"...so that they are without excuse..."

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Eagle, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. Eagle

    Eagle
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    I have been re-studying so-called "Calvinism" -- inasmuch as it is vigorously seeking a foothold all around me -- and I am very curious as to what it's proponents (or opponents) have to say of the very powerful Romans Ch. 1 and it's overwhelming implications on salvation, evangelism, & predestination. I will strive to be brief, not antagonistic. I truly desire Christian discourse in this matter.

    Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
    Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
    Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
    Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    Verse 1:20 being the key & fulcrum. Very creation screams out to the understanding of one & all of the invisible things of God (see Hebrews 11:1) -- EVEN His eternal power & Godhead -- God Himself has shown all men these things (v. 19). Men chose to ignore these facts (v. 21). So that they are now without excuse. They (we) are each & all accountable. God is now justified to send them (us) all to hell. Not one can say, "But I never heard of Jesus." God showed them His existence & His Godhead. God says this is sufficient grounds for them to be without excuse. Had they acted on this very sufficient light from God (think deepest, darkest, uncivilized jungle, etc.) -- God would have sent more evidence on which to believe until they did hear of Jesus the Christ (think missionary) -- and then believe unto salvation. This is "faith to faith" (V. 17).

    Bottom line: Man is absolutely depraved, slave to sin, etc., but NOT totally depraved. Man is capable of choosing God -- based on His revelation. God holds each accountable for their enlightened understanding -- and for their ensuing choices. TULIP appears to stand or fall together. T seems to have no legs.
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    Actually, they can, but I'm pretty sure you actually meant to say they everyone knew about God, because they have observed his creation.

    God has ordained that those who hear the gospel of Jesus Christ will hear it by human instrumentality (preaching, missionaries, Bibles, pamphlets).

    Yet, because of the creation, all are without excuse, even though they've never heard of Jesus Christ. They are responsible to God for their sin, even in their ignorance about the Messiah. How can that be? On what basis will they be judged?

    Paul explained how. Romans 2:14 points out that Gentiles who have nevere heard about the Law are "a law unto themselves." That is, they have some sort of moral code, some sense of right and wrong. Even though they devised their own code of morality, they can't even keep it.

    Those lost will not be judged on a "decision" about Jesus. They will be judged on how well they kept their own moral code. Which is badly, of course.

    Now, about your treatise on the Big T. Nice try, but no cigar. Calvinists do not deny that human beings have and exercise volition. When a sinner sins, he does it willingly, by choice. It's quite a natural thing he does when he sins. But there are limits. The sinner operates freely within his nature.

    That's why he is responsible, even though he is spiritually dead. That's why the Holy Spirit must quicken a sinner' heart and mind before he will want to be saved.

    A good analogy is the story of Lazarus. Lazarus was dead. Jesus called him to come out of the tomb. Lazarus obviously heard him, so he was alive when Jesus called him. Alive before Jesus called him. Unable to hear Jesus call him out until after he was raised from the dead.

    Lazarus was totally dead, totally unable to respond, until he was quickened. Then he freely responded to Jesus call.
     
  3. christianyouth

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    Eagle, remember that the verse is speaking in the past tense. Why can't we take this section of scripture to be talking about the time when the Gentiles, collectively rebelled against the worship of YHWH? Why does it have to deal with an individuals suppressing of the truth?
     
  4. Eagle

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    Hey CW, I see both past & present tense discussion in this passage -- so though I do not claim Greek expertise -- this none-the-less seems to be a moot point. Verse 20 seems pretty strongly to apply to us "that are made" who are "without excuse" tho certainly we flail away & try to come up with one. This seems to apply to all of us, past, present, future. I think it applies collectively only as it applies to individuals who act the same.
     
  5. Jarthur001

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    Man is TOTALLY depraved.

    Knowing about God is not the same as salvation. Romans 1 Paul addresses all of mankind, and in the verses you quoted tells that even if man does not have the "Word" as did the Jews, that man showed still know there is a God. The point of the verses you quoted is what they do with what they are given. God has placed in nature things that should point them to God. But they "CHANGE" the truth of what God has given them into worshipping what God has MADE.

    In Chapter 2 Paul addresses the Jewish nation that do not follow the law, who had more then just creation in revelation. They had the Law and the prophets....and other writings and what happened? They still rejected God.

    Therefore Paul asked...

    Paul is asking...Just because you are a Jew, do you feel you don't need to follow God??

    Later Paul address the Jewish religion. Those that practiced religion. Knowing the the truth is not the same as believing the gospel. Man will always reject the truth or change it which is the same as rejecting it.

