Tag Archive | verses

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”)

Everything is sin? We can never stop sinning? Youtube film.

Who is righteous according to the Bible?

Are those righteous who have been given another person’s righteousness (Jesus’ righteousness) while they continue in sin albeit feel ”sorry” for their sins?

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.7 Little children, LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU: HE THAT DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS IS RIGHTEOUS, EVEN AS HE IS RIGHTEOUS. 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. (KJV)

Do not be deceived by those who suggest that we can hide behind Jesus so that God the Father does not see our sins but only the blood of Jesus. We cannot fool God – he can see our sins! Sinning continues to separate us from God. It is Satan who says the opposite ”Ye shall not surely die” (Gen. 3:4). This simple lie goes around on and on again in our churches where well-meaning pastors claim that God loves us exactly as we are (IN our sins) as long as we believe in Jesus because ”once saved always saved”. What do you say about those who claim that we can never stop sinning? Think about this:

”By changing the definition of sin to include many things that God has not called sin, Satan causes believers to be greatly discouraged and they give up trying to get victory over sin. If sin is all inclusive, then it becomes too great to overcome. I’ve had people tell me that feeling desire for a McD’s burger was a sin. In doing this, Satan makes it seem that sin is too wide, all inclusive, and inescapable. That tactic overcomes the young Christian so that they do not press on to perfection. They become convinced that there is no hope of ever being free from something that is so all inclusive”
/ Clarence Bro Cope

Do not listen to those who claim that all we do is like filthy rags before God (a term from Isaiah 64:6 where we can read about people who mix righteousness with sin and believe they are still fine). We can be good servants here and now thanks to the grace of God.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly IN THE PRESENT AGE (NKJV)

Jesus used some harsh and rude comments, so we can do this as well?

prov 15

Let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul FROM DEATH and will cover a multitude of sins. (Ja. 5:20)

In the Bible, we can see that Jesus on rare occasions used some harsh words for people opposing him, but just about always in relation to Pharisees – religious leaders who viewed themselves as authoritative teachers who set the rules for salvation, and who generally opposed Jesus greatly up to the point of wanting to kill him. Such dangerous self-professed teachers (and hypocritical sinners) probably deserved to be rebuked by Jesus Christ who is God in flesh. Jesus said about them:

Matt. 23:13 For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. (NKJV)

Dangerous indeed! No wonder why Jesus during a dinner (or two dinners) with Pharisees present, took the chance to explain why they were in deep error and even rebuked them. He made sure to explain why he was against their teachings, by giving examples. If people do not understand why they are being rebuked and given a chance to know exactly how to improve, then a rebuke would be a waste of time. If we truly love people and want them to let go of false teachings, we should also explain where exactly they are in error – just like Jesus.

There are Christians who use such rare occasions (when Jesus used called the Pharisees names) as evidence for that they too can call people derogatory names left and right, as soon as people do not agree with them. The problem is that Christians do not always choose the right occasions the way Jesus did. Just because Jesus a few times described the Pharisees with derogatory names, it is still no free ticket for us to insult people left and right even if they are mistaken about certain doctrines. If the idea is to persuade others about our position, demeaning insults will only push people away, and what will that accomplish?

Jesus did not use derogatory names when he spoke sinners such as the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:9), the woman about to get stoned (John 8:11), the woman who anointed his feet (Luke 7:37-38), etc. They were all sinners, but it is possible to make people understand the danger of their sin through conversations without calling them names. Sometimes Christians who are given the advice to avoid spreading insults, patronizing remarks and derogatory names, misunderstand the advice to mean ”Do not expose false teachings, but rather try to make people feel comfortable in their sin”. That is hardly the same thing. Again, it is possible to expose false teachings and get the message across without spreading insults (which only risk the other person to leave). If the idea is to make people stay and listen, often a more pleasant attitude is more helpful. Once in a while we might meet people who deserve a tougher treatment due to their aggressive ways, but it would be preferable if we made sure to not go down to their level.

Sometimes even sarcasm has a proper place in a conversation, but this too depends on the situation.

1 Kings 18:27 And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.” (NKJV)

Which were Jesus rude remarks?

