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 Is Unbelief & Faith a Choice?

[b]HERE IS A SHORT BIBLE STUDY ON THE NATURE OF UNBELIEF:[/b]


[b]Jesus was angry at faithlessness:[/b]

Matthew 17:17 - Then Jesus answered and said, "[b]O faithless [/b]and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you?"

[b]Jesus was astonished that some did not believe:[/b]

Mark 6:6 - And [b]he marvelled because of their unbelief[/b]. And he went round about the villages, teaching.

[b]Jesus rebuked men because of their unbelief:[/b]

Mr 16:14 - He "[b]upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart[/b], [b]because they believed not [/b]them which had seen him after he was risen."

[b]God eternally punishes unbelief:[/b]

Joh 3:18 - he that [b]believeth not is condemned [/b]already, [b]because he hath not believed [/b]in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

If unbelief is not a personal choice, how can Jesus get angry at it, how can Jesus be astonished by it, how can Jesus rebuke it, and how can God punish it?

Is something is not [i]voluntary and willfull[/i], and if a person has no control in the matter, can anyone get angry with them, astonished by them, rebuke them, and punish them???

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

Here is what I believe:

Nothing but what is willfull and voluntary is rewardable or punishable. Nothing can be virtue and nothing can be sin that is not voluntary and willfull.

Faith [i](which has any virtue in it)[/i] and unbelief [i](which has any guilt in it)[/i] must be willfull and voluntary.

The unbelief spoken of in these passages is totally voluntary and willfull.

The unbelief here is an unwillingness to admit and come to terms with reality and truth:

Ro 1:18 - For the [b]wrath of God [/b]is revealed from heaven against [b][u]all[/u] ungodliness and unrighteousness[/b] of men, who [b][u]suppress the truth [/u]in unrighteousness[/b],

All sinners believe, in a sense, the truth. God has given them a conscience, so they know right from wrong and they know that there is a God. But the unbelief that is condemnable is a willfull and voluntary choice not to come to terms with the truth, but to "suppress the truth". It is this suppressing of the truth which truly constitutes unbelief.

Unbelief is not mere ignorance, nor innocent questioning, but unbelief (which Jesus is angry with, astonished at, rebukes, and punishes) is an unwillingness to admit and live according to reality.

And that is the criminality of an unbeliever, that is what makes a sinner a rebel, because of their unwillingness to come to the light (truth), because they willingnly choose the darkness (willfull ignorance) over the light (truth of reality).

 2007/7/22 1:11
Christinyou
Member



Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3705
Ca.

 Re: Is Unbelief & Faith a Choice?

Adam chose who he would believe and Satan became his spiritual earthly father. Adam had no nature in being created by God, he chose his nature when he believed Satan over God. Then being spiritually dead to God he had no ability to believe God. Only God's intervention can anyone believe. By the last Adam our spiritual nature is changed to the Spirit of Christ, and then have the ability to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and be saved.

It is true man cannot choose God, because of his unregenerate heart. Christ in a person is the only regeneration that changes that capacity to be able to believe God instead of Satan. How can man choose to believe what he has no capacity to believe? The only way is by the Will of the Father. The opposite is also true, not man can come to the Father unless he comes to the Son first.

Jhn 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Then to Christ, no matter what man does.

Jhn 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

Jhn 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

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

In Christ: Phillip


_________________
Phillip

 2007/7/22 19:28Profile









 Re:

Regeneration is when a sinner repents and believes as lead by the Spirit to do so. This is also called being born again or being a new creature, putting off the old man and putting on the new man.

But some "resist the Holy Spirit" the bible says, and so they remain in willfull ignorance, or voluntary unbelief.

While others come to the light (knowledge/truth) by repenting and believing, and are therefore regenerated/converted/born again.

But if there is any virtue in faith, and any crime in unbelief, then they must be voluntary and willfull.

And that is why Jesus was astonished at unbelief, rebuked unbelief, and why God punishes unbelief. Because sinners voluntarily and willfully reject the light and refuse to be regenerated (converted or born again) by the Spirit of God. They refuse to obey the Spirit by repenting and believing, but suppress the truth in unrighteousness and resist the Holy Spirit.

Unbelief is a choice to supress what you know is true. Faith is a choice to live according to what you know is true. Unbelief is willfull ignorance, faith is coming to grips and terms with the truth as God reveals it to you.

 2007/7/23 1:08









 Re: Is Unbelief & Faith a Choice?


