Romans 9, Calvinism, Traditionalism (by David R. Brumbelow)

by Guest Blogger on July 13, 2012 · 265 comments

In Romans 9 God says, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”

Romans 9 is one of the Calvinists’ favorite chapters. They refer to it often and believe it refers to personal salvation. They use it against Traditionalists or non-Calvinists. Some say Traditionalists have no answer to this obviously Calvinistic Scripture, or that they don‘t believe it. One joked a couple of years ago about how a Traditionalist tore Romans 9 out of his Bible. We have even been accused of not believing in inerrancy because we do not agree with their interpretation of this passage.

The answer to Romans 9, however, is very simple. When referring to Jacob and Esau, God is not speaking of two individuals, but of two nations (see also Genesis 25:23). God is not saying, I’m sending one of you to Heaven and one of you to Hell.

Romans is quoting an Old Testament passage, not from Genesis, but from Malachi (1:2-3), long after Jacob and Esau were dead. Both passages (Romans & Malachi) refer to the nations of Israel and Edom.

Furthermore, love and hate are used differently than they are often used today. Hate is used in the sense of “loved less.” This use of the word hate is seen in Genesis 29:30-31 and Luke 14:26.

This Scripture is not speaking of personal salvation, but of how God elected Israel to be His chosen people and passed over Edom. For example, my song leader can’t preach and I as pastor can’t sing. God gave us different gifts and talents. Does that mean He hates (in our modern day view of hate) one of us and loves the other? No, God loves us both, but chose us for different roles. It has nothing to do with our personal salvation.

Calvinists have made the mistake of saying this chapter is only about personal election, about whether one is sent to Heaven or Hell.

Both sides will have all types of variations and nuances in their interpretation of Romans 9. But my views presented above are certainly not out of the ordinary. A few quotes should prove this true:

“God hardened Pharaoh’s heart because Pharaoh first hardened his own heart.”
“All God did was to crystallize the sin that was already in him [Pharaoh]. God did not take a little tender child and say, “I’m going to harden your heart and then I’m going to cast you into Hell.”
On Romans 9 and Jacob and Esau; “God is not talking about two little babies, one born for Heaven and one born for Hell. That’s not what He is saying at all. This is national, not personal.” Later, “God was not talking about salvation. He was simply saying that Israel is going to be His choice, and the descendants of Jacob are going to be His spiritual leaders in the world…Nothing is said here about one twin going to Heaven and the other twin going to Hell.”
On the Scripture, “The vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.” “Well, how did they get ripe for destruction? In his word study, Vincent reminds us that this is the middle voice, which means simply that they fitted themselves for destruction. It is not the potter than fits them for destruction. It is the potter who is long-suffering. It is the vessels of wrath who fit themselves for destruction. God never made anybody to go to Hell. God wants people saved. He wants you saved. First Timothy 2:4 speaks of ‘God who will have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth.’”
-Adrian Rogers, Predestined for Hell? Absolutely Not!, lwf.org.

“Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated must be interpreted in the sense of nations, not individuals, which is the original reference in the two OT quotations (Genesis 25:23; Malachi 1:2,3). The nations of Israel and Edom are in view, not Jacob and Esau as individual men, whose names occur as eponymous ancestors of the later tribes.” “Moreover, ‘love’ and ‘hate’ are not the grounds of election as we understand these subjective feelings…The emotional terms indicate rather a special function and destiny. Judah, not Edom, was elected for progressive revelation in history. This meaning may be supported by the rendering ‘Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I loved less.’”
-The New Bible Commentary: Revised, Edited by D. Guthrie, J. A. Motyer, A. M. Stibbs, D. J. Wiseman, publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans; 1970.

“God is not speaking here about the individual Jacob but about the nation of Jacob (Israel)…The reference here is not to individual election but to the corporate election of a chosen nation – Israel.”
“Regardless of the corporate election of Israel as a nation, each individual had to accept the Messiah in order to be saved.”
“God’s ‘love’ for Jacob and ‘hate’ for Esau is not speaking of those men before they were born, but long after they lived.”
“The Hebrew word for ‘hated’ really means ‘loved less.’”
-Dr. Norman Geisler, Chosen But Free: A Balanced View of Divine Election, Bethany House; 1999, 2010.

“The key to unlocking the mystery of this passage – if ‘mystery’ it may be called – is found in our Lord’s declaration of verse 12: ‘It was said to her, the elder shall serve the younger.’ It ought to be pointed out, and pointed out every strongly, that ‘S-E-R-V-E’ does not spell ‘S-A-L-V-A-T-I-O-N.’”
“As a matter of fact, the whole issue is a national matter which pertains to governments, not a personal matter dealing with the salvation of individuals. This ‘purpose of God according to election’ deals strictly with the descendants of Esau serving the descendants of Jacob! The entire chapter relates to God’s dealing with a nation, Israel, not with
individuals as such.”
-Dr. R. L. Sumner, An Examination of TULIP: The Five Points of Calvinism, biblicalevangelist.org; 1972.

“Israel’s election to serve as a chosen people and individual election to salvation for Christians is interwoven in Romans 9-11. Calvinists often do not give adequate attention to the former.”
-Dr. Steve W. Lemke, Whosoever Will, Edited by David L. Allen and Steve W. Lemke, B&H; 2010.

“Romans 9:13 is a reference to Malachi 1:2-3 and refers to nations (Israel and Edom) and not individual sinners. God does not hate sinners. John 3:16 makes it clear that He loves sinners. The statement here has to do with national election, not individual.”
-Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, Volume I, Victor Books; 1989.

“There is no question here of predestination to Heaven or reprobation to Hell; in fact, eternal issues do not really come in throughout this chapter, although, of course, they naturally follow as the result of the use or abuse of God-given privileges. But we are not told here, or anywhere else, that before children are born it is God’s purpose to send one to Heaven and another Hell…The passage has entirely to do with privilege here on earth.”
-H. A. Ironside, Romans. Quoted in Whosoever Will, Allen & Lemke.

If you disagree with this interpretation, that is your right. If you disagree I do not believe you are a heretic or leaning toward heresy; we will just disagree.

But the point here is that Traditionalists do have, and have had, an explanation of Romans 9. We don’t ignore it, we believe it and teach it. And it is ridiculous to say because we disagree with a standard Calvinist interpretation that we don’t believe in inerrancy.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, July 8, AD 2012.
gulfcoastpastor.blogspot.com

*******

This article, as published at Gulf Coast Pastor is found at:
http://gulfcoastpastor.blogspot.com/2012/07/romans-9-calvinism-traditionalism.html

 

1 Edmond Long July 13, 2012 at 9:31 am

Love and hate had to do with choosing, not loving one more or the other less. God loved Jacob, chose him, and hated Esau, did not choose him. Jacob was chosen as the bearer of the promise, and Esau was rejected. You are right, though, this text has nothing whatsoever to do with election to salvation.

2 Tom Fillinger July 13, 2012 at 9:33 am

David,

I suggest you read and offer a credible EXEGETICAL response to pp. 37-66 in the title Whomever He Wills. There is a vast difference between a Polemic and an Exegetical response. Every citation you provide in your post is based on Polemics not Exegesis understood in an integrated manner.

Thank you for your post.

In Grace,
Tom

3 Godismyjudge July 13, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Tom,

David quoted from commentaries. In fact, the longest and most detailed explanations of Romans 9 have come from the non-Calvinist side. (Goodwin’s over 400 pages just on Romans 9, Morison’s over 700 pages, and Abasciano’s recent 2 volumes with a 3rd coming). One wonders if you will not call such works “exegetical” simply because you disagree with them.

God be with you,
Dan

4 Jeff Parsons July 13, 2012 at 9:53 am

I don’t agree, but I do appreciate the manner it which this post was offered. We need more dialogue of this type and less questioning of people’s motives.

With that in mind and with all due respect, I have a question. Since the preceding verses seem to be talking about the individuals Jacob and Esau, (starting at v. 6) how do those holding to the traditionalist position deal with the context of these verses? I’m not trying to challenge your position. I sincerely want to know how traditionalist deal with these verses.

5 John Wylie July 13, 2012 at 10:37 am

Jeff,
I can’t speak for David, but I can speak as one who believes that what’s being spoken of is nations. You’re absolutely right context is important. Starting in verse 6 Paul is making a distinction between the promised line and the other descendants of Abraham. He is setting the stage for his discourse about Jacob and Esau. Esau was of the seed of Abraham but was not the seed of promise. Jacob was the chosen seed, the ultimate father of the nation of Israel, the one who would bear the name Israel.

I will say this, isn’t awesome that we can have a respectful discussion and actually talk about a text? I love it.

David,
Great article brother. It was well written. Also, great to have gotten to meet you at the conference. I really enjoyed our time together.

6 Jeff Parsons July 13, 2012 at 10:48 am

John,

Thank you for our courteous reply. As John K. mentioned below, there are so many interpretations of these verses that we will never know precisely what Paul meant this side of heaven. It does help me considerably to understand how traditionalist deal with these verses. I may not agree, but I can appreciate that conclusions have been reached out of a sincere study of God’s word…..and you’re right, it is awesome to be able to talk about a text without any other agenda than to edify one another. The priority on Christian unity throughout scripture is clear. Hopefully, these type of conversations become the norm at SBC Voices.

7 Tom Fillinger July 13, 2012 at 10:19 am

This interview of D.A. Carson by R.C. Sproul on Principles of Exegesis contributes much to this discussion.
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlZV40mBNDs).

In Grace,
Tom

8 John K July 13, 2012 at 10:40 am

David R. Brumbelow,
Thank you for posting your view on Romans 9.

“If you disagree with this interpretation, that is your right. If you disagree I do not believe you are a heretic or leaning toward heresy; we will just disagree.”

Thank you for acknowledging others disagree with your interpretation. We know many verses have interpretive issues that Traditionalist may not agree with Calvinist or Traditionalist may not even agree with even Arminianism, but that does not preclude us from worshiping together brother.

“And it is ridiculous to say because we disagree with a standard Calvinist interpretation that we don’t believe in inerrancy.”

I am surprised anyone would say that about Traditionalist. Romans 9 has had multiple views and commentaries written about it for 100 of years in fact 1000’s years. Hope that does not trouble Traditionalist to much. Best to you brother and if someone says you don’t believe in inerrancy just turn the other cheek and point them towards the multiple commentaries. They can easily pull them up on the internet written by some of the finest theologians God has placed on this earth that differ from one another in love.

9 D.R. Randle July 13, 2012 at 10:58 am

Let me offer two objections to this exegesis (or polemic, as Tom called it).

1) The idea that this passage is only about national election and not individual election betrays the entire context of the passage. The point, as stated in the opening verses, is that Paul is trying to explain how the vast majority of Israelites have rejected Christ, yet the Word of God makes all these promises to the Israelites that Paul claims (as well as the other Biblical writers) are fulfilled in Christ. Thus, if corporate election is true, then how come the vast majority of Israelites are not saved? His answer is not “their sin”, but rather the very answer God gives is ELECTION! Individual unconditional election!

From his opening words and particular v.6-7, the focus is on how some Israelites can be saved and others not. It’s individual, not national – because the entire nation has not rejected, just most Israelites. His answer in vv.6-7 is that just because someone is ethnically Jewish doesn’t mean they are truly Jewish (not all Israelites are Israelites, as Paul says). He further explains how one is a true Israelite – “This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring (v.8). And how is this accomplished? Verse 9-11 explain by using the example of Jacob and Esau – not as nations, but as individuals. Paul says that before either were born and either had done anything good or bad (speaking language that is not national, but individual) Jacob was loved “in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls” (v.11). Again, Paul uses exclusively individual language, not national.

Then, he uses individual language again in v.14-18. He is speaking of Pharaoh, not Egypt. God didn’t harden Egypt – He hardened Pharaoh – an individual. And if you actually go back and read the account of the plagues, you will see that Pharaoh didn’t harden his heart first, but rather God said He would harden Pharaoh’s heart first (Ex. 4:21 – notice that God doesn’t say that Pharaoh will harden his heart and therefore, He will then harden it, but He takes full and total responsibility for the act prior to it happening). In fact, it is not until Exodus 8 that we find Pharaoh to be said “hardening” his own heart. Every time before that and several times after it (even in that very context) hardened is used in a passive sense (Pharaoh’s heart is hardened). And not only that, but again God’s purposes are what are most important and serve as the reason why this hardening takes place – never is the hardening said by God in Exodus to be a result of Pharaoh’s sin (only Moses states this on the basis of his human viewpoint).

So when you look at this entire passage, all of it speaks in individual language, not corporate language. The view is to individuals, not nations.

2) The idea that this passage is only about national election and not individual election fails to explain why Paul feels the need to answer objections that speak to individual election, not national election. Notice vv. 14 & 19-24. These verses speak to an individual’s objections about personal election, not national election. Verse 14 asks, “What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!” Why does Paul need to answer this objection if nation’s are in view? He wouldn’t. Corporate election is already assumed by the Israelites (and the Gentile). In fact, corporate election is the problem in this text. Paul gives the solution, which is that election is not merely corporate, but individual. Thus, the only reasonable answer here in regard to why Paul answers these objections is because Paul sees clearly that people would view unconditional election as something that would make God unjust – which is the very reason why non-Calvinists seek to explain this passage away as national election – because they feel God is unjust to unconditionally elect individuals. But no one feels God is unjust to elect Israel corporately apart from other nations.

Then look at vv.19-24. Again, the objection here only works if individual election is the context. And every “who” in the passage is singular, not plural – emphasizing the individual nature of Paul’s answer (we see this even more specifically in v.20, with the objection coming from a singular individual asking “why did you make ME like this?”).

So again, individual election is in play all throughout Romans 9, which is why NO ONE even doubts that individual salvation is in play in Romans 10, when Paul speaks of calling on the Lord, confessing, and believing (and why it is so vitally important for these things to happen – because God doesn’t elect us corporately in Christ, He elects us individually in Christ and unconditionally at that).

The whole passage then solves the problem that Paul has – namely that most individual Jews are not coming to Christ and if they are elected only corporately, how then can God’s Word be true. The answer is actually individual election, not corporate election – individual salvation, not corporate salvation (which all Baptists believe). Israel was not saved based on their corporate election, but they were saved on the basis of their individual unconditional election (before … they were … born and had done nothing either good or bad). And why does God accomplish this individual unconditional election? “… in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls.”

10 D.R. Randle July 13, 2012 at 11:06 am

Let me add something before anyone answers my objections. I am writing in a debate style (matter-of-fact) tone. I am doing this purposefully because it is direct and gets to the heart of the exegesis. Please do not read this with any other tone in mind. I realize that from a certain point of view, this could come across as arrogant because I didn’t use generous language throughout. For instance, the word “betray” could set one of edge if they read this believing that I should be using a more conversational tone in mind. However, that is not my intent and the language I use here is such that you would read in any standard commentary. Because of discourse on blogs, we can typically fail to distinguish between an academic tone and a conversational one and then view this as me saying that “David is betraying the text.” I don’t think David is betraying anything. I believe he is firmly within the Orthodox tradition in his interpretation. But I believe that interpretation is flawed and it “betrays” the context and force of Paul’s words here.

So again, please don’t read this with a harsh tone, but rather read it like you would a commentary or academic work (though I know it doesn’t rise to that level). Thanks.

11 John Wylie July 13, 2012 at 11:14 am

D.R.,
Thanks for both posts. I really appreciate your second one because often in written form passion gets mistaken for aggression. I really appreciate you settling the tone issue.

I do have one question, David correctly mentioned that the Esau and Jacob passage is a quote from Malachi, do you believe the context of the quote from Malachi should be brought to bear on Romans 9?

12 John Wylie July 13, 2012 at 11:17 am

Btw I’m about to be gone the rest of the day. I would like to reenter this conversation tonight. I just didn’t want anyone to think that I was engaging in a “drive by” comment in my question above. I am really encouraged by this conversation.

13 D.R. Randle July 13, 2012 at 11:21 am

Yes and no. Yes, because I don’t believe Paul rips this quote out of context, but then no (we can’t take all of our context from merely Malachi), because the story itself is found in Genesis. Paul is drawing from both contexts, not just Malachi and additionally he is showing the fullness of God’s purpose, not merely the purpose as understood by the Israelites. When we do Biblical Theology, this fuller purpose must be drawn to light, else we miss the forest for the trees. Hope that helps. Can’t offer a more full answer because I have to run out now.

14 D.R. Randle July 13, 2012 at 11:11 am

Sorry, let me add one more thing and then I will be done and you guys can go at it. I will be back later this afternoon to check in.

David Brumbelow,

Thank you for opening up this discussion. It is vital we stay focused on the text and not on cheap shots made at one another using leading questions and such propaganda-like methods. You have done all of us at SBC Voices a great service in posting this article. I would love to see more of this here. And, you have put yourself out there in your interpretation, which is always courageous, no matter who is backing you or agrees with you. So again thank you. And thank you for your irenic tone especially.

15 Godismyjudge July 13, 2012 at 1:12 pm

D.R. Randle,

On the one hand the OT quotations were about national election (Jacob was consider as a head of the nation). In this David has a point – the idea that the OT passages are speaking of God hating Esau or not choosing Esau as an individual, is wrong and clearly violates the OT passages Paul quotes.

On the other hand, you are right that Paul’s point is broader then just what is said in the OT. Romans 9 is not a commentary on Genesis 25 – rather Paul is applying the passage to make a point applicable to his audience. Paul’s point is that salvation will not be based on nationality or works but rather based on God who calls or mercy.

Where you overstep, I think, is equating the idea that God will save based on mercy with the idea of unconditional individual election. But God’s saving based on mercy (rather than works or nationality) is important on it’s own (without going to unconditional individual elect). And this explains many of the questions you raised, such as why are the Jews lost and why Paul addresses the objections he does.

Imagine you were a Hebrew in Paul’s time. You might be trusting your birthright to get you into a relationship with God and your works to keep you in that relationship. After all God chose Israel as a nation and gave it the law. Now Paul comes along and says, only those who trust Christ go to heaven. Some Hebrews at that time said, no fair, I worked so hard. I deserve heaven. But God says, it’s not based on desire or effort, but My mercy.

God be with you,
Dan

16 D.R. Randle July 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Dan, you say:

Where you overstep, I think, is equating the idea that God will save based on mercy with the idea of unconditional individual election. But God’s saving based on mercy (rather than works or nationality) is important on it’s own (without going to unconditional individual elect).

I don’t have space to explain this point by point here, but I would simply say that the flow of the passage does indeed require unconditional election. It is introduced in vv.8-13 in God’s choosing of Jacob over Esau “though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls…”

Then it is strengthened in vv.15-16 (For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy”). In both of these texts, Paul sets us a paradigm that so points to unconditional election and God’s mercy in individual salvation that it bothers one enough that they would cry out, “What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part?” If individual election is conditional, then there is no need to worry about God’s injustice, because clearly He is giving them equal choice in the matter. One could only claim that God is unjust if mercy (rather man’s choice) is the determining factor of individual election. If God’s mercy in salvation is conditioned upon man’s choice, then there would be reasonable way that one could ask this question and especially not the next set of questions.

These next questions: “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” in v.19 make not sense to ask if election is conditional. Why is fault of man and the will of God necessary topics for Paul to explain? It is precisely because the individual election of man is based on God’s mercy and grace and not on the condition of man’s free choice.

Additionally, it is clear again that individual salvation is the focus based on vv.22-24 (“What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?”). Wrath and glory are clearly speaking of individual salvation. And yet, the determining factor again is God’s mercy and choice, not the individual’s. So if this text doesn’t teach unconditional election, then it fails to teach anything about election that is controversial and in need of answering these questions and so boldly declaring that God is not unjust. There is simply no reason to worry that God is unjust, or that He cannot fault us for our sin, or that His will alone is determinative, if our choice in election is our own.

Now, it seems like your response to this is your statement below – a context that requires a wholistically Jewish audience and one that requires a particular context. So allow me to deal with it. You say:

Imagine you were a Hebrew in Paul’s time. You might be trusting your birthright to get you into a relationship with God and your works to keep you in that relationship. After all God chose Israel as a nation and gave it the law. Now Paul comes along and says, only those who trust Christ go to heaven. Some Hebrews at that time said, no fair, I worked so hard. I deserve heaven. But God says, it’s not based on desire or effort, but My mercy.

The problem with the scenario you paint here is that it is not the context of this passage. First, Paul is writing to both Jews and Gentiles, and not to those who would have thought it unfair that they worked so hard for Heaven and now they must rely on God’s mercy instead of their own righteousness. Secondly, Paul’s concern is primarily his own sorrow that the Israelites are rejecting God, not that the Jews think it is unfair that they have worked so hard and not gotten to Heaven. Paul is not explaining to Jews why they need Christ (he’s already done that in Chapter 2-3), but rather explaining to Himself and His audience why God’s Word hasn’t failed in delivering the Promises to those to whom they were given despite the fact that His people have generally rejected Christ.

Your scenario above doesn’t work in light of vv.1-6. Paul is not worried at this point about the Jews trying to have their own righteousness. As I said, he has already dealt with that and settled it in Chapters 2-3. Now he is moving on to deal with the aspects of corporate v. individual election in Chapters 9-11. Thus, your interpretation doesn’t function properly within the context.

Again, I wish I had more space to work this out, but I would advise you to read John Piper’s excellent book, The Justification of God where he does spend some time working these things out rather well. Thanks for the discussion.

17 Don Johnson July 13, 2012 at 5:08 pm

D.R.,

Paul’s quote is from Gen. 25:23. Do you believe God was speaking of nations or individuals? Paul also states, as does God,that the elder shall serve the younger. Could you show in Genesis where Esau served Jacab? What does “hardeneth” mean in the context?

18 Godismyjudge July 13, 2012 at 5:13 pm

D. R.,

Thank you for your thoughtful response. Much could be said in reply but let me dig in right here:

I would simply say that the flow of the passage does indeed require unconditional election. It is introduced in vv.8-13 in God’s choosing of Jacob over Esau “though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls…”

I think this is key because understanding 8-13 will help guide our understanding the rest. Please allow me to ask you a few questions.

Was the election of Jacob over Esau as taught in Genesis 25 and Malachi A) corporate and to national blessings, B) unconditional individual salvation or C) both?

I would contend that the OT texts teach A and only A. I hope you agree. If not we can get into the OT texts. If you agree it’s only “A”, my second question is:

In Paul’s apply these OT texts, does he go beyond the corporate election of Israel to teach the unconditional individual election to salvation?

I would contend no. Rather, what He contends is that salvation will not be based on nationality or works, but rather based on mercy.

Third question, if yes to question two, is Paul using Jacob/Esau as an allegory teaching unconditional individual election to salvation or rather is he revealing additional light on the OT texts and saying Jacob really was unconditionally elected to salvation?

On a side note, while Paul was speaking to a mixed audience (Jews and Gentiles) he was speaking about the Jews. We should not confuse audience with topic. Paul, having just laid out the doctrine of justification by faith, is now defending it from the primarily Jewish objection that if justification by faith is true, then God’s promises to the Jews have failed.

God be with you,
Dan

19 D.R. Randle July 14, 2012 at 12:55 am

Dan,

It seems your argument here is “If the context for Paul’s quotes from the OT are of individuals used to speak of corporate election, then the context of Romans 9 demands that Paul is only speaking of corporate election and not of individual election at all.” If I am wrong and this is not what you are saying please correct me.

