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laverne3

Question regarding Predestination and Election

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I am having some difficulties understanding predestination and election. Ever since coming to Christ, I have never touched on the subject but now that I know of it, it is making feel less loved by God but also, unfortunately, makes me doubt the love of God. I wrote this down in a note so bear with me if it is jumping all over the place.

 

It is understood that all humans are under sin and that we all are deserving of God's righteous and just judgment. Without God's grace, we will not be able to escape His holy wrath. This, however, is not to say that we are incapable of being righteous enough to earn our salvation because God made us that way but because we, from the very beginning with Adam, have freely chosen to live sinfully and against God. God is then not to blame, he didn't make us sin, we freely chose to sin. But then when you get into predestination and God's sovereignty and all-knowing nature things start getting a bit confusing. 

 

According to predestination, God had pre-elected some humans to be saved and also some that would be destined to their own devices and thus their own destruction and eternal punishment. I am now familiar also with the notion of Positive/Negative double predestination. This claims that those that are elected God changes, actively, their hearts to have faith and those that God elected to not save he simply "passed over" or just left them to themselves. There is no human accomplishment in following Christ. It is the work of God. He changed the hearts of those who believe in order for them to be able to believe. Otherwise, we would all be in the same boat. If you then delve deeper into the understanding of predestination and God's sovereignty you then also see that God knew of this whole plan even before the creation of the world. It wasn't a surprise to him. It wasn't as if he put Adam and Eve in the garden and said: "Let's see how this turns out." And then seeing that they disobeyed him was like "Shoot, I guess we go to plan B." No, God knew what would happen and that they would choose to disobey him. Not only this, he knew that while putting the tree there that they would eat of it and that would make them perish. He thus knew that many people would be born and would then be spending eternity in damnation and fire. 

 

This does seem a bit odd and less loving than I have learned God to be. Couldn't this be compared to putting two children in a room with a ton of toys but also placing a knife in there and then telling the kids: "You can play with all the toys in here but don't play with the knife, otherwise you will die." But during all of this, you knew for some reason that those kids would choose to play with that knife! This does put some blame on you for putting that knife in there in the first place. 

 

I am sorry in advance if this sounds ungrateful but this is a very hard concept for me to grasp. I can acknowledge the fact that I am a sinner and that I could never be perfect as God is but trying to understand this is a whole new thing for me. I am just wanting to understand and get over this so I can know more about God and truly believe that He is loving rather than just accepting that he is. 

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I will not be answering your question. Some of the guys around here will do a good job answering. 

I will tell you you are not alone in trying to grasp this subject. 

For me it speaks directly to His sovereignty. 

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1 hour ago, laverne3 said:

Couldn't this be compared to putting two children in a room with a ton of toys but also placing a knife in there and then telling the kids: "You can play with all the toys in here but don't play with the knife, otherwise you will die." But during all of this, you knew for some reason that those kids would choose to play with that knife! This does put some blame on you for putting that knife in there in the first place.  

 Hello laverne,

 

 Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am not very knowledgeable concerning this subject but I do think the above example won't really hold since (1) Adam and Eve were adults and (2) they were commanded directly by God. 

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10 hours ago, laverne3 said:

I am having some difficulties understanding predestination and election. Ever since coming to Christ, I have never touched on the subject but now that I know of it, it is making feel less loved by God but also, unfortunately, makes me doubt the love of God. I wrote this down in a note so bear with me if it is jumping all over the place.

Why would "You", a believer, the Elect feel less loved because God chose you before the foundation of the world and set His affections upon you? Why would you feel less loved because if left to yourself you would perish so God doesn't leave you to yourself but adopt and sanctifies you? What do you think it means to say Christians have a personal God rather than an impersonal God?

 

Predestination and Election are taught in the Scriptures. The Scriptures are the word of God. Therefore, when someone suggests that they can't accept what the Scriptures state I question whether they've rejected the God of Scripture for a god after their own image.

