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ANALYSIS OF MATTHEW 24:12-13 - WHY IT DISPROVES OSAS

Discussion in 'Christian Debate Forum' started by Phoneman777, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. Wormwood

    Wormwood Chaps Staff Member

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    Actually, I did do a word study. I just found nothing in the study that substantiates your point so I didnt bother writing out the details. However, I will spell out the details of my study on the word for your benefit.

    προγινώσκω - The word is a conjunction of two Greek words, ginōskō which means "to know" and pro, which means "before." Essentially, the word means, "to know beforehand." The word is used here and in four other places in the NT - Acts 26:5; Rom 11:2; 1 Pet 1:20; 2 Pet 3:17. The noun version of this word is used twice: Acts 2:23; 1 Pet 1:2. Calvinists like to take this term to indicate a "distinguishing love" basing the concept of ginōskō as being used at times to indicate a concept of specific love or affection, or act of sexual intercourse. Thus, they try to equate this term with the idea of "election."

    However, noncognitive uses of ginōskō are essentially non-existent in secular Greek. Even the Greek scholar, Moo admits that this type of usage is “somewhat strange against the background of broad Greek usage.” Also, the sexual connotation of ginōskō in no way supports the Calvinist concept that this knowledge equates choosing. In marriage, the distinguishing choice toward a person is already made prior to the sexual act. The sexual act itself does not connotate choosing. Thus, it seems silly to argue that knowing in this way is the equivalent of choosing.

    Furthermore, even where the concepts of foreknowledge and God's love are combined does not indicate the basis for this love. None of these texts suggest that God's love toward these individuals was unconditional. In fact, 1 Cor 8:3 seems to say it is conditional: “The man who loves God is known by God.”

    Moreover, in the analysis of NT texts of words linked to ginōskō (ginōskō, epiginōskō, oida), where the action of knowing directed toward a person (and not merely facts about them) show that such connotations have nothing to do with choosing or imposing a distinction. Rather, the words simply indicate a recognition of a person, acknowledgement of their identity (not the creation of it) and an experience of that person in the sense of a meaningful relationship.

    So, there is your word study. The term προγινώσκω does not teach election. The word itself does not, in any way, substantiate the concept of creating a person's identity, but rather perceives and in some cases acknowledges an already existing identity.

    I have to run. Ill try to touch on your other points later today.
     
  2. justaname

    justaname Disciple of Jesus Christ Staff Member

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    Wormwood,

    First off thank you for the details of the word study. I stand corrected on my assumption. I wonder though if you looked into the LXX usage?

    I would never argue against your statement: "The term προγινώσκω does not teach election." I have never argued that it has.
    Correct me if I am wrong though, but don't you hold to the idea that God's election is based on knowing our choice of faith in Him?

    Rather I agree with Wayne Grudem speaking about Romans 8:29:

    But this verse can hardly be used to demonstrate that God based his predestination on foreknowledge of the fact that a person would believe. The passage speaks rather of the fact that God knew persons ("those whom he foreknew"), not that he knew some fact about them, such as the fact that they would believe. It is a personal, relational knowledge that is spoken of here: God, looking into the future, thought of certain people in saving relationship to him, and in that sense he "knew them" long ago. This is the sense in which Paul can talk about God's "knowing" someone, for example, in 1 Corinthians 8:3: "But if one loves God, one is known by him." Similarly, he says, "but now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God ..." (Gal. 4:9). When people know God in Scripture, or when God knows them, it is personal knowledge that involves a saving relationship. therefore in Romans 8:29, "those whom he foreknew" is best understood to mean, "those whom he long ago thought of in a saving relationship to himself." The text actually says nothing about God foreknowing or foreseeing that certain people would believe, nor is that idea mentioned in any other text of Scripture.

