Can mankind forfeit saving grace?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Jonah 2:8 says that "those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs."

    If, as Calvinism teaches, God determined before time began who would be reprobates, and therefore does not extend saving grace to them, how logically can we understand this verse's statement that these reprobates, "forfeited the grace that could be theirs?"
     
  2. Skandelon

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    bumping....
     
  3. annsni

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    Where does it state in that verse that we're speaking of "saving grace"?
     
  4. webdog

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    Does it matter? What other grace would make a difference?
     
  5. annsni

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    Well, is the original word "grace"? I just looked up the passage in the ESV and here's what it says:

    1Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the belly of the fish, 2saying,

    "I called out to the LORD, out of my distress,
    and he answered me;
    out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
    and you heard my voice.
    3 For you cast me into the deep,
    into the heart of the seas,
    and the flood surrounded me;
    all your waves and your billows
    passed over me.
    4 Then I said, 'I am driven away
    from your sight;
    yet I shall again look
    upon your holy temple.'
    5 The waters closed in over me to take my life;
    the deep surrounded me;
    weeds were wrapped about my head
    6at the roots of the mountains.
    I went down to the land
    whose bars closed upon me forever;
    yet you brought up my life from the pit,
    O LORD my God.
    7When my life was fainting away,
    I remembered the LORD,
    and my prayer came to you,
    into your holy temple.
    8 Those who pay regard to vain idols
    forsake their hope of steadfast love.
    9 But I with the voice of thanksgiving
    will sacrifice to you;
    what I have vowed I will pay.
    Salvation belongs to the LORD!"
    10And the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.


    The verse in the KJV is "They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy."

    Now I just looked the verse up on Blue Letter Bible and the Hebrew word means "1) goodness, kindness, faithfulness 2) a reproach, shame" No time that this word is used is it translated as "grace".

    So, how does that affect the question?
     
  6. Allan

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    Actually the only one I could find that translates the Hebrew word as 'grace' is the - NIV, but it is most often translated not as 'grace' but 'mercy' - as seen below:
    HOWEVER, what must be remembered is that both grace and mercy are two sides of the same coin, though emphasis might be on one more so than the other for clarity. But the fact is- You can not have one without the other.
    Example: If you deserve death and I with hold it from you (Mercy), then not only have I not given you what you deserve but I have also given you what you do not deserve - life... which is grace/giving you what you do not deserve.

    Thus to translate this word as 'grace' instead of mercy still maintains the contextual meaning of passage in question.

    Yet, there is still much to note from your quote of the ESV on Jonah 2:8 on relation to the OP:
    To forsake, is to turn away from or reject, and here it states quite clearly they are rejecting their 'hope of steadfast love'. Now what is even more noteworthy than that is the context in which verse 9 encapulates just what this 'hope of steadfast love' is that they rejected, but what Jonah had believed/received - Salvation - as verse 9 declares 'Salvation [is] of the LORD'.

    Therefore the premise of Skan's question is still valid and actaully being made more clear in your own citation from the ESV.

    Editted in: If I may bring in another verse which speaks to the same thing. Not bringing it in to be change topics but show scripture speaks of this more than just in one instance. In 2 Thes 2:10-12, we find this speaking of those who will follow the man (anti-christ) or if one wishes Satan but note what it says in verse 10 (from first -ESV and second NASB):

    They rejected that which could have saved them, and it was for that reason God sent them a strong delusion/lie to remain in their unbelief.
    They could have been saved...so to be saved...and so be saved...that they might be saved.
     
    #6 Allan, Mar 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2010
  7. webdog

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    I love the 2 Thess. 2 passage. That in itself disproves limited atonement, since the simple fact is if the atonement is only made on behalf of the elect, those whom God has judicially hardened would have no chance of being saved, contradicting that passage.
     
  8. kyredneck

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    Wherefore God gave them up:

    22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.
    24 Wherefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves:
    25 for that they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. Ro 1
     
  9. Skandelon

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    Exactly! They weren't born given up, they are only "given up" AFTER they "changed the glory" and their hearts "became defiled" only AFTER they rebelled continuously and they were only "without excuse" AFTER they they clearly saw and understood God's divine nature.

