Romans 9

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Chris Temple, Jan 10, 2002.

  1. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
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    It has been suggested to me that Romans 9 has been avoided in the Calvinism/Arminianism debate and debate is not allowed on the "Seeker" thread. Please use this thread to discuss this particular chapter.

    In that thread, I said this:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I agree, KayDee, it is vey clear.

    First, let me say that even if Romans 9 taught “corporate election” (which it doesn’t) personal election is richly taught throughout all of the entire Scripture. But Romans 9 is teaching personal election to salvation.

    Romans 9:1-33 (ESV)
    I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— [2] that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. [3] For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. [4] They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. [5] To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.


    Here Paul has wished for his own reprobation – an anti-election – if only his fellow Jews would be called to believe in Christ. his emphasis on personal reprobation sets up his argument for personal election.


    [6] But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, [7] and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named." [8] This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. [9] For this is what the promise said: "About this time next year I will return and Sarah shall have a son." [10] And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, [11] though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call— [12] she was told, "The older will serve the younger." [13] As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."


    Paul says the word of God has not failed. Why? Because the purpose of the word is not to save a nation but to save all the elect from all nations; a people out of a people. “For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel” – all of the nation is not elect; there are individuals from within Israel who are elect. “the children of the promise are counted as offspring” – those whom God has chosen – personally and individually – to be saved. He compares individuals – Jacob and Esau – and individual works not yet done, either good or bad, to highlight the election of persons, not nations.


    [14] What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! [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." [16] So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. [17] For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." [18] So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.


    Paul emphasizes that God is merciful to whomever he chooses. How does he highlight this? by using Pharaoh, one man, as an example of a reprobate. Pharaoh was raised up to power solely for the purpose of showing God’s power and glory.



    [19] You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" [20] But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" [21] Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? [22] What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, [23] in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— [24] even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?


    The response of objection to Paul is from one hypothetical man: Why does he still find fault [with me?] Paul’s answer is direct and singular:” who are you, O man, to answer back to God?” A Potter makes one vessel at a time, each for a purpose. He then discusses “vessels” of wrath and “vessels” of mercy; individuals which make up each group. His emphasis of “us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles” clearly refers to individuals elected out of larger groups.


    [25] As indeed he says in Hosea,
    "Those who were not my people I will call 'my people,'
    and her who was not beloved I will call 'beloved.' "
    [26] "And in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,'
    there they will be called 'sons of the living God.' "
    [27] And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, [28] for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay." [29] And as Isaiah predicted,
    "If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring,
    we would have been like Sodom
    and become like Gomorrah."


    Again, only a presuppositional bias against individual election would find anything here that speaks against individuals elected out of “Those who were not my people”, and individuals elected to the remnant of Israel.


    [30] What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; [31] but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. [32] Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, [33] as it is written,
    "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;
    and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."


    All Gentiles have not attained salvation; all Israel is not lost. Those who have faith are saved by grace. “whoever believes in him will not be put to shame”. That is not corporate belief, but election.
    After saying all that, the corporate election argument really refutes itself, for who are corporations made up of if not individuals? It does not alleviate their dilemma: if a nation were elect, it would still mean all individuals within that specific nation were elect, because they were individuals within that nation and others aren’t, and so the “problem” of individual election remains. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
     
  2. Eric B

    Eric B
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    My response was:
    quote:
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    Here Paul has wished for his own reprobation – an anti-election – if only his fellow Jews would be called to believe in Christ. his emphasis on personal reprobation sets up his argument for personal election.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    But the fact that some Jews would be saved shows then that this must be speaking of Israel as a whole. He wished he could die for the people as a whole, which do comprise individuals, but still, the focus of the whole passage is that Israel as a whole was hardened, and then punished, and Pharaoh and Esau were just individual examples of God's choices.


    quote:
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    “For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel” – all of the nation is not elect; there are individuals from within Israel who are elect. “the children of the promise are counted as offspring”
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    I think the point here was that Israelites were counting their inheritance as making them right with God, when many were not even following Him in faith. The whole thrust of much of Paul's writing is against this. To try to add "personal election" to this is a great stretch. Especially when reprobation is justified by "but they're only receiving their just punishment", but the very Esau example being cited says that they were not chosen because of any evil or good they did. So you can't use this to teach personal election to condemnation for sin.

