After a careful reading of Romans 9, what provokes one to bring God's justice into question when Paul anticipates these questions of objection? What's the controversy Paul is bringing to light here?
"Is there injustice on God's part?" (Rom 9:14)
"Why does he still find fault?" (9:19)
"For who can resist his will?" (9:19)
"Why have You made me like this?" (9:20).
Keep an open mind and let the text speak for itself without imposing person feelings and presuppositions.
If you want the text to speak for itself, then why do you request commentary?
To spark conversation and to get people to think.
If you begin by controlling the response, the conversation wont be very interesting, and for sure, one-sided. Just a suggestion.
Thanks for the input. What I was avoiding was people responding with a bias without considering what the writer was actually trying to say. Often these passages are read as footnotes in our theology and understanding of salvation. My goal is to get people to actually read the passage and weigh what it says carefully. Consider it an exercise in critical theological thinking.
I totally understand and that's good advise, my only worry was that you could actually be the one with the bias. If we respond in a way that does not agree with how you see the text, then we get reprimanded for not responding according to *your presuppositions. We see it happen a lot. That may be why ppl are slow to reply. Sometimes it's best just to let the conversation flow and allow ppl to speak unhindered.
I understand you as well. However, I can tell you that I have been persuaded to reinterpret certain passages after hearing another view. I am receptive but only with good reason to believe so. I am certain of my interpretation,; however, I can assure that my mind is open to other possibilities. I have heard of other interpretations, but I just haven't heard any good alternatives yet.
On another note, I would rather have someone read a passage carefully with intent and give their opinion, than for them to surface read the passage with little to no thought. Because at that point people aren't truly searching the meaning of the passage, and their conclusions are more than likely based on feelings. Such conclusions are half-hearted and a waste of breath and time.
And after much study, I've even corrected my own thinking on certain passages and doctrines from time to time. So believe me when I say that I am above all things after the truth.
""Is there injustice on God's part?" (Rom 9:14)"
I have a question I sometimes pose to try to answer that.
Is God a just judge?
This speaks of Jesus.
He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.
The above quote shows this as Gods first actual judgement and shows his setting and accepting a bribe of a human sacrifice to corrupt or alter his justice and judgement.
Justice usually states that only the punishment of the guilty is acceptable to justice and that it would be unjust to punish the innocent.
God’s corruption of this usual justice is what the bribe or sacrifice of Jesus bought. Injustice.
If you elect your judges in your country, would you vote God in as a fair and just judge knowing that he can be bribed?
Is God a just judge?
So to answer your question directly, yes, there is injustice on God's part due to his setting and accepting bribes/sacrifices/ransoms.
DL, thanks for your input. I actually had another aspect of God's justice in mind in the context of the passage I gave. But I will discuss with you this issue that you have raised.
First, Jesus wasn't just any human. he wasn't a creature like you and I and the rest of the world is. Rather, Jesus was actually God incarnate. So He was actually fully God and fully human. Second, being God in the flesh He said to those who was about to kill Him:
John 10:17-18 "For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father."
Every sin will be paid for by the wrath of God. You can either pay for them on the Day of Judgment or you can put your trust and hope in Jesus who takes away the sins of the world.
I have seen that argument but it does not answer why a just judge would set and accept a bribe to corrupt his ruling.
As above so below.
Do you think a good judge sets and accepts bribes?
Please answer that simple question.
Just to help you along -----
How will you get yourself into heaven? On your own merit or via a scapegoat?
Revisit substitutionary atonement or vicarious redemption and scapegoating with me just to refresh your memory.
I am not an atheist but Satan and Christians want atheists to embrace barbaric human sacrifice and the notion that we should profit from punishing the innocent instead of the guilty. Scapegoating IOW.
In reality, if God did demand such a barbaric sacrifice, he would be sinning as we all know that it is immoral to kill the innocent. God knows this yet Christians do not seem to. You do. Right?
Those with good morals will know that no noble and gracious God would demand the sacrifice of a son just to prove it's benevolence. When you die, Satan will ask you; how was your ticket to heaven purchased? With innocent blood?
If and when you say yes, you become his.
The other option in scriptures, a moral one, is shown here. 2 Peter 3:9 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.
Scriptures indicate that God prefers repentance to sacrifice and as God’s will is supreme and cannot be thwarted, this will come to pass.
It is a special distorted Christian view of love that sees, --- as the greatest act of love possible, --- their God condemning them, and then turning and demanding his son’s deaths and thus corrupting God's perfect justice. A bribe set by God as judge himself for himself. This is of course ridiculous.
Christians have an insane view of love, IMO.
Would you express your love for humanity or those you love by having your own child needlessly murdered?
Or if convinced that a sacrifice was somehow good, would you have the moral fortitude to step up yourself to that cross instead of sending your child?
Your cowardly God did not.
I forgot to mention. Also, God's justice was appeased not merely because Jesus was offered as a sacrifice by the hands of the Romans. His sacrifice was sufficient for God to justify the wicked because while Jesus was on the cross, God the Father poured His wrath upon Jesus as a means to satisfy His wrath against us. Jesus stood in our place and received the wrath from God in our place.
So God pored his wrath onto himself to appease himself so that he could rescind his own condemnation.
Only a real idiot would be able to make sense of that.
Listen to one who makes sense please.
It seems clear to me that the controversy was the tendency to "fault" God. People forget that he makes the rules. He has purpose for them all.
In chapter 4, Paul speaks about the food. Not a big deal, Paul says. God allows for some; does not allow for others. He spoke of it being a matter of faith.
Is there injustice on God's part? No. He is just.
Why does he still find fault? That is a question people really want to know today. They feel he is the reason for whatever; that he is the sinner because he has turned their wheels in whatever sinful direction they tread.
Interesting that he "made" Pharoh to act as he did. I often wonder if Pharoh is one for whom God finds no fault. That's twice that I've heard he was "hardened" by God; now "raised" by God. Still very interesting.
Hello Cg, thanks for your input. I can only assume you meant Romans 14 when discussing food observances, but I don't think they have any bearing on Paul's anticipated objections here (verses 14 and 19). Perhaps the purpose for the questions brought by Paul are more immediate in context--within the same chapter? Let's read what Paul says exactly in Romans 9:14: "What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means!"
The cause of Paul's questioning of God's injustice stems directly from the prior verses.