 

The world only has one savior Jesus Christ and they've rejected Him. So really, I don't understand why anyone would play advocate or mediator for the reprobate unless they have a low view of God's justice and think they themselves are more "fairer" than God.

10 hours ago, laverne3 said:

This, however, is not to say that we are incapable of being righteous enough to earn our salvation because God made us that way but because we, from the very beginning with Adam, have freely chosen to live sinfully and against God. God is then not to blame, he didn't make us sin, we freely chose to sin. But then when you get into predestination and God's sovereignty and all-knowing nature things start getting a bit confusing.  

That's a full blown heretical statement which rejects original sin (Pelagianism).  And Adam and Eve were created "very good". Adam as well as Eve didn't have a "righteous nature" but had succumbed to external influences. If Adam were righteous he would of crushed the head of the serpent.

 

Regardless, all are born in Adam and have sinned. Adam's prefallen disposition or nature really doesn't concern us. The Scriptures speak very little about Adam's nature before the fall.

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2 hours ago, Innerfire89 said:

Even toward the wicked God is loving. His purpose for the wicked far outweigh the loss of the perishing.

How so? Unless Jesus Christ serves as the Propitiation how is God's hatred towards the wicked satisfied?

 

I think there's no need to go into all the verses that state God hates the wicked.

 

However, I think what you mean is that while the Elect were sinners God first loved them?

 

Though I haven't put much thought into the subject my initial thoughts is that God first loving the Elect is not a universal statement towards all mankind without exception. We know God hated Esau before Jacob and Esau were born.

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@laverne3hi.  This subject is misunderstood b better than 98% of the Church Family.  It is not a Salvation issue but the lack of understanding on this might destroy one's faith making it a Witness killer.  I would give a lot if Preachers and Teachers, around the Globe, would take up and teach this issue.  It took Ruah the Holy Spirit, better than twenty years of daily study to get this into Stupid's (me) head and I got tired of retyping it and saved my reply recently;

 

The Holy Word of YHWH teaches Predestination as an absolute fact and any denial of it being truth is tantamount to calling the Word of YHWH to be in error which is tantamount to declaring YHWH to not being The Supreme Being or that He has lied.


 

The whole issue is present only because of laziness and the lack of the desire to seek after the face of YHWH.  That is true of both sides or extremes of the issue.


 

The truth of the matter is only understandable when it is understood that YHWH created this Time/Space Continuum for man and man alone.  YHWH is, in one manor like the men that took the raw elements and with wrenches, rivet guns wrenches and cranes and they, together, created UH1H 67806, my Huey for me to participate in Military Actions.  They were not confined to the space inside 806 but they created it for me.


 

YHWH is not confined to this Time/Space Continuum but rather, before it was created He already was.  When YHWH explains to us that a thousand years is like unto Him as a day and that a day unto His is like a thousand year, it is best understood that Time, as we know it, is meaningless to our Elohim, YHWH.


 

He knows the future from the present and the past because He views the entire scene, beginning through the end, all together, at once.  It is thus that the Prophecies in scripture have always been accurate and always will be.  YHWH has  already seen what, to us, will be.


 

According to Peter, YHWH would have none to perish but that all should repent a and YHWH is not a capricious god, creating some for no other reason than to spend Eternity in Hell.


 

Because our Elohim had already watched me repent and declare Him as my Savior before He created our Time/Space Continuum, by a thousand years or so, He wrote my name in the Book of Life.  Not because He created me for Eternal Life, every Human is a Spiritually Eternal and too many of us choose to reside in the Lake of Fire.


 

YHWH has already seen their decision and their names are omitted because He knows the Beginning and the end.

 

I pray this will gell in your mind after stirring it, putting a lid on the bowl and shaking it and after baking and tasting it.  May YHWH bless it to your heart.

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2 hours ago, Bill Taylor said:

This subject is misunderstood b better than 98% of the Church Family.  It is not a Salvation issue but the lack of understanding on this might destroy one's faith making it a Witness killer.  I would give a lot if Preachers and Teachers, around the Globe, would take up and teach this issue.