    Thanks for providing this passage! :applause:
     
  10. Skandelon

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    :thumbsup: Great post!
     
  11. kyredneck

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    ...ok; but i don't understand what all the excitement is about.... there's nothing new here.
     
  12. annsni

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    Huh? Yes, they were given up to their lusts. Not to hell. They were already heading there.
     
  13. annsni

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    But we're not speaking of eternal life here, are we? Yes, salvation belongs to the Lord - not to us. We don't earn it.

    How could they have been saved? They didn't love the truth. They never did and they never would.

    Let's read on to what Paul said:

    "But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter."

    Praise God that He chose us to be saved and to believe in the truth.
     
  14. Skandelon

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    Kyredneck and Ann,

    The significance of this is the Calvinist's claim that men are born "totally depraved" meaning...

    That seems to say that men are born "given over" they are born "hardened" they are born "defiled" in a "TOTAL" way so as not to be able to see, hear and understand the revelation of God.

    Romans 1 teaches that these men DID clearly see and understand the revelation of God and because of this they were without excuse. It also explains that they did NOT become hardened/given over/ defiled UNTIL they refused to acknowledge God as God. It doesn't say they were BORN in a condition where they couldn't see, hear understand and thus acknowledge God, otherwise they would have a perfect excuse. It says despite their fully understanding God's revelation they refused to acknowledge Him as God and THAT is what leads to their "total defilement." They are not born that way.

    Now, before you say it, I realize the doctrine of total depravity doesn't teach that men are as sinful as they could be, that is NOT what I'm arguing. I'm specifically addressing the ability of man from birth to see, hear, understand the revelation of God so as to respond to it. I'm NOT addressing the level of their immorality.
     
  15. Skandelon

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    Never actually heard a response to this specific question. Someone mentioned something about God given them up, but that didn't address the question of forfeiting the grace that could be theirs.

    What say you?
     
  16. donnA

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    any grace God choses to gives makes a difference to the one recieivng it, unless of course there is a grace from God thats worthless.
     
    #16 donnA, Mar 15, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2010
  17. kyredneck

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    Yeah.

    among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest:-- Eph 2:3

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

    43 Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word.
    47 He that is of God heareth the words of God: for this cause ye hear them not, because ye are not of God. Jn 8

    But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep. Jn 10:26

    Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged. 1 Cor 2:14

    A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Mt 7:18

    The wicked are estranged from the womb: They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies. Ps 58:3

    Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; And in sin did my mother conceive me. Ps 51:5

    Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one. Job 14:4

    What is man, that he should be clean? And he that is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Job 15:14

    Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from of old thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou didst deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb. Isa 48:8

    The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it? Jer 17:9
     
    #17 kyredneck, Mar 15, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2010
  18. Skandelon

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    Not one of those verses addresses our point of contention. We both agree men are born sinful and in need of saving grace. We both agree that God must intervene to bring about change. We both agree that man, left on his own, will be selfish and defiled. That is all these verses say. They say NOTHING about man's ability to RESPOND to God's ministry of reconciliation.

    So, yeah...

    23 They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24 Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. 25 They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: "The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet: 26 " 'Go to this people and say, "You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving." 27 For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.' 28 "Therefore I want you to know that God's salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!" -Acts 28

    39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: 40 "He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn--and I would heal them." - John 12

    10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that, " 'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!' " - Mark 4

    11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring! 13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. -Rm 11

    11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. - 2 Cor

    Do you see the difference in the verses you listed and the ones I've listed? Your verses are all about man's condition prior to God's solution....the ministry of reconciliation. Now, if you can find a verse that teaches that God's ministry of reconciliation is somehow insufficient to accomplish reconciliation in anyone except those he has elected and first regenerated then you might have a solid argument.
     
  19. Skandelon

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    By the way, in all that there is still no response to the OP itself.
     
  20. kyredneck

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    Ah, believe what you want. As far as I'm concerned your argument is not with me.

    I liken your crusade to stamp out Calvinism to 'kicking against the goads'. Methinks you'll either grow very, very tired or break your foot. :)
     

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