  • About Herod: ”Go ye, and tell that fox” (Luke 13:32)
  • To Pharisees: ”O generation of vipers” (Matt. 12:34)
  • To Pharisees: ”Ye are of your father the devil” (John 8:44)
  • To the scribes and the Pharisees – Matthew’s version: ”—woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!—Ye fools and blind—ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness—within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity—Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers” (Matt. 23:13-33)
  •  To the scribes, Pharisees and lawyers – Luke’s version: ”Ye fools—hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not” (Luke 11:40-46).
  • To Peter (or actually Satan): ”Get thee behind me, Satan” (Matt. 16:23, Mark 8:33, Luke 4:8)

John the Baptiste:

  • To Pharisees and Sadducees: ”O generation of vipers” (Matt 3:7 and Luke 3:7)

Stephen:

  • To Pharisees: ”Ye stiffnecked” (Acts 7:51)

Paul

  • A general agreement about the Cretans: One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true”

If insulting names are used when spoken about large groups of people (like an entire generation or a ”people”), the remarks tend to not appear as strong. Within large groups of people there might be exceptions, but the general remark is still true. Jesus naturally expressed strong words about false prophets and sinners without naming anyone.

  • To all faithless: ”O faithless and perverse generation” (Matt. 17:17).
  • To his disciples: ”O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” (Luke 24:25).

In another conversation with a Pharisee named Simon, Jesus did no say ”woe to you pharisee” but gently explained   what was wrong with Simon’s views. He corrected him in love without using name callings, but also without compromising with the truth. (Luke 36-47).

Paul on Mars Hill in Athensmars hill

On March Hill, Paul could have rebuked all those people who believed in false gods, but he used a smarter approach. He managed to get their attention without humiliating them, but still explained to them why they were off the mark and what they should do to be right with God. In this way he did not stir up anger and resentment but made people stay and listen. This approach does not mean that Paul compromised with the truth, nor was he watering down the gospel.

Paul did not start out screaming to the idolaters in front of him ”Listen up you filthy sinners! You’re all heretics going to hell, you morons! DO you REALLY believe you will get eternal life when you’re nothing but WICKED, WICKED, WICKED?! LOL LOL LOL! No, you’re going to HELL, do you hear me? You all deserve it!!”, etc. None of that would necessarily be false information, but the point is of course that there are smarter ways to provide the information. Paul started out saying:

Acts 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

What a clever way to steer the speech straight to the gospel of God by making a comparison with those inscriptions! Paul also said ”Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious! From then on he laid out his message with the hope that as many as possible would stay and listen. If he would derogatory terms, I suspect people would get angry, stop listening and shout names back at him. That would be a total waste of time, and they would be busy fighting with each other and with Paul rather than letting him share the gospel. Who would this benefit?

GENTLENESS and MEEK CORRECTIONS IN LOVE

Examples from the Bible.

Matthew 18:15Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

2 Tim 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 24And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,25IN MEEKNESS instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

2 Thess. 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.15 YET COUNT HIM NOT AS AN ENEMY, but admonish him AS A BROTHER.

Colossians 3:12Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear

Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

James 4:11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.—16For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.—31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

Paul’s patiently discussed with people and persuaded them to believe the true gospel

It is seldom enough to persuade people to give up their false theological views by just 10 minutes worth of conversations. Not even a conversation of one or two hours might be enough, but their resistance might not be due to a rebellion from their part but rather due to having been exposed with twisted ideas for a very long time. They likely feel that they are the ones defending the true gospel from being attacked by someone like you. Instead of losing patience and dishing out insults at this point, it is better to reason with them and provide scripture for the truth.

In other situations it might be better to shake off the dust from our feet and walk away – if the person we are talking with clearly does not want to listen, constantly interrupts, attacks you, etc. We are not supposed to throw pearls to swine if there are other people who are more open for the gospel.

Paul patiently reasoned with people, even if they did not get persuaded after 10 minutes. He could be reasoning for days, as long as he at least had some attention regarding what he was saying.

Acts 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

Acts 17:16Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.  17Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.

Acts 19:8And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. 9But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. 10And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

Acts. 20:.29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Acts. 28:23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

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.

