Who are “The People”

There are a couple of passages I want to look at today, and contrast who the people are who are being talked about, specifically if they are groups or individuals.  We must be careful and diligent to study correctly, and not work to make scripture match our theology.  The first passage we find in Romans Chapter  9, so let’s look and see if this is talking about individuals or people groups.

In Chapter nine, Paul begins talking about his kinsmen from Israel, those who are unsaved, wishing they would be saved.  It’s clear he begins by talking about individuals from within a certain people group, but not the entire group, he being a Jew is saved while many others are not.  He moves to say that not all the children of Israel, or children of the promise are actually Jewish by nationality or genetics, but are children of the promise.  So Paul speaks of children of Israel who are not children of Israel by blood, being children of Israel by the promise.  Can we then conclude he is talking about individuals or a people group?  He is still talking about a group of people, but that group being those who have been selected as part of the promise.  When Paul moves to the lump of clay being shaped by the potter, would it not stand to reason that those being shaped for honorable use would be those chosen, and dishonorable use would be the not chosen?  So, is Paul talking about a people group in Romans chapter 9 or individuals being chosen?  If he was talking about a people group being chosen, would it not be the entire nation that was chosen, and not individuals who were not of the people group being chosen to be part of the people group?  It would stand to reason that the people being spoken of are individuals, not entire groups of people.  Otherwise, we would see entire nations become saved and become part of the promise, not just individuals.  What are your thoughts?

Now let’s look at the other chapter I was to look at, which is 1 Timothy chapter 2.  In this passage Paul tells us to pray for all people, he is then specific about kings in high positions.  Paul goes on the say that God desires for all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of salvation.  Is this talking about people groups or specific people?  Let’s look at the people Paul points out, he says for kings in high position.  It’s interesting that Paul points out this group, asking us to pray for all people and then specifically for kings and people in high position.  What would be the purpose of such a request?  If the church was focused on sharing the gospel and praying for a certain group of people, it would require the Apostles to point out they needed to include other groups of people.  In this case, Paul tells them they need to include those who are in power, because God does not will only the poor to be part of the Kingdom, but also for kings and rulers to be part of the church.  Paul does not single out an individual or a nationality, but a group known by position, influence and authority.  Paul seems to be speaking to pray for a group of people, and that command ties right into the statement that God desires all to be saved.  The all in this statement must then refer to those they are called to pray for, that people of every socio-economic status will be part of the kingdom.

So often, we have interpreted these verses to fit a specific theology or a specific view.  This is dangerous and detrimental to the Church, to throw away exegetical practice for the sake of theology.  In this study, I have employed a tool called Bible Arcing, which connects phrases and ideas and shows the relationship to one another.  This isn’t the only study too, but it’s helpful when we begin to ask questions such as “who is Paul speaking about in these verses”.  There are many passages that we interpret differently, we cannot be afraid to be incorrect in our theology and be correct in our exegesis of passaged.  The alternative is the pathway to heresy.  Regardless of what we think, feel or what to believe, a proper use of scripture should always be able to make us change our thinking.

Comments

  1. Nick Migliacci says

    Numerous typos wear me out. Please proof read what you write before sending it.

  2. Tarheel says

    Proofread is one word. I’m guessing you didn’t proofread before hitting send.

    This “bash Dan” game that some are playing lately is really getting old.

    • Nick Migliacci says

      Tarheel, with all humility, you’re mistaken if you think there’s currently only one acceptable spelling for “proof read.” The same can be said about the phrase “can not,” or “home school.” Additionally, the types of errors I was talking about were substantial, like sentence fragments, not simply personal preferences of how to spell certain words.

      • Dale Pugh says

        Then, Nick, you are referring to grammatical errors, not typographical errors. Maybe you should be a bit more precise in your critique.
        Also, if you are so bothered by how something is written, stop reading the post and move on.
        It is a blog, not a dissertation. Lighten up.

      • says

        You probably shouldn’t read anything Paul wrote either. He is pretty bad about grammar, having run on sentences and such. I’ll take your critique to heart and try better next time. I am sorry my blog caused you so much distraction.

        • says

          Dan
          If you want to “do better next time” then so be it..as long as there is a next time. I enjoy reading your material. Just don’t stop! (My english teacher approves this message) :-)

          • Tarheel says

            I agree, DL.

            While I don’t agree with everything Dan posts – I enjoy his perspectives.

            Continue on, Dan!

          • Bennett Willis says

            In keeping with the rest of this series of comments, should English be capitalized?

        • says

          Dan,
          I have an article posting (on my own site) today or tomorrow on grammar, proofreading, and serving. I want you (and any others that might read this comment and my article) to know that it has nothing to do with the way you’ve been flamed recently about grammar, etc.. I had written this last week after reflecting on an excellent article from Aaron Armstrong. I’m just finishing it this morning and hitting publish today. Just want you to know that, brother.

          • says

            Thanks Mike. I actually suffer from dyslexia, so much of my grammar issue result from the nonsensical way my brain operated. I know some people struggle to read my stuff, and I try really hard to make it intelligible. I take no offense to people saying “your grammar stinks.” I just try to do better next time.

      • Tarheel says

        I’ve often said that one of the ways arrogance and self righteousness can manifest itself is in one being a “grammar nazi” or “grammar snob”. :-)

        The pride/self rightous monster comes in many forms.

  3. says

    Nick, it’s a blog. I write them on my phone. I don’t send them too an editor. Keep your eye on the ball.

    Tarheel. Thank you my friend and bahahahaha!

  4. Peaches says

    Submitting our theology to scripture and not scripture to our theology is crucial to our spiritual growth and to our fellowship. This keeps us both humble and teachable right where God wants us to be.

    A good word.

  5. dr. james willingham says

    I have a sermon on the texts, Roms.9:3 & 10:1, which bears the title, “Intense Evangelistic Concern.” Dr. John Broadus commented on Roms. 9:3< "Concern for the salvation of others is not prevented by…believing in divine sovereignty, and predestination and election." I pointed out that his view could be put in an even more positive light based on the texts and their settings. My summary of the texts is as follows: "Paul showed dire concern for this kinsmen in writing about predestination to the beloved. Clearly, God's sovereignty in salvation is a help to evangelism; it is an incentive of urgency. Predestination inspired Paul's intense concern." My theme is the last five words, "Predestination inspired Paul's intense concern." In fact, predestination inspired Paul's intense concern by the dynamic of an extreme distress, "For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, " a distress emotional and spiritual in nature. Paul's feelings are indicated by Gals.6:19; Acts 20:27, 31. See Ps.126:6 for confirmation. The spiritual nature involved the good of man and the glory of God. As to the good, Paul's commission was to the Gentiles, but still he cared for his kinsmen. Paul was a man of extreme love, concern, and compassion. Spurgeon cited John Bunyan as saying that he felt like he could give his own soul for the people to whom he declared the Gospel. Paul was made all things to all men that he might be all means save some (I Cors.9). His zeal was for the glory of God. I Cors.10:31. Moses, Ex.32:32 and our Lord, Lk.22:44 & Mk.15:34.

    Predestination inspired Paul's intense concern with the dynamic of an exciting doctrine. "That they might be saved." Paul wrote of salvation in the context of predestination. Note Roms.8:28,29; 9:11-33; 11:1ff. Three doctrines are involved in the doctrine of salvation. Man's sinfulness, God's sovereignty Roms.9:19. and all satisfaction. The heart of God's predestination and sovereignty is the cross, Rev.5:6, 8; I pet.1:18,19

    The controlling factor in the heart of God's sovereignty and predestination in dealing with man's sinfulness is His sacrificial love. He made satisfaction for all our sins as sinners. Roms.5:8

    God's whole approach is paradoxical, full of opposites, a veritable reality of what popular opinion calls reverse psychology, a divine logotherapy, a doctrine of salvation comprehending our sinfulness, God's sovereignty, and all satisfaction, the dynamic of an exciting doctrine, "that they might be saved."

