When God forgives, does He forget also?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by izzaksdad, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. izzaksdad

    izzaksdad
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    I know I have heard it said many times by preachers and laymen that God not only forgives out sins, but He also forgets them. Can God, being omniscient, forget anything?
     
  2. OldRegular

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    Let Scripture speak:

    Hebrews 8:8-13
    7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
    8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
    9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
    10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
    11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
    12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
    13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.


    Hebrews 10:9-18
    9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
    10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
    11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
    12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
    13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
    14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
    15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
    16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
    17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
    18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
     
  3. Marcia

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    I know it says God will not "remember" the sins but I think in the context of an omniscient God this cannot mean he really forgets the sins. God cannot forget anything because it would mean he loses part of his knowledge and would therefore be lacking or imperfect.

    I think the implication is that God is not holding their sins against them. The word that "remember" comes from means to be mindful of, to keep in mind, to call to mind, to mention, as well as to remember. It is a way of God emphasizing that he is not holding their sins against them.

    Hopefully some Hebrew scholars on the Board can come in and comment on this.
     
  4. Marcia

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    Oops, I forgot to clarify that I was speaking of the Jer. 31:34 verse that Hebrews is quoting from. [​IMG]

    Hence, the reference to Hebrew. [​IMG]
     
  5. donnA

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    I think chooses to forget, He chooses not to recognize them, not to remember them again. Him being God can accomplish this where as we as humans have trouble and rarely actually doe it.
     
  6. Benjamin

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    I would say, God cannot look upon sin in His perfect kingdom in heaven. If He remembered our sin He would be angry and have wrath towards us. He sees us through His seed. We being born again in the Spirit become the body of Christ and have our sins blotted out of sight and remembrance; otherwise we would not be aloud in His presence.
     
  7. Charles Meadows

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    I don't think one needs to know Hebrew here. The term is used rhetorically. It doesn't mean that God actually CANNOT remember them. Rather it means that His forgiveness is big enough that He completely disregards our prior sins.
     
  8. blackbird

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    I like that, too, Bro. Charles!! And we need to be reminded---God's forgiveness of those sins runs parallel with our confession of those sins. "But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."--1John 1:9
     
  9. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    :rolleyes: Just another little iron in the fire here....God definitely wants us to confess and forsake sin in any form.....I think we all could agree on that.A big question (actually several of them)that has somewhat gnawed at me for years is this....When we are Saved we confess before a Holy God that we are hell-deserving guilty sinners and repent(change our minds and as much as possible our actions...actually,God does the changing in us...gives us a new nature at birth).From THAT POINT on we begin to walk in Christ...and as we walk daily we should try to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit,confessing and forsaking sin as we encounter it in our lives.
    I have always believed that when God saves us He (Praise GOD!!)forgives us ALL of our sins PAST,PRESENT,and FUTURE at the time of our salvation (for me that was Oct.13,1977).Now...the BIG QUESTION is this....If God did indeed forgive us of ALL our sins when He saved us,WHY is there a continual need to be confessing things that we do from day to day when those things are ALREADY washed away and under the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ????? Another question would be what about sins that we FORGET to confess from day to day or just plain FAIL to confess??? Are we UNFORGIVEN for those things before God and for eternity???The whole thing just seems to ingender some contradictions.I am sure there are things that from day to day I have failed or forgotten to confess....I'm human...and I fail my Lord much even though I don't want to.What happens about unconfessed sin/sins in eternity before God.Will I/we have to face a penalty/judgement for unconfessed sins.This whole thing borders on confession itself being a "work" that we must perform to get right/stay right with our Holy God.After going through the 1st five books of the Bible recently I remember being overwhelmed by the details of the laws and sacrificial system that the nation of Israel was commanded to keep and perform to maintain a right relationship with God!I'd have been lost for sure if I'd have had to even attempt to keep all that.Just simple confession can sometimes be overwhelming to me.Somebody wanna try to break this all down so it makes sense for ALL of us???

