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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Hanna, Dec 20, 2006.
I guess I can't clarify that question any further.
Revelation 4:11 says that for God's pleasure all things were created.
The very first book and the very first chapter tells us. We were created to have dominion over the earth. That original purpose has not changed and it will not change. There's a lot more detail to that answer, and if you are interested PM me and I can get some resource material to you that will guide you through what Scripture says about the matter.
Of course that, but...
Of course to have domion over all the earth. Can you imagine being here if that were not so? But I digress.
God created cows. I don't think He communicates with cows. I don't think cows are subject to His wrath and I don't think He has a plan of salvation for cows.
Why us? He created us in His image. Why?
Why not us? Because he wanted to.
His purpose and pleasure = to glorify Himself.
For His good pleasure!! He doesn't really, really need a better reason than that!!
I think Jesus tells us. When asked what the greatest commandment was, He gave us two: to love God with everything in us and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
We were created to love. The desire to love and be loved is so deep inside each of us that we almost don't see it for what it is. But when Jesus said that upon the command to love hung all the Law and the Prophets, He was using the Jewish term for the entire Scriptures.
And because love is not love unless it is a choice, and because Jesus said, "If you love me, you will obey me," the choice has always been available to all men on how to respond to God's love. Adam and Eve had a tree and we have....well, no need to elaborate!
Those who love the truth and follow it are already starting to love God, although they may not know it. Jesus said He is The Truth. He told us "Seek and ye shall find." He told us that the Father led people to Him and that He would then refuse none. And Paul warned that those who suppress the truth evident even in creation itself are making themselves subject to God's wrath.
We may not be able to love truly until we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (for God IS love), but we can want to, and we can want the truth, and attempt to follow it. If we want it, and if we seek, as the Bible tells us to, then the Father WILL lead us to the Son.
And then we will find what it is to really be loved and then be able to love -- which is what we were created for, which was God's pleasure. I pray each one here is part of His pleasure, and not part of His wrath.
Hanna you answered your own question. God's purpose was for us to have dominion over the earth. That's why He created us. He created us in His Image so that He could communicate with us.
He is in the process of redeeming us because we are a ruined creation via the fall and are in need of redemption so that we can do what we were originally created to do.
Hope that helps.
This is a question that doesn't have just one answer. The overarching purpose is "for God's glory." But there are many different ways that human beings give God glory, and each one of those is part of the picture of God's purpose in creating human beings.
For instance, he creates human beings so he can redeem them, and that is "to the praise of the glory of his grace." God's redemptive plan, carried out, shows up the depth of God's grace and glorifies him in that way.
Another example: Having dominion over creation is part of our image bearing, and as image bearers we reflect back to God a little of his own glory. Since the fall, the image is marred, but to the extent that we bear it and act in accordance with it we reflect God's glory.
I'm pretty sure there are more, but that's a start.
Just a quick question Helen. I'm not trying to win you over to the reformed position. This is an honest question for you and any who would like to answer me. I have this question for God also, and intend to ask Him, and have asked Him in prayer.
If God is all knowing, and He is, why does He allow people to come into existence knowing that they would never believe? Did He create them for hell? Don't tell me that they have a choice, because I do not believe they really do. If God in His perfect knowledge knows they will never exercise their will to be born again, then they will never do so. How is there a choice? This is not just a reformed problem but also a problem for the free will side. Is God all knowing?
Yes, God is all-knowing. And I don't know the answers to your questions. My ignorance, however, does not negate the fact that the entire Bible is predicated upon the fact that God has given us a free and real choice regarding our response to the truth...and to Him.
Oh Helen, I know that the Bible is full of commands to do things we can not do. For example; "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." I see these as commands that God, if He didn't command them, would not be just in condemning any who does not. There are commands there for the reason of making God just in His condemnation of those who are not under grace. I believe that by His sovereign grace we are saved, not by any exercise of the will before we are born again. John 1:13
I do not think God is this all loving Creator that everyone likes to describe Him as. I think there are people He hates. I think He loves His sheep. That is what the Bible says. Anyway, thanks for being honest in your answer to me.... that you do not have an answer.
