Romans 9 and election - another take

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Matt Black, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    I have often seen this chapter, and various verses therein, cited by Calvinists as justification for limited atonement and election. The arguments run as follows, typically:-

    1. 9:13 - God loves some people but hates others
    2. 9:14, 19-21 - that's not injustice; God's ways are higher than ours and who are we to question Him?
    3. 9:15, 17-18 - God shows mercy to some and hardens the hearts of others to destruction
    4. 9:16 - God does all the running
    5. 9:21-23 - some of us God creates for mercy and others for destruction.

    I would however propose an alternative interpretation of these Scriptures, taken in particular on the entire context of chs 9-11, which is Paul talking about the condition of Israel, relative to the Gentiles :-

    1. Paul is saying in these chs that the election/ salvation/ whatever term you want to use here offered to Israel under the old covenant has been suspended to the point of their rejection, albeit only temporarily while salvation/ 'grafting in' can be brought to the Gentiles.

    2. Therefore, for the moment at least, the roles are reversed - the Gentiles are favoured whilst Israel is temporarily rejected

    3. 9:13 - previously, Israel was loved and the Gentiles rejected

    4. 9:14-15, 18-20; 11:28 - the situation is now reversed and Israel is hardened of heart; there is no injustice in this as it is for God's greater purpose which is set out later

    5. 9:16, 32 - salvation is not dependent on the Jews' sacrifices and other 'works' but on God's mercy and faith

    6. 9:21-22 - the vessels of anger are not the Jews or the non-elect but the Jews' continuing vain sacrifices which are doomed to destruction

    7. 11:1, 26-29 - but all Israel will be saved in the fullness of time, in addition to the (currently) favoured Gentiles

    8. 11:32 - those who have been elected to disobedience (formerly Gentiles, currently Jews) will receive God's mercy, that's everyone, folks!

    Comments?

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  2. Ray Berrian

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    Jacob was the devious man and yet he was chosen by God to be the progenitor of the people leading to the birth of our Lord. In this sense Esau was put down while Jacob was elevated to the highest of honors.

    It is a real far stretch to say that the Lord damned Esau and yet saved the younger brother. The Lord does not favor one sinner over another.

    God did use Pharaoh who had already made his choice against the Lord, to show Jehovah's superior might and power over that of a mere man who happened to be in a high political office. 'Even for this purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show My power in thee, and that My Name might be declared throughout all the earth. We still learn this lesson today that the Lord reigns over all the human affairs of humankind.

    You can check but I do not find the word, elect or Election even one time in this entire chapter.

    God's sovereignty over the affairs of humankind is light years away from an autocratic Divine election to Heaven for the favored ones, and Hell for those unfortunate ones. This view is uncharacteristic of God who is supposed to be the Divine Being of justice and infinite love.

    He gives all sinners time to believe or to reject His perfect plan of atonement for all people, [I John 2:2] in that which we call time.

    Romans 1:21 speaks of sinners who apparently had truly known the living God, and clearly did not know all of the theology that we understand. What does it say? 'Because when they knew God, they did not glorify Him.' Are there those who do not know Jesus who know God and walk in all the light that they have at the moment? Will the Lord save them through His atonement?
     
  3. Skandelon

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    Matt,

    It sounds like your going down the road I went down several years ago. I was a Calvinists that interpreted Romans 9 in the way you presented first, but soon came to understand your second (and IMO a much more consistant interpretation). You seem that you may be taking it to a Universal conclusion (that everyone will be saved), which I do not, but you're on the right track. [​IMG]

    Notice that Romans 11:32 uses the subjunctive indicating that they "MIGHT" be saved, not that they certainly will.

    Blessings.
     
  4. BobRyan

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    In Romans 9 we find that God endures with patience and mercy - the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction.

    In Romans 2 we find that it is this goodness of God that leads the lost to repentance.

    In Romans 9 - it is BOTH the chose Israel - and the non-Chosen gentile that are included as vessels of mercy.