Concerning verse 19: "You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"" Again, the immediate context (more specifically the 4 verses prior to) seems to be the cause of Paul's anticipated objections.
Paul is trying to teach us something here in this chapter. What do you suspect that is?
It seems as if he is trying to get it across that they should be responsible for their actions, instead of faulting God.
What do you think?
As a Christian, have you ever heard of being called the children of Abraham? The children of Abraham are those who the promises of God are given to, those whom salvation belongs to. The purpose of Romans 9 is to define these people.
Paul begins by grieving for His "kinsmen," Israel, because they rejected the Messiah which lead to God rejecting them. From there he states, "But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel" (v. 6). He says this because it does seem as though God's promise failed because of His promise to Abraham which Israel is God's chosen people.
But then in the next few verses Paul makes a distinction to say that not all who are physical descendants of Abraham are considered to be Israel.
He says: "6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,
7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named."
8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring."
Paul is saying that God's children (those who are saved and being saved) are not the physical descendants of Israel (they were God's chosen people given the promise of being His people), but the "children of the promise are counted as offspring." Who's offspring? Abraham's offspring. Who are the children of the promise (the children of God; God's actual children promised to be His people for salvation)? He begins to tell us in the next two verses:
"9 For this is what the promise said: "About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son."
10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac,"
The promise was to Isaac though Ishmael was Abraham's first born. Also, Isaac had twins with Esau as his first born yet Jacob was the child of the promise. At this point you must ask yourself, "why was one child chosen from each patriarch and not the other or why not both?" Paul tells us plainly in the next couple verses what's the basis of God's choosing one over the other:
"11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad-in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls-
12 she was told, "The older will serve the younger."
13 As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
This is the main verse that cautions Paul to say in the next verse, "What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means!"
So, what is questionable about the prior verses that make him say that? The answer is how God chooses who are the children of the promise--to be a child of God. Recall verse 11 where Paul says that Rebekah conceived twins and God chose Jacob over Esau before they were born, before they had done any good or bad. Why?
"In order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls."
This is what we call the doctrine of election, or unconditional election. Who's purpose does God choose to be His people? His purpose. Paul says that God chose Jacob over Esau before they were born. Not because of any foreseen knowledge of works or faith but because of God "who calls."
From here, Paul gives more arguments for God's choosing. I would say that underlying thesis of this chapter rests in verses 15, 16, and 18:
"15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy."
18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
I think these verses are clear. "So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who has mercy." "It" in this verse refers to the purpose of the whole chapter that Paul labors to defend, God's election, or choosing, of His children, the believers in Christ. We could read this passage to mean, "So then our salvation in Jesus Christ depends not on our will or works, but upon God who calls."
Verse 19 poses the question: "You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" These questions stem directly from the previous verse: "So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills." I could explain how God does this but that will take another discussion thread. So, God has mercy on some and on others He hardens, both are done according to His will and purpose and not our own.
Lastly, Paul rebukes those who think this way by saying:
"20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?"
21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?"
There is much more to say but I think I've said plenty on the subject. I have a couple hubs that explain these doctrines much deeper: "Divine Election of the Saints" and "Golden Chain of Salvation." Together, these hubs should answer a lot of questions you may have...if you believe what I have written here.
I think that your main focus in this post was specific to NOT the question you originally asked. Please correct me if I am wrong. You did not originally asked about the explanation of the declaration that ANYONE who knocks is answered. You asked what Paul was teaching in other verses. You FINALLY to the scriptures originally spoken of, then I felt like you dropped the ball...
But I do agree with your interpretation of the other scriptures.
My question was what provokes the readers of this chapter to question God's justice as Paul anticipates in verses 14 and 19. He knows what he is writing is controversial and difficult to believe, because essentially what he is saying is that God is utterly sovereign over our salvation which we have no control over. He chooses unconditionally who receives eternal life and who is damned. He does this by how He molds His clay. He molds some to believe in Christ by His mercy and He molds others to how they would naturally be apart from His grace--God hating who never comes to Christ. The rest of Scripture is in mind but there is an assumption by everyone which isn't true. The assumption is that we are able to choose God when prompted, but the truth is that no one is capable of choosing God because of our love for sin. We are all spiritually dead. Therefore, those whom God has unconditionally chosen before the foundations of the world, upon their hearing of the gospel God regenerates their heart and makes them spiritually alive so that they will without fail choose Christ. That's the basic foundation of election. That we are all incapable of coming to Christ but because of God's love He rescued some of us.
This is the issue that Paul refers to when raising questions of God's justice when he says:
"What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means!" (9:14).
"You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"
But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" (9:19-20).
Why? Because God chooses some to come to Him in faith and the rest He justly condemns. He has mercy on whom He wills and He hardens whom He wills.
Sorry, but that is just sick. I'm certain those who believe themselves saved will just think God is mysterious and just, but that does not represent justice, by any measure.
I've read that Jesus was the Reason of God. Nothing in your interpretation of Paul's comments are reasonable. Maybe, Paul's ramblings there were simply him missing the point.
Sick? Do you know what would have happened if God did not choose some for salvation? The world would reject God and Christ dies in vain. Election is a necessity where God is gracious towards some and just towards the rest. Is that sick?
Yes. I would classify that as sick. Condemn some, save some because.....well, just because he can. I'm afraid that doesn't represent the actions of a mentally balanced deity. It doesn't represent love. It doesn't line up with the statement 'God so loved the world' it needs a different following thought. Something akin to 'except whoever the fickle finger of malicious fate feels compelled to condemn'.
I simply find the whole story of Jesus at direct odds with this interpretation you are offering.
"Because He can"? I didn't say because He can. I said because He must.
Because he must? He has no choice? Who, exactly, would be able to compel God to do anything other than what he considers just and right?
He must because if not then Christ dies in vain. Without election, everyone rejects God and is thrown into hell. God chooses instead to save some by snatching them from the brink of hell. I've been trying to explain in this discussion that God must unconditionally elect some people unto salvaiton because we would have never chosen God on our own. He first must give life to a spiritually dead corpse (redundant, I know) in order for His chosen to respond positively to His calling. However, He does not make some people alive for them to merely make a choice. We all choose according to our greatest desires. The natural man can only choose darkness which he loves. It's the same way with those whom God regenerates in the new birth. Their will is changed from loving darkness to hating the light to loving the light and hating the darkness. Thus, they will (without fail) choose Christ. Our choices are bound to our desires and our desires are bound to either sin or righteousness. The natural man's desires are bound to sin because he loves sin, but the regenerate has been made alive in Christ whose heart has been renewed by the Spirit. Understand?
