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Why the need for Jesus to UPBRAID people if God’s will always happens?

Matt 11.jpgWhy UPBRAID someone who possesses no ability to disobey you?

”Upbraid” is a translation from the Greek verb ὀνειδίζω (oneidizō Strong’s 3579) and apart from upbraid it could hold the meaning of reproach, suffer reproach and revile. The verb occurs 11 times in the KJV, and it derives from the noun ὄνειδος (G3681). Examples of usage:

Matt. 11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

Above we can see a clear example of people and entire cities acting contrary to God’s will. Jesus upbraided people due to their refusal to repent! Jesus wanted them to repent and provided them ample opportunities to do so (showed them many miracles) and yet they chose not to. Sinning IS breaking the law, which means that sinning is acting against God’s will. This should be self-evident, but when it comes to our reformed friends, this is not always so. Calvinists normally have a problem with a God who is not sovereign in such a way that he predestines ALL things and ALL actions of men. Or else, they say, he is not sovereign. (”Sovereign” is not even a Biblical word in the KJV, so of course the term must be interpreted.) These verses suggest that things would have (and could have) turned out differently, if the people involved acted in a different way. This is evidence of that things do not take place because they are predestined by God. We can affect our future depending on our choices and actions, but why even pray if we can affect nothing?

Mark. 16:9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

Above we can yet again see Jesus upbraiding people, and this time due to their refusal to believe the message about him and due to their hardened hearts. This means it certainly was not Jesus (as God) who hardened their hearts so that they could not believe, because then Jesus would not need to upbraid them. They had the choice to believe in the testimonies of those who had seen Jesus risen (as he told them he would), and they also had the chance to believe that Jesus was the one the Scriptures were telling them about, but they choice to harden their hearts.

A few more examples:

Mark 15:32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.

Matt. 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Matt. 27:44 The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. 

Rom. 15:3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. (the NIV translates ”without finding fault”)

The philosophy of Calvinism more important than GOD for Calvinists?

tulips-2Why is it so important for Calvinists to believe in Calvinism, and that God predestined people to be elect and non-elect before they were even born?

Do they LIKE this story and the way it turns God out to be?

Is it because Calvinism is taught in the Bible? Or is it because Calvinism COULD be taught in the Bible if we ignore certain verses and read other verses in a vacuum to make the text conform to Calvinism? MUST we read the Bible as though Calvinism is taught in it, or is it possible that we can get another outcome (more flattering to God) without having to ignore or twist any verses at all? I would of course vote for the latter. Below are the options as I see it, and the absolutely most negative aspect of Calvinism is that it makes God out to be the author of sin, turning him into a tyrant who prevents most people from being saved. Or maybe there is something even worse – namely the idea that he does this FOR HIS GLORY! The mere thought should make a Christian cringe.

The Calvinistic option 

Note that I do not believe there are any Calvinists who are able to be consistent with their own doctrines, and consequently I do not believe they strictly believe what I write below. I believe they are way smarter than their own doctrines and that they more or less choose to be non-consistent Calvinists. Some try to be more consistent than others and openly admit that they believe God predestines even child molesters to commit their crimes, whereas others do all kind of gymnastics in order to avoid the absurd outcome that Calvinism demands.

  • This alternative makes God responsible for our actions, including our sins. Bringing up the topic of compatibilism does not help, because we cannot make mutually exclusive ideas become true just by describing an invented process with fancy words.
  • The idea is that nothing comes to pass against the will of God (at least if Westminster Confession of Faith is valid). Meaning that sin therefore (if we want to be consistent) happens according to his will. This God apparently also has at least two opposing wills, and one of his wills is attributed to his desire that get people to sin in order to accomplish his purposes.
  • Since God is the author of sin, he is someone who sadly does not make sense and is therefore difficult to approach with a sincere heart. How is it possible to love someone above everything else, knowing that he has predestined most people to be wicked non-elect sinners before they were even born, and even gets so mad at them for being what he created them to be that he sends them to hell?
  • Jesus did not die for everybody but only a select few, indicating that God never intended to offer salvation to all in the first place.
  • A Calvinist has good reason to be boasting, considering that God chose them to be the bright wise stars in the world and not others.
  • Ja. 1:13 must be ignored since it says that God does not tempt any man. Calvinists takes a step further since Calvinism teaches that God not only tempts people but makes them sin.
  • Why Jesus had to die on the cross is a complete mystery is Calvinism is true. Could the elect not remain elect unless Jesus died on the cross? Did Jesus die because something went wrong? Something against God’s plans? Exactly what went wrong, and against God’s will?
  • Hell is a place replete with people who have obeyed God to 100% (by being the wicked non-elect sinners that God predestined them to be.)
  • The word ”sovereign” is added to the Bible (in relation to KJV), which is not a problem per se, but the Calvinistic interpretation of this non-Biblical word is. By excluding the possibility that God could very well have created man with free will, this word must then by necessity mean that only God’s will could be in force on earth, leading yet again to that sin happens according to his will.
  • Preaching and praying do not make any sense if Calvinism is true. The elect cannot perish, and the non-elect can never be saved. Must we do these things because God has told us to? What will then be the horrible outcome if we do not obey?
  • Why all the fuss about sin, if Calvinism is true? If the idea is that nothing comes to pass against his will?

The free will option.

  • This alternative makes MAN responsible for his own actions, which means that sin must be blamed on man and not on God.
  • God does not want anyone to perish and there is much joy in heaven each time a person repents and can get his life restored. God’s sovereignty is not disturbed just because he chose to create man with free will and responsibility for his own actions. God does not have contradictory wills, and every single time a persons sins it is always against his will.
  • Man sins according to his own will and against the will of God. This means that the God makes perfect sense when he constantly persuades people to avoid sin. God is holy and therefore disobedience separate us from him. We are created to seek him and find him (Acts. 17).
  • Jesus died for everyone, showing his true love for every man. We are told to be merciful just like he is.
  • We have no reason to be boasting about our salvation since we are 100% lost without God. We have no authority to forgive ourselves our own sins, but we are completely dependent on the mercy of God. He expects us to repent for our sins, and doing so is not ”boasting” since all has been given this ability.
  • Freewillers totally trust the Biblical information that God does not tempt any man and does NOT make people sin.
  • Jesus death on the cross makes perfect sense. Something went terribly wrong and against God’s plans (sin), and there is no forgiveness without sacrificed blood. God was not surprised that Adam and Eve disobeyed him since he created them with the ability to love/hate and obey/disobey, and naturally then disobedience was a possible outcome. This is why it also makes sense that God made sure to warn Adam and Eve ahead of time about sinning, telling them that sin produces death. He told them NOT to eat, and they ate.
  • Hell is a place for disobedient people who have acted against God’s commandments. They had the opportunity to be sent to heaven but due to their pride and their choice to not be followers of God, they deserve hell.
  • Freewillers do not believe anything is too difficult for God, which means he is capable of creating man with free will and making man responsible for his own actions.
  • Preaching and praying make perfect sense, since by doing so we can make influences on the spiritual world and the outcome of things.

Why is not the Freewill option above the better one, and the only option that saves us from having to blaspheme God by suggesting that he somehow orchestrates sin?calvinism-41

I have spoken to many Calvinists and I sense that most of them do not even want the Freewill option to be true because then they would have to give up Calvinism. It seems like saving Calvinism is much more important than God himself. They have all chances in the world to study on apologetic sites that could help them overcome their Calvinistic hurdles and help them to see the Bible in  a different light, but they decline. They prefer to stick with their Calvinistic teachers and books, and whenever they run into a contradiction they choose to go to such sources to see if there is a solution. They would not consider going to freewill sources, since their goal is to save Calvinism. Saving the character of God from being attacked is not important? It is as though they already have their mind made up. They might ask me if they same does not apply to me – maybe I have also made up my mind beforehand? OK, but does it not make more sense to start off checking those sources that save God from being a selfish tyrant, and where there are no mutually exclusive contradictions that I have to battle?

Many Calvinists commonly ask why it would be a better alternative if God created
people knowing that there would be people denying him. It would be a better alternative since it would place the responsibility and culpability with man and not on God. Knowing something is a possibility ahead of time is not the same thing as predestining it to take place. Instead of ”God made me do it”, a person must face the consequences for his own choices.

