Etikettarkiv | foreknew

Also Romans 9 shows man’s free will

Romans 9 – the calvinists´favorite

Let’s go through the whole chapter.

1I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 2That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:4Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;  5Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. 

Paul apparently doesn’t believe that God has predestined some for heaven and some for hell, because he says he wish he were accursed for the sake of his kinsmen (the jews) even though not all of them have faith in Jesus as the Messiah. If God the Father didn’t intend for Jesus to die for ALL people but only SOME (the lucky elect) then why would Paul desire to die for people who are not christians? It wouldn’t make sense for Paul to be willing to die for people who Jesus would not be willing to die for. Paul also seems  to be unaware of that (if he were a calvinist) that things turn out exactly as God has planned from before the creation of the world, so to have ”heaviness” and ”continual sorrow” would be puzzling emotions. Why feeling sorry for people who will end up (heaven or hell) exactly where God wants them to end up? Paul has no business feeling sorry for people who God doesn’t feel sorry for.  Then again, limited atonement is not Biblical!

 6Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed 9For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.

Not all jews are the children of Abraham even though they are related to him through his blood. Only those who are of the ”promise” are counted for the seed, and they are of FAITH. Abraham himself showed his faith through his deeds, and he was considered righteous for this reason. The promised Messiah came through his bloodline and through Sarah who was the free woman (and not through Hagar who was a servant and not free).

Gal. 3:7 Know ye therefore thatthey which are of FAITH, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.So then they which be of FAITH are blessed with faithful Abraham.

10And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

The fact that children who are still in the womb have not done any good or evil, implies that the sinful nature is not true since babies are viewed as neutral. We can read about ”election” here, but note that it’s not about electing individuals TO BELIEVE. The children in question are Jacob and Esau and they are not only individuals but also NATIONS and PEOPLE. God chose the seed of Jacob to bring forth the Messiah. Esau rejected his birthright (which is usually given to the first born) but still expected to maintain it when it was time to get the blessing from his Father, whereas Jacob took actions to lay hold of the birthright. A parallel can be made with the jews who expected to inherit the Kingdom just because they were born as jews and ”God’s chosen people”. Paul tells them that salvation doesn’t work that way, but that we are rather saved by FAITH (proven by deeds) and this promise is also for the gentiles.

12It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

Did the person Esau ever serve the younger person Jacob? No, not at any point in his life did he serve him. However, the PEOPLE who came forth from Esau did serve the people who came forth from Jacob. God had good reasons to hate Esau, both as an individual and as a people. Read more about Jacob and Esau here.

14What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15For 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. 16So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

The point here is that it’s God’s prerogative to arrange his salvation plan in any way he wants, and he certainly doesn’t need to ask man for permission to do it. The jews might feel that they should have an advantage since they are the chosen ones who the Law was given to and since they are of the seed of Abraham and Jacob, but Paul explains that this is not so. The salvation offer is also given to the gentiles, and we are not saved by being born a jew or by obeying the jewish ceremonial Law, but by faith in Jesus Christ who died for the world. Notice also that it doesn’t say that God doesn’t want to show mercy on all. What it does say is that GOD decides on whom he will show mercy. Does God have the right to show mercy based on CONDITIONS? Yes absolutely,  and the text doesn’t say that he provides mercy on individuals UNCONDITIONALLY. We know from elsewhere in Romans and in the rest of the Bible that we are saved upon conditions, and those conditions are faith and repentance. If God wants to show mercy and compassion on those who have repentant hearts –  and not on those with unrepentant hearts – then he may do so, and he would not be unrighteous for doing so. We can read that God uttered those words (about mercy) to Moses, and we know that God had conditions on the Israelites and chose to not show mercy on those who rebelled against him.

17For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. 18Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

Pharao hardened his heart several times before God did. God has the right to harden hearts that are unwilling to conform to him (harden even more). See my blog post about Pharao here.

19Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

”Who are thou that repliest against God?” we are asked. This means we should NOT reply against God and argue with him, right? Has it ever happened in history that people still HAVE replied against him? YES! There are numerous examples of this in the Bible, and not only that – but there are angels and human beings who have even REBELLED against him! Does God want people to rebel against him? Of course not! Each time people reply against God and rebel against him it’s AGAINST his will. We are being disobedient to God by rebelling against him. So this text is not what people cannot do, but what they SHOULD NOT do. And let’s not forget that the context is still that GOD alone has the right to bring about his salvation plan in any way he wants. The text doesn’t say that God always directs our steps and forces us (predestines us) to walk his way.

