Matthew 7:7-11

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Larry in Tennessee, May 11, 2003.

  1. Larry in Tennessee

    Larry in Tennessee
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    Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks recieves, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpant? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:7-11 emphasis added)

    We will be given when WE ask, and we will find when WE seek. The Father will give good things to those who ASK. It would seem to be saying that the Holy Spirit will draw us when we seek Him. Thoughts?

    Love in Christ,
    Larry
     
  2. Frogman

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    We will not seek unless and until we are drawn.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  3. KenH

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    The issue is not whether man should seek, ask, and knock. The issue is why does one man seek, ask, and knock and another man not do so. Is it that one man is better than another, has a better environment, etc. or is it that it is all a part of God's plan of redemption that God is sovereignly in control of? And, of course, we ultimately get back to the issue of man's condition after The Fall in the Garden of Eden regardless what soteriological issue we deal with. If we do not understand man's condition the same way, then we are never going to agree on the rest of the issues, and we will bat Bible verses back and forth in a theological tennis game. [​IMG]
     
  4. Ray Berrian

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    It seems that many who witnessed the Sermon on the Mount were already in the faith. Jesus says, 'O ye of little faith.' [Matthew 6:30] These who will be 'asking, seeking and knocking' will be those who will be needing something from Him because they are already in Christ. He was the loving Father to each of them and now some 2,000 years down that which we call time, we still use His guidance and trust in His benevolence. He is willing to give us that which supplies our spiritual needs as well as our human needs for this life. Thank Him for our spiritual manna as well as the bread that nourishes the human body/soul.

    If we being 'evil' know how to provide and do good things for our human lineage/family, how much more is He willing to give us 'good things when we 'ask Him.' [Matthew 7:11]
     
  5. Larry in Tennessee

    Larry in Tennessee
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    Bro Dallas, I agree that no man can come to Jesus unless he is drawn be the Holy Spirit. That is clear from Scripture. But can a person begin to honestly seek out God at first on his own? I also believe the Scripture clearly commands us to seek out Him.

    I don't consider myself Arminian, nor do I consider myself Calvinist. I'm somwhere between these two theologies. The biggest issue I have with Calvinism is the unconditional election. If a person were truly seeking God, would a loving God deny that person because they are not of the elect? Thoughts?

    P.S. Please forgive me if I ask questions which have been asked many times before. I'm new to this debate. I had never heard the issues in this debate until I found this board a couple of weeks ago. I'm more used to debating cult members like Jehovah's Witness.

    Love in Christ,
    Larry
     
  6. Frogman

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    This is a question I also dealt with for quite some time. The best way I can answer it is to go to scripture:

    John 6:37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

    Another way to look at it is as C.H. Spurgeon said in a sermon (paraphrased):

    All of you who are farmers do not forego your labor of preparing the soil, sowing the seed and tending to your crops because you know not how that God shall bless the harvest; nor do you when called to the dinner table fail to gather when you are hungry simply because you don't know whether God has decreed for this to be your last meal or whether it shall nourish your bodies to the life you are given.

    To consider that one cannot come because he may not be of the elect is to consider foolishness, the fact that you have come is assurance to you that you are called, that you are drawn.

    In another sermon drawing more from the scripture I provided Spurgeon went so far as to state that any who come to God through Christ cannot be cast out, or else Christ himself is made to be a liar.

    {The above are paraphrases of his words in I believe two different sermons, if you wish I will search the Spurgeon Archive for the links to each sermon so you can verify the source}.

    Either way, it is certain by the words of Christ that those who do come to him are given to him by the Father and that he shall not cast any of these away. The fear that 'I' may not be of the number of the elect is an unfounded fear propagated for no reason I can imagine, all it does is produce fear among those who have received the peace of God in Christ Jesus.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  7. BobRyan

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    God "Draws ALL mankind unto Him" John 12:32 because HE "is not WILLING that ANY should perish".

    And so in that context it is true of mankind "that He who seeks FINDs".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  8. Frogman

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    Again, Bro. Bob, the words of Peter are 'in context' 'to usward' and not to 'mankind' ward. It would be easier to develop a more truthful theology depending on the full revelation of Scripture.