Remember Paul's words inspired by God:
19 You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"
20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?"
21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?
That may be where the problem lies. To assume that Paul's words are all inspired by God is not something I would be prone to do. Why would you take the gospels and automatically substitute the message of the guy who claims to be the Son of God with the words of a guy with obvious issues?
I see no conflict between the two. Paul's gospel of Christ is the same as Jesus' and is the same as John's and as well as James'.
I think, the conflict comes with interpretation of intent. What was Jesus's intent? What is the intent of the god you worship?
They said, at a young age, Jesus understood the reasons for the law. The spirit of the law. You guys all talk about having 'discernment' and being 'guided by the spirit'. One has to wonder what spirit would guide someone to think so many would perish, when also arguing in defense of a loving God. I think the key....the foundation for attempting to understand the intent of Jesus....begins with his statement about the two commandments which all law flows from. Why all law was written. That statement, by him, encompasses the attributes listed for God and any interpretation which does not satisfy his statement, universally, does not fall in line with his teachings.
Except for, of course, you (since I assume you believe yourself to be one of the lucky ones) and a few others who fall into the parameters of your interpretation of who will make it to a non fiery afterlife; how does your interpretation equate to good news? How does your interpretation line up, universally, with Jesus's statement as to the two most important commandments? Who, in their right mind, would think the world would classify the interpretation you present as good news? If it isn't good news, and I think we can all agree that it would not be good news to the lion's share of humanity throughout the history of humanity, then the whole thing starts well outside of the parameters of the two most important commandments. Which, makes the middle and end outside of the parameters also.
I simply think Christianity has fallen into the same trap that the Israelites fell into. Believing that interpreting, expanding, 'discerning' words without understanding intent is the secret to eternal life. As if you could, somehow, move a fickle finger of fate to your advantage.
Thank you for your engagement to the conversation Emile.
I would point to the most terrifying passage in the Bible which happens to be Jesus' words. We'll be looking at the last 15 verses of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 7:13-27.
First, look at what He says in verses 13-14:
13 "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."
His words here are not difficult. There are two paths and two gates. One leads to eternal life with Christ and the other, damnation. He says only few will find and enter the narrow gate and many will perish through the other. We can at least say that Jesus is distinguishing between true believers and unbelievers; however, it's possible to interpret this passage to include only believers in which out of everyone who professes faith in Christ, only a few of them will find the narrow path and gate.
Let's skip the next six verses and jump to verse 21 and I'll explain why this is a possible interpretation:
21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
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?'
23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'"
To me, this is the scariest verse in the Bible, because it implies that not everyone who makes a profession of faith is saved. And notice what Jesus will say to them, "I never knew you." These people were always counterfeit Christians that never walked with Christ. They supposedly had cast out demons, prophesied, and many other mighty works in His name. But they were never born again and the Spirit never dwelled in them. They were false converts from the start. This teaching goes well with my concept that we are not slipping in and out of God's grace--stepping between the paths of righteousness and damnation. No, everyone walks on the wide path of destruction until they are born again and step onto the path of life. Once they are on this path they never depart from it. Yes, there are warnings that if we walk off of it then we will be judged accordingly, but there are numerous promises from God saying that He won't let us walk off the path.
Thus, the good news is that God came to earth to save a "few" (as Jesus said) but salvation is offered to all people if they only would repent and believe on Christ.
No problem. Attempts to interpret text in the Bible fascinates me.
I think it is important that you have noted this was the Sermon on the Mount. He also stated, in that section that the decisive issue was whether the will of the father in heaven had been done. So, I still think it is reasonable to say that in order to do the will of the father, one has to first set the foundation. What is the intent of the will of the father? Fulfill the two most important commandments. My problem is that all interpretations by Christians ignore one of those as much as possible.
Not to point fingers, because all of humanity, in my mind, misses the mark of what I think the intent was; but don't the verses here clearly point toward attempts to interpret away the intent of the entire statement on the two commandments? Loving God is pretty easy. What's he up to these days? Definitely not hanging around here to back up anyone's interpretations of an ancient book. Loving your neighbor, as yourself; when completely sidelined, ignored, explained away through bouncing here and there to find passages to support one's views shows my interpretation of the meaning of that passage. The shortcomings which would cause many who believe themselves worthy and pious, who seek to be teachers because they think they've found a truth which justly excludes some from the mandate to view others with the same love we display when evaluating ourselves. I do honestly think we would all get a face palm reaction from any spiritual being watching us attempt to follow guidance we see in the text. Because we all fall short, in our own unique manner.
I see a lot of Jesus's teaching of this type to be attempts to make us understand that there is no way that we can rationally come to the conclusion that we have been good enough to warrant the idea of heaven. Everyone who seeks to be a prophet, a teacher, a leader in God's name may fool the world, but they don't fool themselves. They know, somewhere inside, that their actions are for themselves first, maybe the good of others second or maybe not. But, it always falls back to the fact that our actions are motivated by the thought of personal gain. Anyone who can fool themselves into not recognizing that in this life will be clearly and painfully aware of it in the next. Even Moses was said to have forgotten that the power was not his. He did nothing, he was only the conduit.
I see no logic in this statement, when we add what I understand to be your view that only a few were meant to be saved from the beginning. It's a false offer. A false hope. It's salesmanship of the most heinous kind because it would mean that people were being misled and lied to on a cosmic scale.
No, because the information is available to all who hear it and if they were to believe then they would be saved. The issue isn't God but people and their wicked hearts.There are a couple comments I made to a couple people here that apply. I'll quote myself instead of retyping them:
Here is my comment to Jerami that I mentioned:
Wow. I think that is very interesting that you do not see how far from what I consider to be the starting point you are. If, as you say, The only reason anyone believes (like you and me) is because it was granted to them by the Father. So, God hasn't denied anyone faith but on the contrary has given the gift of faith to some. how do you resolve that to the mandates to love?
The gift of faith you claim was a gift from God equates to a gift born of love; if faith means that there will be no separation from God in the afterlife.. Some obviously weren’t gifted to believe as you do. How can you believe God ever loved humanity in the first place? By this statement you are confessing a belief that only some were loved. You would, certainly, place yourself among the ranks of the loved. Out of curiosity, were you in the ranks of the unloved would you want to be loved? If so, would it be unreasonable to assume that another, outside of the ranks, would also want to be loved? Would it be logical to think a loving god, knowing that all would like to be loved would purposely ensure that some could not find the logic in the leap?