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Paul emphasizes that God is merciful to whomever he chooses. How does he highlight this? by using Pharaoh, one man, as an example of a reprobate. Pharaoh was raised up to power solely for the purpose of showing God’s power and glory.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After saying all that, the corporate election argument really refutes itself, for who are corporations made up of if not individuals? It does not alleviate their dilemma: if a nation were elect, it would still mean all individuals within that specific nation were elect, because they were individuals within that nation and others aren’t, and so the “problem” of individual election remains.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You're still confusing eternal election with the temporal points being made in the passage. It's not election to hell that is being taught here. As I say on my page:
    Calvinists I spoke to pointed to the verse "they are not all Israel, which are of Israel" and "children of the flesh, not children of God" (v.6ff) to try to prove this is talking about the "elect" and "non-elect" within Israel. But the distinction between those who obtained salvation and those who didn't was whether they sought it by faith or works. Verses 6 and 8 are simply supporting this, proving that faith is what makes one the faithful remnant, not physical inheritance. This is why Isaac is mentioned. All of the Jews were Isaac's seed also, but where Abraham represented the physical inheritance, Isaac was the child of promise through whom Christ came. Lest one says "but faith was granted through 'election'", the passage pictures people having sought salvation. They did have choice. The whole debate here was "faith" versus "inheritance", NOT "election" versus "free will"! And actually, if the chapter was talking about eternal destruction, then Calvinists would be contradicting themselves, because the whole basis behind their philosophy is that man is not "neutral", (as opposition to this doctrine is said to assume) but wicked, so God is [passively] allowing some to reap the end result of their wickedness while saving others. On this point, some even try to deny belief in double predestination! But Romans 9, taken this way does put man in a neutral position (as did the federal headship theory). This actually becomes one of the biggest strikes against Calvinism! The entire analogy of "clay vessels" conveys NEUTRALITY! A lump of clay is quite neutral. The items made from this neutral material are then assigned for "good" or "bad" purposes ("honor"/"mercy" or "wrath"/"destruction"), for reasons totally outside themselves (the oft cited v.16: "not of him who wills [the vessel]...but of God who shows mercy" which determines whether they receive "mercy" or "destruction"). The same with the Esau example. That's what the passage says. YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS!!! One or the other! But if man is not neutral then this passage cannot be describing [individual] man in the sense that he is a fallen sinner. It is describing a neutral aspect of humanity, namely a particular group that was "raised" by God (chosen) at first (and then a couple of individuals are used as examples), but now punished while the another are now "chosen" to fulfil the plan of God. [i.e. "vessels of honor"] Also, is this passage teaching that God "raises" each unsaved person to send him to Hell "in order to make known the riches of his glory" to the saved and "proclaim His name throughout the earth"? NO, we don't even know who will finally end up in Hell here on earth, so that wouldn't "show" anybody anything, so this passage must be a specific earthly example of God's purpose. So one cannot say "they were simply chosen to receive the eternal destruction they deserved for their sins", but rather they were chosen by God out of sinful man as an earthly example for God's glory. The whole focus in this passage is to teach us "the riches of His glory"-- that salvation is not of the keeping of the Law, in which Israel failed. Pharaoh was an individual example-- a sort of prototype of God's act of "raising" and "hardening" Israel in this age.


