Etikettarkiv | mercy

Does God give us GRACE and mercy upon certain conditions?

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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

Annonser

”I will have mercy on who I will have mercy”, but not unconditionally – Rom. 9:15

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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

This is a very famous and popular verse, and there are some (reformed) christians who translate this verse into ”God says to us all; I will elect certain individuals for salvation, and I will place no conditions whatsoever on those that I choose…”. Just because God shows mercy to individuals, groups of people and entire nations, it doesn’t mean that they will be saved, and neither does it say anywhere in Romans. 9:15 that God shows mercy unconditionally. Paul is here making a reference to Exodus 33:19 where God is speaking to Moses, so in order to get Paul’s point we should both read both the context in Romans 9 (which is about God’s right to make the offer of salvation also to the gentiles and under the conditions that he himself chooses) as well as checking the passage that Paul is referring to in order to understand his full point.

Ex 33:2 (God) And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite:Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on him his ornaments.For the Lord had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.—(Mose starts out)16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.17 And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

As we can see, Moses is having a huge problem with the people that he was a leader for, and that’s because they were stiff-necked and rebellious against the God who Moses was a true servant of. Man’s free will is fully displayed in this passage (and throughout the entire Bible) because naturally God doesn’t want people to be disobedient to him and to walk on their own evil ways. The only reason God is threatening to consume them, is due to their sinfulness and stubborn hearts. Moses is pleading with God to show mercy on his people and he is successful because God has indeed seen Moses’ heart and therefore decided to show him grace and listen to his requests.

As we can see, the phrase that he ”will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy” is not in reference to God unconditionally electing people to salvation, and neither can this phrase be understood that way in Romans 9. Moreover, just because God decides to show mercy on a person, it doesn’t mean this person will necessarily be saved because mercy (or kindness or grace) might not even be in relation to the person’s soul. And even if it is in relation to the person’s soul, it doesn’t say ”Once God has shown mercy on a person, this person forever remains in his mercy and is forever saved”. Just like we people can choose to be kind or not to others depending on their actions, so can God.

That people are being stiff-necked in the Bible can be seen here with many examples.

Compare with the words of David, who claims that God will be merciful to those who are merciful – which is how God has chosen to treat people:

2 Sam. 22:25 Therefore the Lord hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight.26 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright.27 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury.28 And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down.

We are told to be merciful as our Father is merciful

If the idea is that God has a certain lucky and elect elite that he has decided to show mercy on while he turns his back on all others, can we act in the same way by showing mercy (being kind) to only SOME? Not according to the Bible that says we are to be good to all. If we show mercy to others, we can be expected to get mercy ourselves, and God expects us to show mercy to others.

Luke:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Hosea 4:1 Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.

Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Matthew 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

1 Timothy 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

Ja. 2:12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

Broader context from Romans 9. Read more about Romans 9 in this article.

Rom. 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.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.16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.17 For 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.18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.23And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory

Mercy is often in relation to individuals who are being righteous

It makes sense that kind-hearted and obedient people are prone to receive mercy themselves.

Genesis. 19:18 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:

Genesis 24:27 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abrahamwho hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren.

Genesis 39:21 But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

1 Kings 3:6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

Isaiah 14:1 For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.

Conditions that are required for getting mercy, and when God does NOT show mercyKärlek

It looks like God is keen to show mercy on people who LOVE HIM AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. We can see this requirement throughout the below verses.

Ex. 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Deut. 5:Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,10 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

Deut. 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;10 And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.11 Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the Lord thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers 

1 Kings 8:23 And he said, Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart

2 Chronicles 6:14 And said, O Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and shewest mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts

Nehemiah 1:5 And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

Isaiah 9:16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.17 Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

Isaiah 27:11 When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, and set them on fire: for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour.

Isaiah 30:18 And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.

Isaiah 47:6 I was wroth with my people, I have polluted mine inheritance, and given them into thine hand: thou didst shew them no mercy; upon the ancient hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke.

Isaiah 55:7 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.

Daniel 9:4 And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

Hosea 2:4 And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms.

Jonah 2:8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

Luke 1:50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

Luke 10:29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

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

Gal. 6 15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 10:28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

Jude 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Psalms and Proverbs about mercy

In Psalms and Proverbs we can see the conditions for getting mercy, and they are the same as above.

