Paul

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by percho, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. percho

    percho
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    I was reading the baptism thread on the General Discussion board and it got me to thinking.

    I wonder when Paul decided to invite Jesus into his heart so that he, Paul, could be saved?

    Does anyone think it was probably right after he dicided he was lost?
     
  2. mont974x4

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    First, there is no biblical basis for the "ask Jesus into your heart" idea. The verse in Rev used to support this idea is taken out of context.

    Second, God tells us when Paul was saved. It was when the Father determined to have Christ reveal Himself on the road to Damascus and spoke through Ananias in Acts 9.

    Act 9:3 As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him;
    Act 9:4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"
    Act 9:5 And he said, "Who are You, Lord?" And He said, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,
    Act 9:6 but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do."
    Act 9:7 The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.
    Act 9:8 Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus.
    Act 9:9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
    Act 9:10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord."
    Act 9:11 And the Lord said to him, "Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying,
    Act 9:12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight."
    Act 9:13 But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem;
    Act 9:14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name."
    Act 9:15 But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;
    Act 9:16 for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake."
    Act 9:17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
    Act 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized;
    Act 9:19 and he took food and was strengthened. Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus,
    Act 9:20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, "He is the Son of God." (NASB)

    In fact, I don't see Paul making a decision at all. I see God's perfect will playing out.
     
  3. Bronconagurski

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    Of course he made a decision. Before, he decided that the claims of Jesus as Lord were false and persecuted Christians. But here, he decided Jesus was indeed Lord and believed. How is that not a decision in both cases?
     
  4. mont974x4

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    Do you think Paul could have rejected the truth that was revealed to him? I don't, and that's why I put it the way I did. God has never lost anyone He called. We don't choose Him. He chose Paul, and all the elect, before the foundation of the world.
     
  5. Oldtimer

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    If individuals cannot make a decision, what is the point of all of this?

    If God has aleady chosen which flowers He will pick, why would He bother to sow billions of seeds only to burn the fields later? In His infinite wisdom, yes He does know which buds will open and which won't cast off the withering corruption of sin. Yet, He gives each the opportunity to reach for the Son.

    IMO, God revealed the truth to Paul, because He knew Paul would accept it. There was no point in revealing the truth to someone He knew would reject it. Jesus chose Judas because He knew Judas would betray (reject) Him.

    If God has already chosen the ones He will pick from His garden, how does this differ from the JW belief that only 144,000 will be with Christ? The rest will be lost and without any hope beyond a final resting place in the grave?

    What's the point of preaching the gospel to all nations, if the Holy Spirit will not permit the "chosen ones" to reject Him?
     
  6. percho

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    for we have known that all the creation doth groan together, and doth travail in pain together till now. And not only [so], but also we ourselves, having the first-fruit of the Spirit, we also ourselves in ourselves do groan, adoption expecting -- the redemption of our body; Rom 8:22,23 YLT

    All the world including those God has given the Holy Spirit groan together.

    When Paul heard the voice of Jesus who knew Paul then Paul followed Jesus.

    Paul was given the Holy Spirit of promise. Became one having been given the Holy Spirit. One of the firstfruit of the Spirit.

    John 10:26,27,

    But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
    My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

    Acts 22:9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

    Did they reject someone or were they not called?

    Were they sheep of Jesus or were they not sheep of Jesus?
     
  7. mont974x4

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    Exactly

    :jesus:
     
  8. Bronconagurski

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    We have evidence where Jesus spoke to Paul and he believed. But we have no evidence saying whether this was the first time. How do you know that Paul was not present when Jesus was still on the earth and addressed the scribes and Pharisees? You do not know as the bible doesn't reveal whether he was or not. We do know that he was present at the stoning of Stephen and that Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke for Jesus. Paul rejected his words, thus rejected Jesus. That is a fact.
     
  9. mont974x4

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    Paul probably physically heard the truth from Stephen. That does not mean he had eyes to see and ears to hear until it was the proper time. The time of his salvation was on his way to Damascus according to the perfect will of God. God is all sovereign and His will is perfect, the will of man cannot thwart it.
     
  10. Bronconagurski

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    I believe that God is sovereign. What is in question is whether God's sovereign will allows for man to choose. I believe it does. Joshua's charge to the Israelites reveals as much: Joshua 24:15 (HCSB)
    15 But if it doesn’t please you to worship Yahweh, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my family, we will worship Yahweh.”
     
  11. Tom Butler

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    It is very likely that Saul of Tarsus knew of Jesus' teachings, and opposed him and his followers because Jesus claimed to be God, the Messiah. It is also likely that Saul also did not accept the claim by Jesus' followers that he had risen from the dead, though he was well aware of it.

    My own view is that Saul was converted on the road to Damascus. Acts 9 records that he heard Jesus identify himself in response to Sail's question "who are you, Lord?"

    Acts 9 does not record Saul's reaction, but Paul, in Acts 22 tells us what it was.

    Saul answered in 22:10 "What shall I do, Lord?"

    I believe it is at this point that Saul was convinced of Jesus claim to be God, and the Messiah.
     
  12. percho

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    IMHO I think Paul was probably present the day they were saying Hosana to the King and propably the day they were saying crucify him. After all he was a Pharisee of Pharisees and many years after the resurrection of Christ wanted to be in Jerusalem on Pentecost.

    What would you think concerning this?
     