Even if it is not a perfect example, I often compare it with a Christian parent living in a secular country (much like my own) and where she/he ”knows” that not all of his/her children will grow up to be believers, or even good respectful citizens, due to the agnostic/atheistic propaganda taught in school, among friends, in the media, and everywhere. Even if the Bible would be taught at home, and even if the parents would spend a lot of time encouraging their children to maintain their Christian faith, it is also close to a certainty that not all their children will make the better choice. So would the parent therefore decide to not have any children at all due to this sad reality? I have not met one person yet with this approach. Even if the parent would be told through a prophesy that not all his/her children would be saved, the parent might still decide to have children. If some of the children would turn out to be agnostics as adults, it would not be the parent’s fault. Each person must be responsible for his own actions and choices in life.

There are Calvinists who admit that there are contradictions in Calvinism, but then they often try to excuse their hopeless situation with this verse:

Is. 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

For them this verse means that even if they have no idea how to solve their theological contradictions now, they expect to do so when they get to heaven. A freewiller, however, does not have to wait until heaven before the Bible makes sense, because there are no verses which must be ignored or twisted.

Does God give us GRACE and mercy upon certain conditions?

rom-8

God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble

The Bible says that God does not want anyone to perish (2 Pet. 3:9), that Jesus has given light to all men (John 1:9) and that we have no excuse for rejecting him (Rom. 1:20-21) since we are created for the precise purpose to seek him and find him (Acts 17:26-27). In this way God shows mercy to all, and Jesus also died for ALL (or else people would definitely perish, which God does not want).

Grace, favor, kindness, thanks, pleasure and benefit are some possible translations of the Greek feminine noun χάρις (charis, Strong’s 5485) used 157 times in the KJV, and we also have the Greek neuter noun χάρισμα (charisma, Strong’s 5486) meaning something like a divine favor, used 17 times in the KJV.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL MEN unto me.

Jesus Christ died for the whole world (John 3:15-17), so all are offered mercy/grace and must therefore not necessarily perish. We also know that not all people will choose to take the chance to be saved and rather prefer to live in darkness. The grace of God that brings salvation has been offered to ALL people, and the grace of God teaches us to stay away from sin here and now. We must not wait until death before we can stay faithful to God:

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to ALL MEN,12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world

Both in the Old and the New Testament the teaching is that we must forsake our old way of living and start living a holy live, in order to be given mercy.:

Isaiah 55:7 says ”Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”

So even if all people have been provided a way to God’s kingdom, God still chooses to resist the proud (those who refuse to believe, and/or those who refuse to follow him and serve him only). In this sense God gives grace only to the humble, because only the humble will benefit from the grace that God has offered to all:

Ja. 4:6 But he giveth more grace (χάρις). Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace (χάρις) unto the humble.

1 Pet. 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Matt. 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

The Bible does not teach ”once declared righteous, always righteous”. We will never be considered righteous unless we live righteous lives, and that goes for believers as well (see also Ez. 33). We are not ”free” to disobey God either in the old or the new testament:

Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, 9 Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord God. 20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

1 Pet. 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

In Romans 9 (the Calvinists’ favorite) we can read about God’s mercy, which is a translation from the Greek verb ἐλεέω (eleeō, Strong’s 1653), and the term to have compassion which is a translation from the Greek verb οἰκτίρω (oiktirō, Strong’s 3627). Naturally God can choose to have mercy and compassion to whoever he wants, like those who have repented for their sins and who continue to follow him. You can read more about Rom. 9 in this article and this.

Rom. 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.—15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

We can also fall from grace, as you can read more about here. Examples:

Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel

Gal. 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace

Hebr. 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled

The holy Spirit is given after faith and repentance – not before

acts-10Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38)

Some Calvinist friends are of the opinion that God is the one selecting whom to save and provides the holy Spirit to the chosen individuals – and in this fashion enables them to believe (while he shows no courtesy to the others who are chosen to be non-elect before they are even born). The Bible, however, teaches that God does not want anyone to perish and that the holy Spirit is given to a person after he/she has repented (after having come to Christ and confessed his/her sins). You can read my article about regeneration (being born again after having been cleansed from sins) here.

Based on the Bible we can deduce that the presence of the holy Spirit (the holy Ghost) operates in different ways between the old and the new testaments (this deserves an article of its own). Suffice is to say that one could of course be saved also during the time of the old testament, before the time of Jesus Christ who later died, was resurrected and provided the holy Ghost as our individual Helper. Before his time, there was a lot of focus on the prophets of God who could provide extra light on the Torah. Faith leading to righteousness has always been required for salvation ever since the time of Adam.

2 Pet. 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:.13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Cornelius – faith and righteousness before the indwelling of the holy Spirit

The apostle Peter describes the truth about salvation ”in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him”. The ability to do this was available both in the old and the new testament, even if the holy Spirit operates in a different way today compared to the old times. One difference is that people did not speak in tongues in the old times, and miracles and healing were primarily connected to the prophets and holy men of God.

The story about Cornelius (Acts 10) is enough for us to understand that a person can believe in God, do many good works – before having been baptized in the holy Spirit.

Acts 10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.—22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.—33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.—44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Here is more evidence that faith precedes the indwelling of the holy Ghost:

Acts 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, WHICH THEY THAT BELIEVE ON HIM SHOULD RECEIVE: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Heb. 11 he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently SEEK him.

Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us. —30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent

Acts 8:22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness and pray God if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee

2 Tim 2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.21 IF a man therefore purges himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

Romans 12:2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded

Jeremiah 4:14 Wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved

Ezekiel 18:31 Make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die… 

Rev. 2:21 And I gave her SPACE TO REPENT of her fornication and she repented not. 22 Behold I will cast her into a bed and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation except they repent of their DEEDS

Notice below that the order of events is 1) enlightenment to every man who comes into John 1.jpgthe world, 2) reception and belief in Jesus Christ, 3) resulting in becoming the sons of God (thanks to being cleansed and pardoned):

John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.12 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

Notice also that ”his own” did not receive him. If that would signify the chosen elect, it is strange why God did not enable them (predestine them) to believe in him. It rather seems like it is our own responsibility – to react on God’s calling. This is not the same as ”saving ourselves” without God. We do not have the authority to forgive ourselves for our own sins, and we cannot be born again without the grace of God and unless he provides the opportunity for us to have all of our sins erased.

15 Bible verses Calvinists misinterpret in relation to God’s SOVEREIGN WILL

tulips 3Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, YE DO ALWAYS RESIST THE HOLY GHOST: as your fathers did, so do ye. Acts 7:51 

15 examples of failed attempts to show that God’s will always happens below, but first this…

The best way to avoid misunderstandings, such as the preposterous idea that God decrees absolutely all things, is to read the context! Anyone can take a Bible verse here and there and build any doctrine at all, but it is a lot safer to read the entire chapter to see the intent of the author. It is particularly important to not build a new doctrine based on poetry or proverbs, since such wordings might be vague and oftentimes should not be taken literally. Also books like Job contains large amount of poetic expressions, such as this example:

Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and NAKED SHALL I RETURN THITHER: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

We might also be able to find intentional hyperboles or intentional exaggerations to make a point:

Matt. 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

It is clear that God’s will does not always come about in this world:

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, IS NOT OF THE FATHER, but is of the world.17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF GOD abideth for ever.

Notice that John writes ”he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever”. If all people everywhere and at all times did the will of God, then all people would abide for ever. Clearly all people will not be saved, and that is due to their disobedience – due to acting contrary to God’s will.

This is the filter we should use when reading the Bible:

Ja. 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, NEITHER TEMPTETH HE ANY MAN:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

God does not tempt anyone, much less causes people to sin. We should never blame man’s sins on God at any time. In order to be consistent with TULIP, Calvinists must disagree with all verses which tell us that sin happens against God’s will. For example, Calvinist R.C. Sproul says:

“If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled.” (R.C. Sproul, Chosen By God: Know God’s Perfect Plan for His Glory and His Children)

”Sovereign” and ”sovereignty” are words not included in the Bible (KJV), which means they must be defined. Free-willers do not have a problem with a sovereign God, but they certainly do not agree with the Calvinistic interpretation of this word. Calvinists normally understand this word to mean something like ”God decrees ALL THINGS at all times, resulting in that every single action taken by man always turns out exactly as God wants. He can do anything at all and nothing is too difficult for him – except from creating man with free will”.