    The third is the dynamic of an explosive devotion. "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is." Dr. Curtis Vaughan states that Paul takes up the prayer he began in Roms.9:1-3 in Roms.10:1 Predestination inflames devotion; it is a strong driving force in worship and witness. In the midst of his discussion of predestination he feels a terrible constraint to pray for the salvation of lost loved ones. God predestinates the prayer as well as the answer. Spurgeon observed that the Lord ordained to bless by means of prayer. Longing and asking stirs appreciation when the answer comes. Isa.65:24. Predestination guarantees and answer to prayer. And then there is praise. Roms.11:33,36. Witness linked to predestination, Acts.18:9,10. Bartimaeus, Lk.18:38,39. Even a seeming lack of desire to help on the Lord's part is but a whetstone to prayer and praise. Whitefield's remarks about God saving the devils rejects and the results. His stopping to weep for sinners in a sermon because they could not weep for themselves. Last Dr. John Thomas who won the first convert of the Modern Missionary Movement, and he who was noted even as a hyper Calvinist went insane with joy when Krishna Pal indicated that the would go all the way and be baptized. The truths that will lead to the Third Great Awakening are indicated by what I have discovered in the First and Second Great Awakenings and the launching of the Great Century of Missions.

  6. John Wylie says

    Here’s the answer to your Romans 9 question, it’s really pretty simple. God told Rebekah in Genesis 25:23 “And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.” Further chapters 9-11 are always framed in terms of the disposition of national Israel.

    • says

      Yes, that is true, but the passage is talking about Gentiles becoming “Israel”, being God’s chosen people, or in this case Christians. This being the case, it can’t be talking about the nation as a whole, since Paul is lamenting that many Jews are not accepting Christ “Jew are not Jews, and not Jews are Jews”. Paul phrasing it this way, if it’s talking about nations, the entire Gentile nation would be saved, which is not the case. I agree with your exegesis to a point, but the reality is that God chose a man to be the father of the nation. He chose the nation and the individual. Had he chosen Esau, the promise to Abraham would still be in tact. The question is, why did He choose Jacob? The condition of his heart? His status as the younger, showing God’s sovereignty? We don’t have the answer, but we know that God choose an individual that was not man’s first choice (not the elder). These things, combined with the reality of God choosing the nation displays that God chooses both people groups and people.

      • Christiane says

        there was Adam, the first man

        there was a ‘holy family’ . . . (Noah)

        and then there was a ‘tribe’ . . . (Father Abraham)

        and then there was a ‘nation’ . . . (Moses)

        and then there was a ‘kingdom’ . . . (King David)

        and then there was an ‘Ekklesia’ (Lord Jesus Christ Son Savior))

        and the ‘ekklesia’ of Our Lord is sent forth into the world ‘to the people’

      • John Wylie says

        Dan,

        In the Old Testament Israel was elect as a nation, but that does not mean that every individual in it was a believer. With all due respect, if you make Romans chps. 9-11 individual election you have a book that teaches Calvinism in ch. 9 and Arminianism in ch. 11.

        • Tarheel says

          I’m not exactly concurring with that assessment, John….but even if what you say about Romans 9 & 11 is the case…so what?

          I agree with what Piper said about Cal/non Cal tensions in scripture (it was Something like) ; if in the proper exegesis of scripture you encounter an ‘Arminian’ passage…leave it that way.

          There are tensions in scripture that smarter theologians than you or me have not been able to lose. (Of course this comment is not in any way an insult on your theological acumen!)

        • says

          In agreeing with Tarheel (it all makes sense in Wovenism btw, some things exist inside time and some outside of time because of God’s nature and His interaction with us), I would ask where you find the Arminian text in chapter 11? The jealousy issue? I don’t see that as Arminian or Calvinistic, but the working of God to move people in a direction through the working on the Spirit. Cutting off and grafted in? The Jews no longer were exclusive to God through the Old Covenant, but could come to God through Christ. Not remaining in His grace and being cut off? I don’t view that as losing salvation, because of all the ranting I do about God outside of time, it’s not an issue for me.

          Back to what Tarheel says, we have to let the scripture says what the scripture says. Romans 9 is talking about the same thing Romans 11 is talking about, Gentile believers becoming part of the promise. The branches being grafted in, are those nations? Of course not, they must be individuals because there is no place where we see Salvation through Christ happen in a national sense. The nation of Israel had a theocracy, they were part of the promise because of their lineage, the priest, the temple, the Day of Atonement. Those are done away with in the New Testament and individuals come to Christ, priesthood of the believer. If chapter 9 is talking about nations, so is chapter 11. It must say what is says, regardless of what “theological paradigm” we try to shove it into.

          • John Wylie says

            Rom 11:21-22 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. (22) Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.

          • John Wylie says

            In my view that God is talking about Israel in contrast to gentiles nations.

          • Tarheel says

            Lol! I should have read this comment wherein you say you agree with me before posting I don’t always agree with you! :-)

            Of course you’re right anytime you agree with me. :-)

            That is unless I change my mind on an issue. Then that’d make your agreement with what I previously said on the issue wrong.

            ;-)

          • says

            I guess I don’t see that as particularly Arminian, but I also move away from the idea of Salvation being an instantaious event that happens and then is sealed. The parable of the seeds seems to point out that someone can seem to accept the gospel, but it doesn’t grow and produce fruit. Peter also commands to make our calling and election sure, telling us if we continue in the list of characteristics, we will not fail. I don’t view either of these as “losing salvation” but more along the lines of the work of Salvation not taking root in our hearts. The mind can accept and reject and the heart is never involved, giving the appearance of salvation without the fruit of salvation. To say “yes I believe” without believing in your heart doesn’t make one saved. It can, however begin the process or make the process falter.

            Here is how I would explain this as a Wovenist. In salvation, two things occur. Inside of time, in our perspective the Word is preached and someone hears. They can accept or reject what they hear, based mainly on the condition of their heart. This plants a seed, and that seed is then watered (I planted, Apollos waters). That seed then begins to grow, bringing the person to the point of full regeneration and bearing fruit (but God made it grow). Sometimes the plant sprout, but is choked by weeds, the soil is shallow and they plant never bears fruit. This is contrast to the rocky soil, which never even begins to grow. We preach and share because God works in those seeds.

            Outside of time, everything is happening, and will happen and has happened. This process is done, the sheep are already on the right, goats of the left. God has called and saved who God is going to call and save, the fruit is not only grown, but harvested and in the silo. (Do they put fruit in silos?) This is where we see election, predestination, because from timelessness (eternity) it’s already done.

            So, with that being said, I have no contradiction.

          • says

            John,

            I am confused. How is it that Romans 11:21-22 an Arminian verse?

            You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?

            If God is speaking about nations or even people groups, how is that Arminian?
            Thanks,
            mike

    • says

      John. you said:
      Here’s the answer to your Romans 9 question, it’s really pretty simple. God told Rebekah in Genesis 25:23 “And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.”

      In a physical sense, in the time of the OT, two nations, Israel and Edom. But Paul is not speaking in Romans 9 about nations in a physical sense, but rather in a spiritual sense. And how are we to define these two spiritual nations? Well, first it was to point out that it was God’s choice in how they would be separated [one chosen, the other not].
      Then Paul moved to the singular, to Pharaoh. We know this is singular because Paul moved from the language of the many to the language of the singular:
      So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
      So what is the “it” that does not depend on man but on God?…

      Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
      What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

      The “it” is the love of God which is shown by to whom He has mercy and compassion upon.
      And to be clear, the point is reinforced:

      So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.
      and…
      And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.

      peace brother,
      mike

      • says

        John,

        And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.

        And who is the “us” but the ‘nation’ He loves and calls from not only the Jews but also the Gentiles. It is this nation He has prepared beforehand for glory. But people are not called en-mass, but as individuals. You were called at a different time and place then I was called. But we were both prepared beforehand for glory so God could make the riches of His glory shine upon us as He chose us for mercy.

      • John Wylie says

        Mike,

        Paul is most definitely referring back to the old Jacob versus Esau thing in Genesis. His whole point is that God chose Israel irrespective of merit.

        • says

          How can that point be made with Jacob when the covenant was established two generations before with Abram, through faith?