But if this is what you are saying then you are missing my point and indeed missing the forest of Paul’s argument for the trees he uses to establish it. So, allow me to be clear. I am not at all saying that the OT passages Paul uses aren’t speaking of corporate election. I am not saying that Paul doesn’t have in view here corporate election (at least to some extent). What I am saying is that Paul’s argument is that the problem of corporate election (which did not lead to the Jews accepting Christ) finds its solution in individual election, which is unconditional on the basis of God’s mercy. So then Paul is taking passages regarding corporate election and showing that the foundation of each is the individual election of specific persons. God did not merely elect Israel, but He elected Isaac and then He elected Jacob. That backdrop of individual election, which led to corporate election is now reversed in Christ. The election of Israel as a nation was merely the means by which God would bring to salvation individual sinners by His grace. And this being true, the corporate election of Israel is not in any way salvific. True Israelites are those who have the faith of Abraham. And they get that faith on the basis of unconditional individual election by God’s mercy, just the same way that Israel was given salvation at the Red Sea, when Pharaoh was hardened, which led to his judgment.

So then, Christ brings to the forefront individual election, because ethnicity does not determine salvation – rather God’s mercy determines it, just as His mercy determined that the Jews would be saved from the Egyptians and the Egyptians would suffer judgment at the Red Sea. Thus, the entire context speaks of the fact that corporate election has never been the determining factor in salvation – rather it is in the specific individual election of those in Christ. And those in Christ are the true sons and daughters of Abraham – not those who are ethnically Jewish.

The reality of this is shown forth in the questions Paul asks regarding God’s justice, whether we can be responsible, and God’s overpowering will. Those questions make no sense if individual election is not in view, because as I said earlier, there is no question of God’s justice if our choice is the determining factor of salvation. There is no question of our responsibility if our choice is the determining factor. And there is no question of God’s overpowering will if in fact we can resist His will.

If this passage were merely about corporate election, then it would be much shorter and there will be little need for discussion by Paul. Paul could have simply said he was sorrowful that the Jews had rejected Christ, but that it was their choice and by rejecting Him, they must face the consequences. In that scenario God is just, the Jews are responsible, and it is not God’s will that is the determining factor in the Jews salvation – it’s their choice. In the end, the questions are the hermeneutical key to the passage. And in your interpretation, they make little sense to the believing Jew or Gentile, to which this entire book is written.

Hope that clarifies my position a bit.

20 Godismyjudge July 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm

D.R.,

That’s not really an accurate summary of my position.  As I mentioned above, while the OT quotes deal with the national election of Isreal, Paul applies that passage to his current audience to say that salvation will be based on God’s mercy rather than nationality or the works of the law.  If God’s electing Israel as a Nation was not based on works or birthright the salvation can be based on God who calls rather than works or birthright. That’s how Paul applies the OT passage to his current audience. 

Thanks for clarifying that you do see that Paul has Isreal’s national election in view.  Again, I would challenge you to show where in verses 6 to 13 Paul’s discusses a second election – one to individual salvation.  What I find in the passage (rather than a second election) is Paul discussing who will be named God’s children in verse 8  (I.e. who will be saved) and in verse 11 he asserts that God establishes His election (the election of Isreal through Abraham and confirmed through the promise of Isaac’s birth) not by works but rather by Himself who calls. In short, salvation will be based on God’s mercy, not works or birthright. The passage talks about God’s mercy, not a second election.  

I disagree the passage discusses how one gets faith.  That’s not Paul’s topic.  However, your comment that per traditionalism salvation depends on mans will may show a reason why you jump from mercy to unconditional election to salvation.  Neither faith nor works earn salvation and without God’s mercy even believers would be lost.  So salvation depends on God’s mercy not man’s will and it’s not as if Paul’s discussing mercy implies unconditional election to salvation. 

I strongly disagree with your previous comment that the passage is not about works or earning eternal life.  Paul specifically says “not of works” and “not of him that willeth or of him that runs” and ” the Jews sought it by works”.  I don’t know how you could argue that works and earning a ticket to heaven is not in view.   I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you didn’t say that just to get around the fact that the justice objection makes sense if the Jews thought heaven was their due, but your comments on works really puzzled me.  

To me the objection in verse 19 is an objection to hardening rather than a repeat objection regarding earning salvation.  But if we are not on the same page through verse 13, we will disagree on the rest as well.

God be with you,
Dan

21 D.R. Randle July 15, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Dan,

Since this comment is so far up here and since I do want to answer it in a helpful way to others, I am placing my response at the bottom of the page as a new comment. Please look below for it.

22 Andrew Wencl July 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm

“In fact, corporate election is the problem in this text. Paul gives the solution, which is that election is not merely corporate, but individual.”

I agree. Regardless of how one handles the reference to Jacob and Esau, Pharaoh is still and individual and the issue of individual election has to be dealt with. What purpose does corporate election serve in the NT era if there is no individual election?

23 Godismyjudge July 13, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Andrew,

Pharaoh is an example of God not showing mercy (he’s not an example of reprobation or non-election). But the example of Pharaoh as applied to the Jews, is of those who have “stumbled over the stumbling stone” and are now being hardened – as the end of chapter 9 through chapter 11 make clear.

Again, the issue seems to be the jump from mercy to unconditional individual election to salvation and from hardening (i.e. non-mercy) to reprobation or non-election. But the text doesn’t make that leap.

God be with you,
Dan

24 Bob Hadley July 13, 2012 at 6:33 pm

DR..

You wrote the following: “Thus, if corporate election is true, then how come the vast majority of Israelites are not saved? His answer is not “their sin”, but rather the very answer God gives is ELECTION! Individual unconditional election!

From his opening words and particular v.6-7, the focus is on how some Israelites can be saved and others not. It’s individual, not national – because the entire nation has not rejected, just most Israelites.”

This is a sort of “slight of hand” move in seeking to establish corporate election as synonymous to national election. Not so. Corporate election simply refers to those who believe as a group… not national identity as you point out. So given that position in a “debate format” you fail because as I would argue, the foundation you use to build your case is inaccurate.

Paul is unquestionably making reference to Malachi and Malachi is unquestionably making reference to the respective generations of the two brothers. This passage related to two children born has NOTHING to do with individual election. It simply is not there.

I would also challenge your remark on God FIRST hardening Pharaoh’s heart… unless that hardening is the result of establishing the government itself; this guy considered himself to be a god… so the God of Israel did not do anything beyond making sure he did not accidentally make the wrong decision and let the children of Israel go too soon…

I think Paul is using that illustration to illustrate God’s active involvement in everything that is taking place… back then and when Paul was writing or speaking. God is just; He is the God of the Israelites; here Paul is preaching to gentile dogs… God is indeed just! Who can bring against God… no one… not because He hand picks who is saved…

In fact if that were true there would be no need for this discussion in the first place! It was the gentiles coming to Christ that was the backdrop for this whole dialogue anyway… (now I am sitting here thinking about these exchanges and not looking at the text.. although I have read it a number of times and written on it as well.)

I believe David’s original post to be a very good summary presentation of the context of the text.

I agree with the compliments of the tone of the responses… this is indeed refreshing; not that we are changing anyone’s mind but perhaps we can help one another understand the others position or perspective and have respect for their position even if it does differ from our own… and

DR… that includes my comments with respect to yours!

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25 D.R. Randle July 14, 2012 at 1:31 am

Bob,

I have never seen any theologian try to distinguish corporate election from national election. The two terms are used synonymously by both Calvinists and Arminians in their interpretation of this passage and others. Honestly, I think your attempt to distinguish between them muddies the waters of your real critique and in fact is itself a “slight of hand”.

Again, I am not challenging the context of Malachi or Genesis, but rather I am saying that Paul uses these texts to present the backdrop of the corporate election of Israel, which is the individual election of Isaac and Jacob. In Christ corporate election on the basis of ethnicity is no more (that’s the entire context here and why the Jews are rejecting). Corporate election gives way in Paul’s theology to individual election, and in reading this passage his original audience understood that, which is why he preemptively answered questions about God’s justice, our responsibility, and God’s sovereignty. Those questions make no sense inside a framework that is purely about corporate election (for more see my comments above to Dan).

As for the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart, you are really missing the point of the entire story of the Exodus. God hardens Pharaoh’s heart so that He might take glory in each plague and especially in the final one. And He hardens Pharaoh’s heart in order to take final victory in the picture of salvation and judgment at the Red Sea. Here are some examples of God taking full responsibility for the hardening of Pharaoh:

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD (Exodus 10:1-2 ESV) – notice how many I’s God uses there.

Then Pharaoh hastily called Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you. Now therefore, forgive my sin, please, only this once, and plead with the LORD your God only to remove this death from me.” So he went out from Pharaoh and pleaded with the LORD. And the LORD turned the wind into a very strong west wind, which lifted the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea. Not a single locust was left in all the country of Egypt. But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go(Exodus 10:16-20 ESV) – notice that Pharaoh is repentant here and pleads with Moses and the text doesn’t say “then Pharaoh hardened his heart”, but rather that God’s hardened it so that he would not let the people go.

This happens over and over again and as pointed out above, God said this would happen and said He would do it way back in Chapter 4. So regardless of what situation Pharaoh was in from the beginning, God could have resisted from hardening Pharaoh’s heart and the Israelites would have been able to leave (God could even have softened Pharaoh’s heart and allowed the Israelites to leave – “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He will”(Proverbs 21:1). But God chose to harden it in order that His will would be accomplished by pointing people to Christ at the Red Sea.

Finally, you should go look at the text instead of just winging it from memory. The backdrop is not the inclusion of the Gentiles, but rather the exclusion of the Israelites. None of vv.1-6 speak of the Gentiles at all, but rather of the problem that if the Israelites were corporately elected, how can the vast majority be rejecting Christ. And if they are rejecting Christ out of their choice, then the question of the justice of God is not a question at all. Even you would say that God is just in rejecting all those who reject Him. But, if individual unconditional election is what Paul is talking about, then all of vv.14-24 take on major significance and truly reflect Paul’s usage of the most extreme form of objection in the Greek language – CERTAINLY NOT!

And so it is again ironic that those like yourself who are the quickest to scream that if God chooses then that is unfair are the very ones who ignore that Paul has answered this charge –

But who are you, O man, to answer back to God?

26 Bill Mac July 13, 2012 at 11:04 am

I’ll echo what John K. said. Moving forward does not mean we have to tear these verses apart and arm-wrestle each other into submission. I’m not sure I agree with what David has written, but what I am sure of is that this is a reasonable interpretation. Each side has to acknowledge that reasonable people will quite likely approach the scriptures honestly and openly and come to different conclusions. That is not relativism. Two competing propositions cannot be correct. But an incorrect understanding can be honestly come by.

27 Chief Katie July 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Pastor Brumbelow,

I’m having a bit of trouble with this: “This Scripture is not speaking of personal salvation, but of how God elected Israel to be His chosen people and passed over Edom. For example, my song leader can’t preach and I as pastor can’t sing. God gave us different gifts and talents. Does that mean He hates (in our modern day view of hate) one of us and loves the other? No, God loves us both, but chose us for different roles. It has nothing to do with our personal salvation.”

I’m not a seminarian and I have no special training in Biblical studies other than what my Pastor provides. If I’m sitting in the pews right now, this is what I’m thinking of your explanation:

Huh???? I don’t think this explanation is any more satisfying to the human intellect or human heart then just facing that He will choose whom He will choose. To my way of thinking it implies that the gift God has bestowed upon the music minister is a lessor gift than your preaching gift. Neither of us can control what God bestows upon us. A person can only do with their gifts what God has allowed. So, consequently if God loves the music minister less, it’s not something the music minister can control and thus it’s still capricious. So, now I have two problems. God is unfair and unjust and He set the situation up that way. This does not help me at all.

If I’m part of your flock, what will you say to me?

28 dr. james willingham July 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm

David, your tone for the discussion is appreciated. When I first encountered the exegetical approach you take, it was in John R. Rice’s Predestined for Hell? No! That was in the Fall of 1958, when I was in my Freshman Year at East Texas Baptist College (now University). A friend introduced me to the doctrines of grace, and, though I had heard such preaching when I was a child and could not remember it, I did not accept it then. I began looking for writings to answer such views and found them in Rice’s work. Later, I would come to the conclusion that his exegesis was faulty…much along the same lines ad Bro. D.R. Randle has indicated. Let me tell you how I changed, and the conclusions I came to hold. In the years from 1958-63, I read other words, including Arthur Pink’s Sovereignty of God. I outlined four books in Systematic Theology and allied subjects for my ordination (May 20,1962). At that point I did not believe in Sovereign Grace or calvinism, though my ordaining pastor, Dr. Ernest R. Campbell, was a supralapsarian, hypercalvinist. When he asked me during the ordination service, “Jim, What do you believe about original sin?” I answered, “Which theory do you want? There are 6 of them.” He said, “Jim, don’t be a smart alec.” Later, he set me up and the members of the St. Louis Association got a good laugh out it…which no doubt I deserved for being a smart alec. In my first church, I faced a really bad situation. The church had fired the previous pastor for pedophilia, and they could not get a pastor, being badly divided. So they took me, age 21, wet behind the ears, and, in the first year, they tried to fire me twice. On top of that I was having trouble at home (I would later learn that my wife did not love me and reckoned she never had (her words)). As I studied the Bible, I read David Clarkson, a Puritan on original sin. God opened my eyes. When Jesus said, “No man can come to me,” He clearly meant, “no man is able or has the power to come to me.” Sandy Creek’s Confession of 1816 put it this way, “Man is utterly impotent of his own free will or ability to recover himself” from his lost condition. I knew from childhood the difference between CAN and MAY. The first refers to ability, the second to permission and will. If man was unable, then it followed he had to have help. He needed a Sovereign Power to enable and empower him to change. In short, being dead spiritual he needs a miracle called the spiritual resurrection (Jn.5:25) and being a child of the devil (Jn.8:44) he needs a miracle of supernatural power to set him free from his old sinful, satanic nature and transform him into a child of God. The next doctrine I bought by study was irresistible grace. Eventually, I came to realize that the irresistibleness lies in the fact that salvation is so wonderful a person cannot resist it. In fact, all of the doctrines of grace plus predestination and reprobation are invitations to be saved…and are to be so preached to every creature under Heaven. I came to realize that in ’72-73, when I got hold of Dr. Eusden’s translation of William Ames’ Marrow of Divinity. In his introduction to the work, Dr. Eusden wrote, “Predestination is an invitation to begin one’s spiritual pilgrimage. I began applying that idea to all of the doctrines and looking for instance of it being so preached in the Bible. Imagine my amazement to find Jesus doing just that in Mt.15:21-28. “I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” brought the woman to His feet in worship. Then when He refers to her depravity and reprobation with the word “dog”, she responded by agreeing with Him and arguing, Truth, Lord, but event the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” There are other example that demonstrate the fact that each of the teachings is an invitation.

Eventually, I would preach a sermon, The hardest Text in the Bible, Roms. 9:13 and use the idea that it is an invitation. We are invited to receive God 1) Who does not think like we do.(13a, “as it is written,” 2) Who does not love like we do(13b, Jacob have I loved, the hardest part of the text to explain), and 3) Who does not act like we do (Esau, have I hated). We have to look at how God acted toward to Esau in order to understand His hate. He treated Esau with love. First born, prosperity, etc., and how did Esau respond? He was a profane man. He trampled spiritual things under foot. John Gill the great Calvinist of Baptists and our first Systematic Theologian said, “God treats the wicked so well, that no one in his right mind will condemn God for sending them to Hell in view of how they repaid His kindness or how well He treated them”.

Perhaps that is why Whitefield, Edwards, Gano, Stearns, Marshall, and a host of others were so successful in soul winning. A personal friend of mine, now gone into eternity was a descendant of one of two brothers who along with their mother had been converted under George Whitefield. Perhaps that is why Silas Mercer, the father of Jesse Mercer, the Founder of Mercer Unviersity, wrote in the Church Letter of 1787 to the Georgia Baptist Association, “Therefore, we believe it to be a the duty of every Gospel minister, to insist upon this soul, comforting, God honoring doctrine of Predestination, as the very foundation of our faith….We cannot see how the plan of salvation can be support without it. And we believe to be a doctrine which God generally owns and blesses to the conviction and conversion of sinners, and comforting of his saints.”

I trust that I have been equally courteous and to the point.

29 Chief Katie July 13, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Dr. Willinham,

As usual, your words take my breath away. I know that no one could love me more than our Risen Savior.

Thank you for all you do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKHoCR33ZHc

30 dr. james willingham July 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Dear Chief Katie: Greetings to you and your husband. Like the dear old southern lady of the 19th century cited in a writing by J.R. Graves, I think, “The Lord must have loved me before I was born, because He sure would not have loved me after I was born.” I tried to click on your link, but all of my links to Youtube gives an error and say try again later. My email is jimwillingham@att.net. God grant you all grace.

31 Christiane July 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm

It is true that in Semitic usage the word “hate” means to love less.
You can better understand this when you ‘bring together’ these two Scriptures:

““If any one comes to me without hating his father* and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Gospel of St. Luke 14:26)

brought together with the Scripture:
“”Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me . . . ” (Gospel of St. Matthew 10:37)

Any ‘literal’ reading of Romans 9 which does not take into consideration the wholeness of sacred Scripture and which implies that ‘God is unjust’ cannot be considered truly orthodox in accordance with the whole revelation of God.

Therein lies the danger of searching the Scriptures for verses in isolation without consideration of the meaning of the phrases and words in the original languages . . . in the case of Romans 9, Semitic language.
The sacred Scriptures are to be taken as a ‘whole’ revelation from God, seen in the light of the most complete fullness of revelation which came to us in the Person of the Eternal Word . . . Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Literal interpretation of sacred Scripture ‘in isolation’ ?
it can lead people to point away from Christ the Lord
and if it does, it is NOT in accordance with His truth

People need the guidance of the Holy Spirit . . . if an interpretation suggests a view of God that is different from what has been revealed about Him by Christ Our Lord . . . that interpretation is suspect.

32 D.R. Randle July 13, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Christiane,

Usually, I would leave any comment like by you alone because I don’t think you can think outside of Catholicism and thus are being deceived, but I can’t miss pointing out the irony of these words of yours:

Any ‘literal’ reading of Romans 9 which does not take into consideration the wholeness of sacred Scripture and which implies that ‘God is unjust’ cannot be considered truly orthodox in accordance with the whole revelation of God.

The reality is that Paul expects you to feel like God is unjust by the time you get to v.14. If you don’t, then you miss the whole point. Paul feels He needs to defend God’s justice. Therefore, if you don’t feel the tension, then you haven’t gotten the text right. If this teaching was so easy to accept based on “the whole revelation of God’, then Paul would not have taken the time to defend God’s justice. That’s the very point, which I think you show clearly with your words that you miss.

33 Christiane July 13, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Hi D.R. RANDLE,

feel free to comment any time you like on anything I write, if you wish to do so . . .
I’m always interested in what you have to say.

As far as my outlook on life being informed by my faith, well . . . I certainly hope that IS true . . .
but please know that my faith is not one that teaches disrespect for others who are not ‘like me’ or whose opinions differ from my own . ..

my faith is not one that fears inquiry or examination in order to learn and to try to understand, so I am not closed-off from the unique and interesting viewpoints of others who follow Christ as Lord, although it is challenging when my own questions meet with impatience and upset on the parts of others . . .
fortunately, I have encountered many who have graciously shared with me, and I am very, very thankful for that.

34 Christiane July 13, 2012 at 10:25 pm

D.R. RANDLE

as for the Justice of God, would you agree with this from St. Thomas Aquinas that God’s almighty power is in no way arbitrary?

“In God, power, essence, will, intellect, wisdom, and justice are all identical. Nothing therefore can be in God’s power which could not be in His just will or His wise intellect.”

I think Aquinas is saying that God cannot contradict Himself.

35 Chief Katie July 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Christiane,

Have you really thought about what you are proposing? Read all of Chapters 8 and 9 of Romans, Ephesians 1:1-6, 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15, John 6:44. There is nothing in scripture that is inconsistent or contradictory about God’s election.

God Bless

36 Jim Pemberton July 13, 2012 at 1:36 pm

David, I agree in part with your post and I especially agree with it’s tone and the resulting general tone of the commenters. Dave goes away and we play nice. Thanks everyone!

I agree that the calling of nations are referenced here. Paul’s letter to the Romans was an attempt to unify the Jewish and Gentile believers in Rome so that he could use Rome as a base of operations for going to Spain. So it was in this spirit that he referenced Jacob and Esau in the calling of Israel.

But he moves from there to the calling of both Jews and Gentiles not on an ethnic basis, but on the basis of faith over and against works. The principle of faith is given as the same as the calling of Israel. He comes right out and says that faith is not equal to works.

Chapter 10 Expounds on faith.

Chapter 11 talks about how this faith has grafted the Gentiles into the Called people of Israel.

The appropriate response we all should have is given in Chapter 12 where Paul indicates that they have each been given a measure of faith by God.

But God also uses human means to impart this faith according to Romans 10:14ff. He’s indicating the need for him to go to Spain although he’s been arguing unity on the basis that faith comes from God.

That’s my take on it at least.

37 Randall Cofield July 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm

David,

The entire context of the book of Romans is Justification by Faith.

Does it not seem odd that Paul would argue exactly that for 8 chapters, divert to the subject of “national election” for the space of part of chapter (9), and then resume immediately with the following?:

Ro. 9:30 ¶ What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith;
31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law.
32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone,
33 as it is written,
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
Ro 10:1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

R. Cofield

38 John Wylie July 13, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Randall,
The scripture you use is talking about the nation of Israel as opposed to the gentiles. The nation of Israel stumbled over righteousness by faith but the gentiles received it. Of course both of these groups are made up of individuals, but Paul is referring to them as a group.

39 Randall Cofield July 14, 2012 at 8:27 am

Hi John,

I agree. That is consistent with Paul’s dialectic throughout Romans.

It seems David (and others) is trying to make the case here that “national election” is election to something other than personal salvation. Notice David’s statements:

This Scripture is not speaking of personal salvation, but of how God elected Israel to be His chosen people and passed over Edom….. Calvinists have made the mistake of saying this chapter is only about personal election, about whether one is sent to Heaven or Hell.

To say that God elected both Jews and Gentiles as groups (nationally) is to really say nothing at all. To say that God chose Jacob over Esau is to say that God elected specific Jews to salvation, for Esau was a Jew too! Ro 11:5 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. Paul claimed that he, a specific, individual Jew (11:1), was part of this remnant elected unto salvation.

Couple this with his use of the examples of Jacob/Esau/Pharaoh in ch. 9, and it seems that Paul is indeed speaking of individual’s….some individuals are elected unto salvation (Jacob/Paul), while others are passed over and even hardened in their reprobation (Esau/Pharaoh).

“National” election without regard to specific individuals within the nationality seems completely foreign to Paul’s argument here.

Grace and Peace

40 Chris Roberts July 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm

“When referring to Jacob and Esau, God is not speaking of two individuals, but of two nations (see also Genesis 25:23). ”

More accurately, God is speaking of two individuals treated as individuals and chosen as individuals. These individuals also represent lineages and nations. The one does not lessen the other; Paul chooses to deal with individuals and to speak of their election in highly individualistic terms, as he does later in the chapter with Pharaoh.

