God' Soveriegnty

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Bro Tony, Jun 25, 2004.

  1. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    I know the argument in its general form that Calvinist believe in teh soveriegnty of God and the Arminians don't.

    My question is does it really take away from the soveriegnty of God to believe that God created man as free moral agents, with the ability to chose to accept or reject Him? And does sin completely erase the ability to respond to God?

    This discussion is not whether God calls us, I think we would all agree with that, but did God in His soveriegn will create man with the ability to respond to Him.

    What do you all think?

    Bro Tony
     
  2. npetreley

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    I think to answer that most effectively, you have to do two things: 1) Change "free moral agents" to "free will". 2) And you have to go back to Adam.

    Whereas Calvinists and Arminians disagree about what sinful man can do, I think both Calvinists and Arminians (or those who think along one of those lines) would agree that Adam had the free will to obey or disobey God. In short, I think most people agree that God created Adam with "free will", and without any sinful nature to taint that free will.

    Adam still chose to disobey.

    Did God force Adam to disobey? I don't think anyone would argue that.

    Did God know in advance that Adam would disobey? I think everyone would say "yes".

    Could God have prevented the situation that led to Adam's disobedience? I think everyone would agree that God COULD HAVE done that. We might speculate that Adam would have rebelled sooner or later, but God COULD HAVE prevented satan from entering the garden, thus changing history.

    So God sovereignly chose to create and allow Adam to disobey of Adam's own free will, even though God knew in advance this would happen.

    In conclusion, I would say that the Bible demonstrates that God is still sovereign even when He allows man to make free will decisions.

    -------------

    So now what? We've essentially demonstrated that it is possible for God to be sovereign even when man has "free will". Does this prove either Arminianism or Calvinism to be true or false?

    No.

    Things have changed since Adam. We now have a sinful nature.

    The questions are now these:

    1. Is our sinful nature so profound that we would never, of our own free will, repent and believe in Jesus? If so, then the only way anyone can be saved is if God sovereignly elects them to be saved. The rest remain in their wicked state, fully deserving the same fate we would deserve if we weren't transformed by God. NOBODY goes to hell for unjust reasons, because -- left to their own "free will" -- nobody would choose God.

    2. Is our sinful nature NOT so profound that it prevents us from choosing to believe of our own free will? If so, then it is still possible that God STILL elects who gets saved and who doesn't by choosing to whom He demonstrates the necessary influences that will save them.

    For example, Jesus said, "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes." Jesus is saying that He knew what it would have taken to make Tyre and Sidon repent and be saved, but obviously chose not to perform those works in Tyre and Sidon. In the end, God sovereignly let them perish, knowing full well that He could have prevented it. We still don't know if they would have repented because they were "capable" or because God would have regenerated them with the help of these miracles. All we know is that God let them perish.

    3. Now, what if we are not so fallen as to be unable to receive the Gospel -- AND -- given that God ONLY uses the hearing of the Gospel to save, God relies on the free-will of men to choose when and where to spread the Gospel? Is God still sovereign?

    Yes!

    In this case, God still knows the end from the beginning, and He chose to allow things to play out according to the will of men. In this case, He not only allowed men to perish when He could have done something to prevent it (see above example of Tyre and Sidon), but He also allows men to be perish because of the failings of other men. Some men will perish NOT because they were so wicked they would never choose God if they were presented the Gospel -- they will perish simply because other men failed spread the Gospel in the right place at the right time.

    God COULD HAVE intervened in order to save these men, but He "sovereignly" left the responsibility of sharing the Gospel with men.

    Now - here's the bottom line. We know that God knows even the number of hairs on your head. We know that not even a sparrow falls to the ground APART FROM HIS WILL. Therefore we know that God is ultimately responsible for who gets saved and who goes to hell, no matter what you believe about Arminianism or Calvinism.

    The only real question left is this: Will there ever be anyone in hell who might have wanted to be saved, but didn't get the chance?

    Situation 1: If total depravity is true, and God elects a people to Himself from those who are unable to choose Him, then no -- there will not be a single person in Hell who would have wanted to be saved but wasn't given a chance. Without the election of God to intervene, nobody would want to be saved.

