Discussion of Predestination

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Baptist_Pastor/Theologian, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. Baptist_Pastor/Theologian

    Baptist_Pastor/Theologian
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    I drove by a sign the other day that said "Choice not Chance Determines Your Destiny."

    I found this to be filled with potential for discussion on our board. Do you have a choice in achieving your destiny? If it is a destiny then how does choice enter into it? Does chance not play a role in acheiving your destiny?

    Life is full of choices and a full life is the sum of all the choices you make. What appears to be a matrix of endless potential ends up being a direct path toward your eventual end. If you look back on your life from the end you will see how you got there.

    Using this type of thinking some on this board suggest that God simply elects those who end up believing in the end. I have referred to this type of thinking as reverse engineering.

    I want to allow for the free moral agency of man, but somethings go beyond man's ability to chose. Man cannot decide to quit sinning for instance.

    Man is dead in his sin. How can a man who is dead regain vitality and reverse course of his own free will? I would argue he cannot. I take issue with this notion of free will and not the idea that man must believe in order to be saved or that man is coerced by God. God does not coerce man but man is unable apart from God to believe in faith.

    The question then becomes does a Christian believe in order to receive election or because they were predestined to election?

    Further, hypothetically, could God have chosen to save all men?

    If so, why didn't he? If not, why couldn't he?


     
    #1 Baptist_Pastor/Theologian, Aug 9, 2006
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  2. Jarthur001

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    Indeed.

    There are many reasons for this. One is that there are fears that election limits God in other ways. One that has not be talked about is ....

    IT IS OBJECTED THAT ELECTION IS AGAINST THE DOCTRINE OF WHOSOEVER WILL.

    But the objector is wrong again. Election explains and supports the doctrine of "WHOSOEVER WILL". Without election the invitation to "WHOSOEVER WILL" would go unheeded. The Bible doctrine of "WHOSOEVER WILL" does not imply the freedom or ability of the human will to do good. The human will is free, but its freedom is within the limits of fallen human nature. It is free like water; water is free to run down hill. It is free like the vulture; the vulture is free to eat carrion, for that is its nature, but it would starve to death in a wheat field. It is not the buzzard's nature to eat clean food; it feeds upon the carcasses of the dead. So sinners starve to death in the presence of the bread of life.

    Our Lord said to some sinners, who were in His very presence "Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life".

    It is not natural for a sinner to trust in Christ. Salvation through trust in a crucified Christ is a stumbling block to the Jew and foolishness to the Greek..... it is only the called, both Jews and Greeks, who trust it as the wisdom and power of God.

    Here is a physical corpse. Is it free to get up and walk around? In one sense, yes. It may not be bound to the floor. There is no external restraint. But, in another sense, that corpse is not free. It is hindered by its natural condition. It is its nature to decompose and go back to dust. It is not the nature of death to stir about.

    Here is a spiritual corpse..... a man dead in trespasses and sins. Is the man free to repent and believe and do good works? Yes, in one sense. There are no external restraints. God does not prevent but offers inducements through His Holy Word. But the corpse is hindered by its own nature. There must be the miracle of the new birth, for except a man be born from above he cannot see or enter into the Kingdom of God.


    The real trouble with the objector is not election..... it is something else. His real objection is to total depravity or human inability to do good.

    — The Bible Doctrine Of Election, Introduction to Part One, by C.D. Cole
     
    #2 Jarthur001, Aug 9, 2006
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  3. saturneptune

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    James,
    A verse in the Old Testement that to me relates to Romans 3:10 that backs your point is Isiah 64:6, that is, if all our righteousness is as filthy rags, how can we choose to do anything that is Spiritual without a changed nature.
     
    #3 saturneptune, Aug 9, 2006
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  4. rsr

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    The thread, as originally posted, was in violation of BB posting rules. It is now acceptable.

    Please keep the conversation on the topic and not on personalities.

    Thank you.
     
  5. webdog

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    With your definition of "dead", you are correct. With the correct meaning of "dead in sin" (separation from God), however, your are incorrect. Your view limits the power of God, and the ability of the "dead" to respond to Christ. John 11 shows that the "dead" can respond to the Word.

    BTW...can you change your font to something a little bit bigger? It's hard to read.
     
  6. J.D.

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    Superficially, the sign is correct. Technically, it's what's going on "behind the scenes" - the deeper inclinations of our wills - that affect our decisions.

    My question is How can someone love that which he does not love and believe that which he does not believe? Fallen, depraved man exists in a state of unbelief and hatred of God. How can anyone existing in that state turn, of his own power, to God in faith and repentence?
     
  7. webdog

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    Information.
     
  8. Baptist_Pastor/Theologian

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    I am not sure that I follow you?

    25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”

    So how does this passage contradict what I have said?

    Keep reading the book of John because 15 states:

    15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

    So in order for the free will argument to hold true, man has to want to or more importantly be able to of his own will to choose God.

    The only way we understand things of God is by the Holy Spirit and not apart from God's personal assistance. 1 Cor. 2:6-16:

    6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written,

    “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
    what God has prepared for those who love him”—

    10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
    14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
     
    #8 Baptist_Pastor/Theologian, Aug 9, 2006
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  9. webdog

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    Christ, being the Ressurection and Life can reach "dead" people. Your view negates this UNLESS the Holy Spirit "regenerates" the dead person. Without this "regeneration", the Word is powerless, and Christ is powerless to raise the "dead".
     