41 Don Johnson July 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Chris,

Since Paul’s quote comes from Gen 25:23, could you exegete that verse and show why Paul is referring to individuals? Also, could you point out where in Genesis Esau seved Jacob?

42 John K July 13, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Don,
You do know that there are well over 10,000 pages of exegete of Genesis 25:23 available for purchase. I am sure you admire Chris’s exegete on topics but dude Chris may have a life outside of commenting this Blog. It is not like there is no exegete free on the internet available on this verse.

43 Don Johnson July 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm

John,

I used the word exegete because I wanted to sound smart. I really wanted to know what in the verse would lead one to believe God was speaking of individuals. Also where it would indicate, the elder served the younger. Simple answers would do. Besides, it’s all I can understand.

44 John K July 13, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Don,
No problem, I type in my search engine something like this for your question “genesis 25:23 exegete or commentary” for this search I found hundreds of pages both presenting Traditional views along with others that have Calvinist views from some of the finest scholars known to have walk the earth. Hope this helps brother.

45 John Wylie July 13, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Don Johnson,
You make a great point that’s been largely overlooked in this discussion. When did the individual Esau serve the individual Jacob? God was speaking of the nation of Edom being subservient to the nation of Israel.

46 Godismyjudge July 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Chris,

The National aspect of the choice of Jacob shows that the topic in Gen 25 is not unconditional individual election to salvation. Rather it’s the corporate election of the Nation of Israel to certain blessings such as God’s protection, the giving of the law, and most importantly the lineage of Christ.

God be with you,
Dan

47 D.R. Randle July 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Dan,

The context of Genesis 25 doesn’t usurp the argument Paul is making here in the text. Paul is indeed arguing from individual election to corporate election and then back to individual election. He is in essence saying that the controlling force of corporate election is individual election and not the other way around. As I say above the problem of this text is corporate election and the solution that Paul gives is individual election. That election is nothing if it is not unconditional. Otherwise, there is no reason to question God’s justice, man’s true responsibility, or God’s overpowering will, as Paul expects both his Jewish and Gentile readers to do by the time they reach v.14.

48 Dan July 13, 2012 at 3:27 pm

I wrote a little song this morning. You may recognize the tune…

I am a C
I am a C-A
I am a C-A-L-V-I-N-I-S-T
And I have C-A-L-V-I-N on my I-P-A-D-2
And I was P-R-E-D-E-S-T-I-N-A-T-E-D

Do you guys think I could copyright this? I may just donate it to the public domain.

49 dr. james willingham July 13, 2012 at 3:38 pm

The interesting thing is that Election is discussed in Ephs.1:4, and there is no doubt that it is personal there as well as in other places. The need for god to choose is based upon the fact that Man will not choose. Indeed, he cannot. The problem with theology is that people will not consider what is actually being presented, e.g., that man’s fall was utterly devastating: It destroyed his ability to choose the good; it perverted his nature and, therefore, his will is limited to the desires of the nature. Our nature is so bad that Paul calls us children of wrath in Ephs. 2.

50 Chief Katie July 13, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Second Thessalonians 2:13. Is that not also personal?

51 Christiane July 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I was so hopeful that someone might mention the book by Katherine Paterson ‘Jacob Have I Loved’. Mrs. Paterson was the child of missionaries to China and was married to a minister. Her works included ‘The Bridge to Terrabithia’ as well as other excellent offerings, but she is not known widely, and I think I am rather sad about that.

Here is a review and an excerpt from her book ‘Jacob Have I Loved’ and in it you can tell that there is much that a Christian person might find meaningful:

“Jacob Have I Loved is the story of Sara Louise Bradshaw, christened ineluctably by her fraternal twin, Caroline, as “Wheeze,” to her eternal consternation. Caroline is not only generally agreed to be lovely, but also possessed of the kind shatteringly beautiful voice that makes others pay attention (“Caroline is the kind of person other people sacrifice for as a matter of course”) and what Louise takes to be callous disregard for others. (I can now read this only as Caroline’s rare — but fair — lack of adolescent self-hatred.) Louise is, of course, nearly paralyzed with envy of her sister — although it’s less pure envy that rage and shame at how publicly pale in comparison she must seem to everybody else, including even her best friend Cal, a chubby bespectacled nerd.
They both live on Rass, a teeny island on the Chesapeake off the Eastern Shore, where their father crabs and their mother, a former mainland schoolteacher, watches over them. Their grandmother, who is not even vaguely kindly but instead suffering from the early stages of dementia, is given to following Louise around the house and triumphantly offering damning passages from the Bible:

“I struggled to pry the lid of a can of tea leaves, aware that my grandmother had come up behind me. I stiffened at the sound of her hoarse whisper.

“Romans nine 13,” she said. “As it is written, ‘Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.’”

There are insights in this book that might help those involved in the Romans 9 debates . . . I sincerely hope this helps at least some of them.

52 Chief Katie July 13, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Christiane,

As an elementary school teacher I’m very familiar with Katherine Paterson. I disagree 100% that this book can be used to teach the truth of scriptures. To the contrary, my students saw the injustice on page after page. It is fraught with bitterness.

53 Jeff Musgrave July 13, 2012 at 5:41 pm

I haven’t been able to keep up with comments for the bulk of the day as we had to be on the road to Grand Forks and back, but from what I could see on my Wordpress app, everyone has been doing a good job of keeping the discussion on the issues at hand in the post. Other than a rogue italics tag that didn’t get closed and left part of the discussion in italics for the last few hours things have been going smooth from what I can see.

Thanks for making this a great place to have discussions and for taking it easy on the deputy.

54 John K July 13, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Bob,
“Paul is unquestionably making reference to Malachi and Malachi is unquestionably making reference to the respective generations of the two brothers. This passage related to two children born has NOTHING to do with individual election. It simply is not there.”

With your view being “unquestionable” then how come great theologians have been at this debate for centuries? And with your insight to scripture could you tell me why did “God chose Jacob”? Thanks in advance for your help Brother.

55 Bob Hadley July 13, 2012 at 9:01 pm

To answer your question, “With your view being “unquestionable” then how come great theologians have been at this debate for centuries?”

I really think the reason this text has been such a firestorm has nothing to do with the text itself and everything to do with justification of TD/TI… just my two cents worth.

Why did God chose Jacob? I did a word search and did not find a single verse in the Scripture that said “God chose Jacob…” I even narrowed it down to chose and Jacob and found this verse…

Ezek 20:5-7

5 “Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On the day when I chose Israel and raised My hand in an oath to the descendants of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, I raised My hand in an oath to them, saying,’I am the Lord your God.’ 6 On that day I raised My hand in an oath to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them,’flowing with milk and honey,’ the glory of all lands. ”

Interesting verse wouldn’t you say… not individual choosing here at all, not to mention Malachi’s statement; the deal with Jacob and Esau is part of the motif of the older serving the younger that is common in the patriarchal lineage. Christianity came out of Judaism. There are related ideologies in Issac’s birth; the older brothers serving Joseph…

I really think a lot is being read into some of these Scriptures because of the tenets of calvinism that simply are not there if you read the Scriptures on their own merit and this particular passage is the king of examples.

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56 John K July 13, 2012 at 9:33 pm

I do find them to be more than just interesting I find them Gospel. I don’t understand how many say Calvinism tenets are to blame when the debate started over 1000 years before John Calvin walked the earth.

I am surprised your word search did not pick up Psalm 135:4, darn technology. Just thought I would ask.

57 dr. james willingham July 13, 2012 at 10:50 pm

How true, John. Bob has difficulty in realize that the traditionalist side reads in to the scriptures its side of the arguments just as much as any calvinist, so-called. Bob, I have been at this for 54 years, and the Sovereign Grace side won it by better exegesis and exposition and more faithfulness to the very meaning of the words. Just consider, for instance, the meaning of CAN in John 6:44,65. Plainly the term refers to ability. In the case of both verses, Jesus is saying no one is able to come to him, except the Father which sent Jesus draw him, except it is given from the Father above. The Sandy Creek Confession puts it like this, “man is utterly impotent of his own free will or ability to regain” what he lost in the fall. What was lost in the fall, in original sin, was the ability to respond to Christ. That is why the idea of a spiritual resurrection fits so well with the Bible’s teaching on man’s inability to respond. He can’t and so he won’t. Likewise the idea of a strong man armed being overcome by one stronger than he (the Lord Jesus is stronger than sin or self or Satan) fits in with the idea of inability. Freedom from the slavery of and to sin likewise fits in irresistible grace….!!!

58 Don Johnson July 14, 2012 at 12:02 am

Dr Willingham,

The text tells us why the Father would not draw the people. It has nothing to do with “irresistible grace.” The ones drawn by the Father were the ones who already believed (vs. 64). Jesus’ first word in vs. 65 is “Therefore” which brings us back to the previous verse. Jesus knew who believed not. Because they didn’t believe the God of the OT, they were not allowed to believe or drawn to the God of the NT. Because they were the same God.

59 Don Johnson July 13, 2012 at 11:42 pm

John,

You’re correct, it does say chose Jacob. However, it refers to Israel, as the text indicates.

60 John K July 14, 2012 at 12:25 am

Don,
Lets be clear with the scripture now.
Psalm 135:4
For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.

1.) God chose Jacob unto himself.
2.) God chose Israel for his peculiar treasure.

Don’t just throw away parts of scripture especially within a single verse to do a twisted interpretation to discount another persons point.

So what is my point? God chose Jacob the person. God chose Israel the nation. And when people say it is not in scripture accept what is clear and in scripture don’t purposely discount clear scripture.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.

Purposely distorting scripture is not edifying to God.

61 John Wylie July 14, 2012 at 12:40 am

John,
Jacob and Israel are sometimes used to mean the same thing, like in Psalm 78:5 “For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children.” Jacob sometimes means the individual, but it also sometimes is an euphemism for the nation of Israel as in the above verse and I believe your text is also speaking of the nation of Israel.

62 John Wylie July 14, 2012 at 12:43 am

John,
Sorry euphemism was a bad word choice, I should have said Jacob is sometimes used as a synonym for Israel.

63 Don Johnson July 14, 2012 at 12:49 am

John,

I noticed you used the KJV version for Psalm 135:4, but you used the NASV for 2 Tim. 3:16. It seems obvious the NASV is your Bible of choice. I have to wonder why you didn’t use it for Psalm 135:4.

64 John K July 14, 2012 at 1:11 am

Don,
My bible of choice right now in hard cover is ESV. My bible of choice on the internet is the first one that pops up during a search.

Why did you chose not to use a real verse is the most interesting question that you have not answered of any version?

John Wyile,
I am aware of your point but your point is not a rule that is why we interpret. I know I am not a 100% correct all the time just as you would agree you are not 100% correct. See you at Corrective Theology 101 once we are Glorified I hear the teacher is great.

65 John Wylie July 14, 2012 at 1:20 am

John K,
I certainly agree that no one is 100% correct all the time in terms of bible interpretation. And I would just like to say respectfully that I never said anything about a rule. I simply said that sometimes Jacob means the person and sometimes it means the nation of Israel. In the Psalm that you chose to use I’m sorry but I think it’s obvious that Jacob and Israel are synonymous in that text.

66 mike white July 13, 2012 at 11:49 pm

The passage in Ezekiel 20 shows how corporate election has failed. Corporate election never produced godliness… read the whole chapter. The idea of Israel is two fold, an ethnic people and the people of God. These are two separate groups that have some [described as a remnant] people in common.

Corporate election was not unto salvation as Ezek. 20 shows.
Romans 9 speaks of corporate election in verses 1-5. But verse 6 departs from that place:
[b]But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,[/b]

By subdividing the ethnic corporately elected Israel into two groups, Paul is re-introducing the idea of spiritual Israel. He first introduced this idea in Romans 2:
[b]28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.[/b]

And in making this division, Paul tells us that the true Israel is not of the flesh, but children of the promise.

Galatians 3 tells us:
[b]21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. 22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.[/b]

Now this promise was given to Abraham in Genesis 12:
[b]Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”[/b]

And Abraham responded in faith as we see in the next verse;
[b]4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.]/b]

The promise given in Genesis 12 prompts Abraham to question God because he and Sarah are getting old and are still without a child. God reiterates the promise and makes a covenant with Abraham [Gen. 15].

Abraham again believed God, but when no child came, he and Sarah sought fleshly ways to bring about a son [Hagar]. But God did not want His promise fulfilled by the will of man but supernaturally [type of Christ].

In genesis 17, God again comes to Abraham and reiteratre3s the promise and tells him:
[b]7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.[/b]

This makes the ETHNIC Jews think that the promise is a ethnic corporate promise and that they are born into God’s family.
This is what Paul is addressing in Romans 9: 1-6.

He is explaining that is wasn’t the ethnicity of Isaac [and his heirs] that continued the promise to another generation, but rather only the children of promise who were not all of the offspring of Abraham. [vs.6-7]

Jesus, in John 34 on speaks of these exact things. He is not speaking of corporate election, but He is also dividing up the two groups in the one ethnic people:
[b]39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.[/b][39-41]

Now they certainly were descendants of Abraham. Jesus not only disavows them as children of the promise but attacks their standing before God by telling them that Satan is their father, not God. Vs. 44:
[b]44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies[/b]

Nothing in what I have said so far makes the case for the Cals, but it certainly shows that Paul has left corporate election and is speaking of a sort of division inside the ethnic people of Israel. Trads, at least at this point might say that the promise comes on those that believe.

more…

67 mike white July 13, 2012 at 11:52 pm

That was John 8, not 34 lol

68 mike white July 14, 2012 at 12:35 am

That was John 8, not 34 lol

continuing…
Verse 8 and 9 are in the same vein as stated. Paul, as Jesus was, is talking about who has right standing before God. The ethnic Jew thought he did because he was of the flesh of Abraham, Paul is disabusing him of that by pointing out two things: Ishmael was not of the promise though he was Abraham’s son, and this shows that God’s favor is not ethnically derived but spiritually derived.

The next verses:
**10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”**
Paul is remaining in the Genesis story. He is still contrasting promise versus flesh. Flesh here is shown by the words of morality: good and bad and works. These words speak of Law not grace, as I an sure we agree, for we are saved by grace not by by works [deeds of the law, moral choice].
But Paul also brings up election. He is speaking here directly against man’s moral choice and for God’s choice. Now if you read the story of Esau losing his birthright, you do not see the hand of God moving at all. You see a fleshly Esau trading it away for food, and a deceiving Jacob fooling his father. Maybe Esau thought he put one over on Jacob, and got the food for free?

That is how free will and God’s sovereignty works: God gets his way without violating man’s free will.

God chose Jacob and Jacob got the birthright. And Jacob was the child of promise, not Esau. And both were sinners, but God chose without distinction as to sin. We are all sinners, are we not? But we are saved and many have gone and others will go to where we deserve to go.

But the question is raised, where did Esau, the person, serve Jacob, the person, IF this is not a corporate election passage? Read the story in genesis, and you will see two areas where Esau served Jacob: [1] He traded his birthright to him for a little food. [2] Esau’s garments were used to fool Isaac.

Now to verse 13, a quote from Malachi 2:2-3:
**2 “I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say, “How have you loved us?” “Is not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob 3 but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.”**

Certainly, God is speaking of people groups here, ethnic Israel and their cousins, the Edomites. But the question is not what is happening THEN, but WHY! Why is God treating the people of Abraham’s grandson and Isaac’s son with such hatred? It is because they are of Esau, who was not chosen by God.

What do we read about those not of the promise, Gal 4:
** 28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.**

Now this is not speaking directly of Esau, but rather it is a principle that is being given. The Edomites persecuted Israel until David put them down. They were not of the promise, not of the free woman, not of the free city, not of God, but of the devil because Esau was not of the promise. He was just as much an Israelite as Jacob, was he not? He was his twin!
Paul is again showing us that he is not speaking of corporate election, but of God’s election of His people, the children of promise.
more…

69 John Wylie July 14, 2012 at 12:59 am

Mike,
I want to commend you on a well written post, but I must say your two examples of Esau serving Jacob are a bit of a stretch.

70 mike white July 14, 2012 at 1:04 am

…continued
Romans 9:
**14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.**

Why does Paul bring up injustice? What in the previous verses would lead one to think that this line of thinking would lead one to declare that Paul’s understanding of God is flawed because his God is an unjust God?

Because salvation is of God’s election and not the choice of man. Moral choices are about right and wrong. Right and wrong are about the LAW of God. We all have done wrong and fallen short of His glory. Salvation is not about who you are [say an ethnic Jew], or about your own goodness, but about God saving us rebel sinners from the dung hill of our lives because He has chosen to be merciful.

The “For” in verse 15, followed by the “So” in verse 16 ties it all together.

Paul quotes Exodus 33:19, and before we get to it, vs, 12-17:
**12 Moses said to the Lord, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ 13 Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” 14 And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”**

Christians are distinct from every other people on the face of the earth. We have found favor in His sight, His presence goes with us, He gives us rest. We are the children of promise, the children of God, spiritually even as those people were representative of us by the flesh.

In Deut.7 we read:
**6 “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. 7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.**

God redeemed them for the same reasons He redeems us, they were a type to us. God has chosen us to be a treasured people whom He has redeemed out of the slavery we were in [remember the words of Jesus in John 8]. He loves His people.

Salvation happens because God has chosen to be merciful and compassionate to us, not because of what we do [human exertion] or what we choose [our will] but because He loves us.

And he has told us that since we love Him in return, to proclaim Jesus as Lord and King of all who is coming back to JUDGE all people, who by the way are all guilty before a JUST and HOLY God. And those who tremble at those words, we also tell them that salvation is found in no other name but Jesus so that all who humbly surrender to Him will be saved.

Peace brothers,
mike

71 D.R. Randle July 14, 2012 at 1:38 am

Bob, your reasoning here doesn’t make sense. The interpretation of Romans 9 served as the reason why people systematized Total Depravity. Total Depravity didn’t come first, the interpretation did. And that interpretation continues to stand. Again, these are not read into Scripture to justify Calvinism, which came much later, but rather these are seen as plain by many who spend time in the text and then recognized as Calvinism much later. I simply cannot count how many folks who I met that have told me that once Calvinism was explained to them, they recognized that it was exactly what they saw in Scripture all along – they had just never systematized it. That reality is another reason why I believe there are a lot more Calvinists in our “Traditionalist” Churches than people realize. They’ve just failed to be exposed to it for the past 100 years or so. And now that they have access to this information again, we are seeing many accept it wholeheartedly.

72 Christiane July 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Could it be that ‘systematizing total depravity’ is based on a misunderstanding of sacred Scripture?

I think it is a misunderstanding that led to an assumption that is not born out of the rest of Scripture.

The thing about a religion based on a thought-system is that assumptions then become ‘facts’ to those who trust the system. And that is how rather bizarre beliefs can take hold, in spite of the testimony to the contrary from sacred Scripture itself.

73 D.R. Randle July 15, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Christiane,

Interesting that you would be speaking of assumptions that are contrary to the sacred Scripture itself. Aren’t you actively involved in a Catholic church that still sells indulgences and promotes praying to Mary and other saints? At least total depravity is Biblically defensible. The same can’t be said for much of the “doctrine” of the Catholic church.

74 Christiane July 17, 2012 at 6:21 pm

D.R. RANDLE,

we disagree about the Bible teaching total depravity . . .
Since you mentioned the doctrines of my Church, I’m sure you can find the CORRECT versions in the Vatican Catechism, which is available to the public on line.

75 Lasaro Flores July 14, 2012 at 1:52 am

When you said that you “did not find a single verse in the Scripture that said “God chose Jacob…”, well consider Romans 9:11-13 where it is written: “(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;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated,” notice that Jacob was chosen over Esau, even before any of them did any good or evil so “that the purpose of God according to election might.” It was personal, and not as a nation; and it was because loved Jacob and hated Esau. By the way, in Strong’s Dictionary, the Hebrew for “hate” is to hate personally; and in the Greek, the primary meaning is to detest from a primary word which means hatred, with the extension to love less. Nevertheless, in this case I would take the primary meaning because of the way God dealt with both of them. Besides, Jacob is a type of the elect, the children of promise, while Esau typify the reprobate, those rejected by God, which is brought out in verses 21-24. Thank you for your consideration. Amen.

76 Christiane July 14, 2012 at 12:55 pm

“By the way, in Strong’s Dictionary, the Hebrew for “hate” is to hate personally”

I think it right to share another source that contributes to this dialogue in a different way, from the noted rabbi Dr. Peshach Schindler, this:

“First, it must be remembered that Genesis 36:1 identifies Esau as the same
as Edom. The harsh expressions of censure directed against “Esau” and
“Edom” by Jeremiah (49:7-22), Ezekiel (26:12-14), Obadiah (1:1-14), and
Malachi (1:2-5), are to be viewed in this context rather than the personal sibling
rivalry that is the focus of our discussion. The fury of the prophets against
Esau-Edom reflects an almost uninterrupted pattern of hostility by Edomite
tribes plotting against Israelite and Judean interests up through the Babylonian
exile.
12
Almost a millennium separates the Esau-Jacob sibling rivalry
from these relatively late biblical prophetic texts antagonistic to “Edom.”
Another 600-700 years elapse until “Esau” is again transposed during the
early rabbinic period and symbolically identified with Rome”

http://jbq.jewishbible.org/assets/Uploads/353/353_esau.pdf

Here are the author’s credentials:
“Rabbi Dr. Pesach Schindler, Rosh HaYeshiva, received rabbinic ordination from Rav Elimelech Bar-Shaul, Chief Rabbi of Rechovot, and a Ph.D. in Jewish History and Philosophy from New York University. He is Assistant Professor of Talmud and Rabbinic Studies in the Rothberg International School at Hebrew University and a Senior Faculty member of the International School of Yad Vashem (Theology and Rabbinic Studies). He served as the director of the United Synagogue’s Fuchsberg Center for twenty-five years and has been teaching his “A Page of Talmud” at the Fuchsberg Center’s Oded Program since 1973. He teaches Hasidut in the Fall semester at the Yeshiva.”

77 Louis July 13, 2012 at 10:01 pm

This post is a strong testament to the true spirit among Southern Baptists as it relates to the issue of God’s sovereignty and personal responsibility. There is a disagreement about how to treat certain passages, but it is clear that we agree on so much.

This is the type of forum that is actually helpful to our mutual discipleship and encouragement.

All of this is still a mystery in my book, no matter how one may land on some of these questions.

Thanks for all of the good discussion.

78 mike white July 14, 2012 at 1:05 am

@ John Wylie,
Thanks John for the compliment.
Why would call them a stretch?

79 John Wylie July 14, 2012 at 1:27 am

Btw although I disagree on your point about Esau serving Jacob I really did mean it when I said your post was very well written.

80 John Wylie July 14, 2012 at 1:12 am

Mike,
With all due respect I just don’t see that Esau being tricked out or his birthright and his garments being used by Jacob and his mother to trick Issac can be construed as Esau serving Jacob. However I do see Edom serving Israel in a couple of passages in the Old Testament.