We are still risking GOD’s WRATH if we sin – penal substitution is wrong

vrede

Jesus did satisfy God’s wrath

God is not like an unruly child prone to throw tantrums whenever things do not go his way. The idea that his wrath can be ”satisfied” by letting someone else take the blame, for whatever caused his anger, does not make much sense. So God the Father would pour out wrath on his son, and then all things suddenly change for the better and we will never risk his wrath again? No, Jesus died as a sin offering for our sins (compare with the animal sacrifice system in the Old Testament which was also in relation to sin offerings). God would not pour out wrath on an innocent person and pretend that this would somehow fix the guilt of mankind. Jesus shed his blood for us to REMOVE our sins (not to literally take our sins on or in himself) but this will not happen automatically but rather when we REPENT for our sins.

1 John 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested TO TAKE AWAY our sins; and in him is no sin.

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, WHICH TAKETH AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD.

Hebr. 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared TO PUT AWAY SIN by the sacrifice of himself.—28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Rom. 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I SHALL TAKE AWAY their sins.

Ps. 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he REMOVED our transgressions from us.

Notice the difference between these two descriptions about the atonement of Christ. The first one can lead to serious misunderstandings:

”Jesus paid for our SINS on the cross and died instead of us and in our place. He also took our punishment instead of us and satisfied God’s wrath”

”Jesus died as a sin offering for all mankind (a high price), and by doing so enabled whosoever to be saved on the condition that they believe and repent”

Examples of God’s wrath till active today and in the future

If Jesus truly ”satisfied God’s wrath” or ”took God’s wrath on himself and instead of us”, then none of us would have to risk being affected by God’s wrath ever again – but that is not the case. The Bible tells us that God will show wrath on those who refuse to believe and/or those who do evil and it does not say that Christians are exempted.

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven AGAINST ALL UNGODLINESS AND UNRIGHTEOUSNESS OF MEN, who hold the truth in unrighteousness

Romans 2:5 But after thy hardness and IMPENITENT HEART treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God

Romans 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But IF THOU DO THAT WHICH IS EVIL, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to EXECUTE WRATH UPON HIM THAT DOETH EVIL

John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but THE WRATH OF GOD ABIDES IN HIM.” (NASB)

”Children of disobedience” are adults who walk according to the course of this world, according to the lusts of their flesh, fulfilling the desires of their flesh and mind, etc. They are certainly not BORN that way but they can start bad habits and thus ”by nature” be rebellious and sinful. No one is of course able to fulfill the desires of their flesh and mind before they even have either flesh or minds. This is rather self-evident, but I am saying this due to those who believe that ”children of disobedience” are chosen to be exactly that before the world even began and before they are even born. Besides, many of those Christians to whom Paul wrote behaved in the same way, but they did not continue with this lifestyle. Those Christians were evidently not ”non-elect” even though they earlier in life behaved just like children of disobedience. Just like the name/term suggests, it is all about disobeying – and Christians do not get a free card if they choose to live in disobedience.

Eph. 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Eph. 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

Col. 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

It is possible also for ”sanctified” believers, for whom Jesus died, to be affected by the wrath of God and they will lose their salvation unless they repent:

Hebr. 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: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?30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Just like Christians are not exempted from God’s wrath if they no longer live holy lives, also God’s chosen people Israel were in trouble due to disobedience and many of them did not enter the promised land. They were also expected to place trust in God due to his wondrous works, but they disappointed God by being rebellious.

Ps. 78:31 The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel.32 For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works.

The NT Bible authors claim that SIN continues to risk spiritual DEATH

flickaThe Bible authors about our capacity to avoid sinning

Most christians understand that sin does not please God and that born again christians should avoid it. Still, the same christians might also suggest that we can never truly stop sinning. There are many agnostics and even atheists also live pretty good moral lives, so what is the difference between christians and non-christians if the fruit is the same? Are we supposed to believe there are sinning saints who are saved because they believe in God and because they perhaps ”do their best” to avoid sinning?

Many believe that we are saved by faith alone (despite that Ja. 2:24 says the opposite), but having a lack of belief in God appears to be one sin among others sins which separate us from him:

Rev. 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

”Unbelieving” is a translation from the Greek adjective apistos (Strong’s 571) which in the KJV is translated: that believe not (6x), unbelieving (5x), faithless (4x), unbeliever (4x), infidel (2x), thing incredible (1x), which believe not (1x).