In what way is the worldly people showing they are ashamed of the gospel?

Rom 1:16-17
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written,

What is revealed when one is not ashamed of the gospel?

The just shall live by FAITH.
KJV
Heb 11:32-12:1

32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
38(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
KJV


Exactly what is faith?

Heb 11:1-2
11:1 Now FAITH is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.

Heb 11:3-6
3 Through FAITH we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

How did Abel do that? Did he give his best?

5 By FAITH Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Enoch had a testimony!!!! Was is a witness?

6 But without FAITH it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Are there great benefits to serving the Lord?

7(For we walk by FAITH, not by sight:)
Is common sense used in faith?

8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Where is our citizenship? Who is our King?

11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

Do we street preach?

Heb 11:3-5
3 Through FAITH we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Is it easier to believe the big bang theory?

7 By FAITH Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

Are we telling people about the ark Jesus?

8 By FAITH Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
Do we require an ability to know why before we do?

9 By FAITH he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

Will what we do have an effect on our family?

10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

He built his house on the Rock.

11 Through FAITH also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

Unto him that is able. EPH 320

Heb 11:17-31

17 By FAITH Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:

19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

20 By FAITH Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

21 By FAITH Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.

22 By FAITH Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

23 By FAITH Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.

24 By FAITH Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;

25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
27 By FAITH he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

28 Through FAITH he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

29 By FAITH they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

30 By FAITH the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

31 By FAITH the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:


33 Who through FAITH subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:

37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;

38(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And these all, having obtained a good report through FAITH, received not the promise:

40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.


KJV

 2007/7/24 11:30









 Re:

Is unbelief and faith a Choice?

I believe it is PRIDE/HUMILITY that is the choice. The Law was given to reveal what sin is, and the Holiness of God. Regardless of whether one believes man is so depraved he cannot make a choice or not, is not the issue. The issue is, are we preaching the Gospel, that we are sinners, holding up the law to show that we are, and the wrath of God against SIN. Do we tell people that Jesus took that WRATH upon the cross?

When Jesus said, "My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me"... At that moment, because God cannot look upon sin, He had to look away. That was the maximum of suffering Jesus had to endure, being separated for those moments from the Father. Oh What LOVE to take our sin,and bare OUR wrath.

Do men KNOW what SIN is? Yes, but have we candy-coated sin and called it by other names...a disease, something we now give medication for, or send to Christian psychologists, use 12 step programs, keeping that flesh under control, and not point to the Cross. Not only did Jesus take our sin, but His death and resurrection Life has given us everything we need to break the power of sin in our lives. I'm not talking about illnesses, as some would say even that, if you have enough faith would be healed. No where does it say we have imputed health, but it does say, we have imputed righteousness.

Jesus came to save SINNERS. and yes, one knows they are sinners. Do they KNOW Jesus came to forgive of Sin, and break that power of sin? If they don't, it's OUR fault and no one elses.

A REVISED STANDARD VERSION

We preach a brand new Cross today,
All dressed up in new array,
Revised and new,… red, white and blue,
Sigmund Fraud hangs on there too.

Our New Cross now it rolls and rocks,
And on, we bet our bonds and stocks,
Oh Wow, it’s so much fun to be,
A Christian with a new Grand Prix.

Our filthy rags will never be,
Washed Clean, except His Blood, you see;
New Life in Him will only be,
Received in great humility,
At Calvary.


Love in Christ
Katy-did

ps 2 Corinthians 5 tells us we are given this ministry of Reconciliation to preach to the Lost. We were never given an attitude to decide who is God's elect or not...that's HIS business. If His given us this ministry, we better Listen and Obey that calling.

 2007/7/24 13:44









 Re:

Quote:
Jesse wrote:And none but the pure in heart shall see God.

It is with the heart that we must believe unto righteousness. No type of moral perfection is required of us (at threat of eternal hell) other then purity of heart - which is genuine love for God and neighbor.

And love fullfills the law. Love for God does not sin against God. And love for neighbor does not sin against neighbor. Love even loves enemies.

The new birth is a heart of love.

And Christian perfection is a heart of love, for love fullfills the law.
_________________________________________________
Another poster wrote:

How could it be that it was this simple all of the time - all along and yet GOD had to write such a LARGE book of does and don'ts in both the O.T. and the N.T. ? .... because we're Lame Brains and stupid and think we can muster up some sorta human love for God and man, when HE said, "Apart from ME, you can do NOTHING." ... Not even have Agape.