Isa 45:9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?

Yes, woe unto him because he acts against the will of God by striving with his maker which he is not supposed to do.

21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

The context is still that the salvation offer is also given to the gentiles. We can read that God could have chosen to ”endure with much longsuffering” the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction. Why would we read terms such as ”endure” and ”longsuffering” as though the vessels had a will of their own and put up a resistance against God? If God predestines all things that come to pass, then surely he is able to bring them to pass without struggle, and with no need to ”endure” with ”much longsuffering”? We can also read below that we are expected to purge ourselves, and if we choose to do so then we will be a vessel unto HONOR! If we struggle against God and make it hard for him to conform us to what he wants, then we are fitted for destruction (we have fitted ourselves for destruction) and our right place is on the scrap heap, BUT for our sake he might choose to endure with much long-suffering. Which vessels are the ones made unto honor? Could it be those who have repentant hearts and who are willing to conform? Which  vessels are the ones unto dishonor? Could it be those with rebellious hearts and who are unwilling to conform? The vessels who choose to conform are the same as the vessels of mercy, and they are the ones which are prepared beforehand to enter the Kingdom of God. Now, it’s up to us to purge ourselves so that we can become vessels of mercy, and the wonderful promises will then apply to us.

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

Jer 18:3Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. 4And the vessel that he made of clay WAS MARRED in the hand of the potter: so he made it again ANOTHER VESSEL, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

Read my blog post about the potter and the clay here.

25As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. 26And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. 27Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: 28For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. 29And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. 30What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. 31But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 32Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; 33As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Here we can see the crux of the problem spelled out. The stumblingstone which the jews stumbled upon and which can separate them from God is JESUS CHRIST. The jews were at risk to miss God’s salvation plan by continuing to reject the Messiah and that’s what Paul is so grieved about.  The condition for salvation is faith in Jesus and that might very well, to the jews’ surprise, exclude the jews and include the gentiles. The Jews assumed they were God’s chosen people and that salvation was limited to them. Above we can see that faith must precede in salvation and it’s the condition for salvation.  The Jews, who were God’s elect,  sought to reach salvation through keeping the law rather than by faith.  Nothing is said here about God’s choice in salvation but ONLY about ”men” having faith – NOT God giving faith to individuals. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Jew or Gentile, because God has sovereignly chosen to save all those who trust in Jesus for salvation.  

Romans 10:12-13 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  

Romans 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all.

Origen: “Therefore has He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardens.” And certain of those who hold different opinions misuse these passages, themselves also almost destroying free-will by introducing ruined natures incapable of salvation, and others saved which it is impossible can be lost”

Annonser

Whom he did predestinate, them he also called and justified and glorified – Rom. 8:29-30

Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Rom. 8:30)

Let’s go through the whole chapter from the start, based on KJV.

1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Notice the condition involved. There is no condemnation for those who WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT. Are we still exempted from being condemned even if we would choose to live according to the flesh? No way. Then we would be in deep trouble.

2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

The same condition once again.  Thanks to Jesus sin offering we can be cleansed from our past sins, but the idea is to not get dirty once again. These verses don’t say that we are only free from the PUNISHMENT of the law while we continue to BREAK it. No, we are free from the law IF we live by the spirit. It’s the same thing as Paul says elsewhere:

Gal. 5: 16This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall NOT fulfil the lust of the flesh.17For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18But IF YE BE LED OF THE SPIRIT; YE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW.

5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Paul is clear about that being carnally minded is DEATH. So to obey the flesh ( i e to sin) is to be ”carnally minded”.

10And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.12Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.13For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Paul says that we indeed have the power to overcome our fleshly desires and that is when we obey the spirit. IF we live after the flesh we shall die, but IF we live by the spirit we shall live. It’s one or the other and we can’t serve two masters. We are able to know WHO the ”sons of God” are and they are the ones who are led by the spirit of God. The spirit of God would never lead us into sin but AWAY from sin, so we know we are God’s children if we obey Jesus! As christians we must be careful since the devil walks about like a roaring lion, trying to tempt us and make us fall. Thankfully, God has promised us a way out. IF we fall, we must repent…

15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

We are in bondage as long as we live after the flesh and we have no reason to fear for the eternity ahead of us since we can KNOW that we are the children of God. IF we are his children (this could change from one day to another if we choose to live after the flesh) then we are also heirs of God, and we have something wonderful to look forward to. The children of God are promised a place in God’s kingdom. In fact, we are guaranteed a place in the kingdom, provided of course that we remain ”sons of God”. If we suffer with Jesus, carry our cross daily and endure to the end despite persecutions, then we will also be glorified with him.

