John 8:43-44

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Pastor Larry, Oct 17, 2002.

  1. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Two verses that show yet again that there is an inability on the part of unsaved man.

    Jesus is dialoging with the Pharisees who reject his message. They are arguing that Christ was an illegitimate child (v. 41) and that their father was God. Jesus corrects them by saying that if their father was God, they would love him because he came from God. He then says, "Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.'"

    Notice the last phrase of v. 43: You cannot hear my word. IT should be immediately apparent that ability was at issue since the word is "cannot" as opposed to "will not." It should readily be apparent that "hearing" is not simply audible reception, since the fact of the conversation meant that their physical hearing worked fine. It should also readily be apparent that the next verse gives the reason why they could not understand: They were of their father the devil. These people could hear, but they could not "hear," i.e., with understanding.

    Once again we see Christ address the issue of ability. In so doing, he makes it clear that inability is the inherent nature of children of the devil.

    At some point, we should stop having the discussions about whether inability is a part of sinful nature. Christ himself said it was. Why argue about any further?
     
  2. Music Man

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    Either because we don't want to admit the truth, or because we can't hear ;)

    Thanks Pastor,

    Chris
     
  3. Pastor Larry

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    Where is Ray and Chappie and Scott and everyone who doesn't agree with this verse?? It got real quiet in here ... Anyone wanna take a stab at it??
     
  4. swaimj

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    Here is the reason I do not understand the passage in the way you are explaining it. "Cannot" can be used for absolute prohibition (as you are taking it here) but it can also be used for circumstantial prohibition. In some contexts, a prohibition may not be absolute, but may be because of a certain circumstance. I believe that John is clear that there is a particular circumstance which makes it impossible for these people to believe. That circumstance is the fact that Jesus had not yet been "lifted up" on the cross. Once Jesus was lifted up, all men were able to understand and believe. Note that in the same context, earlier in verse 28, Jesus says to these same people "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me." There is abundant testimony in scripture that there were people who rejected Christ during his pre-cross lifetime, but accepted him after his resurrection. Prior to his death, God circumstantially limited their ability to believe so that God's sovereing plan would come to pass. Afterward, when that plan was accomplished, God removed that circumstantial restriction and allowed them to understand and believe.
     
  5. shilo

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    I put this post up in resopnse to Pastor Larry's accusation however it either got missed or just plain ignored..here it is again.

    John 8:43 tells us that certain ones "cannot hear" (a word of ability) the word of Christ.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In this passage it is the unbelieveing Jew being addressed twice as "ye" that are under Jesus's consideration. They could not hear Christ's word not just because they were, like all of the unregenerate (acts 26:18) (eph 2:2), of their father the devil and not of God, But because the did the lusts of their father and did not believe Christ when he told them the truth (john 8:45,46)

    Not only was their "inablity" conditional, it was also not permanent, for Jesus had said earlier that because they were from "beneath" (jn.8:23), they would die in their sins and not be able to go where he was going (jn.8;21) Yet, they would only die in their sins IF THEY DID NOT BELIEVE (jn.8:24)

    what is even more amuzing to me is that Calvinsit can't seem to make up their minds as to what is going on.( confusion in te ranks)..

    Calvinist D.A. Carson makes this statement

    "Jesus does not say they fail to grasp his message because they can not follow his spoken word, his idiom, but that they fail to understand his idiom precisely because they cannot "hear" his message. The jews remain responsible for their own "Cannot" whichm far from resulting from divine fiat, is determined by their own desire (theolusin) to perform the Lust ( tas epithymias) of the devil ( 8.44) this "Cannot" this slavery to sin(8.340 itself stems from personal sin" (D.A. carson, Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility (Atlanta knox press 1981) pg.166)
     
  6. shilo

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    In my post above that was a quote from Pastor Larry on the subject at hand..I failed to note that before i posted.
    *********************

    "Look unto me and be saved, All the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else (isa. 45:22)

    "And saying, The time is fufilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand repent ye and believe the gospel ( Mark 1:15)

    "And the times of this ignorance God winked at: but now cammandeth all men everywhere to repent" ( acts 17:30)

    And this is the Commandment, that we should believe on the mane of his Son Jesus Christ..." (1 jn. 3:23)

    "And the spirit and the Bride say come. And let him that heareth say Come. And let him that is athirst come. And WHOSOEVER WILL, let him take of the water of life freely ( rev. 22:17)

    'Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest" (mat. 11;28)

    "In the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying If any man thisrt let him come unto me, and drink. (jn.7;37)