    Sometimes people say that God elected groups of people, but not individuals to salvation. In some Arminian views, God just elected the church as a group, while the Swiss theologian Karl Barth (1886-1968) said that God elected Christ, and all people in Christ. But Romans 8:29 talks about certain people whom God foreknew ("those whom he foreknew"), not just undefined or unfilled groups. And in Ephesians Paul talks about certain people whom God chose, including himself: "He chose us in him before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). To talk about God choosing a group with no people in it is not biblical election at all. But to talk about God choosing a group of people means that he chose specific individuals who constituted that group.

    So then looking to the section of Scripture I posted and we are discussing Grudem states:

    When discussing the Jewish people who have come to faith in Christ, Paul says, "So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works" (Rom. 11:5-6). Here again Paul emphasizes God's grace and the complete absence of human merit in the process of election. Someone might object that faith is not viewed as a "work" in Scripture and therefore faith should be excluded from the quotation above ("It is no longer on the basis of works"). Based on this objection, Paul could actually mean, "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, but rather on the basis of whether someone will believe." However, this is unlikely in this context: Paul is not contrasting human faith and human works; he is contrasting God's sovereign choosing of people with any human activity, and he points to God's sovereign will as the ultimate basis for God's choice of the Jews who have come to Christ.

    (excerpt from Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem, pp. 674-79, Inter-Varsity Press, Zondervan Publishing House)
     
  3. Phoneman777

    Phoneman777 Well-Known Member

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    Don't you believe in Unconditional Election? Because that teaching robs men of their free will by insisting that God from the beginning decided who was to be saved or lost.
     
  4. tom55

    tom55 Love your neighbor as yourself

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    You summed it up very well....Thank you.
     
  5. justaname

    justaname Disciple of Jesus Christ Staff Member

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    No this is your false conclusion of unconditional election...

    All men are responsible for their choices throughout life. Men choose to sin and the penalty for sin is death. God in His mercy and loving kindness chooses to save some. God deciding to save some does nothing more against free-will then what Paul endured. This is because the creature is happy to be captured by it's Creator. God is not some "rapist" as you suggest forcing Himself on someone, rather the creature is subdued from it's rebellion lovingly returning to it's Father.

    Perhaps you could benefit from this read though also by Wayne Grudem.

    The idea that God's predestination of some to believe is based on foreknowledge of their faith encounters still another problems: upon reflection, this system turns out to give no real freedom to man either. For if God can look into the future and see that person A will come to faith in Christ, and that person B will not come to faith in Christ, then those facts are already fixed, they are already determined. If we assume that God's knowledge of the future is true (which it must be), then it is absolutely certain that person A will believe and person B will not. There is no way that their lives could turn out any differently than this. Therefore it is fair to say that their destinies are still determined, for they could not be otherwise. But by what are these destinies determined? If they are determined by God himself, then we no longer have election based ultimately on foreknowledge of faith, but rather on God's sovereign will. But if these destinies are not determined by God, then who or what determines them? Certainly no Christian would say that there is some powerful being other than God controlling people's destinies. Therefore it seems that the only other possible solution is to say they are determined by some impersonal force, some kind of fate, operative in the universe, making things turn out as they do. But what kind of benefit is this? We have then sacrificed election in love by a personal God for a kind of determinism by an impersonal force and God is no longer to be given the ultimate credit for our salvation.
     
  6. Wormwood

    Wormwood Chaps Staff Member

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    Hey justaname,

    Sorry I didnt get back to your other points, I will try to sometime today if time permits. I dont have much time, but let me very briefly share a few thoughts on Grudem's commentary.

    I have a lot of respect for Grudem. He is a great scholar. I just happen to disagree with him on this particular point. As I pointed out above, it is true that this knowledge can indicate a very personal, loving and even experiential knowledge of someone. However, this word does not indicate the basis for that love and personal connection with the person. I do not find it difficult to grasp that, based on God seeing and knowing the future of those who would love him and be faithful to him, that he would be drawn to those individuals as "his own" in a very personal way..even before they make those free will choices.