You are absolutely right in that the Predestination/Election are Scriptural doctrine though I would suggest that Predestination and Election are a salvation issue that may effect a person in depth. And though they happen in the order of salvation (ordo salutis) way before we could even fathom the doctrines of Predestination and Election lead us to praise God and give Him alone all Glory for salvation. Ironically, some take issue with giving God all glory for salvation (they reject it for works) and most often I wonder if it is related to pride because the natural man cannot admit or confess the greatness of their sin and depravity and the absolute need for God's salvation or intervention. In the mind of the natural man they think there is something no matter how minute a contribution that they have made to salvation. None are righteous, so why does the natural man consider themselves good enough to earn salvation? People naturally want to take credit for salvation rather than just glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

 

In my mind the seriousness of our sin and the extent of our sin nature should bring fear and trembling. If the perfect Son of God Jesus Christ experienced the full wrath of God (Propitiation) in our stead just imagine, if only for a second, what God would do to us without Christ.

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God cannot be something contrary to his nature.  For example, God is innately TRUTHFUL, it is part of His nature, so God  cannot go against His nature and lie.

 

Let’s talk about Adam, Eve and the Tree.  If God had commanded Adam not to eat of the Tree, and then placed an angel with a flaming sword to prevent Adam and Eve from approaching the Tree, then the command, and human obedience to God’s one and only command would have been a sham.  What is the point of forbidding an action that is impossible?  What is the merit in obeying a command that one cannot disobey?  It is only by creating a Tree that man SHALL NOT eat from, and allowing man access to that very tree that God and man have the opportunity to choose obedience.  Every day that Adam and Eve obeyed, was a gift, a deliberate act of honor, from man towards God.  It strikes at the heart of the question of why God chose to create human beings with the capacity to choose rather than creating robotic slaves that had no choice ... because we are created in the image of God and the granting of loving choice is part of God’s nature.

 

So mankind (starting with Adam and Eve, but including every one of us) chose to sin (literally ‘miss the mark’) and to disobey.  The punishment of sinners (every single one of us) would be an act of JUSTICE ... we are guilty of the crime, so we deserve the punishment.  If God had chosen to allow man to sin, offered no chance of mercy, and dealt out only justice, then our sin and our punishment would still have brought glory to God.  Our punishment would have revealed that God is HOLY and cannot coexist with the unholy.  It would have revealed that God is SOVERIGN and answers to no authority higher than His character.  It would have revealed that God is JUST and the guilty are punished.

 

However, God cannot be untrue to His nature.  So the HOLY and SOVERIGN and JUST God, is also MERCIFUL.  Therefore, God granted a propitiation (big fancy word that means God made an offering that would satisfy God’s HOLY, SOVERIGN, JUSTICE) that would purchase MERCY for sinners.  However, a strange thing happened ... no human beings wanted God’s forgiveness.  Thus God created a salvation that nobody accepted.

 

[Rom 3:10-11 NLT] 10 As the Scriptures say, "No one is righteous--not even one. 11 No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God.

[1Co 2:14 NLT] 14 But people who aren't spiritual can't receive these truths from God's Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can't understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.

 

So God’s LOVE was so great, that He was unwilling that all mankind should receive the JUSTICE they deserved, so God refused to allow all mankind to reject God’s MERCY.  God exercised his soverign right to reveal another great, absolute trait of His ... God’s LOVE and GRACE (undeserved favor).  Thus God chose, simply because it is God’s right to do so, to LOVE some in spite of themselves.

 

[Eph 2:1-5 NLT] 1 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil--the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God's anger, just like everyone else. 4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's grace that you have been saved!)

 

Therefore ...

 

[Rom 8:28-30 NLT] 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.

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5 hours ago, atpollard said:

Thus God chose, simply because it is God’s right to do so, to LOVE some in spite of themselves.

 

 Why me?

 

 Why some and not others?