  10. J.D.

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    Web, I know we've been down this same road together before so I won't waste too much time revisiting our discussion over again. But I will ask you this - if "information" is the key to changing a person inclination against God, why are there people all over this town I live in that laugh at the Gospel, that mock the Word, that are offended by the "information", who despise any mention of God whatsoever. Tell me why the man I worked with said "you people belong in a nut house" when the Gospel was explained to him in many venues by many witnesses? Not only that, but where, tell me where, in the United States of America is there a lack of information? Oh, I no there are competing voices, and people can get confused real fast listening to those kookoos on TBN, but the Gospel has nevertheless been proliferated throughout the U.S. Ever heard of Billy Graham? While not agreeing with some of his methods, I know that he preached the gospel to multiple millions himself.

    No my friend, information is not the key. The key is the "moving" of the Spirit, the blowing in where He desires, bring life to the dead and imparting the will to believe and repent.
     
  11. Baptist_Pastor/Theologian

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    Who ever said that Christ cannot reach dead people? That is completely out of step with everything the Bible teaches, gospel, and my personal testimony. I was once dead in my sin but Christ sure reached me pal. That is absurd! Do not argue that if you want to have any credibility. Christ not only reaches dead people, he redeemed them, bought them and possesses them, sanctifies them, glorifies them. What gives? Please where have I ever or anyone who is credible in Reformed theology ever said this? Christ is not powerless to do anything, the one without power is man. It is through Christ's power that anyone is saved.

    How Christ reaches dead people is another matter. Let me ask you this, are Christ and the Holy Spirit both equally God?

    How does the work of the Holy Spirit differ from the work of Christ? Do they work separately?

    Deal with the passage I just posted. What does 1 Cor. 2 teach? This is not my view we are talking about here this is what the Bible teaches. Be prepared to back up what you believe biblically, because I have.
     
  12. npetreley

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    I believe God could have saved everyone, or perhaps prevented anyone from falling in the first place (and thus needing salvation). Why didn't He? Just a guess: We wouldn't know anything about His righteousness, wrath against unrighteousness, or His mercy.
     
  13. Phillip

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    This Thread was renamed because names are not supposed to be used in thread titles. (Or at least this was a rule the last time I checked; its not very nice whether or not it still remains a rule.)
    Phillip
     
  14. J.D.

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    True. I like to start and the end and go backwards. The end? Glorification of God. God's desire for glory necessitated a knowledge of grace, which necessitated redemption, which necessitated condemnation, which necessitated sin, which necessitated law (command), which necessitated creation, and all done according to God's plan.

    Does that make sense?

    From the other direction, God created man for His own Glory, to be praised and worshiped. Now God already had the angels worshipping Him, but God would receive a greater worship through His plan. So He created man, and gave him a command, which God knew would be disobeyed due to the free will given to Adam (but influenced by the contrary spirit, Satan), which brought about the sin against God, and the attending condemnation. The state of condemnation required an act of grace, solely creditable to God alone - a rescue, a redemption, in the which the rescued man would give glory, honor, praise, and worship from a heart of complete gratitude and love toward God. I find no scripture in which it is said that angels love God. Am I wrong on that?

    How else could God receive love? What a master plan! How could God, who IS love, RECEIVE love? By sending His own Spirit into the redeemed human heart, who's knowledge of his own depravity and the change wrought by God's power leads him to unfettered love of God.
     
  15. Blammo

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    J.D.,

    I find myself in full agreement with your post. (At least most of it)

    My love toward God is mine, right? It is not God loving Himself through me, is it? I am not a "Stepford Worshipper", am I?

    All throughout the Bible we see God showing us who He is:

    1) He is sovereign, holy, and just; teaching us to fear Him
    2) He is full of mercy, grace, and love; teaching us to love Him
    3) He is righteous and perfect; teaching us to worship Him
     
  16. J.D.

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    Yes, I'll buy-in that it is your love toward God, but I would condition that on the fact that your love toward God is born on the knowledge of His redemption, and also we must recognize the supernatural work of the Spirit in shedding the love of God abroad in our hearts. So it is not knowledge alone, but the supernatural empowering of that knowledge that brings us to God.

    Similarly, I earlier posted somewhere that information can not change a persons heart. I should have said information ALONE. For the Spirit works in harmony with the word to bring about the change in and on man.

    Some will say that this shows the synergistic nature of salvation, but I will protest that conclusion. It is the work of the Spirit which makes alive, causing the word to be effective in bringing about Godly knowledge. A Spiritless word is dead and ineffective. Likewise, a Spiritless knowledge is vain and useless. The Spirit IMPARTS life, and the product of that life is faith, repentance, holiness, worship, and love. God is the originator, deliverer, and finisher of our salvation.
     
  17. npetreley

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    Makes perfect sense to me. I have no idea about angels loving God (yea or nay), but the rest of your post makes perfect sense.
     
  18. J.D.

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    I think I have done this before, hence my statement, but just to be sure, I went to blueletterbible.com just now and did a search on angel + love and found no matches (KJV).
     
  19. npetreley

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    I don't doubt that it's not in the Bible, but the Bible doesn't give us many details about angels. A lot of what we know about them we have to deduce from snippets of information. I don't think we can conclude that angels don't love God, but I'm willing to consider it a possibility since we don't have evidence either way. I thinke we can speculate on it, because we have enough information to speculate. I just don't think we can draw any authoritative conclusions.
     
  20. J.D.

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    I'm certainly not ready to be "authoritative" on that point, but it begs the question, if the angels praise God, then why are we here? Or, if the angels worship God, why are we here? I see love as the only difference. We have a love-born relationship with God. If the angels do love God, it certainly wouldn't be the same love as the redeemed have, would it? Isn't redemptive love that which angels desire to "look into"?

    Just speculating. Maybe someday I'll do a serious study on it.
     

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