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Discussion of the first article of the "affirmations" and in particular 2nd Timothy

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by agedman, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Nov 4, 2011
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    The “affirmation” states that “God’s desire (is) for every person to be saved;” in the denial portion, attempts to refute the view that “only a select few are capable of responding to the Gospel while the rest are predestined to an eternity in hell.”

    It is important to keep in mind that the “desire for every person to be saved” does not mean God causes every person to be saved. Nor does it mean that God provides a way for every person to be saved.

    Humankind may have many desires, but action upon the desires is to be regulated and purposed. Desire and acting upon that desire are two completely different items.

    For example: Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem and express how he desired the people come to him. Did they come to Him? Were they capable of coming to Him? The answer is “No” to both questions. For the Scriptures state in John 12
    38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
    39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
    40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
    41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.​

    Although God may “desire” something to happen, that in no condition obligates His action to cause it to happen.

    To that end, it is with the denial part of the affirmation that this thread seeks to clarify.

    The letter to Timothy states,
    “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior…” ​
    The prayer is to be made for all men without distinguishing status or station.

    According to the first chapter of this letter, Paul had some problems with certain folks. He writes,
    “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.”​

    Paul continues to show that common law serves a good purpose, and that his own salvation given to was from one who broke the laws; he states,
    “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”​

    Paul says that is one of the reasons he received God’s mercy and ministry.
    “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”​

    It then is within THIS context that Paul makes the statements of chapter 2 which the affirmation seeks to use.

    1 Timothy 2:3-4;
    3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;
    4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
    5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.​

    Who would deny that it would not be great if all men were saved, and all enjoy the wisdom of the Holy Spirit?

    The problem with the thinking of the affirmation seems to be the assumption that “who will have” is showing determination, when in actuality it is showing preference. Just as Jesus wept over Jerusalem, God prefers that all men be saved.

    However, just as God blinded the eyes of folks that a selected a few were opened that His purpose be fulfilled, there is no Scripture to state that God has change the operation and open all humankind's eyes until the millennial reign.

    Unless (as Paul states) God directly and purposely saves by mercy for ministry, the best believers can do is pray. Paul makes this very clear in his own declaration of salvation and the purpose behind it to king Agrippa. Acts 26
    "15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
    16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
    17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
    18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
    19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:" ​

    God did not open everyone's eyes which is not only Scripturally evident, but historically true - remember the martyr's statement, "Open the kings eyes"?

    This does not make God unjust, unkind, or unequal in treatment of humankind. Rather, it validates that salvation is wholly of God, without the volition of man, and in direct opposition to what the affirmations would state and deny.

    Rather than lengthen this thread much further, I suggest the reader make the same investigation of the letter that Peter wrote in which part is quoted here.

    2 Peter 3:9

    9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
    10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
    11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
    12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?​

    On the surface it would appear that these two passages alone would support the affirmation; however, an examination of the context and audience will dissolve the support and actually support what the affirmations deny.

    The misuse of the Scriptures by the affirmation(s) is saddened only further by the beguilement of the common pew sitter who will accept as truthful what is a weak and Scripturally unsupportable document.

    It isn’t merely the ignorant pew sitters – there are those on the BB who are deceived by the affirmation without checking their preconceived bias and really investigating the Scriptural proofs offered to verify the appropriate application.