense that Jesus prayed for the Church to be one—one in purpose, belief, direction, faith, spirit and attitude—joined together by the Holy Spirit.

The Gospel of John gives us additional insight into this wonderful truth. Jesus said to the Father during His prayer: "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they may also be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which you gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one . . ." (John 17:20-23).

This spiritual oneness, this unity between and among brethren, can be accomplished only through God's Spirit working in all truly converted Christians. Their unity through the Holy Spirit should reflect the perfect unity—the oneness—of God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son.

Another biblical example of oneness

Christ tells us we are to live "by every word of God" (Luke 4:4). Before any of the books of the New Testament were written, the Hebrew Scriptures—what we call the Old Testament—were the only recorded "word of God" available. Often they can clear our foggy vision and help us understand the spiritual intent of the New Testament. After all, we should understand that all the books of the Bible are the revealed Word of God, and all increase our understanding (2 Timothy 3:16).

Consider a seldom-read passage back in the book of Judges that illustrates how oneness can mean unity. "So all the children of Israel came out, from Dan to Beersheba, as well as from the land of Gilead, and the congregation gathered together as one man before the LORD at Mizpeh" (Judges 20:1).

For once, the entire nation of Israel was wholly unified in purpose to meet a serious problem affecting the whole country. The expression "as one man" is used to convey that the nation was fully united at that particular time.

Verses 8 and 11 tell us, "Then all the people arose as one man . . . So all the men of Israel gathered against the city, united together as one man." Of course, they still remained many individual citizens of the same nation. Here again the Bible itself sheds light on the meaning of oneness.

Comprehending God's oneness

Paul explains that "there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live" (1 Corinthians 8:6). Scripture reveals two separate, distinct persons, both spirit, yet one in unity, belief, direction and purpose—members of the same divine family. "I and My Father are one," said Jesus (John 10:30).

When we understand what the Bible teaches, we see that there is only one God, just as there is only one human race—one extended family descended from Adam of presently about six billion individuals. Just the same, the one divine family—the family of God—is open to an unlimited number of members.

Each normal human family is a microcosm of that one great divine family (compare Romans 1:20). If we comprehend this marvelous, wondrous biblical principle, we should be reflecting our ultimate destiny in our marriages, families and everyday lives. We should strive to reflect the love and unity of the divine family—God the Father and His Son Jesus—in our family relationships.



TOPICS: Apologetics; Ecumenism; General Discusssion; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: christ; god; lord; one; yahweh
For reference...
1 posted on 02/07/2006 10:41:27 AM PST by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

How could someone prove a false god?


2 posted on 02/07/2006 10:45:28 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: stuartcr
How could someone prove a false god?

Do you mean prove that a particular god is false? Or is it a rhetorical question?

3 posted on 02/07/2006 12:36:42 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

A particular god.


4 posted on 02/07/2006 12:46:43 PM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: DouglasKC
you are correct that the Lord built only one church however if they engage in a false worship they can't be the one Jesus built

The fact about the Sabbath, and this doesn't rest well with those who practice it, is that God took it away, not man. See Colossians 2:14-17 (NKJV):


14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,

17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.



In order for Paul to say, “Let no one judge you regarding sabbaths,” the Sabbath would have to be “taken away.” That Paul is speaking of the seventh day, the Sabbath, is evident by its traditional inclusion with “food or drink”, “festival” and “new moons.” This is using the method that was used by the Hebrews (see 2 Chron. 2:4; 8:13; 31:3; Hos. 2:11). And it is worth mentioning that “sabbaths” as used in these passages is spoken of being of the “commandment of Moses” and being written in the “Law of the Lord” showing there is no difference between the “commandments of Moses” and the “Law of the Lord.” That law, including the Sabbath commandment, was taken away. That Old Law cannot co-exist or be in force simultaneously with the glorious New Covenant. This is clearly understood from Hebrews 10:



9 then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God." He takes away the first that He may establish the second.

10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
5 posted on 02/07/2006 1:17:21 PM PST by bremenboy (if any man speak let him speak as the oracles of God)
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To: stuartcr
How could someone prove a false God? A particular god.

If you're looking for my opinion then I'm going to answer with a distinct bias toward Christianity. :-)

I honestly don't think you can really "prove" it to someone who doesn't believe in the real God.

