A Very Simple Test - Rom. 9

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by The Biblicist, Dec 21, 2013.

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  1. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    I am a very simple man and like things explained in very simple terms to me. I like to explain things to others in very simple terms.

    What is a very simple way to determine whether the Apostle Paul was Calvinistic or Arminian in his belief? Is there a very simple way to know? I believe there is.

    No one can deny that Calvinists use Romans 9:11-24 as a primary text to defend Calvinism. This passage is composed of assertions and objections to those assertions. Paul makes the assertions and then Paul provides objections to those assertions and answers those objections.

    Now, which represent Calvinism and which represent Arminians? Do the assetions represent Calvinist or Arminians? Do the objections represent Calvinism or Arminians?


    A. ASSERTION AND OBJECTION #1 - Romans 9:11-14

    11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calls;)
    12 It was said to her, The elder shall serve the younger.
    13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
    14 ¶ What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.


    Who can deny that Calvinist use verses 11-13 to defend unconditional election and particular redemptive love?

    Who can deny that verse 14 is the classic Arminian response to unconditional election and particular redemptive love?

    If God chooses people before they are born according to the purpose of election and not according to any forseen good or bad works they will do in their life time then that is unconditional election. If such unconditional election is evidence of God's redemptive love for some and not others than that is particular redemptive love. Isn't that exactly how Calvanists use these verses?

    Isn't the response by Arminians to unconditional election and particular redemptive love that this makes God unrighteous, unfair, and unjust exactly as Paul anticipates the objector will say in verse 14?


    B. Assertion and objection #2 - Romans 9:15-20

    15 For he said to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
    16 So then it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy.
    17 For the scripture said to Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
    18 Therefore has he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardens.
    19 You will say then to me, Why does he yet find fault? For who has resisted his will?


    Actually verses 15-18 is Paul's asserted response to the objector in verse 14. Did Paul's response characterize what an Arminian would say or what a Calvinist would say to the objection in verse 14????

    Paul's response is God will have mercy on whom He pleases and he will harden who He pleases and as an example, what if it just pleased God to raise up Pharoah to harden his heart in order to show God's own Power? Is that a Calvinist response or an Arminian response to verse 14?

    Consider now the anticipated objection in verse 18. The objection is in response to the assertion that God can use men any way he pleases as in the case of Pharoah? The objection basically says that would make men robots without any choice! In other words, if God does what He wills with people then "who can resist God's will" and thus people are simply robots to do and be used as God sees fit. Now, who makes that kind of objection to the kind of assertion in verses 15-18? Is that a Calvinist objection to God's sovereign will over his creatures or is that an Arminians objection to God's sovereign will over his creatures?

    C. The Third objection and Assertion - Rom. 9:19-24

    20 No but, O man, who are you that reply against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why have you made me thus?
    21 Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel to honor, and another to dishonor?
    22 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
    23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had before prepared to glory,
    24 Even us, whom he has called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?


    Here Paul begins with the objection. If God can sovereignly unconditionally elect some and redemptively love some and not others and can use people as He chooses, hardening some and having mercy on others, then the objector says why did God even make us then if that is the case? Now is that a Calvinist objection or an Arminian objection?

    Note Paul's response to this objection and ask yourself would an Arminian respond to that objection this way or is the way a Calvinist respond. Paul claims creatures have no right to even question the right of the Creator to do as He pleases. Paul says God has the right to make one vessel to honor and another to dishonor. Is that a typical Arminian response?

    Significantly, the clay on the potter's wheel represents the FALLEN mass of humanity as the vessel unto honor is a vessel of "mercy." Mercy is not getting what you justly deserve and so the potter's wheel represents what God does with fallen mankind who are condemned already by sin and deserve destruction. That is why the vessles of dishonor are already "fitted to destruction."

    CONCLUSION: Seriously, consider each assertion and each objection and ask yourself would an Arminian make this assertion and a Calvinist this objection or would a Calvinist make this assertion and an Arminian this objection to that assertion? This is a very easy way to determine if Paul was an Arminian or a Calvinist.
     
  2. Skandelon

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    The anticipated opponent of Paul's diatribe is not an "Arminian," far from it. It is a hardened Jew, one who has grown calloused to the revelation of God despite His 'holding out his hands to them all day long.' (Rm. 10:21), But God is now temporarily blinding the Jews from the clearly revealed truth (sending them a spirit of stupor, speaking to them using parables) so as to accomplish a greater redemptive purpose through their rebellion. That is what the hardened Jew is objecting to...He is NOT objecting to being born unloved and without hope of ever being saved as Calvinism presumes onto this text.