    Also, I agree with Grudem that there are Arminian camps that claim "God elects the plan, not the man." I personally disagree with this Arminian position. I believe election is individual. God knows the individual, their choices and exactly which people are "his" (due to his foreknowledge of their choices). So, I agree with Grudem that the idea of electing just a group and not individuals seems off. I believe God elects individuals, but that election is based on those individuals choices. As the text above mentions, "The one who loves God is known by him" and "God works all things for the good of those who love him." God is drawn to those who love him and works for their good. Since he knows ahead who will love him and who will not, He is already drawn to them as "his people" and "his elect" before they make the choices he knows they will make. In sum, God's deep love and relationship toward elect individuals is based on his foreknowledge of their choices to love Him. It is not based on his determination to love them apart from their actions and hate others apart from their actions.

    I hope that makes sense. Havent had my coffee yet :). Gotta get some work done and will try to get back later.

    Blessings.
     
  7. justaname

    justaname Disciple of Jesus Christ Staff Member

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    Wormwood,

    I do respect your position, although I side more with Grudem. As you admit it is a stretch of the text, although not a far one, to suggest God makes His decisions based on our future decisions.

    My reasoning is within these context God's sovereign choice is being stressed against any work of men.
     
  8. Wormwood

    Wormwood Chaps Staff Member

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    justaname,

    Allow me to address your other points:

    I agree God's glory is not capricious. However, I think the idea that God uses a unilateral decision at the moment of creation to bless some and eternally torment others for his glory is a notion that suggests this glory is received through a very spontaneous and unpredictable means. Certainly far more spontaneous and unpredictable than basing that judgement on our free will choices. I mean, dont you agree that a potter sitting at a potter's wheel and decides, "I will make this pot for the purpose of crushing it under my foot" is basing that decision purely on his personal feeling at the moment than anything else? I dont mean to be insulting to your position (if that is how you see things), but maybe you can explain to me how the momentary decision by God to create some people for the purpose of eternal torment can be seen in a different light. What if God determined to create you for the purpose of burning you for eternity instead of heavenly glory? Maybe your burning brings glory to God in the grand scheme of things, but from your perspective, wouldnt you feel like this decision from God assigning you this eternal fate was a bit capricious?


    Hmmm. Not sure I understand what you mean here. I'll need some further explanation of your view. In the Greek, the word for faith and trust are the same....pistis.

    I agree that God does as he wishes. I have no issue with that. It just seems to me that God wishes to give people free will. The section about the potter and the clay in Romans 9 reveals that God has ultimately decided in his authority to make the gift of eternal life accessible to the Gentiles through faith. That is Paul's ultimate point. Not that free choice does not exist...

    I need your help understanding how you see a person is responsible for their actions, but it was God who formed them to act in that way. I just dont see how you can reconcile personal responsibility and divine determinism upon creation.

    Well, we may need to revisit the double predestination point. I have had this conversation with a few people on this board so sometimes I get various people's ideas and thougthts confused. Sorry if I have done that with you. From what I recall, you are of the opinion that God does not force people to act in a particular way, but does create people in such a way as to act out according to his sovereign will. This view is known as Molinism. I believe Molinism is just another form of divine determinism that, by necessity, still leads to double predestination. It seems like six of one or half a dozen of the other to me. Maybe God didnt cause the person's to pull the trigger, but he created them in such a way that they would want to do so. It still seems like God set up all the dominoes to fall a certain way, whether he pushes each one indivdiual or just starts the chain reaction at creation...he still seems responsible for how they all fall...according to that theological stance. Again, maybe I have misunderstood your point, if so I apologize. And sorry you have to repeat things. I need grace and patience. Haha.

    Finally, I dont believe people are damned and go to hell because they did not hear the Gospel. People are damned and go to hell because of their free-will wicked choices. The Gospel is God's grace to save the world from the wrath they deserve. Condemnation is never unjust. It is deserved because we chose wickedness (God did not choose it for us). Grace is what we do not deserve. Those who receive grace celebrate because they are getting the opposite of what they deserve. I hope that makes more sense.
     