    Greg Sr. :confused: [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. rjprince

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    Old Reg,

    Not to start up the Dispy v. CT thing here as well, but as Marcia noted, the Heb 8 and 10 passages are quoting Jer 31 and God's New Covenant with the "House of Israel and the House of Judah". There is NO place where you have that combination that can even remotely be construed to represent the church!

    However, I do agree that the principle of full forgiveness for church age saints is a very close, maybe even identical parallel.

    Working a more detailed response to some of the other issues raised by GPS.
     
  11. Benjamin

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    I don’t know about “cannot”, (maybe the wrong choice of words-How about Chooses not to SEE or REMEMBER) I think it runs deeper than “completely disregards” though. Can something be perfect if you SEE it’s been damaged? The Father hates sin, forgiveness comes from the Son, and all judgment was put upon the Son, righteousness is restored through the Son, the Son (covers) sins. WHY?


    Psalm 85:2 (KJV)
    Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin.
    Selah

    Exodus 32:33 (KJV)
    33And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

    Why does David say hide Your face, don’t cast me away from Your presence.

    Psalm 51:9 (KJV)
    Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

    Psalm 51:10 (KJV)
    1Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

    Psalm 51:11 (KJV)
    1Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

    Psalm 51:12 (KJV)
    1Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit


    About God being angry “for ever”

    Psalm 85:3 (KJV)
    Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger.
    Psalm 85:4 (KJV)
    Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.
    Psalm 85:5 (KJV)
    Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generation

    Proverbs 14:35 (KJV)
    The king’s favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame


    About Him (seeing) His seed with pleasure. (perfection)

    Isaiah 53:10 (KJV)
    Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

    God the Father sent US a gift of perfection, being seen as the body of Christ. (no variableness, neither shadow of turning)

    James 1:16 (KJV)
    Do not err, my beloved brethren.
    James 1:17 (KJV)
    Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
    James 1:18 (KJV).
    Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

    It’s kinda a play on words but it seems to me God the Father chose not to SEE or REMEMBER the sins, that that would be WHY He sent His son to forgive us and cover our sins.

    Jesus is our witness, we are SEEN through Him.


    Isaiah 3:9 (KJV)
    The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.

    I love a good bible study, but my computer needs to go in and get viruses removed for a couple days. Don’t chew me up too bad while I’m gone.
     
  12. KenH

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    Forgetfulness is an human frailty. God chooses not to remember our sins or hold them against us.
     
  13. IveyLeaguer

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    I don't think the Hebrew is required, either. God cannot forget anything, neither can He learn anything. He is omniscient. If He says He won't remember someone's sin anymore, I take Him at His Word. He doesn't remember. I'm sure I don't know how He does that, I suspect it has something to do with the way He removes our transgressions from us, "as far as the east is from the west". I would think the fact that we were "crucified with Christ" plays a part somehow. The blood of Christ is so sufficient for Him that He somehow is pleased to separate us from our sin.

    I also suspect, and surely hope, that He is amused by my lowly thoughts when I try to figure out how He does things. I worry sometimes that He is displeased when I dive into some of His mysteries, and I pray He will keep me from futile investigations into anything He has willed to keep hidden. But thankfully, He has not delivered me into any system that depends on human ability and intelligence to ascertain Him and all His ways.

    Good question.
     
  14. rjprince

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    The concept of God forgetting our sins is an interesting one. The oft repeated maxim of “forgive and forget” may be closely related. But is it true that God “forgets” our sins?

    In Romans 4:7-8, Paul quotes David – “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” The verse immediately before this speaks of this as “the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works”. This is a citation of Psalm 32:1-2. Verses 3-4 of this Psalm stress that as long as David failed to acknowledge his sin he felt the “heavy” hand of God’s conviction. It was not until his confession that God forgave “the iniquity” of his sin (Psa 32:5).

    Notice that in the context of Psalm 32 we find that David experienced a groaning that made him feel “wasted” and that he felt his strength was sapped as if by extreme summer heat. He then acknowledged and confessed his sin and was forgiven. The description of the grief he felt as a result of trying to cover his sin follows his statement about “the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity”.

