SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
See Opportunities to Serve with SermonIndex
Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Cornelius, total depravity, works, a questions?...

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 )

Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4807


Brother Chris wrote:

I looked down as I passed by and saw that he was mostly face down, lying on the ground. I continued to look at him as I went by and was checking the time on my phone and didn't really think too much of it. Besides, I was down there to walk and pray.

And then I suddenly caught myself and asked 'what are you doing!?'

We as believers often look at Scripture as a means to know what we should and should not do, never realizing that the promise is so much more abundant. This abundance is defined by the promise that we who are adopted into the kingdom of God, will be conformed into the image of His Son.

Your testimony above reminded me of another believer found in Scripture...

Acts 3:
1 Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; 3 who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. 4 And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” 5 So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”

Chris, often the Spirit will draw our attention to someone or some situation in which He calls us to do something. As we learn to hear and then do, we gain understanding that Paul and Solomon often speak of.

So anyway, as I kept thinking and began to feel like the priest and the levite from Luke 10, and as I walked along I noticed an older woman on the phone and I suspected that she might be calling someone about the man as she was looking that way.

This testimony demonstrates the critical importance of knowing God's word. Like Cornelius, because you knew the word of God, you were sensitive to the path that He wished for you to follow...

Psa. 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.

The word of God enables us to see the abundance that is found in the Light of Life. The word of God will empower us to know Jesus and His desires for us. We will learn to love humanity in a way that the natural man cannot. A man can read the Scriptures daily yet not know the Lord. A man who obeys the Spirit of God and turns to walk with our Lord will realize this promise...

Proverbs 1:
23 Turn at my rebuke;
Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.

All Scripture will enable us to know the heart of Jesus..

God Bless

Jeff Marshalek

 2009/8/2 10:23Profile

Joined: 2009/1/16
Posts: 393


Yeah so..

I think I was just thinking.

I know that prayers of humility and repentance can be accepted by God.

But, alms are also accepted by God.

It's odd I mean I always thought that all their righteous works were as filthy rags.

It also seems that other Centurions were honored.

Or Paul said I was given mercy because I did these things in ignorance.

I mean we often think of some gang banger just going for evil on purpose and then God melting his heart in love and bringing him to repentance or something.

But, here it was not as if Paul was just being evil on purpose but he said he received mercy because he did it in ignorance.

So can those who do evil on purpose receive mercy as well. Could Paul have received mercy had he on purpose killed Christians. hmm. Well maybe I would guess so. I mean the goodness of God leads men to repentance and we are to do good works to our enemies to put hot coals on their heads and love our enemies and even turn our enemies to our friends.

In Pauls case maybe not though maybe he would have been as Judas who just went too far (if hypothetically he killed knowingly). I don't know maybe it has to be judged on a case by case basis and only God knows.

Was Paul still to blame? I don't know maybe. I would guess so since the other Pharisees were often rebuked. But, maybe he was different then the other Pharisees maybe especially being seen in that he ultimately became a Christian.

So Cornelius' prayer and alms were honored hmm. Well maybe I can say that for certain people their righteous acts are as filthy rags because they are done with wrong motive (I will have to look at the context again). Maybe Cornelius' works were different because they were done in humility and sincerity. Maybe he didn't do them to try to earn his way to God but to love God. Maybe he didn't do his works in false beliefs but in incomplete ones namely not yet being told of the Gospel. I think it was Apollus who was taken aside by Aquila and Priscilla and told the fullness of the Gospel whereas before He only knew the baptism of John?

The last thing I think I will bring up in this post. Is something Billy Graham said. There is a video floating around of when he was speaking to Robert Schuller Pastor of the Crystal Cathedral. He is deemed as a heretic in it. In that he says that many who have not heard the Gospel around the world and are in false religions like Hinduism or Islam but are truly sincerely seeking God but just have not yet had the truth are in fact saved. So he says that to those who are ignorant but sincere no matter what religion they are in are saved.

Now can I agree with with this. Well this would be really hard to receive. I mean does not Jesus promise to reveal Himself to those who truly seek him. Or can they not receive dreams and visions or other Divine interventions. Or if they were seeking the truth would they then not know that Islam and others were false. I mean did not those biblically who were ignorant at least believe the true God of Israel and other things and probably also reject many false religious thing amongst the Pharisees and whatnot as Jesus did. I do bring this up though as it comes up in the context of the topic. hmm...

 2009/8/2 18:18Profile

Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA


Hi anonymity,

Since I had participated in this discussion I wanted to respond to something that you mentioned if I could?

"I do bring this up though as it comes up in the context of the topic."

I believe that whatever ways and reasons God has dealt with people in time and in their lives and in bringing grace to them and us, are His own(Deut 29:29) and that we are called(and are called upon to tell others) to put no confidence in our selves or anything that we have done for hope in this life and in the next, but in Christ and Christ alone.