    Situation 2: This all depends once again on whether or not total depravity is true. If total depravity is true, then the people in Tyre and Sidon who were allowed to perish sill deserve hell, since Jesus must be referring to something God would have to do to transform their will. If total depravity is NOT true, then the people in Tyre and Sidon will end up in hell unjustly, because they might have chosen to be saved if they had only seen the miracles.

    Situation 3: In this case, the most people of all will end up in hell unjustly, because God not only failed to do what was necessary to bring salvation to everyone who might have chosen it, God deliberately "outsourced" the job of presenting the Gospel to a bunch of incompetents, knowing full well that people will perish worldwide not because they might have made the wrong choice if given the chance, but because the "outsourced" help never gave them the Gospel they needed in order to know they had the choice.
     
  3. pinoybaptist

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    by Bro Tony:

    Only one human being was created that way, and when God gave Him the test, he blew it, bringing down his whole posterity with him.
     
  4. Bro Tony

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    npetreley,

    thanks for the well thought out response, I hope more will post. It just seems to me there is not an all or nothing system of either Calvinism or Arminianism.

    Pinoybaptist,

    Surely we would all agree that Adam's sin brought sin and its effect on all of us. The question is whether the effect of that sin makes it impossible for a person to make a choice to follow God, when God calls them? Do men have a genuine choice or are we just fatalisticly predetermined to our destiny? Did the fall remove any ability to respond to God?

    Bro Tony
     
  5. npetreley

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    Personally, I would say that the fall did remove our ability to respond to God, but not by removing our "free will". In fact, I dislike the expression "free will" because it implies that we are neutral beings without any inclination to will one thing or another. We are not neutral.

    Granted any analogy is going to be flawed, but I'm going to risk one just to get the concept across. I hate the idea of eating tripe. It doesn't matter how much anyone tells me it's delicious. It doesn't matter how much anyone tells me it would be good for me. But given the "choice" between eating tripe and eating anything else, I'll ALWAYS pick the "something else".

    The point is, I am FREE to eat tripe. I am ABLE to choose and eat tripe. I have ears to hear the benefits. But I am not "capable" of wanting to eat it no matter what anyone says or does. My inclination always trumps my free will and ability, and makes my answer always "no" to tripe.

    Now, God has many methods to change my inclination, any combination of which He might apply. He might regenerate my attitude toward tripe while at the same time causing me to nearly starve to death with no alternative foods available. Not only will I be forced to try it or die, I will be more open to trying it (even if reluctantly) because He has already started to change my inclination from the inside out.

    Given that the analogy is flawed, do you get my point? The issue isn't whether or not we are "free" or "able" to respond. The issue is whether or not we are "inclined" to respond, and I believe we are not. I also believe nothing but the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit can make us inclined any other way.
     
  6. pinoybaptist

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    Bro. Tony:

    I am not as learned as some here are, and only depend on what the Bible says, and this is what the Bible says:

    Romans 3:9-12,18

    There is another verse in the Bible, in the Old Testament, that echoes this, and that is Psalms 14:2 and 3 :

    I think the words we need to take a close look at, are, good, and understand. What good needeth to be done ? What good is it that God was looking for ? What is it that the children of men did not understand ? My answer is: the righteousness of God. Mankind's religion always sought justification by God through their own righteousness. They sought peace of mind and soul and forgiveness and the cleansing of their consciences thru their own efforts and sacrifices.

    Which brings us to Adam, and the condition of his entire posterity, that is, the entire humankind:

    Romans 5:12 says


    Obviously, the death here is not physical death, but, spiritual death, since the statement implies something which had happened, and not one which will happen, as a result of sin.

    And if one is spiritually dead, how can he do that which only the spiritually alive can do ? That is, repent of his sin and turn from his idols to the living God ? He must first be brought back to life, and only then is he able to do that which is good and pleasing in the eyes of God, which is to submit himself to the righteousness of God, and understand that salvation is OF the Lord.