2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Only the father can dispel the delusion. Now it's possible that someone could be a work in progress, that God could be working with someone, to let them see the truth of the scriptures. In that case giving the evidence of scripture should be sufficient. At that point it becomes a matter of freewill...are they going to go with what God is presenting to them, or are they going to succumb to the ways of the world again?

Hope it helps....

6 posted on 02/07/2006 2:03:27 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: bremenboy
The fact about the Sabbath, and this doesn't rest well with those who practice it, is that God took it away, not man. See Colossians 2:14-17 (NKJV):
14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,
17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

Well, as you might guess I have a different take on those verses.

Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
Col 2:14 blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross.

Col 2:13 begins the thought of 2:14. Paul is speaking to Christian gentiles. It's important to understand this. Note in 13 that he says they are "dead" in their sins AND the uncircumcision of their flesh. All jews were circumicised routinely at 8 days old. That includes Christian Jews. Therefore, the "uncircumcised" are gentile converts to Christianity.

Three things occur in these verses:

1. Trespasses forgiven.
2. A "handwriting of ordinances" against them was blotted out.
3. This "handwriting of ordinances" that was against them was nailed to the cross

The word translated "handwriting" is:

cheirographon
Thayer Definition:
1) a handwriting, what one has written by his own hand
2) a note of hand or writing in which one acknowledges that money has either been deposited with him or lent to him by another, to be returned at the appointed time.

The sense of the word is that of an iou, a debt to be paid. The debt to be paid for sin is:

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The word translated "ordinances" (dogma) is closer to "decree". It's translated "decree" in 3 verses. It can, but doesn't have to mean a decree of God. For example:

Act 17:7 Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.

"Decree" (dogma) is the same word.

In other words, the penalty decreed for sin is death. The decree, the death penalty, was nailed to the cross with Christ. The Message Bible puts it:

Col 2:14 the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ's Cross.

-----------------------------------

Okay. So now we come to the next verses:

Col 2:16 Then do not let anyone judge you in eating, or in drinking, or in part of a feast, or of a new moon, or of sabbaths,
Col 2:17 which are a shadow of coming things, but the body is of Christ.

This is from Green's Literal Translation. Now there are a couple of things to note. First, "meat and drink" is literally "eating and drinking". And what is rendered "substance" in some translations is literally "body"...or the phrase "body of Christ".

Also, "is" is in italics because it isn't in the greek. It's added by translators to make their translation make more sense.

One more note: There is no punctuation in the greek. Punctuation is not inspired by God. There are no verse numbers in greek. There are no chapter numbers in greek? So what does the verse look like with punctuation altered a little and read literally?

"Then do not let anyone judge you in eating, or in drinking, or in part of a feast, or of a new moon, or of sabbaths (which are a shadow of coming things) but the body of Christ."

In other words, Paul is saying that nobody should judge the gentiles for HOW they were celebrating the holy days, except for the body of Christ. The body of Christ, fellow church members, should judge how they're eating and drinking and celebrating THE holy days and sabbaths.

The key point is that the gentiles WERE celebrating the sabbaths and holy days. There were some NOT OF the body of Christ that criticized them. These "others" had odd beliefs:

Col 2:18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind.

The "others" worshipped angels and delighted in "self-abasement".

The things they were advocating was NOT according to God's word in scripture.

Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Col 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
Col 2:21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
Col 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

The only scripture Paul had was the "old testament". There was no "new" testament. Of the "old" testament, Paul says:

2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Now if Paul were making the case that the sabbaths and holy days were "man made" traditions and ordinances then Paul was either a liar or an idiot because clearly they were given by God.

7 posted on 02/07/2006 4:09:04 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

If God isn't One, why adhere to any one over any other?


8 posted on 02/07/2006 4:53:37 PM PST by onedoug
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To: onedoug
If God isn't One, why adhere to any one over any other?

I'm not sure I understand your question in context of the article?

9 posted on 02/07/2006 4:59:17 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC
Now if Paul were making the case that the sabbaths and holy days were "man made" traditions and ordinances then Paul was either a liar or an idiot because clearly they were given by God.

That's always the clincher. Good post, Douglas.

