Use scripture to interpret scripture: Romans 9

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    There has been much talk recently about Romans chapter 9 and the vessels (pots) spoken of in that chapter. I remember learning in Hermeneutics class that it is always better to allow scripture to help interpret scripture. So, where else doesn't Paul speak of pots/vessels? Maybe this will help us come to the correct interpretation and thus application of Romans 9:

    2 Timothy 2:
    20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.


    Hmmmmm, for some reason Paul doesn't have any problem saying that the vessel has the ability to "cleanse himself." Maybe Paul wasn't a Calvinist after all...or at least not a very good one. :)
     
  2. zrs6v4

    zrs6v4
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    Yea I dont think Paul was a Calvinist, but Calvin was a Paulist. jk

    I dont see where Paul says that vessels have the ability, but rather he tells them to do it.

    If Paul would have said, "vessels have the ability to cleanse themselves without the work of the Holy Spirit causing this to happen beforehand" then I would agree with you.
     
  3. Skandelon

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    Man, you must be really difficult to communicate with around the house. I can only imagine the conversations you must of had when you were at home with your parents.

    Your mom says, "Son, if you take a bath you won't smell so bad."

    You reply, "I would mom, but you didn't say that I have the ability to take a bath without your help, so I'll assume that is not possible for me." jk

    :laugh:

    "if anyone cleanses himself from these things"

    You can't see the ability strongly implied in that statement? You can't see how that might help you with Romans 9?
     
  4. zrs6v4

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    Actually when My mom asks me to take a bath that's exactly what I say, "I dont have the ability" :tongue3:. That also goes for laundry, cleaning, and everything else.



    My point was that you are assuming that it implies everyone has the ability. The argument in my eyes doesn't go to far. There are many spots in the Bible that commands people to repent, but this doesn't mean that people are going to in and of themselves.

    I also wanted to add that it's not that I don't think people have the ability, but it's as if the ability is there but never exercised. I see man the exact opposite of the nature of Christ in flesh. It's not that Jesus didn't have the ability to sin, because He could have, but He never sinned. We are the same way although we are opposites in that we always sin apart from God.

    I think we can take this way to far by the way. People can repent and be cleansed without realizing that the Holy Spirit was the reason why they repented and were saved. This is more of what I see in the preaching of the apostles. They simply commanded people to repent and believe the Gospel to be saved.
     
  5. zrs6v4

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    you also said, "You can't see the ability strongly implied in that statement? You can't see how that might help you with Romans 9?"

    Maybe this will clear things up. Here is how I see the two combined.

    Romans 9 is speaking of God's sovereignty in how He chooses and has the freedom to do whatever He pleases. Some He uses as vessels of mercy some are vessels of Wrath. The truth is that God is the ultimate means by which all things happen. There is much more in that chapter but Ill leave it there.

    Now when I see Romans 9 I dont think in this way-, "Oh ok, God is the reason why all things happen so I cant do anything on my own." "I'll just sit at home and do nothing, b/c I cant even trust in Christ."Now, I see that God is completely sovereign and ultimately everyone is in His hands for His purpose, but at the very same time in light of Scripture like 2 Timothy I realize that I also have another point of view in which I can see things. I need to repent and trust in Christ daily and this is my responsibility. I cant sit and be all consumed by my inability to not sin, but be aware of it and yet strive 100% resting in God's grace to obey what He has given me to live by. We can't test God as some do by saying "who can resist your will." Therefore my view rests in the depths of God's sovereignty and realizes that He is the reason I live, walk, and breath while at the very same time I live as if I have everything to do with my good choices to be with God. To sum it up it is 100% God and 100% me, yet God is the deeper cause.
     
  6. Skandelon

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    It says, "anyone." That certainly implies anyone can. If the Administrator of this board put out a statement saying, "We are asking all of you to tell your friends about this site because we are wanting to get more members. Before only Baptists could be members, but now if anyone registers they will be granted membership."

    Does this statement imply that anyone has the ability to register and become a member, or not?

    Why aren't they going to, is the question. Is it because of God or man? Is it because they don't have all they need to repent? Just because they don't doesn't mean they were unable to be willing to do so.

    I understand that argument, but it doesn't avoid the objection, because they are "unable to be willing." Unable is unable. If they are unable to be willing, then in what capacity are they able to believe? How does someone who is unable to willingly choose to follow Christ follow Christ? He is unable, period. The argument means nothing because there is never a situation where someone can do something that they are unable to willingly do. This is just an argument Calvinists use to make themselves feel better about the obviously difficulty of divine culpability in their system.
     
  7. zrs6v4

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    Yes it says anyone. It is true anyone who chooses to turn and believe in Christ will be cleansed. This is the human viewpoint and the promise is to everyone.

    Yes everyone has the ability to register on Baptist board.

    I don't look at repentance as something inside of us but its a change in our whole being. Everyone has all they need to turn to God for mercy. It is not God's fault that they don't do this. The reason man doesn't is because he is evil and hates the light. This blindness that is over a man isn't God putting His hand over their eyes, but God not shining light on them. This is something God does out of mercy and not obligation.