    And the hardened Jew is not certainly condemned to hell, as the non-elect reprobate of the Calvinistic system would suggest. Those hardened are NOT representative of the non-elect hopeless reprobates of Calvinism. How do I know? And notice my answers deal with the INDIVIDUALS being addressed, not just the national aspects of this passage:

    1. Paul wished himself accursed for the sake of these individual's salvation. Would Paul have more compassion and love for these people than the God inspiring Him to write?

    2. Paul teaches these hardened ones have stumbled, but 'not beyond recovery.'

    3. Paul teaches these hardened one have been cut off, but 'may be grafted back in if they leave their unbelief.'

    4. Paul teaches these hardened ones have been blinded, but 'may be provoked to envy by his own ministry to the Gentiles and saved.'

    The 'hardened individuals' of Romans 9 cannot represent the reprobate of TULIP. Sorry, nice try.

    For those interested in further study on this subject, you can read this...
     
    #2 Skandelon, Dec 21, 2013
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  3. The Biblicist

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    Your interpretation simply does not fit the context for many reasons. First, he is writing to saved baptized believers at Rome and he addresses this person as among those hearing this epistle being read in the assembly "you."

    Second, your interpretation makes no sense with why God "would choose Isaac over Ishmael and Jacob over Esau based upon NOTHING AFTER BIRTH good or evil but "that the purpose of election according to grace might stand" which occurred PRIOR TO BIRTH. This is personal unconditional election in the strongest possible language. Neither can you argue that "the purpose of election according to grace" is limited to merely Jacob.

    Third, God raised up Pharoah for the purpose to harden him so that His power would be manifested. However, your interpretation directlly contradicts the double stated reason for hardening given both before and after this example of Pharoah - "whom he wills" and your interpretation makes the objections that Paul anticiaptes to this to be nonsensical.
     
  4. Skandelon

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    Chosen for what?

    To be effectually called and saved?

    Or to be used in the lineage of the Messiah, a "noble purpose" indeed?

    Surely you aren't suggesting that only those in Christ's lineage were saved throughout the OT are you? Yet, that is what is unique to these individuals being chosen for this noble cause.

    What was God's purpose in electing the nation of Israel? I know, I know, you think this is ONLY about the individual, but bare with me. I'm sure you at least acknowledge the nation of Israel was elected for some reason, and I just want you to think about what that purpose was and why Paul might want that purpose to stand... So what was the purpose in electing Israel?

    To bring to the world the Messiah and his gospel, right? Is that purpose being fulfilled by reserving Israelites, like Paul, from the hardening of Israel as a remnant, set apart of the noble purpose of carrying this gospel of grace to the nations? Is it right for God to arbitrarily pick out Paul for that noble cause, and not his buddy, who He just left in his rebellion? Can God show mercy to Paul like that and not to every Jew? And more significantly, can God show mercy to barbarian sinful gentiles?!

    Those are the lines of objections and types of questions Paul is anticipating from those reading along.
     
  5. The Biblicist

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    Selection for the lineage of Christ is NOT EVEN MENTIONED in the entire context.

    You are completely ignorant of the contextual development from verse 1 to verse 6 because you would never make such an assertion if you had properly studied it. You don't understand the issue. Let me help you.

    Go back and read Romans 8:28-39 and try to make a logical develpomental connection between that and Romans 9:1-6. Can you do that?

    If you will do that, then this is what you will come to. Romans 9:28-33 guarantees that God's purpose will be accomplished. The immediate problem, and the reason for Romans 9-11 at this point in the epistle is that it APPEARS this is not the case with God's stated purpose as given in the promise to the Fathers - Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in regard to Israel as the ELECT nation of God. The issue Paul is trying to reconcile is this APPEARANCE versus the promises given to the Father's.

    Objectors would claim God's purposes do not all come to fruition because God made specific promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob concerning the NATION of Israel and the APPEARANCE is that God has rejected Israel and Israel has rejected God's Messiah and Israel is God's ELECT nation.

    If you don't grasp this contextual connection and what seems to be a PARADOXICAL appearance in direct contradiction with Romans 8:28-39 then you will never ever properly interpret this passage.
     
  6. Skandelon

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    So are you saying, Jacob, and his posterity, wasn't chosen for that purpose, or are you just saying that this context isn't ABOUT that choice?

    Because he starts this chapter referencing this very issue, "For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, 4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. 6 It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel."
     