81 Don Johnson July 14, 2012 at 1:24 am

John W,

Yes, I agree it’s a bit of a stretch. Especially when Isaac said it was yet future when he was blessing Jacob (Gen. 27:29)

82 mike white July 14, 2012 at 1:33 am

Don J.
Good point. Except that wasn’t the scripture quoted by Paul.
Gen. 25:
**21 And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. 23 And the Lord said to her,

“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
the older shall serve the younger.**

83 mike white July 14, 2012 at 1:35 am

Don J.
Which nation was older, Israel or Edom?

84 John Wylie July 14, 2012 at 1:39 am

Mike,
Forgive me for butting into your conversation with Don but given the context of the verse you used, the older is definitely Edom because Esau was the older brother.

85 Don Johnson July 14, 2012 at 2:00 am

Mike,

Edom is older.

86 Don Johnson July 14, 2012 at 1:53 am

Mike,

You are correct, it was not the Scripture used by Paul, but it does answer the question – when did the elder serve the younger?

Also Paul doesn’t mention any Scripture about selling a birthright, or deceiving one’s father.

I’m sorry, but at least to me cheating and stealing, do not mean being served.

87 John Wylie July 14, 2012 at 2:00 am

Don,
I agree with you. I think if you look at the context of the passage in Genesis it is clear that God is talking about Edom serving Israel. Because it says that two nations and two peoples were in her womb and the elder shall serve the younger.

88 mike white July 14, 2012 at 1:27 am

John,
Why do you not see those examples as Esau serving Jacob?
You really didn’t answer my “why” (-:
Let me go first:
Was Jacob served by those things? Yes.
Did he benefit at the expense of his brother? Yes.

I am not disagreeing that Esau’s descendants also served Israel, but why was that any of God’s doing? Why did He hate Edomites? He hated them [put your own take on just what that means but history and the Word show Him as harsh on them] because of Esau, but Esau was no greater sinner than Jacob.

89 John Wylie July 14, 2012 at 1:34 am

Mike,
I guess the reason I disagree is that my view of someone serving someone else is more concrete. You are certainly correct that Jacob was served by those two things, but that’s a bit like a victim being said to serve their mugger.

Yes I do believe that Edom serving Israel was God’s doing. And I believe that God was harsh on Edom not only for Esau’s sake but also because of their own sins against Israel. (See Obadiah)

90 mike white July 14, 2012 at 1:41 am

John W,
You are right on your second point, due to their sin against Israel, but you haven’t yet explained why Israel was favored by God over Edom.

I am confused by your “like”.
Did Esau have to trade his birthright for food?
Was he forced to do that?
Did Jacob, in a sense, mug him?

Did Esau, knowing he traded his birthright away, still try and get the blessing he gave up?

Now look at the context of the word of the Lord to Rebekah. Right after that word comes the story of the giving up of the birthright.
Peace brother

91 John Wylie July 14, 2012 at 1:50 am

Thanks Mike,
My answer as to why God favored Israel over Edom is found in Romans 11:33-35.

92 D.R. Randle July 14, 2012 at 1:46 am

The word for “serve” in the Greek also carries with it the idea of “being enslaved to”. In the context of the mugger example, you are pointing out that it must be a negative idea of servanthood (i.e., against one’s will). This is exactly the idea Mike is conveying here with Jacob’s deception.

Additionally, I want to highlight something that Mike says here regarding the sin of Esau being no worse than Jacob’s. This is so true. Jacob does nothing good his entire life except believe God and just like Abraham, he fails at that too. Yet, he is commended for his faith in Hebrews 11. Clearly, we see God’s sovereign grace on this sinner despite his sin. Yet, we also see that Esau was not afforded the same grace, yet his sin was in no way truly worse.

93 mike white July 14, 2012 at 2:02 am

John,
No problem.
I think you are right, Esau started his family at 40 years of age.
But which nation was stronger?

The point is that God is telling Rebekah some things about these two who are ALREADY struggling:
1] The children represent two nations who will be divided.
2[ One of the children will be stronger than the other.
3] The older one will serve the younger one.

I suppose you could interpret all of it as nation versus nation. But that is out of whack with Paul’s interp of it, as I have shown. Paul and Jesus spoke of children of promise not of nations. They contrasted Ethnic Jew with Ethnic Jew. They contrasted Jacob’s descendants with Jacob’s descendants. Paul backed up his contrast with the Genesis stories.

94 mike white July 14, 2012 at 2:09 am

John W.:
You said, “My answer as to why God favored Israel over Edom is found in Romans 11:33-35.”

Which says:
**33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”**

As Jacob and Israel are types of the anti-type Christians, so why does God save you and me instead of that like sinner suffering for the deeds we also committed? Same reason He chose Israel out of all the nations in the world, caused He loved them. And He loved us enough to choose to have mercy and compassion on us.

Why did he love me like that?

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.

And lest I think my salvation was because of anything I did, I repeat:
o him be glory forever. Amen.

95 mike white July 14, 2012 at 2:10 am

To him be glory forever. Amen.

96 Don Johnson July 14, 2012 at 2:31 am

Mike,

You’ve made mention that Christians are God’s people, and that He saved us, because He loves us.

Are Christians His people before they get saved, after, or both?

Did God always have a special love for the saints, even before they were saved? I use the word special as something different than a general love (John 3:16).

97 Nick Schoeneberger July 14, 2012 at 9:56 am

The word for foreknowledge used in Romans 8:29 (the golden chain of redemption) is the same word used in LXX for how Adam “knew” Eve and she bore him a son. The knowledge is intimate and personal and rich with God’s love for a person. That is in spite of what sins God also foreknew he would punish on the shoulders of His own beloved son to save us. Being adopted as sons is made possible by Christ’s work on the cross, the effectual and outward calling of the Holy Spirit and Gospel complete the work of salvation in us. And he keeps us by the power of his grace until glory. When God decides to save someone, he does not, cannot fail.

98 Lasaro Flores July 14, 2012 at 10:47 am

An answer to this question, I believe, can be given in Ephesians 1:3ff. Election is the reason; and so it follows that the elect were “in love predestinated unto adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” So yes, God loved His elect even before the foundation of the world, although they do not experience this love until they are saved. Besides, it can said that all true Christians are loved “with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). Amen.
Pardon me for interrupting.

99 Don Johnson July 14, 2012 at 11:30 am

Lasaro,

Yes, we were predestinated in love unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself. This is not a love to get one saved. It is a love because one is saved. Predestination is not unto salvation, but unto glorification (John 14:3, Rom 8:23, Rom. 8:29).

100 dr. james willingham July 15, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Baloney, Don. Lasaro has it right,

101 Anthony Clay July 15, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Don,

So….one can be glorified and not be saved? Interesting take.

102 Don Johnson July 15, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Dr. Willingham,

I’m willing to be corrected, but I need Scripture to show I’m wrong. If you know of any Scripture which states one is predestinated to salvation, I’d appreciate knowing what they are. Thanks

103 Don Johnson July 15, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Anthony,

No, a person cannot be glorified without being saved.

104 Randall Cofield July 14, 2012 at 8:43 am

Framers of TS remove signatory list
Posted on July 14, 2012 by the editors of SBC Today

http://sbctoday.com/2012/07/14/framers-of-ts-remove-signatory-list/#more-8906

Fascinating……

105 volfan007 July 14, 2012 at 9:00 am

Look at this…

Primitive Baptist Articles of Faith [Depravity & The Fall, article III.]

We believe in the total depravity of man. That Adam, in his first transgression, fell under the just and full condemnation of God’s holy law; that each and all of his posterity were then represented by him as their earthly head, and consequently in their descent from him have inherited his very same fallen nature and condition of guilt and depravity; so by nature they are (of earthly birth) corrupted and defiled (in body, soul, intellect, will, and affections), and justly condemned under the great penalty of Adamic-sin …..”

So, the Hyper Calvinist view is “guilt of Adam passed down to all people.”

Interesting.

David

PS. I guess I could start calling all of you Hyper Calvinists, who agree with this statement. It wouldn’t be right…now, would it? Should I call you something “bad” just because you seemingly agree with one of their statements of belief…even though many of you would insist that you’re not a Hyper Calvinist?

106 Lasaro Flores July 14, 2012 at 10:22 am

The answer is in Romans 5:12ff. The meaning is clear that because of Adam’s sin, all the human race came under God’s judgment and were made sinners (vv.18,19). Therefore, all of us are “children of wrath” before we “become the sons of God” (John 1:12). Why would anyone deny this truth if not it puts them on the dust as sinners as described in Romans 2:9ff.: “What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.” This the condition of everyone that is “conceived in sin” (Psalm 51:5). Amen.
P.S.: By the way, I am not a hyper-Calvinist. I just believe the inerrant Word of God as it is: I don’t try to accommodate it to please the flesh and pride of man. Amen.

107 Don Johnson July 14, 2012 at 10:36 am

Lasaro,

You are correct, we were the “children of wrath” before we “become the sons of God.” We were also the children of wrath before we became God’s elect, sheep, beloved, or people.

108 Randall Cofield July 14, 2012 at 10:26 am

Hi David,

Hyper-Calvinists also believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ. Does that make you a hyper-Calvinist? :-)

Peace

109 volfan007 July 14, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Randall,

No more than believing in original sin and inherited sin nature, while not believing in inherited guilt, makes me a Semi Pelagian.

David

110 dr. james willingham July 15, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Very good, Randall. LOL

111 Nick Schoeneberger July 14, 2012 at 9:45 am

I’m curious to know if the author (Mr. Brumbelow) has read Dr. John Piper’s “The Justification of God: An Exegetical & Theological Study of Romans 9:1-23.” I am also fairly shocked that anyone actually can quote Dr. Geisler’s “Chosen But Free” after it received such an intellectual spanking in Dr. James White’s rebuttal, “The Potter’s Freedom.” Geisler’s book is frequently cited for having made more Calvinists than it bolstered the beliefs of non-Calvinists because of the evident sloppiness of its scholasticism. Such sloppiness from a man of Geisler’s intellectual caliber shows just how strongly emotion and tradition are when it comes to the question of who is sovereign: God or the creature. It’s a tough pill to swallow and I didn’t like the taste one bit, but I guess He predestined me to believe that salvation truly is of the Lord.

112 Christiane July 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Is James White considered a reputable scholar? Does his ‘doctorate’ come from a reputable organization?

113 Chief Katie July 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Christiane, Nice try. Having a bit of difficulty with the man who wrote the Roman Catholic Controversy?

If you have something to say, be direct. You know full well what his academic background is. But those of us who value real scholarship know that the proof of the scholar is in work they produce.

I leave you with the Catholic Church’s great accomplishment… Gerry Matatics.

114 Christiane July 14, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Gerry Matatics is considered a former convert who has now became a known schismatic.

115 Chief Katie July 14, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Absolutely. Let’s see the word is sedevacantist? Yes? Seems that Mr. Staples has twice now made a serious error in judgment. The first was to try the 33,000 protestant denominations lie on Dr. White, but worse, he completely misrepresented what the actual source document said. I wonder how a noted scholar like Staples could have made such an egregious error? The second was to embrace Gerry Matitics.

This is SBC Voices. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Catholic Church. So Christiane, if you have a problem with James White perhaps you could post it Catholic Answers. They are quite used to it there.

116 Don Johnson July 14, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Chief Katie,

I knew Gerry Matatics very well years ago. He worked for me in the summer of 1978 and again in 1980. He entered seminary in the fall of 1977. He became a Calvinist during his seminary days. In 1986 I think, is when he became a RC. I saw him about 10 ten years, but I don’t know what’s become of him since then. Gerry has a brilliant mind, it’s to bad he always trying to find some new mysterious teaching in the Bible.

117 dr. james willingham July 15, 2012 at 10:42 pm

I have read Piper’s exegesis of Roms.9:1-23 and Geisler’s Chosen But Free. Except for a few details, Piper gives a first class, detailed exegesis. Geisler is obviously wanting, though I have never read White’s rebuttal. Feelings probably explain why Geisler failed on the Sovereign Grace issue, the fear of fatalism, of the sense of helplessness, of humility in view of the mercy and grace of God being so undeserved.

118 John Wylie July 14, 2012 at 11:01 am

Vol,
I’m in the NonCal camp but the whole imputed nature versus imputed guilt argument is really sort of unnecessary. Even if we only inherited a sin nature from Adam (a position I totally reject), it would still have the same effect. Because we were all born condemned already.

119 volfan007 July 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm

John,

The whole point of what I was trying to get across is that “just because Calvinists agree with the Primitive(hyper Calvinist) Baptists on this doctrine, doesnt make them Hyper Calvinists….no more than Traditionalists not believing in inheriting Adam’s guilt makes us semi Pelagian. ”

We are not Semi Pelagian. We agree with the BFM2K. And, to call us Semi Pelagian is a gross mischaracterization, and is really not promoting unity, at all.

David

120 John K July 14, 2012 at 1:09 pm

David,
Has anyone on this thread called Traditionalist Semi Pelagian? I have heard Traditionalist use Hyper Calvinists as a pejorative against their brothers in Christ frequently, and it starting to say a lot about Traditionalist.

121 volfan007 July 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm

John K.,

Would you agree that calling Traditionalists “Semi Pelagians” is wrong and saying a lot about the Calvinists, who continue to call the Traditionalists these names?

I said that I am not calling all Calvinists “Hyper Calvinists.”
David

122 John K July 14, 2012 at 8:02 pm

“I said that I am not calling all Calvinists “Hyper Calvinists.””
Thanks for the qualifier I guess.

So I’ll have to answer you this way, I do not know all Traditionalists and group speak speaking for another group of a sub group, that has not agreed to grouped in said group would be presumptuous on my part.

As far as the Traditional Statement goes if you define:
Semi-Pelagianism is a weaker form of Pelagianism a heresy derived from from Pelagius who lived in the 5th century A.D. and was a teacher in Rome. Semi-Pelagianism (advocated by Cassian at Marseilles, 5th Century) did not deny original sin and its effects upon the human soul and will. But, it taught that God and man cooperate to achieve man’s salvation. This cooperation is not by human effort as in keeping the law, but rather in the ability of a person to make a free will choice. The semi-Pelagian teaches that man can make the first move toward God by seeking God out of his own free will and that man can cooperate with God’s grace even to the keeping of his faith through human effort. This would mean that God responds to the initial effort of person and that God’s grace is not absolutely necessary to maintain faith.

The problem is that this is no longer grace. Grace is the completely unmerited and freely given favor of God upon the sinner. But, if man is the one who first seeks God, then God is responding to the good effort of seeking him. This would mean that God is offering a proper response to the initial effort of man. This is not grace, but what is due the person who chooses to believe in God apart from God’s initial effort.
by Matt Slick

Semi-Pelagianism says the sinner has the ability to initiate belief in God.
Semi-Pelagianism says God’s grace is a response to man’s initial effort.
Semi-Pelagianism denies predestination.
Semi-Pelagianism was condemned at the Council of Orange in 529

123 John Wylie July 14, 2012 at 9:09 pm

John K.,
Based on your definition of semi pelagianism I can say that no Trad I know is one. Everyone I know believes that God is the initiator and man is the responder. God did initiate a relationship with all mankind when He sent His Son to die on the cross John 12:32. Since He has initiated a relationship with all mankind when people hear the Gospel they have a divinely given prerogative to accept or reject the invitation to come to Him.

124 John K July 14, 2012 at 10:58 pm

John Wylie,
That definition that has been out there for years it is not mine. I cannot think through things that well. It was written by Matt Slick years ago.

Based on definitions of Hyper Calvinist that I have heard, I can say that no Calvinist I know is one either. The flesh sure likes to make caricatures of others, the spirit wants us to treat believers like brothers. Time will tell if flesh wins or spirit wins this very small battle, we know who wins the battle in the end. Let the Lord bring us together as brothers for his glory.

125 John Wylie July 14, 2012 at 11:02 pm

John K.,
Amen to that brother.

126 John K July 14, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Now David and John do you truly know of any Hyper Calvinist?
Definition by Phil Johnson

Hyper-Calvinism, simply stated, is a doctrine that emphasizes divine sovereignty to the exclusion of human responsibility. To call it “hyper-Calvinism” is something of a misnomer. It is actually a rejection of historic Calvinism. Hyper-Calvinism entails a denial of what is taught in both Scripture and the major Calvinistic creeds, substituting instead an imbalanced and unbiblical notion of divine sovereignty.
Hyper-Calvinism comes in several flavors, so it admits no simple, pithy definition. Here are a few definitions to consider. I’ll comment briefly on these and then propose a more comprehensive definition:

From a popular theological dictionary:

1. [Hyper-Calvinism] is a system of theology framed to exalt the honour and glory of God and does so by acutely minimizing the moral and spiritual responsibility of sinners . . . It emphasizes irresistible grace to such an extent that there appears to be no real need to evangelize; furthermore, Christ may be offered only to the elect. . . .
2. It is that school of supralapsarian ‘five-point’ Calvinism [n.b.—a school of supralapsarianism, not supralapsarianism in general] which so stresses the sovereignty of God by over-emphasizing the secret over the revealed will of God and eternity over time, that it minimizes the responsibility of sinners, notably with respect to the denial of the use of the word “offer” in relation to the preaching of the gospel; thus it undermines the universal duty of sinners to believe savingly in the Lord Jesus with the assurance that Christ actually died for them; and it encourages introspection in the search to know whether or not one is elect. [Peter Toon, "Hyper-Calvinism," New Dictionary of Theology (Leicester: IVP, 1988), 324.]

Notice three very crucial points in that definition: First, it correctly points out that hyper-Calvinists tend to stress the secret (or decretive) will of God over His revealed (or preceptive) will. Indeed, in all their discussion of “the will of God,” hyper-Calvinists routinely obscure any distinction between God’s will as reflected in His commands and His will as reflected in his eternal decrees. Yet that distinction is an essential part of historic Reformed theology. (See John Piper, “Are There Two Wills in God? Divine Election and God’s Desire for All To Be Saved” in Thomas R. Schreiner, ed., The Grace of God and the Bondage of the Will, 2 vols. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995, 1:107-131.)
Second, take note of the stress the above definition places on hyper-Calvinists’ “denial of the use of the word ‘offer’ in relation to the preaching of the gospel.” This is virtually the epitome of the hyper-Calvinist spirit: it is a denial that the gospel message includes any sincere proposal of divine mercy to sinners in general.
Third, mark the fact that hyper-Calvinism “encourages introspection in the search to know whether or not one is elect.” Assurance tends to be elusive for people under the influence of hyper-Calvinist teaching. Therefore, hyper-Calvinism soon degenerates into a cold, lifeless dogma. Hyper-Calvinist churches and denominations tend to become either barren and inert, or militant and elitist (or all of the above).

127 volfan007 July 15, 2012 at 8:19 am

Wow, John K., can you think of any other names to call me and other God fearing, Jesus loving, Gospel preaching Traditionalists? Unbelievable.

You sound like the New Calvinist, which made the Traditional Statement come into being. It’s attitudes like the one you’ve displayed in here, which made us want to sign the Statement.

And, what’s even sadder is that I havent seen anyone in here rebuke you for such a mean spirited, angry diatribe against fellow Believers. This tells me a lot about SBC Voices.

David

128 Jeff Musgrave July 15, 2012 at 9:56 am

John K,
I started to delete your comment, but it would take out an entire string at this point so I edited it instead. This thread was going along rather nicely without insult until you decided to launch what I can only assume was meant to be a “cute” or “funny” shot full of them. The problem is that you can’t balance it out by insulting the fringe from one group against the mainstream of the other. I have removed that part of your comment and I don’t want to see any more of them.
All complaints can be directed to jeffmusgraveisajerk@hotmail.com

129 John K July 15, 2012 at 10:45 am

Jeff,
It appears everything I put up is still in place as far as I can tell. If I said something out of line and offensive to Traditionalist or Calvinist I apologize. I was having a good conversation with John Wylie that ended with a reply back of Amen brother. I then posted a definition from Phil Johnson of a Hyper Calvinist and I doubt Vol was upset over that.

With having open ID’s with no password protection allows spoofing of others. I would like to know what was offensive because in all likely hood I did not post it. I know you can not repost that Jeff, I do want you to know that anyone can post using John K and my guess is it did not come from my IP address.

Again I apologize to anyone who was offended by that post. It has been my goal throughout this thread not to offend either Traditionalist or Calvinist. We are both brothers in Christ and that is who we should glorify.

130 John K July 15, 2012 at 11:15 am

Jeff,
I now see what was taken down. That was an attempt at balanced humor. I guess it failed for some. The world has become so PC that no one is expected to Cowboy Up. Sad day when that gets the victim card thrown down. If I post in the future I will leave humor out and post dry exegeses only.

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Now that guy knows humor. I’ll have to remember that humor formula.

131 Jeff Musgrave July 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm

John K,
It failed precisely because it was unbalanced. You can’t describe the mainstream of one group with a string of unflattering adjectives and then think to balance it out by applying the same string to the “fringe” of the other side. A fringe that you tried to claim doesn’t even exist.
Hopefully it is just a lesson learned then and we can go back to a civil conversation again.

132 John K July 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Jeff,
You can not insult Pink Buffalo’s they do not exist. That is what I insulted. People can pretend that it gave them vapors and were deeply disturbed. So I repent for what I said to Pink Buffalo’s. That is one of the main issues in this Traditionalist/Calvinist battle. Caricatures are being defined and applied on them. Then people must defend a Caricature. This is the old Pink Buffalo fight, good luck with anyone winning that.

133 Jeff Musgrave July 15, 2012 at 5:53 pm

John K,
You are digging a deeper hole here. You insulted Traditionalists and then “balanced” that insulting list by leveling it at hyper-Calvinists. That is not balance. Trying to equate Traditionalists with hyper-Calvinists is worse than the other insults you tried to humorously level on top of that. And you really must drop this now. Perhaps you should refrain from humor if you are really unable to see the problem there.

134 Doug Hibbard July 15, 2012 at 6:06 pm

I’m with Jeff on this one—what was said was too insulting to be humorous to begin with, then the attempt to equate a group that does it exist but you disagree with, the Traditionalist folks, with a group that you would offended to be lumped in with, Hyper-Calvinists, is no good.

Want to go back to the issue at hand? There is plenty to discuss on it. Otherwise, the least you can do is let it go.

135 mike white July 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Don J.,
You asked:
“You’ve made mention that Christians are God’s people, and that He saved us, because He loves us.
Are Christians His people before they get saved, after, or both?
Did God always have a special love for the saints, even before they were saved? I use the word special as something different than a general love (John 3:16).”

The truths brought forth in Romans 9 don’t address this question. But let me ask you this before I answer…
If [I say if simply to pose the question] salvation depends on God and His choosing, would it matter WHEN He chose?
or…
If [again, see above] salvation is all of God and none of man, does it matter when He decided whom to save?

Thus i see your question not as to the timing of the choosing, but to whom whose will is involved in the choosing. If I am wrong I apologize.
H is my understanding. A free willist [not to say you are] is a libertarian free willist [LFW] you believes that God can not [unduly] influence the choice of the sinner, or that sinner’s choice of God wasn’t done in freedom. Thus a LFW person would object to my take on Romans 9 because it has God’s choice being supreme and in fact causing salvation. [He does cause us to be saved. he doesn't violate our free will in doing so].

God chooses B4 the foundation of the world whom to save. He sent His Son into the world to die for the sins of all who would believe. And He saves each one at still another point in time.