    Unable implies they cannot in this sense it is correct, but in another sense they actually can. It's kind of like asking someone addicted to fast food if He would rather eat the fast food or go home and eat vegetables. Its not that the person is unable, but never in his own will desires to choose to eat vegetables over fast food. The analogy only goes so far here because we are talking about eating food rather than humbly submitting ourselves to God for mercy in light of seeing Him.

    Now the question for you is that why did I decide to turn to Christ over my best friend who was in the same degree of sin as me? Am I more wise in my soul than he is? Or do I praise God that He was gracious enough to save me? An even greater sense of humility comes when I ask, "Why me and not Him Lord?"
     
    #7 zrs6v4, Jan 15, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2010
  8. pinoybaptist

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    skan, what exactly in Romans 9 are you comparing to the Timothy verse ?
     
  9. Skandelon

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    Then you are not one of the Calvinists that hold to the belief that one must be effectually called/regenerated in order to believe?


    I know its just an analogy, but sticking with it, wouldn't you agree that if someone sat down with the fast food addict and explained the dangers of his addiction (revealing to him his problem). Then explained to him the need for healthy food (revealing to him the solution to his problem). That the individual might then choose to follow that advice and change his mind? Of course, he could, people do it all the time.

    So, my question is why do you (Calvinists) believe that someone is born sinful and as an enemy of God can't change their mind once someone explains the need and the solution to them with the powerful Holy Spirit wrought GOSPEL TRUTH? That is the objection I have with Calvinism. Calvinists use all these passages that speak of mans sin and his need to be reconciled and his being dead, but insist that the solution of God sending the world Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the apostles and the inspired scripture is insufficient. Insufficient without the "effectual calling," that is. This is scripturally unfounded. Where oh where does the scripture ever teach that a man could not willingly change his mind once the problem and the solution is clearly spoken to him????

    See the thread I started titled: "Boasting"
     
  10. Skandelon

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    The part that speaks of vessel of common use and honor... Calvinists often speak of these referring to the fact that the "vessel" or "pot" has no role to play in the process, whereas Paul clearly teaches here that he does.
     
  11. donnA

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    I wish the vessels in my sink would cleanse themselves. Until they do, I'm not buying the out of context, twisted scripture arguement here.
     
  12. Skandelon

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    :laugh:

    funny

    i guess by that logic they also got themselves dirty and put themselves in the sink :)
     
  13. zrs6v4

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    I believe that God's Spirit must do something in order for a sinner to repent and this is an effectual work of God. I am unsure at the moment if this is regeneration or if it lies in the sovereignty of God's call.




    Sure in light of the danger the fast food addict could change his mind.

    Lets focus in on the callings that come from the Gospel.

    #1 the calling that we as men give to people (repent and believe the gospel)
    #2 the calling of God (effectual and for His purpose)

    Revelation 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 wishes take the water of life without cost."

    1. Notice that two people are calling The Spirit and the bride
    2. Notice that the one mentioned hears and is thirsty. these are important because the one who the Spirit is calling to is the one who hears and is thirsty and wishes to come freely. God is saying to listen carefully and incline your heart to the Gospel. Can a man incline his heart to hear, yes, is God there, yes when the man inclines his heart to listen. If the man doesn't listen then God didn't open his eyes and ears (he wasn't given to know). Then the question comes, why did the man incline his heart to hear? because he was drawn and heard and learned from the Father.


    Acts 2:38-39: shows that Peter is preaching and calling people to repentance and faith. Anyone that comes to Christ will be accepted. Yet those who are coming are the ones that God is calling to Himself in a mysterious way.

    Romans 8:30- God predestines and those He predestines He calls and those He calls He justifies..... IF this passage werent speaking of the effectual call then it cannot be said. Many people are called by preachers and not all of those people come. The point here is that when God calls then people come and are justified every time.

    John 6:45 Everyone who is drawn by God to Christ "COMES" and these very people are the ones who are taught by the Father because they heard and learned from Him.

    Mathew 22:1-14. Shows God has sent His messengers (preachers) to invite everyone in sight to come to Christ. And the invite is extended to everyone as God doesnt withhold His mercy from people. The last comment shows us that many are called but few are chosen. What do you think that means? At this point in my study it seems very much like the preachers call everyone in sight to believe the Gospel, but only those who come are the chosen ones of God. This implies that God calls those He chooses.
     
    #13 zrs6v4, Jan 16, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2010
  14. jcjordan

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    If I say "if anyone jumps 36 inches vertically, then they will bump their head on the door" suggest to you that everyone has the ability to jump 36 inches?
     
  15. Skandelon

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    So, if we continue with your analogy the authors implication would be, "if anyone jumps 36 inches vertically, then they will be saved, but otherwise you will be tormented forever in Hell and I've only chosen a few people to give that ability too. Sorry all you non-athletic types! Yeah, that is the natural rendering of the text.
     

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