    Never does Paul make the arugment in Romans 9 that the gentiles of the OT were never given the Gospel or salvation - NOR does He state that the Jews of the NT are not given that same Gospel offer of eternal life. To the contrary he argues that he himself is a Jew as PROOF that the Jews are still subjec to the Gospel good news offer of salvation.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  5. GeneMBridges

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    In Romans 9 alone, there are 25 individuals being spoken of as having been elected. If Romans 9 is about the election of nations, then what about the individuals?
    All nations are made up of individuals.

    Nobody denies that the text is talking about the election of nations. What we assert is that it must also include the election of individuals. For one thing, all nations are made up of individuals. If we take the argument regarding election of nations to its logical end, Matt, then we must conclude, based on the Arminian view that election is general and not specific, that all persons are elected, and thus universalism is true.

    The question the Calvinist asks is why did God choose Jacob and not Esau. Remember, the Arminian says that God elects individually because of the faith of the individual. The Calvinist says, no. God justifies on that basis. He does not elect on that basis. Election happens in the mind of God before creation itself. Calling is where election passes into space and time.

    God, therefore, in the Arminian view, elects groups, not individuals. Okay, then on that basis, He also predestines all, calls all, justifies all, and glorifies all. That is universalism, if there is no individual election going on at all.

    The Arminian replies that not all are justified. True, but that means not all are foreknown, and, in your view, that can not be, because you affirm election is based on foreseen faith and is, therefore conditional, and you affirm that ALL are foreknown. However, you deny election is individual and you say God foreknows all, which supports universalism,not particularism. This is a major flaw in your theology.

    Let's look exegetically...

    If God elects nations only, then on what basis is election? Foreseen faith? Can't be, because if Jacob and Esau only represent nations, they were still elected from before their birth before they had done right or wrong as individuals. Clearly, the election of nations is not based on anything foreseen, even faith, because Paul clearly makes use of the time of the election in God's mind. What was it about Jacob that led God to choose Him? Was it his honesty? No, couldn't be. He deceived Isaac. Was it his selflessness? No, couldn't be, he was angry at his children for murdering Dinah's rapist and his people, not because it offended God, but because of how it made him look in the eyes of the Canaanites?


    God can and does do what He wants with His creation and this includes individuals. He raised up Jacob and Esau according to His own plan and will, and it had nothing to do with their deeds. That's the point that Paul is trying to make here. We acknowledge that this is about the election of nations, but the point Paul is making is that no nation is elected apart from the election of specific individuals.

    (SINGULAR AND PRESENT) 1:1 The oracle of the word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi. 2"I have loved you," says the Lord. But you say, "How hast Thou loved us?" "Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?" declares the Lord. "Yet I have loved Jacob; 3but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation, and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness."
    (PLURAL AND FUTURE) 4Though Edom says, "We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins"; thus says the Lord of hosts, "They may build, but I will tear down; and men will call them the wicked territory, and the people toward whom the Lord is indignant forever." 5And your eyes will see this and you will say, "The Lord be magnified beyond the border of Israel!"


    It is from the section of scripture that is of singular that Paul quotes, not the plural, not the area representing the nations specifically. He references Esau as Jacob's brother, not a brother nation.

    Did Sarah represent a nation? Sarah was elected to have a son, v. 9, "For this is a word of promise: “At this time I will come, and Sarah shall have a son.”

    What about Moses, what nation does he represent? V. 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."

    God declares to Moses that He has mercy and compassion on whom (SINGULAR) He wants. The word "whom" here is in the singular, not the plural, designating individuals. Therefore, God is declaring that He displays His mercy and compassion upon the individuals of His choice.

    What about Pharaoh? Did he represent a nation? No, nowhere is that even in the text. If what is true of Jacob and Esau is true in your view, Matt, it must also be true of Pharaoh.