          • says

            Dan,
            The point John makes is valid, but imo, incomplete.
            Not all of Abraham’s children are part of the covenant God made with Abraham. Ishmael was not part of it. Esau was not part of it. Spin ahead to the NT, and we see Paul saying that not all Israel is Israel, meaning that it is not just being the physical descendants of Jacob that are Israel, but the ones to whom the promise is given, i.e. ; those saved by the blood of the Lamb.
            Therefore true Israel which is not all physical Israel, the nation, is comprised of all whom God calls, both Jew and Gentile, and has mercy on, and as John has properly said, none merit that calling.
            peace
            mike

        • says

          John,
          You are right. Paul is referring back to that old thing, and that He chose Israel, irrespective of merit. But the physical in the OT points to the spiritual in the NT. And what Paul is telling us is that God chooses each of us irrespective of merit. He choose you, but you did not merit His choosing of you. He chose me, but I did not merit His choosing of me.

          And Paul is also telling us that His choosing is not based on several things:
          It is not based on how good we are.
          His choosing is not based on how we will.
          His choosing is not based on how we act. [run]

          And Paul is telling us that His choosing is based on whom he decides to show mercy and compassion.

          And these God chooses to have mercy and compassion upon, He calls, so that he may bestow upon us vessels of mercy His glory, so that He might be glorified all the more.

          Thank you Lord.
          mike

  7. dr. james willingham says

    The contradictions exist only in our minds – not in the word. However, there are apparent contradictions, opposites which our pea-sized brains can reconcile or explain and which were not meant to be so understood. The depths of the written word are comparable to the Mariannas Trench for depth (about 7 miles straight down) only infinitely deeper. The idea that the Book of books might be intellectual in nature surely comes as a shock to most who think only in terms of heart and emotions which utterly misses the mark. Just consider the first call of the Gospel for repentance, meaning, a change of mind based upon reflection and thinking through a matter as God thinks upon it and coming to the conclusion that He is right and we are wrong. Moreover, the faith which is called for is a faith based upon evidence, both historical and biblical as well as supernatural (impossible). The offense of the Gospel is, in part, due to the fact that it is founded in the nitty gritty of history where it is exposed to all the flaming arrows of doubt that the world can hurl against it. Even so, bit by bit, piece by piece, the evidence makes its way to the human mind, bringing conviction that here is the truth, a more satisfying evidentiary base for faith than the old idea of feeling and emotion and subjectivism. There is a hard objective nature to the Gospel that we ignore at our peril. It is like the grass of paradise described in C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce which cuts the feet of those naysayers and deniers of the realities of the Good News based in history and time.

  8. says

    2 Timothy 2 clearly states God wants all men saved and that Jesus gave Himself a ransom for all. And, of course, other verses support this. No verse says Jesus died only for the elect.

    Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. -1 Timothy 2:4.

    Who gave Himself a ransom for all. -1 Timothy 2:6

    Not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. -2 Peter 3:9.
    David R. Brumbelow

    • says

      David,
      i wasn’t talking about how the election comes about.
      But let me ask you, do you believe Goad has infallible foreknowledge?
      thanks,
      mike

    • Tarheel says

      David,

      In order for those verses to mean what you say they mean…..one would have to say that God is not powerful enough to bring to pass that which he wishes.

      Not to mention that under your contention, the atonement was not sufficient as since it was for “all people” yet not everyone ends up saved.

      • volfan007 says

        Tarheel,

        I agree with David B. on this. And, just because God desires that all men be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth, and every person doesn’t get saved, does NOT mean that God failed at anything. In fact, part of the judgment of the lost will be that they rejected what God offered them.

        And, just because the atonement is sufficient for every person on this planet, and not every person gets saved, does NOT weaken the atonement not one bit. It’s God’s work, and it’s God’s offering to people. It’s up to people whether they’ll receive God’s gift, or not. But, they COULD have been saved, if only they would have looked to the cross in faith, just as the sick people looked to the snake on a pole in the wilderness wanderings.

        David

        • John Wylie says

          Lots of things happen that are not God’s desire, that has no bearing whatsoever on His omnipotence.

          The atonement thing is simple as well, Christ died for all, but in order to appropriate that payment for oneself one must believe.

          • says

            “Lots of things happen that are not God’s desire.”

            So right John. So when we speak on this issue, it is not about what God desires, necessarily but on what God does.

            So let us look at what God has done.
            God made a world where He KNEW exactly who would go to Hell and He made the world anyhow. Him creating such a world does not mean He desired them to be sinners and pay the price.
            It also means that this EXACT number would infallibly go to Hell. And the reverse is true as well, He knew EXACTLY who would go to Heaven [the elect by whatever means you see that coming about], and no more or no less could then be saved.

            WE can agree on this right?

            mike

          • volfan007 says

            Parson,

            Where we would depart is that we believe that every person can really be saved in the here and now. Of course, God knows who will be saved, and who won’t. But, that doesn’t change the fact, that in the here and now, every person CAN be saved, if they will CHOOSE to respond to the calling of God. I do not believe that God arbritrarily chooses to save this fella, and just decides to not save that one.

            David

          • says

            David,
            We agree that every person, in the here and now who turns to Jesus in faith can and will be saved.

            But as you say, we differ on election.

            But you also agree that unless God has foreseen this fella or that fella being saved, they WON”T ever turn to Jesus and trust Him.
            Right?

            Therefore, from God’s perspective, who gets saved is LIMITED, for we know that not all get saved.

            But your perspective, and from my perspective, we preach the same Gospel. the SAME Gospel: that whosoever turns to the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved.

            Thus we both issue a general call to repentance and faith despite our different understandings of election.

    • says

      So lets look at election. There are 3 ways that most people look at it. One is the C way that says God choose certain people from before time and saves these only. The next way is where God foresees who will choose Him and chooses these people before time began to be His elect. The third way is that God does not choose anyone from before time but people become elect as they choose Jesus.

      Now if you believe in one of these three ways and that God has infallible foreknowledge this next thing is true: God knows exactly who and which ones will be saved, not only before time began, but also when He sent His Son into the world to die for sins. God knew exactly which and how many would be saved by the blood of Jesus.

      So there we can all agree on these being the elect [those God knows will be saved].
      No need then to quarrel, for the most part, about election. There is a limited number of people that will be saved and God knows who, when, and what their names are. No one else is getting saved or God’s infallible foreknowledge isn’t infallible at all.

      Now none of us know who is getting saved. Could be everyone else who lives. Could be no one else. Some number in between is a prudent choice. So we call everyone to repentance and all that respond in faith will be saved.

      To summarize: From God’s perspective the atonement is limited and from man’s perspective the call to repent is a general call. No need to fight over these truths.

      peace,
      mike

      • volfan007 says

        what about this way, Parson…..God chooses to save people, in general. And, He chooses to save people, who will respond to His calling and convicting. And, He chooses to save people, who will repent and believe. Thus, they are the CHOSEN, or the Elect. Because, God chose to save us.

        David

        • says

          David,
          That way you just described is one way of the three ways most people see election.
          But since you believe in God’s infallible foreknowledge you also must believe that God knows EXACTLY who will be saved, and has always known this, even as He made the world and even as he sent Jesus to die.
          God knew that the death of Jesus would only save certain people.
          We agree there?

  9. volfan007 says

    God still blessed Esau and his descendants, the Edomites. Even though, He chose to bless and use Jacob and his descendants in a much greater way. The Esau I hated thing does not mean that God just arbitrarily chose to hate Esau, and send him and all of his descendants to Hell. God still loved and blessed Esau, but in comparison to what He chose to do thru Jacob, it seemed like He hated Esau. It’s a degree of comparison. Just like when Jesus told us that we can’t be His disciples, unless we hate our mother and father and brothers and sisters. Jesus did NOT mean that we should hate our family, but rather that our love for Him should be so great, that in comparison to our love for Him, it should look like we hate our family.

    Also, God chose to use the nation of Israel in OT times. They were His chosen people. And, in NT times, God has a chosen people, as well. They’re Christians. All predestination means is that God planned to do something before the world began. And, we’re told what He planned to do. His plan was to call out to people, and to save all of those people, who would repent and believe. His plan is to conform those people to the image of His Son. His plan is to keep those, saved people safe and secure, and take them to Heaven when they die. God chose to do this. God planned to do this. His plan is to save all of those people, who will respond to His calling…..to save the “Whosoever wills.” And, predestination and election do not mean that we become puppets or robots, which God is controlling from Heaven. It does not mean that God is arbritrarily picking one person to be saved, and to send another person to Hell. These doctrines do NOT mean that people do not have free will, and have to make real choices, and that they’re responsible for the choices they make.