18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.19For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.20For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,21Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.22For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

We live in a world which is in bondage of corruption and the whole creation groans. This is clearly not what God had intended when he created it.  However, we shall be delivered!

23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.24For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?25But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

As children of God, we can continue to live on the hope that we will get new glorified bodies, which we are indeed guaranteed if we endure to the end. We must remind ourselves that a few years in a painful and corrupted world is nothing compared to what is in store ahead of us. There will be no more tears, no more pain, no more agony!

26Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.27And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Our prayers have a great impact on things, and that’s why it’s so important to pray. We can change the outcome of the future. Paul tells us in his letters to the Corinthians that we should pray in two ways; 1) with our spirit and 2) with our minds. The first option means that we do NOT pray with our minds since we can’t understand what we are praying. That would be speaking in tongues.

28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

The word ”HIS” is NOT in the Greek. And notice the condition again. Things work out well TO THEM THAT LOVE GOD, which is the condition for a good outcome. If we love God, it also means we have reacted upon and accepted Jesus sin offering for us. The Bible says that if we love God we OBEY him, and that’s how we know we are the children of God. As children of God we are then CHOSEN, SPECIAL, PRECIOUS  and ELECT. As children of God we can look forward to a wonderful inheritance which we are guaranteed – as long as the condition is met of course.

In the parable in Matthew about the King who prepared a wedding feast for his son, we can read ”For many are called, but few are chosen. The ones who were called ”chosen” were the ones who accepted to come (and also went) to the wedding feast and who made sure to dress up in wedding clothes. One fellow neglected to do this and was thrown out.  WE must keep in mind to wear the wedding clothes because that is our responsibility.  God will certainly not pick and choose who will enter his Kingdom, but he welcomes whosoever wills. And we know the conditions…

29 For whom he did FOREKNOW, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

This is about a corporate election. Those who are predestined are those who will have persevered and God foreknows who those will be. We are justified when we are cleansed from our past sins, and after that our goal is to be conformed into the image of Jesus. We have assurance in the hope of salvation while on earth, as long as we abide in Jesus of course.

Rom. 8:29 is referring to those WHO LOVE GOD, stated in vs 28. The promises are tied to THEM and no others. Also in 1 Peter 1:1 the elect are chosen according to God’s foreknowledge. Paul affirms that the body of Christ is foreknown, predestined and elect in the eternal plan of God and will persevere to final glorification. Individuals can take comfort in the promises, but only as they are identified as members of the Christian community.  A person who is not part of this community has no claim to the promises. What is predestined is not who will be in or out, but what will happen to all who are in. They will eventually be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ and glorified. God predestines the consequence of the choice to be in Christ or not, but he doesn’t predestine the choice itself.

The word called in v.30 is a translation from the Greek word kaleo, and it’s the same Greek word found in Gal 1:6. In this verse we can read that the called Galatians were still risking to desert Christ by turning to another gospel. This means that called people have no unconditional assurance of salvation, unless of course they stick to Jesus Christ.

31What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

There are some who take the ”if God be for us, who can be against us” to mean that there are no worries as long as we have faith in God. While that is partly true, the conditions must still be met. If we make sure to belong to Christ, the enemy can’t harm our souls but only our bodies. If Jesus has cleansed us from our sins, and we have continued to kept us clean (and/or repented for any new sins we have committed) then there is no one who can charge us for any transgressions. We have been justified because Jesus had made us clean! However, Jesus is not automatically making intercessions for us. To be forgiven we must confess our sins and repent. Only THEN will Jesus make intercessions for us.

35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God will never cease to ”love the world” in such a way that he is hoping that as many people in the world as possible will turn to him and LIVE, but we also know there are conditions for God’s love and acceptance. If we love him and show it through our obedience, then nothing will separate us from his love.

Ps. 145:20 The LORD preserveth all them that LOVE HIM: but all the wicked will he destroy.

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Origen:

”that those whom God foreknew would become the kind to conform themselves to Christ by their sufferings, he even predestined them to be conformed and similar to his image and glory. Therefore there precedes a foreknowledge of them, through which is known what effort and virtue they will possess in themselves, and thus predestination follows, yet foreknowledge should not be considered the cause of predestination.”