Some favorite verses by those who prefer blaming God for man’s sin

Example 1:calvinsm 49

Rom. 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. 19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

My comment: Has it ever happened throughout history that someone has found fault in God and his actions? Yes, right? The Bible is replete with examples of people who refuse to obey him, rebel against him and cause him to be angry. So this verse is not what man cannot do but should not do. If God’s will is to offer salvation also for the gentiles (showing mercy also to them) and make faith the condition for salvation rather than being born a Jew under the Mosaic law, then who is able to resist this decision? No one. Who can resist his will? The context and the rest of the Bible render it impossible to interpret Rom. 9:18 as ”Therefore he makes salvation possible for only some individuals, whereas he blocks the rest from ever being able to seek him or find him.” Such an interpretation would make God alone guilty of man’s unbelief, and hell would be a place where innocent and rejected people would end up who had no chance to be saved (since God successfully prevented them from believing in him). Does that sound like the God of the Bible? You can read more about Romans 9 and Pharao’s heart here, here and here.

Example 2:

Eph. 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,— 11 IN HIM also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will

My comment: The promises in Eph. 1-2 are tied to those who are IN CHRIST, and being IN HIM is an essential foundation and the condition for salvation. From the creation of the world God knew there would be a ”body of Christ” (the church, consisting of believers), and a special place is prepared for them in God’s kingdom where this body of Christ is predestined to go. So the ”salvation bus” is certainly going there, but who will be the passengers on the bus and who will endure to the very end? That is up to us. If we are in Christ we know that we are heading for God’s kingdom if we remain in the bus. The ”us” spoken about in the verse are true believers and therefore ”adopted” as God’s children. (This type of adoption should not be compared to what we call ”adoption” today, where parents are being promised a baby who they later legally adopt as their legal child.)

Compare also with this verse:

”John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name

So the order of even is 1) receive and believe in him, and then 2) become children of God. You can read more about Eph. 2 here.

Example 3:

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

My comment: We are totally lost without Jesus who is our Savior, so he is rightfully the author and finisher of our faith. He made the wonderful salvation plan possible for us (he died for us on the cross), and he has promised to never cast us out but rather give us a crown of life if we endure to the end. It is Jesus from start to finish. Hebr. 12:2 should not be interpreted as ”Jesus causes certain people to have faith and is responsible for guarding their faith to the very end, whereas the rest are doomed from birth since Jesus never died for them or enabled them to get saved”.  Read more here.

Example 4

Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure

My comment:

The verses surrounding the above verse are:

”Isaiah 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 12 Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness”

Also this passage focuses on God’s mighty power, and that there is no one like him. Knowing things in advance is not the same as predestining things in advance. Calvinists make a hen out of a feather when it comes to the word ”declaring”, as though this would mean that God predestines all things. According to v. 12 there are apparently people who are stouthearted and far from righteous, which is normally something God does not approve of. It is a silly idea that God would predestine people to be stouthearted. ”My councel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure”. Does this include creating man with free will and making man responsible for his actions, and sometimes even punish man for his sins?

Example 5:

Dan. 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

Comment:

Yes God does according to this will, and since he is our Creator and knows best. It would not make sense to argue with him or suggest that he should not have done things the way he did. Unfortunately, people have indeed complained to God and continued to question his motives (and sometimes his mere existence), so this verse is not about what man cannot do but should not do. Could it be God’s will to punish the fallen angels (who acted contrary to his will), and to create man with free will? Or is this outside his capabilities?

Example 6:

Job 42:2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.3 Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.

Comment: The above verses are from KJV, just like the rest of the verses. There are other Bible versions which Calvinists might prefer because of other expressions, but John 42:2 only confirms that God knows everything there is to know.

Example 7:

Lam. 3:37 Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?38 Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?

Comment: This is also about a general statement about God’s magnificent power rather than a teaching that God predestines all of our steps (including sin). We can continue reading in the same context:

”39 Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.42 We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned.43 Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us: thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied.”

Here we read about man complaining about the punishments for his sins (apparently it is possible to complain to God after all), and ”sins” would be activities against God’s will. The advice to ”turn again to the Lord” means that people previously turned their backs on God. The fact that people ”transgressed and have rebelled” yet again means that we are able to act contrary to God’s will. Furthermore, we can read about God being ”angry” and have ”persecuted” people due to their actions (transgressions and rebellion), which is more evidence of man’s free will.

Example 8:

Exodus 4:11 And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?

Comment: The context concerns Moses’ reluctance to becoming Israel’s leader due to his (Moses) shortcomings in relation to his ability to public speaking. Moses said: ”O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.” God can accomplish things despite our shortcomings, and he can even heal people. If he asks us to do something, we can totally trust that he will help us overcome our weaknesses. That seems to be the gist of what God wanted to express when Moses argued against God about his shortcomings. Moses had to be persuaded, and he finally gave in after a conversation with God. God is not suggesting that he is the one who forces people to be deaf, blind, poor, etc, but he rather explains that he is the author of all Creation and he can be trusted.

Example 9:

1 Sam. 2:6 The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.

Comment: The surrounding verses are these:

6 The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.— 8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and he hath set the world upon them.9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.”

This is a description with poetic expressions describing God’s power and his future judgment of mankind. Depending on how we choose to live our live, based on our situation and opportunities, we will be punished or rewarded. Read what the author says about the poor. Will God always lift up the beggar and set him among princes here on earth? No, this is not a universal promise for the present dimension but for the future.

calvinism 40Example 10:

Isaiah 45: 7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

Comment: The above is in the KJV, but in the NKJV and in many other Bible versions it is rather ”calamity” instead of ”evil”. The Hebrew word could mean both, as well as a few other alternatives. God can indeed cause physical calamity just like he did when he caused a global flood to hit the earth. Physical pain or punishments caused by God does not mean that he causes people to sin. There is no darkness in God.

Example 11:

2 Chron. 25:20 But Amaziah would not hear; for it came of God, that he might deliver them into the hand of their enemies, because they sought after the gods of Edom.

Comment: Apparently the reason that ”it came of God” that Amaziah would not hear – resulting in that he and his people were delivered into the hand of their enemies – was because they turned to other gods in Edom. There you have the reason. Did God want them to turn to false gods? Hardly. The most important commandment is to have no other gods but God. Compare with Romans 1 where we can read about God giving up people to a reprobate mind due to their ungodly attitudes. At one point Amaziah followed the Lord, but he later turned away.

”27 Now after the time that Amaziah did turn away from following the Lord they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but they sent to Lachish after him, and slew him there.”

Example 12

Jer. 10:23 O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to DIRECT HIS STEPS

The context is this:

”21 For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the Lord: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.Behold, the noise of the report has come, And a great commotion out of the north country, To make the cities of Judah desolate, a den of jackals.—25 Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.”

Comment: Notice above that that there are people who have not sought God, like heathens or families that did not call on the name of the Lord. Clearly this is not according to God’s will. A man is not supposed to turn his back on God by not seeking his guidance, and walk on his own ways. If a man does not seek God, he will not be guided on the right path. Read more here.

Example 13

1 Sam. 2:25 If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him?” Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, because the Lord desired to kill them.

Comment: According to Adam Clarke the particle ki, translated ”because”, is better translated ”therefore” just like it does in many other parts of the Bible. (Young’s literal translation reads ”though”.) This means that God wanted to kill the individuals in the story due to their refusal to listen to their father’s voice. This is a more logical translation than rendering the passage as though God wants to kill certain people for no reason, and manipulates them into not listening to their father and then proceeds to take this as an excuse for killing them. That would be circular reasoning and would turn God into an unrighteous criminal. Sadly many Calvinists would rather turn God into a monster than letting go with their precious philosophy of Calvinism.

Example 14 – Psalms

Psalm 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

Psalm 135:6 Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.

Psalm 33:10 The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.11 The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

My comment: Psalms often contain poetry which mirrors the reality in many ways, so we must approach the verses with this in mind. Yes, God has always done whatever he has pleases, but naturally this could include creating man with free will. What the context of these psalms has in common is the declaration that God is the great and magnificent Creator, and that false gods (which are no gods) cannot compete with his wonderful powers.

Psalm 33:15 says ”He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works”, which is a description of how God has originally made man and also judges their work. It does not say that God micromanages every single step that man takes, nor that man does not have a will of his own. If you think ”The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought” means that God first manipulates the heathens to come up with various evil schemes, and then turns around and ”heroically” halts these plans that he himself initiated, then you are mistaken. It is just a poetic description of God’s power which the heathens cannot interfere with. The verse does not say that God either prevents people from sinning, or predestines their sin. During Jesus’ second coming, he will only have to breathe on the son of perdition to destroy him completely (2 Thess. 2:8), so the power of God is indeed great.