Psalm 32:10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.

Psalm 33:18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;

Psalm 37:21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.

Psalm 62:12 Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work

Psalm 86:5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

Psalm 103:11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

Psalm 103:17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

Psalm 118:4 Let them now that fear the Lord say, that his mercy endureth for ever.

Psalm 130:7 Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.

Psalm 147:11 The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.

Psalm 145:The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

Proverbs 14:22 Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.

Proverbs 14:31 He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.

Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.

Proverbs 21:21 He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

We are not saved because we have always done the right thing, but because we are able to be cleansed in the blood of Jesus upon our repentance and faith in his holy name.

Titus. 3:For we ourselves also WERE sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost

We can fall from grace, and grace is conditional – we must be HUMBLE

We can fall from GRACE

The word for ”grace” in Greek is charis and it can mean favor, kindness, mercy, etc. As always, it’s best to check the usage of this word in the rest of the Scriptures because lexicons might not get the true meaning. We can read here and there that the grace of God is endless, and this means that God is always a merciful and forgiving God ready to cleanse people from their sins, but it doesn’t say that he does this without conditions. Even if grace is unmerited, we certainly don’t get it unconditionally and no matter how we live our lives.

Unfortunately, there some who believe that Grace means that Jesus always covers our sin, or hides it from the Father, so that we can get some kind of a ”license to sin” even if they emphasize that we should still not ”misuse” Grace in that way. But they still believe that Jesus has taken our sins on himself and transferred his righteousness to us, so that we are always positionally righteous even if we sin – as long as we have faith in God. The truth is, however, that we are only righteous if we DO righteousness. We are indeed cleansed from our sins in the blood of Jesus IF we confess our sins and repent, but nowhere does it say ”once righteous, always righteous”.

The Biblical definition of Grace signifies obedience

Tit 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

Col 1:6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth

1 Pet. 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

We can fall from Grace and we can get it in vain

Gal. 5:2-4 shows that we can fall from grace. 5:14 shows that those who were rising to fall were previously saved. They had believed and received the true gospel (3:2; 1:9); were deserting God and turning to a false gospel (1:6); had received the Spirit of God (3:2,5) and were initially running a good spiritual life (5:7); etc. Compare this to Acts 14:21-23 which shows that the Galatians who became disciples were in the Christian faith and placed their trust in the Lord. Paul was not upset with the Galatians for that they had the nerve to obey the ten commandments, but because they believed circumcision (the ceremonial law) was necessary for salvation. 

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

Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

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;

1 Kor 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

2 Kor 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

Jona 2:8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy (forfeit the grace that could be theirs NIV)

Apg 13:43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

Hebr. 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Judas 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Sam 7:15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.

Jer 16:5 For thus saith the LORD, Enter not into the house of mourning, neither go to lament nor bemoan them: for I have taken away my peace from this people, saith the LORD, even lovingkindness and mercies.

Read the CONDITIONS stated below, and notice that being humble is one of the requirements

We cannot boast of grace because it appears before all men. Grace is a teacher that will instruct the humble to deny themselves and all sins. The grace of God appeared to all men, but only the humble receive of it.

James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the HUMBLE.

1 Peter 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.

Prov. 3:34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the LOWLY.

Deut. 5 Mos 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS to a thousand generations;

2 King 8:23 And he said, LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that WALK BEFORE THEE with all their heart:

2 Chron. 30:9 For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, IF YE RETURN unto him.

Neh 1:5 And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that LOVE HIM AND OBSERVE HIS COMMANDMENTS

Ps 103:17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that FEAR HIM, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

Jer 3:12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, RETURN, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever.

Amos 5:15 HATE THE EVIL, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.

Either we can work ourselves up to a point of salvation OR we are saved by God’s grace and mercy. It’s one or the other. Since none of us have obeyed the law perfectly, we are saved by grace. But does the fact that God cleanses us from our sins mean it’s ok for us to continue in sin? Of course not. Then we would be defiled and unrighteous yet again.