  9. Phoneman777

    Phoneman777 Well-Known Member

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    Not by a longshot, as shown below:

    Do you not understand the concept of free will choice? If the fate of the saved/lost is based solely on that being predetermined by God, then freewill is non-existent because the entire concept of freewill is the freedom for us to choose to either surrender or withhold surrender to God our will. Does this elementary concept really need to be iterated?

    So, imposing one's will upon another is only an imposition if it is unwelcome? Imposition, welcomed or not, is still imposition. Jesus said, "I stand at the door and knock. If any man will open the door..." No mention of a battering ram or a door breaching swat team, right? You need to learn that Jesus only enters the heart by invitation, not imposition.

    This statement is what I call first rate creative theology - absolute nonsense. It subjectively rules out the possibility of individual freewill choice as the determining factor and then presents God as the only remaining reasonable source for the determination of individual destinies. Destinies are not determined by God, but our aforementioned freewill choice. His foreknowledge of our freewill choices eventually made is the basis from which He works to predestine all of us - He chooses to save and to destroy based on what He knows in advance what our choices will be.

    BTW, it is true that Luciferians believe that they are “chosen children of light” and look down upon the rest of us who are either too unworthy, undeserving, or stupid to be granted "light". Can it be that Christians find your version of Calvinism appealing for the same reason? After all, Christianity seems today to be more of a "club" to which members show up once a week to pay "dues" and carry on the rest of the week no differently than those to whom they smugly look down upon as doomed to eternal torment.

    Phoneman777
     
  10. justaname

    justaname Disciple of Jesus Christ Staff Member

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    Man's free-will is not sovereign over God, and yes this is what you are arguing. I can easily show time and time again throughout Scripture where God supersedes man's will. The fact that God is sovereign does not negate the fact people choose what they desire. And God saving some from damnation is no more an imposition then me saving a little girl from running into the street straight into the path of a huge truck. Yes Jesus gives an invitation, and the elect freely come to the Father through Jesus. God extends this invitation to all of humanity. If left to our own devices all reject would this invitation. This is because all of humanity before belief is sold into bondage. It is only through the grace of God that we properly respond to the invitation.

    Speaking of free-will it is the mind choosing it's greatest desire at any moment in time.

    Then you have this verse to contend with that you completely avoided...

    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 does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
    Romans 9

    Concerning Grudem it is obvious you do not truly understand the logic behind the premise.

    As it is I do not believe I have convinced you through this bit of discussion so here are some questions for you.

    What makes you better than everyone else that you decide to trust God and Christ?
    Is it something you do or are?
    Is it something in you that makes you different?
    Do you somehow have a better heart or are you a little more good than the rest of humanity?
    Are you self made then in this respect; IOW it is all by you own doing and God has nothing to do with how and why you decide to believe?
     
  11. justaname

    justaname Disciple of Jesus Christ Staff Member

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    So to be consistent you would have to agree that God choosing every other nation to not be in covenant with Him besides Israel is also capricious.

    Again what is capricious about God's justice? What is capricious about God's namesake? What is capricious about God's glory? Then who are you to say these reasons are "very spontaneous and unpredictable" simply because you do not know a greater depth to His reasoning? Who is to say this was a "momentary decision"? Honestly...???

    “Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it.”

    Is trusting an action?

    Who is arguing against free will?

    The Bible teaches God ordains all things,(Proverbs 16:33, Ephesians 1:11) and that man is culpable for his choices.(Ezekiel 18:20, Matthew 12:37)

    We choose what we desire yet we never choose outside of God's decree.

    If you understand this then why do you attempt to strangle me with double-predestination?
     