Example 15 – Proverbs

Prov. 16:4 The Lord has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom. (NKJV)

Prov. 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.

Prov. 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

My comment: Also proverbs contains poetry, so we must keep this in mind. Instead of having to ignore loads of verses which show that God is angry with sin and where he desires all men to obey his commandments, it is better to read the more vague proverbs and psalms in context and not superimpose them over clear verses. The first verse just shows God’s right to handle all judgment of mankind, whether people are righteous or unrighteous. Read more about these verses here. Neither of these verses contains promises that God predestines every all things. That would put all the blame on God.

calvinism 27If God’s will always happens, then why does the Bible say the opposite?

Mark 3:35  For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.

I thought all people did the will of God? Are all people his brothers, sisters and mothers?

Matt. 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER which is in heaven.

”He that doeth the will of my Father”? If everyone would always do the will of God then everyone would enter the kingdom of God.

John 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and DOETH HIS WILL, him he heareth.

”If any man—doeth his will”? Jesus separates those who worship God and obey him (doeth his will) with those who are sinners. This suggests that sinners are not doing the will of God, unless sinning is according to his will.

1 Timothy 2:1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

God desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Has this so far happened?

Heb. 3:7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

Clearly people constantly act against the will of God. Today and in the past.

God’s will or man’s will? Bible verses showing clear FREE WILL examples

matt. 12

Verses used to suggest that God’s will always happens

The Bible is replete with verses that show how God is warning, begging, urging, persuading and pleading with people to do his will, and other verses which show his anger, disappointment, sadness, etc, when they do not. Man’s free will choices are very apparent in the Bible, and yet there are christians (like calvinists – if they want to be consistent with their doctrines) who believe that man is not able to act against God’s will at any time. The article would be too long to include all verses which show man’s free will (isn’t that close to 1/3 of the Bible?), but further down below are a few examples.

First a few verses which calvinists often use to support the idea that God’s will (whether people sin or not) always happens. For the most part they try to defend the bible contradictions they themselves produce by suggesting that God has two wills. (Just as though our Lord has conflicting wills, and just as though at least one of them wants man to sin and be evil…). If God’s will always happens – what is SIN? Surely not breaking the God’s commandments which can’t be broken?

Rom. 9:19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

The topic is God’s prerogative to bring about salvation in any way he wants, and Paul is trying to make the jews understand that they are not saved only because they are born jews – Rom 9:2-9; 24-33. He mentions that he has grief in his heart due to being deeply concerned about his countrymen (something that should not bother him, had he trusted in that God’s will always happens), and that the blood line of Jacob will brought forth the Messiah. He also emphasizes that people are being saved due to God’s mercy – but certainly not unconditionally. God has the right to show mercy on those who choose to believe, and harden those who stubbornly sin like Pharaoh did. (The mere fact that God chooses to harden people shows that their hearts were not fully hardened to start with.) If God decides to arrange his salvation plan in this particular way, there is no way anyone can resist his will because it’s his exclusive right. That is the subject of  his ”will” here, and it does not say that God can not change his mind and/or let man’s will happen in other areas. We already know from the Bible that God has changed his mind in numerous occasions due to man’s actions – like in response to man’s repentance.

Ps 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

Ps 135:5 For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.6 Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.7 He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.8 Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast.

The above are psalms, and psalms can contain poetic language. That is why we should be careful to not use psalms and proverbs to start new doctrines. Yes, God has done whatsoever he pleases, but it does not say that he likes to micro manage human kind nor that he predestines every thing that happens. It could definitely have pleased God to create man with a free will. The point is that no one is like God, and it would not make sense to argue with him or try to find faults. God created man animals and the entire universe in exactly the way he pleased. It pleased God to create man with free will, despite knowing that man might use this will to disobey him. Israel often chose to do just that:

Psalm 81:11 But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me

More examples where God is described as the mighty one who has created everything exactly as he wants:

Is. 46:5 “To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal And compare Me, that we should be alike?6 They lavish gold out of the bag, And weigh silver on the scales; They hire a goldsmith, and he makes it a god; They prostrate themselves, yes, they worship.—8“Remember this, and show yourselves men; Recall to mind, O you transgressors.9 Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me,10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’—12 “Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, Who are far from righteousness: (NKJV)

Isaiah is referring to God’s creation in general terms. God may have created everything as he pleased (the foundation), but this does not mean that he programmed human beings to always obey him. A universe that works in that way (filled with programmed robots) would not please him. Above we can read that man can choose to worship false gods and be stubborn-hearted. They are referred to as transgressors. Transgressors of what? Surely the law of God? They are far from being those righteous people who God would have wanted.

Isaiah 14:21 Prepare slaughter for his children BECAUSE of the iniquity of their fathers, Lest they rise up and possess the land, And fill the face of the world with cities.”—24  The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying,“Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, And as I have purposed, so it shall stand:25 That I will break the Assyrian in My land, And on My mountains tread him underfoot.Then his yoke shall be removed from them, And his burden removed from their shoulders.26 This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth, And this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations.27 For the Lord of hosts has purposed, And who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, And who will turn it back?” (NKJV)

The horrible events that Isaiah is warning about, are due to man’s actions. Isaiah suggests, that unless the children of the sinful fathers are not killed the same would grow up and act in the very same way as their parents and fill the world with cities (and their wickedness). Who else than a Creator could figure this out with certainty, and who else has the authority to do something about it? Apparently God is not pleased with either the fathers or how the bring up their children. What we can read ”will come to pass” above, is not every single detail under the sun, but those things listed in this context.

Jer. 4:27 For thus says the Lord:“The whole land shall be desolate; Yet I will not make a full end.28 For this shall the earth mourn, And the heavens above be black, Because I have spoken. I have purposed and will not relent, Nor will I turn back from it.29 The whole city shall flee from the noise of the horsemen and bowmen.They shall go into thickets and climb up on the rocks.Every city shall be forsaken, And not a man shall dwell in it. (NKJV)

Job 42:2 I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. (NKJV)

Same thing here. It’s about showing that God can do anything he wants, and if he has truly decided to bring something about (like the global flood) it will happen. He might also choose to wait with his decisions depending on mans’ actions.

Eph. 1:7 IN HIM we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things IN CHRIST, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—IN HIM. 11 IN HIM also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted IN CHRIST should be to the praise of His glory.13  IN HIM you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; IN WHOM also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. (NKJV)

The promises in Eph 1-2 are only tied to those who are IN CHRIST, and we are in Christ only if we believe in him – and naturally show our faith with our deeds. As children of God we have been given the holy Spirit and the promise/guarantee that we will enter the kingdom of God because we belong to the body of Christ. However, this promise is still hinged on the condition of faith/loving God. If we no longer believe or bear fruit (see John 15), we are no longer in Christ. If you get a guarantee receipt you need to read the fine print, and you can’t expect to make use of your receipt if you throw it away. God ”works all things according to the counsel of His will”, but this does not mean he has a desire to force salvation on someone, nor save someone who has turned to living in sin. It’s about his marvelous salvation plan, and the wonderful promises to those who are IN CHRIST.

Verses that show that God’s will does not always happenacts 17

Matt. 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER which is in heaven.

”He that doeth the will of my Father”? Apparently the Father’s will does not always happen, since Jesus seems to separate those who do the will of his Father from those who do not. If everyone would always do the will of God – whether good or bad – then everyone would enter the kingdom of God, according to this verse.

Matt. 12.50 For WHOSOEVER SHALL DO THE WILL OF MY FATHER which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Mark 3:35)

”Whosoever shall do the will of my Father”? If everyone would always do the will of God – whether good or bad – then the same would be Jesus ”brother, and sister, and mother”. (Meaning universalism).

John 7:17 IF ANY MAN WILL DO HIS WILL, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

”If any man will do his will?” Apparently Jesus does not believe that everyone always does the will of God.

John 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and DOETH HIS WILL, him he heareth.

”If any man—doeth his will”? Again, apparently Jesus does not side with the idea that God’s will always happens. Jesus separates those who worship God and obey him (doeth his will) with those who are SINNERS. This suggests that sinners are not doing the will of God (quite obviously since ”sin” by definition is an action against God’s commandments).