Sinning does not merely affect our ”relationship with God”, but sinning continues to risk our souls. If we want to have a healthy and prosperous relationship with God, we are faithful to him and the same thing applies if we want to have a prosperous relationship with a spouse. Repentance is a requirement for being cleansed from past sins, but combining obedience and disobedience is not true repentance and does not lead to salvation. It is true that we do not only get one single chance and then we are out, but true repentance signifies a completely new mind-set. The idea is to leave the old man behind and this can be achieved with the help of the holy Spirit. We can successfully live in complete victory over sin here and now. Yes, we are saved by grace, which we do not deserve and thanks to God’s kindness, but what does this really mean?

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

Let us not forget that it was SATAN who introduced the idea that sin will not cause death, but as we all know he LIED because the opposite is true. This means that the following common church teachings are all false: ”once saved always saved”, ”we can’t stop sinning”, ”thanks to Jesus death on the cross we no longer have to risk separation from God”, ”Jesus has paid for our sins so now we no longer have to fear any consequences for our sins”, ”God has forgiven all our sins – past, present and future sins”, ”we have been provided Jesus righteousness, which means that God can no longer see our sins but only the blood of Jesus”, ”we are born with a sinful nature which makes us sin”, ”God accepts us just as we are”, ”as long as we feel bad about our sins, God will forgive us”, ”we are saved by faith alone, which means that our deeds won’t affect our salvation”, ”we are saved by grace, which means that obedience is not essential for salvation”, etc.

Gen. 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, YE SHALL NOT SURELY DIE

Jesus does not say that christians can afford to sin without risking spiritual deathgrace 5

Mark 9:45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

John 3:36 He who believes (Strong’s 4100) in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey (Strong’s 544) the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (NASB)

John 5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.-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.—23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.—8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.—14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Matt 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Matt. 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Rev. 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Paul does not say that christians can afford to sin without risking spiritual death

Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.-12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.—15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom. 8:13 For 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.14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

1 Cor 6:Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Eph. 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

Gal. 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Cor 7:9 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

John does not say that christians can afford to sin without risking spiritual death

1 John 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

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.

Rev. 21:27 (The new Jerusalem) And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Peter does not say that christians can afford to sin without risking spiritual death1 Pet.

Acts 10:34 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.

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?19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

1 Peter. 3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

2 Peter. 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.—10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.—18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

Jude does not say that christians can afford to sin without risking spiritual death

Juda 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.5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

James does not say that christians can afford to sin without risking spiritual death

Ja. 1:14 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.—21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

Ja. 5:19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

Ja. 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

The Hebrew writer does not say that christians can afford to sin without risking spiritual death

Hebr 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

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?

God does not say that christians can afford to sin without risking spiritual death
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Mal 2:17 Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

Isa. 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

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.13 Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him. 18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.19 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.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.

Gen. 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

10 common calvinist proof text arguments debunked, like John 6, Acts 13:48 and John 10:28-29

trassel2Calvinism is a confusing set of doctrines based on the five points of Calvinism in TULIP. Calvinists are famous for complicating the Bible, for reading Bible verses in a vacuum and for reading the Bible through the filter of some proof text verses with their own preferable interpretation.

Their unfortunate theology frequently leads to contradictions such as Jesus not dying for everyone and God causing people to sin, which they often disregard by stating ”God’s ways are higher than your ways” or ”who are you to argue against God?”. The very first church fathers (up until close to the advent of Augustine) did not teach anything close to Calvinism which is semi-gnostic in nature. Calvinism is therefore based on the tradition of men rather than on the Bible and the understanding of the very first apostles/saints (see Jude 3).

Col. 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

If God’s will always happens and if he chooses people for salvation/damnation from the beginning of the world, then it follows that he forced wicked non-elect sinners into this world – who will end up in hell despite totally obeying God at all times. This applies IF you want to be consistent with Calvinism, which so far no Calvinist has ever succeeded to be. Hard core Calvinists are seldom interested in getting rid of their contradictions (such as painting a very dark picture of our Lord) which could easily come true if they only adopted the more Biblical ”free will” alternative which does not in any way threaten God’s sovereignty. It is sad to see how they instead prefer to stick with their reformed teachers who make them believe that Jesus did not love everyone and did not die for the whole world.

Here are 10 of some common proof text verses (more details in the links)

1) John 6:39-44 argument about God drawing people, forcing them to be saved

Calvinists just love v. 44 and prefer not to let the other verses destroy their preferred understanding of this particular verse, which on the surface seems to say exactly what they want it to say – if you only ignore the rest of the verses. How would the outcome be if we read this verse in a vacuum?:

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.

