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 The Sovreignty of God. Is It arbitrary?


"For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth."
Romans 9:17-18 (KJV)

"As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." Romans 9:13 (KJV)

What influences the choices God makes when He decides to raise one up or put another down?
_________________

 2007/8/14 5:54









 Re: The Sovreignty of God. Is It arbitrary?

The scriptures a very bold and clear about this. God bless you! -Abraham


Rom 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
Rom 9:19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
Rom 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?
Rom 9:22 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
Rom 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

Mat 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
Mat 11:26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.

Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Job 33:13 Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters.

2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,



 2007/8/14 8:43
intrcssr83
Member



Joined: 2005/10/28
Posts: 246
Logan City, Queensland, Australia

 Re: The Sovreignty of God. Is It arbitrary?

Quote:
by Ormly on 2007/8/14 20:54:11


"For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth."
Romans 9:17-18 (KJV)

"As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." Romans 9:13 (KJV)

What influences the choices God makes when He decides to raise one up or put another down?



Hi Ormly,

My church is currently going through Exodus for our Sunday service's so I'll try to give my best guess.

Regarding Pharoah, his hardening didn't just happen at the snap of a finger; it was something that was progressive based on how he responded to Moses and Aaron's pleas. Now I suppose the question we want to ask is was Pharoah hard-hearted to start off with or did God actually place unbelief in him? The dilemma is that if we go with the latter, we in effect say that God put sin into Pharoah; yet God is sinless so the idea is illogical, if not blasphemous as it would suggest that God in his perfect holiness has the capacity to commit evil. If, on the other hand, we go with the former and suppose that Pharoah's heart was already hardened, we have to say that he only got harder, not because God made him like that, but because his sinful condition got the better of him.

I love how RC Sproul describes it: "In the end, God simply let Pharoah be Pharoah."

So did Pharoah's actions influence God? I would say no. Did God influence Pharoah? I would say yes, but this was performed by simply "stepping out of the box" by letting Pharoah's own sins destroy him.

The hardening of the heart is not when God adds fresh evil to what is already there, but rather he removes that which would otherwise restrain it, allowing the sinful nature to simply "cut loose."
Listen to what Jonathan Edwards said of this in "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God":

There are in the souls of wicked men those hellish principles reigning, that would presently kindle and flame out into hell fire, if it were not for God's restraints. There is laid in the very nature of carnal men, a foundation for the torments of hell. There are those corrupt principles, in reigning power in them, and in full possession of them, that are seeds of hell fire. These principles are active and powerful, exceeding violent in their nature, and if it were not for the restraining hand of God upon them, they would soon break out, they would flame out after the same manner as the same corruptions, the same enmity does in the hearts of damned souls, and would beget the same torments as they do in them. The souls of the wicked are in scripture compared to the troubled sea, Isa. lvii. 20. For the present, God restrains their wickedness by his mighty power, as he does the raging waves of the troubled sea, saying, "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further;" but if God should withdraw that restraining power, it would soon carry all before it. Sin is the ruin and misery of the soul; it is destructive in its nature; and if God should leave it without restraint, there would need nothing else to make the soul perfectly miserable. The corruption of the heart of man is immoderate and boundless in its fury; and while wicked men live here, it is like fire pent up by God's restraints, whereas if it were let loose, it would set on fire the course of nature; and as the heart is now a sink of sin, so if sin was not restrained, it would immediately turn the soul into a fiery oven, or a furnace of fire and brimstone.

There is, in addition, the extreme side of the spectrum called Open Theism. Practically, Open Theism makes the case for a personal God who is able to be influenced through prayer, decisions, and actions of people. Although unknowing of the future, God has predictive (anticipatory) foreknowledge of the future through his intimate knowledge of each individual. As such, he is able to anticipate the future, yet remains fluid to respond and react to prayer and decisions made either contrary or advantageous to His plan or presuppositions.
God has knowledge of some future certainties such as those things that He ordains, and He knows all future possibilities such as the possible free will choices of His created beings. This view of God, based on a libertarian view of free will and particular philosophical views on the nature of time and other metaphysical matters, is supposed to allow its advocates to 1) Attribute both power and wisdom to Him without suggesting that He ordains everything to His own glory, including evil 2) Avoid what Open Theists regard as the inconsistency of suggesting that libertarian human freedom can coexist with foreknowledge and Divine Sovereignty.
By removing the attributes of Omniscience and Omnipotence, open theists are determined to eliminate or explain away every feature of the divine character of the true God except those that are instantly “perceived as kindly and loving.” They want nothing to do with a God who is just, holy and demands to be feared. Their theology aims to construct a manageable deity, a god who is “easier to relate to”—a being who has been divested of all the features of divine glory and majesty that might provoke any fear or dread in the fallen creature. Instead, they have made Him into a kindly, non-threatening, heavenly valet.


_________________
Benjamin Valentine

 2007/8/14 9:08Profile
whyme
Member



Joined: 2007/4/3
Posts: 293


 Re:

To understand these passages and how God's sovereignty works with man's responsibiity or involvement, I think another very good Scriptural example is given in 2Sam 24 and 1 Chron 21 where David orders the counting of the army. In 2Sam24 it says that God incites David to count because he is angry with Israel and presumably wants to punish them. In 1 Chron 21, Scripture says that Satan provoked David to do the count. Both indeed can be and are correct. You have God with a sovereign plan allowing Satan to accomplish his desires by tempting David and David in his own desires succumbing to temptation without God tempting or causing anyone to sin at all.

 2007/8/14 9:33Profile





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