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A case for Free Will through self-imposed limitations of the Sovereignty of God

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Joseph_Botwinick, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. bjonson

    bjonson New Member

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    Ok, let's try to sort through this foreknowledge issue with a scriptural example.

    Look at these scriptures:

    "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cap-padocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. " (1 Peter 1:1-2, ESV)

    "He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for your sake," (1 Peter 1:20, ESV)

    Verse 2 has "foreknowledge" and verse 20 has "foreknown".

    The Greek in verse 2 is "prognosis" and means "to know before", as has been explained.

    The Greek in verse 20 is "proginōskō" and is simply a different form of the same verb, as you can see.

    So, whatever this word means in verse 2 it must also mean in verse 20. Jesus Christ was foreknown by the Father. Those arguing for "simple foreknowledege" of those who will believe are in a very difficult situation here. If we are elect according to God looking into time and seeing what we would do, then He also elected His Son by looking into the future and seeing what Christ would do. Could Christ have failed? Could He have sinned? Absolutely not! Christ's end was determined exactly by the plan of God and that is because the Father "foreknew" the Son due to the eternal relationship that exists between them.

    In the same way, we are "elected" according to the foreknowledge of God before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1 and 1 Peter 1:1,2). God predetermined the relationship that He has with His elect because He initiated it before we were born and had done anything, good or bad (Romans 9:11). And, that is why Paul described us as foreknown by God in Romans 8:29. He didn't say our faith was foreknown, but WE were foreknown. It was a predetermined relationship.
     
  2. Me4Him

    Me4Him New Member

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    There's a "World" of differences between "having the Desire" and "having the ability" to accomplish something.

    "DEATH" is the "wages of sin", "DYING" is the only way man can "pay those wages", and that means "going to hell", so "HOW", "in hell", is man going to "SAVE HIMSELF" from "Hell"??

    If "Calvinist" understood the "LAW", I don't think they would "EVER" mention man "saving himself", but this is the subject most mentioned whenever "FREE WILL" is discussed.

    The "Inward man" (soul) is all God saves, the Outward man (flesh) will still "perish", (die)

    "WE" (soul/spirit) must be "WILLING" to "crucify the old man of flesh", if we "WANT" God to save us, and "WE" can "yield" to either God/Satan.

    As "Helen/scripture" said: Jesus stands at the door and "knocks", he doesn't barge in where he "IS NOT WANTED".

    We have a "Convenant" with Jesus, but a "Covenant" is an "Agreement between Two", and it's not by "force" or "power", but "LOVE" for each other.

    Just as God can grant his "LOVE" (Grace) to whomever he choses, so can man,

    "FREE WILL" is the definition of "LOVE".

    (just as God has demonstrated)
     
  3. Me4Him

    Me4Him New Member

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    If the "Spirit" (HG) confirms what he says, "I'll believe it".

    Buying his "book", NO, time spend reading "his book" could be spend reading "God's book".

    Unlike most, I don't see the bible as a "puzzle of verses", but with an "order" and "organized plans", which together forms the "whole".

    Follow this link, you'll get an idea of what I'm saying.

    http://www.baptistboard.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/28/3398.html
     
  4. Me4Him

    Me4Him New Member

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    Bjonson

    Can you, or anyone else, show one place in scripture where God "Created" anything that was "LESS" than "PERFECT"???

    Ro 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:


    "HOW" did these "Vessels" become "fit for destruction", did the "POTTER", make a Boo, Boo???
     
  5. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    The vessels of wrath were prepared beforehand for destruction. Therefore, they served the exact purpose which God intended.

    peace to you [​IMG]
     
  6. Linda64

    Linda64 New Member

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    Romans 9 has NOTHING to do with salvation. It has everything to do with Israel as the 'Elect' of God. So often I see it used as a "proof" text for election of individuals to salvation. The context is not about personal salvation, but about God's election of the Jewish nation and His overall program for the ages. God choosing Jacob and rejecting Esau refers not to their personal salvation but to their place in God's plan for Israel. When the Bible says that God hated Esau, it does not mean that He did not love Esau. It means he rejected Esau as the one to stand in the lineage of Israel.

    Temporarily the nation Israel has been set aside in the purposes of God. Today He is creating a special body of saved people composed both of Jews and Gentiles (Eph. 3:1-21). After this present work is accomplished, God will again resume His purposes with the nation Israel and will fulfill all the O.T. promises and prophecies concerning them (Ro 11:25-27).
     
  7. bjonson

    bjonson New Member

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    Linda,

    I'm sorry, but that can't be true. Consider:

    Romans 8:28-end of chapter refers to individual salvation. Romans 9:4 shows Paul most definitely focusing on the election of Israel as God's chosen people. However, he quickly moves to individuals when he discusses Jacob, Esau and Pharaoh. Also, note carefully verse 24:

    "even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?" (Romans 9:24, ESV)

    Now we are definitely talking about non-Jewish believers who are called for salvation, just as the Jews were called to be God's people. Additionally, notice verse 27 and 28 where a "remnant" from Israel are chosen out.

