Skip to comments.The Theology of John Calvin
Posted on 04/19/2003 7:32:39 AM PDT by drstevej
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Seriously, I have no problem with that post. When I saw the original question, I pretty much came up with the same answers.
The question is, why do some take the step of faith and others do not? Ask any new Christian, they know. They were drawn by the calling of the Holy Spirit. Their hearts were so broken, they had no choice.
Now where in the Bible is the word "irresistible" or anything that could reasonably be translated "irresistible" used in direct connotation with the word "grace?"
And is there a difference between "irresistible" grace -- meaning a sort of Manchurian Candidate response to the gospel and "inevitable" grace -- meaning it must happen exactly as God knows that it, in fact, did happen?
If you believe that all have the opportunity to be saved and, at the same time, that God's purpose in sending his Son is that none should perish, then you must conclude that God is a failure. Why? Because we know from God's word that not only do more than none perish but also that most perish. Those who are saved are described as a "remnant." Thus, under the alleged free will view of salvation, God has failed in his purpose for sending his Son.
Does that make sense? Or does it make more sense to understand that God sent his Son that none of his elect would perish? And none will, "for who can resist his will?" [Romans 9:19]
Even if you don't believe that God predestined all, surely you believe that God at least knows in advance all who will be saved? Is that not so? Okay, then look again at Romans 8:29:
For those he foreknew, he also predestined....
It states very clearly that where there is foreknowledge of God there is his predestination. So the only way in which predestination is "not an every day occurence" is that it all happened before the world began.
This saying is extrabiblical both in source and content. But even it recognizes predestination for ordinary people: "If not, it was never meant to be."
In the context, the only one who could mean something over and against human will is God. So the saying acknowledges that human freedoms, however they are to be understood, are still controlled by the Sovereign.
One source of the dispute on this thread is that there are many verses in the Bible that seem to mean, on their surfaces, that Christ came to save all men and that there are also many verses in the Bible that seem to mean, on their surfaces, that not all will be saved. Every participant in, and lurker on, this thread that has read the Bible should be able to agree on these two points and the logical conclusion that on the surface of the texts there is contradiction.
The dispute, then, is on how to deal with this apparent contradiction. Theological liberals say either that the Bible isn't God's word (at best, it's a human document that "contains" God's word) or that interpretation is mystical and/or subjective; in either case, surface contradictions don't matter. Hopefully, all reading this thread can agree that both liberal approaches are unworthy of respect.
Theological conservatives, by contrast, believe the Bible is God's word and, thus, like him isn't self-contradictory. So they want to resolve the apparent conflict in a logical way. Given the language of the texts, this requires going below the surface meaning of the words.
Calvinists address the subsurface meaning of the text by addition; they include for consideration yet another group of verses in the Bible, those that describe election. As God doesn't contradict himself, they say, when he says he comes to save "all the world," for example, he must mean "his elect from all parts of the world." Although this approach complicates matters it is internally coherent. And increased complication doesn't mean error; God's creation is complicated, so an accurate description thereof will itself included complicated elements.
Arminians, by contrast, try to deal with the apparent contradiction of God sending his Son to save all men and the Bible's account that not all will be saved by subtraction and simplification. They overlook or gloss over the many Sovereign election verses in the Bible. They do the same to those verses that emphasize God's omnipotence. Thus God may have elected some people but surely only a special few. And God may be all-powerful, but he chooses to give up his power any place it might infringe on the human right of choice.
This interpretive approach does simplify reality. But it also distorts it. It teaches a diminished view of God (He doesn't accomplish all he wills and much of what he does accomplish is contingent on his creation) and an elevated view of man. Indeed, in the Arminian view, Human Choice is the ultimate Sovereign. It outranks even the Creator....
Calvinism may be complicated and a bit paradoxical. But I'll take complication and paradox over simplicity that puts man at the center of the church any day.
What happens when you no longer have faith or believe?
You wrote I will perservere because I believe, not because I try to be a good person.
What if you stop believing? You saved yourself with your decision to believe why can't you decide not to believe. Are you a puppet? A Robot? What kind of a God would want to be loved by someone that may change his mind about wanting to love him?
