1 Cor. 1 and God's calling

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Isaiah40:28, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    631
    Likes Received:
    0
    As my husband was listening to a conservative evangelical scholar debate Richard Dawkins, a well known aethist which was recorded earlier this month, I was removed enough from the speakers that I could not really here their exchange. But I was struck with the urge to pray for Mr. Dawkins, that even as entrenched as he is in his views, that the Lord might save him yet.
    I then immediately thought of this passage in 1 Corinthians about the message of the gospel being foolish to the perishing.
    So I took some time to read through this chapter while my husband finished one part of the debate. What struck me in a way I never saw before was verses 23-24.
    Paul says that they preach Christ crucified to both the Jews and the Gentiles and both have reasons for rejecting it. Yet, to those whom God has called in both groups, the message is received as "Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God". I saw this as evidence of a special call for the elect in which the gospel is always received as truth.
    What say ye?
     
  2. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    I say that I agree.

    And the argument for the effectiveness of the sort of call Paul is referring to here becomes even stronger when you put the parallell statements in this passage (verse 18 and verses 23-24) side by side and compare them:

    the word of the cross/
    the preaching of Christ crucified

    folly to those who are perishing/
    a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles

    but to us who are being saved/
    but to those who are called

    the power of God/
    the power of God and the wisdom of God

    This passage suggests that being called in the way the term is used in this passage is equivalent to being saved.
     
  3. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    0
    As another person pointed out, those "being saved" in verse 18 "those who believe" verse 21and those whom God has called" verse 24 represents those who are believers.

    You state that it was impressed upon you that this passage is evidence of a special call for the elect. I respond by stating that several things are worth noting before such a conclusion should be drawn.

    First is verse 18 and verse 21
    Here those being saved believe the message of the Cross. That message we all know; Christ suffering, burial and resurrection on behalf of our sins (the shortest version of the event I can state without going into detail).

    But note verse 21, whom does God save? Those that believe. How are they saved? By believing the foolish message of the Cross
    *(sidebar: it is the foolishness of the message, of what is being preached and NOT preaching itself that is considered foolish as some preachers like to wrongly assert this passage is talking about. To the unbelieving the message of the Cross is foolishness, not the actual act of preaching it or the act of preaching in and of itself)

    Firstly, I see no emphasis on a special group elected to believe in the passage. I don't even see it intimated. I understand some contexts in the Bible intimate things and sometimes some things can be drawn out but here I find that highly negligible at best.

    What is being said is that to those that believe the message makes sense, and not just good sense but it is the power of God and the wisdom of God, their means of salvation and to those that don't believe it is described as a stumbling block for Jews and and foolishness to Gentiles.

    Paul is stating the obvious for a reason. To remind us of the glorious nature of the Gospel. The obvious is that to unbelievers the message is null, it is without value. But to us, those that are being saved, it is the power of God.

    The emphasis here is on the nature of the Gospel.

    But what I find interesting and a worthwhile challenge to those who a Calvinistic in their view of Scriptures is verse 21. Again:

    21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

    Whom is God PLEASED to save? Those that BELIEVE the foolishness of the Gospel. It is worthy to observe that if indeed this was a place God intended to intimate, imply or have drawn out ELECTION, the construct of verse 21 does not support it but instead focuses on God being pleased to saved those that believe.

    I believe verse 24 where the word "called" is used as a synonym for those who are believers is influencing you because in Calvinism there is an definitive identification with the word "called" as being "elect". That is not present here and that is not the use. While Calvinists assume the "elect" to be a synonym for the saved here the word elect is not present nor is the use of the word "called" defined in those terms.

    I believe you are carrying into the passage and onto the word "called" the idea of the "elect", hence you believe you see this here. But that is not its use. It simply is being used as a synonym for those that are being saved by believing the gospel.
     
  4. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    I also would like to add to the discussion that "those who believe" in verse 21, are referred back to being in the world. You see 2 groups...those that believed, and those that depended on their own wisdom, in spite of hearing the wisdom of God being preached. One people broken down into those that thought it was foolish...and those who believed.
     
  5. TCGreek

    TCGreek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,373
    Likes Received:
    0
    1. 1 Cor 1:17-2:5 is a great passage on the effectiveness of the preached Word.

    2. The background to the letters to the Corinthians is Acts 18.

    3. After preaching the Word in Corinth, Paul became frustrated and was ready to move on, because there wasn't much success.

    4. At night, however, he received a vision from God, informing him that God has a people in Corinth, those whom He called (Acts 18:9, 10; 1 Cor 1:26ff).

    5. So, "What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth" (1 Cor 3:5, 6).
     
  6. Allan

    Allan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,888
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well said Alex.
     
  7. Allan

    Allan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,888
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Gospel message IS the Call, and those who believe that message which 'calls' ALL men to repent and believe thus it is logical that we are the called because we heeded it's message, NOT that it was a message only to us and not really for the world.

    We KNOW it is a message for the world as well because God commands ALL men to repent, not just all types of men. Thus the message serves to purposes and not just one. To save the believer and condemn to non-believer because the message is based upon the atonement which was completed in Christ. It is for THAT reason the message saves and condemns because as the Atonement was for all it stands to reason the Gospel 'calling' was for all as well. Otherwise it would not matter if they believed or not. There would be no reason to 'call' through the message of the Gospel, the power of God unto salvation.
     
    #7 Allan, Oct 19, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2007
  8. Allan

    Allan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,888
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a serious question for you.

    Did you pray for Mr. Dawkins when the Holy Spirit urged you to?