Luke 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

We are to be merciful the way our Father is merciful, but if he is only merciful to SOME (the elect), wouldn’t this mean that we too can choose to be merciful to SOME people? The Bible says that Jesus died for all of us and we should always be prepared to be merciful to our neighbors. This doesn’t mean we should throw pearls to swine because we too can set up conditions. God has mercy on who he will have mercy, but this should not be interpreted as though he does this unconditionally or arbitrarily. God can set up his own rules, and if God decides to show mercy on whoever believes in him and love him, he is entitled to enforce this rule. He can also decide to show NO mercy to an individual who shows no mercy himself.

Romans 9:18Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

James 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

Regeneration does not precede faith, and about DEPRAVITY

Regeneration in the Bible

“Regenerate” and regenerated” are not found in the KJV Bible. Not in the NIV either for that matter. Neither is “regeneration” found in the NIV but it’s found twice in the KJV.

Regeneration” is a translation from the Greek noun παλινγενεσίᾳ  (palingenesia Strong’s 3824) and can also mean new birth, renewal, restoration, etc. When we are forgiven and cleansed from our sins we are washed, born again and a child of God. Regenerated! God wants us all to repent from our sins and come to him so that we can be regenerated and born again. Here is the first verse:

Matthew 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

The second instance is this one below (in the genitive form), and some reformed believers build a whole new doctrine on this verse alone:

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of REGENERATION, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

This verse does not say that a person must be “regenerated” in order to seek and find God, but it’s clear that we cannot cleanse our own sins by suddenly doing good things. Our PAST sins must be dealt with first. We can only be cleansed and declared righteous thanks to the blood of Jesus , and this happens when we ask for forgiveness for our sins, repent and start living in the light. If we break the Law even once, we are in need of a Savior and we are saved thanks to God’s MERCY.

When we are born again we have been moved from death to life and we are washed, regenerated and renewed of the Holy Ghost. We are all asked to come to God in order to be born again, and we learn that regeneration comes AFTER that a person has repented for his sins and been cleansed from them. Only THEN is he a new regenerated person and the old things have passed away. Let’s also remember that the prodigal son was spiritually DEAD and yet he took a personal decision to return to his Father and ask for forgiveness. No one else persuaded him or forced him.

If conversion occurs at some point after regeneration, then we have a person who is regenerated but not yet converted, and therefore a person who is regenerated but not yet saved. A person is not saved when he receives the ability to repent and believe, but when he is actually cleansed/regenerated. The very moment that a sinner is regenerated he is saved because regeneration is not distinct or difference from conversion.

Verses that show that faith comes before regeneration/rebirth

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

John 1:12 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

Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;—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:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord

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

2 Cr 7:10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death

1 John 1:9 IF we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

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

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 thereforepurges himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

2 Chron. 15:2 The LORD is with you when you are with him. IF you seek him, he will be found by you, but IF you forsake him, he will FORSAKE you.

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.

Isaiah 55:7 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.

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… 

Mat 6:14,15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

The whole point of seeking God is to find him and become regenerated/cleansed

Until we find God we are not forgiven nor regenerated. Reformed type of thinking reverses the sequence by which God works and shuts up the Kingdom of Heaven against men, claiming specialness for themselves and barring for the vast bulk of humanity. God instructs men to seek God, and in fact, we are told that nobody can come to God UNLESS they seek him. Acts 17 states clearly that God created all men in the hope that they would SEEK HIM AND FIND HIM,and that he is not far from any one as in him we all live and move and have our being. Then he determines the way to find him – he commands all men everywhere to repent. Being born of God comes as a result of, or at the same time as, finding God.

Man cannot find God before God reveals himself to man, and he has! This is the good news! He has enlightened all men born into this world – Jn 1:9 and Romans 1 – and he has shown all men within themselves his eternal power and godhood – this is quite comprehensive revelation. So that they know the truth about God and they have no excuse…(Romans 1:19-21).

Regeneration means redemption in the blood of Jesus, which is forgiveness of sins at the new birth. Regeneration is a result of repentance and consequently does not occur before repentance. 

There is one verse that describes regeneration in Titus:. ”according to his mercy he saved us, by the WASHING OF REGENERATION, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” (Titus 3:5).

Here we see that regeneration = the washing.