    God Bless.
    bro. Dallas
     
  9. russell55

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    I think that scripture teaches us that there are no persons who seek out God on their own. See Romans 3.

    It does. But it also tells us that left to their own devices, no one fulfills that command.

    This is perhaps one of the misconceptions you have about Calvinism, which is understandable if you are new to this debate. Calvinists believe that God makes himself known to every single person who seeks Him. Every single person who comes to Him is welcomed with open arms. There are no sinners who out there who are truly looking to find God, but God is hiding from them (or rejecting them) because they are not elect.

    It's as if there are two sides to a coin. On our side of the coin, we have the command to seek Him, and all of those who follow that command and seek Him out are certain to find Him and be welcomed by Him. This is a true picture of how things are, but not a complete picture.

    There is also the other side of the coin, the God side. On this side we see that all those who do truly seek God have been elect from before the foundation of the world. They are seeking God because He has already begun to do a work within them, pulling them inwardly toward Himself, showing them their need for Him. This side of the coin completes the picture. It tells us the whole story.

    But no one is ever kept away from God.
     
  10. Harald

    Harald
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    As for the sermon on the mount Matt. 5:1-2 states that those to whom Christ the Lord imparted teaching were His disciples (lit. "THE disciples of him"), including Judas Iskariot who was a false believer. Matt. 7:7-11 was thus spoken to disciples of the Messias, all of whom were believers in Him, albeit Judas was a nominal believer. Thus the imperatives of Matt. 7:7 were spoken to the ones listening to Christ. The imperatives were all in the present tense - "be asking", "be seeking", "be knocking". In verse 8 Christ uses present participles to describe the characters He addresses - "every one asking...seeking...knocking". It is consequently clear from the context that unregenerate ones were not under consideration.

    It is evident from the word of God that when God the Holy Spirit operates upon a soul then that one will seek Christ, truly seek Him, i.e. spiritually. Many there be in this world that "seek God" or "seek Christ", but nobody TRULY and VERILY seeks the true Christ apart from the operation of the Spirit of Christ. There must be made distinction between seeking and TRUE seeking. When the Bible says no man seeks after God it means no man truly seeks after Him in a natural state (unregenerate).

    Only persons chosen of God in eternity, in the person of the Son, will truly seek God and His Son in time, and that only from the point of God sovereignly regenerating them by the voice of His Son apart from means such as a preacher, baptism, the written word, a decision etc. God the Father quickens, God the Son quickens, and God the Spirit quickens. Period. No means used by the Triune God in regeneration of (spiritually) dead sinners. Thus God the Lord will not regard non-elect persons who "seek" Him. Because He has not chosen such for salvation which is in Christ Jesus. He may regard them in non-salvation matters, as when one of them prays for a healthy child, etc. etc. But He has not pledged to regard them in a spiritual sense. God is sovereign and a law unto Himself. What is a man to question God and His modus operandi. Who can stay His hand. He can cast a man into Gehenna, and He can save a soul unto life eternal by Jesus Christ. No man has any claim whatsoever upon God based on his/her character or behaviour or works etc.


    Harald
     
  11. Larry in Tennessee

    Larry in Tennessee
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    Therein lies my problem I'm not trying to question God's ways, I'm trying to understand. Like I said earlier, I'm new to this discussion. Truth is, I've never given predestination much thought. I've always accepted that God gives man a choice between Christ and self, and I believe the Bible supports this where is says all men, whosoever, ect. I know that Calvinists will say that these are referring to the elect. I can't say that though, because I believe all means all. I think the Bible says what it means, and means what it says.

    Having said that, there are several passages that support election as well (Rom 9, Eph 1, ect). I can't dismiss those either. On the surface, the Bible seems to have two contradictory teachings, yet the Bible never contradicts. Is there something I'm missing? Is there a middle ground between the two which resolves this? Maybe it's just over my head.

    Love in Christ,
    Larry...........Thinking myself into a migrane :confused:
     
  12. William C

    William C
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    Larry, I know what your going through. We all have been there. No matter what anyone says about how simple it is to see their views in scripture these issues are difficult no matter what side you align yourself on, those who are honest with you will admit that.