    V. 17, "For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, 'For this very purpose I raised you (SINGULAR) up, to demonstrate My power in you (SINGULAR), and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.'"

    V. 18, "So then He has mercy on whom (SINGULAR) He desires, and He hardens whom (SINGULAR) He desires.

    Since election is "The act of God’s free will by which before the foundation of the world he decreed his blessings to certain persons," we see that Paul here says that God is merciful to whom (SINGULAR) He wants. This definitely teaches us that God elects for blessings those whom He desires.

    If this is only about the election of nations, what nations do the 23 others in Romans 9 represent? Why does Paul use singular, not plural forms when he speaks of all of them? If it is about GROUPS, the forms should be PLURAL, not singular. Also, if you say election is general and not specific, you end up with universalism or a God that does not foreknow all things. You also have to accept the whole counsel of the text that specifically deals with the ground of election not being contingent on foreseen faith or righteousness.

    Another problem is the objection about God being unjust. If the Arminian exegesis is correct, it can not properly account for the objection about God's justice. If this is about the election of nations only and not individuals, you yourselves declare that is congruent and is not unjust. (In fact, you're all famous here for saying that individual election as articulated by the Reformed position is unjust). However, Paul now raises an objection to his position about it seeming unjust. If your exegesis is correct, there is no reason for the objection. Ah, you say, the objection is somehow rhetorical as if an unbeliever was saying God was unjust in doing this. However, if that is true, then Paul is an unbeliever in this context, because he says, "What shall WE say then..." You say it has something to do with foreseen faith or lack of it...however, where does this text say anything about foreseen faith being the basis of election? It doesn't, it negates such an idea altogether.

    Also, if this text is about the election of nations, not individuals, then it would be an exceptional use of the word "skeuos." "Skeuos," is Greek word for vessels. It is used of containers of an ordinary household use. When used of people, however, it refers to individuals, not groups. Acts 9:15, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument (skeuos) of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel.”
    1 Thess. 4:4, “that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor." This usage means either ‘own body’ or possibly ‘wife.’ Again, it is speaking of individuals.
    2 Tim. 2:21, “Therefore, if a man cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work."
    1 Pet. 3:7, “You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman...” Even though husbands is plural, vessel is singular.

    Also, what about Vs. 1-5? The problem is that the Jews, AS A NATION, rejected the Lord. Paul is grieving for them, but he is concerned that as individuals, some, but not all of them are eternally condemned. First, of all, if you say that Romans 9 is about the election of individuals, you must logically conclude that the reverse is true, because there is a flip side to election called reprobation. Paul is actually concerned about reprobation, not election. He begins HERE. Now, do you believe that God elects groups AND He reprobates groups too? How is that any different than the Calvinist position on individual election? You can not have one without having the other, especially in light of Paul's overall concern. Paul is concerned about the reliability of God's Word, because he has made these great promises to them that seem to indicate they will all be saved. (In fact, that is exactly what the Jews thought). He is despondent and wishes he himself accursed, because he so loves his people. He is concerned about their eternal desstinies, not historical roles (which is what the nations view says). The use of the term "chidlren of promise" is always used by Paul in reference to the salvation of persons, not historical roles.

    Verses 6 - 13 supply the solution to the problem. Not all who are Jews are of the House of Israel. Eternal destiny is not a matter of historical role or membership in a group, it is an individual matter. If the idea that nations only are in view is true here, then it can only be said that all Christians are elect. It would also be true that not all Christians will be saved. However, in light of the Ordu Salutis in 8:28 - 30, then only some Christians are foreknown and only some are predestined as well, which contradicts what most Arminians believe about foreknowledge and predestination, namely that ALL are foreknown and all Christians are predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ. Election and security/perseverance are also separate matters. Election, in the Arminian view is universal, security is individual. Why? If election is general, then perseverance should be corporate. Also, if election is corporate, by definition ALL Christians are elect, but to be true to the problem presented and solved in Romans 9, all Christians can not be elect if the Arminian view is true. That leads to either Open Theism or universalism, not particularism. Besides, perseverance is not even in view here, and that is what the Arminians says can be lost...all Arminians also believe all Christians are all elect. This passage is about election of nations, but it is also about the election of individuals, and the election of nations is predicated on the election of literal individuals. Jacob and Esau are not metaphors for nations here, if so, then so are Moses, Abraham, Pharaoh, Isaac, Rebekah, Sarah, and many others.
     