    Does this mean that God will never hold a believer accountable for his sin? Based on David’s example, I would have to say no, it cannot mean this. Though this text is not specifically linked to his sin with Bathsheba, the situation certainly fits.

    In Psalm 51, where the passage IS specifically linked with this sin, David speaks of the “bones which Thou hast broken” (Psa 51:8). By comparison with the account in 2Sam 12 we understand that David’s sin brought great sorrow not only to himself, but to Bathsheba as well. Not only this, but David’s sin brought about the death of the child that was born as a result of this affair. There is a NT parallel to this principle in 1Cor 11:30, “for this cause, many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep”. More on this in a bit.

    This brings us back to David’s statement of Psa 32:2, “Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity”. If this does not exempt a believer from the consequences of his sin, what does it mean? I suggest that although this does not free a believer from the temporal (here and now) consequences of his sin, it does express that his eternal destiny is secure in spite of his sin. This security is not based on either his works of righteousness or acts of sin, but rather, his security is based on the fact of a personal relationship with God (OT) and Jesus Christ (NT). Abraham was guilty of lying about Sarah on two separate occasions. Yet his relationship with God remained intact. He demonstrated his faith in offering up Isaac, yet his relationship with God was established on the basis the faith in his heart decades earlier. Our relationship with God is based on faith and relationship not works and fellowship.

    We have just introduced two key terms in this discussion – relationship and fellowship. David’s relationship with God was unaffected by his sin. His fellowship with God was shattered, for a time.

    Perhaps we should also note that although David was forgiven and restored to fellowship with the Lord, not only did the consequences of his sin still occur, but the details of his sin have been preserved for the ages! Not only has God not forgotten, but He wants us to remember this sin and its consequences as well – 3,000 years later, we are still talking about it! How can one impose “forgive and forget” upon these texts? God wants us to remember our sins and failures so that we will not repeat them! He tells the Israelites, “Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the LORD thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the LORD” (Deut 9:7). If we do not learn from history, we are destined to repeat it.

    While not using these specific words, Jesus perfectly illustrates the difference between fellowship and relationship in the parable of the prodigal son. For some unstated reason, the son demands his portion of the inheritance and leaves the country. The older brother says that he wasted his inheritance on “wine, women, and song”(paraphrase of Luke 15:30). There is no good reason in the text to doubt this assessment of his brother’s activities. In any case, while in the foreign country and having lowered himself to the level of abject poverty, the younger son recalls his former life at home. He determines to return home and ask to be elevated (from his present state) to the level of a servant in his father’s household (v. 19), at least in this position, he would have a roof over his head and plenty to eat. He is correct in his assessment that he “is no more worthy to be called” a son, no more than we are worthy to be called the sons of God. However, as the parable demonstrates, relationship is based on birth, not works.

    One should note that our security as a child of God is not only guaranteed by birth, but by adoption as well (Rom 8:15; Gal 4:5; Eph 1:5). Under Roman law, a natural born child could be disinherited, but, an adopted son could not be disinherited under any conditions.

    Back to the parable... The prodigal did not feel very much like a son because of his sin against both God and his father, yet his relationship was unchanged by his sin. Upon his return the father acknowledged the relationship that was yet intact and restored the prodigal to full fellowship. HOWEVER, we must note that his portion of the inheritance was gone. All that remained would go to the older brother (v, 31).

    Scripture must be compared with Scripture, the unclear must be resolved in light of that which is clear. The principle of salvation by grace is one of the most basic principles of the Word of God. The fact that some teach that salvation comes by works and that salvation can be lost does no damage to the perspicuity of the Word of God. Having looked at the story of the prodigal son, let’s return to Psalm 51.