God does not make the decision for you. If you go to hell it is because of missed opporunities, not because God gains pleasure from sending people there. It is in that sense that I see Calvinism as dangerous. Not because they believe that regeneration preceeds faith.
Yea too bad some people are not as smart as others to take advantage of the "opporunities"*grin*
Did the gentiles around them have that Choice?
What about the nations they were about to enter ? Or was the choice limited to ELECT Israel?
Deu 30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
This verse PRECEEDS the one you like
You show me yours and I will show you mine:>)
Show me the words "free will" in the bible
Now where in the Bible is the word "irresistible" or anything that could reasonably be translated "irresistible" used in direct connotation with the word "grace?"
There ain't no phrase "irresistible grace" either. So what? Both terms ("irresistible grace" and "Trinity") were developed by man to describe concepts in the Bible.
Now, at your request, here are the proofs that I.G is taught in the Bible
First let me quote the great verse John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." What a great verse! But it never answers the question of why people will believe. So, we can invent our own theology or we can read through the Bible and look for verses describing why people will believe. The why is defined in Theological Circles as irresistible grace.
John 6:37 "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away."
Hmmm, not all who choose me, but all that "the Father gives me will come to me.." If they aren't choosing, why are they coming? I.G!
John 6:44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day."
Ohhh, the Father is drawing. Again, sounds like God is doing the giving.
Daniel 4:35 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?
What? I thought we had free will? No one can change Gods will? No one can accuse God?
Just a couple of more:
1 Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast
Acts 16:14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message.
Now it's your turn. Try to show us where the decision to recieve grace is an act we make on our own choice. Not verses like John 3:16, I've already explained that. Such verses don't tell why people come to Christ. They explain the rule for salvation, not why people come.
Marlowe, at this moment, could you deny Christ?
If not, what keeps you from it?
Perhaps it's the same hand of God that brought you to it in the first place.
That the Bible actually does teach on these subjects is apparent from a cursory consideration of some of the following passages: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 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 (Rom. 8:28-30). Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 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. 1:3-5).
Let us consider these passages and a few others to see exactly what the Bible teaches about the doctrines of predestination and election. We are not interested in this article about the Calvinist perversions of these doctrines; we are only interested in what the Scriptures actually teach about the subject.
God's Work Through Jesus Christ From beginning to end, the Bible is concerned about God's work through Jesus Christ. God predetermined from the beginning of all time to redeem mankind through His Son Jesus Christ. Hence, when we begin to speak about the doctrine of predestination, we begin by recognizing that God's predetermination was to save men through His Son.
It was God's will that Jesus die for our sins; hence, Peter stated on the day of Pentecost, "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain" (Acts 2:22-23).
God's plan for the salvation of man was predetermined from the beginning. When man sinned, God began to work to save him. He planned to do this through the sending of Jesus Christ. God took upon Himself the form of a man and dwelt among us. He even endured the agonies of Calvary that we might be redeemed from our sins. If we will but remember that this is the primary thing predetermined by God, and not the salvation or damnation of specific persons, we will have moved a long way in understanding a difficult subject.
Now, let us look at some of the specific passages which teach about predestination and see what has been predetermined. Ephesians 1:3-14 Please open your Bibles to this passage and specifically examine the individual verses which I mention in this discussion. Space will not allow me to reproduce the verses at this place. Let us, therefore, notice what God has chosen in this passage: 1. To bless us through His Son. The thing which God has predetermined is to bless all men through the Son of God. Notice the specific statements: (a) "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (v. 3); (b) "According as he hath chosen us in him . . ." (v. 4); (c) "having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ . . ." (v. 5); (d) ". . . wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved" (v. 6); (e) "in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins. . . " (v. 7); (f) "that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ" (v. 10); (g) "in whom also we have obtained an inheritance" (v. 11). Hence, God predetermined the realm in which men would be saved-in Christ! No one can be saved, blessed of God, except in Christ our Redeemer. The predestination which we read of in the Scriptures, therefore, is God's predetermined plan to give all of His spiritual blessings to mankind through His Son Jesus Christ.
