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Thread: Most difficult Scripture?

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    Most difficult Scripture?

    Hi this is my first post in years.

    Has there been any discussion about Romans 9:11 and 16 before? I find these two verses and their context very sobering. Probably the most difficult in all of the Bible. Reason: It is comforting to believe that if anyone just seeks after God hard enough one can find Him, but this scripture indicates otherwise?

    Romans 9:
    11 And the children were yet unborn and had so far done nothing either good or evil. Even so, in order further to carry out Godís purpose of selection (election, choice), which depends not on works or what men can do, but on Him Who calls [them],

    16 So then [Godís gift] is not a question of human will and human effort, but of Godís mercy. [It depends not on oneís own willingness nor on his strenuous exertion as in running a race, but on Godís having mercy on him.]
    Last edited by Esther; 08-30-2019 at 09:47 AM. Reason: Bible passage copy and paste

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    (want to get back to this in a bit)
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

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    Note that the following is not a standard understanding of Rom 9-11 but this is what I intend to flesh out in the future.

    Romans 9-11 explains how God was faithful to his promises to Israel, despite the low numbers of Jews who came to follow Jesus. (Actually, I would say that Jews in the first century had better access to the gospel than anyone elsewhere within the world.)
    So, Romans 9 was showing how the remnant (as in Rom 11:1-6) was a demonstration of the faithfulness of God to the promises.

    The verses you mention are part of the argument to show that God had always narrowed down who, among the forefather bloodline, would be benefactors of the promise.

    The application of these verses to modern people may have some relevance ... this may be accurate. But, the case has to be built based on arguments extending Paul's original purpose within Rom 9 plus any additional scriptures that supplement the idea that God selects all people who will be justified.

    The doctrine isn't really helpful in modern times since we would be unable to know whom God has selected. The other probblem is that Romans 9 was retrospective instead of anticipating future people that would be justified.

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    Oops....... mossrose's Avatar
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    Esther!



    Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

  5. Amen Teallaura amen'd this post.
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    Yeah, Romans 9 is one of the most controversial chapters in the New Testament, if not the most controversial. The crux of the debate is whether corporate or individual election is in mind. For greater context, I think you have to read chapters 9-11 together as they're basically one unit of thought.
    "Technology has, in an enhanced way, given mockers a platform to set society on fire with polarizing speech. Internet culture privileges those whose insults are click bait." - Timothy Keller

  7. Amen DesertBerean amen'd this post.
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    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    I do believe that salvation is by God's choice alone, and that Romans 9 is speaking primarily about individuals, and their salvation (see Rom. 10:1). This is a difficult doctrine, but I believe it is supported by Scripture, note that all the analogies of salvation appear to be passive on the part of the individual (birth, new creation, seed sown in the ground, etc.).

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by mossrose View Post
    Esther!

    Sure. another sorority member.

  10. Amen mossrose, DesertBerean amen'd this post.
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    42nd Mojave Year DesertBerean's Avatar
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    Wow, Esther. LONG time no see!


  12. Amen mossrose amen'd this post.
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    Thank you for replies and welcome. These verses remain sobering (not a bad thing) but they also tend to make me want to give up persevering in prayer for others salvation. Ultimately God's Will be done. I accept this and it strangely lifts the burden of praying for and "winning" people to Christ. (I am sure this is not correct thinking but that is where I am at this point).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Esther View Post
    Thank you for replies and welcome. These verses remain sobering (not a bad thing) but they also tend to make me want to give up persevering in prayer for others salvation. Ultimately God's Will be done. I accept this and it strangely lifts the burden of praying for and "winning" people to Christ. (I am sure this is not correct thinking but that is where I am at this point).
    Esther, the best commentary on the Bible is the Bible. When you find a verse that is difficult, and you tend to come to a particular conclusion, it's always good to look at that "troublesome" verse in the light of all other Scripture.

    What we often call "The Lord's Prayer", in my opinion, is "the Model Prayer", and the 'real' "Lord's Prayer" is in John 17, where he prays even for us.

    In "The Great Commission", Jesus tells His disciples to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."

    The entire book of Acts (what I like to call the Acts of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles) has Peter and Paul telling people about Jesus, and a resulting "coming to Jesus" of many, many people.

    I'm afraid you're "accepting" a rather weak argument against the overall record of the New Testament beginning with Jesus coming "to seek and to save them which are lost" to the Holy Spirit even giving road directions to Philip in order for him to have an encounter with the Ethiopian so that the Ethiopian can find and accept Salvation.

    When Jesus was here, he was the Light of the World -- "as long as I am in the world" - but He gave that job to us. WE are the light of the world, and it is our responsibility to be salt and light to the lost.

    I am saddened that you find comfort in the deception that we do not have a part in the introduction of lost people to Jesus. The JOY we get from leading somebody to Christ is almost like getting saved all over again!
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

  15. Amen Teallaura amen'd this post.

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