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Hope my tone doesn't come across as nasty. I actually enjoy these conversations.
What I don't like and have trouble abiding is the aspersion of God's character. If you peel too many layers off the Calvinistic sovereignty onion that is what happens.
I certainly agree that we cannot know how God works.
But one thing I do know: he does not create persons in order to send them to hell. I am ok with saying a person sends Himself to hell by not believing; what I cannot say is that God is behind the choice, as Calvinists do.
| 2016/2/1 13:27||Profile|
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No offense was takin dear brother as I catch and appreciate your context and sense of humor;)
Yeah I loved my reformed grace brethren but we agree to disagree on that doctrine.
Interestingly I've never met someone who subscribes to the reformed grace doctrine of election that did not think themselves one of the elect;)
It would be a strange thing to have one confess the doctrine and then follow with, "but it sucks cause I'm not one of the elect" would it not?
| 2016/2/1 13:41||Profile|
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Haha never thought of that before. Good point.
| 2016/2/1 14:30||Profile|
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This will be an interesting thread, especially since we are all by nature "children of wrath".
Eph_2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
I will have more to contribute, later. Very busy right now.
| 2016/2/1 14:49|
| Re: A question related to God's sovereignty|
Cal-arm alarm :)
Here we go again...... - all the arguments about that have been pulled out already by people more clever and learned than us.
Anyone seriously inclined to come to the bottom of it if that were possible should listen to Keith Daniel's sermon entitled "The tightrope walker"
He starts to preach as a Calvinist and then at the midst of his sermon takes on an Arminianist positon - seemingly. In the end he states: I am glad I can walk out of this place with the whole bible in my hand.
| 2016/2/1 15:09||Profile|
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I certainly agree that these discussions are generally unfruitful in the long run.
The Calvinist brothers I know personally, all who are very intelligent and strong men of God, respect each other enough not to discuss it if at all possible. It requires much tongue biting.
| 2016/2/1 15:21||Profile|
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The Christian is not unable to discuss the subject for if a Christian cannot discuss a subject in peace and love, then who is capable?
No, the problem is that immature Christians are unable to tackle many subjects.
| 2016/2/1 15:54|
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Yes that's my experience as well. Some of my reformed brothers like their Armenian counterparts actually know Jesus and walk with Him and we enjoy a fruitful time of fellowship.
Interestingly while in doctrine I'm not on that side per sé in my personal relationship I have noticed it leans more toward that (reformed side).
Another interesting note... Peter by all accounts in my reading/study had a very Armenian experience of Christ, while John was def more of a reformed experience in that he seemed to focus on the fact that he was loved/chosen. Another interesting note is while John's experience was seemingly a more stable/consistent one, he had few if any miracles credited to his ministry where as Peter (next to Jesus) was the benchmark in spite of his ups and downs.
Makes for a wonderful life in Christ wherever we find ourselves in Him:)
| 2016/2/1 15:57||Profile|
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Can I whisper something into this? :)
The OP quoted -- without citing -- Paul's argument in Romans 9.
I want to offer this -- and I know it'll be rebutted and dismissed by some, but I offer it humbly any way: that Romans 9 is not referring to individual "vessels" but to Israel as the nation of the promise ("vessels of mercy") and to the Gentiles as "vessels of wrath". The entire context of Chapter 9 - 11 has nothing to do with individuals and their particular salvation or damnation.
Romans 9-11 is one of the brilliant pieces of writing ever. Well, the whole epistle is, but you get my point. I don't know of any other writing like Romans where an elaborately long and perfectly stated argument is made (chapter 1-8) that continues PERFECTLY in two different places (chapters 9-11 on the one hand, and chapter 12 on the other). You COULD read Romans 1-8, skip 9-11, and pick up with 12:1 ff. and it make total sense. Of course, it would be incomplete because 9-11 are vital in every sense of the word. That's one reason why this is such a brilliant piece of writing.
But, 9-11 as a unit is an argument about God's purpose for Israel. It MUST be read so because that's what it is.
Paul already discussed how INDIVIDUALS are saved in Rom. 3:22-24. He already said that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation for those who believe, first the Jew then the Greek (Gentile) in Romans 1:16.
In Matthew 21:42-44, Jesus told the Pharisees what was going to happen NATIONALLY to Israel as they rejected Himself as Messiah. In Romans 9, Paul affirms Jesus and explains how and -- in one of the few times in the Scripture we get "whys" to things -- why God was/is doing with Israel because of Jesus. You know this is what he is doing because he tells you, elaborating "hey, I love Israel and would let myself be cut off from Christ if the nation of Israel in the flesh would be saved, but it isn't like God's word has failed them or anything because not all of natural/national Israel is really Israel. They are Israel because God chose them. God's choice is what makes Israel Israel." Then, he goes on in the rest of chapter 9 to make clear how that is the case.
This makes perfect sense. After all, we all here have read the prophets in the OT and we all know Israel's attitude as a nation was, "Hey, we're Israel. God's not going to let us be taken exile." They missed the point. They kept missing the point all the way to their rejection of Jesus as their Messiah. Jesus told them the consequence of that, and it is to our fortune as Gentiles of course, so that we might be partakers of the promises, too! But, for Israel the nation in the flesh, they rejected that. So, what is God doing with Israel? Jesus said it in Matthew 21:42-44, and Paul explains it more fully broken down into its elements in Romans 9.
God chose Jacob over Esau because it was God's sovereign choice to do so, not because Jacob merited it --- thus taking away Israel's long-held belief that they merited God's promises. Rom. 9:10-12. It is not about individual salvation. To quote Whitney Houston, "that's whack." :) It is about why God chose Israel and how He went about it. By God's sovereign grace, He chose Israel as His covenant people through whom to deliver His word, His promises and ultimately His Son and our salvation.
In 9:14-18, Paul makes it clear that this choice is up to God, not men. God alone says what nation (Israel) He would choose to bring Himself to humanity. It's His choice. He doesn't let us tell Him. In fact, Paul cites God's firm control over it by alluding to Exodus 33 where Moses contended with God over how He ought to reveal Himself to Israel. God would only reveal His glory to Moses, and then only in part, and then only because He chose and not because Moses insisted. Likewise, God chooses which nation -- Israel -- He would use. And, He did exactly that.
Neither can a man stop God from exercising His will among the nations. Paul uses Pharoah as a case in point. God "hardened" (or, strengthened) Pharoah's dark heart to do what Pharoah wanted to do anyway -- stop Israel from leaving, keep them as his slaves. But, God showed him big-time how not even a king could stop Him and His strategy among the nations.
Just read chapter 9 closely. You'll see.
| 2016/2/1 16:37||Profile|
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In his letter to the Romans, Paul refers to “vessels of wrath” and “vessels of mercy” (Rom. 9:22,23), speaking of the Jews and Gentiles respectively not the other way around.
Rom 9:22 What if God, willing to shew 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,
Rom 9:24 EVEN US, whom he hath called, not of the JEWS only, but also of the GENTILES?
Throughout these 3 verses, Paul stays ON TOPIC and IN ORDER.
Paul is carrying forth the example of the potter in verse 21.
Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
Jer 18:5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
Jer 18:6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
Deu 9:7 Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the LORD thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the LORD.
| 2016/2/1 17:12|