And this is the life and message and hope that we have to give to others.

Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2009/8/2 22:16Profile

Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4807


Or Paul said I was given mercy because I did these things in ignorance.

Paul's testimony was...
4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

Paul's source of ignorance is found in his dependence on the law of Moses. We know that the law of Moses only condemns the acts done in the flesh. So Paul did not know the law of the Spirit until Jesus met him on the road to Damascus. Jesus said to him...

Acts 9:5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”

Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

In this exchange we find that Jesus testifies that Paul has been refusing to respond to the work of the Holy Spirit thus far in his life. One must remember again, that Paul being a Pharisee of Pharisees knew the word of God by heart... every last jot ant tittle. We know that Paul also knew this verse...

Eccl. 12:11 The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd.

To paraphrase...The words of God, spoken by men chosen by God, find their source of inspiration in "one Shepherd."

And we know that Shepherd is Jesus.

In the book of Job we find a description of how God works to redeem man.

Job 33:
13 Why do you contend with Him?
For He does not give an accounting of any of His words.
14 For God may speak in one way, or in another,
Yet man does not perceive it.
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night,
When deep sleep falls upon men,
While slumbering on their beds,
16 Then He opens the ears of men,
And seals their instruction.
17 In order to turn man from his deed,
And conceal pride from man,
18 He keeps back his soul from the Pit,
And his life from perishing by the sword.
19 “Man is also chastened with pain on his bed,
And with strong pain in many of his bones,
20 So that his life abhors bread,
And his soul succulent food.
21 His flesh wastes away from sight,
And his bones stick out which once were not seen.
22 Yes, his soul draws near the Pit,
And his life to the executioners.
23 “If there is a messenger for him,
A mediator, one among a thousand,
To show man His uprightness,
24 Then He is gracious to him, and says,
“Deliver him from going down to the Pit;
I have found a ransom’;
25 His flesh shall be young like a child’s,
He shall return to the days of his youth.
26 He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him,
He shall see His face with joy,
For He restores to man His righteousness.
27 Then he looks at men and says,
“I have sinned, and perverted what was right,
And it did not profit me.’
28 He will redeem his soul from going down to the Pit,
And his life shall see the light.
29 “Behold, God works all these things,
Twice, in fact, three times with a man,
30 To bring back his soul from the Pit,
That he may be enlightened with the light of life.

The light of life is salvation. And that salvation in found in hearing and obeying the words of the Shepherd. No religion can deliver one from the pit.

In Christ

Jeff Marshalek

 2009/8/3 7:21Profile

 Re: Cornelius, total depravity, works, a questions?...

Hi anonymity,

I enjoyed your musings.

You asked

Was Paul still to blame?

It seems you were thinking that somehow, blame was not attributed to Corneius (and the other centurion), but you are unsure why that might be, as we all know that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. I believe context is important, and you do need to look for other places in scripture where similar things are mentioned.

Jeff alluded to the law of Moses, and I would point out in agreement with that, what Paul said in Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, [b]and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God[/b]. 4 For Christ [is] the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

You also mentioned the goodness of God leading to repentance. This is true, of course, but again... look at the context.

Rom 1: 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, ... 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. Rom 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. 3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

So.... there is repentance for people who know the truth and deny it, who later chose to turn from their sinfulness, as much as those who don't know it and sin in ignorance. Perhaps this is why Paul calls it 'the goodness of God' to such sinners. But, this was true also in the Old Testament: Eze 3:18, 19, 20, 21, and, Eze 18:1 - 24. (Please read the whole section, as this is a key passage delineating a change in the way man is to regard his sinfulness, and, God's judgement upon it. By the time Jesus lived and died, the grace of God is offered to every man as an individual, to believe Him for salvation.)

We see this in Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; [b]but now commandeth all men every where to repent[/b]: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead. 32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this [matter]. 33 So Paul departed from among them. 34 Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed.

As Paul's 'hearing' the word of God on the road to Damascus furnished him with the necessary faith to choose salvation, Rom 10:17, so those in Athens who heard, were divided into those who chose to put the faith into action, and those who consciously chose unbelief. It is for this choosing of unbelief that God condemns men.

John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

 2009/8/3 11:55

Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4807


Maybe he didn't do his works in false beliefs but in incomplete ones namely not yet being told of the Gospel.

The OT saints had the gospel preached to them according to Scripture...

Rom 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "LORD, who has believed our report?" [fn]

Rom 10:17 So then faith [comes] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.


Hbr 4:1 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.

Hbr 4:2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, [fn] not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.

Those who live by faith through the work of God's grace in their lives will come to know Salvation. Jesus is able to save those who lived before His incarnation as well as those who lived after His ressurection. You will find Christ's work in the OT. The doctrine of the Trinity is the same always...

In Christ

Jeff Marshalek

 2009/8/4 10:59Profile

Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Affiliate Disclosure | Privacy Policy