How does that philosophy line up with Love God, love your neighbor as yourself? If God made the law, would he not abide by it? Would he not expect you to abide by it? Where in the comment does it qualify either part of the mandate?
I am so very sorry, but I cannot see anything in your line of reasoning other than an inability to fathom the idea of cosmic love. I get that. We live in a reality where we have to judge, consistently, from the moment of our birth. Some judgments are simply used to recognize the difference between one thing and another. As we get older, our tendency to judge expands and we get bogged down in the reality of that. It is very difficult to imagine how some things we consider to be wrong will not be cause for cosmic retribution. We see anything less as unfair. But, that is by our standards. By our perception which is driven by the reality we exist within. If eternity truly exists then this lifetime we use to judge eternity by is too short to be anything more than myopic; at best. Attempting to hem love in by tying it to the observations made within the existence we share here and now is pointless .
If God made the universe and all that it contains, then everything within it was set in motion by him, everything that has evolved and every interaction that has been had; was by his hand. Your interpretation makes some mere victims of a capricious entity. It still does not fall within the parameters of what was said to be the two most important commandments. It is making excuses for God, by my estimation. Does an all powerful deity need excuses for his actions? If so, what does that say about the deity?
To be clear, verses like John 3:16 are still true and salvation is a bona fide offer to all people. God's love is defined in many ways. He does love His creation. Listen to Jesus: "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matt 5:44-45). God loves His enemies, those who are not in union with Christ. This is His display of love. Often in the Old Testament, it is said that the wicked prosper. God lavishes on them what their hearts desire--riches but not God. This is actually a form of judgment (to give the wicked over to their desires) but in a way could be seen as love because everything they have comes from His hand. They don't deserve anything they have but He has provided it.
All of these things--the sun, the rain, possessions--are all forms of God's love. Paul speaks about these things in his letter to the Romans:
"Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed" (Romans 2:4-5).
The world takes for granted God's kindness which is meant to lead them to repentance. However, their desire for self and sin is so much greater.
God loves the world just not all people the same way. Here is a response I made to bBerean that applies here I believe. He asked a questioning God's fairness and man's chance at redemption:
If, as you say, we naturally choose to hate God and everything He is how then do you account for humanity's desire, almost from the beginning, to know God? Why does almost every culture worship what they believe to be God. Why does the lion's share of humanity, even today, claim belief and alliance with their idea of what and who God is?
There is no evidence, other than unfounded accusations, that any human hates God and everything he is. Sounds more like malicious gossip to me. Or, an attempt to put some above others in his eyes. Do you think God can be hoodwinked?
Good question. I think we are getting somewhere now. There is much to say about this subject but I'll try to keep it short.
Yes, most of us seek after a creator, the divine being who made all things. However, we don't know who God is so we invent ideas of who God is but is no god at all but he becomes a distortion of ourselves in our minds.
The world and the reality of truth is beautiful beyond our imagination. It is something beyond our comprehension, and we by nature do not understand it. Instead, we come up with our own "truths" which is always a distortion and a mock of reality. Voltaire said it best: "In the beginning God created man in His own image, and in return we have created Him in ours." Meaning, our belief of reality or belief in who God is and His character always depicts, or is molded from, our own nature rather than the true and glorious nature of who God really is as He depicts Himself through Jesus Christ (who is God manifest) and the Bible. The difference between our nature and God's is that ours has become morally corrupt--infecting every part of our will and being. Our dispositions are now by nature God-hating, twisted, and self-indulging apart from His grace. Because we are corrupt and sinful, we see God's perfect righteousness and hate it. We are naturally blind to objective reality (the Truth) because of our human, sinful nature. We are like creatures who dwell in utter darkness who are blind to the truth, and when a ray of light shines in we scatter in fear and in hatred for the light because it is foreign, it exposes us, and it burns our eyes when we look upon it. We love the darkness and hate the light which is the truth and the glorious goodness of God and Lord Jesus Christ. We don't think we are as evil as we really are because we compare ourselves by ourselves and we say, "I'm no worse than the others." However, the measuring stick of righteousness is God's, and His standard for righteousness is His own perfection--flawless and beautiful. Like I said, His righteousness and perfection drives us mad and we naturally hide from God as to not expose our unrighteousness.
Hard to believe? Here's a scenario. And this applies to everyone including myself. Imagine you are sitting in a room with all your friends and family when all of your thoughts (from the day you were born to that moment) in your heart is revealed on a movie screen in front of everyone. Your deepest thoughts and feelings are exposed for all to see. I submit that you would run out of that room in shame (as well as I and anyone else) because of the wicked things you have thought in your daily life--even thoughts you've had against your family and friends. Those were your friends, so how much more in the presence of a holy and righteous God who hates all unrighteousness. His holy wrath is held against all of humanity because of the wickedness in their heart. God said this about all of humanity:
"The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Gen 6:5). Then again He says, "The LORD said in his heart, "I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth" (Gen 8:21). These two verses are bookends of the Flood He brought upon the world. The Bible describes elsewhere that there is hostility and enmity between humanity and God and that we are all enemies of God (mutually).
Those who say they love God but do not love Jesus Christ do not love God. Rather, they love the image of a god that they created in their mind after their own likeness.
I don't see the point in continuing the conversation. i agree with you on some points, but my conclusions from those points clearly, to me, show that your interpretation cannot be right. I think those points point to what I am trying to explain. Everyone sees the universe differently.
I wish you luck.
That is the err I see. God is not a man that he should lie. He offers to all. The spirit agrees in everything. The truth remains the same throughout.
Yes! We agree. Salvation is offered to all! The good news is that salvation has been made possible for all people. The greater news is that salvation is made certain for some.
Not without faith in God, and his word. No matter who you are...
God gave some the gift (select invitations). When they turned their noses up, he gave the gift (invitation) to others in their (chosen) faces. They turned down the offer. Do you think they made it anyway??? Do you think that those "chosen" Israelites, swallowed up into the ground made it to the wedding??? As "chosen" as they were, they missed. They were chosen; they chose something else. God allowed them to. Then their consequence.
The spirit of God, must be tried by the spirit of God.
