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Featured How Free Will Turns the Gospel into Law and Grace into Works.

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Dave L, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    Ok, this question in some similar forms I've answered to some others, and here's a kind of distilled version:

    Does it hurt your heart to know?
    (link will jump to post after a moment. Be aware several parts of this answer are quotes/paraphrases of verses, so helpful to look up and read for oneself.)

    Keep in mind that "God is love." (1rst John, and reading fully is so much better than only isolated verses) I feel it's needed to read not only the Gospel of John fully (and truly listening), but also it helps very much on this question to read Romans and also 1rst John fully too, and 1rst Peter helps, and more. Feel free to copy it over here and discuss if you wish.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
  2. Stephen Douglas

    Stephen Douglas Member

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    It seems to me that we may be over-intellectualizing this potter and clay issue. How is the reference to the potter making his own choice to form any vessel isolated from Paul's declaration that God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy? Paul, as a good teacher, anticipated the reaction of the student. He understood that for God to hate a fetus within a womb for the sake of election sounds like God has predetermined all things and Paul is preemptively asking the question "who can resist His will?" That is an obvious question isn't it. To which Paul replies "Who are you oh man to reply against God?" This is very similar to what God said to Job (Job 38:4-11) Then Paul gives the example of the potter. This is all related isn't it? Why excavate the potter passage and place it in the context of 2 Timothy? Common use? Special purposes? The point is that the potter makes the choice not the clay. Who is the clay to reply to the potter?

    The point has been raised that this 9th chapter of Romans is not pertaining to salvation in which I would agree in some sense. But it isn't focusing only on the Jewish people either. It is describing the sovereign nature of God. God makes choices outside of a person's ability to understand. You either trust God or you don't. This is the central message of this passage and Paul will continue to deal with the specific issue of the Israelites in the following chapters. This 9th chapter is explicitly concerning the nature of God and everyone can learn from it.

    Doug
     
  3. Stephen Douglas

    Stephen Douglas Member

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    I apologize if I haven't read your previous posts that gave explanation. I will read the content of the submitted references as a backdrop.

    Thanks for your kind consideration pertaining to this issue.

    Doug
     
  4. Sam91

    Sam91 Child of the Living God Supporter

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    Seen this on another thread. Iraneus sums it all up pretty well

    "
    Here’s what Iranaeus had to say on this very subject in His writing Adversus Haereses written in 170AD. Book 4 Chapter 37

    1. This expression [of our Lord], How often would I have gathered your children together, and you would not, Matthew 23:37 set forth the ancient law of human liberty, because God made man a free [agent] from the beginning, possessing his own power, even as he does his own soul, to obey the behests (ad utendum sententia) of God voluntarily, and not by compulsion of God. For there is no coercion with God, but a good will [towards us] is present with Him continually. And therefore does He give good counsel to all. And in man, as well as in angels, He has placed the power of choice (for angels are rational beings), so that those who had yielded obedience might justlypossess what is good, given indeed by God, but preserved by themselves. On the other hand, they who have not obeyed shall, with justice, be not found in possession of the good, and shall receive condign punishment: for God did kindly bestow on them what was good; but they themselves did not diligently keep it, nor deem it something precious, but poured contempt upon His super-eminent goodness. Rejecting therefore the good, and as it were spuing it out, they shall all deservedly incur the just judgment of God, which also the Apostle Paul testifies in his Epistle to the Romans, where he says, But do you despise the riches of His goodness, and patience, and long-suffering, being ignorantthat the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But according to your hardness and impenitent heart, you store to yourself wrath against the day of wrath, and the revelation of the righteous judgment of God.But glory and honour, he says, to every one that does good. God therefore has given that which is good, as the apostle tells us in this Epistle, and they who work it shall receive gloryand honour, because they have done that which is good when they had it in their power not to do it; but those who do it not shall receive the just judgment of God, because they did not work good when they had it in their power so to do.