    If total Inabiliy is true they wat are we to make of these verses?? Is God just mocking his creation? Would God present salvation to a man knowing that the man could never even will to recieve it? The God Of the Bible is not the god of Calvinism. God himself even gives the genuineness of his intentions: " I have not spoken in secret, i a dark place of the earth: I said bot unto the seed of jacob, Seek me in vain: I the Lord speak rightousness, i declare things that are right" (isa. 45:9)

    Even Erasmus recognised this in a debate against Luther over free will:

    "If it is not in the power of every man to keep what is commanded, all the exhortations in the scriptures, ans all the promises, threats, expostulations, reproofs,adjurations, blessings, curses, and hosts of precepts, are of necessity useless" ( Desiderius erasmus, quoted in Luther, pg 171)
     
  7. shilo

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    In the Bible it is clear that the possibilty exists that a man could believe under a given set of circumstances:

    "Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, LEST THEY SHOULD BELIEVE and be saved. (Luke 8:12)

    "and will ye not come to me, that ye might have life" (Jn.5:40)

    "Forbidding us to speak unto the gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost" (1 thes. 2:16)

    These verses don't mean that under a given set of circumstances man will always believe. But they do show that there is a possibility. And if there exisits even the slightest possibility that a man could believe, the doctrine of total Inability falls by the wayside.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    I don't think the circumstantial argument will work very well for two reasons: 1) This was a categorical statement that man could not do something. To say that it was only for a period of time does not change the fact that he could not do it. 2) Other people were coming to Christ so to say that he had not been lifted up yet doesn't really work either. The lifting up was not the basis for belief or coming.

    Shilo's posts don't seem to address the issue since we are not arguing against "whosoever will may come." That is not, nor has it ever been, the issue. Furthermore, no one argues that it didn't stem from their own problems. That too is a non-issue.

    As for commands that are able to be kept, I have elsewhere shown the fallacy of that. There were/are lots of commands that are impossible to keep. Think of what Paul said: If righteousness could come by the Law, then Christ died in vain. What was he admitting?? That it was impossible to keep the law well enough to gain life from it. It was theoretically possible (lev 18:5 -- keep these commandments and live). But it was morally impossible. Consider 2 Cor 3 where Paul talks of the Law being a ministry of death. The problem was not with the Law. It was the perfect and holy revelation from God. The problem was with man's inability to keep it. That argument holds no weight at all.

    The context of John 8 talks of a group of people who are not just unbelievers, they are outspken unbelievers ... They cannot understand ... and it is attributed (as I said and no one addressed) to their father, the devil. The reason they are unable has nothing to do with Christ being raised up, the goodness of the Law, the offer of salvation, etc. It has to do with the fact that their father is the devil who is the father lies and they believe what he tells them.

    It seems to me there are some people with presuppositions who are not letting the text speak ...

    [ October 18, 2002, 10:54 PM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  9. ForumChaplain

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    Hello Pastor:
    A little one on one seems fair enough. You have not managed to slow down Shilo yet. Rather than complicating the matter, i was waiting for your response to him.
     
  10. ForumChaplain

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    I agree with you pastor. Some presuppositions sure are leading us astray. Start reading and reconciling beginning at verse 31. That should help a lot...
     
  11. swaimj

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    No, it is a categorical statement that a particular group of men could not do something. If it applies to all men, then no one could have been saved. And the question remains, were all of these men in this group forever unable to believe, or did some of them believe later after Jesus' resurrection? Verse 28 (which you did not address) seems to indicate that it did become possible later.

    Of course the lifting up is not the basis for belief at this point. Of course some believed at this point. The question remains: Did some who "did not understand" and "could not believe" at this point later believe? If the answer to that question is "no", then you are correct Pastor Larry. If the answer to that question is "yes", then there is a serious flaw in your reasoning, for that would mean that their inability was circumstancial and not absolute.

    Yes, it does! [​IMG]
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    Chappie,

    As for Shilo, most of what he says is irrelevant and unconnected to the conversation. Other of what he says is flatly wrong (such as no regeneration in the OT and suggesting tha tpeople are saved a different way). I have responded to what he said both here and other places. His exegesis is worse than yours, if you can imagine that [​IMG] .

    As for the context, I preached through this passage some time ago so I dealt fully with thecontext and am very familiar with it.

    Swaimj,

    As for the absolute/circumstantial, your suggestion that an inability later lifted is meaningless because the inability does exist now. The reality works the other way: If there is an inability now, then you must admit the possiblity that it also exists later and was never lifted. This would be consistent for every passage that addresses this. I do think the inability is in some sense circumstantial for all men. The Holy Spirit deals with inability and removes it. That is no problem for a sovereign God.

    By the way, look back up at my original post. I added a section that I have addressed other places. I added it in response to a part of Shilo's post that I forgot to address.