Remember the last verse in that parable, verse 14. "Many are called few are chosen." That is, the outward calling of God is heard by the multitude, but only the chosen come to the banquet. On another note, it's not wise to build doctrines upon parables nor to use them as proof texts to prove something right or wrong.
Parables are perfect. Jesus used them...
The "chosen" missed the celebration. Remember???
The missing of this point is really tickly. I think you know much of the word...but the spirit of them seems a bit slanted to me.
The God of Abraham made it plain and simple. The chosen walk the narrow path and enter into the narrow gate. The chosen, have a great deal of faith. (Well at least the size of a mustard seed)
We are chosen by grace that comes via our faith. You will not enter into his party without faith for it is impossible to please him without it.
Mary was selected. If she said, "Hell no! I don't wont no bastard baby while I'm tryin to get married!" She probably would have been remembered for ANOTHER reason...
Had Paul said, "Hell no! I spit on you, now give me back my sight!" He would probably not be remembered at all. God makes us to know that, although he can be very persuasive, he allows yea OR nay. CHOOSE YE (that means you choose) this day.
Yes God chooses some to ensure his plan, but I believe it to be more of a choosing based upon the person (such as Paul himself was chosen for who he was, what he was doing, his potential for success because of his passion). Jesus, chosen before Earth's creation; John, in his mother's womb. Others too...but they were not the only chosen ones.
God chooses any man that chooses him in his heart.
Paul conveys the futility of the questions. God is ruler. Like, we don't go to Ray Kroc to question him about the thousand islands, I mean "special sauce" lol...
Haha. Okay, but Paul's passion was to persecute the church in the name of religion. He considered himself to be the least deserving of God's grace because of how merciless he was towards God's people. He had passion but very misguided and evil passion.
Remember what he said as I mentioned earlier, "So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy" (9:16).
I guess I don't understand your point. Sorry.
Paul may have been a bit biased. He who is forgiven much, loves much also... he was quite empathetic as one chosen from a murderous life. He knew full well that he had made up his mind to NOT follow. He knew full well that he was a sinner, saved by grace.
That WOULD be one of his teachings strictly based from personal experience.
Those who were not first invited to the "wedding" feast, were LATER invited. For me, that solves the mystery there. Not possibly chosen from the beginning.
The bible teachings fit neatly. It illustrates the mind of God. Confirmation of the same mind is evident. We try spirit by spirit to see if it be of God.
God chose some from the beginning. Pretty specific about who they are by name. THEN he invited the world. See?
Unfortunately, to me, it seems as if you are giving credence to the idea that God makes puppets. But he just doesn't. Whosoever will may come. I do feel that some are chosen by him before birth, but I honestly believe it to be based upon your decision to say yes, for the rest of us. It probably would be considered unjust to say come, if you are barred. "Come over here to this locked door my children; you can keep knocking but you cant come in!" sounds horrible...
Jesus invited everyone to the "feast." Not all will come.
There are a few scriptures that come to mind that refute the idea that God chose ALL heaven-bound before the foundation of the world.
He first chose the Jew. When they turned down the invite, God put the "fatherless" in their place at the table.
I'm so grateful.
Yes, God invites all to the table even knowing that none will come. He would be just if He left us all to ourselves. It's not a matter of that many do not accept His invitation but that everyone does not accept His invitation. Like you said, God says whosoever will come shall be saved. The underlying issue is that no one, by their own choice, comes to God. The only reason that you and I and anyone else had come to God is because He first moved in us to a degree which we will come without fail, because He changed our heart and it's desires. That is the foundation of God's grace. I am forever grateful.
So, to be clear, Christians are the children of the promise--the spiritual and the true Israel--who are elected by God unconditionally.
Unconditionally? I think they had/have conditions. They had a lot of conditions. Instant death was often the result of sin, for the chosen ones.
Maybe I misunderstood???
I think you are misunderstanding. The chapter is about God choosing whom He will save and whom He will condemn without considering anything that will do. Sound strange? Raises questions of how is that possible? I know it does. Thats why I say you ought to read my two hubs I mentioned earlier.
You appear to think some are chosen, some are not. Yes?
Isn't that what Paul is saying here? I believe he is clear on the matter, yes. I remember the first time I read this passage. It rocked my world. Changed my perspective.
But, the question is; do you agree with this interpretation of Paul's words?
Yes, I do. When considering all of Scripture and not just John 3:16, this speaks the truth of God's electing love. The one who embraces the God of John 3:16 must also embrace the God of Romans 9. Though, this doctrine is illustrated all throughout the Bible.
Well, since you agree with it then I can state, unequivocally, that I would not waste the time in reading a hub supporting what I consider to be a somewhat sad and grossly unfair philosophy.
Then, could we also say that you believe Jesus' and Paul's philosophy also to be sad? These are not my words or my philosophy but Christ's. I base my philosophy on God's inspired Word. So, your quarrel is not with me but with Christ on the matter. I pray you don't listen to me but to the Word...I just point to what it says.
Have you never read, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day," and again, "And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father" (John 6:44, 65)?
Third is exactly what Paul is saying in the chapter we are discussing now :
Rom 9:15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
What do you make of those texts? I still know how you get around Romans 9:15-16, also. He is telling us how we become the children of God. I'm not trying to argue but reasoning with you through Scripture. Scripture is the only authority.
Does scripture stand alone so that all can understand, or is it foolishness to natural man, requiring the discernment of the Holy Spirit?
Ok, my thought is that God draws by being who he is. For instance, I was drawn to God because of the things I heard about him. What he says, reels me in.
So maybe (and I think way more than maybe) drawn by the father is still a decision that you have made.
One is drawn in (by what he hears of God/by a longing) says yes; comes to the father; God approves of the heart and gives this heart to Jesus. Remember, God is no respector of persons. Whosoever will...
Paul, a threat to God's people, was given mercy and given to Jesus. "But how could you accept him Lord? He killed and persecuted and mocked." God's answer, "Mind your business; I will have mercy on whosoever..."
How does that sound?
Some are chosen, and some are not...originally, the Jew, in this case; when they said no, the floodgates opened.
Are you saying that be hardened the Jew, to make a way for the Gentile (whom he softened?)???
And that he REALLY chose the Gentile, originally?
Because he's just?
Paul says, "The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14).
Thus, it is as you say. Now, the natural man can discover some truth in the Bible, but it will still be folly to him and would not believe it. One must be born again in order to believe and trust in the Bible and Jesus Christ.