Revelation 1:5 tells us what this washing is: ”from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our SINS in his own blood

Colossians 1:14 ”In whom we have REDEMPTION through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

This happens consequent upon REPENTANCE: ”Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31)

So first; we receive, repent, seek, return to, etc and THEREAFTER God cleanses, pardons and makes us the sons of God.

DEPRAVED and DEPRAVITY words not found in the BIBLE!

Depraved” and “depravity” are words not to be found in the KJV Bible, but 6 times in the NIV where the meaning is never that a person is 100% dead and unable to make good moral decisions without the awakening of God. It’s also interesting to see that the words

Reformed believers usually base their whole philosophy on the idea that man is ”depraved” and they repeatedly use this word, which they have their own interpretation of.  I checked the words DEPRAVE, DEPRAVED and DEPRAVITY in the entire NIV and none of the six places indicate a person is depraved out of his/her own control. It’s always a BAD CHOICE to be depraved:

Ezekiel 16:47 You not only followed their ways and copied their detestable practices, but in all your ways you soon became more depraved than they.

Comment: Here we can read about people choosing to FOLLOW bad ways, and these ways are DETESTABLE according to God. We can read that they became MORE depraved than others due to this unfortunate selecting of ways to follow.

Ezekiel 23:11 Her sister Oholibah saw this, yet in her lust and prostitution she was more depraved than her sister.

Comment: Here we can read the reason why Oholibah was MORE depraved than her sister. It was due to her lust and prostitution. There is no obligation to live like that.

Romans 1:28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

Comment: Here we can read the REASON why God gave people over to depraved minds. It was due to their choice to not seek it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God. We can read that they do what OUGHT NOT to be done which is a good indication of that they had an option to live in another way. This is a good example of something happening against God’s will. It was God who gave them over to a depraved mind, but 1) it was due to their own rejection of him and 2) apparently they did not have a depraved mind to start with. The rest of Romans 1 makes is clear that people have no excuse for not coming to God and for acting wickedly.

2 Timothy 3:8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected.

Comment: Here again we can read about people who OPPOSE the truth. God naturally did not want them to oppose the truth. IF God wanted them to reject the truth and thus force them to reject the truth, then they shouldn’t be held accountable for it. They wouldn’t have any choice but to act just like God made them act, so they would actually be ”obeying God” by rejecting the truth. God wants us all to accept the truth and we can all do this if we so choose.

2 Peter 2:2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.

Comment: Here again we read about people who choose to FOLLOW their depraved conducts, and by doing so they will bring the way of truth into disrepute. Bad choice on their part!

2 Peter 2:7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless

Comment: Lot was a righteous man among loads of depraved people. Naturally God didn’t want those people to be depraved but they ended up in that way against God’s will and according to their own free will. Again, if God wanted them to be depraved then they would be innocent victims for God’s ruling, which they had no choice but to obey. Just the fact that Lot was called righteous and the others depraved shows the distinction between obeying God and not obeying God.

Romans 1:29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips.

Comment: These are examples of wicked behavior and since God is not the author of sin, naturally we can’t blame God for filling these people with all kinds of wickedness. Since they have ”become” filled with evil, it makes us understand that this was not always the case in their lives. The better option would have been to live in the light.

2 Peter 2:19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity for people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.

Comment: We can read in KJV Rom. 6:16:”Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves tosomeone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey whether you are slaves to sin, which leads todeath, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?”

WE are the ones doing the choosing to whom we should obey. God is the one to whom we owe our worship and obedience, so if we obey someone else it’s always against his will. Both Peter and Paul are warning us to not obey the wrong master. We are told to be obedient and continue to be righteous.

Sovereignty

”Sovereignty” and ”sovereign” are words not found in the KJV Bible. ”Sovereignty” is found in the NIV in a couple of cases where it does not refer to God (Dan 5:18, Dan 7:27) and ”sovereign” is used several times in the NIV. The lack of this word in the KJV is also quite interesting since many calvinists claim that Free willers have changed the meaning of ”sovereign” – when we suggest that a sovereign God can create man with Free will – eventhough this word is not even present in the Bible. Naturally God IS sovereign but there is no obligation to understand the nature of God the way calvinists prefer to view him. God is so sovereign that he is able to create us with free will. That is how powerful he is!

Total inability

Not found in the KJV or NIV.