    I really think some people try to make things a whole lot more complicated than things are……they try to figure out how many angels can fit on the point of a needle.

    David

      • volfan007 says

        Of course, I do. God knows everything. That doesn’t mean that He dictates everything that will happen, though.

        • says

          David,
          Of course He doesn’t. For example He doesn’t make people sin.
          But then God knows exactly who will be saved, right.
          He knows their names.
          He knows they day the come to faith.
          He even knows the minute they believe.
          And He knew all of that when He sent Jesus to die.
          So from His perspective it is only these He knows that will be atoned for by the blood of Jesus, these and not a single person more, correct?

          in Christ’s love,
          mike

          • volfan007 says

            The atonement of Jesus was for every SINGLE man, woman, boy, and girl, on the planet. And, every person can saved, and really, truly has the OPPORTUNITY to be saved, if they’ll choose to respond to the calling of the Holy Spirit. In the here and now, down here on this Earth, in this time, every person can really and truly be saved, if they will CHOOSE to be saved.

            David

          • says

            David,
            That might be a fine thing to think, but reality tells us something quite different.
            First i didn’t say who the atonement was for, I said God knows who will be atoned by His sacrifice. And as you say, God knows everything. so God knew that Jesus was saving an exact and limited number of people.
            Second, i think you believe that to be saved since Jesus arose to the Father, one must hear the Gospel. And that one must believe the Gospel. Truth is and reality is, that many millions have died never hearing the Gospel.
            Third, you are dodging the point. If God, who as we believe has infallible foreknowledge has not foreseen on getting saved, then they won’t be getting saved. They can’t be saved or God’s infallible foreknowledge is wrong. This does not blame God but it is just the reality of the situation. if God hasn’t seen it will happen, it can’t happen. Just can’t.
            Your position, as you have told me, is that God has infallible foreknowledge. If you believe that, then you also believe that if God has not foreseen them coming to faith, it can’t happen.

            My purpose is to unite us in what we do believe so that we can obey God together and preach the Gospel to all people. That we differ on election does not mean we can not evangelize together. The one does not preclude the other.

            The reality is God made the world KNOWING exactly who would go to hell, and therefore these MUST go to hell. Otherwise His foreknowledge is flawed.

            So read the Word, not with only part of one’s doctrinal beliefs in view, but be well rounded in your studies. i am not asking anyone to change their view on election, at least not yet. I am only asking you to take into account all you believe about God.

            peace brother
            mike

          • John Carpenter says

            @ volfan007,

            If all are atoned for, then all are saved. Atonement is the paying for sin. If everyone’s sin is paid for, then everyone is saved. If Jesus left some sins unatoned for, such as unbelief, then no one is saved.

  10. says

    Adrian Rogers 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.”

    http://gulfcoastpastor.blogspot.com/2011/08/adrian-rogers-on-predestination.html
    David R. Brumbelow

    • says

      David,
      That is correct for the Genesis account.
      But God also says that Gentiles are going to be descendants of Israel.
      So in Genesis we see a physical descendantcy that points us to a spiritual descendantcy.

      And we brother are of Israel, children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob though nary a drop of Israeli blood may course through our veins. Because in Romans 9, paul is no longer talking about just physical heritage but about spiritual realities and how God brings them about.

      Do you believe in God’s infallible foreknowledge?

      peace brother.
      mike

    • Greg Buchanan says

      With all due respect, quoting Adrian Rogers proves nothing and supports nothing… it is his considered opinoin from his exegesis.

      That doesn’t make it universal illumination becasue you happen to agree. Any point you are trying to make will be bolstered by exegesis, not quotes.

      In all honesty, can you get past your point of view enough to consider what Dan is saying, take it to heart, view it through his statements above, and see value of any kind?

      Or are you troubled by anything that is not completely your view?

      I ask this with no malice or implication. What I see from you appears to be no attempt at honest peer review (aka iron sharpens iron) and given no esteem or value.

      At the end of the day (or the blog) I don’t think you should have to or will agree with Dan, but can’t you value him and his view enough to help him think it through, put on his colored glasses as it were to try and see what he sees, without being dismissive?

      Put it this way: you make a hat and think its great. I don’t like or wear hats, but I try it out to give you another opinion and can tell you that it seems to be good, but has a flaw: it is one size fits all (you made it only for you). My observation can help you plan to sell hats by making you think about the need for more than one size (and no, hats are not an anology for theology, they are just hats).

    • John Carpenter says

      Rogers was plainly wrong as Rom. 9:6 says “not all who are of Israel are of Israel”. If it is “national”, that statement would make no sense. Besides, Paul clearly explains what he means: God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy.

  11. says

    Now if one agrees that God has infallible foreknowledge and knew exactly who was going to hell when He created the world, we can see a few things.

    We can assume He did all He could to save as many as possible.
    We can assume He knows exactly who will be saved by the Cross, and not a person more.

    So then we can ask, what does it mean that the atonement was for all people when we believe God KNOWS it would only be efficacious for the elect?

  12. says

    David W.,
    You said, “The atonement of Jesus was for every SINGLE man, woman, boy, and girl, on the planet.”

    I agree.
    Paige Patterson agrees.

    After citing 1 Timothy 2:3-6; 2 Peter 3:9; Hebrews 2:9; 1 John 2:2;
    Dr. Paige Patterson said,
    “To me, the references to the universality of the atonement are absolutely overwhelming in the New Testament.”

    Again, there is not one Scripture that states Jesus only died for the elect.
    There are a number of Scriptures that say he died for all and wants all to be saved.
    David R. Brumbelow

    • Christiane says

      JESUS CHRIST
      is
      God
      in the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

      JESUS CHRIST
      was
      incarnated
      (God became man and dwelt among us)

      ‘what is not assumed cannot be saved’

      the answer to ‘who it is that Christ is capable of saving’ resides in a more complete understanding of the INCARNATION,
      and how it works towards the salvation of a human person:

      “What has not been assumed has not been healed;
      it is what is united to His divinity that is saved. . .”
      (Gregory of Nazianzus)

    • Tarheel says

      David B.,

      I think you know there are a plethora of scripture passages that lend themselves to the view of election taken by Calvinists.

    • Tarheel says

      David B.,

      I am absolutely convinced that you have a bumper sticker on your car that reads;

      “Paige and Adrian said it, I believe it, that does it.”

      Fess up, now.

      ;-) :-)

      • Dale Pugh says

        I dare say that McArthur, Piper, and Spurgeon get quoted around here WAY more often than Patterson or Rogers. As a matter of fact, I’d be willing to place a wager on it! And I don’t gamble.

        • Tarheel says

          Lol….I don’t know about Johnny Mac .. But the other two are quite a bit.

          Are you counting each time Dr. Rogers name is invoked including the “Rogers-Hobbs tradition” comments? Lol.

          • Dale Pugh says

            OOPS! That last “counted” should’ve been “quoted.” I hope Nick isn’t reading……

          • Tarheel says

            HAHAHAHA….

            The prince of preachers is quoted, ironically, by both sides so can we really count it???

          • Tarheel says

            Yea, I think so…

            So given the other disqualifications….it’s now down to John Piper quotes vs. the invocation of Adrian Rogers in a dead heat race to the finish….

            You might wanna reconsider that non wager… ;-)

  13. volfan007 says

    Everyone take a break from all of this discussion. Clear your head with this song by Charles Billingsley. Glory, glory, glory to God! Hallelujah! Whew, that ole boy can flat out sing.

    http://youtu.be/FY40iw7DLns

  14. says

    David,
    The reality is, as John told us, that God doesn’t get all He wants. So His desire is not in question here. Let us assume that He wanted everyone who ever lived to worship Him and be saved. The reality is millions don’t. Certainly and good King and ruler does not want rebellion in his land, and God is greater than them all.