Your presenting controversial texts, whose best chance of supporting the Calvinistic perspective are standing alone by a plain reading without the spiritual discernment or consideration of scripture as a whole for a guide, in a venue primarily frequented by those who by ready admission, do not have that spiritual guidance, (and who in fact mostly consider such a thing foolishness). To what end?
"without the spiritual discernment or consideration of scripture as a whole for a guide."
Says who? You? My view (and there are many who stand with me on this) is painted across Scripture and not isolated in a few verses. Also, I have good spiritual discernment. If you were my friend, you would know this.
"To what end?"
Here is my goal: to get Christians to open their Bibles and not merely read it but study it. I don't know everyone's personal spiritual growth, but I do know that the Bible contains the truth and that we ought not to hide behind the truth in fear. I want to expose the truth and not just huddle it to myself. Are there controversial things in the Bible? Yes, but you can't expect Christians to live in a persistent ignorance of the truth. I am a teacher of the Word and my passion is to bring to light the things that most Christians avoid. I love Jesus Christ and His truth presented in the Bible--not some of it but all of it. So, I am trying to walk people through some difficult texts: patiently, and kindly.
We love to discuss the Love of God. I am offering a completely new perspective of God's love that most have never seen before. Calvinistic pastors/theologians (and myself) call the love of God in Ephesians 2:4 a greater love than John 3:16. Both describe God's love but the former is greater than the latter. Peace.
We should always think within the parameters of context and not our own presuppositions. Too often do Christians come to this passage and perform theological gymnastics to completely avoid what Paul is trying to say.
Care to do a little theological gymnastics to justify God torturing King David's baby because he was angry with David?
Was there justice in hardening Pharaoh's soft heart that was going to let the people God?
God must have wanted to kill those first born innocent children quite badly eh?
Sorry DL, but your questions and objections are out of context from the questions I posed. We can discuss them elsewhere but not here. Thanks.
If you want the straight scoop on this topic a great expose is:
What love is this? by Hunt - http://www.amazon.com/What-Love-This-Ca … +calvinism
If you prefer a debate so you can see both sides try:
Debating Calvinism: Five Points, Two Views. co-authored by Hunt and White - http://www.amazon.com/Debating-Calvinis … +calvinism
Haven't read them in years, but recall the first to be particularly good.
So you can get to know me a little, I am thoroughly familiar with John Calvin, Jacobus Arminius, the Reformation, the Remonstrance, etc. I am thoroughly familiar to how both sides use the Scriptures to make their case for and against their respective doctrines. I have personally studied and weighed the Scriptures myself diligently for several years now and have come to my own conclusions based upon biblical principles and not man's. I find Calvin's and the Reformers' positions and theology to be biblically accurate for the most part. I wasn't born and raised on this side of the fence but my first experiences in Christianity was Pentecostalism. For the first few years in my walk with Christ I attended Pentecostal and non-denominational churches. I was studying my Bible and ran across a series of verses that didn't add up to what I was typically taught by my pastors. I was actually angry that there were words and phrases in the Bible that I had never heard in the pulpit. I felt duped and shorted from being taught the whole truth of who God is and who we are in relation to Him. I spent the entire summer of 2009 studying these doctrines in my Bible and searching online. I was unemployed at the time, so I had a lot of time on my hand: 6-8 hours a day, 6-7 days a week I was determined to find the truth. I've been studying since then as if it were my job haha. Oh, and I went to Bible college that same year in the fall and studied Biblical and Theological Studies with a Pastoral Emphasis which I just graduated last year.
That's the last 5 years of my life in a nutshell, but I first came to Christ in early 2002. I "rededicated" my life in 2006 and was baptized in 2007.
Chris, thank you for the information. You've saved us both a great deal of time. I've heard all your arguments from scripture and know how you will respond, and expect vice versa. Yet we find ourselves on different sides of an extremely critical issue. So lest we bore each other and any readers, let me just ask some basic questions you may not have fully considered.
To begin, have you ever met a person, yourself included, or can you even imagine one, who would say that it sounds fair to them for God to create people specifically for hell, with no chance of redemption? I don't mean by this, those who would readily dismiss the issue by asking who the clay is to question the potter, or defer to "God's ways are not man's ways", or that there is a way that seems right to man, I am simply asking if you have any knowledge of anyone who would defend the premise on the face of it.
The way I see it is that it is no different than God's foreknowledge as you would suppose. If God foreknows who will not believe then He is creating them only to send them to hell in the end. It's no different from my point of view. My comment to Jerami applies here, so read that instead of me retyping it.
On another note when I say that man doesn't have the ability to believe, what I really mean is that faith is an impossible possibility. Meaning, we all possess the natural ability to have faith. It's not like asking a pig to fly which is a natural impossibility. Thus, we all have the natural ability to believe. However, what hinders us is that we have a moral inability to believe which makes up the "impossible" in my "impossible possibility" model. We are morally unable to believe because of our bent and love towards sin.
Concerning election and in a similar way concerning your view, God had foreknowledge of who would not believe except the difference is that He foreknew that no one would believe in Him and not that most people would not believe. Thus, God could have left us all to ourselves and would still be just by condemning the world. Instead, He had mercy on some by "making them alive with Christ" (as I explained in my post to Jerami). God has done no injustice to no one but was merciful for the sake of His name and great love.
Does that answer suffice your question? I'm not trying to dodge any questions here but am answering the best I can.
Chris, while I do appreciate your efforts, and have read your posts, (including the one you referred me back to addressing Jerami), you have indeed dodged my question.
I am not looking for your explanation of what you think scripture says or believe God thinks, nor am I looking for a rationalization of Calvinism. Just a direct answer to a direct question. If you answer is "yes", I would request some explanation, (who and with what rationale?). Remember, this question is for you/them personally. It has nothing to do with God's alleged perspective. Here it is again, and it can be answered with a simple yes or no:
"Have you ever met a person, yourself included, or can you even imagine one, who would say that it sounds fair to them for God to create people specifically for hell, with no chance of redemption? I don't mean by this, those who would readily dismiss the issue by asking who the clay is to question the potter, or defer to "God's ways are not man's ways", or that there is a way that seems right to man, I am simply asking if you have any knowledge of anyone who would defend the premise on the face of it."