  12. Phoneman777

    Phoneman777 Well-Known Member

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    I'll thank you not to accuse me of such blasphemy. Freewill choice is not sovereign to God - it is subordinate to us. By it, we request of God life or death. His decision to honor that request is not evidence we are “sovereign”, but that He is an Honorable Gentlemen.
    Agreed, but the conclusions you draw from this are erroneous. Lot's family was driven away from destruction against their will...but I seem to remember there was this little issue of "not looking back" and, alas, someone made a freewill choice to do so.
    Please look up the word “imposition”. As stated earlier, imposing one's will, whether welcomed or not, is still imposition. While it is true that if God turned His head for a second, we'd be immediately destroyed, He also says, “Come now, let's reason together.” Why would He desire to reason at all if His intentions are without consideration of any response to His reasoning?
    Agreed, but the elect are the elect because of God's foreknowledge that they would choose to come to Him, not because He imposed Himself on them.
    That's why He didn't leave us to them, but with tears in His voice He pleads with us, “Come now, let us reason together” and “I have set before thee life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore, choose life” and “Turn ye, turn ye, for why will you die, O house of Israel”?
    I could restate “respond to the invitation” as “choose to accept salvation” but you'd find the idea “choice” objectionable, right?
    Exactly. Choice is not “works”, it's “thought” - the “mind work” that we are to perform when we “work out our own salvation” and salvation is obtained by our choice to accept by His grace Jesus as our Lord and Savior, having faith that He will keep His promises.
    My liberal friend, please allow me to be clear: I've avoided nothing and I never run from a challenge, for beliefs that are not allowed to stand the test of Scripture are as useless as a ropes of sand, no matter how highly esteem they may be.

    By his words, Paul simply wants us to be perfectly clear that God isn't compelled to lift a finger to do the slightest thing on behalf of our fallen race, lest we with jaw set and shoulders squared and fists clenched think to approach His bargaining table with nothing to bargain with except a lost soul. He does it for us because "God is love". Think no one strives to obtain salvation on their own terms? Every week, people show up for church on the day dedicated to the sun god when He Himself wrote with His own finger first in stone and then on our hearts, “keep the seventh day holy.” Paul's words here are in no way support for Calvinistic Predestination.
    Lotsa stuff can be both logical but wrong at the same time. An evolutionist that's never seen a dog might take a bag of dog skulls and arrange them small to large from one side to the other, and conclude that the smaller ones gave rise to the larger, and that would be perfectly logical, but perfectly wrong. All dog breeds come from the wild-type wolf.
    As it is I do not believe I have convinced you through this bit of discussion so here are some questions for you
    1.What makes you better than everyone else that you decide to trust God and Christ?
    Since I don't view myself to be superior to anyone else, I can't answer that.
    2.Is it something you do or are?
    Ditto
    3. Is it something in you that makes you different?
    Yes, there is something in me that makes me different: different from the selfish, self-centered, thoughtless, resentful, callous person I used to be because of something in me: Jesus. “Different” is really an understatement. “A new creature” is a far better description.
    4. Do you somehow have a better heart or are you a little more good than the rest of humanity?
    Scripture says we are all equal in Christ Jesus, not better or worse than the next guy.
    5. Are you self made then in this respect; IOW it is all by you own doing and God has nothing to do with how and why you decide to believe?
    Why do you liberals refuse to take personal responsibility for your choices you make and assume that those who do are attempting “salvation by works”? Please read this statement, perhaps the most important outside the Bible you will ever read:

    “While our salvation is wholly dependent upon Jesus, we have a work to do in order that we may be saved. The apostle says, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." The work that we are to do is not independent of what God is to do, but a work of co-operation with God. The power and the grace of God are to be wrought into the heart by the divine worker; but some go astray here, claiming that man has a work to do that is wholly independent of any work of God. Another class take the other extreme, and say that man is free from all obligations because God does the whole work, both the willing and the doing. But the true ground to take is that the human will must be brought into subjection to the divine will. The will of man is not to be forced into co-operation with divine agencies, but must be voluntarily submitted. Man has no power of himself to work out his own salvation. Salvation must be the result of co-operation with divine power, and God will not do that for man which he can do for himself. Man is wholly dependent upon the grace of Christ. He has no power to move one step in the direction of Christ only as the Spirit of God draws him. The Holy Spirit is continually drawing the soul, and will continue to draw, until by persistent refusal, the sinner grieves away the tender messenger of God.”