    The reality is that God created KNOWING exactly who would be damned, and we could also say, for the discussion, that He would do and did everything in His immense power to save them, but yet he foresaw their terrible destiny. He created anyway.
    So when you read the Scriptures that say things like Jesus died for the whole world, it does not mean God, in the now, knows any different now then he did when He created. And neither does it mean His desires have changed. But the truth is and the reality is, he knows FOR CERTAIN the names of all who will be saved. And that if he doesn’t know their name, they can’t be saved.
    Will you lease address this directly.

    thanks,
    miike

    • Nick Migliacci says

      Here’s a follow-up question: Did God infallibly know in advance–before creating anyone–precisely what set of circumstances would be necessary and required, in order for Jane and John and Sue and Larry and every other human He created, to come to faith and repentance? If He knew those circumstances, then why did He not bring them to pass in order to ensure every human’s salvation, as He did for you and me?

      • Tarheel says

        I think the most honest answer to that is a simple “I do not know.”

        That is not an attempt to be short or flippant – but God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

        • Nick Migliacci says

          Which of my questions do you say you do not know the answer to? Is it my question about whether God knows how to guarantee the salvation of all men? Or is it the question about why God did not guarantee the salvation of all men as He guaranteed yours and mine?

          • Tarheel says

            Nick, I was referring to;

            “why God did not guarantee the salvation of all men as He guaranteed yours and mine?”

          • Nick Migliacci says

            Tarheel, do you agree that God could have guaranteed every human’s salvation, just as He guaranteed yours and mine?

          • Nick Migliacci says

            So God can save any one whom He wants to. There’s nothing that man or satan can do to thwart God’s plan to save a man. You agree?

          • Nick Migliacci says

            So God could have saved every person who ever goes to hell, if that was what He had intended to do. You agree?

          • says

            Nick and Tarheel,

            Actually God did what was greatest for His glory and of course that is also what He wants.
            So my witness is NO, God could not have saved all, because in doing so, he would have had to taken less glory than is due Him.

            Thus we read:

            ou will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.

          • Nick Migliacci says

            It’s true that God does whatever will bring Him the most glory. And so, on a level, it is pointless to discuss hypotheticals, because no other scenario could possibly glorify God more than what He has already chosen. But that’s why I was careful to phrase my post as I did. If it were God’s intention to save every single human being, (as some people suppose), then God could have saved every single human being (again, operating under the assumption that such a plan would have been chosen by God because He would have deemed it to glorify Him more than any other plan). In other words, the question is, “If saving every single human would glorify God the most, then could God have pulled that off, or would God not be capable of saving every single human being (and thereby, not able to glorify Himself as much as He would have liked to)”?

          • Tarheel says

            I don’t get it? Lol

            Maybe it’s because I’m distracted cooking supper for my wife and son perhaps you could elaborate while the green beans are cooking.

          • Nick Migliacci says

            It was supposed to be a joke, like the typical dialogue between a prosecuting attorney and a judge and a witness. It was supposed to bring relief to the seeming interrogation. ;)

      • says

        Nick,
        two ways of looking at that.
        One way os to say yes. he knew.
        But i think it is more accurate to say that the best optimal world considering His glory is that since Gos always acts for His greatest glory that there was no way possible [based on the criteria given] for God to save everyone, therefore there is no set of circumstances possible [given the criteria] where he could ave everyone.
        Therefore knowing that God is both just and good, this present world with this present set of elect people is the best possible world.

    • Nick Migliacci says

      And if God knew who would be damned, before creating them, then why, pray tell, did He even bring them into the world in the first place? How loving and merciful is that?

      • Don Johnson says

        He died for each and everyone of them. He provided the way of salvation for all. All He asks is we believe what He did for us to be saved. Sad you don’t see that as loving and merciful.

        • Nick Migliacci says

          Please define “for.” Do you mean He tried to get them all saved? Did He try to get them saved as hard as He tried to get you saved?

        • Nick Migliacci says

          It’s true that God showed His love and mercy when Christ died for us. But if God knew, even while Christ was on the cross, each person who would not get saved, then why did He make them at all? Where is the mercy in that?

          • Don Johnson says

            Nick,

            God created Adam and Eve. I believe He ended His creation with them. I can’t answer all the philosophical questions, but I do know God is not interested in robots. He wants everyone to be saved and made the way available for everyone to be saved. He desires that we love Him because of who He is and what He has done for us.

          • Nick Migliacci says

            Yes, God made Adam and Eve. But according to Psalm 139:13-16, and Psalm 127, He made each of us, as well. Some He made, knowing infallibly their eternal destiny would be hell.

      • Tarheel says

        Nick,

        Do you believe that one MUST positively respond in belief to the gospel in order to be saved?

        • Nick Migliacci says

          Yes indeed! But I also believe this does not come naturally to sinners. And so for sinners to do this, God must first change their heart. In fact that’s why we pray– because we know God must first change their heart.

          • Don Johnson says

            Nick,

            God convicts hearts of the lost. But He does not change hearts until one is saved.

          • Nick Migliacci says

            Don, it’s true that God convicts sinners. But can conviction alone make faith and repentance a natural desire of a sinner? No. Something more than conviction must take place in order for a sinner to do what would otherwise be unnatural to him. The theological term for such an impetus is called regeneration. Again, I repeat: sinners only do what is natural to them. Conviction does not make faith and repentance natural to a sinner. It takes a miracle, and nothing short of a miracle. This is the meaning of Jeremiah 13:23: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.”

          • Nick Migliacci says

            Don, as you know, many persons are convicted and go to hell. So what makes the decisive difference between them, and you who believe? I believe God does something more for the elect, than He does for the non-elect. This gives me something to praise Him for, every Sunday in church. If God did not do for me, something more than He did for those in hell, then I really wouldn’t have anything to praise Him for. Instead, I would say, “I didn’t receive from God anything more than the people who went to hell received. If the (equal) treatment God gives to His creatures can lead to many of them perishing, then praise be to me for saving myself from that plight.” But the Apostle cut this thinking down when he wrote, “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (1 Cor. 4:7)

          • says

            God by demonstrating His love be showing them His glory in the face of the crucified One changes hearts and for every person He does that for, they desire Him and choose to be saved.

            The Bible tells us that the natural man hates God [loves himself supreme], is God’s enemy, cannot submit to God’s law [thus will never repent from the heart] UNLESS God moves in that person’s life. But when God shows Himself, because he is who He is, so magnificent and desirable, and because His glory and love are so great, that any man, and every man to whom He stoops to, will trust and desire Him.

  15. Dale Pugh says

    I’m wondering when the weasel is going to pop the monkey, cause we sure go round this mulberry bush a lot…..

  16. Jess says

    Dan, In Romans Chapter 9, I believe Paul is talking about the entire nation of Israel genetically, and no other nationality. I think if you looked at the verses in Chapter 9, in this light then you couldn’t legitimately pose the question about the entire nation of Israel being saved.

    In Gen 18:12, the Bible says Isaac shall thy seed be called. God is in control, and saves whom he chooses. Not all is Israel, only the children of the promise. Those who have the faith of Abraham. Now, that faith is in Christ himself. Those who cannot resist the calling of God are the elect.

    • Nick Migliacci says

      I appreciate all the various opinions shared about Romans 9, but friends, you can’t interpret it properly without considering the objections which Paul anticipates his readers will throw at him in response to the man-humbling doctrines he is teaching. If you are teaching others what you think Romans 9 is about, and your listeners do not ask the same sort of questions which Paul himself raised, then you ought to reconsider your doctrine.

      • Tarheel says

        Agreed.

        Questions are not bad things. I love it when people come to me with something they are wrestling with…or something they don’t quite ‘get’…its difficult sometimes to answer their questions – but I’d much rather have that than a bunch of mutes.

        You are certainly correct that Romans 9 (really all of Romans) is chalked full of “man humbling teaching.”

        • Nick Migliacci says

          Well, Paul answer the questions he raised. And so we’re not left to wonder.

    • says

      You are not the only one who says that, but he’s not talking about Israel in the latter half, he’s talking about Gentiles being grafted in. Are all the gentiles grafted in? If not, then it must be individuals. Are all the Jews broken off? If not, then he must be talking about individual Jews.