    I became a Calvinists after reading some books by Sproul and MacArthur. The two passages that were the most convincing to me were the ones you mentioned: Rom. 9 and Eph. 1. After reading these passages with what I had read from MacArthurs and Spoul's books in my mind I couldn't see how anyone could interpret it any differently then they had. I was sure they were right and that anyone who disagreed with them was just too stupid to understand it or too self absorbed to admit it.

    I spent about 9 years of my life while I was going through college and seminary believing that I had a little better grasp of the doctrine of salvation than most others. In fact, Arminians only convinced me more that I was correct in my Calvinism because all of them I spoke with were ignorant of the issues altogether and didn't even know why they didn't believe Calvinism's claims.

    My home church went through a split on this issue and I was one of the defenders of Calvinism slicing people up left and right with my theological knowledge of the subject while they quoted John 3:16 over and over. I had read every Calvinistic author I could find and wrote papers, doctrinal thesises, disertations and just about anything else I had opportunity to write on this doctrine.

    There was one thing I failed to do. I failed to understand the other side. I thought I understood the other side because I grew up in an Arminian home and was surrounding by Arminians, but the truth is they were what I call ignorant Arminians. They are people who believe in free will but have never really grappled with these issues indept and have no idea how to defend them.

    It wasn't until I began to try to defend Arminianism just for the fun of it that I was able to understand and see its claims as having any validity. I began to read Arminius and other scholarly Arminians and I was shocked by how ignorant I really was to the claims of Arminianism. Let me briefly show you what I learned about Romans 9 and Eph. 1:

    Rom. 9
    I remember when I first became a Calvinist I fought against the idea that God would have mercy on some people and condemn others to hell. I hated that concept. Romans 9 convinced me that I was wrong to think that way, so I changed my mind and became a Calvinist. Since then however I have discovered that Paul was not addressing the issue of God having mercy on some and condemning others. He was addressing the issue of God having mercy on some and hardening others. There is a big difference.

    Those who are hardened are not necessarily condemned as we see in Romans 11, so to equate the two is poor hermeneutics at best.

    Eph. 1
    I believe in predestination. I believe God predestined both the Jews and the Gentiles to be adopted as sons, not just the Jews as many of the 1st century believed. I believe that it was determined by God long ago what would happen to those who trusted in Christ after hearing the word of truth, the gospel of salvation. I believe that God had always planned on choosing the Gentiles, it was predestined.

    If you read Eph. 1 with those truths in mind and not read it with the Calvinistic application of the individual election of a particular number of people to the neglect of all others, it will make much more since to you.

    There is no contradiction in scripture. There is only human error in the interpretation of it. The heart of every believer is replused by Calvinism when first confronted with its teachings. Ask yourself why. It is only after it is fully explained by the missappication of texts like Romans 9 and Eph. 1 that some become willing to overlook these objections to adopt such controversial and contradictory doctrines.

    I hope this helps you in your search for truth.

    Bro. Bill
     
  13. Frogman

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    Enlighten those Arminians Brother [​IMG]

    Bro. Dallas
     
  14. William C

    William C
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    It's you I'm worried about. ;)
     
  15. Eladar

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    Never contradicts what? The truth or human logic? If you say truth, then I'd agree with you. If you say human logic, then I'll have to disagree with you. [​IMG]
     
  16. Frogman

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    Why :confused: I have been drawed by the everlasting love of my Savior.
     
  17. Larry in Tennessee

    Larry in Tennessee
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    Never contradicts what? The truth or human logic? If you say truth, then I'd agree with you. If you say human logic, then I'll have to disagree with you. [​IMG] </font>[/QUOTE]The Bible never contradicts the truth of God. Of course it contradicts human logic, but what is human logic when compared with the wisdom of God?
     
  18. Eladar

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    If you can get over the human logic thing, then it is simple:

    We are predestined and have free will at the same time.
     
  19. KenH

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    I think it is more accurate to say "free choice". Free will means the ability to make decisions free of outside influences, such as God can do. But we human beings make decisions based on the strongest influence on us.
     
  20. Eladar

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    Of course you would, you are still holding on to human logic!
     

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