 

 Since there is nothing good in ourselves. In fact, since we are all hideously repulsive I wonder why God would choose some. That is what is His choice based on? Yes, His goodness, but why some (the elect) and not many others?

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9 hours ago, Faber said:

 

 Why me?

 

 Why some and not others?

 

 Since there is nothing good in ourselves. In fact, since we are all hideously repulsive I wonder why God would choose some. That is what is His choice based on? Yes, His goodness, but why some (the elect) and not many others?

No matter how far we push back in the Ordo Salutis, or time, etc to answer the question "why me" it is impossible to attach to the answer any arrogance whatsoever. Thus, Soli Deo Gloria, and that'll leave opponents wanting and unsatisfied.

 

The closest answer I have come across as to "why me" from Scripture resides in 1 Corinthians 1:27-28

  • 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,

The above verses leave me without any boasting. I've come to the wrong God if I think highly of myself or think I'll exalt myself above God Isaiah 14:11-15. And though 1 Corinthians 1:27-28 speaks more directly of effectual calling the calling is spoken of in terms of God's choice.

 

Likewise, Romans 9 indicates that God chose to create certain individuals for glory, and others for destruction. In other words, God had it in mind that He wanted two groups of people, so he created some to put in one group, and he created others to put in the other group. God makes persons for intended use.

 

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On 3/4/2019 at 12:54 AM, William said:

How so? Unless Jesus Christ serves as the Propitiation how is God's hatred towards the wicked satisfied?

 

I think there's no need to go into all the verses that state God hates the wicked.

 

However, I think what you mean is that while the Elect were sinners God first loved them?

 

Though I haven't put much thought into the subject my initial thoughts is that God first loving the Elect is not a universal statement towards all mankind without exception. We know God hated Esau before Jacob and Esau were born.

In a more common way God loves everyone, the sun shines on the just and the wicked, they have air in thier lungs and clothes on their backs.

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I do not see predestination in the sense of God choosing, but God foreknowing our choices. I believe it's the foreknowing that gives explanation to this subject. For example, when God is bringing ones into this life (birth), He already knows if He is "fitting" (bringing) them "to destruction" (Rom 9:22) because He knows they will not "choose life" (i.e Deu 30:19).

 

Even though this concept may result the question, "why would He do that if He knew they would perish?" (worth it? - Luk 15:7, 10). I find this to be more of a possible truth than God being prejudice in choosing (Mat 22:16; Luk 20:21; Act 10:34; Rom 2:11; Gal 2:6; Eph 6:9; Col 3:25; 1Pe 1:17). I also find it pretty clear that the entirety of Scripture often enjoins many issues to man's choice. (maybe to incur a fairness in God's justification in judgement?)

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3 hours ago, NetChaplain said:

I do not see predestination in the sense of God choosing, but God foreknowing our choices.

 

 Hello NC,

 But wouldn't His foreknowing our choices still be based on to whom He decided to draw unto Himself (John 6:44) thus demonstrating that it is His choice to begin with?

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30 minutes ago, Faber said:

 

 Hello NC,

 But wouldn't His foreknowing our choices still be based on to whom He decided to draw unto Himself (John 6:44) thus demonstrating that it is His choice to begin with?

Very good point, which I'm I've been going over for about 10 years now, and it is still to me a difficult issue to conclude. There's no doubt that all who truly come to Christ are "drawn" by the Father, but I'm still pondering if His drawing of an unregenerate cannot be "resisted."  

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1 hour ago, NetChaplain said:

I'm still pondering if His drawing of an unregenerate cannot be "resisted." 

There's a theological distinction between common grace and effectual grace. Common grace can be gleaned from Matthew 5:45 and the universal Gospel invitation Mark 16:15. Regeneration is effectual grace and cannot be resisted (we have as little say in being born from above than we do in our natural physical birth). That is unless, theologically you think faith comes before regeneration (synergism) rather than regeneration preceding faith (monergism).