    You asked, "The question is whether the effect of that sin makes it impossible for a person to make a choice to follow God, when God calls them ?".

    Well, the effect of that sin is spiritual death, and dead men cannot respond can they ? But, here's another scripture to ponder:

    Romans 8:29-30 says:

    If God calls someone, that someone, according to this scripture, was predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, and God will send that called one through a process, none of which he had a part of.
     
  7. Me2

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    the sovereignty of God boldly displays that God is in control 100% of the time over 100% of his creation. wether a sparrow falls or a human hair begins to grow.

    the plan in Gods will concerning adam was to fall.

    Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope,

    this specifically states that God forcebly and willfully subjected mankind to vanity.
    for his personal purposes of subjecting fallen man to hope.

    Just as Jesus life. He couldnt act independently of God. neither could Adam. neither can any man.
    adam did what he is programmed to do.

    man may appear disobedient. this is an illusion and a lack of understanding on the part of the observer. disobedience (vanity) in Gods creation is a part of Gods will.

    wether man respondes to God in this age is not up to any man. it is up to the will of God that has been written before the world began.

    Me2
     
  8. npetreley

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    I'm so glad someone finally had the guts to say that. Thanks! ;)
     
  9. Bro Tony

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    I appreciate the responses. I too believe that man cannot come to God unless God calls him.

    I do have a problem with the view concerning the understanding that God's sovereignty equals God makes everything happen. That man is a preprogrammed robot. If this is the case are you not saying that God can and has done evil, and makes men do evil. This seems to be contrary to what is written in James 1:13-18.

    Bro Tony
     
  10. Bro Tony

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    The proof of Jesus' identity is that He didn't act independently of God.

    If Adam or any man cannot act independently of God, then who is responsible for their sin? It cannot be the person who cannot act independently, it must be God. I just can't buy that it is a slam to the very character and nature of God.

    If man cannot act independently of God then man cannot commit the sin the cannot be forgiven (unpardonable sin). Man cannot blaspheme the Holy Spirit. You will remember when they accused Jesus of doing His miracles by the power of satan. Jesus told them it was not possible, a house divided against itself will not stand. God does not do evil nor lead others to do evil. We not He are responsible for the evil we chose to do.

    Bro Tony
     
  11. Me2

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    Bro Tony,

    (Gods character gets slammed everyday by nuts, thinking he will forsake his own creation in a place of torment.)

    God is the creator of everything. good and evil. every act. every thought. there is nothing that is, if not for its creation of God. wether it be a thought or an action. good or evil.

    free will of man whatever the degree is an illusion. we do what we are created to do.

    we have the image being the sum total of the various parts. the image Jesus christ is all of creation combined together.

    righteousness and unrighteousness. as in genisis. we have the light being created and then seperated light and dark.
    in the summation (revelation) of the completion of the image. we have the sum total of light and dark being combined back together again. (in other words. light absorbing darkness.)

    Rev 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

    evil thoughts and acts of unrighteousness was created to allow the son to offer mercy over against the transgressors to expose the goodness of God. said in another way.
    to give glory to God the father is to allow God to forgive the transgression.

    the elect are becoming creations high priests. to serve them in the next age in reconciling this intended image into its complete form.

    In other words God placed his creation in evil to expose evil to forgive evil…proving his goodness.

    now all this about unpardonable sin..did Jesus die for all sin or did he not abolish the penalty of sin...death..the unpardonable sin is pardonable. maybe not in this age. but it is eventually pardonable....

    Me2
     
  12. Bro Tony

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    Me2,

    So what you are contending is universalism. If you hold this view salvation and faith become meaningless. If everyone is eventually saved, whether or not they have believed in Jesus, you destroy the reason Jesus died.

    I will never come into agreement with you that God is the author of evil. Did you read the passage in James? By the way, God does not have to prove Himself in anyway. He did not create evil to prove He is good or to reveal His glory. To say that God has to prove anything is to put the emphasis on man rather than on the Lord.

    Bro Tony
     
  13. Bro Tony

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    Also your contention that the unpardonable sin is pardonable in the coming age is a direct contridiction to the very words of Jesus. What Scripture do you use to assert what you have stated?