Jesus draws ALL men in John 12:32, but even if we cannot come to him unless he draws us and enables us all to be saved, we must still meet the requirements for salvation which boil down to believe. Calvinists also love to quote v. 39, but not v. 40 which includes a condition for salvation – ”— every one which SEETH the Son, and BELIEVETH on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day”.

What is the point with all conditions listed in John 6, such as the requirements to learn, eat, drink, believe, see and come to him? Why not simplify it and say ”whomsoever I choose and force to believe in me will be saved” if that is what John really wants to emphasize? In v. 66 we can read about some of his disciples who went back and walked no more with him, and in v. 70 we can read about a person who Jesus chose but who was still lost – Judas. In John 1:6-7 we can read that Jesus came so that ”ALL through him might believe”. Why then do not all believe? Because they have chosen to not meet the requirements listed above. God created us TO SEEK HIM and FIND 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: 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.29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, WE OUGHT NOT to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now COMMANDETH ALL MEN EVERY WHERE TO REPENT:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof HE HATH GIVEN ASSURANCE UNTO ALL MEN, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2012/04/05/no-man-can-come-except-the-father-draws-him-john-644/

2) Rom. 8:29-30 argument where God predestines/forces certain individuals to be saved whereas he damns the rest

V. 28 makes it clear that the promises are linked only to those who LOVE GOD. We must have this information in mind when we proceed to v. 29 so that we know to whom the promises are meant. The body of Christ is foreknown and predestined to enter the kingdom of God and reach glorification. There WILL be a body of Christ (the church) entering heaven, and it consists of people who choose to love God. If anyone wants to be part of the body of Christ and the wonderful promises tied to it, he must love God above everything else and endure to the end. (See more under Eph. 2 below.) ”Predestination” and ”elect” are two Biblical words, but nowhere in the Bible will we see individuals chosen for salvation.

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2012/04/17/whom-he-did-predestinate-them-he-also-called-and-justified-and-glorified-rom-829-30/

3) Rom. 9 argument where absolutely everything turns out exactly as God wants since no one can resist calvinism 13his will – and where it is not even possible to talk back to God at any time

Calvinists absolutely adore Rom. 9 despite their interpretation that most people are born desperately doomed, but since they do not pay attention to the context they totally misunderstand what Paul is trying to get the Jews to understand. His point is that it is God’s prerogative to arrange the salvation plan in any way he wants, including making the salvation offer opened also for the gentiles – and as we have learned – based on faith rather than being born Jewish, or being ”first” as God’s chosen people who were given the law of Moses. That is why he makes the comparison with Jacob and Esau (the first-born), which certainly does not tell us anything about God choosing individuals for salvation. God will show mercy on whomever he will show mercy, but it does not say that he does this unconditionally. This becomes even more clear when we realize that Paul is quoting scriptures, where God was having a dialogue with Moses during Exodus. Furthermore, in Rom. 11 we can read about the branches: ”because of unbelief they were broken off”. 

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2012/04/18/romans-9-shows-mans-free-will/

Mercy on whom I will have mercy:

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2013/06/10/i-will-have-mercy-on-who-i-will-have-mercy-but-god-still-has-conditions-rom-915/

Jacob and Esau:

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2011/07/06/god-did-not-hate-esau-before-he-was-born-romans-913/

In Jeremiah 18 we can read about the clay (a picture of Israel) being marred in the potter’s hands. Clearly no potter wants his clay marred, forcing him to start over again with the hope that it will turn better the next time. The chapter makes it clear that Israel has the opportunity to repent and to become obedient, and if they do God will not treat them harshly as he threatens to do. Rom. 9 does not say that God  is the one ”fitting” individuals for destruction. If people are prepared for destruction, it is their own doing due to their way of living. Why would God have to ”endure with much longsuffering” if people always obeyed him? There is a wonderful place prepared for the vessels of mercy, and anyone can reach that place. 2 Tim. 2:21 tells us that MAN is expected to PURGE HIMSELF from the vessels of dishonor, and if he does he will be a vessel unto HONOR. Needless to say that Calvinists do not appreciate that verse, and similar verses, at all.

