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Thread: Most difficult Scripture?

  1. #31
    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorrinRadd View Post
    Since you seem to prefer it, here are those notes...
    No, what I prefer is your comments, interspersed with quotes from Scripture or others to back them up.

    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill
    … regeneration has to precede faith.
    This is a theological presupposition not automatically evident in Scripture itself.
    Well, it stands to reason, life has to precede faith, what can a dead person do?

    For them, becoming as newborn children *followed* the choice to convert and be baptized in water, and was metaphorical (and to some extent legal); for us, it *follows* believing and receiving, and being baptized in the Spirit, and is literal (but not physical).
    You're missing the point that we are dead until God gives us life.

    "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." (Eph 2:4–5)

    We "begin with the Spirit" when we "receive the Spirit," which is the result of "believing what [we] heard" -- Gal. 3:2-3. We are saved through faith (Eph. 2, inter alia), and faith comes from hearing the word of Christ (Rom. 10:17). We hear, we trust (or do not), we are born again (or are not).
    "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." (Rom. 10:17 UNASB)

    I could read this as "we hear because Christ spoke the word to give us hearing".

    Source: Word Biblical Commentary

    διὰ ῥήματος Χριστοῦ, “through the word of Christ.” ... In this summing-up verse, Paul deliberately recalls v 8 (Lagrange, Gaugler), with perhaps the same sort of ambiguity intended in the genitive (the word of which Christ is content and author), or possibly with the same implication intended as in v 14 (Christ as the bearer of the message; see on 10:14); see Kuss, also Käsemann. Munck, on the basis of the OT parallel ἐγένετο ῥῆμα κυρίου suggests “command” (Christ, 94 and 135n.).

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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill
    "All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain." (Re 13:8)
    That Rev. citation doesn't show "choice" any more than it shows foreknowledge.
    Yes, everyone written in the book before the world began will be saved, this is along the lines of Romans 9:

    "... for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, “THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER.” (Ro 9:11–12)

    As for the first part of your comment, how do you figure it doesn't "fit with anyone's theology"? Many of us believe it is possible to apostatize.
    But I don't think the sinful Israelites were first saved, and then apostatized:

    "Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear. I have led you forty years in the wilderness..." (Dt. 29:4-5)

    and the tone of His words is that He is uncertain it will be so.
    Does God not know the future?!

    In ch. 29, Moses is placing the ability to assure proper hearts clearly in the power of I AM.

    "One vessel" is an illustration, a metaphor. And pressing too far on the "no one resists His will," IMO, invites the idea that God Himself is the ultimate author of evil.
    Didn't Job attribute all that happened to him, even the sinful deeds by the Sabeans, etc., to God?

    Job 1:21 "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised."

    Now if the Lord did not take away, if this was really not God's action, then Job sinned in attributing this to God. Yet we read further down:

    Job 2:10 "Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

    You excised the portion where Keener explained that the recipients of the letter understood election in corporate terms.
    And they were wrong, election to salvation is not corporate, election is of individuals.

    Paul is saying people are chosen because of being (not "to be") in Christ; and of course the only way to be "in Christ" is by faith.
    "In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation." (Eph. 1:11-13)

    So "in him we were chosen" is interpreted by "you were included in Christ when you heard the message", i.e. hearing the message first, then faith (Rom 10:17) and being in Christ.

    "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)

  2. #32
    tWebber Rushing Jaws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esther View Post
    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?
    Why the “otherwise” ? How could God be sought, if He did not arouse those who seek Him, to do so ? But if God does that in them, how is that not a sign of His love and mercy, goodwill and favour towards them - and a very great sign, at that ? How is such a sign of God’s favour not a very strong motive to persevere in seeking Him ?

    If, and as, it is only by the grace, mercy & power of God that any man can even think of desiring to seek God - let alone persevere to the end, with success, in seeking God ! - how can we do so great a thing by any strength that is by nature in us ? But if God is so gracious, how is that not a very powerful motive to rely on God alone for the grace to seek Him ? Mercy and graciousness are qualities of God’s freedom from all creaturely limitations - but they are not, and do not imply, whim or caprice or arbitrariness. They are manifestations of God’s goodness, and of His covenant-faithfulness.

    Let us not forget, that the way to God Who is sought, is Christ Himself. What greater proof of God’s goodness, mercy, favour, good faith, sincerity, earnestness and will to save can there be, than Christ ? Christian salvation, the search for it, and the seeking of it, are never divorced from Him.
    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 God’s purpose of selection (election, choice), which depends not on works or what men can do, but on Him Who calls [them],

    16 So then [God’s gift] is not a question of human will and human effort, but of God’s mercy. [It depends not on one’s own willingness nor on his strenuous exertion as in running a race, but on God’s having mercy on him.]
    Last edited by Rushing Jaws; 02-27-2020 at 07:12 PM.

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