  7. The Biblicist

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    I am saying that is merely one of the promises and not the focus of this chapter at all. I was wrong in saying it was not even mentioned but it was mentioned in a list that focuses upon God's promises to the Father's and this whole package of promises are being called into question.
     
  8. Skandelon

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    Well, its that 'package of promises' made to Israel, His elect nation, that is in question in this chapter. Paul is going through those promises to show that God's purposes in electing Israel will stand, and he shows how they will stand. He elected Israel to bring the messiah, to bring about redemption for the world...which he does through different VESSELs made from that same lump of clay. That clay lump is Israel and some vessels are used for COMMON USE and others for NOBLE USE, but BOTH are used to bring redemption to the world...to all nations.

    So, please hear me and understand even if you disagree, Paul is arguing that God's purpose in electing Israel has not failed. He HAS and IS accomplishing His purpose in election. Through that lump of clay (Israel) God has formed some vessels for noble purposes, like Paul for apostleship, and the potter has formed some vessel from the clay lump of Israel some vessels for common use, like those Jews hardened in their rebellion who cried out, "Crucify Him." In other words, for ONE LUMP with the same seed of Abraham, God fulfilled his promises and purpose in election of Israel. Yes, he used some Jews for noble purposes, like Jacob, even though his elder brother was of the same lump of clay ...the seed of Abraham. But who are you, the common ones, to question that? Can God choose to use you for whatever purpose he needs you to accomplish his redemptive purposes? He elected this lump of clay for a reason, so who are you to question whether he uses some of you to cry out crucify him and others of you to be apostles?

    That does NOT mean those who were used in the redemptive plan to cry out "crucify Him" can't be redeemed too. Those stumbling, cut off, hardened, and blinded, can still be saved. Read Acts 2 to see the very narrative of this happening! Israel was blinded while Christ was here, but once he was lifted up and the gospel was commissioned to go into all the world to draw all men to himself, and the HS came down like fire, then THOUSANDS of them came to faith! The same ones hardened in rebellion and who cried out 'crucify him' are now being saved!

    They were used as common vessels from the lump of Israel so that God's purpose in electing Israel would stand. He used all Israelites to bring about his redemptive plan which would not only save the nations, but would actually provide atonement that they needed too.
     
  9. The Biblicist

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    Up to this point your explanation is true to Romans 9:1-5. However, after the word "stand" you run your ship a ground into the muck and mire of pure fantasy.

    He elected Israel to salvation and that design will be accomplished but not how some Jewish BELEIVERS as well as lost Jews imagined. First, Paul must define what Israel is the Israel of promise and that is what verses 6-13 are designed to do.

    1. Not all PHSYICAL Israel is of SPIRITUAL Israel nor has that been true at any time in the history of Israel from its founding fathers to the coming of Christ.

    Ishmael was a child of Abraham but was not "of Israel" according to God's promise as neither was Esau or countless other NATURAL born Jews.

    2. The Israel of Promise is composed only of TWICE BORN Jews. That is all ethnic Jews that compose the Israel of promise are supernaturally born of the Spirit:

    Rom. 9:8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

    Gal. 4:28 Now we, brothers, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
    29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now
    .

    There are "children of promise" among the nations outside the Israel of Promise.

    3. The Israel of Promise is composed of twice born ethnic Jews by God's purpose of grace according to election that is not based upon forseen faith or anything else good or evil in their lives like Jacob - vv. 11-13

    In response to this Paul anticipates the objection that unconditional election and particular redemptive love makes God unfair, unjust, unrighteous - v. 14 or the usual Arminian response.

    4. God's right to unconditionally choose to love and redeem WHOM HE WILL and HARDEN WHOM HE WILL is defended in verses 15-20.

    Here is where your interpretation violates, distorts and contradicts the Biblical text.

    Ishmael and Esau were examples of the "children of the flesh" or the non-elect who are not the promised children, not supernaturally born of God, not unconditionally elected, not objects of God's particular redemptive love.

    However, the anticipated objections are equal objections against God's purpose of grace according to election among the gentiles as well as against God's Israel of promise.

    Pharoah is a gentile whom Paul intentionally brings into this conversation at this particular point to widen the application of new birth, particular redemptive love and unconditional election, as well as non-elect gentiles beyond the borders of the Israel of Promise.
     
  10. Skandelon

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    If you aren't even going to give me enough respect to EVER restate or in any way reflect what I've said in a coherent or respectable manner then I'm not going to continue to attempt to do that for you. I have serious doubts you read much past the word 'stand' because you were too anxious to get to your own rebuttal. I could be wrong, but that is the feeling I get when you make disrespectful and dismissive comments like this...
     