10 posted on 02/07/2006 8:26:12 PM PST by Diego1618
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To: DouglasKC

I believe in one God, creator of everything, but I am not a Christian. How would you prove that a god was false?


11 posted on 02/08/2006 7:22:51 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: stuartcr
I believe in one God, creator of everything, but I am not a Christian. How would you prove that a god was false?

If you're asking how I would prove that you are worshipping a false god then I won't do that. In that case, I would say that you have an incomplete understanding of God.

But if you're not a Christian, I'll never be able to prove it to you. One of the jobs of a Christian is to share the gospel, the good news of the kingdom, the role of Jesus Christ, and your future in it. It's up to God to open up your understanding to the truth and then it's up to you to prove it for yourself and hold on to it.

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Luk 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
Luk 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures,

12 posted on 02/08/2006 2:18:33 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

If I were a Christian, then I doubt the question would even be asked. Too bad, there is no way all people will believe the same. I suppose if God does have a plan for all of us, this must be the way He wants it.


13 posted on 02/08/2006 4:21:31 PM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: stuartcr
If I were a Christian, then I doubt the question would even be asked. Too bad, there is no way all people will believe the same.

That is certainly true in this age. In fact the bible indicates that nearly the whole world will be under the influence of a Satanic, counterfeit religion. Only after Christ returns will the world finally know the truth.

I suppose if God does have a plan for all of us, this must be the way He wants it.

It's not the way he wants it. But he knows it's the nature of rebellion.

14 posted on 02/08/2006 5:00:26 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

If God is truly all-powerful, and He created everything, then how can things not be the way He made them?


15 posted on 02/09/2006 5:22:23 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: DouglasKC

http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/jesusgd2.htm

I'm too lazy to post tonight. Just go to this web site.


16 posted on 02/09/2006 7:06:40 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Islam, the religion of the criminally insane.)
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To: stuartcr
If God is truly all-powerful, and He created everything, then how can things not be the way He made them?

Free will. God created the angels. Lucifer led a rebellion of the angels.

Isa 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

Luk 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

Rev 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

Man likewise has freewill.

Deu 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
Deu 30:20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD swore unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

Adam and Eve demonstrated it in the garden. Men and women choose a human way of life over a Godly way of life every day.

The bad news is that we will never choose God without his calling. The good news, the gospel, is that he will call everyone eventually to enter his kingdom. Christ will return and there will be a government of God upon the earth and into eternity. This was the main theme of what Jesus Christ preached:

Mar 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,

Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

This of course is a simplification of the truth's taught in scripture. Hope it helps.

References:

The Gospel Of The Kingdom

Jesus Christ: The Real Story

17 posted on 02/09/2006 8:41:23 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
I'm too lazy to post tonight. Just go to this web site.

Thanks for the link. I agree with nearly everything on the page.

18 posted on 02/09/2006 8:44:12 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

Doesn't God know what our free-will choices will be?


19 posted on 02/10/2006 4:52:32 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: stuartcr
Doesn't God know what our free-will choices will be?

God only knows. :-)

My assumption is that he does know, but let's us make them anyways. Or he could purposely decline to involve himself with each and every one of our choices and only involve himself when needed to complete his overall plan of salvation.

20 posted on 02/10/2006 1:19:21 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

Well, if He knows, and creates us anyway, then whatever happens is His doing, His plan. If God cannot be wrong, then how can we be doing anything other than what He has planned?

Until someone invents a time machine, we'll never really know if we could have chosen otherwise, even though we believed we could.


21 posted on 02/10/2006 6:00:10 PM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: stuartcr
Well, if He knows, and creates us anyway, then whatever happens is His doing, His plan. If God cannot be wrong, then how can we be doing anything other than what He has planned?

I think it's the difference between knowing the outcome and controlling the outcome. I heard a good analogy on this site not too long ago. God can see us and our events as if he's waching a videotape of a football game. He can speed up or slow down the action. He can fast forward. He knows the final score. He can stop or pause the action. He can destroy the tape if he wishes, override our free will and destroy us all.

In our case, the end of the game is salvation for all those who obey:

Heb 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

And the second death for those who don't:

Rev 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

God let's us use our free will to determine our individual outcomes for ourselves. That doesn't mean he plans how it will come out, but he does know where our choices will lead us.