    It's a shame that everybody claims to want to walk, talk, act and think like Jesus, but when it comes to "Not my will, but Thy will", all of a sudden, that's "legalism".
     
  13. justaname

    justaname Disciple of Jesus Christ Staff Member

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    What you are teaching is man is the measure by which he comes to God. It is man that is sovereign over his choices and actions. I teach God is sovereign over man's choices and actions while man is still culpable. In your version God is a spectator to man's decisions not the Sovereign.

    The Bible teaches God ordains all things,(Proverbs 16:33, Ephesians 1:11) and that man is culpable for his choices.(Ezekiel 18:20, Matthew 12:37)

    We choose what we desire yet we never choose outside of God's decree. By choosing our greatest desires we have our free-will. You can not teach God works all things after the counsel of His will; you must teach God works all things after the decisions of men.

    Please explain. I do not see how this relates.

    1 the action or process of imposing something or of being imposed: the imposition of martial law.
    2 a thing that is imposed, in particular an unfair or unwelcome demand or burden: I'd like to see you, if that wouldn't be too much of an imposition.
    • a tax or duty.
    • Christian Church the laying-on of hands, as in blessing or ordination.
    3 Printing the imposing of pages of type.
    • a particular arrangement of imposed pages: some samples of 16-page impositions.

    and then impose:

    1 [ with obj. ] force (something unwelcome or unfamiliar) to be accepted or put in place: the decision was theirs and was not imposed on them by others.
    • forcibly put (a restriction) in place: sanctions imposed on South Africa.
    • require (a duty, charge, or penalty) to be undertaken or paid.
    • (impose oneself) exert firm control over something: the director was unable to impose himself on the production.
    2 [ no obj. ] take advantage of someone by demanding their attention or commitment: she realized that she had imposed on Miss Hatherby's kindness.
    3 [ with obj. ] Printing arrange (pages of type) so that they will be in the correct order after printing and folding.

    The first definition speaks of "(something unwelcome or unfamiliar)" So what am I missing?

    Not according to the above definition.

    God already knows what the response is...this form of argument is invalid.

    You have no Scripture to support this statement. This is eisegesis not exegesis.

    You misunderstand my position here. Men are desperately wicked and sold into bondage to sin. We are in direct rebellion to God and shun the Light preferring the darkness. It takes an act of God to change this.

    No people make choices all the time. But Scripture teaches God chose us, not that we chose Him.

    I do not disagree with this. Yet when we choose to enact that choice and have faith/trust we begin the work, this is why faith without works is dead.

    The opening statement about sand is rather fitting here because none of this is exegetical in nature. Paul is exemplifying God's sovereign choice. In this context here is the crux of Paul's argument.

    for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls,

    (Ro 9:11)
     
  14. justaname

    justaname Disciple of Jesus Christ Staff Member

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    You avoid the question. You must be better than someone who does not choose to believe God. Scripture teaches:
    9 What then? aAre we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;
    10 as it is written,“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
    11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
    12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”

    (Ro 3:9–12)

    Yet you teach you chose to seek after God. You chose to act righteously by believing and having faith in Him. You claim to understand. You did not turn aside and become useless because you sought God. You did good by having faith that you mustered on your own.

    So what makes you better?

    Ditto

    This question is framed before you had Jesus in you, not after. This is another attempt to avoid the question.

    Ditto

    This is a deflection and not a response to my question.

    Really the only portion I disagree with here is what you added at the end. I have never taught that God forces Himself on anyone. You claim that of me as your bolded section implies. I do not believe subjecting our will to God is legalism either. Neither do I appreciate your "everybody claims" because "everybody" is all encompassing which would include even you.
     