    2. But if some had been made by nature bad, and others good, these latter would not be deserving of praise for being good, for such were they created; nor would the former be reprehensible, for thus they were made [originally]. But since all men are of the same nature, able both to hold fast and to do what is good; and, on the other hand, having also the power to cast it from them and not to do it — some do justly receive praise even among menwho are under the control of good laws(and much more from God), and obtain deserved testimony of their choice of good in general, and of persevering therein; but the others are blamed, and receive a justcondemnation, because of their rejection of what is fair and good. And therefore the prophets used to exhort men to what was good, to act justly and to work righteousness, as I have so largely demonstrated, because it is in our power so to do, and because by excessive negligence we might become forgetful, and thus stand in need of that good counsel which the good God has given us to know by means of the prophets.

    3. For this reason the Lord also said, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good deeds, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 And, Take heed to yourselves, lest perchance your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and worldly cares. Luke 21:34 And, Let your loins be girded about, and your lamps burning, and you like men that wait for their Lord, when He returns from the wedding, that when He comes and knocks, they may open to Him. Blessed is that servant whom his Lord, when He comes, shall find so doing. Luke 12:35-36 And again, The servant who knows his Lord's will, and does it not, shall be beaten with many stripes. Luke 12:47 And, Why call me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?Luke 6:46And again, But if the servant say in his heart, The Lord delays, and begin to beat his fellow-servants, and to eat, and drink, and to be drunken, his Lord will come in a day on which he does not expect Him, and shall cut him in sunder, and appoint his portion with the hypocrites. Luke 12:45-46; Matthew 24:48-51All such passages demonstrate the independent will of man, and at the same time the counsel which God conveys to him, by which He exhorts us to submit ourselves to Him, and seeks to turn us away from [the sin of] unbelief against Him, without, however, in any way coercing us.

    4. No doubt, if any one is unwilling to follow the Gospel itself, it is in his power [to reject it], but it is not expedient. For it is in man's power to disobey God, and to forfeit what is good; but [such conduct] brings no small amount of injury and mischief. And on this account Paul says, All things are lawful to me, but all things are not expedient; 1 Corinthians 6:12 referring both to the liberty of man, in which respect all things are lawful, God exercising no compulsion in regard to him; and [by the expression] not expedient pointing out that we should not use our liberty as a cloak of maliciousness,1 Peter 2:16 for this is not expedient. And again he says, Speak every man truth with his neighbour. Ephesians 4:25 And, Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor scurrility, which are not convenient, but rather giving of thanks. Ephesians 4:29 And, For you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord; walk honestly as children of the light, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in anger and jealousy. And such were some of you; but you have been washed, but you have been sanctified in the name of our Lord.1 Corinthians 6:11 If then it were not in our power to do or not to do these things, what reason had the apostle, and much more the Lord Himself, to give us counsel to do some things, and to abstain from others? But because man is possessed of free will from the beginning, and God is possessed of free will, in whose likeness man was created, advice is always given to him to keep fast the good, which thing is done by means of obedience to God.

    5. And not merely in works, but also in faith, has God preserved the will of man free and under his own control, saying, According to your faithbe it unto you; Matthew 9:29 thus showing that there is a faith specially belonging to man, since he has an opinion specially his own. And again, All things are possible to him that believes; Mark 9:23 and, Go your way; and as you have believed, so be it done unto you. Matthew 8:13 Now all such expressions demonstrate that man is in his own power with respect to faith. And for this reason, he that believes in Him has eternal life while he who believes not the Son has not eternal life, but the wrath of God shall remain upon him. John 3:36In the same manner therefore the Lord, both showing His own goodness, and indicating that man is in his own free will and his own power, said to Jerusalem, How often have I wished to gather your children together, as a hen [gathers] her chickens under her wings, and you would not! Wherefore your house shall be left unto you desolate. Matthew 23:37-38

    CHURCH FATHERS: Against Heresies, IV.37 (St. Irenaeus) "
     
  5. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    I think there are too many people who

    You Neither Know the Scriptures nor the Power of God! - Lay ...
    [​IMG]You Neither Know the Scriptures nor the Power of God!
    You Neither Know the Scriptures nor the Power of God! The Pharisees and the Sadducees were the intellectuals of their time. They were the professional theologians that thought of themselves as the custodians of the true doctrine of the word of God.