I want to respond to one thing, and that is that the verse you used "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect" is an excellent example of verses ripped out of context to try to prove points which are not in the Bible.
First of all, and I think most people know this, the word translated 'perfect' is 'teleios' which does NOT mean 'without fault', but rather means 'complete' and is sometimes translated as 'mature.'
Second, let's look at the context:
You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Let's look at that.
1. God, being complete (and mature) loves His enemies, contrary to your statement.
2. There appears to be something you actually can do to open the door to your salvation -- love your enemies (not an emotion, but the action of caring for them as you would care for yourself) and praying for those who persecute you. I am not saying, please note, that you can accomplish your salvation -- that is something only Christ can and does do. However, He does stand at the door and knock, and evidently if you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that has something to do with opening the door to Him.
3. The point of the verse is not to command us to be without fault, as you implied, which is, of course, impossible. The point of the command is to be imitators of God, completely caring for and praying for those for whom our natures do not really want to care for or pray for.
Please do not take a verse out of context like that to try to 'prove' something.
Second, I do not believe there is any command in the Bible which we are given which is impossible for us to do. It is just that it goes against our natures many times, but so do a lot of laws our lawmakers make, and we are still expected to obey those!
Prophecy proves He is all knowing doesn't it?
Back to my question. God created us in His image. He gave us dominion over the earth and all the creatures thereof. He created us to bring gloify to Himself.
How is it that He is glorified through us?
Ok... where do I start? lol
How about with the first words I put in bold on your quote? Out of context? Like the way you took "stand at the door and knock" out of context?
Are you complete? Are you fully mature? The verse of scripture says to *be* not strive or try to be. But you have your opinion of proper exegesis, however wrong it may be.
There are so many that want to say that God will not tell us to do something we can not do. You included. The fact is.... He commands us to everything we can not do. He commanded people in the OT to do what they could not do. It was to point them to the necessity of Christ. That is the same reason He commands us to do what we can not do. Depend on His sovereign work and not your own.
Does God love everyone? Psalms 5:5. The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. Yes He hates. That does not mean love less in that context. Your exegesis may be different than mine however. Mine is the correct one. :smilewinkgrin:
Helen. There is nothing you can do to be born again. If you, (like most free willers do), believe that you have to exercise your *free* will (believe) to be born again, that is a direct contradiction to John 1:13. You are not born again of your will or anyone else's will. You are born again, and then exercise the will God gives you. Allan will disagree... but like I said, everyone is entitled to his own incorrect exegesis... mine just happens to be correct. Grace and peace
Yes, prophecy, among other things, definitely proves He is all knowing. He claims to be all-knowing (omniscient) in Isaiah 46:10 --
"I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say: My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please."
How is He glorified through us? I walked into the other room, where Barry is at the moment, and asked him "How is God glorified through human beings?" His answer:
"He is glorified when He expresses Himself through us; when we yield our humanity to Him."
Yep, God is still dependent upon the free will of man. NOT
Reformed Believer, you are making a mistake to think hate is the opposite of love. It is not. Both are types of intense caring. The opposite of love is to ignore someone. Can you hate someone you love? Yes, you can. Love does not mean you have to feel good about someone. It's great when that happens. But love is an action verb and it means to care, to commit to someone else, regardless of your emotions one way or the other. That is why Jesus commanded us to love. It has nothing to do with feelings, but with the words and actions in our lives.
When Jesus tells me to be perfect as my Father is perfect, I understand Him to mean that I am to care for all He puts in my path, regardless of my emotions concerning them, and that I am to pray, also, for them all, and maybe especially for those who are actively trying to work against me in some way or another. I can do this. I am not perfect, but I can do this much. I don't always want to....but I can do it.
We have the choice of glorifying God in our lives or not. His actual glory does not depend on us at all, but we can choose to glorify Him in our lives...or not.