    David prays, “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me” (Psa 51:10). Was this David’s cry to God? Without question. Was he ever in any real danger of losing his RELATIONSHIP with the Father? Based on the rest of Scripture, I would answer with a resounding, NO! So why does his pray in such a manner? While he was out of fellowship and experiencing the chastening hand of the Lord, he did not FEEL like a son, but he was still a son nonetheless.

    Today, relationship with God is established by personal faith in the Lord Jesus. Yes, we know that God’s sovereignty is involved in this as well, but relationship with God is based on our personal faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus as sufficient to deal with our sins and to bring us into relationship with the Father.

    1John 1:8-10 does not address our relationship. It addresses our fellowship. Verse 6 says, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.” It is impossible to have continuing fellowship with God while we are walking in darkness. We should note that John is writing to believers, his “little children” (2:1). In this context, the confession of 1:9 is like the confession of righteous, yet sinful, King David. David was righteous as far as relationship is concerned, yet sinful as far as fellowship was concerned. His confession of his sin (Psa 32, 51) did not restore relationship, but it did restore fellowship.

    Col 2:13 clearly declares that God has “quickened [us] together with him, having forgiven [us] all trespasses”. All of our sins have been forgiven, yet we must confess them to the Lord to be forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness (1Jo 1:9). How can we confess what has already been forgiven?

    Please allow me to answer with another question... How can we be clean and yet dirty?

    In the upper room, as Jesus meets with the twelve for the final time before going to the cross, He washes their feet. By a comparison of this account with the Synoptics (Matt, Mark, Luke, they give a synopsis of the Life of Jesus), it seems evident that Judas is with them at this point but not with them when they receive the bread and the wine as symbols of the New Covenant in His blood. When Jesus comes to Simon Peter, Peter objects, “Thou shalt never wash my feet!” Jesus replies, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me”. Peter then answers, Lord, if being washed means that I am with you (my paraphrase), then wash “not my feet only, but also my hands and my head”.

    This next verse clearly demonstrates the value of having enough knowledge of Greek to at least be able to use the tools that are available for those who only know English!

    Jesus says, “He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit...” (John 13;10, KJV). The NAS and the NIV give a better sense of the different Greek words that are used in this phrase, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean” and “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean”. Two different Greek words are used, louw and niptw (“w” is used to designate “omega”), pronounced loo-oh and nip-toe. Louw has reference to a complete bath, while niptw refers to a partial cleansing as in washing your hands, face, or feet only. Peter was “completely clean” (NIV), but his feet were dirty from walking in the dusty streets.

    By contrast, Judas had just had his feet washed (assumed), but remained “unclean” (v. 11). It is evident that the words of Jesus refer to more than just the outward cleansing of the body or the feet. But, we do have in this account a wonderful picture of both our salvation and our confession of sin as believers. Peter believed on the Lord Jesus, and was therefore clean. The washing of his feet, as typical of confession of sin in his life, prepares him to sit at table with Jesus in sweet fellowship. Judas, by contrast was “a devil” and “not clean” (John 6:70; 13:11). No amount of “foot-washing” could ever remove the stench of his lost condition. Likewise, the confession of specific acts of sin have no value to one who had not trusted in the Lord Jesus as the only hope of eternal salvation.

    This brings us to another passage in consideration of this issue. In 1Cor 11:28-32 Paul is giving instructions and warnings regarding the Lord’s Supper. He says, “let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup” (v. 28). Failure to approach the Lord’s Supper in the right manner is to eat and drink “unworthily”. None of us are worthy of the sacrifice that was made on the cross. Yet, when we come to the Lord’s table we reflect our view of it’s worth in the manner in which we partake. Paul says, before you partake, “examine” yourself!

