2 Timothy 2:24-26 and Free Will?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Primitive Baptist, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. Primitive Baptist

    Primitive Baptist
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    "And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will." (2 Tim. 2:24-26)

    Where is "free will" in this?
     
  2. Monergist

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    There's "will" right between 'God' & 'grant.'

    However, I don't see "free" anywhere. 'Everyone' has an 'r' & two 'e's', as does 'resentful' & 'repentance', but there's not even an 'f' anywhere in the passage.

    "Free will" just isn't there. Unless, of course, you're speaking of God's "free will." ;)
     
  3. koreahog2005

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    In 2 Timothy 2:25 we find the phrase “grant them repentance.” The word “grant” can also be translated as “give” (Greek “didomi”). Similar phrases with the word “didomi” are found in the following two passages:

    Acts 5:31 – “He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”

    Acts 11:18 – “And when they heard this, they quieted down, and glorified God, saying, ‘Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.’ ”

    Notice above that God granted repentance both to Israel and to the Gentiles. Let’s look again at 2 Timothy 2:25:

    “With gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to knowledge of the truth.”

    Some conclusions:

    1. God granted repentance to Israel and the Gentiles, but not all individuals repented. Thus, the word “give” or “grant” in these verses can mean, “make available.” God made repentance available for the Jews and Gentiles, but not all of them chose to repent. Similarly, in 2 Timothy 2:25, the phrase “if perhaps” or “in the hope that” (Greek “mepote”) indicates that God would make repentance available to those who were in opposition. Repentance was not forced on them. It was a gift made available to them. People can freely choose whether or not to accept a gift. Thomas Lea, a professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, commented on the verse:

    (Lea, “1, 2 Timothy, Titus,” The New American Commentary, vol. 34, 1992, page 221)

    2. The repentance mentioned in Acts 11:18 led to life. Rather than receiving new life (regeneration) before they repented (the usual five-point Calvinist order), they received life after repentance. Similarly, those who were in opposition in 2 Timothy 2:25 would receive full knowledge after repentance. Those who were in opposition had not yet surrendered their lives to Jesus in repentance and faith. The Greek word in the verse for “knowledge” is “epignosis.” The Greek word “gnosis” is the general word for knowledge and is found in Ephesians 3:19: “And to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.” In 1 Timothy 6:20, the word “gnosis” refers to the Gnostic false teaching: “O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called ‘knowledge.’ ” The word found in 2 Timothy 2:25 (“epignosis”) means “full knowledge” and is found in the following passages:

    Ephesians 4:13 – “Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.”

    Philippians 1:9 – “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment.”

    Colossians 3:10 – “And have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.”

    2 Timothy 3:7 – “Always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

    1 Timothy 2:4 – “Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

    Thus, we see that “full knowledge” (Greek “epignosis”) comes after repentance. The verse under discussion, 2 Timothy 2:25, causes no problems to those who believe in free will.
     
  4. Primitive Baptist

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  5. koreahog2005

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    Primitive Baptist, your response indicates that you don't understand something I said. If you will ask me a specific question, I will try to give an explanation.
     
  6. koreahog2005

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    Monergist, you spoke of God as having free will. Actually, God is a free agent, but He does not have true free will. A free agent can act as freely as his disposition allows him to act. He can do whatever he wants to do, but he does not want to do certain things, and he cannot freely do the things he does not want to do. He is biased in one direction and does not have true free will.

    True freewill decisions can come only from an unbiased, neutral frame of reference. Such freewill decisions are made when the will is placed in “equipoise” (a perfect balance between the desire for two alternatives) and later the person who has free will generates a bias toward one alternative or the other. The bias is not directly caused by an outside force or an innate, inner force. It is generated during a time when two alternatives are presented to the person. Some people say that it is impossible to generate a bias from a position of equipoise and that only free agency is possible.

    As I said earlier, God is a free agent. God can freely act as long as the action does not contradict His perfect moral nature. He is the only being Who has always been infinitely, independently good: “And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone’ ” (Mark 10:18). A totally good free agent cannot make an evil decision. God is immutable (does not change), and thus He is always good:

    "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)

    "Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow." (James 1:17)

    “For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6)

    Thus, God is a special type of free agent—He always does what He wants to do, and He is never forced to do what He does not want to do, as compared to human free agents who cannot always do what they want to do, and are sometimes forced to do what they do not want to do. God can do all things that do not contradict His essence. God is omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), and omnipresent (present in all places at all times). He, however, cannot make a sinful decision, and thus He does not have true free will. God can never act from a position of moral neutrality because He is perfectly righteous all the time. God’s motives are always good.
     
  7. Eric B

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    This is not just 'any unsaved', but rather, "those who set themselves against", or are "disputatious" (Strong; and this we see in the context regarding "strifes"). So this seems to be people who argue against the truth so much that they are hardened, and thus "in the snare of the devil" (v.26). It is God who leads to repentance, but He leads all, and if people consistently refuse, they become hardened, and then there is no guarantee they will receive further chance of repentance.
     
  8. Ray Berrian

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    QUOTE: Apparently, the Apostle Paul in writing Timothy knew of some Christians who had incorporated into their theology some error. And because they assimilated this quasi-christian ideas that were not the truth, Satan had made them captive because of their lack of true spiritual insight.