    Finally, the flow into chapter 10 is back on the individual where "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

    The context is all about salvation and it is difficult to find any other interpretation.
     
  8. Timtoolman

    Timtoolman New Member

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    [[/qb][/QUOTE]Ge 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

    "God's will" over the earth was given to "MAN".

    Mt 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

    And only when Jesus returns will "THY WILL" be done on earth.

    If God was "sovereign" over the earth, then God will be responsible for all the "EVIL" in the world. [/QB][/QUOTE]

    Another intersting view that I have not heard. Good post.
     
  9. Timtoolman

    Timtoolman New Member

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    I have to laugh at people who make statements like this. I mean who forgot to tell the rest of or majority of people that this was all settled 500 years ago!!! I don't think so BJ. [​IMG]
    And oh yeah, the "this is RC" teaching is getting old. RC believe Jesus was the son of God. Should we abandon this teaching also, cause they got it right you know!
    </font>[/QUOTE]Tim,

    Twice now I have posted a passage from Romans 9 as a direct answer to your statements against God's equity and you have been silent. I make a suggestion that we become familiar with Luther's writing on the subject of free will and you reply with a pithy dismissal.

    It is a bit disappointing and makes me wonder if you are being driven by a desire for God's Word or a defense of a strongly held tradition.
    </font>[/QUOTE]BJ I certainly do not mean to portray that too you but you have too realize this debate has been going on forever. I hardly think Luther settled it or it would not be such a hot topic today. Actually i hardly ever run into calvinist outside of the internet. Although I think calvinism is growing, I think you have along way to go to win the majority of born again christains to believe in calvinism. I tell you what though I promise you I will read it. Will go look for a copy now.
     
  10. bjonson

    bjonson New Member

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    Tim,

    Thank you. Inasmuch as I agree with you that the majority of Western Evangelicals would reject what we call Calvinism today, I just wish more people would realize that the reverse was the case a few generations ago. To not believe in God's freedom to save by election and predestination would have been considered gross error by the majority of born again folks in the not too distant past.

    Times have changed...
     
  11. bjonson

    bjonson New Member

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    Me4Him,

    This is not an easy question. Wherever you fit on the spectrum of God's sovereignty, you must admit that the Lord has secrets that He is not obligated to share with His creation. For example, I don't know why He put a choice in front of Adam and Eve. I don't know why Lucifer was "allowed" to fall; I don't know why He created a world of people all the while knowing most of them would end up in hell (after all, even the Arminians agree that He knew this from all eternity), so your question is difficult.

    I believe the best explanation of the verse you shared is given by MacArthur. Here is what he says on that:

    "9:22, 23 These verses are not intended to identify the origin of evil or explain fully why God has allowed it, but they do provide 3 reasons He has permitted its presence and contamination: 1) to demonstrate His wrath; 2) to make His power known; and 3) to put the riches of His glorious mercy on display. No one is treated unfairly: Some receive the justice they earn and deserve (6:23), others graciously receive mercy.
    9:22 What if. This introduces a statement of fact in the form of a rhetorical question. wanting. The Gr. word speaks of divine intention, not passive resignation. endured. God could justly destroy sinners the first time they sin. But He patiently endures their rebellion rather than giving them what every sin immediately deserves: eternal punishment. See note on 2:4. vessels of wrath. Continuing the analogy of a potter, Paul refers to those whom God has not chosen for salvation, but rather allowed to incur the just penalty for their sin—God’s wrath (see note on 1:18). prepared for destruction. By their own rejection of Him. God does not make men sinful, but He leaves them in the sin they have chosen (see note on v. 18).
    9:23 glory. The greatness of His character, seen especially in the grace, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness He grants sinners in Christ. vessels of mercy. Those He has chosen for salvation. He had prepared beforehand. Refers to divine election (see note on v. 29)."

    MacArthur, J. J. (1997, c1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.) (Ro 9:22). Nashville: Word Pub.
     
  12. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician Administrator
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    JosephB with the Pretty Israli flag,

    First off, I love Israel too.

    I have not followed the entire thread, so I am only reacting to the original question you put forth:

    Those two passages if considered in context have nothing, IMHO, to do with the topic. Please demonstrate from the Scripture (those two in particular) how one could interpret either of these to mean what you have stated and how it relates.

    Or, show some other place in the Bible where the texts say God limited himself. That sounds like a construct that someone would make up b/c they; either are afraid of the truth of the Bible on God's sovereignty OR they cannot handle what the texts (all of the texts in Scripture say on the subject) say.

    sdg!

    rd
     
  13. Linda64

    Linda64 New Member

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    Romans 9-Israel as a nation ELECTED
    Romans 10-Israel as a nation REJECTED
    Romans 11-Israel as a nation ACCEPTED

    Paul was most definitely speaking TO the predominately GENTILE church about what is going to happen with national Israel.
     