  13. percho

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    The question is however, why? Was it not because Jesus by calling him opened his deaf ears and three days later his blind eyes and heart. In other words removed him from unbelief unto belief.

    Those with Paul on that day were not called and did not hear. If they did not hear they could not follow.

    For sure one would not say on that day the gospel was preached to Paul.
    He was an unbeliever who heard the call ie the voice and followed in belief.

    IMO It was about what Jesus did and not about what Paul did or responded to. He was going to Damacus to persecute Christians and was very near Damacus.
     
  14. MorseOp

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    But that is the point. God has chosen a people for His very own:

    God is the Master Builder, the Chief Architect. He is constructing a people for His own possession. We know that God is all wise. The elect are a "CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION..." God is calling a select group of people, His elect, to make up that CHOSEN RACE.

    You wrote:

    This is putting the cart before the horse. If God only chooses a person because He saw that person first choosing Him, then the credit for salvation rests with the person, not God. God is dependent on man, not man dependent on God. God can do nothing without man first taking action.

    Saul of Tarsus came face to face with the glory of the risen Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 9:4). In response to this we read the following dialog:

    The Lord does not ask Saul what he wants to do, He tells Saul what he is going to do. Paul had been chosen. Jesus revealing Himself to Paul on the road to Damascus was not going to be left to free will; the possibility that Saul would refuse to go. When was the exact time of Saul's conversion? Acts does not say. Perhaps it was God's intent not to emphasize Saul's actions but to emphasize God's glory.
     
  15. psalms109:31

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    Acts 9:
    5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

    “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

    Acts 22:
    8 “‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked.

    “ ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. 9 My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me

    Acts 26:
    9 “I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities.

    Philippians 3 :
    4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence.

    If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

    We all have pre-existing beliefs, we all have walls that guard our heart to continue in our beliefs. Walls to be torn down

    Paul believed and taught what they have been teaching for thousands of years. That salvation is for those who obeyed the Law as they have been taught for thousands of years. Those who didn't were heathens. What Stephen said was already working on his heart and tearing down the wall around his heart. What Jesus said broke the camels back why are you persecuting me. He was calling Paul at that time for the reason for His purpose to bring as many to salvation by using and calling the few to feed His sheep.

    The free grace is for all, that God wants all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, and that God gets no pleasure for the death of anyone, but rather them to repent and live. That salvation is not for those who obey the Law to the last letter, but those who trust, believe in the Lord. Who have Jesus Christ as their faith.
     
  16. Scarlett O.

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    What about Cain? He rejected the truth of acceptance by God that was revealed to him BY God. God specifically came to Cain to ask him what was wrong and why was he so angry?

    God warned Cain that sin was crouching at the door and specifically told him what to do to be accepted by God. He outlined to Cain that sin wanted to dominate him, but that he (Cain) must rule over sin.

    Cain rejected that truth.



     
  17. mont974x4

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    He wasn't among the elect. There is nothing in Scripture that says he had eyes to see and ears to hear. Pharaoh is another example. He saw and heard plenty of truth but his understanding remained darkened. God hardened his heart.
     
  18. psalms109:31

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    harden a heart is to give someone over to their own evil desire. That is why it is also said he harden his own heart. That is why God tells His people today when they hear do not harden your heart as you have before.

    Heb 3:
    Warning Against Unbelief

    7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:

    “Today, if you hear his voice,
    8 do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion,
    during the time of testing in the wilderness,
    9 where your ancestors tested and tried me,
    though for forty years they saw what I did.
    10 That is why I was angry with that generation;
    I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,
    and they have not known my ways.’
    11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”
    12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said:

    “Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion.”
    16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.
     
    #18 psalms109:31, Oct 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2012
  19. mont974x4

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    Joh 10:25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father's name, these testify of Me.
    Joh 10:26 "But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.
    Joh 10:27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
    Joh 10:28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. (NASB)


    Joh 12:37 But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him.
    Joh 12:38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: "LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT? AND TO WHOM HAS THE ARM OF THE LORD BEEN REVEALED?"
    Joh 12:39 For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again,
    Joh 12:40 "HE HAS BLINDED THEIR EYES AND HE HARDENED THEIR HEART, SO THAT THEY WOULD NOT SEE WITH THEIR EYES AND PERCEIVE WITH THEIR HEART, AND BE CONVERTED AND I HEAL THEM." (NASB)

    Rom 9:10 And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac;
    Rom 9:11 for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls,
    Rom 9:12 it was said to her, "THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER."
    Rom 9:13 Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED."
    Rom 9:14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!
    Rom 9:15 For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION."
    Rom 9:16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
    Rom 9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH."
    Rom 9:18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.
    Rom 9:19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?"
    Rom 9:20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it?
    Rom 9:21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?
    Rom 9:22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?
    Rom 9:23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,
    Rom 9:24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. (NASB)


    1Pe 2:7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, "THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,"
    1Pe 2:8 and, "A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. (NASB)
     
  20. psalms109:31

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    Psalm 69:28
    May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous.

    John 1:11
    He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.

    Matthew 10:33
    But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

    Luke 12:9
    But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God.

    Revelation 3:5
    The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.


    God loved Jacob not for what he did, but what was comming down his line, Jesus who will bring salvation to the world and He made us who believe His messengers of Hope in Christ for there is no other name, not Jacob, but Jesus that was given to mankind for salvation.
     

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