    Therefore Paul asked in Romans 3:1...

    Later in Chapter 3 he gets to the point of it all that he has address so far.....

    Its pretty clear.
     
  6. Eagle

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    Hey Tom, I appreciate the reply. To seek clarification, of course, anyone can say or hold forth any excuse they want to -- including "I have never heard of Jesus." Romans 1 points out that any excuse they come up with is useless because they did not act on the sufficient light they were given from the creator -- faith to faith -- which would positively have led to not only their hearing, but also their believing, on the name Jesus Christ. Undoubtedly, God will flood their minds with all the ample occasions when the sight of clouds, storms, creatures, feelings, etc., from very creation that their heart was stirred and their mind raced toward acknowledging this simple and "clearly seen" truth of a Creator God. They will fully know that they are "without excuse". Their only response will then be to bow their knee (albeit too late for salvation) and confess with their tongues that Jesus truly is Lord.

    Now, what you set forth from Romans 2 is very pertinent, demonstrating again from very creation (our hearts) that God has put His laws & sense of righteousness, accountability, etc., in them. However, I still maintain, that the basis for their judgment, ultimately, is not their own devised laws (tho you rightly say that they cannot even keep them) but a much stronger & more consistent standard to everyone across the board -- the "clearly seen" & "understood" evidence of a Creator God. The Jews (in the law) and the gentiles (without the law) are all alike in that they are "without excuse" at their judgment before God -- if they do not act on this evidence -- leading them "faith to faith" to their Savior, Jesus.

    Man is not Totally Depraved if God holds us accountable to death for our lack of faith toward Him on this basis.
     
  7. Eagle

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    Hey Jarthur, thanks. All you have said, I agree, is "pretty clear" as it pertains to man's DEPRAVITY and need of a Savior. Unquestionably, as Isaiah says (64:6) "all our righteousness are as filthy rags". However, this does not solve the problem of Totally Depraved men being held accountable for their response to God's invisible existence based on "clearly seen" & "understood" evidence from creation.

    If man is incapable, due to his Total Depravity, of responding to this evidence, and proceeding from "faith to faith" wherein is revealed "the righteousness of God" (Rom. 1:17) -- then in fact have you not made God unrighteous, unfair, arbitrary and capricious? One could well respond, "God you are not fair." According to Romans 1:20, God would tell them they are "without excuse" based on His evidence from creation. This would only suffice as a justification of His righteousness revealed from heaven if man is able to respond to this evidence. Ergo, depravity, mired in sin, disgusting, etc., -- YES. Total Depravity -- I don't see it.
     
    #7 Eagle, Apr 11, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2009
  8. canadyjd

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    The problem is in your mind only.

    Rom. 9:19 "You will say to me then, 'Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will? (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?"
    God does not have to answer to your understanding of fairness.
    Total deparvity equals total inability to come to God without God's intervention in your life. The very fact that Rom. tells us that everyone turned away, all are under sin, none understands or seeks for God, tells us that general revelation never produced salvation.

    God held the Jews accountable to obey a Law which He knew none could ever obey perfectly. God holds everyone else accountable for general revelation which He knows everyone will reject because they are enslaved to sin.

    It all points to the need for that special revelation found in Jesus Christ.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  9. Eagle

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    Thanks Canadyjd, of course I agree that none of us can actually backtalk to God about how He made us or the way in which we are saved or judged us, ultimately. However, to merely quote a scripture that says I can't backtalk His way (whatever it may be) -- in no way proves that you have correctly established what that way is.

    This same God also says, "Come now, and let us reason together..." (Isa. 1:18). There is this also, (1 Co 14:15) "What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also." Based on these we know that God has created us to reason, and to logic, and to understanding -- such as our "understanding" of His "eternal power and Godhead."

    Then there is this (Romans 3:26), "To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Apparently, God is just, and desires us to understand Him so -- what is the point of doctrine & teachings of Him otherwise (such as all these threads on this site)? This point is a little deeper I think than to merely cut it off by quoting the fact that we can't actually backtalk God's way -- whatever it may be.

    Here's the question then, it would seem, "How is God just & righteous to condemn us based on evidence of an invisible Creator, which can be clearly seen and understood by us -- if we are totally unable to respond from faith to faith?"

    I hope this is clear enough.
     
  10. webdog

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    Why was he obviously alive? You are eisegeting this into the story. Doesn't the Word have power in His words to raise the dead without "quickening"? You have basically eliminated His power by stating a physically dead person (which is not the same thing as spiritual death, and is NOT a good analogy in explaining it) cannot respond to the command of Christ to come forward.
     