Well, it's kind of a loaded question because on the one hand you are equating fairness with justice and they ought to remain separate. Fairness would be that we all go to hell in judgment. However, God is not unjust to snatch some out of the mix to be His people. That's the epitome of mercy. Second, you say the non-elect have no chance to redemption which I say they do, but (in the same way you believe) they willfully reject God's hand of salvation. That's not God's fault. It's our fault. We naturally choose to hate God and everything He is. Thus, I really can't answer your question. Is it fair that God chooses some to believe and leave others to their demise? That can be answered yes or no, but I can say that He is just. He would also be just if He provided no means of salvation. God never promised to be fair and we actually don't see a fair God throughout the Bible. For example, is it fair for someone to be thrown in hell without ever hearing the name of Jesus? We could say that nots fair, but it is still just. It's the same way with election. No different. It's the same with Israel. God made Himself known to them and left the world to their demise. That wasn't fair but it was just.
Nothing you said had anything to do with my simple question. You have brought up a couple of points I would love to expand on, but need to get past this one first. Let me try it this way. Imagine for a moment you are a God about to make a creation. You have no accountability, no equal and certainly no superior...you make the rules, you are the standard of goodness, you decide it all.
Now, would you, (and please do take this personally as I am now only asking about you, not God), would you in that situation create man with some to save and bless, and some destined with no recourse, for eternal damnation?
I'm not asking God. I'm not looking for your interpretation of scripture. It's a hypothetical situation with you as creator...would you create men with no chance of redemption? Again, yes or no is all that is needed. If you do say yes, I would appreciate hearing your rationale, (not your belief of what God's is or would be). Not a trick question, not a loaded question, but a simple question. I'll even go first...not in a million, (or what do the Scientism folks currently purport?), not in 50 billion years. And you?
If it was good enough for God then it's good enough for me. What you don't understand is that God is more concerned for His glory and making a name for Himself rather than worrying whether His creation suffers in judgment or not. That's the truth of the matter a hether you agree with that or not. I understand it, and you ask an impossible question because we are not like God and He is not like us. Everyone would have done things differently than Him for sure. Even if you believe in so-called free will, we would still do things differently than God. No question about it.
The bible tells us how God does things. We have to listen with his mind in mind. We must acknowledge him.
He does not lie. He is not the old man with the dollar on the fishing pole, "ya almost had it; gotta be quicker than that." lol..
He is not dangling an impossible to reach "dollar" that one must struggle with. He says call me and I will answer... Now THAT is the great news for us all. Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, SHALL--BE--SAVED. Not, is already saved... get it???
Well, I've provided several passages from Jesus and Paul that speak contrary to your assertion. Read them again, better yet, read my two hubs on the matter. They use plenty of Scriptures to make my point...the verses that support my view are not exhausted with my hubs, but I think they are sufficient for a good argument.
A good example of why cherry-picking doesn't work. The scriptures you provided are interpreted without the whole of the matter in mind. When you admit that God invites all who will; but has already barred the majority; it is not truth. It is opposite of what God actually said on many occasions.
We'll, it's not cherry picking. It's called Systematic Theology. It's true that God is represented in the Trinity. Yet, the word isn't used at all nor does all of Scripture teach this doctrine. Using your word here, we must "cherry pick" the verses that discuss the Trinity to develop our doctrine of the ontology of God. In the same way, we have been discussing the doctrines of soteriology (the study of salvation). Thus, we must include all the verses where soteriology is dealt with.
Anyways, a lot has been discussed here. And I think we all have contributed some good thoughts and has caused us to think critically and to dig deeper into God's word. Thanks for the discussion. Peace
You very nearly answered. Instead you deferred by appealing to a higher authority that in the hypothetical does not exist, as you are the creator. Clean slate, just you. Do you create man, with most destined for eternal damnation with no chance of salvation given or intended, and if so, why?
I would love to discuss more with you for in your last paragraph alone there is quite a bit that I do understand, regarding your views...I just happen to consider them wrong. No point going there until I establish something I have been trying to since the beginning of our conversation.
I thought it would be a simple process to show you something I believe you must never have considered, but it involves a few steps to lay the foundation for proper understanding, and we seem quite stuck at step one. So yes or no please. Again just you. No deferring to God, or what you believe He thinks or did to justify what you would do. Also, if you say you personally, (with no God preceding you or to refer to as an example), would say yes to the question, provide an explanation of why you chose to do it.
In review then, because so far it has been repeatedly missed, in this hypothetical there is no other or prior god, just you, so you can't follow what you perceive to be his example, unless you can explain why you personally would act that way. What would your reasons be? Could we please finally nail this down and move to step two?
Also, many are called; the "chosen" are few. The man who was thrown out of the banquet, was not wearing "wedding clothes." He came unprepared.
He THEN was rejected.
Tis just my humble opinion, That is everyone of these verses concerning God favoring one person or group over another, He helps one person win a race while causing another to fall, giving one person faith and not another, He is talking about things of this world.
I can not believe he will deny a person to have faith and then punish that person for eternity because he has no faith.
Kinda like life being a play and all of us are actors; and God is the director. He determines who will play the king and who will be the gate keeper. Every actor and their part makes its contribution to the play as a whole. And at the end of the day everyone goes home.
Everything I say may not be true, for they are just the script of the person I was chosen to play.
And tomorrow ? another may take my place on stage.
Thanks Jerami for your input. Each verse mentioned by Paul and Jesus are all in context concerning salvation. I've already given my interpretations for Romans 9 and I could explain Jesus' words here but I've already done that in a hub. As far as God denying people faith, I think you're misunderstanding the situation. It's no different than of how you believe that people deny the savior--some do and some don't. That is, those who disbelieve do so by their own will and choice. The difference is that Scripture testifies not that many people disbelieve but that all people disbelieve--all because they choose to. The only reason anyone believes (like you and me) is because it was granted to them by the Father. So, God hasn't denied anyone faith but on the contrary has given the gift of faith to some. Paul says, "For by grace have you been saved." The act of grace that Paul is referring to is "while we were dead we were made alive in Christ" (Eph 2:4-5). It is the "making us alive" that brings about faith. And again he says, "For by grace have you been saved through faith." Notice we are saved by grace through faith and not by faith through grace. Meaning, it is grace that saves us and faith is the means God uses to bring us to Him. Faith is catalyst of salvation--God's chosen means for salvation that He provides to His elect by grace.
Perhaps some more scripture will help with your unbelief on the matter:
Acts 13:48 "And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed."