    #10 Skandelon, Dec 21, 2013
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  11. quantumfaith

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    Biblicist.... I am "smirking", not disrespectfully but humorously. You have NEVER been a simple man on this board, a day in your life. Take at this post that followed your "simple man" proposal.
     
  12. The Biblicist

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    No, I noted your bold emphasized sentence and so I made sure I did read it in its entirety.

    You are right! I should not respond that way to you. I apologize and will try to do better.:godisgood:
     
  13. The Biblicist

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    I don't disagree with anything you said here but what you fail to say as the immediate and overall context demands much much more. I also disagree with how you use it as a platform to jump to the conclusions which follow.


    Romans 9:16-18 is the expanded response to the summary response found at the end of verse 15 "God forbid" to the original objection in verse 15. Romans 9:19 is a follow up objection to verses 16-18. Verses 20-24 is the response to the objection in verse 19 and that objection has nothing to do with world missions or the gospelization of the world as you claim.

    I mean you are just READING world evangelization into this text when this text has no reference to that idea at all but is in direct response to the objection in verse 19 which is a continuation of the objection in verse 15.


    Here is where we fundementally disagree. Election is to salvation as Romans 11:25-28 explicitly says and which is directly applied to the finality of election in regard to Israel. All who believe the gospel have the responsiblity to preach the gospel but that is the responsibility of believers who have already come to salvation because of election as election is "to salvation" not "because of salvation" or for the purpose "to evangelize the world."

    Romans 9:20-24 has nothing to do with what exactly God will use either vessels for. Note the contrasting difference "of mercy" versus "of wrath fitted to destruction" which you completely ignore and explain away. The choice of the Potter has to do with their ETERNAL DESTINATION not their present use. This is still a carry over of the double repeated phrase "I will have mercy UPON whom I will have mercy and I will harden whom I will harden." It is descriptive of their personal state of salvation or damnation NOT how or for what God may or may not use them as he will use them any way he pleases.
     
  14. OldRegular

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    You can not successfully use the "hardened Jew" to refute Scripture regarding God's purpose in Election. You attempted to use this same "hardened Jew" to refute the appropriate passages in the Gospel of John and failed. Give it up!
     
  15. The Biblicist

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    Let me tell you a story. I never had a real home life when growing up. My mother died when I was three. My dad had a nervous breakdown because he and a pastor installed a gas stove that killed my mother and almost killed me. Dad spent most of my young life in hospitals and my brother and I were passed around from family to family and nobody cared whether we passed or failed or did our school work. So the school passed me just to get me out of their hair.

    When the Lord called to the ministry he gave me an unquencable thirst to understand His word. I went to college and had to work five times as hard as other students to pass English. When I turned in my first term paper in the second year of English in Bible College the teacher accused me of plagerism and gave me a "C" but could produce no evidence I had plagerized it. It was not the grammar that bothered her but the content. She could not believe some one so simple minded could produce it and told me she lowered my grade because she believed I had plagaerized it. A year later I wrote my first booklet. The Dean of the college knew I wrote it and knew it was original because I had worked with him chapter by chapter on it, but others who knew me regarded me so simple minded they could hardly believe I wrote it. The truth is I am simple minded and the only logical explanation by those who know me is that it had to be the grace of God. Apparently I appear to be simple minded by those who know me. Spugeon said that God uses some pretty crooked rocks to hit some pretty straight licks.
     
  16. kyredneck

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    ...and FOURTH:

    23 and that he might make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy, which he afore prepared unto glory,
    24 even us, whom he also called, not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles? Ro 9
     
  17. Skandelon

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    I didn't say his audience was only Jews. I said that the people who would have been saying, "Why did you make me like this?" would have been the Jews who are being hardened, cut off and stumbling...those he speaks of just a couple verse latter when he summarized the passage:

    " What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone." 33 As it is written: "See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."​

    Those stumbling and hardened are the ones who would ask that question.
     
  18. Skandelon

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    That is very honorable. I will try to do better too. :jesus:
     
  19. kyredneck

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    The objections/questions of Ro 9 are the same as yours and many other non-Jews, you don't have to be a 'hardened Jew' to reject plain revelation.

    The vessels of mercy which he afore prepared unto glory are not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles.
     
  20. Skandelon

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    Question beg much?

    One day I pray the light switch flips and you can at least see this from our perspective. Having been a Calvinist I know HOW you see that verse, but believe me when I say it is soooo much clearer now from this perspective. You may not be able to see it because you have grown so used to only seeing it from your own perspective.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
     
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