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF GOD ABIDETH FOR EVER. 

”He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever”? If everyone would always do the will of God, then everyone would abide for ever. Since everyone does not get saved according to the Bible, it shows that some people are not doing the will of God, and God’s will does not always happen. Moreover, the previous verse tells us that ”the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world”. No wonder we can read that such things are not of the Father since the things listed are clear sins (of the world). If such worldly things take place, they are obviously against God’s will and ”not of the Father” as John plainly states.

Hebr. 10: 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise (NKJV)

Why must we have endurance/patience? What happens if we lack in patience? Would that result in a scenario where we do not always do the will of God? Would we still receive the promise if we failed to show endurance? The author does not seem to think so. Why would he warn us about something that could never take place?

Col. 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

Ok, and what would happen if Epaphras would not labor fervently for the Colossians in prayers with the aim to make them stand complete in the will of God? Would they stand perfect and complete in the will of God regardless of prayers? Why pray if everyone always performs the will of God at all times?

Mark 13:14“So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing WHERE IT OUGHT NOT” (let the reader understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. (NKJV)

”Ought not” according to whom? God?

Luke 12:16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

Why did God call the rich man ”fool”? Surely it would not be foolish to accomplish God’s will perfectly? This parable seems to be there as a warning, but how could this be if it’s not possible to act in the foolish way that is described in the parable?

Rom. 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Apparently Paul does not think it’s a good idea to be conformed to this world, and urges us to renew our minds so that we can learn what is the perfect will of God. This means it’s up to us to start this process. Paul continues to tell his readers what they ”ought not”, which suggests that they might act in an opposite way which is not approved by God.

Luke 18:1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart (NKJV)

Jesus does not suggest that only believers ought to pray, but ”men” (can be translated all mankind, or men and women) should always pray and not lose heart. We know that not all men do this, so God’s will does not always happen.

1 Tim. 5:13 And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, SAYING THINGS WHICH THEY OUGHT NOT. (NKJV)

So they were saying things which they ought not, according to Paul? Interesting.

Titus 1:10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they OUGHT NOT, for the sake of dishonest gain. (NKJV)

More people who are saying things which they ought not.

Hebr. 5:12 For though by this time you OUGHT TO BE teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. (NKJV)

The author of Hebrews clearly does not believe God’s will always happens.

Jam. 3:Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.

If they ought not to be so, then clearly God’s will does not always happen.

Ephesians 6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

Do we have any other option?

Col. 3:23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But HE WHO DOES WRONG will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality. (NKJV)

”He who does wrong”? In a world where God’s will always happens?

Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

Luke 7:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. (NKJV)

Resisting the Holy Ghost is resisting God.

word (1)

Acts 13:21 And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.

In 1 Sam. 8 we can read that God did not think it was a good idea to set up a king for Israel at this time. In fact, he thought it was a very bad idea and warned the Israelites against it. When they were still adamant about the project, God gave in to their wishes. Still, God ended up regretting making Saul to be a king (1 Sam. 15:11), and in 1 Sam. 13:14 we can even read the reason;  ”thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee, clearly showing that Saul did not act according to God’s will. King David did so much better as a King, and even though he did accomplish to be a faithful servant who obeyed God during all his life time we still know there was at least one exception in relation to the matter of Uriah and his wife (1 King. 15:5). That ordeal was evil in the eyes of God (2 Sam. 12:9) and therefore against his will.

Jer. 17:22 Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.23 But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction.24 And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein

Deuteronomy 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

More stiff-necked people who refuse to do God’s will, and God is unsure if they will ”hearken” to him.

Ez.  16:26 Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbours, great of flesh; and hast increased thy whoredoms, to provoke me to anger.27 Behold, therefore I have stretched out my hand over thee, and have diminished thine ordinary food, and delivered thee unto the will of them that hate thee, the daughters of the Philistines, which are ashamed of thy lewd way.

Why would God be angry at fornication and whoredoms if his will always come to pass? And why does God, due to man’s actions (Israel), deliver them ”unto the will” of their enemy? Why would he separate the will of Israel’s enemy with his own will, as though they would not be one and the same? This procedure certainly sounds like a punishment against Israel for the only reason that they did not obey God.

Is. 48:17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit,Who leads you by the way you should go.18 Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.19 Your descendants also would have been like the sand, And the offspring of your body like the grains of sand; His name would not have been cut off Nor destroyed from before Me.” (NKJV)

Why does God exclaim ”Oh, that you had heeded my commandments”? Why all the ”would have been”, had his people obeyed him?

Ps. 143:10 Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

Why this urgent need? Does not God’s will happen if David is not sufficiently taught to do his will?

Lev. 4:22 When a ruler hath sinned, and done somewhat through ignorance against any of the commandments of the Lord his God concerning things which should not be done, and is guilty;23 Or if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish:— .27 And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty;28 Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned.

”Things which ought not to be done”? I did not think that was possible in a world where God’s will always happens?

Deuteronomy 8:20 As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; BECAUSE ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.

”Because ye would not be obedient…” That is the reason for perishing.

Jer. 19:5 They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:

Jer. 32:35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Those couple of verses speak for themselves. People sinned severely and caused others to sin, which naturally didn’t even enter God’s mind that they would do. Throwing children in the fire as an offering to Baal is naturally an abomination and why would God force people to commit such a horrible sin?

Jer. 26:13 Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; and the Lord will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.

Ez. 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

If God’s will always happens, he would not be dependent on man’s actions.

1 Peter 2:15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. (NASB)

We are asked to not use our freedom as a covering for evil. Peter does not believe God’s will automatically takes place.

1 Peter 3:17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. (NKJV)

But surely doing evil would be equally acceptable if all things happen according to the will of God?

Matt. 23: 47 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! + Luke 13:34

Exactly.

”Jag ska ge er ett nytt hjärta” i Hes. 36:26-27 handlar inte om att Gud utväljer till frälsning

heart 5Gud väljer inte ut ett antal människor och ger dem TRO och FRÄLSNING

Hes. 36:26 Jag skall ge er ett nytt hjärta och låta en ny ande komma in i er. Jag skall ta bort stenhjärtat ur er kropp och ge er ett hjärta av kött. 27 Jag skall låta min Ande komma in i er och göra så att ni vandrar efter mina stadgar och håller mina lagar och följer dem. (Även Hes. 11:19)

Ovan verser tas gärna omtolkas gärna och tas ur sitt sammanhang för att stödja den kalvinistiska idén att Gud väljer ut ett antal människor som han ger möjlighet att tro (eller snarare: som han tvingar att tro) – medan han vänder ryggen åt andra och vägrar att ge dem möjlighet vare sig att tro eller omvända sig.

Vill man vara konsekvent med tolkningen att det handlar om en gudomlig händelse utan krav  (som inte hävdas i verserna) där människans fria vilja inte är inkluderad, så måste man i v. 27 anta att alla människor alltid till 100% agerar efter Guds vilja när det står ”och göra så att ni vandrar efter mina stadgar….och följer dem”. Det innebär i sin tur att även synden är inkluderad i vad som sker enligt Guds vilja, vilket självfallet gör Gud själv till en syndare efterosm han tvingar andra att synda. För inte kan det väl vara så att Gud tvingar människorna att leva på ett speciellt sätt, förutom när de väljer att synda – då Gud plötsligt plockar bort sina invanda styrspakar och menar att han inte har någonting med den synden att göra? Borde det i så fall inte vara bättre att förhindra människor att synda, om han nu förväntas styra alla våra steg?

Syndar människan enligt Guds vilja eller emot hans vilja? Bibeln lär att människan har en fri vilja som hon kan använda till att antingen lyda eller inte lyda. Även kristna, som är pånyttfödda och fått den helige Ande, kan fortfarande välja att inte lyda Gud eftersom de ingalunda är förprogrammerade att alltid lyda (som om ett nytt hjärta fungerar ungefär som en ny programvara som tvingar till lydnad). Kalvinisterna slår knut på sig själva för att komma ur dilemmat som de själva producerat, eftersom de inte accepterar alternativet att i stället läsa verserna i sitt sammanhang och utan att lägga till antaganden som inte står.