The potter and the clay:

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2012/04/04/the-potter-acts-depending-on-the-clay-we-have-a-free-will-romans-9/

Pharaoh is said in the Bible to have hardened his own heart. If someone has the opportunity to do the right thing and obey the only true God and still chooses to disobey him, it is possible to phrase it as though ”God hardened his heart”, because if God had not provided this particular opportunity to choose the right thing, Pharao could not have been expected to choose it. By presenting Pharaoh with this option, likely knowing he would not choose the right thing, ”God hardened his heart”. Or Pharaoh hardened his heart, whatever you prefer since it boils down to the same thing. Since Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, it shows that it was not completely hard before this point. Yet, Calvinists often teach that the non-elects’ hearts are as hard as they could be. The Bible says that it is certainly possible for man to harden his heart – naturally against God’s will:

Ex. 9:17 AS YET EXALTEST THOU THYSELF AGAINST MY PEOPLE; THAT THOU WILT NOT LET THEM GO?

Ex 9:34 And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. (Here we can read that Pharao SINNED by hardening his heart, so if we want to believe God is the one hardening it, then GOD is the one who forced Pharao to sin.)

Jer. 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart,ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

Hebr. 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

Rom. 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God GAVE THEM OVER TO A REPROBATE MIND, to do those things which are not convenient;—

Pharaoh’s heart:

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2015/05/08/joseph-was-sold-as-slave-by-his-brothers-god-meant-evil-for-good-gen-5020/

4) Phil. 2:13 argument that God is the one making you do all the stuff that you do

If God is the one making us do good things, and actually also bad things since nothing happens against his will (if Calvinism is true), then naturally God alone must be blamed if we lack fruit in our lives. Apparently he did not place the ”will” in us to show good fruit, and who can resist his will? So if we sin, we can certainly say ”God made me do it”. Still, Paul is telling the Philippians how they should and should not do things, indicating that they might make mistakes. He even indicates that he himself might labor ”in vain”, which would not make sense if God is the one making him do the things he does.

Phil. 2:12Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING.

14Do all things without murmurings and disputings:15THAT ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;16Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

If we draw near to God, he will draw near to us, and the holy Spirit will fill us with an improved strength to live holy lives and bear good fruit.

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2011/12/16/god-works-in-you-both-to-will-and-to-do-as-per-phil-213/

5) John. 10:28-29 argument about Jesus choosing his sheep and forcing them to stay with himsheep 2

These two verses are popular, but seldom are they combined with the previous v. 27 which identifies WHO the sheep are in v. 28-29. They are the ones who HEAR his voice and FOLLOW him, wich are requirements. No MAN is able to pluck them out of Jesus’ hands, but the verses do not say that men cannot leave on their own accord – without being plucked out by someone else. We do not lose our free will when we decide to follow Jesus, and we are still able to choose to obey or disobey.

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2014/01/18/jesus-sheep-i-give-them-eternal-life-and-they-shall-never-perish-john-1028/

6) Eph. 4:30 argument that we are sealed until the day of redemption and once saved always saved

The verse does not say that we are sealed/saved until the day of redemption but we are sealed UNTO or FOR the day of redemption. On the day of redemption only those with the seal will be saved, and God can provide us with this type of seal provided that we do our part of the deal. Up until the time of redemption a seal can certainly be broken. To be sealed is to be marked, and if we have the holy Spirit and are led by him, we are certainly a unique group of people and sealed/marked and separate from the world. During the old testament it was the circumcision that was the seal (for men) demonstrating that a man belonged to God, but neither this seal indicated that the sealed/marked person could not choose to wander away from God. We do not lose our free will (to obey or disobey) only because we are marked with the seal.

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2012/04/22/sealed-unto-the-day-of-redemption-but-a-seal-can-be-broken-eph-430/

7) Eph. 2:1-2 argument that individuals are chosen for salvation/damnation before they are even born

Ephesians 1-2 speaks about a corporate election. The body of Christ (the church) will be going to heaven, which was planned and known from the beginning of the world. Jesus knew that he would not die in vain, and that there would be a group of people who would choose to believe in him and endure to the end. Anyone is free to join this body of Christ which is predestined to go to heaven. Compare it with a bus that is going to a certain destination with a number of passengers  – which are those who choose to turn up, show their tickets and remain on the bus. Something that is frequently mentioned is that the wonderful promises are connected to those who are IN HIM. It is THROUGH HIM that we can reach the kingdom of God, so we must make sure to be IN CHRIST – or else the promises are not for us. To be ”elect” is to be precious/special. Israel was also ”elect” (and certain angels were as well) but this does not mean that all Israel will be saved. A ”guarantee receipt” can be a great value for you because it entitles you (if it has not expired) to certain rights, but if you throw it away or if you lose it, then it will not do you much good despite all the promises that are listed on it. Moreover, it is a very bad idea to be dead in trespasses and sins. Sins separate us from God and make us spiritually dead. And people are not born as children of wrath.