Now unless you believe God has no foreknowledge, you know He knows who will be saved in all of time B4 the world began. If you believe He has special love for those who believe that begins when they believe, it seems to lead to some conclusions.
[1] [a] They did something to bring God to love them more or [b] God did something to love them more. Didn’t God already know these things would happen? But if [b] then we are back to the timing issue which doesn’t seem to matter if God chose 5 minutes before He saved me or 4000+ years. If [a] then are you not saying that God’s special love is on you because of what you DID? DID being a moral choice, is it not?

[2] It also seems to me that salvation must not be all of God in such a person’s eyes, because God had no special love of them that would lead Him to save that person, so that the difference for them between heaven and hell is not God’s love for them [for he had the same love before they were saved as He had for every one, even those who would go to Hell.] Rather the difference for them is in themselves, in their moral choice[s], in their character, in their understanding.

Is that what you are believing, because it seems to me that is the necessary inferences from believing God doesn’t have salvific love for a person until after belief.

Deut. 7:
**“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.**

They weren’t a holy people by their own actions, ever. Certainly not holy by God’s standards as they wallowed in sin in Egypt. Yet God calls them holy.
God chose them and set His love on them not for earthly or fleshly attributes but because He loved them. He chose them before they trusted Him. he chose them before they obeyed Him.
And because He chose them and loved them, He redeemed them.

Now i wasn’t holy before God redeemed me. But while I was yet a sinner God demonstrated His love for me by the cross of Christ. I was chosen to be holy and blameless before Him before the foundation of the world but I was a sinner dead in my sins and trespasses, following after Satan and my own lusts, a hater of God and lover of self when God, because of His great love for me, despite me being dead in my sins, made me alive in Christ, by grace was I saved. He redeemed me out of my slavery by placing His love on me and by His mighty hand which is witnessed in His overcoming sin and death on the cross, He did save me.

peace brothers

136 Don Johnson July 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Mike,

From your statement “He sent His son into the world to die for the sins of all who would believe” I can see you are a 5 pointer. As a 5 pointer could you tell me what you think John 3:17 means.

It’s true as soon as a Jew was born he became the chosen of God. It’s also true God loved them. Maybe I’m not understanding correctly, but it seems as though you are saying all of Israel are saved.

It’s true God loved everyone, and therefore died for everyone. However, He does not a special love for one until he is saved. Which is when the individual becomes a child of God.

Please take careful note of the order of love in John 14:21. According to the verse who loves comes first and who’s love is conditional? Again I want to state this is not the love of John 3:16,17. That is for everyone and is available for everyone.

137 mike white July 14, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Don,

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

I believe in a God who does not fail. So then how is the world saved by sending Jesus into it? Certainly it does not mean, that is, the word world does not mean every person who ever lived.

Is that what you think it means?

So then what does it mean to me? It is a general term to designate the creation. It is an overarching idea not specific to every person. And it means that in verse 16 as well.

God does not fail.

As to John 14.
You seem to want to make that an overarching principle on the order of love. It doesn’t have to be. God WILL love those who obey Him, no doubt. But I still sin. Yet God loves me! He loves me by Christ. When did He first love me by Christ?
Eph. 1

**Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will… **

He loved me and blessed me in Christ before the foundation of the world.

You said…
“It’s true as soon as a Jew was born he became the chosen of God. It’s also true God loved them. Maybe I’m not understanding correctly, but it seems as though you are saying all of Israel are saved.”

I think you misunderstand. Paul in Romans 9 is telling us that not all born ethnically Jews were the chosen of God. In Romans 2, he tells us…

**For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.**

So it depends on how you define Israel. Paul said…

**ut it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.**

So in one sense, Israel is every one born of Jacob. In the other sense, it is not. In the other sense we read in Galatians 3…

**Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.**
and later…
**And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.**

So in that other sense [not ethnically]. we as believers are the true sons of Abraham.

As for your idea of a special love AFTER one is saved, I already addressed that and asked you some questions about it. maybe you missed it. Let me know if you want me to repost it.

Peace brother

138 Don Johnson July 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Mike,

You gave several verses in John 3, and told me God doesn’t fail, but you didn’t tell me what you thought John 3:17 meant. Since you didn’t give what you thought I’ll give what I think. Feel free to correct.

John 3:17 – God sent not His Son (Jesus) into the world (the earth) to condemn the world (all the people who lived or will live); but that the world (all the people who lived or will live) through Him (Christ) might be saved (salvation is made possible for all, but not all would be saved – which is why John said might be, he didn’t say would be, because not all of the world will be saved).

It’s a simple verse, so again if you would, could tell me in your words what a 5 pointer thinks it means.

John 14:21 – Your reply was “you seem to make that an overarching principle on the order of love. It doesn’t have to be.”

Let me see if I have this correct. Just because Jesus gave the order of love in vs. 21 and again in vs. 23, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily so. I have to ask, how do you know when Jesus is telling the truth and when what He says “doesn’t have to be”?

139 mike white July 14, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Don J.
John 3:17
**17 For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.**

I looked up the word “might” in Strongs. the word phrase “might be saved” is simply the word sozo [Strong's 4982] which means to save.

Here is what a pastor said,,,
“In view of our conversation at Hermeneutics class regarding the John 3:17 “might be saved” phrase (in the NASB); I have checked all the Greek text on this and “might be” does not exist. The idea of “might be” as a possibility is not in the Greek at all. In the Greek word-to-word, it merely goes straight to “sode-zo” (salvation) – literally “so that the world through Him saved.” It is a dependent clause in a mood that does not fit salvation as a possibility, but is instead explaining why Christ did not come to judge (as the Jews thought it was all about whether they had kept laws), but to save.”
from:
http://www.gbcsa.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=52:john-317-lost-in-translation&catid=39:pastors-newsletters&Itemid=64

There are at least two reasons why your idea of “possibility” should be rejected.

1] As to your understanding, how are they to be saved through Jesus if they never hear of Him? And millions have died not hearing of Him. Again, does God not know this before the world began? Doesn’t He know this when Jesus comes to earth? He must know millions have died w/o hearing the Gospel and did so before He sent the Son.

2] Doesn’t God know who exactly will be saved? But how are they saved, by God’s choice or man’s? This is what Romans 9 is telling us, that it is up to God on whom He will have mercy. It is NOT by the works or will of man.

And since this thread discussion is on Romans 9, please come up with a credible alternative to Romans 9 that answers inquiries as to its cohesion to the context of the chapter.

So, like i said, the word world here is a general term not indicating everyone who ever lived, because God does not fail. The phrase, “might be saved” means to save not the possibility of saving.
Is there a possibility of saving every human who ever lived? NOPE.

As to John 14, you said,
“Let me see if I have this correct. Just because Jesus gave the order of love in vs. 21 and again in vs. 23, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily so. I have to ask, how do you know when Jesus is telling the truth and when what He says “doesn’t have to be”?”

Aww Don, don’t go there. That question is really uncalled for.
Our difference is not whether Jesus is telling the truth, my brother, but in how we understand those verses. You see them as some principle of the order of love in salvation, and I do not. How is someone saved unless Jesus is revealed to them?

But Don, is this a conversation and a give and get kind of thing, or do I just get to give all the answers while you answer not at all? I will give you a chance by reposting what I said earlier that you missed.

140 Don Johnson July 14, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Mike,

Yes, repost what you had said about a special love after being saved. I’m not sure where to look for it. Thanks

141 mike white July 14, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Don,
It is a long post. Right now it is #118. Scroll up and you should find it. If not ask again and I will copy and paste it anew.

142 Don Johnson July 15, 2012 at 1:35 am

Mike,

Ok, you told me why you thought my exegesis of John 3:17 is wrong and that’s fine. Though I still believe it to be correct as KJV, NASV and ESV agree with what I said.

For some reason you don’t want to state what the verse means to 5 point Calvinist. The word “world” is used three times in the verse. Could you as briefly as possible state what “world” means those three times?

In regards to John 14:21,23 you made the comment, that I see them as some principle order of love in salvation, and you do not. Might I ask what do you see in the verses. If what I see is incorrect, then I want to be corrected.

143 mike white July 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm

John and David [Vol],

David, you are right that Trads are not semiPs because of the TS.
I’m a 5 pointer that does not believe in inherited guilt.

John, This really isn’t the place to discuss the inherited guilt and nature themes but there is a blog by a friend of mine, Ken Hamrick that gets into it, called Biblical Realist. http://biblicalrealist.wordpress.com/
His latest post is called: Answering Prooftexts for Inherited Condemnation

Check it out if you want.

peace brothers

144 Chief Katie July 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm
145 David R. Brumbelow July 14, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Jeff Musgrave,
Thanks for posting this article. I owe you a box of Little Debbie Cake Rolls (inside joke).

John Wylie,
Really enjoyed meeting you earlier this week at the Bible Conference. You did a great job preaching. Also appreciate what you have had to say about Romans 9.

All,
I’ve been out of pocket for a while and haven’t had much chance to comment. However, my point was not so much to argue the varying interpretations of Romans 9. My point was to say that contrary to the view of some, Traditionalists do have a credible interpretation of Romans 9. On the other hand, you all have had a great discussion on this chapter.

Also, I’m sure some Traditionalists would disagree with some of these points. We would not agree on every detail. I really only speak for one Traditionalist – myself.

Thanks for your interest and all your contributions. Especially those who agree with me! But both sides have fitted themselves well on this passage.
David R. Brumbelow

146 mike white July 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm

David,

Let me start off by thanking you for providing an atmosphere of cordiality and cooperation in which to discuss differences.

You said:
“The answer to Romans 9, however, is very simple. When referring to Jacob and Esau, God is not speaking of two individuals, but of two nations (see also Genesis 25:23). God is not saying, I’m sending one of you to Heaven and one of you to Hell.”

But the subject of Romans 9 isn’t really about two nations. Explain to me how your understanding of how the idea of two nations squares with not all Israel is Israel.
Thanks.

peace brother

147 John Wylie July 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Mike,
With all due respect the point is that it is a credible interpretation and one that has been held by many for centuries. David already demonstrated with the quotes from Genesis and Malachi which inform our understanding of Romans 9. In the exact same verse that Paul quotes from in verse 12 in the Genesis passage God says He’s referring to two nations and two peoples. Genesis and Malachi must be brought to bear in our understanding of Romans 9. You don’t have to agree with the interpretation to at least see the credibility of it.

148 mike white July 14, 2012 at 11:45 pm

John W.,
You mean like Arianism has been around, and Catholicism has been around for centuries? Many have held those views as well, are they credible to you?

Now obviously I am not lumping the OP in with those ideas, but the point is that just because something has been around, and even if held by respected people does not mean it is credible.

As to David’s quotes, they spin the idea Paul is writing about. They do not match up with the context. Paul is talking about how all Israel is not Israel, not about Edomites. He has already touched on the subject of who a true Jew is in Romans 2.

If any person wishes to give an argument and uses words from the past, okay, but he also has to defend it against present objections and inquiries.

How is something credible when it fails to address the passage in question by the immediate context?

149 John Wylie July 14, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Mike,
The immediate context is informed by those passages in Genesis and Malachi. Also the immediate context begins in verses 1-5 of Romans 9 where Paul uses the word Israelite to mean racial Jews. I certainly understand your argument against my position and can see where you get it and can see your argumentation is credible. I cannot imagine for of the life of me why you can’t at least concede that people who differ with you on this at least have a credible argument.

150 John Wylie July 14, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Also,
Esau was not an Israelite he was the father of the Edomites. Jacob fathered the twelve tribes of Israel. Of course not all the descendants of Abraham are the seed of promise.

151 mike white July 14, 2012 at 5:32 pm

David,

My question is related directly to your statement…

“My point was to say that contrary to the view of some, Traditionalists do have a credible interpretation of Romans 9.”

I just don’t see how your position is credible.

Lets look at the defense you gave:
“This Scripture is not speaking of personal salvation, but of how God elected Israel to be His chosen people and passed over Edom. For example, my song leader can’t preach and I as pastor can’t sing. God gave us different gifts and talents. Does that mean He hates (in our modern day view of hate) one of us and loves the other? No, God loves us both, but chose us for different roles. It has nothing to do with our personal salvation.”

To Israel, God said He chose them from all the other countries to be His people. Edom was chosen to be what, a foil to Israel? But God loves them both the same? Who are His chosen people NOW? Who has God passed over today?

Thanks.
peace brother

152 Dave Miller July 14, 2012 at 7:45 pm

I just have a moment, but I would like to thank David Brumbelow for offering an exegetically-based discussion of issues. This is the kind of post we need more of.

Agree. Disagree. Discuss. But at least it was exegetical.

153 David R. Brumbelow July 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Dave Miller,
Thanks very much. Hope you have a great mission trip.
David R. Brumbelow

154 Chief Katie July 14, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Don.

Sometimes these threads get hi-jacked so I’m going to offer a quick update of Gerry Matitics. He’s a lunatic. He is now a Sedevacantist. That means that he doesn’t believe the Catholic Church has now, or has had a legitimate leader since Vatican II. So all the Pope’s etc., are imposters. The period after legitimate Pope’s death and the election of a new one is known in Catholicism as a period of Sede Vacante. I had the misfortune to hear him on one of the programs I used to listen to. It must be sad to never be able to rest in saving grace of our Redeemer.

I only brought it up, because Christiane is absolutely aware of the education of James White and I felt her question was insincere. I’m a mean, mean person.

God Bless

155 Christiane July 14, 2012 at 10:36 pm

you are NOT a ‘mean person’ Chief Katie . . . you have very strong feelings about your faith.

I see nothing wrong with that to condemn in any way.

156 mike white July 15, 2012 at 2:57 am

John W.
You said,
“The immediate context is informed by those passages in Genesis and Malachi. Also the immediate context begins in verses 1-5 of Romans 9 where Paul uses the word Israelite to mean racial Jews.”

Yes, you are right in that the immediate context is informed by those quoted passages. BUT if the interpretation of the verses is not in the context of the immediate writing, than what one is doing is ignoring that immediate context and relying as primary what only has a role to inform and enhance. [the passages from where the quotes come from].

And you are right again that the context does begin in verses 1-5 where Paul is referring to ethnic Jews. But Paul continues on…
**6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Neither are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants. **

He is not talking about Edomites or Gentiles or any other tribe in verses 6-7 BUT ONLY ethnic Israelis. Now what is he saying about these Israelis? He is making a distinction AMONG them [vs. 6] that he begins to tease out in verse 7. It would be like me saying that not all Southern baptists are Southern Baptists. Or not all Americans are Americans. The next things I should be saying is to explain what I am talking about. Why are not all Americans Americans? or Why are not all Southern Baptists Southern Baptists.

And Paul does just that. BUT first look at 6a: But it is not as though the word of God has failed. But brother Brumbelow has skipped over both these verses. He has ignored the immediate context. And so it seems have you. Can you explain your position and his including all of the verses?
We believe that God saves and never loses those He has saved. That God’s people are forever God’s people. We derive that truth from the Word of God. But Paul is giving a response to a question [unwritten] Why does the ethnic Jew need Jesus? Paul is telling us that God’s Word has not failed, rather the ethnic Jew has made mistakes in interpreting it. And what he is writing is the Word of God as well so it is authoritative.

So Paul explains what he means when he says not all Israel is Israel. But he goes back to Abraham, the FATHER of the faith, where it all started for Israel. And he traces the events of Genesis in light of WHAT? In light of his statement that needs explaining: not all
who are descended from Israel are Israel.
Now that is the context of the passage. And that context rules on how the quoted verses inform our understanding of Romans 9. It is wrong to simply ignore Paul’s words as inconvenient or mysterious or whatever the reason is.

Certainly the passage is quoted out of a context of nations, BUT, Paul wants you to ask WHY has God hated Esau and loved Jacob. WHY has God chosen Israel and is bring Esau and his descendants to doom?

In this thread, one Trad argues for God loving every single person who ever lived. But Paul is making a distinction here between children and descendants. [vs. 7] Between Israeli and Israeli.[vs. 6] Jesus made the same distinction in John 8. His words made it between God and Satan… or about salvation.
Don’t ignore 7b-8
**On the contrary, your offspring will be traced through Isaac. 8 That is, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but the children of the promise are considered to be the offspring.**

The words, “children of the promise”, relate to Abraham and the promise of God that comes to us by faith. Gal 3:

**27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ like a garment. 28 There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise.**

This is the CONTEXT that leads into the verses on Jacob and Esau. It is about soteriology -salvation!

Therefore it is NOT credible to take the next verses as speaking about nations and roles. Paul is still unpacking why all Israel is not Israel. Verse 9 is connected to verse 8 intimately by this phrase: “For this is the statement of the promise”.
verse 8b and 9a: “but the children of the promise are considered to be the offspring. For this is the statement of the promise:”

And verse 10 connects with verse 9: 10a “And not only that,” Paul is still unpacking why some Israelis are not children of the promise.

The reason why the argument is not credible is because it ignores the immediate context and imposes some other understanding on a single verse that is not in line with the flow of words and ideas.

But hey, please feel free to show me how your understanding includes the context.
And show me where i have gone wrong. Thanks.

peace brothers

I certainly understand your argument against my position and can see where you get it and can see your argumentation is credible. I cannot imagine for of the life of me why you can’t at least concede that people who differ with you on this at least have a credible argument.”

157 John Wylie July 15, 2012 at 7:37 am

Mike,
The tenor of this whole thread has been the best I’ve ever seen on SBC voices concerning this subject. It is obvious that you and I are speaking past one another. I’ve explained a number of times as to why I believe the general context of chapter 9 is that of nations. I’ve acknowledged that your interpretation is credible. Once again I just can’t see why you can’t acknowledge that the argument for nations in this chapter is credible as well. Thanks for the conversation brother.

158 David R. Brumbelow July 15, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Mike White,
I have pretty well given my view in the post and in the quotes. Also, while John Wylie is speaking for himself, he has done a good job presenting my view as well. Some believe Jacob and Esau are referring to individuals; I and many others believe Jacob and Esau are referring to nations.

John Wylie,
I agree this has been an outstanding thread and both sides have presented themselves well. I’m almost afraid to add my comments; afraid I’ll mess things up.
David R. Brumbelow

159 mike white July 15, 2012 at 6:55 pm

David,

How does seeing Esau and Jacob as nations fit into the idea that not all the children of Jacob are of Abraham? [Not all are Abraham's children who are his descendants.]

Without that, your explanation falls short of credible.
It seems to me that you simply are prooftexting the one verse and interpreting it while ignoring the context that precedes it and to which it is undeniably linked.

Why would your comments mess things up?
And why shouldn’t you answer inquiries about what you posted?
How can we dialogue if questions are not answered?

peace brother

160 mike white July 15, 2012 at 3:18 am

John W,
You also said,
“Esau was not an Israelite he was the father of the Edomites. Jacob fathered the twelve tribes of Israel. Of course not all the descendants of Abraham are the seed of promise.”

And Paul is unpacking why not all the descendants of Abraham are of the promise. The words Jacob I have loved and Esau I have hated were applicable from the start, not just when they were penned.

We read:
**11 For though her sons had not been born yet or done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to election might stand— 12 not from works but from the One who calls—she was told: The older will serve the younger. 13 As it is written: I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau.**

Consider this: when Jesus returns and judgment is passed out, us sinners will escape the wrath due us and will bask in His everlasting love because of His mercy, because of His grace, because of His suffering, and not because of anything of us. We are the children of promise. We are Israel that is Israel. But those who will reap the just rewards of their own sins never receive God’s love again, they are doomed. They are Esau. Once we were brothers with them, sinners with them, indistinguishable from them [like twins] . Consider that some of us are ethnic Israelis. They had brothers born of the same lineage as Jesus, even as they were, direct descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. they are true Jews as well, circumcised in the heart by the Spirit, they too are the true Israel. But their unsaved brothers are like Ishmael, like Esau, not chosen of God, not the children of the promise.

How did we differ? What does the Word tell us? Look at verses 11-13. There is a distinction between Jacob and Esau. Which one was CALLED?

161 Don Johnson July 15, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Mike,

Judging from your last sentences, you believe Rom. 9 is teaching election unto salvation. Why do you believe Ishmael was not saved?

162 mike white July 15, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Don J.
Ismael was like all men, a sinner and rebel unto God.
He needed God’s compassion and mercy.

Romans 9 tells me:
**14 What should we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not! 15 For He tells Moses:
I will show mercy
to whom I will show mercy,
and I will have compassion
on whom I will have compassion.
16 So then it does not depend on human will or effort but on God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture tells Pharaoh:
I raised you up for this reason
so that I may display My power in you
and that My name may be proclaimed in all the earth.
18 So then, He shows mercy to those He wants to, and He hardens those He wants to harden.**

God did not show Ismael mercy and compassion unto salvation.
Salvation is all of God and none of man.
Thus we have no boast.

163 Christiane July 15, 2012 at 7:24 pm

But God did show direct care and compassion for Ishmael:

“14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.

15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes.

16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob.

17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her,
“What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid;
God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.

18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation. ”

19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.

20 God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. ”

(from the Book of Genesis, chapter 21)

164 mike white July 15, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Christiane,

That God showed Ismael compassion is true. But Romans 9 is about how not all Israel is Israel. And how all of those who are descendants of Abraham are not his promised children.

As to Ishmael, we read in Gal. 4:
**28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But just as then the child born according to the flesh persecuted the one born according to the Spirit, so also now. 30 But what does the Scripture say?
Drive out the slave and her son, for the son of the slave will never be a coheir with the son of the free woman.**

and we read in Romans 9:
**14 What should we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not! 15 For He tells Moses:
I will show mercy
to whom I will show mercy,
and I will have compassion
on whom I will have compassion.**

I repeat:
God did not show Ismael mercy and compassion unto salvation.
Salvation is all of God and none of man.
Thus we have no boast.

165 Don Johnson July 15, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Mike,

I know we have vastly different ideas on what “to serve” means.

In Gen 33:14 why does Jacob call Esau his lord and why does he refer to himself as Esau’s servant. This occurs many years after the birthright and blessing events. Should it not be the other way around, if your theory is correct?

166 Debbie Kaufman July 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Don: John 1:29 says – John 1:29: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Did Christ by His death take away the sin of all men without exception?

167 Don Johnson July 15, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Debbie,

Yes, Christ’s death paid the sin debt of all men without exception.

168 Anthony Clay July 15, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Why does anyone receive punishment?

Is it because they “don’t believe”?

Then, there remains a “sin debt” that wasn’t paid, no?

169 Don Johnson July 16, 2012 at 12:14 am

Anthony,

No, the sin debt was paid, but not redeemed. People don’t go to Hell to pay their sin debt. They go because they rejected the one who paid it (2 Thes. 2:10-12). If people went to Hell in order to pay their sin debt, they would eventually get out. Because they would eventually pay it off.

People die in their in sins, but they don’t pay for them. Christ did!

170 John Wylie July 16, 2012 at 12:22 am

Anthony when the scriptures say that He is propitiation for the sins of the whole world I take that at face value in its natural meaning. Christ his paid the sin debt for all mankind but for individuals to appropriate that payment they must believe. Btw people go to hell not just for being sinners but for not believing on Christ. John 3:18, 36

171 Debbie Kaufman July 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Don: My first question to you should have been at the bottom. Sorry. But another question I have is – John 6:33: “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” Does Jesus give life to the whole world? To all men without exception?