Verserna i Hebr. 36 ingår i en profetia, och profetior kan beskrivas med poetiska, principiella och hyperbola inslag. Det innebär att vi måste vara försiktiga när vi tolkar dessa profetior eftersom det inte är säkert att de ska läsas helt bokstavligt. Vidare hävdar som sagt inte verserna att denna förvandling sker helt ovillkorligt, utan människans egen medverkan.

Uppenbarligen så kan Gud ge oss ett nytt hjärta, men frågan är varför han gör det och om det finns villkor för en sådan förnyelse. Om en sådan förvandling är villkorad, vilka är då villkoren? Kan det vara samma villkor som hela Bibeln förmedlar gång på gång – att vi måste omvända oss, tro och visa vår tro genom ett rättfärdigt liv? I Hesekiel 36 i v. 27 så kan vi själva läsa att förvandlingen baseras på den helige Ande, och att denna Ande kan förmå oss att vandra efter Guds bud om vi bara håller oss till Jesus. Det låter onekligen som löftet som Jesus gav i Luk. 24:49, Joh. 1:33, Apg 1:4-5 och andra ställen:

Apg 1:4 Vid en måltid tillsammans med apostlarna befallde han dem: ”Lämna inte Jerusalem utan vänta på vad Fadern har utlovat, det som ni har hört av mig. 5 Ty Johannes döpte med vatten, men ni skall om några dagar bli döpta i den helige Ande.”

Apg 2:38 Petrus svarade dem: ”Omvänd er och låt er alla döpas i Jesu Kristi namn, så att era synder blir förlåtna. Då skall ni få den helige Ande som gåva.

Apg 3:19 Ångra er därför och vänd om, så att era synder blir utplånade 

Apg 26:17 när jag räddar dig undan ditt eget folk och undan hedningarna. Till dem sänder jag dig, 18 för att du skall öppna deras ögon, så att de vänder sig från mörker till ljus, från Satans makt till Gud. Så skall ni genom tron på mig få syndernas förlåtelse och arvslott bland dem som är helgade.19 Därför, konung Agrippa, blev jag inte olydig mot den himmelska synen, 20 utan jag har predikat först i Damaskus och i Jerusalem och hela Judeen och sedan ute bland hedningarna, att de skall ångra sig och omvända sig till Gud och göra sådana gärningar som hör till omvändelsen.

Skälet att vi kan bli andligt levande är att vi blivit förlåtna våra synder, och Gud förlåter inga synder såvida vi inte omvänt oss. ”Omvändelse” betyder inte ”Hoppsan! Tur att Gud alltid förlåter”, utan det betyder att vända om från sina gamla vägar och börja leva ett annat sorts liv i lydnad och rättfärdighet. (Det betyder inte att vi är fördömda för alltid om vi väljer att synda igen, men vi kan absolut inte tjäna två herrar och fortfarande vara frälsta.):

Kol. 2:11 I honom haven I ock blivit omskurna genom en omskärelse, som icke skedde med händer, en som bestod däri att I bleven avklädda eder köttsliga kropp; jag menar omskärelsen i Kristus.12 I haven ju med honom blivit begravna i dopet; I haven ock i dopet blivit uppväckta med honom, genom tron på Guds kraft, hans som uppväckte honom från de döda.13 Ja, också eder som voren döda genom edra synder och genom edert kötts oomskurenhet, också eder har han gjort levande med honom; ty han har förlåtit oss alla våra synder.14 Han har nämligen utplånat den handskrift som genom sina stadgar anklagade oss och låg oss i vägen; den har han skaffat undan genom att nagla den fast vid korset. (1917)

Den helige Ande räknas som ett slags sigill/märke (de som inte är troende har inte detta märke), och att stå i Andens tjänst betyder att vi valt att lyda Anden i stället för köttet:

Ef. 1:13 I honom har också ni, sedan ni hört det sanna budskapet, evangeliet om er frälsning, ja, i honom har också ni, sedan ni kommit till tro, tagit emot den utlovade helige Ande som ett sigill.

Rom. 7:6 Men nu är vi lösta från lagen, eftersom vi har dött bort från det som höll oss fångna. Så står vi i Andens nya tjänst och inte i bokstavens gamla tjänst.

Som kristna har vi alltså fått löftet om att den helige Ande som en gåva på villkor att vi omvänder oss (och dopet går hand i hand med en sådan omvändelse). Det låter onekligen som Hesekiel 36 nämner denna stora händelse flera hundra år innan den inträffade. Men som kristna vet vi också att den helige Ande ingalunda tvingar oss att lyda honom, eller att vi står helt utan egna val. Alternativet är ju att lyda Anden eller köttet. Anden är dock en hjälpare, och han kan alltid leda oss rätt.

Lukas beskriver en händelse där Paulus, Timoteus, han själv (och säkert en del andra) var ute och reste men hindrades av den helige Ande från att resa till vissa ställen och predika där. Inte så att den helige Ande blockerade vägen och bokstavligen hindrade dem så att de inte hade något val, utan det var snarare så att Paulus (och kanske andra i sällskapet) upplevde att den helige Ande uppmanade dem att ändra sina planer och i stället göra på ett annat sätt än de ursprungligen tänkt. Paulus och de andra hade alltså valet att lyda den helige Ande eller inte, och eftersom det handlar om trogna människofiskare så valde de att lyda Gud:

Apg. 16:6 Sedan tog de vägen genom Frygien och Galatien, eftersom de av den helige Ande HINDRADES från att predika ordet i Asien. 7 Och när de nådde Mysien försökte de bege sig till Bitynien, men det tillät inte Jesu Ande. 8 Då for de genom Mysien ner till Troas.

Om vi vandrar i Anden så gör vi inte vad köttet begär. OM vi väljer att låta oss ledas av Anden så står vi inte under lagen. Den fria viljan finns hela tiden närvarande:

Gal. 5:16 Vad jag vill säga är detta: vandra i Anden, så kommer ni inte att göra vad köttet begär.—18 Men OM ni leds av Anden, står ni inte under lagen.

Om idén är att Gud väljer ut en skara människor som han ger ett nytt hjärta som möjliggör tro, lydnad och frälsning – när gjorde han detta? Redan vid tiden för Adam och Evas barn? Om det skedde vid ett senare tillfälle, innebär det att ingen dessförinnan kunde tro och lyda Gud? De som han inte ger detta hjärta som tvingar människor till lydnad, har de möjlighet att fortfarande agera mot Guds vilja? Kalvinisterna har svårt att svara.

Kontexten av Hesekiel 36 – en skugga av det nya förbundet i NTalla6

Jämför gärna vad Hesekiel säger bara några kapitel innan, där han ber människor att skaffa sig ett nytt hjärta:

Hes. 18:30 Därför skall jag döma er, var och en efter hans gärningar, ni av Israels hus, säger Herren,Herren. Vänd om och vänd er bort från alla era överträdelser för att er missgärning inte skall få er på fall. 31 Kasta bort ifrån er alla de överträdelser genom vilka ni har syndat och SKAFFA ER ETT NYTT HJÄRTA OCH EN NY ANDE. Ty inte vill ni väl dö, ni av Israels hus?32 Jag finner ingen glädje i någons död, säger Herren, Herren. Vänd därför om, så får ni leva.

Här handlar det om att Israes hus (eller alla vi människor) bör skaffa sig ett nytt hjärta och en ny Ande, för Gud finner ingen glädje i någons död. Han ber oss att vända om, bort från synden, så att vi får leva. DÅ kan vi bli renade från våra överträdelser och få renade hjärtan eftersom Gud förlåter! Detta är någonting som vi inte kan klara själva (vi kan inte själva bestämma att vi ska få bli förlåtna och därmed renade), men villkoret som ligger på oss är omvändelse.

Uppenbarligen så skiljer sig Guds vilja mot andras vilja, såsom Israels fiende. Annars borde vi fortsätta att läsa att Guds vilja sker, utan att det blir någon skillnad om israelerna blir utlämnad åt sina fienders vilja:

Hes. 16:27 Men se, då räckte jag ut min hand mot dig och minskade din arvslott och utlämnade dig åt dina fienders vilja, åt filisteernas döttrar, som rodnade över ditt skamliga sätt att leva.