  15. Phoneman777

    Phoneman777 Well-Known Member

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    I thought I already answered your "better than everyone" question. Nevertheless, I'll be blunt. I consider myself the least worthy of His graces. I don't recall ever stating that I "chose to seek after Christ" because I teach others that "it is the goodness of God that leadeth men to repentance." I chose to open the door and let Christ in when He came knocking, seeking after me, and not I Him.

    Now, kindly answer a question of mine:

    Since we are told to "walk even as He walked" which means "act even as He acted", should we meet temptation in the same manner as when Christ met it in Gethsemene when He said, "Not My will but Thy will be done"???
     
  16. justaname

    justaname Disciple of Jesus Christ Staff Member

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    None are worthy of grace by the definition of grace: unmerited favor; yet some believe they are just better at making the right choice than others are. Maybe they consider themselves humble. I question if it is their humbleness or did God put this humbleness in their hearts? If it was God then we could say God elected these to be humble...

    I agree it is God's kindness that leads to repentance. But again the question is why did you let Christ in the door when so many do not open the door? Why are you able to make the right choice? Why did you seek God in this way, not after Christ entered the door of your life, but when He was knocking answering in surrender?

    As to the question: we are to continually seek the will of God for our lives without pause, not only in temptation.
     
  17. justaname

    justaname Disciple of Jesus Christ Staff Member

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    If it is man's will to believe God, grace can not be unmerited favor, rather through understanding and believing the gospel we trust God meriting God's favor through our preferable choice.

    If it is God's will that we receive His gift of grace it is shown that it does not depend on the man that runs or wills rather on God who has mercy.

    Some argue a gift is received not merited...

    If it is by man's sovereign choice:
    The reception in itself is meriting the gift when all are in rebellion to the gift Giver. Most refuse the gift but some merit it through making the better choice to actually receive it. Most stay in rufusal to submit to the idea they are in need for the gift, while some humble themselves recognizing their need thus meriting the gift. So then God's grace must be merited from the position that it is man's sovereign choice to receive the gift.
     
  18. Wormwood

    Wormwood Chaps Staff Member

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    No. Let me illustrate the difference. Suppose you have 10 criminals going to court. They are all guilty. They all deserve the death penalty. One of the 10 breaks down sobbing in repentance. The judge can see that this criminal is truly repentant, but he is also truly guilty...just like the rest. However, the judge decides to forgive this criminal and bless him instead of cursing him and sets him free. The other 9 are condemned. This is not capricious, it is grace. It is a judge looking at the heart of a repentant man and offering him a second chance he doesnt deserve because he is responsible for his crime.

    In your scenario, you imagine God creating people with a bent towards doing evil and then God determining to condemn most for that evil he inclinations he placed within them while choosing to give mercy to others that he put that same evil inclination within.

    You see, the difference in my view is that free-will agents are responsible for their choices and deserve punishment because they sinned by their own free-will choices. If God chooses to give grace to some, that is gracious, not capricious. However, if God causes people to do evil by virtue of how he made them and chooses to create some with a desire to repent while creating others with a desire to remain wicked, then it is God, not the free-will agent, who is ultimately determining their fate by virtue of the way he made them. Thus there is no choice and therefore there can be no grace. Am I gracious if I have the power to burn an anthill but decide to take five ants out of the hill before I burn it? Just because God has the power to save some and condemn others does not make him "gracious" if he unilaterally elects some to save and others to burn. It is only "gracious" if the free-will agents have responsibility for their own evil behavior and God determines to give them mercy and forgiveness when they deserve the opposite. How can a person "deserve" punishment when God created them to act the way they are acting? And if a person cannot deserve punishment (but is merely elected for it) then how can be called grace and forgiveness if they receive the opposite?