172 Don Johnson July 15, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Debbie,

Yes, Christ offers life to all men without exception. Just as God gave manna to all of Israel, Christ gives life to all men, but in both cases it must be received to be of any benefit.

The people of Capernaum realized Jesus was not saying everyone in the world received life. But they did know they were part of the “world”, therefore they asked in vs. 34 – Lord, evermore “give” us this bread in order to be given life. Unfortunately, when they were told what the bread really was, they did not receive it.

I believe Jesus was basically stating the same in John 10:10.

Also, on a separate note, these two verses along with several others, show that faith must precede regeneration.

173 mike white July 16, 2012 at 12:26 am

Don J.,
You said,
“Yes, Christ offers life to all men without exception.”

Please explain how Christ offers life to those who never hear the Gospel, and/or who never heard the promises of God.

And since millions died before hearing either the Gospel or the promises, how did Christ offer life to them?

2nd request or maybe 3rd request on this Don. I’d appreciate some feedback.
thanks brother.
peace

174 Don Johnson July 16, 2012 at 1:03 am

Mike,

I have an idea as to how, but I can’t say for sure, how He offers life to those who have never heard the Gospel. Though I may not know the way, I’m certain He does. Otherwise Rev. 5:9 could not be true.

Christ redeemed people out of EVERY kindred, tongue, people and nation. If the verse is true (and I believe it is) then Christ somehow must offer life to them, because there have been many kindreds, tongues and peoples and nations who have never heard the Gospel. Yet at least some of those (the Bible does not give the number) are redeemed. Of course this would only be true if EVERY meant EVERY.

175 mike white July 16, 2012 at 1:21 am

Don J.,

Thanks for the answer Don.
Yes Christ redeems people out of every kindred, people, tongue, and nation, but all that means is that at least one person out of every people group gets saved.
It does not mean that every person without exception has had a chance to be saved.

176 Don Johnson July 16, 2012 at 9:24 am

Mike,

It’s true there may be only one. Glad to see you at least admit to that.

However, it does mean everyone without exception, because that’s the only way “that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20). They rejected the truth that was revealed to them.

177 Debbie Kaufman July 16, 2012 at 9:34 am

Don: The word in this passage is not offer but give.

178 Dale Pugh July 16, 2012 at 10:16 am

I don’t mean to intrude here, but the context of John 6:33 explains to whom Jesus will give life. The verses following (John 6:34-58) show that those who “come” to Him are those to whom life is given. It is “given” to the world in that it is a gift for the whole world. Like any gift it is only effective for those who receive it.
Verse 51 states, “….if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” The life he gives is contingent upon the Greek conditional “ean”– “if”. He does, in fact, give, but the individual must receive. Thus, it follows that Jesus makes an offer to those who hear the Gospel. The gift has been given, but will the offer of the gift be received?

179 Don Johnson July 16, 2012 at 10:23 am

Dale,

You stated it better than I did. Thanks

180 Don Johnson July 16, 2012 at 10:20 am

Debbie,

You are correct. However, those hearing Jesus understood it to mean offer. Which is why they said “evermore GIVE us this bread” in vs. 34. Jesus then offered them the bread vs. 35-40, to which the Jews “them murmured at Him.” Jesus gives life to anyone who will receive it. They didn’t receive it, but it was available for them.

181 Phillip J. Patterson July 15, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Pastor Randle,

I have enjoyed reading your exegesis on Roman 9. Thank you!

182 D.R. Randle July 15, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Thanks Philip. Glad it was helpful.

D.R.

183 charlie July 15, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Israel. It’s the election of Israel that’s in view.

184 dr. james willingham July 15, 2012 at 10:53 pm

My pastor who ordained me was a supralapsarian, a hyper-calvinist, and he would tell you so from the pulpit and in personal conversation. He was also a soul winner, par excellence, and founder of the American Race Track Chaplaincy. (cf. Who’s Who in Religion.2nd edn. Chicago: Marquis Pubs., 1977 re: Ernest R. Campbell. You will also find me listed there). Dr. Campbell had a Ph.D. from Bob Jones Univ. What supralapsarian has reference to is the order of the decrees and hypercalvinism means that he went with what he regarded as the best explanation of the biblical facts concerning the decrees of God, being as his work was in biblical theology. Various other definitions of hypercalvinism involve the idea of not being a witness. But the first convert in India was won not by William Carey, but by Dr. John Thomas, who was called a hypercalvinist. He went insane with joy over the conversion of Krisha Pal, when he realized the Pal was serious about being baptized. Strange is it not: A hypercalvinist going insane with elation over a conversion? He had been seeking one for 14 years and had been in an up and down cycle. He popped out of his mind on the upside of the cycle at the conversion and was locked in a building near the baptismal place where Carey baptized Pal. In another building near by Carey’s wife was raving, probably as a result of PTSD from culture shock.

185 Kendall Adams July 15, 2012 at 11:05 pm

I recommend John Piper’s, The Justification of God: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Romans 9:1-23, and Thomas Schreiner’s article, DOES ROMANS 9 TEACH INDIVIDUAL ELECTION UNTO
SALVATION? SOME EXEGETICAL AND THEOLOGICAL
REFLECTIONS see http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/36/36-1/JETS_36-1_025-040_Schreiner.pdf
or his sermons on Romans 9 here: http://cliftonbaptist.org/sermons-and-audio/?page=3

186 D.R. Randle July 15, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Dan,

This is in response to your comment further up (located here: bit.ly/Q0F4Xs).

Ok, so let me take another stab at what you are trying to say. It seems that your position is that the verses Paul quotes are focused on corporate election, but that you do see Paul applying these to individuals, but only insofar as to say that individual salvation is not based on corporate election, but rather on God’s grace, which is applied through the exercising of faith on the part of the individual saved. Thus, you seem to indicate that individual election is not in view here, but rather an argument from corporate election to individual salvation. Is that correct?

Ok, so assuming that is your argument, your second paragraph seems to suggest that there is no such thing as individual election, only corporate election. Is that what you are saying? Or are you simply saying that this passage doesn’t speak to that individual election, only to individual salvation?

Now, regardless of which is true above, I am going to stop right there and deal with this part of your interpretation first. The problem I see immediately is that you admit that corporate election is in view, yet you see Paul as paralleling this with individual salvation and not individual election, which is most certainly a Biblical concept that he has spoken of elsewhere. However, I do not believe Corporate election is a natural parallel with individual salvation – at least as much as individual election is. Thus are two differing positions could be defined as:

Argument from Corporate election to Individual Salvation
vs.
Argument from Corporate election to Individual Election

When put side by side, the more likely comparison seems to be that of election to election. That argument is strengthened when you look at it from the perspective that I mentioned previously, namely that Paul is pointing to the individual election of both Isaac and Jacob as the backdrop for the Corporate Election of Israel through these choices.

In regard to that, as I stated earlier – you cannot have the Corporate Election of Israel without the Individual Election of Isaac and Jacob. And this Individual Election is specifically pointed to in v.11 when Paul says, “though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls…” This sentence focuses on the personhood of Jacob and Esau, not on the representative nature of each as nations. This sentence is not found in the context of either Genesis 25, nor Malachi 1 and it makes much more sense in my paradigm, where Paul is placing the foundation of Corporate Election in the Individual Election of Jacob.

Building upon those two points (that Corporate Election to Individual Election makes for a better and more legitimate parallel and that Paul uses personhood language apart from the context of Corporate Election in Gen 25 and Mal 1), it makes much more sense to the text to then see BOTH Corporate Election and Individual Election as unconditional. Clearly, the nature of Israel’s election is unconditional and thus again, being parallel, Paul seems to be using this structure to say the same about the Individual Election of Jacob (and by extension, the Individual Election of all who are truly Children of Abraham – which results from having the same faith as Abraham). So then we again see your interpretation of Paul’s structure vs. mine:

Argument from (Unconditional) Corporate election to (Conditional) Individual Salvation
vs.
Argument from (Unconditional) Corporate election to (Unconditional) Individual Election

And again, just on the surface the parallels in my structure make more sense logically. So then, based on my interpretation of this text, the questions and answers Paul pens in vv.14-24 seem much more reasonable. An unconditional election is much more problematic to God’s justice than is a conditional one. The same is true in regard to our responsibility and God’s will. Conditional election is not a problem for any man – Jew or Gentile who reads this text. But an unconditional one is, which is why Paul raises these questions and then answers them.

Finally, it seems that your interpretation holds that this passage teaches against salvation by works and that such is a radical enough idea (at least to the Jews) that such questions in vv.14-24 are necessary at this point. But that doesn’t make sense in relation to the rest of the Book of Romans. Paul has already dealt with this concept back in Chapters 3-7 and there we find him raising a number of other issues, none of which come close to the need to question God’s justice, our responsibility, or God’s Will.

The same is true in Galatians 3-5. In fact, there we find Paul dealing specifically with the type of issue you raise in your interpretation, namely salvation by works vs. grace working through faith. And yet, Paul there never raises the idea that God’s justice is in question simply because He saves on the basis of faith rather than works. Neither is our responsibility questioned or God’s Will being irresistible. It would seem that if your interpretation were true here in Romans, it would be even more true in Galatians where there is a much higher percentage of Jewish influence and where (and when) the need to explain clearly how salvation is by grace and not by Corporate Election or works is much greater (especially in light of the fact that Galatians is written much earlier and in the heart of the debate in the Jerusalem Church over these issues of works, grace, and the Law, whereas Romans is written much later – after the Jerusalem Council settled these matters – and in a time when such teachings by Paul would not be nearly as controversial as they were in the early 40′s A.D.).

Given this context, issues of God’s justice, our responsibility, and God’s irresistible would seem much more necessary to bring up in Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, yet (while the argument you propose is present), those questions are not. Instead we find similar questions to what Paul raises in Romans 3-7.

Thus, I conclude based on all this that your interpretation lacks the logical and structural clarity of the Reformed argument and as such, the Reformed argument seems much more likely the correct one. Additionally, your argument seems less likely in light of Paul’s questions in vv.14-24 – questions which find no parallels elsewhere when dealing with themes consistent with your interpretation.

Dan, let me know if you need further clarification or wish to ask further questions of my position. Thanks again for the discussion and affording me the opportunity to clarify my exegesis here.

187 Godismyjudge July 16, 2012 at 2:53 pm

D.R.,

Thanks for your response. That’s a reasonably good summary of my view. As for election as taught in other passages, I would say it’s not really clear enough to be very dogmatic, but I lean towards election being primarily corporate and secondarily individual. But as you noted, I don’t see Romans 9 teaching individual election – other than however God’s plan to grant eternal life based on mercy rather than works or nationality indirectly impacts election.

You asked for passages outside of Romans 9 that make similar points to God’s granting eternal life being a matter of grace – and that ruffling the Jews feathers. Before I do, let me say that I do think all of scripture moves against your interpretation of Romans 9. Whenever all due consideration has been given to distinctions between supra/infra lapsarianism, double/single predestination, the decree of reprobation and the decree of condemnation … the fact remains you are advocating the interpretation that God hated a baby before he did anything wrong. That’s just a whole lot harsher view of God than I find in the rest of scripture. But I am more than willing to bow the knee if that’s what Romans 9 says. It’s just that you are weighing our alternative interpretations as if they were on equal footing whereas I judge your interpretation on a “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard rather than a “more likely than not” standard.

As for passages outside of Romans 9 that say roughly what I am saying, I would point to the justice objection in Romans 3:5-8. Some commentators go as far as to say Romans 9:19 picks up on 3:5-8. I am not sure I would go that far, but it is similar. I would also point to the stress in Romans 4:16 that eternal life be granted by grace. Also 1 Corinthians 1:18-:2:7 says, God’s planned to save those who believe (1:21) which is called a stumbling block to the Jews (1:22) but something God predestined (2:7). I would also point to Romans 9:30-33, where it says the Jews sought righteousness through the law rather than by faith and stumbled over the Stumbling Stone. Finally, I would point to Galatians 4, where the election of Isaac and rejection of Ismael, is parallel, not to individual election to salvation, but rather to God’s plan to save by grace through faith rather than the works of the law.

Your main objection to my interpretation seems to be asymmetry between unconditional election and conditional salvation. However, I instead of:

“Argument from (Unconditional) Corporate election to (Conditional) Individual Salvation
vs.
Argument from (Unconditional) Corporate election to (Unconditional) Individual Election”

I would say the parallel is more like:

Argument from mercy based national election to mercy based plan of salvation
vs.
Argument from (Unconditional) Corporate election to (Unconditional) Individual Election

I removed the “conditionality” of salvation because although God’s grace is applied through faith and this idea might even be in view when Paul says “God who calls”, but I am not sure that it is and I don’t want to go beyond the text. So I think it’s about God’s mercy vs. works moreso than faith vs. works.

Also, I changed “unconditional corporate election” to “mercy based national election” because, although the election of the Nation of Israel was not based on works or faith, I am not sure I would say it was unconditional in the sense of Dort’s definition (i.e. not based on anything about the persons chosen). There may have been something different about Israel that served as a reason God chose it – I just don’t know, but I do know Israel’s election was not earned or merited. Also, I do not see NT corporate election as the same as the election of the nation of Israel (they are both corporate, but one is to salvation the other to national blessings).

Hopefully this clarifies my view on the parallels. But I would also say I am not looking for some implied parallel. The passage is silent on a second election. But the one time Paul steps away from the OT passages, here is what he says:

Romans 9:8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

God’s adopts people into his family via His promise, not via nationality and 9:8 is directly about salvation, not election. That’s an explicit statement of what the election of the patriarch’s parallels – I don’t need to look for an implicit second election for it to parallel.

You say the election of the Patriarchs is individual rather than corporate but your statements were a bit ambiguous – are we talking election to salvation or election to be the head of a great nation? If to salvation, I would say you are reading that into the OT text – that’s one of David’s main points in the opening post. If to be the head of a great nation, that doesn’t really support your interpretation. Your parallels move from corporate election to individual election, not from individual election to individual election. You really need to find evidence of a second election, but it’s just not in the text.

I appreciate the discussion; both you’re tone and you’re scholarship.

God be with you,
Dan

188 mike white July 16, 2012 at 1:40 am

Compare 1st Timothy 1: 9 to Romans 9
**He has saved us and called us
with a holy calling,
not according to our works,
but according to His own purpose and grace,
which was given to us in Christ Jesus
before time began.**

Romans 9:11-12b
**For though her sons had not been born yet or done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to election might stand— 12 not from works but from the One who calls—**

Note these common words: purpose, calling, works. Notice the idea of pre-time is similar: election in Romans, and “before time began” in Timothy.

Then look at Ephesians 1:4-11
**4 For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love 5 He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, 6 to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.
7 We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure that He planned in Him 10 for the administration of the days of fulfillment—to bring everything together in the Messiah, both things in heaven and things on earth in Him.
11 We have also received an inheritance in Him, predestined according to the purpose of the One who works out everything in agreement with the decision of His will,**

Again similar themes, before time, purpose, grace [not works], election.

Would anyone deny that Ephesians 1 and 1st Timothy 1 are about individual salvation?
Would anyone deny that when Paul talks about the children of promise in Galatians 3 and 4 that he is talking about individual’s salvation?

Peace brothers

189 Don Johnson July 16, 2012 at 11:08 am

Mike,

I think you mean 2 Tim. not 1 Tim.

Yes, I deny the texts are about individual salvation.

They are mentioning things for those who have already been saved.

In 2 Tim. 1:9 Paul says – saved and called, not called and saved. The calling in 2Tim. is not a call to salvation, but to service. In vs. 11 Paul states what his calling is ” a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.”

God had Paul write – saved and called, because He meant saved and called. It is not for us to change the wording of Scripture to fit our theology. We change our theology to fit Scripture.

God says what He means and He means what He says.

190 mike white July 16, 2012 at 2:09 am

I asked, no one answered.
Who is God calling? Jacob? Esau?

Let us look at the word ‘call’ as Paul as used it so far in Romans.
1:1 He was called to be an apostle.
1:6 writing to those who are called of Christ.
1:7 called to be saints.

and then at 8:28
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

here we have call and purpose together.

8:30
And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Here we have call with predestination.

Our verse in Romans 9:
though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—

Later in chapter 9, 3 times in 3 verses:
23 And what if He did this to make known the riches of His glory on objects of mercy that He prepared beforehand for glory — 24 on us, the ones He also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As He also says in Hosea:
I will call Not My People, My People,
and she who is Unloved, Beloved.
26 And it will be in the place where they were told,
you are not My people,
there they will be called sons of the living God.

Which of these does not pertain to salvation?
Paul got his call [1:1] when he was saved.

Inconsistent = not credible

peace brothers

191 David R. Brumbelow July 16, 2012 at 10:28 am

B. H. Carroll (AD 1843-1914) was the founding president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was a Calvinist, though he would not agree with Calvinists at every point.

Some of Carroll’s comments on Romans 9 are interesting:

“High above human thought, beyond the scope of human sight, of the human mind, the Omnipotence and Omniscience is ruling, and his rule is supreme, and yet nobody is taken by the hair and dragged into hell, and nobody is taken by the hair and dragged into heaven, as he will show more particularly later.”

“The election of the Jewish nation looked to the salvation of the Jews and Gentiles that received the message of God, also the covenants, and the coming of Christ from them according to the flesh. That election looked through them to others and, so far as salvation in heaven is concerned, the Jews that believed were saved, and so far as other nations were concerned he quotes certain parts in Hosea and the Old Testament, the paragraph referring to the ingathering of the Gentiles: ‘I will call them my people which were not my people.’” -B. H. Carroll, Interpretation of the English Bible, Romans 9.
David R. Brumbelow

192 D.R. Randle July 16, 2012 at 10:47 am

David,

As a Calvinist I agree 100% with the entire first paragraph of Carroll’s words here. That’s one of the stereotypes of Calvinism. As Michael Horton recently stated in regard to his discussions about praying for people to be saved – such arguments work well against Hyper-Calvinism, but fall short against Calvinists who believe in means (and I would add believe that regeneration NEVER happens APART from faith and repentance). No one will be dragged to Heaven against their will and no one will be dragged to Hell against it either. Each man will get what his heart most desires. The Calvinist simply believes that EVERY man by nature hates God and loves the world and unless a work is performed in His heart by the Holy Spirit, every man will continue in that hatred of God (Rom 3).

As for the second paragraph you post, I would essentially agree with Carroll. I don’t have a problem with what he is saying, he just doesn’t go far enough in his exegesis at this point. Certainly he believed this text taught unconditional election (as he certainly was a Calvinist – though he held to a modified form of Limited Atonement). So again, as a Calvinist I don’t have really any real qualms with what Carroll says here. But I also don’t think it shows that he doesn’t believe the Reformed interpretation of this text.

193 D.R. Randle July 16, 2012 at 11:17 am

Guys,

This discussion over the exact meaning of the term “world” is really unnecessary. Both the Calvinist who claims that “world” specifically means “the elect in the world” and the non-Calvinist who claims that “world” means “every individual person in the world” have little to no basis for their claims. In Greek the term “world” or kosmos is used most often to describe the entirety of God’s creation in a general sense, with little to no specifics as to who exactly is being spoken of.

In John 3, especially in v.17, where the word is used 3 other times,we certainly see a wide application of the term:

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Clearly “into the world” refers to a physical place, whereas “condemn the world” refers to the whole of people. But then “the world might be saved” must only refer to those who do eventually believe in Christ; or it could refer to the entirety of creation such as used in Romans 8:19-23.

What this tells us then is that at best all we can legitimately assume of the word “world” in John 3:16 is that it refers generically to all of God’s creation. But as we know from 1 Timothy 4:10 and elsewhere God can have a generic love for all people, but a greater and more specific love for His people. Thus Paul can say, “For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.”

So again the exact definition of “world” in John 3:16 cannot prove really anything certain. That’s why the context is key. The context reveals again that a basic, generic definition is the most legitimate one. And then that definition doesn’t prove anything significant about election or predestination (positive or negative). So then, we need to return to more significant texts for this discussion like Romans 9; John 6; and Ephesians 1-2 to really determine a true position on these issues.

194 Dale Pugh July 16, 2012 at 11:39 am

You’re right. Context is the key. As I look at the context of John 3:17, I would say that “into the world” is not specifying “place” as you claim, but is in line with “the whole of people.”
I would also agree that election and predestination are not decided on the use of the word “world.” Thus, my comments to those who try to claim such.
Thanks for attempting to keep us on track. My apologies if I have been involved in stirring the pot of unnecessary discussion through irrelevance to the issue at hand. I shall attempt to refrain from such.

195 D.R. Randle July 16, 2012 at 11:59 am

I don’t think “into the world” could refer to anything other than place given the semantics of the two words eis (in, into) and kosmos (world), but I need to look again at the uses of these words together in the NT. I will get back to you on that one.

196 Dale Pugh July 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm

That’s my conclusion based on my study and the context as I see it. We can move on agreeably.

197 Don Johnson July 16, 2012 at 11:40 am

DR,

I think it’s taking great liberty to say the uncondemned is the whole of people, but the might be saved is ONLY the believers. The meaning of the uncondemned “world” must be the same as the might be saved “world.” Otherwise John would have used a different word.

I agree, God has general love for the whole world, which is why He died for it. I also believe as you, God has a specific love for His people. My question would be, when do they become His people.

198 D.R. Randle July 16, 2012 at 12:13 pm

But Don, Jesus doesn’t save everyone in His coming. And you believe that is true unless you are a universalist. The term “save” (when referring to salvation) is used universally in the NT to refer to those who actually repent of their sins, place their faith in Jesus Christ, and thus will inherit eternal life. Now, you might claim that the atonement is universal (which, of course, I would argue against), but certainly salvation is not.

Again, I think when we look at the term “world” in this context it seems clear that it is rather widely applied and cannot be used to argue anything specific in regard to election.

199 Don Johnson July 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm

D.R.,

I didn’t say “world” has anything to do with election. It doesn’t.

Nor do I believe everyone will be saved. But I do believe the context makes it clear that was purpose of Christ’s coming. Christ came into the world to save sinners. He didn’t come to save “elect sinners.” Actually there’s no such thing as an “elect sinner.”

I’ll keep future comments to Rom. 9, unless in direct response to someone.

200 Shawn July 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Hey Don,
I guess we can pick up where we left off in our thread over at SBC Today. To come back to our discussion, look at John 10:16 again. Jesus calls them His sheep before they hear His voice and follow Him, and those that do not believe, do not believe BECAUSE they are not of His sheep (John 10:26). The sheep being referred to here are clearly those who are elect who have yet to be saved. As it says in Acts 13:48, as many as were appointed unto eternal life believed. Also, you have the references in Revelation of people’s names being written in the lamb’s book of life from the foundation of the world (before they were saved). You also have Jesus referring to those that the Father had given Him to save in John 17:1-2. In Acts 18:9-10, God told Paul to stay in the city and keep preaching, because He had many people in that city who would respond to the Gospel. The elect are God’s people, God’s sheep, who He saves through the preaching of the Gospel according to His own divine timing. Please offer us your exegesis of these verses in your response. Thank you, brother.

201 D.R. Randle July 16, 2012 at 11:34 am

Anyone else having problems with new comments posting further up the page?

