"all things" means "all things"...Except when it doesn't...

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Pete, Jan 2, 2004.

  1. Pete

    Pete
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    G'day all. I have tried to stay clear of the C/A forum, because it looks like enough people have headaches without me adding mine ;)

    No-one likes titles, although "Biblicist" or similar seems to be used here by all "sides" now and then ;) As the titles do help to explain a bit though I guess you can throw me in the Arminian box, but close enough to the wall to have cut a hole through the box, and another hole into the Calvinist box to have a peek inside now and then. Confused yet? Good, join the club. Anyway, on with the show [​IMG]

    One of the verses that has made me cut a bigger hole in my box is Romans 8:28. No, I am not talking about the "who have been called according to his purpose" part. The first part raises the questions. The NIV puts it "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him...", and the KJV "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God..."

    Either way you put it, there is an "all things" in there. Now I have only been kicking around the planet 34 years, but have seen good worked from all sorts of things in that time. Things that have happened that I have loved at the time have later worked out to be better, things I hated at the time have worked out to be good as well. I just don't believe in sheer dumb luck, so what is the go with that "all things".

    But wait a second, before answering that one check out Colossians 1:19-20 "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, {20} and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." NIV and "For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; {20} And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." KJV Again, both translations there have an "all things", but we all (well, most ;) ) know universalism is just not on...

    So, have we got all types of things or all things, or all things once then all types of things in the other? I could have thrown in all the all things that showed up in search, but that would have gone REALLY out of hand [​IMG]

    By the way, I am serious, it is just my taxi driver training that makes me use the " [​IMG] "s. I find when I joke around a bit it lessens my chances of getting killed at work ;) So far so good!
     
  2. russell55

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    "Pas" can be hard word to pin down exactly, can't it? It can legitemately mean "all of a group", or "all sorts or types", not to mention that hyperbole was a common Hebrew way of getting a point across.

    If we need exact definitions, then I think we have to let the context guide us. If there is a specific group being mentioned, then we let "pas" mean all of that group. If there are different types of something mentioned in the context, then we might consider that "pas" means all types of whatever it is. If the passage seems to be one with lots of hyperbole (like the one in Colossians you quote. In the time of Paul had the gospel really been preached to every creature under heaven, or just a whole lot of people over the known world?), then we have to consider that the "all" means a whole lot of something.

    Examples: When it says in Romans 3 that "all have sinned", what would a reasonable person think that "all" meant? In the context, Paul has just shown the universality of the sin problem (Gentiles, Jews, "There is none righteous, no not one!") so, it seems pretty certain to me that "all" means every single person dead or alive or still to be born.

    When it says in Titus 2 that "the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men" what is the idea Paul is seeking to get across in this particular context with the word "all". Paul has just listed the specific expectations for righteous behaviour for "old men, old women, young women, young men, bondservants. It seems possible at least that Paul intends the "all" in this context to mean "all types of people", expecially since the focus of the next few verses is Christ dying to make His people righteous in their behaviour.
     
  3. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    Amen, Sister Russell55 -- Preach it! [​IMG]
     
  4. Pete

    Pete
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    russell55, yep, pas by itself has been hours of entertainment for me of late...without even needing to bring in other goodies like proginosko & proorizo [​IMG]

    Going back a bit I would say that pas in Romans 8:28 (all things) meant "most things". However it became increasingly obvious that when God said "all things" that's what it meant. So my big problem in this box now is working out how I can possibly say that God is working "all things" for good, and add the disclaimer "except salvation of course..."

    I know I know, I am sounding more like I'm in the other box each day ;) I am still just looking [​IMG] ....honest [​IMG]

    Another "pas" to give me a headache is 1 Thess 5:18: In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (KJV) give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. NIV

    If pas is just all types of things in that verse...then which types? When is God's will at work in things/circumstances and when isn't it? And the most important question: When will I stop painting myself into this corner? [​IMG]
     
  5. russell55

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    When you keep on reading in the chapter (even skipping 29 and 30, if you just can't bear to face them!), it becomes pretty clear that "all things" it pretty extensive. No one can successfully stand against those God is for. Along with giving Christ to those who love Him, God gives all things. No one can bring a charge against them that'll stick. Christ (and the Spirit) intercede on their behalf. What good thing will be denied them? Even hardship and danger, etc. don't keep them from the love of God, who is working even these things for a good outcome: their eventual victory. There is absolutely nothing--up, down, present, future, physical, spriritual, you name it-- that is able to separate them from the love of the God who, because of His love for them, is working all things for their benefit.

    It oughta make us thankful--for everything.
     
  6. Skandelon

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    Notice that God is working out "all things" for those "who love Him."

    Love is a choice, not something that can be forced as one might force a stone to cry out. Love is something only someone with a will can do. Love is a chosen response because of His love for us demonstrated to us in Christ. Our relationship starts with faith but its perfected in love. Just because this passage doesn't speak of the role faith played doesn't negate its part of the salvation process.
     
  7. Pete

    Pete
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    Amen [​IMG]

    I never skip any verse [​IMG] Just adds to the fun ;)

    I think I am only just beginning to see the true extent of that Ro 8:28 & 1 Thess 5:18 etc "all things". While as mentioned pas can be taken a few ways depending on context, in at least these 2 places "all" seems to be "ALL!"

    A big AMEN! to other comments [​IMG]

    I'll have to get around to posting more of the verses that are bugging me in another thread...this didn't hurt a bit ;) Thanks ALL ;)
     
  8. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    No one here is disputing that. You are addressing an enemy that doesn't exist ... In other words, a straw man.
     

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