      • says

        Dan,

        But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

        Now who was broken off but Israelis who did not believe in Jesus. Now if God is speaking of individuals, can these who were cut off be grafted back in?
        They’ve been dead for about 2000 years. So in this part at least, it is speaking of groups. If the Gentiles , as a group, turn from God, they can be cut off from the root. And the Jews, as a group, who have been cut off [not individually for jews have always been able to be saved] as a people in general can also be saved a s a people in general once again.

        This passage is talking about people groups.

  17. Don Johnson says

    Nick,

    Yes, conviction is all that’s needed. Regeneration happens after one believes, to which several Scriptures attest. One doesn’t do good works in order to be saved. He believes the Gospel, is regenerated and then does good works.

    • Nick Migliacci says

      So a miracle is not needed to turn a sinner into a believer? So certain sinners actually desire what is not natural to them? How can a person who hates God, come to stop hating Him, when the only resources they have to work with is a nature that hates God?

      • Don Johnson says

        Nick,

        No doubt the convicting work of the Holy Spirit is a miracle. However, the transforming work of the Spirit happens after we believe. By washing away our sins and regenerating us making us a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17).

        • Nick Migliacci says

          Don, the miracle I’m talking about is when a God-hater becomes a God-lover; when an unbeliever becomes a believer. That change is wrought by the power of God, not the power of the sinner.

          • Nick Migliacci says

            This is what is meant by the phrase in Romans 5:6, “when we were without strength….” No power in ourselves to effect such a change of heart and mind.

        • Nick Migliacci says

          Don, you said “the transforming work of the Spirit happens after we believe.” So you are not considering the act of belief by a God-hater, as part of the transforming work of the Spirit?

    • John Carpenter says

      Name one scripture that says regeneration happens AFTER one believes. 1 John 5:1 says that everyone who believes has been (already) regenerated. People are dead in sin (Eph. 2:1) and therefore cannot believe unless God first regenerates them.

      • Don Johnson says

        John,

        Where in the Bible does it say a person dead in sin cannot believe.

        1 John 5:1 has nothing to do with the order of salvation. The context clearly shows it has to do with loving the brethren.

        As far texts which show faith precedes regeneration, I can give several. Let’s start with John 8:32 “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” Which comes first knowing the truth or being set free. Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t Calvinists believe one has to be set free from the bondage of the will and so forth before they could know spiritual truth. When we get life in Christ we are set free from sin and death (Rom. 8:2). So we see one can know truth before new life is given. Faith precedes regeneration.

        • says

          And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. Acts 13:48.

          Since we are talking about belief, it seems these were appointed first, then believed. What is your opinion on that? What does it mean to be appointed, and by who?

          • Don Johnson says

            Dan,

            Yes they were first ordained to eternal life.

            It means the same as 1 Cor. 16:15. Just as they “addicted” themselves to the ministry, they ordained or addicted themselves to eternal life. Please note the context of Acts 13:48. Paul was first addressing the Jews and said that they “judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” The Jews may not have wanted this everlasting life Paul was talking about but the Gentiles sure did. Which is why when they heard the message was for them they “were glad and glorified the Lord.” They were “determined” Acts 15:2 (same word again) to have eternal life, therefore they believed.

          • says

            I looked up your passage, and they are completely different. The gentiles were appointed pre-belief, those in 1 Corinthians appointed themselves post salvation. Yes, it’s the same greek word, but the context changes the meaning. I don’t agree with your defensive argument due to context.

          • says

            Dan,
            Correct. They were self appointed to live for Christ because they loved Him. In this case they appoint themselves, in the other case the people were appointed by God.

          • Don Johnson says

            Dan,

            No they weren’t excited about being saved and then believed. They were excited about having the eternal life that Paul was addressing to the Jews.

          • Don Johnson says

            Mike,

            I’m sorry, could you show me were it says in Acts 13 that God appointed them to eternal life.

          • says

            Paul was preaching to the Jews during the Sabbath, and crowds of Gentiles gathered to hear the word. The Jews began to argue, and Paul said “fine, we will preach to the Gentiles”. Those who heard this praised God, the Spirit was moving and they were saved. All one action, praising God as the word is preached and they accepted it.

            Now, here is the issue, did they save themselves because they were excited about the word, or were they excited about the word because they were being saved? If they are unregenerate, they are celebrating that the spirit is moving and they are being saved. If they are already saved, they are celebrating and praising God that they are saved, then they believe.

            From the context, either way they were appointed first, then they believed. If you are correct, they decided to believe and then they believed. Can you not believe something and then decide to believe it and then believe it? The flow is, preaching, appointing, believing. They accepted the preaching with joy, that’s clear. The last thing, they believed. If they appointed themselves and decided to be saved, they did this before they believed.

            I reject this interpretation for all sorts of reasons, mainly that belief in Christ is not an act of will. It’s a movement of spirit and a work of grace through faith, not will.

            Of course, the other possibility is those praising God were those with Paul and not those being saved who rejoiced. This is also plausible, since Paul was sent from Antioch, a gentile church.

            Either way, if those who are saved have appointed themselves to be saved, it requires for us to make a deliberate action in order to believe, to set ourselves apart and then decide we are going to be saved, and then believe. I can’t find a way to make that not be a work of will and an exertion of man to gain belief.

          • Don Johnson says

            Dan,

            First of all, the Gentiles did not save themselves, and I never said they did.

            Second, you forgot to mention Paul’s statement “judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life.” I repeat it was the everlasting life the Gentiles were excited about. That’s what Paul’s subject was all about.

            Third, yes they were ordained, addicted 1 Cor. 16:15, determined Acts 15:2, and set Luke 7:8 themselves to wanting eternal life prior to knowing all they had to do was believe the Gospel.

            Fourth, belief in God is always an act of the will.

            Fifth, Again they did not appoint themselves to be saved. They appointed themselves to eternal life.

            Imagine watching an infomercial on the newest latest gadget. While watching you say to yourself I just got to have this thing. You are doing just what the Gentiles were doing. You decided you wanted it before you knew what it cost. In this case you discover later on in the infomercial it’s only a few bucks and gladly pay for the item. In the case of eternal life they discovered it was free and gladly believed.

      • says

        John,
        Regeneration neither happens after, nor before. Coming to faith and by that I mean the fruit of faith, its work -confession from the heart- is the end event that completes the new birth.

        The seed is planted, but there is no flower …yet. A process from planting the seed until it flowers.

        The baby is conceived but not yet born. Birth is complete at its new cry of life.

        Blessings brother,
        mike

      • John Wylie says

        John,

        With all due respect, that verse does not teach that a person is born again and then believes. The idea of regeneration preceding faith is more about polemics than it is about Scripture.

        • Don Johnson says

          John,

          You are correct, it doesn’t teach a person is born again and then believes. The Bible always teaches regeneration (life, born again) follows faith. It never precedes faith.

          • John Carpenter says

            Yes, you’re right. That’s the only way anyone can believe. Because unless God first makes us alive, we remain dead in our sin (Eph. 2:1) and unable to accept the things of the Spirit (the gospel) (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that God is actively preventing the natural people from believing. It’s that without God’s actively and miraculously making them new, they are incapable of truly believing.

          • Nick Migliacci says

            I believe the Bible teaches that regeneration causes faith (not the other way around). That doesn’t mean that regeneration happens at 1:00 pm, and faith happens at 1:05 pm. It’s not a matter of time, but rather, cause and effect. Faith must be caused by something. Is it caused by our sinful nature, or by Someone outside of ourselves? That is the crux. Is faith God’s gift to the sinner, or the sinner’s gift to God? At any rate, John 1:12-13 convince me. Yes, men must receive Jesus. But why? Why did “His own” not receive Him, while others did receive Him? John answered that in verse 13. The reason why some received Him, was because they were (past tense, meaning, prior to their reception of Jesus) born again. And in case there’s any doubt, John spells it out that they were not born again due to their own will, but due to God’s will. Those who received Jesus, did so on account of having been born again by God. That’s John 1:12-13 in a nutshell.

          • Don Johnson says

            Nick,

            John 1:12 says “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.”

            Correct me if I’m stating your position incorrectly. Are you saying vs. 13 should really come before vs. 12?