202 Dale Pugh July 16, 2012 at 11:41 am

Yes. My replies have not been posting to the specific comments I’ve replied to. Started yesterday.

203 Jeff Musgrave July 16, 2012 at 11:52 am

Not sure what happened to it, but that messes up one of my theories one what causes it to happen. There may be a comment threshold that gives wordpress problems or something as it seems like this only happens on the threads that get a whole lot of comments with a whole lot of nested comments.

204 Don Johnson July 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Yes, I keep losing posts. I thought the problem was on my end. Some go through, but ever so slowly.

205 Ken Hamrick July 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm

D.R. Randle & Mike White,

Thank you both for your excellent defense of unconditional election.

One thing that I think is often missed in the discussion of Rom. 9 is that the Biblical view (especially in the OT) of identity does not have the modern, stark separation between individual and corporate. At a profound level, the Bible portrays the individual as the nation of his progeny, and the nation as the progenitor—hence, the naming of the nation after the progenitor. Even mankind is named after our progenitor, adam. Biblically, there is a strong sense that what the progenitor does, especially toward God, the not-yet-existent descendants do while still in his loins. This comes out in important ways, such as in Rom. 5:12. When God blessed Abraham, he did so by promising blessings to his descendants. Abraham understood this as a blessing to him as much as to them, even though he would not live to see it. The very fact that he was promised so many descendants was a blessing to him, though—again—he as an individual would not live to see it. The very concept of individuality apart from one’s descendants is more of a modern idea.

Just as Abraham’s favor with God brought God’s favor with His descendants, there is no way to completely separate the corporate from the individual in the case of Rom. 9 with Esau and Jacob. If God chose to love Jacob’s descendants, it was because God chose to love Jacob. If God chose to not give His corporate favor to Esau’s descendants, then it was because God did not give His personal favor to Esau.

206 Don Johnson July 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Ishmael and Esau were both saved.

Much has been written concerning the “election” in Romans 9. In particular that of (Isaac and Ishmael) and (Jacob and Esau). It would appear all the Calvinists commentators believe Isaac and Jacob were elected to salvation, and Ishmael and Esau were not.

As I stated earlier I don’t believe anyone is “elected” to be saved. I believe that thought comes from the “helping” of texts in John 6, Rom. 8, Rom. 9 and Eph. 1. Since the topic of this thread is Rom. 9, I’ll keep to the subject at hand.

I contend Ishmael and Esau were also saved individuals, but not in the line of the promised seed. I would like to offer Biblical proof that both Ishmael and Esau were believers, just as Isaac and Jacob. I’ll start with Ishmael and if there is any interest I’ll follow up with Esau.

PROOF ISHMAEL WAS SAVED.

1. Gen 17:20 – “…Behold I have blessed him…” what other “lost” person does Moses say God blessed? Answer – no one, He only blesses His people.

2. Gen. 21:17 – “And God heard the voice of the lad” Does God hear and directly answer the prayer of the “lost”? No.

3. Gen. 21:20 – “And God was with the lad…” In Calvinistic theology how is it even possible for God to be with the unregenerate. God was with Jacob and Joseph Gen 39:2 as He was with Ishmael. God is only with His people.

4. Gen 25:17 – “And these are years of the life of Ishmael, a hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died…” I think (though I’m not sure) Ishmael is the only person in Genesis whose age is given when he died that is not in the line of the promised seed. Why ?Because Ishmael was saved.

5. Gen. 25:17 – “…and was gathered unto his people.” Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron and Ishmael were the only people of which it was said “and was gathered unto his people.” Why because they are all God’s people.

I trust this is more than enough evidence to prove Ishmael was indeed saved.

207 Shawn July 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Don,
I can honestly say that this is the first time I have ever seen anyone arguing for the idea that Ishmael was saved. God did these things for Ishmael because he was a physical child of Abraham, but all of the language from Genesis 17 through Genesis 25 also makes it clear that Ishmael was NOT the child of promise. In fact, Gen 16:12 says that Ishmael and his descendants would be at animosity with the people of the promise. In terms of Salvation, Ishmael is like Esau. Each became a nation, each was a child of one to whom the covenant of God extended (Ishmael was born of Abraham, Esau was born of Isaac), but neither was part of the promised line, and neither were saved.

208 Don Johnson July 17, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Shawn,

Good to see you’re back. I trust your missions trip was fruitful.

I didn’t say Ishmael was the son of promise. I said he was saved.

When God said all the nations of the earth would be blessed in Abraham, did He meant everyone but the Ishmaelites and Edomites? Or did He mean all KINDS of nations?

When Abraham remarried, did he say to Keturah and his six sons, sorry folks, enjoy life now because you’re all going to Hell when you die. Because you’re not the son of promise.

I notice you did not respond to any of my texts. Was there a reason for not doing so?

209 Shawn July 18, 2012 at 11:03 am

Hey Don,
Yes, my mission trip was very fruitful. Thank you. Regarding your post: PROOF ISHMAEL WAS SAVED.

YOU SAID 1. Gen 17:20 – “…Behold I have blessed him…” what other “lost” person does Moses say God blessed? Answer – no one, He only blesses His people.

THE BIBLE SAYS in Matthew 5:45 that God does indeed “cause His sun to rise on {the} evil and {the} good, and sends rain on {the} righteous and {the} unrighteous.” (NAS) Just because the Bible says God blesses someone does not mean they are saved.

YOU SAID 2. Gen. 21:17 – “And God heard the voice of the lad” Does God hear and directly answer the prayer of the “lost”? No.

THE BIBLE SAYS in Job 2 that God heard what Satan had to say and then gave him permission to attack Job’s physical health. Would you say that Satan is saved? No. Besides, in Gen 21:17, Hagar and the lad were grief stricken, they were NOT crying out to the Lord in prayer; they were not seeking Him in any form or fashion. God heard them crying and God initiated the contact.

YOU SAID 3. Gen. 21:20 – “And God was with the lad…” In Calvinistic theology how is it even possible for God to be with the unregenerate. God was with Jacob and Joseph Gen 39:2 as He was with Ishmael. God is only with His people.

THE BIBLE SAYS in numerous places in the OT that God was with or that God raised up pagan peoples and nations to do His bidding, and He also later crushed those pagan nations according to His purpose. Ezekiel 16 is but one of many examples.

YOU SAID 4. Gen 25:17 – “And these are years of the life of Ishmael, a hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died…” I think (though I’m not sure) Ishmael is the only person in Genesis whose age is given when he died that is not in the line of the promised seed. Why ?Because Ishmael was saved.

DOES THE BIBLE SAY ANYWHERE that because a man’s age is given at his death he is saved? Really, Don?

YOU SAID 5. Gen. 25:17 – “…and was gathered unto his people.” Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron and Ishmael were the only people of which it was said “and was gathered unto his people.” Why because they are all God’s people.

ANYWHERE IN THE BIBLE, does it equate being gathered unto one’s people with Salvation? You’re arguing against yourself now. Above you said that Ishmael was not a son of promise, and now in your fifth argument, you want to include him in salvation with the people of promise. This is not enough evidence to prove Ishmael was saved. This is indeed eisegesis at its worst.

The bottom line is that people are saved BY FAITH, not by God blessing them with temporal things, not by God talking to them, not by God raising them up for a purpose. This is Paul’s whole argument in Romans 4 and Galatians 3. Abraham BELIEVED and he was reckoned righteous. So tell me, Don, where is there any evidence of faith in Ishmael?

By the way, are you going to respond to my earlier comment (its comment #200 this morning). Have a great day, brother.

210 Don Johnson July 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Shawn,

Yes, I’ll reply to your previous post. I did not even know it was there. But I’ll start with this one first.

1. Gen. 17:20 – I know God gives the sun and rain to the unjust, but that is not what the text states. It states, “And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.”

God doesn’t just say He will bless Ishmael, but also make him fruitful and so forth. Again I ask what other lost person does God “bless and make fruitful”? We both know the answer.

2. Gen. 21:17 – My bad for not saying lost “person,” though I’m pretty sure you knew what I meant. Please give me a lost “person”.

3. Gen. 21:20 – Please give me a verse that states something of the nature – I’ll be with you, or was with you, or something similar. What verse are you referring to in Ez. 16? Jos. 1:9 comes to mind, but I don’t think you want that one.

4. Gen. 25:17 – No, the Bible doesn’t say the giving of one’s age when they die, means they are saved. Could you give me the name(s) of those whose ages are mentioned, that you believe to be unsaved?

5. Gen. 25:17 – I always like it when I’m accused of eisegesis, when the other doesn’t give any exegesis at all. Please tell me where you think Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Aaron and Moses were gathered. Here’s a clue Luke 16.

6. You didn’t answer my question about Abraham.

211 Shawn July 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Hey Don,

Regarding your question of Abraham and Keturah and their sons, none of the things you have brought up really matter. If they looked to God in faith, they were saved. If they did not look to God in faith, they were lost and went to hell.

I did provide clear exegetical evidence, and you are definitely guilty of wishful thinking (if not clear eisegesis) because you are assuming that God’s blessings equate with salvation. Give me one example from scripture of Ishmael exercising faith in God. That is the Old and New Testament means of salvation.

212 Don Johnson July 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Shawn,

How could they look to God in faith if Ishmael was not allowed to. Remember only Isaac was the son of promise. And we know they didn’t give any evidence of faith. So I guess you’re right, they all went to Hell also.

213 Shawn July 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Hey Don,

We’re not discussing allowed or not allowed. This is a matter of Scriptural evidence. Those who believe are saved, those who are not go to hell. We have clear testimony from Christ that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob believed because even after physical death, they were counted among the living (Matt 22:32). If Ishmael looked to faith in God, he was saved. If he did not, he was lost. Only God knows the heart. My point is that you cannot claim that Ishmael was saved on the mere basis that God chose to bless him in this life.

214 Don Johnson July 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Shawn,

God only blesses and makes fruitul His people. I’m still waiting for a verse to the contrary.

As far as where Ishmael went when he died, all we know is that he went wherever Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Aaron went. Where do suppose that is?

215 Shawn July 18, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Don,

We all do not KNOW where Ishmael went. You don;t even know where Ishmael went — you are making an unbiblical inference. Do you have a text that says Ishmael went to wherever Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are? Is anyone in the Bible ever saved by God’s blessings apart from faith? All of Israel was blessed by God and made fruitful (Lev 26:9, Psa 105:24, Ezek 36:9-13) but only those who looked to God in faith, the faithful remnant, were saved (Rom 11:5-8).

216 Don Johnson July 18, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Shawn,

Lev. 26:9 Go back to verse 3. “If you walk in My statutes and keep my commandments so as to carry them out, then I shall…” Verse 9 is conditioned on verse 3. In order for God to bless Israel, they had to walk in God’s statutes and commandments. I find it interesting you believe God will bless and make fruitful the lost, but He won’t to His own people.

Psalm 105:24 “And He caused His people to be very fruitful. I’m amazed you even use this verse. Whose people does He make fruitful? The Devil’s? The lost? Thank you for making my point. Maybe I should claim Gen 50:20.

Ezek. 36 Is a yet future prophecy.

217 Shawn July 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Don, you missed the point of what I am saying. God making His people fruitful did not mean they were all saved. That was my point. You still are making a unscriptural jump to say that God’s blessing equates with salvation. I welcome you to give me any verse that says Ishmael looked to God in faith.

218 Don Johnson July 18, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Shawn,

The point is they were God’s people. Therefore, Ishmael must have been God’s people. Not only that but he must have obeyed God, as that was the condition of blessing.

It’s at least good to see, you realize it’s God’s people he blesses and makes fruitful. I glad you’ve given up on the notion that God blesses and makes fruitful the lost.

219 Don Johnson July 18, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Shawn,

Also, being blessed and fruitful was conditioned on obeying God’s statutes. Can you as a Calvinist explain how one can obey God’s statutes without being regenerate? I thought Calvinism taught that was impossible.

220 Shawn July 18, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Don, please read the second half of Galatians 4 and Mark White’s response below. He has responded far better than I. You are simply wrong, and, in desperation, you have further resorted to misrepresenting my view. I bid you farewell, brother.

221 Ken Hamrick July 17, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Don,

These hardly constitute “proof.” Your evidence is vague and inconclusive. There are such things as temporal blessings that do not include eternal salvation.

222 Don Johnson July 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Ken,

I’d be happy for you to go through point by point and show where I’m wrong. No doubt you have some Biblical proof other than “vague and inconclusive.” I could be wrong. If I am, I’d rather know sooner than later. Thanks

223 Ken Hamrick July 17, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Don,

Your treatment of those texts would not pass for exegesis by any standard that I’m aware of. You are making eisegetical leaps from blessing and answered prayer to salvation, an idea that is not found in any of the text. You made the assertion, but you’ll have to come up with something more substantial to establish that assertion.

224 Don Johnson July 17, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Ken,

If I’ve given eisegesis, fine. Please give me some exegesis. You can use and standard you want. Please show me what I’m reading into the texts.

225 Lasaro Flores July 18, 2012 at 3:05 am

You stated: “I don’t believe anyone is “elected” to be saved.” Read 2 Thessalonians 2:13. Would you say that this Scripture not to be true: “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth?” The apostle Paul says that these believers in Thessalonica to be chosen to be saved: “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation.” You cannot deny that that is what it says; otherwise you would be guilty of saying either that Paul lied to these believers by thanking God for their election to be saved; or either have to twist the meaning to prove something else. Forgive me if you feel that I’m being too harsh, but to play with God’s Word to either deny the plain meaning of what it says, or to give another meaning is serious, my dear brother. The reason is because Election to salvation is connected with the Holy Spirit and belief of the truth that is proclaimed in the Gospel as stated in verse 14: “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Grace and peace to you in Christ Jesus. Amen.

226 David R. Brumbelow July 18, 2012 at 10:14 am

Lasaro Flores,
You apparently fail to notice the last part of 2 Thessalonians 2:13.
“God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.”

Notice again God chose you, “through sanctification of the Spirit;” and through, “belief in the truth.”

We don’t deny what it says. Neither do we neglect a vital part of the verse.
David R. Brumbelow

227 Don Johnson July 18, 2012 at 11:36 am

Lasaro,

Thank you for responding to my statement “I don’t believe anyone is “elected” to be saved. Thank you as well for using Scripture to try and make your point. No, you are not being too harsh, I agree completely about the seriousness of changing the clear meaning of any Bible text. I wish there were more people who believe as you about the matter.

With that being said I still believe no one is “elected” to be saved.

I’ll agree when one first looks at 2 Thes 2:13 it would seem to say one is chosen to be saved. However, on a closer look I think we find something different.

The first problem is the word “chosen.” Often the word “chose or chosen” is the same Greek word as “elect” as in Eph. 1:4, but Paul does not use the Greek word “elect” in 2 Thes. 2:13. Instead the Greek word simply means choose (see Phil. 1:22, Heb. 11:25), which is why the text says chosen and the not elect.

The second problem is you did what you accused me of doing, though I don’t believe you did it to be deceptive. I think you were honestly trying to set forth what you believe to be a Biblical truth. No doubt you’re asking what? Well I’m glad you asked.

If I were to say to you the Bible says “money is the root of all evil” what would you say? I would guess you would say the Bible does not say that. However the Bible does say exactly that (1 Tim. 6:10). As you can see the Bible does state “money is the root of all evil.” No doubt you are well aware I “just happened” to not mention the four words which precede money “For the love of.” When the four words are added it gives a completely different meaning to the text.

You wrote starting at the end of the sixth line down in your post “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation.” And then you added “You cannot deny that that is what it says.” No I don’t deny it, but my point is that is not all it says. Please look at the verse in your Bible. You will notice there is no period after salvation. You left off the rest of the verse. Paul was not stating God chose or elected them to salvation. He was stating the means by which they were saved. God had “chosen you to salvation THROUGH sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the the truth.” That’s exactly how God “chooses” everyone to be saved. He chooses how they are saved, but He doesn’t “elect” them to be saved. Thanks again for using the Bible.

228 Shawn July 18, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Hey Don,

I agree that we should at all a verse has to say, not just the part that agrees with our particular theology. I’m sure you would also agree that we have an obligation to make sure our interpretation of any particular verse fits with the theology of the Bible as a whole. Regarding 2 Thess 2:13, you interpret it to say that we become chosen (to salvation) through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. In other words, the Spirit works, we believe, and as a result of believing, we become chosen. I interpret it to say that we are chosen to salvation, and that salvation then comes through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. In other words, the work of the Spirit according to the prior choice of God precedes and enables belief in the truth.

My interpretation is supported by Romans 8:29-30 which lists predestination a full two steps BEFORE justification. It is also supported by Acts 13:48 which says that being appointed by God is what resulted in those persons believing. It is why, in John 10:16,27, Jesus did not speak of the likelihood or the possibility of His sheep hearing His voice, but of the future certainty of His sheep hearing His voice and following Him as their shepherd.

On a final note, could you please explain how you are defining the terms Predestined, Elect, and Chosen differently. I know they are different words in the Greek, but the GRK word for “sins” is different then the GRK words for “transgressions,” yet we know and treat the words as synonyms. On what basis do you define Predestined, Elect, and Chosen differently? Thank you!

229 Don Johnson July 18, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Shawn,

In 2 Thes. 2:13, God chooses (not elects) how or as the text states THROUGH, the way we become saved. Though not mentioned in the text, I believe one then becomes the elect. A person is not of the elect until he is saved.

Act 13:48, you wrote …”which says that being appointed by God is what resulted in those persons believing.”

Shawn, where is the word “God” in Acts 13:48. That’s what we call eisegesis.

I’ll need to go back and see what I said on Rom. 8 and John 10, if I even find it. Do you remember which thread our previous chat was in.

Predestination is to glorification. The elect are those who have been saved. There are no unsaved elect people. Chosen means the same as elect if it’s the same Greek word. such as Eph. 1:4, either chosen or elected would fit. A person is called before he becomes the elect or chosen.

230 Shawn July 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Thank you for your reply, Don, and your clarifications. My point is that we are both reading our particular theological frameworks into our interpretation of this verse (you even said, “though not mentioned in the text, I believe one then becomes the elect.”) That is why I gave additional verses to support my particular theological framework.

The word “God” is not in Acts 13:48, but the word is in the passive tense, so someone else appointed those persons, and as a result, they believed. My supposition that it was God is a sound theological inference based on Scripture, not eisegesis. According to you, if it was not God who appointed them, then who did?

Our original discussion was here, but I don’t think you gave an answer there either.
http://sbctoday.com/2012/07/03/sbc-new-orleans-a-convention-of-clarification/

According to Romans 8:30, We are Predestined to be called, justified, and glorified. Predestined to ALL THREE, not just to glorification. According to Ephesians 1, we are predestined to adoption as sons, which happens concurrent with justification. Your contention that adoption means glorification comes from Romans 8:23, but contradicts Romans 8:15. These are two distinct, but related, concepts of adoption. In Romans 8:23, the clear context is the final fulfillment of our adoption when we receive our glorified bodies (For example, an adopted child experiences immediate benefits of being adopted: he bears his new father’s name, can call him “daddy,” and is cared for by his daddy (this is Romans 8:15, 9:4, Gal 4:5, and Eph 1:5), but he will not receive his inheritance from his daddy until His daddy bequeaths it to him (this is Romans 8:23)). In Romans 8:15, our adoption refers clearly to our being made sons of God (as it does in Romans 9:4, Gal 4:5, and Eph 1:5). If Paul had meant that we were predestined unto glorification, he would have used the word “glorification” in Eph 1:5, but He didn’t. He said God predestined us to adoption as Sons. Your contention that predestination is merely to glorification is an exegetical fallacy.

If there are no unsaved elect, why does Jesus refer to people who have not yet heard His voice and followed Him as His sheep in John 10? In Revelation, why are the names of the elect written in the lamb’s book of life from the foundation of the world?

Furthermore, consider these texts:
Rom 11:5-8
5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to {God’s} gracious choice.
6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.
7 What then? That which Israel is seeking for, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened;
8 just as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes to see not and ears to hear not, down to this very day.” (NAS)

2 Tim 2:10
10 For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus {and} with {it} eternal glory. (NAS)

You agree that “chosen” and “elect” are synonyms, and here in these two texts, we have people being referred to as those who are “chosen” by God PRIOR TO them obtaining salvation. Your perspective contradicts Scripture, Don. Thank you again for your time.

231 Don Johnson July 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Shawn,

I wasn’t trying to infer anything into 2 Thes. 2:13 when I said that is when they become the elect. I was simply stating I believe a person becomes elect when he gets saved. I realize it has nothing to do with text, and I was not saying it did.

Acts 13:48 We determine from the context who ordained the eternal life. No, it doesn’t mean someone else did it. It only means it was done previously. Who did it? The people themselves. Look at the context Paul was speaking to the Jews about eternal life. Though he was addressing the Jews the Gentiles heard what he had said. It was at this time, they decided they wanted the eternal life of which Paul was speaking. How do I know, because when Paul turned to the Gentiles they were glad. And why were they glad, because they were now informed that they could partake of the eternal life.

Luke didn’t write “God” into the text because he didn”t mean God. Just as the house of Stephanas “addicted” themselves to the ministry (1Cor. 16:15), so to did the Gentiles “ordain – appoint” themselves to eternal life. It’s the same word, and it has nothing to do with some “eternal decree.”

Rom. 8:30 does not say we’re predestined to be called… Read the verse again.

Rom.11:7 Yes the elect-chosen have obtained. That’s my point, it doesn’t say they “will” obtain. When they obtained, they became the elect-chosen.

2 Tim. 2:10 The elect here are the Jews. If you recall back in the previous thread, I had said there are no unsaved elect people. The only unsaved elect people are Jews. They are an elect-chosen nation. Even though they are God’s chosen people as a nation, they still need to be saved. It is these Jews to whom Paul was referring to as the elect. It’s to long to go into here (I have written several pages on this verse) if need be I’ll figure out a way to post them. Look at the context of the verse and then ask why did Paul start the verse with “therefore” or I believe you have “For this reason.”

232 Shawn July 18, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Don,

As far as Acts 13:48, it is undeniable that you are reading your preference into the text. If they had appointed themselves to eternal life, the word would not be in the passive tense, it would be in the active, as an activity done unto themselves or by themselves. As it is, it is in the passive, meaning it was done unto them by someone else. You are once again allowing your wishful thinking to guide your interpretation. Can you find ANY credible commentary, non-calvinist or otherwise, that supports your strange view of this verse?

You read Romans 8:30 again. There is a chain of redemptive purpose here — those He predestined, He also called, those He called, He also justified, and those He justified, He also glorified. It is predestination unto all that follows. You are ignoring the clear teaching of this verse.

You completely ignored John 10 and Revelation again. I guess I should expect this from you.

Romans 11:7 clearly says those who were chosen obtained it. Obtaining salvation followed their being chosen. It does NOT say “When they obtained, they became the elect/chosen.” And the whole nation was not elect, as it specifically says at the end of verse 7, the rest were hardened. Not only do you deny the clear teaching of Scripture, you deny the clear rules of grammar.

In 2 Tim 2:10, Paul is writing to Timothy who is pastoring a Gentile congregation at Ephesus. There is absolutely nothing else in the context of the chapter that supports your idea that Paul is speaking of only the Jews. The “for this reason” refers to Paul’s ministry of truth and the fact that the gospel cannot be imprisoned. The elect here are NOT just the Jews, they are all the elect of God. And Paul clearly says “For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.” (NAS) They are chosen (previously established reality) that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ (future result).