We can possess some sort of conditional human mess we call love, but Agape is an act of the Will, it is unconditional and also without dissimulation. We don't pick who we'll love, but this love does not come out the same to all.

Jesus walked in the Spirit and sometimes HE used harsh words but to others, HE was as gentle as a dove.

Those who HE was hard on, were the religious-puffed up toads that saw their own righteousness that NEVER can AgapeLove.

It is Impossible to be self-righteous and Agape at the same time.

It is impossible to Agape and live for SELF.

"Others-Always-Only" was HIS way of life and the ONLY way to die to self is through this type AGAPE.

Agape is "others-always-only" and what will get us "through unto the end".
It also "casts out all fear" and is "jealous for HIS GLORY ONLY" and cares nothing about one's OWN reputation, (only as Paul defended himself) but will play the fool so others will not be hurt and whatever the cost to self or self's reputation, will throw oneself in front of a train/or human, to protect those coming up behind or after us.
To be perfect is to be like Him, but only through the eyes that "HE" gives us with no trust in self.


Whatever the cost to self ------------------


Bless GOD and GOD Bless you Jesse. You've come a long way brother.

Pray we all will in His AgapeLove.
_________________________________________________
Jesse Wrote:

What God requires is very simple - love.

Holiness or purity is very simple - love.

Love fullfills the law. Christian perfection is simply love. We are called to love God and love everyone.

Sin is selfishness, but righteousness is love.

What is the type of Universe God wants? What was in God's mind at creation? I believe God wanted a Universe full of free moral agents, who all voluntarily choose to love one another. God wanted a people who would, of their own freewill without being forced, choose to love Him and each other.

Yes! Love! Inward, internal, from the heart, love. That is true Christian perfection!

A new heart, a pure heart, a perfect heart, is simply loving God and neighbor.

I think that the best writings on this is Charles Finneys Systematic theology. The essence of all that God requires is love. We need a Theology of Love.


Thank you much! I see more then ever the necessity of preaching God's love for all of His creation, for God's desire that everyone be saved, that God loved the ENTIRE WORLD that He gave His Son for everyone.



Brother Jesse, you have 'perfected' your answer to the puzzle of 'all life'.

Thank you!!!

You answered the whole "Reason for Creation" --- "God's Purpose FOR Creation" and 'from whence does our troubles in the "spiritual" come'.

Satan rose up with hatred in his heart toward GOD and that was the first sin.

Satan IS Hate.

GOD IS Love.

You have SEEN and now Posted the battle of the ages here.

You may "think" that you have just posted 'some' truths, but you've written out the "Mystery of Mysteries" that was so simple from the beginning, that GOD had it in man's conscience from The Beginning, but SATAN's MAIN GOAL, is to rob this "simplicity" and BECAUSE IT IS "THE MYSTERY".

Satan would prefer we go off, this way and that to describe all things for obvious reasons.
If Satan can keep our mind Off of God's one purpose which is Love, than Satan has triumphed.
If Satan can get us looking everywhere else for how to please GOD or to answer all questions pertaining to Salvation, then he has won the diversionary trip-up and messed with the Gospel to where it's unprofitable anymore and neither would our own sanctification become.

Because EVERY TIME WE'RE TEMPTED --- we are tempted to "HATE ONLY".

If we could just see that 'all' sin is HATE toward GOD & MAN, then we will despise it all the more, it would make us nauseous, because it is against "the Law of Love". But if we do see God IS Love & loves mankind, then our temptations will grow less and less by becoming more and more repulsive to us, because we'll RECOGNISE that to be tempted to HATE, is to be TEMPTED TO HATE LIKE SATAN [b]IS[/b].

God's Holy Covenant between Himself and man is a Covenant to "Love" and the most Ideal of Husband and Wife. The Most Ideal of That Love.

Many have written many a book trying to pin down what our warfare, purpose, goals, etc. should be --- but you PEGGED IT. :-D

Whenever you are tempted, try this ........... Think of SATAN AS HATE and whatever you are tempted towards will turn your stomach instead of tempt you.

All sin is Satan's HATRED. Thinking it through, it's not difficult to see.

And all that is from GOD is GOD is LOVE.

Again, that CONTEST between GOD & Satan, will continue untill the end of the Millenial reign.
The Choice to accept His Love and then walk in His Love or to choose Satan who is hate and then walk in his hatred of God's creation.