Until someone invents a time machine, we'll never really know if we could have chosen otherwise, even though we believed we could.

I might have agreed with you at one time. But faith in Christ grows confidence in the outcome.

Eph 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
Eph 3:9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things;
Eph 3:10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
Eph 3:11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Eph 3:12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.

It isn't self-delusion, wishful thinking, or even hope. It's a confidence that comes from seeing the changes Christ works in us and in those around us.

22 posted on 02/10/2006 8:12:57 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

Well, you believe that God will destroy us, if He overrides our free-will, and I believe that He controls our free-will. We're just different.

As you say, it's all a matter of faith.


23 posted on 02/11/2006 8:36:00 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: stuartcr
He controls our free-will.

If you think about that statement you will realize it is self-contradictory.

Either we have free will or we are controlled by another. These are mutually exclusive things.

The Scriptures both "old" and "new" are filled with words like "choose," "repent," "trust," "obey," "believe"--all these indicate personal free choice and decision-making--the human will.

Every moment of every day we are making choices based upon what we have already heard and already believed. This belief system becomes evident to those who observe us in the actions they see us taking. There are some who think they make no choice by refusing to do or say a thing; I contend with Scripture that the "not doing" is also a choice and a decision, demonstrating a belief system that is already in place and at work.

I believe you are seeking these things out.

Here is a very simple metaphor that occurs to me:

If you love someone, let them go; if they come back to you then the love is complete.

For love is not a thing to be coerced.

24 posted on 02/12/2006 12:41:06 AM PST by .30Carbine (He was despised and rejected by men...and kept on loving...)
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To: stuartcr
Well, you believe that God will destroy us, if He overrides our free-will, and I believe that He controls our free-will. We're just different.

Well, I think I'm more closely saying that God can override our free will if he desires, but will not do it. He doesn't intefere with the choices made on the field, but has overall control of how the game is played out. I admit thought that the analogy isn't perfect.

As you say, it's all a matter of faith.

Yes, but not faith in the way you mean it. The faith IN Chris is much different than say, the faith that I have in my wife or kids. Faith in Christ and his teachings fundamentally changes our entire being.

25 posted on 02/12/2006 7:27:52 AM PST by DouglasKC
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To: .30Carbine

OK, I'll re-phrase it by saying He controls what we believe is our free-will.

How do you know that we could have made different choices? I'm sure you believe it, but you will never truly know it.


26 posted on 02/12/2006 9:10:19 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: DouglasKC

How do you know what God will do?


27 posted on 02/12/2006 9:11:12 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: stuartcr
How do you know what God will do?

I don't. But I do know what he promises to do. He reveals that in scripture.

28 posted on 02/12/2006 10:05:58 AM PST by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

OK, thanks.


29 posted on 02/12/2006 10:50:54 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: stuartcr
How do you know that we could have made different choices?

Examine those words.

If there are differing choices it is evident that a choice can be made.

I'm sure you believe it, but you will never truly know it.

I would remind you that truths exist and are (by nature) true whether or not an individual knows or believes them to be true.

2 + 2 = 4. A child of one or perhaps two years of age does not know this and has not the capacity to believe it. Is it therefore not true for that child? I contend that it remains true, and the effects of the truth are everywhere effictive upon that very child--mother feeds him twice in the morning and twice at night and the child is fed four times; the child has upon his body two socks, a diaper, and a gown: the child is wearing four items of clothing.

"[S]ince the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."
Romans 1:20

I share these things with you because I believe that you really want to know the truth. The God who gave you life and created and sustains the whole of what is created wants you to know and believe the truth. The whole of what He does--all that exists--is for this purpose: that the world may know.

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in 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

30 posted on 02/13/2006 3:39:25 AM PST by .30Carbine (grace to it)
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To: .30Carbine

OK, I'll re-phrase it by saying..'how do you know we had a choice?'

Of course physical evidence shows that 2+2=4, whether one believes it or not, but we are not talking about things that can be represented by physical evidence.

I believe in God with no way of proving it, I am not a Christian...you believe in God, with no way of proving it, and you are a Christian...others believe differently, with no way of proving it. This is just the way it is, and probably always will be.


31 posted on 02/13/2006 6:32:58 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: stuartcr
Jesus of Nazareth, an historically verifiable figure who died on a Roman cross because He claimed to be God, the King of the Jews, said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6)."