    For instance, in Ephesians 2 .... "those who are dead in trespasses and sins.." refers to who ?
    Everybody, at some point, EVEN THE Ekklesia , as written in Ephesians 2.

    WHEN will someone become Ekklesia ? (born again)

    NO MAN KNOWS. In fact, with men this is impossible. No man can make himself be born again, ever.
     
  6. Stephen Douglas

    Stephen Douglas Member

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    It is truly amazing to me that folks will read the exact same passage and come to wildly and drastically different conclusions as to its specific meaning. We also see this phenomenon operating in the contemporary political sphere but this spiritual reckoning has been transpiring for centuries. Sometimes this discussion feels more like an arm wresting competition rather than a discussion pertaining to the precious Word of God.

    Certainly, God has expectations of His people and of that there can be no debate. We, as the adopted children of the Living God, are to be holy as He is holy. We are to, not only pray for our enemies, but to actually love them. We are to treat the stranger as we would be treating ourselves. We are expected to turn our cheek when smitten and turn over our possessions to those who would attempt to steal from us. The question is.....what if we underperform concerning these critical aspects of living for Christ? Surely, we are fickle beings. We are simply not consistent in our actions and our hearts are far away as we tend to elevate self rather than sacrifice to others. Does God reach a point where He gives up on us because of a faulty exercise of our "free will".

    You see, the implications of this discussion goes far beyond the original statement "How free will turns the gospel into law and grace into works". Much of what has been written here implicates the very nature of God. Do I have a heavenly Father who leaves it up to me to choose righteously? Is my salvation for all eternity contingent on my unwavering "free will" decisions to perform righteously? Some would say "yes" and provide scripture passages as support. Others say "no" and that seems to make an allowance for those who may choose to please and feed self interest out of a sense of a false confidence (grace).

    This isn't a discussion on infant baptism vs believer's baptism. This subject goes to the very core of the nature of God. Who is He? What is He? Who am I to Him? Am I completely responsible to make a "free will" decision to accept Christ as my Savior? If so, what if I am mentally disabled in some way? And if God makes allowances for such things, does He make an allowance for the disability of my fallen spiritual nature that is bent toward elevating self? Is there a material difference? And if I do accept Christ, am I totally responsible for times when I don't turn the other cheek or if I might happen to feel actual contempt for my enemy? At what point am I rejected for all of eternity?

    The bar of holiness is high. How often or to what extent are we able to miss this bar before we are fouled out of the competition? Do we truly belong to God’s team or do we have to re-qualify each day to sustain our status? And lastly, if Christ died only to grant the disabled the opportunity to try out for the Olympic team, isn’t our faith based on futility?

    Thoughts?

    Doug
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  7. Jan001

    Jan001 Newbie Supporter

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    Each person is free to choose for himself to do either good or evil.

    2 Chronicles 30:8
    Do not now be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord, and come to his sanctuary, which he has sanctified for ever, and serve the Lord your God, that his fierce anger may turn away from you. rsv

    Joshua 24:15
    And if you be unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” rsv

    Romans 6:13
    Do not yield your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but yield yourselves to God as men who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness. rsv

    Romans 6:16
    Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? rsv

    Romans 6:19
    I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification. rsv

    2 Peter 2:21
    For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. rsv
     
  8. Jan001

    Jan001 Newbie Supporter

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    No, they are not the exact same thing in human terms, but they help us to understand God's abilities/attributes. He is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent.