    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    First, let me say that even if Romans 9 taught “corporate election” (which it doesn’t) personal election is richly taught throughout all of the entire Scripture.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    So even if "personal election" was taught elesewhere, you cannot keep using this chapter to silence everyone who questions the absurd conclusions of the doctrine, especially when Matt. 23:37, and especially Ezekiel 33:11 teach that God gets no pleasure out of the death of the wicked, as this reading of Romans boldly claims; and Hell was made for willfully rebellious angels (Matt.25:41), which rules out a past eternal "decree" of indivudual men being sentenced there because then it would have been "made for" them too.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> The response of objection to Paul is from one hypothetical man: Why does he still find fault [with me?] Paul’s answer is direct and singular:” who are you, O man, to answer back to God?” A Potter makes one vessel at a time, each for a purpose. He then discusses “vessels” of wrath and “vessels” of mercy; individuals which make up each group. His emphasis of “us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles” clearly refers to individuals elected out of larger groups. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    We must ask &lt;i&gt;who&lt;/i&gt; would ask Paul such a question? One of the "non-elect"? But who can know now that they are ultimately non-elect? Or is it Just any arbitrary listener who happens not to like God's election process? No, the Jews saw their national identity (physical inheritance) as an extension of themselves. It was everything to them. So to suggest they were no longer "chosen" in the sense they were used to was a great affront to them. But the entire Gospel is showing that "chosen" groups one had no choice belonging to did not solve the problem of sin, and thus could not save. It was their stubborness that prevented them from admitting this (which meant that they too were sinners as much as they tried to keep the Law), so then they were hardened along with the rest of them, just like Romans 1:24 and 2 Thess.2:10-12. (not because He "decreed" them to be initially stubborn in the first place). Also, "vessels" is like a plural unity in this case-- Israel consists of individual "vessels" as all creatures can be likened to vessels, but Israel as a whole was the "vessel", as shown in Jer. 18:4-6ff & 25:34 which is the very passage Paul is most likely drawing upon here.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Again, only a presuppositional bias against individual election would find anything here that speaks against individuals elected out of “Those who were not my people”, and individuals elected to the remnant of Israel <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This still looks like it is focusing on the groups. Before, one whole group was chosen and another was left out, once again, for earthly purposes, but now He is turning to the other group, and the former group as a whole is being rejected. Some in that former group could still believe and be saved, though. Only a presuppositional bias would try to read election to Hell in this.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>All Gentiles have not attained salvation; all Israel is not lost. Those who have faith are saved by grace. “whoever believes in him will not be put to shame”. That is not corporate belief, but election.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes, the first statement is quite true. But once again, the passage is discussing groups that did not pursue righteousness but found it, or who did try to pursue it through the Law but didn't. Since every single Israelite was not lost, this must be talking about the group as a whole. The message of the New Covenant is that it is no longer the Law or physical inheritance, but faith, and neither some luck of the draw you could do nothing about, but in believing.
     
  3. KayDee

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    This is going to be difficult to do with all these different quotes so I think I’ll ask one question at a time to avoid confusing myself ;).

    Eric said:
    “But the fact that some Jews would be saved shows then that this must be speaking of Israel as a whole.”

    I’m sorry but I don’t see how the fact that some Jews would be saved, shows that he must be speaking of Israel as a whole. It would seem to me it would show just the opposite. Could you explain.

    “the focus of the whole passage is that Israel as a whole was hardened, and then punished, and Pharaoh and Esau were just individual examples of God's choices.”

    I can’t see why that eliminates the idea that Paul is talking about personal election.

    In vs 15 & 16 it seems quite clear he is talking about individuals and then gives individuals as examples. but, even so, why couldn't he use the whole nation of Israel as an example of election? They certainly were chosen!! And, the human author of these very verses, is another perfect example. God certainly knocked him off of his camel to save him!!!

    In His Grace
    KayDee
     
  4. Eric B

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I’m sorry but I don’t see how the fact that some Jews would be saved, shows that he must be speaking of Israel as a whole. It would seem to me it would show just the opposite. Could you explain. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The "vessels of wrath" are always taken to mean individual souls being elected for Hell. But the context shows it is Israel that is being referred to, not "all the people who will be in Hell". Remeber, nobody then or now knows who will ultimately die in their sins, so there was no such "group" desingated. The only way you could take "vessels of wrath" to mean eternal destruction of individuals is to conclude then that it's every soul in Israel that is elected to Hell, (otherwise, if some could get saved, "they" wouldn't be called "vessels of wrath"?) But of course, this is not true so "vessels of wrath" must be a collective picture of Israel. They as a whole were "raised" to show God's purpose; every single individual who will go to Hell was not "raised" for that purpose.
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I can’t see why that eliminates the idea that Paul is talking about personal election. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Because as I have been saying, groups are being discussed. The whole point of the chapter is inheritance vs. faith, not free will vs. "election" to faith.
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> In vs 15 & 16 it seems quite clear he is talking about individuals and then gives individuals as examples. but, even so, why couldn't he use the whole nation of Israel as an example of election? They certainly were chosen!! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    The very fact that these verses say that the choice was not made based on any wrongdoing, but simply involved equally neutral clay "vessels". A group is a neutral entity, no better or worse than any other, while it is individuals who are not neutral, but are sinners and deserve punishment. You can't claim "they only receive the just punishment their sins deserve", and then turn around and rub everyone's face in "It was not because of any wrongdoing; it was just God's 'sovereign pleasure'". Israel is the focus of the whole passage, why would they be representing anything else (let alone, the non-elect)?
     