            Also are you suggesting from vs. 12-13 that a person is first born of God. Then receives Christ and then becomes a son of God? Doesn’t someone become a son when they are born?

          • Nick Migliacci says

            John 1:13 sheds light on John 1:12, just as Genesis 2 sheds light on Genesis 1, and just as the New Testament sheds light on the Old Testament. John had just said that “His own (Jews) did not receive Him.” Then he said that some did receive Him. Then he said why some did. Notice the past tense: Those who received…were born by God, not: those who receive will be born by God. Yes, being born results in many things, including being a son, receiving, and other such things. When a baby is born, many things take place, not just one thing. But evidently, being a son follows receiving, if we want to take the events in John 1:12 in chronological order.

          • Nick Migliacci says

            You asked, “Doesn’t someone become a son when they are born”? Yes, and someone receives Jesus when they are born again.

          • Don Johnson says

            Nick,

            Just as Gen 2 sheds light on PART of Gen 1, so also does John 1:13 with John 1:12. Yes receiving Christ precedes becoming a son. A person becomes a son the moment they are born, not after receiving Christ. You mentioned you believe the NT teaches regeneration precedes faith. Could you give some texts to support your view.

          • Nick Migliacci says

            We all know that there are only a few verses which mention the new birth, “born again,” and “regeneration” explicitly. And so, I readily admit that I operate under a set of presuppositions.  For instance, “those who sin are slaves to sin” (Jn. 8:34; Jer. 13:23); and “the natural man does not receive the things that are spiritual” (1 Cor. 2:14); and “those who are in the flesh can not please God” (Rom. 8:8); and we “are not naturally willing to come to Christ to receive live” (Jn. 5:40); and “men naturally love darkness rather than light” (Jn. 3:19); and others.  Those verses which do explicitly mention the new birth, are crystal clear that it is the work of God – and not a synergistic work, either.  For instance, James 1:18 says “Of His own will begat He us”; John 1:13 says we “are born of God”; John 3:8 says one “is born of the Spirit”; John 6:63 says “the Spirit gives life”; John 5:21 says “the Son gives life to whom He will”.  And then there is 2 Corinthians 4:6, which compares the new creation with the first creation – “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our (empty, void) hearts….”  Furthermore, the Bible teaches that salvation is a package that includes many facets, including justification, sanctification, and glorification.  Faith and repentance are part of sanctification; they are not one-time acts, but occur regularly throughout the Believer’s life (thus, making them part of sanctification). All of these facets are graces which God gives, not things produced from our sinful nature.  That faith is a gift from God to a person, can be seen in the following verses:  Mt. 19:26; Jn. 3:27; 6:29; Acts 16:14; 1 Co 4:7; 12:3; Rom. 12:3; Eph. 2:8; Phil. 1:29; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 1:21; 1 Jn. 5:4.  God must grant faith and repentance to us if we are to exercise them and “return” them back to Him, just as we cannot see until we have first been given sight.  So, to answer your question, it is like a wheel with many spokes, all confirming and reinforcing the same truth.

          • Don Johnson says

            Nick,

            We both agree that the new birth is something God does and not man. But that was not my question. I asked for texts that state, show or infer regeneration precedes faith. You didn’t give any that prove your case. You listed several verses but didn’t say why you feel they support your belief. Please show from a text or texts that regeneration precedes faith. If you can’t find any or if you prefer I’ll give you ones that show faith always precedes regeneration.

          • Tarheel says

            Don,

            You have verses that clearly teach that saving faith precedes regeneration? I’d like to see them.

            Just to make sure we are all on the same page….

            The Reformed argument is that regenerating work of the Spirit always results in faith/belief, while The Traditionalist argues is that faith/belief of the individual always results in the regenerating work of the Spirit? Right?

          • Don Johnson says

            Tarheel,

            Right!

            Here’s one I posted earlier in the thread, but no one commented on it.

            As far texts which show faith precedes regeneration, I can give several. Let’s start with John 8:32 “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” Which comes first knowing the truth or being set free. Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t Calvinists believe one has to be set free from the bondage of the will and so forth before they could know spiritual truth. When we get life in Christ we are set free from sin and death (Rom. 8:2). So we see one can know truth before new life is given. Faith precedes regeneration.

          • says

            Seeing as the “truth” found in John 8:32 is in reference to Jesus Christ, not faith, you have to do some hard bending eisegesis to make that automatically mean faith is prior to regeneration. It does not. Could it mean that? Maybe, but remember in Greek word order does not always mean chronological order. There is no conflict with this verse and the believe that through God’s foreknowledge and through the saving work of Christ Jesus, those who will believe have already been set free.

          • Don Johnson says

            Yes to know the truth is to know Christ, and to know Christ is to have faith in Christ John 8:19. The point however, the text does not say nor infer that one is set free in order to know the truth, but just the opposite. One first knows (has faith in) the truth in order to be set free. One is set free when they are regenerated as they become a new creature. So yes, the verse clearly teaches faith before regeneration.

          • says

            SVMuschany, you are exactly right. Some want to try to read a text to find their presupposition. They end up reading wooden like and literally in english. If they want to do it that way, then they end up literally eating flesh and literally drinking blood in communion.

          • volfan007 says

            And Les, Calvinists are the ones, who read their philosophical presuppositions into a text, most of all! In fact, Calvinism and Arminianism are all about making the Bible fit into Augustinian philosophy.

            Keepin’ it real.

            David

          • says

            It is anti-Catholic bigotry at its best. The BI/Landmarkist belief that “orthodox” baptist theology, as it exists today, would exist as such without the influence and work of men like Augustine (or the Reformers). Seeing as nearly every group that Augustine debated against are heretics, it is not exactly the best place to put yourself in my opinion.

          • volfan007 says

            SV,

            Orthodox Baptist theology would still be around if there had never been a single Reformer. We have the Bible. And, God would still be calling out to people….even if Calvin, Zwingli, Luther, or any other Reformer had never lived on this planet. Don’t get me wrong….I appreciate the stand Luther took against the Catholic Church. I appreciate that they sought to get back to the Bible, salvation by grace, etc. BUT, God didn’t need the Reformers to continue His work on this Earth. God most certainly could’ve done it without them.
            The same with the SBC…..God doesn’t need the SBC. God will continue His work whether there’s an SBC, or not.

            DAvid

          • says

            What you are saying here shows a complete and total lack of knowledge when it comes to Church history. The Baptists exist because of the ground work laid by Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, ect. There is NO “unbroken line” or a “hidden church” throughout history from the Apostles to the first Baptists. Yes God “could” have used different people, but He didn’t. He used Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and hundreds of other Saints.

          • Don Johnson says

            Les,

            So is it your contention as well, Christ really meant to say “one will be set free so they can know the truth”?

          • says

            Don,

            The verse you are using out of context is not speaking of chronology. Read the verses before and after. Context my friend. Clue: what did these false professors ask right after that verse and what did Jesus answer?

          • Tarheel says

            Don,

            If “belief always results in regeneration”…how do you deal with the first part of the 8th chapter of Acts (Simeon the magician) ?

          • says

            Tarheel, even in this immediate area. Look what it says:

            “So Jesus said to the Jews who had ***believed*** him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

            Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; ***yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you***. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

            Well those who believed in him sought to kill him? Don’t think there was any regeneration there after their “belief.”

          • Tarheel says

            Yep…agreed….context clues are helpful (unless one, like Don, seeks to cherry pick single verses stripped from thier context)

            that’s why I invoked acts 8….

            It too is a passage that demonstrates that belief does not preceed regeneration….Simon “believed and was baptized” but clearly wasn’t regenerated.

          • Don Johnson says

            Tarheel,

            The text doesn’t state what he believed, it just said he believed. If it was the Gospel, then he was saved.

          • says

            “As he was saying these things, many believed in him.
            So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,”

          • Tarheel says

            If he was saved….Peter, as recorded by Luke under inspiration, referred him to hell….so an apostle did that to a saved person?

    • Nick Migliacci says

      So Don, are you saying that God is incapable of answering my prayers to regenerate my lost friend, until I first torture my friend to believe on Jesus, or else hope that my friend will believe without my torturing him?

