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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Is it God who seeks the individual? Or the other way round?

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Gloryandgrace
Member



Joined: 2017/7/14
Posts: 1115
Snoqualmie, WA

 Re:

Heydave: Thanks for the response. I know that after your 1200 posts you've come to recognize no one posts anything that doesn't already have a metanarrative attached to it. Everyone has a theology whether its a developed Reformed, Charismatic, Evangelical or other; but each person who is a good student of scripture attempts to place scripture in front of their brothers and sister after a learned manner and according to what they believe to be true. You may have read my intro and know I am reformed so its a given I will explain things as I understand them from a reformed viewpoint. This is a good thing.
There are plenty who argue " I don't learn from men" and you know as soon as they say it they have disqualified themselves from an audience. Why? Because they are men so in order for me to apply such reasoning I must immediately reject anything he says. But this is silly as well as unbiblical. We are able to edify, teach and instruct one another in righteousness. I am attempting to do that.
You see, when you have a specific theology ( and people know it) its easy to be dismissive as if "my theology is steering me wrong" and in all candor that can be true. But its not true simply because someone asserts that theology is false and it can be dangerous as well thinking because they are of such-and-such theology they have nothing to contribute to you or me...and that in itself speaks more to our own prejudice rather than exhibiting spiritual wisdom and maturity.
What I would like you to point out is any error I made in my claims regarding the Acts text you quoted to me or any other error specifically where if I am wrong I have a chance to review it and give your viewpoint a fair hearing. Otherwise we literally just shoot past each other; I believe this would be a dis-service to Jesus who wants us to learn from one another and a poor example to the other readers who are lurking in the back.
So, please engage me...I'm not here merely to create typing lessons for myself. :)


_________________
Marvin

 2017/8/31 19:00Profile
Gloryandgrace
Member



Joined: 2017/7/14
Posts: 1115
Snoqualmie, WA

 Re:

Hi Todd: Hey in response to your thoughts on commands that cannot be done...and that not making sense. On the surface it does not make sense because when we think after the manner of man to man responsibility we speak a word to another with a human history attached, this in turn gives validation to our assumption "he can do what I tell him".
God on the other hand is not speaking man to man, asking man to do unto God just what human nature can achieve. In fact I don't see how God would ever want what man by his nature can achieve.
I Think one example would be "love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and your neighbor as yourself". So, some say it must be achievable if it is commanded of us. But we who have walked with God for very long know full well, that little word "all" prevents us from describing our Christian history as a complete fulfillment of that command. So, in reality God didn't get past the first commandment and men cannot do it.
So, we need help, no...more than help we need Christ living in us the hope of Glory.
I think you can see where I am going with this. Take any sermon on the "hot list" on sermonindex homepage and you will hear this same reiteration over and again "God does not want man's best effort he wants the life of God by the power of the spirit to manifest in love and action toward God for God's own glory and for love to him.
So, I don't see God asking man what God will not do in him and through him, what I see is an assumption that man can do for God on his own what God requires. I share good company when I say God will simply reject it.

I hope you see where I'm coming from.


_________________
Marvin

 2017/8/31 19:18Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5378
NC, USA

 Re:

Marvin-

I appreciate your response- not sure I understand 100% what you are saying but I do appreciate it.


_________________
Todd

 2017/8/31 20:14Profile
savannah
Member



Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 2004


 Re: In Tenderness He Sought Me




Todd,

Please consider this;



"Adam and Eve did hide from the Lord it is true. God had His reasons for coming after them like He did."

God sought them! Or, as you wrote, "...had His reasons for coming after them."


"But who is to say that Adam would not have presented himself in due course? We can't know that obviously."

Why go with what we can't know, when we have 'it is written'. Is that not enough? Why conjecture?

"But this episode, to me at least, cannot support the proposition that a man will never seek after God."

Again, 'it is written', there in Genesis in plain sight and in plain language. God has given us this account for good reason. It's a fundamental truth which introduces God's Gospel of Grace.

And,

"as it is written,
“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”
Romans 3:10-12

Psalm 14:1-3 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
            They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds;
            There is no one who does good.

     The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men,
            To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God.

     They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
            There is no one who does good, not even one.


"If a man is unable to seek after God without God first drawing him, then it is madness for God to command that He do so. Unless of course you believe that God only commands those he first draws. The Mad Hatter would get a kick out of that one."

God commands the impossible and then He gives men the grace and the strength to do what He commands.

John 11:43,44

And when He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” He who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings; and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

As physical resurrection is miraculous, spiritual resurrection equally is.

Matthew chapter 19

“Then who can be saved?” 26 And looking upon them Jesus said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

The plain language of God Himself doesn't even convince many men!