  5. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> But the context shows it is Israel that is being referred to, not "all the people who will be in Hell". <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Is Pharaoh the nation of Israel? Of course not. So your argument fails to account for the text. Additionally the text refers to individuals. This simply will not do justice to the text.,”


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The only way you could take "vessels of wrath" to mean eternal destruction of individuals is to conclude then that it's every soul in Israel that is elected to Hell, (otherwise, if some could get saved, "they" wouldn't be called "vessels of wrath"?)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Unless you take the text to refer to individuals, which it clearly seems to since it uses people’s names. Israel (the vessels of wrath) were raised to show God’s purpose so that the ones prepared beforehand for glory could get it? That doesn’t even make sense. Who are the ones prepared beforehand for glory? And what does “prepared beforehand for glory” mean?
     
  6. Eric B

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Is Pharaoh the nation of Israel? Of course not. So your argument fails to account for the text. Additionally the text refers to individuals. This simply will not do justice to the text.,” <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Individuals are used as examples of groups, like Abraham is, and Sarah and Hagar represent the covenants in Galatians. I thought this was commonly known. Pharaoh was hardened, just like Israel. That's why they're compared. (they all were stubborn and deserved hardening, but God obviously doesn't harden everyone who deserves it. Still, individuals in Israel, plus maybe even Pharaoh himself, AFTER God's "purpose" was fulfilled, could have come to faith.
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Israel (the vessels of wrath) were raised to show God’s purpose so that the ones prepared beforehand for glory could get it? That doesn’t even make sense. Who are the ones prepared beforehand for glory?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> The gentile nations, who would be responsive to the Gospel and make up most of the Church. Once again, not that every single gentile would be saved, but you have to remember, the Jews thought of everyone else as dogs and that God loved only them. Paul's whole message is breaking this down and showing that inheritance (or the Law) was not what saved, because the people were still wicked. The chapter, and in fact the whole book is about inheritance vs. faith, not free will vs election or an elect class in contrast to everyone who's going to Hell.
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>And what does “prepared beforehand for glory” mean? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    not individuals, but a class of people--whoever believes the Gospel. If you're not satisfied with this, than I still say that this would be the mystery element in salvation. No scripture ever asks us to take it beyond that. It seems people like the idea of others besides themselves being elected to Hell, and I notice there is never at least any remorse at the idea; only joy that it wasn't "me".
     
  7. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Individuals are used as examples of groups, like Abraham is, and Sarah and Hagar represent the covenants in Galatians. I thought this was commonly known. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes but people are used to represent groups that they are a part of. There is no way that Pharaoh can represent Israel. I agree that Pharaoh represents certain people—those who are vessels of wrath prepared for destruction.

    You say that those prepared beforehand for glory as “not individuals, but a class of people--whoever believes the Gospel.” Can you not see the problem? Prepared beforehand has nothing to do with a class of people. And even if it did, it would be a class of people. In other words, no matter what approach you try, you cannot get away from “prepared beforehand” and “people.”

    You say, If you're not satisfied with this, than I still say that this would be the mystery element in salvation. But there is not much a mystery at this point. The Scripture is pretty clear. I do agree that there is a mystery element in salvation. This is simply not it.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> It seems people like the idea of others besides themselves being elected to Hell, and I notice there is never at least any remorse at the idea; only joy that it wasn't "me".<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I have never remotely heard this kind of reasoning from anyone. There is great joy that “it wasn’t me.” There is great humility because it “should have been me.” There is no joy that it was someone else. The mystery is “why me and not them.” BTW, “elected” is never used in regard to hell. That is a misstatement.

    It doesn't appear to me that you have an exegetical handle on Rom 9. Obviously we do not have time nor space to deal with all the issues here. But it is worthy of great study.
     
  8. jpbrooks

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    Hello again, all.

    I hope that I am posting in the right section of this board now.
    The infidels forum has been temporarily shut down, so I just wanted to get this post in here.