Pride is Satan's Hate and his form of "self-love" and it will destroy others AND 'self'.

Pride always hates someone or something, Mainly GOD.

Self-love is really HATE in disguise. Most sinners are on a path of self-destruction because Satan Hates Mankind and Anything that GOD has Created and will do 'all' that he can to get them or us on the path toward hate.

Even concocting "religious notions" that distract from God's sole purpose and motus-operatum - Agape.

Not talking "self-esteem" here neither.

When one is a "servant of Satan", then they are given over to "eros" and not "Agape".

Eros is HATE. I don't mean the normal passion a spouse has for their spouse, but the type "love/lust" that is only based upon the gratification of flesh.

Because Satan HATES, he will tempt man to use God's Creation, which God 'Loves', in ways that God would never have them used.
To use creation for our own pleasure is to not see the LOVE that GOD has for that person or thing.

The only place "agape" is used in a negative sense is in "they loved the darkness rather than the light".Joh 3:19 This is agape/Unconditional Love for Hate.

Contrast to: 1Jn 2:10,11 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

Phew Jess, you've hit the motherload now.

If Satan can rob us of this [b]TRUTH[/b] of GOD and ALL that 'IS' Him and His Purpose for Creation, than we've missed the Whole Ballgame.



Pass it on!

:-D

 2007/7/24 14:55









 Re:

Quote:
All sin is Satan's HATRED. Thinking it through, it's not difficult to see.



During the 1000 Millennial Reign of Christ, ***Satan will be bound*** for those 1000 years. During that time we (The Whole Church) will reign and rule with Christ, as He rules with a *Rod of Iron or an Iron Fist*. ( Not just the Body of Christ who is living at that time…That wouldn’t make sense since that promise is in the first 7 letters to the church in Revelation given at the inception of the Church age, promises given to those in Paul’s day.)

I've often wondered , Is God going to show man during the Millennial Reign they are not going to be able to say..."The Devil made me do it".

I believe this to be the last and final show of God showing man, even with Jesus Christ ruling...man’s own true heart.

There will then follow:

The Judgment of Nations
The separation of the Sheep and Goats, (only the Angels can distinguish between).
( Certainly can’t imply the Body of Christ, as we will already be in our Glorified bodies…. it won’t take Angels to distinguish between us and those still in their human flesh.)


Just food for thought.

Love in Christ
Katy-did



 2007/7/24 15:32









 Re:

Hia Katy-did, Jesus said, either their father is God or Satan and even though he's "bound" he's still their father by choice, if they are not Lovers of God by choice, thus Adopted into His Fold.

Hey, I just found this by MaryJane ... She's got "it". :-)

http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=14916&forum=35#115251

 2007/7/24 16:02









 Re:

Hi GrannyAnnie,

I don't believe Jesus meant LITERALLY satan is anyone's father. After all, satan would have to have given birth and created man to begin with to be their father. Angels are not anyone's FATHER. So we must keep that idea in the context of what Jesus meant..and not literally.

Love in Christ
Katy-did

 2007/7/24 16:26









 Re:

GrannyAnnie: Quote From your previous suggested link.

Quote:
Satan is not just a liar, and not just disobedient. He is, according to Jesus, a "murderer."



But the story doesn't end here and it was never meant to end here. Here is the rest of the Story........

John 8:44
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Yes from the beginning Satan had the power of death over mankind from Adam & Eve’s transgression on. But immediately a redeemer in Genesis 3:15 was promised as we see in Hebrews 2 14-17……

Read what happened...

Hebrews 2:
14Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; ( That murderer and liar from the beginning)


15And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
(bondage to who???? That's right) (Who? All)

16For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
Yep, first promised in Genesis 3:15, to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, the seed of David, through Mary...who was of the household of David) ....

17Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. What People? Who? See Who ....

2 Corinthians 5
14For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all,( WOW, JESUS DIED FOR ****ALL****??? nOT LIMITED ATONEMENT??? NOP...IT'SAYS ***ALL*** JESUS DIED FOR ALL...)then were all dead:


15And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.


16Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

[u][b][size=x-small][color=CC3300][font=Helvetica]18And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of Reconciliation;

To WITNESS, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; *****AND HATH COMMITTED UNTO US THE WORD OF RECONCILIATION****.Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.[/font][/color][/size][/b][/u]


21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

This is the message we preach to the lost and dead world. CHOOSE LIFE!!!!!

Love in Christ Jesus
Katy-did







 2007/7/24 16:59





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