  6. ScottEmerson

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    Okay, I'm counting the number of individuals mentioned in Romans 9:

    Abraham
    Isaac
    Sarah
    Jacob
    Esau
    Moses
    Hosea (who is quoted)
    Pharaoh
    Isaiah (who is quoted)

    How in the world do you get 25 individuals spoken as being elected? Would you care to enumerate?
     
  7. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi GeneMBridges;
    There are 10 people mentioned in Romans 9 including Christ. And election is no longer of a nation it is of the entire world. The Jews were already elected through the seed of Jacob. Christ came unto His own and they rejected Him. At that point Salvation had come unto the Gentiles as a whole which meant the rest of the world.
    Not just nations anymore.
    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.

    Your still trying to understand the belief of Arminians, through the eyes of a Calvinist. It can't be done. I don't claim to be an Arminian because Arminians believe in Total Depravity. I do not. Election is not assurance that you'll be saved. It only means that it is possible. Your calling and election have to be made sure by the person.
    2Pe 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
    Predestination is not unalterable. If it were then God's plans would be greater than God. I find it disturbing that man can believe that God controls everything and in that same belief, Believes that a plan is resistant to God enough so to keep Him from changing that plan. God does Change His plans. Gen6:6-9 I don't believe God controls every single thing so that man is made to do what ever it is he does. I believe man has a will and was created this way because God wanted genuine Love from man. He wanted man to Love Him, willingly. There is no such thing as Love without it being from the heart, If from the heart it's an act of the will. If we were made to Love God why command it?
    May God Bless You with Light;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  8. Ray Berrian

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    Gene M. Bridges,

    You elevated the two men Jacob and Esau for our consideration.

    It is true that the Lord chose or elected to raise Jacob to a higher level of importance and dignity than his elder brother, Esau. This had nothing to do with so grave a matter as eternal salvation. In Malachi chapter one Esau is given the poorer land of Edom to live in and to raise his family lineage. None of his sons were ever included as one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

    Jacob was elevated so that his posterity led to the birth of our Lord. He was a chosen vessel used by God for this important purpose. Each brother was called to live a different purpose for God, and yet Dr. Merrill C. Tenney says about the two brothers that, 'Jacob and Esau were children of faith, as was their father {Hebrews 11:20} Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary, p. 398 right column.

    Some have called Hebrews chapter eleven "The Heroes of Faith Chapter;" do you think God made a mistake by including Esau in receiving the spiritual blessing coming from Jacob? When the Bible says that Jacob spoke to the brothers ' . . . concerning things to come,' he did not mean some events coming in their life span.

    When your pastor gives a closing benediction over his congregation that blessing only blesses believers, not the lost who might be or are yet in that building. Proof? John 3:18b,c tells us that God's condemnation or judgment rests on all who have refused Christ. This being a fact, if Esau were not saved the father would only have blessed the youngest son, Jacob.

    Hebrews 12:16 points to the fact of Esau being 'profane' and yet he was still circumcised as a covenant son of Israel. In some ways he was secular and unconsecrated to the Lord, but then Jacob was also a deceiver who took advantage of his older brother. If you spend days studying each person in Hebrews chapter twelve you will find that nearly all were very flawed people by way of sins, and yet they remained the people of God.

    At the end of the story of these men you remember that it was Esau who returned to make things right with Jacob and not Jacob returning to Esau to make things right between the brothers.

    Regards . . .
     