    That is the whole point. How can you call something "justice" when someone is merely doing what God designed them to do? If I train a pit bull to attack people, how is it just for me to punish the dog for doing the very thing it was bred and trained to do? This is not justice and appealing to hidden mysteries of God's knowledge seems like a cop out to me. Its the whole, "God's hidden will contradicts his revealed will" concept. God commands that we speak honestly, but created us to be liars and then condemns us for those lies. What kind of justice is that? What sense does that make? How does that give him glory or display patience and mercy?

    Well, if you are consistent, I dont know how you can argue for free will (based on what I think I understand of your position). If you are saying God created people to do the very things they do, then that is not really freedom. Again, its like setting up a maze of dominos and pushing the first one down and then claiming that the 99th domino fell of its own "free-will." Well that's not really free will when you are the one who set everything up and determined how the dominos would fall. If God designed Hitler so he would make the decisions he made and set up those concentration camps then how exactly was Hitler "free" in his choices? He was merely doing what he was created to do. In order for someone to be "free" then they have to have true freedom to make their own decisions. God's sovereignty (in my mind) is expressed not in his determination to make everyone act a certain way by virtue of how he created them, but in his moving in and among our own free-will choices to guide history toward his ultimate plan. Thus, his acts do not determine our actions, but uses our free-will actions and his foreknowledge of them to ultimately accomplish his plan.

    This highlights the difference in our views. Adam sinned because he rejected God's decree. That is what sin ultimately is: rejecting and not acting in accordance with God's decrees. I dont think God has a hidden set of decrees that contradict his revealed set of decrees. How can you say God decreed people not to worship idols, murder, covet, etc but then behind the scenes ultimately has decreed all humanity to do those very things he decreed they should not do!? This concept goes against everything the Bible teaches about the nature of sin.
     
    brakelite likes this.
  19. Phoneman777

    Phoneman777 Well-Known Member

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    JustAName, what is that hard part? The choice is simple: do I want to live or do I want to die?

    It's like this: We are born with a satanically selfish heart, upon the throne of which Satan sits. Jesus comes and offers to replace that heart with a new heart upon which He will sit enthroned which will qualify us for heavenly citizenship where all are happily surrendered to Him. The reason most people do not choose life is because they like their selfish hearts. Satan is slowly, almost imperceptively, crushing out their lives, but they find the prospect of a day by day, moment by moment surrendered relationship with Jesus too much, too restrictive, so alas.

    For instance, I love to play the drums. Rush has a song called YYZ that has a drum roll fill at 1:49 seconds that is described as "falling off a cliff backwards to a big, stupendous crash". It's awesome to hear and even more awesome to play and the feeling you get is like cocaine - it's the pleasure of idolatry, pure and simple. Now, Jesus comes along and says, "Look, if you're going to follow Me, you've got to give that stuff up because rock music rhythms induce the Alpha brainwave state where the Frontal lobe through which I speak to you is shut off and the Limbic system gets in the driver seat and it is then when you are extremely vulnerable to satanic influence/possession and that will eventually destroy your desire to live with Me in My kingdom." (this is what God meant when He said, 'Come now, let us reason together.")

    So, I thought about it and then I made the choice to give them up, and the instant I made the choice, power from above was imparted to me to resist the temptation to return to playing the devil's music. Am I tempted to rock out? Sure, but less frequently as time goes on. Do I ever give into the temptation? No, because everytime it comes, I simply pray for deliverance and He faithfully answers every time. That's a small example of what it means to be in a day by day, moment by moment surrendered relationship with Jesus. Why don't other drummers leave the satanic rush of idolatrous music? Because they would rather choose to indulge idolatry than believe Jesus' promises to "give them life and that more abundantly".
     
  20. justaname

    justaname Disciple of Jesus Christ Staff Member

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    Wormwood and Phoneman777,

    I am a bit strained for time. The conversation is going well though and I appreciate the progressing tact we are using in this dialogue. Some time will pass before I can generate responses. Thanks in advance for your patience!

    In the Love of Christ,
    justaname
     
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