      • Don Johnson says

        Nick,

        God doesn’t ask us to pray that He will regenerate our friends. He asks us to give them the Gospel. We are to let them know we have good news for them. We can’t make them believe (torture as you put it). But we can see that they keep hearing the Gospel. The more we plant and water the bigger the increase. Try loving him, it works much better than torture.

        • Nick Migliacci says

          But surely you pray for God to save your lost loved ones. What is it that you are asking God to do? It seems, from what you’ve written here, that you believe “the Savior is waiting” on your friend to take the first step of belief. If God is waiting, then why pray for Him to do something?

          • Don Johnson says

            Nick,

            Yes I pray every day for loved ones. I try to pray what Christ asked us to pray “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest.” Matt. 9:37-38)

            The more the laborers the bigger the harvest.

            Also think about what Jesus said “the laborers are few.” If unconditional election were true, Jesus would have said God has just the right amount of laborers. And He makes sure there is always the correct amount of laborers. But He didn’t state that.

            Maybe you can’t reach a loved one, but you can pray that God would send someone else. Preferably, someone who is filled the Spirit. No, I’m not a charismatic.

          • Nick Migliacci says

            Praying for laborers is good. I also pray according to what I read in 2 Timothy 2:25, namely, that “God might grant them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.” If God doesn’t save them from their own unbelief, they’ll never believe. If God doesn’t grant them repentance, then they’ll never repent.

          • Don Johnson says

            Nick,

            I believe if you keep that verse in its context, its referring to believers not unbelievers. The devil snares believers (note also 1 Tim.3:7). He already has the unbelievers Eph. 2:2-3.

  18. says

    The entire discussion becomes pointless, because each side will interpret verses to best their their theology. I wish we could get away from this, but it’s the reality of the subject.

    • Nick Migliacci says

      Actually, it’s not pointless. I did not always believe as I do now, and the clincher for me was that I had never seen John 6:44. That was the key verse which spurred me to believe as I do now. And so, it’s possible that there may be someone in this discussion who has not seen a particular verse, which, once they do, the light will go on and they’ll grow exponentially in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord.

      • says

        Nick, I will give you that one. I didn’t always believe as I do now either, there was a change in me. I am just one of those who get frustrated by the back and forth on Voices. This conversation has remained more civil than others.

  19. Don Johnson says

    Silly me for believing the Bible. I’m just not smart enough to know when the Bible means what it says and when it does not, so I just believe all of it. Thank you for pointing out the error of the translators. Maybe in some new version it will be “corrected.”

    • says

      Silly me for believing the Bible. I’m just not smart enough to know when the Bible means what it says and when it does not, so I just believe all of it. Thank you for pointing out the error of the translators. Maybe in some new version it will be “corrected.

      If my understanding of Greek is wrong, then you are free to demonstrate it and prove it. The fact that you are relying on a condescending tone like this makes it clear you have no interest in actually trying to learn and grow through civil debate and rather are sticking to your guns in a blind, egotistical manner. Again, you are associating word order with causation and chronological order. In the greek, where this text was actually written, that is NOT always the case. You seem to be making the assumption that the “rules” of english are always true in the Greek, is flawed. I am open to correction. Are you?

      • Don Johnson says

        Can you give me just one translation which supports your belief. I’ve looked at several, though not all, and they all state it the same way. Are they all wrong?

        • says

          Your distaste for Greek is disturbing. Most translations, even dynamic equivalents, still keep word order from Greek into English when able to do so. But you are continuing with the assumption that word order is as important in Greek as it is in English. IT IS NOT! Translations keeping the same word order is more about linguistic translation, and NOT theological implications.

          For the last time, please demonstrate that my observations of the Greek language are wrong. If you can, I will listen. Yet if you cannot, and continue to ignore what I am trying to say, you are only affirming my assumptions about the types of people who hold your view. I am trying my hardest not to express those assumptions as it would likely lead to my posts being removed and/or this thread being shut down But you are not making it easy on me. I am making a simple, easy, and intellectually honest request. Demonstrate that my understanding of Greek is wrong. That is all I am asking.

          • Don Johnson says

            Are you stating the verse really should mean “one is set free so they will be enabled to know the truth”?

          • says

            FOR THE LAST TIME I am simply pointing out that you relying on word order to mean causation and chronological order IS NOT SUPPORTED BY THE GREEK!!!!! I am frankly believing you may have some kind of reading comprehension problem at this point.

  20. volfan007 says

    I would join in this conversation, but I don’t think it would do any good. It looks like Don Johnson is holding his own, anyway.

    About regeneration preceding faith…..people don’t get saved, so that they can get saved. If we believe….if we repent…..then, we will be saved. Regeneration happens the exact moment that we repent and believe. “And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

    David

    PS. God bless yall.

    • says

      “people don’t get saved, so that they can get saved. If we believe….if we repent…..then, we will be saved.”

      Calvinists also don’t believe people “get saved, so that they can get saved.”

      And, we also believe that “if we repent…..then, we will be saved.”

  21. says

    BTW, while we are in this passage in John, looky here: “So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” Cannot come?

    And: “These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.” Wait, who is in charge here? Where is their libertarian fee will?

  22. volfan007 says

    Romans 10:9-10 ….. 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”[f] 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

    It sure looks like whoever believes in their heart and confesses with their mouth SHALL BE saved…….thus, belief and calling on the Lord result in regeneration.

    David

    • says

      David, we Calvinists say a hearty Amen to this passage.

      “thus, belief and calling on the Lord result in regeneration.” This passage does not prove what you assert brother.

      • volfan007 says

        Oh, I think it does. I think it knocks regeneration before faith in the teeth, and knocks it right out of the room.

        Believe and call on the Lord….then, saved.

        David

      • says

        David you know better than my fellow MABTS grad. The phrase”you shall be saved” involves more than just regeneration. You’re just messin’ with us.

  23. volfan007 says

    Well, gotta go…my wife wants me to grill some chicken. I wish all of you could be here to eat with us! It’s gonna be goooooood.

    David

    • says

      I’d love to have some grilled chicken. But come on back if you ever wanna try again…and tell us about this so called “Augustinian philosophy” we’re accused of.

      • volfan007 says

        Les,

        Before I have to leave and get the grill ready….and, I believe you fully know what I’m talking about, BTW…..Augustinian philosophy starts with original sin, in that people are guilty of Adam’s sin….people are depraved and dead in the sense that they cannot respond to God. That’s a beginning….and, I’ve got to go…..that chicken aint gonna cook itself.

        David

        • says

          “Augustinian philosophy starts with original sin, in that people are guilty of Adam’s sin….people are depraved and dead in the sense that they cannot respond to God.”

          AKA Historical Christian Orthodox theology. AKA anything else is approaching the line of heresy.

  24. Don Johnson says

    Les – SVM,

    Ok, let’s assume I’m wrong on believing the text as it stated. Could someone please tell me what “and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” really means?

      • Don Johnson says

        Tarheel,

        Does that mean people who tell the truth are saved? People who are set free are saved Rom. 8:2.

  25. says

    Don, I’m moving down here. You asked,

    “Ok, let’s assume I’m wrong on believing the text as it stated. Could someone please tell me what “and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” really means?”

    Here is the actual whole verse, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

    So if you abide in His word, you prove you are a true disciple. And thus you will know the truth because you are a disciple. And from the following verses it’s clear he’s talking about being set free from the enslavement to sin.

    • Don Johnson says

      Les,

      When is one “set free from the enslavement to sin”? In vs. 36 Jesus said to them “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” When does the Son make one free?

      • says

        Don, one is set free form sin when he is saved.

        “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” (Romans 6:6 ESV)

        The Son makes one free when one is saved.

        • Don Johnson says

          Les,

          I agree one is set free when one is saved. So then does regeneration happen at the moment of salvation?

        • says

          Don, now I have to go for a while. And besides you and I have stalemated on this subject before. So I will answer you one more time here and then I’m done on this one. My answer: Yes.

  26. says

    It is my belief that a certain lime green suit wearing moderator breaks these threads on purpose hoping that we would get feed up with confusion and stop talking.

    • Dave Miller says

      I shut them down once the discussion gets silly beyond my ability to stomach it. This one is real close.