 

In monergism regeneration precedes faith. The natural unregenerate man are guaranteed (sin nature) to resist, therefore, God regenerates them (the Elect) while they are dead in sin and trespasses and at enmity against Him. In essence the natural man lacks the ability to respond to the Gospel, therefore, regeneration enables faith in which to respond to the Gospel. Responding to the Gospel is a simultaneous turning from sin (confession and repentance) and turning to God (faith).

 

What from John 6:44 makes you think that God "draws" (effectual grace) the natural man in an unregenerate state?

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4 hours ago, NetChaplain said:

I do not see predestination in the sense of God choosing, but God foreknowing our choices. I believe it's the foreknowing that gives explanation to this subject. For example, when God is bringing ones into this life (birth), He already knows if He is "fitting" (bringing) them "to destruction" (Rom 9:22) because He knows they will not "choose life" (i.e Deu 30:19).

And how does God know "they will not choose life"? Also consider Matthew 7:23; John 3:18. Is it because God had not Elected the reprobate and left them to themselves (sin nature) by passing them over?

 

Or are you suggesting that the reprobate or natural unregenerate man "can" (ability) turn from their sins and choose God (through faith)?

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1 hour ago, William said:

What from John 6:44 makes you think that God "draws" (effectual grace) the natural man in an unregenerate state?

Hi Will, and appreciate your site labors, replies and comments! Regeneration is rebirth, thus none are regenerate then reborn, but unregenerate and "drawn" to rebirth.

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55 minutes ago, NetChaplain said:

Hi Will, and appreciate your site labors, replies and comments! Regeneration is rebirth, thus none are regenerate then reborn, but unregenerate and "drawn" to rebirth.

Thanks! And I much appreciate your membership and engagement! I pray that our fellowship is fruitful.

 

Regeneration is indeed a theological term which umbrellas rebirth, born from above, and born again. 

 

The unregenerate are drawn to rebirth? Please clarify, because on the surface it appears that you're equivocating Justification as though the regenerate are drawn to the object of faith Jesus Christ. Second clarification, are you attempting to establish a prevalent type of grace on behalf of the reprobate where synergistically God meets the reprobate half way and man is born again by a combination of works performed by man and God?

 

If not and you mean what you stated then we are drawn to regeneration through faith, and that places faith before regeneration?

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Lemme further clarify why I ask for clarification. There's also baptismal regeneration that needs be considered theologically where Catholics and Lutherans believe that a person is "partially birthed" during baptism. Regeneration is not completed at baptism but begins, the way you worded your response reminded me of baptismal regeneration which is held by Catholics and some Protestants.

 

My question to you was in relation to John 6:44 “No one can come to me (Total Depravity) unless the Father (Unconditional Election) who sent me draws them (Irresistible grace), and I will raise them up (Limited Atonement) at the last day (Perseverance of the saints).

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20 minutes ago, William said:

Regeneration is a theological term which umbrellas rebirth. 

 

Not sure what you mean here by "umbrella."

 

24 minutes ago, William said:

 The unregenerate are drawn to rebirth? Please clarify, because on the surface it appears that you're making an equivocation to Justification when the regenerate are drawn to the object of faith Jesus Christ.

The unsaved (unregenerate) are drawn by desire given them to ask God for faith, and upon the reception of faith, all things that are godly are eternally present. The Biblical term "regeneration" in the Greek and in the dictionary is "rebirth" (Tit 3:5).

 

29 minutes ago, William said:

Second clarification, are you attempting to establish a prevalent type of grace on behalf of the reprobate where synergistically God meets the reprobate half way and man is born again by a combination of works performed by man and God?

 

If not and you mean what you stated then we are drawn to regeneration through faith, and that's faith before regeneration.

 Not sure of the reason you're using the term "reprobate" because the definition means "spurious" or "false." All  Biblical usages are descriptive of one beyond being reborn, i.e. Romans 1:28. We are not drawn by faith to faith, but by desire for faith.

