The Love of God

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by zrs6v4, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. zrs6v4

    zrs6v4
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    I have been studying Calvinism and Arminianism (or whatever you prefer) and I would like to hear either sides beliefs on God's love taught in scripture. Yes, we all "should be" using the bible as our final authority in our journey to know God, which Im sure we all agree, so this is why I say "taught in scripture". So what I am hoping for is a good discussion on The Love of God.

    Ex. it is infinite, eternal, Holy, etc...

    So here are my questions to start some discussion (which I have my views of course, but again my desire is to see what God has to say about Himself).

    1. Is His love for all men and women who have ever walked on the earth or just the elect? John 3:16/Romans 9. also what about Judas, the anti-Christ, etc...

    2. Is it influenced in any way? Immutable? sovereign?

    3. Is it gracious?

    I know I didnt even begin to hint on many areas, we know the entire law is summed up in commands of love and so forth, so please comment or add anything you would like to discuss.
     
    #1 zrs6v4, Mar 10, 2009
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  2. Jedi Knight

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    Howdy

    Mark 10:17-27"And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18 And Jesus said unto him, Why call thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 19 Thou know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honor thy father and mother. 20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lack: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shall have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. 22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. 23 And Jesus looked round about, and said unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answered again, and said unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 26 And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? 27 And Jesus looking upon them said, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.":type: See LOVE there for the LOST? :godisgood:
     
  3. Allan

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    I believe it is both.
    For the non-elect, I believe there is a general love and this is attested to by both the Reformers and Arminians. There is a smaller group of the Reformed who believe God has absolutely no love for anyone in any way but to the elect alone. However, just as Jedi Knight shows in the verse he cites the man who walks away, it says that Jesus loved him. There are multitudes of others but it is a good place to start. However let us be clear that it is a general love and NOT His particular love. Much like I can love all my children's friends but my love for my children is distinct.

    No. It given in accordance with His immutable will.
    IOW - It will not change from what He already knows and has decreed.

    If we deserve nothing from God, is it not His graciousness that allows even the rain to fall upon the just and the unjust. I would say yes, it is gracious.
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding this question.

    Well, let us take Judas for example. He was known to Christ that he was going to betray Him as well as know that he will not be one of His, and yet Jesus treated him the exact same as He did the other disciples, taught him the same stuff. Is this not grace and love for one undeserving, especially so in this case?

    God has command us to love even our enemies. Are we greater than God OR are we images of God being comformed to His likeness?
     
    #3 Allan, Mar 10, 2009
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  4. rjprince

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    OK, I know you did not comment on this much, but some believe this passage and the parallel in Matt teaches that you must surrender your all to Jesus to be saved. Can those who believe the Bible even HINT that salvation can be bought with a price? Either our money or our worthless selves?

    The main problem here is that the ruler did not recognize Jesus as God! That is why Jesus sought to elicit such a response from him -- "why callest thou me good? There is none good but God". Jesus was asking him, "Do you recognize me as God?" That was the really issue here, the command to sell all was simply a means of demonstrating that the man did not recognize Jesus as God...


    As far at the OP?, God loves all to some degree in that all alive are the beneficiaries of His general Grace (prevenient, I think is the word). But not all are beneficiaries of His special grace in salvation. What about "Jacob have I loved, but Essau have I hated"?
     
  5. rjprince

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    Allan,

    Good post. Do I detect some doctrines of sovereign grace in your post?
     
  6. Allan

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    I'm a 2 1/2 to 3 pointer depending on how you want to take my views. :)
     
  7. Jedi Knight

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    Then Jesus beholding him loved him......is this love for the lost? For he is not willing any should perish,but .....:praying:
     
  8. zrs6v4

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    I agree with you


    I agree nothing influences or changes it. etc..


    I dont think you are, but His love is why we are given grace which cannot be lost or taken away.


    I'd say He generally loved Judas as He did all mankind, but He didnt give Himself to Judas or adopt Him as a Father to son type of love.

    good point, I agree with you on this, that we are bearing His image and being sanctified.