    We are dealing with the matter of sin and judgement so we will not develop the text beyond this scope, but regarding partaking of the Lord’s Supper unworthily, John MacArthur comments: “One can come to His table unworthily in many ways. It is common for people to participate in it ritualistically, without participating with their minds and their hearts. They can go through the motions without going through the emotions, and treat it lightly rather than seriously. They can believe it imparts grace or merit, that the ceremony itself, rather than the sacrifice it represents, can save or keep one saved. Many come with a spirit of bitterness or hatred toward another believer, or come with a sin of which they will not repent. If a believer comes with anything less than the loftiest thoughts of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and anything less than total love for his brothers and sisters in Christ, he comes unworthily. (The MacArthur NT Commentary: 1 Corinthians; Chicago: Moody Press, pgs 273-274)

    In Corinth, the believers were the most carnal of all the churches (3:1,3,4). The presence of sin and division was almost a consuming problem, yet Paul calls them “sanctified”, “saints”, and “brethren” (1:2; 3:1). With this background kept in mind, continue...

    “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body” (1Cor 11:29). The translation of krima as “damnation” is most unfortunate. It lends to the text a sense that is not an accurate reflection of the Greek. Paul uses the verb form, krinw in verse 32, “But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” The translation of the NAS and NIV in verse 29 is better, “eats and drinks judgment to himself” and “eats and drinks judgment on himself”.

    When we do not deal appropriately with our sin before coming to the Lord’s table, we make ourselves liable to the judgment of God. Those who actually came under this chastening experienced sickness and even death (v. 30). Their sin was forgiven as far as their relationship with God and eternity was concerned as we will see in verse 32, but as far as their life on this earth was concerned, God chastened them for their sin, some of them severely!

    However, rather than identifying them as unbelievers, on the contrary, this chastening of the Lord marked them off as His children and not to be condemned with the world! They are chastened of the Lord as His to clearly distinguish them from the lost who face eternal condemnation. “When we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world” (11:32). How can one escape this chastening? “ If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged” (1Cor 11:31).

    As believers we should confess our sins and be restored to fellowship with the Lord. Amos 3:3 asks, “Can two walk together except they be agreed?”

    As believers, it is true that all of our sins have been covered by the blood, they have been forgiven, removed as far as the east is from the west, buried in the depths of the sea, and will be remembered against us no more. Yet the focus of this relates more to the eternal benefit of Christ’s death and our “bath” of forgiveness. As we sin from day to day, we approach God in full confession of our sin and experience the daily “foot” cleansing that fits us to sit at table with Him. If we fail to deal with our sin, God will deal with us, as evidence that we are indeed His children and will never be condemned with the world.

    One final thought in closing this subject for now, God is often described in anthropomorphic language that attributes to Him characteristics that are distinctively human. His left arm is not weaker than His right. These words and figures are not to suggest that God can be effectively compared to men, but only to help us better understand the nature and character of the ONE who is CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. Even if there were a passage that says that God forgets our sins, it would have to be understood in light of all the other passages that are related. A CLGH hermeneutic requires that our theology take into account ALL of the Word of God in stating our positions. Since we cannot perfectly do this, we must continually readjust our understanding and statement of Scriptural truth to better reflect the truth of the Whole Counsel of God. In this endeavor, we must ever guard against the danger of allowing our theology to become like concrete – thoroughly mixed, and well set. May we ever be “wet clay” in the Potter’s hands.
     
  15. IveyLeaguer

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    Very nice lesson, RJ. As I posted above it's impossible for God to forget or learn anything. But I still suspect God somehow temporally 'separates', 'blots out', or 'remembers no more' in a way we can't comprehend, at least in a sense. Once we enter eternity, He will 'remember no more', right? I agree He would have us remember our sins and would go a step further to say He would have us 'remember no more' the trangressions of those we have forgiven. There's a 'forgive, but not forget' saying, and I've always thought it to be inspired of evil.

    Good points, all.
    Not sure about that one, I'll have to think about it. Seems like "all that I have is thine" could apply to the present tense as well? And does it imply that there are Christians who lose their inheritance even though they repent?