    I hope that I don't take this discussion too far off topic, but the part of Romans 9 that is giving me a lot of sleepless nights is Paul's reply to his own ("devil's advocate") question that he raised in verse 19. It seems clear that it would be erroneous to question the morality of God's act of creating beings for the sole purpose of revealing His wrath on them, since in order to question God on moral grounds, one would have to appeal to a moral standard that transcends God, which cannot exist.
    But why should God's glory be the most important value to God? Why couldn't His love or His mercy be the highest value so that He would have been motivated to create a world in which everyone who sinned would eventually be redeemed before they died? I'm sure that there is ultimately a rational reason why God's glory should take precedence over all other considerations because God is ultimately a rational being. (If God were not ultimately a rational being, He could "possess" no intelligible attributes.)
    But I confess that I am perplexed by this problem.
    Does anyone here have any insight into this perplexing issue?

    -John Phillip Brooks

    [ January 13, 2002: Message edited by: jpbrooks ]
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    I am not sure what the perplexing issue is. God's is supreme in his plan because he is supreme. For anything other than God to be supreme would mean there is something greater than God (Heb 6:13). For God to give glory to anything other than himself would be for God to glorify something not worthy of glory(Isa 42:8; 48:11). Both are incompatible with what God has revealed about himself.

    [ January 14, 2002: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  10. jpbrooks

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    I am not sure what the perplexing issue is. God's is supreme in his plan because he is supreme. For anything other than God to be supreme would mean there is something greater than God (Heb 6:130. For God to give glory to anything other than himself would be for God to glorify something not worthy of glory(Isa 42:8; 48:11). Both are incompatible with what God has revealed about himself.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Thanks, Pastor Larry.


    Let me mull this over for a while, and if I come up with additional questions, I will be sure to post them here.
     
  11. jpbrooks

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    Sorry for the delay. I access the web via telephone and one of my relatives had to make a call.

    It seems (then), axiologically speaking, that in holding God's glory as the highest value, the bible is suggesting that God's glorification of Himself is normative; that is, that what He does in fact hold as the highest value is also what ought to be so held. So Romans 9 also appears to be (implicitly) suggesting that God "bridges" the moral "is/ought" gap. This seems to be the case because He (as Creator) is simultaneously, the highest value and the highest possible standard of character in existence. If this is correct, then this means that no act can be considered "good" according to God's moral standard unless the ultimate intention of the act is to glorify God. (And this has implications for salvation because acts done with the ultimate intention of "saving one's self" can't even count as "good" acts in the first place.)

    [ January 14, 2002: Message edited by: jpbrooks ]
     
  12. Chris Temple

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    JP:
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> It is profoundly wrong to turn the cross into a warrant for self-esteem as the root of mental health. If I stand before the love of God and do not feel a healthy, satisfying, freeing joy without turning that love into an echo of my self-esteem, then I am like a man who stands before the Grand Canyon and feels no satisfying wonder until he translates the canyon into a case for his own significance. That is not the presence of health, but bondage to self.

    The cure for this bondage is to see that God is the one being in the universe for whom self-exaltation is the most loving act. In exalting himself – Grand Canyon-like – he gets the glory and we get the joy. The greatest news in all the world is that there is no final conflict between my passion for joy and God's passion for his glory. The knot that ties these together is the truth that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. Jesus Christ died and rose again to forgive the treason of our souls, which have turned from savoring God to savoring self. In the cross of Christ, God rescues us from the house of mirrors and leads us out to the mountains and canyons of his majesty. Nothing satisfies us – or magnifies him – more. - John Piper <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    See the excellent articles by John Piper under God's Passion For His Glory especially The Goal of God's Love May Not Be What You Think It Is and Is God for us or for Himself?