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2012/08/30/its-a-choice-to-be-children-of-wrath-ephesians-2/

judas8) Acts 4:26-28 argument that Judas was predestined to sin by betraying Jesus

There is no darkness in God. The Bible is clear that he does not tempt anyone, much less causes people to sin. If God has forced Judas to betray Jesus, Judas really should be awarded a place in paradise – as a thanks for obeying God to 100%. Yet we know that it would have been better if he had not been born. Judas SINNED by betraying Jesus.

Matt. 26:24 The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.

Jesus death was predetermined but it was not necessary to cause Judas or anyone else to be involved in this plan. There was no shortage of people who wanted to betray and kill Jesus, so God did not have to influence anyone to do it. Jesus death was prophesied about, but prophesies normally entail something that is known (not predestined) to take place in the future. The one prophesying is not causing the prophesied events to take place. God can naturally cause things to take place if he wants, like he did with the global flood, the return of the son in the last days, etc, but those unique exceptions hardly mean that he causes all things to line up as he wants. Had Judas never betrayed Jesus, this event would not have been prophesied about unless we are talking about a false prophesy which is not from God. It was not GOD who placed the desire to harm Jesus inside Judas but SATAN.

Joh. 13:And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him 

Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and FOREKNOWLEDGE of God, YE have taken, and BY WICKED HANDS have crucified and slain? 

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2012/04/08/judas-was-not-predestined-to-betray-jesus-acts-428/

9) Acts 13:48 argument that God ordains (forces) individuals to believe in him, whereas the rest have no chance to do the same since God has not provided them with this opportunity

This verse alone does not mention the criteria for God’s choice to ordain individuals, unlike many other verses which clarify that it’s our FAITH that is the criteria. Neither does this verse suggest that God’s appointing is the CAUSE for people’s faith. According to Adam Clarke, the original Greek word ”includes no idea of preordination or predestination of any kind” (”Commentary on Acts 13:48”). The original Greek word simply means “disposed” (to set in position), and therefore the verse could be translated “as many as were disposed (or who set themselves in such a disposition) to eternal life believed”.  Their disposition to receive the gospel is contrasted with the disposition of the Jews just two verse before, and the Jews had chosen another path. So those who judge themselves unworthy of everlasting life did not believe, but those who disposed themselves to eternal life believed, and whether they believed or not depended on whether their heart rejected or accepted the Gospel which was preached to them.

Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but SEEING YE PUT IT FROM YOU, AND JUDGE YOURSELVES UNWORTHY of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2012/04/12/as-many-as-were-ordained-to-eternal-life-believed-but-they-were-not-forced-acts-1348/

10) Eph 2:8-9 argument where faith is a gift offered to only a few lucky people, leaving the rest for damnation

If we are not able to have faith unless God enables us to have this faith, and if God chooses to prevent people from ever getting faith, then it follows that God alone must be blamed if we do not believe in him. Or do non-elect have the choice to have faith in him? If no, then they are innocent victims in the hands of a cruel God who created them for the sole reason to send them to hell – for not believing in him, which he himself prevented them from doing. Not much within Calvinism makes sense.

We are saved by grace (God’s kindness) but through FAITH – which is a requirement for salvation. The Bible also says that if we love God – which we do if we truly have faith in him – then we OBEY him. Eph. 2-8-9 does not say that faith is a gift but that SALVATION is a gift, and this is certainly true since we cannot cleanse and save ourselves. It is also true that we do not earn our salvation by anything we do (or believe), and that we are not saved by either works alone or faith alone (as Jam. 2:24 states). If we dare to continue to v. 10, we can read that we are created to good works that God has prepared that we should WALK in. What happens if we choose not to walk in those good works? Still saved no matter what?

https://bjorkbloggen.com/2012/04/21/faith-is-not-the-gift-of-god-in-eph-28-9-but-salvation-is/

I might return with 10 more common proof text arguments