    While we're at it, maybe you can help with this: I've always heard the prodigal son parable used in a context of soteriology, but I've also heard it used to argue free-will vs. soverignty. I haven't studied it out, but I've always thought the prodigal son fit the pattern of a backslider more than an unregenerate sinner. Must not be, but how could the prodigal son squander an inheritance that he was never in position or relationship to inherit? How could he have been in good standing in the first place? How could he be "no longer worthy" to be called his son if he was wasn't worthy at some point, even if he had nothing to do with his own provision? And doesn't the contrast between the two brothers appear to be more obedient/disobedient than regenerate/unregenerate, saved/unsaved?
    I agree. Further, of the 22 translations I have, only the KJV and Geneva translate it "damnation". Several translate it "condemnation", the rest "judgement".

    Well said. Satan hates that.
     
  16. rjprince

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    The prodigal had received his inheritance and squandered it! Not the same as just leaving home and living wildly for a while. He took his part, spent it, and it was gone. Here is another radical thought, while we are at it – if he had lived in wanton sin and rebellion yet managed his money well, could he have avoided living with the pigs? Wealth or poverty is not an indication of righteousness, I am sure we agree.

    When the inheritance was divided, the older brother got a double portion. With two of them, the younger would have received 1/3 and the older 2/3. Everything left was the older brothers. What, because the prodigal returns does he then get a portion of what was his brothers?

    A believer can get drunk, wreck his car, and lose an arm or a leg. He can repent and get forgiveness. His arm is still gone. Would not suggest that the treasures we have laid up in heaven could be forfeited on the basis of a “sin rampage”. On the contrary, the clear teaching of Scripture seems to be that treasure in heaven is secure.

    Re the free-will issue. How can anyone get that the prodigal was not a son? Just can’t see it.
     
  17. IveyLeaguer

    IveyLeaguer
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    So the prodigal was saved when he received his inheritance? Not an example of unsaved or unregenerate?

    Yes, had he managed it well or maybe if he were 'purpose-driven'. [​IMG] Provided, of course, that the father would have allowed him to sustain his sin that way and not intervened. But did the father, in any way, 'drive' him to the pigs because he loved him so much, knowing he would come home?


    No, that seems unfair. But has the brother inherited yet? Is the father's estate finite? If so, is it static? And is the brother's inheritance quantified? And if the brother inherits it all, can he remain in righteousness without sharing with his prodigal brother?

    Me, either. I thought it was a poor, weak argument.
     
  18. rjprince

    rjprince
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    Remain in righteousness? The brother is another question.

    Here is an important interpretive principle: Do not try to find too much significance in every detail of a parable. A parable is an earthly story with a spiritual meaning.

    As far as potential increase in the estate, from the point of division, the 2/3 became the olders just as much as the 1/3 became the youngers.

    This is affirmed by the words of the father to the older, "all that I have is thine". And certainly, even though grumbling about it, he did share with the younger brother.
     
  19. IveyLeaguer

    IveyLeaguer
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    Bad choice of words.

    Not trying to, was just firing off the top of the head. I'll look into the parable.

    One question, and I won't further torment the thread. IYO, was the prodigal an illustration of an unregenerate man who repented and was saved, or was he already regenerate but then backslid, repented, and was restored?
     
  20. rjprince

    rjprince
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    Without straining the parable too much, yes I think the prodigal represents a believer who backslides and then returns to his father. Yet will be honest enough to admit that my interpretation may be biased based on my understanding of the rest of Scripture. Believing that the Bible teaches OSAS after again many hundreds hours of study cannot help but color my approach. I make a diligent effort to lay aside my preconceptions every time I come to a text, but it is not fully possible, IMHO.

    In support of my belief that the prodigal represents a believer I offer the following:

    All three parables in Luke 15 represent something that was originally in the possession of the owner, lost, and then restored.

    The relationship between father and son is based on birth, not performance. This is a parallel with salvation and more in line with him backsliding and being restored than with him representing a lost sinner, imho.


    On the other hand, however, I also see the words of Jesus in verses 7 and 10 that speak of joy in heaven over “one sinner that repenteth” and the words in verse 32, “this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.” Nonetheless, I do not see that this one represents an unbeliever who gets saved.
     

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