You are once again are twisting the context to fit your interpretation. When pressed, you prove the error of your view. I will read your post if you are able to put it here, but if it is more of this kind of shoddy interpretation, it will only prove to be more of a detriment to your argument. Have a good evening!

233 Don Johnson July 18, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Shawn,

Acts 13:48 I don’t believe it has to be done by someone else. I believe it only has to be done in the past. I believe I heard that from James White, though he naturally believes it was God.

Rom. 8:30 Again, look at the words of the text. It does not say we are predestined to be called. “those He predestined, He also called” are two different things. They were predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ. Which is glorification, not salvation. The “He also called” is in addition to the predestining.

I need to go to church. I’ll pick it up later.

234 Shawn July 18, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Don, regarding the salvation of Ishmael, Mark White below has responded far better than I. Please read the second half of Galatians 4. Regarding your handling of Romans 8, Acts 13, and 2 Tim 2, You are proving that you cannot be true to the text itself, so our dialogue must be coming to an end. I wish you well, brother.

235 Kendall July 17, 2012 at 9:33 pm

David Brumbelow,

Have you read, John Piper’s, The Justification of God: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Romans 9:1-23 ? If you have, what did you think of it?

236 Ken Hamrick July 17, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Here is one paragraph from that book:

It is a remarkable and telling phenomenon that those who find no individual predestination to eternal life in Rom 9:6-13 cannot successfully explain the thread of Paul’s argument as it begins in Rom 9:1-5 and continues through the chapter. One looks in vain, for example, among these commentators for a cogent statement of how the corporate election of two peoples (Isreal and Edom) in Rom 9:12,13 fits together in Paul’s argument with the statement, “Not all those from Israel are Israel” (9:6b). One also looks in vain for an explanation of how the pressing problem of eternally condemned Israelites in Rom 9:3 is ameliorated by Rom 9:6-13 if these verses refer “not to salvation but to position and historical task.” I have found the impression unavoidable that doctrinal inclinations have severely limited exegetical effort and insight—not so much because the answers of these exegetes are not my own, but because of the crucial exegetical questions that simply are not posed by them…

—John Piper, The Justification of God (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000), p. 58.

237 David R. Brumbelow July 18, 2012 at 10:34 am

Kendall, Ken Hamrick,
I have only read excerpts. But I have just ordered the book and will read it.

Have you read Chosen But Free by Norman L. Geisler, or Whosoever Will by Allen & Lemke?
David R. Brumbelow

238 mike white July 18, 2012 at 7:20 pm

To see Ken’s blog comments on Eric Hankin’s paper:

Beyond Eric Hankins: Reclaiming Southern Baptist Soteriology (Part 4)

http://betweentwoditches.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/reclaiming-southern-baptist-soteriology-part-4/#more-64

239 Kendall July 18, 2012 at 11:32 am

David R. Brumbelow,
You asked: Have you read Chosen But Free by Norman L. Geisler, or Whosoever Will by Allen & Lemke?

Answer: Yes, i have read both.

240 mike white July 18, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Don J.,
Romans 8
**29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.**

You are right that it doesn’t say directly that that any are predestined to be called.
BUT, it does say that those predestined will be called.
Which means that they are also predestined to be called. They are predestined to be justified. They are predestined to be glorified.
Just because Paul didn’t feel the need to repeat the word “predestined”, doesn’t give anyone license to reject the plain and logical understanding of the words as so combined.
The word “also” in this passage tells us directly that those predestined were also called, also justified, also glorified. So of these [some not yet born when Paul wrote] we know that if they were predestined, they would be called, they would be justified , and they will be glorified.

And since we know that, then we know that those predestined to be conformed to the image of the Son are also predestined to be called. justified and glorified.

So Don, have you been called? If so, then you were predestined to be conformed to the image of the Son, you were predestined to be justified, and on that Great Day of the Lord, you will also be glorified. It is your destiny. And it has been since before the foundation of the world.

peace brother

241 mike white July 18, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Don J.,
You said,
“I know we have vastly different ideas on what “to serve” means.

In Gen 33:14 why does Jacob call Esau his lord and why does he refer to himself as Esau’s servant. This occurs many years after the birthright and blessing events. Should it not be the other way around, if your theory is correct.”

Nope.
It has nothing to do with it.
Esau served Jacob by giving his birthright to him.
That later, the brothers had troubles and made up with
by Jacob being humble, or still later when Esau’s descendants serves Israel CANNOT change the truth that Esau served jacob by giving himn his birthright.

242 Don Johnson July 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Mike,

Just to make sure I have this correct.

Esau served Jacob because he sold (not gave) his birthright to Jacob, even though it is never stated in the Bible.

Even though Isaac stated to Esau that he would (future tense not past tense) serve Jacob, that doesn’t count.

Even though Jacob actually gave (not sold) gifts to Esau, that’s not serving.

Even though Jacob bowed to Esau, called Esau lord, and called himself Esau’s servant. It doesn’t mean anything.

To sum it up. Just because the Bible doesn’t say something, it’s still true. And just because the Bible does say something on the matter, it has nothing to do with it.

That’s why I can’t be a Calvinist, I’m not smart enough to know when the Bible means what it says and when it doesn’t.

243 Shawn July 19, 2012 at 10:32 am

Hey Don,

My dear brother, I am surprised and saddened by this reply in light of your recent activity. In your last five posts, you have steadfastly contended the following:

You say that in John 10:16, Jesus can’t be referring to certain persons as His sheep before they are saved. BUT HE DOES.

You say that in Acts 13:48, those persons appointed themselves to eternal life, but the Greek language being in the passive clearly shows they did not appoint themselves, they were appointed by God.

You say that in Romans 8:30, we are predestined to be glorified, not called and justified. But Paul wrote what He wrote: “and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”

You say that in Ehphesians 1:5, we are predestined to glorification, but Paul clearly says we are predestined to adoption as sons.

You have contended that Ishmael was saved based on spurious presumption, but in Gal 4:22-31, Paul clearly states that Ishmael is not a child of promise nor an heir of salvation in Christ.

You have tried to twist Romans 11:7 and 2 Tim 2:10 to fit your skewed perspective, but those verses clearly teach that God’s choice of His elect precedes and results in those persons obtaining salvation.

You have further avoided having any discussion on John 17:1-2, Rev 13:8, Rev 17:8, and a host of other verses that would serve to refute your perspective.

My dear brother, it seems you are the champion of denying what the Bible means and making it say what it doesn’t. Please be cautious of casting stones . . .

244 Godismyjudge July 19, 2012 at 11:21 am

Shawn,

On Acts 13:48, the Greek is not clearly passive. The form for the passive and the middle voice is the same – context determines if it’s passive or middle. I have read bunches of commentaries argue that it’s middle voice, including some Calvinists (like Albert Barns). Also the Old Syriac translates it as middle.

Anyways, I am going back to munching my popcorn, but I thought I would mention that.

God be with you,
Dan

245 Don Johnson July 19, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Shawn,

I thought you had stopped talking to me. In my desperation, what view of yours did I misrepresent.

246 mike white July 18, 2012 at 7:58 pm

As to the falsehood that Ismael was saved, the Word of God tells us:

21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,

“Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;
break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
than those of the one who has a husband.”

28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.

A person shows an ignorance of truth if they say that Ishmael is saved.
Ishmael is NOT a child of promise.
Ishmael is not an heir of Abraham.
Ishmael does not share in the promises.
Ishmael is not a child of God.

247 mike white July 18, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Brothers,
Are there not rules for this blog?
Please let me know if I have violated them.
And please follow them.
thanks

peace brothers

248 Dale Pugh July 18, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Because they reject His offer of grace.
And you’ll forgive me if I interact no further at this point, I hope. This was a post on the exegesis on Romans 9, and I fail to see how further discussion will accomplish anything in adding light to that conversation. Enough has been said at this point, and you and I approach it from different perspectives. I respect your opinion. I simply disagree with your premise, just as you disagree with mine.
Maybe another day.
Blessings to you and yours!

249 mike white July 19, 2012 at 9:21 am

Don J.,

I missed a few posts of yours. Sorry about that. If I missed others not addressed here, please let me know.
In your post 176, you said,
“It’s true there may be only one. Glad to see you at least admit to that.
However, it does mean everyone without exception, because that’s the only way “that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20). They rejected the truth that was revealed to them.”

Well Don, this is not the right place to explain the Gospel to you. it seems strange to me that after commenting on John 3:17, you would have that opinion. Please email me for a response, and I will be glad to explain the difference between law and Gospel to you.

your post #189: “God had Paul write – saved and called, because He meant saved and called. It is not for us to change the wording of Scripture to fit our theology. We change our theology to fit Scripture. ”

Thank you for pointing out that it was 2nd Timothy 1. I appreciate the correction. here is the passage.
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do.

Don, you seem to misread and mis-get what is being said. You seem to assume a whole lot of things. Like here, you assume that when Paul writes about salvation and calling that he is putting them in a chronological order. If calling always came after saving, you would have a case. But usually it comes before saving. The truth is that in calling, God is saving.
here again is Romans 8…

29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Here we see calling preceding justification.

Another place we read:
1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes,
2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

All who are saved are called to be saints, and to be sanctified in the Lord Jesus. Are you a saint yet? By your logic in reading, you would have to wait to you are sanctified until you become a saint. Are you sanctified? When God calls us to be His children, he is calling us to be His saints. We are the called out ones.

Soon after the above passage, we read:
4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, 5 that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— 6 even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— 7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Here we are called into fellowship. WHEN we are saved, we are called to be saints and to be in fellowship with both Christ and His people.

Again, in that same chapter, we read:
20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Here in a passage about salvation, we see that to be called means to be saved. For in verse 18 we would read: 18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Another passage goes this a way:
18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21 Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. 24 So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.

Here again, Paul is equating call with salvation.

In a different letter we read:
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—

Again, this calling is unto salvation.

That same chapter, we read:
3 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles,

There Paul equates both his calling to be saved and to the apostleship as one calling.

In another place, we read:
3 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

and another:
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

And since Romans 9 is about personal salvation as witnessed to b y the phrase: 8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

Then we know that the calling Paul mentions is in that same understanding.

Finally your post #242, where you said:
“Just to make sure I have this correct.
Esau served Jacob because he sold (not gave) his birthright to Jacob, even though it is never stated in the Bible.
Even though Isaac stated to Esau that he would (future tense not past tense) serve Jacob, that doesn’t count.
Even though Jacob actually gave (not sold) gifts to Esau, that’s not serving.
Even though Jacob bowed to Esau, called Esau lord, and called himself Esau’s servant. It doesn’t mean anything.
To sum it up. Just because the Bible doesn’t say something, it’s still true. And just because the Bible does say something on the matter, it has nothing to do with it.
That’s why I can’t be a Calvinist, I’m not smart enough to know when the Bible means what it says and when it doesn’t.”

let me take them one line at a time.
“Esau served Jacob because he sold (not gave) his birthright to Jacob, even though it is never stated in the Bible.”
Ever been to a restaurant brother, that made you wait a while before taking your order, got it wrong, wouldn’t refill your coffee, and still charged you? You left out of there thinking that was really bad service. They served you, but poorly, and you paid for it. Or maybe you went to one that gave you good service? They served you and you paid for it.
Actually it is stated in the Bible that Esau traded his birthright for some food. That you fail to see that as Esau serving Jacob is maybe because you don’t want to. let me give you another example. What if I went to that car lot you own, Don Johnson Imports, and i happened to show up the morning you skipped breakfast, and I had a bowl of soup on me. And it wasn’t a new Porsche or a Saab or a Lexus or an Acura you traded me for that bowl of soup, but the whole dealership! Hmmm, I would say I got a whole lot more than I gave. Yes, Esau served Jacob by trading his birthright for a bowl of food. And served him well!

Next:
“Even though Isaac stated to Esau that he would (future tense not past tense) serve Jacob, that doesn’t count.”

I do not find Isaac ever saying this to Esau. Chapter and verse please

next:
“Even though Jacob actually gave (not sold) gifts to Esau, that’s not serving.”
Why do you ask brother? What has Jacob serving Esau anything to do with our discussion?

next:
“Even though Jacob bowed to Esau, called Esau lord, and called himself Esau’s servant. It doesn’t mean anything.”
It doesn’t have anything to do with Romans 9. if so, tell me.

next:
“To sum it up. Just because the Bible doesn’t say something, it’s still true. And just because the Bible does say something on the matter, it has nothing to do with it.”

Now that is a strange conclusion. The Bible does not spell everything out. Jesus said this:
39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. 41 I do not receive glory from people. 42 But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

Now brother, given your logic, which OT passage has the word ‘Jesus’ in it? None. That is why he told them to search. they had to use their noggins. And the Bile says a lot of stuff on many and varied matters but they all don’t apply to our discussion on Romans 9. And Jacob serving Esau has no relevance.

peace brother
my email for you or anyone to ask me questions, for whatever reason is: bygrace4012@yahoo.com

250 Don Johnson July 19, 2012 at 11:45 am

Mike,

You said calling usually comes before salvation. I totally agree. My point in 2 Tim. 1:9 was that because Paul writes “saved – called” he referring to service. Had he said “called – saved” he would have been referring to salvation. Again, vs 11 states what call Paul had. When one hears a pastor say he was called into the ministry, this is the calling Paul was referring to in 2 Tim. 1:9. But I agree most of time “called” is used, it has reference to salvation, 2 Tim. 1:9 isn’t one of them.

In Acts 13:2 we again see the same “call” to service, it was not salvation.

251 Shawn July 19, 2012 at 11:48 am

Dale,

Thank you for your kind response (#246 this morning) above. And I understand and respect your desire to not pursue this conversation further. But for the sake of others reading this thread, and to contribute to this conversation on Romans 9, I will respond. The question is: If God is ultimately a loving God who desires the salvation of all men, and He is a sovereign God with the power to accomplish all He desires, why are all men not saved? Your response is: “Because they reject His offer of grace.” I contend that this perspective reduces God to one who is waiting anxiously in heaven, wringing His hands, wondering who will respond (or if anyone will respond) to His offer of grace in Jesus Christ. It also means that Christ died only to accomplish the possibility of salvation for men, not the certainty of salvation for His people. It diminishes His love, His power, and His majesty. It further places in our hands a decision that Scripture says we are unable and unwilling to make.

The fact of Romans 3 is that we all have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God, of His perfect standard of holiness. Yes, men can reject God’s offer of grace. IN FACT, it is the natural bent of every single human being to reject God’s offer of grace. 1 Cor 1:18 says the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, and WE ARE ALL PERISHING in our sins. There is not one of us who understands, not one of us who seeks for God. We are all children of wrath. Though we all may hear the gospel, none of us would or could choose to believe on our own. PERIOD.

If God were to allow us all to die and go to hell in this state of sinfulness, He would be completely just to do so. He would be no less loving, no less merciful, no less holy, no less righteous. These traits are intrinsic to His character and nature, and He would be completely just in allowing us all to die in our sins and suffer the eternal punishment of hell. In our unbelief, we stand already judged (John 3:18).

But praise be to God, for His own glory in redemption and to accomplish the fullest display of His love and mercy, He sent His Son to die for the salvation of His people. All of us stood condemned and dead (Rom 5:12,17). All of us were bound to hell. But God knew men would transgress His commands and incur His judgement. So in eternity past, He elected to save some from their condemnation (Matt 26:28, Rom 8:29-30, Acts 2:39, Rev 13:8, etc). These He gave to Christ to accomplish their redemption (John 17:1-2). He is not unrighteous and His intrinsic love is in no way diminished in the fact that He has passed over some, allowing them to suffer just condemnation for their sins in hell. And His mercy and love and grace are put on full display through those He has chosen to save through His Son, Jesus Christ.

His choice of His people secures the fact that they will hear His voice and believe in His Son (John 10:16). The Gospel call to repent and believe in Jesus goes out to all men (the means of gospel proclamation are ordained as well as the ends — Rom 10:14-17), but within the general call is the effectual call of God that brings the elect to salvation (Matt 22:14, Acts 16:14, 1 Cor 1:26-31, 2 Tim 1:9, Rom 11:5-7, 2 Tim 2:10). Those who do not believe do so because they are not His sheep (John 10:26-27). Those who do believe are the ones whose hearts have been changed by the Spirit. No one is dragged kicking and screaming to Christ. He makes us willing to come and desirous of Christ (John 3:7-8, John 6:44, 1 Cor 1:18,23-24). And because Christ is the one who has secured our salvation, it can never be lost (John 10:28-30).

This is where the discussion of Romans 9 comes to bear. Paul begins the chapter by speaking of God’s chosen people, Israel, and his personal desire for their salvation. But Israel has largely rejected their Messiah and His message of salvation. Does that mean that God’s purpose of grace has failed (Rom 9:6)? Paul’s answer is NO. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel (vs 6). As he continues in verse 7, he moves from the idea of national election to individual election. Jacob and Esau are treated as persons, not nations. God has elected men individually based upon His own merciful choice (vs 15-16). He hardens whom He desires and has mercy on whom He desires (vs 18). This reality begs an important question: If God, in eternity past, has already decided who He will save and who will suffer the punishment of Hell, what about man’s free will? How do man’s choices still matter? In Romans 9:19, Paul anticipates the question: “You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?”” Doesn’t this make God unjust to requires something of men that they were never capable of choosing? (Rom 9:14) NO, God can never be accused of injustice, because we all deserved hell, and He would have been just to allow every single one of us to suffer it. Nor do we have any basis to complain that we were not chosen, because being chosen is purely a matter of His grace (vs 20-24). We are not automatons — we have real wills through which we make real choices with real consequences. But God has saved His chosen people from the path of destruction they would have chosen. He has set His heart upon them to save them for His own glory, and He is to be honored and praised in His creation for this marvelous display of grace.

So you see, God is not left in heaven, wringing His hands and waiting on men to decide whether or not to believe in Him. He is not left will unfulfilled desires. Every single person whom He has decided to save will be with Him in glory. His love will be perfectly displayed in and poured out for all those He has determined to save, and they will worship Him for all eternity.

252 Shawn July 19, 2012 at 11:51 am

Sorry Dale, my response ended up as #250 above.

253 Dale Pugh July 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Thanks, Shawn. I’m not sure how all the comment thread has ended up so jacked up, but such is the nature of fallible technology, I suppose.

254 Lasaro Flores July 15, 2012 at 1:43 am

Another thing that has to be considered is that if “world” in John 3:16 means “every person in the world,” then why did the Lord Jesus say that He did not pray for the world, i.e. every individual in the world in John 17:9? Then if “world” means the same in both verses, then there is a contradiction here. If God so loved every individual in the world…” in John 3:16, then why doesn’t the Lord Jesus not pray for every individual in the world? Think about it; for it is very clear that “world” does not mean every individual. Amen.

255 Don Johnson July 15, 2012 at 8:17 am

Lasaro,

Actually “world” in John 3:16,17 is the same “world” in John 17:9. It’s the world of the lost.

256 Dale Pugh July 16, 2012 at 12:13 am

The fact that God loves the world in John 3:16, does not logically preclude Jesus from praying specifically for His disciples in John 17:9. You state that it is a contradiction because God’s love for the world would somehow require that Jesus pray for the whole world. I’m sorry, but this does not follow any kind of logical framework. Therefore, brother, it is not “clear”.

257 dr. james willingham July 15, 2012 at 10:57 pm

The word “world” in Jn.3:16 is to be understood of the believers, Don. You might want to look at I Jn. 2:2 and 5:19 in order to realize that the world does not mean everyone without exception in every case.

258 Don Johnson July 15, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Dr. Willingham,

The whole world in 1 John 2:2 and 1 John 5:19 are again the whole world of the lost, those outside of Christ.

Would tell me what the three worlds in John 3:17 mean?

259 Dale Pugh July 15, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Actually, sir, many of us would most likely disagree with your particular interpretation of all three of those verses. A simple translation might be helpful here:
“ton kosmon”–John 3:16–”the world”, not “the elect”
“holou tou kosmou”–1 John 2:2–”of the whole world”, not “of all the elect”
“ho kosmos holos”–1 John 5:19–”the whole world”, not “all the elect”
I’m sorry, but the language does not support your assertion.

260 Christiane July 16, 2012 at 12:08 am

Jesus Christ the “Kyrios”
IS
The Lord of the Cosmos

“And He that sat upon the throne said,
‘ BEHOLD, I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW.’
And He said unto me,
‘Write: for these words are true and faithful.’ ”

(Revelation 21:5)

261 Shawn July 18, 2012 at 11:17 am

Hey Dale,

If our all-powerful God loves all men the same way and desires the salvation of all men in the way that “Traditionalists” say He does, then why are all men not saved? You will no doubt reply, “Because many men choose not to accept His free gift of salvation.” You are effectively saying that our sovereign God will have unmet desires because His will is limited by men’s will. Or to put it in your wording, God is still sovereign, but He voluntarily limits His own will so as not to force Himself on His free moral creatures. This begs a critical question:

How is God more “loving” in this scheme? He truly desires that all men be saved and He has the power to accomplish all He desires (Psa 115:3). He knows that many men will reject the gospel which will result in their eternal torment. He has the sovereign ability to override their choices and save them from eternal torment, but He does not do so out of deference to their free will. How is God more “loving” if he wants to save all His children, is able to save all His children, and yet lets men die in their sins out of deference to their choice?

If I had the power to save my child from death and yet deferred to what my child chose in the moment, even though it would result in their death, I would rightly lose my parental rights and be imprisoned.

262 mike white July 18, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Shawn,
It goes deeper.
Before God created the world did He not know exactly who would go to Hell, and yet made it any way?

How then can anyone say that God loves those salvifically when He knew their destiny, made the world anyhow, and on that Great Day of the Lord Jesus, will condemn them to everlasting torment?

263 Dale Pugh July 18, 2012 at 8:27 pm

I would ask how is it any improvement to say that He loves only His elect, decides who is and is not elect, and basically kicks the non-elect to the proverbial curb? You call that love? That’s messed up. Especially since it isn’t what I read in the Bible. Believe it or not, I do read the Bible.
I would also say that you presume much about me from a few sentences I wrote about how some verses should be translated and understood. Don’t assume that you can crawl inside my brain and heart and speak for me. Ask me what I think and believe and I’ll be happy to tell you. I’ll be happy to dialogue. But when you go for the sucker punch of assumption I’m not inclined to play. I grow weary of the same worn out arguments.

264 Shawn July 18, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Dale, Please forgive me if I have communicated any disrespect to you. I was merely anticipating the theological reasoning set forth by Traditionalists. It was not my intention to make presumptions or assumptions about you personally.

God loves all men as a matter of His common grace, but He loves His elect children salvifically. In addition to Mike White’s insightful comment, I would humbly and lovingly point out that you have not interacted with or corrected the viewpoint I set forth above. You have responded only by criticizing what you presuppose to be my view. You have joined me in jumping to presumption. So I will ask the question forthrightly again and allow you to provide you own response. If God is ultimately a loving God who desires the salvation of all men, and He is a sovereign God with the power to accomplish all He desires, why are all men not saved?

265 Dale Pugh July 18, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Sorry, my response ended up as 245 above. Don’t know how that happened……

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