    God knows/sees everything on earth: past, present, and future all at the same time because they are all equally present to Him presently in heaven. There is no "time" in eternity/heaven like there is "time" on earth. Eternity/heaven is always in the "present" so all events on earth, whether past or present or future, are all known/seen/understood by God presently.

    God knew before He made the earth, before we were born, if we would inherit eternal life. God knew before He made the earth, before we were born, if we would not inherit eternal life. God predestined to heaven/eternal life all the people that He knew would inherit eternal life and He did not predestine to heaven/eternal life all the people that He knew would not inherit eternal life.

    God did not cause people to inherit eternal life and God did not cause people to not inherit eternal life. Each person's own deeds/works had determined his own destiny. Matthew 25:31-46 , 2 Corinthians 5:10, John 5:28-29, Galatians 6:7-10

    God does not think or see or hear as we humans do. God knows/sees/hears everything about everything (past, present, future) and He does all this without a physical body, physical brain, physical eyes, or physical ears.
     
  9. Hammster

    Hammster Melanin Level - Low Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    You say, no they aren’t the same thing, then explain how they are the same thing. :)
     
  10. Stephen Douglas

    Stephen Douglas Member

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    All of those submitted scriptural directives may speculate that an omniscient God would anticipate the ability of the hearer of such directives to respond in a positive manner. Yet, we know that wasn't and isn't the case.
    ...………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Genesis 6:5 - "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually."

    Jeremiah 13:23 - "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? [then] may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil."

    Jeremiah 17:9 - "The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

    Romans 8:7 - "Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be."

    Romans 3:11-12 - "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God."

    Romans 7:14-25 -
    "For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that within me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

    21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….


    God knows the result of directing His people onto righteousness. God knew that all descendants of Adam would be slaves to sin. God knew that man could not obey His commandments (Romans 8:7).

    If you feel that God is not omniscient I could understand the embrace of a term that is found nowhere within the Holy Bible (free will). But if you do agree with the existence of the all-knowing aspect of the Creator, how do you reconcile God's repeated attempts to command His people into the ways of righteousness? To see if they would do what He already knew that would not do?

    I am not asking to be argumentative but I am unable to accept that mankind was able to make righteous decisions based on everything that scripture has to say on the subject. And if there is inability to make righteous decisions, how is "free will" implemented? The passages that I have submitted are but a modicum of the many and various biblical endorsements that man is a complete slave to sin and that not even one is good. Please help me.

    Doug
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  11. Jan001

    Jan001 Newbie Supporter

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    No, they are not the exact same thing, but both of them used together do help to explain to us mere mortals in human terms how God knows beforehand about all about future events.

    Foreknowledge: God just knows everything about everything without having to see, think, hear, or reason.
     
  12. Hammster

    Hammster Melanin Level - Low Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    The problem is that it say those He foreknew. It doesn’t say those He knew foreknew things about. You can read your view into the text, but it’s not there.
     
  13. Stephen Douglas

    Stephen Douglas Member

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    Romans 8:29

    "For whom God foreknew, He also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son,"

    If we were to use "foreknow" and "foresaw" interchangeably we could only conclude that everyone of those whom God knew about (foreknowledge) would be ordained to be conformed into the likeness of the Son. However, everything that is expressed in this triumphant chapter of Romans reveals otherwise. Surely, God knows about every hair on our head but there is nothing here to imply that God looked down the corridor of time to see who would choose Him and in turn, God chose them on that basis. To assume such would be quite a theological and rhetorical leap. "Knowing" someone is not synonymous with "seeing" someone.
    ……………….........……...…………...…...…..

    Matthew 7:22

    "And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you;"

    Is Jesus saying that He never knew anything about these workers of iniquity? How could that be? Doesn't it stand to reason that this word "knew" is referring to a certain measure of intimacy such as in Genesis 4:1 and Genesis 4:25 KJV describing Adam as "knowing" his wife and she became pregnant? Certainly it implies some measure of a relationship as opposed to some level of acknowledgement.
    ………………………………………...............…...

