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Featured The Wideness of God’s Mercy

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by SavedByGrace, Nov 11, 2021.

  1. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member
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    The Wideness of God’s Mercy

    “For God has concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy on all” (Romans 11:32)

    In both places “all” is in the Greek, “τοὺς πάντας”, when used with the definite article, “τοὺς”, has the meaning, “the whole of”, as in “the whole of the human race”

    It is clear from chapters 9-11 in Romans, that Paul is contrasting the Jews, as God’s original “elect” People, and the Gentiles (ἔθνος), a term used of all the “nations” other than the Jews. If a person was not a “Jew”, then they were “Gentiles”. This is the sum-total of the entire human race.

    When we read in Romans 9:15, “ For he said to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion”, it has nothing to do with as misused by the Reformed/Calvinist, that God only has “Mercy and Compassion” on the “elect”. All this verse in its context shows, is that our salvation is not based on any “good works”, that can be used as a “merit”, towards our salvation, but it is a free Gift from God to the entire human race.

    The language used by Paul, as in 11:32, in context, is clear that God’s Mercy is for the lost sinners of the entire human race, as is His Great Love, as seen in John 3:16.

    It is important to note in Romans 11:32, where Paul uses, “ἐλεήσῃ” (might have Mercy), that the verb is, active, subjunctive, showing that there is a “condition” attached to God’s Mercy, for salvation.

    Romans 11:32 is made clearer from what Paul says in Galatians 3:22:

    “But the Scripture shut up all under sin, so that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe”

    Here we also have “all”, for the entire human race, “τὰ πάντα”.

    Note also what Paul says here in Galatians, “δοθῇ”, which, like Romans 11:32, is also, in the “subjunctive”, which is here “conditioned” by the sinner “believing” (to those who believe).

    There is nothing “unconditional” about the sinners salvation, as they must DO something, as in “REPENT” of their sins; and “BELIEVE” in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is nonsense to argue as some foolishly do, that for the sinner to “DO” anything for their salvation, it is a “work”. How can the obeying of God’s Just demands for salvation, that the sinner must first “REPENT” and “BELIEVE”, be considered as a “merit”, as though they somehow are “earning” their salvation. This is theological nonsense taught by some.

    The Apostle Peter, when asked by the thousands who heard his sermon on the Day of Pentecost, after they were “cut to the heart” (convicted by the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:37). “What must we DO”, Peter is very clear, “REPENT…for the forgiveness of your sins”.

    Salvation, as Taught in the Holy Bible, and not man-made “theology”, as some do, is very clearly CONDITIONAL.

    The extent of God’s Mercy and Love, is UNIVERSAL, for the salvation of those who will REPENT and BELIEVE.
     
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  2. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Context, context, context...
    Romans 11:25-36 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers:a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

    sbg, the context reveals that the "all" you refer to is connected to the elect, chosen, children of the promise.
    In short, you are focusing on a tree and missing the forest. Truthfully, you need to read and study the entire letter to the Romans so you can stop mishandling sentences by dragging them outside of the context of Paul's letter. Read the whole, brother.
     
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  3. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member
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    ah, I expected your bias input, which is more to do with your theology, than what Scripture actually says! :eek:
     
  4. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Interesting you call the data from Romans 11 "biased."
    Note that I quoted the bigger picture and show you how the little word "all" fits into the whole. All you have in response is that I am biased. Any reader can see you miss the forest for the tree.
     
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  5. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Active Member

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    "If it be that with which a thing shall be or without which it shall not be we in such a case call it a condition of that thing. But in this sense faith is not the only condition of salvation or justification; for there are many things that accompany or flow from faith, with which justification shall be, and without which it will not be; and therefore are found to be put in scripture in conditional propositions with justification and salvation, in multitudes of places;such as love to God, and love to our brethern, forgiving men their tresspasses, and many other good qualifications and acts." (From Justification by Faith Alone - Jonathan Edwards;page 623 in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. I)

    Personally, my head explodes just trying to read the above but it appears to me SavedbyGrace that you and Jonathan Edwards might be in agreement on this!
     
  6. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps you and I are reading a different quote than the one you shared, because Edwards is not in agreement with sbg.
     
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  7. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Active Member

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    AustinC, I was being a smart aleck above but in all seriousness Edwards and the other Calvinists had no problem with the idea that you had to repent and believe as conditions for salvation (even for justification). Edwards also insisted that faith was the thing "done on our part" that unites us to Christ or that makes it right in God's eyes that he justify us. When moderate Calvinists on this site mention the necessity of repentance and belief for salvation they get torn to shreds by some of the Calvinists here. I'm just pointing out that Edwards himself would not have done that.
     