Hes. 36 handlar om de som ansluter sig till det nya förbundet genom tro (Rom. 3:25), och ingen kan räkna sig som rättfärdig innan all synd först är borttagen. Den synden försvinner inte såvida vi inte bekänner den och omvänder oss. Gud förlåter och rättfärdiggör i respons till omvändelse och tro. Kontexten visar att Guds namn blivit vanärat pga orenhet och tillbedjan av avgudar. Gud har inget egenintresse av att folk vanärar honom, så helt klart sker inte allting enligt hans vilja. Hesekiel 36 handlar dels om den aktuella tiden – Israels folk och det sätt de vanärat Gud (och hur de kan bli renade), samt framtida löften om ett nytt förbund och en ny Ande som tillhör alla som omvänt sig:

Hes. 36:23 Jag vill helga mitt stora namn, som har blivit vanärat bland folken, därför att ni har van-ärat det bland dem, och de skall inse att jag är Herren, säger Herren, Herren, när jag bevisar mig helig bland er inför deras ögon.24 Ty jag skall hämta er från folken och samla er från alla länder och föra er till ert land. 25 Jag skall stänka rent vatten på er, så att ni blir rena. Jag skall rena er från all er orenhet och från alla era avgudar. 26 Jag skall ge er ett nytt hjärta och låta en ny ande komma in i er. Jag skall ta bort stenhjärtat ur er kropp och ge er ett hjärta av kött. 27 Jag skall låta min Ande komma in i er och göra så att ni vandrar efter mina stadgar och håller mina lagar och följer dem. 28 Så skall ni få bo i det land som jag gav åt era fäder, och ni skall vara mitt folk och jag skall vara er Gud. 29 Jag skall frälsa er från all er orenhet. Jag skall kalla fram säden och låta den bli riklig och skall inte mer låta er drabbas av hungersnöd. 30 Jag skall låta trädens frukt och markens gröda bli riklig, för att ni inte mer skall förödmjukas bland folken genom hungersnöd. 31 Då skall ni tänka på era onda vägar och på era gärningar, som inte var goda, och ni skall känna avsky för er själva på grund av era missgärningar och era vidrigheter. 32 Men ni skall veta att det inte är för er skull jag gör detta, säger Herren, Herren. Ni skall skämmas och blygas för vad ni har gjort, ni av Israels hus.33 Så säger Herren, Herren: När jag har renat er från alla era missgärningar, då skall jag låta städerna på nytt bli bebodda, och då skall ruinerna på nytt byggas upp. 34 Det ödelagda landet skall åter bli brukat i stället för att ha legat som en ödemark inför var och en som gått fram där.

Jämför med Hebr. 8 och 10 i NT, där vi kan läsa liknande ordalydelse ”Jag skall lägga mina lagar i deras sinnen och skriva dem i deras hjärtan”:

Hebr. 8:6 Men nu har Kristus ett högre prästämbete, liksom det förbund han är medlare för är bättre, eftersom det är stadfäst med bättre löften. 7 Ty om det första förbundet hade varit utan brist skulle det inte behövas plats för ett andra. 8 Men Gud förebrår dem när han säger:Se, dagar skall komma, säger Herren, då jag skall sluta ett nytt förbund med Israels hus och med Juda hus,9 inte ett sådant som jag slöt med deras fäder den dag jag tog dem vid handen och förde dem ut ur Egyptens land. Eftersom de inte blev kvar i mitt förbund, brydde jag mig inte om dem,säger Herren.10 Detta är det förbund som jag efter denna tid skall sluta med Israels hus, säger Herren:Jag skall lägga mina lagar i deras sinnen och skriva dem i deras hjärtan.Jag skall vara deras Gud, och de skall vara mitt folk.11 Ingen skall längre behöva undervisa sin landsman, ingen sin broder och säga: Lär känna Herren.Ty alla skall känna mig, från den minste bland demtill den störste.12 Jag skall i nåd förlåta dem deras missgärningar,och deras synder skall jag aldrig mer komma ihåg.13 När han talar om ett nytt förbund, har han därmed förklarat att det förra är föråldrat. Men det som blir gammalt och föråldrat är nära att försvinna.

Hebr 10:1 Lagen innehåller endast en skugga av det goda som kommer och inte tingen i deras verkliga gestalt. Därför kan lagen aldrig genom samma offer som ständigt år efter år frambärs, fullkomna dem som träder fram. 2 Skulle man inte annars ha upphört att offra? De som förrättar offertjänsten skulle då redan en gång för alla ha blivit renade och inte längre haft några synder på sitt samvete. 3 Men nu ligger i dessa offer en årlig påminnelse om synder. —7 Då sade jag: Se, jag har kommit, Gud, för att göra din vilja.I bokrullen är det skrivet om mig. —10 Och i kraft av denna vilja är vi helgade genom att Jesu Kristi kropp blev offrad en gång för alla —  15 Om detta vittnar också den helige Ande för oss. Först säger han:16 Detta är det förbund som jag skall sluta med dem efter denna tid säger Herren.Och sedan:Jag skall lägga mina lagar i deras hjärtanoch skriva dem i deras sinnen *) 17 och deras synder och överträdelser skall jag aldrig mer komma ihåg.18 Och där synderna är förlåtna behövs det inte längre något syndoffer.— 22 Låt oss därför med uppriktigt hjärta gå fram i full trosvisshet, med ett hjärta som är renat från ett ont samvete och med en kropp som är badad i rent vatten. —24 Låt oss ge akt på varandra och uppmuntra varandra till kärlek och goda gärningar. —26 Men om vi syndar med vett och vilja sedan vi fått kunskap om sanningen, finns det inte längre något offer för synder, 27 utan en fruktansvärd väntan på domen och en förtärande eld, som skall uppsluka motståndarna. 28 Den som förkastar Mose lag skall utan förbarmande dö, om två eller tre vittnar mot honom. 29 Hur mycket strängare straff tror ni då inte den skall förtjäna som trampar Guds Son under fötterna och håller förbundets blod för orent, det blod som har helgat honom, och som smädar nådens Ande? 30 Vi känner honom som har sagt: Min är hämnden, jag skall utkräva den, och vidare: Herren skall döma sitt folk.31 Det är fruktansvärt att falla i den levande Gudens händer.—35 Kasta därför inte bort er frimodighet, som ger stor lön. 36 Ni behöver uthållighet för att göra Guds vilja och få vad han har lovat.—38 Min rättfärdige skall leva av tro. Och vidare: Men om han drar sig undan finner min själ ingen glädje i honom. 39 Men vi hör inte till dem som drar sig undan och går förlorade. Vi hör i stället till dem som tror och vinner sina själar.

*) Detta är en referens till Jer. 31.31-34 som verkar handla om en tid då inte bara judarna har en relation med Abrahams Gud utan även hedningarna. Med hjälp av den helige Ande så arbetar samvetet mycket aktivt i de troendes hjärtan och vägvalen förenklas. Inte heller här handlar det om något ovillkorligt, där Gud väljer ut ett antal människor (medan han vänder ryggen till andra) som han bestämmer sig för att älska och frälsa oberoende av deras egna handlingar:

Jer. 31:31 Se, dagar skall komma, säger Herren, då jag skall sluta ett nytt förbund med Israels hus och med Juda hus,32 inte ett sådant förbund som jag slöt med deras fäder den dag då jag tog dem vid handen och förde dem ut ur Egyptens land – det förbund med mig som de bröt fastän jag var deras rätte herre – säger Herren.33 Nej, detta är det förbund som jag efter denna tid skall sluta med Israels hus, säger Herren: Jag skall lägga min lag i deras inre och skriva den i deras hjärtan. Jag skall vara deras Gud och de skall vara mitt folk.34 Då skall de inte mer behöva undervisa varandra, ingen sin broder och säga  ”Lär känna Herren!” Ty alla skall känna mig från den minste bland dem till den störste, säger Herren. Ty jag skall förlåta deras missgärningar och deras synder skall jag inte mer komma ihåg.

1 Cor. 14Vi uppmanas att tvätta oss rena och även att rena våra hjärtan

Även många andra verser i det Gamla Testamentet uppmanar människor att tvätta sig och göra sig rena. Detta görs genom att omvända sig och börja leva rättfärdigt. Vi har även djuroffersystemet under denna tid, då Israeliterna uppmanades av Gud att offra djur – som utgav blod – för att visa sin omvändelse i handling. Det är en bild på Jesu offer på korset, som då låg i framtiden.

Hes. 44:7 Ni har låtit främlingar med oomskuret hjärta och oomskuret kött komma in i min helgedom och vara där, så att mitt hus har blivit vanhelgat, medan ni bar fram min mat, fett och blod. Mitt förbund har därmed brutits, för att inte tala om alla era andra vidrigheter.