  14. StraightAndNarrow

    StraightAndNarrow Active Member

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    I basically agree with your argument. If God is truely sovereign (and He is) He could have set up the universe with whatever "rules" He choose. To argue that God must predestine our every action puts an artificial limitation on God. In fact, the Calvinist insistence on God's sovereignty in reality reduces His control and sovereignty.
     
  15. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

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    Linda and StraightAndNarrow -- excellent points and posts. Thank you.
     
  16. bjonson

    bjonson New Member

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    Linda,

    One sentance statements hardly provide a convincing argument. Yes, Israel was elected, accepted and then rejected for a time, but Paul's argument is so much more than that. Not all are Israel who are of Israel, for example, and the individual salvation of both Jews and Gentiles is due to God's electing mercy.
     
  17. Linda64

    Linda64 New Member

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    Israel is Israel and the Church is the Church--two separate entities. I don't buy into the Calvinist's doctrine on election using Romans 9 as one of their "proof" texts.

    What Paul was saying to the GENTILE church [Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: (Romans 9:6)] is this: National Israel was elected of God to preserve His truth in the world and to prepare the way for Christ's coming. To this special people, God gave a Land (Palestine) so they could live separated from the heathen peoples in order to fulfill God's purposes. God delivered the Scriptures to the world through Israel (Ro 3:1-2). He also gave the Savior to the world through Israel (Ro 9:4-5).

    National Israel's rejection of Jesus Christ as their Messiah does not annul all the covenants and promises God gave to Israel. Those covenants and promises are eternal--to Israel, not to the Church. True Israel are those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Messiah. Just because a Jew is ethnically a Jew, does not mean he is a saved Jew. His Jewishness will not get him into heaven. God has NOT forsaken His people--they will be restored (Romans 11).

    The Gentiles who believe in the Jewish Messiah are grafted into the natural olive tree (which is national Israel)--and Paul tells them that they should not boast against the branches. They (the Gentiles) are grafted in because of their faith in the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ. It is national Israel (the root of the olive tree) that supports those Gentiles who have been grafted in. The Church has not replaced national Israel, but is a partaker in their covenants and promises.
     
  18. Me4Him

    Me4Him New Member

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    If God doesn't so much as "tempt man" with sin, to remove any responsibility of sin from "HIM", why would he "created" some for the soul purpose of casting them into hell???


    I'd suggest a study of where/how sin originated, God certainly wasn't responsibility for the existences of sin.

    Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

    14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

    15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

    16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

    Scripture says sin exist because of "man's err", and it exist in "ALL MEN", but Jesus died for "ALL MEN", the "Sins of the whole world", so the whole world MIGHT BE" saved.


    It's not much of a "god" who creates a world then let satan steal the majority of the souls, especially when he is "Suppose" to have "Total Sovereignty" over the world.


    "IF" God was "predestinating", I'd think he would "reclaim" every single soul satan took, just to prove he is "great than Satan", wouldn't you???
     
  19. Me4Him

    Me4Him New Member

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    Me4Him,

    This is not an easy question. Wherever you fit on the spectrum of God's sovereignty, you must admit that the Lord has secrets that He is not obligated to share with His creation. For example, I don't know why He put a choice in front of Adam and Eve. I don't know why Lucifer was "allowed" to fall; I don't know why He created a world of people all the while knowing most of them would end up in hell (after all, even the Arminians agree that He knew this from all eternity), so your question is difficult.

    [/QB]</font>[/QUOTE]The answer is "easy", is God "OBLIGATED" to grant Grace??

    "WHY" isn't he "Obligated", and "WHY" does he???

    We're "all sinners", God is "justified" by his law to condemn all men, but what is the "REASON" he doesn't??

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world,

    The key point here is "LOVE",

    1. There's no "justification" for it.
    2. There's no "commandment" for it.
    3. There's no "reason" for it.

    It's just something "GOD CHOSE TO DO", without "justification, commandment or reason", a "FREE WILL" choice.

    "Free Will" defines "LOVE", regardless, if it's God's love toward us, or our love toward him.

    Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

    1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

    Calvin denies that the purpose of God/Jesus was to redeem the "WHOLE WORLD", but scripture clearly denies that "theory".
     
  20. Me4Him

    Me4Him New Member

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    Le 11:33 And every earthen vessel, whereinto any of them falleth, whatsoever is in it shall be unclean; and ye shall break it.

    Anything "unclean" that fell into an "earthen vessel" contaminated it, and it was to be "broken", why?

    The "contamination" could/would penetrate the "pores" of the "vessel" making it impossible to "Clean".

    This is why the "purifying water" was keep in "Stone Jars", any contamination could not penetrate the vessel, making it possible to "scrub clean".

    Our Bodies are "earthen vessel", contaminated by "SIN", and neither can they be "cleaned", but must be "broken". (die)

    Those "Vessels fit for destruction" are vessel that "REFUSE" to be "WASHED" by the "BLOOD" of Jesus,

    God doesn't become the "POTTER" in our life until "AFTER" we are saved, God only chastise (Molds) his own.

    Romans was written to the Jews, but Jew/Gentile, we all share the same "faults".
     
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