  8. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    It wasn't a condition. A condition means it is a cause agent. No Puritan or Reform minded person would ever place a condition on what must be done in order to cause one's salvation to be initiated by God. Edwards would never state this. His "Freedom of the Will" certainly doesn't promote this.
    There is no condition placed by God, upon men, whereby He cannot save them until they fulfill some legal requirements.
    God acts with unmerited causation to reconcile his chosen people to himself. The effect of that action is our belief and our repentance.
    Edwards, nor I, ever put human action as a first movement toward salvation before God makes His move. More importantly, God never puts human action as a first movement toward salvation before He can make His move.
     
  9. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Active Member

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    "The Works of Jonathan Edwards Vol. 1" page 622 to 654. It's called "DISCOURSE I" "Justification by Faith Alone".
    The quotes are indeed accurate and the idea of it being a "condition" is part of the exact quote.
    You are correct in that Edwards goes to great lengths to explain that we bring nothing in the sense of a merit of some type. But on this site there is a tendency to go so far in giving God credit for our salvation that folks are corrected if they say that a person must do anything to be involved in their salvation. I'm just pointing out that the Calvinists who were actually ministering in the time when Calvinism was in charge and the dominate soteriology did not do this. In fact, you could read Puritan pastors for years and not realize they were Calvinists, at least not in the sense of some of the folks on this site. If you are one of those folks read the very next thing he wrote "DISCOURSE II" "Pressing Into the Kingdom of God". It will blow you away if you think that salvation has got to be limited to just realizing one day that you are elect. I'm not saying you do this but some are saying that and in that area some of the Calvinism haters on this site are closer to the actual Calvinists than the modern Calvinists here.
     
  10. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    One must note that Edwards is discussing justification, not salvation. If you mix it up, you can get confused.
    Our legal justification is via the atoning work of Jesus at the cross. We stand before God, uncondemned, because of the sacrificial payment that fully paid off the sentence brought upon us by sin.
    God gives us faith to believe, which justifies us on judgment day. Paul spends chapters 1-11 of Romans going over this meticulously.
    In Ephesians 2:1-9 we see the means of salvation (grace alone) which then leads us into justification by faith. Thus Paul tells us (twice), we are saved by grace. He then continues the second time to say "through faith" which is then the means of our justification.
     
  11. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Active Member

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    I tend to agree with the last post. I was just pointing out that if you object to people saying things like "you have to repent and believe as a condition for justification" you maybe are being overly precise. It didn't bother Edwards to use that language. Thomas Watson in his explanation of effectual calling (and you could never say Watson was not a Calvinist) says "The Scripture confines justification to those who believe and repent". I know some of the folks on here hate Calvinism and they may mean something else when they say that but we can't get around the fact that top practicing Christian Calvinists from the Puritan era used terminology like that. If you know a way to resolve these quotes I would like to hear it but I tend to think we may just are being too precise. I really don't know.
     
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  12. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    SBG,
    Scripture actually says:

    " (for [the children] being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth; )
    12 it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
    13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
    14 What shall we say then? [Is there] unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
    15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
    16 So then [it is] not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
    17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
    18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will [have mercy], and whom he will he hardeneth."
    ( Romans 9:11-18 ).

    God's mercy and compassion are selective ( Matthew 1:21, Matthew 11:25-27, Matthew 13:10-11 and many others ) , and per Romans 11:32,
    which comes right after the Lord, through Paul, explains that:

    1) God has not cast away His people that He foreknew ( Romans 11:1-4 ), and that He had reserved to Himself 7,000 in the days of Elijah, who had not bowed the knee to Ba'al.

    2) At this present time there is also a remnant according to the election "of" ( originating with ) God's grace ( Romans 11:5-6 ), which is as far from the works of men as is east and west.

    3) Israel has not obtained what it sought after...salvation. But the election ( God's elect ) have obtained it, and the rest were blinded...by God, while elect Gentiles were included ( Romans 11:7-12 ).

    4) Although the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant will be saved ( Romans 9:27, two chapters before ).

    ....After all of this ( and a great deal more in the preceding chapters ), I can see that it was always the Lord's plan to conclude all in unbelief ( because we really were all in unbelief ), so that He might ( signifies purpose, not possibility ) have mercy upon all.

    But I find in the chapters leading up to Romans 11, that that mercy has always been extended to the vessels of mercy, which He has afore prepared unto glory...
    and no others.

    The wideness ( and narrowness ) of God's mercy is aimed at His elect, the "whosoever believeth", from the heart, out of every tongue, tribe and nation....
    A multitude that no man can number ( Revelation 7:9 ), and yet, comparatively speaking, few are saved ( Matthew 7:13-14 ).
     