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On 3/3/2019 at 1:05 PM, laverne3 said:

 

...This does seem a bit odd and less loving than I have learned God to be. Couldn't this be compared to putting two children in a room with a ton of toys but also placing a knife in there and then telling the kids: "You can play with all the toys in here but don't play with the knife, otherwise you will die." But during all of this, you knew for some reason that those kids would choose to play with that knife! This does put some blame on you for putting that knife in there in the first place..

 

Hi Laverne3,

 

Understand your question and resultant confusion. A couple things I might address before speaking directly to what I'm perceiving is the heart of the question:

 

Anytime we find ourselves judging God or His motives, that should be a warning sign to us. Remember that we are fallen critters - we are incapable of firstly knowing God fully let alone understanding eternity (see Ecc. 3:11) so when we find ourselves writing something that suggests that God is somehow less than our idea of fair/perfect/just, that should tell us right away we're putting something else in front of God and we've already got it wrong. (Read Job, for instance.)

As others have pointed out, Adam and Eve were adults, so your analogy falls apart right away. It also demonstrates a lack of understanding of the nature of their relationship with God, and ultimately our own.

 

Adam and Eve had FULL access to speak with God. We also, as Christians, have the right to approach God in prayer and speak out hearts. 

 

Adam and Eve *chose* to be disobedient - knowingly, fully and completely. Children don't have the mental capacity to fully comprehend consequences of their actions. Adam and Eve knew God was serious, but chose to disobey. I might also note that there was a contingent of the angelic host that *also* chose to disobey God and ended up being cast out of Heaven along with Satan. 

 

Knowing they'd be disobedient anyway, God made for a way back - a bridge of sorts, so that His disobedient children could return to Him. Yet, none of them wanted to return.

So instead of losing all, He sovereignly reached out and provided the 'elect' with a saving faith - the power to believe and the power to overcome the disbelief despite our sin. We still choose to be obedient or disobedient, but once we've accepted Christ we are sealed for eternity. 

 

Nope. We don't deserve it. No one is righteous, not one - nobody seeks after Christ in their own strength. But by the power of God, we are saved in Christ and become witnesses to the world of His grace.

 

So if anything, it's unfair that we were saved to begin with. It's unfair we are born into a world and given an opportunity to repent and return to Him. God knew our choice beforehand - He'd be perfectly just condemning all who reject Him to eternal separation. Complete and utter removal from anything of or by God because they want nothing to do with Him. A ratification of their own choice.

 

The beauty of salvation is that He chose us - a remnant - to be His emissaries and witnesses on this earth as a beacon of hope to all who would accept His son. My short time of grief on this dirtball will pale in contrast to the glories and gifts that await us in heaven. That too, is completely "unfair" by the standards of the world. Why should I get an eternity of gifts and beauty beyond imagination for a few trivial acts that I can't really say were my own work? 

 

God bless,

 

-Chaplain Carter

 

 

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7 hours ago, NetChaplain said:

Not sure what you mean here by "umbrella."

Here's what I mean:

 

 

7 hours ago, NetChaplain said:

The unsaved (unregenerate) are drawn by desire given them to ask God for faith, and upon the reception of faith, all things that are godly are eternally present. The Biblical term "regeneration" in the Greek and in the dictionary is "rebirth" (Tit 3:5).

Just to clarify the "unsaved (unregenerate)" which you refer are the Elect. I agree with the rest of your statement. Thank you for clarifying that you do not mean the reprobate (non-elect).

7 hours ago, NetChaplain said:

We are not drawn by faith to faith, but by desire for faith.

If I were to be critical of your wording I'd suggest that faith in or of ourselves does not save. We are saved by the object of faith (Jesus Christ). Faith in or of ourselves apart from the object is our own works.