2. To have those who are redeemed in Christ to be holy and without blame (v. 4). God has not only predetermined the realm in which men would be saved (in Christ), He has also determined the character of those who will be saved. Those who will be saved must be holy and without blame. Man is "without blame" through the forgiveness of sins made possible through the precious blood of the Lamb of God. Having his sins washed away through Christ's blood, man stands before God with6ut blame. His character is that of a saint;
he tries to walk in moral purity. All of this, God predetermined before the first man was ever saved. He predetermined the character of those whom He would save. God never thought about saving the man who rebelliously walks in wickedness; He predetermined to save those who walk in moral purity.
Don't you mean that those who are saved are now considered pure in the eyes of God having Christ's Righteousness imputated to them?
3. To adopt these who are saved in Christ as children (v. 5). The text reads, "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ . . ." (v. 5). God also predetermined that those who would be redeemed through Christ would receive the adoption as sons. (See Gal. 4:1-6 for further discussion of the idea of adoption as sons.) Again, we read nothing about a specific person being chosen for salvation and another person chosen for damnation through the arbitrary will of God.
Rather, we read what God predetermined to do for those who were saved through Christ-to adopt them as children.
4. To gather together in one all things in Christ (v. 10). In addition to the things previously mentioned as being a part of God's predetermined will, Paul added, "that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ . . ." (v. 10). And this is what God has done. He brought together both Jew and Gentile in one body through Jesus Christ. Regarding this, Paul wrote, "And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby" (Eph. 2:16). What God predetermined to do was to save both Jew and Gentile in the one body (the church) through the one Savior, Jesus Christ.
5. To obtain an inheritance (v. 11J. Verse 11 reads as follows: "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." God also predetermined to grant an inheritance to those who are redeemed through His Son.
Notice, in summary, what Eph. 1:3-14 teaches. It does not teach that God predetermined before the foundation of the world and without consideration as to what He might see in man (such as faith and obedience to His will) to save a given individual and to damn another. Rather, God chose His plan for the redemption of man through Jesus Christ and the blessings which He would grant to men through that Christ.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 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. This passage gives some people a good bit of trouble. Let us begin by noting who is spoken of in this passage. They are variously described as "them that love God" and "them who are called." Those who love God are those who keep His commandments (Jn. 14:15, 21, 23); the call which God gives to men is through the gospel (2 Thess. 2:14). Hence, we are not discussing some men who received some kind of secret divine call in some mysterious way. We are discussing those who have heard the call of the gospel and obeyed it.
God, before the world began, looked ahead and saw that certain persons would obey His word and that others would not. I do not mean that God foresaw that some would and some would not obey; rather, God foreknew exactly who would and who would not obey His word. Yet, foreknowledge is not predetermination. Furthermore, for God to foreknow what a man with free will is going to do is no more difficult for His almighty power and omniscience than for Him to know what a mere robot would do. Hence, I see no problem in admitting that God knew before the world ever began all persons who would be saved and all who would be lost.
To teach that God predetermined both of these groups, however, causes untold problems for the disciple of the biblical text.
Now, here is what God predetermined: "for whom He did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son" (v. 29). God predetermined before the world began that those who would be obedient to His will would be conformed to the image of His Son, i.e., that they would receive the same resurrection body as His Son received.
Here are the other things which God has done for this group: (1) Called them. This has occurred through the preaching of the gospel. Paul later wrote, "whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess. 2:14). Those who are going to be saved have all been called through the preaching of the gospel. None else can be saved. (2) Justified them. God predetermined that this group would not only be called but that they would also be justified, i.e., made to stand without sin before the law. He did this through remitting their sins. (3) Glorified. These persons who chose of their.own free will to be obedient to the Lord's will, God has predetermined to glorify. This, of course, refers to God's plan to give us a home with Him in heaven.
Amen and a resurrection body in Christ's image.
Conclusion We see now what the Bible doctrine of predestination actually is. There is nothing in these verses 'which remotely intimates that God personally chose every man who would be saved without regard to whether or not that person would be obedient to His will or not. Nor, is there anything which intimates that God arbitrarily decided to damn men without regard to their disposition toward Him. Rather, God's predetermination concerns His work through His Son and His plans for those who obey Jesus.
Thank you for a excellent post!
The 'conditional' aspect of salvation ends when we accept the free gift of salvation (Rom.6:23), offered to all men (Jn.3:16).