  9. Ray Berrian

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    No, God knows already the exact number of the elect. He does, however, give a free will to all sinners and people become elect only when they have a faith/trust in Jesus Christ as personal and only Savior. This being true God elects individuals into His family as sons and daughters of the living God. This is the Arminian perspective. :cool:
     
  10. nwells

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    To quote Matt:

    "1. 9:13 - God loves some people but hates others
    2. 9:14, 19-21 - that's not injustice; God's ways are higher than ours and who are we to question Him?"

    This is actually not what a person of the Augustinian / Calvinistic view would say

    They would say that God choosing to have mercy on one and not on another is not injustice.

    That is not that God's ways are higher than ours (they are, but in this situation Paul is using logic) but that mercy is not injustice and justice is not injustice.

    Let me explain by way of a short story:
    There are ten murderers on death row. They are set to be executed tomorrow. Today the governor pardons two of them and they are set free. The other eight are executed.

    Was the governor unjust in having the eight killed (providing the law said they deserved to die)?

    No he wasn't.

    Was he unjust in pardoning only two of the ten (providing the law gives him the right to pardon)?

    No. It wasn't unjust it was non-justice or what we would call mercy.

    Mercy is not evil, it is good. Mercy has no injustice in it - but at the same time it is not justice (for the two murderers deserved to die).

    So God can, just like that governor - choose to have mercy on some and give justice to others and He is in no way unjust. This is because God views men as fallen - all are sinners and therefore by God’s law, deserve to die. But God is free to pardon and give mercy to whomever He pleases being fully just in all His actions.

    Does that make sense?
     
  11. nwells

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    To quote Ray:

    "He does, however, give a free will to all sinners"

    This is a major point in the Armenian camp - that Calvinism negates free will.

    But really this discussion is not about free will. Because most people would agree that our freedom is limited (I did not choose where I was going to be born or if I was to be born with godly parents who taught me the Word and through them I came to Christ - neither did Paul choose to see Christ on the way to Damascus [if God did that to Paul, why not to others? Is that fair? I am being facetious by the way]).

    But this is really a discussion about the ability of man to come to Christ.

    "For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. " (Romans 8:6-9, NASB95)

    Can a dead person walk? Does a dead person have any say whether or not he breathes again?

    No - dead people can't do anything to get their life back. They are dead!

    So it is with us sinners:

    Ephesians 2:4-5 (NASB95)
    "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)"

    Paul says that those in the flesh are unable to please God - they are hostile and have no ability to follow and do what He asks of them.

    Is not believing in Christ following after what God has said - is that not a good thing? Is it a good thing for someone to believe in the Lord Jesus?
    Yes - it is very good.

    But being dead - no man is able, no man has the ability to choose Christ because of our nature - dead in sin.

    That is why Jesus says:
    John 6:29 (NASB95)
    "Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”"

    It is the work of God and not of men to believe.

    Faith is a gift - not of ourselves (Eph 2:8-9).

    So then, if God does not make us alive - choose those who will come to Him - then none would ever come because we are unable to do so.

    Did you choose when you were born? No, you didn't. We must be born again - and it is by God we are born - we do not choose to be born, God chooses.

    And yet in the mystery of it all - when God chooses one to come to Him it is made their desire to believe - for they are given to see the beauty of Christ and long for nothing else.

    Free will is to do that which you most desire at the current moment in time - but God works so that we who are chosen desire Him and choose Him - but it is He who was the first causeation - and we are secondary - No man can come to God without God first giving the ability, that is raising him from the dead so that that man will come (once risen, once born again you are not dead - you cannot die for the life is from the Father and we will never die, that is, all those who are born again will go to be with their Father).
     
  12. Matt Black

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    Gene, I think the point I was making re Esau and Jacob was that Jacob had been elected to salvation and Esau damned under the Old Covenant but now Esau could also be saved; to Christians of a Jewish origin this was scandalous, unfair and unjust - Paul is saying in response to that complaint, "tough - God can do what He likes".