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28 minutes ago, William said:

As far as Titus 3:5 I'd like to emphasize a point. Faith can be a works if "in or of ourselves". Our "act" of faith does not save us but the object of faith Jesus Christ. A lot of people emphasize their "acts" which apart from the object of faith are works. Man may discover that the desired faith and they point to themselves suggesting that they received faith because they asked for faith. However, monergism establishes that God initiates salvation, that is, God Elects/Predestines and Regenerates which enables our faith as faith is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

 

God bless,

William

There's a natural faith that derives from sight, e.g. of the senses, upon which one seeing can readily have faith in. But this type can never lead to the Spirit's work (fruit) of faith (Gal 5:22) in conversion because it is of the senses, where spiritual faith derives from God apart from the senses.

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On 3/3/2019 at 10:05 PM, laverne3 said:

I am having some difficulties understanding predestination and election. Ever since coming to Christ, I have never touched on the subject but now that I know of it, it is making feel less loved by God but also, unfortunately, makes me doubt the love of God. I wrote this down in a note so bear with me if it is jumping all over the place.

Hi Laverne3,,,

I'm new here and I hope I'll know how to reply to you...technically, I mean.

So, you knew the love of God, but then when you found out about predestination and election you became unsure of His love.

 

I do believe that this is one of the problems with the belief in predestination and election.  A person could never really be sure that they are one of the chosen.

 

I'll tell you right now that predestination and election have nothing to do with personal salvation.  I am not of the reformed church, so I do not accept some scripture the way the reformed do.  

 

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It is understood that all humans are under sin and that we all are deserving of God's righteous and just judgment. Without God's grace, we will not be able to escape His holy wrath. This, however, is not to say that we are incapable of being righteous enough to earn our salvation because God made us that way but because we, from the very beginning with Adam, have freely chosen to live sinfully and against God. God is then not to blame, he didn't make us sin, we freely chose to sin. But then when you get into predestination and God's sovereignty and all-knowing nature things start getting a bit confusing.

When we stray from some doctrine,,,things do get confusing.

What you have stated above is true.

Adam CHOSE to sin.  He used his free will to sin...

this free will was never taken away from us...we still have the free will today to be able to choose GOD....we can know for sure we're saved because God has revealed Himself to us and we have chosen to respond to Him with our own free will. 

 

God is STILL sovereign....He is still omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.....nothing is taken away from Him because of our free will, because HE made us with free will... 

 

According to predestination, God had pre-elected some humans to be saved and also some that would be destined to their own devices and thus their own destruction and eternal punishment. I am now familiar also with the notion of Positive/Negative double predestination. This claims that those that are elected God changes, actively, their hearts to have faith and those that God elected to not save he simply "passed over" or just left them to themselves. There is no human accomplishment in following Christ. It is the work of God. He changed the hearts of those who believe in order for them to be able to believe. Otherwise, we would all be in the same boat. If you then delve deeper into the understanding of predestination and God's sovereignty you then also see that God knew of this whole plan even before the creation of the world. It wasn't a surprise to him. It wasn't as if he put Adam and Eve in the garden and said: "Let's see how this turns out." And then seeing that they disobeyed him was like "Shoot, I guess we go to plan B." No, God knew what would happen and that they would choose to disobey him. Not only this, he knew that while putting the tree there that they would eat of it and that would make them perish. He thus knew that many people would be born and would then be spending eternity in damnation and fire. 

 

This does seem a bit odd and less loving than I have learned God to be. Couldn't this be compared to putting two children in a room with a ton of toys but also placing a knife in there and then telling the kids: "You can play with all the toys in here but don't play with the knife, otherwise you will die." But during all of this, you knew for some reason that those kids would choose to play with that knife! This does put some blame on you for putting that knife in there in the first place. 

 

I am sorry in advance if this sounds ungrateful but this is a very hard concept for me to grasp. I can acknowledge the fact that I am a sinner and that I could never be perfect as God is but trying to understand this is a whole new thing for me. I am just wanting to understand and get over this so I can know more about God and truly believe that He is loving rather than just accepting that he is.

 

When the bible speaks of predestination and election...it's speaking about electing the Hebrews as the people to whom He would reveal Himself....

and the predestination refers to HOW we are saved and not WHO is saved. 

 

Edited by GodsGrace

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