Once we respond to God's love, then God's love becomes unconditional based on the new relationship that has been entered into.
Eternal security is knowing that if God knows everything, He already knows who will sit with Him in heaven and who won't. So in God's mind, it is set in stone.
That God knows who would freely respond to His free offer is not contested.
If we are graced by God's touch to know Christ and follow his lead, we realize Christ's sacrifice has allowed us to be counted among those with God.
And we know that Christ promised to draw all men to Him and tasted death for all men.
Thus, all man has to do is accept the gift offered to Him by a merciful and loving God.
If they do, they cannot be lost (in the Church Age), but if they do not, then the wrath of God does fall on them (Jn.3:36) because they rejected God's love.
That's security. And it's eternal
Were the Old Testament saints 'predestinated' to this eternal security?
Not according to Exodus 33:32 they weren't!
Eternal security is a New Testament doctrine based on Union with Christ, becoming the Body and Bride of Christ, not unconditional election.
As for the Union with Christ, that was something revealed to Paul (Eph.3).
This 'Union' goes beyond salvation, it shows a special relationship, that the Jews rejected and thus, was offered to the Gentiles (Rom 9-11), although individual Jews, when saved are brought into this 'new' body (Eph.1:23, 5:30, Gal.3:28).
Those Covenant made to Israel will be completed in the future when the Church is taken to heaven in the Rapture (1Thess.4:16-17 Heb.8:8, Jer.31:31), and the King of King and Lord of Lord, the Lion of Judah, comes to take the throne of David (Rev.19) and rule the world (Psa.2, Isa.9)
Did it say that he sinned in those ways. I read that he stated that he kept the commandments and the Lord did not correct him on it!
What the Lord did was reveal where his sin was, in greed.
God never leaves man to 'his own devices' but has made Himself clear to man through nature so that man may respond to God's drawing (Psa.19, Rom.1) That is certainly not true:
Then why does the Bible say that in Romans 1 that God has revealed Himself and that is the reason they are without excuse?
11 And He was saying to them, "To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables, 12 so that WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN." -- Mk. 4:11-12 [NASB] Hiding the gospel so that people may not turn and be forgiven? Revealing it only to a select few (in this case the 12)? Leaving the rest to their own devices? Sure sounds like what's happening here. (Incidentally, this verse always confused me as a little kid, when I encountered it. Why wouldn't God want everyone to turn and be forgiven? But few little kids encounter Romans 9-11.)
First, the fact is the Jew had rejected their Messiah, that is why they were 'hardened', as all are who reject the truth.
Romans says that they knew God, now how about that!
But since they refused to worship God, turned them over to a reprobate mind (vs.24).
Thus, it was their rejection that resulted in that reprobate mind, not that they had it at the start!
Finally, Israel shut her eyes her own eyes (Matt.13:15) 'for their eyes have they closed'
God also states in Romans 10:21 that He is pleading with the Jews.
He also wept over their rejection (Matt.23), a strange thing to do if it were God that made them reject His Son.
What [the opposite] states is that man has to reject God's drawing of them via nature and finally the Cross, but not all men do, some respond (such as Cornilus) and thus are saved. So why are some being saved and some rejecting it? Are those saved more devout or more spiritually attuned, so that they are more receptive? Or perhaps they're smarter? Or less evil?
No, they are more open to the truth and obedient to it.
No, those that are saved are such without any merit of their own.
Who said there was 'merit' in faith?
The merit lies in the object of the faith, not the one having the faith, the merit lies in the one giving the gift, not the one receiving it. (Rom.4:4-5)
Or, in the words of Scripture, For who maketh thee to differ one from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? 1 Cor. 4:6 [AV] Contextually, this refers to the Corinthians, who were proud of their wealth and power, but the premise still holds.
No, it had to do with the Corinthians divisions over spiritual gifts and schisms over following particular men.
The 'wealth' that Paul is discussing is 'spiritual wealth', not economic wealth.
Thus, you are left with a abitrary God, who acts contrary to what Scripture reveals Him to be, one who takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.(Ezek.33:11) Ezekiel refers to physical death as judgment.