Jes. 1:16 Tvätta er och gör er rena. Tag bort era onda gärningar från mina ögon. Sluta att göra det som är ont.

1 Mos. 35:2 Då sade Jakob till sitt husfolk och till alla som var med honom: ”Gör er av med de främmande gudar som ni har hos er, rena er och byt kläder

3 Mos. 16:26 Och den som sände i väg bocken för att skaffa bort synden skall tvätta sina kläder och bada sin kropp i vatten. Därefter får han komma in i lägret.—29 Detta skall för er vara en evig stadga: I sjunde månaden, på tionde dagen i månaden, skall ni fasta och inte utföra något arbete, varken de som är födda i landet eller främlingen som bor ibland er. 30 Ty på den dagen skall försoning bringas för att RENA ER. Från alla era synder skall ni renas inför Herrens ansikte.

I det Nya Testamentet finns samma uppmaning till människor att rena sina hjärtan och inte förhärda dem. Om det inte förelåg någon risk för att människor skulle kunna förhärda sina hjärtan så vore en sådan varning i onödan:

Jak. 4:8 Närma er Gud, så skall han närma sig er. Gör era händer rena, ni syndare, och RENA ERA HJÄRTAN, ni tvehågsna.

Hebr. 4:7 Därför bestämmer han på nytt en dag som han kallar i dag, när han långt senare säger genom David vad som redan är nämnt: I dag, om ni hör hans röst, FÖRHÄRDA INTE ERA HJÄRTAN.

Vi får som sagt renade hjärtan av omvändelse och att börja leva med ett rent samvete – med vattendop som symbol för beslutet:

Apg. 22:16 Och nu, varför tvekar du? Stå upp och låt dig döpas och tvättas ren från dina synder och åkalla hans namn.

”DEN SOM DÄRFÖR RENAR SIG och håller sig borta från dessa blir ett kärl till heder”, lovar Paulus. Det hänger alltså på oss att bli renade, och detta sker genom omvändelse och tro. Var och en som nämner Herrens namn skall hålla sig borta från orättfärdigheten. ”Fly bort från ungdomens onda begär och sträva efter rättfärdighet”, fortsätter Paulus. Det innebär att han inte tror på tesen att ett omvänt hjärta automatiskt lyder Gud av rent tvång genom den helige Andes försorg. Paulus kommer med varningar, instruktioner och uppmuntran så att vi själva ska förmås att välja den rätta vägen och kunna få rena hjärtan:

2 Tim. 2:19 Guds fasta grund består och har detta sigill: Herren känner de sina och: Var och en som nämner Herrens namn skall hålla sig borta från orättfärdigheten. 20 Men i ett stort hus finns det kärl inte bara av guld och silver utan också kärl av trä och lera, några till heder, andra till vanheder. 21 DEN SOM DÄRFÖR RENAR SIG och håller sig borta från dessa blir ett kärl till heder, helgat, användbart för sin herre och förberett för allt gott arbete. 22 Fly bort från ungdomens onda begär och sträva efter rättfärdighet, tro, kärlek och frid tillsammans med dem som åkallar Herren av rent hjärta. 23 Avvisa dumma och meningslösa dispyter. Du vet att de föder strider, 24 och en Herrens tjänare skall inte strida utan vara vänlig mot alla, skicklig att undervisa och tålig när han får lida. 25 Han skall i ödmjukhet tillrättavisa sina motståndare. Kanske ger Gud dem omvändelse, så att de kommer till insikt om sanningen 26 och nyktrar till och slipper loss ur djävulens snara, där de hålls fångna, så att de gör hans vilja.

Paulus ber korinthierna (och oss alla) att inte bedra sig, vilket de riskerar att göra om de börjar tro på dem som hävdar att synd inte längre resulterar i andlig död:

1 Kor. 6:8 I stället gör ni själva orätt och roffar åt er – och detta drabbar bröder.9 Vet ni inte att inga orättfärdiga skall få ärva Guds rike? Bedra inte er själva! Varken otuktiga eller avgudadyrkare, varken äktenskapsbrytare eller de som utövar homosexualitet eller de som låter sig utnyttjas för sådant, 10 varken tjuvar eller giriga, varken drinkare, förtalare eller utsugare skall ärva Guds rike. 11 Sådana var en del av er. Men ni har tvättats rena, ni har blivit helgade, ni har förklarats rättfärdiga i Herren Jesu Kristi namn och i vår Guds Ande.

Jesus förklarar för sina lärljungar, som han kallar rena, att de trots sin renhet riskerar att huggas av vinstocken om de inte bär frukt. En gren som inte gör nytta kapar man av från ett fruktträd. Jesus säger ”bli kvar i min kärlek”, och inte ”Jag kommer att se till att ni alltid älskar mig genom att ge er ett nytt hjärta som alltid lyder mig”. Han uttrycker ”OM ni förblir i mig”, och lovar att lärljungarna (vi alla) blir kvar i hans kärlek om de lyder hans bud.

Joh. 15:Ni är redan nu rena i kraft av det ord som jag har talat till er. 4 Förbli i mig, så förblir jag i er. Liksom grenen inte kan bära frukt av sig själv, utan endast om den förblir i vinstocken, så kan inte heller ni det, om ni inte förblir i mig. 5 Jag är vinstocken, ni är grenarna. Om någon förblir i mig och jag i honom, bär han rik frukt, ty utan mig kan ni ingenting göra. Om någon inte förblir i mig, kastas han ut som en gren och torkar bort, och man samlar ihop sådana grenar och kastar dem i elden, och de bränns upp. Om ni förblir i mig och mina ord förblir i er, så be om vad ni vill, och ni skall få det. Min Fader förhärligas, när ni bär rik frukt och blir mina lärjungar.9 Liksom Fadern har älskat mig, så har jag älskat er. Bli kvar i min kärlek. 10 Om ni håller mina bud, förblir ni i min kärlek, liksom jag har hållit min Faders bud och förblir i hans kärlek.

Paulus ansåg sig ha ett fullkomligt rent samvete alltsedan sin omvändelse, och han förmanar människor för att få dem att leva likadant. Tyvärr har vissa stött ifrån sig den goda kampen och lidit skeppsbrott i tron:

Apg. 23:1:Paulus såg på Stora rådet och sade: ”Bröder, jag har levt inför Gud med ett fullkomligt rent samvete ända till i dag.”

2 Tim. 1:3 Jag tackar alltid min Gud, som jag liksom mina förfäder tjänar med rent samvete. Ständigt, natt och dag, tänker jag på dig i mina böner.

1 Tim. 1:5 Vad all förmaning syftar till är kärlek av ett rent hjärta, av ett gott samvete och av en uppriktig tro.

1 Tim. 1:18 Detta uppdrag att förmana anförtror jag åt dig, mitt barn Timoteus, i enlighet med de profetord som en gång uttalades över dig, för att du i kraft av dem skall kämpa den goda kampen, 19 i tro och med ett rent samvete. Detta har somliga stött ifrån sig och lidit skeppsbrott i tron. 20 Bland dem är Hymeneus och Alexander, som jag har överlämnat åt Satan för att de skall tuktas så att de inte hädar.

Petrus håller med Paulus att vi har rena hjärtan/själar genom att lyda sanningen (leva rättfärdigt), och han uppmanar de kristna att älska varandra av ett rent hjärta. Även han tar upp symbolen med vatten. Både judar och hedningar kan få renade hjärtan samt den helige Ande genom omvändelse och tro:

1 Pet. 1:22 Ni har renat era själar genom att lyda sanningen, så att ni älskar varandra uppriktigt som bröder. Älska då varandra uthålligt av rent hjärta.

1 Pet. 3:21 Efter denna förebild frälser dopet nu också er. Det innebär inte att kroppen renas från smuts utan är ett rent samvetes bekännelse till Gud genom Jesu Kristi uppståndelse

Apg. 15:7 Efter en lång överläggning reste sig Petrus och sade till dem: ”Bröder, ni vet att Gud för länge sedan bestämde, att hedningarna genom min mun skulle få höra evangeliets ord och komma till tro.8 Och Gud som känner hjärtat, har vittnat för dem genom att ge den helige Ande åt dem likaväl som åt oss. 9 Han gjorde ingen skillnad mellan oss och dem, sedan han genom tron hade renat deras hjärtan