  11. Jedi Knight

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    Howdy partners,I just wanted to say I have been a believer for 20 so years and see that scripture support both side on this issue. I think the problem is when were tempted to camp on one side or the other. Like for instance....Luke 22:22 And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed! Do you see BOTH side in this verse? Determined and mans choice........I think our brains cannot fathom all the depths and heights of Gods judgments. "my 2 cents":wavey:
     
  12. webdog

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    You have a very good point, and the common denominator in both arguments is time and order, something God is not bound by.
     
  13. zrs6v4

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    Eagle,

    Are you saying man is totally depraved, and dead in sin, except for his ability to have faith/repentance to Christ? Do you think this faith is only possible with the work of the Spirit?
     
  14. Jarthur001

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    There is a lot in this passage one cannot deny.

    Before I make a few points, I want to point out a few things.

    1.........God is Love ..1 John 4:8

    This verse is key to understanding the atonement.

    2......For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life....John 3:16

    1 Timothy 2:6
    3..........who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,

    Is the whole world all of mankind or all kinds of man?

    Before you answer...please add these verses..

    ]

    Matt 13
    11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.


    Isa 53:
    12Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


    >>>>>>>>Now to the key passage...

    WHO????? No one.


    Who shall separate us from Gods love? Did God start loving us AFTER we believe? Did Christ send his Son to die because of LOVE?

    Who will separate us from Gods love?


    Was his death (verse 34) a act of love? It was going by this verse and many, many others. Who has the power to stop Gods love? Did it work or not?

    Paul tells us...
    After all

    Never? Yes never. :)
     
    #14 Jarthur001, Apr 11, 2009
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  15. Eagle

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    Hey zrs6v4, I do not at this time believe that man is Totally Depraved -- as defined by TULIP. Clearly, man is depraved. However, if God holds us accountable for acting or not acting on the evidence He has graciously provided -- we must have the ability (capacity) to act -- apart from God's special or irresistible draw.

    Consider this, it is so simple it trips us up ofttimes methinks; (Eph 2:8,9) "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Accepting the gift of God's grace by faith is not a work! There is nothing meritorious in this that makes the man receiving it special, or that would provide an occasion for boasting, etc. In other words -- exercising faith does not make the man exercising it more or less depraved. However, exercising faith brings the gift of grace and redemption from sin -- but quite frankly, according to Paul (Romans 7), we are still a rather depraved lot afterward as well.
     
  16. Eagle

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    Hey Jarthur, sorry sir but I got lost in your rambling, seriously, I really do not know what you were trying to say or point you were making -- but I will praise God for the perfect & beautiful way He has provided for our mutual salvation.
     
  17. Jarthur001

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    Is the atonement an act of Love by God?
     
  18. zrs6v4

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    I understand that you dont believe in total depravity, but kinda depravity :). what about this command God expects us to act upon- Be holy for I am holy? here God gives us a command we cannot keep, why? well, the perfect Law leads us to faith in Christ. I agree salvation is a free gift and all things come through faith. Faith is putting our trust in Christ which always is a changed heart, will, and direction from everything and to Jesus (the other side of the faith coin is repentance). an old life of self to a new life fully in Christ alone. To say that the Holy Spirit doesnt have a part in this work of faith in a man isn't biblical and needs some explaining. For example: where does the understanding of sin, and the desire come from in your heart to want to totally trust in Christ? The answer is the Holy Spirit>

    "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you dont know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit" John 3:8

    Rev. 22:17 "The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price."

    So why would a self-centered sinner who is totally blind and living his own way ever decide to come to Christ? >God, period.

    How does God do it? faith comes by hearing the Word.

    And who works through the Word? > God

    my purpose of this dragging on is for you to show me where you disagree so I may better see your point of view..

    Thanks- Zach
     
    #18 zrs6v4, Apr 11, 2009
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  19. Havensdad

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    As I am sure you know, brother, the chapter and verse divisions were added much later.

    Notice Chapter 2, verse 1...

    (To the Reader, i.e. Christians)
    Rom 2:1 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.


    The point of Romans 1 is that EVERYONE (including us).

    Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

    O.K.: He is talking about everyone who is "unrighteous". Who is "righteous"?
    "None" are righteous. EVERYONE (including we Christians) rejected God, knowingly, and are deserving of judgment. What was God response?

    He CHANGED our heart, that we would follow Him.
     
  20. Havensdad

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    Only if you properly understand saving faith as a gift from God, and not a personal choice. If faith is a moral choice, then it IS salvation based on merit (works).

    Only by faith being a gift given to us by God, is it not a work.
     

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