And if one died as a judgment were they still saved (Exod.33:32)
Moreover, you still have 1Tim.2:4 and 4:10 to deal with.
REgarding eternal states, Romans already makes clear that God chooses based upon His counsel alone. I doubt it's arbitrary, but it's certainly not because of any merit on the part of the elect:
Well, here is a flash for you!
If it is not 'arbitrary' it must be based on something in the object then right?
Now all men are equally guilty before God, and God states that He is not a respector of persons, yet you state that you 'doubt that it is arbitrary!
As for Romans, it says nothing about unconditional election to salvation, it is speaking about Israel in Romans 9-11 and there are even Calvinists who acknowledge that fact. So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. - Rom 9:18 So, because he is born in sin and in Total depravity he hates God, rejects God, and is condemned by God, yet, never had a chance to accept God since God did not give him the irresistable grace that those who are saved get.
And according to Calvinists man is still responsible for this?
Now, how did man find himself in this 'totally depraved' state?
Did not God put Adam into sin (for God's glory)
Your system makes God the author of the very thing He hates, sin.
Finally, what the first Adam did, the Second Adam undid (Rom.5)
Grace is greater then sin.
19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?" 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory. - Rom 9:19-23 [NASB] It's there in black and white; you just refuse to see it.
I was wondering how long before Rom.9:20 would show up!
It took about three posts!
Now, go and find the historical context of those verses (Israel and Esau Mal.1).
Romans 9-11 is speaking about the nation of Israel, not individual salvation or damnation.
And why, pray tell, is this?
Moreover, you still have 1Tim.2:4 and 4:10 to deal with.
And we have done so ad nauseum. The Greek language is not as precise in its use of the universal as English. Pas does not necessarily mean "Each and every single one," but can also mean "all kinds, without distinction." That is the sense in I Tim. 2:4 and 4:10.
I was wondering how long before Rom.9:20 would show up!
That's because Romans 9-11 is something the Armininan simply cannot explain. To say it speaks only of national groups is just a flight of fancy. ("God's dispensational dealings with Israel" was the line I used when I fought against Calvinism. It was crap then, and its crap now.)
Tell me, how can this speak of "God's dispensational dealings with Israel?"
5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to Gods gracious choice.This speaks of individuals being elected, and thus, it cannot be held that Romans 9-11 speaks of "nations."
6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.
7 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened;
-- Rom 11:5-7.
The choice to choose for truth or against it.
The same reason not everyone becomes a criminal.
Moreover, you still have 1Tim.2:4 and 4:10 to deal with. And we have done so ad nauseum. The Greek language is not as precise in its use of the universal as English. Pas does not necessarily mean "Each and every single one," but can also mean "all kinds, without distinction." That is the sense in I Tim. 2:4 and 4:10.
Well, according to Spurgeon, the Calvinist brethren who attempt to make 1Tim.2:4 speak of all 'sorts of men' are going against scripture,
What then? Shall we try to put another meaning into the text than that which it fairly bears? I trow not. You must, most of you, be acquainted with the general method in which our older Calvinistic friends deal with this text. "All men," say they,"that is, some men": as if the Holy Ghost could not have said "some men" if he had meant some men. "All men," say they; "that is, some of all sorts of men": as if the Lord could not have said "all sorts of men" if he had meant that. The Holy Ghost by the apostle has written "all men," and unquestionably he means all men. I know how to get rid of the force of the "alls" according to that critical method which some time ago was very current, but I do not see how it can be applied here with due regard to truth. I was reading just now the exposition of a very able doctor who explains the text so as to explain it away; he applies grammatical gunpowder to it, and explodes it by way of expounding it. I thought when I read his exposition that it would have been a very capital comment upon the text if it had read, "Who will not have all men to be saved, nor come to a knowledge of the truth." Had such been the inspired language every remark of the learned doctor would have been exactly in keeping, but as it happens to say, "Who will have all men to be saved," his observations are more than a little out of place. My love of consistency with my own doctrinal views is not great enough to allow me knowingly to alter a single text of Scripture. I have great respect for orthodoxy, but my reverence for inspiration is far greater. I would sooner a hundred times over appear to be inconsistent with myself than be inconsistent with the word of God.