    [ January 14, 2002: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  13. Eric B

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Yes but people are used to represent groups that they are a part of. There is no way that Pharaoh can represent Israel. I agree that Pharaoh represents certain people—those who are vessels of wrath prepared for destruction. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes Pharaoh can represent Israel. They both resisted God and were hardened. Also, once again, the "vessels" anlogy was drawn from Isaiah where it was referring to Israel.
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Prepared beforehand has nothing to do with a class of people. And even if it did, it would be a class of people. In other words, no matter what approach you try, you cannot get away from “prepared beforehand” and “people.” <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The idea is that the position the people are in, is what was "prepared beforehand". The individuals themselves still have choice whether they belong to the group (class) that was prepared beforehand for glory, or the one prepared for destruction. So an individual Israelite could transfer from a "vessel of wrath" to a "vessel of glory" by believing the gospel.
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> But there is not much a mystery at this point. The Scripture is pretty clear. I do agree that there is a mystery element in salvation. This is simply not it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    You admit a mystery only after insisting that the "non-elect" are created for destruction, and Romans 9:20 doesn't work in silencing everyone. There is enough evidence to show that people have real choice and that God gets no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked, so all the passages that seem to indicate personal election must be pointing to the mystery element in salvation, because a God who is not bound by time is interacting in a world of time. <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> There is great humility because it “should have been me.” There is no joy that it was someone else. The mystery is “why me and not them.” <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    I don't see this in people's attitudes, and the way they glibly try to force this doctrine on everyone, cram it into passages like Romans 9 and refuse to realize that other passsages speaking from God's eternal viewpoint are showing us a mystery, and this mystery is encountered before we can arrive at the conclusions people are making. Every time people show concern for the so-called "non-elect" they are rebuked for being so "emotive". It's like "don't worry about them, just praise God we are saved." Of course, it is easy for us to say that. Nobody at this point talks about "it should have been/why wasn't it me". And it does seem like something people want to believe in (because it somehow makes them feel "free"), and thus read it into, rather than out of the scriptures.
    To people like jpbrooks, I say read Romans 9 in its context, and you'll see that Paul is answering the obvious objection of Jews who thought they were saved by inheritance (the whole point of the passage) and had always murmered about what God was doing in/with them.
     
  14. Eric B

    Eric B
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> BTW, “elected” is never used in regard to hell. That is a misstatement.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    But stilly, you do believe people are elected to Hell. That's the whole point of the Rom.9 interpretation. If you're going to admit the Bible doesn't really support people being elcted to Hell, then all the other passages take to support personal election must be understood as pointing to the mystery.
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> It doesn't appear to me that you have an exegetical handle on Rom 9.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    No, I don't have an eisogetical strnglehold on it [​IMG]
     
  15. jpbrooks

    jpbrooks
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  16. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> But the fact that some Jews would be saved shows then that this must be speaking of Israel as a whole. He wished he could die for the people as a whole, which do comprise individuals, but still, the focus of the whole passage is that Israel as a whole was hardened, and then punished, and Pharaoh and Esau were just individual examples of God's choices. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Paul is speaking of Israel as a nation who in general has been hardened to the gospel and does not believe, even though elect individual Jews still are called and saved during this hardening. The very fact that God has hardened a nation of people, cutting them off from any chance of salvation, speaks to and of individual election (of which Paul has just expounded in chapter 8:28-39). That God will again call the remnant of Israel and graft them back into the tree of belief in Rom 11 is an answer to Paul’s prayer that all of Israel will not be lost.
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>You're still confusing eternal election with the temporal points being made in the passage. It's not election to hell that is being taught here. As I say on my page:
    Calvinists I spoke to pointed to the verse "they are not all Israel, which are of Israel" and "children of the flesh, not children of God" (v.6ff) to try to prove this is talking about the "elect" and "non-elect" within Israel. But the distinction between those who obtained salvation and those who didn't was whether they sought it by faith or works. Verses 6 and 8 are simply supporting this, proving that faith is what makes one the faithful remnant, not physical inheritance. This is why Isaac is mentioned. All of the Jews were Isaac's seed also, but where Abraham represented the physical inheritance, Isaac was the child of promise through whom Christ came. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Your statements here are in opposition to your earlier statements that Israel did not receive righteousness because they sought the fleshly line of Abraham rather than justification by faith. Faith alone receives imputed justification, not for temporal blessings but for spiritual. Jesus articulates this clearly in John 8, as Paul does here in Romans 4 – 11.
    As Piper says:
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> It is a remarkable and telling phenomenon that those who find no individual predestination to eternal life in Rom 9:6-13 cannot successfully explain the thread of Paul’s argument as it begins in Rom 9:1-5 and continues through the chapter. One looks in vain, for example, among these commentators for a cogent statement of how corporate election of two peoples (Israel and Edom) in Rom 9:12-13 fits together in Paul’s argument with the statement “Not all those from Israel are Israel” (9.6b). One also looks in vain for an explanation of how the pressing problem of eternally condemning Israelites in Rom 9.3 is ameliorated by Rom 9.6-13 if these verses refer to “not to salvation but to position and historical task”. I have found the impression unavoidable that doctrinal inclinations have severely limited exegetical effort and insight—not so much because the answers of these exegetes are not my own, but because of crucial exegetical questions that simply are not posed by them.” (Piper, John. The Justification of God.Baker 1993. page 58.) <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    In essence what Piper is saying that those who say that election is corporate are antithetical to Paul who says “Not all those from Israel are Israel”, for the corporate election advocate says “all Israel IS Israel”. What results is the necessity that every single Israelite must be saved under this statement, or else corporate election is negated. The other solution is to impose some earthly, temporal election only upon the text, which the text will not support. The chapter is clearly teaching personal election of individuals unto salvation.
     