You are faced with a choice in this moment: Either you believe this (because you know it to be true) or you disbelieve (because you know it to be a lie). There is no third category for "I need more evidence," or "Not right now," as a response, for that sort of response equals a negative reply and falls under the category "I do not believe." By the Infinite Grace of Almighty God another opportunity to answer this question may arise for you, but the fact is that right now is the only moment you can be sure of having. Your eternal destiny, and, I add, your earthly assurance, rests in how you answer that question. God does not answer it for you: He is the Questioner.

Jesus Himself presents the crux of it to you best, from John 11:20-26

When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

"Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."

Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."

Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

There are only two possible answers to this question.
32 posted on 02/13/2006 12:40:07 PM PST by .30Carbine (grace to it)
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To: .30Carbine

There are really, three choices, and three answers.

I think there is a big difference between disbelieving (because you know it to be a lie), and disbelieving because of the need for more evidence....besides, how does one know to be true, their beliefs, or knows a belief is a lie?

It may fall under the category of dis-belief, but certainly not because one knows it to be a lie, simply because it may just be unbelievable.


None of this really matters, anyway, because, as I've said earlier, I do not believe we have these choices.


33 posted on 02/13/2006 8:25:01 PM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: stuartcr
Today you will face the choice to eat or not to eat. Without food your body will die. Will you sit still waiting for God Himself to serve you a meal because He is the One Who Made You to need food?

Today you will face the choice to have faith or not have faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6). Will you sit still waiting for God to bring you faith because He is the One Who Made You to need faith?

If you work for food to fill your belly you do well (Ecc. 2:24), for "if a man will not work he shall not eat (2 Thes. 3:10)." If you work for faith you do better, for "he who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, the door will be opened (Matt. 7:7-8)."

Are you willing to work for food to sustain this life and not willing to work for the food of the next? You say there is a God. Not a bad place to start, but I tell you plainly, even demons know there is One God, and they shudder! They know they will have to give an account to the Judge of All. Now you also know: "And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:13)."

In John 6 Jesus says, "Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” Then you may rightly ask Him, “What shall I do, that I may work the works God requires?” Jesus answers and says to you, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” Therefore will you say to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that I may see it and believe You? What work will You do?"

He is already at His work; now get to yours. He set this world in its place and set you on it and sustains both you and it. He made you with a stomach for food and food for your stomach. He made you a vessel for faith and faith for the vessel. Take hold of that for which Christ Jesus has taken hold of you. "Work out your own faith with fear and trembling, for God is already at His work in you for His own purposes (Phil 2:12-13)," else you and I would never have had this discussion.

Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.
James 4:17

I will say again what Scripture affirms, "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." This truth applies to faith as well as to food, and it is more important to faith, "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come (1 Tim. 6:8)." There are few exceptions to this truth, and you appear to qualify for none; these exceptions are children and the disabled. God will not hold them accountable for what they are not able to perform. In fact He will more gladly perform on their behalf what He knows better than all they are unable to do...and He knows full well what thou art capable of.

The work God requires of you is that you believe on His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins and arose for your justification. This is eternal life: to know Him, the Only True God, and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent (John 17:3).

34 posted on 02/14/2006 6:09:47 AM PST by .30Carbine (The Lord add His Blessing to His Word)
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To: .30Carbine

I will eat, because I have the biological need. The way God designed me.

I have the faith that is unique to me, as God designed me.


35 posted on 02/14/2006 6:24:06 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: stuartcr
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25

(God said it twice, so you couldn't miss it :)

36 posted on 02/14/2006 6:34:35 AM PST by .30Carbine (The Lord add His Blessing to His Word)
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To: .30Carbine

Hopefully, we'll find out when we die.


37 posted on 02/14/2006 7:04:15 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: stuartcr
My hope and prayer for you is that you will find the Truth well before then. All I have shared with you has been in love for your eternal soul. You are precious. There is no one on earth who is just like you, and there never will be another just like you. You matter to me and I will not forget you.

FRegards, stuartcr.

38 posted on 02/14/2006 2:25:50 PM PST by .30Carbine
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To: .30Carbine

Thank you.


39 posted on 02/14/2006 7:03:17 PM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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