Questions for reformers

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by zrs6v4, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. zrs6v4

    zrs6v4
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    These are general questions that I have had from studying the doctrines of grace.

    1. How do you explain God's sovereign control in the deeds of the wicked according to His righteous plan?
    2. How do you explain mankind's falling away as time goes on. IOW would you simply say that God slowly removes His metaphorical hand from people?
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    my responses to my own questions:
    1. Well considering God is the author and is the only reason for good works, He moves the elect by the Spirit according to the decretive will for all purposes and good works He has ordained. He cannot tempt or set up the wicked to do what is fitting for His will, so he must ordain their deeds based on his knowing (similar to Arminians view of the elect) what they will do, which is where I am unclear....
    2. Yes mankind would completely fall away due to total depravity and completely be lost straying like sheep. So this would mean God is moving chosen people according to His purposes/will by the Spirit. When men fall away as time goes on it is a result of God revealing to creation what happens when He has allowed it to function in the flesh for certain purposes according to His decretive will.

    Please comment or state your opinion as briefly as possible
     
  2. Jarthur001

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    Hello Z...

    This can be done anyway God wishes. However the times I'm thinking about in the Bible, God controls sinful man in evil times through the lust of their own flesh. God does this by asking them to do right, when He knows they will not because of their sin nature.

    I'm not sure what you mean by this. If you are talking about a person that is saved, in turn, losing their salvation, then Reformers do not believe this. We believe Scripture teaches that God gives a faith to the elect that seals them and causes them to endure to the end.
     
  3. Thinkingstuff

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    As I was thinking about things I wonder where you stand Jarthur001. Double predestination or (like me) passive reprobation?
     
  4. Jarthur001

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    I believe the Bible teaches of the elect of God to salvation. The Bible never says anyone is elect to Hell.

    Therefore I deny double predestination. So I guess we agree on one thing. :)

    or...make that two things now.
     
  5. zrs6v4

    zrs6v4
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    Maybe this will help to understand my point. God the Spirit acts upon men to cause them to do righteous acts. When one is saved they are a full work of the Spirit which causes them to act in faith. This results in them carrying out the good deeds God has ordained exactly as planned. The righteous God had foreknown to be conformed to the image of the Son, so before time God had given himself to the sinner by grace.

    Now, on the other hand, before time God had also ordained the wicked man to be cursed in his own wicked ways, such as Judas. Now God always knew that Judas was going to betray Jesus and this was in fact to meet God's will perfectly as all events do. So my point is that it makes sense for God to give Himself and work out all things good through the elect, but I just cant see how he works in the non-elect. How can God> not tempt, not lead into evil, or do any evil in a non-elect person and still have them do His will. This to me must only be done with a knowledge by God, right? God cant actually lead the non-elect into evil traps. The only logical answer is that God only knows what they will do, which seems to refute my reformed theology.. Unless you can explain


    Sorry, no not at all. I understand what you have stated. What I actually meant was mankind as a whole. Such as the following events-

    1. before Noah people gradually got worse in time up to a point where God destroyed them.

    2. After God destroyed them people started getting worse again and straying from God. Babel etc..

    3. Every time the Israelites were delivered by God throughout the years, they always began to turn to their own ways.

    So this leads me to conclude that without God we always will be lost and do evil things not looking to God (total depravity). This also leads me to ask the OP question again- Do we explain mankind as a whole getting more rebellious as time goes on an effect from God letting them go into corruption as their nature calls for? So the ultimate reason for mankind falling away is because God has not worked within them, not that He is required to by any means... IOW- the reason people are straying and things are so bad today is because God has chosen not to regenerate large numbers which results in chaos. Again not that it is God's fault, but simply because He has chosen to let things be that way for his purpose.
     
  6. zrs6v4

    zrs6v4
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    How can you say people are elected to salvation, and not elected to serve the full penalty of sin- Hell?

    If God created a people to save and experience His rich love and grace, He also must have created a people to not experience His love and grace...

    That doesnt make any sense to me. This is where my #1 question came from. If God totally causes all good to happen in accordance of His will through the elect, He must also cause all other things to happen for His will. If He doesnt sit back and give the elect a choice, then he must not sit back and give the non-elect a choice. we know how He causes the elect to do His will; through regeneration and His Spirit, but I have no idea how He causes the non-elect to act to his will, biblically. maybe that will make my question more clear.

    So as I said the reformed view for the non-elect is like the Arminians view of the elect... God simply sits back and allows them to choose their way into corruption. The problem is that this doesnt settle right for me, unless I am misunderstood.
     
    #6 zrs6v4, Apr 3, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2009
  7. OldRegular

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    I believe it is somewhat presumptuous of you to tell God what He must. You want to make God the Author of sin.

    Because of the rebellion of Adam all mankind is in a fallen state and will not respond to God. The Apostle Paul states: 1Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    Jesus Christ states this same truth thus:

    John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
    John 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

    I like the way John Dagg states the response of fallen mankind to God, essentially a commentary on the above Scripture:

    “Every proposed method of salvation that leaves the issue dependent on human volition is defective. It has always been found that men will not come to Christ for life. The Gospel is preached to every creature; but all, with one consent, ask to be excused. The will of man must be changed; and this change the will cannot itself effect. Divine grace must here interpose. Unless God works in the sinner to will and to do, salvation is impossible.”

    We see then that if it were not for election no one would be saved. John I. Packer, an Anglican theologian, writes about election as follows [Concise Theology , page 149; see also the New Geneva Bible, page 1784]

    “The biblical doctrine of election is that before Creation God selected out of the human race, foreseen as fallen, those whom He would redeem, bring to faith, justify, and glorify in and through Jesus Christ. This divine choice is an expression of free and sovereign grace, for it is unconstrained and unconditional, not merited by anything in those who are its subjects. God owes sinners no mercy of any kind, only condemnation; so it is a wonder, and a matter for endless praise, that He should choose to save any of us; and doubly so when His choice involved the giving of His own Son to suffer as sin bearer for the elect.”

    Those who are not of the elect God leaves in their fallen state. Since man is a sinner it is not necessary that God take any action relative to the sin of fallen mankind; it is their nature to sin.
     
  8. zrs6v4

    zrs6v4
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    #1 wow, you are misunderstanding me 100%
    #2 I understand the doctrine of election decently and happen to hold it myself
    #3 I am not "trying to tell God what He Must, making Him the author of sin"
    #4 I am just trying to understand how God works in the non-elect for His will, it doesnt make any sense to me yet, if you dont mind, Im learning
     
  9. zrs6v4

    zrs6v4
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    Im going to word my question again-

    Somehow God sovereignly ordained Judas to betray Jesus without being part of it, and not just looking into future choices he will make? Is there an explanation or opinion?

    - If my question doesnt make sense please tell me.

    - If you think this is something that is not to be known, just say it... hah and I'm cool with that
     
    #9 zrs6v4, Apr 4, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2009
  10. zrs6v4

    zrs6v4
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    Here is the best way I have heard it explained to me so far from a friend>

    Proverbs 21:1-2

    1The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
    he turns it wherever he will.
    2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
    but the LORD weighs the heart.

    Think of water running down a hill.
    God isn't making the sinner walk in unrighteousness but He steers or diverts the persons own reaction to their own inclination.
     

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