    Bro Tony
     
  14. Bro Tony

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    Are you speaking of pantheism here? If not please explain.

    Bro Tony
     
  15. Me2

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    Bro Tony,

    then you dont understand Christ.
    for Christ died for the Glory of his Father.
    and the Glory of His father is towards expressing love to his Creation. did I mention the sovereignty of the will of God

    without the death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. No man would be able TO BE MADE righteous.

    Christ death and resurrection provides THE WAY of Life. as all men will follow him in humbling themselves before their father and his will.

    everyone will eventually be saved for God loves his creation and "all" sin has been paid for at the cross..

    which gets us back to THE SOVEREIGNTY of God..

    or is the sovereignty of mans "free will" more powerful overagainst the expressed will of God ???

    1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
    1Ti 2:5 For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

    paying for all sin means no more sin...

    so what keeps man being tormented???..
    the so called "free will" of man.

    and coming to the knowledge of the truth (Lord Jesus christ) is being made in the complete image of man. (of what all men are intended to become.)

    Me2
     
  16. Me2

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    Bro Tony,

    Mat 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy [against] the [Holy] Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
    Mat 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the [world] to come.

    is my kjv saying not pardoned in this world and the next? the next age is the harvesting of Gods creation. if one were to think "where are those pesky children of wrath" well they sure arent being forgiven. because there providing a vital servise of teaching error to those being harvested.

    in the world following the next will be given the opportunity to be forgiven. remember all sins are covered over by righteousness. Light absorbing darkness. or just read romans...

    Rom 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but [rather] through their fall salvation [is come] unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
    Rom 11:15 For if the casting away of them [be] the reconciling of the world, what [shall] the receiving [of them be], but life from the dead?

    Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
    Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
    Rom 11:27 For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

    who am I to argue. God will save all Israel. oh I sorry. I mean the children of wrath. those living by law without the spirit of Christ.

    Me2
     
  17. Bro Tony

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    Me2,

    I thought this is where you were heading. You do believe in universalism. Your view discounts one of the most known verses in the Bible. John 3:16. After you read that read vs 17.

    Your view has really nothing to do with the debate of Calvinism or Arminianism or a combination of the two. These teach a view of how one is brought unto salvation. Your view holds that all will be saved. In order to hold your view you have to ignore much of the Scripture.

    Not that I think it would make any difference but let me close with these verses; 1 John 5: 10-12--
    He who believes in the Son of God has the winess in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony tht God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he woh does not have the Son of God does not have life.

    Here and elsewhere it is crystal clear. Faith in Jesus is the only way to have eternal life, those who do not believe in Him are condemned aready.

    Bro Tony
     
  18. Bro Tony

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    What? Are you really reading the Scripture. Jesus took great care to say what He meant. Those who commit the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit would not be forgiven---Ever!

    Then your inference to Romans chapter 11 is just bad hermenutics. Paul is not referencing eternity or the age to come. He is talking about the nation of Israel and the fact that God is not through working through them.

    Bro Tony
     
  19. Me2

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    Bro Tony,

    Col 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:
    Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
    Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
    Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
    Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.
    Col 1:19 For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell;
    Col 1:20 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.

    everything is created from the image, for the image, and will be reconciled back into the image.

    call it what you like. or reinterpret scripture to your to your liking. this image was before creation and it was complete. it contained all men.
    when God expressed to make this image.
    it was already complete with its own history, with its own beginning. with its own ending and everyone you see today was in it. it contained evil, as well as good. it had every atrocity as well as every blessing.

    so did adam have a choice to fall?..nope. in fact mankinds future reconciliation of his image depended on his fault. it was planned.

    so were you and I to have this conversation today?

    Yep! [​IMG]

    Me2
     
  20. Bro Tony

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    Me2,

    It is one thing to say something is made in the image of God. But the creation is not the Creator. Nor does the Creator permiate everything in the creation. Paul was teaching that Jesus is God in that passage and that everything that was made He made.

    Scary thought ;)

    Bro Tony
     

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