    Nwells - the analogy based on my exegesis of the passage is that the two pardoned men were Jews and were pardoned because they were Jews and then the governor pardons the other 8 as well, the 2 Jews protest at this and the governor says "who are you to question me?"

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  13. nwells

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    Matt:

    Do I understand you correctly to say that you believe that everyone is going to heaven?

    Or did I miss something when you said that all 10 were pardoned...

    -Nathan

    [ November 29, 2004, 07:10 AM: Message edited by: nwells ]
     
  14. Matt Black

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    No, I'm not a Universalist, despite what you and Skandelon may think ;) ; I believe that those who freely and knowingly reject Christ and His Cross will be damned. If for example, one of the ten had said, a la Gary Gilmore, "thanks, but no thanks, I'd rather be executed as I can't live with what I've done", then he'd've been executed.

    "Jacob I have loved and Esau I have hated" is the basis for my assertion concerning these brothers; Jacob as the father of the Jews was selected by God for salvation, Esau, initially at least, was rejected.

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  15. nwells

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    I didn't think so, but I wasn't sure what you meant by all ten being pardoned [​IMG]

    So I guess my question comes down to this:

    How is it that you feel Esau had a choice whether he would follow God or not? Or is he a special case?

    Hebrews 12:15-17 (NASB95)
    "See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears."

    This verse in Hebrews gives the blame to Esau. Where it properly falls - but I would say he was not free to chose to follow God for God did not grant him the ability to do so.

    Because He lives,
    Nathan

    P.S.

    You said:
    "I believe that those who freely and knowingly reject Christ and His Cross will be damned"

    What of those who live and die without knowledge of Christ (like in the jungle?)?
     
  16. Matt Black

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    Agreed with your last sentence, particularly the bit about him being 'not free' - with the proviso that that fetter lasts until the Cross; that I believe is the thrust of Rom 9-11

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  17. nwells

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    If all are free because of Christ what is this that Jesus is speaking of?

    John 6:44 (NASB95)
    "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."

    John 6:63-65 (NASB95)
    "“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing ; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.
    And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”"

    What does it mean to "draw" and "grant"?
    Why does Jesus say it is the Spirit who gives life?

    Many would talk about the word "draw" (in John 6:44) that it means persuade or woo but something interesting:
    It appears other times the in the New Testament and it is sometimes translated "dragged"

    John 6:44 ... Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him ...
    John 12:32 ... am lifted up from the earth , will draw all men to Myself .” But He ...
    John 18:10 ...Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, ...
    John 21:6 ...cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number ...
    John 21:11 ... now caught .” Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large ...
    Acts 16:19 ...they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the ...
    Acts 21:30 ...together, and taking hold of Paul they dragged him out of the temple, and immediately ...
    James 2:6 ...rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court? Do ...


    It is translated draw as one would draw water out of a well - but you do not presuade water to come out of a well, you draw it, you compell it to come out by force.

    As is the definition of the word:
    helkō; a prim. vb.; to drag:— drag(1), dragged(2), draw(1), draws(1), drew(2), haul(1).

    Thomas, R. L. (1998, c1981, c1998). New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek dictionaries : Updated edition (electronic ed.). Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc.
     
  18. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    I don't think I've ever denied that the Spirit draws us to Christ; where I take issue is the idea that the Spirit is selective in whom He draws

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  19. nwells

    nwells
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    Right - you didn't.

    What I was trying to bring across is that I believe Scripture teaches that God is selective in drawing people - because if He draws - the drawing results in that person coming to Christ.

    God does not "grant" everyone to come to Him - otherwise Jesus would not have said:

    John 6:64-65 (NASB95)
    “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.
    And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”

    They did not believe because the Father did not grant it to them to believe.

    Because He lives,
    Nathan
     
  20. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    I'm afraid that's where you and I part company. You see, I don't believe that God is selective in that way anymore and that that is what Rom 9-11 is all about.

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     

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