    I ask because in the above IT LOOKS LIKE, the Holy Spirit urged you to pray for him 'that the Lord might save him yet', and then your personal view came in conflict with the Spirit of God as to who can be saved or not.

    IT APPEARS you left off praying for him to re-affirm your Calvinistic view of what you hold, instead of praying for him and THEN going back to see if your view is correct which came in conflict with the urging of the Spirit.

    Please understand, I am only asking because of HOW you set this forth and I am 'hoping' you prayed for Mr. Dawkins because I know in reading your post it urged me to.

    I would like to say that maybe, just MAYBE the verse which came to your mind was God trying to showing WHY you need to pray for Him, or better HOW to pray for him.

    But I am no prophet, so it makes no real matter what is between you and God. :)
     
  9. TCGreek

    TCGreek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,373
    Likes Received:
    0
    1. I fully agree thatwe are the called because we heeded the call message?

    2. But I don't agree that only because WE heeded the call on our OWN that is why we are the called.

    3. In fact, 1 Cor 1:18-31 is ladened with the sovereign, effective call of God.

    4. Notice Paul says that their birth and their intelligence had nothing to do with the call. They contributed nothing, for it was wholly of God to side aside worldly wisdom. Awesome, isn't it?
     
  10. Allan

    Allan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,888
    Likes Received:
    0
    Who said 'on our own' as though we came to this understanding without the revealing power of God. Rom 1 clearly shows that God reveals himself to them, and that they KNOW Him, and Know His coming Judgment against all unrighteousness. Yet they STILL reject Him, who has revealed Himself TO THEM.

    All scripture is ladened with the Soveriegnty of God TC, it is just not ladened with your version (IMO) of Sovereignty.
    Of course the Call is effective in that it bring both life AND damnation upon it's hearers and NOT JUST LIFE. Both are based on what WE will do with the message God reveals to us. You miss the full power of the message in that you keep it one sided as in - it is only effective to give life but it effectively establishes the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience who take pleasure in unrighteousness AFTER rejecting the truth so as to be saved. (Rom 1 - and -2 Thes 2)

    [qutoe]4. Notice Paul says that their birth and their intelligence had nothing to do with the call. They contributed nothing, for it was wholly of God to side aside worldly wisdom. Awesome, isn't it?[/QUOTE]
    Acually I don't read Paul making ANY such statement. That is not what is stated at all but is a postulation that must be brought (I feel) into the text.
    As already shown in verse 21:
    Since man can not know God through our human wisdom (and this was designed by God IN His Wisdom) Thus man left of and to himself will never be saved. But is man left to simself or does God REVEAL Himself to ALL men?

    Yes in Nature, the conscience, of which scripture states the Clearly see God and even the Gospel itself.

    ALL men are given truth by God to believe or reject. What man does with the truths God gives him determines whether the Gospel itself is brought to them of distant lands where the Gospel is not. However Remember in Romans 1 that nature and the conscience of man are used by God to reveal Himself CLEARLY to them and that disobeience brings forth Gods judgment (of which they know is true).

    In Other Words - even in the basic truth THEY KNOW to repent, but repent unto whom? It is here God knowing their hearts has already sent forth a one to proclaim the fulness of the truth to them who are without the truth in full but not without the truth period, so as to be without excuse.
    Example - Much like Philip and the Etheopian.


    Thus we have Hebs telling us:
    Appearently those who hear God can harden/reject His calling just as the Jews did in the rebellion (Going agianst the way God told them)
     
  11. TCGreek

    TCGreek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,373
    Likes Received:
    0
    1. I love how it's stated in Neh. 9:7: "You are the Lord God, Who chose Abram and brought him out from Ur of the Chaldees and gave Him the name Abraham.

    2. What did the moon-worshiper Abram do to initiate this called of God?
     
    #11 TCGreek, Oct 19, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2007
  12. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    ...I also like how the Bible states Abraham believed...and it was credited as righteousness.

    Why was faith necessary if God plucked him from Ur, changed his name, and gave him salvation?
     
  13. TCGreek

    TCGreek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,373
    Likes Received:
    0
    So where did the moon-worshiper get that faith from?
     
  14. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    He always had it. He responded to God's call.
     
  15. TCGreek

    TCGreek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,373
    Likes Received:
    0
    Then why no mention of it, but there's mention of God's sovereign call prior to Gen 15?
     
  16. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Electing mankind for His purposes is not the same thing as electing for salvation.
     
  17. TCGreek

    TCGreek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,373
    Likes Received:
    0
    Are you implying that God's electing of Abram was only economic and had nothing to do with his salvation?
     
  18. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not at all. As Allan already pointed out, without God acting first there is no chance of salvation for anyone.
     
  19. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    631
    Likes Received:
    0
    I appreciate your views, but I don't see you really interacting with the phrasing of verses 23-24.
    Both groups have two sets of reactions.
    Jews
    1) stumbling block group
    2) Christ the power of God group
    Gentiles
    1) the gospel is foolishness group
    2) the wisdom of God group

    Paul attributes both Group #2s to the call of God to show that that is what is the difference in the reaction.
    The general call to believe the gospel is evident in that it is preached to all groups, but the special call is issued to those within those groups and thus the message is received favorably by those who received that call.

    The Jews who are part of the called in verse 24 see Christ as the power of God and not as a curse hanging on a tree. The Gentiles who are part of the called in verse 24, see the wisdom of God in the gospel, not foolishness.

    And the only difference contrasted between all the groups is set apart by the phrase "but to those whom God has called".
     
  20. TCGreek

    TCGreek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,373
    Likes Received:
    0
    Again, we agree in principle, but we part ways in what this looks like.
     

Share This Page

Loading...