  17. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Eric,

    One of the great difficulties we have here is getting to the text. I will only briefly comment.

    As for Pharaoh, he was hardened and then he resisted God. It is clear from the text in the OT as well as this passage. You cannot say, on the basis of the text, that Pharaoh initiated the hardening. It simply isn’t there. Even the immediately preceding verse says that it does not depend on man who runs or wills. Then the next verse says that God has mercy on whom he wants and hardens whom he wants. There is no hint of a national view. There is no hint of God responding to man’s choice. It is placed solely with God. Yet you would make it depend on man. Furthermore, Pharaoh still does not represent Israel. There are clear differences.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The idea is that the position the people are in, is what was "prepared beforehand". <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This is not what the text says. The text says that the vessels were prepared for destruction, not the position the vessels were in. You cannot simply ignore the text to argue for your own position.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>You admit a mystery only after insisting that the "non-elect" are created for destruction, <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I did not say that the non-elect were created for destruction. I do not believe that.

    Your last paragraph does not seem to make much sense. I think you have greatly misjudged the attitude of some. However, if the attitude you say you experienced it true, I will join you in rebuking them. Additionally, doctrine is not to be judged by the perceptions of those who might hold to it. Doctrine is judged by Scripture; not by personalities.

    I think you are right to a degree to say that Paul is affirming that salvation is not by inheritance. For all the Jews who thought they had advanced standing because of their Jewishness, they were dead wrong. He further affirms that salvation is by the sovereign choice of God.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>But stilly, you do believe people are elected to Hell. That's the whole point of the Rom.9 interpretation. If you're going to admit the Bible doesn't really support people being elcted to Hell, then all the other passages take to support personal election must be understood as pointing to the mystery.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No I do not believe people are elected to hell because it is not in the Bible. I think I already clarified this. Election in the Bible is personal election to salvation. You have a clear non sequiter. The fact that some are elected to salvation does not mean that others are elected to hell. When we elect a president, we do not elect a bunch of non-presidents. We simply allow them to continue what they are doing without interruption.
     
  18. JAMES2

    JAMES2
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    KayDee:
    I don't mean to run you into financial ruin, but another good book on this subject -- no a GREAT book -- is "Potter's Freedom," by James R White.
    James2
     
  19. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JAMES2:
    KayDee:
    I don't mean to run you into financial ruin, but another good book on this subject -- no a GREAT book -- is "Potter's Freedom," by James R White.
    James2
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Potter's Freedom is an excellent book - though I fear it may be too "deep" for KayDee at this point. That is not a slight to KayDee's perceptive abilities, which she has finely exhibited here, but rather due to the fact that the book presupposes both a familiarity with Geisler's - er - book [​IMG] and some deeper exegetical issues.
     
  20. JAMES2

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    Chris:
    You may be right! I forget that alot of people don't like to read the type of books that I like. And I also agree that you have to be familiar with Geisler. I used to like him. I wonder what happened. My current pastor was a student of his and got into a big argument over the 5-points of Calvinism when he attend the seminary. Then after reading that absurd book "Chosen But Free," I won't read anymore of his books. Is this the same Norman Geisler that wrote "Man, the Measure of All Thing," several years ago. If I remember, that was a fairly good book. What happened to this guy, anyway?
    James2
     

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