    The only way to return to the truth would be to acknowledge their mistakes and look to the Lord for true guidance from Him. Being guided by the Spirit of God, they then, would be able to 'recover themselves out of the evil one.'

    After the recovery via repentance to God they had acknowledged the real truth, and had stepped into the safety zone of God's truth. A 'recovery of themselves out of the snare of the Devil, sure sounds like a Christian's free will.
     
  9. Me2

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    those who are against the truth are those who do not accept the offering to all men concerning the impartial grace of God.

    most consider grace being offered to all men as partial. holding back the truth from themselves as well as others.
     
  10. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Primative baptist;
    The free will in this verse has been surrendered. We cannot serve two masters. When doing the work of God man is most successful when allowing himself to be used of God. Allowing God control.
    Doing things for God and doing them His way brings much fruit.
    May God Bless You;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  11. BobRyan

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    "God is NOT willing for ANY to perish but for ALL to come to repentance" 2Peter 3.

    Calvinists object to that point strenuously and try creative ways to get it to say "God is not willing for any of the saved that are not perishing to perish".

    But then they get to a text about God GRANTING repentance and they immediately take the global negative saying "SEE God is NOT inclined to grant repentance to everyone. WE are much more loving than God in that regard. WE must try and evangelize everyone since we don't know which FEW of the many God might be ALSO inclined to treat with grace as we treat them with grace and mercy".

    It is almost the neo-purgatory and neo-indulgence model where man loves the lost more than God - and man is working for the salvation of all - while God is only concerned about the arbitrarily selected "FEW" of Matt 7.


    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    Careful with your language Bob. You just misrepresented the other side. Calvinists do not "object to that point strenuously." They in fact, affirm "that point" strongly. They simply believe that the point is different than what you think the point is. They, for reasons of exegesis, have come to an understanding of hte passage that differs from yours. That does not mean they object to the point of the passage.

    Please be careful not to make statements like this.
     
  13. Skandelon

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    Yet another great post by Eric! [​IMG]
     
  14. BobRyan

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    #1. How do you define "everyone"? Do you insert the Calvinist "qualifier" here as elsewhere so that it is merely "everyone of the elect"? Or is it "really" everyone - the way an Arminian would read it?

    #2. IF you accept the Arminian view that it really IS "every"one - then when God "grants repentence" does He do so "to that same EVERYone" or is it just "the elect-everyone"??

    #3. If God's "everyone" is smaller than ours - then is the text arguing that WE should be more loving, kind and evangelistic than God? (in the Calvinist model that is).

    The problem to be solved is "real" - you can't solve it by claiming that Arminians are not nice if they "notice it".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  15. Sularis

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    I just noticed that yer exposition of the verse surprisingly skipped the second will

    This is a non-Calvinist view

    God through our preaching and through other aspects of His Word grants the knowledge of the truth and the the ability for ALL men to repent - but that then men must choose to leave the devil's employ, at which time God noticing that they are unemployed will hire em. We cant make ourselves God's employees but we can make ourselves available to be
     
  16. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Koreahog;
    I agree;Amen
    May God Bless You;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  17. koreahog2005

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    Thanks. I have posted on mainly five-point Calvinist forums in the past. It's nice to be posting on a forum where some people agree with me. I guess there's an interesting mix of people who post on this forum. I like that.
     
  18. BobRyan

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    You are a 3 pt Calvinist - that is "almost Arminian" so of course there will be many here in agreement with you. I find that 3-pt Calvinists are so close to the Arminian view on
    "the details" that you could hardly keep a board like this alive on "the differences" that are left between 3-pt Calvinists and Arminians. As an Arminian myself - I enjoy the 3-point posts.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  19. koreahog2005

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    Thanks, Bob. It's refreshing to post on a board where a certain amount of diversity is tolerated. It's nice to be able to disagree in an agreeable fashion. I believe that I can learn from people who disagree with me. That's a win-win proposition. I've posted on some boards where there is a lot of rudeness and intolerance.
     
  20. Me2

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    2Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

    oppose themselves? Paul gives us examples..

    2Ti 2:17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
    2Ti 2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

    the resurrection has passed? well we have the resurrection of Christ....but can we go further.

    carnal babes believe that christ died FOR THEM. that it is not necessary that the babes themselves must also follow christ into death and be resurrected from death THEMSELVES.

    whats this.. the resurrection isnt over for all men are appointed to DIE.. all men must enter death.

    Hymenaeus and Philetus were preaching this carnal message that there was nothing more for men to do but believe Christ died for them so that they dont have to die to self or enter into death WITH CHRIST...WHICH IS A FALSE GOSPEL..

    what did Jesus Christ preach..

    Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

    the truth is exactly what paul preaches..

    2Ti 2:11 [It is] a faithful saying: For if we be dead with [him], we shall also live with [him]:
    2Ti 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with [him]: if we deny [him], he also will deny us:
    2Ti 2:13 If we believe not, [yet] he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

    strife is preaching division.
    being devisive towards the truth.
    preaching an incomplete Gospel.

    it is not that Christ Died for us only, but that we must also follow him in dying to our carnal self will and experience the resurrection power of the father from death into eternal life.

    Me2
     

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