    As for presuppositions, the text says what it does and I agree with it. You are the ones (famous for saying that "world" means "world") who now say that "cannot" doesn't really mean "cannot." Why not?? Becuase it doesn't fit your system ... That's a bad reason ...
     
  13. shilo

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    Pastor Larry..my points are precisly on the subject and to the point at hand. Just because you don't like and can't handle the truth isn't my problem. I noticed that when people make vaild points that do actually show flawss in your theology and reasoning you put them down.. very Calvinistic of you..

    As far as regeneration in the old testament you have nothing to stand on. As I said before noone was regenerated and noone was quickend..to say they were is to say they were saved born again by the Blood of Christ which isn't so.

    For you to say that people were saved the same way in the old as well as in the new testament is just ignorant.

    That isn't the subject here though so instead of going off on yet another tangent lets stay on subject.
     
  14. shilo

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    That is a deceptive thing to say Pastor Larry!! of course you are arguing against "whosoever will" Whosoever to someone who didn't know about the Calvinist doctrine would read that as anyone willing to come to christ can.

    Your Total inabilty goes completly against that. The Bible says whosoever will let him come..You and your philosophical doctrine says NOT TRUE. man doens't have the ability to go to God..yet the Bible says different as i pointed out.

    so this isn't a non-issue as you would like to think and say it is..lets try to be honest here.

    That is a lie as well. You most certainly do argue that it argue that it stems from their own problems..you argued that in your explination of john 8:43,44!

    You see the word "cannot" and jump on that like it means inability..But Jesus didn't say they had the "inability" to right themselves..he said all they would have to do is Believe in 8:31 and they would get the truth.. it's not becaue they have the "inability" they have the Ability or Jesus would't have made the staement..Their personal sin is keeping them from hearing what he is saying.. So yes you are arguing agaist what you say you aren't.

    as far as those who did believe they didn't have the Holy spirit come on them so they could believe..Your system says the Holy spirit must FIRST come upon unsaved man before he can believe..however that isn't happening here in the Gospel of john seeings how the Holy Spirit has not been given yet. Yet another inconsistancy in your Calvinist philosophy.
     
  15. shilo

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    The 10 commandments ( the Law) God gave to the Jew were certainly impossible to keep..that is why they had to make sacrafices to attone for their sin. which I might add is yet more proof of unregenerate man being able to go to god for attonement. ;) Anyway you have no argument here either..the Bible says the Law was a schoolmaster to lead us to Chirst. (Gal.3:24)

    what you are saying is that
    God gave the commandments knowing they can't kept ..so they could eventually lead us to realize that we were depraved and without hope and could not keep the law..( becaue the carnal mind is emnity aginst God..neither can we keep the commandments)

    All this would show us our need for a saviour, for Christ..yet when we saw our need we STILL couldn't recieve him..even though God in so many places Commanded that we seek him and his salvation!! :eek:

    this is totaly ridiculous!
     
  16. shilo

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    There was nothing circumstantial in any of the veses i posted. The implication is there. Is this your way of trying to ignore what is written??

    You say Jn.8:43-44 is proof that man is at a total inability..yet these veses imply otherwise!

    "Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, LEST THEY SHOULD BELIEVE and be saved. (Luke 8:12)

    "and will ye not come to me, that ye might have life" (Jn.5:40)

    "Forbidding us to speak unto the gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost"

    so what is it the Bible is full of contradictions then?

    and what of Calvinsit such as D.A.Carson, who don't share your explination of jn.8:44 being a proof text of total inability??

    "Jesus does not say they fail to grasp his message because they can not follow his spoken word, his idiom, but that they fail to understand his idiom precisely because they cannot "hear" his message. The jews remain responsible for their own "Cannot" which far from resulting from divine fiat , is determined by their own desire (theolusin) to perform the Lust ( tas epithymias) of the devil ( 8.44) this "Cannot" this slavery to sin(8.340 itself stems from personal sin"
     
  17. shilo

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    I think I addressed what attributed to their not being able to hear Jesus very well..

    Maybe I missed something Isn't that the problem of the entire Human race..

    so if they were "unable" because of the fact that they were of their father the devil that would have to go for everyone in this world including the calvinist! (unless if Course no Calvinist was ever of their father the devil before they accepted and recieved Jesus as their savior.)

    again lets try to be somewhat consistant.
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    Shilo,

    Please go back and demostrate how your post was relavent. I didn’t see it. Nothing you said seemed to point to any flaws. You misunderstood and misinterpreted a few things and then blamed me. I haven’t put any one down. I simply didn’t respond to things that didn’t have to do with this conversation.

    As for salvation, people in every dispensation have been saved by grace alone through faith alone. The content of the faith is what has been different. For the record, we do not allow people to call one another ignorant here. I will warn you this time and trust that you will keep it cleaner next time. Regeneration is life; you would need to be saying that no one in the OT had eternal life, something that is demonstrably wrong.