"In Tenderness He Sought Me"

written in 1894 by W. Spencer Walton

Verse 1
In tenderness He sought me
Weary and sick with sin
And on His shoulders brought me
Back to His fold again
While angels in His presence sang, until the courts of heaven rang

Chorus
O – o – oh the love that sought me!
O – o – oh the blood that bought me!
Oh the grace that brought me to the fold of God
Grace that brought me to the fold of God

Verse 2
He died for me while I was sinning..
Needy and poor and blind
He whispered to assure me…
“I’ve found thee; thou art Mine”
I never heard a sweeter voice, it made my aching heart rejoice

Verse 3
Upon His grace I’ll daily ponder
and sing anew His praise
With all adoring wonder,
His blessings I retrace.
It seems as if eternal days, are far too short to sing His praise.

Verse 4
To You I give my life in praise
Until in peaceful grave
When I will rise with all the saints
On that eternal day
When He will call us to His side, to be with Him, His spotless bride

Stop the proud thought, of "I sought..."

 2017/8/31 21:01Profile
Gloryandgrace
Member



Joined: 2017/7/14
Posts: 1115
Snoqualmie, WA

 Re:

Todd, brother if you got anything out of that, your pretty good. I am at work, I write when on break I have to make it fast...and I think way toooooooo fast. My thoughts were not clear even after I re-read it. I'll try again at a better time when I have no excuse for poorly explained theology.


_________________
Marvin

 2017/8/31 21:04Profile
Heydave
Member



Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

 Re:

This appears to be getting into a debate around Arm/Cal and there have been to many of those on here over the years, to no benefit.

Despite the theories of the 'mechanics' behind how someone comes to salvation, the facts remain that God in scripture calls ALL to seek Him and ALL to come to repentance. He also seeks and calls men to repentance and it is also true that "No one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him". As I said before it is not one at the expense of the other, but both are true.
It is also NOT true that God ONLY seeks those who have no interest in knowing Him. He may seek these as well, but more often we see the case that God seeks those who are already seeking Him. I have given some examples already. Consider also Paul the Apostle, who was zealous for God (but without knowledge). God called him, but you cannot say he had no interest in the knowing God before his Damascus Road conversion, it was just misplaced and ignorance.

"Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." Iss55:6-7

"For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him." 2 Cron 16:9

Who is the LORD searching for here? Those who are wicked and incapable of desiring God? No! it is those who are loyal to Him.

There is a complete over emphasis on what is called 'Total depravity'. It is true that no one can save themselves, but it is absolutely false to say no one has any ability to want to seek after God and His righteousness. Yes in that process we come to an end of ourselves, knowing we have nothing to offer God, but that is when He comes to us and enables us by His grace to repent and believe. But absolutely we can desire Him, even if we cannot obtain by our own efforts.


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Dave

 2017/9/1 6:18Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5378
NC, USA

 Re:

Indeed- don't want another debate on Cal/Arm.

The implications of God only choosing some to respond to Him are too horrible to debate about.


_________________
Todd

 2017/9/1 7:22Profile
mguldner
Member



Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860
Kansas

 Re: Is it God who seeks the individual? Or the other way round?

I believe that God and man's relationship is far more complicated than theological debate. Skimming through this thread I have seen a lot of random verses quoted but those verses don't really seem in their context. I would warn against trying to support one or the other using this method of exegesis. God no doubt pursued me, but I believe that WE must respond to the pursuit of God's spirit. The very nature of God is in the world around us and His awesome power is displayed for all to see. If I were in the pulpit I would emphasize the individual responding to the Love that God has already displayed to us.


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Matthew Guldner

 2017/9/1 9:02Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5378
NC, USA

 Re:

Agreed Matthew.


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Todd

 2017/9/1 9:36Profile
Gloryandgrace
Member



Joined: 2017/7/14
Posts: 1115
Snoqualmie, WA

 Re:

Heydave: I probably didn't explain myself well. I'll do it again. This time more directly.
The idea no calvy-armin debates is impossible if you consider every Arminian will argue doctrine, revelation, man's responsibility from his Arminian/evangelical/Pentecostal/Baptist theology. Its just plain impossible unless of course we all debate contrary to the doctrine we hold and allow ourselves to be blown around by whatever personality is most favorable and then take his/her side.
So, what I am saying is, since I am reformed I am going to offer a theological explanation in my own terms and thinking in relation to the scripture I read and know.
If that theological construct is simply dismissed outright then I have literally nothing to add and of course, the others have nothing to add since the same argument can be made that they are just "feeding a dead debate" and we should avoid it.
I realize the moderators don't want a calvy-armin debate...ok but they should also know any disagreements will normally form because of those two opposing viewpoints. So, in short, it really impossible to avoid. The best you can do is act civilly in discussing a reformed view versus a non-reformed view or cessationist versus continuationist view. Either way, the theology present in our minds and hearts forbids us to express other than what we know and believe.
If we cannot allow that, or you and others will not allow that, just say so up front and I'll not respond.
Some folks will read this and think "he just wants to argue calvy-armin". I say to those people, you're dead wrong, I am saying my theology dictates a certain response and if you disagree one way to do it is to vilify it by associating me with some heated debate...then walk on eggshells to get past it without really examining the scripture on the subject at hand. In short, we talk past each other.


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Marvin

 2017/9/1 16:37Profile





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