    Ephesians 1:5

    He predestined us for adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will,

    This is only one of many passages that describes God as exercising His decretive will to adopt His own unto Himself. If God actually did this act of adoption based on His "foreseeing" then why don't we have anything at all that says such? Here Paul is being explicit concerning the reasoning, is he not? God has predestined and chosen His elect according to His GOOD WILL. To read anything else into these passages is to interpret the Bible in a way that is pleasing to us.....not God.

    Doug
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
  14. Jan001

    Jan001 Newbie Supporter

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    Please read Romans 8 in order to understand a more complete teaching of Paul to the Romans on this subject. It is by a person's own actions (good or evil) that he chooses for himself whom he serves:

    Joshua 24:15
    And if you be unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” rsv

    Romans 2:14-16
    When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. rsv

    Romans 6:16
    Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? rsv

    1 John 3:8
    He who commits sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. rsv


    IF we listen to our flesh which is carnal and selfish instead of to our God-given conscience which was and is given to each and every human being from Adam down to the present generation, then it will be impossible to please God. Many people do refuse to listen to their conscience. They corrupt their own conscience by declaring evil as good and good as evil.

    Isaiah 5:20
    Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! rsv

    Titus 1:15
    To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure; their very minds and consciences are corrupted. rsv

    But, IF we listen to our God-given conscience and do what is good and acceptable to God, then we are righteous.

    Here are some righteous men who lived and died before the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ:

    Genesis 6:9
    These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God. rsv

    Ezekiel 14:13-14
    Son of man, when a land sins against me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it, and break its staff of bread and send famine upon it, and cut off from it man and beast, 14 even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, says the Lord God. rsv

    Matthew 1:18-19
    Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; 19 and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. rsv

    I have shown in the Scriptures above that some men did act righteously before the coming of Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death.

    Christ died for all men (mankind), not just for some men. If all men were not given the ability to be saved and given the ability to inherit eternal life, Jesus would not have died sacrificially as a ransom for all men.


    1 Timothy 2:3-7
    This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to which was borne at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. rsv


    God does not desire that any human being perish (be subjected to the second death which is eternal hellfire).

    2 Peter 3:9
    The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. rsv

    So what is the difference between the people who do inherit eternal life and the people who do not?

    The people who do inherit eternal life freely choose to be faithful to God's commandments until their physical death.

    Revelation 2:9-11
    ‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who conquers shall not be hurt by the second death.’ rsv


    The people who freely choose to disobey God's commandments and die unrepentant do not inherit eternal life.

    2 Corinthians 5:9-10
    So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body. rsv


    John 5:28-29
    Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment. rsv

    At our judgment we will all be judged by our works alone. Our fruits (good or evil) will determine whether we inherit eternal life or eternal hellfire.

    Matthew 7:15-20
    Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. 18 A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will know them by their fruits. rsv


    Matthew 24:31-46
    When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. 34 Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? 39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ 46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” rsv
     
  15. Stephen Douglas

    Stephen Douglas Member

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    I wish I knew if you are pretending not to understand or somehow simply missing my question. If I knew the answer to that question I would know how to proceed.

    Doug
     
  16. Jan001

    Jan001 Newbie Supporter

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    RE: All of those submitted scriptural directives may speculate that an omniscient God would anticipate the ability of the hearer of such directives to respond in a positive manner. Yet, we know that wasn't and isn't the case

    I will try again. :)

    The writers of the Old Testament explained how God acted towards humans in their own human manner of speaking but this is inadequate. God "knows" everything about everybody and everything. And He Knows all these things without having eyes, ears, brain, heart, etc.

    For example:

    Genesis 3:8
    And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. rsv

    God cannot literally "walk". He has no legs or feet.

    Exodus 32:9-10
    And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people; 10 now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; but of you I will make a great nation.” rsv

    This is man's attempt to explain God's actions using human terms. God actually knew that the Israelites would make the golden calf before He created the world. Before the foundation of the world, God also knew that He would not consume the Israelites with fire in the desert.