    As for whosoever will, no Calvinist denies that. The only reason you think we do is because you are not familiar with the doctrine. We firmly believe whosoever will may come. I urge to you read through some of the posts on this forum in order to familiarize yourself with these basic ideas that have been discussed time and time again.

    When I said that their inability stemmed from their own problems, I meant that. You again misunderstood, reading your own ideas about what I believe into what I said I believe. Their sin is what kept them from coming. To say as you did, as far as those who did believe they didn't have the Holy spirit come on them so they could believe you have removed any salvation from the OT. Again this is demonstrably false. Now we might have a discussion about the nature of the Holy Spirit’s work in the OT. But you cannot deny his work, as you have done. If the Holy is necessary for belief (and he is), then he of necessity was working in the OT.

    Now speaking of contradictions, you quote Erasmus, "If it is not in the power of every man to keep what is commanded, all the exhortations in the scriptures, ans all the promises, threats, expostulations, reproofs,adjurations, blessings, curses, and hosts of precepts, are of necessity useless" ( Desiderius erasmus, quoted in Luther, pg 171) and then you say, The 10 commandments ( the Law) God gave to the Jew were certainly impossible to keep. Now which do you believe??? If you say that the 10 commandments were impossible to keep, then you have God “mocking his creation” as you said, telling them to do something they would never be able to do. If you say they could never be kept, then you are admitting in principle total inability. The reason they couldn’t be kept is not because they are two hard; it is because man’s will has been affected so that he does things he doesn’t want to do. Then you say that the commandments showed us our need of a Savior. And that is where I return to John 8 where Christ declares him to be that Savior and the people still reject choosing to trust in the Law and their own ability to keep it. Somewhere you have to reconcile why this was. I already know why because I accept Christ for what he said. If they would believe, they would be free and they would have eternal life. Their problem is they wouldn’t believe.

    The circumstantial approach was primarily swaimj’s, which you should have known. You hinted at it I believe when you said there is a set of circumstances under which man believes, with which I agree.

    However to your last post on fatherhood, yes it is universally true that Satan is the father. That is why rebirth is necessary because in rebirth you get a new father. You want me to be consistent. I have been perfectly consistent. Your failure to understand your opponent is what causes you to believe otherwise.

    Let me urge you to tone down the rhetoric. We try to keep things a little more civil in the dialogue here than you have shown. Avoid personal attacks or anything that might be construed as such. Avoid telling others what they believe. Assume that they know what they believe. Keep your posts a little shorter and make one instead of five or six, as I have done here. It would not hurt you to go back and read through some of the old threads so you can kind of get a handle and what doctrines are being talked about and what has been said about them. As I have mentioned even several times in this post, you are commenting on some things that have been answered. Perhaps some time going through the old threads would be appropriate for you.

    Thanks,
     
  19. shilo

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    I'm sure if you read my post you would see that they were and are very relivant to what is being disscussed.. Nothing I said seemed to point to any flaws??? perhaps you need to read again.

    I'm sorry you didn't put anyone down??

    I guess that was supposed to be a compliment
    then..

    No..What you did was ignore what you couldn't
    explain away.

    First I never argued that grace through faith wasn't a relivant thing

    Explain that..

    also I see it's alright for you to disrespect someone's exegesis ( you basically said I was ignorant just not in those exact words)but i can't say that it is ignorant for people to say that salvation was the same in both testaments.. I see..

    You would need to consult a dictionary to see what the word re- generate means. it does not mean life.

    "RE" a prefix meaning again, anew

    "Generate" to bring into being.. to begat

    REGENERATE- to form AGAIN

    your definition is incorrect it is not life..it's life again. And furthermore I NEVER said noone had eternal life..what I said was noone was regenerated, in the old testament they were all dead in their trespasses and sins..
     
  20. shilo

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    That is not true at all. and that is VERY deceptive. I know the Cavinist doctrine VERY well..I have read Calvin,Pink and the others I have read the Dort cannon,as well as the Westminister Confessions of Faith.. I have talked with many a Calvinist..I know Exactly what the Cavinist doctrine is all about.

    Please show me the Holy spirit working in the Old testament..I must have missed that one especially when God was dealing with men by way of Angels, through prophets as well as one on one. No Holy spirit until Christ was crucified. Sorry. even Christ said it himself

    "For if I not go away, the Comforter WILL NOT COME UNTO YOU; but if I depart, I will send him" Jn.16:7

    So who had the Holy sprit working in him while Christ was there.. maybe you can tell me from this verse.

    I haven't denied anything..I just know my Bible.
     

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