    Thinking a little on the other end they might say we cant handle not simply loving others as ourselves as God can which may be why we are commanded to love all and forgive all as we have been forgiven. When we dont love it brings much sin such as judgment, hate, lack of proclaiming the gospel, pride, etc... God doesnt seem to forgive everyone unless they come/are drawn to Him. While we, for our hearts condition, are called to forgive everyone regardless. Maybe Im wrong but there is some good discussion within here...
     
    #8 zrs6v4, Mar 11, 2009
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  9. zrs6v4

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    A 3 pointer is a Kinda-Cal not so much a non but somewhat
     
    #9 zrs6v4, Mar 11, 2009
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  10. zrs6v4

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    I would say the rich man didnt recognize Him as Lord, and that He was trying to come in the wrong gate with the wrong heart. He wanted to, in a sense, buy or earn some how. Jesus quoted back the last 6 of the ten commands about loving others, but I noticed He didnt quote the top 4 commands about loving God. So the work Jesus gave Him, I believe, was to represent the unchanged heart that loved riches over God and wasnt broken or willing to lose His life as an outcome. Of course this rich man was blind and had no clue what the Kingdom was about and Jesus ended the whole thing by saying, "With man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible." which I understand to be that God must heal a soul before it will choose to do godly things such as repent. John 6:63-65 may be a good source to explain my point
     
  11. Allan

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    Yes that was sort-of my point, with the exception that Jesus did give Himself to Judas. That is summed up in all that He did for him, which was the same as what He did for the other disciples.
    Deleted..
    Flesh this part out a little more for me, cause I'm not sure I'm keeping up with you on this part. :laugh:
     
    #11 Allan, Mar 11, 2009
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  12. zrs6v4

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    yea that was kinda Paulish to break down, haha, sorry..

    Im trying to put myself in the shoes of one who might
    argue God only loves the elect. I dont really believe this idea by the way..

    They might argue that we, as a fallen people, might not be able to handle love in the way that God can. Therefore, God commands us to love all people in a different way than He does (we dont judge, He does). In the same way, we are commanded to forgive all, because in a sense it is a picture of our hearts. What I mean by this is that by us being forgiving, our hearts are demonstrating a godliness that we have recieved from God. We can forgive this way because we are forgiven, therefore if we dont forgive we are not forgiven (dont have the ability to live a life of forgiveness).

    So just as a lack of love leads to all kinds of evils, so does a lack of forgiveness. while we are commanded to forgive everyone, God doesnt forgive everyone unless they actually come to Him/are drawn. So just because we are commanded to love everyone doesnt necessarily mean God loves everyone. (again I think He does at this point)
     
  13. Allan

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    An interesting suggustion. Though they will not agree but simply state that God has perfect love and only one kind. Thus it is either for all and therefore there would be no difference or it is just for the elect alone. The BB member Rippon holds the view that God only loves the elect and has no love for the non-elect. Thus it might be better to ask how he describes this view.
     
  14. zrs6v4

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    I agree it can open up a whole new can of worms, but it seems to make sense to some degree.. anyway

    I Pm'ed Rippon, I hope He doesnt mind.. Id like to hear his view
     
  15. Tom Butler

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    Allan is the closest thing to a 5-point Calvinist without actually being one of anybody on this board.

    He is not your run-of-the-mill non-Calvinist.
     
  16. Jedi Knight

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    Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. I do believe I see that God draws and other places God longs......Luke 13:34 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it! I see both side of the coin but in my shallow mind cannot put them together. Psalm 139:6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!:type:
     
  17. zrs6v4

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    Well I dont want to butcher it, but from what I understand God longs for all to come to Himself, but nobdy does unless He draws them to Himself. John 6:44>6:63-65
     
  18. Allan

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    Thank you for that :godisgood:
     
    #18 Allan, Mar 11, 2009
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  19. thegospelgeek

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    You answered this yourself when you put Jn 3:16. If you are part of the 'world", he loves you.

    What can I do that would impress God enough that he would love me more? How could I cause him to love me less?

    Obviously I can not earn his love, so yes.

    Unless I'm mistaken (too lazy to search right now), every time the word love is used with God or Christ, it is the word agapao as the base. I understand this to mean 'unconditionally' or perfectly.
     
  20. zrs6v4

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    i agree with you.....

    Is there anyone who holds that God doesnt love everyone, please explain?
     

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