    Before God created the world and humans, He destined that the Word of God become Incarnate as Jesus Christ to save the world and humans. John 3:16 God destined this because He knew that when He created Adam that Adam would sin and thereby separate himself and all his descendants spiritually from God, making it impossible for mankind to live with Him forever in heaven. Romans 5:12-21

    1 Peter 1:18-21
    You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake. 21 Through him you have confidence in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. rsv

    Acts 2:23
    this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. rsv

    God knew before the foundation of the world which people that He would later create would inherit eternal life and also which people would not inherit eternal life. He predestined to eternal life only the people that He knew would still be found faithful to His Word/Gospel/Commandments at the moment they died. Revelation 2:10, 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9

    All the works/deeds/fruits, both good and evil, of every person were known by God before He created the foundation of the world.

    God created every person even though He knew that some of the people would repent of their sins and inherit eternal life and that some of the people would not repent of their sins and thereby not inherit eternal life.

    Each person freely chooses for himself whom he serves (God or his own selfish desires) by his own thoughts, words, deeds/works/fruits during his lifetime on earth. Joshua 24:15, Titus 1:16

    Hebrews 4:2-4
    For good news came to us just as to them (Israelites); but the message which they heard did not benefit them, because it did not meet with faith in the hearers. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest (eternal life), as he (God) has said,
    As I swore in my wrath,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest,’” (promised land-Canaan)
    although his (God's) works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way, “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” rsv


    All of God's people will eternally rest from all their works/labors after the resurrection of the body and the judgment of the nations. Matthew 25:31-46. The people who were idolaters (who put created things before the Creator) will not have eternal rest.

    Revelation 14:9-13
    And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If any one worships the beast and its image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also shall drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and he shall be tormented with fire and sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever; and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”
    12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
    13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” rsv
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  17. Stephen Douglas

    Stephen Douglas Member

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    I am trying to discern how any of that is relevant to man’s inability to please God through the exercise of “free will”. Scratching my head here.

    Doug
     
  18. Jan001

    Jan001 Newbie Supporter

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    God is omniscient. He knows everything about everything including every human and He knew everything about everybody before He created the foundation of the world.

    Foreknew is used in Scripture only to describe the people who serve God until their death.

    Romans 8:29
    For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. rsv


    Foreknew is not used to describe the people who do not serve Him until their death. God claims that He does not know and never knew the people who do not serve Him. In other words, God did not foreknow these unrepentant sinners. Matthew 7:22-23


    Romans 8:29
    For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. rsv

    Romans 11:2
    God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the scripture says of Eli′jah, how he pleads with God against Israel? rsv

    God foreknew the Israelites who would inherit eternal life; therefore, God did not foreknow the majority of the Israelites who would not inherit eternal life.

    Romans 9:27
    And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved; rsv
     
  19. Hammster

    Hammster Melanin Level - Low Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    Exactly.
     
  20. Jan001

    Jan001 Newbie Supporter

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    Man definitely has the ability to please God through the exercise of his "free will" with the help of God's Holy Spirit of Grace.

    Ephesians 5:8-11
    for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. rsv


    Romans 8:1-9
    There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6
    To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, indeed it cannot; 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. rsv

    Philippians 4:18
    I have received full payment, and more; I am filled, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. rsv

    Colossians 1:9-12
    And so, from the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. rsv

    1 Peter 1:15
    but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; rsv

    Hebrews 13:16
    Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. rsv


    Philippians 2:12-16
    Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
    14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. rsv

    2 Peter 1:1-11
    Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
    To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours in the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
    2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
    3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature. 5 For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be the more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you will never fall; 11 so there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. rsv


    God is love. God does not command what is impossible to do. 1 John 4:8

    1 John 5:3
    For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. rsv


    Galatians 6:7-8
    Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. rsv


    Free will: whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
     
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