So you see, it is God's appointing to eternal life that brings about our faith. It's a matter of cause and effect. The cause is God's appointing the effect is our faith.
Again in 1 John 5:1 "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God."
Notice again the cause and effect. "Has been born of God" refers to a definite moment in time prior to the event--"Everyone who believes." Being born of God is also known as regeneration, born again, or born of the Spirit. Most churches teach today that one must believe in order to be born again, but Scripture testifies that one must be born again in order to believe.
As far as God denying people faith, I think you're misunderstanding the situation. It's no different than of how you believe that people deny the savior--some do and some don't. That is, those who disbelieve do so by their own will and choice. The difference is that Scripture testifies not that many people disbelieve but that all people disbelieve--all because they choose to. The only reason anyone believes (like you and me) is because it was granted to them by the Father. So, God hasn't denied anyone faith but on the contrary has given the gift of faith to some. Paul says, "For by grace have you been saved."
me Tis my opinion
It is written that God denies faith to those he chooses to deny that faith.
He gives the gifts of wisdom good looks, good health, patience, etc. etc, to some and not to others.
We are not saved by any of these gifts. We are saved by grace.
The good deeds we do on this earth are counted as treasures (rewards) which are stored in heaven.
I would think that even those to whom God did not give faith to, would not be condemned for not being given the advantage having been given faith.
Some of us will have more treasures than others. What do you suppose the minimum number of treasures be before we are kicked out of heaven for not having done enough good deeds?
If I do not have enough faith to get into heaven, can I not say it is because God did not give me enough?
Can we judge a person for not having been given as good of a gift as the one we were given.
Can we judge a person for having to walk a tougher journey than our own?
Or should we say; except for the grace of God, that could be me.
life is a stage and we are all playing the part we were given.
and somebody has to play the bad guy. And when the curtain comes down the actors go home and be themselves.
Jesus told the men that because of their faith, they were unable... he also said that if they have faith the size of a mustard seed... here, he is giving those men their own responsibility for a small amount of faith. He said nothing of God being responsible.
I think that this is a very important subject, and that it needs clarification.
Paul was speaking to a certain group of persons. He said, "to each of YOU (right here) God has given a measure of faith." NOT all men... If men choose God, they are given more faith (a certain measure). Since the atheist has no faith in God, his measure is missing. Does that make the bible (Paul specifically) a liar? No, he was not speaking to men of no faith.
Whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord, has faith in him already (else he does not call). He then, is given a measure more. The man who does not believe in him, cannot blame him. Choose ye this day, denotes a CHOICE in the matter. I truly believe that even Paul had a choice. Jesus certainly did...
Love is my motivator. Not strife...
My gift is "ambulatory Samaritan." The man who has been left for dead, needs assistance. God has given me bandages and tape. Not because I'm so great... Grace... and I'm grateful.
The term "clothed in righteousness" just jumped out at me.
Abraham's faith was counted as... say it with me...
Did the "stranger" not come dressed in righteousness (faith)? That is why the king rejected...
Yes, Abraham's faith was counted to him as righteousness. You're not suggesting that the righteousness counted to us is our own are you? It is Christ's righteousness that is counted to us who have faith.
Phil 3:9 "and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith."
He obviously did not have faith because he was at the banquet without the wedding garment. If he were clothed with righteousness then He would have been accepted by God but He knows whom He has given His garments to. It's like said Jesus said about those who try to come in through the window. They didn't submit to God's way of righteousness but tried to establish their own means. Jesus calls them thieves and robbers.
"Come unto me, ALL ye that labor and are heavy-laden; I will give you rest."
Or... "come, all thee that I have already chosen. " ???
Faith is key. Selection is imminent when faith is utilized. Some (thief/robber) will try the "window" of works alone. Some will try the "roof" of natural selection...
The Jews were "chosen" but their refusal made it so that many of them did not make it. Without faith, it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God.
God clothes the faithful in righteousness. God clothes the faithful...
Knock... God answers; looks at the heart. The "dog" who came to Jesus was not of the chosen. Begging for "crumbs from the master's table, made her fit (in faith) and she received...
Exactly!! Haha you said
The two are not mutually exclusive. Meaning, it's not either one or the other. Rather the former is defined by the latter. Those who come unto Jesus are those He had already chosen. They come because He had chosen them to come. Otherwise we all willingly reject God. Cause and effect: the effect is faith in Jesus and the cause of that is regeneration (rebirth/born again). Jesus said that you must be born again. I've explained in greater detail already so I won't labor on that again.
I can name a few who were chosen because they "FOUND" favor with God. You do not have to find a thing that you already possess. Abraham was a man of faith. He was "lifted up by God" for that reason alone. His faith is what gave him such favor. After his faith, God created a heavily populated new nation. The faithful; of which Jesus is firstborn. Faith in Jesus. Robes of righteousness (wedding clothes).
We are all swayed by sin. We must renew our minds. "Let this mind of Christ be in you" to control. To keep your "clothes" on and not be "naked." At the wedding party.
That's a good observation of Scripture. Yes, the Bible says that Noah found favor in God's eyes. I don't think we can conclude that God saw anything in Noah that inclined Him to show favor...or it could but we have to test that theory with the rest of Scripture. It could have been unmerited favor where His words stand true: "I will have mercy in whomever I have mercy and I will harden whomever I will harden. It does not depend upon human will or exertion but on Him who has mercy."
Think about Paul's words that come to my mind: "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me" (1 Cor 15:10).
I have tried to make the point of man's inability to come to God which He must show unmerited favor. I don't think I have brought up this passage yet. Let's consider thee words from John 3:19-21:
"19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God."
What do you think of these verses?
Trying spirit by spirit... David was one who did wicked things, and into the light, he ran, always, he himself, letting nothing separate him from the love of God.
Men who love their wicked have preferred the lie. They are not "faithful". The faithful hates what God hates (even when he would do good, evil is ever-present). The mercy is born of faith. It is in the heart; not ALWAYS the action. This is a very "meaty" conversation. The milk drinkers must come to all of this...
However, the evil thing is leaning toward selfish desire. When you lean toward God, you call him; in the midst of your mess. He COMES; heals the land. He is not speaking of his own, who adore the light even when it shines and burns and chastens and comes to correct... the faithful are his own. It touches him when we jump down from the high-horse of self and admit that we need him. all men are like that... lol
And... if we must cherry-pick, we must pick the right cherries.
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