    #12 Dave G, Nov 12, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2021
  13. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member
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    Firstly, the choosing of Jacob over Esau, as the context clearly says, "The elder shall serve the younger", so where do you get salvation from?

    Secondly, are you saying that God "hated" Esau, literally, and then says, "If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen" (1 John 4:20)? And, 2:9, "Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness". And, 3:14-15, "We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him"???

    So God HATES and it is OK, and we HATE and are MURDERERS???
     
  14. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    " Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they [are] not all Israel, which are of Israel:
    7 neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, [are they] all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
    8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these [are] not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
    9 For this [is] the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.
    10 And not only [this]; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
    11 (for [the children] being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;
    " ( Romans 9:6-11 ).
     
    #14 Dave G, Nov 12, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2021
  15. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    Yes.
    Are you telling the reader that you do not believe that clear and unequivocal statement?

    " As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."
    I see that that applies to those who profess Christ, not the Lord's love for a people.
    The difference is our love for fellow believers, versus God's everlasting love for us...

    Those that He has chosen in Christ.
    Yes, and I see that you understand ( even if you disbelieve ) what Psalms 5:4-12 and Psalms 11:5-7 ( among others ), are stating my friend.

    God hates the worker of iniquity, and loves the righteous.
    He loved Jacob and hated Esau ( Romans 9:13 ).

    Is there unrighteousness with God?
     
    #15 Dave G, Nov 12, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2021
  16. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member
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    Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people, and he abhorred his heritage; he gave them into the hand of the nations, so that those who hated them ruled over them. Their enemies oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their power.
    Psalms 106:40-42
     
  17. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    Exactly.
    The anger of the Lord was kindled against His disobedient nation of Israel, who refused to uphold the terms of His covenant of Law which was given to them through Moses.
    A covenant that described blessings for obedience, and cursings for disobedience.

    Please see Exodus through Deuteronomy.

    The covenant that His spiritual people ( out of every tongue, tribe and nation ) are under, does not include anger and cursings, my friend, and never has.
    It is one of blessings and honor for the sake of both His mercy and grace, and His Son's work on their behalf.
     
  18. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member
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    The point that I am making from the passage in Psalms, is that God DETESTED His own people. So why the big deal about Esau?
     
  19. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    The point that I am making from that same passage is the context of His hatred and anger...

    He detested His own physical nation of Israel,
    which was mainly composed of people whom He had not reserved unto Himself ( 1 Kings 19:18, Isaiah 1:9, Romans 11:4-5 ),

    ...not His spiritual people whom He has always loved with an everlasting love ( Jeremiah 31:1-9, Romans 8:28-30, 1 John 4:19 ).

    Do you understand the difference, my friend?

    It has to do with covenants and their terms, plus who He chooses to be saved.
    It has nothing to do with what choices that we as men make, that determines our salvation.
    Salvation is by grace, not of works, lest any man should boast ( Ephesians 2:8-9 ).

    God relies on His own efforts and decisions to determine who to save ( unmerited favor )...
    He does not extend to us an offer that relies on our efforts and decisions that result in Him saving anyone ( merited favor ).
    To me, you call the first one "Calvinism" and the second one "truth".
    I call the first one "grace" and the second one "works", just as Romans 11:5-6 tells me.

    Back to the OP:

    I see that the wideness of His mercy extends exactly as far as His word tells us...
    and it appears to me that you've missed ( or don't believe ) some of what His word has to say.:(

    Please read Romans 9 again, SBG.
    It speaks of vessels of wrath, and vessels of mercy.
     
    #19 Dave G, Nov 12, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2021
  20. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    Firstly,
    Because they are not demands made to all men...

    They are commands to His largely unrepentant nation of Israel ( Matthew 3:2, Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:15 ) that were, at the point that Jesus preached those things, still under a covenant of Law that required them to acknowledge and obey their Lord and Master's commands, and they are also not things that precede God's election of a person...said choosing, in Christ, was before the foundation of the world ( Ephesians 1:4-5 ).

    Secondly,
    They are not "conditions", they are evidences.

    To make them conditions would mean that God is then a respecter of persons, and grants His favor to only those who meet the conditions.
    Not of works, lest any man should boast?
    I would say that if the subject came up, then under that system, we as men would have plenty to boast of.

    If that is how God saves someone, then salvation is granted to a person because they met the conditions, while the other person did not.
    While that may seem natural to us as men, that is not how God's grace, according to the Scriptures, actually works.
     
    #20 Dave G, Nov 12, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2021
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