Moreover, in 1Tim.4:10 you not only have the fact that Christ is the saviour of all men, but espically those who believe, pointing out that the 'all' here does not refer to all 'kind's of men, but everyman.
Now, since 'all' means everyone most of the time, it is up to you show from the context that the 'all' here is referring to all 'kinds' and not everyone, not just because your theology demands it.
How do we know Rom.3:23 is not referring to all 'sorts of men' and not every man?
I was wondering how long before Rom.9:20 would show up! That's because Romans 9-11 is something the Armininan simply cannot explain. To say it speaks only of national groups is just a flight of fancy. ("God's dispensational dealings with Israel" was the line I used when I fought against Calvinism. It was crap then, and its crap now.) Tell me, how can this speak of "God's dispensational dealings with Israel?" 5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to Gods gracious choice. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. 7 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; -- Rom 11:5-7. This speaks of individuals being elected, and thus, it cannot be held that Romans 9-11 speaks of "nations."
First, Romans 9 begins with Paul referring to 'his brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh'(Rom.9:3)
Second, Romans 11 begins with 'hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamim.
Doesn't sound like he is speaking of individual salvation here.
As for vs.7, those Jews who believed in this dispensation were made part of the Church (Gal.3:28), but the rest were hardened (again a national reference)
The passage that you cite in Romans. 9:13 'Jacob have I loved, but Exau have I hated' is a quotation from Malachi 1:2
I have loved you saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? Saith the Lord, yet I loved Jacob. And I have hated Esau and laid his mountains and his heritage to waste for the dragon of his wilderness (Mal.1:2-3)
Thus, that 'hatred' of Esau is referring to a national hatred based on its attitude to Israel (Psa.137:7), not individual salvation of either Jacob or Esau.
I note that you did not answer the question of God being 'arbitrary'.
So if all men are the same, on what basis did God choose some and reject the rest, creating them for the sole purpose of sending them to a Lake of Fire?
The Calvinist wants to pretend that he is so humble, that he preaches 'grace'.
What he really believes is that there must have been something that made him worthy of being saved, after all, they will exclaim, God chose me!
If not on the basis of something in that person, then it is simply that God picks a name out of a giant cosmic hat and being God is allowed to do so, 'might makes right', the same view that Islam has of God.
I think we have gone full circle, dealing with the usual Calvinistic 'proof-text's.
Actually 'unconditional election' is only an issue because the Calvinists make it one.
The real issues in Christianity are the Gospel of Christ,(Rom.1:16) and being a doer of the word and not only a hearer (James. 1:22)
As Wesley preached at the sermon of Whitfield, non-essentials should not separate the brethen who are laboring for the Lord.
Bump for a latter read and perhaps future participation...
Well, there have been some tense moments....
We wear special throat protection gear.
Every man has the God given right to choose FTD. Every man will do what he will. Teir eternal problem is what they will choose without the grace of God
Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Calvin did not know Paul as James did. It is better to be guided by James than by Calvin.
There are actions a person must take to cooperate with God in salvation and remaining within that salvation. Those are not burdensome actions: baptism, repentance, obedience. Nor are they part of the old Jewish law which is what Paul meant when he referred to those who desired to be declared righteous by their works.
We do good works as a result of Christ's regeneration, not as a token for its barter.
One of the inherent problems with Catholicism/Arminianism is the ignoring of the eternal security provided by Christ's sacrifice.
Christ's sacrifice was complete on the cross; he died for His flock and paid the full price for your redemption.
But the Catholic/Arminian believes that Christ's work was not complete; that you are perpetually in jeopardy of losing God's grace. Thus the intervention of extraneous, self-serving church hierarchy is "necessary" to help you keep upright.
Calvin merely pointed out that if one is saved in God's plan, that salvation cannot be lost.
We live our lives according to His will; not ours.
Yes, and all men receive the grace of God, which reveals Himself, first through nature then through the Gospel.
In Romans 1:21 we read that the heathen knew God, but rejected Him.
In Romans. 2:18, Paul says that the unsaved Jew knows God will and 'approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed in the law' yet resists God (Acts. 7:51)
We see examples of unsaved people seeking God in the person of Cornilus (Acts 10-11).
God seeks the unsaved first via natural theology and conscience and if that person is receptive, then the Gospel.
Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Hyperbolic statements made to make a point that the Jew was no better then the Jew.
That same passage also states that there is 'no fear of God before their eyes' yet we saw the Pharoah afraid of God in Gen.20 and the sailors afraid God's wrath in Jonah.
What you want to make those passages say is that even though God seeks man through nature (Psa.19, Rom.1) revealing Himself so that man will begin to seek Him, that man cannot respond to God's grace unless already unconditionally elected.
Hence, the need for Calvinism to stress regeneration preceding (at least logically) faith.
Every false faith has its 'proof-texts', the issue is, are they consistent with the rest of scripture. Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Did the 'good' Samaritan do good?
Now, that 'good' will not get him saved, but it nevertheless is still a 'good' that God commands.
Out of context'proof-texts' are much easier to handle then the entire realm of scripture.
Maybe you can answer this for me. I posted it on another thread but no one replied.
In 1 Corinthians 9:27, Paul states "What I do is discipline my own body and master it, for fear that after having preached to others I myself should be rejected." It seems that Paul is saying he is uncertain of his own salvation or recognizes that he can lose it. How do you reconcile this statement with your beliefs?
Calvin merely pointed out that if one is saved in God's plan, that salvation cannot be lost.
We live our lives according to His will; not ours.
Naw Doc - I dont look to my church to keep me "upright" -I'd agree if you had left it at the RC.
I have an assurance of faith, but can admit that I am enough of a yutz to foul it up, calling my salvation into question.
....and while it doesnt fit into your paradigm, I pray continually His will is done on Earth, and that I am an agent of that will.
Sorry to be contrary, must be the fiber
does this make me a lukewarm calvinist (gasp)
Hows the weather?
Hi, Rev! Well, you're heading in the right direction.
The point is you might feel you could "foul up" your salvation, but God knows if you'll be with Him in heaven or not. So ultimately, if God holds you as His Elect, you can't "foul it up." And we live our lives knowing His presence is always with us, guiding us every step of the way.
Since we're human, we sometimes fail; sometimes sin. But we can't "lose" the salvation God already knows He's gifted us with since our sins have been washed away by Christ's sacrifice. That's eternally reassuring. I think it's just an added, logical measure of comfort the Reformed perspective gives the believer.
And it's not the church that "keeps us upright"; it's the Holy Spirit. We probably agree on that.
Weather's fine; always is. I like all weather. 8~)
But "saved" doesn't mean you become God. Man is man, as God made him, human, fallible, weak and fallen. Once God's grace is made known to you via the sacrifice of the Cross, you are relieved of the burden of hell, but never relieved of your human nature to stray.
But Paul realized that God's plan trumps man's human nature. Paul's mention of "rejection" is his rejection by men and his fellow Christians, not rejection by God.
Verses 24-27 You know that while all the runners in the stadium take part in the race, the award goes to one man. In that case, run so as to win! Athletes deny themselves all sorts of things. They do this to win a crown of leaves that withers, but we a crown that is imperishable. I do not run like a man who loses sight of the finish line. I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. What I do is discipline my body and master it for fear that after having preached to others I myself should be rejected."
The runners are the human race while the "athletes" are Christians in Paul's analogy. (One could also make a case that the runners are professed Christians while ones who make it to the finish line are truly saved Christians). The finish line is death/eternal life. I don't see where Paul has a concern whether people like him or not. In fact, Paul was preaching some pretty unpopular stuff to the Jews and non-believers. He told them the Old Covenant law was no longer relevant. He preached against the sinful practices and debauchery of the time. Paul wasn't a go along to get along type guy. Preaching the Gospel could and did get most people killed. If he wanted to be popular he would have chosen another line of work.
Then in 2 Corinthians 11 and 12 he goes so far as to embrace poor treatment, suffering and being thought a fool. It doesn't seem Paul cared what people thought of him as long as they believed in the Word he preached.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. [1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (RSV)]
Paul would rather die than be deprived of his ground for boasting. Why else would he rather die, except, that he feared the future loss of his salvation. So Paul knows, he could lose salvation. It is a concern for him.
For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission.(1 Corinthians 9:16-17)
How much more explicit could he make it?